Brother Thelonious
North Coast Brewing Co.

Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #197
Ranked #22,680
3.84 | pDev: 13.02%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious
Notes: "Vital Statistics

Style: Belgian Style Strong Dark
Color: Dark mahogany
ABV: 9.4%
Bitterness: 32 IBU's"
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Reviews: 1,111 | Ratings: 3,217 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by tracycramer:
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tracycramer from Texas

4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Delightful. Enjoyed at home with family on 11/8/19.

Light on the sweetness, light on the heaviness, very lightly bitter, lightly fruity on the back end. 10 dollars for 25.4 ounces. Will enjoy this again some day.

Nov 09, 2019
More User Reviews:
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Zombiedust66 from Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I was very impressed with this one. Plus, being a jazz guy, I was into it just from the label. It poured easy, showing a dark amber color with a slight head to top it off. Right off, you can smell the fruit (banana). The taste isn't too heavy and actually quite enjoyable with the alcohol hidden in the background. No strong bite, just great flavors (dark malts, fruit and slight floral). The feel was smooth and easy. Sitting at a 9.4%, this is a great sipping beer. I had it with a vegan pizza. Went well together.

Nov 12, 2015
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sjdevel from Utah

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark reddish copper in color with a 1 finger head. Tried to pour harder to increase the head, but couldn't get more out of it. The head recedes quickly - some lacing , but really flattens out.
Smell: Belgian yeast, plum, grape, and caramel.
Taste: Some tartness upfront. Ripe fruity flavors swirl around - plum, fig, raisin, etc. Strong rich sweetness blasts through. Heavy and syrupy, molasses and natural raw sugar. Some tobacco-like hints and charred oak and nuts. Definitely taste the alcohol in this one - slight burn. Belgian yeast evident. Some decent spice flavors.
Feel: Too thin for style. Medium / low end. Hoped for more. Gets flat half-way through the drinking experience.
Overall: Great flavor - not quite like "top shelf" Belgian Darks though (Bulden Draake being one of my favorites). But really drinkable. Bought as a single, but possibly would buy a 4-pack of it.

May 07, 2017
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BeerSexLove from Virginia

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah....a tasty beer that was enhanced by the presentation. I'm a big Monk fan so I don't think I could allow myself to find too much fault with it. Yes, a label will lure me to surrender my cash, in this case I felt I got my money's worth and some of the proceeds go to The Thelonious Monk Institute of's a win win!

May 04, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance was a nice golden orange to brown color with a nice one finger white foamy head that died at a decent pace and ended up leaving a decent sticky lacing in rings. The smell was a nice sweet yet an inviting somewhat Belgian spiciness of sorts invading my nose. The taste is sweet and spicy with an inviting yeasty breadiness surrounding the flavors. There is a nice sweet yeasty aftertaste with an iviting dry spicy sweet finish. On the palate, this one delicately sits about a medium and has a decent carbonation running about my mouth and tongue to tell me there’s a decent sessionability about it. Overall, I say this is a nice Belgian Strong Pale Ale as everything fits nicely for this beer.

Jun 06, 2017
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RoyalT from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a solid brown in color with a rather smallish head on a hard pour.

Smell – The deep, rich yeast is always my favorite and made up for the lack of a good appearance. It’s dark and doughy and dominates the nose.

Taste – The big malty yeast comes out in spades at the taste. It is very bready like undercooked toast. There’s a light yeasty sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel – This is big in the mouth but shy of full-bodied. The carbonation is light and tickling on the cheeks. It shows a light bitterness just at the very end as you’re walking away from the glass.

Drinkability – This is my kind of BSDA. It’s big but not gianormous, heavy on the yeast, and goes down smoothly.

Aug 04, 2006
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ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm unfamiliar with the style, purchased two bottles because I love Old Rasputin. Pours a reddish brown with a small khaki head. That fades quickly. Aroma is very fruity, Apple's and berries mostly. Flavor is similar. Creamy mouthfeel, ABV is well hidden. It's an OK beer, I'm glad I tried it, but probably will leave it on the shelf next time. I'll stick with Old Rasputin.

Jan 27, 2017
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ngusset from Oregon

4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into Carolus chalice. Nice walnut color, impressive head for such a high percentage. Smells sweet, winey, tangy and floral, which gets exciting right before the scent vanishes. Very malty taste, with a nice sour bite, a bit buttery, roasted notes, alcohol present, like bourbon even. Has good body, a little buttery, with a thin ending somehow, and slightly funky aftertaste. Better than a corporate dubbel from Belgium.

May 29, 2016
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 750 ml bottle in a snifter. Named after one of the greats of jazz, and a personal favorite along with Brubeck whom I was fortunate enough to see in concert.
Brother Thelonious pours a deep reddish brown with a moderate off white head of foam that dissipates to a thick ring and light lacing. Nose of raisins, light brown sugar and caramel, earthy ester powered yeasty goodness, some roasted grain notes, and strong alcohol. Flavors are lightly sweet to the front and sides with a spiciness to the rear from mildly bittering hops blending in nicely with the earthy Belgian yeast. Sweet malts, raisins, and brown sugar are lightly overpowered by the spiciness of the yeast and a mild hop bitterness. The ale finishes lightly dry with a muted sweet aftertaste, and lively carbonated mouth feel. Very nice. The Monk would of been impressed.


Apr 11, 2015
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superspak from Ohio

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/22/2015. Pours clear dark reddish brown color with 2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, cherry, date, banana, pepper, clove, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, toasted dark bread, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, cherry, date, banana, pepper, clove, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, toasted dark bread, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of yeast spiciness and light tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, prune, fig, cherry, date, banana, pepper, clove, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, toasted dark bread, light nuttiness, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from yeast spice as well. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Feb 08, 2016
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watermelonman from California

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a nice dark ruby color with a small head. Lace is minimal.

The smell is mostly of dark malts. Some minor esters and yeast comes through too. The taste starts with dark malts and esters, with a bit of alcohol coming through in the end. The mouthfeel is fairly sharp, while drinkability is pretty good.

Sep 07, 2006
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Bugsey from District of Columbia

4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was huge surprise for me. I just bought one to try it, but couldn't stop thinking about all night long.

The flavor lingers, as does the warmth from the alcohol. Tastes are clean and balanced, yet there is rich maltyness, perfectly sweetened with brown sugar and carmel. Dark fruits, prunes and dates, are also there.

Going to try this one again.

And the label is pretty cool too.

Oct 07, 2008
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DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

4.0 A: Dark orange brown color and very clear. One finger of thick, frothy head with average retention and good lacing.

3.5 S: Carmel maltiness. Dark fruits and some spice. Molasses/rum and raisins.

3.5 T: Big hit of raisin and peppery spice. Carmel and molasses. A bit of bitterness than makes a good balance.

3.5 M: Heavy medium body. Lots of carbonation, maybe a bit too much. Otherwise smooth and creamy.

4.0 D: Only second beer of this style and I think I could get used to drinking a lot more.

Jan 15, 2009
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alabamagolf from Alabama

3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 ounce capped bottle a dark brown / walnut color.

Smell - Chocolate, fruity.

Good appearance with average head, some lacing in my stein.

Taste - Excellent initial taste, chocolate and coffee flavors. A bit much alcohol/boozy aroma after taste

Drinkability - Starts great with flavor, finish is average and a bit boozy.

Jun 18, 2009
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a ruby red shine and a two finger head of a thick cream colored foam. The head has a fantastic level of retention, very slowly fading to leave a decent level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of darker dried fruit smells composed of raisin, fig, and prune. Along with these smells are some candied aromas and a good level of banana and bubblegum. Some brown sugar and light cherry are there as well and mix with a bit of yeast and clove to produce a nice sweet Belgian strong dark smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweet darker fruit flavor of raisin, fig, and cherry along with some flavors of bubblegum. A bit of a lightly roasted bready flavor is also present upfront with it getting slightly stronger as the flavor advances to the end. A yeasty taste develops right after the initial taste, with it gaining intensity toward the end, only to fade again. Around the middle of the flavor profile some clove and cardamom spice as well as some banana come to the tongue. Around this time the taste of the beer sours a bit with it taking on flavors of some tart cherry. Some of the sweetness fades at the end with a bit of an alcohol flavor coming to the tongue. This with a little bit of a grassy taste and more spice, end up leaving one with a somewhat unbalanced, slightly drier, bready and fruit flavor to linger on the tongue

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium side with a carbonation that is average as well. The combination of a medium body and carbonation are rather appropriate for the dark fruit, bready and spice/yeast flavors of the brew.

Overall – A decent but nothing too exceptional Belgian strong dark ale. Worth a try, but one I wouldn’t take over most other Belgian strong darks that are readily available.

Feb 02, 2014
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polopaul20 from Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Oct 17, 2013
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proctah from Norway

2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Jul 25, 2013
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Paccamacca from California

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Jun 13, 2013
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jmsedgwick from Mississippi

3/5  rDev -21.9%

Jan 24, 2014
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brocktune from Virginia

3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 08, 2016
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mschrei from Illinois

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Jul 10, 2014
Photo of KMani

4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Feb 07, 2015
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beerking1 from Virginia

3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have stored this bottle about a year. Pours a red-hued light brown color, with some haze, and a decent head that lasts to the end. Aroma is dark fruits, with some malt and some wood characteristics. Also hints of yeastiness in the nose. Flavor is more dark fruits, some yeastiness and chocolate malt. Hops are apparent, but very subdued. Very well balanced beer in style. Alcohol comes through, but softly. Body is suitably medium to full, with a creamy carbonation. Aftertaste is lingering dark malt and fruit.

Dec 27, 2007
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bmwats from Louisiana

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into a tulip.

A: Dark brown. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles fairly quickly leaving a thin layer of foam and a slight buildup around the sides of the glass.

S: A little oak and some nice bittersweet chocolaty, fruity goodness.

T: Sweet malty goodness. Nice and nutty.

M: Light finish, but full and robust body.

D: Uhhh.... it's great.

Atmosphere is really solid here. Very strong, dark, and regal appearance. Nose is a nice balance of earthy and sweet components. Flavor is beautiful. Full and robust. Overall, this is a very good quaff.

Aug 28, 2010
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mjl21 from California

3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into Chimay glass. Not bottling info is given. Comes in at 9.4%.

A-Brown with red hues. Looks like Coca Cola. When poured, a very minimal head turns quickly into a miniscule tan ring.

S-Belgian yeast and raisin/stone fruits; warming alcohol also hits the nose.

T-Rum soaked raisin, some bitterness as it hits the tongue, and alcohol as it goes down. Sweet with some grape taste also.

M-Medium bodied with a carbonation level that is a lot nicer than expected.

D-A little sweet for my tastes.

Not too bad of a beer. For a take on the Dubbel style it is not bad. The nice carbonation makes the sweetness level more palatable.

Mar 03, 2009
Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 3217 ratings