Brother Thelonious | North Coast Brewing Co.

very good
1,053 Reviews
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Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Vital Statistics

Style: Belgian Style Strong Dark
Color: Dark mahogany
ABV: 9.4%
Bitterness: 32 IBU's"

Added by sloejams on 05-04-2006

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Reviews: 1,053 | Ratings: 3,004
Photo of classixIII
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Red/Deep Brown for- a finger of head that dissapated quickly. Mild aroma mostly malt and dried dark fruits. Definitely a Belgian, just like the aroma malt and dark fruit. Minimal carbonation very creamy to thick. The high ABV provides some warmth but not overpowering. Reminds me of good Christmas Ale - only sweet not spicy.

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Photo of Baumer
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

L: amber red in color, but one of the muddiest looking beers I've ever had the fortune of viewing. head dissipates pretty quickly with only a minimal film left on the surface.
S: malty, bready, a bit of cinnamon? Not too pronounced, but pleasant.
T: very dark fruity flavor. again, some cinnamon. hard to believe this is almost 10% abc, alcohol is well hidden. the fruit is very strong up front and it lingers. pretty complex. maybe a little unbalanced?
F: medium bodied with a slow finish. taste of fruit stays in your mouth between sips. carbonation dissipates very quickly. Could have used a bit more carb in my opinion. begins to feel syrupy midway through the glass. very warming.
O: a good beer. definitely will knock you over with only a few glasses. I don't think this is one of my favorites, but it is one of the smoother high ABV beers I have ever had. Would I purchase again? yes. definitely a better drink for the winter months as it is very warming.

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Photo of Picky-when-paying-89
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brother Thelonious:

Clear Auburn pour with a longstanding finger and a half width khaki head. Good lacing that sticks around for the duration of the drink

Malts, almonds, dried fruits, hint of coffee

Bright (acidic), notes of caramel, oats, almonds, with a red winey finish

Thick, sudsy, bright leaving a tingle on the sides of the mouth

Very good beer. Very malty, which follows the style. It doesn't hurt that I love Thelonious Monk. This beer sends his riffs through my minds ear, accidentals and odd times signatures and all.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tap at NCBC in Fort Bragg, CA. Another style I am unfamiliar with, but glad to try. Beautiful color. The only thing that sticks out to me was the warmth it brings to my belly!

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Photo of thebeers
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Muddy-looking ruddy brown with a very thin off-white head that quickly disappears into nothing. Sweet aroma with fig and raisins. This carries to the taste where they mix with some caramel apple, a kiss of alcohol and slight hop bitterness. The taste's a bit yeasty, too. Medium bodied, a bit creamy, with decent carbonation. Nothing out of this world, but there's enough there to keep things interesting.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 08/03/2016. DFH Tulip.

A: pours a dark Amber ruby, with a half finger of sandy, bubbly head that recedes quickly. Not nearly as much carbonation as I would expect. Clear and lighter than I would expect. Not much lacing at all.

S: can smell the malt and phenols from a foot away. But when I put my nose in the glass, they are less pronounced. Turbinado sugar, toasty malt; whole wheat bread; a definite dried fruit character like prunes.

T: unmistakably Belgian in character, but with less roast and less carbonation than I am accustomed to. Arrives bready and malty and then begins to turn sweeter, finishing a bit cloying. Similar profile as on the nose: dark bread, vinous quality, a little floral, finishing raisiny and prune like. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

M: this actually seems a little flat for the style. I think the sweetness is easy to put up with when it's bubbly. Less so when it's like this. Full bodied and creamy. Slick.

O: I like Belgian strong dark ales, but I really need to be in the mood for them, and I don't think I was tonight. That and this one was sweeter, less carbonated, and more lightly roasted than I prefer. It's good, but does not live up to its namesake.

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Photo of andrewh995
4.56/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Despite some negativity towards this beer, it's easily one of my favorites. I have no other BSDAs to compare it to which may be why, but man I love this beer.

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.79/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From notes taken 02/14/17:

I meant to check at the time, but this was probably at least a year old, so aging might have significantly impacted my tasting.

Deep caramel brown appearance. Orange tinted ruby, spiced bourbon. Fine chunks but these seem to stay close to the head. Creamy, fine-bubbled head of light golden brown, no more than a finger with weak but retention but lingering as a film. Extreme plum, booze, and paint thinner, a little bit of berry in my nostrils. Exquisite palate of dark chocolate, plums, rye bread, toffee, ferrous tartness, and brown spirits. All of this lingers in the finish but faint peppercorn and other non distinct herbs and spices rear their heads. Full in body, medium levels of small velvety prickles. Heat hides itself well, but at almost 10% you can still find it, primarily in the throat.

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Photo of Stoutmaster9
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another fancy cage and cork affair. 750 ML of Bottled Bebop.
While sipping, listened to Monk's "In walked bud", and others from Live at the Five Spot.
Poured into a big mouth wine glass.

L Amber, brownish-orange to ruby, with a thin head, which soon vanishes. Steady bubble streams
S dry malt with fruit, raisins foremost
Taste follows the nose, and is to be slowly savored! The alcohol strikes with a swift,crisp throat burn that quickly mellows.
The Feel is a lingering splash of fruits on the dry mouth's roof, while the bold booze begins to swim rather subtle; beware, a quarter way through, and this strong stuff becomes sneaky!
Overall quite enjoyable, a classy change of pace, in any case.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A fine-looking strong-dark. Good carbonation provides plenty of head, while the brew is a classic opaque brown, though lacking the ruby or garnet colors of the best-lookers. Very sweet, fruity, and malty on the nose, with apple and brown sugar notes. Toasted malt-bomby and brown-sugary on the palate, followed by fruit notes. Not unpleasant, but the booze and malt are both pretty heavy-handed, with some heavy solvent notes. The mouthfeel is somewhat thin and lacking in carbonation. Overall, this isn't terrible, but there are better examples out there.

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, rich brown. Two fingers of head that quickly settled

Malty nose...toast, clove, cinnamon

Pleasant taste, but not particularly "deep". Bread again, some molasses, prune and raisin

Medium body with a fair amount of sweetness.

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Photo of crisis1290
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am always looking to try new Belgian styles and Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing was on my list. Dark brown off the pour. Super nice foam head to say the least. A great balance of hops and malt . Very much malt driven and fruity with some spices like clove. Medium body. Moderately carbonated. Overall, Brother Thelonious has a nice balance of different types of flavors. The alcohol is 9.4% and could sneak up on you !

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If we are rating this according to style; I agree with some other reviewers here, this cant really stand up to or hang with the best of a lot of other dark belgian strong ales, but for what it's worth it's not a bad beer.

L: Pours a dark brown color thats almost ruby red around the edges with a three finger khaki head that retains for quite a while.

S: Dark fruits and yeast. Currants, red apples, raisins, yeasty notes of clove, bubblegum, banana and rye bread.

T: Very nice. Follows the nose. Dry and sweet. Quite hoppy and floral. I'm getting mild chocolate, classic belgian yeast and tons of dark red fruits like tamarind, sugarplums, red apples, and raisins. Caramel malt and mild vanilla. Hints of pumpernickel bread. Things get a little muddy at times, and what I mean by that is that the flavors don't really shine in their own right, they're almost competing against one another.

F: Silky smooth, mid heavy feel. Moderately carbonated. Boozy at times.

O: Not fantastic, but not bad at all. Would have rated this higher but I grade according to style and as previously mentioned, this is sort of lackluster for a dark belgian strong ale, although I certainly would never turn this down if offered or if nothing else is available.

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Photo of sokol_1993
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An okay BSDA, some dark fruitiness but not much, and a little bit too much hoppiness. Cannot stand up to the great Belgian ones. Taste was not as deep.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Unknown vintage; drank 3/10/16 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Purple/red appearance.

A rough pour yielded a nice khaki head; decent lace.

Banana, plum & mild clove nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Pear flavor up front; apple cider notes on the finish. Plum, banana & mild booze heat emerged as this warmed. Flavorful & quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Marius
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

35cl bottle. Dark caramel pour with a medium height tan head and visible carbonation. Notes of caramel, dried fruit, figs, red grapes, a bit of rosemary, prunes, subtle chocolate and a metallic bitterness. Medium body and carbonation and a bitter-sweet finish.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A nice two finger head, the lacing was okay, but the FLAVOR was fantastic, with malty and caramel and chocolate tones...Some sweet fig undertones and a tart but fizzing finish (the carbonation on this one is spot on!)... The yeast strain on this one is much better than some other American based breweries making dubbles and quads and brings a wonderful fruitiness to the palate (--nothing to do with the yeast, but a hint of spice clove, pepper and not sure what, at the finish as well). Only thing I am not so sure about is the slightly bitter tart finish. The other thing that lingers is a "sameness" you get from a lot of indie breweries in the water. There is just something off.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle not dated. Poured into tulip glass. It pours a deep ruby-cola color with one finger of foamy, beige head and lacing with excellent retention. It smells strongly of fig with sweet malt, brown sugar, and a whiff of clove. The taste follows the nose but everything is rather subdued and there is a decidedly sour finish. I also don't taste the caramel that other reviewers mention. This Quad is medium-bodied, pleasantly carbonated and it packs a punch with its 9.4% ABV. Overall, found that the taste didn't measure up to the promise of the nose. There is no date on the bottle and the taste profile may have deteriorated. I'd like to try a bottle that I know to be fresh.

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Photo of mklmcgrew
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

25 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass

L: Pours a cloudy brown color, with a 2-finger off-white head which dissipated to a small ring and not much lacing.

S: Light nose with some caramel and malt.

T/F: Fruit forward, with that Belgian yeast in the middle and a little acidic at the end. Overall a nice balance of flavors. The alcohol is a bit hidden, which can sneak up on you at 9.4% ABV.

O: Nice belgian style ale. I would get this again.

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Photo of JColin
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. bottled 4/23/13
Duvel Tulip

A - Dark brown with little carbonation

S - A great balance of hops and malt

T - Floral and piney with a kick

F - Mouthfeel is full and pleasant

O - Well balanced enjoyable sipper. Would buy again

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, dated 6/09/16

pours a clear dark amber brown color, thick cream colored head. Aroma of dark fruit, caramel, and Belgian yeast. taste is well balanced with those flavors. mildly sweet. medium bodied.

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Photo of HoodviewBrew
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep brown. Mine had a foamy 3-inch head. I had to pour slow to keep it from spilling.

Smell: Caramel, brown sugar, and fig with some clove spice.

Taste: Malt-driven and fruity, a little acidic with a little bit of booziness though less than it's 9.4% ABV would suggest.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin body, good carbonation. A little bit of booze bite at the finish.

Overall: This beer was pretty good but I can't say great. It had all the components of a great abbey ale just... muted. Hard to say if I'd buy again at this price point ($10 for 25.4 oz) but I'd grab more if it was on sale for $8 or I could get it in 4- or 6-packs in my area.

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Photo of stevoj
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hits the mark perfectly. A true Belgian from a US brewery. Wonderfully sharp and bitter with a nice sour smell. Creamy hea dlingers on the surface with lots of sticky lacing.... A pleasant surprise.

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Photo of HipCzech
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving: 12 fl oz bottle ("PKGD 06092016") poured into a Speigelau beer tulip.

Appearance: Clear mahogany brown with a brief head of khaki foam that leaves whispy streaks.

Smell: Dates, molasses, banana bread and warm spice (clove, cinnamon; as much curry as pie).

Taste: Malt-driven and fruity, warm and spicy. Balancing tart and bitter finish - mulled wine.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, sticky with lively carbonation. Subtle alcohol warmth.

Overall: Not as deep and complex as its Belgian peers, but still full flavored and tasty - always enjoy this one more than expected.

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Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 3,004 ratings.
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