Brother Thelonious | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious
BA SCORE
3.81/5
Very Good
3,104 Ratings
Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#16,597
Reviews:
1,075
Ratings:
3,104
pDev:
13.12%
Bros Score:
3
 
 
Wants:
92
Gots:
673
Trade:
9
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,104 |  Reviews: 1,075
Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

amber with soapy big head, lace. Watery, sweet and orange peel, which makes it easy to drink, herbal tea spicey which turns it off for me. A tad toasted malt. Thanks Derek.Big alcohol, not noticeable, but inefficient to the taste. Serviceable beer, not quite up to its style. So passable.

 288 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

definitely nothing special here. let down for sure. pours a transparent deeo ruby red color with a very small head that fades to nothing. smells malty, but not in a pleasant way, like something went rotten a little bit, sugary too, and just a hint of belgian yeast. flavor is about the same, off-putting malt character, a bit metallic, and overly sweet. feel is weird in the stomach, carbonation is fine, but something is just off about this one. im hoping i just got a bad bottle or something, but this was on the verge of undrinkable for me, thick and sweet and funked out. im reluctant to try it again, but i guess i have to at some point given the largely positive reviews. north coast has been a bit of a disappointment for me thus far.

 741 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for the 4th Annual LA Beer Week Beer Festival at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a slightly murky honey brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, brown sugar, caramel, yeast, and spices. Taste is much the same with a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

 528 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found in 12oz bottles and gave it a try having passed by, for some reason, the larger bottles.

Pours a dark copper red/brown with a lovely thick off white head.

Nice nose of malted fruit-cooked bananas and hints of tangerine peel and gives way to smells of big, rich cherries.

Flavors are a bit short and quick but nice. Flavors of roasted grain, cooked fruit, malt and bananas with some carmel and toffee and with an overwhelming cherry back palate and character.
Has a nice acidic character or bright fruit, almost more like wine than beer.

Sweet fruity finish that is not unpleasant but a bit of a "soda pop" character all around; perhaps too much of a cherry character; may not be all that food friendly. Just my opinion, as always.

 744 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a dark reddish brown color, the head was a cream color and looked pretty fluffy. The smell of the beer had some dark malt aromas giving off a little sweetness and some bready Belgian yeast as well. The taste of the beer has a little bit of dark fruit in the mix along with some earthy notes. The mouthfeel was about average for me on this one, it's smooth but just doesn't wow me. Overall this beer isn't bad, I know a lot of people who love it but I've had it a few times and I still haven't been overly impressed by it.

 545 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured rather dark amber in color with a thin beige head that quickly dissipated into just a few bubbles around the edge of the goblet. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: The aroma is rather complex and the nose has notes of caramel, cherries and plums.
T: The overall taste is relatively sweet and has flavors of cherries, raisins and malty sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden.

 507 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of biboergosum
3.32/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, saved from a trip through the beervana of Seattle, Portland, and yes, Boise, earlier this year. While jazz totally isn't my thing, I'll still entertain any offering from this brewery.

This beer pours a cloudy, dank, brick-tinged brown hue, with an emaciated finger's worth of fizzy beige head, which doesn't stick around long enough to suffer questioning. It smells of sweet caramel malt, dotted and blotted with figs and dates, some prominent dusty vinous notes, and mildly acrid alcohol. The taste is dark, muddled earthy fruit, understated caramel/toffee malt, a soft leafy hoppiness, and some mild booze warming. The carbonation is on the down low, brutha, the body a solid medium weight, and agreeably smooth (not that I'm saying anything further). It finishes sweet, fruity, and warm - see the prior liner notes...

While I don't particularly care for the eponymous artist's musical style, I do quite like BSDAs. So, it somewhat irks me, that this offering is so, well, simple. Drinkable, I suppose, but lacking that usual dense, complex oomph that usually pulls me in, and convinces me to stay.

 1,115 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A really good attempt at packaging of this product. The cork and tie-down, the label, and 750 mil bottle all make a convencing Belgian look; even with a bit of sarcasm in the image. Pours a rich, rust color with a 50% haze and good head retention. Very sweet in the nose--some of malts, some of complimentary grains, sugars, and fruity esters. Tastes very sweet with barley malts, candy sugars, wheat malt, and an underlying confectionate sugar flavor. Balanced with a mild hop bitterness, alcoholic bite, and fruitcake variety. Still, lacking the complexity and true Belgian yeast characters. Not as tart or pepery as I like in true Belgian varieties. Just not funky enough. The feel is nearly sticky-sweet, rich, and full; helped out with some alcohol thinning, but remains very sweet well into the aftertaste. Overall, a fine brew, but cannot compete with the Belgian greats, especially for the price.

 904 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a generic goblet at the Yardhouse in downtown Los Angeles, California. Cost was $6.50. Expectations were above average given the brewery.

A: Pours a 2.-2.5 finger head of nice cream, good thickness, very light tan tinges, and great retention. Colour is a very dark red; nontransparent.

Sm: Dry cherries, yeast, light caramelized malt, dry (dead?) yeast, and perhaps nuts. A mild strength aroma.

T: Dry fruit - likely cherry and/or raspberry. Some caramelized malt. Maybe some plum? The malts are dryer than I'd expect - maybe biscuit malt or very light roast. The fruit character isn't rounded, but rather stagnant and one-dimensional. The finish is problematic, with a relative emptiness of flavour in comparison to the remainder of the beer. Balanced, but a bit timid with its flavours. I wouldn't call it subtle. Built pretty well.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but with obligatory dryness to let the flavours come through. This lends it character, but may be unmotivated. Not too thick nor too thin.

Dr: Drinkable - especially for the ABV. Good quality. I'd have it again at a better pirce. The problematic finish prevents it from earning a B rating.

High B-

***
04/07/18 nabbed a 4 pack of bottles for $10.99 USD at a grocery store in Austin, TX.

Pours a soft delicate head khaki-tan in colour. Supple and inviting.

AROMA hints at subtle dark fruits. Dates, raisin, fig, pomegranate seed, cherry. Biscuity Belgian yeast is evident. Seems bready maltwise.

TASTE follows the aroma, emphasizing nuanced wisps of dark fruit flavours whilst hinting towards Black Forest Cake and chocolatey notes in its soft malt backbone. Wassail-like winter spice is also present, probably imparted by the Belgian yeast.

Rich yet approachable, with a devilishly well disguised high ABV. Balanced and enjoyable.

OVERALL: Well-executed work from North Coast. One of the better American brewed expressions of a Belgian style I've had recently, and almost up there with Allagash or Ommegang in terms of accurately nailing traditional style conventions. Not overhopped like many American attempts at the style, nor riddled with off-flavours. It doesn't have that dessert beer sweetness and sludgy thickness often found in high ABV Belgian style ales either.

Worth picking up here or there; I only nabbed it again because I was craving an affordable Belgian style dark ale and it was this or New Belgium. I'd definitely buy it again in the 4-pack format; $10.99 USD is reasonable.

High B- / WORTHY

 2,509 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Mary for this one!
Dark reddish brown, tan foam, long lasting billowing head.
Aromas of dried fruit, nutty malt, Belgian yeast.
Taste is largely the same, dominant yeast with dried fruit esters, nutty malty middle, yeasty aftertaste.
Medium to full bodied, sticky on the lips but not overly sweet.
Overall a good BSDA for the price, though there are better ones out there.

 384 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

 1,670 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, deep mahogany color with a small, tan head. It ledt a soapy lace/residue.

S - It smelled sweet and of fruits (pear and apple). Some spicy notes, too.

T - This is a very complex dubbel. Lots of fruit flavors, sweet caramel malt, spices, and a subtle hop bitterness.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is an excellent North Coast beer. It belongs up there with Old Rasputin and Praqster.

 452 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany color with a decent head that disappears way too quickly and leaves a few spots of lacing

Smell: Brown sugar and banana with various fruity esters, including prunes, apricots, dates and applesauce along with some distinct fusel alcohol aromas

Taste: Starts with a rather fruity element that mirrors the aroma, along with some brown sugar and spice cake flavors; following the swallow, a harsh, woody element takes over (perhaps this will subside with age)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and somewhat effervescent

Drinkability: This beer has a fair amount going for it and is a good effort on the part of a US brewer to create a BSDA; it could use a bit more depth of flavor and a less harsh finish

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Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 3,104 ratings