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Brother Thelonious | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious
Very Good
3,046 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 3,046 |  Reviews: 1,064
Photo of beergoot
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright, clear amber-orange body capped with a rich, creamy head. Orange, lemon, and dark fruits (figs, prunes, and dates) sweetly greet the nose. Smooth, malt flavor overall, ending with a nice combination of alcohol heat and bitterness. Soft mouthfeel created by rich malt sweetness and fine carbonation.

A nicely balanced, richly complex example of this style. Very tasty if you are in search of a malt-forward beer with a decent alcohol kick.

 446 characters

Photo of Yesdog
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of acevenom
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce version purchased as a single.

Poured into a goblet. Pours opaque dark caramel brown with a quickly dissipating two-finger length eggshell colored head. The aromas are typical for a strong Belgian ale. I detect the fruity bubblegum type aromas from the yeast, some sweetness, and some malt. The alcohol does have a strong presence in the aroma. The taste up front has all the characteristics you'd expect from a good Belgian dark ale. There's some darker malt flavors with caramel and dark fruits. Then I get that alcohol kick right afterwards that overrides quite a bit of those flavors. That's a bit disappointing because I wanted to really taste the other stuff that was happening here. The body is medium to full with moderate carbonation. The finish is slightly dry. This is a good beer, but could have been better if the alcohol flavors were masked better.

 872 characters

Photo of ryko
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of SciFritz
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Tech_Savy
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of simpleman
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of rfreed
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of mmilyko
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Jmick28
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of magictacosinus
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thelonious Monk is by far one my favorite composers of all time, and being a long-time fan of North Coast Brewing, the combination of the two is a beyond cool beer brand - especially if it still goes on to educational cause which is was at the time it came out! Poured into a chalice from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance is pretty spot on when it comes to the classic dubbel color. Reddish-brown, although the alcohol leggings make it more of an "imperial dubbel" hybrid than an actual classic rendition. Sadly, and not surprisingly, not much of a head, but some lacing persists even as it warms up. Overall not bad, but slightly sloppy in presentation.

The aroma starts with an excess amount of yeastiness, but flavors that are typical to these types of beers attempt to catch on at the back. Carmel, brown sugar, fruitiness most resembling figs and grapes - all do eventually turn up, but I think the alcohol is a little too excessive and masks these flavors.

The moment I took a first gulp, I immediately thought, "uh oh." The start is quite flavorful - red apples, raisins, prunes, and medicated oils - but immediately the alcohol, which so strongly took hold in the aroma, really overpowers and burns the remaining flavors. Otherwise, it's quite thick and juicy in feel, and it really is a shame that this is a factor preventing it from reaching its full potential.

I am only 1/3 through the glass and feeling enormously tipsy. I don't mind Belgian-style beers for their high ABV, but this, despite decent flavor and feel all-around, is a bit of an alcoholic inducement gone haywire. I realize what North Coast was trying to do here, but compared to other dubbels, it doesn't quite work out. On the bright side, I could definitely see myself listening to hard bop drinking something like this over a glass of wine!

 1,817 characters

Photo of DioS
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of thegrifter
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of beerpadawan
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Martstar
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Renegrenade
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to FosterJM for this one!

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass at cellar temperature.

L – Ruby brown color with a 4-finger tan, bubbly head that fades pretty quickly into a fizzy tan-colored cap on the surface. Not really any lacing. Clear with lots of bubbles.

S – Tons of sweet caramel and toasty malt with burnt sugar, plum, fig, and dark cherry notes. I get the slightest whiff of tartness, but that may just be the big malt sweetness blending with the subtle aroma of alcohol.

T – Sweet all the way through with caramel and toasty malt, molasses, burnt sugar, plum, fig, and cherry flavors. A slight alcohol astringency and a bit of spice appear at the finish.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and creamy mouthfeel, and a sweet and dry finish. Fruity and sugary sweetness lingers for a nice amount of time and blends well with the throat-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – This is a good beer. Very tasty and drinkable with enough alcohol to remind you that you’re drinking a strong Belgian-style ale. It doesn’t have the greatest head retention or the fullest mouthfeel in the world, but it’s still a very nice offering from North Coast. I’m glad I got to try this one, and I’ll be looking for more from them.

 1,285 characters

Photo of dsuedbeck
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ajs4bd
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of carlitos92
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of JDizz
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of joechandler
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of ThomasG19
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of LXIXME
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small light brown head settles into a nice lacing above a clear reddish amber colored beer.

Dark fruits like apricots, light spices, roasted molasses?, and hints of alcohol, dark malts, and black licorice are present in the aroma of this abbey ale.

Dark fruits and an alcohol taste outweigh any other tastes that might be hiding in this beer.

A slightly wet aftertaste with some of the alcohol taste hanging on. This medium bodied beer is fairly well carbonated.

An amazing nose on this beer, I wish the alcohol content was less so some of the wonderful things going on in the aroma could have been tasted as well.

 618 characters

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 3,046 ratings
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