Brother Thelonious | North Coast Brewing Co.

Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious
Liked This Beer
3.8 w/ 3,035 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

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Ratings: 3,035 |  Reviews: 1,061
Photo of AlyciaJ
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of sjdevel
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 916 characters

Photo of Calraven
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerSexLove
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

 325 characters

Photo of Casey_L
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Act25
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Am big fan of North Coast, but this one is "meh".

A) Little light brown head resolves into a few dotty lace and not much of a ring, over a flattish, reddish amber colored body.

S) Smell is best part. Dark fruits (cherry, prune), with spices, roast malt, char, and molasses, with hints of alcohol, dark malts, and black licorice as to be expected in a complex abbey ale.

T) Follows smell but too cola like and single note sweet to me. Dark fruits with an alcohol taste outweigh all else.

F) It's a medium bodied beer, modest bubbles, not clear, but slightly cloying finish.

O) Strong nose on this beer. Otherwise too sweet, too cola like for me to come back for another.

 677 characters

Photo of bshefftz
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of classixIII
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 330 characters

Photo of Baumer
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

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. smell is malty, bready, a bit of cinnamon? Not too pronounced, but pleasant. very dark fruity flavor. again, some cinnamon. hard to believe this is almost 10% abv, alcohol is well hidden. the fruit is very strong up front and it lingers. pretty complex. maybe a little unbalanced? 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. 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.

 972 characters

Photo of DaveCash
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Piglet_rulz_da_yard
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of generallee
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Picky-when-paying-89
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 580 characters

Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
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!

 181 characters

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jsalz21
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of thebeers
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 410 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

 1,217 characters

Photo of Bigbens42
3.29/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of pixarnick
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Brandonvlansdown
4.39/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BarrelAgedG
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of andrewh995
4.56/5  rDev +20%
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.

 158 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
4.79/5  rDev +26.1%
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.

 832 characters

Photo of ManWithNoName
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 66.7% out of 100 with 3,035 ratings
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