Brother Thelonious | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Brother TheloniousBrother Thelonious
Very Good
3,051 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: 3,051 |  Reviews: 1,066
Photo of CMC73
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jhigham2
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Blackop555
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark reddish-brown. Short, Foamy, Tan had that Fades slowly to a lasting cap.

Smells malt, fruit, caramel, light spice.

Taste sweet dark fruit, caramel malt, lightly Nutty, Brown Sugar. Followed by earthy, yeasty and Light wine. Finnish semi-sweet with a malty linger. Medium body and smooth, lightly fizzy medium carbonation.

 334 characters

Photo of ASoftMachineMan
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised the Bros rated it so low. Maybe North Coast got their game together after the Bros did their review, or maybe not.

Look: Poured from 12 fl oz. bottle to snifter. The pour is a dark amber that forms a dark, nearly opaque garnet body. Minimal off-white head quickly dissipates to very, very thin lacing. Visible carbonation in the glass.

Smell: Up front the nose is grainy and malty followed quickly by ripe stone fruit (peaches, apricots, plums). Mild alcohol esters linger in the nostrils.

Taste: Sits somewhere between a dubbel and a strong dark ale in terms of flavor profile which follows the nose with ripe apricot and plum as well as sweet malt and a little bit of spicy alcohol. Lingering bitter notes of peach pit on the back of the tongue.

Feel: Relatively heavy, syrupy body which is lightened considerably by the carbonation, but still big enough to coat the tongue and sit there for a good minute.

Overall: While not my favorite Belgian-style ale, Brother Thelonius is a nice sipping beer for a rainy day or while listening to a good jazz vinyl.

 1,076 characters

Photo of Cascade24
4.56/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SeymourDunn
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MykeJ
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Iski100
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tKrave
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StoutSnob40
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 709 characters

Photo of probert
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GOBLIN
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Calabash
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 3,051 ratings
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