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Brother Thelonious | North Coast Brewing Co.

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1,031 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: 1,031 | Ratings: 2,950
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A : Pours a beautiful cranberry coffee red color, with a giant 3-finger beige head. It leaves whisps and licks of lacing as it recedes. The body is about 80% opaque.

S : Pumpernickel, rye bread, with toasted and baked crusts. Fig, plum, raisin. A little bit of spiced bubblegum and clove. A decadent aroma.

T : Hop and alcohol burn right at the front. But shortly after there is bubblegum, yeast, pumpkin pie. Dark rye bread, some clove and plant. Burnt flavors and hop trump over everything at the finish. Alcohol burn as well.

F : Buzzing and electric carbonation, mildly creamy, and sticky. Ends semi-dry.

O : I'd have this again, but it's not better than New Belgium's Abbey. It has a substantial alcohol presence that sort of steamrolls the whole thing, but the flavors are present and they are good.

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Photo of lakemarkham
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown that turns into a good-looking ruby red against the light. Mine didn't pour with much head, but what I got lingered. The legs were spare.

Hit my nose with a strong nutty aroma, and a little bit of caramel. Not a super dark taste: flavors mostly agreed with the scent, plus a bit of medium fruit--not quite as dark as prunes or fig, but maybe banana--and strong enough of an alcohol bite on the end to mention.

The feel was fine for an ale, but nothing to write home about. In fact, that's a good way to describe the beer as a whole. Wouldn't turn it down, but wouldn't fight over it either.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into Belgian ale glass

A - 3 fingers medium tan head over a transparent body of ruby/mahogany high in visible carbonation

S - cloves, banana/tropical fruit, touch of funk, caramel sweetness, cinnamon, light grains

T - cloves, tropical fruit, caramel sweetness, peppery spice, metallic and earthy notes in the finish

M - slick medium body, medium carbonation

O - An OK Belgian.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark and nearly opaque mahogany/brown that becomes clearer towards the end of the drink. A moderate head quickly dissipates into an ultra thin broken ring like lace that bubbles quietly over spots of the glasses' circumference. Milky and creamy aroma, mild phenols, dark slightly tart fruit and mild phenols are apparent in both aroma and taste. The alcohol content is masked well but clearly there. Low hop content; there is very little bitterness in this one. Creamy feel, wet finish, medium bodied and almost full. The carbonation tingles in the cheeks but is moderate to low and practically disappears towards the end.
Overall, I enjoyed it although it was not the best of the style. I meant to drink it while listening to Thelonious Monk, however, I was so digging the Ahmad Jamal album I was listening to before, that I forgot to switch.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at The World Store outside of Birmingham Alabama for $4.00 for a 12oz bottle. Served at 4deg C in a tulip. Taken from the cellar with 18mths on it.

A- Opens well and pours next to no head that is gone in seconds. Super dark brown color and unfiltered

S- Clove, cinnamon and caramel. Very nice

T- A bit light considering the smell. Almost a dubell which is a nice style by my book. Just a hint of sour off this girl.

O- Pretty good blend but light and a bit lacking of body. Nice to try but will not again as there are some better brews out there in this style but California is coming along in this department

Food Pairing

This nice brew went well with...... BBQ'd hamburgers. Top 'em how you like 'em!


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Photo of Ernie_The_Dude
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A consistent beer that you can find in most stores. I expected a little more from North Coast but, maybe my taste buds were expecting something different. I would pick up another bottle if it was my only alternative.

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Photo of DrPyser
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very interesting beer unlike the ales I usually enjoy. I'm a fan of Thelonious Monk as well as Belgian-style beers so even though it's not from a local brewery I picked it up. Very thick flavor, rich and malty, great mouth feel. Not a casual quaffing beer but more like a cognac - best when enjoyed slowly.

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Photo of Briscoe88
4.63/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very nice color. Smooth velvety feel as hits the tongue with a nice Belgium finish. Very enjoyable beer with a deceptively strong content. Taste like more!

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Photo of ahemahem
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my type: Strong, dark, fizzy and Belgian-style. If those are not your preferred descriptors then you may not go for this, but I love it. At the end of the week I will sometimes knock down the big one, during the week, the small one.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L- Deep ruby red, white.

S- banana, booze, a hint of vinegar.

T- bubble gum, booze, kinda winey.

F- kinda watery, yet bubbly.

O- eh. Not very memorable.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 750 ml bottle in a snifter. Named after one of the greats of jazz, and a personal favorite along with Brubeck whom I was fortunate enough to see in concert.
Brother Thelonious pours a deep reddish brown with a moderate off white head of foam that dissipates to a thick ring and light lacing. Nose of raisins, light brown sugar and caramel, earthy ester powered yeasty goodness, some roasted grain notes, and strong alcohol. Flavors are lightly sweet to the front and sides with a spiciness to the rear from mildly bittering hops blending in nicely with the earthy Belgian yeast. Sweet malts, raisins, and brown sugar are lightly overpowered by the spiciness of the yeast and a mild hop bitterness. The ale finishes lightly dry with a muted sweet aftertaste, and lively carbonated mouth feel. Very nice. The Monk would of been impressed.


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Photo of hreb
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle served in a Belgian tulip glass. Beer pours chestnut brown in color with an ample head. Classic, yeasty aroma. Flavor is traditional BSDA: rich, yeasty, Belgian. It's rich but not complex. Dark, but there's no depth of grain flavor. Dry in the finish, hoppy even. Very drinkable, and perhaps a great introduction to the style for novice advocates of high-octane beer. A solidly mediocre offering of a style with great potential.

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Photo of Briancaldel
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

(Beat it down the line)

Rich dark copper with Amber hues, light creamy head. Smells of hops and spice and everything nice. Lightly carbonated and very smooth you can taste the high Alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of StArnoldFan
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The guy below me must be delusional. This is a solid american made abbey style ale. The only copper I got was from the beautiful hue of the beer. North Coast makes some really solid brews and I'm not sure what took me so long to finally try this one. Mild spice and dark fruits come through nicely as it warms. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of dacoit
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Lovely chunky mess of a head that sticks around for a bit, dark and warm, boozy smell with a bit of spice. Less complex taste than one would expect, and underwhelming mouthfeel, but a decent yank quad (or dub?). Had this in 12 oz 4 pack. Big bottle might be a bit much with only 1 or 2.

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Photo of Nolo
4.81/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Ill just say this. Really awesome and complex beer. Really tasty, really fruity, really malty. Raisins, sugar, hops, grapes!! Beer Advocate people, this is an awesome beer!!!

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Photo of dhfreak
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not bad, not bad at all. Seems a little weak in smell, scents don't stick out as much as some others; taste is a little flat, very little depth. Still, for the price, it's a good buy.

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Photo of Mattygross44
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No head or what was one dissipates really quick pours dark brown has a pretty fizzy taste once hitting your mouth but the tail end is where its at not as sweet as some other american quads i tasted which is a good thing for me. i like the boozy taste where you can breath it in. Def not a bad buy for a 25oz was $7.89 at bevmo. If youre into quads like me this is just another to try and knock off the check list

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

-head didn't stay very long and dissipated fast
-nice yeast sent but mellow, overall Belgium yeast sent
-taste is pleasant and very balanced strong dark ale
- the feel is smooth and has a very mellow lingering
- overall a very standard strong dark ale, good beer but not a lot stands out as individualistic

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep, dark red-brown pour with off-white head that quickly disappears. Aroma of sweet fruits and malt, translate well into the flavor with some alcohol, and as some have mentioned - a bit of red wine, especially on the finish which is dry. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Brown body, darker in character, half finger white head without much retention or lacing.

S- A bit of dark fruit, mineral yeast, sweet, toasty dark malt without much hint of actual roast.

F- Lots of malt- a bit of dark fruit, banana, toasted malt, toffee, along with mineral yeastiness and some spices. It's alright, nothing special or interesting.

M- Medium bodied, a bit sticky with moderate carbonation. Not terribly bitter on the finish, more of that mineral, yeasty flavours.

O- It's alright; I like BSDAs to have more of a roasted malt, smooth flavour that isn't as sticky or yeasty as this one is.

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Photo of constantine_272
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown muddy color. Very low light brown head the fizzled with at soapy rainbow effect and disappeared. Heavy chocolate and boozy aroma with a whole lot of steel smell. Taste is again quite chocolatey with thick booze undertones. Dark earthiness of wet oak and cedar. Just the right amount of hops finishes the big sweet chocolate and heavy booziness. The finish is truly top notch. It's a nice well made beer.

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Photo of Foxybrau
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Honey brown pour with a pale, airy head. Thin feel with plenty carbonation and strong alcohol finish. More metallic than fruity, but malty and semi-sweet. Overall an easy-drinking copper brew. Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of dawgpound433
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank 1.22.15 at Giant eagle from the singles vault.Alcohol not covered up well but assuming it's a strong ale I can let it slide. Bottle shape is unique in a sense, shorter and wider. Smell isn't offputting, but it's not spectacular either. Bitterness is subtle, and I am tasting a good amount of malt throughout. Lacks carbonation but I see that as a good thing.

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Photo of RockAZ
4.64/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful appearance and great smell of yeast, bread, malt sweetness. Warming beer alcohol-wise, excellent for pairing with foods like steak, mushrooms and potatoes or good bread. Other reviewers mentioned it is a bit thin or as having a one note of sweetness, and I get that too especially cold. Some better Belgian brewed examples of the style are available but I do like this one along with those. This does warm up nicely imho overcoming some of the one note sweetness with vanilla, figs and caramel scents.

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Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.78 out of 5 based on 2,950 ratings.
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