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Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brother David's Triple Abbey Style AleBrother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

357 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 357
Hads: 648
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 14.87%
Wants: 10
Gots: 62 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-15-2004

Similar to Belgian-style Strong Pales, the Tripel is often characterized by its lighter color, spicy aromatics, and complexity. Brother David’s Triple is brewed with copious amounts of pale malts as well as Belgian candi sugar, giving it a deep golden hue, medium body and rich mouth feel. The dense head gives off aromas of candied orange peel, clover honey, pears, and a hint of freshly mown fields. The fruity esters and spicy hop flavors balance the phenolic characteristics leading to a peppery, citrusy finish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 357 | Hads: 648
Photo of Goldorak
2.88/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The wax on the bottle is a nice touch...

Appearance: Translucent, and dark like wildflower honey, but with only a shred of lace.

Smell: Woody, and very solvent like. 10% ABV and it shows through the nose big time.

Taste: Light carbonation, sweet maltyness with an obvious high octane punch. Blindfolded, I probably would not have guessed this was a tripel, too sweet, lacks a little effervescence and a little too much booze. (434 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
3.17/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber dipped in gold wax.

Pours a light amber with a decent head of off white that lasts for a few minutes then drops to a thin foam.

Smells of bread, banannas, sugar and alcohol.

Tastes of sugar and hops with lots of alcohol. I like the mouthfeel on this one, not as much carbonation for the style but enough to get by.

If they could have done a better job of hiding the alcohol this would be a much more drinkable brew. I also noticed a lack of sediment in the bottle.

This beer really falls flat for the style. Its like its missing something (565 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one is a glowing orange in color with a bit of a brownish tint and no head.

Smell – This is more like Triple Sec than a Tripel. There are some light, European-type of hops but it's mostly just liquid sugar with lots of booze. I mean, the nose is just dripping with sugary sweetness. It tastes like alcohol liquid table sugar.

Taste – There is a huge, sharp, “liqueur-type” of flavor here that reminds me, again, of Triple Sec. The alcohol and orange syrup mixture is just loaded with table sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel – This one is a bit bigger than medium-bodied with a stingy alcohol presence and a super-sticky sugariness.

Drinkability – This Anderson Valley offering is waaaay off of the true Abbey Tripel style but I kind of enjoyed it. (777 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in a nice gold-rubber dipped bottle. Pours out to a very clear medium honey-colored amber with orange accents, forming a small white head with poor retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate, much less than typical for the style. The aroma is very full with very strong rotting bananas, mild cloves and some warming alcohol. A light soapiness is evident from the demerara sugar. The mouthfeel is stingy and sharp at first with a deceiving medium body then ends in a ruddy finish. Taste begins with a ton of bananas followed by cloves in the middle, some herbal and woody hop flavor, more bananas, and then a pronounced dry alcohol bite in the finish. Low on the fusels, but high on the isopropyls, I suspect this was fermented too warm with this yeast strain Not quite as bad as Ommegang or Jolly Pumpkin, as it's still drinkable. The alcohol warms the throat and stomach, but is a touch abrasive and gives the brew an oxidized, rubbery quality. On the sweet side for sure. As it warms, the isopropyl thickens and becomes a touch more offensive but is somewhat balanced out by the sweet banana bread.

As others have mentioned here, this Triple is not as good as one would expect from Anderson Valley. It's still not bad, and certainly doesn't deserve ratings of 2 to 3, but it doesn't hold a candle to other triples in it's price range (Allagash, New Belgium, Dark Horse, Unibroue, Avery). I wouldn't buy this one again, but it was interesting to try. (1,479 characters)

Photo of beerluvr
4.25/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a non-descript white head settling over clear deeply golden liquid. Strange metallic nose sensed after pouring, but disappeared after warming in the glass, replaced by some tropical/light banana yeasty character. The taste is quite good with rich maltiness, more tropical notes and a good balancing hop bitterness combining very nicely. Not much of the 10% alcohol is tasted at all. Finishes malty and rich, very drinkable and a well done take on the Tripel style (474 characters)

Photo of winomark
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium copper with a nice fluffy off-white head. Lots of tiny streaming bubbles. Mild aromas of candy sugar, pineapples, and bananas. Bananas lead the palate brigade, with candy sugar tagging along. Alcohol is noticable, but well-controlled. Mouthfeel is quite syrupy and thick, with little bitterness to offer another side of this beer. A drinkable beer, but a bit unbalanced for me. Too sweet with little contrasting brightness. Give it a try if you find it, but not really worth searching for. (504 characters)

Photo of ZAP
3.1/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My first forray into the Anderson Valley liter in years....this brewery was one of the first true Micros I sampled and enjoyed backi n the early 90's.

This beer pours a smei hazed peach color with a fizzy off white head...10% but the ABV is nowhere to be found on the aroma...it is more of a sweet mashed banana's soaked in rum smell...body is medium..low carbonation makes the sweetness play a big role in the taste...Taste is sweet...almost too sweet....some minor pepper qualities...

Overall the worst hing about this is the mouth feel...too overbearingly sweet...lacks complexity too....pretty average effort overall.. (628 characters)

Photo of cokes
2.08/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Clear bronze with a retreating grey lacework that recedes into nothingness with haste.
Reduced apricot nose, heaped with cane sugar, with a wavering rum-soaked banana essence.

Ever had a Captain Morgans and Mountain Dew? Me either....until now. And on all accounts too, flavor, texture, consistency, carbonation, alcohol burn. I guess there is a bready, banana-ish yeastiness that can't be explained in those terms, but aside from that it's all lemon-lime soda and tracers of dark sugar-laden heat.

It lacks any sort of nuance or depth. Stark and naked, this fails on all accounts. (590 characters)

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.71/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid yeasty alcohol aroma, just perfect. Small off-white head never amounted to much and faded to nothing,not a trace anywhere, it's kind of weird. Flavor is kind of appley sweet up front, becomes a bit doughy towards the middle and the alcohol kicks in and takes it down to your stomach. Transparent, deep golden colored beer with streams of fine bubbles floating to the surface. I would definitely drink this beer again, but as far as triples go I'm not hooked. (464 characters)

Photo of Brent
2.86/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kudos to the brewery for taking a shot at the style, but they didn't quite pull it off. Nice color, but far less carbonated than customary for the style. Would have seemed almost flat, but for the pepper lent by the alcohol. A good deal of caramel malt flavor gave the beer an unpolished, unfinished character. Nice yeast flavors, but at odds with the rough edges. I think they need to tinker with this beer a bit more. (419 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very cool bottle with the wax on the top. Gives me a Maker's Mark feel. Pours a golden color with a tall head that has great retention and leaves great lacing on the glass. The aroma is nice - lots of spice and citrus. The flavor has a nice malt character and is quite spicy and a little peppery. I really enjoyed this beer and would have it again if not for the price. (369 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.2/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to clvand0 for bringing this beer over for me to try. This beer pours a beautiful golden amber color with 2 fingers of head that stick around. The nose has some good spicey characters from the yeast and really good orange tones from the malt. This smells divine after 2 weeks of Utah beers. The flavor is awesome. There is some peppery character along with the orange flavor in the malts. I like this beer. Its just a hint short on flavor, but not too shabby. The feel is moderate, right about where I want it to be. Shit man. This is 10%...they do hide the alcohol very very well. For a beer of this size, the drinkability is really good as well. A fine beer...very nice. (679 characters)

Photo of MrNuggets
3.59/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What little head came from the pour dies down very fast. The beer comes out clear with an almost reddish tinge to it. Yeast alive and well in the smell. An easy goin' spice is noticed first. Backed by big malt charactar. Heavy on the palate and drinks quick. (258 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.55/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok spied this rather attractivly bottled ale in the local Organic store..so had to have it.
After quite a struggle with the gold wax covered cap I managed to pour the beer in to my Chimay chalice.
In appearance its an amber, bright amber almost reddish beer with a short lived bubbly white head..slightly hazy with nice carbonation strings.
the aroma is quite malty and spicy..corriander ..though theres a bit of a cheesy aroma which isnt awful, but maybe too much
Taste? very sweet and spicy, alcohol is quite subdued for 10%..though it makes its presence known soon.
Lightly carbonated and quite nice on the palate.
This is an ok beer..thoug maybe not a traditional tripel..maybe a cross between a tripel and an American strong ale.
After reading all the bad reviews I baulked at trying this..but I found it Ok..maybe theres a bunch of bad batches out there? (867 characters)

Photo of WetCoaster
3.87/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear and deep gold; it looks almost exactly like apple juice. Something a bit odd happens next. At first pour, the carbonation is large and sluggish, producing a tepid head. However, once the initial pour is gone, the carbonation from the next gets more fine and more active, producing a much better pure white head, with a collar and decent lacing. No idea what happened; maybe temperature plays a part? Good, but not what a tripel should look like, necessarily.

Smell: What the hell is up with this beer? At first, something is WAY off; smells like stagnant pool water--it's just wrong. (And glassware is labratory spotless, trust me.) But, miraculously, the next pour fixes it. What we have here seems to be a saison. Big Belgian yeast, bold spice, orange rind citrus, with a body that suggests apricots and peach.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Bam! Nothing subtle about this guy. Immediate shot of yeast funk and spice burn. The body is caramel smooth and orange tangy. The finish bitters up lemon juice stylee. The alcohol gets a bit aggressive as it warms. White pepper keeps it going for a while. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly coating with a bit of zing from the carbonation.

Drinkability: This is one big-ass Belgian, kids. I'm not sure this is a tripel; to me, it makes more sense as a saison or Belgian strong pale ale. Whatever it is, it's almost a novelty--an imperial Belgian, perhaps? It's good, but it's a bit much at 10% Still, not a horrible deal at @$5 for a bomber.

Not for purists, but a fun one for the adventurous. Let it age, let it breath, and take it for what it is. Whatever that might be. (1,638 characters)

Photo of Rumrunner
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to a tulip glass.

A beautiful clear amber color. I'm staring in to a burning sunset. A nice white head. Lacing is minor. Scents are strong and fruity. There is also a nice sweet bourbon scent that appears in the end that keeps the spices in check. The scents seem to separate and one can find the details which bring on anticipation of the first taste.

A good mix for the flavors. Dark fruits of plumbs and figs are strong in the forefront. A rind quality in the flavor is enjoyable. The spices appear and provide a nice peppery tingle to the palate. A sweet dry finish with some dates, banana and even a hint of cherries. Finally there is a brown sugar mixed with alcohol to balance everything out. A fine concoction of flavors that appear in order and don't hide. This gives the drinker ample opportunity to enjoy all this triple has to offer.

Dry on the mouth and aftertaste. It is an easy sipping dubble. A tiny amount of alcohol presence just to let the drinker know it is there. This triple goes down smooth and easy. Maybe too easy. Don't drink too many. I enjoyed this beer. (1,103 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
2.95/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the Buckhorn Saloon, mothership of the AVBC.

This beer, poured unceremoniously into a shaker pint glass, was not the treasured offering of the brewery. Upon prodding the bartender admitted he wasn't a fan. Fellow reviewers were duly harsh. I neither blown away nor repulsed.

The 180-degree opposite of Hop Ottin', this beer was a light clearish copper with no particular head and no lace.

There's lots of seemingly rusty grain underneath a bed of candied sugar and spicy clove. Like some overcarbonated triples i've experienced before, the bubbles rip away at the palate, creating some sort of sick champ-ale lightness of being.

The sugars and malt keep the booze almost unnoticed at a stiff 10%. This characteristic seemed the most fitting holistically; the beer bubbles away into nothing, leaving you wanting a proper take on the style, or if time and place allows, a Hop Ottin'. (898 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
2.53/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

For starters, this is a pretty formidable looking bottle. Sepia print on an off-white label, with a kind of faded, wrinkled look to it. Topped off with a golden wax sealed cap. Looks old. Looks serious.

The beer itself, alas, looks limp. Fairly dark in color for the style, but the beefy-ness stops there. This beer is drastically undercarbonated, with a meager swirl struggling up from the bottom of my chalice. The poor little bubbles make a valient effort at forming something of a head, but the effort was doomed from the start, really. The top of this beer is like a protest rally that only a few people showed up to -- there's fairly few camera angles that make it look good.

The aroma, apparently, got lost on the way to the rally along with most of the CO2. Some faint hints of candi sugar and some Belgian malts can be heard off in the distance, but their voices are dim and quickly lost to the senses.

Unlike my colleague LongBeachBum, my first reaction to this beer was not a strongly negative one. I found a nice "zing" to the flavor at first, with a pleasant candi sugar sweetness and a spicy alcohol finish. Alas, I fear my lack of disgust was due more to excessive refrigeration than to any intrinsic quality of the beer. As she warmed, the alcohol grew oppressive, the sweetness became cloying, and the beer picked up a nasty over-ripe banana quality. The departure of what little carbonation showed up to begin with didn't help, either, with the mouthfeel or the taste.

I did in fact manage to finish this, but it was only my desire to get a bit of a buzz on before watching a bit of the idiot box that pulled me through. Quite a disappointment from an otherwise excellent brewery. I hold up hope that their Dubbel is of higher quality. (1,765 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.11/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: Funky 22 ounce Bomber. Not the usual Anderson Valley presentation, the colorful label is gone to be replaced with a two-tone cream and sepia affair. Labeled as ‘Brother David’s Triple Abbey Style Ale’ and listed at 10.0% Alc./Vol. Described as brewed from ‘malted barley, hops, water, demerara sugar and special Trappist yeast’. The label also states that this is ‘Never Heat Pasteurized nor Sterile Filtered’, recommended to be served at between 40°F to 45°F, that’s 4.44°C - 7.22°C in real money.

Appearance: Lucid body, dark amber with some polished copper hints. The head builds up quickly but soon dissipates to leave a thin broken covering and a small ringed halo head. Light carbonation, enough to reinstate the head when swirled but that’s about it.

Nose: Some raw alcohol, a clove-like banana hint with a smidgeon of un-dissolved brown sugar, no doubt from the demerara. Not much else really. Funny; that’s funny weird, not funny Ha-Ha.

Taste: Urgh!-WTF!?! My initial thoughts, quite literally. The alcohol is high, raw, unrefined and rough, you can taste it everywhere. Sickly malt feel, cloying brown sugar feel, some mashed banana’s – the sort you see in Monkey Sick, sweet candy tastes in the backend….muddled, befuddled and a bloody mess.

Mouthfeel: Initial carbonation was enough to spare me from the raw alcohol but it soon rescinds to leave the full onslaught of this rough and ready brew. Sugary middle and a cheap brandy finish. Unbalanced, uncultured and seemingly under-matured, way, way too raw – drink this down the fields with a few of your underage mates, they’ll love the big alcohol and not mind the awful taste and feel.

Drinkability: Shite, I had a whole 22 ounce of this. I left it a while, after reading some other Reviews by the time I got to this stage of mine, there are hints that leaving this one “to air” will help improve it – I found no such relief, it was just as bad as ever. The latter half of this was a hard slog; the last quarter went down the drain!

Overall: The left hand side of the label has the phrase “You Are Worthy”. Hmmm, that sounds a little familiar no? Anyways, if I am indeed worthy, what the hell did I do to deserve this? I’m not impressed with this one at all, the best part of the whole experience was playing about trying to remove the gold colored plasticky-wax like blob that covers the crown cap – from thereon in its all downhill I’m afraid. I expected much, much more from a Brewer that I hold in high regard. I think someone broke into Anderson Valley and brewed this whilst the usual brewer was sleeping. Maybe this one needs some time in the Cellar, who knows, yet somehow I don’t think that would improve it that much to be honest as there seemed to be no yeast sediment at all in this one.

If I went back in time knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t waste $5 on this one if I was faced with it in the Cooler again. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the bottle.

Is it me, or is this just a jumbled up confused high alcohol mess??? (3,072 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap, Toronado, San Fransisco. Belgian style tripel, with the aromatics of a lot of American beers, lemony, with a yeasty Belgian character, pretty tasty stuff actually. Definitely a moe American influence triple, but it works quite nicely, not mindblowing, but nice. (266 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
2.71/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Basic and amateur, Brother David's Triple uses a reliable yeast strain to provide an immediately recognizable profile of Abbey-style triples. I hope the yeast gets a raise, because it is the only thing that put any care or attention into the making of this beer.

It seems like all the pieces are there, from barely sweet, dark crystal malt to a drying, grassy hop finish and a crisp yeastiness that accentuates the grain. Yeah, those are the pieces.

Old peppery bananas.

Lingering, leafy dried hops as authentic as anyone else's.

After a couple hours rest, a lot of the nasally numbing, vulgar volatility in this beer blows off. It tastes less and less like someone's first homebrewed strong pale ale and more like craft beer. The malt character is too simple and, though residually sweet, perhaps too far attenuated. This beer lacks the paradoxical aged freshness -- bright malt with structured, but mellowed hops -- I expect in Belgians and becomes too concerned with its cheap brandy alcohol.

But I gotta say how much fun it is to watch this beer change from a tantrum throwing toddler to boy intrigued by the first sprouts of hair in his goatee. I go from hating him to sympathizing with him by bottle's end.

Yeah, I was there. Yeah, school sucks. Yeah, the jocks will always pick on you in school. But grow up, kid.

Relax, relax.
ng (1,361 characters)

Photo of watermelonman
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured to a dark gold but relatively clear color. There's plenty of head on it, although the lacing is pretty plain.

The smell and taste, quite honestly, aren't much to speak of. There's nothing bad or offensive about them, they're just very plain and a little flat. Plenty of malt and some alcohol come through very clear. Some additional character would do wonders for this beer. This seems like a pretty average strong ale with the yeast swapped out for some of the belgian stuff. It's a little too sharp in the mouth; though I'm not having any problems downing this bottle. (585 characters)

Photo of drewbage
3.32/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled during the Toronado Barleywine Festival on tap in a 10 oz wine style glass.

Aroma is corny soft spiced malt nose with a bit of pineapple in the final gasp, but there's something turned to it.

The beer it self is gold with more than a touch of brown and no head.

flavor is dark brown golden sugar with a slowly rising touch of cinnamon and allspice before dropping to low sweet finish (400 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
1.97/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I love anderson valley and i've rated there beers at 4 or higher (some I have not rated here on BA), but this beer was a big mess.

The 22oz bomber bottle that is sealed in gold rubber is nice, and very easy to open (as compared to the real candle-like wax that breweries like alesmith use)

The appearance was a dark golden colour with a head that fizzed and died quickly. Unfortunately this mediocre appearance was the best part of this beer. The aroma was sweet and funky with WAY too much banana in the mix. The aroma was very one dimensional and consisted of the previously mentioned banana overload as well as some funky yeast notes, some slight spicing, and some other odd flavors. The taste was WAY too cloyingly sweet and banana-like as well. What were they thinking with this one. The after-taste was spicy and metallic and the mouthfeel was thin, but average. The drinkability was lame as well, as this took like 3 hours to finish ( and Erica and I split the 22oz bottle into 2 glasses!)

Anderson Valley is a great brewery, and Hop Ottin is awesome, but this one need some major work, or perhaps a very, very long nap! (1,136 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliantly clear deep copper color and it topped by a tan head. The aroma is fairly clean, with notes of apple and alcohol dominating the nose. The nose seems to have a certain creamy richness to it. The taste is creamy and buttery as well, it is a bit off putting in some way. I get notes of vanilla, butter, and apples. This just does not do it for me, there is no one flavor that I can point to as the culprit, but as a whole it just is off. All the rest of their beers are incredible, this on the other hand just doesn't work, and is certainly not what I would call a Triple. (588 characters)

Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 357 ratings.