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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

596 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 596
Reviews: 352
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 16.43%
Wants: 8
Gots: 40 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-15-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 596 | Reviews: 352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a chalice style glass.

A: Pours a darker golden color, much like that of clover honey. A careful pour produces a clear glass of brew with very thin layer of fine white bubbles with a nice fluffy white ring. Lacing was negligible.

S: Pale malts, spices, hints of dark fruit, and just a bit of a fresh bread aroma.

T&M: Malty, more so than you might expect, but not too much. The flavors mingle for a nice complexity involving light malts, some interesting spices, and something that sort of comes across as light woody flavor. Although relatively modest of flavor, the mouthfeel is rather fulfilling and full without being heavy - something that is always nice when properly achieved. Carbonation assists in bringing some levity to the brew but the ABV starts to kick in somewhere around half a glass. The finish is mostly clean with some hints of malt on the linger and just the slightest touch of alcohol warming.

D: Enjoyable, at least. The more I had the more I appreciated the way the flavors worked together. The malts were just a touch sweet for my liking but this seems to be more common in the American rendition of the Belgian triples. Overall, very good and recommended.

SIRIUS2, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 Pint, 6 fl oz bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
After sampling many various Anderson Valley Brews, had high hopes for their Tripel, but was rather let down at its mediocrity...
Hazy, orange-colored appearance with a minimal frothy head that soon dissipated leaving a fair amount of lacing...
Smell was pretty much on-point for a Tripel, bursting with fresh-fruit, vanilla, and caramel nuances...
Taste complemented the aroma, but was a let-down due to the overbearing and cloying ultra-sweet flavors that dominated this brew and made it hard to down... Way too sweet and unbalanced in my opinion, and not a particularly great depiction of the style...
Mouthfeel and drinkability took a hit due to the way-too-sweet flavor that pervaded this beer and detracted from its overall mouthfeel and drinkability...
Wouldn't recommend this one as a good representation of the style...

dsa7783, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz from the Boise Coop on Friday for about $5.75.. poured into my New Belgium goblet... When did they stop waxing the caps?

1" head is average.. doesn't last long.. lite orange amber brew.. very little lacing.

Aroma is thick and sweet.. sugared pears with lite white pepper... smell does not really "smell" that Belgian... head spinning alcohol as it warms.

Sweet dough and fruity (?!) Flavor is definitely on the plus side of sweet.. pears and white slip-skin grapes .. green apple .. spicy alcohol and clove... I normally don't flinch on brews with a big alcohol punch.. but the sugar and the alcohol are way too much on this one. Too thick and as it warms is very cloying.

I've had this dozens of times since it became available in Boise.. I always remember it being MUCH better.. this time was way too sweet and a huge mash-up of flavors.

JohnGalt1, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at vino's. Could you believe they poured us a pitcher??? The hop heads compared the smell and tastes in a pint glass versus a chalice. I preferred the smell and taste out of the pint. Not very typical of me or a trippel.

A - Light copper in color, with little head, very light in body.

S - Honey, apples, and pear esters. No smells of alcohol.

T - Honey, apple, and pear esters.

M - Pleasant, easy drinking. No alcohol aftertaste, no bitterness. The mouthfeel is hard to top on this one.

D - Definitely drinkable, but the notes I have about the appearance and drinking glasses are a bit disappointing regarding the tripel style. There should be an alternate category for American Styles using Belgian strains of yeasts.

MisterClean, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brother David's Triple poured a clear orange with not much of a foam head and no retention.

The aroma was a fermented apple with strong fruitiness. The taste was yeasty which should be expected. There was also some bananas and spice to the taste.

in the mouth there was a sharp carbonation bite. There was somewhat of an alcohol to it, but it kept it hidden pretty well for an abv of 10%. The yeasty taste stayed on the tongue for quite a while. Overall I thought this one was a little rough around the edges for this style.

cswhitehorse, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber into a tulip glass...split with a friend (thank god.)

This beer pours more like an IPA than a Tripel, with its orange, semi-clouded body and lively carbonation. The golden waxed cap is a nice touch, though. The aroma packs in sweet, fruity apples and peach, plus loads of what tastes like honey malts. There's a touch of bitter berries, like a cranberry or sour raspberry.

The taste is of sour apples and vinous, bitter white grape rinds. Wheat and alcohol notes (especially) bring the tongue to a slight sweat. Body is viscous and over-carbonated for such a high alcohol brew. Anderson Valley's tripel is fun at first, but loses its appeal quickly. It was hard to get this one down...a good tripel should make you want the next sip. This one just didn't have that effect.

wagenvolks, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of IdentityAles
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cellared since 2006 (2005 bottle from Belmont Station), served in tulip @ ~40 F

Nose: Very yeasty, fruity... apricots, alcoholic, with a little nuttiness

Appearance: Amberish... like a dark unfiltered apple cider, almost non-existent off white head, looks viscous

Flavor: Malty... bread, nuttiness, and some citrus notes. Too sweet for a true triple, almost boarding on a barleywine like flavor with Belgian yeast

Mouthfeel: Medium/high carbonation, some what viscous.

Overall: Not so much a triple, more like a Belgian barleywine. Was actually enjoyable to drink despite my review... I would cellar this beer again.

IdentityAles, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of MTNboy
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- This beer is a hazy brown color. The head is thick and foamy and there was a beautiful lace.

Smell- Yeasty fruity tones with some alcohol are followed by some malt and some earthiness.

Taste- I thought there was too much of an alcohol flavor and it was a little metallic which I felt cheapened the taste. The were some good flavors in the mix as well berry like with a hint of banana. Also there is a wonderful spiciness to it as well.

Mouthfeel- A full bodied .

Drinkability- Not as good as a Belgian styled beer should be but ok. Worth if you can get it at a decent price.

MTNboy, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of sleazo
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a cloudy dark golden with a small off white head. Retention is not a strong point

S-Moderately strong yeast scent with sweetish malt coming into play.

T-More interesting than the nose or look. Slightly spicy with peppery notes coming through. The sweetness is more subdued than I thought as it is well balanced with the spicy yeast. There is alcohol evident in the warming sensation but it is hidden well enough.

M-Slightly thin for the style, moderate carbonation as well.

D-This is a decent American made Tripel but there are much better ones out there. Still this is clearly well made and enjoyable.

sleazo, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of NEhophead
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 fl oz brown bottle with a wrap of golden wax at the top.
Served in a chalice.

Hazy, dirty light copper with light camel tones. A carbonated white head that evaporates practically on impact not even leaving a sheet. No lacing at all.

Very sweet, Belgian sugar with rum-soaked tropical fruity esters: honeydew, pear, and pineapple. Slick, lemon solvency with toasted grains.

Tropical fruit in flavor with a very sweet Belgian-candied sugar. Notes of citrus at first with an annoying astringency followed by an intense burst of carbonation and a dry, bland peppered spice. There's an intense rum-like alcohol presence at mid-sip that lasts well into the aftertaste.

Almost full in body; slick due to the solvency and sweetness which works well with the flavors, but a bit too overcarbonated for the style.

A bulky, high octane Tripel that seems rough around the edges. I'd be interested to see how this ale mellows after a year or so of aging, but it's not quite ready now.

NEhophead, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Stone Bistro. Poured into an 8oz snifter, was a dark caramel color with a light tan head. The smell was very tilted toward the earthy Belgian yeast side. Not as fruity as expected for most tripels. The taste was also very earthy, more in the variety of like a soil or dirt. Not a bad tasting beer by any means, but not really what I would usually expect for a tripel.

MiScusi, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.75/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A - A large frothy head rests atop a viscous looking clear golden brew. A bit of patchy lacing adorns the sides.

S - Aroma is... strange. On some level it smells of sweet banana - maybe a little malty - then I start to sense some spi... then I'm shut out by this boozy aroma. It isn't even that strong, but the moment I try to probe to this hints of pleasantness, I get a rum soaked banana shoved in my nostrils. Maybe it is tossed on a mound of pumpkin pie spices, but I get nothing but booze and sweet bananas.

T - Spicy. Very malty. Very, very boozy - even at low temperatures. Sure - this is ten percent, but it kicks like a rail whiskey long after the rocks have given out. Reminds me of NyQuil because it is thick, sweet, boozy and has a bit of a medicinal finish - well maybe NyQuil with a spoonful of vodka to help the medicine go down. The alcohol actually works its way way back up my nose as I try to discern the flavors. After the booze vapors finally subside, the aftertaste is of bananas, some allspice, hay and a bit of bland malt.

M - Numbing, and a bit warming, from the alcohol, carbonation is astonishingly harsh for a still brew, thick, syrupy, a bit sticky and not refreshing.

D - Ummm... maybe great for alcoholics who love the way alcohol burns, but want to cut back on their overall intake? The alcohol presence on this one is just unacceptable. I give beers some room to be a bit boozy, but this detracts from the flavor, the aroma, the mouthfeel and the drinkability. Even if it wasn't so boozy, it seems like it would be a mediocre tripel at best. This is the worst beer I've had in quite a while. Still above a drain pour though...

mrasskicktastic, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of timtim
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

very unhazy for a belgian style, and ambery with a white head that goes away relatively quickly and has good lace. I could go on and on about this one, and I did experience some nice fruit and sweet honey/sugar stuff, but as far as holding its own against other authentic belgians, this attempt just doesn't make the cut. And the boozy finish it carries with it makes it low in the drinkability level. Still a wonderful beer. I just think avbc makes great american style beers and should stick to their forte. It was fun anyways, and I'm glad I tried it.

timtim, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of gwood
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber to snifter...

Pours bright orange and clear. I was worried that I poured way too agressively with this beer as I was a bit distracted and it was a bit of a double edged sword...I didn't loose any beer, that said, I certainly didn't gain any head. It quickly calmed down to a thin ring and stayed that way for the remainder of glass. Pretty good carbonation but the flow seemed to tapper off a bit too quick.

Smells are dominated with malts, a very slight spice, and a even less pronounced hop aroma at the end. Not too much of a nose for the style. Where are the yeasts?

The nose gave away a lack of complexity relative to the style leaders and the taste followed suit. Sweet malts overpower the spice in this beer as well as the slight hops in the finish. Alcohol is present upon warming but is kept in check. Mouthfeel is just ever so slightly above average, maybe a bit past the medium body I was expecting although the brew is solidly above average in terms of drinkability.

Not a repeat for me in terms of the style but a decent offering.

gwood, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of dfillius
4.6/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served up in a tulip glass at weekly tasting with ksullnh

Appearance: Light orange, apricot color. Weak head

Smell: Slight alcohol aroma accompanied by a sour lambic aroma. Notes of nutmeg and lemon grass.

Taste: Tart, crisp opening with a sweet, malty finish on the back outside of the tongue. Very smooth for 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Thick and silky

Drinkability: Delicious, and only rated as 4.0 because of the high alcohol.

dfillius, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of Gmann
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rather flat looking tripel. The color is a dirty orange-brown color, no lacing. The smell is of green apple, candi sugar, and honey, not too bad. AV's tripel hits with fusel alcohol, brown sugar, and some bitter hop action. Kind of a rather one dimensional tripel. The alcohol presence hits hard without any of the nice complex sweetness that tripels have. There is a raw sweetness to this brew but it adds to the alcohol heat. There is a malt/hop presence but doesn't really mix well with the rest of the flavors. This is not awful but doesn't live up to the high standards of Belgian tripels. The feel is moderate with moderate carbonation, finishes on the bitter side. Not a bad example of a tripel but far from great. Not a sugar bomb like some American tripels but could use more complex flavors.

Gmann, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of Floydster
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10 ounce goblet from the Yard House on Newport Blvd.

Pour was a medium bnrown with a very nice silky head

Smell was sweet and full of fruit accents

Taste was so smooth and refreshing, supposed to be a sipper, but very drinkable

Definitely worth the $3.25 I paid for this during happy hour

Floydster, Sep 15, 2007
Photo of crookedhalo
2.3/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a light copper/golden orange color with a decent beige head that fades to a collar and thin sheen atop the beer. Aromas are mostly of pale malts with some notes of raw sugar, phenols, light spicing, green apple and pear, some grassy hops and some harsh vegetal aromas (Campbell's tomato soup?). Some sweetness upfront that quickly moves towards a plastic/medicinal mid and then a metallic, alcohol-laden semi-dry finish. A little bit of hops near the end, bitterness in all the wrong places. Too much heat and not enough complexity. Mouthfeel is good with a subtle prickly carbonation presence to cut the sweetness and viscosity. I'll pass on this one.

With this trainwreck in mind, I haven't tried their Double, but I think I'll pass on that one too if this is any kind of indicator on how AV brews an "Abbey".

crookedhalo, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of dbalsock
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

App: Poured a medium amber hue with a finger of white head that dissipated almost immediately down to a thin ring around the side of the glass. The carbonation looks ample, and it's a nice color, but the head could last longer.

Smell: Sweet malt, brown sugar, a smoked character... kinda like a smoked raisin... i don't know what that would really smell like, however.

Taste: A fairly straightforward malt profile with a small hop bite to round it off. The aftertaste is full and reminds me of a honey brown sugar mix, although the honey taste is pretty weak.

Mouthfeel: The malt feels slick and somewhat dense on the palate, a not so great feeling, but this is compensated by the nice warm alcohol and what I think is some subtle hop bitterness.

Drinkability: I find this to be easily drinkable because of it's lack in complexity. This means I would go through it easily if it was the only beer around, but because there is a wide selection, I will most probably never try this one again.

dbalsock, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of stephendr
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle- color of hazy honey, with a white head - nose of honey, yeast , slight cloves , and chicken broth – taste of yeast, alcohol(not bad), honey, and oats- body is medium, and with medium high carbonation – aftertaste of sweet/sour, yeast, and honey

stephendr, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of dnichols
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I sampled a 650 ml bottle in a tulip.

A: Pours a amber with a hint of cooper color with a head that barely registers as a white topping that dissipates quickly after pouring.

S: Pleasant with hints of spices and some banana esters. The smell of alcohol is a bit strong.

T: The initial sips bring out the spice and banana flavors but quickly the alcohol overcomes the mellow flavors and combined with a slightly bitter hops bite at the back end of the drink leaves a dull bitterness that lingers on way after the glass is back on the table.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Not very refreshing or mellowing like high-end Tripels.

Drinkability: It’s a drinkable beer but not one I will go out of my way to try again. It’s a tad bitter for my taste and it has little to distinguish itself from other beers.

dnichols, Aug 06, 2007
Photo of brentk56
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a medium amber color with an OK head that retains as a ringlet and leaves some splashes around the chalice

Smell: Rather inviting, with a nice malty caramel base and some banana esters wafting above; some fusel alcohol is apparent, too - uh oh!

Taste: Starts out OK, with the caramel malt and banana flavors coming through nicely, but the alcohol starts too appear way too early; after the swallow, the beer falls apart, with a metallic flavor coming in and joining the building alcohol flavors; some hops in the finish too, that add inappropriate bitterness to the brew

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; warming alcohol after the swallow

Drinkability: Boy, should Anderson Valley stick to its knitting - keep brewing in the British/West Coast tradition and put a lid on the Belgian efforts; both this and the Double are an indulgence that is best kept at home

brentk56, Jul 03, 2007
Photo of ccrida
2.95/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from their wax sealed 22oz. bomber into a St. Feuillien goblet, Brother David's Triple is a bright amber with a thin eggshell surface skim that persists to the end, leaving scattered lace. Unusual for the style, but not bad looking. This bottle has been cellared for about 3-4 months.

The nose is all candi sugar, behind which lies a spicy belgian yeast character. Sweeter at first, as it warms, it's more like caramel. One dimensional, but none of the booze I expected at 10%, and fairly inviting.

The taste follows suit with the nose, in that's it's not nearly as complex as the best examples of the style, but is nevertheless not bad, although the alcohol makes it's presence more well known, and it pushes getting cloying. As it warms, the sugar thickens and resembles caramel syrup, and the fusels really come out.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side, syrupy.

This is moderately drinkable, neither bad nor good. Actually, it's closer to bad as it warms, so serve it cold! Time may aide the sugar, but I doubt I'll bother buying another for the cellar...

ccrida, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of dstc
4.28/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz wax sealed bottle. Dark golden in color with little head. Head falls to absolutely nothing leaving no sign of it or lace behind.

Smells great. Sweet, malty and definitely of alcohol.

Nice bold flavor. Sweet malts, fruity, caramel flavors. Strong but nice alcohol taste with a clean dry finish.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

Very good beer. Very drinkable but with the 10%ABV it's definitely a sipping beer. Gets even better when it's a little warm.

dstc, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of kexp
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks delicious, with the highlight being the cremere

S - Smells strongly of alcohol, a little too much so even for a Belgian Triple

T - Nice. Beer is on the brink of the alcohol hijacking an otherwise fine ale

M - Mouthfeel is almost as good as the authentic Belgians, which is high praise in my humble book

D - To be sipped, for sure. A nice treat. Just a tad on the harsh side due to the alcohol's noted presence.

kexp, Jun 18, 2007
Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 596 ratings.