1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

588 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 588
Reviews: 352
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 16.43%
Wants: 8
Gots: 41 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 588 | Reviews: 352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theopholis
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Appearance- Pours a clear, fairly still, light amber in color. Decent head with some staying power. Leaves no lace behind..

Aroma- Lots of citrusy malt sweetness. A hint of caramel/toffee. Just enough hop aroma to let you know this isn't liquid candy.

Taste- Nice, subtle blend of malt sweetness with a spicey peppery finish. Some hops in there through-out, but they are hard to pick out. Not half bad.

Mouthfeel- Faily light body with an aggressive, almost to strong carbonation. Seems to work tho.

Drinkability- I'm not much into Belgian tripples, but this stuff ain't half bad.

theopholis, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of rallison
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%

Unfortunately, this is just one beer I cannot get behind. I've had it a few times on tap at the Yardhouse for happy hour, but it's always left me longing for a real Belgian tripel.

What it comes down to is this - it is too sweet, alcoholic and one-dimensional to be a tripel. Remember how the world class tripels hit 10%+, yet taste delicate and never heavy, with complex spicing? This has none of that. The body feels the full 10%. The flavors are overly sweet. The delicate spicing is not there. There's no balance. It's just one alcoholic toffee bomb.

With that said, it can still be somewhat enjoyable - as long as you are in the mood for something like that. But, even then, it lacks true craftsmanship. I rate it down for two reasons - it is far from a tripel, and even if it weren't classified as one, it still isn't that good.

I hate to give Anderson Valley a bad review, as they do such great beers usually, but in this case, I must.

Not recommended.

rallison, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of cbl2
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%

3/23/2007 $6.99 22 oz. 10.00% No best by date.


Pours a fairly still medium brown in color that is fairly clear, with just a bit of haze from chill. No head whatsoever.


Loads of caramel/toffee sweetness due to belgian candied sugar and lightly roasted malts.


Smooth but thin mouthfeel, that is mildly sweet, with flavors of rose water and lychee combined. Some alcohol notes in the finish, and definitely warming by midglass. This is a lackluster attempt at the style.

cbl2, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of warmstorage
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%

22 ounce bottle, states 10.0% ABV, no dating evident. A faux-wax seal coats the top, but pulls off relatively easily as it's some sort of rubbery plastic.

Pours a bright medium orange with dense white head, not rocky, leaves little lacing. Appearance is somewhat disappointing for the style, it's lacking a significant head, lacing, and the visible rolling carbonation is kind of off-putting.

Aroma is warm alcohol, grain, and that distinctive trappist yeast tang. A slightly flat/metallic note.

Taste is dominated by hot alcohol, bordering on solvent-y, and strong, spicy phenolics. Finishes hot and spicy. Notable sugariness. The metallic note is also present here.

Mouth is also dominated by the hot alcohol; body is strongly carbonated, and visible carbonation rolls up throughout the glass. Long lingering aftertaste of spicy berries, pepper, and alcohol.

Overall a quite drinkable beer, but not incredible. Something I'll keep buying, but I won't go out of my way for.

warmstorage, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of crwills
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Part of a tasting with northyorksammy, biegaman, grub, and derek. Thanks guys!

Interested wax-sealed bottle produces what looks like apple juice, including the lack of head. Very sweet, fruity aroma and flavour. Apple juice and bubble gum appear as it warms. Little bit of planty skunk, and a strange, leafy aftertaste.

Lots of room for improvement with this one.

crwills, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of biegaman
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%

A 650ml bottle sealed in golden wax. Claims "bound to raise poor spirits". Thanks to CRWills for the sample!
Pours a light and dulled orange colour, clear and no head. Completely off appearence for a tripel. Aroma offers some fruity notes, somewhere between oranges and apples. Very sugary and sweet. The high gravity leaves a lasting vinegar note. Thin bodied to the excessive alcohol as well, drinks more like a Belgian Pale Ale than a tripel. Very little dimension, taste dominated by rotting apples and pears. Some tastes of roots. Carries cheap white wine like sugars. This really doesn't cut it for tripel.

biegaman, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of Derek
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%

A: Golden-bronze, slightly off-white head, very little retention & lace.

S: Cidery, tangerine, bubblegum fruity esters.

T: Apple juice, bubble gum, pear, pineapple, slight spice. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden. It seems more like a strong pale than a tripel (it's lacking the spicy phenols).

M: Moderate body & carbonation; slightly creamy.

D: Fairly drinkable for the style.

Thanks for the sample crwills!

Derek, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%

Crwills thank you for picking up at BOW and bringing. Creamy head with soap bubbles, wafting yeast aroma, lace in glass. Sweet yeasty taste, pear, peach and sugar and apple-tropical. my favorite style though this is not the prime representative of the style.Alcohol hidden by process.Nicely quaffable.

Sammy, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%

quarterly tasting party feb 21/07 with northyorksammy, Derek, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer. crwills contributed this one, so thanks to craig!

22oz bottle, topped with gold wax.

pours pale amber with a thin white head that drops almost instantly with no lace.

aroma is nice. tangerine and honey. very sweet. bit of sourness. toffee. fruity - raspberry, and maybe cherry. bubblegum.

taste is nice. medium bitterness level. bit of alcohol. fruity and sweet. honey. a bit cidery. bubblegum. tangerine and pear.

mouthfeel is good. above average carbonation. medium body.

drinkability is good. a bit too sweet for my taste, but otherwise very nice.

grub, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

I thought this was the least exciting tripel ("Triple") I've had in recent memory.

It pours very viscously (thick!) with very minimal white head that looks a bit soapy. It is a dark yellow color, which is rather "tripel-y" (Tripoli?).

It has a carbonated aroma with some fruit. Taste is rather clovey with some apple/pear and a very pleasing aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is exceedingly thin and flat.

BeerBelcher, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%

Poured a nice pale amber with lots of carbonation and a decent head. Thick lace stayed throughout. Smell was very spicey, nutmeg, cinamon, hints of apricot and a touch of alcohol. Very light and lively smell. Taste followed suit nicely. Apricots,. figs, a hint of grassy tones. Very nice going down. A bit of a warming when going down made it nice on a cold night. Overall this was a nice treat and at 10%abv didn't really feel that strong for a big beer. A good value for the price.

mikesgroove, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of Boto
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%

22oz. bomber: This one pours an opaque, brownish dark gold color. The usual fluffy head that you expect from a tripel didn’t happen with this one. It had a smaller, fizzy head that drops away almost immediately. The aroma is a bit disappointing also. It is OK, just very weak, especially for a 10% beer. Lighter notes of the banana and spice that are typical of the style. Also some notes of the alcohol. The taste is OK, with some of the banana notes and yeastiness. Alcohol taste also. It tastes like a tripel, but it is not as complex or smooth as I would expect from this type of beer. Just rates an OK. There are much better examples readily available.

Boto, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%

This is a good clear amber colored beer with a whisper of a white head.

Smell is sweet and spicy with a fair trace of banana and coriander to it. Honey malt smell and more than a little spiciness in the scent, but all from coriander and black pepper. Not much fruit but this is fairly flowery in scent.

Taste is sweetish with a good hit of honey and misc. spice in the first sip. Fair taste of plum and sour apple in this that did not appear in the smell. Decently spicy but this is all coriander. Alcohol is completely hidden; mostly this is herbal in taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

Not great but OK. Hard to find a beer of this style for the $6 I paid for the bottle in the United States. Still this is just competent and not great for the money, unless Trader Joe's has a Tripel then this is likely the best you will find locally.

Zorro, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%

22oz latex-dipped bomber (that sounds a bit strange)

A-burnished coppery-orange with slight chill haze effect. Head was semi weak and withered to a slight ring.

S-A raw, bubblegum sweetness mixed with the pungent yeast. The yeast definately overpowers any other component. Aroma hops are tough to detect.

T-The sweetness in the aroma trancends into the taste up front but is taken over by a dry, alcoholic finish. Not as well balanced as hoped for. There is a harsh, bitter finish that is too much to go along with the dryness.

M-Fusel alcohol burn is dominant. There is a coarseness in the back of the mouth that is a little too much. As it warms, the alcohol seems to take over.

D-Definately not my favorite tripel and one bottle was enough. This is a difficult style to perfect and I commend them for trying. I believe that there can not be enough tripels out there, but this one isn't worthy of a memorable experience.

ALESwhatCURESya, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%

Appearance - an orange, honey color. A finger of foam rapidly falls, leaving some stray swirls across the top. Eventually goes bare with no lacing.

Aroma - sweet and boozy, figs and plums and vapory stuff.

Taste - woody grain at its base with a yeasty, slightly sour layer. Enveloped of course with plenty of Belgian candi sugar sweetness and alcohol warmth (well-muted for 10% abv).

Mouthfeel - smooth, low carbonation, solid feel but not sticky or heavy.

Drinkability - a fine sipper this is! A tasty tripel true to style.

brewdlyhooked13, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%

Ripe tangelo with sunflower yellow highlights. The lack of even a speck of yeast disturbing the glassy purity of the beer is a bit concerning, but perhaps they're hiding in the bottom of the bomber, waiting to make an appearance on subsequent pours. I'm not all that impressed with the pale butter colored head and the lack of lace. Brother David's is certainly no match for the best Belgians when it comes to looks.

The nose is tripel-like... yet it isn't. Tripel would be in my first three guesses anyway. What greets my nose is sweet, golden fruity and ever so slightly spicy. The label claims the use of a 'special Trappist yeast' and I'll have to take their word for it, but the strain that they chose doesn't smell like it graduated in the top half of its class at yeast school. Still hummin' along at above average.

I'm not a style stickler in most cases, but this one is just too far afield for me to give it much respect. I'm only granting the above score because I tend to have a soft spot for big, sweet beer. If you've come here in search of something authentic and truly Belgian-like, I'm afraid you'll be sorely disappointed.

The flavor profile consists of ripe apple and pears swimming in candi sugar syrup. I like it just fine, it's just that it's incredibly simple and lacks any depth or complexity whatsoever. Grassy hops contribute something of value in terms of flavor, but any bitterness that they might have imparted is buried under a tidal wave of sweetness and alcohol.

Actually, an especially smooth, especially refined malt liquor is a valid comparison (and that isn't a knock; well, not much of one anyway). All but about one finger of beer has now exited the bottle and I still don't see any yeast. I wouldn't care so much except that I can't really taste any yeast either. This is just not a stellar effort, it's as simple as that.

The clear highlight for me is the mouthfeel. Thanks to all the pale malt and candi sugar (called demerara sugar on the list of ingredients), it's full and chewy and sticky and wonderful. A moderate amount of fine carbonation is the perfect complement. Too bad the rest of the beer doesn't measure up.

I liked Brother David's Double and I expected to like his Triple at least as much since I prefer the latter style to the former one. For some reason though, it isn't as faithful a recreation. I hate to say it, but I think Anderson Valley would be better served by sticking to the classically American styles. Which they do very well, by the way.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of jimbomill
4.63/5  rDev +33.4%

I've been keeping track of my favorite samplings of single malt scotch for a while, but I've only recently done it for good beer too. Among the best lately has been Brother David's Triple. It's taste and drinkability I rate over some recent Victory products (12 and Golden Monkey). It's a better deal too up at the cash register.

jimbomill, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of dhchatfield
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%

I've had this one once before, at the end of a long day of painting. I really enjoyed it, and added it to my wants list in the hopes of getting one in the Birthday BIF. BeerBeing came through. Thanks.

A - Upon entry into my trusty Duvel tulip, a cloudy orangy tan. What little head there was of the tiny bubble variety, and burned off quickly. Little black floaties.

S - Definate alchohol presence. Banana, and after getting a second opinion from my 13 year old son, Papaya..

T - This is a tough one. This one is a definate fast mover. Fruity at first, and malty for sure. Then the 10% ABV moves in and wreaks havoc. A little bit of a shocker, but as I've said in other reviews, I often drink for effect, so it's actually not so bad, if you're in the mood. Big Banana finish.

M - Probably the weakest link for this one. Very effervescent, sweet and syrupy. The kind of beer that makes you want another hit QUICK, before you change your mind and don't finish it.

D - Even in my buzz loving Friday night mode, I honestly don't think I could comfortably finish a second of these. It's very nice on occasion, but not an everyday beer.

dhchatfield, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of beerceller99
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%

Clear amber color with no head.
Light smell of apples, spicey yeasts.
Good carbonation despite the complete lack of a head, medium bodied.
Has a raw, sweet and spicey flavor of apples, dark pit fruits and yeast. Not much of an alcohol burn here thankfully.
For the Tripel style this brew is way out in left field.
Probably worth a try but not a brew I'll revisit any time soon.

beerceller99, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from a big bomber with a cap and wax. Looked clear and golden colored with a very thin head. Carbonation was a little light. The smell and taste were dominated by fruity esters, kind of sickly sweet with an alcohol burn behind it. Not the best tripel, but not terrible either.

TurdFurgison, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of scottoale
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%

Poured from a 22oz. brown bomber with a gold wax seal, an amber-red with a 1/2" ivory cream head. The head leaves quickly and the lace is minimal with very few micro bubbles rising from below. It has the apperance and viscosity of Grand Marnier liquer.

The smell is sweet, fruity and a bit spicy...much like that of a Belgian triple. Sweet malt with notes of banana, green apples, candi sugar, yeast and spiced with corriander and clove...kind of the bubblegum flavor here.

Sweet and spicy malt that is ripe and fruity with some spice from the yeast and hops, followed by a nice warming from the rather high 10% ABV. Tasty and authentic for the style.

Full bodied with a slight tang towards the finish lend a pleasant mouthfeel to this smooth brew.

Easy to drink and quite tasty, it would probably age quite well. Give it a try if you can find it.

scottoale, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of jeffjfindley
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%

Appearance: Candy apple orange pour with a one finger head. 10 minutes later it looks like Disaronno. In other words, poor head retention.

Smell: A tart mix of sweet (definitely not sour) green apples, wild strawberries, and bourbon.

Taste: Green apples at the front. Middle is honey, and the aftertaste is ticklishly hoppy. Lacking in malt flavor, but good.

Mouthfeel: Good, but a little on the thin side.

Drinkability: A drinkable, but flawed outing from the brilliant folks at Anderson Valley.

jeffjfindley, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of bonbright7
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%

I bypassed this beer often at Whole Foods in favor of something more colorful until this evening when my wife suggested it at random from the cold storage.

It poured well into my 50cl glass with almost no head to a red-ish/orange color.
The first smell of it was of old apples spiked with yeast and hops, which told me I on the road to an interesting tripel.

The first taste reminded me of Westmalle with its yeasty bite, but then the creamy overtones I remembered from Chimay and St. Bernadus took over.
I emptied the remaining bottle into the 50cl and the sediment boosted the flavor twice over. The slight bite disappeared into the mix with the full contents emptied to my delight.

I think this tripel style ale would do well in futher tastings with different cheeses and wheat crackers.

bonbright7, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Ok...this is a re-review of this beer simply because after sitting in my cellar for a few months, this beer seems to have mellowed and balanced nicely. Perhaps it is being released to distribution too early or maybe I'm just used to slightly older triples considering how long it takes for them to get to the shelves in Calif from their home in Belguim.
Anyway....poures a crystal clear light orange amber...just slightly lighter than the jewel amber.
Fine head melts quickly to nothing, unfortunately.
Aroma is definately belgium yeast and sweet tropical fruits. Alcohol is not so prominate now that it has aged a little bit.
Mouthfeel is creamy although slightly thin for style.
Taste is again sweet tropical fruit...tangerines....oranges...light, ripe banana...the distinctive belguim yeast I look for in this style, and then light alcohol flavors, warmth, and finally burn as you swallow.
The alcohol continues to warm for quite a while after swallowing...aftertaste is lightly sweet candy malt but definately not intense enough to be cloying at all. Just enough to make you realize they used candy sugar in the mix.
Slightly off taste as it dries in the mouth almost forcing you to take another sip.
My suggestion is definately let this one age a little (6 months<?>) before embibing...you will be greatly rewarded for your patience.
NOTE: Bottle suggests a serving temp of 40 - 45 degrees F. My fridge is at 50 and so that is what I serve at. Personally I have never had anything outside of a macro below 50 degrees and generally warm beers after pouring to get everthing the aromas and tastes have to offer. I can't say how this would be at 40 - 45 degrees other than numbing.

IntriqKen, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%

Poured from the wax-sealed 22 oz. bottle - had to cut the seal away with a knife as there's no pulltab or anything. Poured to a goblet.

A: Warm copper orange. Mostly clear with some carbonation. Little to no head and faint film. Faint lacing.

S: Gently sweet (caramel/candy) with strong spiciness as a backbone; hints of clove, coriander & banana. No discernable hops.

T: Initially very malty and sweet, evolves into nicely spiced and slightly dry. Some fruit esters and sugariness, very mild bitterness. Some alcohol present, more pronounced as the beer warms.

M: Moderate flavors and mouthfeel. Some lingering sweetness, but mostly dry spicy/bitter finish. Some alcohol warming.

D: This one was shared with my wife, who liked the malty sweetness and dry spiciness. We accompanied it with some cheeses, including a creamy French delice de borgogne, a sharp Spanish blue cheese and a nutty French mimolette. This beer went very well with all of them. High ABV at 10%; this is an enjoyable sipper. Find someone to share a bottle with...

msubulldog25, Aug 28, 2006
Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.