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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.

597 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 597
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: 597 | Reviews: 352 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of atsprings
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp orange with a thin head that is all too quick to diminish to nothing and leaves the beer looking incredibly bland. The aroma has some spiciness on top of sweet malts and light hops. The spiciness provides a nice touch to the taste, but overall, its nothing special. The beer is slightly heavy, but the alcohol is fairly well hidden. Overall, this is a far cry from what I expect in a Tripel.

atsprings, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of Backer2004
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to one of the Carolina Brewmasters who let me sample this as our annual memorial Day BBQ. Fan of the tripel and though this one was refreshing, it was a bit thin for the style. Nice carbonation and head retention, notes of fruit, a bit difficult to finish a bottle by myself. Worth a try, but do not go looking extensively for it.

Backer2004, May 28, 2007
Photo of semihobo
2.23/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cellared for 15 months, no particular reason I opened it tonight. No idea how much older it is than that.

Looks like a cup of tea or weak coffee, crystal clear brown [edit: must have settled. Second chalice holds particles beautifully in suspension]. No head despite a vigorous pour, just a ring around the edge.

Smells of rum and raisins. Alcohol is definitely present. Sweet, with a distinct candy sugar taste. Nothing too pleasant.

Taste is of sweet raisins, alcohol, and metal. Sugars are interesting, and there are some phenolic banana notes. Alcohol is present but not too pronounced. Pretty industrial taste, however, and not very nuanced.

Highly carbonated but thin, makes drinking this brew slightly more of a chore. Sickening finish.

As Dave Chappelle put it, "it'll get you drunk." And that's nice. Otherwise I'd look into other options for the style... this is quite unrefined (not sure the aging helped, but I don't think it hurt). Don't need 22 oz of this, some is going down the drain.

semihobo, May 13, 2007
Photo of xymyl
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color: deep gold/orange with a white head that falls quickly but remains as a thin layer.

Aroma: Baked apples, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, yeast, leather, smoke, vanilla, prunes, alcohol.

Taste: Super fruity but not too sweet, the balance being just slightly sweetness forward loses many expected flavors but you still get a little kick of spices enhanced by alcohol followed by perfect gentle bitterness.

Overall: A medium bodied, high alcohol, ultra drinkable, just plain awesome--yet understated beer that I can't get anywhere near here. Bittersweet, but that's life on the edge of the country. My tequila collection is really growing though.

xymyl, May 04, 2007
Photo of ksullnh
4.13/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a glass tumbler...

A: Clear, small off-white head, reddish-gold hue, with big bubbles in the head

S: Not too much smell - some alcohol, a bit of cinnamon and/or nutmeg as it warmed, some vague sugary Belgian-ness

T: Surprisingly light, and not too sweet. There was some early heat, but very smooth for 10% abv. Crisper opening and maltier finish.

M/D: Thick and silky. But still 10%, so only one of these for me.

ksullnh, May 03, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served 10-15 deg above the recommended temperature listed on the bottle. Pours a clear orange hued amber color with a shallow whispy white head that vanishes quickly. Spotty lacing observed.

The smell is light; a bit of dark fruit, a little spice... coriander-like, and the "A-word" that's going to take you there.

The mouth feel is slightly fizzy, effervescent with a light hoppy bitterness. Finishes fruitier yet dry.

The flavor is good but understated. Thank the High Priestess of Fermentation for the wonderful character if the Belgian yeast expressed there in.

How does one describe "wild".... please beer-mail me with that one!
The 10% ABV doesn't reveal itself in the mouth, but hello.. yes it is there.

jjayjaye, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of jackorain
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared a bottle of this following dinner at a family gathering at my house.

A-Slightly cloudy dull golden color with a loose head of semi course bubbles. Fell to thi ring quicly and offer no significnat lacing

S-some belgiun yeast charater, a little clove and faint hop aroma. Malts begin to take over as one continues to sniff

T-sweet carmel malts, fruity, sweet, very faint hops. Heavy on the carmel malt flavor. Too sweet for my tastes. Alcohol esters carry through with fruitiness on the finish.

M_tingly cabonation and light to meduim body.

D- I really wouldn't buy another bottle.


jackorain, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of blackie
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a: Looks good, with a continuously fed layer of white carbonation. The beer is a bright copper-orange in color.

s: Definately smells better than it tastes, probably because you don't have to put up with the mouthfeel. but not enough to bump it up to a 4.0. Very fruity pale malts, a papery noble hop aroma, and a sharp ethanol note. Slightly peppery. Buttery sugar cookies and snickerdoodle (never thought I'd use that in a review).

m: nice and smooth carbonation comprised of tiny bubbles...a little heavy/syrupy in the body though

t: A little messy but not too bad. Heavy on the malts, and a little one dimensional. Light Belgian yeast character with an ethanol note in the back. Lightly hopped. Much too sweet. Might be giving too much credit here.

d: Pretty easy given the abv but only a decent tripel...not necessarily worth a try because there are tons of better tripels around, but i won't say avoid at all costs. Actually the thickness and lack of a clean finish make this one a little hard to get down. I would not recommend letting this one warm in the glass.

for my anny bombing from Solomon420

blackie, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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
Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 597 ratings.