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

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Brother David's Triple Abbey Style AleBrother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale

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357 Reviews
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Reviews: 357
Hads: 643
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 14.87%
Wants: 9
Gots: 61 | 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: 643
Photo of ClavisAurea
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle in a snifter glass

Appearance: light amber with a frothy head that goes away quickly

Nose: pears, alcohol, white grapes

Taste: sweet white grape juice, dry white wine, spicy hops finish

This is a pretty good triple. I would expect it to be a bit more effervescent but overall an enjoyable bier. (310 characters)

Photo of bump8628
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep honey to auburn with a great depth of color and an inch of white head that recedes a little too quickly.

Soft Belgian yeast character with notes of honey, vanilla, clove, plum, bubblegum, and banana along with some sweet, bready malt and a delicate, warming alcohol.

An excellent ale. It departs some from the classic Tripels, but it has a soft character that hides its considerable strength quite well. (410 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Translucent gold color. Poured a 1 finger white head with fair retention to a skim that was thicker on the inside edge of the glass. Thin, broken lacing.

S: Bananas and tropical fruit. Citrus and sugar. Alcohol and bit of a yeast funk.

T: Sweet fruit and sour yeast. Resinous bitter in the middle. Malts come through as the beer warms. Lots of warming alcohol.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. A little sticky. Dry and warming.

D: Very complex. Lots of malt and yeast character. (487 characters)

Photo of jeffjfindley
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (508 characters)

Photo of scottoale
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (859 characters)

Photo of gthornton
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

First thing's first, the pour: This beer poured like syrup lapping out into our tall wine glasses. In fact, to borrow some wine lingo, this beer actually has legs. Give it a swirl and marvel at the delicious nectar cling to the walls of your glass... moving on.

Color: I immediately thought of a thick block of ochre as we held our glasses to the light. It is a deep amber that is closer to orange than it is red; also looks like ambrosia honey.

Scent: This beer smells very similar to the jar of Ambrosia Honey (W/ cinnamon) that we bought at a farmers market. There is also a sting of citrus in the nose, mostly covered, or rounded out by raisin and plum - more of the latter than the former.

Taste: Again, just like Ambrosia Honey w/ a hint of cinnamon and an orange peel. The citrus and honey are the first to slowly linger from the pallet, and the raisin/plum flavor leave last.

Drinkability/overall: We were thoroughly impressed by this, another great, beer from Anderson Valley. As for an all night beer, this would not be my first choice because it is a lil thick, and though I appreciate its buzz-ability, it would have me floored all too soon.

Probably best with a red meat... the thick maltiness of it makes me think roast... like a king :) (1,256 characters)

Photo of Nerudamann
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Look - light amber in color, fairly clear, but with little to no foam.

Smell - hoppy, but with a sweet note like that of apple juice.

Taste and Mouthfeel - wonderfully hoppy at the very beginning, with an interesting "grab" at the back of the palate. The abv is fairly subtle. Texture is somewhat more on the watery side, but not in a bad way like a adjunct lager can be. It's a "purer" type of wateriness.

Overall - Very interesting brew. Not super interesting in the taste, but near to it. Nice tasting too! (564 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear , orange-hued, under a sizeable, creamy head.

Sweet, fruity nose. Smooth, lightly hoppy, bits o' spice.

Nice and easy, going down. big spicy fruit, medium bodied, light, yet lingering finish. Doesn't have enough presence, or character, though, to be memorable. Alcoholic content is first. Then comes the brandy feel, and the burn.

Nice enough, though. Not quite a typical, or a trancendent tripel, but nice. (440 characters)

Photo of bonbright7
3.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (802 characters)

Photo of ElijahCSkuggs
3.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My Dad's name is David. I love Tripels. What else is there to say?

This is the clearest Tripel I've seen yet. Head fizzled down incredibly fast, and it's now just a skimming layer.

Nice whiff instantly hit me with the potency of it's alcohol - but it was nice. I also gave off strong floral notes along with apples and, I think, grapes. Was that a blueberry? Oh, and definitely some bananas as well.

Whoa. Complex tongue, but very Tripely. It's sweet and bitter and dry and....good. It has a spicy kick that shows you the door. Feels great in the mouth(!?) and it hides the booze very well.

This is a solid Tripel that shouldn't be looked over. I'm just slightly disappointed in how it looks; more like an IPA to me. Nevertheless, Tripel fans rejoice with Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale!! (803 characters)

Photo of cdkrenz
3.93/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A crisp reddish-orange body with modest head in the widest surface allowed by the snifter in which it was poured.

S - Alcohol, bananas, plums, and bubble gum.

T - Pale malts accented by a classic fruity estered Belgian yeast. This is a good tasting triple.

M - Very tiny abrasive bubbles that really allow the flavors to come through.

~ This is a good beer. I would certainly recommend this to a friend. I cellared one of the four bottles that came in the four pack. I plan to drink it a year from now. The rest of the four pack won't make it that long. (562 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.92/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 22oz bottle purchased at BevMo on the last night (23JUN06) of the Bierman family California trip....

The Bro poured a medium copper hue, with no visible carbonation in the clear liquid. Head was minimal at best; a simple ring of white bubbles chillin' around the rim of the glass, with just a touch of lacing. Aroma was strong and robust, hitting me right at the opening of the bottle. Big notes of candi sugar and spiciness come forward easily. The bier was medium to medium-plus in body, though it was somewhat prickly on the tongue, getting foamy as it crosses the palate.

Found some toasty malt aspects to start, with a smidge of tropical fruit and sweet candi sugar. A sharp, spicy yeast bite with some peppery-ness comes across in the lightly floral hop finish, along with a distinct warming effect. Middle of the road....


overall: 3.85
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4

914 (949 characters)

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
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. (1,218 characters)

Photo of silver0rlead
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden with a thick and frothy white head that retains adequately. The aroma starts off with belgian yeast notes, as well as candy sugar, banana, clove, spices, biscuit, fruity esters, herbal hops and some alcohol. The flavor is all fruity esters and candy sugar upfront, along with yeastiness, bread dough, herbal hops, some phenols and spices and alcohol. The mouthfeel is light and sprightly and drinkability is very good. A tasty but not particularly complex triple, very drinkable but maybe a tad too sweet. (526 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
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. (536 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (483 characters)

Photo of Radome
3.87/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber bottle into a globe glass.

L - Light golden color; just a bit of haze. White head has huge bubbles but is not overly tall or long-lasting.

S - Clean aroma of crisp grain and strong yeast character. I get cotton candy, bubblegum, light, berry-like fruit. hops are not evident.

T - Initial flavors are a mix of grassy hops and sweet, bready malt. They give way to cotton candy sweetness and alcohol. Semi-sweet finish with a slightly harsh peppery note.

F - Medium to thick body. Moderate carbonation. Light hops bitterness. Strong alcohol burn.

O - For me the alcohol level and strong harsh finish detract, but otherwise this is a solid tripel. (681 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 Hex92
3.87/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am glad I picked this one up. Thought it was a dubbel when I grabbed it out of the cooler. Realized it was a triple when I got home. It doesn't taste much like a triple....which is not my favorite style.

A- orangy color, little head or lacing
S-dried fruit and alcohol
T- this is a tasty beer. I think the alcohol flavor is there..but just a hint. Malty sweet with just the right amount of hops.
M- perfect.
O- this is a really good beer. I would definitely pick it up again. But it definitely isn't your normal triple. (523 characters)

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

Pours an apple juice color with minimal head and some carbonation.

A roasted caramel malt smell with flowery pine hops and hints of toffee, vanilla, and licorice.

A moderately sweet and acidic roasted and nutty caramel malt; resin and grapefruit hops; and hints of bubble gum, vanilla, and cola.

Medium to full body, dry to syrupy texture, soft to lively carbonation, and a slight metallic finish.

Very drinkable for the style but not a session beer. (462 characters)

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

Appearance: Copper in color, with a slight haziness, a modest head, aggressive carbonation, and scattered broken lace.

Aroma: Depp honey-like sweetness, with a slight spiciness.

Taste: Very sweet at the open, soon turns spicy, with notes of citrus peel, and prominent alcohol notes, finishes with a lingering bitter-and-spicy note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and soft, with slight carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Moderate, pleasant example of the style.

Thanks to Rick and Betty for generously sharing this example. (513 characters)

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

Appearance - Golden color with lots of carbonation. About a 1/2 inch of white foam that fades quickly, leaving behind a fair amount of lacing.

Smell - A nice pleasant sweet aroma with the scent of pear.

Taste - Smooth. Not as crisp as I expected, from all the bubbles. Lots of fruit. Pear and apple. The belgian yeast esters take over here. Not much malt or bitterness. Just fruity and smooth. At bit of booze at the end.

Mouthfeel - Smoother than most belgian styles.

Drinkability - This is a nice triple, but not one that begs you to drink more. (552 characters)

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

Pours an cloudy orangy color, small head, some carbonation, nice lacing. Scents of malt and fruits. The taste is a little soury/sweet carbonated feel, alcohol is hidden very well for a 10% ABV. Medium body. Drinkable in my book any day. I liked this brew from Anderson Valley, not true to style, but very nice. I would buy again, and would recommend to people. (360 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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... (1,050 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)

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