Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brother David's Belgian-style Double AleBrother David's Belgian-style Double Ale

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416 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 416
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.36%
Wants: 8
Gots: 30 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2003

Inspired by the classic Dubbels of Belgium, our Brother David’s Double has a dark brown body and aromas of warm cocoa, banana, and cloves. Specialty malts impart a toasted, nutty character and flavors of chocolate-covered cherries and candied fruits, while the subdued hop profile and Abbey yeast create spicy, herbal notes to compliment the warm, slightly sweet finish. Winner of a Gold Medal in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival™, Brother David’s Double is a truly complex and potent ale meant to be savored or shared with friends.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 416 | Reviews: 263
Reviews by Ralphs66:
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one poured a dark brown in color with a modest, lightly-tanned head that went down rather quickly.

Smell – The malts here are almost like a heavy bock. There’s some light yeast present in the nose as well. I can pick up some sort of hopping and a light table sugar.

Taste – The malts lead the way at the taste. They are very singular in flavor with some light, sweetened molasses and a good amount of maple syrup. The yeast from the nose barely shows up at the tongue.

Mouthfeel – This one is thin, I’d say barely medium-bodied, with a dull sense of carbonation and a heavy-handed sweetness at the finish.

Drinkability – This one wasn’t that bad, but it certainly needs a lot of work. It’s a complicated style though so kudos to AV for taking a decent stab at it.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After this won best in show at the California Stat Fair a week or so ago, I decided to break a bottle out of my cellar.

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights. Low carbonation. Light lacing.

N: Brown sugar, nuts, roasted barley, chocolate malts.

T: Tastes authentic but not great. Sweet dark malts, a bowl of nuts, tons of brown sugar, Belgian yeast, biscuits, toffee, dried spice.

MF: Sweet, nearly full body, soda like.

D: Good but not great. Easy to drink despite the sweetness but not terribly interesting.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brother David's Double comes encased in a thick coat of black wax/plastic covering the top of the bomber. After breaking out the wine servicer to get to the cap, it pours into my tulip glass a deep dark brown with garnet hues and a half inch of khaki foam atop the brew. Enticing! Aromas of sugary roasted malts hinting at chocolate and caramel. Molasses and plums with almost a sour dark fruity twang. Spicy yeast phenols add an earthy aspect with some bready tones.

First sip brings rich roasted maltiness with hints of cocoa, caramel and an array of dark fruit. This is followed by a mix of candi sugar, cinammon, anise, molasses and nutty flavors. Spicy yeast is apparent with each subsequent sip and adds an nice element to the brew. Finishes with a fresh baked bread aspect and subtle lingering smoky nuttiness. Overall it's a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess and stable carbonation. Goes down smooth with no real note of the 9% alcohol content. Overall, I thought this was a tasty brew that I wouldn't mind having again. A nice job on an American brewed dubbel. Thanks to goodbyeohio for the opportunity here.

Photo of Todd
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Sunset Bar & Grill.

Dark brown with an off-white foam lace. Sweet malt aroma with yeasty in the background. Smooth mouthfeel, though a too thin, with malt flavors of caramel and chocolate chip cookie sweetness, and some biscuit. Dark fruits. Slight, and brief, hop bite ... some orange blossom and leaf smoothing in. Alcohol is warming, touch of spice. Sweet finish.

Nice stab at the style, but pretty average.

Photo of merlin48
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz wax covered bottle pours a murky cola brown body with a nice tan head that quickly disappears without lacing. Aroma of dark fruits(gigs and prunes) and some roasty notes of chocolate. Medium bodied with low carbonation. Taste is figs, dates, and prunes. Some lactic sourness seems out of place. Slightly vinous but not fusel. Some chocolate notes seem out of place. Not really a fan of this one.

Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle, with freshness dating, Great rubbery seal poured over the cap and dripping down the top of the bottle. Pours dark with amber hues. Minimal head and no lacing left behind. Rum, raisin and alcohol nose and up front on the palate. Also dark bread note picked up.. Big, bold and tasty brew. Complex and flavorful. This is a worthwhile American made double, not easy to find this one in my neck of the woods

Photo of fdrich29
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle purchased at Marty's Fine Wine in Newton, Massachusetts.

Disclaimer: For some reason I'm listening to Eminem while reviewing this beer. I will try my best to harness my angst.

So...umm...well there's a nice little head on this beer. Black and red seem to be fighting for control of the beer's color. Smells like alcohol and caramel and tastes pretty much the same. Alcohol is a bit overpowering of the overall drinking experience, it doesn't give the sweetness a chance...well to be sweet.

I would definitely put one of there beers away for a year and see what happens, I think it would make a world of difference.

Photo of magictrokini
2.76/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark brown pour with no head. Aroma of prunes, yeast, and raisins. The taste is really strong and the alcohol is not masked at all. Prunes and malt dominate the beer. The heavy mouthfeel makes it even less drinkable. The spice was nice, but everything else is a bit overwhelming. And lose the fake wax, it makes the bottle really hard to open.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Kind of a mahogany pour, almost no white head to speak of. Aroma was brown sugar and alcohol, maybe some plums and raisins behind the brown sugar.

Taste, whoa, bitter and lots of alcohol with tons of yeast esters and phenols. Arrgh, sorry this isn't my thing. A beer has to be more enjoyable than it is challenging, and this beer falls squarely into the latter category. Decent amount of caramel gets pretty much lost in the more dominant flavors (off?). Toffee and beyond its prime dark fruit continue.

This beer needs to be dried out, tamed down in some areas, ramped up in others. It started out ok, but devolved into a mess frankly. As the beer went on and on, I wondered if I was just noticing the alcohol more, or if I wasn't paying close enough attention to notice the approach of a fusel alcohol remnant aroma wise.

I dunno, love the American style Anderson Valley, so maybe I'm not the best source for a review of this beer, but I'll be avoiding this one for the near future.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up along with the a four pack and a 750 of Thelonius Monk's ale for only 15 bucks can't beat that, once again people go buy beer at the Six Pack Store in Moon if your in the Pittsburgh area. Not the most in depth selection but deals are everywhere. Bottle is rubber sealed with black wax looking polymer and it pours a deep caramel ruby tone with a lucious tan head leaves fine streaks of lacing. Aroma contains hints of coffee and anise notes with an overall vinous appeal, touch of powdered cocoa and some caramel toffee malt tones as well. Taste has a great mix of tart apple raisin going on with soft chocolate and toffee sweetness herbal hop bitterness is mild and blended well bready tone not the best overall American brewed dubbel I've had but it does the trick tasty 22oz portion. Mouthfeel is creamy carbonation is smooth but by no means effervescent smooth going down even coats the palate definitely classified as medium bodied. Drinkability is solid not something I would go for over a true Belgian but definitely something that I enjoyed.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - A muddy ruby color. Thin tan head that only lingers for a minute.

Smell - Plums, raisins, bread, sugar, and caramel malt.

Taste - Sweet caramel malt. Mostly plums and raisins. The bread amd yeast flavor is present. Some slight chocolate in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Light for the style and highly carbonated.

Drinkability - It's a good deal at the price point.

Photo of glid02
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from the Liquor Loft in Tallahassee, FL.

Pours a hazy dark amber color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of sweet medium malts with thin dark fruits - raisins with hints of green apples. Also present are hints of brown sugar and allspice.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Moderately sweet medium malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by hints of breadiness. Midway through the sip large amounts of fruit flavors - green apples, raisins, and hints of pear - work their way into things. The flavor profile dries out near the end of the sip with the addition of leafy hops, carrying through to a mildly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I wasn't a huge fan of this beer - the flavor profile seemed almost artificial as though the yeast didn't add enough character initially. Not a beer worth seeking out.

Photo of BigSTing
2.12/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Nice dark amber with minimal head. no lacing.

S: from the smell, you would never be able to guess this was a belgian dubbel. Alcohol is the prominent note.

T: Boozy and sweet. Lacks complexity

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium body

O: I'd opt for a real belgian. For what I paid for the 22oz, I could have had a real Belgian dubbel. I like AVB, but this is the worst beer Ive had from them. I'll probably steer clear of their "belgianesque" offerings from now on.

Photo of rastaman
3.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap @ Toronado, San Fransisco. Good amount of caramel and tart acidity. Some butteryness, dark fruit and decent length. No real problems, Anderson Valley seem to know what they’re doing. Failry good double, with American influences, fairly tasty, nice one.

Photo of watermelonman
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a good dark brown with a tiny head that disappeared quickly. There's no lace at all.

Sugars are definitely present in the smell. The taste is a little plain but solid. It's a relatively heavy flavor. The mouthfeel is definitely too sharp for my tastes, but the beer hides it's alcoholic content well and stays pretty drinkable.

Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. No discernible Bootling language lessons here. As for the Jesus allegories - that's another story...

This beer pours a clear, dark bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, bubbly beige head, which leaves a solid painted wall of barely broken lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bready caramel malt, cinnamon and cloves, and herbal leafy hops. The taste is more lightly toasted biscuity caramel malt, a sugary toffee essence, some banana and plum esters, much attenuated Christmas spices, a slightly acrid yeastiness, and earthy, leafy hops. Very little in the way of booze warming lies evident this stage.

The bubbles are average, and generally supportive, the body a stolid medium weight, and mostly smooth, as a slowly rising heat provides a slightly unwelcome distraction. It finishes on the sweet side, but moderated well enough, the muted spice, neutered yeast, and stout earthy hops aiding and abetting.

A decent enough dubbel - the fruit and fervent malt, in accordance with some real deal Belgian yeast, render a pleasant warming tipple, especially as the 18-proof booze remains very well obfuscated (in the unusually positive sense of the word). Another bahl hornin' offering from this NoCal institution.

Photo of McD0uche
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured section of Brother David's bomber into a pint glass:

A: Pours a dark mocha color with visible bubbles. A small, cream-colored head appears and subsides pretty quickly. This stuff isn't too sticky; there isn't much lacing to speak of.

S: Smells good. Roasted, toasted malts and coffee notes make up the backbone. Subtle fruit notes linger towards the end. This is probably the defining feature of this beer.

T: Massively flavorful and complex. Quite large and boozy. This beer has a nice fruity flavor and a creamy aftertaste that is expected of this brewing company. Finishes bitter.

M: Oily, medium-bodied, and finishes fairly dry. Medium carbonation.

O: Overall, this isn't bad. I think if they pumped up the flavor a little bit with some caramel or coffee or something it would be a stellar beer.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anderson Valley-
Brother David's Belgium Style Double Ale

Apearance- dark ruby reddish brown with a thick tan head. Slight lacing and the head holds up well.
Smell- Chocolate mixed with Fleishman's yeast. The yeast aroma is nasty!! The chocolate smell and a light dried fruit (prune) note cover up the yeast!
Taste- Chocolate mixed with a prune/ raisin flavor. Slight oak taste slips in.
Mouthfeel- smooth and warm up front with a slight alcohol aftertaste. Coats the tongue.

Overall- A decent Double that wasn't too adverturious. I nice dinner/ sipping beer.

Photo of jmz62565
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a deep dark mahogny with a smallish white. The smell is weak with only a hint of alcohol and malt. The taste is all alcohol, sweet malt, brown sugar, and dark fruit. Not bad, but I expected more. The m/f is light and the flavors mix pretty well,not great. This is an OK beer, average Double, I really expected more from a brewery like Anderson Valley.

Photo of GilGarp
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber served cool into a globe glass. Brother David's pours a deep brown color with very good clarity and thin head. The head is very short lived and settles with no lace.

Aroma is about right for a dubbel but not as exceptional as the authentic examples. Sugary caramel, brown bread, toasted malts, dark fruits.

The flavor is much the same. Sweet and caramelly up front leading to chocolate covered cherries and other dark fruits, raisins, nutty, and just a little sour.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is just shy of being 'hot.'

It's not a bad dubbel but it seems like they made the most common American craft brewer mistake: amping it up and losing the point of the style. A dubbel is a relatively strong beer but 9% seems a bit steep. Plus the flavors should be more rounded and complimentary. Instead, this beer almost seems to fight with itself.

Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lovely Smooth, dark and good lace. Yeasty,lots of chocolate malt, and carmel and toffee, not too sweet.Apple, cocoa, and moderate use of spice. Suitable carbonation. An ale that could convert one's mates to craft beer. Very quaffable. Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, Boulevard tulip.

The hue is deep, ever so slightly bronzed red. On top is a scant number of light tan bubbles.

Right out of the fridge the aroma is sweet bready malt and fruity, bubblegum yeast. It needs to warm. Brandy, raisins, and Portuguese sweet bread. Pleasant fruity sweet alcohol that's especially welcome during this frigid weather.

Sweet bready malt, sponge cake, dates, plums, bread crust, raisins, suggestions of brandy and rum. Solvent alcohol is prevalent and not as well integrated as in the aroma. Low, low levels of fruity yeast and few esters here and there.

Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated, quite lively, with a body that's almost too thin. You can tell the alcohol is high, it's slippery.

This is very easy to drink in the sense that it is not challenging, there is very little yeast character or anything other than malt. For a big malty one-sided monster it drinks well and isn't necessarily boring for all that. On a night as cold as this it's welcome.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a clear mohagony with a small finger of head.... Sweet belgian candy, sourdough and mollasses in the nose. Now I'm having this quite warm so the flavors are ecstatic and bold, huge yeast notes, some sweet dead grass, sugarcane, hermit cookies, and spice. The body yields a medium thickness, some heat from the alcohol, and a small bubble carbonation gives the ale a natural feel.

Overall much better than I expected, which is awesome! Also to note I had this puppy while it was in the 55f degree range so it really opened up. I suspect a lot of the lower reviews came from BA's who may have downed it at fridge temp.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This medium-dry and fruity Belgian-style double pours a surprisingly clear (it's filtered - not bottle conditioned), almost-black ruby-mahogany body beneath a short lid of creamy ivory froth. Surprisingly, the head retention is somewhat limited and it leaves little lacing about the glass. The nose is ripe with vinous, juicy, dark fruit and soft yeast notes (it's clearly not the Chimay strain; but possible La Chouffe...) over a delicate, biscuity maltiness. It's gently effervescent on the tongue with a fine-bubbled, median carbonation; and its medium-light body flows almost silk-like across the palate once it warms. The flavor is almost exactly as the nose indicates it may be. It starts with a combination of dark fruit and malt; warms a little to reveal some sweeter character as well as some balancing alcohol and leafy hops; and finishes with a slap of alcohol, some drying bitterbess, and more leafy hops.

Photo of cjgator3
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a chalice. Pours a dark brown color with a very thin tan colored head.

S- The aroma is a lot of dark fruits consisting mostly of prunes and figs as well as banana, spices and phenols.

T- The taste like the aroma features dark alcohol soaked fruits with a long warming finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- The drinkablility suffers a little from the higher ABV, but this is a pretty decent Dubbel nonetheless that I wouldn't mind trying again.

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Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 416 ratings.