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

Brother David's Belgian-style Double AleBrother David's Belgian-style Double Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

367 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 367
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.19%

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 367 | Reviews: 256 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dunit697


4.65/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I though this was an excellent beer. I was referred to drinking it by a classmate at a Beer class at Total Wine. I actually thought there was a plethora of flavor that came to the surface upon first drink. I did notice that this is one Belgian style ale that is better not sipped. If you are thinking about trying this one, get about one solid mouthful before you judge it.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 16:59:24 | More by dunit697
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Ommegang chalice this ale forms a nice sticky 3/4" tan head. The aroma instantly billows out of the glass with notes of caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, and spices. Very sweet. The taste was great. Roasted dark chocolate, rich and full in flavor. Slight spices towards the end covering up a little bit of that 9%. The aftertaste is smooth, leaving much of the dark chocolate maltiness present. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, full bodied, and well-balanced between sweet and bitter. Great for after a nice big meal.

I'm not sure what was up with a lot of these reviews on this. The cap wasn't hard for me to get off, the taste from the plastic never penetrated the cap into the beer, and there was a really nice head on mine after just a gentle pour into a chalice. I served it at room temperature, and although it was a little sweet for a dubbel, I think the flavor was delicious.

note: After I started looking at some more reviews I noticed that the newest ones tend to be higher for this beer. Maybe they made some recipe or process engineering changes in the production of this one... maybe you should give it another try, people-who-said-it-was-horrible.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2007 14:04:18 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of RootedFool


4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle, cap sealed over with a thick wad of black wax. The body is opaque, murky burgundy, and more mahogany-edged when held to the light. A mere whimper of a head rises, very bubbly, and disperses into a thin layer of creamy white film on the brew's surface.


Orange zest, cherries, nasal-cleansing alcohol (not unpleasant); closing on a baked plum and raisin deep sweetness. A background of stinky feet yeast persists throughout -- hey, I like it!


Upfront scrape of crusty sweetness, like caramelized brown sugar on a small slice of toasted sourdough, followed by an almost flowery sweep of bright sweetness -- what I thought of as flowery quickly turns into what tastes like marachino cherries -- and closes on a wack of alcohol heat in my gut, with a comfortable hum of slightly gritty hop bitterness throughout my mouth, and a receding aura of dark fruity sweetness.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Rolls perfectly around, with a nice feel to it -- heavy, not too heavy, just right.

Anderson Valley has never let me down yet.

Oh, and I purchased this at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.


Serving type: bottle

10-22-2004 03:15:49 | More by RootedFool
Photo of clickpush


4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour: 22oz bomber to tulip glass. Comes out very dark but transparent, extremely bubbly both within the glass and in the head. The tan head is small and thin, going down quickly to an ample halo and some small lacings.

Nose: Extremely strong aroma with noticeable alcohol content. Chocolate, caramel, wine, mint, plums. Very strong malts.

Mouth: Chocolate and bananas! Mmm. Some warmth in the exhale that leaves a lasting tart cherry flavor behind. Finishes with a bubble gum taste. Carbonation is nice and fizzy all the way through.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2006 17:09:01 | More by clickpush
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a surprise find at the local Buy-Rite. Stopped in to stock -up for the storm and found this gem. Wow 9.0%

Belgian-style double pours a clear red mahogany body beneath a half inch white head, minimal lacing. .

The aroma is vinous, dates, figs and plums, dried fruit and soft fruity yeast scent and sweet maltiness.

The flavor is almost as the nose pre-sages.. It starts with a combination of dried fruit and malt; some sweeter character as well as some balancing alcohol and floral hops; and finishes with a touch of alcohol, some drying bitterbess in a short dry finish.

Medium bodied brew with light carbonation that flows silk like across the tongue.

Very drinkable as a double, reminds me of New Belgium's product though it has been a while since I have had the latter.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2005 22:36:36 | More by Citadel82
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger light tan head, fades slowly, but leaves little lace. Deep clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisiny/malty. Starts sweet with caramelized malts, finish is smooth with hints of hops in background. Actually competes with a good Belgian double. $6.15 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2005 22:34:07 | More by jdhilt
Photo of eclaycamp


4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer comes out a ruddy and rugged brown. I went with a vigorous pour for this but still ended up with very little in terms of head. Cloudy with some light carbonation. Pulling the beer right out of the fridge, the aroma is very muted, with hints of raisin. As the beer warms I get more hints of dark fruit, with figs and plums to go along with the raisin. There's some nice brown sugar sweetness in the background, almost like molasses. Very enjoyable, just from smell alone. Taste is very fruity, with that sweetness from the nose helping to balance things out in the end. The alcohol in this beer certainly comes out, especially in the finish, but isn't obnoxious like others can be. This beer is very well rounded and smooth, from beginning to end. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 23:16:29 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of BrewMaster


4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle of this last night, served in a sniffer. The indeed spell it "Double" on the bottle, not "dubbel." The color is a nice amber to brown typical of dubbels. It has a frithy white 1 cm head on it too.

The aroma is yeast with some spiciness. And the flavor is very complex. Sour apple, yeast, smooth malt, and a warm alcohol flavor all come through. I can't quite put a name on the flavor in the aftertaste. It is malty but there is another flavor that I just can't name.

Notes: I think this beer would be well served by aging for six months to a year to balance and mellow out. The alcohol is out of place on the palate but still this beer is exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2004 02:36:33 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Strong aroma has earthy, malty and caramel notes with a hint of hops. It pours a dark coppery brown with a thick and rather persistent light tan head that leaves minimal lacing. Scrumptious flavor has caramel, malty, nutty, earthy and subtle maple syrup notes - not too sweet, very slightly hoppy. Rich texture has plenty of tingle and fizz, smooth yet lively - very satisfying. An excellent party to Brother David’s Tripel.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 00:58:09 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of zuggy9


4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This dubbel poured a nice opaque reddish brown with no head. The smell was sweet, with a mix of malts, caramel and some fruit. The taste is excellent, with a nice maltiness to it and clean fruit qualities. It has a noticeable warming, due to the alcohol, and is rather smooth, lacking much carbonation. Quite drinkable, though not without noticeable effect.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2007 04:19:07 | More by zuggy9
Photo of jmbranum


4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slight maple aroma. Dark mahogany clear brew with light tan head.

Flavor does seem true to style. Reminds me of Chimay Blue, but not quite as complex. Some notes of wine, maple syrup (this aspect reminds me of Paulaner salvator), very malt heavy. Some cloves. Lots of alcoholic warmth. Too much carbonation. Needs to be smoother to be on the same level as Chimay.

Good effort. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2010 06:56:45 | More by jmbranum
Photo of weeare138


4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first time I had this, I decided not to rate it b/c it seemed "off". I sat on this particular bottle for over a year and a half.
Appears a mahogany toned amber with a lush, off-white head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, raisins, perhaps a touch of munich malt with some pruney goodness.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a hint of cocoa and toffee.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, dry, slightly sweet and tart, and drinkable with nary a touch of detectable abv.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 20:28:18 | More by weeare138
Photo of AlexMunse


4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured at around 50 degrees from a 32oz bottle into a 16 oz pint glass.

Pours very nice with a dark brown/red color and a very nice white head.

The smell is light and fruity, not too much bite.

Taste is the same, sweet and malty without too much bitterness.

I think a little less carbonation would be good for this beer, but thats the only bad thing I have to say about this one.

If the brewery was closer, I'd get another bottle. A very good American take on a Belgian classic

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 05:06:14 | More by AlexMunse
Photo of Sephiroth


4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle says its unfiltered and lists the ABV at 9%. Poured into a tulip, it is ruby in color. There is a moderate head that quickly dissipates to a cloud like swirl. The nose is of caramelized sugar and crystal malt.

The taste is one of sweet, dark, crystally, sugary malt. It is probably the sweetest dubbel I have ever had. Even so, I am thoroughly enjoying this bomber. The mouthfeel is thick and coating, much like the tripel from this brewery that I just reviewed. I would gladly have another if my budget would permit. I will seek more of this to cellar for a short time.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2005 02:34:13 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of oelergud


4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 1 PT 6 oz glass bottle with the traditional Anderson Valley scenery this time in brown and tan colors.
Opaque maple brown body that lets abit of brown and ruby light through at the edges. Light tan head that falls very quickly and leaves very little lace.
Sweet almond, brown sugar, caramel and prune scent with some alcohol and toasted hops.
Warm caramel sweetness and spiced hops, raisens, prunes, brown sugar and a hint of alcohol and metal. Aftertaste is well balanced and delicious.
Medium body with some coating and lots of residual sugars.
Delicious and very drinkable.


Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 04:16:31 | More by oelergud
Photo of scalffd


4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Anderson Valley Brewery.

Pours a dark amber with a medium off-white head. Scent is fruity. Taste is smooth with fruit and flower hints. Slight astringency in the end. I really enjoyed this beer and it is a fairly good example of the variety brewed in the US.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2009 04:48:31 | More by scalffd
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2005 01:20:56 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of AaronHomoya


4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bottle with waxed seal top.

Poured into my chalice glass, this beer was a very dark brown with some slight hints of red. Minimal head faded quickly. Almost no visible carbonation.

Smell was sweet of malt, with some alcohol, a bit of roastiness and some dark fruit aromas as well.

The taste was a great mix of malt sweetness, some roasted malt and dark fruit and a touch of hops at the finish. Some alcohol flavor in there too, as well as caramel. A tasty beer that's heavy on malt flavor but has just enough hops to balance.

Mouthfeel was medium-light and had very little carbonation. Clean feeling, though.

Drinkability was very good for 8.50% ABV and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole bottle. A nice break from the super-hopped beers I usually go for.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2006 13:55:49 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of abcsofbeer


4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle. The liquid is a cloudy, orange brown color with a thin head resulting from a slow pour. The head sticks around quite nicely to the bottom of the glass, leaving sticky, thick sheets of lace.

The aroma is a fruity caramel malt smell that is not very well presented. The flavor is a heavy malt taste with some sweet grape on top. I detect very little hop flavor. The mouthfeel is chewy and very tangy and has some nice touches of warming alcohol. The carbonation is fizzy and everlasting. Overall, I thought this was a fine example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2006 13:45:00 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of objectivemonkey


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

Into a Duvel tulip glass, pours a deep, dark mahogany, a creamy off-white to light tan head forming atop, a bit bubbly, some nice fine effervescence just below the head when disturbed, some splotty lacing near the head on the way down.

The aroma is rich with dark fruits, raisins and figs, over-ripened pears and apples, and some obvious candied sugars lend a nice touch. The taste goes much the same way, as it leads with a dry leafy hop and candi base, progressing through the darker fruits to the pear and apple, again well ripened, and ends drying, warming, wanting. The mouth is also quite excellent, with a solid body, nice warming, and that fine carbonation. Its pretty darn good.

Yet, maybe its because I know what I'm drinking, but in going after a distinctly European style, it fails as many other things American do: it lacks the depth of character, the slight nuance that the old school, tried and true Dubbels have. But, in going after that mystique, its a noble failure, if ever so slightly. In the end, its still a lovely beer, and aside from Unibroue or Ommegang, who specialize in these styles, I can't think of another American make Dubbel (or, Double?) that almost pulls it off as well.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2007 04:44:07 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of iasanlee


4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark ruby red. Very clear with one finger of creamy white colored head

S- Figs and fruit, Very sweet. Toasted malt.

T- Very malty. Toasted biscuits. More figs, and medicinal syrup. Very slight hop bitterness. Huge sweet malty finish.

M- Thick and syrupy. Coats the mouth with moderate carbonation.

D- Absolutely delicious. Alcohol is subtle for the ABV. Better than some Belgian dubbels I have had. Loads of flavor, so would be hard to drink more than one in a sitting. This was a great Christmas present, thanks Rob.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 05:43:04 | More by iasanlee
Photo of kegger22


4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brother David's dubbel is a garnet/brown with a generous, off-white head that fades to a collar. The aroma was alcohol, the promise of sweetness and apples that are starting to spoil. The taste follows the nose, but I get a bit of banana and some sour too. The feel is medium bodied and oily, with little carbonation. Drinkability is good.

I enjoyed Brother David's dubbel a great deal, my favorite dubbel to date. It was plenty complex for me and the fact that it was not over carbonated was a plus.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 05:42:42 | More by kegger22
Photo of david131


4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A very deep dark leathery brown liquid with a thick and creamy off-white head. Looks very nice.

S- Brown sugar, clove, apples, pears, bananas, and bread. Very complex and enjoyable. If someone told me this was made in Belgium I wouldn't be surprised.

T- Brown sugar, fruits, bread, and alcohol. Everything goes nicely together, but it seems that there is something lacking at the tail end. Still very tasty.

M- Smooth carbonation with a warming alcohol presence. About what I would expect for the style.

D- A very well done American take on the style. Drinks nicely. I would be willing to wager that if this were more expensive and from a small European brewery this would have much higher ratings.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 05:11:12 | More by david131
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass, the beer pours a dark, crystal clear, ruby-brown color with a thin, densely bubbled, tan-colored head. Aromas of dark fruits, including prunes and dates, as well as spices and sweet malts. The flavors are very smooth and creamy, and a well balanced molasses taste comes over the tongue. Spices are present once again in the background, and it tastes a bit like cinnamon. The flavors are unbelievably smooth and creamy, and the aftertaste is just that hint of spicing again. The finish is smooth and light, despite the rich and creamy tastes. Very tasty Dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2011 20:53:38 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of CVC


4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Came in a 22 oz. bomber with wax on top; served in a pint glass. Pours a deep amber with reddish hues with a half-finger head that dies quickly. Leaves very little lacing. Smells sweet and sugary, yet dark--raisins, butter, and plums. Tastes really buttery and sweet, but also somewhat dark. An average mouthfeel, a little thin.

This stuff smells great. A very unique sweet plummy/buttery smell. Tastes good, too. Doesn't taste like 9% at all. Not impressed with the appearance though. All in all, a very good try on a Belgian style by Anderson Valley. I want to try their tripel now.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2005 20:55:59 | More by CVC
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Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.