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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

383 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 383
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.91%
Wants: 8
Gots: 21 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 383 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goodbyeohio
1.63/5  rDev -55.2%

put this on the list of beers that trouble goodbyeohio. don't ask him if he wants any of this in trade. why? read on. maybe the weirdest reason yet.

appearance: dark red and brownish. it sure looks abbey!

aroma: wheaty and yeasty. musty notes and lack of a defined spice. a weird chemical smell. what the hell is that smell?

** after examination, i realize the 'wax top' is actually plastic. it smells like burnt chemical sludge and this smell has penetrated the beer **

flavor: bitter, yet very buttery. smooth. weird plastic flavor that tastes like the fake wax smells. combined with the beer, creates a salt water taste. alcohol is present but not overwhelming. mouthfeel is good but cannot make up for the devastating tragedy that is the smell and taste of this liquid that anderson valley calls 'beer'.

(barfing in corner)

goodbyeohio, Mar 28, 2005
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.03/5  rDev -44.2%

A - Auburn to red with medium carbonation. A large tan head with a lot of thick blotchy lacing. A nice look.

S - Extremely faint copper, some medicinal alcohol and a hint of dark fruits.

T - A bitter maltiness and a hint of cherries with a strong grassiness and mustiness. Some metals, iron and copper, are present. The aftertaste has a a lot of medicinal and a tiny bit of grassy bitterness - maybe a touch of lingering cherries. Not a lot of good in the flavor department.

M - Smooth, medium to thin, a bit refreshing.

D - Meh. High octane double with a flavor that is mediocre at best. The smell is virtually nonexist. It does look nice though. It is easy enough to drink in spite of negatives. I don't think I will have this one again.

mrasskicktastic, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of BigSTing
2.1/5  rDev -42.3%

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.

BigSTing, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of audiojon
2.23/5  rDev -38.7%

I saw this on the shelf at my local store and grabbed it as I had never seen it before. I was hoping to have found a deal on a Belgian style brew for a fraction of the cost, but alas was disappointed. I had trouble finishing the bottle, as this was far too unbalanced for my palate. Very sweet, but with zero complexity to balance it out. Very little carbonation, this was very close to drinking soda fountain syrup. Can't recommend this at all.

audiojon, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of Sixpoint
2.33/5  rDev -36%

Bottle looked good. Beer looked good. My face after I sampled this beer? Not good.

Promising burgundy expression and hue follows (a rather weak) representation of a Belgian Dubbel head. Thin and whispy, but what can you expect from force carbonation and filtering?

Slight brown sugar and spicy taste dominated in medium mouthfeel. Strange off-flavor persisting throughout.

Tastes more like a brown ale that was juiced up on steroids. Who is Brother David?

It's a shame. I like Barney Flats a lot; it's a classic American Oatmeal Stout. Belgian beers are not this brewery's specialty.

Sixpoint, Sep 18, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.38/5  rDev -34.6%

Presentation: Funky 22 ounce Bomber. Not the usual Anderson Valley presentation, the crown cap is covered in a black plastic wax affair that takes some getting off. The usual colorful label has been replaced with a two-tone cream and sepia affair. Labeled as ‘Brother David’s Double Abbey Style Ale’ and listed at 9.0% Alc./Vol. Described as brewed from ‘malted barley, hops, water, demerara sugar and special Trappist yeast’. The label also states that this is ‘Never Heat Pasteurized nor Sterile Filtered’, recommended to be served at between 40°F to 45°F, that’s 4.44°C - 7.22°C in real money.

Appearance: Very dark brown body that had some very dark ruby hints when I held this to the light. Light brown head disappears before your very eyes as the beer is poured. Carbonation is low.

Nose: Smells like a sweet sugary Soda drink. Uurgh!! Sickly and a tad underwhelming.

Taste: Darkish sweet and sour malts, soggy bread, sweet yeast lots of brown sugar and erm….lots of brown sugar. About as complex as something that is very simple. A let down and seriously boring.

Mouthfeel: Average feel, probably the best and most bearable part of this drink, but this is only average though.

Drinkability: Halfway through I started to have burps that reminded of the ones you have when you drunk too much Coke, fizzy and sweet. The last quarter went down the sink.

Overall: What the Hell was I thinking?? I had already tried the rather crappy Triple when I spied this at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, I picked it up to fondle whilst reading the label [as I do with all beers when I’m on a beertrip] but for some stupid reason I must have put this in my basket instead of back on the Shelf, I must be loosing it or the beer somehow brainwashed me, I didn’t even realize I had this until I got the Checkout. What a mistake.

It’s interesting that the label spells the word ‘Double’, a departure from the more traditional 'Dubbel', just like the beer itself!! Incredibly disappointing and just “so wrong”. Anderson Valley needs to excommunicate Brother David for this crap. Save your hard earned money!

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
2.42/5  rDev -33.5%

22oz bottle purchased at Julio's, Westboro, MA. Heavy black was-coated cap. Nice and tough to open, had to slit wax around cap with a razor blade and then uncap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over the clear reddish mahogany brew. Head lasts pretty well, with nice foamy lacing. Aroma is dominated by dark fruits and alcohol, leaving little room for the malts I would desire to see at least a bit of. The taste has the quickest of malt at the front, changing to somewhat bitter dark fruits, with a slight warming at the outset. Has a heavy, unpleasantly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both not so good, due largely to that killer aftertaste, which ruined the whole experience for me.

<Ended up being a drain pour, and upon reflection the aftertaste reminded me of vulcanized rubber, like a tire or something. Seemed similiar to the smell from the torn "wax" cap coating. Guess there must have been some sort of contamination there from their packaging.>

ppoitras, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of nicefix
2.42/5  rDev -33.5%

Sealed with some sort of black plastic that looks like wax, but underneath it's just a typical cap on a bomber. After a hard pour I got a small off white head with various sized bubbles which quickly diminished and there was some decent lacing. The color was a cloudy dark brown. Smelled of alcohol and maybe sour apple. Taste of sour apples up front with a good amount of carbonation and a pretty heavy alcohol and medium bitter finish. Medium body.

I really didn't like this one too much. I've had a few Belgian Dubbels and have enjoyed them all immensely. So even though this one is not actually brewed in Belgium, I expected to get something similar...nope, this one pretty much sucked.

nicefix, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of semihobo
2.45/5  rDev -32.7%

I like the bottle, true to AVBC with a bit of satirical Abbey Monkness. The waxy plastic was annoying, though.

Even with a vigorous pour, there's not really any head, just a ring around the rim. Color is a rich dirty brown.

Smells of spicy cloves, vanilla, brown sugar, apples, and kind of like a Charleston Chew. Alcohol tingles the nose. Powered by a typical but pleasant banana yeastiness.

Taste isn't as nice. Kind of metallic and smoky, sweet and clovey but dominated by alcohol. I guess when you shoot for 9% alcohol in a dubbel you'll get that, but it's not pleasant. Nice malts and some complexities but overshadowed by industrial negative tastes.

Mouthfeel isn't quite as creamy and delicious as Abbey dubbels, but isn't too bad.

This isn't awful, but it's not good for the style. The off-tastes and alcohol dominate. Still a good beer, but not what I was hoping for in a quality style from a quality brewery. Maybe the Triple will be better?

semihobo, Mar 02, 2006
Photo of maxwelldeux
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

maxwelldeux, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of mithrascruor
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

22 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark, translucent ruby brown color. Nice off-white lacing.

Smell: Nice subtle aroma of sugared plums, rasins, and dark cherries. Very light phenol smells.

Taste: Initial taste is of the figs and other dark fruit. Then a bit of alcohol flavors come in, and it finishes with a rather weird taste (I don't know if it was spices or what).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Has a disruptive prickly feel -- not sure if this is from the alcohol or carbonation (as it feels like carbonation, but I can see very little of it).

Drinkability: The aftertaste and the prickly feel make this not so easy to drink.

Just like the saying goes, "you get what you pay for" -- though quite affordable for a dubbel, it's really not worth it. Looks and smells nice, but something is just wrong with the finish and the mouthfeel.

mithrascruor, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

jophish17, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of drpimento
2.58/5  rDev -29.1%

Well this one is better than the tripel version just because it ain't so dang sweet. Still, not a lot to it other than- well: With an aggresive pour got a little light tan to cream colored head and a little lace. Color is a clear mahoganey. Aroma is vanilla malt fruit. Flavor is the same and not awfully complex. Body is ok and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor. I wont' finish the bottle. (Only a few sips actually.) Be good for cooking not drinking. Meh.

drpimento, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of meadowstream
2.6/5  rDev -28.6%

This came from a bottle from a local packie in Waltham. It was prominently displayed and was pretty fresh. I was pumped to try this because it was trucked all the way from California so it must be good, right?

Well, it wasn't horrible. The mouthfeel was what you would expect - not too thin, and maybe even a little heavy. The dark syrup flavor is there, and the yeast flavor is OK, too.

It is a bit hoppier than I expect a typical dubbel to be....bitter and not merely a more intense bitter than what you expect from a Chimay or Westmalle...it is a more typical IPA kind of bitter, in my opinion.

The taste was barely pleasant. It was definitely drinkable, but not $9/bottle drinkable. It was $3/bottle drinkable. It was probably the thickness of the syrupy flavor that put me off - the smokiness of the brew.

I think if the brewers eased up on the syrup (or dark malt?) a bit then this would be far better ale.

Edit: when I first submitted this the numbers came out to D+...and I guess I think it is not a good beer but it probably isn't a D+ on the scale beers are measured on here at BA...so I am going to adjust the numbers up!

meadowstream, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of EPICAC
2.6/5  rDev -28.6%

Appearance: Pours a lightly, hazy brown with a beige head that thins to a ring.

Smell: Light maltiness, candi sugar, dark fruit, alcoholic spice.

Taste: Sweet, caramel malts, candi sugar. Incredibly spicy alcohol in the finish with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Way too spicy.

Overall: I was not a fan, the flavors were average and the spiciness was overwhelming.

EPICAC, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of impending
2.65/5  rDev -27.2%

22oz into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear deep garnet, georgeous when back lit. Minor head subsided quickly, minor lacing.

Aroma is sweet, alcohol forward and backed with the scent of a scotch ale.

Taste begins proper than veers off course into mediocrity. Lacks complexity. Aftertaste which begins with a phenolic, alcoholic kick, is not a strength. Doesn't warm well, off flavors appear. Viscous mouthfeel.

no cheers
jd

impending, May 14, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%

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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of magictrokini
2.73/5  rDev -25%

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.

magictrokini, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.73/5  rDev -25%

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of lightly sweet caramel malt with some residual candi sugar. Taste is not overly complex with some bland caramel malts with some easily noticeable candi sugar. Body is a bit thin for style with OK carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Lacking some complexity and character with too much sugar.

Phyl21ca, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Vlaminck
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

Vlaminck, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of Thunder
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

Thunder, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of sendbeer
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

sendbeer, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of Crosling
2.78/5  rDev -23.6%

Blackened ruby with a large, fizzy, off-white head. Malt-accented aromatics, with hints of molasses, chocolate, coffee, roast and charcoal, along with a light hint of prunes, cassis and brown sugar. Medium bodied with a creamy and alcoholic texture. Flavor is malt accented, with little yeast presence, along with light chocolate, roast and nut flavors. Hints of raisins and prunes as well, but light. Laughable compared to true Belgians. Too roasty, more like a stout.

Crosling, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of studentofbeer
2.83/5  rDev -22.3%

--edit-- had this on tap and it had none of the issues, so it likely was a bad bottle...

Anderson Valley's Brother David's Double Abbey Style Ale. Comes in a 22oz. bomber with a wax seal over the cap.

Poured a tobacco brown into my ommegang goblet and shows red highlights in the glass. short light khaki head that went away pretty fast.

smell: bread and sugar, like toast and tea or something. pleasant and a bit winey.

taste: hrmm, this is a bit disappointing. There's an unremitting sourness that takes over the malt. There isn't the luxurious softness and malty depth I expect in a dubbel. A bit too much alcohol and a little metalic tasting. The sugaryness isn't even that striking. Bummer. could be a bad bottle I guess, but I dont think so.

studentofbeer, Sep 08, 2004
Photo of Derek
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%

Nice bottle. It's capped, but dipped in wax.

A: Dark brown & ruby. Pours with an off-white/tan head... no retention or lace.

S: Wonderful dark-fruit aroma (raisins, figs, prunes), that's very Belgian. Sweet maltyness (caramel, bread).

T: The alcohol is really upfront and a little harsh. There's a little spice, a little chocolate and a hint of pruney flavour. Definitely balanced to the sweet side, with a slight tart/acidity, but the overall flavour is predominantly alcohol.

M: Moderate body. Carbonation is lower than average (too low).

D: It's alright, but there's some tough competition in this style.

It's a decent beer, but it doesn't really live up to the style.

Derek, Feb 10, 2006
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Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 383 ratings.