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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

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262 Reviews

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Reviews: 262
Hads: 418
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 7
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.
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Reviews: 262 | Hads: 418
Photo of Radome
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted froma bomber bottle.

L - Deep mahogany brown with strong red hue. Very clear. Off-white head starts thick and fades to a solid sheet speckled with large bubbles, along with thick lacing. Very attractive.

S - Aromas are a mix of fruit (plum, prune, raisin) and grainy malt. No hops.

T - The flavors are like the aromas, a mix of stone fruit and grainiy malt. Some spice cake and graham cracker breadiness. No hops or obvious yeast.

F - Medium body. Mouthfilling, slightly prickly carbonation. Low-moderate hops bitterness. Low alcohol burn. Dry, slightly acrid finish.

O - The appearance and aromas are outstanding, but the flavors are good but not great.

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

An unimpressive Dubbel in my opinion, and that's that if was on draught, at the Abbey Brewing Co. in Miami Beach, Fl. One of their house beers. If I'm drinking a 9%-ter, I wan't to be taken on some sort of a journey. This one just fell flat on its face. Thank god for samples. Had their triple and it was better, but unimpressive as well.

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Photo of EStCharles
3/5  rDev -17.4%

A: Dark brown, copper-brown when held to light.

S: Alcohol, dark fruits, chocolate, hints of yeast.

T: Medium to strong Sweetness, light-Chocolate flavors, dark fruits, autumn spice, Coca-cola, almost no bitter/hop bite.

M: A little thin, but a little syrupy like soda, heavy sweetness.

D: Depends on your taste, but I think it is too soda, syrupy, and sweet.

Overall: I think in the class, this beer is too chocolaty, syrupy, and sweet. It is missing spice complexity, lite-fruits, fruity-yeast complexity, bitterness and hop complexity; overall it is off in taste for a Belgian double. I wouldn't consider it a Belgian double in a blindfolded taste test. It tastes more like a lite, perhaps fruitier and spicier, seasonal sweet chocolaty stout to me, but definitely misses the mark on a Belgian style double. The sweetness is too overpowering and Coca-cola tasting, and this really kills the beer.

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Photo of stevoj
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Well done dubbel. Nice aroma of molasses and dried fruit. Pours dark brown with oily head. Taste is spot on dubbel, woody, fruity, sweet. Maybe I won’t miss Belgium so much after all.

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Photo of avalon07
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was an inch and a half of off white, foamy, long-lasting head. Good, but not great lacing.

S: A nice aroma of yeast, malt, spices, and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of malt, Belgian-style yeast, figs, spices, and a bit of chocolate. Not a bad flavor, but it does frontload everything, leaving not very much for the finish. It gets a bit thin. Still, not bad.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a decent enough beer and worth a shot, but not the best Dubbel you'll come across. Drinkable, though.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at BJ's in Sacramento, CA.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, dark fruit, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast and spice bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice balance between the toast, fruit, and spice qualities.

Serving type: on tap.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, light banana, caramel, toast, candi sugar, brown bread, light chocolate, clove, light pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and balanced dark/bready malt sweetness; with solid strength. Taste of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, light banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, candi sugar, brown bread, light chocolate, clove, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Moderate amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, light banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, light chocolate, candi sugar, clove, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with a nice malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately slick/crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice dubbel. Good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mschind
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

22 OZ in the new style bottle. No date.

A- Gave it a vigorous pour into an Affligem chalice but not much head, just a foamy ring that seems to be lasting. Deep mahogany with some reddish hues. Translucent and a bit cloudy.

S- Just about what you would expect, rich malt, spicy yeast, some dark fruit, a bit of alcohol.

T- Getting everything from the nose after a bit. Starts Neutral on the tip of the tongue and then sweetness comes through but balanced by a slightly bitter finish. Some mild raisin and prune notes and perhaps some cherry. Hops are barely noticeable, enough to bitter and maybe add some earthiness. Just a slight amount of yeasty funk.

M- Surprisingly thin for a 9% Dubbel. I was expecting something with a bit more body to it. However, the alcohol is nicely distrubuted.

O- This is a really good domestic Dubbel. Lacks the complexity and body of Ommegang or Allagash but at this price, it is just right.

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Photo of seand
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a reddish brown with a reasonable amount of off-white head. Just some film retains, along with a ring around the edge of the glass, leaving small bits of lacing.

S: Maple syrup sweetness with a touch of yeast.

T: Medium resin-y sticky sweetness, with a lighter sweet note throughout.

M: Full body, lightened up by the significant carbonation.

Overall, quite nice. The mouthfeel in particular is very nicely matched to the flavor.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on January 25, 2014.

It pours a deep mahogany brown color with a modest tan head that lingers briefly and then fades down.

Wow! Does this have some sweet malts on the nose along with brown sugar, fig, or other dark fruits, and a kind of butter-like note.

The body is medium to a bit better than medium.

Ridiculously sweet taste with a powerful malty character. The sweetness is almost overpowering and way over the top. Finishes clean. Not sure if I would go out of my way to have it again.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a chilled La Trappe goblet.

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a beautiful deep mahogany with light brown around the edges, Lovely cream-colored head. Not much of a head: less than 1/4". Lacing is OK but not outstanding.

Smell 4.0: Lovely bouquet. Smells of dried, dark fruit, spicy Belgian yeast and many ephemeral hints of cellars and musty brewing facilities.

Taste 3.75: Front is slightly sweet with a very light hint of raisins. Big hit of rich malt in the middle with a slight taste of dried fruit and a very faint taste of a noble hop variety. Finish is where I detected a slight taste of alcohol, but this was quickly pushed aside by a warm maltiness and a pleasant sharp hit of acidity. Aftertaste was actually a bit short and featured a little more of the alcohol along with more of the malt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, pleasant and complementary.

Overall 3.75: A very good dubbel bordering on outstanding. The maltiness in this beer is way too much for the style and the alcohol taste is also distracting and way off the mark. This beer is also far too "big" for a dubbel: 9% ABV is probably from where most of the taste problems can be traced. Nonetheless, this is a darn good beer and is well worth the purchase, it's just that it is not the best example of a dubbel on the market. Even if it was brewed using solar power (as per the bottle cap).

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep amber with a tan/cream head Skim retention, no lace.

Some raisin, toffee, browned stone fruit, wood, vanilla, caramel in the nose. Could use a bit more intensity.

Toasted malt and bruised fruit. Some creamy notes, wood, vanilla, and alcohol. Clears to booze and bitter. Toffee and bread crust appear too. Lacks some intensity, but not watery or thin in any way. More on the dried side than fruity.

Fuller bodied, Ok carbonation.

I liked this, and for a domestic dubbed, pretty good.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.97/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

It took me a while, but I finally pulled the trigger on this one. It pours a clear ruby-brown topped by a finger of wan khaki foam. The nose comprises brown sugar, dried maple sugar, light cardboard, a hint of dark fruits, and a twinge of banana peel. The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger contingent of dark fruit and banana and a pervasive feeling of cardboard and old nuts. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda slick feel. Overall, this dubbel just didn't do it for me. I'm hoping it's past its prime, considering the strange and unappealing flavors, but I have my doubts.

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Photo of Muhly
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured 650 mL bomber into rounded beer glass.

A-Dark brown with red and amber highlights. Minimal head and head retention. Lacing is present, but dissipates pretty quickly.

S-Loads of sweet roasted malts. Maybe just a hint of banana.

T-Very malt forward with some cloves, raisins and pepper-like phenols.

M-Moderately heavy on the tongue with a good amount of carbonation.

O-a perfectly acceptable, but non-wow inducing dubbel. I think it's good value for the price if nothing else, but there are always more exciting, enticing options where belgian beers are concerned.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber poured into tulip 27/3/13

A clear reddish amber with a fair amount of bubbles but not much for head or lace just a short lived finger of tan foam

S brown sugar and brewers candy, some cola, spice I can't place, christmas cake, anise and a little booze, everything blends together quite well

T still pretty solid but not quite the harmony the nose had going for it, a little yeast and sweeter then the nose with slightly more booze, with some rum raisin

M medium bodied but it could use a few more bubbles, long nutty malty finish with just a little heat

O smells a highlight but nothing really sticks out good or bad, decent beer but no areas overly impressive

I doubt I'd buy another considering its 9$ for the bomber, one of those brews I don't feel ripped off but have no reason for a second

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - clear but very dark ruby, thumb of head dissipated to a thin cover with minor lacing
S - big fruit notes of grape and cherry, some brown sugar and warm bread, light spice
T - fruitiness is almost red wine like, a mineral quality along with some grains, some toffee maltiness, light sour and spice finish, definitely unique for a dubbel
M - somewhat heavy with relatively light carbonation, sticky with just a touch of alcohol dryness, a little too heavy for the style
O - it is definitely unique for the style in all aspects, very reminiscent of a rich red wine, definitely tasty but some minor deductions relative to the style

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

One finger of head on a dark copper colored body.
The aroma is caramel, candy and bread.
The taste is moderately malty sweet and balanced nicely with an underlying bitterness. Plum and dense wheat bread too.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation and heavy body.
I like it. A solid dubbel style ale.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color with a khaki colored head. Nose is really quite boozy. Some dark fruits, brown sugar, toffee, and mild spice. A little bit of banana and bubblegum, too. The flavor isn’t bad as far as the sugar and sweetness goes, good date, fig, and raisin fruit notes, mild banana, and a hint of spice. But the beer is just far too boozy to really be all that enjoyable.

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

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark russet brown, almost a sherry color. Small, short lived light tan head with little lacing. Light aroma of sweet malt and dark fruit. Dark fruits and malt up front with a sherry like middle and dry malt finish. Finish is somewhat lacking. Not quite balanced. A pleasant dark Belgian ale, but not outstanding.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It was pretty unremarkable, until drinking it. Poured a 1/8" almost taupe head which faded almost immediately. Hazy burnt umber brown body barely penetrated when held to the light. Smells OK but simply of malt. Then the tasting was a delightful surprise. Rich and malty like a strong bock, far more complex than the smell hints, and a nice smooth but substantial mouthfeel.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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

A: Clear dark brown with ruby highlights and a thin, soapy tan colored head.

S: A somewhat banana, cherry aroma with alcohol and a touch of roasted malt.

T: The flavors are also a little bit banana and some cherry with a more robust brown sugar flavor than what is shown in the aroma. It is sweet, maybe too sweet. The alcohol is there but takes a background to the sweetness.

M: I would say that it is a little low on carbonation for a dubbel. Still has a decent body though.

O: It's a decent Belgian Style Dubbel. Some good flavors, but may be a little too sweet.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark ruby brown. Medium sized of white head that recedes to a ring. Some messy lacing that slides down pretty quickly.
Smell: malty, yeasty. Dark fruits with a bit of spice and sour,
Taste: much as the nose predicts. Not deeply complex but a nice, tasty Dubbel.
Overall: My first Anderson Valley. Hope the rest are as good as this. Tripel or dipa up next.

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Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.