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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

378 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 378
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.91%
Wants: 8
Gots: 18 | 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: 378 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2005 04:53:58 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

08-23-2012 15:13:05 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

05-22-2012 19:44:31 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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

On tap at Anderson Valley in August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a burnt red bordering on brown with an off white head and a good amount of sticking lacing. Smell is cherries, chocolate, caramel, and nuts. A bit of spice. Taste brings forward some dark fruits as well as dark cherries and a bit of caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel is nice and coats the palate. Drinks quite well and is certainly one of the better American versions of this style that I have had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2010 12:09:19 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Dusky crimson with ripe orange edges. Backlighting brings out the bold richness of those colors and allows one to appreciate a fine sprinking of particulates and a restrained carbonation. The head is a thick slice of semi-stiff creaminess that is a cross between pale orange and lightest caramel. A fine looking dubbel.

Fruitiness dominates the nose. Let's go with brown mushy apples and pears, maybe even figs. It's slightly more sour than sweet. I'm fairly certain, however, that the candi sugar (listed in the ingredients as demerara sugar) will make a good showing on the palate. There's some amount of phenolic yeastiness, although not as much as in most Belgian dubbels.

I'm happy to report that this beer tastes authentic. I'm not sure why an American brewer would brew a Belgian-style ale and use anything other than true Trappist yeast. Anderson Valley has done themselves (and us) a service by using the real deal. That would not have been sufficient, though. The rest of the beer has to hold up its end of the dubbel bargain. Thankfully it does.

I'm not saying that Brother David's is a dead ringer for a world-class Belgian, because it isn't. Its biggest sin is that it lacks the truly extraordinary depth and complexity that is contained in every last drop of those amazing Old World versions. It does hit the major style benchmarks, however, and is, therefore, good beer.

Fruity still runs the show. The flavor profile consists of fermented, bruised apples; fresh figs; and lightly caramelized sugar. It leans toward darker flavors of cocoa and molasses without quite getting there. Sour leads by a nose over sweet, which leads by a nose over bitter. As the middle of the bottle approaches, the beer does gain some complexity.

Excellent job of alcohol masking; I would never have guessed 8.5% (my bottle says 9.0%). That's getting into tripel territory and the fact that this is still such a friendly, easy drinking beer is nothing short of amazing. The mouthfeel is just fine. I'm always up for a little more viscosity, but have no quarrel with a lighter than average, slightly less bubbled dubbel.

Brother David's is a more than respectable attempt at a true Belgian dubbel. In fact, I don't remember too many other American versions that I've thought as highly of. Anderson Valley has a winner here.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2006 23:45:52 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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

A: The beer poured cloudy brown in color with a thin off white head that quickly disappeared. A light amount of carbonation is visible, which leaves a few bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are aromas of dark fruits and malty sweetness in the nose.
T: The taste has a moderate amount of sweetness and is very similar to the smell with flavors of dark fruits (raisins stand out in particular) and notes of caramel malts. There are also some hints of alcohol, yeast and a slight amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate. There is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is rather drinkable considering its level of alcohol content, although this is one that is better sipped.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 01:55:56 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a modest head forced by a hard pour; retention is fair, as is the lacing (not at all what you would expect from a dubbel)

Smell: A vareity of tones jump out, ranging from good (dark fruits and candi sugar) to bad (a musty, slightly fusel aroma - I hesitate to call it acetone because I don't think that's it but its as close as I can get)

Taste: The front end is fine, with sweet candi sugar infused fig and banana pudding flavors; mid-palate, some sharper fruit flavors such as pear and green apple emerge; after the swallow, the flavors fade and lack the depth and complexity from a classic Belgian dubbel

Mouthfeel: Slightly watery and lacing carbonation

Drinkability: There are some pros and cons to this beer, and that is disappointing from a brewery as good as Anderson Valley; if they can't pull off a top caliber Belgian, they should stick with what they do best

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2007 22:07:25 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 16:09:51 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After drinking the David Tripple a few weeks ago, this one is a bit lesser in profile. It looks similarly, maybe a little darker brown with some burgundy highlights. Light tan head rises up above active carbonation. Smells malty, lightly toasty, raison-ey, and prune-ey. Tastes similarly, but add in dates, figs, hazel nut, cloves, cinnemon and other sweet spices. Low hop flavor, but moderate esters from fermentation is my guess. Tingly to the palate because of carbonation and warming/phenolic alcohol. Sweet and dry to the finish. Nice beer overall, but try this one before the Tripple.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2005 16:15:00 | More by BEERchitect
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womencantsail

California

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 20:23:23 | More by womencantsail
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jaydoc

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +3%

10-20-2013 13:48:07 | More by jaydoc
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

2.94/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 08:03:46 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, dark brown color with a foamy, thick, tan, three-finger head. It left sticky trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of fruits, mostly cherry. It also had a nice sweet caramel malt aroma. There was a touch of boozy, alcohol smell, too.

T - It tasted of tart fruits (dried apple and cherry) with a sweet, biscuity malt flavor.

M - It was soft and a little sticky/bready. A light to medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a nice dubbel. Looks great and is very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2009 01:01:08 | More by zeff80
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 03:47:42 | More by biboergosum
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NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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 TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz rubber-wax-sealed bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a short off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, some spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is pretty decently balanced with flavors of caramel, brown sugar, chocolate and some dark fruits up front. There's a decent background of Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, although there are others that I would pick first, this is a decent Belgian-style beer to drink for a while.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2009 03:19:29 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -17.6%

10-15-2012 01:50:52 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours garnet red/chestnut with 1/2" of sand colored head. Healthy film goes all the way down & a bit of lacing

S: Choclate & a hint of fruittyness& a little booze once warmed up

T: Chocolate, dryness & breadyness up front. Oaky dryness & caramel latter. A hint of toffee & toasted grains as this warms. A little banana peel starts sneaking 2/3rds thrrough the bottle ( took a while). Finishes warming, dry with chocolate & caramel


MF: Low carbonation & medium bodied, with plenty of warmth (not heat)

Drinks easy enough, an allright dubbel, not much complexity or funkyness

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2007 04:27:10 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

07-09-2013 22:44:30 | More by Kegatron
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2006 15:15:43 | More by WVbeergeek
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WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark ruby red/brown color with a 1/2" tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a very malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with some roasted barley and maybe some chocolate malts. It's warm and yeasty zing. The taste is good. It has a rich, malty flavor that has hints of raisins and figs. It has multiple malts including pale, crystal, and roasted along with slight chocolate hint. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good beer, but nothing great. I like the malt bill and aroma as well as the warmth.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2005 20:34:48 | More by WesWes
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As I pour this the beer shows a brilliantly clear brown color, but it sits in my glass a completely opaque dark brown color. The beer has an initially two-finger thick, brownish tinged tan head. As I pour this a fruity note similar to rum wafts from my tulip glass. Concentrated sweet malt notes are found initially in the nose. The nose is a melange of caramelized malts, brown sugar, toasted glazed bread and an underlying fruitiness reminiscent of raisins and prunes. The aroma is definitely missing the spicy notes that are in a good Belgian Dubbel.

Thick and sweet up front, almost a shock to the palate. One expects a double to be rich yes, but with a certain lightness and quaffability that this brew doesn't even remotely have. Sweet with sticky caramelized malt notes, raisin like fruitiness and a touch of toasted grain character. The toasted grain notes help to add a touch of balance to the otherwise dominant sweet character.

This is not a bad beer, there are certainly no flavor flaws, but one expects an entirely different beer from a Belgian styled Dubbel; adding some spiciness and substantially drying this beer out would certainly be a good place to start. As is it might pair well with a chocolate dessert.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2006 21:11:25 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wasatch for including this in a trade.

22 oz. wax-top bottle, poured into a glass chalice:

Pours black (or pretty close) with a thin head that immediately becomes a thin, lasting, swirling patch.

The smell is of anise, prunes, fruity (in a "general" way, candy sugar, toffee and some grassy notes way in the back.

The tase is of dark fruits, candy sugar, roasted caramel/toffee, earthy. Sour, semi-rotten green apple pulls through as it warms, and approaches the end, causing me to re-consider lowering the score a bit, but...decided not to, as it was that much of a detracter. Alcohol well-covered. Fruity, sweetish finish.

The feel approaches airy, but with some heft to it.

This broadly fits into the style. A bit different (fruitier for one thing), and not quite up to par as a classic Dubbel, but a nice beer on its own, IMO.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2008 14:17:48 | More by jwc215
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Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9.9%

11-25-2011 23:06:35 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown, with a smallish white head, average retention, no real lacing.

S: Heavy brown sugar and malt.

T: Big notes of molasses and brown sugar bombard the taste buds from the get-go, light medicinal character there as well. However, none of the real yeast complexities you get with the finer Belgian examples.

M: Smooth and rather dry on the back end, slightly phenolic, crisp and medium-bodied, a solid feeling dubbel.

D: Not a bad dubbel, but there are plenty of others I'd rather have for the price.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 06:16:43 | More by Halcyondays
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Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.