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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 beerbellydaddy


2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It pours sort of dark bronze with a foamy root beer head; it leaves only trace lacing.

Weakly scented sweet caramel.

It tastes of citrus and oak, and leaves a bit of alcohol sting.

It’s kind of fizzy, but not annoyingly so; it is also rather thin and dry.

This isn’t great, but is enjoyable enough, if one doesn’t mind its boozy bite.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 23:27:17 | More by beerbellydaddy
Photo of hiku7


3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brother David's Double won a medal at GABF this year so I picked up a bomber at Bev Mo.

Pours opaque deep brown with a small beige head. No lacing to speak of. Head barely revives with a swirl.

Smell alcohol and some vinous vinegar, plus carmelized sugar initially, followed by a spicy yellow raisin malt finish.

Flavor has a surprising dirt-earthy bitterness plus a peppery spicy phenolic finish. Phenols are a bit much and the alcohol is way too prevalent. Just too boozy.

Medium full body, though it goes down smoothly except for the strong alcohol presence, which screams "take your time."

Overall, I like the spicy kick but the 9% abv is too much for the style and the body and malt is not big enough to hide it. I reasonably enjoyed it but won't be going back soon.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 03:42:25 | More by hiku7
Photo of rarbring


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

A clear dark amber, an off-white head leaving little lacing but with good curtains.

The smell is mostly malty with honey and sweet raisins.

The taste is dark burnt toffee, grape-fruit peel.

Medium carbonation, a coarse feeling, rather big body.

Nothing wrong, but a bit unharmonized and simple.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 20:25:46 | More by rarbring
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

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

Not a lot of foam to this, but may dubbels suffer from this sort of dysfunction. Brown and murky in color, as fits the style.

RAISINS! Yep, all caps. Sorry. But that's the impression when you smell it. After the raisins get done smacking your olfactory organs around a little you can sense some cocoa and a touch of rum. The flavor is identical with less alcohol presence. Although it doesn't tinge the flavor, it does tickle the edges of inside of the mouth, letting you know it's there and to be careful.

A nice American version of this style, not the best...not even close...but still nice.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 01:33:15 | More by Naugros
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Bear World in Watertown. From notes.

A - Poured a dark red, good carbonation, one finger of eggshell head. Bright. No lace, film of retention.

S - Dark fruit, lot's of sugar, very sweet.

T - Nice yeast character, a little spice, tons of brown sugar sweetness.

M - Nice carbonation, full body, sweet lingering finish.

O/D - Quite cloying. No a great Dubbel. Sweet and hard to finish, but not offensive, but too much of something I don't particularily like.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 13:23:06 | More by tbeckett
Photo of McD0uche


3.75/5  rDev +3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 02:47:26 | More by McD0uche
Photo of kojevergas


3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1pt 9.6 flz oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap poured into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of full thickness, good cream, and pretty decent retention. Colour is dark caramel brown. Generally appealing.

Sm: Yeast, caramel, some musty esters, heavy wood, and malt. Strange but not off-putting. Moderate in strength.

T: Hmm. Some chocolate and caramel are very nice on the climax, with a sort of christmas ale finish right after that - maybe the wood notes? Yeah: wood and light nut (hazel?) comprise the finish. It's also got a certain estery quality to the foundation. It sort of resembles a winter warmer, but with definite dubbel influences. It's got depth and complexity. It does manage to balance its wealth of flavours, but at the same time it's not particularly bold or unique. The alcohol comes through in the stomach, not the taste. I like it, strange though the build may be.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but rather thick. Suits the flavours.

Dr: The thickness and fullness of body slow down one's drinking pace, but the tradeoff is flavour. It's a flavourful luscious beer that I'm glad to have tried. The price could be better even here in California. I'd recommend this to any fan of the style (or to fans of Winter Warmers), but it's not exemplary.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 03:08:22 | More by kojevergas
Photo of nickd717


3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft review dated 1/28/2009.

Dark brown color with a very small off-white head. Dark fruits dominate the aroma. Not too authentically Belgian. Flavor is more dark fruits, caramel, and yeast. Slightly metallic. Medium on the palate. Pretty decent overall.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2011 20:56:04 | More by nickd717
Photo of BigSTing


2.1/5  rDev -42.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 02:18:56 | More by BigSTing
Photo of WillCarrera


3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown with amber highlights when held up, produces a finger of off-white head.

S- Sweet, with a sour, slightly pungent smell. Some alcohol and fruitiness in the background.

T- Very fruity and alcoholic, has some pretty good roasted, bready malt flavors hidden underneath. It has a sort of pungency at first that fades after a few sips, I was never able to figure out exactly what it was.

M- Medium bodied with a pretty thick but creamy feel. Alcohol is pretty warming.

O- A decent dubbel, it's worth a try but the alcohol is probably a bit overdone.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 03:50:21 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of dbossman


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

A: Dark brown with a quickly dissipating head and okay lacing

S: Sweet caramel and dark fruits; bready, sugary--brown sugar; some booze; lots of bready sweet malts

T: Sweet bready malts up front; boozy and a touch smokey; dark nutty fruits permeate the middle of the beer but then things fade at the end with a touch of a medicinal quality finishing things out

F: A bit thin throughout but enough of the beer does cling nicely to the mouth

O: A decent Dubbel; nutty, fruity, boozy--it loses a bit of the flavor on the back end but a decent beer overall

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 17:38:18 | More by dbossman
Photo of david18

New York

3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on a recent visit to Rattle N Hum in Manhattan and it was among a number of Anderson Valley beers available on tap that day. Overall, a very good beer but a little on the strong side for a double.

Color was a dark brown that was a little on the flat side but very pretty nonetheless.

Aroma was sweet and "belgiany", for lack of a better term. Very inviting and what you'd expect from this style of beer.

Taste was also very in line with the style--dark fruits, sweetness, esthery--but the alcohol was a little high which could be tasted and may have detracted slightly from the flavor.

Overall a very good beer. I wish I came across more beers from this brewer, as I like most of what they make.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2011 19:35:10 | More by david18
Photo of philerman


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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Dark brown, I guess the color of a weak coffee. As my buddy would say, a head thinner than a dime.

S: Sweet, somewhat pungent with a vingary (?) off-smell.

T: Much stronger than the other Double I've had a lot of recently (Flying Fish). Definitely shows it's ABV.

M: Not too tough to put down, but also definitely not sessionable.

O: Decent for the price (Believe I payed about $5) but not something to go out of the way for especially given the higher alcohol content for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 02:07:43 | More by philerman
Photo of impending


2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

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

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 05:09:28 | More by impending
Photo of csiewert


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

This beer pours a clear amber color with a finger of off white head with a slight amount of lacing and little retention. The aroma is strong with caramel notes and some maltiness. The taste is very malty and almost brown ale-ish. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth and nicely balanced, but fairly average. Overall an ok beer, but I'm not sure it really fits the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2011 02:30:23 | More by csiewert
Photo of Rayek


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

Brother David's hits my goblet with a deep garnet color. The head has an interesting tint to it that I'll describe as pale mahogany. It quickly falls to a light film and leaves just a little lace.

Super boozy for the style. The alcohol is quite present and adds a ton of warmth. Once past the alcohol, the beer brings forth lots of dark fruit in the form of black cherries, prunes and currants. Bitterness is quite mild and peppery. The balance is heavily boosted by the alcohol. The body is fairly thick for the style.

To me this beer is more of a Quad than a Dubbel. The intense heat is not in keeping with a style that is known for masking its strength.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 03:54:42 | More by Rayek
Photo of rKunda


4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker brown color, but very clear ale. I sloppily poured this into a glass, yet there is not much head that forms on this. The head that does form is pretty fizzy and poofs rapidly.

It's strong, 9.0% and it's somewhat noticeable in flavor and in smell, but it's not overpowering. The is quite strong is the flavor of this ale. It's almost fruity in a figgy kind of way and has a pleasant sweetness.

It drinks very smooth. It's got a little thickness going on and seems lighter on the carbonation (I usually like this in darker ales) and is overall a good beer.

I'd consider buying this in a bottle again. And I would order it if I saw it on tap in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 02:53:40 | More by rKunda
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 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 Glibber


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

Nice clear dark amber color, decent head upon pour, but dissipates down quickly. Smell alcohol, plum, some sweetness. Lightly carbinated, drinks smooth. Yeast, malt. I had the Rochefort 10 last night and this is not nearly as complex. This is a very good American beer, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 02:53:08 | More by Glibber
Photo of meadowstream


2.6/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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!

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 04:48:16 | More by meadowstream
Photo of Dalem


3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A slight bit darker than some Tripel Abbey ales I've seen and drank in the past. It's almost brown in it's shade even when held up to the light. The head was modest and faded out fairly quickly but a good bit of lacing all the way down. Notes of caramel apples along with a big blast of alcohol show up in the scent. There are the banana, spices and hint of honey thing in the flavor that are common for the style but they seem to get bossed around by too much of a grainy malt. As it warms the malts do step away somewhat but what seems to be left is something slightly lacking as far as a complexity as well as a little thin as far as the body is concerned too. One thing I did find interesting is that though the alcohol comes on quite strong in the scent it is hidden very well in the taste til you get almost to the very end. "Almost" because there is a hotness that comes out right at the tail that will bite you if you're not ready for it.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 08:57:17 | More by Dalem
Photo of amandebates


3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: High clarity, deep reddish brown with a light foamy head that dissipated quickly.

Smell: Yeasty, malty sweet with banana fruity esters.

Taste: Slightly bitter, roasted malt rounded out by yeast and toffee sweetness. Also, slight bite of alcohol. Lacks some of the complexity that I've found with Belgian dubbels.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, balanced carbonation.

Drinkability: I think I could drink a few in one sitting, which is great considering the 9% abv. I love this style of beer, and this has to be one of the better Belgian style dubbels that I've found made by American brewers.

(Review based on notes from a tasting on Jan 26, 2011)

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 03:08:51 | More by amandebates
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 02:56:42 | More by glid02
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan


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

Appearance: Dark red-brown. Slight head that forms to the side of the glass but is weak in the center. Very dark.

Smell: Balmy smell. Very alcoholic. A little bit of a banana smell. Lots of malt breadiness. Hints of spice.

Taste: Pretty much the same as the smell. Not super distinctive. Heavy breadiness. This is malty. I admit I an amateur at tasting belgian style. I'm probably not as good at picking at the flavors as others. I have had other Belgians that I prefer to this one in taste, Golden Draak comes to mind. This isn't a great beer, but it is well constructed.

Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel. Thick. It swishes around a lot. it doesn't burn the sides of my mouth.

Drinkability: Even though this is made by one of my favorite breweries, I won't buy it again. I'd rather try other Belgian Ales. I will give boonville credit for the low price of 6:99 for a 22 oz. Bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 11:02:25 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.