1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

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.

398 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 398
Reviews: 260
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.91%
Wants: 8
Gots: 25 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 398 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kendo
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with ruby hints when held up to the light. A one-and-a-half finger ivory head fizzed up and quickly disappeared with absolutely no lacing. . . . Scent: "oaky" came to mind at first, but as I continued to sniff, I sensed burnt sugar and malt. . . . As for taste -- sweetness predominated, reminding me of burnt sugar, molasses and raisins, though the alcohol was also up front and there was a slight hop tang on the back of the tongue after swallowing. The more I drank, the more I noticed that alcohol warmth. . . As for the mouthfeel, I thought it felt a little bit slick, with below average carbonation. . . . I didn't find it to be tremendously drinkable; it took me awhile to finish half the bottle (I split it with a friend). . . . I'm glad to have tried it, but probably wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of Crosling
2.78/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of scooter231
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, reddish color with barely any head at all. Smell is pure chocolate- so chocolatey- nothing but chocolate- a hint of maltyness, maybe, but ohhhh the chocolate goes on and on and on.

Taste is dark chocolate- it's surprisingly not overly sweet as one might expect, as one finds with, say, Brooklyn's chocolate stout- it's very deep. Mouthfeel is flattish and thin, doesn't really compliment the chocolateyness. Drinkability-wise, this is a very tasty and easy to drink brew. Alcohol is way sneaky, and it's just so tasty. A wonderful dessert beer.

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

The bottle says this is 9%... perhaps a newer formula?
A decently rich and tasty dubbel. I think I enjoy this more than I enjoyed their tripel.
Chocolate, dark dark sweet cherries. Smells very malty. Tastes pretty malty on top of the other flavors.
The aforementioned 9% is not detectable in the flavor at all.
Better than I was expecting given many other reviews.
Pretty sweet, kinda thick... drinks a little like a doppelbock at times.
Stabs of red wine moments... might turn pretty winey when too old...
A pretty good job!

Photo of nlmartin
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a very pleasing dark brown coloration with a ruby opaqueness to light. There is a very good 2 finger tan head present on the beer. The head sadly collapses quickly.

Smell: The has a great caramel-choco maltyness. There is an abundance of dark fruit raisins dipped in rum. The alcohol smells spicy.

Taste: This beer is as the smell. There is a well layered concoction of caramel roasted choco-maltyness. The beer has a somewhat biscuity quality. The alcohol is well incorporated in the taste.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkabililty: This is a full bodied lightly carbonated beer. The alcohol seemed well incorporated in the beer. This was definately better than the triple.

Photo of aleyeast
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle with wax(plastic) capping: childproof lock I assume

lace on top of a sable colored beer, very pleasant looking

raisin, alcohol (warmth mostly), and sweet caramel on the nose

chocolate and toffee finish, less fruity than I envisioned, almost lackng the yeast profile, clean I would say

thinner feel, but warms up nicely

highly drinkable and probably dangerous at this abv

All in all, I would recommend a try, and another good product from a quality brewery

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brother David's Double comes encased in a thick coat of black wax/plastic covering the top of the bomber. After breaking out the wine servicer to get to the cap, it pours into my tulip glass a deep dark brown with garnet hues and a half inch of khaki foam atop the brew. Enticing! Aromas of sugary roasted malts hinting at chocolate and caramel. Molasses and plums with almost a sour dark fruity twang. Spicy yeast phenols add an earthy aspect with some bready tones.

First sip brings rich roasted maltiness with hints of cocoa, caramel and an array of dark fruit. This is followed by a mix of candi sugar, cinammon, anise, molasses and nutty flavors. Spicy yeast is apparent with each subsequent sip and adds an nice element to the brew. Finishes with a fresh baked bread aspect and subtle lingering smoky nuttiness. Overall it's a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess and stable carbonation. Goes down smooth with no real note of the 9% alcohol content. Overall, I thought this was a tasty brew that I wouldn't mind having again. A nice job on an American brewed dubbel. Thanks to goodbyeohio for the opportunity here.

Photo of GreenWBush
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First off, what's with the wax-dipping these days? Surely this is a pure marketing ploy to add "high class" to the visual presentation. It does look cool but boy does it make it hard to rip right into the beer. And I am more than an instant gratification kind of person...anyways, I digress.

All rants aside, Brother David's dubbel pours out a deep brown, bordering blackened ruby with audible, and very noticable buzzing carbonation. This all results in a modest tanned skim that reduces to mere wisps of lace on my tulip glass.

The nose of this beer is largely yeasty and slightly generic with spices and candi sugar. Suggestions of clove, incense, and herbal extracts. Grainy malt swims around in there somewhere.

Taste is initially super-sweet and grape-like. Big yeast profile concedes to unfermented and grained sugars. Bread crust like malt character comes up under burnt sugars and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is bubbly, and a bit cutting, following the loud suggestions of the pour. Doesn't have the super slick, smoothed velveteen thing going on that well-crafted (or at least well-aged) examples exhibit.

Not at all crave-worthy.

Photo of audiojon
2.23/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of semihobo
2.45/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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?

Photo of RedHaze
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. It has a quarter inch head that quickly fades to a thin ring, which leaves behind only traves of lace.

Smell; lots of darks fruits; raisins, plums and bits of apple. There's also some brown sugar and chocolate thrown in.

Taste; initially the alcohol has a very strong presence. Once you get past that the fruit flavors of raisins and plums come out, as well a bit of spices and some chocolate. Once I let this warm up a bit the alcohol was more subdued than it was with the first few sips. Mouthfeel is a bit weaker than I would have expected for a double, especially with the low carbonation.

Not my favorite of this particular style, but it's still pretty decent. I enjoyed this much more than their triple.

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

A - Pours a nice ruby/reddish brown color, some carbonation, little head/or should I say lacing which stays around throughout the whole drink.

S - Scents of raisins, grapes, figs, and sweet malts. Very Belgium like.

T - The taste is sweet and tangy, with a clean finish. Alcohol content is hidden very well, also a little warm feeling going down.

M - Medium body, slightly carbonated.

D - Very drinkable. Would buy again and again. Another excellent brew from Anderson Valley.

Photo of Derek
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of ShireExfiguniter
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a narrow head and settles with strands of lacing. The effect is not so much disappointing as minimalist. The dark tint and translucence of the liquid in my Duvel tulip conspire to suggest watery root beer -- nothing thicker.

The taste is a peculiar splice of dubbel and stout: the cream and bitterness of an ordinary Irish tap stout mingle disquietingly with a generic American dubbel's cloying sweetness. It is unintentional sarcasm in a glass.

The taste and texture remind me not of Guinness but of Harp: the creamy blandness makes it as drinkable as milk; BDBSDA is fun for the tongue to bat about the mouth. Only the inappropriate hints of toffee and fig render the taste unsavory.

The high alcoholic content is welcome if one likes being tipsy; however, it doesn't do much for the palate. I've always enjoyed the thirst-slaking lemony tartness of Unibroue 10 and Edition 2004, which might be due, in part, to the high abv's being paired with a superb use of hops. Nothing close to that experience is likely with BDBSDA. This pseudo-dubbel is quite guzzle-friendly in the sense that, like Harp, it goes down easily. It works best in the company of noisy friends and massive distractions, where it neither calls attention to itself nor withers the nuzzle buds.

The verdict? Situational. If I were reclining in a generic pub in Times Square in a state of refined intoxication, I wouldn't hesitate to order (and savor) a brimming goblet. If, however, I happened to be relishing Westmalle Tripel at Vol De Nuit, I wouldn't want to remember this milquetoast's ale existed.

Photo of blurdl
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i like this one a bunch...really making me happy right now

getting the "wax" off the top was fun
poppin the cap was silent, no pressure, lil scary
doesn't have much of a head but it's still pretty
the dark brown color is pleasant and pretty opaque
oooh, tastes nice, real nice

a good dubbel there brother david! bravo!

raisins, chocolate...very familiar but a lil thin
reminds me of a good belgian dubbel in all the flavors
but it feels a lil too drying for my tongue's preference
goes down real easy though

was splitting a 22oz bottle with the lady
but i'm glad she gave up after a few sips
(not due to her opinion of the beer)
tasting nice as it warms up
even easier to drink

for my first anderson valley i'm psyched to try more
been a member for 2yrs and this is my first review, if that means anything

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

Appearance: Cloudy brown with a thin, tan head that leaves a bit of bubbly lacing on the glass.

Smell: Orange, Apple, Date, Raisin, Grapefruit, Bread, Biscuit

Taste: Spicy apple and date with a hint of biscuit and a bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than expected. There is a bubbly effervescence that fits well.

Drinkability: The uniqueness of this beer makes it a bit to much for a regular go-to beer, but worth a try.

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

Pours a muddy deep red/brown color. Very minimal head.

Aroma is fruity, raisins, plums and other dark fruits. Some good phenolic spice aromas, too.

Flavor is more dark fruit and spice. Slightly roasty on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very full, but not very carbonated.

I like this beer. Gonna have to get some more.

Photo of Sammy
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.

Photo of HochFliegen
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a vibrant blood red with very thin layers, not much more than wisps, of tanish colored froth on top of the liquid.
Smell is sweet with some malt and plums. Slight spice scent as well.
The taste was sweet with carmel and fruitiness. Some spice flavors not as much as I would have liked. I expected some more in a Dubbel. It did have a nice hop bitterness to it that was blended well with the alcohol flavors and wamring. Taste of brown sugar as well. Not as complex as some other Dubbel's Ive had but not bad or undrinkable by anymeans. It had a slightly watery consistency to it as well. Overall not true to style but a decent beer.

Photo of DogFood11
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Belgian Dubbel poured into a tulip formed a dark brown with some lacing and moderate head. spicy / phenolic with a huge alcohol splash. Fruity but subtle. Mostly rasin/plum. I enjoyed the bitterness in the profile. This one lingered more than most. The sweet balance was laid back and welcomed. Light mouthfeel. I was impressed with the body. . Nice...

Photo of Sixpoint
2.33/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of WesWes
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.

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 bomber with wax around the cap; no cork here. Very dark amber brown. First glass had almost no head. Second had a nice light tan fluffy head that faded quick.

Smells of dark carmel malts with some alcohol. Tastes the same way, but more intense. Some bitterness brings up the rear. Only a bit of the requisit belgian flavor. Full bodied with creamy smooth mouth feel with some carbonation finishing. Overall, not a terribly complex beer yet not undrinkable.

Notes: first tastes were not impressive. I guess as the alcohol sinks in since it becomes much more drinkable.

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

Brother David's Double Style Ale poured from a 22 oz. brown bottle that had been dipped into black wax. I poured mine into a snifter, and I picked it up at LifeSource, an organic food market in Salem.
The beer poured a deep brown color with a very visible carbonation and a head that came and went very quickly. Visually it loked like pop, pepsi or coke or something of that nature. The aroma was of a fruity spice with hints of a variety of different things: citrus and cinnamon being predominate. The taste is of a brown sugary sweetness to it with some roasted nut and cinnamon flavor as well. Not overly complex or what I had expected, but not entirely bad or disapointing.

It's drinkable, but not very extraordinary. After dropping almost $5 on this bottle, I don't know when or how often I'll be reaching for this one.

Photo of WetCoaster
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amazingly cola-like; fizzes like a Pepsi. Color is pretty similar as well, very cola oxblood, fizzy head, yet nice head, blows up and disappears very quickly. Regardless, definitely looks like a dubbel.

Smell: Dark. Deep. Back to it again, but yes, cola, with dark malt, dark fruits, dark soul, death... It's sweet, but spooky.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Keeping to the theme, like a rum and coke. Really. Mild smoke, raisin, plum, burnt sugar, flan and very, very boozy. Mouthfeel is pretty great; that kind of fizzed-out dubbel thing working, but so big and chewy. It's cool.

Drinkability: Well, if you like waking up naked in a ditch in Mexico, great. Just SO massive; basically an imperial dubbel. This is the baddest dubbel around, just a bad mutha-scratcha. Still, quite true to the style, and SO much better than the accident with fatalities that is their "tripel." If you think you've had dubbels, this is the dropped gauntlet. Good luck.

Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.