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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.

379 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 379
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 8
Gots: 19 | 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: 379 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goodbyeohio


1.63/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 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)

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2005 13:54:49 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of BeerManDan


3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

At first, I thought with the smell of sweet fruit, mixed with a candy like aroma and the color being of a medium dark brown with no lace, that it was going to be the better belgium ale, other tha the tripel. But, it wasn't. Although the taste of a sweet/tarte flavor on the palate was understandable, I didn't like that sour aftertaste on this ale. That sour aftertaste ruined a good thing! But, I find that with most of there beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2005 23:07:56 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of xgrigorix


3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown 22 ounce bottle - no dates.

Dark mahogany. Impressive beige coloured head very quickly falls to nothing.

Smells spicy, with light alcohol vapors.

Nutty, spicy. Raisins & plums. Sweet caramel, & an off putting metallic flavour. Medium bodied, fluffy, rugged carbonation. Needs work.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 18:09:19 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

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

Light tan head, clear dark amber-red liquid. Sweet candi sugar and malt nose, some light chocolate. More chocolate in the taste followed by sweet maltiness and some brown sugar then some nice hoppiness. Finishes on a sweet note, very drinkable, very good.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2005 20:08:31 | More by beerluvr
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was asked by the bartender if this was the double or the triple on 2/25/2005. 12-oz. goblet pour at the Sunset.

Just a wick of sheen on the top, otherwise noting else. Amber hue with a calling haze and no action at all. Good-joy hit of hoppy fruit champer that smashes the nose and challenges to a hoe-down. Fruity goodness on mouth that bursts like a Nestea plunge in mid-winter with the ice holding; hop character is present and not subtle. Wouldn’t have more than one of these.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2005 01:09:56 | More by Truh
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle, with freshness dating, Great rubbery seal poured over the cap and dripping down the top of the bottle. Pours dark with amber hues. Minimal head and no lacing left behind. Rum, raisin and alcohol nose and up front on the palate. Also dark bread note picked up.. Big, bold and tasty brew. Complex and flavorful. This is a worthwhile American made double, not easy to find this one in my neck of the woods

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2005 18:37:57 | More by Billolick
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brunt brownness and seemingly thin from the relative clearness of the brew. Collar of tan cream. Here goes the Belgian yeast...witbier character, citrus zest, coriander, lightens where booze is revealed. Woody and musty.

Taste is good but short-lived. More witbier, citrusy sweetness. Tangy. Lightly sour. Slightly unpleasant taste towards the end, dry in the mouth. Apricots.

Buzz of tight carbonation. Clean finish. Drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 06:50:25 | More by donnebaby
Photo of tjd25


3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin head with average retention on a dark mahogany color body. The smell is roundly malty, with wooden notes and a strawberry character, more like strawberry marmalade. Yeasty, cloves and citrus. The taste is pretty similar to the smell, and kind of unimpressive. Malty and a little bit sticky, with an earthy character. Wooden notes with a very light hint of liquorice. Fruity notes of cherries and apples, with a lasting apple juice character mixed to light chocolate and roasted coffee notes. Alcohol gets noticeable, but I still didn't think it was 8% strong.
Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy, but mostly thin for the style. Hops bring some light chewyness, but it is overall thin. Drinkable, but not excessively enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 06:28:31 | More by tjd25
Photo of Todd


3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Sunset Bar & Grill.

Dark brown with an off-white foam lace. Sweet malt aroma with yeasty in the background. Smooth mouthfeel, though a too thin, with malt flavors of caramel and chocolate chip cookie sweetness, and some biscuit. Dark fruits. Slight, and brief, hop bite ... some orange blossom and leaf smoothing in. Alcohol is warming, touch of spice. Sweet finish.

Nice stab at the style, but pretty average.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2005 02:30:13 | More by Todd
Photo of carln26


3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber to mahogany in color, it poured very clear from the Very slight head that settles to virtually no lace. The nose has roast malt, a distinct licorice character and a mild hop flower back. The taste is a toffee/figgy malt. The licorice character is very slight, almost non existent. The hops are just an accent. More citrus in the flavor profile. Rich mouth feel, slightly oily. There is a decent alcohol warming , but the beer in general has only a mild drinakbility. Interesting beer from a brewery that is very UK/California influenced.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2005 20:47:26 | More by carln26
Photo of Troyone


3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance has limited head that disappeared, a dark root beer color, and is difficult to see the carbonation.
Smell has a cookie, toasted molasses, and mild chocolate coffee malt aroma; with light perfume, spruce, and orange hops, and hints of brown sugar and licorice.
Moderately light sweet acidic taste that definitely resembles the smell with a more pronounced flavor of chocolate and coffe malt; grapefruit orange hops; and hints of a ruby port, (no salt) soy sauce, maple syrup, licorice, and cola.
Mouthfeel has a medium body, dry slightly syrupy texture, soft lively carbonation, and a slight soft metallic finish.
Drinkability is stable for this type.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2005 07:07:51 | More by Troyone
Photo of mzwolinski


3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a thin, light tan head. Aroma of dark fruits and malt, with a slightly roasty and nutty character. Malt develops a biscuity character in the flavor, followed by more dark fruits and a nice leafy hop finish. Alcohol contributes a bit of spice to the back-end. Fairly well-carbonated, leading it to feel a bit light in the mouth. All in all, a pretty tasty brew, if not terribly exciting. Definitely a step up over their triple.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2005 16:38:57 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a surprise find at the local Buy-Rite. Stopped in to stock -up for the storm and found this gem. Wow 9.0%

Belgian-style double pours a clear red mahogany body beneath a half inch white head, minimal lacing. .

The aroma is vinous, dates, figs and plums, dried fruit and soft fruity yeast scent and sweet maltiness.

The flavor is almost as the nose pre-sages.. It starts with a combination of dried fruit and malt; some sweeter character as well as some balancing alcohol and floral hops; and finishes with a touch of alcohol, some drying bitterbess in a short dry finish.

Medium bodied brew with light carbonation that flows silk like across the tongue.

Very drinkable as a double, reminds me of New Belgium's product though it has been a while since I have had the latter.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2005 22:36:36 | More by Citadel82
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
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 CVC


4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Came in a 22 oz. bomber with wax on top; served in a pint glass. Pours a deep amber with reddish hues with a half-finger head that dies quickly. Leaves very little lacing. Smells sweet and sugary, yet dark--raisins, butter, and plums. Tastes really buttery and sweet, but also somewhat dark. An average mouthfeel, a little thin.

This stuff smells great. A very unique sweet plummy/buttery smell. Tastes good, too. Doesn't taste like 9% at all. Not impressed with the appearance though. All in all, a very good try on a Belgian style by Anderson Valley. I want to try their tripel now.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2005 20:55:59 | More by CVC
Photo of Reidrover


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

Saw this at my local Organic grocer. Had tried the Tripel and found it satisfactory if not overwhelming.
The bootle looks like the one in the display but with some black wax sealing the cap.
A dark brown almost mahogany coloured ale..small tan head that does not last for long..some lacing.
I liked the aroma of this its very "plummy" ,fruity and spicy but not over whelming.
Again the taste is quite sweet but with a spicy orangy bitterness to balanceslight medicinal aspect to the alcohol.
Its nice on the tongue ,but could be a bit less thin .
Its a nice Dubbel..not to bad and quite drinkable for the 9% alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2005 03:39:20 | More by Reidrover
Photo of RoyalT


3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one poured a dark brown in color with a modest, lightly-tanned head that went down rather quickly.

Smell – The malts here are almost like a heavy bock. There’s some light yeast present in the nose as well. I can pick up some sort of hopping and a light table sugar.

Taste – The malts lead the way at the taste. They are very singular in flavor with some light, sweetened molasses and a good amount of maple syrup. The yeast from the nose barely shows up at the tongue.

Mouthfeel – This one is thin, I’d say barely medium-bodied, with a dull sense of carbonation and a heavy-handed sweetness at the finish.

Drinkability – This one wasn’t that bad, but it certainly needs a lot of work. It’s a complicated style though so kudos to AV for taking a decent stab at it.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2005 02:20:19 | More by RoyalT
Photo of clvand0


4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with wax over the cap. Pours a dark brown color with a small head that doesn't hang around long and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is chocolate and coffee with some dark fruit. The flavor is much the same with the chocolate and coffee being the most prominent with some raisin in the back. Has nice body and drinkability is good on this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 14:55:55 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2


4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one poured an amber infused deep brown color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is very sweet raisins, with a touch of chocolate in the background. Smells nice. The flavor is a nice blend between chocolate, coffee and raisins. Not a flavor combination I would have put together myself, but not bad at all. The feel is right at moderate, with a little bit of creamy texture. The beer is built well. A really nice take at a dubbel by an American brewery.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2004 03:06:36 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of RootedFool


4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle, cap sealed over with a thick wad of black wax. The body is opaque, murky burgundy, and more mahogany-edged when held to the light. A mere whimper of a head rises, very bubbly, and disperses into a thin layer of creamy white film on the brew's surface.


Orange zest, cherries, nasal-cleansing alcohol (not unpleasant); closing on a baked plum and raisin deep sweetness. A background of stinky feet yeast persists throughout -- hey, I like it!


Upfront scrape of crusty sweetness, like caramelized brown sugar on a small slice of toasted sourdough, followed by an almost flowery sweep of bright sweetness -- what I thought of as flowery quickly turns into what tastes like marachino cherries -- and closes on a wack of alcohol heat in my gut, with a comfortable hum of slightly gritty hop bitterness throughout my mouth, and a receding aura of dark fruity sweetness.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Rolls perfectly around, with a nice feel to it -- heavy, not too heavy, just right.

Anderson Valley has never let me down yet.

Oh, and I purchased this at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.


Serving type: bottle

10-22-2004 03:15:49 | More by RootedFool
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


2.38/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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!

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2004 06:00:47 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of SeanChouffe

New Mexico

2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a reddish brown color, hazy, with a yellow/brown head. The head dies pretty dern quick. Smells like a dubbel: malty, bready, fruity esters, caramel and a presence of hops. Flavor starts out sweet, but launches into a totally unexpected sourness with some hoppiness and metallic flavors pulling up the rear. Mouthfeel is effervescent, and a little creamy and again tart. I don't get it. This does not seem to be a good representation of a dubble, even as an American interpretation.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2004 02:32:22 | More by SeanChouffe
Photo of BrewMaster


4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle of this last night, served in a sniffer. The indeed spell it "Double" on the bottle, not "dubbel." The color is a nice amber to brown typical of dubbels. It has a frithy white 1 cm head on it too.

The aroma is yeast with some spiciness. And the flavor is very complex. Sour apple, yeast, smooth malt, and a warm alcohol flavor all come through. I can't quite put a name on the flavor in the aftertaste. It is malty but there is another flavor that I just can't name.

Notes: I think this beer would be well served by aging for six months to a year to balance and mellow out. The alcohol is out of place on the palate but still this beer is exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2004 02:36:33 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap @ Toronado, San Fransisco. Good amount of caramel and tart acidity. Some butteryness, dark fruit and decent length. No real problems, Anderson Valley seem to know what they’re doing. Failry good double, with American influences, fairly tasty, nice one.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2004 11:07:37 | More by rastaman
Photo of Mark


3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Could it be!? A second Belgian ale that I liked? I did like this brew. it poured a deep burgundy, head retention was good and lacing just o.k. Typical spicy nose. Taste was very complex. Started off very smooth and malty. After that the spicy notes started to appear. not overpowering like some Belgians though. Hints of plums and raisins, maybe prunes? Good malt base. Tingly mouthfeel. Drinkable due to the complexity of this ale. I guess Dubbel is my favorite belgian style. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2004 04:46:48 | More by Mark
Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 379 ratings.