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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.

394 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 394
Reviews: 258
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.91%
Wants: 8
Gots: 23 | 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: 394 | Reviews: 258 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerceller99
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle. Reddish dark brown color with a fleeting tan head. Cotton candy and caramel sweet smell. Medium bodied with a smooth texture, mildly carbonated. Massively sweet, spicy flavor with hints of vanilla. Finishes with a belly warming alcohol tang.
Reminds me of a Belgian x-mas beer... very sweet.

beerceller99, Jul 14, 2005
Photo of eclectic
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a sampler (10oz) filled at half time

Pours a deep reddish brown with nice head that dissipates to leave behind minimal lacing...very mild malt aroma... A sweet malty tartness dominates the flavor... a mild sour flemish bite in the aftertaste... creamy and smooth with just enough carbonation to keep your mouth awake.. hides its high abv well.. would never guess it was 9%.

Not exactly what I would expect for a double, but extremely enjoyable and definitely worth picking up if you come across it.. too bad I didn't opt for a growler size.. oh well there's always next time.

eclectic, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of Sephiroth
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle says its unfiltered and lists the ABV at 9%. Poured into a tulip, it is ruby in color. There is a moderate head that quickly dissipates to a cloud like swirl. The nose is of caramelized sugar and crystal malt.

The taste is one of sweet, dark, crystally, sugary malt. It is probably the sweetest dubbel I have ever had. Even so, I am thoroughly enjoying this bomber. The mouthfeel is thick and coating, much like the tripel from this brewery that I just reviewed. I would gladly have another if my budget would permit. I will seek more of this to cellar for a short time.

Sephiroth, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of fdrich29
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle purchased at Marty's Fine Wine in Newton, Massachusetts.

Disclaimer: For some reason I'm listening to Eminem while reviewing this beer. I will try my best to harness my angst.

So...umm...well there's a nice little head on this beer. Black and red seem to be fighting for control of the beer's color. Smells like alcohol and caramel and tastes pretty much the same. Alcohol is a bit overpowering of the overall drinking experience, it doesn't give the sweetness a chance...well to be sweet.

I would definitely put one of there beers away for a year and see what happens, I think it would make a world of difference.

fdrich29, Jun 22, 2005
Photo of Brent
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well - this is better than their tripel, at least. Overall, a pretty good effort at the style, but the achievement is just that. Poured a slightly murky dark brown. Some yeast phenols in the aroma. Candy sugar sweetness in reasonable context. Wants to go syrupy, but hangs back, fortunately. ABV is well integrated into the flavor profile, no harsh or hot alcohol notes. Finish is mild, with lingering bittersweetness.

Brent, Jun 16, 2005
Photo of jdhilt
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger light tan head, fades slowly, but leaves little lace. Deep clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisiny/malty. Starts sweet with caramelized malts, finish is smooth with hints of hops in background. Actually competes with a good Belgian double. $6.15 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, Jun 10, 2005
Photo of gbontrag
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Quite a lot of red on brown base. Happy froth glad to meet me like a white labrador puppy. Very willing to play with the chalice.
Taste comes in as brown bread crust, carrot cake energy bar, a brush with alcohol, soft brown bread, some maraschino cherries. Then it really dries off and becomes a bit puckering. With a roast beef sandwich I found the sugar really stands out -- sweet.
It feels good, a little dry, a little thin, but still soft.

gbontrag, May 29, 2005
Photo of mjohn27603
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown mahogony out of a 1 pt. 6 oz bottle. Little head. Taste is of raisins, bread and a burning alcohol sensation. Very sweet and sugary. Almost reminicient of a Paulner Salvator or Celebrator. Brown sugar. Alcohol taste is very prominent making this very difficult to drink a lot of it. Alcohol makes this a sipping beer. Mouthfeel is a little watery for this heavy taste. I wouldn't go out of my way to have this one again.

mjohn27603, May 16, 2005
Photo of Mitchster
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

$5.99 for a 22oz bottle, capped and sealed with a rubbery black polymer. Brewed with demerara sugar and trappist yeast. 9.0% ABV.

Pours out to a very deep chestnut, forming a small tan head with poor retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is very nice for the style...brown bananas, cloves, candi sugar, lots of phenolic esters and some roasted grains thrown into the mix. No noticeable off-aromas like the Triple. Mouthfeel is full with a nice finish and dense body. Taste starts with a ton of phenolic esters, followed by cloves and bananas. The middle has alot of leather and tobacco notes with some green herbal hops as well. Bitterness is mild, residual sugars are low. Cleanly fermented. Alcohol adds a noticeable warmth and peppery bite to the finish, but it's not obtrusive. The herbal hops are rough around the edges and becomes grating throughout the bottle. The finish is huge with tobacco, creating a mouthfeel like I just had a cigarette.

This is much better than the horrible Triple from AVBC, but it's still quite rough around the edges. It's too potent for the style...it feels like a chore drinking this one. The herbal hops have no place in this style of brew and throws it completely out of balance.

Mitchster, May 02, 2005
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sunset Grill
It poured a dark chocolate brown with a thin and fast fading beige/tan head.
A big roasted malty smell is very noticeable, but it vanishes quickly. A smell of brown bread and molasses follows as does a bit of a rummy whiff.
The body is full rich malt in the mouth, but it also seems at bit watery when I swallowed. Odd! There's some orange zest and a light spicy bitterness, but not in any abundance. A bit more hoppiness would go a long way to improve this brew. A taste and breath of dark rum lasts throughout.

BeerResearcher, May 01, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
2.42/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22oz bottle purchased at Julio's, Westboro, MA. Heavy black was-coated cap. Nice and tough to open, had to slit wax around cap with a razor blade and then uncap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over the clear reddish mahogany brew. Head lasts pretty well, with nice foamy lacing. Aroma is dominated by dark fruits and alcohol, leaving little room for the malts I would desire to see at least a bit of. The taste has the quickest of malt at the front, changing to somewhat bitter dark fruits, with a slight warming at the outset. Has a heavy, unpleasantly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both not so good, due largely to that killer aftertaste, which ruined the whole experience for me.

<Ended up being a drain pour, and upon reflection the aftertaste reminded me of vulcanized rubber, like a tire or something. Seemed similiar to the smell from the torn "wax" cap coating. Guess there must have been some sort of contamination there from their packaging.>

ppoitras, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of Hunter
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The wax seal at the top of the bottle is a romantic touch...until you try to get the cap off. Pain in the ass!

Appearance: Beer is dark brown, the color of cola. Head is disappointing, in that a vigorous pour yielded a head less that a finger thick. No visible carbonation or lacing.

Aroma: smell is nice and complex. Notes of molasses, smoked barley, and dark chocolate/coffee. Inviting.

Taste: Hmmm. The alcohol is evident, certainly. Flavors of cola bean, candi sugar, and malt on the palate. Bracing mouthfeel with suitable chewiness, finishes muddy on the swallow with heavy lingering of alcohol and smoke aftertaste.

I'm picky when it comes to Dubbels (I prefer Tripels) so it's not outstanding by my book. Decent enough, and would serve well as a warmer on a chilly evening.

Hunter, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber with a tan head that rose tall and fell back to the edges of the surface to lace the glass.

The aroma was deeply malty with huge dark fruit aromas of raisins and prunes. The aroma had a phenolic spiciness due to the higher alcohols and a dark carmel presence. Some sherry qualities were also present in the aroma.

The flavor was not as well executed as the aroma. A strong biscuit presence prevailed in the flavor with dark fruit flavors not far behind. The dark fruits were that of raisins and prunes. The flavor was winey and sherrylike oddly showing oxidative qualities in a beer so well capped and shielded using the wax/rubber. The higher alcohol levels led to a degree of spiciness in the flavor.

The finish was not quite dry with lasting dark fruits and lingering spiciness long into the aftertaste. The body was just past medium and one of the better atributes of the beer. Alcohol was present on all levels, aroma, flavor and warming, but was more prominent in aroma and flavor and warming after consumption was secondary.

22 ounce bottle, wax or rubber sealed after capping. Bottle says 9% ABV. I have no idea when this thing was made, but I would say skip it.

GCBrewingCo, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It is cool to find this on tap in a beer bar in Bellingham. Pours Raisin Brown with that nice old fruit nose. The mouthfeel was big and slighlt young with an odd metallic twang to the finish. I would love to get a bottle of this to put down in the cellar as all the requisite construction is there for a very good Double. I do think that it is a great sign that brewers who have no previous Belgian brewing experience can make these styles well.

canucklehead, Apr 06, 2005
Photo of RBorsato
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown with a low light tan/brown head with light to moderate carbonation. Nice raisiney dark fruit malt aroma with a touch of spice. Raisiney dark malt flavors with a touch more strength and alcohol than the style calls for. Full-Medium and strong with a light-moderate alcohol finish.

A nice Belgian Strong Dark Ale in my mind ... not quite a Dubbel.

Label States: 9% ABV & "Abbey Style Ale" & "Malted barley, hops, water, demerara sugar, and special Trappist yeast"

AV website states: The base is pale malt with various amounts of caramel and darker malts. A portion of candy sugar used in this beer controls body and adds strength, and the toasted malts contribute a pleasant nutty flavor.

($6.29 / 22 oz. bottle capped and rubberized wax seal)

RBorsato, Apr 04, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
1.63/5  rDev -55.2%
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)

goodbyeohio, Mar 28, 2005
Photo of BeerManDan
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

BeerManDan, Mar 25, 2005
Photo of xgrigorix
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

xgrigorix, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of beerluvr
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

beerluvr, Mar 13, 2005
Photo of Truh
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Truh, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
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

Billolick, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of donnebaby
3.75/5  rDev +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.

donnebaby, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of tjd25
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

tjd25, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of Todd
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Todd, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of carln26
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

carln26, Feb 19, 2005
Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 394 ratings.