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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

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411 Ratings

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Ratings: 411
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 7
Gots: 28 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2003

Inspired by the classic Dubbels of Belgium, our Brother David’s Double has a dark brown body and aromas of warm cocoa, banana, and cloves. Specialty malts impart a toasted, nutty character and flavors of chocolate-covered cherries and candied fruits, while the subdued hop profile and Abbey yeast create spicy, herbal notes to compliment the warm, slightly sweet finish. Winner of a Gold Medal in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival™, Brother David’s Double is a truly complex and potent ale meant to be savored or shared with friends.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 411 | Reviews: 263
Photo of Derek
2.99/5  rDev -17.9%
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
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
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
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
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
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
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
3.75/5  rDev +3%
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
2.38/5  rDev -34.6%
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
3.22/5  rDev -11.5%
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
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
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
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of ypsifly
3.89/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an undated 750 that was dipped in black wax, into a chalice.

Deep brown, almost black with a small tan head that is short lived leaving a thinly veiled ring. Minimal lace effect.

Sugary and alcoholic nose that is slightly tart with some malt notes underneath. Although the smell is rather subdued overall, it does have balance.

Tastes malty with a quick note of the demerara sugar that's listed on the label. Restrained tartness with a building dry character that lasts into a finish that has the ghost of pepper hiding in the background. Lingering, but not unpleasant aftertaste that is bitter and a bit citric. I like it.

The mouthfeel is a bit weak for the style. It lacks that velvet and malty feel that other dubbels usually have. Nothing out of line or awkward, but the body could be a lot fuller.

The abv is well hidden, but if I were committed to drinking dubbels for a night, I would order something with a more traditional mouthfeel for the next round. A lot more balanced and palatable than the triple.

Photo of Zorro
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark brown ale than turns red when back lit, skimpy tan head.

Smell is spicy and a little acidic. Prune and raisin fruity scent. Smell of lemon, cinnamon and Allspice give then impression of a mulled beer straight from the bottle.

Taste is thick and very malty with the flavor of lemon very prominent along with coriander. Other than that the flavor is a big let down from the good smell.

Mouthfeel is good bordering on to thick.

At best the drinkability of this is average. It is an OK beer but not worth the $7 I paid for the bottle. Save your money and find a La Chouffe.

Photo of BEERchitect
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.

Photo of nortmand
3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours rich brown, with a fizzy, soda-like head that quickly disappears, leaving no lacing.
Smell is raisins, alcohol, a little roast and licorice.
Raisiny roast hits the tongue first, spreading into a sweetness that edges on cloying. Leaves a roast bitter flavor. Special B?
Very fizzy "Coke" like mouthfeel, expect a creamier feel.
A little sweet, but without the usual Belgianiness that counteracts it, so overall a disappointing beer, I usually love Anderson Valley, but this is a disappointment.

Photo of beerceller99
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of eclectic
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of Sephiroth
4.15/5  rDev +14%
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.

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.

Photo of Brent
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

Photo of gbontrag
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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.

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Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 411 ratings.