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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.

368 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 368
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.91%

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: 368 | Reviews: 256 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of brewerburgundy


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

22oz bottle, Boulevard tulip.

The hue is deep, ever so slightly bronzed red. On top is a scant number of light tan bubbles.

Right out of the fridge the aroma is sweet bready malt and fruity, bubblegum yeast. It needs to warm. Brandy, raisins, and Portuguese sweet bread. Pleasant fruity sweet alcohol that's especially welcome during this frigid weather.

Sweet bready malt, sponge cake, dates, plums, bread crust, raisins, suggestions of brandy and rum. Solvent alcohol is prevalent and not as well integrated as in the aroma. Low, low levels of fruity yeast and few esters here and there.

Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated, quite lively, with a body that's almost too thin. You can tell the alcohol is high, it's slippery.

This is very easy to drink in the sense that it is not challenging, there is very little yeast character or anything other than malt. For a big malty one-sided monster it drinks well and isn't necessarily boring for all that. On a night as cold as this it's welcome.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 01:26:32 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of mulder1010


3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a dark brown but settled a light cola color. Very short lived head that went to film quickly. Some head retention but not a lot. ABV streaks on the sides of the glass.

S-- Grape, raisin, some dark fruits, and a touch of bubble gum. Smells a lot like Chouffe Nice. A little bit of an alcohol smell but not real big. Mostly grape and raisin.

T-- Raisin, red grapes, a little bit of sour cherry, and prune. Still a bit of bubble gum taste to this.

M-- At times a over carbonated and at times almost perfect. Front reminds me of Chouffe Nice a lot and the back is closer to a dubble, with the bread and cherry. To me a little bit of a cross between a Strong Dark Ale and a Dubble. Not bad but not great.

D-- ABV is almost spot on for 9%. Pretty well hidden through 3/4ths of the bottle then it hits you. Problem is cost. $20 for a bomber is a lot when I get get Belgians for much cheaper here. Still would get again when and up with cash and want to try our (American attempts) at Belgian styles.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 14:39:00 | More by mulder1010
Photo of mexikrainian


3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz poured into a chalice.

Appearance: dark hazelnut with short-lived off-white head and patchy lacing.

Aroma: raisins, prunes, honey and molasses.

Flavor: high alcohol, molasses, brown sugar and Belgian yeasts.

Mouthfeel: smooth medium body with light carbonation.

Overall impression: excellent flavor for a Belgian, but lacking the body and mouthfeel. worth a try...or two.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 02:18:23 | More by mexikrainian
Photo of fourplayed


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

Pours a clear dark reddish-brown amber with thin lite brown head.

Smells are dark fruits, prunes, raising, brown sugar, yeasts.

Tastes of mildly sweet brown sugar, plums, golden raisins, bready yeasts, malt hints and hops.

Solid medium body, carbonation is lite & zesty, medium alcohol warmth, good hop bite and dry finish.

Very good brew - nice complexity, alcohol well hidden, fruits are up front with nice balance of yeasts and hops. Would not turn one down!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 18:50:43 | More by fourplayed
Photo of chaz410

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a honey hued amber that's very clean and clear. Nice froathy white head. Looks more like a triple than double.
Smells of honey, dates, cherries and sweet caramel.
Tastes similar to smell with obvious dark fruits, estery belgian character on the finish. Lots of sweet caramel and near butterscotch sweetness.
Very smooth and buttery mouthfeel.
Surprisingly easy to drink for the abv

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 02:21:23 | More by chaz410
Photo of bamadog


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

I've been passing this one by for quite some time... Anderson Valley has been kind of hit or miss with me. But alas, while nothing new has really been popping up on the shelves and being in the mood for something new, I went for it. Not awful, but not necessarily worth seeking out either. Review is from notes taken on 10/19/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel brown with some nice ruby highlights; starts with a 1/2 finger creamy tan head that fades to a full, uneven cap; body is dark, but still shows good clarity and a fair amount of tiny bubbles floating up throughout; oily spots of lacing are left behind, but eventually slip back into the drink.

Smell: A lot of sweet caramel malts and a mulchy graininess to it; very little spiciness from this one like I would expect, and there's a bit of a cloying, medicinal sweetness.

Taste: Solid enough -- lots of sweet caramel malts and a bit of the Belgian candi sugars to it; mild Belgian spiciness and some tall dark, wheaty graininess to it; definite presence of alcohol, and the sweetness becomes a bit medicinal and cloying after a while. Like I said earlier, not awful, and certainly good enough for the relatively cheap price point, but there are definitely better examples out there that are fairly reasonable in price too (a la Brother Thelonious).

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight; a thick sticky coating is left all over the roof of the mouth soft carbonation lends itself nicely to the smooth body; comes across just a bit oily and slick; belly is left warm and the gums are left tingly.

Drinkability: Not bad for a cheaper Dubbel; nice smells and decent flavors; however, it does become a bit sickeningly sweet and the ABV would be a tad high for too much.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 16:00:48 | More by bamadog
Photo of Thorpe429


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

On tap at Anderson Valley in August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a burnt red bordering on brown with an off white head and a good amount of sticking lacing. Smell is cherries, chocolate, caramel, and nuts. A bit of spice. Taste brings forward some dark fruits as well as dark cherries and a bit of caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel is nice and coats the palate. Drinks quite well and is certainly one of the better American versions of this style that I have had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2010 12:09:19 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Haybeerman


3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear, bright ruby color. No head. No lacing.

S: Sweet and malty; dark fruits. Hint of earth and alcohol.

T: Brown sugar along with dark fruit; prune, raisin. Some cherries and caramel. Alcohol not too prominent given the abv.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Smooth and slightly warm.

D: Good with smell and taste; just not much to look at. Carbonation and body both seemed a little low. Disguised the abv pretty well.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 21:26:10 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes I've been sitting on since the spring:

Slowly poured, medium brown and quite clear for the first pour. One finger tan head which doesn't hold for too long. Second pour much more forceful, fizzes and falls flat.

Smells nutty and sweet. Cherries and toffee. Some chocolate. Strong raisin notes.

Flavour is a well made mix of malty goodness. Raisins and cherries with just a hint of sugary sweetness. Finish has a faint tartness. Alcohol is basically invisible.

Medium bodied and slick with a healthy dose of carbonation. Good.

Goes down very easily. A pleasant sipper.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 03:02:37 | More by elricorico
Photo of claybeer


3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A rich brown chocolate color with a thin taupe head that poured less than on finger thick. Disappointing! A lot of malt. I love the hints of leather and tobacco. The first sip brings out some fruit (apricots and black cherries) and a bready feel. It's almost like drinking a liquid Fig Newton. There is a lot of alcohol and a burnt finish that shows up after the heat disappears. This beer is almost to complex. It would probably do well in a cellar for a little while (1 year max). It is similar to a Belgian but defiantly Americanized with the overwhelming flavors and high alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2010 17:07:33 | More by claybeer
Photo of berkey


3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip from notes 08/16/10.

Forms a nice tan colored head but retention isn't great relative to the style. Body is a reddish brown color.

Aroma is very strong and includes almonds and figs along with some brown sugar and spice. Not bad at all.

Flavor is very sweet and pushes the boundaries of being cloying. Loads of figs, over-ripe red apples and even straight up sugar. I don't necessarily mind a fruity Dubbel but with this one pushes it in my opinion and it kills the drinkability to a certain degree.

Funny how many of the elements seem to be in place for this to be good but somehow it doesn't quite work as well as it should. Not a bad beer but certainly not one of Anderson Valley's better offerings and nowhere near the best in the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 04:40:14 | More by berkey
Photo of metter98

New York

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

A: The beer poured cloudy brown in color with a thin off white head that quickly disappeared. A light amount of carbonation is visible, which leaves a few bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are aromas of dark fruits and malty sweetness in the nose.
T: The taste has a moderate amount of sweetness and is very similar to the smell with flavors of dark fruits (raisins stand out in particular) and notes of caramel malts. There are also some hints of alcohol, yeast and a slight amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate. There is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is rather drinkable considering its level of alcohol content, although this is one that is better sipped.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 01:55:56 | More by metter98
Photo of irishking1977

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Ruby red/brown hue with virtually no head but some lacing. Could be mistaken for wine.

S: Sweet and malty, some hint of alcohol.

T: Brown sugar, caramel, malt, hint of cherries. Alcohol in in the background, but hidden fairly well.

M: A bit thin in comparison to other dubbels; missing something based on style. Carbonation is decent, but again not up to par with some of the better dubblels.

D: I'm glad I tried this. It follows the basics of a dubbel pretty well, just needs to be refined. Fuller mouthfeel and a slightly higher carbonation would do wonders with this beer. Relatively high ABV hinders drinkability, but it's still pretty tasty nonetheless. Nothing outstanding, but fairly drinkable and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 00:00:31 | More by irishking1977
Photo of GilGarp


3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber served cool into a globe glass. Brother David's pours a deep brown color with very good clarity and thin head. The head is very short lived and settles with no lace.

Aroma is about right for a dubbel but not as exceptional as the authentic examples. Sugary caramel, brown bread, toasted malts, dark fruits.

The flavor is much the same. Sweet and caramelly up front leading to chocolate covered cherries and other dark fruits, raisins, nutty, and just a little sour.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is just shy of being 'hot.'

It's not a bad dubbel but it seems like they made the most common American craft brewer mistake: amping it up and losing the point of the style. A dubbel is a relatively strong beer but 9% seems a bit steep. Plus the flavors should be more rounded and complimentary. Instead, this beer almost seems to fight with itself.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 03:34:20 | More by GilGarp
Photo of jmbranum


4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slight maple aroma. Dark mahogany clear brew with light tan head.

Flavor does seem true to style. Reminds me of Chimay Blue, but not quite as complex. Some notes of wine, maple syrup (this aspect reminds me of Paulaner salvator), very malt heavy. Some cloves. Lots of alcoholic warmth. Too much carbonation. Needs to be smoother to be on the same level as Chimay.

Good effort. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2010 06:56:45 | More by jmbranum
Photo of drpimento


2.58/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well this one is better than the tripel version just because it ain't so dang sweet. Still, not a lot to it other than- well: With an aggresive pour got a little light tan to cream colored head and a little lace. Color is a clear mahoganey. Aroma is vanilla malt fruit. Flavor is the same and not awfully complex. Body is ok and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor. I wont' finish the bottle. (Only a few sips actually.) Be good for cooking not drinking. Meh.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2010 02:56:07 | More by drpimento
Photo of beertunes


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

I've had this bottle a few months and just got around to it. Just a short review. This a typical, if a bit above average, example of the style. The reddish-brown color, the fruity, yeasty aroma and taste, the full but not heavy body and nice drinkability combine to make a beer that would make a good introduction to the style and a nice revisit for fans of the style (like me). Worth drinking.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 21:49:16 | More by beertunes
Photo of AlexMunse


4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured at around 50 degrees from a 32oz bottle into a 16 oz pint glass.

Pours very nice with a dark brown/red color and a very nice white head.

The smell is light and fruity, not too much bite.

Taste is the same, sweet and malty without too much bitterness.

I think a little less carbonation would be good for this beer, but thats the only bad thing I have to say about this one.

If the brewery was closer, I'd get another bottle. A very good American take on a Belgian classic

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 05:06:14 | More by AlexMunse
Photo of BMoney575


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

Sampled on 5-6-10

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown, with a foamy head an a smooth layer of lacing on the sides.

Smell is all banana, with a strong malt beneath. Slightly Belgian, and very slightly sour. Bready at the end, and a little beery.

Taste is a lot like the smell, beery, bready, and banana-y. Rather bland, with a sharp alcohol right in the middle. Not particularly good.

Mouthfeel is slick and fizzy, not bad, but a little too thin.

Drinkability is decent, but not enough.

Overall, not the best, and not really worth it.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 22:55:45 | More by BMoney575
Photo of david131


4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A very deep dark leathery brown liquid with a thick and creamy off-white head. Looks very nice.

S- Brown sugar, clove, apples, pears, bananas, and bread. Very complex and enjoyable. If someone told me this was made in Belgium I wouldn't be surprised.

T- Brown sugar, fruits, bread, and alcohol. Everything goes nicely together, but it seems that there is something lacking at the tail end. Still very tasty.

M- Smooth carbonation with a warming alcohol presence. About what I would expect for the style.

D- A very well done American take on the style. Drinks nicely. I would be willing to wager that if this were more expensive and from a small European brewery this would have much higher ratings.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 05:11:12 | More by david131
Photo of AnswerInQuestion


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

A: Dark, soft brown with a hint of red at the edges. Slight lacing.

S: Chocolate covered cherries, sugary fig, molasses, cinnamon and a bit of butterscotch.

T: Raisins, molasses, again with the chocolate covered cherries. Bitter cinnamon and alcohol on the finish.

M: Pleasant light carbonation up front; smooth going down.

D: Tasty, almost candy like. Easy to drink, but the dark sweetness might be a bit too much. Also leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 08:15:30 | More by AnswerInQuestion
Photo of gthornton


3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A rich, dark amber, brew with a heavy raisin and chocolate taste.

Poured into a Tremens tulip, foamy head at first that faded within a few minutes. Some lacing. Dark amber/gold.

Mostly raisin, fig, then chocolate and caramel/toffee in the nose.

Ever had Tamarindo candy? Sort of like that. Otherwise, think raisin, prune, dark cherry syrup with a sharp, but quick booze sting.

Mouthfeel is typical of a sweet beer - heavy on the togue, a little sticky, and smooth.

This is a great night cap for me, it is hard to define "drinkability." I think this would make a great companion with any beef dish, and even a spicy dish. In addition, I could see myself getting saucy on a few of these... as if that helps your decision. I recommend.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 08:02:33 | More by gthornton
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of lightly sweet caramel malt with some residual candi sugar. Taste is not overly complex with some bland caramel malts with some easily noticeable candi sugar. Body is a bit thin for style with OK carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Lacking some complexity and character with too much sugar.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 16:09:51 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of 4000qtrap


3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: 22oz. Bottle. No expiration date. Served moderately cold.

Smell: Complex and delightful! Cloves and apple cider are prominent. Yeast, bread, and bananas undertones and many other subtle tones balance everything out so that the cloves don't overpower. Just a beautiful boquet!

Taste: Rich malts (honey, molasses, maple syrup) that could be more complex, though they are not overwhelmingly sweet and very well balanced by spices (nutmeg and cloves). Carbonation is quite mild which works well though the mouthfeel is a little thin..

Notes: Altogether a delightfully balanced and enjoyable brew, but just not at the top of the heap in terms of complex flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 05:32:07 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of kegger22


4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brother David's dubbel is a garnet/brown with a generous, off-white head that fades to a collar. The aroma was alcohol, the promise of sweetness and apples that are starting to spoil. The taste follows the nose, but I get a bit of banana and some sour too. The feel is medium bodied and oily, with little carbonation. Drinkability is good.

I enjoyed Brother David's dubbel a great deal, my favorite dubbel to date. It was plenty complex for me and the fact that it was not over carbonated was a plus.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 05:42:42 | More by kegger22
Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.