2 Turtle Doves | The Bruery

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2 Turtle Doves2 Turtle Doves

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
2 Turtle Doves is the second in the 12 Days/Years of Christmas Series. We decided to take our inspiration from the name and base the beer on the "turtle" candy, brewing it with cocoa nibs, toasted pecans, caramelized sugar and a lot of caramel malts. Somewhere between a Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale and an Imperial Porter, this beer is designed to take the journey through time until 12 Drummers Drumming.

Added by Overlord on 10-12-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 251 | Ratings: 445
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very dark brown pour, 3/5" of head on the top. Aroma was a mixture of burnt sugar, chocolate, brown malt, yeast, caramel, toffee.

Taste gets even more complex as now you have some dark fruit bitterness, alcohol, caramel, brown sugar, brown malt, more roasted malt, cocao. Nuttiness in the mouth feel. Not gonna surprise anyone, but the more you let this warm up, the more complex and layered it is.

While far from my favorite style of beer, this one is actually pretty nice, very layered, nothing dominates and all seemlessly seems to meld together. Would bang again.

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Photo of arlo19
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks again Tim, will miss you buddy! Aroma is dry, toasted, woody. Pecan comes through, similar to coconut. Very unique aroma and taste. Tastes barrel aged. Some oxidation. Aftertaste is dry, bittersweet cocoa and cherry. Great sipper

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3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes taken 11/30/09.

A monster head rushing to four fingers has crazy active milk chocolate colored bubbles that fade in about 30 seconds. Body is the blackest of browns with really only a hint of brown when held to light. Nose is a nice mix of phelonic spices and creamy coco, with a hint of soured dark fruit. Enters the mouth with a strong alcohol presence and a bit of dark chocolate wrapped around ripe black fruits. Black cherries are truely there in the taste. Some spice adds to the profile nicely. Mouthfeel is slightly sweet and yields a pleasant bitter richness. Very nicely drinkable. Give this one time and I think it will be wonderful.

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Photo of dheldman
3.09/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Seems to have fallen off. Great cocoa aroma isn't matched by the taste. Instead it's very muted with touches of cardboard. Probably would have done well to open this a few years earlier.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle
Served in an oversized wine glass

L - This beer is very dark brown with ruby highlights. An inch of tan heads rests atop.

S - It has developed a fruity smell over the years. I get a chocolate covered cherry aroma. It could be plum, but who has heard of a chocolate covered plum.

T - The cocoa is quite evident. It comes through nicely along with some roasted malt. a little dark fruit translate from the nose to the taste.

F - Full

O - I remember liking this more last year. It is good. but I was expecting a big chocolate forward beer that I recalled. I did have a tasting with a fellow BA that day. It could have something to do with the distorted memory.

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Photo of Lucnifter
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer. Glad I finally got to taste it. Cacao is present in the nose and in the taste. Pecans are more present in the taste than the nose. Overall, pretty nice. Didn't get to taste fresh, so no idea how it's ageing.

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Photo of trippytbta
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Poured from bottle into snifter

A: very dark brown khaki head

S: sweet and nutty

T: tastes like turtle candy. Chocolate covered pecans and carmel.

M: great

Overall: I hope I can hunt a bottle of this down. But probaby won't be able too. Insane beer

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown. Small khaki head.

Smell - Chocolate. Some fruitiness. A little nutty. Lots of caramel. A little oxidation.

Taste - Very sweet. Caramel. A bit of tart cherry flavor. Oxidized. Some chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Kinda oxidized.

Overall - Old, but good.

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Photo of alaimoa
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle popped at 55 degrees in a wine glass. Smell was unimpressed with some mild candy, brown sugar and leather notes that weren't very strong in either direction. Poured with a tiny bit of dirty brown ring head but had a cappuccino type of swirling which was impressive. Taste had a nice Belgian dark base to it with some caramel,
Cocoa, sugars, nice depth and would love the barreled version I think.
Would easily get this again

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Photo of wordemupg
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into tulip 11/7/13 cheers alpineclimber for the bottle

A dark brown and looks just a little murky, lots of little bubbles sticking to the side but only a thin light brown foam after an angry pour that leaves just a few specks of lace

S fruit leather is strong, brown sugar, plum, rum raisin, faint molasses and teriyaki, I'm getting some faint nutty notes but I'd never guess pecans but I do get some coco and a hint of coffee

T a little christmas spice I can't place and some booze that was very well hidden on the nose, still lots of brown sugar and fruit leather and it had some dark bread almost to the point of christmas cake, the nose had more going for it but it still tastes pretty good

M quite thick and syrupy but it could use a few extra bubble, heavy liquid with the booze hitting my chest, fruity caramel lingers on the finish

O It's mellowed out and the flavors are blending together but the nose didn't quite follow through in other areas, solid beer but I was hoping for just a little more

If I had a second I might sit on it for a while but I'm happy just getting to try it, one of those beers I'd like to try fresh and with a decade behind it, easy enough to drink for a 12% monster

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour for the Bruery Initiation Celebration held at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA.

Pours a clear crimson-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and a really unique peanut butter and jelly combo. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great smell and some tasty flavors.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle pours a very dark brown color with a thin, bubbly off-white head. Spotty lace and not much retention.

Nose is raisins, plums, brown sugar and allspice. The cocoa nibs and nuttiness come out more as it warms, but I am not sure I would have picked them out had I not read the label.

Taste is sweet and boozy with lots of dark fruit. Yeast flavors abound, doughy even. This is a perfect example of a beer being much better as it approaches room temperature. When cold, this beer is a wreck but it really opens up and the cocoa flows with the dark fruit very well after a bit. Good beer, Id love to have another bottle of this…it seemed like it could benefit from a few more years still.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank at Jackie O's 3/1/2013.

Pours a rich chocolate dark brown with a thick coffee head.

Smells of cocoa, nuts, complex and rich dark malt.

Taste is similar but even better. So rich and creamy, loads of chocolate, nuts, maybe some faint fruit, rich and complex and delicious

Mouthfeel is insanely light and creamy. Amazing.

This is a fantastic beer, even better than I remembered!


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Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to eagles22 for the random sharing of this brew. Thanks Ed! 750ml into a matching Bruery snifter. It appears black in color with a big brown head 4 fingers strong and khaki in color. It leaves thick patchy lace sticking to the glass and a light swirl revives a finger easily. Light brown clarity is noted around the edges when held to the light.

The smell is nutty with roasty grain and raisins. There is a touch of something reminescent of oxidation but it blends nicely with hints of dry cocoa and the nutty aspects. There is a dark fruity alcohol element also present across the back.

The taste is bitter with cocoa. Lots of nutty flavors almost like walnuts and a bit of oxidative cardboard character blended with raisins. Some dark candy sugar mixes with hints of citrus. Fruity alcohol esters become increasingly noticeable as it warms.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Still a bit boozy but well integrated and very warming. The unique ingrediants really blend together here with an interesting mix of character. I really enjoyed this and would certainly be entertained having it again around the holidays.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown/black color with a huge bubbly tan head that persists for a while before capping the top. Smells of chocolate, dark fruits like raisins and plums, a bit of caramel and burnt sugar, and a touch of earth and alcohol. The flavor is caramel and dark fruity with a solid shot of chocolate and a surprising amount of alcohol. The pecans come out in the flavor, but they seem a bit bitter if that's possible. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly slick mouthfeel. I tried this on tap when it first came out and loved it although I thought it was quite hot. I was hoping that some age had tamed the heat but it is still quite present in the flavor. Its still a nice beer though, I wish I could have gotten a BA bottle, but oh well.

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Photo of Treebs
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle served in a Deschutes tulip. Big thanks to Kevin (khumbard) for the share.

A: Pours a dark brown color with a frothy light tan head forming on the pour. Sticky sheets of lace are left around the glass.

S: Nice belgian yeast with some buggle gum and sweet, fruity esters. Nice spices in the periphery with a big bready and doughy malt body.

T: A touch of oxidation is showing itself with the age. Nice spices (nutmeg mostly) and fruity esters are still present along with some sweet yeasty notes. The malts are pretty amped up here comparitively to the nose. Very heavy, almost meaty in nature. Like meat casing for a sausage. Odd, but it works here.

M: Medium bodied with a medium to low carbonation. Would have a like a touch more carbonation at this point, but with it being over two years old I can't really complain too much.

O: The nose still had some great life to it, but the taste had unfortunately began to be taken over by the malts and slight oxidation. Drink 'em if got 'em, or just hold on to them until it's undrinkable if you plan on waiting for the 8 other beers to be released.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Its been waiting in the cellar for an unimportant night like tonight for almost three years (I think it came out prior to Christmas 2009).

Apperance: Very dark brown, almost black. Little light passes. Light brown head with good retention and some lacing.

Smell: Big time chocolate and much more nutty aroma than I thought would come through from the toasted pecans. The more standard plum, raisin, etc dark fruit smells of a BSDA are there in large quantities, but behind the cocoa. Its a little bit of a weird combination. I smell no alcohol.

Taste: The flavor integrates better than the smell. It really works well. Again lots of chocolate and nutty flavor with a solid dark fruity, yeasty BSDA backbone. Sweet, almost cakelike. I really like it.

Mouthfeel: Its a pretty big mouthfeel, very soft and smooth carbonation, a little creamy.

Overall: This surprised me. Definitely a success. Well done.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to James for hooking me up with this bottle!

A: Pours a deep brown color with a tan color head on top that reduces to a bunch of rather large bubbles on top. Very thin sheets of lacing form on the sides.

S: Some sweet dark fruit up front, raisins, figs, and plums. There is a bit of dark chocolate and a little bit of roasted malt. The nuts come through as well. Finishes with dark fruit.

T: Lots of the nutty/pecan flavor come through right away and mixes with some cocoa and dark fruit. Some sweet raisins and figs as well as some caramelized malt round it out. The dark fruit is rather sweet, almost like fruit cake sweet. Surprised at how nutty it is, but not in a bad way.

M: Full bodied with medium carbonation. Rather smooth. The 12% has died down a bit, doesn't really show its face.

O: Liked it a good bit. Probably my favorite in the series (compared to 3 and 4).

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy deep brown with a touch of ruby mixed in and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some good lace.

S - Aroma is full of rich sweet dark fruits with raisin and dates, with some strong cocoa, some Belgian yeast character, toasted pecans, vanilla, and a touch of booze.

T - Starts off with some rich dark fruits with some raisins and dates, some rich caramelized malts, cocoa, and some toasted pecans. Through the middle, some stronger cocoa flavor comes through with some more caramelized malt, vanilla, and some Belgian yeast flavors. The finish is a mix of chocolate malts, dark fruits, toasted nuts, Belgian yeast, and a bit of booze.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth with syrupy, sweet, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Super rich and bold. The pecans and chocolate flavors are a really nice addition to the BSDA.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a finger of dark khaki head that quickly faded into a wispy film leaving a few spots of lace down the glass.
S: Chocolate and cocoa dominates with rich and roasted scents. I get a hint of boozy vapor, roasted malts, caramel, and maybe a toasted nuttiness.
T: An expert blend between rich semisweet chocolate flavor and roasted and toasted nutty flavors. I get a hint of sweet dark fruits such as raisins and dates, and the finish is full of vanilla. Flavors are sweet, malty and roasted overall. Tastes a bit like those Nips candies.
M: Thinner mouth than I was expecting but I have to remind myself this isn’t a stout. The mouth actually is pretty thick and heavy, but the body is a bit watery. The carbonation is also rather low which adds to the slickness of the mouthfeel. I’m really just splitting hairs though, this beer is crazy smooth and easy to drink. Alcohol is completely masked.
O: Better than I remember it being when I had my first bottle over a year ago. This is a smooth drinker and rich at that.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. The color is very dark brown. There is a small light tan fluffy head. At first glance, this may look like a stout. 3.5

When I take a whiff I get chocolate and vanilla. Then I take another whiff and I get more of the Belgian yeast with some fruity cherry. 4.5

The taste is very heavy on the fruity yeast. There are nice cherry flavors with some creamy chocolate in the finish. 4.0

This drinks medium bodied with smooth carbonation. 4.0

This is really good. I'm excited to try the barrel version next week. 4.0

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled December 2011
A vigorous pour produces an initially two finger thick, darkly amber stained, tan colored head. The beer is a concentrated amber-brown color that shows quite opaque when held up to the light. The nose smells of dark fruit, concentrated caramelized and toasted malt and even a rich toasted nuttiness; there is almost a woodiness here that is perhaps nut or perhaps malt derived (I don’t think it is from actual oak or some other wood). There is a bitter, dark / roasted edge to this beer that is just barely there; is it from the cocoa, or is it malt derived, it is too subtle for me to be sure. As the beer warms up a touch of chocolate, some definite toffee, and a raisin / prune like note become a bit more noticeable in the aroma

The beer is quite sweet tasting up front, there is a touch of barely prickly carbonation, a whole lot of rich, chewy and viscous heft to the body, but the finish has a touch of bitterness that seems roast derived, perhaps a hint of fruity tartness and some toasted grain husk like character that provides a touch of a foil to the up-front sweetness. Deeply caramelized malt flavors remind me of toffee, a date and raisin like fruitiness and a definite molasses or brown sugar like note. There is a general nuttiness that is fairly expressive and toasted quality to this beer, though it could in theory all be malt derived (I wouldn’t specifically guess that nuts were used in the making of this beer). The alcohol provides some warming and even some spice / heat to the finish, though it does not get overly hot or detracting. Cocoa notes combine, boost, and accentuate the nuttiness here; this almost has a sweetened, brown butter like flavor to it somehow. There is an almost smokiness to this brew; most of it is likely contributed by a touch of yeast derived phenolics and there is also perhaps a touch of spiciness, though the yeast most noticeably comes through in the ample, dark fruit character that forms the core of this beer. This is quite the sipping brew, it is sweet, even somewhat cloying at times, it really has a density to it as it rests / clings to the palate; this is a beer to be sipped in small quantities over an evening for sure.

I really like the rich, yet subdued nuttiness that is in this brew; it plays really well with the rich malt and helps to balance the big sweetness that this beer has. The nuttiness, when combined with the fruitiness, and sweetness, seems to remind me quite a bit of amaretto even. This is a bit too sweet, surely some years of age will help with this immensely though; this is likely a beer that will easily go the distance; with more nuttiness and sherry notes that come with age and help to temper the sweetness, this will likely be drinking quite divinely within about 4 years and perhaps even to 2020, or whenever this is supposed to last to. I definitely think this beer will actually improve quite a bit with some more age on it, though I wonder what piquancy it has lost in the two years since its release.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2009)

Downtown Johnny Brown's
San Diego, CA

(Aged for 2 years)

Murky dark brown pour with dark ruby edges and a moderately sized dark khaki colored head that leaves the glass messy with sticky lace.

A nice combination of aromas including candied pecans and chocolate. I'm surprised at how defined, authentic, and delicious the pecan aroma comes through in the aroma. There's also lots of dark fruit character, like fig and black cherry.

The candied pecans make up a big portion of the flavor profile as well, with dark chocolate and black cherry flavors complementing it nicely. Impressive and delicious. There is a touch of oxidation, but it doesn't necessarily harm this beer. Zero alcohol presence.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Very glad I got to try this one and happy it's held up as well as it has.

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Photo of mcgwire756
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't reviewed a beer officially in a while, but this has been a big want of mine along with the barrel aged version so I thought I would review it.

The appearance is murky brown with little head and almost no lacing.

The smell is of milk chocolate at first and then a little bit of dark fruit and burnt sugar.

Taste is more of the dark fruit like most Belgian Dark beers along with a little bit of the nutty characteristic it is supposed to have.

The mouthfeel is where this beer shines as it is very creamy and then almost not sticky taste at all which I was expecting. It allows you to drink this beer as fast as you want which is dangerous since it is 12%.

Overall it is the smoothness of this beer that makes it for me. I am not sure if it is the age or the fact that this beer is different from most in this series. It is not spicy like the 4 Calling Birds or pungent like the 3 French Hens. Overall it is a winner for me and I can't wait to crack my BA version of it soon.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Black, 3 inches of thick tan head that fades very slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: caramel, nutty, cocoa, sweet, a bit boozy, estery.

Taste: chocolate, nutty, pecans, caramel, slightly boozy, malty, a hint of roasted malt, anise.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, moderate carbonation, silky, creamy.

Overall: A great beer. The toasted pecans and cocoa nibs shine and pair well with the base beer. Well balanced. Very drinkable. The 12% ABV is well hidden.

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2 Turtle Doves from The Bruery
4.05 out of 5 based on 445 ratings.
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