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: 444
Photo of barleywinefiend
2.15/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a dark brown color with good carbonation and a fluffy tannish head. Nose is a complete let down. Smelled funky, booze. Taste is hot up front, immediate turn off, sourness, cocoa and the pecan is a struggle to find. Mouthfeel is hot, sknunky, unpleasant. Drinkability. No thanks.

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Photo of cokes
2.59/5  rDev -36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Virtually black, molten dark ruby topped with a glacier of slowly receding tan floe.
The nose is all port booziness, dark chocolate, and especially chalk board astringency-- the unfortunate byproduct of the interplay between the yeast and the rambunctious carbonation.
Basically, it's chalk at first and chocolately booze as it sits and warms.
Not what I was hoping for. But it's better than what I'll get.
It hits the mouth and explodes with hot fudge-drenched espresso beans. Way roastier than I was prepared for, but I can dig it. Some dark breadiness, with pinpricks of spiciness from either the yeast or from rye along with gentle notes clove and vanilla. All that is well and good, but it's quickly becoming a bubbling doomsday caldera of cocoa. It's all chocolate at the expense of everything else. People are screaming as it speeds towards their habitations. The cooling magma burps up port wine and gaseous fumes of booze. Fizzly and sizzly and eruptive up front, it grips and it sits and it cloys after a bit and it coats and it won't go away, and it preserves every horror to be memorialized eternally. It's fucking Pompeii all over again.

This is all excess. No finess. No depth. No nuance. Just shock and awe...and it does neither for me.

It reeks of the worst of Southern Tier's "candy" beers. If you are a fan of those, here's a sibling.
I'm glad I only bought one, as I doubt time will alter this much. You all can have the rest of this overpriced hype volcano.

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Photo of rpstevens
2.86/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a smuttynose tulip. The pour yields a thick, two finger head that quickly fades to a thin layer over the beer. There is a small amount of sticky bubbly lacing on the sides of the glass, but not much. The beer is a dark brown, almost black, much darker than expected for the style, but interesting and inviting.

The smell is a lot of toffee, burnt sugar cookie malt and a slight hint of dark chocolate and vanilla sweetness (bordering on alcohol booziness).

The taste follows the smell almost exactly, the roasted malts and bitter dark chocolates hit first, followed by toffee, sugar cookies and vanilla. The beer finishes with a weird orange peel citrus sweetness/tartness that is a bit out of place. There is also a slight hint of slaty nuttiness throughout the flavor as the beer warms, adding depth, but not necessarily quality.

The beer is more carbonated than expected for the high abv, and the alcohol is well hidden, but the flavors of just don't meld together and compliment each other the way they should. This is the second Bruery beer I have had that leaves a weird taste in my mouth... Just an unfinished, almost complete beer that just isn't right...

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Photo of craytonic
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pour looks like the muddy mississippi. Mocha with some dark veins; no real lace, but the head was huge. Looks a bit over-carbonated, this brewer seems to struggle with carbonation a bit.

Smell: Burnt, acidic malt and bread, alcohol, pecans, cocoa nibbs. Perhaps some fruit that is over-carimalized to the point it is just on the left side of burnt. Not really tempting, smells more like a random assortment of over-cooked flavors.

Taste: Sharp, acidic, burnt coffee edge with pecans, cocoa nibs, brown sugar, and alcohol. All stick out separately, none work together

Mouthfeel: Perhaps a bit over-carbonated for the style, not smooth, alcohol not hidden.

Drinkability: Low, the high ABV is not concealed, very aggressive flavors that do not compliment each other.

Not a big fan, but I did not like partridge in a pear tree either. Could have bought a few but at $20 a bottle I am glad I did not. I rate like it says, with 3.0 being average, and I found this to be below average.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brown color with a thin off white head.

Smell is of alcohol, dried fruits, nutmeg, and molasses.

Taste is alcohol up front, followed by dried fruit and spices. Very average example of the style.

Mouthfeel is carbonated and a little thin with an alcohol burning lingering on the tongue.

Average drinkability, average beer.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Not really interested in saving it for some sort of vertical, especially since the first in the series is unjustly super rare now.

Pours a dark brown color with amber hues when held up to the light, huge tan head that fades slowly at first then speeds up with warmth, not much in the way of lacing.

Smell has a huge roasted malt aroma with a tinge of metalic, not picking up much of the cocoa nibs or pecans sadly.

Taste starts out with roasted malt and a good amount of dark fruit and candied sugar, big sticky mouthfeel, the alcohol then sneaks up and doesn't seem to leave, if it wasn't for those immediate flavors every time I take a sip the taste would be much lower because of the lingering alcohol.

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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 DavoleBomb
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Hazed dark brown to black color. One finger of thick, light brown, whipped cream head with average retention and not really any lacing.

4.0 S: The nose is full of raw cacao and semi-sweet chocolate. Secondarily, something along the lines of walnut, then blackstrap molasses, some roastiness, toastiness, plum, raisin, and tobacco. Pretty good, but a lot of the flavors still seem a bit muddled. This could very well smooth out by the completion of the diagonal.

3.0 T: The taste is still quite raw and not really any better than fresh. The sip begins with an overload of booze and sweetness. Chocolate is there again with an overload of caramel and toffee. After that comes raisin, tobacoo, walnut and pecan. On the finish, the beer pulls a complete 180 and has a strong roastiness and an accompanying bitterness. In the aftertaste the sweetness starts building back up to the point of almost cloying. A lot of strong flavors that don't really work well with each other, at least not yet.

3.0 M: Heavier medium to heavy body. Good amount of carbonation, but it isn't spritzy like in a well made Belgian. Too syruppy and chewy for my liking. Sweetness lingers.

2.5 D: The flavor profile is still a mess and it's too sweet and chewy to have any sort of drinkibility.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours chestnut brown, sits opaque black in mine glass. Large, creamy, sand colored head sports incandescent bubbles like ornaments upon the tree. Ah, the holidays. Ah, beer. All that lovely head for some thin collared retention. Not a speck of lace.

Smells grapey. Cocoa, licorice and caramel bubble up in the dark and fruity wake. Maybe some pecan nuttyness but I think that's just because I'm straining.

Grape drank is up front, first and the foremost again. Some heat, cocoa and caramel sweetness but 'tis a mere afterthought. Thick mouthfeel is not as creamy as it should be and the carbonation is relaxed.

Too much dark fruit and and not enough of the promised pecan and cocoa.

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Photo of raverjames
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Black yet opaque. 1-finger head with ok head retention.
S: Cider and cocoa. There is a fruity smell here that is pretty strange.
T: More cider. A bit of chocolate. I am not sure if I taste the pecans, but there is a Belgian like yeast flavor.
M: A bit hot and could really benefit from some age. Carbonation is decent, but the booze is not well hidden. A bit too sweet.
D: Not so good. This beer should have been aged before release. The flavors are good, but mostly hidden by the cider flavor (bi-product of high abv beers).
I did not find this beer as enjoyable as all the other Bruery beers I have tried. It is good, but not on the same level as their other brews. There are too many off flavors that I did not expect. I will revisit in about a year to see how things have turned out.

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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 ToddT
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark brown almost black with a light brown head. Head falls quickly and leaves little to no lace on the glass.

S- Caramel, toffee, alcohol, and pecans.

T- Taste follows the nose, very sweet, lots of heat from the alcohol in the finish.

M- Medium in body, but a little thinner than expected, low to almost no carbonation. Would have liked it to be a little more creamy or silky feeling.

D- Very sweet and a noticeable alcohol presence, going to lose some points here.

An OK sipper but not one I'm going to revisit anytime soon.

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Photo of vacax
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Bruery Tasting Room.

Pours between black and very dark brown with a thin dark tan head. Smells of phenolic Belgian yeast with some nuance of dark chocolate and some earthiness. Tastes of darkly roasted grains, grape, phenols, and chocolate. Midpalate sensation brings some flora followed by a spicy finish with some cookielike notes. Medium in body, which feels a touch watery due to a high level of carbonation. I was expecting this one to be thick, but it really deviates from that expectation.

This reminds of of an imperial Black Orchard really. The cocoa nibs and toasted pecans sounded delightful, but they are generally unnoticeable for me. A strong roasty Belgian dark with little special appeal for me. The barrel aged version should be an improvement.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy brown color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and not much lacing. Aroma of dry fruits and sweet malt base is fortunately not overly sweet. Taste is just enough balance between some dry fruits such as figs and plums with a rich sweet malt backbone. Body si quite full with average carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad overall though some of the upfront sweetness could be more balance with some additional complexity from missing ester.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown but not quite black with a cocoa colored head. it smells roasty and like cocoa but not really "belgian-style", a little sweet. The taste is odd, vinous, almost like Stone Russian stout but not quite, very strange. I did not taste the pecans at all, too bad. This is not a bad beer at all and the alcohol is well hidden until it warms up. Overall, this is not a good value at $12 per 750ml..but I'll still check for bruery beers once in awhile.

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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 prototypic
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Two Turtle Doves is a dark chocolate or mahogany color. A bit of light cuts through around the edges and reveals some nice burgundy highlights. Carbonation looks quite active. A very careful pour yielded a head that stands two fingers tall. It's quite slow to recede. Lacing is sticky, but is very, very light. Eh. Maybe too much alcohol.

The nose is good, but is a few steps shy of great. It kicks off with a nice cocoa-laced chocolate malt scent. There's a hint of sweet caramel. It definitely has a slight fruitcake vibe going. It's a little earthy and grainy. Light dark fruit is noted, in addition to a touch of spices. I can't identify the exact spices, but they don't smell like typical holiday spices. Alcohol is noted, as was expected. It smells good. Nothing more, nothing less.

The flavor is a little less satisfying. It has a solid malt base that consists of cocoa-esque chocolate and caramel malts. The caramel variety is the weaker of the two and is only slightly sweet. Dark fruit flavors of plum and raisin follow. They're secondary, and add a bit of a tangy twist. It is a little fruitcake-ish, but not as much as I expected. Earthy and spicy notes follow. There's a little pepper, clove, and anise to make things interesting. Unfortunately, I'm not getting much Belgian yeast. That's disappointing. Alcohol is a little harsh in flavor. It has a slight warming effect, but isn't hot. Finishes with a mix of chocolate, alcohol, and a dark fruit tangy twist.

The body feels light-medium, but feels a little more substantial as it warms. Carbonation is definitely active and slightly buzzy. It really doesn't have a bad feel, but it is rather average for the style. More heft would certainly help a great deal.

Two Turtle Doves is an interesting beer. How is it? It's pretty good, but I honestly was hoping for more. The flavor really is pretty good, but could easily be improved with more of a Belgian yeast presence and a little less alcohol. It also feels too thin, and needs more body. As a BSDA, it's alright, but doesn't come anywhere close to competing with the best the style has to offer.

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Photo of cwps48
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Decent two finger head. Pours a very dark brown with hints of red (hardly transparent). Head reduces to brim. Leaves moderate lacing.

S: Somewhat wine. Cocoa. Hints of booze. Ever so slight hop character. Has a yogurt smell actually. Very unusual. Could be the pecans...

T: Sweet. Lingering flavor is somewhat roasty. Belgian style dark fruits. Cocoa. I don't know what pecans taste like, so I can't say anything specific there, but there's definitely a flavor I cannot put my finger on.

M: Sticky. Very thick. Definitely a sipper with a dry finish.

D: This is a very heavy beer. Unique, I must say, but it'll take a while for me to finish.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the champagne bottle a deep, dark, somewhat cloudy brown color, capped off with a nice amount of light brown foam. Aromas of pecans, caramel, brown sugar and cocoa powder. Alcohol is noticeable on the palate here (even more so after drinking 750ml of it) along with milk chocolate, nuts, caramel and brown sugar. A definite improvement over Partridge.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A much stronger aroma that I expected from this brew. This was a vintage from a firkin. Everything about this kind of reminded me of a barley wine. The aroma was boozie with some dried fruits in the mix. There is some cranberry and fig flavors that fade into the strong alcohol aftertaste. Overall this is a really nice beer for Christmas time, bad thing is that it's aesthete brew and we may not see this again.

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Photo of Tinfoilrcr
3.59/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at rattle n hum. Poured into a snifter.

Dark reddish brown with little to no head. Dark fruit and cherry with hunt of booze on the nose. Tasty is sour cherries with booze finish. Mouthfeel is lihter than expected. Drinkabilityis slow. Couldn't have too many in row.

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Photo of drumrboy22
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 750mL bottle into a New Belgium globe glass. Beer was a dark brown, almost black color, with a one-finger head. Light carbonation and little lacing.

Aroma was chocolate, rum, cherries and other dark fruit.

Taste was chocolate, nuts, caramel, cherries and other dark fruits.

Definitely a good beer, but it seems a little young to me. Flavors didn't blend well together, which caused me to give a low drinkability score. I'd like to see how it changes and try again after a year or so.

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Photo of Onibubba
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Xmas beer. Merry xmas. Dark brown with tawny highlingts. A decent head, but not as long lasting as I am used to from this brewer. Smell is sweet and bready, but not the spice overdose I was anticipating. Fairly subdued actually. Taste is a smack of figgy, raisony sweetness. A bit of a char/ roasted taste comes through too. No bitterness, no cocoa, no espresso, no nuttiness. Again, a bit subdued for the xmas beer I was anticipating. Mouthfeel was great, but that was to be expected - that is the Bruey's strongest character. The drinkability is OK, but that sweetness limits it. It does mask the alcohol nicely. Well done, but I'd have prefered more spice and odd characteristics over a sweet high alcoholic beer. This was a bit much for one person to kick back.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A rich chocolate black pour, hardly a head, the minimal foam disappeared quickly. Fruity nose, roasted malts are also detected. Taste: Pecans...wow, nutty boozy flavours that blend well together, maybe a hint of cocoa is in there. I enjoyed this nutty offering from The Bruery, and if I can find more, I'll grab it.
Highly recommend for chocolate and nut lovers!

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Photo of Gmann
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a 750ml capped bottle. Pours an almost near black color with a light brown head, very stout like. The head settles into a nice cap. The aroma is of nuts, dry tart grapes and some roasted malt. The taste starts off with a roasted malt which is quickly overwhelmed by a big red wine presence. The brew settles with a nice chocolate finish. There seems to be a sour cherry or cranberry essence going on here. The feel is moderate with very lively carbontion, a bit hot from the ABV; finishes sweet yet sour. I like the chocolate finish but not crazy about the sour fruit. The ABV is a bit bold. I would say this puppy needs some cellaring. The brew seems very raw.

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2 Turtle Doves from The Bruery
4.05 out of 5 based on 444 ratings.
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