Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Brother David's Triple Abbey Style AleBrother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale
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Ranked #535
Ranked #46,484
3.52 | pDev: 15.34%
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States
Brother David's Triple Abbey Style AleBrother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale
Notes: Similar to Belgian-style Strong Pales, the Tripel is often characterized by its lighter color, spicy aromatics, and complexity. Brother David’s Triple is brewed with copious amounts of pale malts as well as Belgian candi sugar, giving it a deep golden hue, medium body and rich mouth feel. The dense head gives off aromas of candied orange peel, clover honey, pears, and a hint of freshly mown fields. The fruity esters and spicy hop flavors balance the phenolic characteristics leading to a peppery, citrusy finish.
Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 696 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.11/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: Funky 22 ounce Bomber. Not the usual Anderson Valley presentation, the colorful label is gone to be replaced with a two-tone cream and sepia affair. Labeled as ‘Brother David’s Triple Abbey Style Ale’ and listed at 10.0% Alc./Vol. Described as brewed from ‘malted barley, hops, water, demerara sugar and special Trappist yeast’. The label also states that this is ‘Never Heat Pasteurized nor Sterile Filtered’, recommended to be served at between 40°F to 45°F, that’s 4.44°C - 7.22°C in real money.

Appearance: Lucid body, dark amber with some polished copper hints. The head builds up quickly but soon dissipates to leave a thin broken covering and a small ringed halo head. Light carbonation, enough to reinstate the head when swirled but that’s about it.

Nose: Some raw alcohol, a clove-like banana hint with a smidgeon of un-dissolved brown sugar, no doubt from the demerara. Not much else really. Funny; that’s funny weird, not funny Ha-Ha.

Taste: Urgh!-WTF!?! My initial thoughts, quite literally. The alcohol is high, raw, unrefined and rough, you can taste it everywhere. Sickly malt feel, cloying brown sugar feel, some mashed banana’s – the sort you see in Monkey Sick, sweet candy tastes in the backend….muddled, befuddled and a bloody mess.

Mouthfeel: Initial carbonation was enough to spare me from the raw alcohol but it soon rescinds to leave the full onslaught of this rough and ready brew. Sugary middle and a cheap brandy finish. Unbalanced, uncultured and seemingly under-matured, way, way too raw – drink this down the fields with a few of your underage mates, they’ll love the big alcohol and not mind the awful taste and feel.

Drinkability: Shite, I had a whole 22 ounce of this. I left it a while, after reading some other Reviews by the time I got to this stage of mine, there are hints that leaving this one “to air” will help improve it – I found no such relief, it was just as bad as ever. The latter half of this was a hard slog; the last quarter went down the drain!

Overall: The left hand side of the label has the phrase “You Are Worthy”. Hmmm, that sounds a little familiar no? Anyways, if I am indeed worthy, what the hell did I do to deserve this? I’m not impressed with this one at all, the best part of the whole experience was playing about trying to remove the gold colored plasticky-wax like blob that covers the crown cap – from thereon in its all downhill I’m afraid. I expected much, much more from a Brewer that I hold in high regard. I think someone broke into Anderson Valley and brewed this whilst the usual brewer was sleeping. Maybe this one needs some time in the Cellar, who knows, yet somehow I don’t think that would improve it that much to be honest as there seemed to be no yeast sediment at all in this one.

If I went back in time knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t waste $5 on this one if I was faced with it in the Cooler again. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the bottle.

Is it me, or is this just a jumbled up confused high alcohol mess???

Sep 20, 2004
More User Reviews:
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

2.67/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Gold color pour, big open bubbles. Reeks of belgian yeast phenols and fusel alcohol.

Tastes like it smells. Belgian malt liquor be thy name. I like most AV stuff, not this.

Nov 26, 2015
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smanders from Virginia

2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - bright copper with a thin head that lasted seconds. No lacing.

Smell - alcohol and sweet malt.

Taste - malt followed by the warming effect of alcohol. Not much flavor to this one.

Mouthfeel - slick

Drinkability - below average. A poor example of the flavorful Triple Belgian style. Too much alcohol masks the taste and flavors that make this style an icon of beer.

It did have a nice label, though...

Jun 30, 2009
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BillHilly from Washington

2.76/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a nice amber color. Head discipated fast. Very light carbonation.

Smell: Very sweet smelling, brown sugar hints and light yeast.

Taste: No where near my anticipation. Sweet with a caramel and brown sugar note. Finishes with the alcohol bite from the ABV level (10%).

Mouthfeel: Lightly effervescent, mild froth, but simply simple. This is a very plain triple.

Drinkability: Gave this beer a 2.5, and that might be a reach. Not a beer I would buy again, but would drink it if you bought it! Very plain for the price.

Oct 19, 2010
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jeffm13 from Wisconsin

4.49/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another favorite. I think it's the best tripel brewed in the U.S. Definite citrus tones, honey. Good finish with just a bit of tartness. Like La Fin Du Monde and Golden Monkey, I try to keep this one stocked all the time--when I can find it.

May 27, 2017
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gordavidson from Maryland

3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- An ever so slightly hazy golden liquid with a splotchy, thin white head.

S- Apples, pears, cooked vegetables, honey, and white bread. Right in there for the style.

T- Surprisingly sweet with a noticeable alcohol presence. The fruitiness really comes out here as well as does a floral essence.

M- Has a bit of a carbonation bite and has a bit of heat on it after the swallow from the alcohol.

D- Well, for a 10% triple, this does hide the alcohol better than expected. It is a little on the sweet side, but overall, it drinks decently.

Nov 12, 2009
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tkdchampxi from New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Quick review: bought this for 2.50 a bomber. Can't beat that price, even if this isn't the greatest Abbey Style Trippel I've had.

Good mouthfeel, good carbonation. Flavors and scent are reminiscent of apple. Also traditional Belgian yeast, malt, and floral notes are present, but the beer is slightly lighter overall than a traditional Trippel. Not boozy or harsh.

Bottom line: representative of the style without innovating. On the lighter side, with hints of apple. Worth the price.

Nov 28, 2013
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leedorham from Washington

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Jan 22, 2013
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cdl from California

3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mar 30, 2014
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Jaredkylemccann from California

4.41/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz poured into my chimay chalice.
I'm not gonna go in too much depth cuz I drank it last night.

L/ poured a crisp clear golden color with a one finger white head.

S/ very fruity apricots honey spice.

T/ same as smell. Sweet a little alcohol but I like that.

MF/ smooth good carbonation

O/ good solid tasty tripel. I'd defiantly drink it again.

Nov 12, 2016
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BMoney575 from Texas

3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on 10-23-09

Pours a clear golden orange color, with the slightest film of head and small bits of lacing.

Smell is light and fruity, almost boring. Not adjuncty or harsh at all, and actually quite enjoyable.

Taste is very sweet, with a strong alcohol edge. Nowhere near as light as the smell would indicate. The syrupy sweetness sticks to the palate, and lasts forever.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with low carbonation to accentuate the fact.

Drinkability is decent, but the sugary booze is a kick to the system.

Overall, not worth $9 a bomber.

Oct 23, 2009
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ste5venla from California

3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

Feb 21, 2013
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1971bernat from Virginia

4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 28, 2017
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stephens101 from Oklahoma

3.69/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A reddish-orange brew is topped with a thin and bubbly tan head that clears out quickly with no trace left behind. Smells fruity, malty and yeasty with some bubblegum and phenols in the background. Crisp on the palate with big sweet malts, more bubblegum, ripe apples and a little spice. Medium bodied with a hint of lingering alcohol heat, which is very subtle despite the gravity. Goes down with some grainy roughness at the edges and gets slightly creamy middle as it warms. Not bad for an American version, just really hard to beat the masters.

Mar 19, 2010
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wrb357 from California

2.43/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Have wanted to try this beer for awhile. I live in Nor Cal so Anderson Valley can be found easily. Got this at a liquor store, had to move some of the doubles out of the way to try it. Poured it into a standard pint glass from a 22oz battle.

A - Looked fairly orange, with some light head to it. Reminded me of a hefe in appearance.

S - I got distinct smells of apple and pineapple juice. Honestly it smelled very juice-y right off the nose.

T - This beer, like others have said, is very sweet. I am relatively new to triples but have tried some recently and enjoyed them. I didn't taste the booze as much as others have said, but it did seem almost overpoweringly sweet. This loosened up as time went on, but still was sweet overall.

M - Felt good in the mouth, but just like the taste, reminded me of juice. This made it hard to focus on the feel.

D - It's fairly easy to drink, but again, the sweetness is overpowering. I couldn't imagine drinking more than one of these in a sitting (they're big bottles and it's 10% overall) but I also don't think I'd have this again.

It's a shame it wasn't my favorite because it's easy to get and relatively inexpensive for how much alcohol is in it. Still, you may enjoy this if you are a fan of lambics or ciders and want something that will kick you on your butt.

Dec 30, 2010
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bonbini26 from New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -29%

Jan 10, 2012
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Brewsed from North Carolina

3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in 22oz bomber from local gas station

color is a bit on the dark side for a tripel

aroma reminds of a big malty barley wine with hints of Belgian esters (banana/pear mostly) and alcohol

Carbonation was low for a tripel, mouth feel was a little syrupy, and dense

Overall, not a good example of a belgian tripel imho. not a bad beer, but it shouldn't be called a tripel.

Oct 05, 2015
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BretSikkink from Mexico

3.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Some orange with a little gold mixed in the color. Completely clear except for the bubbles. White head, not much retention, really small amount of lacing. Not a good look, for this venerated style at least.

Aromas of fruits, sweet but pale malts, and a tiny little spiciness. Not enough power or enticement to bring it up.

One-dimensional ale, with grassy hops leading light, fruity flavors including pear and apple; pale malts are very sweet and sticky, to a cloying degree almost from the get-go. Lots of candi sugar here.

Big abv lends a sort of low-brow appeal to this one: if it weren't for the price tag this would appeal greatly to a 40-oz. fan. Big sweetness masks the alcohol, but only to a certain extent. As it warms, the mouthfeel grows thick and treacly sweet, sticky.

Not much of a Belgian brew - the tripel is an easy style to have slip from your grasp, and this one amplifies the worst characteristics while ignoring or sublimating the great.

Oct 02, 2008
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BrewStoutMagic from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ok this is a Abbey style ale that changed my idea of what I thought Abbey ale was. I guess I was expecting something like a dubbel,maybe a bit darker. THis smells like nothing I've smelled before the only thing I'd compare it to is apples with a strong touch alcohol and cloves. TASTE is definitley cloves and apples,apricots? You may want to let it settle for a few minutes.Its not bad,but not something I've acquired a taste for yet.It might take me a few more bottles to get used it.You should try it for yourself.You might like it.Because this brewery makes some good tasting brew.

Apr 29, 2011
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roblowther from Texas

3.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A new one to the TX scene, as far as I know. Pours clear luminous gold and as headless as the horseman who regains popularity about every time this year. Smells of apricots, peaches, brown sugar, and bananas. Taste is banana phenols up front then a rich caramel finish. Not complex but what it does, it does well. Mouthfeel is slick and more carbonated than it looks. Drinkability is good. Its a well-balanced brew and the alcohol just shows up as a warmth later. Both signs of one I'll easily finish. David, you can be my brother any time.

Nov 05, 2009
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass, the beer pours a bright, hazy, orange-copper coloring with a thin, half inch layer of tightly bubbled, dense head. Aromas of nutmeg, coriander, and boozey sweet characteristics. The flavors are well blended and crisp, and you get a mouthful of spices at the end of the beer. Other flavors include a slightly sour malt characteristic, booze, and hints of citrus. The body is light and crisp for the style, IMHO. This beer has a mid-bodied lacing it leaves on the glass, but the beer is slick, so it settles back into the beer after a bit. Aftertaste is mostly the spices, with a slight touch of the sourness right at the end. The finish is a bit rich, and that definitely maintains this beer as a sipper, as a Tripel or any beer at this ABV is meant to be.

Apr 01, 2011
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ccrida from Oregon

2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from their wax sealed 22oz. bomber into a St. Feuillien goblet, Brother David's Triple is a bright amber with a thin eggshell surface skim that persists to the end, leaving scattered lace. Unusual for the style, but not bad looking. This bottle has been cellared for about 3-4 months.

The nose is all candi sugar, behind which lies a spicy belgian yeast character. Sweeter at first, as it warms, it's more like caramel. One dimensional, but none of the booze I expected at 10%, and fairly inviting.

The taste follows suit with the nose, in that's it's not nearly as complex as the best examples of the style, but is nevertheless not bad, although the alcohol makes it's presence more well known, and it pushes getting cloying. As it warms, the sugar thickens and resembles caramel syrup, and the fusels really come out.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side, syrupy.

This is moderately drinkable, neither bad nor good. Actually, it's closer to bad as it warms, so serve it cold! Time may aide the sugar, but I doubt I'll bother buying another for the cellar...

Jun 22, 2007
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jondeelee from Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brother David's Triple begins with an aroma that is half Belgian and half baking bread: ripe bananas and cloves mixed with deliciously yeasty dough that is in the oven and just beginning to darken at the edges. Hints of lychee nut, pineapple, and pear also appear on the nose, as well as the briefest mention of milk chocolate.

On the tongue, the beer begins instantly sweet--confectioner's sugar and caramelized brown sugar--before the Belgian bananas and cloves kick in and take over the tastebuds. Bright citrus flavors--apricot and grapefruit--as well as pear and apple also come into play. There is a strong alcohol tinge to the brew--created by the 10% ABV--that is vodka-like in quality, and does slightly mar the flavors. The aftertaste is mainly a continuation of the above, which becomes more bitter as the sugars die off, revealing a hop kick. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium-high and quite fizzy.

Overall, this is good fare, though nothing to necessarily crow about, largely because the vodka-like kick lessens the latter half of the mouthful. Still, for a 10% beer, it's certainly palatable, and the malt flavors are pronounced and well-balanced.

Jul 31, 2011
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jackorain from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared a bottle of this following dinner at a family gathering at my house.

A-Slightly cloudy dull golden color with a loose head of semi course bubbles. Fell to thi ring quicly and offer no significnat lacing

S-some belgiun yeast charater, a little clove and faint hop aroma. Malts begin to take over as one continues to sniff

T-sweet carmel malts, fruity, sweet, very faint hops. Heavy on the carmel malt flavor. Too sweet for my tastes. Alcohol esters carry through with fruitiness on the finish.

M_tingly cabonation and light to meduim body.

D- I really wouldn't buy another bottle.


Apr 28, 2007
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heysuz from Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apr 08, 2018
Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 696 ratings