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

368 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Brother David's Triple Abbey Style AleBrother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-15-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 368 | Ratings: 674
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Crwills thank you for picking up at BOW and bringing. Creamy head with soap bubbles, wafting yeast aroma, lace in glass. Sweet yeasty taste, pear, peach and sugar and apple-tropical. my favorite style though this is not the prime representative of the style.Alcohol hidden by process.Nicely quaffable.

 301 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange with a foamy bone colored 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, grain, fruit, spices, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a distinct hair spray flavor with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer all around that is drinkable but nothing worth revisiting in my opinion.

 498 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a darker color than many tripels i've had. rust colored with a thin white head. smells quite robust, floral, malty. flavor is interesting again for a tripel. prominent belgian yeast flavor and feel, sugary malts, pears, grassy hops in the background. mouthfeel is nice, exploding carbonation on the tongue, medium body, easy drinking. no trace of the 10% abv here, even as it warms up. this is a cool tripel because its a little heavier than most. it stood up well to a jalapeno/pepperoni pizza, which many beers of this style could not do. not my favorite but a good effort.

 581 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours as a nice golden yellow color, a little bit of amber in there too. The head is decent at first but fades within a few minutes. It leave just a very small amount of lacing on the glass. The aromas of Belgian yeast and some spice rise from the glass. The taste of those same aromas follow through fairly well in the flavor. The mouthfeel is a little thicker than expected, it's nice actually. A pretty good brew all around.

 427 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is an amped up version of David Double. A little thinner and clearer in color, lesser retention, but laced well. Smells sweetly candy-like and alcoholic. Sweet fruits and spices persist in the aroma. Tastes of classic belgian candy sugar, pears, peaches, figs, dates, apples. Spices of cinnemon, clove, corriander, and mint. Mild hopping also adds to the spice, and makes the sweetness tolerable. Big firm body holds the unique belgian yeast and fermentation flavors. Carbonation is big on the toung and palate. Finishes hot, spicy, dry,and thinly sweet. A good beer, but I am interested in seeing if aging will help to mellow it out.

 644 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Seems only apropos as today I met Trey, the owner of this brewery, non? That, and I've missed an associated Anderson Valley tasting in my burg tonight.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber hue, with one statistically average finger of thinly foamy dirty white head, which leaves some sparse islet lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of sweet wheaty malt, citrus preserves, Belgian yeast, and a simmering underlying alcohol edge. The taste is rather saccharine, grainy malt, more orange and some further apple jelly fruitiness, a stringent, earthy yeastiness, some very faint leafy hops, and a generally well-behaved (i.e. restrained from causing any real damage) booziness.

The bubbles are pretty well sedate throughout this affair, the body a nouveau-riche middleweight, buoyed by the sugar and alcohol (a house of cards, really), and smooth, too, but for a niggling, probing ethanol agent provocateur. It finishes just on the storm-side of off-dry (perhaps I've simply become acclimated), the sweetness waning somewhat, the concurrent jammy fruit gaining a bit, and that big ABV doing us all a favour by only baying at the gates.

Like all Tripels, to me at least, I get a disjointed booziness, which here is quite minimized, but still present, in the midst of an underappreciated, fruity, and wheat-tinged sugar-pop, mediated slightly by an old-world yeast validation. Seeing how the whole bottle disappeared rather quickly in our short time together, the drinkability is surely bahl hornin', to crib some marketing from another AV product.

 1,586 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a medium amber color with an OK head that retains as a ringlet and leaves some splashes around the chalice

Smell: Rather inviting, with a nice malty caramel base and some banana esters wafting above; some fusel alcohol is apparent, too - uh oh!

Taste: Starts out OK, with the caramel malt and banana flavors coming through nicely, but the alcohol starts too appear way too early; after the swallow, the beer falls apart, with a metallic flavor coming in and joining the building alcohol flavors; some hops in the finish too, that add inappropriate bitterness to the brew

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; warming alcohol after the swallow

Drinkability: Boy, should Anderson Valley stick to its knitting - keep brewing in the British/West Coast tradition and put a lid on the Belgian efforts; both this and the Double are an indulgence that is best kept at home

 908 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.55/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared with Capflu, DumDum and Lubière: Poured a light orangey color tripel with a small bubbly white head. Aroma of wheat is very weak with some light coriander and some Belgian yeast. Taste is less spicy then what I would have hoped for with a definite lack of wheat. Body is too thin for the style and carbonation is almost non-existent.

 348 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.3/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweizen glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Colour is a semitransparent light copper-gold. Head is three fingers of slight cream and decent thickness. Retention is favorable. I wouldn't call it appealing.

Sm: Musty hops reminiscent of many winter warmers I've had. Certainly candy sugar is in there. Some spices are present but me broken nose can't place them - all apologies, lads. Scent is moderate in strength.

T: Splits at the midpoint, which is structurally problematic in this beer. The first half is loaded with candy sugar accompanied by some light caramelized malt. The hops emerge in the second half but aren't distinct, covered (and burdened) by the overdone sugar - some of which I think is unfermented - almost astringent. It's not horribly complex, but balances its problems if that's worth anything. Some spices emerge on the tail end, and I definitely get a winter warmer vibe from them. No alcohol comes through, which is quite an accomplishment given the ABV.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but entirely too thick. Suits the flavours in that it allows them to clear quickly.

Dr: It's difficult to drink on account of its badly handled sugar problem and its overdone thickness. The price isn't particularly great considering the low quality. A trainwreck attempt at the Tripel style.

 1,399 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in April of 2006

A - Poured out a cloudy, gold color with a small, fizzy, white head that left some lace.

S - It smelled fairly fruity (apple and pears) and some citrus notes.

T - This had an odd mix of fruit and citrus flavors (orange peel, apple). Also, had some candy sugar and yeast flavors.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an easy drinking beer, but a somewhat unusual taste for a tripel.

 445 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.76/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

Pours a bright golden color with a nice white head and a good amount of lace rings as it goes down. Nose brings forward caramel and some spice. Some fruity esters and bread in there as well. Taste is mostly some light fruity spicing and quite a bit of booze, which really detracts from the mouthfeel. Some sweetness as well. Overall, this is quite a bit of a mess, and a big disappointment after the Dubbel, which I quite enjoyed.

 494 characters

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dull sort of copper with a well sustained white head,real lively carbonation it looks somewhat spritzy,green apple aromas mixed with some phenolic spice and smoke I pick up a hint of bubble gum like that found in some Bavarian hefe weizen's as well in there.Quite honestly there is not alot of character to this beer in the flavor department but there are some pleasant components some pear and hints of green apple up front with spicey,yeasty lingering finish.Its missing something its close to being really good but needs somedepth and a little more flavor punch but it goes down easy for being so high in alc.I wont seek out again but its pretty enjoyable,a simple pleasure.

 686 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmmm, I was excited to try this to see an Americanized Belgian Abbey, but seeing the score I'm not so much anymore, but I'll have to make that decision my self.

A: Poured into my Corsendonk tulip, which I thought was most fitting. A light fizzy 1/2 finger head settles and fades quickly over a very clear golden amber straw orange color.

N: Has a pretty yeasty bite to the nose at first. Nosing deeper gives some nice golden Belgian malts. Some thick sweet malt aromas, a little boozy.

T: Lots of sweet malts hit first, and even some Belgian candi sugar. Golden Belgian malts, sweet malts and sugar just right up front. A little light fruit flavors as well. Juicy fruit flavors. Some boozy flavors and hits with some heat and spice from the booze. A little yeasty flavor hidden in the background. The booze comes on really strong too, it IS 10% but it would be a little nicer to be hidden a bit more.

M: Semi thin body with lower carbonation, but tons of heat and spicy booze.

F: Still very sweet on the finish too and lingering spicy heat from the booze. Some of the lingering sweet candi sugar and golden Belgian malts linger, but the spicy booze just lingers. Not too bad for starters on a Belgian Abbey ale, but just way too heavy on the booze and the sweetness.

 1,272 characters

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy bright orange color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Some nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of apricot, orange, pear, apple, plum, light banana, clove, pepper, honey, candi sugar, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of apricot, orange, pear, apple, plum, light banana, clove, pepper, honey, cadi sugar, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of apricot, orange, plum, pear, apple, clove, honey, candi sugar, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice Tripel style. Good balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy hops flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,416 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Carefully poured, the body is a clear orange-amber with golden highlights beneath a good-sized head of bright white froth. The retention is quite good, and although it drops it does maintain a thin surface covering through the first quarter of the glass. Lacing could be better, however, and it leaves only thin splashes here and there. The nose is bright with a judicious amount of yeasty phenolic and fruitiness (bubblegum, some plastic, soft dark berries, dark fruit skins) and a candyish and sugar-cookie dough like maltiness. It's surprisingly soft in the mouth with a full body and standard carbonation (one might expect a higher level in a tripel). The malt is rich and luxurious without being overly sweet, and the phenolic character (which adds a bit of spiciness here) really rounds it out and completes it. An undercurrent of grassy and leafy hops gives it even more depth. The bitterness is appropriately balancing, and in combination with the spiciness of the yeast it finishes drying despite all of the dextrins that are left in the mouth. It's quite nice and very enjoyable, and the excellent malt character present in all of the other Anderson Valley beers is still here, but it does fall short of the finest examples from Belgium.

 1,247 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color in the chalice, a couple of shades darker than the usual Tripel. Decent head, and spritzy on the tongue.

Rich an sharp at the same time. Smell of alcohol and yeast, with some fruity brandy like grappa in the nose. More fruity flavors abound. Some pears and hard cider. Spicy with hear and hops, plenty of Belgian deep flavors. Starts out sweet, but turns into a brambly Zinfandel sort of flavor, and finishes with lots of bitter yeasty taste. Flavors like an active fermenter going on.

Second tasting seems drier. This is my favorite Anderson Valley beer, a decent offering from a brewery I am not a big fan of. An interesting and slightly different sort of Tripel.

 680 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ripe tangelo with sunflower yellow highlights. The lack of even a speck of yeast disturbing the glassy purity of the beer is a bit concerning, but perhaps they're hiding in the bottom of the bomber, waiting to make an appearance on subsequent pours. I'm not all that impressed with the pale butter colored head and the lack of lace. Brother David's is certainly no match for the best Belgians when it comes to looks.

The nose is tripel-like... yet it isn't. Tripel would be in my first three guesses anyway. What greets my nose is sweet, golden fruity and ever so slightly spicy. The label claims the use of a 'special Trappist yeast' and I'll have to take their word for it, but the strain that they chose doesn't smell like it graduated in the top half of its class at yeast school. Still hummin' along at above average.

I'm not a style stickler in most cases, but this one is just too far afield for me to give it much respect. I'm only granting the above score because I tend to have a soft spot for big, sweet beer. If you've come here in search of something authentic and truly Belgian-like, I'm afraid you'll be sorely disappointed.

The flavor profile consists of ripe apple and pears swimming in candi sugar syrup. I like it just fine, it's just that it's incredibly simple and lacks any depth or complexity whatsoever. Grassy hops contribute something of value in terms of flavor, but any bitterness that they might have imparted is buried under a tidal wave of sweetness and alcohol.

Actually, an especially smooth, especially refined malt liquor is a valid comparison (and that isn't a knock; well, not much of one anyway). All but about one finger of beer has now exited the bottle and I still don't see any yeast. I wouldn't care so much except that I can't really taste any yeast either. This is just not a stellar effort, it's as simple as that.

The clear highlight for me is the mouthfeel. Thanks to all the pale malt and candi sugar (called demerara sugar on the list of ingredients), it's full and chewy and sticky and wonderful. A moderate amount of fine carbonation is the perfect complement. Too bad the rest of the beer doesn't measure up.

I liked Brother David's Double and I expected to like his Triple at least as much since I prefer the latter style to the former one. For some reason though, it isn't as faithful a recreation. I hate to say it, but I think Anderson Valley would be better served by sticking to the classically American styles. Which they do very well, by the way.

 2,526 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice pale amber with lots of carbonation and a decent head. Thick lace stayed throughout. Smell was very spicey, nutmeg, cinamon, hints of apricot and a touch of alcohol. Very light and lively smell. Taste followed suit nicely. Apricots,. figs, a hint of grassy tones. Very nice going down. A bit of a warming when going down made it nice on a cold night. Overall this was a nice treat and at 10%abv didn't really feel that strong for a big beer. A good value for the price.

 483 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear orange color with a smallish white head that lasts as some foam on top. Decent lacing.

S: A little bit of spice, some nutmeg and cinnamon, but mostly I get apples and a little bit of alcohol.

T: More apple, a little bit of apricot, not as much spice as expected based off the aroma.

M: Texture is a bit grainy. Medium bodied with good carbonation though. Warms my stomach when it goes down.

O: A bit underwhelming, especially compared to some other brews I have had from AVBC. Not terrible though, just nothing special.

 544 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Starting head dies to intermittent bubbles. Some lace, but it slides down the glass. The color is clean copper and very clear.

Fruity with definitive alcohol presence. Overall, quite mild.

Rich and spritzy, there's a strong warmth from the high level of alcohol. It is also sweet but perhaps only because I cannot detect any hop whatsoever. The body is also slightly oily.

Tripels are not my style, but this seems more pedestrian than most.

 444 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. wax-topped bottle, poured into a glass chalice:

Pours hazed orange amber with a thin swirl rather than a head. Vanishing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of herbal notes, orange peel and caramel candy.

The taste is sweet - candy sugar, caramelish. Some grassiness is there, as well as herbal spicing, but both are nearly fully masked by the caramelish/sugary sweetness. Too sweet and lacking on complexities. Hardly a triple/tripel, if at all. Aside from style, great shakes there either. A weak yeast strain hardly adds anything. Still, it doesn't taste "bad". The alcohol is pretty well covered with a somewhat pleasant peppery sharpness in the otherwise sweet finish.

Light to medium bodied with mild to moderate carbonation, though thinnish, it has a silky-ish texture that adds to smoothness.

This one sadly misses the mark on the style and is too sweet and uneventful - out of style. I prefer this brewery's double, though that's not a classic of the style either. It's a shame, as this brewery makes some good to great beer. This is not one of them. Maybe they should re-think the Belgian-styles. In the end, pretty drinkable for the abv.

 1,175 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A faint off white foamy head appears and falls very quickly to nothing. Lots of visible carbonation, even some snapping noise and lots of bubbles in the glass. Body color is a nice orange amber, fairly clear if a bit hazy. Odd color for this style, but I must admit it is nice.

Nose is some heat, faint sweet Belgian like candy, but mostly nothing really that impressive.

A sweet alcohol hits the palate, and then brings also a real malty bitterness. Straight forward Tripel tast but a bit crisp and sharp, without much density. Aftertaste is really not that pleasant either.

Overall I suppose you could do worse, but I am not really feeling this one at all compared to other Triples I've had.

 740 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear , orange-hued, under a sizeable, creamy head.

Sweet, fruity nose. Smooth, lightly hoppy, bits o' spice.

Nice and easy, going down. big spicy fruit, medium bodied, light, yet lingering finish. Doesn't have enough presence, or character, though, to be memorable. Alcoholic content is first. Then comes the brandy feel, and the burn.

Nice enough, though. Not quite a typical, or a trancendent tripel, but nice.

 440 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.49/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 796 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

03/15/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22oz bottle poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Dirty orange colored pour with a small 1/4 inch head, decent lacing and a small ufo circle in the middle.

Smell- Heavy sweet clove and banana scent.

Taste- Pretty damn sweet and a bit sour at the same time. Buckets by buckets of bananas in the mix. It started out decent enough, but the sweetness really got to me about 6 ounces in. Lots of alcohol fumes emitting from my pie hole. I smell like a drunk after 6oz!

Mouthfeel- Medium to high carbonation, a bit dry in the mouthfeel department.

Drinkability- This was one of the hardest beers for me to finish. Very different indeed. It started out good, but quickly got sickening sweet. A 4oz sampler would have been perfect.

 816 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 674 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.