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

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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

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Ratings: 676 |  Reviews: 369
Photo of Zeisloft
4.23/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to go to the back of the fridge and grab this Anderson Valley Brother David's Triple. This was a Christmas gift from my co-worker, and as it is 20 degrees outside, and we have Anchorman on the television- I felt it would be a good night to pop the cap.

The beer poured and orange (maybe burnt orange) color, with a small quarter inch head (I had to work to get that much). Aroma is entirely based on sweetness and the belgian yeast. No expectation of hop aromas, none found.

The initial taste (out of fridge, cool/cold) was a sweet beer but showcasing a lot of the fruity yeast flavors. The alcohol is well hidden, even though it clocks in at 10 percent. Hopefully as it warms, it will bring forth a little more.

Second taste: Leaving the beer warm a bit, the sweetness remains, as the yeast mellows. Whether it is candy sugar or whatever, but the sweetness really tries to overpower the beer.

The carbonation is perfectly in order, cutting through the sweetness to make this a very drinkable beer. The beer is smooth, yet has a great body to it. Even though the beer had no head retention, it is viscus enough to cling to the sides of the glass- resembling what would be looked for in a fine wine.*

Overall, I feel that this is a very drinkable beer. Very enjoyable, and might be considered dangerously drinkable. The only reason I would not suggest this beer, is if you are not a fan of sweeter Belgian beers. Other than that, I would give it a try.

*I know very little about fine wines, but I think this is true.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark burnt-orange color with a small 1/4" head of off white bubbles There are quite a few bubbles lazily making their way to the top, showing that this beer is pretty viscous. After a minute the head was still there and was a small lop-sided ring on top of the beer.

Aroma: I initially got a good bit of alcoholic spice mixed with some oxidative effects that seem like they are from wood aging. There is some mild bubble-gum in there. As the beer warms up some, the spice gets heavier. The malts are there the whole time, but they are only contributing a mild toastiness and a touch of sweetness.

Taste: The beer is amazingly mild for having such an assertive aroma. I definitely get the oxidative effects on the malt and alcohol in the flavor, big-time. There is evident warming that sets in early in the sip and stays on the back of the throat long after the sip. The malts are in charge of the beer overall. There is a mild hopping that gives some balance, but the alcohol is as noticeable of a challenger to the malt as any hops. The mouthfeel is quite heavy for this style, and the light carbonation is definitely a factor; however, the terminal gravity is too high as well.

Opinion: This is an alright beer, but it is really falling short of a "Triple" in my opinion. The body is the biggest deterrent in that it doesn't have that crisp, bubbly mouthfeel that sends the beer flying across your palate. This beer is quite heavy with low carbonation and high TG, all combined to make it more noticeable to drink than just about any Triple I have had. All this said, the beer isn't flawed at all. I am mentally lumping it into the "Quadruple" style since that can be so much more varied. With that in mind, the beer is pretty decent. I will definitely finish the bottle, and wouldn't mind giving it a shot on tap someday, but otherwise, this is probably my only experience with this particular beer.

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Photo of radioscooter
4.29/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taken on good word from Dave at HO10KB in New Kensington, Pensyltucky. They had it on tap so I tried that first and it was delicious. But I am reviewing the bottle.

Lighter look than expected. Iced Tea color. Weak Iced Tea at that.

STRONG flavor. Over the top Triple. Sweet, malty BOOZY goodness. Doesn't taste REMOTELY like a lambic or a cider. It's a freaking Belgian style Triple and anyone tasting it should know that going into it. HINT reviewers - if you hate the style - temper your reviews accordingly. Here's another hint - if you don't like sweet beers, just say so. Don't slam the beer. Some of us like sweeter beers. I don't shit all over IPA's just because I don't like the style. If you like hops, review hops. If you like malt - etc.

Here's the crucial bit of info: One of, if not THE best Abbey style beers offered by an American brewery. An Abbey style beer that doesn't taste like someone just blended Chimay and Yuengling. What a delightful surprise. I had almost given up on American Belgians.

Perfect yeasty, Belgian flavor. Would love to have them make a Quad. they could clone Westy 12, I'm sure.

Honestly, I can't think of one other American brewery that has gotten it this right.

Mouthfeel - not too carbonated. Just the right balance of syrup to ale. A TINY bit hot. Am planning on laying three down for a few years. We'll see if they can last.

Dear Anderson - PLEASE make a Quad!!

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Photo of wrb357
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

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Photo of silentjay
2.53/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours a decent glowing golden color with a nicely sized fluffy white head that quickly diminishes to a spattering of film while leaving no trace of lacing on the glass.

aroma of sweet citrus candies, candy sugar, a tiny bit of spice and a light bready yeast. this is going to be sugary sweet i think. a bit boozy too.

yep, sugary, and with some acidic lemon zest, some apple and pear, and maybe some strawberries. white sugar and light brown sugar and simple syrup. very little spice, lots of booze.

starts bubbly, but quickly becomes watery, with plenty of heat and a corn-syrup stickiness. similar to a cola that has been left out for an hour or so, and spiked with generic vodka.

nope. doesnt drink very well. I may finish the glass, may not, but I definitely won't buy this one again. a good value if you look solely at ABV/$, but would much rather a better aroma/flavor/body for my $.

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Photo of mariposafan
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright orange body with essentially no head. A little fringe of foam that leads to some lacing but even that is minimal.

The aroma is alcohol, sugary maltiness and some bready yeast.

The flavor has an interesting fruitiness that I wasn't expecting given the aroma but is otherwise pretty much standard fare. Some Belgian yeast character but not much, drier than the nose would suggest. Too much alcohol.

The mouthfeel is OK. Some body but the carbonation is a little on the robust side. Combined with the excessive alcohol it's a little too much.

The only thing actively discouraging me from having more is the alcohol - it's just too hot. The biggest problem is that there's very little to recommend having another to balance the scales. Overall, I think I'll pass.

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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.

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Photo of BillHilly
2.76/5  rDev -20%
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.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden with a thick and frothy white head that retains adequately. The aroma starts off with belgian yeast notes, as well as candy sugar, banana, clove, spices, biscuit, fruity esters, herbal hops and some alcohol. The flavor is all fruity esters and candy sugar upfront, along with yeastiness, bread dough, herbal hops, some phenols and spices and alcohol. The mouthfeel is light and sprightly and drinkability is very good. A tasty but not particularly complex triple, very drinkable but maybe a tad too sweet.

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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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Ironically, my girlfriend first drank this beer before I ever did, and it was she who suggested I try it. So we had a bottle together.

A: Pours a clear, rich amber body with substantial effervescence. The head is weaker than I'd expect from a tripel, rising only to a finger in height and retreating quickly. No lace.

S: Sweet... Brown sugar, caramel, a touch of fruity esters (apples, pears). I'm underwhelmed; I expect the style to be drier and the yeast to be more expressive, but that's certainly not the case here. The sugars are underattenuated and it's easy to tell that right away from the nose.

T: And if you didn't believe the nose, you'd certainly know it from the taste. Overly sweet, underattenuated. Dominated by brown sugar, a touch of caramel. It has a light fruitiness to it that suggests apple, pear, maybe even some berries. I pick up a light yeastiness and a lightly spicy bite in the finish, but it's otherwise quite malty and sweet. Simplistic in flavor, as well. Having had some outstanding tripels in the US as well as in Belgium, I'm not able to give this anything more than an average score.

M: Sweeter and maltier than I would expect. The alcohol is well-disguised, and the flavor hardly feels insubstantial, but it's so simplistic for the body that I'm unimpressed.

D: This affirms my suspicions about the gf: she loves sweet beers above all else. On a personal level, I thought this was average and no better. I'd rather get some La Fin du Monde.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet.

The beer is a clear deep orange color, with a small white head and minimal lacing.

The aroma is floral primarily, with hints of caramel. The taste is more of the same, very nice malty blend... the caramel flavors come out more and there is a hit of alcohol on the tongue as well. The beer so far is getting better each step.

Overall I'd say it's a nice Belgian-style ale. Not on par with the best authentic ales but solid.

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Photo of claybeer
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It has a dirty gold color. There isn't a head on it. It's more like a thin film over the top of this beer. The nose is light with just a little bready yeast. WOW, what a huge taste bud shocker on the first sip. Big wheat with grain and soft malts. That itchy feeling scratches the roof of my mouth from the wheat. A lot of alcohol lingers on the finish. This is a big beer that is fun to drink. I don't see being able to drink more than this one 22oz. bottle or see it going with any meals. I would still buy it again to just sit around and enjoy.

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Photo of bohemiandonut
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Always fun to review a favorite style. As a man for whom phenolic hallucinations are an everyday occurrence, I have high hopes for this domestic economy-priced Tripel to meet.

Unfortunately there is none of the gushing head I've come to expect for the style. Smell is more Dubbel than I would expect, as is the color, a bridge between pale blonde and orange amber. Definitely "hot," but I don't really consider this a bad thing. Bring on those chemical aromas! Concentrated pear sweat, cocktail-like booze fumes, and just the subtlest hint of musk. For 10.00% this is all very appreciable.

Sour cherries, honey, raisin, damn I wish I were better at this. Booze abounds, which would almost be pleasant if it didn't override nearly every other flavor component. Each sip is more promising than the memory of that preceding it. Booze rides out the finish a little too long.

Mouthfeel flattens out rather fast, can't see myself grabbing this again. Next time pay the extra 3 dollars for Allagash. Ah well.

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

The first thing you will notice about this beer is the rich aroma. The beer has the usual tripple smell: sweet and full bodied, with a slight taste of fruit and a woody finish. This by no stretch of the imagination is as goos as an authentic tripple from Belgium, but it is as good as it gets for an American Triple. I would recommend this beer.

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Photo of ADZA
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brew pours a clear deep golden honey hue with pretty average carbonation that leaves behind a fast receding one finger head that disappears too quickly for my liking and leaves no lacing at all its definately not the most appealing looking of beers thats for sure,the smell is pretty average aswell with hints of raisins,brandy and boozy alcohol,i find the mouthfeel just way too light for a triple and the taste doesnt help this brew's cause its a pretty non-memorable mix of raisins,white port,sugar coated candy and of course a little alcohol warmth on first glass which im sure will fade with the more glasses you consume,overall its definately a let down compared to my first sampling from this brewery and given its unique label(and price) compared to the rest of their lineup's labels i thought i was in for something abit special but it was a let down and not a good example of the style at all which they clearly failed at and even though ill finish this bottle i wont savour its taste or return to it again unless shouted as i can prob think of 3 triple's right now that are better,cheaper,and more true to the style but hopefully the other beers i have in my fridge from this brewery are better or at least on par with my first brew from here.

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Photo of jamesmbirchnyc
2.46/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A great start to the beer, unfortunately finishes like a very amauter homebrew which was left to ferment one month too much.

I generally like Belgian during the warm months, but this beer has all the wrong notes. There was very little noticable head for the style, and the after-taste is almost undrinkable.

The one good point is the smell. I absolutely love the fruity notes that come from the minor head of this beer.

Otherwise, it's definitely skippable. Not my favorite, and not a re-buy candidate.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a burnt ochre with a fair white head, average retention, no lace.

S: Lots of yellow apple, pear and ethanol/organic solvent.

T: Candied oranges, white candi sugar with a lot of booze. No real complexity of flavour, though it doesn't taste bad by any means.

M: Full-bodied with the ethanol, but pretty thin. Drying finish, very boozy.

D: An OK stab at the style, but when compared to classics like St. Bernardus or Westmalle, or real good American examples like Allagash or Green Flash, the dip in quality is clear. I like Anderson Valley, but this is not one of their better efforts.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.89/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a wine glass. Pours a deep golden/copper in color and with a light cap of foam. Offers light lacing and is a bit dark/amber for the style.

Nose of muddled fruits reminds me of a light Dubbel. Some yeast notes accompany and encourage a bit or research. Alas a bit rich for the style. Yet this beer does offer some nice estery yeast notes yet never really bonds with its Tripel cousins. Tripel in strength yet not in character, too dark and too malty for that, though improving somewhat with exposure.

A bit sweet and numb in flavor, yet offering a better nose than most American Tripels. The Tripel police have been dispatched.

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Photo of drpimento
2.4/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Man, this is a pretty sweet ( literally ) beer; like, too sweet. Poured with an ok light tan head and a little lace. Color is a hazy medium amber. Aroma is reminiscent of Bavarian Weiss with that banana spice thing, plus lots of malt. Flavor is pretty good at first and then is totally dominated by sweetness. Body is full and round of course with all those sugars in there. Carbonation is ok. Finish is sweet then sweet and tapering off to sweet and much too long with all that sweetness. Not a session. Can't finish it.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours a lightly hazy orange with minimal head. Very minimal.

S - There are surprising citrus and pine hop hints int he nose with some nice spices that are more similar to a traditional Tripel. There are some nice boozy hints as well with some caramel and slight pear and vinous notes.

T - Starts of with a nice tart vinous flavors with some nice fruit juice. There is a nice spicy and grainy flavor that can be perceived through the tartness and come packed with pepper, coriander.The most surprising thing about this tripel is the hop flavor and profile. There is a nice piney flavor that is subtle but there.

M - Nice medium body with great CO2 crispness. Very drinkable and delicious except for the ABV that is felt like a sucka punch.

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Photo of NahpunGnome
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A - Slightly hazy copper with a head that quickly disappears.

S - I get dried apricots, over-ripened peaches, and alcohol.

T - Dried apricots, prunes, and very slight alcohol. I'm also not getting much yeastyness.

M - A bit on the thinner side for a tripel. Very little carbonation.

D - Pretty drinkable considering how much alcohol the beer has. Not bitter and a bit on the fruity side.

Summary - With 10% abv, the alcohol is hidden well. This one's a bit different from what I expect from a tripel. With that said, I think there are better tripel style beers out there. This one's not bad, but also not great in my opinion.

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Photo of mithrascruor
2.28/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color. Clear, but with lots of medium-sized bubbles. Barely any head, just some bubbly foam at the edges and only for a little while.

Smell: Barely any aroma, a bit of sweetness and perhaps some orange blossom.

Taste: Has a sort of indistinct flavor of some fruit, yeast, and hops. Some sweetness initially, but then turns to a bitter taste in the finish and aftertaste (along with some alcohol).

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied, though with a bit of density to it. Relatively smooth, with light carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit on the strong side, alcohol-wise. That's masked in a decent way. But the flavor isn't worthwhile after half a glass.

These Brother David beers just don't cut it. Really, not even worth picking up for just a try. The taste is far from good, and I don't even know if I'll finish the bottle.

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Photo of katan
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep golden color, honey like. Very clear, lightly carbonated. Head formation is light, just a film.

S - Very sweet nose - has a little bit of raisins, and an almost overt caramelized sugar note. Fruity, some esters. No hops, light amount of yeast. Some phenolic undertones.

T - Starts off with a very sweet, lightly grainy note. Honey comes to mind. Mid-stream gets more dry, lightly bitter. Finishes with a sweet malty note. The more I drink this, the more I think honey.

M - Moderate body - moderately creamy, which is very noticeable against the backdrop of little carbonation. Leaves a huge sticky film on the tongue.

D - Moderate to low drinkability. ABV is very potent, but well hidden. Very sweet - almost too sweet for even one. Would probably like it a little more dry.

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Photo of ksimons
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-a clear dark orange amber with a ring of head around the top of the glass

S-sweet, malty, a bit boozy

T-sweet and somewhat light for the style, malty with a bit of spicy yeast at the finish, alcohol is pretty subtle considering the high ABV

M-medium carbonation with a sweet malty mouthfeel

D-decent try, but not what I was expecting and not up to par with other triples

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Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 676 ratings.
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