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
680 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 680 |  Reviews: 370
Photo of Floydster
4.22/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10 ounce goblet from the Yard House on Newport Blvd.

Pour was a medium bnrown with a very nice silky head

Smell was sweet and full of fruit accents

Taste was so smooth and refreshing, supposed to be a sipper, but very drinkable

Definitely worth the $3.25 I paid for this during happy hour

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Photo of crookedhalo
2.33/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a light copper/golden orange color with a decent beige head that fades to a collar and thin sheen atop the beer. Aromas are mostly of pale malts with some notes of raw sugar, phenols, light spicing, green apple and pear, some grassy hops and some harsh vegetal aromas (Campbell's tomato soup?). Some sweetness upfront that quickly moves towards a plastic/medicinal mid and then a metallic, alcohol-laden semi-dry finish. A little bit of hops near the end, bitterness in all the wrong places. Too much heat and not enough complexity. Mouthfeel is good with a subtle prickly carbonation presence to cut the sweetness and viscosity. I'll pass on this one.

With this trainwreck in mind, I haven't tried their Double, but I think I'll pass on that one too if this is any kind of indicator on how AV brews an "Abbey".

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Photo of dbalsock
3.29/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

App: Poured a medium amber hue with a finger of white head that dissipated almost immediately down to a thin ring around the side of the glass. The carbonation looks ample, and it's a nice color, but the head could last longer.

Smell: Sweet malt, brown sugar, a smoked character... kinda like a smoked raisin... i don't know what that would really smell like, however.

Taste: A fairly straightforward malt profile with a small hop bite to round it off. The aftertaste is full and reminds me of a honey brown sugar mix, although the honey taste is pretty weak.

Mouthfeel: The malt feels slick and somewhat dense on the palate, a not so great feeling, but this is compensated by the nice warm alcohol and what I think is some subtle hop bitterness.

Drinkability: I find this to be easily drinkable because of it's lack in complexity. This means I would go through it easily if it was the only beer around, but because there is a wide selection, I will most probably never try this one again.

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Photo of stephendr
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle- color of hazy honey, with a white head - nose of honey, yeast , slight cloves , and chicken broth – taste of yeast, alcohol(not bad), honey, and oats- body is medium, and with medium high carbonation – aftertaste of sweet/sour, yeast, and honey

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Photo of dnichols
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I sampled a 650 ml bottle in a tulip.

A: Pours a amber with a hint of cooper color with a head that barely registers as a white topping that dissipates quickly after pouring.

S: Pleasant with hints of spices and some banana esters. The smell of alcohol is a bit strong.

T: The initial sips bring out the spice and banana flavors but quickly the alcohol overcomes the mellow flavors and combined with a slightly bitter hops bite at the back end of the drink leaves a dull bitterness that lingers on way after the glass is back on the table.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Not very refreshing or mellowing like high-end Tripels.

Drinkability: It’s a drinkable beer but not one I will go out of my way to try again. It’s a tad bitter for my taste and it has little to distinguish itself from other beers.

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Photo of brentk56
3.27/5  rDev -6.3%
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

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Photo of ccrida
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%
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...

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Photo of dstc
4.24/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz wax sealed bottle. Dark golden in color with little head. Head falls to absolutely nothing leaving no sign of it or lace behind.

Smells great. Sweet, malty and definitely of alcohol.

Nice bold flavor. Sweet malts, fruity, caramel flavors. Strong but nice alcohol taste with a clean dry finish.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

Very good beer. Very drinkable but with the 10%ABV it's definitely a sipping beer. Gets even better when it's a little warm.

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Photo of kexp
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks delicious, with the highlight being the cremere

S - Smells strongly of alcohol, a little too much so even for a Belgian Triple

T - Nice. Beer is on the brink of the alcohol hijacking an otherwise fine ale

M - Mouthfeel is almost as good as the authentic Belgians, which is high praise in my humble book

D - To be sipped, for sure. A nice treat. Just a tad on the harsh side due to the alcohol's noted presence.

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Photo of atsprings
3.64/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp orange with a thin head that is all too quick to diminish to nothing and leaves the beer looking incredibly bland. The aroma has some spiciness on top of sweet malts and light hops. The spiciness provides a nice touch to the taste, but overall, its nothing special. The beer is slightly heavy, but the alcohol is fairly well hidden. Overall, this is a far cry from what I expect in a Tripel.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to one of the Carolina Brewmasters who let me sample this as our annual memorial Day BBQ. Fan of the tripel and though this one was refreshing, it was a bit thin for the style. Nice carbonation and head retention, notes of fruit, a bit difficult to finish a bottle by myself. Worth a try, but do not go looking extensively for it.

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Photo of semihobo
2.27/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cellared for 15 months, no particular reason I opened it tonight. No idea how much older it is than that.

Looks like a cup of tea or weak coffee, crystal clear brown [edit: must have settled. Second chalice holds particles beautifully in suspension]. No head despite a vigorous pour, just a ring around the edge.

Smells of rum and raisins. Alcohol is definitely present. Sweet, with a distinct candy sugar taste. Nothing too pleasant.

Taste is of sweet raisins, alcohol, and metal. Sugars are interesting, and there are some phenolic banana notes. Alcohol is present but not too pronounced. Pretty industrial taste, however, and not very nuanced.

Highly carbonated but thin, makes drinking this brew slightly more of a chore. Sickening finish.

As Dave Chappelle put it, "it'll get you drunk." And that's nice. Otherwise I'd look into other options for the style... this is quite unrefined (not sure the aging helped, but I don't think it hurt). Don't need 22 oz of this, some is going down the drain.

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Photo of xymyl
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color: deep gold/orange with a white head that falls quickly but remains as a thin layer.

Aroma: Baked apples, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, yeast, leather, smoke, vanilla, prunes, alcohol.

Taste: Super fruity but not too sweet, the balance being just slightly sweetness forward loses many expected flavors but you still get a little kick of spices enhanced by alcohol followed by perfect gentle bitterness.

Overall: A medium bodied, high alcohol, ultra drinkable, just plain awesome--yet understated beer that I can't get anywhere near here. Bittersweet, but that's life on the edge of the country. My tequila collection is really growing though.

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Photo of ksullnh
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a glass tumbler...

A: Clear, small off-white head, reddish-gold hue, with big bubbles in the head

S: Not too much smell - some alcohol, a bit of cinnamon and/or nutmeg as it warmed, some vague sugary Belgian-ness

T: Surprisingly light, and not too sweet. There was some early heat, but very smooth for 10% abv. Crisper opening and maltier finish.

M/D: Thick and silky. But still 10%, so only one of these for me.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served 10-15 deg above the recommended temperature listed on the bottle. Pours a clear orange hued amber color with a shallow whispy white head that vanishes quickly. Spotty lacing observed.

The smell is light; a bit of dark fruit, a little spice... coriander-like, and the "A-word" that's going to take you there.

The mouth feel is slightly fizzy, effervescent with a light hoppy bitterness. Finishes fruitier yet dry.

The flavor is good but understated. Thank the High Priestess of Fermentation for the wonderful character if the Belgian yeast expressed there in.

How does one describe "wild".... please beer-mail me with that one!
The 10% ABV doesn't reveal itself in the mouth, but hello.. yes it is there.

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Photo of jackorain
3/5  rDev -14%
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.


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Photo of blackie
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a: Looks good, with a continuously fed layer of white carbonation. The beer is a bright copper-orange in color.

s: Definately smells better than it tastes, probably because you don't have to put up with the mouthfeel. but not enough to bump it up to a 4.0. Very fruity pale malts, a papery noble hop aroma, and a sharp ethanol note. Slightly peppery. Buttery sugar cookies and snickerdoodle (never thought I'd use that in a review).

m: nice and smooth carbonation comprised of tiny bubbles...a little heavy/syrupy in the body though

t: A little messy but not too bad. Heavy on the malts, and a little one dimensional. Light Belgian yeast character with an ethanol note in the back. Lightly hopped. Much too sweet. Might be giving too much credit here.

d: Pretty easy given the abv but only a decent tripel...not necessarily worth a try because there are tons of better tripels around, but i won't say avoid at all costs. Actually the thickness and lack of a clean finish make this one a little hard to get down. I would not recommend letting this one warm in the glass.

for my anny bombing from Solomon420

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Photo of theopholis
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a clear, fairly still, light amber in color. Decent head with some staying power. Leaves no lace behind..

Aroma- Lots of citrusy malt sweetness. A hint of caramel/toffee. Just enough hop aroma to let you know this isn't liquid candy.

Taste- Nice, subtle blend of malt sweetness with a spicey peppery finish. Some hops in there through-out, but they are hard to pick out. Not half bad.

Mouthfeel- Faily light body with an aggressive, almost to strong carbonation. Seems to work tho.

Drinkability- I'm not much into Belgian tripples, but this stuff ain't half bad.

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Photo of rallison
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Unfortunately, this is just one beer I cannot get behind. I've had it a few times on tap at the Yardhouse for happy hour, but it's always left me longing for a real Belgian tripel.

What it comes down to is this - it is too sweet, alcoholic and one-dimensional to be a tripel. Remember how the world class tripels hit 10%+, yet taste delicate and never heavy, with complex spicing? This has none of that. The body feels the full 10%. The flavors are overly sweet. The delicate spicing is not there. There's no balance. It's just one alcoholic toffee bomb.

With that said, it can still be somewhat enjoyable - as long as you are in the mood for something like that. But, even then, it lacks true craftsmanship. I rate it down for two reasons - it is far from a tripel, and even if it weren't classified as one, it still isn't that good.

I hate to give Anderson Valley a bad review, as they do such great beers usually, but in this case, I must.

Not recommended.

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Photo of cbl2
3.12/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

3/23/2007 $6.99 22 oz. 10.00% No best by date.


Pours a fairly still medium brown in color that is fairly clear, with just a bit of haze from chill. No head whatsoever.


Loads of caramel/toffee sweetness due to belgian candied sugar and lightly roasted malts.


Smooth but thin mouthfeel, that is mildly sweet, with flavors of rose water and lychee combined. Some alcohol notes in the finish, and definitely warming by midglass. This is a lackluster attempt at the style.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, states 10.0% ABV, no dating evident. A faux-wax seal coats the top, but pulls off relatively easily as it's some sort of rubbery plastic.

Pours a bright medium orange with dense white head, not rocky, leaves little lacing. Appearance is somewhat disappointing for the style, it's lacking a significant head, lacing, and the visible rolling carbonation is kind of off-putting.

Aroma is warm alcohol, grain, and that distinctive trappist yeast tang. A slightly flat/metallic note.

Taste is dominated by hot alcohol, bordering on solvent-y, and strong, spicy phenolics. Finishes hot and spicy. Notable sugariness. The metallic note is also present here.

Mouth is also dominated by the hot alcohol; body is strongly carbonated, and visible carbonation rolls up throughout the glass. Long lingering aftertaste of spicy berries, pepper, and alcohol.

Overall a quite drinkable beer, but not incredible. Something I'll keep buying, but I won't go out of my way for.

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Photo of crwills
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a tasting with northyorksammy, biegaman, grub, and derek. Thanks guys!

Interested wax-sealed bottle produces what looks like apple juice, including the lack of head. Very sweet, fruity aroma and flavour. Apple juice and bubble gum appear as it warms. Little bit of planty skunk, and a strange, leafy aftertaste.

Lots of room for improvement with this one.

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Photo of biegaman
3.44/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650ml bottle sealed in golden wax. Claims "bound to raise poor spirits". Thanks to CRWills for the sample!
Pours a light and dulled orange colour, clear and no head. Completely off appearence for a tripel. Aroma offers some fruity notes, somewhere between oranges and apples. Very sugary and sweet. The high gravity leaves a lasting vinegar note. Thin bodied to the excessive alcohol as well, drinks more like a Belgian Pale Ale than a tripel. Very little dimension, taste dominated by rotting apples and pears. Some tastes of roots. Carries cheap white wine like sugars. This really doesn't cut it for tripel.

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Photo of Derek
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden-bronze, slightly off-white head, very little retention & lace.

S: Cidery, tangerine, bubblegum fruity esters.

T: Apple juice, bubble gum, pear, pineapple, slight spice. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden. It seems more like a strong pale than a tripel (it's lacking the spicy phenols).

M: Moderate body & carbonation; slightly creamy.

D: Fairly drinkable for the style.

Thanks for the sample crwills!

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 680 ratings
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