Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Brother David's Belgian-style Double AleBrother David's Belgian-style Double Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Ranked #205
Ranked #39,751
3.67 | pDev: 12.53%
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States
Brother David's Belgian-style Double AleBrother David's Belgian-style Double Ale
Notes: Inspired by the classic Dubbels of Belgium, our Brother David’s Double has a dark brown body and aromas of warm cocoa, banana, and cloves. Specialty malts impart a toasted, nutty character and flavors of chocolate-covered cherries and candied fruits, while the subdued hop profile and Abbey yeast create spicy, herbal notes to compliment the warm, slightly sweet finish. Winner of a Gold Medal in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival™, Brother David’s Double is a truly complex and potent ale meant to be savored or shared with friends.
Reviews: 266 | Ratings: 444 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tp1962
tp1962 from Illinois

5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Extremely good double. I always am pleased when I purchase something new and it doesn’t disappoint. This was exceptionally beyond expectations . Well done! I know where I can purchase this just 5 minutes from my house! I will be keeping this on stock!

Aug 24, 2018
Photo of jeffdr123
jeffdr123 from Florida

3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark caramel color is a good hint of the taste to come. Not a bad imitation of a Belgian dubbel, but not as complex. They say they were going for a roasty, chocolate covered cherry taste, and that's what it is. More interesting as it warms.

Jun 18, 2017
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Red, brown, auburn colors in the our, almost no head comes off of it, 1/8" maybe. Aroma was boozy alcohol, a little bit of brown malt and sugar.

A very boozy taste experience, thats the first thing to hit the tongue. Ample bitterness despite a lack of hop presence. Lots of spice cabinet, harshly done. Dark fruit, toffee, caramel. Alcohol wafts the entire time. Its the dominant aspect of the beer. Just way too hot, not pleasant.

Jan 20, 2016
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours brown with a light haze forming a 1” persistent tan foam collar with a very fine bead. Produces gothic window lace.

S: Yeast driven esters and phenols, citrus, banana, dark malt cake, molasses to brown sugar.

T: Big malt flavor, light molasses, dark dried fruit, fig to dates, raisin, light banana, light citrus, a trace of tart on the finish but maintains moderate sweetness throughout. Lingering fig aftertastes. The malt and yeast flavors are medium and the hops are medium low to low.

F: Slightly below medium body, medium high carbonation.

O: A good beer but a little on the sweet side.

Nov 24, 2015
Photo of Radome
Radome from Florida

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted froma bomber bottle.

L - Deep mahogany brown with strong red hue. Very clear. Off-white head starts thick and fades to a solid sheet speckled with large bubbles, along with thick lacing. Very attractive.

S - Aromas are a mix of fruit (plum, prune, raisin) and grainy malt. No hops.

T - The flavors are like the aromas, a mix of stone fruit and grainiy malt. Some spice cake and graham cracker breadiness. No hops or obvious yeast.

F - Medium body. Mouthfilling, slightly prickly carbonation. Low-moderate hops bitterness. Low alcohol burn. Dry, slightly acrid finish.

O - The appearance and aromas are outstanding, but the flavors are good but not great.

Mar 15, 2015
Photo of DavidBart
DavidBart from New York

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An unimpressive Dubbel in my opinion, and that's that if was on draught, at the Abbey Brewing Co. in Miami Beach, Fl. One of their house beers. If I'm drinking a 9%-ter, I wan't to be taken on some sort of a journey. This one just fell flat on its face. Thank god for samples. Had their triple and it was better, but unimpressive as well.

Jan 14, 2015
Photo of EStCharles
EStCharles from California

3/5  rDev -18.3%

A: Dark brown, copper-brown when held to light.

S: Alcohol, dark fruits, chocolate, hints of yeast.

T: Medium to strong Sweetness, light-Chocolate flavors, dark fruits, autumn spice, Coca-cola, almost no bitter/hop bite.

M: A little thin, but a little syrupy like soda, heavy sweetness.

D: Depends on your taste, but I think it is too soda, syrupy, and sweet.

Overall: I think in the class, this beer is too chocolaty, syrupy, and sweet. It is missing spice complexity, lite-fruits, fruity-yeast complexity, bitterness and hop complexity; overall it is off in taste for a Belgian double. I wouldn't consider it a Belgian double in a blindfolded taste test. It tastes more like a lite, perhaps fruitier and spicier, seasonal sweet chocolaty stout to me, but definitely misses the mark on a Belgian style double. The sweetness is too overpowering and Coca-cola tasting, and this really kills the beer.

Dec 07, 2014
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Well done dubbel. Nice aroma of molasses and dried fruit. Pours dark brown with oily head. Taste is spot on dubbel, woody, fruity, sweet. Maybe I won’t miss Belgium so much after all.

Dec 05, 2014
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was an inch and a half of off white, foamy, long-lasting head. Good, but not great lacing.

S: A nice aroma of yeast, malt, spices, and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of malt, Belgian-style yeast, figs, spices, and a bit of chocolate. Not a bad flavor, but it does frontload everything, leaving not very much for the finish. It gets a bit thin. Still, not bad.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a decent enough beer and worth a shot, but not the best Dubbel you'll come across. Drinkable, though.

Nov 14, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at BJ's in Sacramento, CA.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a foamy dark khaki 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 toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, dark fruit, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast and spice bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice balance between the toast, fruit, and spice qualities.

Serving type: on tap.

Sep 19, 2014
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, light banana, caramel, toast, candi sugar, brown bread, light chocolate, clove, light pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and balanced dark/bready malt sweetness; with solid strength. Taste of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, light banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, candi sugar, brown bread, light chocolate, clove, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Moderate amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, light banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, light chocolate, candi sugar, clove, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with a nice malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately slick/crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice dubbel. Good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Apr 11, 2014
Photo of mschind
mschind from California

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

22 OZ in the new style bottle. No date.

A- Gave it a vigorous pour into an Affligem chalice but not much head, just a foamy ring that seems to be lasting. Deep mahogany with some reddish hues. Translucent and a bit cloudy.

S- Just about what you would expect, rich malt, spicy yeast, some dark fruit, a bit of alcohol.

T- Getting everything from the nose after a bit. Starts Neutral on the tip of the tongue and then sweetness comes through but balanced by a slightly bitter finish. Some mild raisin and prune notes and perhaps some cherry. Hops are barely noticeable, enough to bitter and maybe add some earthiness. Just a slight amount of yeasty funk.

M- Surprisingly thin for a 9% Dubbel. I was expecting something with a bit more body to it. However, the alcohol is nicely distrubuted.

O- This is a really good domestic Dubbel. Lacks the complexity and body of Ommegang or Allagash but at this price, it is just right.

Feb 22, 2014
Photo of seand
seand from California

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a reddish brown with a reasonable amount of off-white head. Just some film retains, along with a ring around the edge of the glass, leaving small bits of lacing.

S: Maple syrup sweetness with a touch of yeast.

T: Medium resin-y sticky sweetness, with a lighter sweet note throughout.

M: Full body, lightened up by the significant carbonation.

Overall, quite nice. The mouthfeel in particular is very nicely matched to the flavor.

Feb 14, 2014
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on January 25, 2014.

It pours a deep mahogany brown color with a modest tan head that lingers briefly and then fades down.

Wow! Does this have some sweet malts on the nose along with brown sugar, fig, or other dark fruits, and a kind of butter-like note.

The body is medium to a bit better than medium.

Ridiculously sweet taste with a powerful malty character. The sweetness is almost overpowering and way over the top. Finishes clean. Not sure if I would go out of my way to have it again.

Jan 26, 2014
Photo of BeerDocT
BeerDocT from Georgia

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a chilled La Trappe goblet.

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a beautiful deep mahogany with light brown around the edges, Lovely cream-colored head. Not much of a head: less than 1/4". Lacing is OK but not outstanding.

Smell 4.0: Lovely bouquet. Smells of dried, dark fruit, spicy Belgian yeast and many ephemeral hints of cellars and musty brewing facilities.

Taste 3.75: Front is slightly sweet with a very light hint of raisins. Big hit of rich malt in the middle with a slight taste of dried fruit and a very faint taste of a noble hop variety. Finish is where I detected a slight taste of alcohol, but this was quickly pushed aside by a warm maltiness and a pleasant sharp hit of acidity. Aftertaste was actually a bit short and featured a little more of the alcohol along with more of the malt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, pleasant and complementary.

Overall 3.75: A very good dubbel bordering on outstanding. The maltiness in this beer is way too much for the style and the alcohol taste is also distracting and way off the mark. This beer is also far too "big" for a dubbel: 9% ABV is probably from where most of the taste problems can be traced. Nonetheless, this is a darn good beer and is well worth the purchase, it's just that it is not the best example of a dubbel on the market. Even if it was brewed using solar power (as per the bottle cap).

Dec 22, 2013
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2 from Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep amber with a tan/cream head Skim retention, no lace.

Some raisin, toffee, browned stone fruit, wood, vanilla, caramel in the nose. Could use a bit more intensity.

Toasted malt and bruised fruit. Some creamy notes, wood, vanilla, and alcohol. Clears to booze and bitter. Toffee and bread crust appear too. Lacks some intensity, but not watery or thin in any way. More on the dried side than fruity.

Fuller bodied, Ok carbonation.

I liked this, and for a domestic dubbed, pretty good.

Aug 30, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591 from Illinois

2.97/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

It took me a while, but I finally pulled the trigger on this one. It pours a clear ruby-brown topped by a finger of wan khaki foam. The nose comprises brown sugar, dried maple sugar, light cardboard, a hint of dark fruits, and a twinge of banana peel. The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger contingent of dark fruit and banana and a pervasive feeling of cardboard and old nuts. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda slick feel. Overall, this dubbel just didn't do it for me. I'm hoping it's past its prime, considering the strange and unappealing flavors, but I have my doubts.

Jul 24, 2013
Photo of Muhly
Muhly from Canada

3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured 650 mL bomber into rounded beer glass.

A-Dark brown with red and amber highlights. Minimal head and head retention. Lacing is present, but dissipates pretty quickly.

S-Loads of sweet roasted malts. Maybe just a hint of banana.

T-Very malt forward with some cloves, raisins and pepper-like phenols.

M-Moderately heavy on the tongue with a good amount of carbonation.

O-a perfectly acceptable, but non-wow inducing dubbel. I think it's good value for the price if nothing else, but there are always more exciting, enticing options where belgian beers are concerned.

Apr 19, 2013
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg from Canada

3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber poured into tulip 27/3/13

A clear reddish amber with a fair amount of bubbles but not much for head or lace just a short lived finger of tan foam

S brown sugar and brewers candy, some cola, spice I can't place, christmas cake, anise and a little booze, everything blends together quite well

T still pretty solid but not quite the harmony the nose had going for it, a little yeast and sweeter then the nose with slightly more booze, with some rum raisin

M medium bodied but it could use a few more bubbles, long nutty malty finish with just a little heat

O smells a highlight but nothing really sticks out good or bad, decent beer but no areas overly impressive

I doubt I'd buy another considering its 9$ for the bomber, one of those brews I don't feel ripped off but have no reason for a second

Mar 28, 2013
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi from Georgia

4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Strong aroma has earthy, malty and caramel notes with a hint of hops. It pours a dark coppery brown with a thick and rather persistent light tan head that leaves minimal lacing. Scrumptious flavor has caramel, malty, nutty, earthy and subtle maple syrup notes - not too sweet, very slightly hoppy. Rich texture has plenty of tingle and fizz, smooth yet lively - very satisfying. An excellent party to Brother David’s Tripel.

Feb 17, 2013
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27 from Canada

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - clear but very dark ruby, thumb of head dissipated to a thin cover with minor lacing
S - big fruit notes of grape and cherry, some brown sugar and warm bread, light spice
T - fruitiness is almost red wine like, a mineral quality along with some grains, some toffee maltiness, light sour and spice finish, definitely unique for a dubbel
M - somewhat heavy with relatively light carbonation, sticky with just a touch of alcohol dryness, a little too heavy for the style
O - it is definitely unique for the style in all aspects, very reminiscent of a rich red wine, definitely tasty but some minor deductions relative to the style

Feb 02, 2013
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter from Oregon

3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

One finger of head on a dark copper colored body.
The aroma is caramel, candy and bread.
The taste is moderately malty sweet and balanced nicely with an underlying bitterness. Plum and dense wheat bread too.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation and heavy body.
I like it. A solid dubbel style ale.

Jan 22, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada

3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. No discernible Bootling language lessons here. As for the Jesus allegories - that's another story...

This beer pours a clear, dark bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, bubbly beige head, which leaves a solid painted wall of barely broken lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bready caramel malt, cinnamon and cloves, and herbal leafy hops. The taste is more lightly toasted biscuity caramel malt, a sugary toffee essence, some banana and plum esters, much attenuated Christmas spices, a slightly acrid yeastiness, and earthy, leafy hops. Very little in the way of booze warming lies evident this stage.

The bubbles are average, and generally supportive, the body a stolid medium weight, and mostly smooth, as a slowly rising heat provides a slightly unwelcome distraction. It finishes on the sweet side, but moderated well enough, the muted spice, neutered yeast, and stout earthy hops aiding and abetting.

A decent enough dubbel - the fruit and fervent malt, in accordance with some real deal Belgian yeast, render a pleasant warming tipple, especially as the 18-proof booze remains very well obfuscated (in the unusually positive sense of the word). Another bahl hornin' offering from this NoCal institution.

Nov 09, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail from California

3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color with a khaki colored head. Nose is really quite boozy. Some dark fruits, brown sugar, toffee, and mild spice. A little bit of banana and bubblegum, too. The flavor isn’t bad as far as the sugar and sweetness goes, good date, fig, and raisin fruit notes, mild banana, and a hint of spice. But the beer is just far too boozy to really be all that enjoyable.

Aug 07, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark russet brown, almost a sherry color. Small, short lived light tan head with little lacing. Light aroma of sweet malt and dark fruit. Dark fruits and malt up front with a sherry like middle and dry malt finish. Finish is somewhat lacking. Not quite balanced. A pleasant dark Belgian ale, but not outstanding.

Aug 03, 2012
Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 444 ratings