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

264 Reviews
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Brother David's Belgian-style Double AleBrother David's Belgian-style Double Ale

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2003

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Reviews: 264 | Ratings: 434
Photo of Kromes
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear dark brown with ruby highlights and a thin, soapy tan colored head.

S: A somewhat banana, cherry aroma with alcohol and a touch of roasted malt.

T: The flavors are also a little bit banana and some cherry with a more robust brown sugar flavor than what is shown in the aroma. It is sweet, maybe too sweet. The alcohol is there but takes a background to the sweetness.

M: I would say that it is a little low on carbonation for a dubbel. Still has a decent body though.

O: It's a decent Belgian Style Dubbel. Some good flavors, but may be a little too sweet.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark ruby brown. Medium sized of white head that recedes to a ring. Some messy lacing that slides down pretty quickly.
Smell: malty, yeasty. Dark fruits with a bit of spice and sour,
Taste: much as the nose predicts. Not deeply complex but a nice, tasty Dubbel.
Overall: My first Anderson Valley. Hope the rest are as good as this. Tripel or dipa up next.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a ruby amber color with nice clarity and low foam. Topped with tightly compacted bubbles. The aroma is reminiscent of bubblegum and malt, with some caramel notes.
The flavor has more bubblegum notes to it along with some nice caramel malts and a pleasing finish. It’s nicely rounded, sweet, without being cloyingly so. Enjoyable.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber with no freshness dating that I can find. Clear crimson body with a one-finger tan head. The head dissipates quickly, but leaves decent lacing.

The aroma overall is fairly weak, but reveals a few notes of caramel malt and a bit of dark fruit.

The flavor is a notch better than the aroma and features the aforementioned sweet malt, but the dark fruity notes take on a higher place on the scale. Minor flavors that appear include chocolate, grape, and toffee.

Medium consistency in the mouthfeel and a bit of an alcohol burn. Decent dubbel, not to the standards of a real Belgian, but tasty overall.

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Photo of July2Nov
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap @ Murphy's bar & grill, Honolulu, HI.

A: burgundy in color with a half inch of creamy foam resting on top.

S:Some malts but mostly non-existent.

T&M: bunch of dark fruit notes come out with some burnt wood flavored seeping out. Syrup like sweetness rolls in and then the hotness from the alcohol overtakes the whole beer experience. Bummer!!! The alcohol is way too much for this beer & takes away from this beer. Slight hop flavor at the end. The body is medium and a bit over carbonated.

Overall: disappointing, though I keep giving Anderson Valley a chance, I've never come across a beer from them that I really dug. Saddened this isn't better than what I expected.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber of this at Lukas tonight. Price was right and it was a brewery I hadn't tried before.

Poured from bottle to NBB globe. The bottle was not dated, as far as I could discern.

A - The beer poured slightly darker than I was anticipating for whatever reason. It was basically a slightly murky but mostly clear brown color. Not much head, perhaps a 1/2 finger off-white head with almost no retention and disappointing lacing.

S - Interesting aroma. The alcohol was the strongest character. There is also a mild banana, clove, a honey-type sweetness, and apple fruitiness.

T - Just like the nose. The beer started with a sweet maltiness. The flavors of fruity banana and apple come next along with a hint of honey and clove. Not as much belgian yeast character I expected and rather thin. The beer finishes with a strong malt character, which I thought was over the top.

M - Thin. Lacking in carbonation and lighter end of medium bodied.

O - Not really what I was expecting and not sure I'd be back. Lacking in mouthfeel which really detracted from the beer.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-25-2011 01:23:17

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Photo of dunit697
4.62/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I though this was an excellent beer. I was referred to drinking it by a classmate at a Beer class at Total Wine. I actually thought there was a plethora of flavor that came to the surface upon first drink. I did notice that this is one Belgian style ale that is better not sipped. If you are thinking about trying this one, get about one solid mouthful before you judge it.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.75/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Kind of a mahogany pour, almost no white head to speak of. Aroma was brown sugar and alcohol, maybe some plums and raisins behind the brown sugar.

Taste, whoa, bitter and lots of alcohol with tons of yeast esters and phenols. Arrgh, sorry this isn't my thing. A beer has to be more enjoyable than it is challenging, and this beer falls squarely into the latter category. Decent amount of caramel gets pretty much lost in the more dominant flavors (off?). Toffee and beyond its prime dark fruit continue.

This beer needs to be dried out, tamed down in some areas, ramped up in others. It started out ok, but devolved into a mess frankly. As the beer went on and on, I wondered if I was just noticing the alcohol more, or if I wasn't paying close enough attention to notice the approach of a fusel alcohol remnant aroma wise.

I dunno, love the American style Anderson Valley, so maybe I'm not the best source for a review of this beer, but I'll be avoiding this one for the near future.

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Photo of beerbellydaddy
2.91/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It pours sort of dark bronze with a foamy root beer head; it leaves only trace lacing.

Weakly scented sweet caramel.

It tastes of citrus and oak, and leaves a bit of alcohol sting.

It’s kind of fizzy, but not annoyingly so; it is also rather thin and dry.

This isn’t great, but is enjoyable enough, if one doesn’t mind its boozy bite.

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Photo of hiku7
3.44/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brother David's Double won a medal at GABF this year so I picked up a bomber at Bev Mo.

Pours opaque deep brown with a small beige head. No lacing to speak of. Head barely revives with a swirl.

Smell alcohol and some vinous vinegar, plus carmelized sugar initially, followed by a spicy yellow raisin malt finish.

Flavor has a surprising dirt-earthy bitterness plus a peppery spicy phenolic finish. Phenols are a bit much and the alcohol is way too prevalent. Just too boozy.

Medium full body, though it goes down smoothly except for the strong alcohol presence, which screams "take your time."

Overall, I like the spicy kick but the 9% abv is too much for the style and the body and malt is not big enough to hide it. I reasonably enjoyed it but won't be going back soon.

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Photo of rarbring
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clear dark amber, an off-white head leaving little lacing but with good curtains.

The smell is mostly malty with honey and sweet raisins.

The taste is dark burnt toffee, grape-fruit peel.

Medium carbonation, a coarse feeling, rather big body.

Nothing wrong, but a bit unharmonized and simple.

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Photo of Naugros
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a lot of foam to this, but may dubbels suffer from this sort of dysfunction. Brown and murky in color, as fits the style.

RAISINS! Yep, all caps. Sorry. But that's the impression when you smell it. After the raisins get done smacking your olfactory organs around a little you can sense some cocoa and a touch of rum. The flavor is identical with less alcohol presence. Although it doesn't tinge the flavor, it does tickle the edges of inside of the mouth, letting you know it's there and to be careful.

A nice American version of this style, not the best...not even close...but still nice.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Bear World in Watertown. From notes.

A - Poured a dark red, good carbonation, one finger of eggshell head. Bright. No lace, film of retention.

S - Dark fruit, lot's of sugar, very sweet.

T - Nice yeast character, a little spice, tons of brown sugar sweetness.

M - Nice carbonation, full body, sweet lingering finish.

O/D - Quite cloying. No a great Dubbel. Sweet and hard to finish, but not offensive, but too much of something I don't particularily like.

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Photo of McD0uche
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured section of Brother David's bomber into a pint glass:

A: Pours a dark mocha color with visible bubbles. A small, cream-colored head appears and subsides pretty quickly. This stuff isn't too sticky; there isn't much lacing to speak of.

S: Smells good. Roasted, toasted malts and coffee notes make up the backbone. Subtle fruit notes linger towards the end. This is probably the defining feature of this beer.

T: Massively flavorful and complex. Quite large and boozy. This beer has a nice fruity flavor and a creamy aftertaste that is expected of this brewing company. Finishes bitter.

M: Oily, medium-bodied, and finishes fairly dry. Medium carbonation.

O: Overall, this isn't bad. I think if they pumped up the flavor a little bit with some caramel or coffee or something it would be a stellar beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1pt 9.6 flz oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap poured into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of full thickness, good cream, and pretty decent retention. Colour is dark caramel brown. Generally appealing.

Sm: Yeast, caramel, some musty esters, heavy wood, and malt. Strange but not off-putting. Moderate in strength.

T: Hmm. Some chocolate and caramel are very nice on the climax, with a sort of christmas ale finish right after that - maybe the wood notes? Yeah: wood and light nut (hazel?) comprise the finish. It's also got a certain estery quality to the foundation. It sort of resembles a winter warmer, but with definite dubbel influences. It's got depth and complexity. It does manage to balance its wealth of flavours, but at the same time it's not particularly bold or unique. The alcohol comes through in the stomach, not the taste. I like it, strange though the build may be.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but rather thick. Suits the flavours.

Dr: The thickness and fullness of body slow down one's drinking pace, but the tradeoff is flavour. It's a flavourful luscious beer that I'm glad to have tried. The price could be better even here in California. I'd recommend this to any fan of the style (or to fans of Winter Warmers), but it's not exemplary.

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Photo of nickd717
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft review dated 1/28/2009.

Dark brown color with a very small off-white head. Dark fruits dominate the aroma. Not too authentically Belgian. Flavor is more dark fruits, caramel, and yeast. Slightly metallic. Medium on the palate. Pretty decent overall.

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Photo of BigSTing
2.12/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Nice dark amber with minimal head. no lacing.

S: from the smell, you would never be able to guess this was a belgian dubbel. Alcohol is the prominent note.

T: Boozy and sweet. Lacks complexity

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium body

O: I'd opt for a real belgian. For what I paid for the 22oz, I could have had a real Belgian dubbel. I like AVB, but this is the worst beer Ive had from them. I'll probably steer clear of their "belgianesque" offerings from now on.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown with amber highlights when held up, produces a finger of off-white head.

S- Sweet, with a sour, slightly pungent smell. Some alcohol and fruitiness in the background.

T- Very fruity and alcoholic, has some pretty good roasted, bready malt flavors hidden underneath. It has a sort of pungency at first that fades after a few sips, I was never able to figure out exactly what it was.

M- Medium bodied with a pretty thick but creamy feel. Alcohol is pretty warming.

O- A decent dubbel, it's worth a try but the alcohol is probably a bit overdone.

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Photo of dbossman
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a quickly dissipating head and okay lacing

S: Sweet caramel and dark fruits; bready, sugary--brown sugar; some booze; lots of bready sweet malts

T: Sweet bready malts up front; boozy and a touch smokey; dark nutty fruits permeate the middle of the beer but then things fade at the end with a touch of a medicinal quality finishing things out

F: A bit thin throughout but enough of the beer does cling nicely to the mouth

O: A decent Dubbel; nutty, fruity, boozy--it loses a bit of the flavor on the back end but a decent beer overall

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Photo of david18
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on a recent visit to Rattle N Hum in Manhattan and it was among a number of Anderson Valley beers available on tap that day. Overall, a very good beer but a little on the strong side for a double.

Color was a dark brown that was a little on the flat side but very pretty nonetheless.

Aroma was sweet and "belgiany", for lack of a better term. Very inviting and what you'd expect from this style of beer.

Taste was also very in line with the style--dark fruits, sweetness, esthery--but the alcohol was a little high which could be tasted and may have detracted slightly from the flavor.

Overall a very good beer. I wish I came across more beers from this brewer, as I like most of what they make.

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Photo of philerman
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Dark brown, I guess the color of a weak coffee. As my buddy would say, a head thinner than a dime.

S: Sweet, somewhat pungent with a vingary (?) off-smell.

T: Much stronger than the other Double I've had a lot of recently (Flying Fish). Definitely shows it's ABV.

M: Not too tough to put down, but also definitely not sessionable.

O: Decent for the price (Believe I payed about $5) but not something to go out of the way for especially given the higher alcohol content for the style.

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Photo of impending
2.75/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

22oz into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear deep garnet, georgeous when back lit. Minor head subsided quickly, minor lacing.

Aroma is sweet, alcohol forward and backed with the scent of a scotch ale.

Taste begins proper than veers off course into mediocrity. Lacks complexity. Aftertaste which begins with a phenolic, alcoholic kick, is not a strength. Doesn't warm well, off flavors appear. Viscous mouthfeel.

no cheers

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Photo of csiewert
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear amber color with a finger of off white head with a slight amount of lacing and little retention. The aroma is strong with caramel notes and some maltiness. The taste is very malty and almost brown ale-ish. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth and nicely balanced, but fairly average. Overall an ok beer, but I'm not sure it really fits the style.

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Photo of Rayek
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brother David's hits my goblet with a deep garnet color. The head has an interesting tint to it that I'll describe as pale mahogany. It quickly falls to a light film and leaves just a little lace.

Super boozy for the style. The alcohol is quite present and adds a ton of warmth. Once past the alcohol, the beer brings forth lots of dark fruit in the form of black cherries, prunes and currants. Bitterness is quite mild and peppery. The balance is heavily boosted by the alcohol. The body is fairly thick for the style.

To me this beer is more of a Quad than a Dubbel. The intense heat is not in keeping with a style that is known for masking its strength.

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Photo of rKunda
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker brown color, but very clear ale. I sloppily poured this into a glass, yet there is not much head that forms on this. The head that does form is pretty fizzy and poofs rapidly.

It's strong, 9.0% and it's somewhat noticeable in flavor and in smell, but it's not overpowering. The is quite strong is the flavor of this ale. It's almost fruity in a figgy kind of way and has a pleasant sweetness.

It drinks very smooth. It's got a little thickness going on and seems lighter on the carbonation (I usually like this in darker ales) and is overall a good beer.

I'd consider buying this in a bottle again. And I would order it if I saw it on tap in a heartbeat.

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Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 434 ratings.
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