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

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Brother David's Belgian-style Double AleBrother David's Belgian-style Double Ale
436 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 436 |  Reviews: 265
Photo of bosco7
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby brown with a creamy white head.

Not much aroma; but some fig and toffee in the nose.

Black cherry and prune flavors upfront. Very fruity. Some spice and caramel in the middle. Finishes kind of roasty and bitter. I was expecting more caramel and fig flavors. Alcohol not very apparent.

Well attenuated and digestable. A little low in carbonation.

Overall a good dubble but for a couple bucks more I can get a couple more oz. and an outstanding dubble/Belgian strong dark.

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Photo of scottoale
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. brown bomber with black PVC covering the cap, one large label with no freshness date.

It pours a deep plum-burgundy with a finger of bone, foamy head. The head settles to a ring and the slippery lace returns to the liquid.

The smell is sweet, spicy and alcoholic. Sweet malty aroma comprised of banana, clove, raisens, plum followed by a hop and spicy yeast twang. Alcohol is ever present as well... more so, as it warms.

The flavor is all of the above, but a little more pronounced. A pretty tasty Dubbel with a good solid body and complexity...very nicely balanced with a smooth, even finish.

An easy drinker that suits the style well, give it a try if you can find it.

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Photo of benito
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Finally opened a bottle that had been sitting in my cellar since last June. To be honest, I was a little worried about how it had held up, so I was pleasantly surprised when it opened fully carbonated and poured a firm amber-mahogany with a nice head.

The flavors were rich and sweet: cotton candy, hints of orange, and a little chocolate; I don't know how it would have compared if I had opened it when fresh, but the depth of flavors and heavy feel of the beer really made this a perfect pair for a heavy meat-and-potatoes dinner.

A well-done interpretation of a dubbel; worth grabbing next time you're at the liquor store.

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Photo of cbl2
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

3/18/2007 $6.99 22 oz. 9.00% No best by date.


Pours a deep murky brown with little to no head that leaves but a wisp of off-white bubbles floating on the service of the beer.


Rich brown sugar, ripe dark fruits, a faint whiff of alcohol and doughy bread.


Nice chewy mouthfeel is coupled with notes of chocolate, raisins and bready yeast. Slight alcohol notes cause the mouth to pucker just a bit. An admirable double, not the best interpretation of the style, nor the worst.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anderson Valley Dubbel eh? It pours a copper color, with a small white heading. Smell was a bit musty, with some banana aromas going on...very dunkelweizen esq. Taste was a bit on the creamy side, with some powdery notes, and more on the light fruit. Good enough for me on the mouthfeel...medium and highly drinkable. This one doesn't quite compare to other examples of the style such as from Allagash or some of the other greats, but having said that, I love this style and this one is satisfying as far as i can tell. I can also say for sure that Anderson Valley is one of my favorite West Coast breweries. Cheers

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Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours garnet red/chestnut with 1/2" of sand colored head. Healthy film goes all the way down & a bit of lacing

S: Choclate & a hint of fruittyness& a little booze once warmed up

T: Chocolate, dryness & breadyness up front. Oaky dryness & caramel latter. A hint of toffee & toasted grains as this warms. A little banana peel starts sneaking 2/3rds thrrough the bottle ( took a while). Finishes warming, dry with chocolate & caramel

MF: Low carbonation & medium bodied, with plenty of warmth (not heat)

Drinks easy enough, an allright dubbel, not much complexity or funkyness

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Photo of Rudgers73
4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Ommegang chalice this ale forms a nice sticky 3/4" tan head. The aroma instantly billows out of the glass with notes of caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, and spices. Very sweet. The taste was great. Roasted dark chocolate, rich and full in flavor. Slight spices towards the end covering up a little bit of that 9%. The aftertaste is smooth, leaving much of the dark chocolate maltiness present. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, full bodied, and well-balanced between sweet and bitter. Great for after a nice big meal.

I'm not sure what was up with a lot of these reviews on this. The cap wasn't hard for me to get off, the taste from the plastic never penetrated the cap into the beer, and there was a really nice head on mine after just a gentle pour into a chalice. I served it at room temperature, and although it was a little sweet for a dubbel, I think the flavor was delicious.

note: After I started looking at some more reviews I noticed that the newest ones tend to be higher for this beer. Maybe they made some recipe or process engineering changes in the production of this one... maybe you should give it another try, people-who-said-it-was-horrible.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker brown color with ruby hues. It's clear and also appears flat, with little head at all. An aggressive whiff of alcohol leaves the glass at first, followed by figs and raisin. Beneath the sweetness of the first layer you can really smell rich malt. The presence of the alcohol is immediate and slightly overpowers the creamy malt flavor. There is a slight hop and a bit of carbonation to the mouth feel. This is one i'm going to sit back and enjoy. A respectable beverage for the price.

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Photo of brentk56
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a modest head forced by a hard pour; retention is fair, as is the lacing (not at all what you would expect from a dubbel)

Smell: A vareity of tones jump out, ranging from good (dark fruits and candi sugar) to bad (a musty, slightly fusel aroma - I hesitate to call it acetone because I don't think that's it but its as close as I can get)

Taste: The front end is fine, with sweet candi sugar infused fig and banana pudding flavors; mid-palate, some sharper fruit flavors such as pear and green apple emerge; after the swallow, the flavors fade and lack the depth and complexity from a classic Belgian dubbel

Mouthfeel: Slightly watery and lacing carbonation

Drinkability: There are some pros and cons to this beer, and that is disappointing from a brewery as good as Anderson Valley; if they can't pull off a top caliber Belgian, they should stick with what they do best

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Photo of merlin48
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz wax covered bottle pours a murky cola brown body with a nice tan head that quickly disappears without lacing. Aroma of dark fruits(gigs and prunes) and some roasty notes of chocolate. Medium bodied with low carbonation. Taste is figs, dates, and prunes. Some lactic sourness seems out of place. Slightly vinous but not fusel. Some chocolate notes seem out of place. Not really a fan of this one.

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Photo of number1bum
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber with wax seal pours a dark brown, bit of redness to it, with minimal head that dissipates slowly. Smell is sweet, malty, a bit of fruit. Tastes of sweet malts, some dark fruits, and not much in the way of hops. Mouthfeel is slick and creamy, almost chewy. This is a pretty decent dubbel, pretty smooth and tasty.

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Photo of zuggy9
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This dubbel poured a nice opaque reddish brown with no head. The smell was sweet, with a mix of malts, caramel and some fruit. The taste is excellent, with a nice maltiness to it and clean fruit qualities. It has a noticeable warming, due to the alcohol, and is rather smooth, lacking much carbonation. Quite drinkable, though not without noticeable effect.

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Photo of EPseja
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a black wax-covered 22oz. bottle in a huge Petrus Goblet at just under cellar temperature.

A - Medium to dark chestnut brown color with a decent, soapy half-inch of off-white head. Some slight haze. Head diminishes to a thin, oddly-bubbled film after about a minute. Lacing is sheer adn clingy.

S - Nice, yeasty tart notes mingle with fermenting dark fruit points and a wash of medium toasted malts. Lightly hopped, with hints of alcohol.

T - Crisp, clean start with a pleasing caramel sweetness that melds with an assertive hoppiness in the middle. Big, bready notes usher in a yesty tart finish, and the aftertaste is warm and hearty. Nicely balanced.

M - A nice tingle on the tongue turns to a soothing froth in but a moment. After a nice wash around the mouth, it slides gently down the throat, making sure to touch every tastebud. Very nice.

D - This is a tasty and well-balanced dubbel that is a pleasure to drink. Solid and worthwhile.

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Photo of jslot38
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alright, finally got the wax off this bomber, sharing with clabaugh on a night of many beers. Celebrating another lackluster semester dominated by mediocrity.

Appearance: Poured into my chimay chalice a burgandy brown with absolutly no head. No transparency present.

Smell: A very malty aroma, amber syrup, candi sugar, some fruit and roasted nuts.

Taste: Not overwhelming at all. A nice malt presence, no hops at all. Deep dark fruit with biscuits, spices, some warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Not much carbonation at all, yet not very slick either.

Drinkability: One glass is good thank you, although the alcohol doesn't show very much.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anderson Valley - Brother David's Double Ale
22 oz brown bottle with a wax covered top
Served in a Chouffe Houblon goblet

Awesome bottle presentation with great label. Pours a murky brown color with little spots of lace that decorate the glassware.

Whiffs of juicy malts, rum soaked raisins and cloves.

Big-time malt backbone with a brown candy sugar sweetness. Hints of figs and prunes with a powerful apricot punch. Fruity, syrupy, complex and enjoyable.

There a slight Belgian yeast presence, but it's rather minimal overall for the style. More of an American/West Coast interpretation and I dig it. I also sense a more lingering, snappy hop bite on the finish.

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Photo of dherling
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark mahogony murky beer with a slight eggplant hue on the edge, not much head to speak of. Lots of sherry in the nose, along with some alcohol, spice, malt, cherry, fig and prune. The taste starts of with maple syrup sweetness, sherry, and dried fruits, finishing very clean. The alcohol is present for but a moment, over all, a really nice drinking double.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the label: Brother David's Double - Abbey Style Ale is brewed in a cloistered nook of remote Anderson Valley and may be the closest you'll ever get to Heaven on earth. This hand-crafted beer, made in very limited quantity, is malty, tangy, a little wild. At 9.0%alcohol it is sure to raise your spirits. The brewers of Anderson Valley have sacrificed and suffered to brew this enormously complex beer, so you can enjoy it completely guilt free. ~ Because man cannot live on bread alone!

AVBC's Brother David's Double (Abbey Style Ale) is best served at cool cellar (40-45°F) temperatures from a stemmed tulip or goblet. This Abbey inspiration pours up very lively with a brief Irish Cream head that sits lazily over a rich coffee-russet colored body. The structured nose is ripe with complex esters/fruitiness (banana pudding, Anjou pear, dried figs), yeast dominated spicy phenolics (allspice, clove, ginger), and gentle malty/demerara sugar driven overtones. The sustaining flavor starts rather stoic, but develops richness as the sugary maltiness emerges from the moderate bitterness and yeast dominated characteristics. There's plenty of ripened fruitiness (banana, cherry, pear) along with some toasted (chestnut) & chocolate (cordial) notes towards the middle as the beer warms. This Dubbel finishes surprisingly dry with lots of yeasty spiciness not unlike a Trappistes Rochefort 8. Brother David's Double is a solid American craft-brewed interpretation that's certainly worthy of attention for any Belgian beer lover. Here's to Brother David and his Double!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Taster's note: Thanks to beerhandy for the bottle!

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle. The liquid is a cloudy, orange brown color with a thin head resulting from a slow pour. The head sticks around quite nicely to the bottom of the glass, leaving sticky, thick sheets of lace.

The aroma is a fruity caramel malt smell that is not very well presented. The flavor is a heavy malt taste with some sweet grape on top. I detect very little hop flavor. The mouthfeel is chewy and very tangy and has some nice touches of warming alcohol. The carbonation is fizzy and everlasting. Overall, I thought this was a fine example of the style.

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Photo of Domingo
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this brew in a magazine and figured it was worth a shot.
Pours a cloudy brown color. Pretty typical of a Dubbel or some of the heartier belgian style ales. Head forms quickly and just as quickly dissipates, though.
Smells boozy, yesty, and a combination of dried fruit and unsweetended chocolate.
Flavor starts off like it's going to be sweet and candy-like...but the sweetness dies and you're left with an authentic dubbel flavor at first. As you swallow, it's almost like the depth and sweetness go away. Pretty interesting as I seemed to pick up different flavors as it warmed. The thing is, if this beer's even slightly chilled, I found most of the flavor to be kind of average.
Kind of thin. I wish the carbonation had staying power.
Boozyness really only seems to be in effect while the brew is cool. Once it warms up, the other flavors and smells come out. At the same time, it shouldn't exactly be served totally warm either. I think the flavor's just a little subdued. Of note it's more drinkable than many of it's Belgian inspirations.
Pretty authentic for an American take on an abbey brew. I think the problem is that is lacks consistency. One sips great, while another is average.

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Photo of johnbonham1980
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoy this beer, although the first time I had it was a different experience than the second. I think A.V. may have a bit of an inconsistency issue w/ this one, as I picked up some undesirable metallic tastes that weren't apparent with my first bottle. It's not an incredibly distracting flavor component and probably entirely natural but still detracted from the overall enjoyment.

Poured a very deep reddish brown with basically zero head and lacing into a wine goblet, appearance is reminiscient of a port wine.

Carbonation is light and mouthfeel is smooth and thick.

Flavors and aromas are layered and rich. Banana and cherry fruit, bready malts, baking spices, raisin, port wine, with a definite caramel component and some light chocolate accents. I also found a very nice baked apple component to it I hadn't noticed the first time.

This beer's an incredible buy at its abv % of 9, and I love the fact that Anderson Valley has delved into Belgian-style beers because they're doing a pretty good job of it. Superior to the Triple in my opinion but I'm not a huge fan of Triples anyway...

Definitely worth a buy. Not as huge a fan of this beer as I was initially but still would pick it up again.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mahogany, classic dubbel color. The head retention on mine was great.

Smell: Dark fruits and bananas.

Taste: Very rich and fruity, but has a very slightly unpleasant acidic thing on the aftertaste. Almost no trace of alcohol whatsoever.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy & nice, could have used more carbonation. Definitely goes down a little sticky, but good.

Drinkability: I had this on tap at the Yard House in Long Beach last weekend and loved it. I'll review it on tap next time to compare, because this doesn't seem like the same beer at all. Based upon that, as well as wild fluctuation in the other reviews of this beer I'm led to believe there are some issues with consistency. Regardless, it's very good, and living in a mighty shadow. It costs half of what a real Trappist does, and tastes about half as good. Out of the bottle at least.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark burgundy, no head retention at all. Shy golden hues dances in the beer.

Smell of berries, yeast and spices.

Taste is alcoholic, followed by a yeasty flavours that comes and take the "bouquet" of the beer, nothing much

not bad but not great,

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As I pour this the beer shows a brilliantly clear brown color, but it sits in my glass a completely opaque dark brown color. The beer has an initially two-finger thick, brownish tinged tan head. As I pour this a fruity note similar to rum wafts from my tulip glass. Concentrated sweet malt notes are found initially in the nose. The nose is a melange of caramelized malts, brown sugar, toasted glazed bread and an underlying fruitiness reminiscent of raisins and prunes. The aroma is definitely missing the spicy notes that are in a good Belgian Dubbel.

Thick and sweet up front, almost a shock to the palate. One expects a double to be rich yes, but with a certain lightness and quaffability that this brew doesn't even remotely have. Sweet with sticky caramelized malt notes, raisin like fruitiness and a touch of toasted grain character. The toasted grain notes help to add a touch of balance to the otherwise dominant sweet character.

This is not a bad beer, there are certainly no flavor flaws, but one expects an entirely different beer from a Belgian styled Dubbel; adding some spiciness and substantially drying this beer out would certainly be a good place to start. As is it might pair well with a chocolate dessert.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of clickpush
4.34/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour: 22oz bomber to tulip glass. Comes out very dark but transparent, extremely bubbly both within the glass and in the head. The tan head is small and thin, going down quickly to an ample halo and some small lacings.

Nose: Extremely strong aroma with noticeable alcohol content. Chocolate, caramel, wine, mint, plums. Very strong malts.

Mouth: Chocolate and bananas! Mmm. Some warmth in the exhale that leaves a lasting tart cherry flavor behind. Finishes with a bubble gum taste. Carbonation is nice and fizzy all the way through.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a deep dark mahogny with a smallish white. The smell is weak with only a hint of alcohol and malt. The taste is all alcohol, sweet malt, brown sugar, and dark fruit. Not bad, but I expected more. The m/f is light and the flavors mix pretty well,not great. This is an OK beer, average Double, I really expected more from a brewery like Anderson Valley.

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Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 436 ratings
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