Brother Joseph's Belgian Dubbel
Straight To Ale

Brother Joseph's Belgian DubbelBrother Joseph's Belgian Dubbel
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Ranked #100
Ranked #31,682
3.77 | pDev: 11.14%
Straight To Ale
Alabama, United States
Very Good
Brother Joseph's Belgian DubbelBrother Joseph's Belgian Dubbel
Notes: Maimed in an accident that left him with a hunched back, Brother Joseph Zoettl worked in the St. Bernard Abbey power plant shoveling coal. In his spare time, Brother Joseph used found objects such as marbles and chunks of concrete and tile to build miniature shrines and buildings on the Abbey grounds. Over 40 years, he created 125 different models and replicas. Today, the Ave Maria Grotto covers three acres and is world-renowned as both a fun roadside attraction and an awe-inspiring collection of folk art. We have named our Belgian dubbel after Brother Joseph as a testament to his perseverance, his hard work, and his indomitable spirit. A full-flavored abbey-style ale with a complex taste and aroma, Brother Joseph’s Dubbel is filled with specialty malt and dark fruit character.
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 183 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Currently #85 in the Top Alabama beers list and #114 in the Top Belgian Dubbel beers list.

8% ABV. "Belgian style dubbel ale." Canned 06/18/20. A sixer of 12 fl oz pull-tab cans ran me $9.49 USD plus tax in New Orleans, LA.

Served chilled into a shaker pint.

AROMA: Raisin, date, Belgian saccharomyces, bready malt, rich amber malt, biscuit, plum.

Not getting any prune or fig, but it's got a good dark fruit aroma coupled with malty sweetness and recognizably Belgian yeast. Aromatic intensity is average. Doesn't seem boozy. I find no off-notes.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Belgian yeast. Rich malty sweetness...biscuit malt, bready malts, brown malts, gooey amber malt. Dark fruits (raisin, prune, dates).

It's a bit imbalanced...I find it too sweet.

Smooth, wet, well-carbonated, medium to heavy bodied, thick, a biteen syrupy. Gooey. Unrefreshing (like most every beer in the style).

OVERALL: A decent imitation of Belgian brewed dubbel style beers, but far from exceptional. Lacks the depth of flavour and delicate flourish the best expressions of the style boast. I'd sooner drink Ommegang or the like if confined to U.S. brewed dubbel style beers...this doesn't hold a candle to something like Rochefort 8.But it's better than I expected given it's from Alabama and the price is reasonable especially considering its high ABV.


Jul 03, 2020
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can, canned 12/6/19, into Odell snifter.

Pours a lovely light caramel color forming a darker caramel-toffee color in the snifter with some pleasant glow. Head is big and fluffy like it should be, 2 fingers, recedes to 1 at a slow pace and sticks around quite awhile. Lots of lace left on the sides, nearly destroying the glass. Great appearance.

Aroma brings floral notes, white pedal notes, notes of caramel, and hints of old dark fruit. Some hay/straw as well.

Flavor brings A-B-C bubble gum up front, followed by some underlying phantom toffee notes, some nutty caramel malt, slight onion, and then some heavy handed floral and (to a lesser extent) herbal hop. Cinnamon, honey sweetness, and old wood also linger around.

Feel is crisp, carbonated, a little juicy dare I say, and wet. Alcohol is well hidden which is not a requirement here and I personally would welcome more, but it tingles on the tongue a bit along with the sizzle of the carbonation. Drying finish, some resins clinging along.

Overall, not gonna be a re-visit for me personally, but a balanced Dubbel nonetheless.

Price paid : $1.89 / can
Would buy again : no

Jun 07, 2020
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El-Heffe from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Found at local Walmart for 9.95 six pack.
Served cold in British Pint glass. Excellent head, nice lacing on glass, pale caramel and ruby.
I taste of flowers and honey, but not overwhelming like some true Belgian ales.
Overall Malty goodness somewhat like a a german Marzen, but less "coppery" maybe because its so brewed locally. Very fresh beer and very smooth for an 8% abv. I will drink a couple at least!

Apr 02, 2020
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

8/5/19...pours medium dark brown with light foam on top. Light brown sugar malty nose. Cherry cinnamon flavor. light sweetness balanced by a yeasty bitter. Almost tinges on astringency but doesn't quite get there.

Mar 28, 2020
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MNAle from Minnesota

3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is dark fruit, raisins, plums, spices, alcohol.

Look is deep, deep amber tending toward brown, looking hazy red-amber with a backlight, with a 1/2 inch creamy off-white head, receding fairly quickly to a thin head and ring. No lacing.

Taste mirrors the aroma, dark fruit, raisins, plums, figs, spices, dark bread. Quite nice. Mild initially, with slight bitterness in the middle and finish, which lingers into the aftertaste. The taste is slightly sweet.

Mouth feel is moderate-thin, if just a bit sticky.

Overall, this is an excellent American-made dubbel; smooth, rich and varied flavors, very enjoyable.

Oct 14, 2019
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Profundobaso from New York

4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - poured into a small plastic cup (sorry!), fresh from the brewery. Generous two finger head and excellent retention, a sign the the beer has a lot of sugar. Beautiful copper color, transparent. A gorgeous beer.
Smell - distinct Belgian yeast, berries, and honey. Malts also apparent. Pleasantly sweet.
Taste - malt forward in flavor, and plenty of flavorful Belgian yeast that lingers in taste, with a nice sweet malty finish. A prime example of the style from start to finish.
Feel - medium bodied, average carbonation, and slightly heavy at 8% ABV.
Overall - this is an excellent Belgian Dubbel. It gets all of the flavors right without being overly sweet, and maintains a high ABV without it being too detectable. The beer really excels at what it does. People said Alabama doesn't have much in its craft beer scene, and this one is pretty damn good.

Oct 10, 2019
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dcscientist from Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was my favorite of all the Straight to Ale beers I tried - what a well-made and well-balanced beer. This is everything you ask for in a dubbel. I had this after trying some of their stouts, and it was a great finish to the evening. Some reviewers seem to taste more of the hoppy nature of a dubbel than I did - for me that wasn't noticeable at all. Very well done by these guys, who hold their own with any brewery in the more traditional beer areas.

Sep 04, 2019
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A very interesting find.
While it does get syrupy, there are many strong qualities to this particular dubbel; not the least of which is that it gets close to achieving a very difficult style. While Brother Joseph's Dubbel clearly lacks the sophistication, it makes up some of that ground with heart.

Jan 19, 2019
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cavedave from New York

3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to richj1970 for this tasty STA treat.

Pours cordovan with righteous dollop of beige foam. Head pretty quick to kick, but the thick looking beer glows in glass.

Brown bread, very ripe grapes, deep spicy notes, a touch of honey, light alcohol notes.

All the flavors of the nose are here, with the spicy hop nature amped up considerably. It's kind of a clove note and a rooty herbal thing mixed together. As it warms some fig notes join the party. Sip ends with bready malt and spicy hop balanced well.

Highly viscous, low carb., full bodied for style. Decent finish with a bit of a resin buildup that could be cleaner.

Prob. not the greatest rep of the style due to its hoppy nature, yet it is a tasty drink I recommend, esp. for those who enjoy the style already.

Apr 08, 2018
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AZBeerDude72 from Arizona

3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber with rich tan head and sticky lacing.
N: Malt, raisin, and plums.
T: Very deep fruit notes almost wine like in nature. Flavors are really amazing, this is a solid Dubbel.
M: Medium
O: Very smooth and rich flavors, really enjoyed this beer.

Mar 26, 2018
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jadpsu from Georgia

3.49/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a short lived tan head that does leave some decent side glass lace.
Belgian Dubbel's are not in my wheelhouse.
Whenever glove gets involved I for one find the beer not to my liking.
The clove here is fairly low and not so prominent that you get it up front but it shows up in the after taste.

Aug 16, 2017
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hman43 from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: It has a deep amber color with garnet tints. There is low head retention that is light brown in color.

Smell: Initial aromas are malty rich with plenty of cherry. There are additional dark fruits including plums.

Taste: There is strong, rich malt flavors with plenty of cherries and plums. There is some spiciness to it with some alcohol presence.

Feel: It has a moderate feel with moderate bitterness in the finish. There is a slight tilt in balance towards the malt. The alcohol is slightly harsh.

Overall, this is a dubbel highlighted by rich malt and strong cherries with other dark fruits, plums, in the background.

Mar 18, 2017
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metter98 from New York

3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Fat Patties, Bluffton, SC

A: The beer is clear but dark amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that consistently covered the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of sweet candi sugar are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has hints of sweetness from the candi sugars along with hints of underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a fairly good representation of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

Dec 14, 2016
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an opaque but hazy deep mahogany brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate garnet red + amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a couple of small to medium sized patches of medium thick film surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted bready malts and dark malts with a light to moderate amount of candi sugar sweetness and light to moderate notes of dark fruit (plum, prune, and raisin). There is a light to moderate aroma of spices (clove and coriander).

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted bready malts and dark malts with a light to moderate amount of candi sugar sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of dark fruits (plum, prune, and raisin). Finally there are light flavors of Belgian yeast and light to moderate flavors of spices (clove + coriander). Minimal amounts of hop presence or bitterness and a very light lingering sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: A pretty nice example of an American craft Belgian Dubbel - not something that I encounter all that often. Enjoyable with a nice complexity of flavor and not overly sweet or cloying. Alcohol is well hidden and this beer is pretty easy to drink.

Nov 13, 2016
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mlockman from Indiana

3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With a strong flavor of Belgian yeast and a lively mouthful, this is a fair bit sweeter than most Belgian dubbels., and personally, I found that sweetness to be quite enjoyable.

Jun 16, 2016
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Squire from Mississippi

4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw this in the store this morning. Belgian style Dubbel in a six pack of 12 ounce cans. Ka-Ching and I'm out the door.

Deep Burgundy color. Not red, not brown, but Burgundy. Aroma wafting up is what, dark fruit, plumbs perhaps? Taste and yes, it's all there, Belgian yeast, clove, banana, dark plumb and fig, rich malt with a full flavor that avoids being heavy. Somebody at the brewery did their homework before making this one. In fact, after the first sip I looked up the brewery phone number and called to ask what's in it (website is long on story and short on detail) but got voicemail. No matter, I have a beer to finish. Warming up the flavor remains constant in a cohesive whole. I don't find the sophistication of a first rate Belgian but it's a damn long sight short of the price of one of those and is remarkably close. Finish is clean, crisp, very nice, with a hop cutoff and just a hint of roasted barley. Contemplating my lot I determine that no, this isn't Chimay Red, but I can get six of these for the price of two Reds.

Man this is good stuff. Brewery offers free tours on Saturday and is close enough I could get there by lunch. Good Lord, I need a designated driver.

Apr 15, 2016
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champ103 from Texas

4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark ruby red/brown color. A one finger white head forms and recedes in a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Toasted malts, dried fruits, light sweetness. Simple but on point and very enjoyable.
T: This opens up more than the nose. Toasted malts, grains, dried fruits. Raisins, plums candied sugar. I love the malt character here.
M/O: A medium to full body. Crisp carbonation and smooth at the same time. Really easy and enjoyable to drink. One of those that is stuck between a sipper and something you want more of. Very nice.

A well done Dubbel, which is few and far between for American breweries. I really enjoyed this, and hope to come across more. Not a buzzy style, but really well made.

Mar 14, 2016
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jmv0009 from Alabama

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in Cullman, which is the city that inspires the name.
L- dark amber brown, thin off white head.
S- weak smell, sweet fruit and figs.
T- sweet, lots of fig and other fruits. Not bitter.
F- good mouthfeel, drinkable, a little heavy but not overly so. Good winter beer or dessert beer.
O- Another great beer from STA! Definitely recommend. 4.5/5 only points off are for the lack of a good smell.

Feb 15, 2016
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buschbeer from Ohio

3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 FL. OZ. can
Served in a goblet

This beer pours tea colored with less than an inch of tan head that leaves little lacing.

It has a candy-like sweet smell. I get some molasses, fig, and red fruit.

It has a sweet malty taste. I get some spiced fig as well.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation

This is a pretty good dubbel. It is sweet and malty with some Belgian yeast characteristics.

Feb 14, 2016
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AngryPenguinBrewCo from New York

3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown pour with 1/4 inch off white foam. Sweet malty aroma. Malty, yeasty and nutty with a buttery and dry finish. Slightly bitter but very little detectable hop flavor. Slight lacing on the glass with solid carbonation. A decent and drinkable example of the style.

Jan 29, 2016
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Karibourgeois from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear light brown pour with a small off-white head. Malty and bready aroma. Taste has malt and dark fruit for a sweeter flavor. Can also taste some spice, candy sugar and a hint of alcohol.

Jan 10, 2016
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TX-Badger from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker reddish brown color with ivory colored head. Caramel, dark fruits, biscuit, and some bread on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with dark fruits.

Dec 30, 2015
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leroybrown10 from Missouri

3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep reddish-amber with a 1 finger light tan head. Head disappears quickly with little lacing left behind.

Aroma is dark fruit and caramel. Plum, cherry, and raisin.

Taste like the aroma. More on the dark fruit though. Some yeast and spice.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Some lingering sweetness but it flavors mostly just fade.

A decent example of a Dubbel. Easy drinking. Lacks the complexity of any of the classic belgium Dubbels.

Nov 19, 2015
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Draft poured into pint glass. Dark brown with reddish hints. No foam or lacings

Aroma of dark fruits, raisins, plums

Taste of malts, dark fruits, raisins, spiciness

I was expecting a heavier mouthfeel and this was light to medium

Nice dubbel

Oct 30, 2015
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear brown with a slightly reddish tint. A nice off white 1" head disappeared quickly and left no lacing in the glass. Dark fruit, yeast and some spiciness in the nose. None of the aromas are very strong and all seem pleasing. The mouthfeel is slighter than I would expect but the taste is definitely a dubbel. There is cloves, dark fruits and malty sweetness but it is very subdued. This is a nice drinkable dubbel that, for a bonus, comes in a can. This is a very enjoyable beer.

Aug 24, 2015
Brother Joseph's Belgian Dubbel from Straight To Ale
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 183 ratings