The Bruery 2 Turtle Doves Review

2 Turtle Doves bottle bottle and glass

On a recent trip to City Beer Store in San Francisco I was browsing the beer fridge, after having tried De Ranke’s Père Noel, trying to figure out what other winter season beer to try. As soon as I spotted 2 Turtle Doves by The Bruery, I grabbed a 750ml to try. I first heard about 2 Turtle Doves (or sometimes Two Turtle Doves) on twitter from @aircoleman who recommended it with this tweet: “2 Turtle Doves” is a Belgian-style Dark Ale brewed with cocoa nibs and toasted pecans. A very nice 12% winter beer!”

2 Turtle Doves is crafted by a brewery in Orange County, CA called The Bruery, who specialize mostly in Belgian-style ales found either in 750ml bottles or on tap. This beer is the second winter seasonal beer they have produced in their series of the “Twelve Beers of Christmas” with the first being “Partridge in a Pear Tree.”

This is truly a wonderful winter beer which I initially described on Twitter as “like chocolate syrup muddled with a sweet stout with a little cola, gourmet coffee, and spices.” These flavors are not on accident. The bottle caption describes 2 Turtle Doves as follows:

Belgian-Style Dark Ale Brewed with Cocoa Nibs & Toasted Pecans

The second verse of our “Twelves Beers of Christmas” saga begins with caramel and toasty, nutty malt with a luscious layer of chocolate. Happy Holidays!

2 Turtle Doves bottle in a tulip glass

Date Reviewed. December 11, 2009

Where I Found It. City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA

Serving Type. Served from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance. 2 Turtle Doves has a dark black or very dark brown color with a pleasant mocha colored head. Head didn’t last to long in the tulip glass.

Smell. The aroma of this beer is heavily like dark chocolate syrup. It also has hints of cola, rum, with a dash of holiday spices like cloves or nutmeg. The spicy quality plus the cola undertones give it a smell like an artisan root beer or sassafras. The aroma also has hints of gourmet coffee. Finally, as the beer warms it reveals a bouquet of caramel, nutty pecans, and toasty malt.

Taste. I originally described 2 Turtle Doves on Twitter as follows, “it’s like chocolate syrup muddled with a sweet stout with a little cola, gourmet coffee, and spices.” The dark roasted malt flavor comes through like an iced coffee made with gourmet coffee and artisan dark chocolate bittersweet syrup. The sweetness and the alcohol come through like a 18-year aged rum while not being boozy. The hints of cola flavor complement all of the other flavors. Also picy cloves. Finally, the malt has a nice roasty and caramel flavor. 2 Turtles Does is a delectable dessert in a bottle.

Mouthfeel. This beer is full boded, thick, and smooth but there may be a few tannins, that come through, giving it a hint of chalkiness.

Drinkability. 2 Turtle Doves is pure liquid dessert, a treat, and delicious. Although it is 12% alcohol by volume, it drinks smoothly and easily.

2 Turtle Doves bottle

Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score.

  • Appearance (20%): 4.0
  • Smell (20%): 5.0
  • Taste (40%): 4.5
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 4.0
  • Drinkability (10%): 4.5
  • Overall: 4.45


  • Style: Belgian-style dark strong ale.
  • Brewery: The Bruery
  • Alcohol by volume: 12% abv
  • Other ingredients: cocoa nibs and toasted pecans
  • Beer Advocate rating: 4.1 (as of Dec. 21, 2009)

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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5 Responses to The Bruery 2 Turtle Doves Review

  1. Spot on review. I had a chance to have this on cask about a month back and it blew me away. I’ve got one set aside for Christmas day desert and will be doing a review shortly after. Always good things from The Bruery

  2. Blake says:

    Glad you enjoyed it. I was there over the weekend (Bruery + Kogi = heaven) and had some more of the Two Turtle Doves. Quite an amazing beer. Also had their Humulus XPA (on tap and on cask (with estate hops)) and enjoyed it immensely. Keep spreading the good Bruery word 🙂

  3. Jesse says:

    Great beer, couldn’t agree with your review more

  4. Great review, David! Cheers!

  5. Sounds like a great beer! Unfortunately for me, their stuff is not easy to find. I’m hoping that starts to change because I read a lot of good things about them Happy 2010!

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