Trappist Achel 8° Blond | Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

401 Reviews
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Trappist Achel 8° BlondTrappist Achel 8° Blond

Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
Belgium | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-06-2002

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Reviews: 401 | Ratings: 704
Photo of bluejacket74
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle, 13/06/15 printed on the back label, not sure if that's the bottling date, best by date or what exactly. Served in a Prairie Teku, the beer pours a hazy golden/orange color with a couple inch frothy off-white head that stuck around for a really long time. There's also a lot of lacing. Aroma is OK, the brew smells like candy sugar, pear, banana, bubblegum, yeast and breadiness. The brew tastes like clove, banana, pear, candy sugar, bready malt, and peppery spice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and creamy with a lot of carbonation. By no means is this a bad beer at all, but it really didn't do anything for me. Glad I got to try it, but it's not my favorite. With that being said, it's worth trying if you've never had it before.

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Photo of Vixie
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy deep copper color. The white head is fairly large, leaving a lot of lacing on the sides of the glass as it dissipates.

Smelling a lot of Belgian funk here. There is a bit of citrus as well.

Quite a bit of Belgian funk up front, not surprising due to the smell. Picking up some citrus and honey in it, Finishes with a bit of pepper and alcohol warming.

Feel is a bit harsh, burns a bit going down.

This might be better if the funk was toned down a bit, but it really dominated the flavor. I don't mind a small amount of it, but this was a bit much. Normally Trappist beers are really complex and the flavors work well together, but the word that comes to mind here is harsh. Worth trying once, but not one I'll be adding to my rotation.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, pours a hazey blonde with a good two finger head that slowly disapates and laces glass. Aroma Apple, pear, banana, clove. Taste pretty much follows the nose. Nice very nice.

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Photo of BergBeer
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Hazy golden straw. Very thin white head. Moderate activity.

Smell: Belgian funk and sugar is sticky on the nose. Followed by ripe banana, a pinch of cloves, pear, honey, sweet bread, and a hint of booze.

Taste: Belgian sugar, candied ginger, honey covered pear slices, ripe banana, orange zest, and sweet whole wheat bread. The finish is grassy hops with just a hint of funk.

Feel: Medium body. Sticky sweet fades to white wine dry finish. Alcohol is slight warming on the throat.

Overall: A very nice Belgian blonde. A bit too far on the sweet side of the style for me but would be a beautiful entry into the world of Belgians. A bit more funk would make it perfect for me but it's good stuff.

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Body is a hazy golden orange hue. Two finger white head slowly reduced to a half finger film covering the body.

S: Bready malts, Belgian esters of pear, apple, and mild banana. There is a bit of funk in the background.

T: Same as the nose. The flavor is dry with a slight bitter finish.

F: Medium bodied with medium carbonation and foamy, with a slight warmth.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.78/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very cloudy when poured. The head was off white and medium thick the smell was stronger than I thought it would be. 1st taste was a hint of honeysuckle with still quite a bit of carbonation. Second best Trappist beer so far.

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Photo of zpeckler
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Preeti would love this. The head is ridiculous, so silky. A wit-like smell with classic clove and banana aroma. The taste is rich with malt, hops are lemony and bright. In addition to clove and banana, nutmeg, bread, and grapefruit flavors dominate.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy amber with an ample creamy, dense white head and lots of carbonation. Plenty of lacing.
The aroma is excellent: some funky farmhouse fun from the yeast, candy sugar and maybe a hint of lemon.
So tasty: The Belgian funk is strong in this one! Farmyard and cheese with nice spicy notes followed by a very pleasing bitterness. As it warms, a bit more pepper and even a little lemongrass comes through as well as some ripe fruit notes. A very refreshing finish.
Mouthfeel is medium with plenty of carbonation in my bottle.
Just excellent.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

33cl bottle purchased at grocery store in Brussels.
BB: 29/05/2017
Served chilled and poured in a Delirium tulip.

Pours super clear blond yellow. Very active carbonation, modest white head.
No lacing on glass.
Taste is light, crisp and very dry...a lot like a sparkling wine. Really dry aftertaste is unpleasant. Right up to this point, there were some definite, even eerie similarities to Delirium Tremens -- a beer I like a lot. But it's on the aftertaste phase that Achel loses it completely...much too sweet and dry.

A disappointment, not a 'great' beer, and not on my buy again list.

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Photo of flyingpig
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle at home from Whole Food, Giffnock (£2.69):
Appearance wise this beer was okay and the smell wasn't particularly interesting but the taste of this one was exceptional and the balance was excellent as well. Despite coming in at 8% abv. the alcohol content was remarkably well hidden and the beer went down very easily with a light, sweet and fruity taste that was distinctly Belgian with some yeast and plenty of spices coming through from the start.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I do believe Achel is one of the last Trappist brewers to cross off my list, apart from Westvleteren - aka ‘The Grail That Is Holy’ and the new ones; Engelszell, St. Joseph's and Zundert - but we pay little heed to them. Here’s a fact for ya: In 1917 during their occupation the German army dismantled Achel brewery to salvage approximately 700 kg of copper for the war effort, i.e. their First World War effort. Bit of a waste of time in hindsight. True story.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Slight hazed golden yellow body with a snow white 1cm head that sticks around well for an 8% ABV brew. Frankly this looks like a great Blond Tripel. There, I said it. 9/10.

S: Dry white wine grape upfront, quite a Champagne aroma, with hints of grassy hops, candi sugar and bread yeast in the background. Glad that Achel have differentiated their Blond from the other Trappist Tripels. 8/10.

T: Reminds me of a denser Duvel with a hint of Diacetyl (i.e. butterscotch) thrown in. I love Duvel - it’s still my highest rated beer - and Diacetyl has a time and a place, and this time and place is fine by me. The vinous grape notes mingle well with the green grassy “turf-like” quality of this Tripel, and the finish is a slight herbal bitterness that balances it out. Also with a brew at this percentage it doesn’t throw truckloads of sugar at you, it’s all rather well balanced. 10/10.

M: Medium bodied with a light but dense carbonation, this is where it’s at. 8/10.

D: This is definitely a tasty drop for a Duvel-lover, though lacking the brash-handed intensity of its non-Trappist cousin, Achel does manage to stand on its own two feet in the grand pantheon of Trappist beers. Overall how would I rate it in comparison to other Trappist Blonds? Well this to me is the winner over the next nearest Trappist Blond - Westmalle Tripel - albeit a slight winner, due to the Westmalle being overtly dry compared to this. Does that make sense, or am I slowly descending into madness? That is the Achel Effect. 8/10.

Food match: Chargrilled salmon with asparagus in lime vinaigrette and grated parmesan cheese (if you will) - see there is a time and place for parmesan cheese and it isn’t on a tiramisu Schneider Weisse!

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Photo of CTbrew32
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Golden hazy yellow in color with a slight orange hue. Pours a bubbly three finger width head.

Aroma- Spicy/pepper notes, sweet dry grains, and tangy lemons.

Taste- The taste follows the nose very closely with peppery yeast providing a mild bitterness at first. The yeast settles down to a mellow lemon hops and sweet grainy malts into the finish.

Feel- High carbonation, medium bodied, hides the alcohol very well, and finishes with a dry/sweet finish.

Overall- Not the most flavorful or complex tripel, but still great and incredibly easy to drink. Certainly a must try when looking for a tripel, especially if you're looking to avoid the strong pepper/spice yeast some carry.

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Photo of Beer_Loving_Brandon
2.71/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Drank out of the bottle like the barbarian that I am.

Look - It has a label. A cheesy label.

Smell - Skunky.

Taste - unimpressive and very pilsner-ish.

Feel - nothing notable here.

Overall - not worth the money and not on par with other Belgium offerings.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - A nice hazy golden body with loads of streaming CO2 a nice foamy head that has pretty low retention in an over sized wine glass for the style.

S - A light whiff of orange and some sourness so it is like the orange is on the turn. Light spice and sweetness. Around average.

T - Boozy and strong the citrus is light and orangey with some sourness like the nose. This is cut by the sweet edge in the malts and it has the right amount of spice in here to make it slightly above average in terms of taste.

MF - Good linger and body with both being medium towards full but not quite there. Boozy and warming.

O - Looks and smeel of this one are only slightly above average for the style low head retention is a slight problem but the taste and Mouth feel help to keep it up there. Overall the balance is good.

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Photo of JayQue
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A great Tripel. Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into my Chimay goblet. Medium size delicately bubbly white head with better than average retention. Filmy bands of lacing on the glass.
Aroma is good as well. Strong yeast presence, light fruit (apples and pears), peppery spicing and no hint of alcohol.

Taste is fantastic. My favorite part of a great Tripel is an almost cheese like flavor from the yeast. This one has it. The yeast, fruit, and spicing are just right. Goes down very easily like most good Tripels.

Mouthfeel is rich, spicy, a little sweet and great!!! A must have for Tripel lovers.

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Photo of JTuomi
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

33 cl bottle (bb 15/05/15) into a tulip glass. Slightly hazy golden body, ample foamy head with good retention, heavy chunky lacing, slightly bubbly. Smells of lemon, pale biscuit malt and belgian yeast with pear and melon.

Taste is dry and begins with pale malt, followed by citrus and melon with belgian yeast and white pepper. Dry finish with spice and a light hop bitterness. Citric and peppery dry crisp aftertaste. Well balanced and pretty dry for a tripel.

Medium body, high stingy carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. Overall a fresh and crisp sipping beer, hiding its strength well.

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Photo of interzen
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

Look: Slightly hazy without being sediment-y, and a glorious deep golden orange colour. Slightly off-white head, and plenty of it, with big retention and a lot of lacing.

Smell: Slightly sour oranges, spice and more than a hint of alcohol. Apart from the obvious alcohol, there's not much to set it apart from a lot of other tripels - the spices tend more towards the peppery. Overall, the impression is one of citrus fruit that has spent a little bit too much time in the fruit bowl..

Taste: The alcohol certainly comes through in the taste, although it's not what you'd call overpowering. There's an interesting trade off between the slightly sour citrus flavours and the sweeter malts with the spices acting as a sort of buffer zone between them. Overall, they come together pretty well with no one flavour type dominating.

Feel: Medium to full, with a suitable amount of fizz. The alcohol makes it feel a bit heavier than it actually is.

Overall: Pretty decent for a tripel and a good enough entry point if you're not familiar with the style. There are better examples out there, for sure, but there's also a hell of a lot worse. Worth trying, regardless.

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Photo of babaracas
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy gold with two fingers of dense white foam, thick sheet of lace for a couple of inches down. Smell: some "import grain" character which faded quickly, then... pilsy, floral, white grapes, candied lemon peel note. Taste: sugar cookie, overripe pear, sugared dried apricot blip, lemon-pepper and some citric bite. Really fine, velvety feel, finishing drying with grassy hopping punching through a sugary base. Best by 12/15. Pretty good.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2014-10-18 in Columbia, PA

A - Mildly-hazy golden-yellow with a big 3-finger white head and mild lace.

S - Melon, pale malt, flowery yeast. Sweet and appealing.

T - Follows the smell with melon and malt sweetness, herbal with a hint of white pepper, touch of lemon and grass and a reasonable amount of bitterness in the finish, which dissipates quickly.

M - Medium body and excessive carbonation. Perhaps there were enough residual sugars in the beer when bottled that additional fermenting happened. In any case, the excessive carbonation scrubbed the flavors away too quickly and was distracting.

O - I like the flavor and aroma, which are appealing and well balanced. Definitely a flavor profile I enjoy. I'll definitely try this again and hope for less carbonation.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

Review from 21OCT12. Had originally placed this under Achel Extra Blond in error....

Early October, 2012... I settled into a bar seat at Café De Knijnspiep after some shopping for some serious drinking. Started with three bottles of this nice Tripel, 0.33l at €3.75 per...

My small chalice was filled with a medium golden, slightly flat bier. It was still a vibrant hue, with a creamy white head. Topping was fluffy and lasted well, with decent lacing. Nose is nice and fruity, with super tropical fruit present. Body was medium, and the feel was light and airy on the tongue.

Had a nice crackery, doughy sweetness, and was dry and crisp through and through. Had lots of tropical fruit, with white grape skin, apple, pear and some peppery spice. At the finish there was a healthy amount of spicy, yeasty notes. Really nice, yes indeed! Zum Wohl!!

4.33/5 rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Bierman9, Oct 21, 2012

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Photo of a0lbudman
4/5  rDev -1%

A-hazy gold color with a large white head that faded slow and leave a good lace around the glass
S-lemon, spice, malt and hops
T-lemon and spice with a good hop bitter aftertaste that fades back to a spice finish
M- medium carbonation and light body
O-a good mix of spice, and nothing overpowering

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Photo of tomordonez
4.81/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pour into a brandy glass (no I don’t have a glass for each brewery). Large fluffy head about 3 inches that dissipates well at room temp 65F to a thin layer. Smells like daisies, herbs, honey…mead, lemongrass. It looks golden, golden ale, see through, like if the rivers were made of gold, it should look like this. Tastes like what an amazing beer should taste like. An explosion of flavors, medium carbonation then low at room temp. A balance of flavor and alcohol. Not a lot of bitterness. An aftertaste that makes you want more. Win

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a cloudy, caramel orange with a massive coarse white head that dissipated quickly to a more persistant thick cap with great lacing. A bit of a gusher, lost a quarter of the bottle, but managed to save most of this nectar. Great aroma of bready malt, Belgian yeast and spicing and nicely balanced light and stone fruit. Flavor follows with excellent mixed light and stone fruit, bready malt, nice strain of Belgian yeast, clove and coriander. Flavor reserved but nearly perfect. Medium bodied with active carbonation. A classic Belgian ale, leaning more towards a dubbel than a tripel, but just what it claims to be, a Belgian blond ale. After a week of some pretty big ales, its nice to return to something a bit reserved but beautifully balanced and flavorful. An excellent Trappist ale deserving its reputation.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.49/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2014, so it's a little out of date. Hopefully still alright. Picked up ages ago from a supermarket while on a trip to Belgium and subsequently stored in my garage. One of the less common Trappist brews - the label doesn't give much away.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A bright orange-amber hue with faint haze and good carbonation. Produces a huge head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding to a thick surface layer. Slight lacing. Aroma of fruity yeast esters with hints of raisins, dried fruit, apricots, a twinge of marzipan, sugar, clove, mild spice, earthy yeast and faint stewed leaves. A warming whiff of booze in the background. Vaguely sweet and deliciously complex.

Tastes of fruity yeast esters with a lingering dry finish. Notes of raisins, dried fruit, subtle sugar, mild spice, earthy yeast and harsh stewed leaves. A touch of cardboard in the background, accompanied by a hint of solventy alcohol. A dry, herbal bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with effervescent carbonation and decent body. Pretty astringent, followed by an aftertaste of acrid stewed leaves/herbs, fruity yeast esters and earthiness.

OK but not exceptional. Looks nice, and the aroma is a lovely blend of fruity, spicy hints rounded off with booze. However, the flavour lacks the complexity and balance of the aroma - harsh bitterness is a dominant feature. Body is alright but feels a shade too spritzy. Perhaps this bottle is just a bit too old - I may re-review in the future. Drinkable enough but no need to run out and hunt it down.

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Photo of draheim
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330mL into a tulip. Pours a hazy pale straw color, big fluffy white head that leaves behind nice thick clumps of lace. Really nice looking.

Aroma is full of fruity esters and spice; Belgian yeast, some floral Old World hops, clove, and a touch of bubblegum.

Taste is very Belgian. Pale bready malt and Belgian yeast, slightly bitter floral hops, overripe banana and clean pure water. Nicely minerally and hard, gives it a clean finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, balanced, soft but also crisp.

Overall a very nice Belgian ale, well put together.

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Trappist Achel 8° Blond from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
90 out of 100 based on 401 ratings.