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Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

359 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 359
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.02%


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

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dsa7783 on 01-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 359 | Reviews: 201 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dcmchew
dcmchew

Romania

4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 2015, so i guess it's pretty fresh.
Dark brown, almost black pour, beige two finger fluffy head, great retention, moderately sticky. Half a finger of milky foam stuck around untill i finished the glass actually. Looks great.
Smell of Belgian sugars/caramel, dark malts, raisin and dry fig, as expected, really balanced, but not so strong.
Taste is heavy with dark fruit, with huge amounts of raisin, some dry figs and dates, plums with a bit of sour juiciness and faint berries. All these covered in caramel (alongside some light Belgian candi sugar) and set on a canvas of dark bread and biscuity malts. Lots of yeast activity, some nice dark spices kind of feel, with random hints of nutmeg, licorice, cinnamon and clove. Very low hop presence, with a subtle bitterness in the finish.
At first the dark fruit might seem too much, but it gets more balanced as it sits and warms. Alcohol starts to heat up bit by bit too, without being boozy or disturbing at any time.
Low carbonation, just a little prickly fizz, creamy and chewy, feels rather heavy, but it fits with the roundness of the taste.
A great tasty dark trappist, tho some might be disappointed by the apparent simplicity of the brew. I myself found it to be perfect, a great example for Belgian dark ales.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 17:35:59 | More by dcmchew
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark chestnut colour with mahogany highlights. Great light tan head with solid creamy appearance.

Massive dried fruit notes. Raisin and date. Interesting melanoidin note that works really well.

Big and complex malt flavour. Rich and chewy combination of dried fruit and toffee. The spicy yeast notes are a little muted but play well into the overall flavour palate.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Not too much which complements this beer.

A really solid beverage. Excellent flavour profile and complexity.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 05:43:42 | More by dgilks
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml split with cbutova over the weekend. Best before July 2015.

Appearance - Hazy brownish-red with big ol' floaties, especially on the last pours. Beige+bubbly pancake head boasts good retention and decent lace.

Smell - Cola, bread, nuts, yeast, molasses, prunes. Nice and potent at first but seems to lose strength with time, good though.

Taste - Taste is more solid. More dark fruit here, raisins galore, along with cola, dark bread, caramel, light spice and yeast presence. Smooth+good dark trappist ale flavors.

Mouthfeel - Slick and less carbonated than expected, a little odd at first but it grew on me. Not boozy whatsoever and works with the flavors.

Overall - Typically very good trappist-Quad type beer, doesn't really have the flair of Rocherfort, Westy, etc. but certainly a fine Belgian.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 13:02:57 | More by Chico1985
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Pint glass pour from the 750ml with a dark brown body, some light pierces the very edges. Massive light tan head forms to two or three fingers and settles into a shape that reminds me of the top of fermenting bread, super retention. Lace is super thick with spots and clouds everywhere.

S- A nice mix of malts and Trappist yeast. Brown malts provide a smooth base with notes of toasted nuts, toffee, caramel, biscuit and slight sweetness. Yeast relaxed here in a good way, dark fruits and spicy.

T- Yeast and malts in a super smooth, balanced blend. Yeast takes the edge slightly here in strength with notes of dried dark fruits, plums, raisins, dark wheat bread, Belgian yeast spice and apples/white grapes. Malts follow the nose in the Brown toasted spectrum.

MF- Moderately thick body with a low-medium carbonation. Slick and somewhat oily texture with a slight silkiness. Slight spicy bitterness in the end.

Another solid Trappist brew. I like how the yeast is pretty relaxed and balanced but still asserts a strong profile.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 20:57:25 | More by cbutova
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark plum or brown with a white head.

S: Nutmeg, dark fruit, spicy belgian yeast in the nose.

T: Orange, dark fruit, plum, nutmeg, cinnamon, quite sweet, especially with some age (had it once fresh, once well after it's expiration date). Alcohol is definitely present.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: An excellent beer in an excellent style. The Belgian strong dark has become a favorite of mine, though I wouldn't say this is the best of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 04:58:41 | More by BierJager89
Photo of LVituri
LVituri

Brazil

4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Uma boa surpresa foi encontrá-la no Brasil. Até então, para mim, se tratava de um rótulo lenda. Mas que cerveja equilibrada. Fascinante. Eu já era fã da Achel, porém, após esse rótulo, me tornei ainda mais admirador deste mosteiro. Uma cerveja que vale a pena.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 12:46:45 | More by LVituri
Photo of Auraan
Auraan

Arizona

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich, dark, almost blackish brown color, with a one finger tan head that grew to a two finger head before receding to a thick foam leaving abundant lacing down the glass. Very nice, well done example of the style. Scents of dark fruit especially plume, some fig, red grape, slight grape skin, bready malt, hints of candi sugar, Belgian yeast, and some honey and cream, along with some wild sour and tannin like aromas all mingling together. As it warms apricot enters the aroma profile as well. Very pleasant, fruity, sweet and complex aroma with some nice wild yeast detectable. Very good, true to style but also unique in its own way. Taste begins with a boozy, sweet, fruity flavors with notes of alcohol, raisin, grape, plum, prune and fig flavors along with some sugary, caramel-like flavors, candi sugar and slight bready malt. Some slight sour flavors are present in the background throughout the sip. Alcohol and candi sugar notes remain present throughout with sour notes becoming more prominent on the middle and end of the sip. Tannins and slight red wine flavors join the fruity and caramel flavors in the middle and finish, but in a subdued fashion, while the bready malts drop off. Abundant alcohol on the finish as well as faint earthy Belgian hop and faint Belgian yeast spiciness and some sour notes. Aftertaste is earthy hops and alcohol. A very fruity, sweet, yet also sour flavor profile that is quite complex, though not to the degree of Rochefort 10. Still very well executed with a variety of flavors on the display. The Mouthfeel is sticky and medium-heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, a slight acidic sting and a bit of an alcohol burn. Semi-drying. A good, pleasant sipping beer mouthfeel, true to style. Not quaffable, but that's not what the style is about. Overall quite the nice Trappist dark ale. True to the bones of the style but with a unique character due to the red wine and sour notes with a wonderful aroma and flavor and a nice sipping mouthfeel, quite nice and worth the $20 I paid to try it.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 08:08:49 | More by Auraan
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

75cl green glass (ugh..) bottle with standard unbranded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Argonaut Liquor in Denver, CO and served into an Orval goblet in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given this is a trappist beer. Imported by the Shelton Bastards. Best before: December 15th 2012. Oops. 9.5% ABV confirmed. No style is specified on the label, but it is referred to as an ale and the ABV is high so I'm reviewing it as a Belgian strong dark ale.

Served chilled after a period of rest following its removal from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of khaki-white colour. Lightly creamy and thick. Head retention is pretty subpar - it lasts 30 seconds at best. Little lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head recedes, and even less stays in place.

Body colour is a vibrant dark amber brown. Translucent but nontransparent. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible; it's pretty clean for a Belgian strong dark ale.

Overall, it's an appealing appearance for the style and I'm looking forward to trying it. It's gorgeous when backlit and viewed from the underside of the goblet. I do wish the head was better.

Sm: Lovely residual sugars blend marvelously with heavy bready malt character. Caramel and breadcrust complement each other nicely. Cream. A kiss of some sort of dark fruit - fig, I think. Belgian biscuit malts. As it warms, I pick up some prune on the backend, accompanied by a hearty fruity sweetness.

I don't detect any Belgian yeast alcohol, or hop character. It's a good aroma for a Belgian strong dark ale and I'm looking forward to trying the beer. The fruity notes are a highlight. Mild to moderate in strength.

T: Creamy up front, giving way to a bready malt foundation with some biscuit malts and brown malts in there too. The dark fruit is nice, with notes of caramel-covered fruit, figs, dates, prunes, plum, and raisins - though the raisin is a bit too heavy for my tastes. Unfortunately, I do notice some faint cardboard/stale malt character which brings the beer down. I get some biscuity yeast character as well - in addition to identifiable Belgian characteristics I lack the capacity to adequately describe; I know it's a Belgian beer just from the flavours, but I can't quite identify why - maybe it's spice? Clove/nutmeg? I also pick up some toffee. Hints of cola, maybe some sassafras. Light traces of green apple. Maybe some light candi sugar.

It's certainly more on the sweet side, but I'd call it rather balanced - albeit simple. The complexity and subtlety of a great Belgian strong dark ale isn't present here, and I wouldn't call it nuanced or intricate. The build - while very cohesive - is a bit shy of gestalt. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

No alcohol or hop character comes through.

In fairness, as it warms, it does open up a bit. The fruit definitely feels more integrated.

Mf: Sticky and chewy. Has a nice unexpected creaminess. A bit too coarse and dry for the flavour profile, which prevents the texture from feeling custom-tailored to the taste. Still, the mouthfeel suits the flavour profile in a general sense. Well-carbonated. Has an okay presence on the palate, but it's a bit chalky. Nice body. It's a bit too thick. It's certainly a filling beer, but isn't quite the meal in glass you might expect given the style. It doesn't have too much weight on the palate.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Overall, the texture needs work. This is the most problematic aspect of the beer.

Dr: A pretty drinkable Belgian strong dark ale, but it isn't up to par with my expectations for a Trappist offering. I'm confident Achel can do better. I was ready to love this, but the execution is a bit lacking. While it can't compete with classics like Chimay Blue, this is a Belgian strong dark ale well worth trying and I'm happy to support the Trappist cats over at Achel. I'm also reticent to be too critical seeing as I accidentally nabbed a bottle that's a year past its best before date. I'll plan on revisiting this when I make it out to Achel's public cafe.

High B-

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 05:22:08 | More by kojevergas
Photo of pkalix
pkalix

California

3.55/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

super creamy-looking khaki-colored head; almost Guinness-like film when tilted to the side... one very beautiful pour, indeed!
interesting, lager-like smell, if it were mixed with a nut brown, maybe? and some candi stuff.
rich on the tongue, as first tasted. kind of syrup-y with some light amounts of darker fruit, Belgian-type sugar-y stuff. taste is less impressive than the smell, which is WAY less impressive than that beautiful pour... the bitterness is fighting the sweetness, and the sweet maltiness wins at first, but then gives way to a nasty bitter.
overall, maybe it's me and maybe i'm just not ready the rich Belgians yet. but I know compared to the Belgians I love that this one ranks kind of poorly. as mentioned by nearly ALL other reviewers, this one aint worth the price I paid for it. not anywhere close. i'm not sure i'd prefer to drink 10 budweisers before this one, but it isn't satisfying me much. I was, however, very impressed with that super-weight bottle it comes in. that thing is durable!
I honestly don't know why the taste went so far south compared to the smell. I really liked the smell. it just seemed bitter; and as a few others mentioned, the SPICE was horrible.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 23:16:11 | More by pkalix
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.64/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2001, enjoyed in 2013 - very nearly 12 years old at this point... Thanks for the relic, Jeff! The dingy and murky copper body comes as no surprise, and neither does the somewhat poor head formation... A fizzy, beige collar manages to work its way atop the rustic brew, settling softly where the beers meets the glass at the top.

Seemingly sweet aroma with a cornucopia of dark fruits; I'm getting massive notes of red grapes, raisins, prunes, plums, and even a little bit of cherry skin and tannin. Fruity and malty with a touch of residual sweetness in the form of Belgian Candi sugar. Little bit of caramel, too, and despite the extended aging period, there isn't really any detectable oxidation on in the nose... impressive!

The taste is very similar, following the nose quite closely with an introduction of plums and prunes abound. It's decadently sweet, again, with a little bit of Candi sugar in there, as well as a hint of caramel and toffee, too. Though oxidation escaped the aroma, it's present in the palate, but it isn't too much of a heartbreaker. It brings forth a mild sherry note, along with the slightest bit of that unwanted, wet cardboard.

A good bit of finishing malt sweetness, along with a hefty bit of vinous-like characteristics, mainly grape skins that are heavily akin to a fine wine. The oxidation was only a mild hindrance, but luckily gets beaten out in the finish by the other elements of the brew. Creamy, medium bodied, and relatively low carbonation, but still not bad given the age of the beer.

Overall, I was really impressed by how this trappist ale held up against 12 years of sitting in a bottle. It's just that... well, I've had better trappist ales. This beer would certainly be more appreciated by wine lovers, though I still found it to be quite tasty; something about it just wasn't exactly my cup of tea. Still nice, especially considering the age... Just a few steps out of my wheelhouse.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 18:46:38 | More by tectactoe
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky honey brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny chunks of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, caramel, toffee, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with fruit, caramel, and slight cardboard flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great smell but there is a slight amount of oxidation coming through in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 17:06:49 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of stephens101
stephens101

Oklahoma

4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I always welcome a new Trappist brew, and all indications point to a winner here, but the proof is in the magnum.

Poured right down the middle of a goblet. Dark reddish-brown in color. Has a slight, off-white head that seeks escape and gets it quickly. A few bubbles reside atop the brew and a thin sheet of lace clings to the side.

The aroma of ripened red grapes, grain, burnt sugar and belgian yeast floats timorous. Tickling the tongue are an array of dark fruits including grapes, plum and persimmon. Behind that lie some more notes of burnt sugar, licorice, faint hops, and a touch of tartness.

Medium to heavy bodied and mostly smooth going down with a bit of an alcohol edge that comes in toward the end and lingers.

A well-crafted brew that is giving me a happy-buzz:) Woot!

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 21:15:37 | More by stephens101
Photo of alex_hart
alex_hart

Oklahoma

3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A deep brown with a red hue that comes through when shown in the light. Strong carbonation present with a 1/4 finger tan head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

Smell: Dark fruits, some belgian yeast, and then some more dark fruits. Pleasant to smell. Looking forward to the taste.

Taste: Much of the same with the dark fruits coming forward. Alcohol presence that is easy to detect but not overpowering. A slight belgian yeast comes through on the back.

Mouthfeel: Strong carbonation and slightly oily on the tongue. Pleasant for the style.

Overall: This is a good strong dark, but I'm glad it was a gift. I'm not sure I would pay the $15 price-tag myself.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 22:59:45 | More by alex_hart
Photo of mscudder
mscudder

Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 served in a chalice.

A - Deep brown hue with a one-finger ivory head. Retention was short lived but left fair lacing.

S - Dark fruits, dark fruits and then more dark fruits. Lots of plum, sweet raisin, touch of fig and nutmeg. Perhaps a bit of citrus.

T- Sweeter on the tongue than on the nose. Nice esters and a dry taste throughout. Flavors follow from those described on the nose, although more distinctive courtesy of candi sugar.

M - Medium body with lively carbonation. I would prefer a fuller body with a touch less dryness. Well done nonetheless.

O - This is a strong showing that I can see enjoying on a number of occasions. A bit steep at $18, but you get what you pay for.... and this is excellent.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 03:07:53 | More by mscudder
Photo of Chrysostom
Chrysostom

Ohio

3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As always, I review live, not from notes, puzzling out the libation brewed in houses of salvation. As always, I review to style (ala BJCP), modified by personal taste (contra BJCP), not solely to personal taste, which would be unfair to many great examples of styles that I don't personally favour.

My second beer from Achel (my first was a Bruin 8º), and my first had from a 750mL, or when I was even halfway sober.

(Note, that since my words below to most people won't seem to match up with my numbers on first sight, that I can not stand Rochefort. I'd drink Budweiser first. This has some of those similar spiced flavours, but to a lesser degree, so I can drink this, even if I wouldn't particularly want to.)

Without further ado, a review.

Presentation: 750mL crown-capped bottle, $17.99. Served around 45º and warming as I write. They should at least put a cork on it for $18, nearly twice the price of most other Trappists. The crown cap is somewhat difficult to remove, requiring attack with a beer key from several directions. Although I hear it's kind of rare, so I should be thankful for getting half a case. Poured in to a Chimay chalice/goblet.

A: Clear brown coming out of the bottle, somewhat hazy reddish-brown in the glass with red highlights. Poured gently, as with all Trappists, to avoid getting too many lees in the glass: on said gentle pour, one finger of head is produced, which recedes at a moderate rate (over about two to three minutes) to a cap on the face of the beer, leaving a sheet of lace down the side of the glass.

S: Spice that is very similar to Rochefort (it's nearly impossible to describe except by experience), alcohol, and bready malt. There's some yeast in there too. Doesn't sound incredibly complex, but that spice - whatever it's from, spicing or yeast - complexifies it nicely. None of the characteristic Belgian funk, but the Belgian spice, as mentioned, characteristic of Rochefort. No alcohol. No dark fruit.

T: Rochefort spice comes through loud and clear, and first. Some moderate sweetness, a little funk, and some sweet dark-bread flavours follow. Orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, and nutmeg are components of the spice. Spicing is not overwhelming like Rochefort - Rochefort has so much spice the beer is disgusting and undrinkable. Not my preferred kind of Quad/BSDA, and a demerit for the style (I rate Rochefort similarly lowly, and Chimay and St Bernardus Abbot 12 highly). It gets noticeably better and less spicy (in the bad meaning of "spiciness" as is characteristic of Satan's concoctions such as Rochefort) as it warms, bringing the beer from a 2.75 or 3 to a 3.75. Not extraordinarily complex, especially for a Trappist - the (illegitimate) spicing predominates.

M: Rich and creamy, fading to a somewhat nutty astringency on the finish. Highlight.

D: Moderate middle of "low".

O: Drop the spicing and clone Chimay or St Bernardus Abbot 12, or even Achel 8º Bruin. Not a bad beer, but not great, and disappointing for the price, rarity, expectation, and Trappist moniker.

To style (16E): 90/100 (spicing is allowed, according to BJCP)
To taste: 67/100 (spicing is not allowed, according to my palate).

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 11:15:04 | More by Chrysostom
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
coreyfmcdonald

Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark amber with two fingers of very dense off white head. Decent retention.

S: Great balance and complexity. I love the dark fruit aromas here - prunes and raisins mixed with plums and even a bit of peach. A bit musty with orange zest and nutmeg. As the beer warms, I get some caramel sweetness to add to the complexity.

T: Esters are surprisingly strong in this beer as compared to the aroma. Lemon and orange zest mixed with nutmeg are apparent. Sweet prunes are also there, but not particularly strong. The beer stays quite dry throughout.

M: A bit thin with fairly strong carbonation.

O: The aroma on this beer is amazingly complex and balanced. The flavor is good, but not quite as strong on the dark fruits as I'd like.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 02:49:30 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Bottled 10/16/2009, I think. Bottle was getting quite old so I opened it.

Appearance - Deep brown with a bit of murk. Builds a nice head as I pour it, as many Belgian darks do. Thick collar as the khaki head recedes.

Smell - I always find it difficult to describe these aromas. It's not caramel, it's much fruitier, but it has a brown sugar tinge to it. Definitely some heat to this, too. Not a sweet aroma.

Taste - Much fruitier right up front. Touch of sweetness. Dark fruits give way to quite a bit of earthy and slightly bitter flavors. Some oxidation could be the cause of the bitterness. Not as boozy as the nose.

Mouthfeel - It is just a little bit thin. Oxidized and bitter, but still a nice drink. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Probably should have drank this sooner. Kept at 55 degrees for 3 years or so, but still showing some age. Still quite a good beer, though.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 01:25:29 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long complex and notable dark ale.

Presentation: 750 ml capped green bottle. Bland label with the name of the brewery in burgundy, cream and white. .Side notes offer small description noting intent and background. Shows notched best by date 16 N 12, and Alc. by Vol. (9.5%). Served circumstantially in a tulip glass.

A - Deep ruby brown pours, generous head, good retention, fair surface memory, with some touches of some lacing.

S - Very sweet and fruity nose, long sense of figs, prunes and yeast woven in…

T - … sugar. Very sugary at first with the complex dark dried fruit spectrum unfolding shortly thereafter. Reiterates a rather sugary if well integrated narrative as it settles that leads to a complex range of port/dark fruit/vinous notes, dark caramel..

M - Medium-full body with generous carbonation.

O - Plenty of complexity, yeasty fruitiness leaning on its sweet edge. A snifter for this next time…

Notes: Almost the last Trappist brewery I had to try.
and it is well in line with the expected quality for the denomination. This fists well with the range of most reserve quads/specialty strong dark ales. Nice offering worth the memory and repeat.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 20:19:10 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, best before May 2013. Pours hazy very dark reddish brown color with a nice 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, apple, pear, prune, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toast, dark bread, light clove, pepper, herbal, and earthy yeast spiciness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt and fruity esters. Taste of big raisin, pear, apple, prune, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown sugar, dark bread, chocolate, earth, and light yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, chocolate, dark bread, earth, and light yeast spiciness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity esters; with zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very slick and creamy mouthfeel that is great. The low carbonation works very well here. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian strong dark ale! Fantastic balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity ester flavors; very smooth and lush to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering as expected.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 06:17:42 | More by superspak
Photo of siradmiralnelson
siradmiralnelson

Iowa

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750cl into Westvleteren chalice.

A. Pours a 1 finger head. Pretty thick lacing. Has a permanent head of about a centimeter. Color is very dark brown.

S. Really good. Wonderful mix of spice, and dark fruit. Get some clove and belgian yeast spicing up the mix along with raisins, figs, and the oh so good dark grape aroma. Really good smelling BSDA.

T. Nice balance of a wealth of flavors. Get spice, hops, dark fruit, sweet malt, brown sugar, rasisins, figs, Belgian yeast. Finishes on the sweet side. Get a little bit of hop bite, and some earthiness in the middle.

M. Medium/full bodied. Medium/low carbonation. Finishes sweet.

O. World class, I would agree with. However there are a lot of beers in that upper echelon, and I would have to rank this middle of the pack for that World Class group. Very well balanced, and extremely easy drinking. Lots of depth in the aroma and flavor. Nice balance of dry and sweet.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 01:44:05 | More by siradmiralnelson
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draheim

Washington

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL (best before 11/16/2012) into a chalice. Pours a clear mahogany w/ suspended particulates, thin head that settles to a foamy film.

Aroma is a burst of dark fruits - figs, dates, raisins - plus brown sugar, bready malt, Belgian yeast.

Taste is rich and complex, sweet. Dark stone fruit, fermentable malt sugars, toffee, warm booze.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, almost thick. Carbonation is lacking, finishes pretty dry.

Overall a tasty beer but the low carbonation keeps it from being all-around great.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2012 05:30:57 | More by draheim
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Dope

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle dated "Best Before End" July 16th 2012. Oh well.

A: Pours a murky reddish-brown with a good sized frothy tan head. Fades slowly, leaving moderate lacing behind.

S: Loaded with brown sugar and caramel. Strong raisins with a bit of dates. Touch of earthy cocoa. Very nice.

T: Super sweet and malty. Lots and lots of caramel, brown sugar and some toffee up front. Sweet raisin, date and fig kicks in in the middle. Hints of cocoa and earth with more brown sugar. Ends only slightly bitter with some more dark fruits and spices. Lingering brown sugar between sips. This is really nice.

M: Heavy and sweet but carbonation cuts it a bit. Not too cloying or syrupy, but borderline.

O: Strong flavors yet well-integrated and complimentary. Great balance of flavors and quite sweet - but not syrupy. Hits all the right notes for a great BSDA. Instantly one of my all-time favorites.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 02:02:17 | More by Dope
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brystmar

Texas

2.83/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sat on this bottle for about a year. Best before 3/16/2012.

Dirty brown body, thin tan head & lace with big bubbles. Ugly, to be honest.

Aroma is super sweet & bready, which is offsetting to my senses. Aged hops and Belgian candi sugar join the above in the flavor. Figs, plums, other dark fruits. Again, way too sweet for my liking.

Pretty sure my distaste for this brew isn't due to the extra time on the bottle -- minimally attributable, at most. Lacks the depth, spice, and overall complexity of its Trappist siblings.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 19:51:51 | More by brystmar
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claspada

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burgundy red color with a large, soapy khaki head.

Aromas being with dark candy sugar and equal dark fruits. As it warms I get more of the bready base malt and some increading plum and red apple skin; emerging alcohol as well.

The tastes begin with bready, grainy maltiness with emerging candy sugar sweetness that help to balance the slight alcohol kick. Dark fruits, mainly fig, plum and grape skin emerge as it warms.

The mouthfeel is full medium-full bodied with medium-high carbonation. Finish is big and bold with emerging spicy yeast flavors that work well with the high effervescent carbonation.

Overall this is a good example of a traditional Belgian Strong Ale. Nothing to out of this world of revolutionary, just a solid from one of the Trappist legends. More tempered as far as the spiciness goes which I appreciate and enjoy over the examples with too much yeasty flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 19:38:24 | More by claspada
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jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is brown with a moderately sized white head which dissipates quickly. Some lacing.

Dark fruit in the nose, plum and red grape. Vinous and sweet. Fairly typical BSDA. Good but not interesting.

Taste is fairly sweet, lots of plum, red grape and raisin. A bit of brown sugar. Malty. Vinous. Like the nose, it is a fairly typical BSDA flavour.

Medium bodied, low carbonation. Surprisingly thin.

Overall, a good beer, but not as good as I hoped for. Disappointing given the ratings. I found it to be a solid but typical BSDA, without any remarkable qualities.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 23:24:36 | More by jrenihan
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Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
95 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.