Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Not Rated.
Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

440 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 440
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 117
Gots: 49 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: dsa7783 on 01-22-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 440 | Reviews: 213
Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Creamy smooth dark brown lace beautiful small retained head. Licorice, touch of roast, chocolate malt, well malted, vanilla and chocolate. Very good carbonation from hops. Trappist fundamental character though very complex. A must have, and with 1-3 pals as its a bomber..

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of GRG1313
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours brown/black-can't see through with a thick, firm tan head that lasts and with full complete lacing.

Light nose of Ripe peaches, apricots with hints of pineapple.

Mouthfeel is wonderful bold, creamy and thick with flavors of malt, banana, cream and cooked fruit. Nice malt character in a very well balanced, high quality Trappist Extra.

This beer is wonderfully made and very inviting. It may well be perfectly balanced. Finish of banana, cooked stone fruit and an end finish of butter. Really nice, all around brew.

I just served this beer to a friend who has consumed beer for about 40 years. While he is not a beer "afficionado" he just concluded this may be the best beer he's ever had. He may not be wrong!

Photo of metter98
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy brown in color. It poured with a finger high light beige head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: The taste has sweet aromas of dark fruits.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has lots of malty sweetness with flavors of dark fruits—dates and plums seem to stand out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied and incredibly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very nice to sip and savor but it’s not too difficult to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled shared with Amyliz4. Served in a Mikasa goblet.

Pours a brownish-red color with a good off-white head and quite a bit of initial lacing. The head is fairly stable with pretty good retention. Eventually this falls into a thin collar and a cap comprised of a few bubbles. The nose is really nice and sweet at cellar temperature with plenty of dark fruits, toffee, and some dates. Caramel-like sweetness abounds.

The flavor is a bit more mellow and subdued. There is a bit of bitterness and the sweetness isn't nearly as strong. There are some dark fruits and a bit of a toffee presence, but not like what I was finding in the nose. Not nearly as complex, but still quite good. Bitterness is a bit out of place. Slight bitterness mixing with the alcohol is a bit strange, but I can work with it. Low carbonation and a medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty beer and I'm glad to finally try a bottle of this.

Photo of brentk56
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Extraordinary appearance with a cloudy tea brown body and a rocky beige head; great retention and lacing

Smell: Fermenting figs and Concord grapes; toffee, brown sugar and alcohol

Taste: Starts with a sweet brown sugar and fig aspect that, after the swallow, is joined by some spiciness and chocolate flavors; rather yeasty as well

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but slightly thick; boisterous carbonation throughout; plenty of warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Very interesting beer, but a lot to consume when packaged in a 750ml bottle

The monk's need to hire someone with a better sense of marketing. By changing the label so that it is virtually indistinguishable from the Achel 8%, they have done themselves no favors. The Extra comes only in a 750ml bottle and the 8% comes only in the 12 oz. bottle. Other than that, the labels are way to similar. If Jason at Knightly Spirits in Orlando hadn't explained it to me, I would have presumed that the two beers were one and the same.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must say that it is always a pleasure to drink any Belgian beer, much less one of this caliber for the very first time. True to Trappist Grand Cru fashion, this beer proves to be delicate, complex, powerful, and graceful all at once.

Fruity aromas begin with a grapey/raison flavor- met with figs, dates, and cola. Confectionate sweetness mixes with the malts for an appetizing and moutwatering delight.

The beer pours a medium brown, solid burgundy, rusty-hazy hue with light carbonation for a Belgian ale. A thin sheet of lace tops the beer and hands on to pockets of foam until the end of the session. Not the rocky head or effervescent carbonation that I'm used to seeing in stately Belgian ales.

The candied flavors of stone (dark, dehydrated) fruits continue in taste where the aromas layed off. Juicy plumbs, grapes, and apples turn to aged fruits of raisons, prunes, and figs as the beer warms. Light and herbal hops add to a balance against the powdered sugar focused malt sweetness. Cola nut and sweet rum give an insight to the rare intangibles that it takes to turn a great beer into a world class one. Savory and succulent thorughout.

Though sweetly textured throughout, the beer shows a sugary feel early on but then warms into a fleeting and powdery sweetness that morphs into sweet and dry alcohols and mild warmth- far lower than the impression of 9.5% abv. Simply effortless to drink, this beer exceeds all expectations.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

achel extra is awesome stuff, lost maybe in the hype and availability of some of the other trappist stuff, this is positively delicious. in the zone between dubbel and quad, this molasses colored beer has a tall and lasting white head of tiny little bursting bubbles that prickle the nose as i smell its deeply caramelized sugars and zesty belgian yeast. a hint of green bottle stink to it, i wish such awesome beers could stop going in these bottles, but it seems destined to be a belgian beer problem forever. raisin and maple flavors to the grain, a bread crust character too, and then its all yeast. its so different than the other trappist strains, and has less of the fruit and more of the spice too it. it has an ancient aura, a feeling of timeless growth and maturation. white pepper and even a hint of cinnamon to it, like a good baked dessert, long zippy finish, dry for how big and sweet this starts, and no alcohol flavors at all, not even at ambient temperature. special beer, worthy of more hype i think, it stands up to any of its peers extremely well, and somehow stays light on the palate and drinkable. a 750ml bottle of this is not more than i want in a given sitting, its just right.

Photo of Knapp85
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is so good, the look of the beer is very nice. It pours from the bottle as a dark red color with some brown hues. The aroma is sweet like caramel and some fruits in there too. The flavors are sweet, dry and complex. Every sip is so enjoyable. The mouthfeel is medium to light, not overly thick at all. Achel Extra is overall very good and is great all around.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Boboski: Poured a deep brown color ale with a huge foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of cookie dough malt is just about perfect. Taste is also dominated by cookie dough malt with some nice sweet malt and a mild yeasty finish. Alcohol was well concealed with a nice full body. I thought this was somewhat reminiscent of Rochefort 10 but maybe a tad more light and not as complex but still very rewarding.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly hazy, impressively bubbled dull tangerine with an infusion of coral red. The pastel gold crown snapped, crackled and popped initially, but now looks somewhat creamy as it continues to deflate. A lack of stickiness results in no more than a few dribs and drabs of sea foam lace.

Other than being metallic, the nose isn't bad. It still has a long way to go to scare the best of style, however. Medium-dark fruit (more medium than dark) is offset by an acceptable Belgian yeast spiciness. It looks like the flavor and the mouthfeel are the last chances for this Trappist strong dark ale to impress.

And that is exactly what the flavor does from the very first sip. Time (and about 720 more ml) will determine whether it's 'great' or merely 'good'. I'm leaning toward the former at this point. It's too damn bad that such wonderful beer is hamstrung by being less than expertly bubbled, because it negatively affects every one of the other attributes.

The flavor is bold and rich. The medium fruits of the aroma are still present, as are double fistfuls of dark fruits. Let's go with dried apricots, caramel-covered apples, ripe figs, sticky dates and plump, juicy raisins. There are also a few lashings of molasses and a surprising amount of anise.

The constellation of flavors changes subtley from the beginning of each mouthful to the finish. It's on the back end that Brune Extra's complexity is revealed, largely due to what tastes like a kick-ass yeast strain. The balance between sweet, bitter, tangy and spicy is to be commended. As is the fact that the ABV seems like a bold-faced lie.

Unfortunately, the body/mouthfeel keeps this BSDA from the major leagues. It's too thin and is, again, too carbonated. It looks like others have had a similar experience, so my bottle isn't unique. Things are improving from a sensory standpoint as the ounces pass, just not enough.

Trappist Achel Bruin (or whatever we're calling it these days) could be one of the best BSDAs that I've ever had the pleasure to consume. The flavor teeters on the cusp of greatness, only to be dragged down by a less than accomplished mouthfeel. It's still a treat that all Belgianophiles should love.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice three inch high head of tan colored lace formed on the top and hung around for a good few moments before settling down to just a thin layer of lace and some nice side glass presentation There were a few touches of carbonation visible as well drifting up toward the surface.

The aroma was very rich, with a nice mixture of sweet caramel notes and dark fruity yeast. Hints of plums and raisins were all over this one, as was a sweet liqueur type aroma, which gave a hint to the alcohol that lie within. A nice touch of spice as well, with hints of nutmeg.. The flavor followed suit perfectly. Opening up with a nice sweet malty flavor that warmed from within, it quickly became much more complex. A small boozy flavor coming in behind it, was laced with nice bits of spice and rum soaked raisin flavors. with the malt profile clearly dominating. There were some lingering flavors of roasted nuts as you got toward the end and the long lasting finish, had the slightest of sour bites to it. Very complex indeed.

The overall profile though was quite mellow with nothing really dominating in one way or another, and a very smooth and creamy Mouthfeel. The carbonation never did let up and led to this one never coming across as dull or flat throughout the session. The alcohol was a touch noticeable at first, but never distracting, and was just enough to let you know this was indeed a nice sipper.

Overall, this was Very rich and complex, and delightfully smooth

Photo of emerge077
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got my hands on this seldom-seen beauty... "Achelse Kluise" old parchment style label.

Pours a rich caramelly brown into a wide chalice. Slight foam lingers and settles to an irregular skim. Suspended particles float languidly within.

Smells very enticing, toffee, fig, a little vinous. Slight booziness that integrates into a siren song of an aroma. Almost like it's calling you to drink it...

Tastes rich and complex, seriously vinous. Starts with a little sweetness, spilling a fruit basket of plum, grape, figs, and raisins. Bready malts hold it up throughout, and a slightly bitter finish resembles a red table wine. Chocolate, Belgian yeast, and wine grape echo in the finish also.

Mouthfeel is medium and isn't weighed down by the rich flavors. The sweet alcohol feels a little like brandy...though not cloying, and extremely easy to drink. If you find it for sale, buy it...

Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, copper/amber color with a foamy, bubbly, off-white, two-finger head. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel, dried fruits, spices and yeasty notes. It also had a little sour aroma.

T - It tasted of dried fruit, roasted biscuity malt. It had some apple flavors with hints of raisin. Good spicy and yeasty flavors, as well.

M - It was crisp, sharp and still very smooth. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is an outstanding Belgian ale. Very complex blend of delicious flavors.

Photo of nickfl
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark reddish brown with decent clarity, but some yeasty chunks. The slightly tan-white head is large and aggressive out of the bottle and it leaves thick lace on the glass as it quickly settles down to a thin film.

S - Rasiny, with brown sugar and prunes. A little bit rosey/ fruity with alcohol and a slight note of herbal hops in the background.

T - Alcohol and dark fruit. Spicy, peppery notes and a hoppy, alcoholic finish with a lingering bittersweet chocolate flavor.

M - Thick and palate coating despite high carbonation, but it finishes nice and dry.

D - Not bad drinkability for such a strong, flavorful beer. The alcohol note is a bit harsh and some of the flavor is a bit muddy/ undefined, but the finish shows great promise. It seems like this beer could benefit a great deal from ageing (the one I had was presumeably only a couple of months old).

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly worth trying! When I first opened an Achel 8 Brune side by side with the Achelse Kluis and tasted them cold from the fridge I thought that these beers were both born from the same grist bill with one being just slightly larger. Now I'm not so sure. I was very disappointed with the 8 Brune, but the Kluis is quite special. They initally appear to be almost exactly the same in the glass with a hazy/cloudy russet brown colored body and dark ivory cap, but the head on the Kluis is much creamier, holds far longer, and leaves some very nice lacing lace whereas the basic Achel drops and leaves next to no lace. The nose on both is similar with a sugar-cookie dough maltiness, some red grape, a splash of yeasty spiciness and some alcohol, but the Kluis is much richer and even displays a lightly cocoa-ish side. And, I guess to some extent, the alcohol is more restrained even though it's a touch higher in actual content. Hmmm.... I think more time and effort is put into this beer; as well as a bit more malt. The body is solidly medium and starts to border on full but never quite gets there; and its very fine, natural carbonation tingles the tongue. In the flavor, semi-rich cocoa-tinged sugary maltiness acts as a base while notes of grape-like fruitiness, a spray of hops, and some lightly peppery alcohol and yeasty spiciness widen its character. It's impeccably balanced despite its strength; and it finishes drying with some lingering sugar, hop, and fruit. Although the intensity of the alcohol is still an issue, this remains an impressive and majestic brew that's on par with most of the other Trappist brews... think somewhere between a Chimay Premiere and Grande Reserve. Give it a shot!

Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gusher! Pours chestnut with a finger of tan head & lacing

S: Brown sugar, apples, pears & light booze

T: Brown sugar, green apples. Leafy hops & a bit of tartness up front. Orchard fruit, spicy yeast, and oaky notes. Finishes with leafy hops & figs

MF: Soft carbonation & medium bodied

Drank okay but just not complex or malty enough to make me think paying $17 for this bottle was a smart move

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

Appearance: Cloudy amber brown off white cream speckled lacing, nice thanks for the sample beergeek279. Aroma: Plums, raisins with brown sugar ripened fruit tones very nice hides the alcohol very nicely almost too well. Taste: Creamy ripened fruit big and chewy flavors alcohol is evident with a deep vinous tone to it, awesome flavor. Mouthfeel: Effervescent carbonation coats the palate nicely leaving the flavors there to linger in a good way. Drinkability: Excellent not cloying in anyway nice Achel selection that gives the brewery some definite credentials.

Photo of kojevergas
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-

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is the #3 beer on the "Top Beers - Belgian Strong Dark Ale" list. Served in a Westvleteren chalice because I have yet to find an Achel glass.

Beer is brown and hazy with a thin lazy head, low retention, moderate to low carbonation, minimal lacing.

Aroma is a little sweet, a little roasted sugar, a little weak but good.

Beer is medium to light in body, sweet and no hint of alcohol at all. Finish is nice a big bottle was hard to finish but I'd have it again.

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy dark amber/copper in color with a finger tall light beige head. The head reduces to a thin layer that covers the entire surface along with some thicker patches and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Lots of sweet dark fruits with some hints of caramel and some malts as well. Not as complex as the flavor but still quite good.

T: Some very nice malty sweetness with hints of dark fruit and caramel sweetness. Nice complexity to the flavor of this beer. Really enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Really smooth and creamy.

O: Extremely enjoyable an definitely one of the top beers in this style. I could easily enjoy this beer many more times in the future.This beer has a really great flavor and wonderful smell.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by thirdeye11.

Pours a brown color with a white head. Aroma is yeast and Belgian candi sugar. You also get some caramel. The flavor is caramel with a lot of malted sweetness. The alcohol is definitely present. Medium carbonation and extremely drinkable, even for 9.5 percent ABV.

Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05/29/08- Purchased at Draegers in San Mateo, CA. This is probably a 2005 vintage.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with a code on the back label. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Caramel brown in color. Full large bubbled dirty white one inch head. Leaves nice lace streaks and sugary caked marks as well.

Smell- Caramel malt bomb in the nose. Sweet and silky smelling with a light nose of some dark fruits (dates and figs maybe).

Taste- Caramel malts is the predominant flavor, but also included is a date flavor and well as a very odd tart, sourlike taste. I have no idea if this is supposed to be there, or if it's past it's prime. Either way, it didn't add anything to the beer, if anything it may have subtraced from the taste. Lightly hopped as well.

Mouthfeel- Full sugary mouthfeel with a high level of carbonation.

Drinkability- The sour notes kinda threw me off, but overall it's still very good. Almost like a low hopped english barleywine (minus the sour)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by date of April 2008, Sampled January 2006
This beer sits a hazy, amber brown color in my tulip. The beer is quite well carbonated and is topped by a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head that leaves lacing on the side of the glass as it slowly subsides in a cacophonous mix of large through small bubble. The aroma is quite concentrated with sweet fruity notes reminiscent of figs, sweet plums, raisins and even prunes. There is also a healthy, bready, yeasty note here, as well as some notes of clove. The aroma is quite rich and sweet, but without being heavy. After a bit of time a note of alcohol becomes evident as well.

The taste has that same sweet, fruity character to it, and the body while hefty is perhaps not as rich as I was expecting. It is still palate coating enough to make this a satiating, slow sipping evening as I work my way through this 750ml bottle. It is definitely quite well carbonated as the beer foams up on the tongue, it is not quite as noticeable as in a lighter beer, but it certainly helps to lighten the body of this beer.

Actually at this point I think I would like it to be a bit less carbonated, so I spend the time to make it so. The beer softens out, and becomes even smoother than it was before. The sweetness is a bit accentuated as well, which tends to magnify the fruit notes of sweet plums and figs. In the end this beer does not quite seem rich enough, though in its defense it is at the perfect level for me to be able to finish a 750ml in an evening. The finish has a light sharpness to it (a mix of carbonation, alcohol, and a bit of spicy yeast character), plus a phenolic note of clove.

This is definitely a beer I am happy to have a 750ml bottle of, allows for a quite evening; it is contemplative when I want it to be, and light enough to just add to the experience if I happen to be distracted by a book. Definitely a good beer, one which even grows on me over time; it almost becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

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Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
95 out of 100 based on 440 ratings.