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Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Not Rated.
Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

412 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 412
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 103
Gots: 38 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dsa7783 on 01-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 412 | Reviews: 206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
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..

Sammy, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -6.8%

spycow, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
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.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.8%

djrn2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -6.8%

zestar, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Thorpe429, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

metter98, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
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!

GRG1313, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.8%

kjkinsey, May 03, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

brentk56, Apr 28, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

BEERchitect, Jul 25, 2010
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.

Phyl21ca, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.8%

ygtbsm94, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
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

mikesgroove, May 27, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Knapp85, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
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...

emerge077, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

zeff80, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

StonedTrippin, May 27, 2014
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!

NeroFiddled, Jun 26, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

WVbeergeek, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of nickfl
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
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).

nickfl, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.63/5  rDev -15.4%
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

russpowell, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

drabmuh, Jan 30, 2012
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Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
96 out of 100 based on 412 ratings.