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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

416 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 416
Reviews: 208
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 103
Gots: 39 | 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: 416 | Reviews: 208 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
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 Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

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 Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of GClarkage
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
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 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 corby112
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dar amber/ brown color with a nice light beige colored head. Aroma of dark cocolate malts, spices, aplle, grape and alcohol. Spciy and carbonated up front with a lot of chocolate maltiness, sugar cane, and dark fruits providing a peppery dry finish. Hints of raisin, dark cherries, plum and sugar cane. Very tasty!

Photo of superspak
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.

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

From the alias "Extra" labeled bottle. Pours chestnut with a good initial head and light lacing. The smell is sweet with candi sugar and a light spicing of clove and cinammon. Some dark fruit and aa breadiness is there as well. Taste is sweet as well, with notes of brandied fruit, but not quite as much spice as suggested by the nose. Rich and smooth with a bit of chocolate at the end as well. Creamy and a little bit on the lighter side as far as mouthfeel goes, at least for Belgian Strong Dark. Nice, but I wouldn't quite put it up with the best beers from the other abbeys.

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

Split a bottle at Tap and Table in Emmaus, PA. Why, why, why does this beer have to be nearly $29? It's easily the best the legal (not Westvleteren) Trappist beer I've had. Damn. The flavor is soft and malt-heavy with an earthy background. The barley brings a complex mix of typical but delicious candy flavors: figs, toffee, caramel, and cocoa. They're subtle flavors that develop as you sip though, not like some big beer that knocks your palace out. This is an experience, not just a drink. Find this beer.

Photo of wl0307
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a 750ml brown bottle, capped; BB 06/10, served mildly chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: elegant dark russet or very dark ruby in colour, coming with semi-lively streams of small bubbles, good clarity, and a dark beige creamy froth of 0.5 cm thickness lasting throughout the drink.
S: pretty sweet but still semi-complex - grainy & semi- dark malts, mustiness of salty-sweet yeasts and brown sugar altogether yield a dense, fruity estery scent to dominate the nose; the lesser elements on the side are overripe stone fruits and very-hard-to-describe herbal elements from the yeastiness. Enjoyable, settled, not extremely estery.
T: a soothing foretaste consists of dark sugary malts, herbal hops, brown sugar, black cherries, sour plums, Chinese black prunes and many other unidentifiable ripe stone-fruits, almost as if they're semi-fermented that a light tinge of alc. is generated naturally. The lovely estery and bitter-sweet finish has lots of dark malts to offer, as well as dried Chinese herbs with its unique chewy palate. Slightly sour-sweet in the end, but this is quite predictable for a yeasty ale from Belgium.
M&D: softly carbonated, med-full bodied, reasonably complex, the alc. edge is evident but not OTT in any sense... An integrated and enticing ale, without a little bit of alc. to remind one of its hidden depth, but overall superbly drinkable and delicate.

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -6.8%

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

A 750 mL capped bottle.

A: The ale pours with a stunning muddy red, burnt siena color, much lighter than I remember. The body is noticeably hazy with a significant amount of sediment. The head was quite vigourous and thick, measuring upwards of 4 fingers.

S: Candi sugars and dark alefruits dominate the nose, creating a sweet swirling nose that is full of alcohol and bready.

T: The ale has a strong undercurrent of alcohol that really hits you square off the bat. Mixed with the alcohol is a bready, grainy malt body that serves as a base for the adjuncts. The candi sugar creates a noticeable sweetness that augments the alcohol kick. Dark alefruits provide further sweetness with a dry element that leaves the mouth slightly parched.

M: The mouthfeel is huge, full of thick deep flavors that never let the palate rest.

D: The abv is through the roof but well worth it. The monks have created a divine brew that ranks up there with Westvleteren, Rochefort and Chimay.

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of smakawhat
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Into the tulip a somewhat clear ruby garnet Indian red body, then fills with deep mahogany brown color. Head has a nice creamy even texture, whipped up faint tan chocolate and light mocha cream in appearance. Wonderful rising carbonation, just a fantastic looking beer.

Wonderful toasty dense dark malt sugars and dark fruit sensations. Figgy and newton dense sweet cookies. Raisin and dense cake like vanilla. Incredibly rich smelling. Great stuff.

Palate hits with a little light body, but the richness comes through. Dense dark cherries, mild figs and raisins follow. Tight carbonation with a slight wet texture. Malt sweetness bringing in all the notes from the nose nicely. Vanilla finish and cream on the swallow... just coating so nicely.

Overall a real big fantastic tasting brew from these guys. Real solid and impressed this isn't a style I get excited about often, but this beer really delivers.

Photo of brandoman63
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -6.8%

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

A: Pours a dark burgundy red with a huge rocky tan head. 9.5% abv.

S: Sweet aroma, malt with some candi sugar and light bread.

T: The flavor had a huge dried fruit, (raisins, plums) and bread notes. Good yeast attributes makes this a very smooth, and rich beer bursting with spiciness and complexity. Some licorice and dark sherry hints upon warming along with dark raisins and caramel. Very smooth.

M: sweet, silky smooth with a light viscosity.

D: Great drinkability, alcohol is pretty well hidden, and goes down effortlessly. .

Photo of Alieniloquium
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.

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

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

750 ml bottle picked up in Buffalo a while back.

Pours a cloudy dark orange and brown, some red highlights, very chunky, lots of protein floating around, thick white head forms, and drops to a thick ring, tons of chunky lace on the glass, looks pretty great. Smell is great, caramel, dark fruits, raisins, candi sugar, yeast, orange peel, some spice, very nice stuff. Taste is better, sweet up front, caramel and bread, tons of fruit, yeast, wood, oranges, strawberries, light spice, bitter spiciness in the finish, alcohol jumps out a bit, but is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, very easy to drink, think I paid $18 and worth every penny. Need to revisit the other Achels because this one is the bomb.

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gavroche tulip. Pours a dark., murky red-orange brown with a big, fine three finger light tan head with excellent retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark stone fruit, apple, clove, Belgian yeast. Flavor follows with caramel malt, dark and light stone fruit, apple and pear juice, clove, cinnamon and other earthy spicing, brown sugar, finishing with a semi-sweet, slightly sour burst of fruit flavors with light peppery spice from the clove and maybe hops. Beautifully integrated and flavorful. Medium bodied with really nice peppery carbonation that complements the spicing. An excellent, well balanced, complex Belgian dark that is very flavorful. The taste seems a bit subdued at first compared to the two top well-known Belgian strong ales, but the flavor builds and gets more interesting throughout the taste. Complex flavor covers the ABV well, making this a dangerous ale because it continually invites tasting. World class. Glad I finally got to try this rare beer.

Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
96 out of 100 based on 416 ratings.