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Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Not Rated.
Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

Educational use only; do not reuse.

211 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 211
Hads: 442
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 123
Gots: 53 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 211 | Hads: 442
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle

A - Color is dark brown with a reddish copper color under light. Medium creamy head with plenty of lacing. Lots of sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

S - Aroma is sweetly malty and floral. As I let the beer warm it produced a grape aroma that was not present when it was cold. Also as it warmed the aroma became more woodsy and rich almost like sassafras.

T - Tastes sweet with good alcoholic warmth. It has the yeasty flavor of fresh baked bread. Middle is caramel and toffee with a slightly astringent alcohol bite. As the beer warms beyond 50 degrees, there is a flavor like tea. Definitely better when it is in the 45 – 50 degree range.

M - Lightly carbonated as you would expect for a high alcohol brew. When I first opened the bottle and it was colder, there was more carbonation. Thick, viscous feeling in the mouth.

D - Great beer. Beer like this really makes me want to travel to Belgium. This a great sipping beer. I could drink this all night.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, with a lacy, thin halo of an off-white head. Not much to look at, but the aroma intrigues. Woody and slightly sour in character, the scent becomes juicier, fruitier as it sits. Candi sugar sweetness starts the sip, soon harnassed by a woody character that runs throughout. As the beer warms, this malt develops more figgy, and even grapey character. A gentle, cinnamon spice lends character to a cocoa-like malt body. Somewhat peppery in the finish where the spice kicks in, but the alcohol is overall quite unobtrusive. Mouthfeel is a bit tangy, but fairly full and coating in spite of this. Quite a lovely brew!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
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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Photo of Sephiroth
3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says to drink before June of 2007. Pours with decent head, body is reddish brown. Some lacing. Smells quite vinous and malty.

Tastes like a dark tripel. Dark fruits, and grainy malt. Individual flavors are tough to pin down. Bready, and fruity. Mouthfeel is average, Drinkability OK. Other than Westy, this seems to be the rarest of the trappists. It is better than Chimay, but I am slightly disappointed. This is a good beer, its just not one of my favorites. Since I've not had this before, I cannot be sure, but I think a fresher sample would be better.

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Photo of maxpower
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml capped bottle pours a cloudy brown color with a huge creamy light brown head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass. Nutty fruity aromas, flavors of spice, plums, figs, caremel and chocolate. Full bodied with a creamy, silky mouthfeel, finishes on the sweet side, alcohol very well hidden at 9.5%.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this from a 750mL bottle. Tasted sweet but highly alcoholic, not nearly as good as I'd hoped for a high-end Trappist.

I'd been waiting to sample this for a while, but was disappointed once I tried it. Kind of run-of-the-mill for a Belgian Strong Ale. Just OK. the flavor was good but not outstanding or anything.

I guess I can't recommend it strongly. Go to other Trappist beers first.

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Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extremely dark tan-maroon. From any distance it appears purple brown. Genernally opague, and the pale beige head disappears with some haste.
The nose is all golden raisins, dates, carob, and cocoa.
Tastewise, it is more of the same. Up front is the dry, not-quite-chocolate-leaning yearnings of carob, augemented by dates, figs, plums, and raisins. Add unto this molasses and brown sugar. Next come yeast with its chalkboard and generalized breadiness. The fruitiness resides through the conclusion and there is little to speak of hop-wise.
Medium bodied with a thickish bodied partially alleived through CO2.
Pretty solid overall, even if It's not in the same class as things like St Bernie 12, des Rocs, Westy, or Rochefort. In it however, better than Chimay Blue

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Photo of orfeu
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy brown with a ridiculous amount of yeast particulates floating around. Regal-looking off-white head with mesmerizing lacing. Aroma is cloves, caramelized fruit, figs, pressed apple cider. On the tongue: spiced and candied dried cherries, sugard figs, caramelized prunes, ground allspice. Slight alcohol burn at the end with a pleasantly buzzy finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and full -- simply magnificent. I could drink this every single night, although I'd feel absolutely gluttonous if I actually did. This bottle finishes quickly every time. Worth every penny.

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Photo of paterlodie
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 08-07. Nice and lasting head, and a dark brown beercollor. Nose is very fruity giving plumbs, apricot and overripe grapes. Some spicyness there also but delicately dosed and not overdone, Dark candysugar and good carramellic maltiness. Taste is sweet and alcoholic with very good candytaste and carramellic maltyness and well bittered playing harmonicly together with the alcohol in aftertaste. Fine mouthfeel IMO maybe litle alcoholic but well enjoyable with good taste. Well recomendable IMO but be aware of high alc% that gets you.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard to believe i can actually get this locally but it's true (thanks Pop The Cap). Pours a hazy deep mahogany with a nice tan head that retains as well as can be expected. Aroma is an intense blend of malt and fruit; scents of plum, currant, blackberry, raspberry, dark candied sugar, toasted bread, light clove, and some slight grassy and floral hops...extremely intriguing and near perfect. The taste easily matches the aroma, big fruit and malt flavors: currant, blackberry, fig, plum, raspberry, toasted bread, dark candied sugar, light clove and corriander spices, floral and grassy hops, and some fruity ale esters. Mouthfeel is thick and rich with light to medium carbonation and alcohol is present but doesnt detract from the experience. This is easily my favorite trappist so far; complex, rich and delicious this is definately something to seek out.

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Photo of Brian700
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have two different bottles of this beer one has a label that is just like the one you see in the BA pic. The other one looks more like the traditional label but it is still labeled as the bruin bier extra with 9.5% ABV. Anyone know why the same beer would have two different labels?

Anyway, this Bruin Bier Extra poured a dark caramel brown with an off-white head that simmered down do a thin but creamy layer.

The aroma is of dates, molasses, and sweet malt.

The taste follows the nose. There is a lot of dark fruit: dates, raisins, plums, molasses. All of those big flavors stand out the most but there is still some sweet malt flavor that is present.

This is a full bodied beer with medium carbonation.

I would say this is a very drinkable beer for someone with appreciation for this style. I would definately recommend this beer. I'm glad weare138 sent me a bottle many months ago so I can continue to age it. The bottle I just reviewed is one I bought about a month ago while in Chicago. Great beer.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Achel Brune Extra pours up frothy, lively & lacy into an official Trappist Achel goblet. The off-white colored head is creamy & tall and sets off the reddish-amber to chestnut-brown body perfectly. The big bouquet is very complex with lots of earthy, fruity and spicy notes along with some noteable cream sherry overtones. Hints of green banana, carmelized pears, dried figs and hot raisin bread come to mind. The flavor isn't quite as complex as the nose, but starts off with a big flourish of caramel, chestnuts and fig with some yeasty bread character mixed in for good measure. A nice, gentle spiciness takes over midway and carries the brown sugar maltiness along. A touch of Poperinge hops in the background offers a balanced bitterness which dries out the slightly "hot" finish. This is simply a satisfying brew that any Belgian beer lover should seek out. No doubt, this one is destined to be a new classic! Pair generously with a nice ripe Bruges cheese, crackers and freshly cut Bosc pears.

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a clear, brown ale with a two and a half finger head poured into my chalice glass. Looks very nice. The head is nice and foamy, and leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

The aroma was of spices, faintly earthy dark malts, rosé wine, and sweet fruits. 9.5 %? Can't tell it in the aroma.

Taste was surprising... dark malts, earthy, toffee, light coffee, some spiciness, and a definite alcohol bite when a large swallow was taken. Very complex and good, like it should be.

Mouthfeel was VERY smooth and creamy.

Drinkability... this stuff went down so damn nice. Would have been a 4.5, but the alcohol taste was a little too prominent, so I had to cut it back a bit. Still, without a doubt an excellent example of the style.

Thanks to GClarkage for the trade. This was just what I needed tonight, after a lousy day at work.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 "a consmmer de preference' avant fin 03-2008" notched on the side of the label, poured into a chalice.

Amber tinged brown with a large creamy head despite a careful decant. Great retention and it leaves sheets of ringed foam as it goes down.

Spices, alcohol, figs, touch of candy sugar, and slight chalky yeast, all backed byearthy malts. The alcohol aroma isn't hot or very peppery, in no way is it out of place. I usually prefer it toward the finish, but this does fine with it upfront. Its almost like the figs were soaked in booze.

Very smooth and complex when tasted. Malts come in like an earthy velvet coating the tongue with spices (coriander and clove), sugars, bittering hops, and a dry finish that is warmed by the abv. Nice full mouthfeel that leaves nothing sticky or oily in its wake.

Not a beer I could session all night given the abv, but something this tasty could be sipped over the course of an evening. I could see myself doing just that with two of these while celebrating a special occassion.

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Photo of Paddez
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found and bought this 750ml bottle in ABS Drinks in Winksele

Appearance: A brown & hazy liquid topped by a big, tan head. Very little lacing. Looks creamy and delicious.

Smell: Malts, raisins, dark fruits, coffee, brown sugar & some faint spicy notes. Very good but a bit too faint. Gets more full and complex as the beer warms though.

Taste: Buttery malts, toffee and dark fruits mainly. Slightly dry spices and faint hops balance out the sweetness. Yummy!

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Full bodied, this brew is smooth and creamy. The mouthfeel fits the style really well. The alcohol is wondrously well-hidden and doesn't show at all. Excellent.

Conclusion: A most excellent beer. A prime example of the style and by far the best brew from Achel.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured from the capped bottle to a 25 oz crystal sniffer glass. The color is a clear muted red with brownish hues. The carbonation is even and smooth throughout the glass. The off-white head is rich and sticky and about 2 cm thick. Very nice retention and when it does thin out just a tiny bit of swirling revives the head to full force. Nice creaminess and lacing.

Smell: Vinous, malty, toffee, burnt sugar, crushed figs and raisins, tart fruit flesh, and a bit of floral and toasty malt. The nose on this is potent.

Taste: The flavor on this beer is quite turbulent. The sweetness dominates this beer in an uncomfortable way. It's insanely sweet to the point of cloying. Caramel and more crushed fruits. Figs and truffles with some fresh grass and a phenolic character all show up. But in this bare-knuckles ass kicking contest, the syrupy sweetness is the one with the lead pipe. All of the other flavors bow down to the syrupy sweetness before they are slaughtered. It's a gruesome affair. There is no hop contribution or bitterness in the flavor. The malt flavors are light and toasty but nearly non-existant. Alcohol wamrth finishes the beer. The flavor is good but very unbalanced.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and thick, medium to full bodied with a sandy and syrupy ending.

Drinkability: Good but too damn sweet. I can't drink this anymore. Everything is overpowered by that fruity sweetness. It ends up being an over the top, overdone, big bottle of sweetness without much enjoyable depth.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Trying this on the recommendation of stonecrusher.

It pours a deep murky brown color with a finger of head that grows tow two with the cascading bubbles. Retention is beyond belief. I have never seen a head grow on a beer after pouring it. The nose is sweet fig, brown sugar and a nice spiceyness to balance things out. Very nice indeed. The flavor is intense. Fig and raisin dominates, but there is a sherry-like quality to it. It almost has an almond or sweet cherry character to it, but muted. It is not overly sweet, and maybe a touch drying on the finish. The feel is solid moderate with a big bubbly carbonation. keeping it light on my tongue. Super flavor, super aroma, no hint of almost 10% ABV. Damn find beer. Very glad I have one in the cellar.

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Photo of clvand0
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a tall head that has great retention and leaves tons of lacing on the glass. The aromas are very sweet and has notes of dark fruits. The flavor is sweet, as the nose suggest. There are some definate dark and sweet fruits in the flavor as well as a few things that I can't identify. Might be some cherry flavors. The body is full and the drinkability is great. This is a great beer. Wish it were available around here.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

sampled 6/03/05. Just a glorious beer. This was a hit around the table, even with those who may not have had a Belgian beer before. It poured a glowing, batter-y, leather brown and put forth a mild head and a small ring of foam. The beer emitted a rich aroma of caramel, apples, tilled earth, fruit, figs, honey and marzipan? What the..? (** Just saw V's review below and he mentioned almonds, so I guess I am not completely off with the marzipan.) The flavor is sweet and quick, a melange of the above elements with mild black pepper, perfume, and tree bark? (Damned if I know what kind of tree.) There's some candy sugar and a medium dose of alcohol, contributing to what evolves into a maple syrup character. The beer is delicate, yet forceful, with gummy hops and some strong seed flavors. The mouthfeel is good but not particularly thick; there's some foaminess in the mouth and it could be smoother on the whole. The drinkability maintains an average pace, which is actually quite brisk for such a strong beer. Highly recommended -- you should get some.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

ruby. clear. rich in color like stained cherry wood. light bubbles collect on the surface. quite deceptive, they create a wall of lacing like whipped egg whites. settles into rich thick clouds atop one majestic brew. smell is unexpectedly exciting for a trappist. candi sugar is prevalent, but fermentation sweet spice and notes of horse blanket show up at the party. fruits are here too, but seem young. more banana and red berries than dark, dried currants and things of the like. first thing to hit my mouth is the creamy, retentive foam. it adds a silk texture to the complex, sweer bread and monastic ABV warmth. something exists in this beer beyond the regular achel bruin (besides alcohol).. it's a darker, more evil trappist brew.

some serious malt bitters the background to contrast the brighter fruit spectrum. it is my understanding that this was once the christmas achel, and as often happens with holiday beers like affligem and scaldis, the experimentation shown by the brewery adds to an already stellar beer.

stands complimentary along achel 8 bruin as something totally different.. evolved.. and equally respectable. more of a once-in-a-while thing, but perfect for those special occassions.. (in this case, the contender final episode).

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Photo of allengarvin
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice glass, it's a dark brown color with a solid head over an inch tall. Laces and coats the glass as it is drunk. Aroma is chock full of dark, caramalized fruit smells and the sweet smell of malt. First taste is malt, resembling sweet cocoa. Lots of raisiny, vinous fruit follow. Hop bitterness is very restrained, with the malty sweetness offset only slightly. Alcohol is noticible, and very warming before the bottle is finished. Full, rich bodied.

A complex and tasty beer, but almost too sweet, in my opinion.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice clear deep amber brown with an off-white to almost light tan head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was deeply malty with dark fruits and dark caramelization leading the charge. The dark fruits were raisins, prunes and plums with sweet pineapple. Some slight spice from higher alcohol phenols was also present. The more the beer warmed the more alluring the aroma became and the more pronounced spice complexity emerged along with wafts of muted chocolate.

The flavor was well done with dark caramel and biscuit flavors most prevalent. Following up the malty complexity was more dark fruits, again raisins and prunes/plums with a fruity pineapple sweetness. The spice flavor was not as slight and added complexity as did the alcohol presence. As the beer warmed a chocolate flavor melded with the malt and spice to create a very pleasing flavor.

The finish was just dry with lasting caramel and biscuit maltiness and belgian spice lasting pleasantly long into the aftertaste. The body was medium full and well done for the style. Alcohol was pleasantly present all along the way from the aroma to the flavor and well into the aftertaste. The alcohol warming after consumption was expected and well recieved.

750 ml capped green bottle. Best before 2 08. Purchased at Green's in Atlanta, GA for $12 based upon a ratebeer shelf talker recommendation.

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Photo of mynie
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty, bubbly like champagne and amber with a fantastically foamy head.

Smells very fruity. Plums and apricots and raisins. All over ripe. There's also the zing of alcohol in there, too. This is gonna be strong...

Big fruit and malt upfront. Spicy like minced meat pie. Big zip of alcohol. Smoothes out considerably in the middle and ends in a nutty, dusty taste. The zing of alcohol and green banana sticks in your mouth Strange.

I was amazed to see that this is the first trappist I've ever drank. I've bought three of them before, but they are all sitting in my closet. This is a pretty good beer, but I guess I was expecting a lot more.

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Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
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..

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml green flask dimpled base bottle. Unlike the Brune and Blonde the Achelse Kluis has its own unique label which has a picture of the Abbeye above the words ‘Achelse Kluis Bruin Bier/Biere Brune Extra’. Listed at Alc. 9,5° Vol and Best Before 12-07.

Appearance: Nowhere near as good as the “smaller” 8° Brune that I just had. Whilst the body has the same dark brown color with darkened amber highlights, this time it has a slight hazed looked. The big difference is the head, it forms easily but rescinds quickly back into the body of the brew, leaving a tan colored halo and the merest wisps of lacing.

Nose: Thankfully, only the appearance is different from the 8° Brune. The nose, yet again, has lots of smooth malts, raisins, dark fruits, figs, prunes and some vanilla too. But this time the aromas are more powerful and have a slightly sweeter aspect than the 8° Brune. A stronger more candied and alcoholic Brune nose which can be brutally punching at times.

Taste: A malty chocolate rich beginning with some ovaltine like qualities, thick and very rich malts start to finish. Honeycombed dark fruits trapped in the viscous malts break out in the latter third. Solid and bold, it’s a crotch kicking Brune that has no surprises, but whilst it is a big example of the style it still retains some refined Trappiste character.

Mouthfeel: Raw and powerful, thick malts and unrefined molasses build in the strength. A Brune on steroids it takes some getting used to.

Drinkability: Nowhere as silky as the 8° Brune, the 9.5° Brune Extra has a harsher almost rude yet raw powerful character at times. Whereas the 8° Brune has a fine smooth performance for the everyday Freeway, the 9.5° Brune Extra is stripped down and is a high performance Street Racer, the Radio, luxury interior and fancy dashboard have all gone to make way for a Rally thoroughbred full of dials. No excess baggage here, this one is a High Performance Drag Racing Brune.

Overall: I really enjoyed the 8° Brune, and whilst this is supposed to be a ‘Brune Extra’, the delinquent appearance detracted from this one a little. Now, of course, this could well be the result of poor handling so I’m hesitant to be too harsh here. Nevertheless, for the “Extra” [read “Extra Powerful and Extra Raw”] Brune, this one lacks the smooth rich mature aspects of the 8° Brune but it makes up for that with its fast heart beat inducing Street Racing nature. The Achelse Kluis is a Powerful Brune, which maybe needs some aging to get the best from it, though given the under-carbonated example I had, I would have to know that the sample I decided to cellar was in better shape. Still, it is worth trying and well worth cellaring.

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Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
94 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.