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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

211 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 211
Hads: 441
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 6.34%
Wants: 120
Gots: 53 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 211 | Hads: 441
Photo of Chrysostom
3.69/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

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

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

Without further ado, a review.

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

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

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

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

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

D: Moderate middle of "low".

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

To style (16E): 90/100 (spicing is allowed, according to BJCP)
To taste: 67/100 (spicing is not allowed, according to my palate). (3,182 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a snifter

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

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

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

M: A bit thin with fairly strong carbonation.

O: The aroma on this beer is amazingly complex and balanced. The flavor is good, but not quite as strong on the dark fruits as I'd like. (774 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (921 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long complex and notable dark ale.

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

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

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

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

M - Medium-full body with generous carbonation.

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

Notes: Almost the last Trappist brewery I had to try.
and it is well in line with the expected quality for the denomination. This fists well with the range of most reserve quads/specialty strong dark ales. Nice offering worth the memory and repeat. (1,175 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  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. (1,298 characters)

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

Poured from 750cl into Westvleteren chalice.

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

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

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

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

O. World class, I would agree with. However there are a lot of beers in that upper echelon, and I would have to rank this middle of the pack for that World Class group. Very well balanced, and extremely easy drinking. Lots of depth in the aroma and flavor. Nice balance of dry and sweet. (937 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

O: Strong flavors yet well-integrated and complimentary. Great balance of flavors and quite sweet - but not syrupy. Hits all the right notes for a great BSDA. Instantly one of my all-time favorites. (885 characters)

Photo of brystmar
2.85/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

Pretty sure my distaste for this brew isn't due to the extra time on the bottle -- minimally attributable, at most. Lacks the depth, spice, and overall complexity of its Trappist siblings. (525 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Overall this is a good example of a traditional Belgian Strong Ale. Nothing to out of this world of revolutionary, just a solid from one of the Trappist legends. More tempered as far as the spiciness goes which I appreciate and enjoy over the examples with too much yeasty flavors. (902 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

Medium bodied, low carbonation. Surprisingly thin.

Overall, a good beer, but not as good as I hoped for. Disappointing given the ratings. I found it to be a solid but typical BSDA, without any remarkable qualities. (563 characters)

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Awesome. Period. If you think regular Achel is good, the extra is great! I took a tour of the brewery at Achel and the 750ml format bottles (the format for the Achel Extra and the Blond Extra...which is also great) are bottled right there at the brewery by the monks. The other Achel beers (the 330s) are bottled off-site at at a larger bottler. The extras are really good!!

A: Dark brown, big creamy head
S/T: Grains and malt, awesome balanced smooth taste, not overpowered by the souped up alcohol content.
M: Again, smooth, really nice
O: One of my favorite Belgians!!! (573 characters)

Photo of seand
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark translucent mahogany, with a large amount of light tan head. A fairly thick blanket retains and leaves thick lacing with longevity.

S: Raisins, clove and other spices, molasses, belgian yeast. Nice subdued but complex balance.

T: Raisiny sweetness through the mid palate, leading into a spiced rum and then a light, non-bitter hoppy note, finishing dry. Lots of complexity; somewhat like an aged beer, without the concentrating effect that aging usually has.

M: Relatively full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, really really good. I'll seek this one out again. (582 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (953 characters)

Photo of DARIVA
3.52/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Perfect amber beer with a beautiful head.

S: The smells are not really recognizable, something sweet.

T: The taste is slightly sweet beer.

M: Delicious carbonation and a good foam feeling.

O: Not easily drinkable, beer with a bitter aftertaste. (251 characters)

Photo of RickS95
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, dark medium brown. Head is slow forming and quick to dissipate. The head brings a stark contrast to the dark beer with white bubbles.

Very malty in the nose. Dark ripe fruits are present, red apples and red grapes.

The taste is stellar. It's malty and very fruity. The apples and grapes are prevalent and dominate everything else. It's high in alcohol and while you can taste it, it's not overpowering.

It's a medium bodied beer, a bit on the sweet side. Not too malty, but very fruity. A slight tanginess balances the sweet, which is beneficial because there is no hop presence. It tries to be a dry finish but it lacks the carbonation, leaving a slightly sticky sweet finish.

As usual, it's a great Trappist beer. Bordering on too sweet, but it goes down easy. I'd drink it more often but it was $17 for a half liter...almost worth it. (849 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (603 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (806 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Best before November, 2009 (making this a 2005 vintage?). Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet.

Cloudy sienna liquid glows a gentle copper when held to a strong light. A small active khaki head recedes to a flat lasting collar and slick. Tiny microbubbles feed the surface. Good retention, sandy lacing, and viscous tears slide down the sides.

Resinous tobacco, cocoa, banana leaf, figs, raisin, fine rum in the nose - complex and inviting though with just the faintest hint of oxidation.

Deep penetrating malt on the palate unfolding slowly with rich sweet complexity - demerara, turbinado, honey, and leather are each hinted at. A touch of dark fruit and rye (both probably coming from the slumbering yeast) lead into the long delicate finish.

Medium bodied, lightly effervescent, and filling (though never hot).

Already one of the best examples of the style (I still think of this as more of a "quad"), it ages very well. Best served with cheese and contemplation. (1,002 characters)

Photo of KDawg
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a chalice. Pours a nice light brown color that is somewhat see-through

balanced with a real savory quality and aromas of malts, caramel, some grains and a touch of dark cherries

this brings the kind of feel that only a trappist ale can bring. Very smooth and extremely balanced with good flavors of malts, caramel and dark cherries. The flavors aren't as pronounced as I would want, but they are still extremely good

This is a real quality trappist ale. Great balance on the smell and feel, but maybe lacking a slight bit in complexity. Nevertheless, this is a real good beer and one that is very enjoyable (633 characters)

Photo of abrand
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL poured into a snifter glass

This pours a dark brown/mahogany color with a tan head that leaves minimal lacing. Smells of caramel, sweet malts, some raisins as well as toffee. Pretty sweet smelling. Taste is a little boozy but good. Plenty of malts and dark fruits on the palate with subtle hints of nuts. Mouthfeel is medium body with decent carbonation. Overall, I really enjoyed this. Couldn't handle the full bottle in one sitting but really enjoyable. (463 characters)

Photo of Mar02x
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A brown ale hanging in my glass with carbonation bubbles racing to the surface. A fluffy beige cream floats on top of a bit hazy fluid.

S - This smell like Westmalle yeast, a bit like Westvleteren 12 too, nutty and raisins.

T - A perfect brown ale taste, creamy, nutty, candy sugar sweet, raisins and figs.

M - A soft to medium carbonation, just a touch of bitterness and just a touch of alcohol.

O - A very good, what? A dark ale? It is more a quadruple, almost, if not, the same as Westvleteren 12! (508 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  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. (496 characters)

Photo of duracell
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Goblet.

Pours a dark brown color with a nice off-white creamy head which disappears rather quickly. It shows a very nice malt character with strong dark fruits aroma, yeast and caramel besides. Delicious caramel flavors, in addition to nutty and spicy notes. I also pick out some herbs. A bite of alcohol balances the relative sweetness of the candy sugar. The mouthfeel is just excellent, with a full body. In my opinion, the low carbonation suits perfectly this brew. Overall, this Trappist beer is just outstanding! It shows very complex aroma, an excellent drinkability and perfectly balanced flavors. (640 characters)

Photo of ales4baldo
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P-Simple Trappist bottle. Standard label with the authentic Trappist product logo.

A-Poured thick. Got about a nice finger and a half of head that seems to fall off quick. Must cocoa brown with a coffee appearence. Cloudy and foggy.

S-Like with most Belgian's, lots of yeast and malts and candy. Dont really get much smell as it all seems to hide beneath the carbonation.

T-Oh wow, what you cant smell is made up in flavor. A delicate balance of all things good. Malts and candy seem to be up front. Yeast and grains seem to linger about. Come through strong and finishes soft.

M-Really smooth beer. Very smooth. Delicate and precise. I really like the heavy malt prescense in this one. Has a very quick finish and no linger at all, also finishes really dry.

O-A really good beer. I like the crisp quick draw this beers has so as to forget what you had and makes you want more. Smooth and subtle in so many ways with upfront flavors. (943 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opaque dark brown with a 2 finger tan head which reduces to less than one finger and stays. Smells like green apples, brown sugar, dates, figs, and raisins. Can't wait to try it.

Sweet flavor with green apples, brown sugar, dates, figs, and raisins. There is some hop bitterness at the end for balance. Very nice flavor.

Medium to full bodied, low carbonation, somewhat creamy, and the alcohol is well hidden. A very solid beer, but the low carbonation does hurt this beer somewhat. (484 characters)

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