Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
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Ratings: 389 | Reviews: 205 | Display Reviews Only:
4.47/5 rDev +4.2%
From the label, "...the weighty undeniable Extra" (Alias). 750ml bottle with import packaging that differs from the label indicated, with 9.5.% ABV . Foam creeps up and out of the bottle slowly (thankfully) after opening. With great care, one is able to pour gently without disturbing the contents. A shallow layer of bubbles settles out quickly. A couple of shades lighter than cola, but just as clear. Little lacing generated. The smell is large, complex and amazing; rich and earthy, fruity yet malty. Brown sugar or molasses over dark fruits. Full body lightened by the altogether creamy texture brought on by the artistic application of tiny bubbles. Full flavored, classic Belgian yeast mixed with rich dark fruit tastes. The alcoholic content is incredibly well hidden. The simultaneous nose, mouth, flavor combination of this one makes for an amazing drinker. I hereby amend my list of resolutions for 2008 to include serious further "consideration" of Belgian Strong Dark Ales!
01-04-2008 22:25:12 | More by jjayjaye
4.1/5 rDev -4.4%
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.
12-06-2007 19:53:34 | More by Georgiabeer
4.97/5 rDev +15.9%
750 ml bottle, newer American labeled Extra, poured into my Koningshoeven chalice, the quad is a hazy pale brown amber, with a firm khaki head, that leaves heavy foam and lace. Very nice glow to it in the light, and while the head is not as rocky as others, the vigorous carbonation ensures it stays to the end.
Smell is absolutely heavenly - sweet and succulent tropical fruits, grapes, caramel and brown sugar.
Taste is equally sublime. So many delicious layers of sweetness, but so soft and rounded that they gently unfold rather then bludgeon the senses as is often the case with lesser made big beers. Spicy and drying finish that couldn't possibly linger long enough.
Mouthfeel, again, is perfect, so light, creamy and luscious.
Drinkability is exceptional. My favorite trappist, this is one of the best beers in the world. We're very lucky St. Benedictus is finally making beer again!
11-17-2007 05:46:36 | More by ccrida
3.85/5 rDev -10.3%
Dark mahogany color, with some floating bodies. Light beige head, quite creamy and compact.
Toasted malts, caramel, ripe red fruit, cheeries.
At the taste candy sugar, yeast, quite smooth. Bread crust, marzipan.
Quite variegated, sometimes the bread crus - yeast prevail, and just a seconf after, red fruit and marzipan.
Even dry fruits, and a light liquorice. Good. Maybe hints of blueberry. Carrob?
In the aftertaste again candy sugar, fruit. Some liquorice in the end.
11-08-2007 21:41:15 | More by stcules
3.73/5 rDev -13.1%
Well I was super excited to buy this because I liked their blond so much.
I was not disappointed but not super stoked on it
Appearance:dark brown with a nice head...not as carbonated as some Trappist ales that I have had recently
smell:great malt smell and as it warmed more notes of dark stone fruits
taste:it seemed a bit mellow and I did not get allot of fruit notes as much as I did on the aroma...mostly just dark malt flavors(while good) it did not wow me...also did not have a bunch of estery quality's which I was expecting
mouth feel:creamy and easy to drink
drinkablity: super easy to drink a bit too easy maybe...considering the alcohol content
10-18-2007 21:30:09 | More by chefscott79
4.55/5 rDev +6.1%
Pours very cloudy and not too dark -- dubbel color -- with a creamy tan head that sticks well. Smells are rich and inviting, with some dark spices and clay-like yeast notes on top, underpinned by rich, pruney fruits. On the palate, absolutely huge flavors all around. Big fruits first off, then things switch rapidly to yeasty chocolate malted milk and rich, smooth malt sweetness. Sharp spices crop up toward the end, along with more juicy, fruity sweetness at the finish. Complex and delectable. Mouthfeel is full of carbonation and thick malts -- it's a very filling beer. Alcohol is present in the taste and mouthfeel, but somehow that enhances things rather than detract from them. Overall, this is a fantastic dark Belgian ale. It's got everything you want from the style -- complexity, rich malts, fruity yeast esters, complexity in flavor and aroma, even some smoothness. Great stuff.
09-17-2007 03:28:09 | More by geexploitation
4.03/5 rDev -6.1%
Pours a cloudy copper and prune color with a thin pearl head that coats the sides and dies with very little lacing. Smells of fig and sweet malt. Taste has spice, dried fruit, fig, sweet malts. Feels full in the mouth with lively carbonation on the tongue. Drinkability is good but somewhat a sipper. Worth a try
09-02-2007 01:15:07 | More by franksnbeans
3.95/5 rDev -7.9%
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).
07-25-2007 04:09:04 | More by nickfl
4.38/5 rDev +2.1%
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.
07-18-2007 02:02:30 | More by akorsak
4.72/5 rDev +10%
What an amazing beer! Found this at a local shop here in Chicago, West Lakeview Liquors. Never seen this in Chicago other than 'now'. Labeled best by... 07/08. 6th of the 7 Trappist breweries I can now check off my list.
Poured a dark ruby red with a massive head that was made to impress, into a Delirium Tremens glass. Waited and waited, enjoying the aroma's. The head slow retained itself into a tan froathy head that was like no other. The aroma literally made my eyes slightly roll back in my head each time I took a wiff. Lots going on with this beer... Quite impressive. This kept my interest all the way through, as most get boring towards the end. A bit different than the other Trappists. I was sad to see this one go. Savor this one... Exceptional beer! Sip it and pour small glasses... If you find it... Buy it!
07-15-2007 03:45:42 | More by amiles
4.22/5 rDev -1.6%
750ml green bottle. Hazy dark red translucent body with a half an inch of light tan head. Smells citrussy and pithy. Tastes citrusy and roasty, as well as sour and slightly alcoholic. Nut and caramel show up after a few sips too. Very different from most other beers I've ever tried. Definitely grows on you as you make your way through it. An interesting complex beer that's definitely worth the try and that I'll probably get again.
07-13-2007 01:56:05 | More by MrHurmateeowish
4.15/5 rDev -3.3%
This beer tastes fantastic!
It pours a rich ruddy brown with an impossibly long-lasting head.
The smell is delicious. Bready, with a strong vinous note, and some snap-crackle-pop esters mingling with booze that really melds with the malty-shebang.
The taste follows the smell. The beer definitely has a crapton of Special B in it, I'd stake my life on it. But I like that grape-y taste. And it blends with the dry, boozy beer creating a nice sweet/dry dichotomy. I like it,
The mouthfeel is pretty robust for a Belgian. I like it. Not too thick, not too thin, with really bombastic carbonation.
Definitely one of the best Belgians I have had.
06-17-2007 03:37:35 | More by shbobdb
4.4/5 rDev +2.6%
Poured from a 750ml bottle (marked best before 7/2008) into the appropriate Achel chalice.
A: Pours a dark brown with an excellent light-tan head. Ruby red undertones are there as well and they show up much better when held up to a light. Lots of sticky lacing as well as a nice layer of head that remains throughout, contributing to the smooth and creamy texture of the beer.
S: Dark fruits: figs and cherries. A little bit of alcohol aromas as well.
T: Starts out with the sweet dark malts followed by lots of cherries, plums, and figs. Finishes with just the right amount of sweetness. The 9.5% is surprisingly nowhere to be found. Overall, a very nice strong dark ale with good, but not great, complexity.
M: Very good mouthfeel. It's well carbonated, smooth as hell as well as creamy.
D: Very drinkable due to the absence of the alcohol in the taste. It's very smooth and very tasty. I definitely recommend trying this beer but at $18 a bottle I don't think I'll be having it too often.
06-11-2007 17:31:45 | More by willjschmidt
4.63/5 rDev +7.9%
A seriously good beer. A 750ml capped bottle, with best by 10/08 on the label. It was a dark brown with some red highlights. Nice thick tan head. A fruity, vinous aroma. Exceptional taste. Dark fruit, yeast, malt, wine all wonderfully well-balanced. Smooth and quite drinkable.
03-11-2007 20:08:48 | More by lordofthewiens
4.72/5 rDev +10%
Forgive me, my love, for I have found another.
Reminiscent of Mick Jaggers brown sugar, this thick, velvety beauty leaves me yearning to drink a second time. It pours through my palate slowly, with an initial bitterness at the tip of the tongue, followed by a rich fullness that overwhelms the senses, leaving me in a state of ecstasy. Its deep amber color excites, promising an experience paralleled by no mere lager. Its foamy head rests delicately over the beers deep substance, clinging to the sides of the glass like the remnants of ones last rapturous trist. This beer delivers its alcohol with a subtle grace, hidden amongst its creamy goodness, one ends an afternoon of drinking Achelse Kluis in a veritable Dionysian state of wonder, surprised yet intensely pleased. This, truly, is a beer of the gods. Savor it before its too late.
02-28-2007 02:42:25 | More by krdowney
4.63/5 rDev +7.9%
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...
01-03-2007 02:26:11 | More by emerge077
District of Columbia
4.22/5 rDev -1.6%
the head went nutty at first, but isn't so sweet anymore, though it did leave some lacing. deep mahogany color
deep husky, bready, toasty, roasty aroma. plenty of dark fruit as well
the flavors are intensely raisiny and figgy. sweet and tangy with some nut characteristics. it's a good brew, and somewhat complex. there's even some cola in there
12-07-2006 03:52:42 | More by bruachan
4.08/5 rDev -4.9%
Poured out a rich, clear, amber color with a persistent, creamy head. The nose offered spice, malt, caramel, apricot, bubble gum, and butter. The taste is sweet apple malt, light bitterness, hops, alcohol, medicine, and butter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate dryness and full carbonation. Slight warming from alcohol.
11-28-2006 03:56:22 | More by dherling
4.7/5 rDev +9.6%
Trivia: Achel Extra was first brewed as a Christmas seasonal beer, but because of its popularity, it is now brewed year round.
Presentation: 750mL bottle, poured into a proper Achel chalice.
Appearance: Absolutely gorgeous. A beautful, dark ruby brown. Produces an outstanding, off white, creamy head that hangs around for the duration and produces heavy lacing. Stunning.
Aroma: Has a very good, assertive aroma. Malt aromas, caramel, hints of chocolate are surrounded by a wonderfully pleasant fruity aroma. Only hints of alcohol.
Taste and Mouthfeel: Oh so creamy and smooth. Sweet at first, but finishes drier than I thought it would. The caramel malt flavors and sweetness hits up front, followed by the lovely fruitiness of this beer. A little bit of spiciness and alcohol, slightly warming, come in before the dry, yet flavorful finish, which is like a little echo of the malt and fruitiness I tasted before. Amazing.
Notes: Very well done. The monks at Achel should be proud of this beer, and proud that they take part in the brewing themselves (to a degree, anyway). This ale was a tremendous surprise for me. One that I will come back to again and again. Not easy to find, but well worth the effort.
10-29-2006 04:37:58 | More by jdoolin
4.95/5 rDev +15.4%
sweet god, amazing, nothing i've ever drank has come close to this, poors a deep amber hue with a nice thick frothy head which remains for a while, the smells are confusing lots of diffrent smells come out. sweet and yeasty.
taste is exceptional, at 9.5 the alcohol is present but not overpowering by any means... feels full in the mouth, not try or too sweet drinkablity is easy, even with its higher than average alcohol, i'm VERY fortunate to get it for 5 dollars for a 23.4 ounces
if you get the chance to buy this, be sure to get it. my local place had this on the discontiued rack for 5 bucks
10-28-2006 00:04:51 | More by 1fastz28
4.78/5 rDev +11.4%
Dark brown... slight head, but I like the looks... hints of ruby. Quite nice to look at this beer!
Aroma is yeasty and bready... quite fruity. Medicinal qualities with some good alcohol notes.
Mouthfeel is great. Creamy and smooth. Wonderful.
Sweet on the tongue with peach, fig, raisin, rum, caramel, bourbon, berry, yeast... wow. Marvelous.
10-19-2006 15:07:22 | More by Fugazme
4.08/5 rDev -4.9%
Pour: 750ml to tulip. Comes out with a huge 3.5 finger head, even w/ a slow pour. Head is tan over a cloudy chestnut bodied brew with lots of carbonation visible throughout. The fluffy head is comprised of large bubbles and descends slowly, sticking all over the glass and leaving strong lacings. If only it didn't take so long to get a full glass of beer from this bottle!
Nose: Floral, orange, citric, tart, caramel, buttery acetyl, clove, anise. This aroma is all encompassing and very inviting.
Mouth: Very strong alcohol taste is the first thing I notice. What follows is butter and fresh biscuits. Up front the beer has a nice prickly feel to it but in the back it gets a bit too foamy. The swallow and finish leave a slightly metallic note and a doughy flavor coating the mouth. The spicy, warming exhale tingles all the way up to my ears and carries a chili pepper taste. Pretty tasty and enjoyable beer, though the alcohol is completely blatant and the hops play almost no part in the experience.
09-01-2006 20:02:13 | More by clickpush
4.47/5 rDev +4.2%
Hazy, reddish-brown in hue with the slightest bit of purple-copper highlight; nice! Creamy foam, a thick mass of bubbles created two fingers of head. I had to short pour my chalice as the head was so ample. Head retention was great; the bubbles slowly faded to a small but thick cap. It looks like freaking concrete. Awesome head related qualities! There was loads of subsequent lacing, not quite tattered wallpaper but impressive nevertheless. So in sum, this is a great looking beer! Dare I say perfect? I do.
Ive had this beer before and was so impressed with it. As I sit here and smell this example the nose just is not popping in malty richness. Red wine notes with an almost sour maltiness following, vaguely fruity weak hints of alcohol, caramel, and chocolate. It took a few moments of deep sniffing before I could unlock any rich maltiness and still it was very faint. Moderate potency, somewhat chatty but it is not what I remember. The last time I had this was at a Trappist beer tasting, I thought it was right behind Rochefort 10 as the best of the night (there was no Westy beers BTW, Westy 8 is better than 12). Based on this sample, it is nowhere near that good. Better than Chimay Red or Blue but what isnt. Zing! Anyway, Im finding this somewhat simple but it is inviting.
The palate is pretty damn awesome. Again, I dont find it nearly as deep or rich as before and I dont taste the chocolate as well nor is the raisins, plums, or apples are noticeable. The bottle I have was purchased from the same beer tasting where it impressed me so. Odd. Maybe I just tried this after drinking a Chimay or something. Zing! Okay, back to reality the palate is very good (really good!) as there are plenty of alcohol infused fruit notes with molasses hints, brown sugar notes, and spiced rum cookies at the back. Yummy. Ticklish sweetness at the finish and it lingers into the aftertaste with hints of cherries. Fairly warm aftertaste calm but lively, I am really impressed at how the beer revs up for the finish and cools so nicely for the aftertaste. The flavor profile has really grown on me; it starts slow but finishes strong. What a great freaking beer!
Slightly fuller then medium in body, very creamy and smooth carbonation creates a beer that is silky smooth on the tongue. I absolutely adore the mouthfeel, for a beer this big and this complex the mouthfeel is stunning.
Aside from the nose this beer has pretty much delivered from what I recall. I think this beer is absolutely great and kind of overlooked. But what do I know. There are so many great beers that get little play on BA while a handful of others get mentioned to the point of nausea. Back to the point this beer is very drinkable, dangerously so. At this point in the review Id like to suggest some clever food pairing, well, not today. I am tired and this beer has soaked my brain. All I can say is what a great night cap! I am happy to say I purchased this beer in Omaha! I cant wait until I can buy it somewhat regularly. I am deeply impressed.
08-08-2006 02:08:21 | More by bditty187
4.33/5 rDev +0.9%
Pours a frothy off-white head over a deep garnet tinted mahogany body. Head recedes leaving a few sheets of lace. Aromas of sweet vinous fruit, plumbs and cherries mixed with traces of earth. Taste is light sweet chocolate upfront, quickly giving way to a more complex mixture of tart cherries, raspberries and caramel. A subdued hop spiciness adds some zing. Quite smooth and sweet, yet fairly light bodied. Moderate carbonation. A lingering sweetness.
A sweet and complex ale. The light body is a bit misleading as the well-hidden ABV is a respectable 9.5%. There is also just enough of a hop bitterness/spiciness to balance out the sweet malt flavors and make this a great sipping ale.
05-09-2006 00:13:06 | More by Shovelbum
4.28/5 rDev -0.2%
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.
04-28-2006 01:29:01 | More by brentk56
Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
95 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.