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Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Not Rated.
Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

398 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 398
Reviews: 205
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 99
Gots: 37 | 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: 398 | Reviews: 205 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TripperDaniel
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes: Tasted Sunday, March 9, 2008. Seems to be only available in the 75 cL bottle. Trappist product. Difficult to find, too. Refermented in bottle. Best before the end of July, 2009. We'll see about that. Ingredients: Water, malted barley, hop, yeast, candi sugar.

Appearance: Pours a lighter colour than I expected - rich mahogany, quite dark, but with rust notes and burgundy highlights. Not quite completely clear. Tan head lasts well, but diminishes to a couple of layers of bubbles, with an open patch, and a good rim. Lacing that looks like desert plateaus. Bubbles continue to form in small mounds on the surface. Very attractive.
Nose: Rich chocolate malt. Very nutty - marzipan, hazelnut, walnut. Musty leather and paper. Slight candied citrus peel. Raisins. Slight metal. Does not smell sweet. Good Belgian yeast funk. Molasses. Apple and tobacco. Faint rummy alcohol.
Taste: Very smooth at first, the carbonation builds a little in the mouth, conveying a rich malty backbone that is a little cloying on the finish. Meanwhile, you get tons of raisin, chocolate and nuts. Off-dry and full-bodied. Nondescript hoppiness offers a quenching character. Lots of nuts on the finish, which is dry and lingering. Alcohol very faint. Some coffee comes out later, as well as a vague herbal note. Also something faintly vinous.

Overall: Not what I had been hoping for. Obviously it's excellent, but it's just missing some complexity. I think it's a little young and out of balance, and in 7 years or so it'll be very good, but I think this is a beer that runs the risk of blending in with all the other unmemorable dark Belgians, regardless of age. For the style it should be darker and richer, in my opinion. Maybe I'm tasting it too cold; I'll let it breathe and warm up and come back to it. Maybe I'm being too harsh. Maybe my expectations were too high.

TripperDaniel, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Three fingers of bubbly, audible beige head in a Karmeliet tulip glass, and the ale was just brown enough not to be considered burgundy, and slightly opaque.

Smell: Hints of ripe pitted fruit and spice, with sweet malt and a bright hoppiness. Those Trappists win again in the complexity arena.

Taste: Sweet dark malt hits the taste buds immediately, then opens up to reveal the fruit and spice, and finishes with the bright hops and leaves a fruity, malty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth, with a sweet coating of the mouth. The alcohol is barely discernable, but does a great job of leaving the mouth and throat just a little warmer.

Drinkability: God has truly blessed the Trappists. I don't know how they do it, but each Trappist ale that I've had (five of six Belgians) has been some of the most complex, sweet nectar that has ever been poured into a bottle. The alcohol is deceptively muted in this Achel, but that %ABV measurement up there is for real, so bask in the sweetness with slow, blissful sips.

AleDrinkToThat, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of drumrboy22
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a gift from my wife for Valentine's Day. Poured into a Westmalle chalice. Beer was a dark brown color with a two finger, creamy, tan head. Intricate lacing on the glass. Lots of sediment.

Aroma was dark fruits, candi sugar, pepper, spice and malt.

Taste was sweet, caramel and candi sugar with a spicy finish. Very tasty, complex beer. This was a nice treat and is worth trying.

This is listed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but I would consider it a Quad. There was no date on the bottle, but if it was fresh, it didn't need to be aged. Might be fun to put a bottle in the cellar, but it was great fresh.

drumrboy22, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.45/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an opaque dark brown color with a tan head that had small bubbles. The head was fairly sticky.
The aroma began with a dry spicy character that had a touch of an alcoholic warmth in the finish.
The Flavor began with a sweet malt flavor that dominated the profile blending in with the spiciness but taking over in the finish. This is one of the sweeter examples of the style that i have tried yet it is still drinkable. The finish is clean and the spicyness lingers a bit leaving a fruity taste on the tongue.
Average drinkabiliy due to the sweetness this is nonetheless an excellent Trappist ale.

RenoZymurgist, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of rye726
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank to Daisy at 't Brugs Beertje for another great evening full of some of the most amazing beers in the world.

Beautifull looking beer. A deep, rich and murky mahogany color. Perfect thick tan head with nice retention and lacing.

Aromas of dark fruits, sweet buttery malts and Belgian peppers over some herbal spice. Complexity grows as it warms.

Delicous malt structure surrounded by dried pitted fruit. Very earthy with more sweet yet complex sugars through the finish. This elixir defines my idea of nutty, bready malts.

Thick and chewy yet delicate and crisp. Silky smooth as it passes over the palate.

I could drink this everyday and never get tired of it. Perfectly blanced and hugely complex. Stands up to any beer in the world. I wish I could give it all fives, but the aroma isn't quite there.

rye726, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonder what an $18.00 beer tastes like? A cream colored and brown logo pasted on a traditional green 1pint 9.4 fl oz bottle... Purchased at Gary's in Madison... Bottle-sticker specifically says Achel Trappist Extra and states that this is the "Weighty, undeniable Extra"... Probably one of the best appearances that I have ever witnessed in a beer... Humongous frothy, foamy, head lays atop a dark brown, slightly ruby-red colored hue... Very complex smell, creamy, with strong roasted malt aroma... Intricate, weighty, immense taste, powerful, rich, and thick, with a creamy texture... full of malts, caramel, nutty flavors... A truly amazing taste, deep, dark, rich and satisfying that is a step above most common beers and even most other Belgians... An all-around, excellent Trappist beer... although I had to open my wallet wide on this one, it was certainly worth it... Awesome mouthfeel and the hefty 9.5% ABV is hardly noticeable... Definitely recommended...

dsa7783, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very carbonated dark brown body shows lots of bubbles on the sides of the glass. Hints of ruby red come through at the edges when held to light. Head is a sandy tan in color at three fingers tall with rocky bubbles that leave decent lacing. nose is soft but includes notes of apple pie, butter milk biscuits, and spicey wheat. upon first sip you get almost perfect mix of robust freshness, sweet and spicey. Many different lovely notes exist including fig, grape juice, red licorice, and ground wheat grain. The mouthfeel is velvety and smooth, as this one warms the belly well. A big complex feer with solid drinkability. You can almost taste the care that the monks put into making this beer. Ripe and delecious.

SPLITGRIN, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$12.99 for a 750ml bottle, capped. The bottle is green and features the standard brown, white and tan Achel label, but it says "Trappist Extra", and it states 9.50% ABV on the label, so I assume it must be this beer. Pours out to a cloudy dark chestnut, forming a tightly beaded large light tan head with excellent retention and lacing. Flittering bits of flocculent yeast swim about. Carbonation is medium, a little lighter than typical for the style (which I prefer). The aroma is quality and very nice...cleanly fermented with lots of fruity esters like apple, pineapple, mango. An underbelly of alcohol, white pepper, dust and chocolate appears when swirled. The mouthfeel is full bodied and very smooth, with a long fruity finish. The taste starts with some spicy phenols, followed by dark candi sugar, some lightly toasted malts, more apples, mangos, and pineapple. Brown sugary sweetness is throughout and the bitterness is very mild, giving the brew an overall almost syrupy sweetness, teetering on the edge of being cloying. In the aftertaste, I'm getting spices akin to a Xmas ale...suggestions of ginger and perhaps nutmeg are in there.

Overall, this is a quality beer that was very enjoyable. It's not as complex as some of it's brethren. A touch more bitterness would go a long way to make this an absolute complex beast.

Mitchster, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of papat444
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to franksnbeans for this one.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle (differs from the one in picture, alias bottle)

Brought this at a Greek restaurant, so unfortunately, notes aren't extensive.

Appearance: Poured rich, light brown body, average sized tan head.

Smell: malt & dried fruit.

Taste: Warm, malt-like with some hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Malty with some brown sugar.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable, alcohol is well camouflaged in the abundant taste.

Overall: I wish i was in a more quiet surrounding to be able to fully appreciate this but definitely well crafted & delicious. Next time i'm in the US, i'm looking for this!

papat444, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of jjayjaye
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

jjayjaye, Jan 04, 2008
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.

Georgiabeer, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of ccrida
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

ccrida, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of stcules
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.
Good beer.

stcules, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of chefscott79
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

chefscott79, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of geexploitation
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

geexploitation, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

franksnbeans, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of nickfl
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark reddish brown with decent clarity, but some yeasty chunks. The slightly tan-white head is large and aggressive out of the bottle and it leaves thick lace on the glass as it quickly settles down to a thin film.

S - Rasiny, with brown sugar and prunes. A little bit rosey/ fruity with alcohol and a slight note of herbal hops in the background.

T - Alcohol and dark fruit. Spicy, peppery notes and a hoppy, alcoholic finish with a lingering bittersweet chocolate flavor.

M - Thick and palate coating despite high carbonation, but it finishes nice and dry.

D - Not bad drinkability for such a strong, flavorful beer. The alcohol note is a bit harsh and some of the flavor is a bit muddy/ undefined, but the finish shows great promise. It seems like this beer could benefit a great deal from ageing (the one I had was presumeably only a couple of months old).

nickfl, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of 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.

akorsak, Jul 18, 2007
Photo of amiles
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

amiles, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

MrHurmateeowish, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of shbobdb
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well holy-smokes.
t
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.

Yeah.

Definitely one of the best Belgians I have had.

shbobdb, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

willjschmidt, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

lordofthewiens, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of krdowney
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Forgive me, my love, for I have found another.

Reminiscent of Mick Jagger’s “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 beer’s deep substance, clinging to the sides of the glass like the remnants of one’s 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.

krdowney, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got my hands on this seldom-seen beauty... "Achelse Kluise" old parchment style label.

Pours a rich caramelly brown into a wide chalice. Slight foam lingers and settles to an irregular skim. Suspended particles float languidly within.

Smells very enticing, toffee, fig, a little vinous. Slight booziness that integrates into a siren song of an aroma. Almost like it's calling you to drink it...

Tastes rich and complex, seriously vinous. Starts with a little sweetness, spilling a fruit basket of plum, grape, figs, and raisins. Bready malts hold it up throughout, and a slightly bitter finish resembles a red table wine. Chocolate, Belgian yeast, and wine grape echo in the finish also.

Mouthfeel is medium and isn't weighed down by the rich flavors. The sweet alcohol feels a little like brandy...though not cloying, and extremely easy to drink. If you find it for sale, buy it...

emerge077, Jan 03, 2007
Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
95 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.