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Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Not Rated.
Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
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: 36 | 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 ypsifly
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

ypsifly, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of Paddez
4.4/5  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.

Paddez, Aug 21, 2005
Photo of BrewMaster
3.33/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

BrewMaster, Aug 02, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

kmpitz2, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4.3/5  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.

clvand0, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of Thrasher
4.72/5  rDev +10%
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.

Thrasher, Jun 14, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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).

goodbyeohio, May 25, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
4.25/5  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.

allengarvin, May 25, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

GCBrewingCo, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of mynie
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

mynie, Mar 29, 2005
Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
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..

Sammy, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

TheLongBeachBum, Jan 09, 2005
Photo of marburg
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not since the Stay-Puft Marshmellow man have I seen something so fluffy and delightful as the head atop this beer -- so much so that I'll ignore the healthy shade of brown in the beer itself and focus on the head. Rolling the liquid around in the glass, it's hard to be entranced by the bulbous mass of bubbles that cling together and tumble around the glass like a big, soft marble.

And the aroma! Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream, complete with vanilla and cookie dough. Raw, sinful cookie dough. Woody and natural. Brown sugar and molasses are the picture to the doughy vanilla frame.

Similar, glorious sensations await the taste buds; through more brown sugar and cookie dough, I can't help but think of a 3 Musketeers candy bar. (And a creamy, creamy, creamy mouthfeel.) Except maybe the candy bar is fermented and chilling out inside an oak barrel. There's a lingering cherry sweetness that manages to escape the relatively dry finish. Really exotic, lusty, fun stuff.

marburg, Dec 16, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.55/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, reddish hints. Good-sized sticky off-white head. Very malty aroma, good yeast dose. Very fruity (dates, grapes), but also has various other malty tones (chocolate, caramel). Gentle alcohol vapors. Rather acidic taste in a yeasty-fruity kind of way. More dates and green grapes. Achel yeast doesn’t provide any dryness. Sweet and closing to licorice at times. Honeyish, herbal. Mostly malty from the beginning until the end. Finish could use some punch. Highly carbonated, medium bodied. It’s just not very exciting and feels like it has been done already.

Rastacouere, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of crookedhalo
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

75 cl capped bottle best before 12/2007. Pours a turbid, sienna brown color with a fluffy tan head that lasts for a while. Particulary complex nose; malt, plum-like fruitiness, yeasty, cocoa and some alcohol notes. Clovey phenolic and vinous, with ample maltiness and caramelly sweetness, dark fruit notes like plum and currant, and a pungent yeastiness; lightly hopped, drying the finish a bit. Alcohol esters are sharp, but melded pretty well with all the other amalgamation of flavors. Ample carbonation keeps it light and crisp on the tongue, enhancing the overall experience. A thin cap of foam lasts all to way to the bottom of the goblet. A very nice Trappist overall, and the best in the Achel line of ales.

crookedhalo, Sep 16, 2004
Photo of Crosling
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Kulminator in Antwerpen, Belgium.

Ruddy Brown.

Fairly subtle nose with notes of hay, clove, banana, vanilla and plum.

Achel is learning how to brew. What kept the 8 Brune from being a sensational beer was that the intense fruitiness was not balanced by any dark maltiness whatsoever. With the Extra, this is surely not the case. It was soft and very mellow. Dark fruits, mainly cherry and plum were present but were balanced so well by a deep maltiness of chocolate, caramel and cookie. I am expecting some incredible things from Achel in the future. They are now off the training wheels.

Crosling, Jul 25, 2004
Photo of putnam
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There was an angry, brutal surge of crispy brown souffle from the neck of the bottle which defied all attempts to shunt its energy into several waiting glasses. Finally, with the liquid sub-shoulder level, we were able to stop the loss.
There we stood, beholding the large globes of caramel gas in front of us. Little chunks of tan yeast danced in the puddle of brown at the base of the bowl.
Talk about vanilla. Pure, Madagascar pods of steamy, fermenting vanilla decorate notes of fabulously ripe cherries and plums. This may be the nearest a beer has come to emulating top-notch Rioja or Graves Bordeaux on the nose.
On the palate it is low-acid, ripe, creamy and strong with flavors of toffee, brandied cherries, tangerine sherbet-flavored nougat, white pepper - tannins are subdued, but assertive enough to ensure a perfectly dry finish.
This is a monument of a beer. Do not doubt it's power, nor its ethereal, sexy exotic melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.

Serve with country pate au poivre and crusty bread if you know what's good for you.

putnam, Jul 16, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly worth trying! When I first opened an Achel 8 Brune side by side with the Achelse Kluis and tasted them cold from the fridge I thought that these beers were both born from the same grist bill with one being just slightly larger. Now I'm not so sure. I was very disappointed with the 8 Brune, but the Kluis is quite special. They initally appear to be almost exactly the same in the glass with a hazy/cloudy russet brown colored body and dark ivory cap, but the head on the Kluis is much creamier, holds far longer, and leaves some very nice lacing lace whereas the basic Achel drops and leaves next to no lace. The nose on both is similar with a sugar-cookie dough maltiness, some red grape, a splash of yeasty spiciness and some alcohol, but the Kluis is much richer and even displays a lightly cocoa-ish side. And, I guess to some extent, the alcohol is more restrained even though it's a touch higher in actual content. Hmmm.... I think more time and effort is put into this beer; as well as a bit more malt. The body is solidly medium and starts to border on full but never quite gets there; and its very fine, natural carbonation tingles the tongue. In the flavor, semi-rich cocoa-tinged sugary maltiness acts as a base while notes of grape-like fruitiness, a spray of hops, and some lightly peppery alcohol and yeasty spiciness widen its character. It's impeccably balanced despite its strength; and it finishes drying with some lingering sugar, hop, and fruit. Although the intensity of the alcohol is still an issue, this remains an impressive and majestic brew that's on par with most of the other Trappist brews... think somewhere between a Chimay Premiere and Grande Reserve. Give it a shot!

NeroFiddled, Jun 26, 2004
Photo of ADR
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big ass 750 of this seems like a good one for beer review # 1,000...

Completely opaque darker brown color, head is light ochre and good in an open Trois Pistoles chalice. Laces in sheets with holes tearing through. Aroma is sharp -- raisins, lime juice, mink oil, lots of yeasty perfume. Flavor goes in a slightly different direction and is solidly matched by a good medium mouthfeel. Very plummy, clove gum, and a back up of dried current, sweeter than the aroma implies. Becomes more molasses-like on warming, a white rum kind of deal. Hopping is a trace effect at best, but the wild and slightly astringent aroma matches well with the stolid body and malty flavors. Could use just a trace more complexity to the latter. Plenty of beer to experience here, though.

ADR, Jun 04, 2004
Photo of ToolHead
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75 cl bottle; served in DBF 2004 glass.
Deep reddish brown; moderate head. Pleasant, assertive aroma with alcoholic presence and an impressive, spicy touch. Enormous taste, full of malt, alcohol, and spice; very much in-your-face. Sweetness dominates the highly complex impression, and the finish is wonderfully long and warming.
Mouthfeel is soft and rather sugary, though never unpleasantly so. Drinkability is good.
A highly impressive beer.

ToolHead, May 18, 2004
Photo of Wildman
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very murky amber brown color with little visible light getting through the murky mess. It formed a huge foamy off white head that acted like a float and coated the glass with lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, raisins and a touch of caramel. A nice flavor of malt, caramel and dark fruit like plums/raisins present. A bit of a sprite finish A warming beer for a nice evening.

Wildman, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy amber brown off white cream speckled lacing, nice thanks for the sample beergeek279. Aroma: Plums, raisins with brown sugar ripened fruit tones very nice hides the alcohol very nicely almost too well. Taste: Creamy ripened fruit big and chewy flavors alcohol is evident with a deep vinous tone to it, awesome flavor. Mouthfeel: Effervescent carbonation coats the palate nicely leaving the flavors there to linger in a good way. Drinkability: Excellent not cloying in anyway nice Achel selection that gives the brewery some definite credentials.

WVbeergeek, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 750 mL bottle, into a large snifter. The color was a dark amber, with a thick beige head that held long after the beer was poured. The smell was a very slight fruitiness. The taste was a very rich fruity bouquet as well as a nice yeastiness to it. Mouthfeel was syrupy thick. As for drinkability, I could definitely have a few.

Achel has been called the weakest of the Trappist breweries, and perhaps rightly so. This beer is a statement, though, that they want to make high-quality beers, and here they have. A fantastic beer and IMO better than Chimay Grand Reserve, and one I'll hope to have again. One of the best pleasures was being able to share this one with fellow BAs, and thank you to JacktheRipper for buying this round!

beergeek279, Feb 04, 2004
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Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
95 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.