Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Not Rated.
Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

211 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 211
Hads: 441
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 6.34%
Wants: 117
Gots: 52 | 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
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Reviews: 211 | Hads: 441
Photo of Blakaeris
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep dark brown with a modest crisp white head that pours huge initially, but quickly dissipates.

Aroma is caramel malt, with a pleasant dark fruit - plum, date, and apricot. Sweet, and malty.

Taste is generous caramel malt. Toffee, and brown sugar. Dark and citrus fruit; plum, dates, apricot, and orange. Yeasty, with mild peppery spices. Finish is crisp and fruity. slightly dry with a pleasant woody aspect, and lingering light fruit and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a tasty, malty treat. Quite sweet, with strong malty caramel character. A flavorful BSDA. Certainly worth a try. (621 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a thick dark brown, almost pudding like in thickness, a light thin brown head.

Has a big and bold smell with lots of sweet dark fruits and some yeasty funk.

The flavor is very strong with a big port like sweetness mixing with some dark raisons and cherries along with the yeast bringing some funk.

Mouthfeel is very creamy with lots and lots of carbonation, a touch of warmth.

The drinkability is fine and this is a very solid offering, just a touch to sweet to be great. (482 characters)

Photo of smitty2717
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Super Cellar Warehouse Liquors in Avon CT

A- Dark brown and getting lighter as the glass weighs less. Alot of sediment at the bottom of the bottle

S- Caramel and blackberries giving the hint that this Belgian ale will be sweet.

T- Slightly sour right off the front but finishing sweet. Some of the best combinations in a Belgian ale. Light buttery beer with a perfect finish that leaves you breathing through your nose just to experience more.

M- Silky smooth with a light and fluffy feel when taking in a little foam.

Drinkability- Equivilent to many Gouze beers. Probably drink this one all day. (618 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05/29/08- Purchased at Draegers in San Mateo, CA. This is probably a 2005 vintage.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with a code on the back label. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Caramel brown in color. Full large bubbled dirty white one inch head. Leaves nice lace streaks and sugary caked marks as well.

Smell- Caramel malt bomb in the nose. Sweet and silky smelling with a light nose of some dark fruits (dates and figs maybe).

Taste- Caramel malts is the predominant flavor, but also included is a date flavor and well as a very odd tart, sourlike taste. I have no idea if this is supposed to be there, or if it's past it's prime. Either way, it didn't add anything to the beer, if anything it may have subtraced from the taste. Lightly hopped as well.

Mouthfeel- Full sugary mouthfeel with a high level of carbonation.

Drinkability- The sour notes kinda threw me off, but overall it's still very good. Almost like a low hopped english barleywine (minus the sour) (974 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a goblet.

Dark amber to light brown, decent tan head stays for a little while, a little bit of lacing. Hazy when held to light, with some yeast chunks visible.

Smells of sweet malt and fruit, mostly. Perhaps dark fruits like raisins or prunes. Some spiciness, and some alcohol warming at the finish.

Taste is dominated by malty sweetness from the beginning right through the finish. But the complexity of the fruit flavors and spiciness, and maybe raisin inspired bitterness, try to balance it through the middle but don't quite get there.

Full and thick feel in the mouth, with strong carbonation and alcohol warming.

It's going down reasonably well, but the sweetness makes this beer one to share or sip.

Overall a good beer, but based on its grandiose repuatation, I am a little bit underwhelmed. (828 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly hazy, impressively bubbled dull tangerine with an infusion of coral red. The pastel gold crown snapped, crackled and popped initially, but now looks somewhat creamy as it continues to deflate. A lack of stickiness results in no more than a few dribs and drabs of sea foam lace.

Other than being metallic, the nose isn't bad. It still has a long way to go to scare the best of style, however. Medium-dark fruit (more medium than dark) is offset by an acceptable Belgian yeast spiciness. It looks like the flavor and the mouthfeel are the last chances for this Trappist strong dark ale to impress.

And that is exactly what the flavor does from the very first sip. Time (and about 720 more ml) will determine whether it's 'great' or merely 'good'. I'm leaning toward the former at this point. It's too damn bad that such wonderful beer is hamstrung by being less than expertly bubbled, because it negatively affects every one of the other attributes.

The flavor is bold and rich. The medium fruits of the aroma are still present, as are double fistfuls of dark fruits. Let's go with dried apricots, caramel-covered apples, ripe figs, sticky dates and plump, juicy raisins. There are also a few lashings of molasses and a surprising amount of anise.

The constellation of flavors changes subtley from the beginning of each mouthful to the finish. It's on the back end that Brune Extra's complexity is revealed, largely due to what tastes like a kick-ass yeast strain. The balance between sweet, bitter, tangy and spicy is to be commended. As is the fact that the ABV seems like a bold-faced lie.

Unfortunately, the body/mouthfeel keeps this BSDA from the major leagues. It's too thin and is, again, too carbonated. It looks like others have had a similar experience, so my bottle isn't unique. Things are improving from a sensory standpoint as the ounces pass, just not enough.

Trappist Achel Bruin (or whatever we're calling it these days) could be one of the best BSDAs that I've ever had the pleasure to consume. The flavor teeters on the cusp of greatness, only to be dragged down by a less than accomplished mouthfeel. It's still a treat that all Belgianophiles should love. (2,189 characters)

Photo of BeerLover729
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, cloudy beverage topped by a light tan head consisting of large bubbles.

S: Caramel, apple, raspberry, astringent harshness. Crazy mixture.

T: Raspberry stands out the most from all the fruity esters but there is a presence of the apricot/date/general dark fruits thing going on and even maybe a little banana. The raspberry and other fruitiness fades to a wonderful caramel creaminess followed by a phenolic astringenty finish.

M: Medium body and bubbly carbonation. Creamy maltyness lingers on the tongue but not in a cloying way.

D: Goes down well. Each sip shows a new aspect of this complex beer.

Notes: Awesome. Trappist yeasts, gotta love em! (666 characters)

Photo of brdc
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Large capped bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

Beautiful color, somewhere between orange, brown and red, ligthly turbid, with a creamy, dense tan head with great retention and Brussels lacing.
Great aroma, dark fruits, sweet malts, caramel, some yeastiness and breadiness.
Full bodied and creamy, with a deep flavor that starts malty and sweetish, mostly caramel, evolving into fruitiness, with layers of bread and yeast, and finishing quite dry to make it a very well balanced beer for the style.
An amazing sipper, a must for any lover of the style. This is as good as it gets. (585 characters)

Photo of TripperDaniel
4.27/5  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. (1,860 characters)

Photo of AleDrinkToThat
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
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. (1,032 characters)

Photo of drumrboy22
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (619 characters)

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
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. (604 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
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. (813 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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... (966 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (716 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (1,335 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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! (642 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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! (986 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (579 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
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! (898 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
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. (482 characters)

Photo of chefscott79
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
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 (660 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (892 characters)

Photo of franksnbeans
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
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 (312 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
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). (876 characters)

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