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Achel Trappist Extra - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Not Rated.
Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

211 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 211
Hads: 441
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 6.34%
Wants: 118
Gots: 53 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dsa7783 on 01-22-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 211 | Hads: 441
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (277 characters)

Photo of krdowney
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (855 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
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... (889 characters)

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

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 (351 characters)

Photo of dherling
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (331 characters)

Photo of jdoolin
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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. (1,224 characters)

Photo of 1fastz28
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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 (604 characters)

Photo of Fugazme
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

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. (366 characters)

Photo of clickpush
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (1,011 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

I’ve 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 isn’t. Zing! Anyway, I’m finding this somewhat simple but it is inviting.

The palate is pretty damn awesome. Again, I don’t find it nearly as deep or rich as before and I don’t 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 I’d 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 can’t wait until I can buy it somewhat regularly. I am deeply impressed. (3,071 characters)

Photo of Shovelbum
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (691 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,007 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.2/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

btw, this was a blind taste test

geez, i hope i reviewing the right beer, my bottle has the same label as the smaller stuff, but the specs match with this one. the 9.5% ABV and such. this IS the Extra, so i think it is, anyway...

A - a dark black that reveals a hazy brown when held up to the light, with 1 1/2 finger of tan rocky head, after a few swirls, a banana aroma is released

S - a hoppy nutty aroma, sweet like darker fruits, maybe rasins

T - these dark fruit characteristics are maintained in the flavor as well, as is the nuttiness, not to fond of this, too bitter for me, and the sweetness is not balanced well and too dark

M - eh, im not impressed, too dar sweet and bitter, not well balanced

D - low, i couldnt finish it very easily, wasnt too fond of it. quality brew, with decent flavor, but the balance didnt agree with me (857 characters)

Photo of Vipsanius
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a little lighter than other dark Belgian ales...nice 2 finger sticky head with good retention.

The dominant aroma is of grape fruit juice...seriously. Bread, apples plums, and raisins are other scents I could pick up on.

The taste starts sweet, some spices (nutmeg, allspice), the fruit taste gives way to a chocolately flavor...very interesting yeasty bread-like aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is bit over carbonated but otherwise nice. Chewy, full bodied, sticks to the palate.

Like most other beers of this style, this definitely isn't a session beer. There's a fine line here on letting it warm up to get more flavos out of it and letting it get too warm to where the alcohol takes over...not in an annoying way, just enough to mask the other flavors. Overall, a good beer but there's some others I'd prefer in this style. (839 characters)

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Westmalle chalice (okay, it's close enough) from a green-tinted 750ml bottle, capped. Bottle label looks different than is pictured here. Looks more like the standard Achel 8 label ... but is definitely the 'Extra' at 9.5% abv. Anyway, this one extracts from the bottle as a warm, dark brown with ruby highlights. A thick cocoa tan head appears and likes to stick around. To look at this beer, you know there's a lot going on here. Nose is glorious ... yeast, sweet malts, stewed fruits, and a hint of spice ... okay, quite smelling and start drinking, right.Palate is sweet ... sweeter than the Brune ... very malty and warm. Tastes of Belgian yeast, plums, mollases, and alcohol. Very dark, very sweet, and assertive taste. This beer is a heavyweight ... in taste more than body. This is akin to the Brune in a lot of ways, but stronger and much more assertive. I really enjoy the sheer "power" of this 'Extra' over the other Achel offerings. You know you're drinking something substantial here for sure. Wow ... I still have a half of a 750 ml bottle left. A bit too much for one sitting, perhaps, especially on an empty stomach. Bet it'll still be excellent tomorrow ... "Authentic Trappist" ... this one is worthy to be tried along with the others, though older. (1,281 characters)

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle

A - Color is dark brown with a reddish copper color under light. Medium creamy head with plenty of lacing. Lots of sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

S - Aroma is sweetly malty and floral. As I let the beer warm it produced a grape aroma that was not present when it was cold. Also as it warmed the aroma became more woodsy and rich almost like sassafras.

T - Tastes sweet with good alcoholic warmth. It has the yeasty flavor of fresh baked bread. Middle is caramel and toffee with a slightly astringent alcohol bite. As the beer warms beyond 50 degrees, there is a flavor like tea. Definitely better when it is in the 45 – 50 degree range.

M - Lightly carbonated as you would expect for a high alcohol brew. When I first opened the bottle and it was colder, there was more carbonation. Thick, viscous feeling in the mouth.

D - Great beer. Beer like this really makes me want to travel to Belgium. This a great sipping beer. I could drink this all night. (978 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, with a lacy, thin halo of an off-white head. Not much to look at, but the aroma intrigues. Woody and slightly sour in character, the scent becomes juicier, fruitier as it sits. Candi sugar sweetness starts the sip, soon harnassed by a woody character that runs throughout. As the beer warms, this malt develops more figgy, and even grapey character. A gentle, cinnamon spice lends character to a cocoa-like malt body. Somewhat peppery in the finish where the spice kicks in, but the alcohol is overall quite unobtrusive. Mouthfeel is a bit tangy, but fairly full and coating in spite of this. Quite a lovely brew! (625 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by date of April 2008, Sampled January 2006
This beer sits a hazy, amber brown color in my tulip. The beer is quite well carbonated and is topped by a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head that leaves lacing on the side of the glass as it slowly subsides in a cacophonous mix of large through small bubble. The aroma is quite concentrated with sweet fruity notes reminiscent of figs, sweet plums, raisins and even prunes. There is also a healthy, bready, yeasty note here, as well as some notes of clove. The aroma is quite rich and sweet, but without being heavy. After a bit of time a note of alcohol becomes evident as well.

The taste has that same sweet, fruity character to it, and the body while hefty is perhaps not as rich as I was expecting. It is still palate coating enough to make this a satiating, slow sipping evening as I work my way through this 750ml bottle. It is definitely quite well carbonated as the beer foams up on the tongue, it is not quite as noticeable as in a lighter beer, but it certainly helps to lighten the body of this beer.

Actually at this point I think I would like it to be a bit less carbonated, so I spend the time to make it so. The beer softens out, and becomes even smoother than it was before. The sweetness is a bit accentuated as well, which tends to magnify the fruit notes of sweet plums and figs. In the end this beer does not quite seem rich enough, though in its defense it is at the perfect level for me to be able to finish a 750ml in an evening. The finish has a light sharpness to it (a mix of carbonation, alcohol, and a bit of spicy yeast character), plus a phenolic note of clove.

This is definitely a beer I am happy to have a 750ml bottle of, allows for a quite evening; it is contemplative when I want it to be, and light enough to just add to the experience if I happen to be distracted by a book. Definitely a good beer, one which even grows on me over time; it almost becomes greater than the sum of its parts. (1,997 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says to drink before June of 2007. Pours with decent head, body is reddish brown. Some lacing. Smells quite vinous and malty.

Tastes like a dark tripel. Dark fruits, and grainy malt. Individual flavors are tough to pin down. Bready, and fruity. Mouthfeel is average, Drinkability OK. Other than Westy, this seems to be the rarest of the trappists. It is better than Chimay, but I am slightly disappointed. This is a good beer, its just not one of my favorites. Since I've not had this before, I cannot be sure, but I think a fresher sample would be better. (567 characters)

Photo of maxpower
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml capped bottle pours a cloudy brown color with a huge creamy light brown head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass. Nutty fruity aromas, flavors of spice, plums, figs, caremel and chocolate. Full bodied with a creamy, silky mouthfeel, finishes on the sweet side, alcohol very well hidden at 9.5%. (305 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this from a 750mL bottle. Tasted sweet but highly alcoholic, not nearly as good as I'd hoped for a high-end Trappist.

I'd been waiting to sample this for a while, but was disappointed once I tried it. Kind of run-of-the-mill for a Belgian Strong Ale. Just OK. the flavor was good but not outstanding or anything.

I guess I can't recommend it strongly. Go to other Trappist beers first. (396 characters)

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

Extremely dark tan-maroon. From any distance it appears purple brown. Genernally opague, and the pale beige head disappears with some haste.
The nose is all golden raisins, dates, carob, and cocoa.
Tastewise, it is more of the same. Up front is the dry, not-quite-chocolate-leaning yearnings of carob, augemented by dates, figs, plums, and raisins. Add unto this molasses and brown sugar. Next come yeast with its chalkboard and generalized breadiness. The fruitiness resides through the conclusion and there is little to speak of hop-wise.
Medium bodied with a thickish bodied partially alleived through CO2.
Pretty solid overall, even if It's not in the same class as things like St Bernie 12, des Rocs, Westy, or Rochefort. In it however, better than Chimay Blue (772 characters)

Photo of orfeu
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy brown with a ridiculous amount of yeast particulates floating around. Regal-looking off-white head with mesmerizing lacing. Aroma is cloves, caramelized fruit, figs, pressed apple cider. On the tongue: spiced and candied dried cherries, sugard figs, caramelized prunes, ground allspice. Slight alcohol burn at the end with a pleasantly buzzy finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and full -- simply magnificent. I could drink this every single night, although I'd feel absolutely gluttonous if I actually did. This bottle finishes quickly every time. Worth every penny. (570 characters)

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

BB 08-07. Nice and lasting head, and a dark brown beercollor. Nose is very fruity giving plumbs, apricot and overripe grapes. Some spicyness there also but delicately dosed and not overdone, Dark candysugar and good carramellic maltiness. Taste is sweet and alcoholic with very good candytaste and carramellic maltyness and well bittered playing harmonicly together with the alcohol in aftertaste. Fine mouthfeel IMO maybe litle alcoholic but well enjoyable with good taste. Well recomendable IMO but be aware of high alc% that gets you. (537 characters)

Photo of silver0rlead
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard to believe i can actually get this locally but it's true (thanks Pop The Cap). Pours a hazy deep mahogany with a nice tan head that retains as well as can be expected. Aroma is an intense blend of malt and fruit; scents of plum, currant, blackberry, raspberry, dark candied sugar, toasted bread, light clove, and some slight grassy and floral hops...extremely intriguing and near perfect. The taste easily matches the aroma, big fruit and malt flavors: currant, blackberry, fig, plum, raspberry, toasted bread, dark candied sugar, light clove and corriander spices, floral and grassy hops, and some fruity ale esters. Mouthfeel is thick and rich with light to medium carbonation and alcohol is present but doesnt detract from the experience. This is easily my favorite trappist so far; complex, rich and delicious this is definately something to seek out. (860 characters)

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