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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: 117
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 211 | Hads: 441
Photo of megahurts4
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Achel Extra

Appearance: dark brown, medium-small head, and good lacing.

Smell: dark fruits, subtle hops, and slight malts.

Taste: dark fruits (figs, dates, etc), slight malts, and a nice sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium and a bit of carbonation.

Overall:
This is a very nice Trappist. It has a good candy sweetness in the finish. It also is fairly carbonated. (364 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy caramel-brown color with a light tan head that dissipates quickly into a bubbly film.

Smell: Fairly [dessert-]bread-like aroma that's a bit sweet, with hints of roasted nuts, raisins, and some hints of alcohol.

Taste: Rich earthy malt flavor with some dark fruit (particularly raisins) and bitter sweetness. No real alcohol in the taste, but you can feel the warmth. Some slight astringent hints in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to full-bodied and generally smooth, with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Can definitely sense the alcohol, though it isn't really present in the taste. Tasty and pretty easy to drink.

A bit different for this style, as it isn't so dark coloured, has a warmer taste/feel, and has more raisins than other fruits. But, still an enjoyable one, and I'm glad I finally managed to get a bottle of it! (901 characters)

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

Poured from 75cl bottle to Rochefort chalice.

A: Strong dark tea and raisin color. Head was a nice off white, about 1/4 inch; seemed very thin. I generally hand wash all glasses because the dishwasher leaves a residue that seems to mess with the head. May have been too cold when poured. Second glass had a much better head.

S: Subtle hints of sweet caramel and molasses. Nothing harsh on the nose though. Balanced.

T: Has a "dark" flavor, maybe a coffee. Very smooth and has a nice tingle in the mouth and on the tongue. Get the alcohol at the end, but not without some sweetness. Maybe some brown sugar for the sweetness and that is where the "dark" comes in as well. Quite complex, but very good.

M: Just gets everything involved. In amazing experience. As mentioned above there is a nice tingle on the tongue. Nothing overpowering, it all works well together.

D: I could drink one of these every night, but at $18.99 a pop and somewhat rare in the southern Illinois region, it would be a bit impossible. It's an exceptional trappist yet again. I am somewhat biased because anything trappist I absolutely love, the monks know how to brew. Would recommend this to anyone at least once, but because of the price only. If it were cheaper and offered in a smaller size that would be even better. (1,299 characters)

Photo of xylophonica
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 75cl bottle into a chalice.

A - Dark ruby-brown colour. Minimal head.

S - Slight nutty & caramel aromas.

T - Sweet cacao flavours with a hint of nuts. Actually quite sweet, but with a fairly typical smooth bruin taste.

M - Sweet on the palate.

D - Pleasant to drink without being overly mindblowing.

I'd only ever had Achel once before and it was the blonde. This bruin was ok but really kinda average given the high standard I expect of Trappist ales. (476 characters)

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

25.4 Oz. bottle, Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice. Split with a buddy.

Appearance: Dark brown, head builds to a creamy 1/2" like the Bruin then also exhibits excellent lacing.

Smell: Beautiful, very deep, Belgian yeast, dark fruit, some sweet dark sugar.

Taste: Very nice, sweet, deep, dark fruit (raisin and plumb), hints of brown sugar sweetness.

Mouth feel: Excellent carbonation, silky smooth on the palate.

Drinkability: Very, very, Drinkable, ABV is completely hidden.

Exceptional quad/strong dark ale, falling just short of the St. Bernardus or Westvleteren class. (581 characters)

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

I must say that it is always a pleasure to drink any Belgian beer, much less one of this caliber for the very first time. True to Trappist Grand Cru fashion, this beer proves to be delicate, complex, powerful, and graceful all at once.

Fruity aromas begin with a grapey/raison flavor- met with figs, dates, and cola. Confectionate sweetness mixes with the malts for an appetizing and moutwatering delight.

The beer pours a medium brown, solid burgundy, rusty-hazy hue with light carbonation for a Belgian ale. A thin sheet of lace tops the beer and hands on to pockets of foam until the end of the session. Not the rocky head or effervescent carbonation that I'm used to seeing in stately Belgian ales.

The candied flavors of stone (dark, dehydrated) fruits continue in taste where the aromas layed off. Juicy plumbs, grapes, and apples turn to aged fruits of raisons, prunes, and figs as the beer warms. Light and herbal hops add to a balance against the powdered sugar focused malt sweetness. Cola nut and sweet rum give an insight to the rare intangibles that it takes to turn a great beer into a world class one. Savory and succulent thorughout.

Though sweetly textured throughout, the beer shows a sugary feel early on but then warms into a fleeting and powdery sweetness that morphs into sweet and dry alcohols and mild warmth- far lower than the impression of 9.5% abv. Simply effortless to drink, this beer exceeds all expectations. (1,444 characters)

Photo of cyrenaica
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle
9.5% ABV
I tried this beer on September 24, 2009 at "The beerbistro" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured out a murky brown colour with reddish hues and a thin white head. The aroma was malt, yeast, and plenty of dark fruit tones like plums. The mouthful was fulkl-bodied with medium carbonation. The flavour was plums and licorice with a hint of hoppy bitterness. An excellent beer. (404 characters)

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

Poured into a Chimay goblet from 75cl bottle.

A - Pours a very familiar murky and reddish brown with very minimal head that is off-white.

S - Very delicious yeasty aromas with some nice spice and good sweet malt plus some good sourdough bread aromas are present. There are nice fruit sweet hints. Pineapple, plums and some nice caramel as well. Nice clove as well.

T - This beer really shines in the flavor. Very nice and sweet caramel aroma with great dark fruits. Grape and some nice pineapple as well. Nice phenols and good yeast feel. There is some mild grainy breadyness that shines through at the end as the dry finish takes over. Very delicious.

M & D - Great medium body with nice CO2 which was surprising based on the head. Very nice balance and complexity at the same time. Delicious. Definitely a repeat but dangerous ABV.

Edit: As the beer warms the boozyness is SO very present. (898 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a chalice.

A: Light woody colour with lots of sediment. Quickly dissipating head with nice tracing and mild lacing.

S: Bready, malty, sweet. Pleasant and tantalising.

T: Wow. This is good. Much like other Trappist dark ales...Dark, malty-sugary, somewhat thick and heavy on the tongue. The hops balance excellently and serve as a counteract the heavier sweet flavours. Mm, this is really good. Aftertaste is sweet, then neutral, with a hint of bitterness.

M: Never grows old, sweet and heavy. Very enjoyable.

D: Wonderful! A little heavy and alcoholic, but this is forgotten after a few sips. Highly recommended.

23 September 2012 re-review:
Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Best before 8 August 2013.

4A: Light, almost white head. Good tracing; good lacing. The beer is dark, ruby brown with golden highlights in direct light.

4S: Pungent, alcoholic white grapes. Lightly tart, mostly sweet, very nice. Dark, wholesome bread fresh out of the oven.

4.5T: Yum! I'd forgotten how sweet and fruity this is. Almost like communion grape juice, but with a hint of alcohol and perfectly administered spice to balance the thick-sweet fruit. A consummate abbey ale, that's just a wee bit sticky (especially on the aftertaste) for a perfect score. A little jealous of my past-self, because there is no trace of bitterness in the beer I'm drinking. Maybe years of Double IPAs have skewed my tastebuds?

4.5M: It is sweet and heavy, but it never *does* get old.

4.5O: This bottle only gets a 4.5, but I don't begrudge the 5.0 rating. Absolutely recommended. (1,611 characters)

Photo of eric5bellies
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Achel chalice.

A - This beer pous a dark mahogany colour with a large off white head that reduces to a film and laces.

S - Lots of burnt sugars and spicey dark fruit.

T - Very earthy notes that are complimented with plenty of dark fruits and burnt sugars.

M - Medium body and carbonation makes for a great balance.

D - This takes the Bruin to a higher level and right to the top of what Belgian Ales have to offer. (433 characters)

Photo of jwinship83
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml capped bottle with a best by date of april 2011. drank from my chimay goblet.

A- this one pours out a murky dark brown colored body with a finger and a half of lasting beige colored head. complete rings of lacing are left behind. perfect.

S- sweet dark malts upfront. brown sugar adds to the sweetness. pretty fruity with pears, apples, plums, and raisins. a little bit of spicy hops at the end. im liking this one so far.

T- sweet dark sugary malts up front with a slight nuttiness to it. lots of sweet and ripe summer fruits. cherries, plums, figs, raisins, and pears. maybe some apple in here also. very complex.

M- light to medium bodied with a high level of carbonation, which is normal for the style. fluffy feeling, if that makes sense to anyone other than myself.

D- an extremely under appreciated beer. a little pricey at 18$ a bottle, but something ill go back and grab another of. very enjoyable. seek this one out. (941 characters)

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

A - Dark and cloudy mahogany and chestnut brown with a bit of a dark red hue and a good amount of yeast floating. Smaller than average tight, foamy head that settles pretty fast into a thin foamy lace that concentrates on one side.

S - Burnt brown sugar and molasses along with some caramel malt sweetness. Some dark and dried fruit covering all kinds of dark fruit. Some earthy, nutty and cocoa aroma comes out in the background. Some spices and yeast present, but not overly strong.

T - Similar to the nose. Strong burnt brown sugar and molasses sweetness along with some caramel malt. Dark fruit was present, but not dominant, or all that strong given the style. Mid sip brings some earthy and herbal bitterness along with a good amount of nutty and earthy flavors. Also touches of cocoa in the background. Sweet earthy nuttiness comes out stronger toward the finish. Just faint spiced and yeast flavor.

M - Medium body with a bit below average carbonation. Fairly creamy and smooth.

D - Very drinkable with some sweetness and very smooth and creamy. Nice mix of sweeter malt and earthy/nutty flavor. Very easy to drink beer.

Notes: Best before 16/07/11. Very enjoyable beer with good subtle flavors and a good amount of sweet nutty and earthy flavors. Dark fruit isn't as strong as others in the style, but is present. Very enjoyable beer to drink. Definitely worth getting. (1,383 characters)

Photo of jamie2dope
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We see this beer come through these parts every once in a while, so I figured it would be a nice treat to myself for working today when so many others were enjoying themselves watching the marathon. Achel Extra was poured in to my Westmalle chalice. Color is rose to burgundy, with a large amount of yeast sediment from the pour. Not much heading unfortunately, but the color is quite nice. The nose is chocked full of dark fruit such as plums, dates and figs, along with a good dose of chocolate and spice. More dark fruit and spice (cinnamon?) show up in the taste, along with some very pleasant rustic bread crust characters as well. It comes off as very juicy in all of the fruit flavor that is present. Mouthfeel is full and crisp, with no indication of heavy alcohol. This beer ranks highly with me amongst Trappist beers. Definitely worth a purchase from the smallest of the bunch. Cheers (895 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Boboski: Poured a deep brown color ale with a huge foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of cookie dough malt is just about perfect. Taste is also dominated by cookie dough malt with some nice sweet malt and a mild yeasty finish. Alcohol was well concealed with a nice full body. I thought this was somewhat reminiscent of Rochefort 10 but maybe a tad more light and not as complex but still very rewarding. (429 characters)

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

750ml into a Samichlaus Tulip. Split the bottle with a friend. Best by date of 3/10 notched into the label.

A: Dark brown with a very persistent head. Little floaties in the glass from the pour, even though I left plenty (~3 inches) in the bottle.

S: Beautiful Belgian smells. Dark fruit esters and wonderful malts, and the ever present Belgian yeast smells.

T: In many ways, this beer seems more subtle than its BSDA counterparts. I get the spices and the hints of citrus. A little orange zest, maybe? In all, a wonderful Trappist beer that I wish was found more easily around here.

M: Like most Belgians, this one isn't shy on the carbonation. Very full mouthfeel.

D: Sure, why not? The pleasant subtleties of this beer keep the intrigue coming, sip by sip. (764 characters)

Photo of ATPete
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

capped 750ml bottle, very old, best by date of 2/10 notched into the side of the label.

Had this beer about 3 years ago and wasnt crazy about it, lets see what time has done to this, my second least favorite Trappist ale...

Pours a very deep brown color, lots of floaters stay suspended in the beer a small brown head sits atop and clings to the walls of the glass. A rich malty sweetness in the nose, caramel, chocolate, bready and rather distinct Belgian yeast, rich dark fruit notes as well in the aroma. Great nose. Surprisingly soft and layered with complexity to the tongue, a rye-like spiciness tingles the tongue late in the sip. The 9.5% ABV is not apparent whatsoever. A lively texture, still bright with carbonation, dangerously drinkable. Everything i like about the style with an added sense of maturity. Age has done wonders with this one. Highly reccomended. I can no longer claim this one as my second least favorite Trappist offering... (955 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

750ml green capped bottle.

Pours into my tulip with a fizzy, billowing slightly off-white head. The beer is a hazy brown/amber/reddish brown.

The yeast is very powerful n the scent with hints of lemon. There is also some dark fruit scents like red grape, raisin, and prune. And also some hints of dark malts and caramel.

The taste is actually very similar to the smell. It is more astringent than most Belgian strong darks. There are a bit more spices in the flavor and I am definitely picking up some cinnamon-like character. It has just a bit of tartness which is welcome for this style. After the sediment is poured the tartness vanishes and loads of caramel and yeast goodness come to the forefront. It is one damn complex brew.

The mouthfeel is a bit too carbonated, that is the only real flaw of this beer.

Overall it is a great Trappist beer, I expected better but this is pretty good. (897 characters)

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

Capped 750 mL brought back from belgium. Split two ways poured into snifters, reviewed 7/20/2009

Ar: Caramel and honey sweetness, rootbeer spice, toffee, dark candy sweet, wet with light floral, tart hints, strong maltiness, sweet fruity alcohol

Ap: Thick chunky light tan head, dense, good/fair retention, lace, slight haze, deep brown with tan hints

F: Plum sweet, toffee and caramel sweetness, strong malty sweetness with good caramel/toffee and fruit, hints of tartness (good for the balance), taste dominated throughout by complex fruit and toffee with nutty earthy hints, light alcohol, tartness comes through in mid taste, ends drier and more crisp, doughy hints, faint mild spice (rootbeer), ends with drier toastyness but mostly sweet toffee and fruit throughout, very light solventy alc taste as it warms, prune, plum, *grapey, *earthy mellow hop, *bitterness helps balance

M: High fine carbonation, full/medium mouthfeel, clean end with alcohol warmth, viscous

O: sweetness is good but limits proper occasions for the beer, great maltiness (1,057 characters)

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

Yet another oddity provided by the awesome BA members of VT; cheers to whoever brought this rare bottle! The appearance was murky and mud-colored with one finger of sandalwood-colored head. The retention was decent as a collar but it left only spots of lacing. The aroma was of wood, caramel, toasted malt, toffee, alcohol and candy sugars. Pungent and complex. The flavors were similarly layered. Starting with a flash of sweetness I then tasted the heartier notes of wood, earth, toasted malt and bitter hops. Hints of leather, coffee and chocolate lurked underneath the dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar and sour apples. Tight and well organized. The coffee finish was dry and clean. The body was light which was a surprise, the carbonation was low and the mouthfeel was creamy. Dangerously drinkable and light despite the high alcohol percentage. A real joy to sample and an excellent example of the style. (910 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard some good things about this, glad to finally be able to try it.

Pours a nice glowing brown/red color with a finger of head that leaves some webby lacing.

Lightly spiced bouquet, with notes of dates and raisins and flowery Belgian yeast. Hints of alcohol heat, but not too much. Some caramel and vanilla as well.

Taste is very very nice. A good malt profile that is not overpowered by the spices. Lots of sweet raisin and dark fruit. Very well integrated. A bit of heat in the finish but not more than in other comparable beers of this style (BSDA, Quad, whatever you feel like calling it).

Mouthfeel is nearly full bodied with only a slight carbonation prickle. Drinkability is good, but 9.5% quads are best enjoyed in moderation and savored slowly.

The taste on this bad boy is right up there with the best in the style such as St. Bernardus and Pannepot and it is better than Rochefort 10 IMO. I'd love to do a side by side with Westy 12 but I don't think this would quite match up. Buy this beer, you won't regret it. (1,033 characters)

Photo of phirleh
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought this last April in New York City and it's the second last of the trappists I've yet to try (Rochefort is the last, it's in my cellar). I wasn't expecting too much, they are the most recent trappist brewery (1998) although they had brewed previous to WWI. I've heard average reviews of the Brune and Blonde, but I was completely blown away by this beer, I'm glad I chose the Extra. When the cap was popped it foamed like crazy, the smell was wine-like and fruity. The taste was similar, sweet with slight sugar, and a tangyness that reminded me of Duchesse de Bourgogne. The colour was a dark brown with a strong billowy head. Carbonation was typical of trappists, although not as prickly as some. I'll definitely grab this again, one of the top beers I've had. (769 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by thirdeye11.

Pours a brown color with a white head. Aroma is yeast and Belgian candi sugar. You also get some caramel. The flavor is caramel with a lot of malted sweetness. The alcohol is definitely present. Medium carbonation and extremely drinkable, even for 9.5 percent ABV. (296 characters)

Photo of Bisho
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quads are my favourite so this could have been a little biased but this is not your typical quad.

I have never been a real fan of Achel Blonde or Brune (I find them a little on the bland side) but this one took me by surprise...

A: Deep ruby brown and cloudy in appearance with a great fluffy head. Lots of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Smells more like a fruity wine. and this is where this quad lacks the typical sweet aroma; only the fig and malt overtones. However, it just makes what is to come even more special.

T: Exceptional! Not the typical sweet aftertaste of my favourite quad (Rochefort 10), it rolls off rather dry but flavoursome all the same! Lots of malt, spice and dark fruit. YUM!

M: Very well carbonated for a quad, lots of lasting bubbles that you can still feel long after it's gone. Somewhat similar mouthfeel to the Unibroue 17.

D: You must drink this at almost room temperature to get the most out of it. Never drink it too cold. A little bit of alcohol burn afterwards but this does not affect what is surprisingly a very easy drinking quad. More please! (1,094 characters)

Photo of garbercury
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. Not really all that impressed with their Brune and Blonde, but this beer is terrific!

A--Deep red-Mahogany with a generous head that gives it a very impressive appearance.

S--Veinus almost like a sweet wine, fruity.

T--Okay, the important part. As a fanatical fan of Quads, this is a terrific version. fruits like cherry and fig are huge in this beer but do not come off as cloying or overdone. Subtle enough that they stand out, but does not overbear. Alcohol is really masked in this one.

M--good.

D--Depends on your feelings of quads. Me, I am not scared to drink liberally but it could kill your pocketbook. This is a world class beer and worth of its "trappist" label.

Great beer in the same class, I dare say, as St Bernardus, Rochefort, and Westvleteren. Good stuff. Heard a terrible rumor this will no longer be imported to the US, say it aint so... (882 characters)

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

A - Voluminous, great head. Leaves fast to ring. Lots of persistent lace.

S - Briny, barny, sour in a sense, solid malt smell.

T - Solid malt core, fruity and lots of barn funk.

M - Medium body, lots of carb, good coat. Great balance.

D - Big beer, but nice. (262 characters)

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