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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no score

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Reviews: 211
Hads: 441
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 6.34%
Wants: 117
Gots: 51 | 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 Damian
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 75 cl/1 pint 9.4 fl oz bottle
Best before end 2 09
Acquired in a trade with yllwsmly
Served in a chalice

The beer poured a deep, dark, semi-transparent mahogany color with a creamy, tan colored, one-finger head that faded to a clingy, resilient film. Some spotty lacing stuck along the glass.

The aroma was incredibly spicy and smooth. Ultra fruity, phenolic and sweet with a distinct Belgian yeast quality. Strong notes of clove and brown sugar were apparent as well.

The taste was rich, full-flavored and rather complex. Sweet, smooth and fruity up front with a noticeable booziness. Dark fruits (dates and figs) and brown sugar came through strong. Woody with dark candi sugar and rich malty notes. Quite spicy in the center. Clove was most apparent. The semi-dry finish was a mix of tangy (candied orange peel) and sweet (brown sugar, once again) flavors. Sweet, sugary notes trailed in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was light and fluffy on the palate. Somewhat sudsy with a lively, spritzy effervescence. Nearly cloud-like.

Drinkability was quite good. Although I felt the alcohol prowess of this brew, it was not overwhelming. Remarkably, as the beer warmed, the alcohol presence seemed to subside.

This is truly a delectable treat, perfect for savoring on a cold winter night. (1,302 characters)

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 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 ales4baldo
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P-Simple Trappist bottle. Standard label with the authentic Trappist product logo.

A-Poured thick. Got about a nice finger and a half of head that seems to fall off quick. Must cocoa brown with a coffee appearence. Cloudy and foggy.

S-Like with most Belgian's, lots of yeast and malts and candy. Dont really get much smell as it all seems to hide beneath the carbonation.

T-Oh wow, what you cant smell is made up in flavor. A delicate balance of all things good. Malts and candy seem to be up front. Yeast and grains seem to linger about. Come through strong and finishes soft.

M-Really smooth beer. Very smooth. Delicate and precise. I really like the heavy malt prescense in this one. Has a very quick finish and no linger at all, also finishes really dry.

O-A really good beer. I like the crisp quick draw this beers has so as to forget what you had and makes you want more. Smooth and subtle in so many ways with upfront flavors. (943 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark crimson chestnut brown with a nice head of off-whiet foam. Good LLR - Legs, Lacing, and Retention. Aromas of dark fruits, figs, candy sugar, sweets, deeply complex dark malt, and dark fruit, as well as faint herbal hop. Taste is big malty dark fruit, a bit spicy and yeast with a faint herbal tinge of hops. Mouthfeel is creamy and mouth filling. Drinkability remains great. A classic. (390 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 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 spointon
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml green bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice glass. Produced a super-carbonated gusher when bottle was opened.

A= This ale poured a dark murky brown color with a 1.5" creamy tan head. The head retained quite a while and eventually settled to a thin skim. Nice sticky lace left behind on my glass.

S= A nice malty sweet aroma started things off, with notes of pumpernickel bread, candi sugar, and dark fruit all present. There was also a great Belgian yeast character in there too.

T= Very much like the aroma with a bread, treacle, and all around malty sweetness leading into a nice fruit and estery middle. Big flavors or raisins, plums, and dark berries. The yeast character was all Belgian but not terribly musty or funky. Finished a bit sweet with very little alcohol presence.

MF= Medium bodied with a fairly soft feel despite the high amount of carbonation.

D= There are Belgian Strong Dark Ales I like better, and other Trappist ales I like better, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is a delicious, world class ale. Though I split this bottle, the alcohol stayed dangerously hidden and I believe I could have taken down a bottle or two by myself if I was in the right mood. (1,221 characters)

Photo of marburg
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (982 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gavroche tulip. Pours a dark., murky red-orange brown with a big, fine three finger light tan head with excellent retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark stone fruit, apple, clove, Belgian yeast. Flavor follows with caramel malt, dark and light stone fruit, apple and pear juice, clove, cinnamon and other earthy spicing, brown sugar, finishing with a semi-sweet, slightly sour burst of fruit flavors with light peppery spice from the clove and maybe hops. Beautifully integrated and flavorful. Medium bodied with really nice peppery carbonation that complements the spicing. An excellent, well balanced, complex Belgian dark that is very flavorful. The taste seems a bit subdued at first compared to the two top well-known Belgian strong ales, but the flavor builds and gets more interesting throughout the taste. Complex flavor covers the ABV well, making this a dangerous ale because it continually invites tasting. World class. Glad I finally got to try this rare beer. (1,005 characters)

Photo of yapi
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say one of those hidden gems in the trappist beer section... wonderful full flavors, so much better than the regular bruin, it's not even funny!

I have a lot of experience with drinking aged westy's - easily amongst the best beers in the world - and this one reminded me a lot of the best westy bottles I've ever had. I had the same amazingly balanced caramel and honey notes, next to the well known dark fruit/candy sugar notes of course, and well, then I'm sold.

A killer beer, and even though it's already high up in the ranks, still underrated. (559 characters)

Photo of roadhouse
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a Piraat tulip

Pours starts off bad, a big gusher and I couldn't get the cap off to pour it in the glass, so a slight mess. Once it's in the glass though it's a deep brown. When held up to a light lots of chunky sediment is noticeable and it's more of a hazy red color. The head is about one inch and it retains well as a skim. Lots of lacing is left on the glass as well.

Aroma is slightly sweet like brown sugar, a pretty heavy dark fruit character of raisins, prunes, and figs. A bit of yeasty, breadiness and a very light spicy character.

Taste is sweet up front again like brown sugar. A hint of molasses. The fruit character is very strong again, mirroring the aroma of figs, prunes, and raisins. Again some soft biscuit and bread tones before a slight spiciness comes in and rounds out the flavor profile. Lingering sweetness, fruit, and spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, very smooth and creamy with the slightly high carbonation. Very drinkable.

I had been putting this one off for a long time, I constantly saw it for $20 at one place and refused to pay that much and another place had it for $15. I still didn't wanna go for $15 but I did last night, and damn am I glad I did. This is one of the best trappist beers I've had, and I have had almost all of them now. Highly recommend this one, I'm not sure it's as rare as the sparse amount of reviews seem to suggest, but pick this one up if you can. (1,447 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is so good, the look of the beer is very nice. It pours from the bottle as a dark red color with some brown hues. The aroma is sweet like caramel and some fruits in there too. The flavors are sweet, dry and complex. Every sip is so enjoyable. The mouthfeel is medium to light, not overly thick at all. Achel Extra is overall very good and is great all around. (369 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 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 Mar02x
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A brown ale hanging in my glass with carbonation bubbles racing to the surface. A fluffy beige cream floats on top of a bit hazy fluid.

S - This smell like Westmalle yeast, a bit like Westvleteren 12 too, nutty and raisins.

T - A perfect brown ale taste, creamy, nutty, candy sugar sweet, raisins and figs.

M - A soft to medium carbonation, just a touch of bitterness and just a touch of alcohol.

O - A very good, what? A dark ale? It is more a quadruple, almost, if not, the same as Westvleteren 12! (508 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours brown/black-can't see through with a thick, firm tan head that lasts and with full complete lacing.

Light nose of Ripe peaches, apricots with hints of pineapple.

Mouthfeel is wonderful bold, creamy and thick with flavors of malt, banana, cream and cooked fruit. Nice malt character in a very well balanced, high quality Trappist Extra.

This beer is wonderfully made and very inviting. It may well be perfectly balanced. Finish of banana, cooked stone fruit and an end finish of butter. Really nice, all around brew.

I just served this beer to a friend who has consumed beer for about 40 years. While he is not a beer "afficionado" he just concluded this may be the best beer he's ever had. He may not be wrong! (723 characters)

Photo of acehart1
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, sampled on Jan. 22, 2011

Got damn. This beer is fantastic. The scent is other-wordly and the carbonation is what makes this beer special. I really have no basis to judge this beer since it has been a long time since I sampled the fresh example. Either way, this stuff is fantastic. I really enjoyed the aftertaste. This beer did not disappoint. (359 characters)

Photo of amiles
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an amazing beer! Found this at a local shop here in Chicago, West Lakeview Liquors. Never seen this in Chicago other than 'now'. Labeled best by... 07/08. 6th of the 7 Trappist breweries I can now check off my list.

Poured a dark ruby red with a massive head that was made to impress, into a Delirium Tremens glass. Waited and waited, enjoying the aroma's. The head slow retained itself into a tan froathy head that was like no other. The aroma literally made my eyes slightly roll back in my head each time I took a wiff. Lots going on with this beer... Quite impressive. This kept my interest all the way through, as most get boring towards the end. A bit different than the other Trappists. I was sad to see this one go. Savor this one... Exceptional beer! Sip it and pour small glasses... If you find it... Buy it! (827 characters)

Photo of Thrasher
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
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. (1,059 characters)

Photo of duracell
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Goblet.

Pours a dark brown color with a nice off-white creamy head which disappears rather quickly. It shows a very nice malt character with strong dark fruits aroma, yeast and caramel besides. Delicious caramel flavors, in addition to nutty and spicy notes. I also pick out some herbs. A bite of alcohol balances the relative sweetness of the candy sugar. The mouthfeel is just excellent, with a full body. In my opinion, the low carbonation suits perfectly this brew. Overall, this Trappist beer is just outstanding! It shows very complex aroma, an excellent drinkability and perfectly balanced flavors. (640 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 Lukie
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A rich dark brown, with a bubbly thick, mocha coloured, icecream head, which lingers an inch thick. It clings to the glass like a curvy woman to a tight dress.

A soft coffee, vanilla, almost warm mocha aroma, with hints of wild dark fruits. Very inviting on a cold night.

Ripe dark fruits, plum, raisin and slight sourness gives way to a velvety chocolate. Rich dark, smooth and inviting. It's like drink a fruit and nut chocolate, without horrible nuts :P
Rich, smooth, but nowhere near overpowering.

For a beer that is 9.5%, it's just magical. So easy to drink, but yeah an abundance of rich flavours that are not too heavy on the palate like some beers can be. I actually think this is what Trois Pistoles is trying to mimmick, but this does it a million times better (and given Trois Pistoles is bloody awesome!).

Fantastic beer. (837 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 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)

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