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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.

211 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 211
Hads: 445
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 128
Gots: 55 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse visit their website

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: 445
Photo of claspada
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burgundy red color with a large, soapy khaki head.

Aromas being with dark candy sugar and equal dark fruits. As it warms I get more of the bready base malt and some increading plum and red apple skin; emerging alcohol as well.

The tastes begin with bready, grainy maltiness with emerging candy sugar sweetness that help to balance the slight alcohol kick. Dark fruits, mainly fig, plum and grape skin emerge as it warms.

The mouthfeel is full medium-full bodied with medium-high carbonation. Finish is big and bold with emerging spicy yeast flavors that work well with the high effervescent carbonation.

Overall this is a good example of a traditional Belgian Strong Ale. Nothing to out of this world of revolutionary, just a solid from one of the Trappist legends. More tempered as far as the spiciness goes which I appreciate and enjoy over the examples with too much yeasty flavors.

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Photo of papat444
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
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!

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Photo of meatmallet
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a thick tan head. Lots of chunky sediment in the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Caramel, dates, rasins, and figs. Fairly sweet.

Taste: Rasin and fuit with some caramel. The still frothy head disolves as you drink it. Sweet and a little bit bitter. Light chocolate taste in the end.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Lively carbonation and a light body make this an easy beer to drink.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Bottled 10/16/2009, I think. Bottle was getting quite old so I opened it.

Appearance - Deep brown with a bit of murk. Builds a nice head as I pour it, as many Belgian darks do. Thick collar as the khaki head recedes.

Smell - I always find it difficult to describe these aromas. It's not caramel, it's much fruitier, but it has a brown sugar tinge to it. Definitely some heat to this, too. Not a sweet aroma.

Taste - Much fruitier right up front. Touch of sweetness. Dark fruits give way to quite a bit of earthy and slightly bitter flavors. Some oxidation could be the cause of the bitterness. Not as boozy as the nose.

Mouthfeel - It is just a little bit thin. Oxidized and bitter, but still a nice drink. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Probably should have drank this sooner. Kept at 55 degrees for 3 years or so, but still showing some age. Still quite a good beer, though.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Nut brown color with red-orange hues. Some haze. Khaki-colored head retains at two inches for the duration. Thick, chunky lacing coats the glass.

S: Coffee cake, cinnamon, caramel, glazed nuts, hint of cocoa. Black pepper. Musty yeast. Hint of herbal hops. Candi sugar. Pear and nectarine esters. Whiff of alcohol.

T: Nutty, cocoa, burnt sugar, cola, some coffee roast. Malty and layered. Very herbal mid-palate. Tea and tobacco. Musty yeast is an anchor. Phenols get peppery and a little smokey. Fleeting dark fruit candi sugar flavors. Hints of tangerine and tropical esters. Spike of rummy alcohol toward the back. Trailing nutty and cola tastes on a long finish.

M: Medium thick body with rich malty textures. Coating and almost syrupy, though the attenuation prevents it from being sticky. Light creaminess. Prickly and bitey carbonation lifts it. Firm but gentle alcohol warmth.

O: It's perhaps a little more malt-driven than most of the other Trappists and seems just a little less complex though it hits all the marks. There's an overall dessert type of feel to it with all the layered malt flavors and richer textures, but the high attenuation prevents it from getting too big and sticky. Though it isn't quite as awe-inspiring as its other Trappist brethren, it still upholds the lofty standards of the Trappist emblem.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Achel Brune Extra pours up frothy, lively & lacy into an official Trappist Achel goblet. The off-white colored head is creamy & tall and sets off the reddish-amber to chestnut-brown body perfectly. The big bouquet is very complex with lots of earthy, fruity and spicy notes along with some noteable cream sherry overtones. Hints of green banana, carmelized pears, dried figs and hot raisin bread come to mind. The flavor isn't quite as complex as the nose, but starts off with a big flourish of caramel, chestnuts and fig with some yeasty bread character mixed in for good measure. A nice, gentle spiciness takes over midway and carries the brown sugar maltiness along. A touch of Poperinge hops in the background offers a balanced bitterness which dries out the slightly "hot" finish. This is simply a satisfying brew that any Belgian beer lover should seek out. No doubt, this one is destined to be a new classic! Pair generously with a nice ripe Bruges cheese, crackers and freshly cut Bosc pears.

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled shared with Amyliz4. Served in a Mikasa goblet.

Pours a brownish-red color with a good off-white head and quite a bit of initial lacing. The head is fairly stable with pretty good retention. Eventually this falls into a thin collar and a cap comprised of a few bubbles. The nose is really nice and sweet at cellar temperature with plenty of dark fruits, toffee, and some dates. Caramel-like sweetness abounds.

The flavor is a bit more mellow and subdued. There is a bit of bitterness and the sweetness isn't nearly as strong. There are some dark fruits and a bit of a toffee presence, but not like what I was finding in the nose. Not nearly as complex, but still quite good. Bitterness is a bit out of place. Slight bitterness mixing with the alcohol is a bit strange, but I can work with it. Low carbonation and a medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty beer and I'm glad to finally try a bottle of this.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of dherling
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of taylor12k
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into two tulip beer glasses (sharing with friend)

poured a cloudy amber with a big, soft head that dissipated within about a minute or two.

we had it on the nose for a long time. we both agreed on really strong honey with strawberry overtones.

taste was honey as well with extended honey aftertaste. thick flavor, not very dry.

now, for clarification sake.. i'm not a fan of belgian beers and would have rated this one a bit lower, simply because i'm not always into these sweeter types of beers. my friend, on the other hand, loves belgian beers and felt it was above average... right up there with the best.

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Photo of clickpush
4.1/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of midnite2sixman
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish orange with a nice foamy head. The nose on this is belgian yeast delight, figs, fruity bread and raisins.

The taste is sweet and smooth up front with raisiny and ripe fruit on the tip of your tongue.

Easy, typical belgian taste on your tongue.

Drinkability is pretty solid on this one.

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

Long complex and notable dark ale.

Presentation: 750 ml capped green bottle. Bland label with the name of the brewery in burgundy, cream and white. .Side notes offer small description noting intent and background. Shows notched best by date 16 N 12, and Alc. by Vol. (9.5%). Served circumstantially in a tulip glass.

A - Deep ruby brown pours, generous head, good retention, fair surface memory, with some touches of some lacing.

S - Very sweet and fruity nose, long sense of figs, prunes and yeast woven in…

T - … sugar. Very sugary at first with the complex dark dried fruit spectrum unfolding shortly thereafter. Reiterates a rather sugary if well integrated narrative as it settles that leads to a complex range of port/dark fruit/vinous notes, dark caramel..

M - Medium-full body with generous carbonation.

O - Plenty of complexity, yeasty fruitiness leaning on its sweet edge. A snifter for this next time…

Notes: Almost the last Trappist brewery I had to try.
and it is well in line with the expected quality for the denomination. This fists well with the range of most reserve quads/specialty strong dark ales. Nice offering worth the memory and repeat.

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Photo of drpimento
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great appearance with a huge foamy, tan, long lasting head, plenty of lace, and a slightly hazy, brown amber color. Aroma is figs, dates, raisins, malt, toffee, caramel. Flavor is sweet up front then the aroma characteristics, then a few odd tastes. Body is good. Finish has those odd tastes along with some residual sweetness giving it a medicinal cast. But overall, very good.

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Photo of bashiba
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy dark amber/copper in color with a finger tall light beige head. The head reduces to a thin layer that covers the entire surface along with some thicker patches and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Lots of sweet dark fruits with some hints of caramel and some malts as well. Not as complex as the flavor but still quite good.

T: Some very nice malty sweetness with hints of dark fruit and caramel sweetness. Nice complexity to the flavor of this beer. Really enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Really smooth and creamy.

O: Extremely enjoyable an definitely one of the top beers in this style. I could easily enjoy this beer many more times in the future.This beer has a really great flavor and wonderful smell.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep mahogany brown with a huge frothy tan head. Lacing left all over.

S - Sweet pils malts, fruity esters, quite yeasty. Light boozy alcohol detrcted.

F/M - Very complex. Caramel, over-ripened fruits, plums, prunes and raisins. Sweet up front, but a little spicy in the finish. Alcohol flavors in the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness, medium bodied with moderately high carbonation.

D - Overall this is an excellent brew. Complex yet comparably easy-drinking. A definite sipper.

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Photo of corby112
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dar amber/ brown color with a nice light beige colored head. Aroma of dark cocolate malts, spices, aplle, grape and alcohol. Spciy and carbonated up front with a lot of chocolate maltiness, sugar cane, and dark fruits providing a peppery dry finish. Hints of raisin, dark cherries, plum and sugar cane. Very tasty!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

achel extra is awesome stuff, lost maybe in the hype and availability of some of the other trappist stuff, this is positively delicious. in the zone between dubbel and quad, this molasses colored beer has a tall and lasting white head of tiny little bursting bubbles that prickle the nose as i smell its deeply caramelized sugars and zesty belgian yeast. a hint of green bottle stink to it, i wish such awesome beers could stop going in these bottles, but it seems destined to be a belgian beer problem forever. raisin and maple flavors to the grain, a bread crust character too, and then its all yeast. its so different than the other trappist strains, and has less of the fruit and more of the spice too it. it has an ancient aura, a feeling of timeless growth and maturation. white pepper and even a hint of cinnamon to it, like a good baked dessert, long zippy finish, dry for how big and sweet this starts, and no alcohol flavors at all, not even at ambient temperature. special beer, worthy of more hype i think, it stands up to any of its peers extremely well, and somehow stays light on the palate and drinkable. a 750ml bottle of this is not more than i want in a given sitting, its just right.

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Photo of ATPete
4.14/5  rDev -3%
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...

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Photo of DaveBar
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the LCBO for $3.30 for a 330ml bottle. Nice round numbers!!

A- Very good. Nice dark brown. Nice head that films out in a minute. This one was in storage for 1yr

S- Very good. Lots of malt. Good caramel. Figs

T- Lots going on. Mellow and rich. Good blend.

M- Still has a lot of carbonation. Excellent tongue when that wears off

O- Excellent brew. Have a few in the cellar for later so I'm happy

Food Pairing

This nice brew went well with...... Braised lamb shank with root vegetables in a balsamic reduction


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Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
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)

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Photo of BobZ
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of Crosling
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Kulminator in Antwerpen, Belgium.

Ruddy Brown.

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

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

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