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
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 211
Hads: 441
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 6.34%
Wants: 117
Gots: 52 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 211 | Hads: 441
Photo of stcules
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany color, with some floating bodies. Light beige head, quite creamy and compact.
Toasted malts, caramel, ripe red fruit, cheeries.
At the taste candy sugar, yeast, quite smooth. Bread crust, marzipan.
Quite variegated, sometimes the bread crus - yeast prevail, and just a seconf after, red fruit and marzipan.
Even dry fruits, and a light liquorice. Good. Maybe hints of blueberry. Carrob?
In the aftertaste again candy sugar, fruit. Some liquorice in the end.
Good beer. (482 characters)

Photo of chefscott79
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well I was super excited to buy this because I liked their blond so much.
I was not disappointed but not super stoked on it

Appearance:dark brown with a nice head...not as carbonated as some Trappist ales that I have had recently

smell:great malt smell and as it warmed more notes of dark stone fruits

taste:it seemed a bit mellow and I did not get allot of fruit notes as much as I did on the aroma...mostly just dark malt flavors(while good) it did not wow me...also did not have a bunch of estery quality's which I was expecting

mouth feel:creamy and easy to drink

drinkablity: super easy to drink a bit too easy maybe...considering the alcohol content (660 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very cloudy and not too dark -- dubbel color -- with a creamy tan head that sticks well. Smells are rich and inviting, with some dark spices and clay-like yeast notes on top, underpinned by rich, pruney fruits. On the palate, absolutely huge flavors all around. Big fruits first off, then things switch rapidly to yeasty chocolate malted milk and rich, smooth malt sweetness. Sharp spices crop up toward the end, along with more juicy, fruity sweetness at the finish. Complex and delectable. Mouthfeel is full of carbonation and thick malts -- it's a very filling beer. Alcohol is present in the taste and mouthfeel, but somehow that enhances things rather than detract from them. Overall, this is a fantastic dark Belgian ale. It's got everything you want from the style -- complexity, rich malts, fruity yeast esters, complexity in flavor and aroma, even some smoothness. Great stuff. (892 characters)

Photo of franksnbeans
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper and prune color with a thin pearl head that coats the sides and dies with very little lacing. Smells of fig and sweet malt. Taste has spice, dried fruit, fig, sweet malts. Feels full in the mouth with lively carbonation on the tongue. Drinkability is good but somewhat a sipper. Worth a try (312 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark reddish brown with decent clarity, but some yeasty chunks. The slightly tan-white head is large and aggressive out of the bottle and it leaves thick lace on the glass as it quickly settles down to a thin film.

S - Rasiny, with brown sugar and prunes. A little bit rosey/ fruity with alcohol and a slight note of herbal hops in the background.

T - Alcohol and dark fruit. Spicy, peppery notes and a hoppy, alcoholic finish with a lingering bittersweet chocolate flavor.

M - Thick and palate coating despite high carbonation, but it finishes nice and dry.

D - Not bad drinkability for such a strong, flavorful beer. The alcohol note is a bit harsh and some of the flavor is a bit muddy/ undefined, but the finish shows great promise. It seems like this beer could benefit a great deal from ageing (the one I had was presumeably only a couple of months old). (876 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL capped bottle.

A: The ale pours with a stunning muddy red, burnt siena color, much lighter than I remember. The body is noticeably hazy with a significant amount of sediment. The head was quite vigourous and thick, measuring upwards of 4 fingers.

S: Candi sugars and dark alefruits dominate the nose, creating a sweet swirling nose that is full of alcohol and bready.

T: The ale has a strong undercurrent of alcohol that really hits you square off the bat. Mixed with the alcohol is a bready, grainy malt body that serves as a base for the adjuncts. The candi sugar creates a noticeable sweetness that augments the alcohol kick. Dark alefruits provide further sweetness with a dry element that leaves the mouth slightly parched.

M: The mouthfeel is huge, full of thick deep flavors that never let the palate rest.

D: The abv is through the roof but well worth it. The monks have created a divine brew that ranks up there with Westvleteren, Rochefort and Chimay. (975 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 MrHurmateeowish
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml green bottle. Hazy dark red translucent body with a half an inch of light tan head. Smells citrussy and pithy. Tastes citrusy and roasty, as well as sour and slightly alcoholic. Nut and caramel show up after a few sips too. Very different from most other beers I've ever tried. Definitely grows on you as you make your way through it. An interesting complex beer that's definitely worth the try and that I'll probably get again. (434 characters)

Photo of shbobdb
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well holy-smokes.
t
This beer tastes fantastic!

It pours a rich ruddy brown with an impossibly long-lasting head.

The smell is delicious. Bready, with a strong vinous note, and some snap-crackle-pop esters mingling with booze that really melds with the malty-shebang.

The taste follows the smell. The beer definitely has a crapton of Special B in it, I'd stake my life on it. But I like that grape-y taste. And it blends with the dry, boozy beer creating a nice sweet/dry dichotomy. I like it,

The mouthfeel is pretty robust for a Belgian. I like it. Not too thick, not too thin, with really bombastic carbonation.

Yeah.

Definitely one of the best Belgians I have had. (688 characters)

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle (marked best before 7/2008) into the appropriate Achel chalice.

A: Pours a dark brown with an excellent light-tan head. Ruby red undertones are there as well and they show up much better when held up to a light. Lots of sticky lacing as well as a nice layer of head that remains throughout, contributing to the smooth and creamy texture of the beer.

S: Dark fruits: figs and cherries. A little bit of alcohol aromas as well.

T: Starts out with the sweet dark malts followed by lots of cherries, plums, and figs. Finishes with just the right amount of sweetness. The 9.5% is surprisingly nowhere to be found. Overall, a very nice strong dark ale with good, but not great, complexity.

M: Very good mouthfeel. It's well carbonated, smooth as hell as well as creamy.

D: Very drinkable due to the absence of the alcohol in the taste. It's very smooth and very tasty. I definitely recommend trying this beer but at $18 a bottle I don't think I'll be having it too often. (1,006 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 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)

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