Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Trappist Achel 8° Bruin | Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

426 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Trappist Achel 8° BruinTrappist Achel 8° Bruin

Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
Belgium | website

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zerk on 01-14-2003

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 426 | Ratings: 811
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasantly surprising carbonation. White bubbly head. Bold Belgium yeast. Malt to start and Fruit and spice mid and end. Acidic aftertaste that could match food. Extreme popular with mates. Good full mouthfeel. Eat less and drink this.

Recommended over the blonde.

 267 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-clear dark iced tea color with a huge 4 inch light brown head that becomes a puffy island of foam on the top of the beer. The head on this beer is ridiculous. I poured the beer in a non-aggressive manner and the head just exploded. Small spots of lace here and there on the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark fruits, yeast, and some spices. Taste is of dark fruits (cherry, grapes, plums), grape juice, yeast, and spices. Beer is very carbonated and is very bubbly and crisp. There is a bit of an alcohol burn in the throat with each sip. Overall, this is a very nice dubbel but the alcohol burn is somewhat surprising.

 637 characters

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured cloudy dark brown into a goblet with a thin, beige head. The level of carbonation appears to be moderate from the amount of bubbles rising near the edges of the glass. It has good head retention and a thin layers of bubbles consistently remained on the surface.
S: There's an aroma of sweet, caramel, dark malts with slight notes of dark fruits and spices.
T: There's a lot of sweetness in the flavor, but it's balanced enough by the hops so as not to come across as being too sweet. Some hints of hop flavors are noticeable in the finish; as the beer warms up the overall taste becomes sweet, including in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very smooth given the level of carbonation. The level of smoothness increases as the beer warms up.
D: It's very easy to drink, particularly as it warms up. Any traces of alcohol in the taste are very well masked.

 886 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking brown color. The head is big and foamy. The lacing is pretty good along the glass. The smell of the beer is earthy, sweet and had just a touch of fruit and spice on the nose. The taste had most of the same elements, it started off sweet with some earth in the middle and just a slight touch of fruity spice in the end. The mouthfeel of the beer is a very smooth and drinkable. Overall this beer is very good but I'm still partial to The Achel Extra when it comes to these Trappists.

 521 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I absolutely hate it that it has taken so long to try the Achel beers. I haven't had a trappist ale that I haven't liked yet.

The beer explodes as it hits the bottom of the goblet with very active carbonation, and a volcanic head froms and prevents the 10 oz of beer from fully decanting. A deep burgundy hue with mild haze retains the foamstand well while leaivng an abundance of lacing on the glass. An ideal look for a Dubbel.

Candi-coated pilsner malts create a mouth-watering effect through sheer aromatics. Fruited with raisons, figs, dates, prunes, grapes, and apples. All with a sweet confectionate scent. Mild alcohol tart aromas blend well with phenolic peppery, spicy notes. Again, this all fits with the best Dubbels.

The candi-coated barley flavor continues well into the flavors and delivers a sugar cookie flavor with fruit punch esters and spicy, tart yeastiness that again, compiments the alcohols very well. Very round and complex flavors that come close to quinching my expectations of boldness- somehow, I want more.

As the carbonation promises, the beer is full, round and rich; expanding in the mouth with a dry, cotton-candy like sweetness. As the sweetness evaporates, the dryness and powdery textures make the beer whisp away effortlessly. A light coating of residual sweetness rests on the surfaces of the mouth.

This is one terrific beer; certainly fitting the high expectations of Trappist Dubbels.

 1,431 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an ice tea russet brown cloudy body with garnet highlights; very nice head with great retention and lacing

Smell: Caramel and candy sugar but not overyly sweet nose; a bit of bubblegum and a subtle touch of bitterness

Taste: Starts out bready and then the sweetness opens up; not cloying at all; a bit of milk chocolate appears mid-palate and a nice bitter, yeasty finish; alcohol is well-disguised

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin for a dubbel; frothy carbonation

Drinkability: Very drinkable but a bit understated compared to other dubbels; a nice broad range of flavors, however

 607 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale in my Trappist glass with a good inch of off-white foamy head with excellent retention. Aroma of roasted malt, sweet floral hops and unknown spices springs from my glass. Taste is somewhat spicy and well balance by the malt and the funky yeast. Overall, better then some other Belgian Strong Ale but not as good as Rochefort…

 364 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, with a dual-coloured label that is sort of reminiscent of the Taoism symbol.

This beer pours a mildly hazy, very dark orange brick amber hue, with a teeming tower of effervescent, densely foamy, and essentially puffy beige head, which settles rather slowly, leaving a multifaceted network of webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of somewhat tart, acidic apple and cherry wine, softly roasted caramel malt, bready yeast, dark musty orchard fruit, and quite ineffectual earthy hops. The taste is more subdued, semi-sweet apple, wrapped in a slightly charred caramel malt, some earthy, spicy yeast, fleshy, overripe fruit - think bruised banana and wet figs - low-test red wine, and soft earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is on the low side, quite understatedly frothy, the body medium-full in weight, generally smooth, and perhaps a touch creamy. It finishes with a small drying flourish - alcohol and fruit esters clamping down on the increasingly wan malt, yet providing adequate balance.

A pretty agreeable dubbel, maybe a bit sweet up front, but hardly a runaway sugar or booze bomb, as it does well to mask the 8% ABV, making this slide down oh so enjoyably. Good stuff, overall.

 1,207 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice purple-brown color with a good off white head. Nice lacing spots. Nose brings dark sugars with a tiny amount of roast as well as spice and a bit of booze. The taste is raisins, dates, other dark fruits as well as caramelized sugar, some booze, and caramel. Nice medium mouthfeel with low-ish carbonation. Drinks quite well. Good, not great, beer.

 381 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, yet dark amber color with a two-finger, off-white head of foam. It had some nice retention and left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruits - mostly raisin and plum. Good maltiness with hints of chocolate.

T - It tasted quite malty with strong raisin and plum flavors. A touch of apple. Overall, it's sweet with a touch of bitter hops.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a mild alcohol warmth.

D - This is a really nice dubbel. It is fairly easy drinking despite its high ABV.

 549 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Trappist Westvleteren stem-goblet (the smaller model) in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given its reputation, the style, and its status as a trappist brew. I believe this is me first beer from this abbey brewery. Imported by the Shelton Bastards.

Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Served a bit warmer than refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

I couldn't find a bottled on or best before date.

Poured just fine from the bottle with no difficulties.

A: Pours a 3.5 finger head of nice cream, glistening beige colour, good foam, good thickness, and great retention considering the ABV. Colour is a semitransparent chestnut amber-copper. No yeast particles are visible - though this is the top of the bottle's contents. Colour is vibrant if understated. No bubble show - though none is expected for the style.

Sm: Biscuity yeast, plum, fig, cream, clean malts, biscuit malt, a hint of candi sugar, fresh red and green apple, very light floral hops, and some other indistinct fruit esters I can't quite identify. A very subtle mild strength aroma. I'm intrigued.

T: Dried fig and plum are the most notable notes. They rest atop clean unobtrusive malts with no caramelization or toasting to distract from the subtle fruit character. Cream is buried in the layered malts. Hopping is light, with vague floral notes and even a light bitterness hinted at on the climax. Hints of crisp apple emerge in the third act and finish. Biscuity yeast rounds out the flavour. Nicely balanced and built if somewhat muted. Westvleteren 8 is far more evocative, but the fruit notes here are nice, especially when accented by the yeast. I get some mild spice (likely from the yeast). Well built and nicely subtle. Complex enough. I like it.

Mf: Dry throughout, which does reduce its drinkability but helps bring out the flavours. Gets wetter in the third act. I'd prefer this structure reversed. Somewhat coarse. Slight subtle cream. I find it too dry, but it is nice. Nicely carbonated. Very delicate.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but too dry. I'd have it again, and I look forward to having more beers from this brewery. Hides its ABV extremely well. I'd quite like to try it aged.

Would pair well with crisp apples.

High B-

 2,417 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Boisterously bubbled hazy tawny capped by a light beige, frothycreamy head that filled the majority of the glass after the initial, gentle pour. Ragged ropes of lace appear as the foam gradually deflates, helping to solidify my more than positive impressions of the appearance.

Achel 8 Brune smells like a stand-up dubbel (none of this 'barely slid in under the tag after the shortstop bobbled the throw' shit). Badly bruised apples are the centerpiece of a fruity nose; nothing darker that that. I also get mild cocoa notes and just enough yeasty spiciness to make it interesting. The aroma is a wonderful melage of all of the best elements of the style. A bit bolder would be better.

Simply put, this is a very good dubbel, verging on great. It isn't as brash and bold as some, yet it's easily flavorful enough to impress the hell out of me. The thing that I like best is the depth of flavor. It's one of those beers that causes me to think 'I'll need more than a few of these to explore every nook and cranny of the flavor profile and I'll have great fun doing it'.

The beer is wonderfully brown malty, still fallen apple fruity and much more clove spicy than the nose implied. Hops have not been forgotten; bitter just does edge ahead of tart. Sweet has been left by the wayside and isn't missed. The exquisite balance is brought home again and again as I sip and savor.

The finish is moderately bitter and very close to clean. I'd describe the mouthfeel as light-medium and am pleased to report that it's nowhere near as active as I'd feared. Alcohol hadn't even entered my mind until I glanced at the label and saw '8%'. That has to be a misprint. It all adds up to one tremendously drinkable ale.

I enjoyed Achel Blond and I'm enjoying Achel Brune even more. Dubbels aren't among my top handful of favorite styles, but I recognize a beautifully brewed beer when I taste one. If you get the chance, don't pass up an opportunity to try a great beer from the smallest of the Trappist breweries.

 2,013 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy russet brown body swirls particles of yeast at the base of the goblet as its bubbles rise steadily to take their place beneath its full head of dark ivory froth. The head holds well, dropping slowly as you progress through the goblet, but leaves only minor lacing. The nose is more restrained than most of the beers from the other Trappist breweries, but it does offer some sweetish, sugar-cookie like malt, red grape-like fruitiness, and delicate alcohol. It's effervescent carbonation is fine enough (from bottle conditioning) that it tingles the tongue, rather than prickling it. And there's enough body to put it solidly in the "medium" category and smooth it out a bit as well. More fruit is present in the flavor (particularily in the finish), and the malt takes on more of a doughy character which gives it a little bit more depth, but the alcohol is also more intense. It lends a distinct peppery quality which teams with the spicy yeastiness to help balance the malt, but it's also a little bit hot as well. Additionally, some banana and hints of tropical fruit due to the higher alcohol esters become apparent as it warms but don't have enough intensity to lend any more depth to the beer. Instead, they kind of detract from what maltiness is there. Overall, it's a decent enough beer, but it's slightly out of balance with its higher alcohols and pales in comparison to their just slightly stronger Achelse Kluis (as well as many other Trappist and abbaye ales). A trepidacious thumbs up on this one... there are better beers available at better prices.

 1,571 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a rich amber color with about one finger of foam.

S: The nose is quite complex with yeast, caramel, dark dried fuits, and floral notes as well. A very complex nose.

T: Sweet caramel malt and plenty of dark dried fruits. There is some mild spice (clove is what I mostly notice), and yeast as well.

M: Medium bodied with a high level of carbonation and a dry finish.

D: Great mouthfeel and some nice fruit and yeast character to this beer. I did not used to enjoy the Belgian styles all that much, but this is a good step in the right direction.

 562 characters

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into chalice, best by 8/17/2012. Pours very hazy reddish brown color with a very nice 2 finger fluffy light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice foamy lacing clings to the glass, with a good amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of huge raisin, apple, prune, banana, pepper, candi sugar, caramel, earth, and yeast spices. Damn nice aromas with a ton of fruity complexity and nice balance. Taste of raisin, prune, apple, pear, caramel, biscuit, toast, pepper, earth, candi sugar, molasses, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light and dark fruits, bread, pepper, caramel, molasses, pepper, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Great flavor complexity and balance; no cloying flavors at all, very clean finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a fairly slick and crisp mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding dubbel! Great flavor complexity and balance; extremely crisp and easy to drink. An easy winner, really enjoyed this.

 1,112 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy dark brown in color with some garnet red highlights when held up to the light and some very light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a three finger tall dense creamy beige head that reduces to a medium sized thick patch, a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel malts, dark malts, and dark fruit (raisin and plum) - all contributing to the sweetness of the smell for this beer. Additionally there are some hints of spices.

T: The beer has some definite sweetness but it is pretty well balanced. As the beer warms, the sweetness becomes more pronounced. There are caramel and dark malts and dark fruit flavors (raisin and plum) along with some spices... Also, there is just a hint of hop flavor in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with high amounts of carbonation. Very smooth.

O: Very easy to drink and enjoyable. The alcohol is very well hidden and the flavors and aroma really continue to improve as the beer warms (and it was pretty darn good just after the pour).

 1,152 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge, five-finger head. Dies slowly and leaves lots of webby lace. Recedes in a rocky fashion. Leaves a solid froth dome that extends well over the glass! The liquid is brown and clear. Simply put, a 33cl bottle fills a 20 oz glass, most of which is head.

Dark malt aroma, reminiscent of chocolate ice cream

Strong alcohol and darker malt flavor on the initial sip. There's a bitterness present from light hop. Overall, this is a sweet offering. The aftertaste is short lived for the style. Good blend on the swallow of sweet-bitterness. Rich bodied with a low carbonation. Warm alcohol finish.

 596 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby with a massive head. Nose is light with almost a floral touch. Taste is thick and flavorful with a robust malt edge. Mouthfeel is full of carbonation and overall this one is extremely drinkable. Watch out for the sediment on the bottom as it seems to kick the bitter up quite a bit. Overall a very good brew and one worth drinking again. (though it does not have any unusual or unique characteristics)

 419 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light, reddish brown color, firm, proud, thick off-whitish head, lace-leaving.
Aroma: nutty, slightly sweet, minor caramel notes, small hints of spice, cocoa.
Taste: big, hoppy blast, quickly replaced by a full-ness of dark, rich malty flavors that totally dominates the palate. Rich, chewy, yeasty, sweet, just a trifle complex, even. A delicious melange of dark flavors, a well-matched blend of hops and malt. Very tasty. Medium to full in body, chocolatey finish, though brief, and overall enjoyable. Not a bad dubbel, but not spectacular. And tremendously overpriced in this instance, a whopping $5.69 for the bottle. Glad I tied it, but I won't be going back, when I can find dubbels just as good or better for a better price.
Make no mistake, though, a really tasty beer here!

 785 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ouncer, pours clear Dubbel brown, head is initially huge, then slowly receeding, loose and frothy, leaving a thick collar and thick film and some spots of thick stick and areas of sheeting. Bread, brown sugar and ripe fruit nose. Sweet malts, more fruit, and notes of vanilla, alcohol, and rum. Yummy stuff. Warming, complex and flavorful. A nice treat (Expensive @ $5.99 for the teeny bottle)

 398 characters

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Abe's for $5.25. Not a bad monk-made beer. This is a fine abbey ale. Very smooth flavors and very drinkable. I would have liked a little more pop from the taste, but the caramel and spice are quite pleasing to the senses. I might like to see what a couple years of cellaring could do. If it weren't cost-prohibitive (at least for me), this would be a dangerous beer.

 388 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured with the yeast. It sits in my tulip glass a rich, hazy amber color and is topped by a thin head. The aroma is lightly spicy, but is dominated by rich bread-like notes, dark fruit and malt. The taste is quite rich and flavorful, yet remains light and dry on the palate.

 289 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice a dark brown color, nice carbonation, got alot of floaties in this bottle (my first time ever), huge two-finger plus creamy tannish head, lots of sticky lacing followed. The nose is malty, with some figs, raisins, plumes, and some caramel. The taste pretty much follows the nose. The alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body. Drinkable, did not like the floaties, but it still tasted pretty good.

 418 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay goblet

A: Very dark, hazy ruby brown (almost looks like apple butter) color with a massive, fluffy rocking tan head that has nice retention, slowly dissipating to a thick film. Thick, clumpy lacing coats the inside of the glass.
S: Strong aroma. Slightly sour, citrus like, and ripe fruit (apples). Some malty sweetness and spice.
T: Sweet malt and belgian-y yeast with a slightly sour, lemon citrus. Very smooth and balanced flavors. Other flavors include ripe dark fruit, caramel and some earthy graininess.
M: A little thin and water like in the body, but very smooth and flavorful. As this warms up a little more of a warming alcohol presence in the finish.
D: Very nice, balanced, slightly sweet flavorful dubbel with well hidden alcohol. Slightly thin in the body but very rich flavor compensates for that nicely.

 860 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light to medium amber, much less of a head than the blond, but still good retention, some lace.

S: Sweet dark pastry bread and brown sugar, hint of ethanol.

T: Orange comes out a bit initially, but then I get bombarded with dark fruit, plum heavy, brown sugar, light notes of chocolate even. Fruitcake.

M: Medium-bodied, slightly sweet finish. This one shows the booze a bit more on the back end compared to the blond, soft creamy frothy carbonation.

D: A very good dubbel in a style that I've seen a lot of mediocrity in. Doesn't stand out to me as much as the Blond, but there's a lot of good flavours here and well worth a pickup.

 666 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
92 out of 100 based on 426 ratings.