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

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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
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Reviews: 427 | Ratings: 811
Photo of CStrife187
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a tasting glass. Best-by date reads 17 July 2014

A - Pours a soft brown with a reddish hew when held up to the light. Poured with a two finger head that fades quickly to one and sticks around from there. Leaves behind moderate lacing.

S - Fairly dry. I get clove and yeast with some faint earthy notes and a hint of fruit.

T - The yeast dominates this beer. Clove and dark fruit with only a hint of sweetness. A hint of bitterness in the finish. Slight alcohol warmth, but very smooth for 8%. Very dry and clean-tasting.

M - Started off feeling a little over carbonated. Carbonation fades slightly as it breathes. The feel seems to match the smell and emphasize the yeast character in the taste. A bit over-carbed for my personal preferences.

O - Quite good, and definitely worth picking up if you get the chance. I might not go out of my way for it, but I'm glad I have a couple to age.

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Photo of Cozzatoad
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, best before march 2014

A- Deep brown colour, reddish hints if seen through light. Slight off-white head, not as big as you may expect but still showing nice persistence and lacing

S- A bit subdued maybe but still good. Sweet mix of caramel and dried fruit notes, maybe a slight toasty hint. Very clean aroma

T- Clean taste as well like the smell suggested, not very much on the yeast side, just malt and alcohol playing together. Sweet malty notes (caramel, along with some notes of liquorice), dried fruits, a slight warming touch/estery spiciness from the alcohol

M- Body is not as dense as you may expect per style, but the beer still fills your mouth with very nice smoothness. Delicate carbonation brings a bit of life on the tongue. Mouthfeel and scarse yeast presence are giving this beer some kind of a "light dubbel" feel which i really like, cause it does not detract from the flavour at all

O- Nothing outstading. Just plain good stuff, perfectly balanced, definitely an easy drinker for the style

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma- Moderate Banana, light tart cherry, and hints of raisin, no hops and a very sneaky perfumey alcohol.

Taste- Peppery character is prominent, with notes of whorehound and dried cherry and raisin the finish. A more aggressive phenol/ alcohol profile than some other dubbels. Banana barely comes through in the flavor. All this of course darts in and out of a big caramelly malt center. A long, complex, dry, bready/ toasty finish.

Overall- Very intersesting and multi-dimensional palate experience that is well inside the conventional dubbel realm but offers an nusual combo of flavors. Least fruity example of the style that I have had, and dried fruit characters are very subdued. Characterisitically dry like Achel's other beers.

App- Hazy muddy brown character with low off-white head. Not that appealing really.

Mouthfeel- medium-bodied, lively, slight alcohol numbing

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Photo of deebo
3.66/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-Ruddy brown with brilliant red hues. A filmy off-white tan head with lots of lively CO2 bubbles. Heavy lacing.
S-Toasted barley malt with hints of vapory alcohol, not much else.
T-Rich toasted malt flavor with a fair amount of estery yeast.
M-Very nice heavy body with a warming finish. Creamy. High carbonation.
O-A solid Trappist ale, comparable to Westmalle, superior in the mouthfeel but lacks the complexity in the nose and taste.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to JYounger30 for sending this one as a part of the Birthday BIF! Served from bottle into a Trappist Westvleteren chalice. Poured a deep reddish brown with a two finger off-white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, bread, dark fruit, fruit, and subtle spices. The flavor was of sweet malt, bread, dark fruit, spice, fruit, raisin, and subtle toasted malt. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation (almost creamy). Overall this was a pretty good brew. I really like the components going on in this one in both the flavor and aroma. It was really well balanced and decently complex. If there would have been just a little more going on, this could have definitely been on a whole new level. A really well put together brew that I would suggest to anyone out there.

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Photo of marvmoreno
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

VERY thick magnificent head that seems to enjoy hanging out in the brew and doesn't seem to want to go away. Beautiful deep brown color

Sweet caramel, coffee, light spices and banana bread, faint smokiness

Starts with a symphony of malt, raisins and banana bread with a kiss of smokiness and sweetness. A beautiful burst of cinnamon and warm spices then comes up and perfectly accompanies the sweetness and does a good job of balancing it out. It ends in crescendo of spice, warming alcohol on the nose and a fruity bitter hop finish. Very lovely!

Slick and heavy but in a good way. Carbonation is perfectly subdued and does not get in the way

Absolutely amazing! A complex, perfectly balanced Dubbel that presents a myriad of different flavors together but manages to meld them together into a singular whole. All elements work in harmony together to give a beer that gives a truly pleasurable and albeit addicting experience! The only reason I'm sipping this beer slowly is its at a hefty 8% ABV, and I want it to last as long as possible!

Best served a bit warmer to let all the flavor and aromatics pull through

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Photo of keithmurray
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - took me about ten minutes to pour this, yielded so much head. Reddish mahogany color with tan/khaki head

smell - cocoa, cola, caramel, black licorice

taste - cocoa, yeast, caramel

mouthfeel - high carbonation, lighter side of medium bodied, flavors are well balanced, sweet, but not cloying, smooth finish

overall - good representation of the Dubbel style. recommended

Price Point - $5.69/11.2oz bottle

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Photo of Serge
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark brown colour with a medium beige head. Aromas of dried fruits with wood, leather, belgian yeast and som citrus. The flavour is reflecting the aroma and is dominated by the dried fruits, and some alcohol. Has a soft and slick mouthfeel, and a light bitterness. A good trappist ale that feels fresher than other trappist bruins.

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

Been is dated 20/08/11 so pretty much exactly a year old.

A: Pours a very dark amber with a big fluffy tan head. Fades slowly, leaving a full-on wall of fluffy lacing everywhere. Head retention is practically forever.

S: Lots of brown sugar and toasty bread. Some nuts and caramel to boot. Touch of banana and spices.

T: Malty and smooth. Lots of brown sugar, caramel and sweet belgian candi sugar. Touch of toast and nuts in there too. Some muted dark fruits, fig and plums maybe? Finish has just a touch of earthy, spicy bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, full and smooth. Lighter carb is nice.

O: A very nice dubbel. Most I find are very bland. This has quite a bit of complexity though it is almost purely malt. The nuttiness and toastiness is nice, almost halfway to being a sort of belgian brown ale really. I really enjoyed this one, very tasty, smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exploring some dubbels as prepare to give the style another go next week with homebrew.
Lots and lots of bubbles upon pouring. Could barely do a couple of ounces before nearly filled SN tulip with head. Darker amber, but not necessarily that dark for style. Very clear with continuous bubbles.
Soft yet persistent spicy aroma with malt more background. Intermittent layer of fruit and a stroke of alcohol.
Flavor is even more interesting than aroma with a nice streak of alcohol-ed fruit being the primary focus and the rounding off with spice and malt. The flavors lay wonderfully on the tongue as the ample dryness slowly tries to sweep away the enjoyable flavors - fortunately unsuccessfully for quite awhile.
Remarkably all that carbonation does not render the feel uncomfortably in any way. In fact, it seems they rapid activity seems to dissipate the bubbles leaving a smooth quality and a firm malt body.
I can see why this in one of higher rated dubbel beers. Unique and enjoyable flavors, nice feel and high, but probably dangerous, drinkability. Nice beer.

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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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 3/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a cloudy brown with a big white head that fades but leaves lacing. Complex aroma of dark and light fruit, caramel, Belgian spices. High carbonation. Sweet dark fruits, spice and caramel start and middle with a somewhat bitter metallic finish, probably because of the carbonation. The bitter finish is well balanced. A very nice dubbel. Will be back to revisit this ale.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 07/29/2010. 11.2oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk tulip.

Carbonation seeking up over the lip of the bottle alarmed me, but it formed a stiff peak and never dripped over. Pouring it in slowly still yielded four fingers of a lovely bone-colored head. More stiff peaks formed with a volcanic shape well above the lip of the glass. Bigger bubbles pop and crackle as the head recedes and the foam laces the sides of the glass. The body is ruby-brown with cloudiness. Decent clarity was compromised by the last of what I was willing to decant from the bottle. Few beers look this good or better.

Dark raisiny aroma that isn't compounded by sweetness. Nuttiness from the yeast cuts back some of the dried medley (dates and figs). Dark breads, plum, and a malty liqueur character all included. Interesting floral notes (like cherry blossoms) that cannot be from any remaining humulus presence. Not a particularly lively nose for a dubbel. The age may have deadened some of the volatiles.

There's a spicy quality to the yeast. Blanched nuts, toffee, dates, raisin, dark bread, and a prominent alcohol note that contributes to the prickle. More bitter in the backend than most in its style. Finishes fairly clean (all considering) with light booze lingering. Browning apple flesh appears in the middle as it warms up. All adds in to the caramelized candi sugar element.

Velvetine body with impressive carb still remaining in the bottle after a good five or six years. An elegant drink.

Achel Bruin is a fabulous dubbel in the context of the style. It's held up remarkably well with 8% ABV backing up that claim. No oxidation notes, whatsoever. Highly recommended for advocates of Belgian beer.

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

330ml bottle. Achel Chalice glass. Revisited on jul´12. Reddish brown in color. Light tan, medium size bubbled, close froth. Slowly dissipated crown leaves spots on sides & a nice lacing layer on top. Toasted malt & Belgian yeast aromas, hints of prune, toasted bread, candies & phenolic alcohol to the nose. Caramel & sweet malts at first sip followed by sugary, fruity & biscuit flavors. Full body. Moderate carbonation. Texture is dense. Gentle warming alcohol in the middle lingers into a grape/fruity finish. Very good beer!!

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

330ml bottle poured into a 16oz goblet.

A - A slow (thank god) gusher when the cap comes off. Pours a deep, murky garnet color with a big, frothy light tan head. Despite using a glass that doesn't really allow for a lot of lacing, this brew leaves a generous amount of sticky chunks of foam all over the glass.

S - Surprisingly similar to the tripel of the same abbey. A simple yeast strain, not too fruity or bready or anything, but nice. More spices than I expected as well, with some citric, earthy, and grassy spices like the tripel had, as well as some ginger and all spice. Not big on the dark fruits really; a bit of raisins and figs, but that's about it. Caramel malt, brown sugar, and some earthy, almost woody notes too.

T - Much like the nose for the most part. Bready caramel malt, reserved dark fruits, and some spices upfront. Candi sugar and brown sugar add a little kick of sweetness. Notes of figs, raisins, and even a touch of dried cranberry. Finishes with a balance of rich sweetness, mild earthy hop bitterness, and slight green apple tartness. Alcohol is hardly perceived, with just a touch of warmth coming through on the back of the palate. Overall a ridiculously drinkable, well balanced and very tasty Trappist brew.

M - Medium bodied, but the carbonation is a touch too high for my liking. Yeast builds on the palate, and it also gets a bit sticky as it warms. Overall no complaints here other than slightly high carbonation for the style.

D - I have yet to try a dubbel I didn't enjoy thoroughly, and this was no exception. Just a delicious, tasty Belgian brew, with a well crafted and balanced flavor profile. Definitely the better of the two between this and their tripel. While I can certainly see myself drinking this again, there are still better options in the style readily available to me.

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Photo of ksimons
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-a slightly cloudy chestnut brown with a large amount of cream white head

S-malts, a great deal of yeast, raisins, brown sugar, and spices. A lot of stuff going on in this nose but it all works.

T-taste matches the smell very well. Solid malt backbone with yeast, raisins, some dark fruits, caramel, and a mild spiciness.

M-medium body, nice fizzy carbonation

Overall this is a really great Dubbel. Expensive for the bottle but totally worth it to try.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by date: 3/10/13

This may be my first review of a Trappist beer. Of course, "Trappist" mean little stylistically.

Achel Bruin is a gorgeous beer. Poured into my Brewer's Art chalice, this beer shows off a rich, off-white, meringue-like head on top of a stunning red colored brew. A very long lasting head that leaves webs of lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma seems to be a bit subdued at first, giving off gentle wafts of dark fruits and only the slightest suggestion of banana-like phenolics. As the beer warms, the aroma opens up and reveals a toffee, caramel-like quality amid brandy notes.

The first sip is unpleasant. Creamy texture from the head is nice, with robust carbonation behind that, followed by some alcoholic heat and an unpleasant metallic finish. The second and third sips improve, with the metallic finish disappearing. Notes of dried fruits start to shine through. Like the aroma, as the beer warms the flavors become more multi-dimensional and notes of sweet black cherries linger into the aftertaste.

Intense carbonation really lightens the body and creates a fluffy mouthfeel. Somewhat typical of Belgian beers in my opinion.

This beer really became much better with the slight rise in temperature. IS this a world-class beer? I think it is worth getting a bottle and testing for ones self. I probably won't pay another $8 for a bottle, but on draft??? Definitely.

Try pairing this with mussels in a red sauce.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I aged this bottle for about a year. I thought tonight felt like a good night for a dubbel.

I poured this into a snifter and got a lot of fluffy head on a brown body. Looks good, unfortunately there wasn't much lacing. That was surprising for such a sweet beer.

This beer smells really, really good. You get a bunch of malt. I also get a dose of dark fruit and a little sour. It comes off the top really well.

The flavor is a really good malt presence. I like the way this flavor just sits residually on my tongue.

This is a very good beer. I thoroughly recommend finding a bottle of this.

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Photo of psuKinger
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle brought back from Vintage Estate, poured into my La Trappe chalice.

A: Pours a murky burgundy/brown with a nice thick frothy off-white on top. Fills up my chalice perfectly. Head sticks around nicely, all the way to the bottom of the glass. Perfect.

S: Muted notes of raisins, figs, and other dried fruits.

T: Raisins and cinnamon spice shine through from the start. A touch of dried dates underneath. A sharp candied sugar arrives midway through, and contrasts nicely against the dry spiciness in the bready yeast here.

M: Rich, creamy, and voluminous, trappist ale always seems to have such great mouthfeel.

D/O: Definitely repeatable. In fact, I would enjoy having another one consecutively, but it likely would not be my first choice.

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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).

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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-

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Photo of spinrsx
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle from Whole Foods Las Vegas NV for 3.99$

Appearance - Slightly hazy brown colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, wood, vinegar/citric

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste dates/raisins, malts, clove, and some faint chocolate. There is also some vinegar/citric flavour and a light smokiness. It ends with a dark fruit slightly bittersweet aftertaste.

Overall - A wonderfully complex and very drinkable beer. Each sip is interesting and the alcohol is well hidden. The scent is really the highlight for me. Another beer that falls into the must try category.

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

33cl bottle poured into my struise glass !

A-pours a reddish plum like color with a light tan colored head that is very bubbly and sticks to the side of the glass.

S-notes of toasted bread and caramel, hints of brown sugar up front. hints of yeast lie underneath, somewhat dusty, with some dark fruits and notes of alcohol in the back.

T-the taste is similar, hints of bread, a fair bit of caramel and brown sugar, the yeast again seems to be underneath but present throughout and is again dusty, the back is sweet bringing candied dark fruits and hints of alcohol.

M-medium to light body and lively and carbonated on the tongue, it has a crisp semi dry finish.

D-this is a pretty tasty beer, its a little sugary with all the dark candied fruits and lacks complexity, but still a tasty brew and nice lively feel.

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

330mL bottle (bottled 4/23/2011) into a tulip. Pours a murky mahogany w/ a towering off-white head that fills the glass, settles slowly, leaves clumps of sticky lace clinging to the glass.

Aroma is sweet dark fruit - mostly plums and raisins - and dark candi sugar. Sweet and bready. Some nice warming booze in there too.

Taste has the same dark fruity profile w/ a pretty dry finish. Sweet but not sugary. Still, not a whole lot of complexity here - mainly dark caramel malt, candi sugar, and Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel has a slightly prickly character - smooth and dry but there's a bite too.

Overall, good. A pretty traditional version of a Belgian dubbel, but maybe not a standout.

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

I have yet to try a Belgium beer that I do not like. This Dubbel from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse has nice color with a fragrant nose of green apples and figs. The alcohol is masked well by the brew's exquisite taste and body. Two thumbs up for Trappist Achel 8° Bruin!

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Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
92 out of 100 based on 427 ratings.