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

Not Rated.
Trappist Achel 8° BruinTrappist Achel 8° Bruin

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732 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 732
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 66
Gots: 73 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: zerk on 01-14-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 732 | Reviews: 412 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Suds
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's a reddish, ruddy brown color with a towering white head. Cloudy liquid with a yeasty, beady, malty nose. The aroma is not intense, but pretty coy and restrained. There's also some difficult to discern fruits...peach? (Even tomato without the acidity?). A touch phenolic. The taste is solidly good, with a lot of malt and yeast interplay...there's a lot of sweetness up front and considerable spice, with an alcohol warming in the finish. Yeast flavor is present throughout the taste as well. Very carbonated, almost champagne like, with a medium-light body. All in all, I'd say that this brew, although quite good, doesn't live up to my expectations. It's nowhere near as complex and engaging as other Trappist ales.

Photo of beveritt
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 33cl brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Label is very simple, various shades of brown with the name of the beer and brewery. Back label has dates to notch for freshness, but nothing is notched. Description in French and German/Dutch.

Appearance: Pours with 4 fingers of light tan head. this settles slowly to a pillowy, undulating 1 finger layer of foam. Nice sticky lacing. The beer itself is a deep mahogany. Surprisingly clear, with just a little haze. Some sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Caramel malt with hints of fig and raisins. Strong sourness/wheat twang.

Taste: Sweet fruity malt upfront, with hints of apricot and citrus. Mild, aged hop bitterness in the finish. Very yeasty and bready throughout.

Mouthfeel: Amazing "blooming" carbonation I have experienced in several Belgians lately. When the beer hits your tongue, the CO2 literally explodes out of solution, filling your mouth with a very creamy beer. Great. I love it. Body is very good.

Drinkability: A solid, full bodied, complex Belgian.

Photo of jjazz
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful fluffy tan head. Great retention and copious lacing. One of the best looking beers I've seen.

The first noticeable aromas are of sweet malt and Belgian yeast derived spice. Intensity is moderate. Nice vanilla note, with raisin, banana, cocoa, apple and much, much more. The longer you pay attention, the more you notice.

Flavor is incredibly good. Perfect level of bitterness (moderate) and sweetness (low). Soooo complex. Flavors match the aromas above.

Mouth filling carbonation and light-ish body make this very drinkable.

Damn good. I like as much as the Westvleteren 8. Very similar in fact.

Where's the praise for Achel?

Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from River's Bend.

Poured clear reddish brown color with a huge frothy head that lasted with excellent lacing.

Complex dark sweet fruit and yeasty aroma.

Medium body with a sticky texture.

Medium dark fruity flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of long duration with a small alcohol burn.

This is a standout beer.

Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into a tumbler-like glass.

A: pours hazy, red-brown, with an amazing tan foam that forms like an ice cream cone and collapses into a rocky layer. beautiful.

S: currants, raisins, plums, slight grapes, molasses-like sweet aroma.

T: dark dried fruit, and in particular plum, raisins, and figs; mixes with slight spice notes (pepper and fennel). malt flavors are most like molasses, slightly caramel, and light. alcohol notes also present and provide balance against the fruity and sweet flavors. a bit of tart yeast flavor, maybe because I also decanted some of the dregs.

M: very effervescent; about medium feel and slightly syrupy.

D: a very good example of the dubbel style; does not hide the alcohol as well as others in the style but still a very good choice.

Photo of joerodiii
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer fills a Chimay chalice 2/3 with beer and over an inch of foam...a thing of beauty. It slowly diminishes to about 1/8 inch which then lasts for the entire beer.

The aroma is light with a beautiful combination of raisin, fig, sweetness, and very subtle alcohol. It tastes like it smells, a very clean dubbel with multiple subtle flavors...slight malt, slight bitterness, "candi sugar sweetness", interesting yeast characteristics. Carbonation is lower than other trappists, yet it works. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style...light and "digestible" as the monks say.

This could be the most drinkable dubbel I have tasted. It's not as rich in flavor as Chimay Red or even Rochefort 6, but it is delicious and enjoyable in its subtleties.

Photo of biegaman
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fur of red fox that flushes aglow when held up to the light. This lush blend of colours visually epitomizes and properly exhibits the beer's rich character. It has a clear complexion despite its deep tinge. The bounty of creamed head persist until the liquid beneath it had all but disappeared with some managing to linger against the glass for even longer after.

The bouquet is a nectarous ambrosia of ripe plums and mouthwatering dark currants. It's an almost wine-like aroma, complete with tannic grapes and a touch of time-tested oak. Belgian yeast should be added as the eighth Natural Wonder of the World, this particular strain is rampant with esters and layered with complexity.

The beer doesn't taste exclusively of bruised apples but that is the most specific, outright flavour. With the touch of brown sugar, smidgen of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg this strongly reminds me of apple pie filling. There's also notes of rye bread and a ton of fruity esters, most notably prunes and raisins.

As is often the case with Belgian ales, it's the yeast which makes up all the breadth and body of the beer. It textures the sweet malts with a very light peppercorn like spice and the dryness of a whole grain loaf. The alcohol is neither seen nor heard and as result there is absolutely nothing to hinder drinkability. This is Belgian ale at its finest.

The 'Trappist' logo is (among other things) a designation of some quality brews. There is a consistency in the character and grade of all Trappist offerings but I feel especially confident in recommending Achel Brune. It is a superb Dubbel and personifies all that is wonderful with the rich, extraordinary brewing tradition of Benedictine monks.

For a more detailed history of the Trappist breweries and the Abbey at Achel visit:

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of HitokiriNate85
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours a dark amber with a fair amount of carbonation. Has just over a two-finger, fluffy, slightly tan head. The head is surprisingly big, though the snifter might have something to do with that. Really great retention as it sits long enough for me to write this. Leaves some lacing going down.

Smell - Off the bat there's a noticeable amount of malt in the nose, which has a sort-of toffee character to it. There's a light fruit presence, but definitely not as big as I might have expected. Overall, the smell is rather tame. Not a bad thing, but there's nothing really outstanding about it.

Taste - Similar to the smell, but a lot more powerful. It has a really huge malt presence, which I was expecting to some extent. It's a nice, strong toffee/caramel malt flavor, and is offset some by a bit of a fruity flavor. The fruit flavor reminds me of cherries soaked in brandy. It's definitely less fruity than some other dubbels I've had, and it feels as though it's there more for the purpose of offsetting the malt flavor a bit instead of coming in with any sort of dominance. There's a bit of alcohol in the flavor, but it's not strong, and definitely doesn't hurt the flavor in any way. Adds a really slight warming sensation, which is welcome, especially on a cold night like this.

Mouthfeel - Fairly thin and carbonated, which is pleasant going down. Leaves a nice aftertaste that lasts. Nothing off about it, which is a plus.

Drinkability - Like I said, it's definitely not as sweet/fruity as some other dubbels I've had, and definitely lighter in feel than some others, so it has fair drinkability for the style. Overall, though, it's something I'd rather just sip on or have with/after a big meal. I can't imagine breezing through more than one or two of these, but that's fine.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy, dark cranberry color with a rocky, white head.

S: some dark ripe fruit (raisins, plums) with a sugary spiciness and alcohol.

T: For flavor theres some deep brown sugar, and some cinnamon spicing for flavor. Deep caramelized brown sugar, molasses, baked bread, fresh apples, cider, and a blend of ripe fruit (raisins, fig) compliment and complete this fine trappist beer.

M: silky and smooth, very rich and sweet with a strong carbonation presence.

D: Very good drinkability and goes down effortlessly. Overall very good, but thought their extra brune 9.5% was noticeably better.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

direct from distributor in beijing (vandergeeten). 330ml brown bottle, no importer's label, with marking of oct 8 2009 as "best by". poured into tulip.

clear cola-like brown, with ruby red tones, especially under the light. nice off-white head fades slowly to a consistent thin layer. nice rings of lace. i've had bottles of achel bruin before that had clumpy yeast, but no problems here.

aroma is fruity and spicy, with pears and hint of sweet raisin, and notes of cinnamon. trace of anise. dark caramel and a bit of cinnamon roll dough yeastiness. whiff of grassy, earthy hop. spice notes along with very faint phenols.

palate is similar, with welcoming caramel malt sweetness and those fruity, almost brandy-like notes. spices are very gentle and well balanced, enhancing the overall profile. grassy noble hop character and gentle to moderate bitterness rounds things out, into a semi-sweet finish, notes of candy. phenols again very gentle and working WITH the beer and not against it. some warming alcohol, but not boozy.

smooth, lightly syrupy feel, with faint astringent texture in the finish. tingly carbonation is moderate overall and gives body and more depth.

an excellent dubbel. i have newfound respect for achel's beers, which manage to control the phenols, letting them play a supporting role instead of potentially distracting.

last week i also made my best batch of carbonnade flammande ever, using this beer. just the right amount of subtle sweetness and spice.


Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 7/2/08. Bottle. Pours a cloudy brown with a huge, thick tan head that persists and leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of light and dark fruits (prune), Belgian yeast. Flavor of nice crisp apple, lots of Belgian yeast, some alcohol. Not as spicy or light as the Blonde, which I preferred only slightly to the Bruin. A very good Belgian, very complex.
7/4/7/4/16 (3.8/5)

Photo of ThirstyBird
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass
A - Pretty Reddish Brown in color with a light tan head that stays. Some lacing.
S - Toasted sweet malt.
T - Toasted malt with caramel/toffee.
M/F - Medium body. Carbonation is active. Not a very smooth beer.
D - Nice flavors but mouthfeel could be smoother.

Photo of thekanna
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Rich brown color. Pours slightly thick with a big frothy head.

Smell: Pear (possibly bartlett or Asian) or apple-like freshness with slight essence of an apple orchard.

Taste: Slight pear-like inception, with hints of cloves and citrus. Biscuity middle. Finishes with a slight sweetness and strong phenolic aftertaste. Alcohol is warming as it leaves the palate.

Very smooth as it goes down; I could definitely kick back with a couple of these. Overall, it is slightly reminiscent of a quadrupel (like Ommegang Three Philosophers or St. Bernardus Abt. 12) but less heavy and not as strong a flavor.

Photo of ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33cl bottle (best before 12/12/09) poured in my large St. Feuillien goblet, Achel is a very dark brown with a massive tan head that leaves huge sheets of fomay lace.

Smell is dark malts, semi-sweet, cider vinegar, salty, boozy vapors. Very unique. and intriguing, with excellent depth. Served at cellar temp, where it's been for 6-8 months.

Taste is fantastic, super rich flavor. The cider vinegar like acetic acid is a great surprise - I was not expecting it at all, this is basically an oud bruin - sweet! I always thought Orval was the only funked trappist, but this one is pretty obscure so it must get overlooked. The funk is actually on the mild side, with some nice grape fruitiness, a bit of spice, tart sweetness.

Mouthfeel is pretty lushly carbonated, a bit oily, with a dry, puckering finish.

Drinkability is dangerously high. This is an excellent oud bruin, the perfect balance of acid and sugar. I can't believe I've never had it before! Achel's extra is my favorite quad ever, and this is about as good as it gets for a Belgian bruin.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out the color of prune juiced mixed with chocolate milk. Some floaters say "I am raw, pure and all-natural," and the thin head stays alive thanks to thousands of bubbles rushing to greet it. The head is off-white and leaves lots of lace as the liquid disappears.

Dark and citrus fruits plus earthy yeast mingle boldly in the nose. It's malty, dessert-y, fruit and yeasty in a way that is singularly, quintessentially Belgian.

Flavor is mostly of a vinous quality that reminds of the one and only time I had a Westvleteren 12. Dark grape/raisin, with chocolately overtones, also some mildly pepper-ish spices, caramel, toffee, pumpernickel, rye and fig. Drying finish and lightly tart, keeping the cocoa/chocolate and grape characteristics alive.

Mouthfeel is tingly and carbonated yet still achieves the soft, silky texture of any number of fine Belgian ales.

Wonderful stuff. Has an old-world, untainted, all-natural purity to it that will always keep me coming back for more. Worthy of taking its place amongst the other Belgian Trappist ales.

Photo of LittleCreature
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

What better way to celebrate my 200th review than with a trappiste ale I have never tried before.

Appearance - 4.5
Poured a thick, creamy beige head over a hazy brown body that looks quite red when held to the light.

Smell - 3.5
Sweet, fruity and boozy, a surprisingly mild and simple aroma.

Taste - 4.0
Very nice, but alcohol flavour overwhelms everything else (I can think of several stronger beers that mask their alcohol better). Sweet, toasty malt, golden syrup, spice and currant flavour, warming alcohol, moderate bitterness and a little fruity flavour from the hops.

Mouthfeel - 5.0
Silky smooth, with very fine, lively, almost creamy carbonation.

Drinkability - 4.0
Easy to drink, but not deliciously addictive like some Belgians.

I could easily have handled another one of these. It is clearly a very good beer, but for a Belgian trappiste ale, that is not surprising. There are better, more complex beers, but this is still highly recommended.

Photo of hopdog
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a dark, murky, reddish brown with an averaged sized tan head. Initially, lots of carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass. Aromas and tastes of spices, caramel, yeast, toffee and some plums. Starts off lightly sweet and ends on a nice, dry finish. Lively body. Another kick ass monk beer...

Notes from 10/15/04

Photo of erok
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - clear reddish-brown with rapidly rising bubbles. An impressively thick, creamy, light tan head that rose rapidly to the top of the cup with a very cautious pour. Required patience before it dissipated and allowed the pour to continue. Ridiculous lacing, but I'm drinking it out of a plastic hotel-room cup from the Hampton Inn during a work trip

Smell - mostly yeast and fruity undertones. Not particularly spicy. Very little hop aroma.

Taste - malty sweet, well balanced with mild hop bitterness. Some alcoholic warmth, but not fusel. Toffee. Reminds me of some strong dark ales. One of the best dubbel's I've ever tasted.

Mouthfeel - the best part of this beer. Tingling effervescence of high carbonation followed by a thick, mouth-coating experience that carries the malty sweetness over the entire tongue.

Drinkability - A sipper, but if I had two I'm sure I'd go through the second one quickly.

Photo of nick76
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The aroma has caramel, yeast, alcohol, and brown sugar. The appearance is red/brown with a really big head. The flavor is like the aroma with lots of sweet sugar and plenty of bitterness. The palate is thin. Overall it's good and I want another one.

Photo of adamette
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served an hour ago at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio from a brown bottle much like the one pictured above. Date (?) on it said "08/10/09" but I am not sure if that is actually a "best buy" date or not. I am not concerned due to high ABV anyway. $7.25 for 11.2 oz bottle.

A Poured (by me) into a clean, clear goblet provided by Winking Lizard. Two inch very light brown head supported by dark brown but translucent body without sediment observed by me. Pleasing, instersting appearance.

S Not strong but malt and some grains. It was remarkably unremarkable for a Trappist Dubbel.

T A really good, brown ale. Malt, grains, not much hops bitterness.

M I was really suprised by the high carbonation in this beer. It was bubbly like a sprite would be and each sip (even my last sip 10 minutes after my first) danced across my toungue like a carbonated dance. This might be more carbonated than any other Trappist that I have tasted. Mouthfeel overall is full for sure with that carbonation and bold tastes of malt, grains filling it up.

D Really quite good for this high of an ABV beer. Due to its high cost I cannot see getting more than 2 of these though. If money were no object and you had plans to get home with a Designated Driver then you could easily have 5 or 6 of these.

Notes: Maybe the most drinkable Trappist that I have tasted.

Photo of Gmann
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown color with a dense tan colored head that left a wall of lacing on the glass as it dissipated. The aroma is a tad faint, some dark candi sugar and red grapes. Some medicinal notes as well. The taste is sweet from the candi sugar, some hints of chocolate and berries/grapes, and a rusty metallic twang. The feel is fairly light and well carbonation, perhaps too much so. The dubbel finishes sweet and a little dry. A nice dubbel, good flavor profile, though the carbonation takes away from the flavor a bit.

Photo of stageseven
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet

A - This beer has a good 2 finger light tan head that dissipated slowly and left a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The color is an attractive reddish-brown.

S - The aroma is strongly fruity. Cherry but with malt hints. There's a hint of alcohol in the smell as well, but not overwhelming.

T - Initially the flavor has a mild alcohol taste, but this goes away quickly. There is a good bit of malty sweetness to the beer, with underpinnings of cherry and spice. The finish is a little bitter but well balanced, and warming.

M - The beer itself is lighter than expected in the mouth, medium-light body, and fairly carbonated. Almost tingly on the tongue.

D - This is a very flavorful, and incredibly tasty beer, but one that seems like it's meant to be sipped and enjoyed. I couldn't see myself sitting down and drinking a lot of these.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has an oak hazy brown body with a thick mousse tan head that last for most of the glass. Tiny bubbles support the head.

S- The soft aroma of applesauce has a slight candy sweetness in the finish.

T- The dry brown sugar flavor has a slight sweet malt flavor to it with a faint oaky slightly soapy finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight champagne fizz finish.

D- There is a nice slight perfume aroma to this big beer but otherwise there is not much depth of flavor.

Photo of trbergman
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 mL bottle into snifter. Freshness label dated Jan 17, 2010.

Appearance - Beer is a rich brown color with a huge, pillowy khaki head and excellent lacing.

Smell - Nice malty aroma out front with Belgian yeast not far behind.

Taste - Malty, spicy, dried fruit, a touch of alcohol, with some gentle hop bitterness for balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, not as rich as I expected, but pleasant.

Drinkability - I could sip on two or three of these over the course of an evening.

A well-made beer, good representative of the style. It doesn't really wow me, but it's a solid, quaffable brew.

Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
92 out of 100 based on 732 ratings.