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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

677 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 677
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.42%
Wants: 58
Gots: 51 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: zerk on 01-14-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 677 | Reviews: 405 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kenito799
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass. Best before date: 21 dec 2007.

Upon opening the bottle, foam arose out of the bottle, eager to leave its brown glass prison and be tasted. Gigantic, rocky light brown head over nearly opaque dark brown beer.

Soft malty aroma with some spice in there, belies the near perfect balance of the flavor.

I found the experience of this bottle to be a perfect expression of Belgian Brown/ Dubbel style--the best I have had so far. Soft, subtle, creamy malt but a lively crisp backbone that keeps the flavor fresh, alive, drinkable and prevents any cloying sensation. Would be easy to drink several...at $4 a bottle it's a tad more affordable than some trappists but it can't be my everyday beer, unfortunately.

kenito799, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of therica
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in Leuven Belgium (Food Lion's affiliate) in January 2006, consumed 5 November 2006 in the USA.

Appearance-- pours a nice red-amber with profuse dense off-white head which lingers for a few minutes. Big chunks of yeast floating in the glass after only pouring about 60% of the bottle very carefully. The bottle had been sitting for many months, undisturbed.

Smell-- typical of a Belgian Trappist, with a nice floral-complex aroma, hints of smokiness, caramel and a light malty-liquor scent.

Taste-- very pleasing, some traditional-Belgian flat-hops florals taste, light caramel, apple, mild pepper in taste and lingering aftertaste. I don't think it even compares to the sacred Trappist Westvleteren 8 but it's still a very worthy Trappist. There's an occasional and very noteable whiff that I get from this beer that I can't quite identify-- possibly something akin to a new-mown hayfield but not quite.

Mouthfeel-- the peppery aftertaste detracted slightly from the taste, in my experience, but otherwise a nice light-smoke caramel hops-floral feel.

Drinkability-- depending on one's tolerance for 8%ABV, quite drinkable.

Reviewed again on 21 June 2010 from a bottle imported to the USA.

Bottle slightly aged and expired 6 months ago, nicely aging this beer.

This time poured with the last inch or so which contained all the yeast residue omitted.

A= murky medium brown, generously fluffy foamy off-white head with a Dairy Queen curl-twist on top from nice pouring. Profuse carbonation rising.

S= prune prune prune. After a few sips the gorgeous malts also began to emerge.

T= very bitter slurp from the foamy head but a nice sip of the fluid was much different. Very smooth, slightly creamy, nice malts, darker fruits (raisin, prune, maybe dark plum). Delicious, and little indication of the 8% ABV.

M= light sweetness, slightly nutty malts and evidence of the dark fruits lingering.

D= extremely drinkable, a good Belgian intro beer for almost any novice.

therica, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter,a dirty red,dark amber like color.No real head just a constiant white foam ring,with extra tiny bubbles stringing to the top of the glass.
A clean fruity aroma,with hints of apples,raisins,figs,a bit woody.Very complex aromas and inviting as well.
Tastes of green apples,fruity,caramelly,grassy a bit woody.
A very dry,but crisp finish that very complex.
The mouthfeel was silky,slightly cloying,but crisp and light with a mouthwatering dryness.
A sipping wine like drinkability,but I could sip on this for a good while.

jcdiflorio, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a St Bernardus goblet, pours dark brown with massive bubbly head, lacing holds up in a wall of foam, disintegrating into asymetric splotches. Also, nice little blots got stuck on the side. Aroma has a nice nutty yeast, sweetly malty, and almost vinous alcohol. A little more assertive give a higher score.

A slightly more than medium body, a carbonation that kind of tickles the tongue, pretty nice for the mouth. Taste is full on rich dubbel goodness. Malts are rich and well rounded, alcohol isn't shy and esters fruity, dark, a very nice taste and mouth, but at $5+ normally (though I got it for 3.49), probably one and done. I'll be getting the blondes for sure though.

objectivemonkey, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of vanrassel
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured cola-coloured with a slight ruby hue into my glass. A large, fluffy tan head topped the body and had tremendous staying power.

The aroma was sharply alcoholic at first, though once past that other elements came forward: dried fruit (raisins), brown sugar and yeast. The alcohol didn't figure so prominently in the flavour, which had a bit of fruity blackcurrant and sugary sweetness to it before a nice alcoholic warming kicked in. The finish was spicy and drying.

This is a well-crafted beer, and beats BMC blandness any day, but I didn't find much to rave about.

vanrassel, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of dgallina
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml slim brown bottled dated best-before September 2006.

Poured yeasty medium brown. A finger of very creamy head with good lace retention. Smells enticingly ripe & fruity. Concentrated alcohol-laced cherries and figs, caramel, hints of green apple and yeasty spice. Flavor starts with gentle grainy hop and yeast flavors. Center is unexpectedly thin, with only a bit of cookie dough flavor binding it together. Finishes with lightly medicinal fruit and big warming alcohol. Nice creamy medium-light body with just enough carbonation. Nice, but would be more successful if the flavor fully developed throughout.

dgallina, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of nortmand
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy brown pour, with a huge fluffy white head that leaves solid lace.

Phenolic ripe fruits dominate the smell. Hot fermented Belgian yeast at its best.

Sweet chocolate prunes up front. Ends with an assertive bitterness and a bit of an alcohol burn. Slight astringency throughout.

Very carbonated, dominates the tongue. A full bodied, very enjoyable beer.

nortmand, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle. Left a two finger head with excellent retention, and really good lacing. Body was a hazy light brown like a hazy apple cider. Looked really good.

Aroma - phenolic medicine and astringent alcohol, hint of plums under all that. Smelled more chemical than beverage.

Taste - same as the smell. Medicine and alcohol. As it warmed there were some plums and prunes, but it was mostly a chemical, medicinal, or even lower shelf liquor taste. It's not totally bad, but it's not really good either.

Mouthfeel - full, asringent, and rather drying.

Drinkability - it's not really good, so it's not sessionable, and high abv would have lowered that anyway.

ultralarry2006, Aug 22, 2006
Photo of stephendr
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gold amber hue-thick frosty white head- soft nose of caramelized sour apple –medium body – caramel, vanilla dried fruit, and raisin taste–bubbles not present- aftertaste of orange peel and copper/metallic (could be the bottleGold amber hue-thick frosty white head- soft nose of caramelized sour apple –medium body – caramel, vanilla dried fruit, and raisin taste–bubbles not present- aftertaste of orange peel and copper/metallic (could be the bottle

stephendr, Aug 22, 2006
Photo of haz77
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear, deep reddish-brown with a very lively light tan head. Plenty of carbonation keeps the head over two inches thick for several minutes. Patches of lacing are left everywhere.

S - What a disappointment. A fairly muted affair with the aroma of alcohol, fruity esters and some peppery spice.

T - Things get back on track with the taste. Toasty at first with a slight medicinal edge and cleaning carbonation. Esters start to appear in the middle, before yeast and caramel take over in the finish with a small amount of alcohol warmth coming through as well. It has a nice subtleness.

M - Medium body and quite smooth, with medium carbonation that verges on being too hard at times.

D - Very drinkable for the strength. A dubbel worth trying.

haz77, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of geetlord
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer poured a clear amber with a faoamy head that subsided to nice lacing. the aroma was fruity like very ripe cherries.
the flavor contained a little hops fruit and grains with a little mollasses and hint of yeast in the background. the mouthfeel was rather nice and light but with a nice amount of carbonation. overall this beer felt very light and very drinkable.

geetlord, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of scooter231
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This guy pours a brownish ruby hue with a good looking frothy head. Smells very, very sweet- lots of raisins and sugary alcoholic stuff. Sweet and strong- rum cake, anyone? Taste is loaded with raisins, sugar, and nutmeg- I'm telling you, it's like drinking cake. Mouthfeel is smooth, quite smooth, and a bit bubbly. Quite a drinkable brew- smooth and tasty, just a bit too sweet after a while. Still... what a dessert brew.

scooter231, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brownie-batter dark, with a massive, burnt umber-tinged head and a ton of yeasty sediment. Mucho lacing. Big, sweet nose, dominated with a pear aroma. Coffee and molasses underneath. On the palate, candi sugar sweetness, with both low and high notes, but not a helluva lot else going on. Pear in the finish, along with hot alcohol. The alcohol isn't hidden terribly well, so minus points there on the mouthfeel. Overall, this one is decent, but there are a lot of better dubbels out there.

geexploitation, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep russet toned brown with a 1 finger tan head that slowly fades. Nice amounts of chunky foam are left around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, caramel, cocoa, raisin, sweet sugar, yeast, figs, and some plums.
Taste is of the same aromas but with a beautiful array of candy sweet caramel melding with the dark fruit flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mild bitter hop and cocoa mixed with yeast finish.

weeare138, Jun 06, 2006
Photo of Drew966
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Achel Brune pours a dark brown with a big fluffy off white head. I didn't make the best pour possible and ended up with big chunks of yeast floating around (I don't mind). The aroma is definitely kind of fruity. Taste is fruity, it has that typical Belgian yeast character. In the finish is some malt that imparts a bit of a caramel flavor which is noticeable in the first swallow, but less so after that. Highly carboanated mouthfeel. Not really my favorite style, but definitely very good for what it is.

Drew966, May 21, 2006
Photo of scoobybrew
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this into a chalice. It has a dark amber color with a nice head that settles down a little, but still looks quite appealing. The aroma is one of fruity yeast with notes of plum and grapes. The smell also is slightly malty with a roasted nutty-like quality. The taste is noted with the fruity yeast and is accented with caramel malt in the background. It's quite wonderful, but very unique. I also note some soured wort on the finish, similar to a lambic or beers from the Flanders region. The beer is full-bodied, but still not 'heavy' with moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent beer that is very different from most dubbels I've had. It's somewhat tangy without being too sour.

scoobybrew, May 20, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is my latest discovery and despite or because of being a trappist, it amazes me very much. It pours a ruby brown colour with a lot of carbonation and a stable head. Smell of malt and very yeasty, with the typical yeast flavours, which means very spicy with clove-like flavours. Also some earthy notes. Wonderfull complex smell, which keep me sniffing for 10 minutes.

Taste was even so spicy and complex, some caramel and some maltbitterness. The 8% alcohol was present, not very upfront, but surely warming and going to my head very fast.
I am amazed by the complexity that is mostly generated by the yeast, which is directly linked to the Westmalle strain and gives the spiciness and solvent-like depth.
The usage of a vast amount of candysugar was evident in the medium body and high drinkability of the beer. I did not really like the mouthfeel of the beer, which was hard to describe, on the one hand, it went down easy, and on the other hand pretty thick after swallowing. Does that make any sense? I don't think so, but it comes closest to my tasting session.

Absumaster, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of Cwrw
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Achel Brown 8 has a simple brown and white label with the authentic Trappist logo at the top. Great to have another Trappist beer available in Alberta. The beer has the typical Trappist-beer charm in my chalice glass: a sizable and extremely solid tight bone-white head atop a hazy chestnut brown with hints of ruby red. The foam is beautiful and extremely consistent; it almost looked like it would be hard if you touched it. Thick rings of lace left. The first sniff above the glass gives candy sugar and some delicate hopping, almost Saaz-like. A lovely saline, metallic aroma not wholly unlike Orval. The malts are very softly roasted, giving brown sugar and cinnamon rolls, along with the tinge of alcohol which slowly increases the more you smell the beer. Rye bread, mould(extremely dusty and earthy), cream and caramel notes too. Lovely aroma, if not quite as complex as some Trappists. The taste is all nuts and whole-grain bread at first. The middle has some saltiness akin to pasta sauce, and the finish is all about the grainy malts and even the lightest of bittering hops. More hopping than some of the other Trappists, actually. A lovely aftertaste of bread and butter, with hints of roasted chestnut and white wine. Wonderful taste, balanced and extremely drinkable. Medium carbonation, very velvety. Alcohol is slowly pronounced. Another Trappist beauty, though perhaps less stunning than the others. It is the newest of the Trappist beers after all. A really lovely brew here though.

Cwrw, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of IronDjinn
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came in a small 330 ml brown bottle, simple label design stating it to be an Authentic Trappist Product.

Poured out into a chalice, and boy howdy, hang on, it's a hell of a ride from the start. Intense, aggressive development of cinnamon/beige head, billowing and cloudy at first, then settling down into chunky foothills of retention. Had to pour it in stages. A deep cloudy brown in appearance, light chestnut nimbus around the bottom of the stemware when held to the light. Lacing is like sea foam, I can barely see through the sides of the glass as I drink it.

The aroma is nutty, earthy, with mild spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, some pepper, dark dried fruits. Date bread. Prunes. The yeasty esters showed up in black tie attire, with plum coloured cumberbands.

Spicy flavour up front of black pepper and dates. Quickly becomes vinuous, prune juice and dark grapes, high octane vodka-soaked dark fruits. The mouth quickly warms from the alcohol presence, it's not very hidden, it's out there among the floor lights with the rest of the cast. As it warms the warmer, mellower flavours come out as well, toasted nuts, cinammon, nutmeg, some contained ginger, almost a root-like flavour, but not tough or bitter. The middle starts to sweeten up, a heavy baked loaf bread/cake becomes prominent, the type of baking those from the old country would make for Easter, or Xmas, or a wake. Rich, heavy, earthy, comforting and filling. The finish mellows out with dried dark fruits and sugary light malt, even a small dash of sour cherry and carob nut. Small lingering of cocoa on the aftertaste. Wow, this is a dubbel you really need to be alert and pay attention to, or at least I had to. Quite the trip. Even now that I'm almost finished the glass the hail mary in the end-zone lingering aftertaste is more like slightly over-baked banana bread, walnuts or pecans and all.

Mouthfeel a bit on the light side, but I feel if it were otherwise, based on the flavour, I would have had to end up chewing on this stuff instead, so at the very least it aids in the drinkability, the ingestion of it. It's full and filling without being thick and heavy.

This is definitely an ale to sip through an afternoon or an evening (or even a morning if you're an early bird and have the time), no rush here, so much to take in and discover. I'm in no huge rush to run out and buy more at the moment, I'm quite satiated for now, and need a bit of time to fully digest this journey before I can appreciate another one. Otherwise I feel I might just get carsick with too much of such an interesting ride in too short of a time, the scenery would make me too dizzy with such another quick go around.

IronDjinn, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of elricorico
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours nearly opaque dark brown with ruby around the edges. The tan head is heaped up above the rim of the glass despite careful pouring. the head isn't backing off quickly either.

The smell first makes me think of belgian yeast and wine grapes. Candy sugar is in there somewhere. The overall smell is both sweet and dry.

Sweet dark grapes immediately enter the mouth. Certainly dark fruits throughout most of the mouth. Yeast makes a strong appearance. Finish is dry and tart with a slight alcohol burn and a faint hint of hops to it.

Medium bodied with carbonation that is very natural feeling. The mouthfeel is good, I expect a little more thickness would be an improvement though.

Overall this is a very solid beer, but it doesn't seem to have anything to set it apart. I like it, but it isn't making me wish I'd stocked up on it.

elricorico, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of jakester
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet. L,a, and '04 are notched in the label.

Pours (after pouring in the yeast) a dense dark red with a nice two finger head of beige colored foam. Big hunks of yeast are floating in the beer, and chunks of yeast are clinging to the sides of my glass.

Aroma is, huge caramel, rum soaked raisins, plums, yeast, and maybe a little chocolate. A funny, metallic-y chalky smell developes in a while, and remains for the rest of the drink.

Flavor is dark sweet caramel malts, rum soaked fruits like above, yeast out the wazoo, and alcohol warmth. Some decent spicy phenolics going on as well. A sort of metallic aftertaste developes after a while. Hop bitterness is detectable, but hop flavor and aroma are not.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, with a medium to high level of carbonation. Finish is long, sweet, and smooth.

This is a very good Abbey dubbel. Dark, caramel-y, some phenolics, and a good alcohol punch. Not great, but good.

jakester, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of surfadelic23
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was checking out Belgians at a local place and this one was priced a lot less than the others so I figured what the hell, I'll give it a try! Wow, what a nice diamond in the rough and at a bit of a bargain too. It pours a nice dark color with some lack of clarity. It poured a big head that dissipated quickly. I really liked the smell of this. Sweet and malty and it really made me thirsty!
The taste was absolutely KILLER. Pleasantly balanced when compared to some other Belgians. I also found the mouthfeel to be light but not unpleasantly so. Between that and the way the alcohol hid, contributed greatly to it's overall drinkability. This is a good one and I hope they don't jack the price on me!

surfadelic23, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  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.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at New Beer Distributors on Chrystie street.
Smooth. Very smooth. Perhaps one of the smoothest of the style I've encountered; it's right there with Westvleteren 8 in smoothidity... though lacks the impact of the aforementioned.
Smells and tastes good, though. Something about this reminds me of rum cake. Everything about this is subtle, but pleasureable. A nice treat to be sampled and visited from time to time.

ommegangpbr, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of whartontallboy
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a murky brown-orange with a thick creamy beige head that leaves a ton of lace. Even with a gentle pour there's a lot of grainy sediment on the bottom of the glass.

Smell is candy sugar, figs, plums, a little cotton candy, some light peach notes, and not real hoppiness to speak of.

Flavor is similarly sweet and fruity, with the cotton-candy flavors giving way to a dry fruitiness that really lets the peach and plum flavors come through more clearly. There's an interesting licorice note in there as well.

Overall: Not a bad dubbel. At $5.50 for 33cl, though, this isn't one to try. It's not in the same league as the best Belgian dubbels that can be acquired for around the same price or less.

whartontallboy, Feb 20, 2006
Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
92 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.