1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

746 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 746
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 70
Gots: 77 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 746 | Reviews: 413
Photo of grub
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this was part of a belgian gift pack that i got for christmas. my wife's aunt+uncle traveled to belgium as part of a european tour last summer and brought back a shirt, some westmalle+orval glasses, and a bunch of good beer. this was one of the bunch, sampled in the westmalle glass. thanks to colleen, harry, and the boys for this great brew!

review #600. woohoo!

330ml bottle, best before 12/12/08. sampled march 23/08.

pours hazy red-brown with a huge fluffy meringue-like tan head. some nice ruby highlights showing at the edges. the head lasts forever. in the last 10 minutes the center has fallen slightly, but the edges are still solid right to the top of the glass. there's a solid sheet of lace that coats the glass all the way to the bottom.

aroma is nice. bit of lemony sourness. belgian yeasty spice. date and raisin. bit of plum. bready malt. touch of alcohol. i also get a bit of brett character that i didn't expect - the lemon, as well as some leather and horseyness.

taste is good. definitely some brett here. touch of lemon and cider vinegar. leather and horse blanket. bit of sour orange. some dark fruit - date and raisin. bread and cracker malt. bit of alcohol. belgian yeasty character. touch of caramel.

mouthfeel is good. high carbonation level, slightly sharp at first but smooths out with time. medium-light body with a nice dry finish.

drinkability is quite good. not used to having a bit of brett influence in a dubbel, and not sure if it's intentional, but i'm rather enjoying it. the alcohol is hidden very well. nicely balanced. i also like the light dark fruit character too. interesting, unique, and quite good.

Photo of albern
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really fine Belgian Dubbel and very representative of the style. It pours a nice slightly hazy ruby color with a lot more carbonation than you would expect. The head is huge, hangs around awhile and laces a bit. The head is soapy off white in color. The aroma is candied sugars and then some, along with some very sweet malts, and some spice. The flavor won't disappoint. Again, lots of sweet malts, candied sugars, some caramel and butterscotch, maybe some green apple. You will also find a rather yeasty carbonation towards the finish that is characteristic of the style as well. Where I knocked the beer down is in the overly throaty alcohol in the finish and aftertaste. There is a slight sourish hue as well on the backend, coupled with the too warming alcohol notes, and I took some points away. Well worth seeking out but not perfect. L'Chaim.

Photo of ewpgolf2
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle stamp date: 04/07/09 (serve by). Before I started, I wanted to read some of the reviews (which I'm sure a lot do). I have to say, I found completely different things in my review from what I read??? The appearance of this Dubbel is nothing like I've seen before. It is one of the most beautiful ruby/garnet/scarlet hues I've ever seen in a beer. I'm new to the site, but certainly not to Belgians. The head was filled w/ thousands of tiny bubbles which dissipated extremely slow. I didn't find it to be overly aromatic though-I expected a lot more-quite odd? The temp. is 60+F* now (at least) and I'm starting to taste/feel the warmth of the alcohol through to the mouthfeel. Somewhat complex and numbs the tongue (in a good way). Toasted hops with cooked cherries w/ brown sugar & molasses. Took another wiff w/ only a swallow left-now I get a great redolence.
This is not a 3-4 beer Brune-I would serve this to guests as a digestif' w/ pride!

Photo of Foxman
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a murky milk chocolate brown with hazy amber margins. Several fingers of puffy light tan head ice cream cone the top of the glass. Lacing is thick, licky, and sticky.

In the aroma, the grain is earthy with caramel and fruity with figs and currants. A quick blip of banana cedes to clove and crisp apple. Cocoa and mild coffee part before a poke of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the malt is moderately sweet, with caramel, dried fruit, and truncated candy sugar. Esters help dry the sweetness with a crisp clove spice and green apple duo. Milk chocolate slips into a very brief and thin sour note tjay disappears in front of a warm eddy of alcohol. The grain crops back up with a raisin feel that's promptly crisped by the start of a dry, estery finish. It's a rich, blended, Trappist standard.

Medium bodied, it lays soft and creamy on the palate with a reasonably slick presence.

Nicely complex, craftily blended, and seamlessly smooth, it's a comforting taste of monastic Belgium. It's not quite top of the heap, or A number one, but it's certainly upper tier. The ABV is healthy and noticeable but it's a warm asset instead of an obstacle to easy drinking. As they say, what's not to like?

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

Notes: Tasted Wednesday, February 27, 2008. Best before 12/12/08. Bottle conditioned. Ingredients: Water, barley malt, hops, yeast.

Appearance: Pours with a much less aggressive head than the Blonde 8. Leaves an impressive trail of lace from the dark cream coloured head, which reduces to a just incomplete covering and a monolayer of bubbles. Beer itself is chestnut brown with a pinkish-orange hue to it. Pale burgundy highlights. Unique colour.
Nose: Chocolatey malt and Belgian yeast funk, but what is really striking is the impression of an oud bruin or a Flanders red ale - slightly sour, with a woodiness to it. Even some cherry, maybe. Hops are faint. Alcohol not noticeable. Something dusty/musky and leathery. Very interesting, complex nose.
Taste: Surprisingly sour. Not as sour as a lambic, but certainly gives that impression. I'm beginning to wonder if this bottle is an anomaly (it's not the way I remember the first time I had an Achel Brune). Very, very interesting. Chocolate malt follows the tartness. The carbonation is fairly lively. Molasses and toffee on the finish, but the beer is bone dry. The finish shows apples and cherries. Definite dark raisin element. Maybe some faint vanilla and even a suggestion of spice - clove, coriander? Quenching. I think the carbonation is too dominant - I'll let the beer warm and breathe and see if that changes anything. It didn't really (although I didn't wait that long).

Overall: One of the more interesting beers I've tried, certainly unique among the Trappists. Complex but not terribly so. Very drinkable and thought-provoking. Clearly cellar worthy for a decade or more. You can feel that it is a high-quality, carefully put together beer.

Photo of SirSaranac
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark burgondy... Amazing head... crazy frothy head. Very nice lacing.

Malty scent with heavy dark fruit.. almost like a belgian strong. Alcohol... yeast

Tastes very malty... dark fruites... sweet... hops are present... spicy... very well balanced. Medium body.... this is a rather complex brew... very nice surprise.

Well, I need to grab a few more bottles of this.... very delicious.

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked up at the wine specialist in d.c. on a recent trip.

pours a deep brown with ruby highlights from the light, the head was enormous, but dropped in to a 1/8 inch sheet covering the beer for the duration of consumption.
the aroma is malty with a sharp smell, fruity, hint of alcohol.
the flavor is malty with a quick twang, fruity, raisins, woody, and alcohol.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into Caracole tulip

A - Pours a creamy milk chocolate color with ruby tints. The massively frothy, light tan head never seems to settle down. Lacing is extremely nice and also massive. Another beautiful yet careful pour from Belgium.

S - Sweet, dark candy sugar (but not overly sweet) within a strong dark fruit context. Raisins and plums, maybe some cranberry.

T - Starts with a pleasing tart sweetness with some fruit flavor. A "steely caramel flavor" is nicely evident, especially in the finish. Bitterness only shows at the finish. Alcohol is not a factor. Once again, I am at a loss to explain the many complex flavors of a Belgian beer.

M - High carbonation on the tongue with a medium, creamy body that finishes sweet and only slightly dry.

D - One of my favorite dubbels to date. Really excellent flavor with a complexity that keeps you coming back. Little to no alcohol to worry about as you enjoy the beer.

Photo of Gehrig
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I feel that the recent skein of bad beers I've tried (and re-tried) is now long over after sipping Achel 8 Brune. Very delicious, well-balanced Trappist beer, Achel 8 Brune presents three fingers of off-white froth on a mahogany body--a typically lovely Belgian beer. The nose is good and complex, but more subtle than other Trappist-style offerings--apple, banana, berry, brown sugar all emerge with time. The taste is superb--lots of the fruits mentioned above, plus some roasted malt, and certainly sugary sweet. Really nice. The mouthfeel is on the whole quite good, with carbonation and smooth texture in harmonious relationship; yet the "floaties" are a nuisance. I know, it's rather a product of the method and its great product, but still, getting a lump of yeasty potpourri is an unwelcome experience.

But all in all, there are few drawbacks for this beauty, a very good beer and one to which I'll certainly return. I'm proud to say that this is the sixth of the seven authentic Trappist products I've had, with only the cloistered Westvleteren remaining. That must wait until the family and I take the long-discussed trip to Europe. In the meantime, I'll have to choke down the rest of the Trappist offerings. I think I'll manage just fine.

Photo of maddogruss
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber body with a nice, silky tan head. Head slows down after a little while ot leave a nice lacing on the top of the beer with lacing all on the glass until the finish.

S: Smells of sweet malts and hints of caramel.

T: tasted very malty with a sweet aftertaste that did not quite seem like caramel. The alcohol was slightly evident in the taste, but overall it was pretty well-masked by the sweet malts.

M: A solid, silky, full-bodied mouthfeel. Easy on the tongue and went down very well.

D: An excellent Belgian Ale. Great taste, pretty high ABV with the alcohol not too noticeable. Better than other Belgians I've had recently. Definitely worth a try if given the opportunity.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
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)

Photo of stcules
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown color (monk's habit), with ruby edges. A lot of a beautiful, creamy, sticking, light brown head.
Malty smell, with marzipan, light ripe fruit, hazelnut, yeast, bread crust.
Rich malty taste, with marziapn, raisins, dates and dry figs. Very smooth and velvety, as the body.
Sweet aftertaste, but not cloying, with toasted and hazelnut notes in the back, and a light liquorice.

Photo of Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of shirfan
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, dark copper brown with a good, thick layer of foam. Left decent lacing throughout the glass.

Yeasty, estery aroma -- Plum, fig, pear, a hint of molasses.

Taste: Whoa, *big* surprise. None of the sticky sweet, estery candi sugar expected of a typical belgian... this is dry and slightly sour. Plum, prune, black licorice are major flavors here, with a hint of green apple in the finish. Woody, leafy notes mingle with a light drinkability and little to no alcohol detected.

A much more unique and savory beer than I had planned on tasting.

Photo of thierrynantes
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : bière brune de fermentation haute, robe brun-rouge
Smell : arômes grillé et de houblon poivré
Taste and mouthfeel : palais malté ferme au goût prononcé
Drinkability : une bonne bière dans le style Trappiste

Photo of debaniel
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Hazy brown, not much light shining through on this one - some ruby colors showing through... and a mountain of rocky head.

SMELL: Sweet raisins and figs, brown sugar and cherries.

TASTE: Just like the smell, with all the brown sugar and cherries - with NO alcohol flavor. I'm telling you, it's just not there. Wonderful.

MOUTHFEEL: Creamy with just enough carbonation.

DRINKABILITY: This one surprised me with it's exceptional taste and the complete lack of alcohol flavor. It's complexity makes it hard to imagine drinking all night, but when you want to treat yourself, this is a great brew with which to do it.

Photo of brendan13
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a snifter a murky brown with a hugh fluffy beige head. Big patchy lacing.
S - Smell is Belgian yeastiness, spicy, fruity & caramel malt. Some alcohol notes. Nothing dominates, just a nice big complex mix.
T - Again a nice mix of spice, fruitiness & some caramel malts. Some slightly sour hints towards the end.
M - Smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with a moderate level of carbonation.
D - Probably not something to drink all that often but once in a while wouldn't be a bad call.

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

Poured a foamy mocha head with thick lacing. Murky brown with some ruby highlights.

Warm buttered pumpernickel, smoky, earthy, with some sprinkled pepper.

Delicious brew. More pumpernickel, some chocolate gravy and roast beef. Soft and creamy latte. Cookies, maybe a nutty biscotti and figs. Smooth, nice carbonation and full body make this a treat.

Very nice and tasty. I'm coming back to this one soon and wish it came in four packs, as the 8% is invisible.

Achel's blond is quite nice as well.

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

33 cl. bottle. Red fire colour, with darker shades on the top. Creamy foam, last for a while and leaves a good lace. Aroma of fruits, chocolate, vanilla, figs or dates, spices. Taste of dark fruits, spices, chocolate, background of cherries. Flavos has an acid alcoholic touch.

Photo of BeerBob
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Trappist Achel 8° Brune pours a deep mahogany from dark brown 11.2 fl oz glass bottle with a pry off cap. Head and lacing of light tan are for the record books. Which has more foam, the Atlantic Ocean or an 11.2 fl oz bottle of Trappist Achel 8° Brune…

Nose is of dried fruit, fig and raison with a whiff or two of alcohol. Palate is dried fig and tart prune mingled with a lightly spiced burnt chocolate.

Intriguing and mysterious this Trappist Achel 8° Brune is, and a willing student am I.

Photo of jmalex
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Trappist 6 of 6 for me! (And I've had Koningshoeven too) The other 5 have set some pretty tough standards. I'd bet Achel will be right up with the rest of them.

Date stamped: 06/10/07

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Trois Pistoles chalice an opaque reddish brown. The edges are barely translucent and has deep crimson highlights. The dense off-white head is enormous and sticks around for quite some time.

SMELL: The aroma is huge with a significant breadiness to it. Fruity esters are moderate but deep and complex. Alcohol is very apparent but does not seem to detract too much.

TASTE: Tremendously bready with a huge yeast character showing through. Fruity esters pale in comparison to the aromas. Alcohol is nearly undetectable. The finish is remarkably clean and fleeting. My only knock would be that is slightly one-dimensional, but it's a shining example of an abbey dubbel otherwise.

MOUTHFEEL: Nice body with just a bit of a syrupy quality. Carbonation is sharp and effervescent.

DRINKABILITY: A bit of a heavy-hitter for repeat drinking, but it's a great choice for a special bottle. You know the alcohol is there, but not at 8% levels.

I'll say it again. Those monks sure know what they're doing. I'm increasingly impressed by each one, and I certainly plan on buying them again.

Photo of bosco7
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kind of a murky brown color with a nice two finger foamy head.

Brown sugar, caramel, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, rum, and fig aromas.

Starts with toffee, fig and rummy flavors and progresses to a phenolic bite (pleasurably spicy-not overwhelming) black pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. There is some grainy flavors. Finishes extremely dry leaving the palate thoroughly refreshed.

This is a highly refreshing beer-I usually don't think Dubbel when I want a refreshing summer beer but this certainly fits the bill.

Photo of dnichols
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served a 330 ml bottle in a challis.

A: This beer pours a reddish brown that when held to the light becomes a bright cherry red. It's topped by a persistent creamy tan head. As the head dissipated it the lace was evident.

S: There was a earthy aroma accented with spices (almost peppery), and dark fruit (plums and figs). The slight caramelized malty background is dominated by whiffs of alcohol.

T: A spicy alcohol warmth lingers on the palate and the heavier than expected carbonation and hops make each sip filled with zip and a tang that entertains the tongue. Caramel and malt flavors are evident giving it a fruity sweetness.

M: A crisp, carbonated smooth medium bodied mouth feel.

D: This is a good beer that is easy to drink. It is more heavily carbonated then I prefer but in the end the carbonation adds to the liveliness of the beer and give it a unique character.

Comment: This is a better looking beer than tasting one. I like it but would not put it at the front of the class. Its drinkable but not terribly entertaining.

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

Pours murky dark brown. Huge creamy head that doesnt go anywhere. Looks absolutely delicious. Smells of faint fig, some caramel, toffee and spice, maybe rind. Very subtle smells that are slightly dissapointing compared to its looks. Tastes sweet at first but dies quickly. Dried fruit, caramel, chocolate. Feels full in the mouth but a vibrant tingle on the tongue from the carbonation is a little too much. Overall a delicious and great beer but falls a little short for a Monk mix. Great brew but if Im going to pay the Monk premium, I might look elsewhere...or pour my second.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great frothy sea foam head, off white topping a dark brown glass. Couple of fingers, good retention, and fantastic full coating of lace. Really great looking, appearance is impressive.

Nose, however, is lacking. Overripe fruit, strong Belgian yeast sort of spiciness. Just not strong enough to be credible.

Brown malt powers through the flavor, little bitterness although the hops drop in edgewise. There is a some clove or herbal thickness. It's not tart, and to me the flavor seems thin, and finishes a little dry. I found it quite agreeably creamy and nice in the mouthfeel, very plesent and full.

Drinkability is tough, because the alcohol is superbly hidden, and it's really a smooth ale. But I didn't really like the flavor enough to want another.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
92 out of 100 based on 746 ratings.