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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

740 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 740
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 68
Gots: 76 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse visit their website
Belgium

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 740 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warmstorage
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle, 1,19 euro at a Brugges supermarket, states 8% ABV.

Pours a hazy medium brown, with a huge rocky beige head, leaving huge rocky chunky lace. Excellent.

Smell is yeasty and earthy, with backgrounded spices: cloves?

Taste is hot and spicy and sweet caramel, brown sugar, burnt sugar, slightly solventy, with indistinct spices.

Mouth is bright and sharp, highly carbonated.

Overall, to quote an unserious comedy about wine, it's quaffable, but far from transcendent.

Photo of bark
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is bottle conditioned; it is however quite easy to decant it properly. The colour is deep brown with a tint of red. The finger thick head is made of quite large pale beige bubbles. Lacing occurs.

The smell is very fruity (sweet apples, apricots, raisins, green grapes, cocktail cherries, fruit candy) with some lightly roasted malt and hints of sour wheat and fresh yeast.

The taste is fruity, too: Raisins, dried apricots, orange peels, cucumbers, dill and a hint of cherries. There are also dry notes of pickled herring, roasted dry malt - dry dark hints of porter and some sour notes of lime. The finish got a clean bitterness (a little like a German pils), dry dried fruits and a generous mildly sweet malty flavour. The aftertaste is complex and dry with some yeast, dried fruits, bitter oranges and some spicy herbs.

The liquid is not as thick as I had expected, it is a bit dry in the mouth and very fluent. The carbonation is strong with large, tickling bubbles.

A nice Belgian brun without the chocolate or sweetness. Dangerously drinkable!

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.35/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown 33cl bottle, best before Apr 2008, drank March 2007.

Poured into a Straffe hendrik chalice glass, well almost half was before the foaming head came to the top of my glass. Cloudy redish brown with a huge biege head, which stays for a long time.

Yeast and some hop aroma, toffee smell came as the beer warmed up, as did sour apples.

Bitter sweet taste, yeasty with a fizzy toffee-ish feel to it.

Aftertaste of the bitter sweet yeasty flavour hangs around.

The second pour was even more yeasty (the sediment came with the second pour) and cloudier of course.

Very drinkable, but a long way from the best Trappist beer i have had.

Photo of JanM
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a cloudy brown color and with lots of nice, hard foam to dive in. The smell was primarily of alcohol and yeast, very frutiy, and a whiff of detergent. Good carbonation. The taste was of dung, a lot of alcohol, yeast, caramel and sweet fruits. I was not overly impressed although the taste seemd to develop and improve after some time in the glass.

Photo of reinheitsgematt
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Having just delighted in the Achel 8 Blond, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the Achel 8 Brune. Perhaps I had sampled in the wrong order, I'm new to this. In any case, the Achel 8 Brune awaited.

It poured a crystallized ginger / light maple syrup with good carbonation. The head loomed above the liquid like a mile-high meringue that hasn't quite set. Fine lacing and a whipped character prove formidable.

Herbs and fruits awaken your nose; bouquet garni - rosemary, thyme, mint hide a hint of black raspberry. The subtle presence of aged cheese emerges.

Meaty and coating, fennel and damp earth play across my palate. The finish has a bit of heat without being overwhelming.

As usual, I preferred the Blond.

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

Small bottle, label stating 03/05 which I assume is production date. Bought at Coffee Grounds in Eau Claire, 4.79 + tx.
I am not sure if I did not open this a bit too cold, since despite a beautiful mahogany color, the whitish head is very thin, although has some sticky lacing.
The smell is just fantastic; I have just put my nose into it now for the 20th time in the past 20 minutes, and every time I identify a new thing. It is heavily phenolic, as expected, but has roasted malts, some fruitiness, bread, sugar, molasses, caramel, coffee, and the list keeps growing. One more "sniff" and I notice caramel and toffee, and strong alcohol.
The body is medium to full, creamy but not heavy.
Taste is also very complex, and it seems that with every sip I also find something new. The first obvious taste is malts, heavy malts, mostly sweetish, with hints of caramel, sweet chocolate, but also some coffee, mild hoppiness and a powerful warming alcohol. It finishes mildly dry and warm. Adding the yeast to my last few sips added another different, pleasant yeasty taste.
Pleasant and fulfilling with a single glass, perhaps too strong and sweet for more than one, this is a very impressive beer, even more impressive than the first time I had it.
I will definitely get more of this despite the high price.

Photo of uberabr
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big off-white, creamy, Guinness-like foam head that really sticks around and leaves a monster ring of lace. Cloudy, and color is a muted nutty, burnt brown that has some orange-red and maybe even grey hues. Cool, and weird.

Smell unique too- extremely spicey, phenolic, peppery, and estery. Cinnamon, apples, bananas, nuts, and pumpkin. Apricot and cranberries. A mild hop as well. Subtle and charming, but a little sharp.

Taste goes from sweet to sour and then rounds out with a delicious sweet aftertaste. Really excellent. The booze is warming but not hot or burning. Tastes of rasberries, cranberry and and plum on a banana-nut bread with butter. Maybe a little too buttery, although it would definitely improve with age. Tartness is just right- very mild. All in all a very unique Dubbel- this one is a black sheep-and one of the best I've ever had.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy copper brown tea like color with a huge frothy light brown head and great lacing. Complex yet not overwhelming yeasty, malty nose with hints of carmel and plums. The 8 percent alcohol is very well hidden from start to finish. Malt and yeast flavors to start. The middle becomes very complex with hints of fruit, carmel and nuts. The finish is very tart and warming but highly drinkable.

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

Not even the delicate pour of my froth-fearing spouse could control the gigantic meringue of a head this produced as we poured a couple of these into our Westmalle glasses. Below a slightly cloudy reddish brown. The monster head eventually settled to a thick and creamy centimetre which lasted through the duration of the drink, leaving glass-coating lace.

The aroma takes a little while to come through, initially just getting some wheat-like grainy aromas, but with fruit aromas emerging later: banana, apple, plum. The taste is quite sweet, with lots of apple peel, complemented by just the right level of carbonation for the style, giving this a lively mouthfeel. The alcohol is noticeable, but for 8% this manages to be an incredibly accessible and easy to drink Trappist ale.

A great beer - satisfying for beer tragics like me but I reckon it could also be a good crossover beer for Trappist firsttimers. Just make sure you pour carefully.

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

Appearance: Medium caramel colored body with huge head.

Smell: Roasted malts with hints of prunes and dates. Minor alcohol notes present.

Taste: Roasted malts comes through initially but the dates and prunes soon present themselves.

Mouthfeel: Very pleasant carbonation present throughout this creamy beverage. Lingering hops stay present after each sip.

Drinkability: This beer goes down smooth. I could easily enjoy a couple of these in a row.

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

appearance: dark brown with reddish tints when held up to the light, tons of yeast (probably due to pouring too fast) and a nice creamy 1 1/4 inch head

taste: fruity, with a creamy malt taste, sweet, with hops in the background, raisin/plum, slight prickly alcohol at the end adds to the mouthfeel and taste well. has a light ice cream like creamy sweetness and viscosity in the mouth. Dates. sweet cake like flavor. almost like poundcake. wonderfully complex brew.

very nice beer. if not for the shoddy pouring job with tons of yeast floating around, it would be even better. this is the stereotypical complex rewarding belgian. get this!

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

Sampled at In 't Spinnekopke in Brussels, the beer poured a cloudy dark burgundy under a 1.5 finger tan head with excellent contour, leaving incredible craters as it fades. Sheets of lace cover the glass. The nose is mild and spicey, while the mouth is light and very prickly. The taste features sweet caramel and spicey coriander malt, very smooth and enjoyable. The hops are subdued, but emerge in the finish, leaving a slightly dry, slightly bitter impression. Very nice indeed.

Photo of dogfooddog
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle bbd notched 02/07. I believe this is the first time I have had this particular achel beer. Pours into a chalice with a small light tan head; nose is of dark sweet slightly acidic fruits, not so malty as a normal dubbel.

taste is underwhelming, not so much of anything up front, the maltiness kicks in after a second, and you get some of the sweetness and a lingering taste of dark fruits into the finish. I am puzzled by the lack of initial taste in each swallow; my palate was fairly clean when I drank this.

Decent beer, for the style (dubbel/brune) very pleasant and one of my favorite in this category. I would certainly drink another, if I only had one...

Photo of kenito799
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of therica
4.5/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.89/5  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.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of vanrassel
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

Photo of dgallina
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Photo of nortmand
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of ultralarry2006
2.79/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

Photo of stephendr
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
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

Photo of haz77
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of geetlord
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of scooter231
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
92 out of 100 based on 740 ratings.