Trappist Achel 8° Bruin - Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
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Ratings: 670 | Reviews: 404 | Display Reviews Only:
4.4/5 rDev +6.3%
Poured beautifully from a "new label" bottle into my newly acquired St. Bernardus chalice. Looks the part of a dubbel for sure, with a dark coca-cola complexion and a thick dimpled foamy cap. She's a smokin' hot looking Belgian brunette, alright. The smell is where I cease to be impressed with this beer, as was the case with the blonde. It lacks the depth and complexity of the other trappist dubbels. Smells very malty and hay-ish with a little bit of dark candi-sugar fighting its way out of the rim of the chalice. The taste is nothing short of exceptional, though. It has been too long since I had a Belgian style beer that didn't taste like bananas and cloves, and that is one hell of a refreshment, though I've actually come to like that signature Chimay taste that everybody seems to want to mimic with their Belgian style brews. The taste is very well rounded. It is not too sweet and malty, not too tart, somewhat earthy. This is what a dubbel should taste like (also see: St. Bernardus and it's selection of dubbels). The mouthfeel is somewhat light, but its about right at where I like it for this style, if only it were just slightly more full. As is the case with any of the trappist ales I've had, I would absolutely love to drink this stuff all night if I could afford it and be able to handle the alcohol level (which is very well hidden I might add... completely indetectable by my tastebuds).
04-03-2005 01:46:05 | More by neonbrown82
3.9/5 rDev -5.8%
The one I drank had a different label but Im 90% sure this is it. I drank this one cold. Good smell, strong, sweet malt and complex flavors, good heavy body (which I like). It has more of an alcohol bite than Im used to. I think its too strong and too expensive to drink a lot. Ive had better in this variety; I want to try the 5%.
04-02-2005 04:08:21 | More by StevenZubler
4.25/5 rDev +2.7%
Presentation: bottle with "old" label that just identifies the abv as 8%.
Appearance: Pours brown with a nice two finger head. Head lingers.
Smell: Slight phenol smell, somewhat of an alcohol smell. Nice aroma.
Taste: Very robust flavor. Great dubbel taste.
This is a beer that I would have again, very good example of a dubbel.
04-01-2005 01:09:26 | More by OatherS
4/5 rDev -3.4%
Pours a cloudy brownish amber, topped with a two finger foamy tan head, leaves a sheet of lacing.
Fruity and spicy aroma, lemon, slightly sour.
Fruity and spicy taste, a bit lip tingling, lemon zest, sweet with a cocoa-ish aftertaste.
Medium to full bodied, good drinkability especially at the ABV, not as sweet or candylike as a lot of dubbels.
03-29-2005 23:31:58 | More by mschofield
4.88/5 rDev +17.9%
let me start by saying i am not a fan of the blonde achel. it's okay, but overrated for a trappist imho.
this beer pours a beautiful hazy dark brown with sparkly red highlights. bubbles on top of foam on top of creamy froth. what a championship head.. or maybe its just my slick pouring styles. lacing for days. thank you st. bernardus chalice, you've assisted me in the perfect pour.
smells fruity and sweetly spicy. no grain or hop character to speak of - very trappist. a stark contrast ALREADY to the blonde.
taste is light fruit, banana and apple with a background of musty aged wood. this beer accomplishes this complexity with carbonation and crisp flavor and the lack of an overall stale/old body character. this beer gives westvleteren a run for its money. i will buy more.
03-17-2005 11:50:09 | More by goodbyeohio
3.8/5 rDev -8.2%
I enjoyed this brew a lot. Pours with a golden huge with an excellent thick creamy white head. Aroma of orange peel and spices was very present. It felt rough and grainy on the palate, a nice mouthfeel I think. Taste of bananas, citrus, and cinnamon. I would definitely try again.
03-16-2005 21:24:56 | More by guinnessman
4.03/5 rDev -2.7%
Dark, amber coloured brew with a large, tan head that produces some excellent lacing.
The nose is full of caramel and plums, there are some other fruits present as well. (banana, apple, ... ?)
Bitter, yet malty caramely and fruity flavours dominate in the taste as well. Some spicy woodyness near the end. The beer is quite dry overall but still nicely balanced.
The mouthfell is good. The beer is medium bodied and the carbonation is well done.
All in all, this is a very nice dubbel. It was better than I expected especially after I had its disappointing tripel counterpart (Achel 8° Blond) not so long ago. Recommended!
02-26-2005 09:09:30 | More by Paddez
4.47/5 rDev +8%
This beer poured a thick fluffy white head with a rich amber brown body.
The nose was quite beautiful. Sweet caramel, port, phenols and dark sugars. Really a lovely mellowed dark malt smell.
The taste was medium to full bodied. Sugary sweet, caramel, phenols, raisins, port with an earthy wood flavor. Its surprisingly bitter with a spicy, even slight black pepper, hop note. A slight sour flavor as well with a candy sweet, sugar sort of taste.
I know I dont do it justice describing it, but I really liked this beer. Simply a great representation of a dark trappist ale.
02-23-2005 08:47:06 | More by taez555
4.15/5 rDev +0.2%
This poured to an awesome dark brown with ruby highlights. A nice big head sat on top and lasted very well, while a few lines of lace add to the effect. It looks outstanding.
The smell was also nice, bringing mild esters on top of a solid malt base. The taste is rich and smooth, consisting of malt alongside various fruits. The flavor is good and it t is very easy to drink as well.
01-12-2005 23:31:15 | More by watermelonman
4.43/5 rDev +7%
Presentation: 33cl brown glass bottle, the shape of which is so typical of Belgium Trappistes. Simple silver colored crown cap has the word Bruin faintly inked on it in small text. The main label is a similar design to that shown in the BA Database, but my bottle has the newer label. The pale brown square border and white background has gone to be replaced by an aged parchment like color, in an effort to reflect the Monastic links no doubt. The word Achel is the same parchment color but is now set against a dark red background, instead of a dark brown one, and the Trappist Hexagon is also the same dark red. All in the all the new presentation has a much more authentic established look about it, and is a distinct improvement. Described as Bruin Beer / Bière Brune and Listed at 8%, with a nicked Best Before Date of 11/05 on the reverse label.
Appearance: Excellent appearance - I broke my Chimay Glass some weeks ago (again) so I used my Westie Goblet which I usually reserve for special brews, but as this is also a Trappist I guess the beer Gods will not be mad at me. It sits in the Westie Goblet with a stunning appearance. Gorgeously clear dark brown body with darkened amber highlights. The head is superbly constructed; incredibly fine bubbles form a super smooth covering that has immense staying power throughout the entire drink. No lacing to talk of but you cannot help but notice the fine coating of bubbles that layer the inside of my Westie Goblet as a I angle the glass to drink. Excellent looks!!!
Nose: Solid smooth malts, raisins, dark fruits, dark everything. A Prune-Brune nose with plenty of high quality rich malts to back up everything. Neat.
Taste: Rich malty beginning with some milk chocolate flavors in the middle. Super Teflon smooth, where is the alcohol, no sign of it at all, except for maybe a hint of warmth immediately after the swallow, but Im too pre-occupied with the beautiful tastes that are left on my tongue and cheeks. Raisin like back end with some dark fruits licking the cheeks. Brune-tastic.
Mouthfeel: Solid and smooth, incredibly rich feel, super fine carbonation. Very accomplished mouthfeel indeed, high quality indeed.
Drinkability: A silky gorgeous mouthfeel rounded tastes with an enticing smoothness makes this one a highly enjoyable libation. First of the day and its only 4:30pm
Overall: I have been trying Achel beers for some years now, since my first visit to the Sampling Café at the Monastery/Brewery back in April 2001. Back then, they only produced a Blond (4%), Bruin (5%) & Blond (6%), all were very average to say the least. Since then, they have moved on in leaps and bounds and the Achel brews have really improved. As such, my advice would be to try and avoid the bottles with the older labels (as shown) and pick up the ones with the newer darker parchment /dark red style label.
Well worth trying and an excellent Brune, but the price is simply just too damn high for me to return to it in the USA, Ill save this one for when Im back in Belgium. Nevertheless, an excellent Brune and Highly Recommended!!!
01-09-2005 01:17:42 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5 rDev +3.9%
330ml bottle, bought at Borough Market, London. Pours with a large light tan head, colour is brown, slightly hazy. Excellent aroma: Oak, sandalwood, camphor, caramel, toffee, spices. Flavour has caramel, spices, oak - but is not quite as complex as I hoped. Still very good - its a Trappist! Moderate but decent hops + spices in the finish.
01-07-2005 22:22:46 | More by Sigmund
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
Pours a hazy, brown and reed beer with strong carbonation and a thick, creamy foam. Nice.
Smell is fruity and fresh. There is malt in there togheter with yeast, apples and a peppery trace as well. Its very fresh and somewhat "wet and cold" :)
Taste is also fruity. There are raspberries and currant in there. A some what candy sweet tine blends this together with a malt, thick and quite bitter taste as well.
The beer has a very nice smoothness mixed with a thick creamy feeling. Its prickly from the carbonation and very well balanced.
I like this beer very much, its also better than the blond version. A nice trappist brew, not the best though :)
01-01-2005 16:23:55 | More by stjarnflikka
4.03/5 rDev -2.7%
Purchased in a bottle, poured a hazy amber root beer color with a three inch head that disipated to a half an inch with lots of carbonation action.
Has a slight aroma of roasted caramel malt, pine grapefruit hops, and of doughy licorice.
The taste is a more pronounced similarity to the smell with a medium to light carbonation.
The mouthfeel is comfortable with a crisp medium to light carbonation that disappears with the aftertaste.
The drinkability is good for this type of beer the finish does not linger after a couple of minutes. This is a good beer.
12-19-2004 05:18:16 | More by Troyone
4.13/5 rDev -0.2%
Trappist Achel 8 Brune
No distinguising feature on the bottle between Trappist Achel 8 Blond, except for cap color, and the darker color of the beer in the bottle.
Presentation: 33cl euro style bottle. nothing special.
Appearance: Very cloudy dark brown with yeast chunks, very large, light cream brown head, excellent retention and lacing.
Smell: Sweet maltiness, Spicy phenolic with a strong aroma of alcohol, and dark fruits.
Taste: Light carbonation, sweet dark roasty malts, a little spicyness, plums, and alcohol.
Notes: Though I'm not able to describe it very well, this is actually a very good beer with great drinkablilty.
12-09-2004 04:26:02 | More by dauss
4.03/5 rDev -2.7%
Murky, sediment-filled mud brown with a clingy, rather large, light brown head. Excellent lacing.
Smells of rum, brown sugar, raisins, and bread pudding. Light whiff of alcohol there as well.
Sweet sugary malt flavors up front: burnt overripe bananas, brown sugar, and rum cake. Sweetness gives way to a wheat and banana bitterness mixed with spicy hops. Mouthfeel goes from thick to chewy. Finish stays bitter with echoes of dark, ripened fruit. Warming, but not alcoholic. A decent dubbel, but not as interesting/balanced as Westmalle's and many others.
12-06-2004 00:49:27 | More by alexgash
4.45/5 rDev +7.5%
Haven't done a review in awhile, just haven't had a beer that excited me enough to do a review. I guess I should do more reviews to get my beer karma up to a respectable level, but most beers just don't get me amped enought to spend time typing away when I could be doing something else. I do try however to review any beers I recieve in trade.
This beer is special, better than my ratings indicate somehow. This one stands above other beer that have ended with the same rating. I wish I could give out 4.75's.
Pours a medium, milk chocolate brown and leaves a minimal head in my tulip glass. Bottle conditioned, so yeast sediment is ample, congregation towards the bottle.
Taste. Brings to mind Westvlytern, St. Bernardus, and Liefmans Provision beer. Phenols abound, with an intoxicating mix of spice and sweetness fruit flavors. Some of that slightly sour musty flavor that dominates Liefman's Provision. Some hop bite in front when cold, but as it warms, this flavor combines to add to the beautiful palette symphony of this brew.
I'd have to sample them all at once to be sure, which is more than my budget premits, but this is probably my second favorite Trappist, behind Westy 12.
Go out and get this one today. If you can't get it, beermail me, I have access to plenty. I'd love to trade some plus my bottle of Cantillon Iris 2000 for some highly rated micros currently unavailble in my area.
11-20-2004 23:06:52 | More by poundboy
3.53/5 rDev -14.7%
Visiting the monestary today for a nice walk in the green I tried the beer from the tap first... but brought me some extra botles for a good analyse.... however... nothing special.
A nice appearance with a thick foam that stayes for a long time. Makes it off course hard to smell the beer but only a litle trace of malt and some yeastsmell but rather dull. Taste also nothing like I suspect from a real trappist. Medium bodied and no great aftertaste too. Next time rather go the extra road for a Westvleteren. But about achel; it's a good place for a nice walk in the green and with a couple of Achelbottles most certaily a great enjoyment..
10-17-2004 16:48:02 | More by paterlodie
3.95/5 rDev -4.6%
Enjoyed from the bottle at my hotel in Amsterdam. Achel Brune has a deep, dark brown hue, and is opaque from top to bottom. Tan head is finely bubbled, lasts well and laces up the glass nicely. A semi-sweet nose has some brown sugar suggestions and dark fruit hints. Medium bodywise, it has a bubbly feel on the tongue. Flavor is sweet, with raisiny/figgy notes, and even a hint of chocolate. The finish has a slight bit of a floral lean to it, and ends dryly. Tasty stuff. Zum Wohl!!
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4
09-02-2004 16:03:38 | More by Bierman9
3.68/5 rDev -11.1%
Murky looking brown tone. Big ol fluffy light tan head. Retention is outstanding. Lacing is quite good. Soft belgian malts and candy on the nose. Just a little must and some cotton candy to boot. Sweet malts and rock candy form a base with stale hops in the backdrop. Slightly sour and very slightly acidic. An agreeable taste but not a memorable one. The body is light and the mouthfeel is airy.
09-02-2004 03:55:42 | More by Bighuge
3.75/5 rDev -9.4%
Sampled at Zotte in Amsterdam, Hooland.
Pleasantly aromatic, very subtle, milk chocolate and a fairly intense dark fruitiness.
Intensely fruity, cloying at times, pleasing at others. Soft, velvety backround. Mellow, woven fruit flavors of plums, mixes berries, orange and grape. The fruit flavor in this beer was stupendous. What was missing was the big, malty chocolate and caramel backround that I have come to expect in dark Belgians. With a little tweaking of the recipe, I can't imagine this beers dominance.
07-23-2004 14:24:59 | More by Crosling
4.43/5 rDev +7%
Brown as gravy with the appropriate dose of demiglaze, the head - once again for an Achel product - is tall, even and nearly liquid. I associate this with malty tame-yeasted ales, like virtually everything from Britain, plus Chimay and Achel.
On the nose it displays a dense, raisiny perfume of roasted nuts, licorice, prunes and vanilla. On the palate it is generous with sticky, sappy fruit liqueur essences, a broad, creamy, expansive texture and dry-as-a-cracker closing bitterness.
Unmistakably a beautiful, serene, velvety, nearly uncomplicated beer. Ideal for an intro to the Trappist way.
07-20-2004 00:39:24 | More by putnam
4/5 rDev -3.4%
A hazy russet brown body swirls particles of yeast at the base of the goblet as its bubbles rise steadily to take their place beneath its full head of dark ivory froth. The head holds well, dropping slowly as you progress through the goblet, but leaves only minor lacing. The nose is more restrained than most of the beers from the other Trappist breweries, but it does offer some sweetish, sugar-cookie like malt, red grape-like fruitiness, and delicate alcohol. It's effervescent carbonation is fine enough (from bottle conditioning) that it tingles the tongue, rather than prickling it. And there's enough body to put it solidly in the "medium" category and smooth it out a bit as well. More fruit is present in the flavor (particularily in the finish), and the malt takes on more of a doughy character which gives it a little bit more depth, but the alcohol is also more intense. It lends a distinct peppery quality which teams with the spicy yeastiness to help balance the malt, but it's also a little bit hot as well. Additionally, some banana and hints of tropical fruit due to the higher alcohol esters become apparent as it warms but don't have enough intensity to lend any more depth to the beer. Instead, they kind of detract from what maltiness is there. Overall, it's a decent enough beer, but it's slightly out of balance with its higher alcohols and pales in comparison to their just slightly stronger Achelse Kluis (as well as many other Trappist and abbaye ales). A trepidacious thumbs up on this one... there are better beers available at better prices.
06-26-2004 17:57:50 | More by NeroFiddled
3.9/5 rDev -5.8%
Pleasantly surprising carbonation. White bubbly head. Bold Belgium yeast. Malt to start and Fruit and spice mid and end. Acidic aftertaste that could match food. Extreme popular with mates. Good full mouthfeel. Eat less and drink this.
Recommended over the blonde.
05-13-2004 03:40:19 | More by Sammy
4.18/5 rDev +1%
A very nice looking beer. A deep red/mahogany hue with big bubbled fluffy head that needs rousing to get 'up'. If it wasn't for the fairly large chunks of yeast floating around even after a careful pour, I'd give it a 5. Really a fantastic smelling beer. Definately caramel notes, raisins and alcohol but also some subtle bready notes and tea like qualities.
The taste is somewhat of a let down. Honestly a very plain beer. But very very smooth. There is a touch of astringency here that gets me under the tongue, kind of makes the underside of my tongue feel dry. I'm getting some interesting tea flavors as well. Not much in the way of spicyness or fruitiness or even rich caramelyness. Get some early to middle raisin flavors but they are subdued. A nice sweet finish. Mouthfeel is quite thick for a Dubbel, which I think is against the style, but I really find it appealing in this beer.
A quite drinkable beer if it weren't for the 7$ price tag on the 12oz.
04-22-2004 02:53:37 | More by cerevisiaephilus
3.65/5 rDev -11.8%
Among the ensemble of trappist beers I've tasted, achel 8° brune left me a bit disappointed. even so, it certainly has a very interesting, opaque dark brown pour with a slight head and some presence of yeast; The taste was spiced up and considerably malty, and the body is thick and pleasant, with some carbonation still standing. Not very bitter. It's ok but i'm sticking to the Westies and Chimays.
04-14-2004 15:45:42 | More by Andreji
Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
92 out of 100 based on 670 ratings.