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

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Trappist Achel 8° BruinTrappist Achel 8° Bruin

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741 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 741
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 68
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
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Ratings: 741 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of geexploitation
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of Drew966
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

Photo of scoobybrew
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of Absumaster
4.09/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of Cwrw
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of elricorico
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of jakester
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of surfadelic23
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
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!

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.17/5  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.

Photo of whartontallboy
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of mmmbeer
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle with 11/04 notched on the label. A head develops in the bottle from the conditioning before I even pour. It pours a deep crimson/brown that is very cloudy with lots of sediment and a 1/2" khaki head that leaves little lacing. There are aromas of vinous malts, sweetness, caramel, hints of mango and apple, and a distinct wet paper scent. The taste follows suit with some grass/hay notes and some powdery yeast on top of a medium to thick body that isn't quite as thick as I'd like. Past it's prime, but still tolerable. I'd like to try a fresh bottle, though.

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

33cl 11 05 notched on the side.
Pours a reddish brown with a thick tan head of large bubbles. Smell is sweet with a slight sour tinge to it. Very good.

Toasty, nutty, musty flavor. Slightly sweet with a bit of caramel, yeast is noticeable but not overwhelming. I’m missing the sourness that the aroma hinted at… Would fit nicely in the aftertaste. Medium body. Light roasty aftertaste.

Good, but not exceptional example of the style.

Photo of maxpower
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle pours a cloudy dark red color with lots of floating yeast and a decent light brown head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Chocolate and caramel aromas, plum, banana, caramel and toffee flavors. Medium to full bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, finishes dry.

Photo of Fugazme
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby/dark sienna in color... brilliant light passes through... somewhat glowing. A very nice looking beer.

Highly carbonated with a somewhat off-white 1/4" head. Incredible stick. A truly beautiful beer.

Aroma is malty and bready... grain and dried fruits. A touch of pine and a bunch of yeast in the nose. Very bread-like.

Mouthfeel is bubblyat first and settles smooth. I like it.

Spicy, grainy, sweet with brown sugar and molasses notes on tasting. Tiny touch of maple, perhaps. Dried fruits.

Photo of EPICAC
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had beers from Chimay, Orval, Rochefort and Westmalle, so I decided to pick up an Achel beer at Downtown Wine and Spirits. I let this beer warm for about 45 minutes before serving it in a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: This beer pours a dark red, that almost appears brown, the red becomes very evident when held to a strong light. The beer is hazy almost opaque, though the dark color may make the main contribution to the opacity. It's topped by a persistent creamy beige head. This is a gorgeous beer.

Smell: There's a sweet fruitiness that dominates. Additionally there are hints of clove and breadiness. With swirling I'm getting what I can best describe as a tart aroma.

Taste: Caramel and malt flavors are evident first. There's a fruity sweetness in the center of the palate. It finishes with alcoholic warmth evident, and with a lingering but not overpowering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. This almost masks the carbonation. I like the interplay here.

Drinkability: This is a good beer, easy to drink. Though the high alcohol content may lead you quickly to drunkenness (not always a bad thing).

Overall: This is a very nice beer. It has all of the complexity of aroma and taste that I love about Belgian beers.

Photo of tavernjef
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous color! Looks like browned cherries. Body is thick and nearly opaque with only some slight glowing from within when up to a strong light source. Solid medium sized cap of delicately bubbled froth sits atop for good length showcasing a bleached sandy brown hue. Lacing sticks in some minimal stringy patches.

Aroma is grapey and dark to say the least. Quite vinous-like with a rustic red/dark grape quality mixing with hints of raisin, prunes, and has a ghostly magnitude of yeasty alcoholic esters.

Taste is fruity, dark, and uncomfortably dry in the finish. Starts pretty vibrant and active with a bit much on the carbonation end taking away from the overall aspects that could be reached. The malts are there underneath the carbonation carrying a core of grapey prunes,cherry, and raisin. Chalky mid ranges with floral hints and yeasty esters grabbing hold in a drying tone that drags right into the finish with awkwardly handled balance. It bleakfully gains some acceptable tonality.

Feel is overly carbonated and hard to get down at times. Body seems about medium but is hard to tell with so much activity in the carbonation and yeast tones. Smoothes out some as it goes, thankfully.

Not the best of Dubbels. OK to good if that. 'Best by' notched on the side of the label is Nov. 05

Photo of DogFood11
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper to brown, nice mountainous head. appetizing.Its standard until you get to the hop profile which has a bitter edge and works its way through the candied caramel malts and bubblegummy side of the house to form an above average to great dubbel. Don't be mistaken its malts and candied but there is a well crafted mix of balancers. Alcohol seems to be used as a cleanser because it eventually warms away the sweetness. Syrupy during the drink, tons of finely tuned carbonation sweep this away. What a fricking outstanding dubbel and if not the best it has to be one of the best. Notes: The bottle I'm rating was aged for a year. Not for any reason, I just didn't get to them yet. overall on the aging thing I'd just assume drink this fresh as there was really no difference. Bottles I've sampled relatively fresh were very similar if not identical.

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

Expires Nov. 2006.

A: Brownish orange, quite clear, fluffy off-white head, some retention and lace.

S: VERY fruity, with a little bready malt.

T: Nice sweet/bitter balance. Bready, chewy malt. Fruity (dark raisins and prunes), very Belgian (special B malt?). Slight hint of bubble gum esters from the yeast. Quite complex, but well rounded. Probably a little better than a '4.5', this one is boardering on exceptional.

M: Moderate body, slightly creamy. Moderately high carbonation.

D: Quite good.

Those monks know how to brew!

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

Brown reddish nectar pours from a 33cl botle into my Westmalle glass (hoping to find the Achel one in the near future). 1,5 cm head of magnolia color foam crowns this wonderful belgian. Lots of carbonation in the beginning, with a smell of melon. Later, hints of banana and brown sugar rise in my Achel Brune as temperature does and carbonation vanishes. Drink it not too cold, and you will better enjoy its warm medium to full body. For a pleasant evening in my home, I use to pair Trappist beers with Parmigiano Reggiano and Salame di Milano, and this one makes no exception. As the foam stops vanishing as it reaches 5mm, alchool begins to be more present. Finished it with a piece of milk chocolate and I went to bed very happy.
A beer that I really like and that never misses in my cellar, this Dubbel really surprised me once, when I had it after a Rochefort 8. That was one of my best beer experiencies.

Photo of sinistrsam
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Damn this was impressive...I have to admit I'm not as big a fan of Dubels as I am of Tripels and I had heard mediocre things about Achel in general. I have officially changed my mind.
The Brune poured dark orange-brown and had few champagne-like bubles, below a huge thick, foamy head. It left increedible lacing and had wonderful retention.
I noticed candy sugar, hops, clove, spices and sweet fruits and possibly(?) bubblegum in the nose. But the taste....oh the taste. Honey, cloves and citrus, plenty of alcohol, peppers, cinnamon, other spices, apple, yeast. It was incredibly complex and beautifully balanced. The taste started spicy but ended semi-sweet.
The mouthfeel was immediately bitting which I took to be harsh, but quickly turned into a smooth, semi-sweet, light finish. It was excellent.
This is a good,no; a great Dubel.

Photo of asabreed
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle poured into my Corsendonk tulip.

Appearance: A head that's completely indomitable, sitting like ice cream at the top of the glass. As it slowly goes down the lacing's thick and sticks fiercely to the sides. Body is a hazy brown with amber and red hues shooting through it. Just a total perfect looking brew in my eyes.

Smell: Initial spicy citrus bite in the nose, some heavy lemon zest, slight cream and vanilla, slight maple. Along with that comes the darker fruits, though instead of taking their place as the dominant aroma, they're really more in the back, doing nothing but complimenting everything else at the forefront. For fruit I'm getting cherries, plum, and dark berries. All red fruits with dark skin. Also now I'm getting, with some deep inhaling, clove, ginger, and cinnamon. Almost like what pumpkin ales that don't stack up try to achieve with their spices, though somehow Achel, as a Dubbel, achieves this. I am utterly impressed beyond belief for a Dubbel; this is insane.

Taste: Dark fruit comes out at first, with the citrus zest coming in behind, then leaving the yeast and a bit of hop bitterness (I think, though it could be the yeast also) to balance it all out. Alcohol is slightly present, but is well hidden. Lots of fruit, yeast, citrus, and almost some chocolate-like flavors come in at the end. Not as complex as the aroma, which is why it's getting a 4.5 from me, but it's damn close.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, rich body, creamy finish. Yeasty (which is welcoming for me) toward the end of the glass.

Drinkability: What a damn good beer. It's slightly expensive (around $5 a bottle), so until I actually have a real job and am out of grad school I won't be buying tons of it, but this is without a doubt my favorite Dubbel, and I recommend it very highly, style or not.

Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
92 out of 100 based on 741 ratings.