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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723 Ratings
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Ratings: 723
Reviews: 409
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 62
Gots: 65 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: zerk on 01-14-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 723 | Reviews: 409 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EPICAC
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
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
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
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
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
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
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
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
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a deep dark murky brown with some visible floaties and a nice half inch of bubbly bone white foam on top. Crimson tinged with nice lacing. Aromas of dark burnt brown sugar, caramel, with a fruity spicy yeastiness. A touch of anise as well. Pretty nice, though a bit subdued.

First sip brings a deep brown sugar, caramel maltiness that has a nice nutty aspect to it. Notes of dark fruits, anise and a faint touch of bubblegum follow. Spicy yeast tones weave there way in and out of each subsequent sip. Slightly vinous....this one finishes rather sweet with a lingering roasty, malty flavor. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a brash carbonation that stays strong throughout the brew. Goes down smooth and is really quite refreshing even at 8%. I wouldn't mind having a few bottles of this lying around. I'll have to try some of the other Achel line.

Photo of nomad
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, deep auburn with oaky hue. Has a beautiful and strong head, soft and puffy, creating a solid wall of foam with nary a bubble in sight. Leaves a thick lace on the glass.

Smell is rummy at first with strong rosy esters and a light earth/oak backdrop soon taking the stage. Semi-sweet and light in effect. Taste is toasty-edged caramel and a light jamminess from soft apple and rosy overtones. Leads to a complex hop tingle and glints of toast in the finish. Beautifully lean mouthfeel with the head adding super soft whipped cream-like texture. A nice little trappistenbier.

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

Pours into a chalice, medium cool, a nice deep burnt rust brown.

Letting it sit and breath a bit, I swirled and smelled a great trappist smell; some yeast fruit alcohol grain malt sugar, all swirling gently. The taste and mouthfeel do not disappoint. There is a beautiful subtlety, a quiet power in the malt- which is balanced by alcohol rather than hops. There is a lingering finish of dry vanilla and figs. This is superb; this rivals Westmalle dubbel. This is classic.

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle, capped. I have not had many (maybe only half?) trappist beers but always look forward to them. Pours out a beautiful light brown body with a good size, foamy, off-white head. Appears to be very effervesant.

The smell is slightly sour with hints of malt, figs and fruits. Kind of what I would expect minus the sour notes. As it sits, the head doesn't seem to grow that much.

Taste is similar to the smell only lacking a bit. Good body but nothing really in the middle to rely on. Some more figs, nuts, and fruit. The ending has a solid malt kick. I almost wish that sourness came through. Overall, a solid beer. Nothing to die for as I really was expecting so much more complexity.

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an ice tea russet brown cloudy body with garnet highlights; very nice head with great retention and lacing

Smell: Caramel and candy sugar but not overyly sweet nose; a bit of bubblegum and a subtle touch of bitterness

Taste: Starts out bready and then the sweetness opens up; not cloying at all; a bit of milk chocolate appears mid-palate and a nice bitter, yeasty finish; alcohol is well-disguised

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin for a dubbel; frothy carbonation

Drinkability: Very drinkable but a bit understated compared to other dubbels; a nice broad range of flavors, however

Photo of atigerlife
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle, served in Achel glass.

A beautiful, fluffy, rather large head. Small beading. Nice light brown color. Head lasted rather long. A beautiful dark ruby color. A wonderful beer to stare at contemplatively.

Smells of of sweet burnt brown sugar. Malty. The taste starts out lightly bitter but quickly mellows. Slightly fruity, couldn't quite determine....plums, apples, pears....

Nice light carbonation that cleanses the palate. Quite drinkable, though not in the league of some other of its Belgian counterparts.

Photo of Fish113d
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle served chilled into a wine glass, it pours a caramel color with a slight tan, thin bubbly and oily surface layer with some slight edge clinginess...very hazy appearance.

Aroma is of brown malts and some spice (maybe nutmeg), but due to being in a bar under a fan, it made it difficult to distinguish. Not very complex aroma but nice!

Sipping reveals lots of spice (nutmeg) along with some brown malts and fruit (the slight taste of a mix of pears and grapes or plums). However the maltiness takes over on this one.

Feel is a bit thin for a full-bodied brew to me actually. I expected it to have much more body. Bubbly up front like a champagne or a strong ale, but decent.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. Easy to drink for an 8%. Very smooth!

Photo of yelterdow
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a Trappistes Rochefort chalice at cellar temperature. I opted to swirl in the sediment towards the middle of this tasting.

Appearance- Tawny to brown in the "biere brune" tradition, very murky with a thick, heavy look. Head begins at just under an inch and slowly fades to a thin mat, with the most miniscule bubbles hugging the inside of my glass. Minimal lacing.

Smell- dark fruity notes with a malt driven nose, with a slight indication of phenols and candy sugar. Sweet prunes, raisins come to mind. Alcohol level (8%) is apparent without much imagining. As the beer approaches 40 minutes in the glass (how did that happen?)... the aromas meld and become more complex and impressive.

Taste- Begins with a good integration of malts and dark fruit, with a mild alcohol suggestion at the very back. Hops are clearly evident in the finish, joined with a banana-like character and bready, bitter finish. Plummy and sweet, dry on the palate between mouthfuls.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Sublime in the mouth, the perfect blend of cream and foam. Medium weight, perfect for the flavors going on within. This drinks great over a long, unhurried hour when all you desire is rest and contemplation.

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

From the mini 33 cL bottle, pours a ruddy cloudy brown amber topped with a massive frothy pillowy statuesque khaki dense head cap that leaves well lace spotted in the glass.

Bright bold nutty aromatic scents of vanilla and cake icing. This is a sniffer treat with a slight twist of citrus.

First swigs: Sweet brown sugar, confectioners sugar, and pancakes. A doughy cake dough flavor. Quite the impudent little bottle. Fruity banana and flour. Dry banana aftertaste with a linger of vanilla ice cream. A dubbel to be desired. Sweet and fruity with a clean skim aftertaste.

Delicate soft attenuated carbonation that melts on the tongue.

Last swigs: Reminds me an awlful lot of Brasserie de Rocs. This has a slightly lemony spicy sugary complexity that is a true treat. Might be the best dubbel that this BlitheringIdiot has ever had.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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

Trappist Achel Bruin Bier

A dubbel, Mark’s favorite, Achel a gem by Helen. It sits before me. Where to start...the head mounts short at a finger and remains with a thick, creamy blanket – off white; a remnant light lace. They both diminish midway. Carbonation streams continuous with ferocity. Color without backlight an opulent amber brown yet with illumination radiates a peachy-honey; particles afloat. The nose, a delight, sweet, caramel, banana, fig, tropical fruit, and soft spice. Oh, this is nice. The taste is a true balance of all. Beautiful. Simple, nose plus an appropriate carbonation “is” this taste and mouthfeel right down to the medium body witnessed in both nose and body. How wonderful it is to appreciate a style for its greatness regardless of this individual’s preference. For what the Achel Bruin is it is good. I look forward to their triple –blond.

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

330ml Bottle bought from

Poured a deep burgundy / brown colour... Head was a creamy tan / grey colour.
Quite small beading produced a nice thick, foamy head which lasted throughout...

Aroma - Malty, dark fruits (black grapes ?), burnt sugar. Slight hint of vanilla as well...

Taste – Toffee, malt, dark fruits, aniseed. Quite noticable alcohol.

Feel - Quite sharp at first but this mellows out....

Overall - An excellent trappist... not quite up there with the Westy or Rochefort, but not too far off...

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

Another notch on my quest for complete trappist domination. Almost there. Pours a ruby red with brown highlights, huge creamy off white head, lots of sticky lace. Smell is rich and sweet malts, dark fruit, brown sugar, slight alcohol, some cherries. Taste is apples, pears, sweet spicy middle, light alcohol and a dry bitter finish. Kind of a wheaty aftertaste thats slightly tart. Medium mouthfeel, medium to high carbonation, pretty aggressive, a really dry finish. Tasty beer.

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

Presentation: Drank from an 11.2 oz bottle, poured into chalice.

Appearance: Nice ruby brown color with lacy head.

Smell: Smells similar to Prior 8, but maybe not as intense. Very bready yeasty, with subtle fruity esters.

Taste: Very good. Has the classic Belgian flavor I crave. Again, I place this as close to Prior 8 (St. Sixtus). Probably 85 steps in the same direction as Prior 8, when 100 is called for.

Notes: I'll definitely drink this again. I found it at Cloverleaf in Detroit. I haven't found this in Columbus yet...

Photo of ChrisBowers
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I got a sub-par bottle, but I don't see what the hype is with this beer. Its been by far my most disappointing of the trappists. I found it to be very one sided and uncomplex. Slight notes of banana, malt and a slightly hoppy finish were present. Good appearance with a nice dense head. Smell was ok, nothing special. Maybe I was expecting too much from this beer? Definitely will re-taste though from a different source though this one came home with me from Belgium.

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

33cl bottle bought from the bargain singles section at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Usually an indication of O-L-D beer, being in that section, but I figure it's worth a try, even with no date apparent on the bottle.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" beige head over the reddish brown brew, which has a bit of particulate riding the bubbles swirling in the glass. Head lasts well, and the lacing is of the impressive, slow-falling, dense foam variety. Aroma is malty, spicy, fruity, putting it together nicely. Taste is prevalent spiciness, with dark fruitiness and alcohol dominant as the flavor progresses. Mouthfeel is creamy, packaging up the flavors very nicely, and drinkability is similarly good. Got better as it warmed closer to room temperature. Nice one here.

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

Sampled this at Le Sous Bock on my return to Paris. This beer produced a one finger foamy head when it was poured into a glass. The beer was an opaque orange brown color. Aromas were mainly sweet and spicy. Taste was very smooth with spice and fruit notes. Mouthfeel was velvety. A very good beer and one I'd buy if I could find it back here in the states.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured with the yeast. It sits in my tulip glass a rich, hazy amber color and is topped by a thin head. The aroma is lightly spicy, but is dominated by rich bread-like notes, dark fruit and malt. The taste is quite rich and flavorful, yet remains light and dry on the palate.

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

11.2 dark brown bottle. Freshness date etched on back label (07/06)
It pours a deep, dark orange-hued amber.
A whiff of fresh honeycomb rises immediately from the bottle to glass. A yeasty smell is noticed throughout the glass. A faded horse stable aroma lingers in the background. A sweet malty smell comes and goes. A whiff of citrus is steady, if light.
Sweet caramel malty flavors dominate early, and then give way to citrusy grapefruit and orange-zest bitterness. A mild taste of cloves and peppery spices add, rather than detract from the overall malt to hop ratio.
A taste of sweet honey and hint of bourbon gives this Trappist its unique edge. Nice Brew!

Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
92 out of 100 based on 723 ratings.