Trappist Achel 8° Blond | Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

412 Reviews
Trappist Achel 8° BlondTrappist Achel 8° Blond

Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-06-2002

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Reviews: 412 | Ratings: 732
Photo of Sammy
3.32/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was past due. I got it that way in the trade, but didn't have time to check the bottle. Not much in the way of taste. Inconsistent taste, carbonation, eggshells, yeast. Not quite skunked, but getting there. Salty. Blonde orange with initial overflow. Some sediment that was creamy.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Lovely dark yellow with a thick white head. Wonderful fresh banana/banana bread assertive nose, candi fruit and fresh stone fruit.

Rich full mouthfeel with perfect carbonation and character.

Flavors follow nose with rich malt and rich banana, stone fruit and candi sugar flavors. Perfect balance and character. Tastes like "a real Belgian ale."

Quality, rich and bold drink with assertive and very pleasant flavor profiles.

This could well be a favorite of many. Great drink with a nice malt finish.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear pale yellow color with a HUGE 4 inch stark white head. The head overflowed when I poured the beer and there are super aggressive carbonation bubbles in this one. The head settles down into a mountainous pillow of foam on the top of the beer. Random spotting of lacing on the glass as the head settles too. Smells of Belgian yeast, spices, mild fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is very yeast forward with spices, lemongrass/citrus, and some malt on the finish. Slightly bitter citrus zest flavors on the palate after each sip. Feel is extremely carbonated to the point where is detracts from the overall experience in my opinion. Overall, this is a good tripel from this Trappist brewery and I am glad I got a chance to try it.

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Photo of metter98
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: It pours light golden yellow with a big, white head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible. There was a good amount of head retention.
S: There are gentle aromas of fruit, spices and yeast.
T: The taste is rather complex and the flavors are an interesting mix of malt, hops, and spices. There is a bit of sweetness in the overall taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and relatively smooth. There is a good amount of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is extremely drinkable and rather refreshing.

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

This, the second Achel beer that I have ever had, and second tonight. I can really get on board with this brewery.

The beer opens, er errupts with a very efforvescent pour with the beer's head expanding far above the level of the liquid. You got to like the fight in these Belgian Trappist Ales. the color is a deep straw color that rides the line between straw and golden- definately some caramelized pilsner malts going on here. The stark white foamstand lasts as long as is needed while leaving an ordinant amount of lacing on the glass- all signs of a great beer.

Peaches, pears, appricots, and apples lead the estery way while sweetened pilsner malts follow closely behind, giving substance to the fruity, confectionate aroma. White pepper and a zesty, lemony tartness give the phenols representation deep in the olfactory senses. Lightly vineous and acidic like a sharp chardonay.

Soft pilsner malts with the light candi sugars all swirl together in an effortless sweet maltiness. Again, the fruity esters show up but do not dominate the flavors as they did in the aromas. The peppery notes accent the hop flavor (yes, floral hop flavor). Sweet cookie-dough tastes give a lot of yeasy roundess and berry-like sweetness. Quite complex and delicate for such boldness and power.

Like the Dubbel, this one expands rapidly with the carbonation and the lift off of the tongue, but then lightens considerable and seems to evaporate into thin air. Powedery and warming, the beer does some serious magic tricks. No residual sweetness for ultimate dryness- but not overly acidic or chalky.

For me, this beer falls just behind Chimay White for sheer flavor, texture, and drinkability. Definately a must-revisit for me.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. I would imagine that a single reference to the 'Trappist' designation on the label would suffice, no? Oh? Ok.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium golden amber colour, with a teeming, overflowing, and consequently counter-wiping amount of puffy, thinly foamy, and yet rocky off-white head, which settles all slow and steady, leaving a mess of scattered cloud detritus lace around the glass in the process.

It smells of mildly spicy, almost funky yeast, bready, and sort of crackery pale malt, stewed apples, black and white pepper, some citrus pith bitterness, and a hint of alcohol warming. The taste is sweet bready pale malt, some bittersweet orchard fruitiness - lemon and overripe apples, mostly - earthy, tacky yeast, and floral, perfumed hops.

The carbonation seems quite petered out after its introductory outburst, manifesting now in but a lame frothiness, the body a sort of wan medium weight, and decently smooth by the same measure. It finishes off-dry, and clean, with the admittedly well-balanced fruity malt tinged by an ever so slight booziness.

An agreeable, and equitably recommendable Tripel, the style's SOP alcohol edge honed, and reduced to a mere echo. Quite drinkable for that, or at least until the flipside of the sword makes its mark. Trappist brewers do excel at subtly, and this one sneakily possesses it in spades.

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Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light honey-color with a Brobdignanian white head that retains so well it hardly has the chance to leave much lacing behind

Smell: Bready and yeasty with a range of light fruit elements (green apples and bananas) as well as a hint of clove

Taste: Malty and bready with a building spice flavor of anise, clove and golden raisins; some bitterness arrives at mid-palate; nice flavor burst after the swallow along with the impact of the warming alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation

Drinkability: Very interesting brew; well-balanced blend of sweet and bitter tastes

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Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with white standard pressure cap served into a Trappist Westvleteren goblet (large format) in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof since it's trappist. 8% ABV confirmed.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

Some liquid started to surge out immediately upon opening, but we only lost a minute amount of foam.

A: Pours a three finger head of beige colour, decent thickness, slight cream, and fantastic retention for the high ABV as well as for the style. Body colour is an extremely hazy pale orange colour. Fairly vibrant. Nontransparent. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Champagne, HEAVY crystal malt, pale malts, clove, maybe light honey, and some assorted spices of such subtlety that I have trouble identifying them with me broken nose. A below average strength aroma.

T: Crystal malt, champagne/white sparkling wine notes, clove and other vague spices, pale malts, light specialty honey, and hints of yeast. Even a slight hint of very light funk. Incredibly light and refreshing for a tripel. Some notes of what tastes like what glass smells like - as though it's sat in the bottle too long; this off-flavour really hits the balance hard but I think my local bottle shop is mainly to blame. Metallic on the after-taste.

It's a tough call, but ultimately Achel should have more control over their distributors. These off flavours should not exist.

Mf: Delightfully light and tingly for a tripel; the mouthfeel is marvelous. Perfectly coarse and even a bit dry like a fine champagne or sparkling wine. Very light on the palate but with adequate presence. Ideal carbonation.

Dr: The off-flavours ruin it, but I can tell there's a good beer lurking beneath. I just wish Achel had better quality control. My local bottle shop is usually quite trustworthy, but this is a severe disappointment. I'll be revisiting this beer.


05.09.14 truncated impressions:

Violently gushed upon opening, making a mess. Ugh.

A: Head is a bit thin, and lacks fullness, creaminess, and frothiness. Body has abundant yeast particles floating about, and the colour is nice.

Sm: Soapy, with some clean barley and muted crystal malts. Moderate in strength. A bit starchy and stale.

T: Has some nice elements, but ultimately it's a bit simple and unbalanced. Hints of honey, Belgian pale malts, barley.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a carbonation edge.

Dr: Hides its ABV okay, which is high for a purported "blond bier." I remain unimpressed with this beer despite my trust of Achel. I'll need to have this fresh in Belgium to really review it properly.

Low C

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When pourred into glass the head quickly dissipate but reveal a beautiful cloudy golden ale. Smells of hopps and yeast emerge from this beer with a very sweet finish. Very fine trappist beer. Hides very well the strong alcohol taste. Can go wrong with this brew

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up down in North Carolina. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice very light orange with a good white head and a pretty large number of lace rings. Nose brings forward some spice, sweetness, light fruits, and a bit of pear. Taste brings in a bit of booze along with spice and light grain. Good, fairly-light mouthfeel with some alcohol heat. Drinks quite well, although not nearly as good as the Westmalle.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into delerium tremens glass.

Pours over a finger of off white head. Pretty nice retention leaving splattered lace. Color is a hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Lots of spices notes. Bananas, cloves, yeast, and spice flavors. Very sharp. Not a bad tripel.

Taste: A warmer tripel. Lots of yeast and spice notes. Cloves and and bananas. I can't definitely taste the Belgium aspects of this beer. I dig it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and refreshingly crisp. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends spiced and dry.

Overall, not a bad tripel. A very fine representation of the style. I liked the flavor. Nothing special, but the beer is supposed to be what it is supposed to be. Very nice.

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Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into chalice, best by 7/5/2013. Pours hazy golden amber color with a very nice 2 -3 finger fluffy white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice thick foamy lacing clings to the glass, with a lot of carbonation streaming up retaining the head. Aromas of pear, pepper, apple, herbal, clove, banana, bread, candi sugar, grass, earth, and yeast spices. Very nice aromas with nice balance and complexity. Taste of apple, pear, banana, clove, pepper, bread, earth, grass, candi sugar, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of light fruits, clove, pepper, bread, candi sugar, clove, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Great flavor balance and complexity; with no cloying flavors at all, very crisp. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a lightly slick and very crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very excellent tripel! Great flavor complexity and balance; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. Really enjoyed this one. I also had a bottle that was 3 years older recently, and this fresher bottle was far superior.

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Photo of nickfl
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The cap comes off with a loud hiss of pressure and in the time it takes to grab a glass a slow gush of foam is poking out to the mouth of the bottle. The beer pours with a huge, four finger, head of loose, white foam. The body is a dark copper color with good clarity, but quite a bit of sediment suspended in it. The foam settles quite slowly and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S - A strong, peppery yeast aroma with some pineapple and vanilla notes. A little bit of tangy wheat aroma and some light, earthy hops in the background.

T - Some sweet, bready pilsner malt up front with earthy hops and spicy yeast. A little bit of pepper and red apple from the yeast appear in the middle with strengthening notes of herbal hops and bitterness. Finishes with more bready malt and fruity yeast as well as light peppery notes and moderate hop bitterness to balance. Lingering yeast pepper and a bit of meaty character from yeast that has started to turn bad.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a nice triple with great yeast character, especially in the aroma. The hops are put to good use here and manage to balance out the relatively sweet finish while also augmenting the peppery character of the yeast in the flavor. My only complaint is that the yeast in the bottle has obviously started to go bad and dulls the flavor a bit (not to mention the unpleasant looking floaters in an otherwise good looking beer). Overall is is quite enjoyable, though I can't help but think it was a better beer when it left Belgium than it is by the time it makes its way over here.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poures a pale yellow with a a light orange tint with chunks and floaties abound (I poured to hard ) with a creamy head that leaves a light amount of lace,spicey aroma some cinnamon and apple going on with a light smokiness going on very appetizing.Taste is phenolic in its smokiness with a nice apple pie flavor spicey and some apple tartness not any alcohol burn like alot of tripels finishes smooth.A real drinkable ale for the style with alot of nice flavors not overly complex but very solid.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears to have a date for when to drink by... 29/09/13.

A: Pours a crystal clear pale yellow in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy white head that reduces by about 50% (leaving at least a finger of head) with a much denser and thicker patch covering the center. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Some fairly light to moderate aromas of spices, yeast, and light fruits (I think I would describe them as citrus, banana, and pear).

T: Upfront this beer offers up some sweetness, tastes almost like a combination of honey and light fruits (specifically pear and banana). Additionally there is a definitely pale malt presence with some Belgian yeast and spice notes.

M: Light to medium bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth with moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer has a nice complexity in both the smell and taste. I enjoyed the flavors but this is much more of a sipping beer than a session beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, effervescent, burnished gold body with a full, off-white head.

Smell: Oh, what a stink! Aromatic scent of peaches, sliced melons, doughy malts, candi sugar, and a dash of booze.

Taste: Pale malts and a candi sugar sweetness. A bit of toasted sourdough bread. A drizzle of fruity, tangy peach and melon juice. A decent pop of balancing bitterness. Slight peppery hints. Certainly more bitterness than I had expected on the dry, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: A tad beyond medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent. It's reasonably balanced and easy going for an 8% blonde.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky butternut squash with a yeast-cluttered, carbonation-filled body and a high quality cap of creamy, pearlescent foam that maintains a mesa-like surface as it descends. A wide band made up of interlocking curlicues of lace has formed on the upper reaches of the glass and is the capper on a wonderful look.

Blond smells at least as much like a BSPA as it does a tripel, but then my nasal knowledge of Belgian brews is still in its infancy. While it isn't as assertive or as deep as it might be, it's still a pleasant nose. Sweet, fruity and clove spicy, but not clove-dominant. There isn't a whole lot wrong here and there's quite a bit right.

Still going strong on the palate. The flavor comes on like gangbusters early in the mouthful as waves of fruity spiciness wash over the tongue. It can't maintain that initial rush throughout the mouthful however. This is definitely good beer, but I can't quite bring myself to consider it great beer.

Clove and white pepper are dominant, yet don't overwhelm the fermented peach and melon fruitiness that lie one layer down. The beer isn't as sweet as some tripels and dries out considerably on the clean, bracing back end. A lingering sweetness keeps it from being mouth puckeringly dry. I love beer that is a study in contrasts like this one is.

Achel 8 Blond fits somewhere between good and very good for me. I'd love to drink it side by side with a few other quality tripels to tease out the relevant differences and nail down my preferences regarding this style once and for all. In the final reckoning, I'll grant it 'just short of greatness' status. Rest assured, I'll be giving it plenty of chances to change my mind for the better.

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Photo of Jason
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

33 cl brown bottle with drink before date on the side label.

Appearance: Thin but sticky white lace, hazed yellowish golden hue yields a dull glow in the light.

Smell: Phenolic and herbal resins, a lemony hop and chalky yeast make up the soft aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Medium body with a crisp smoothness that digs in deep. Dry pale malt character throws down a floury flavour and combines with the chalky yeast. Big phenolic flavour bursts at the same time as the alcohol shows it juicy and fruity side with warming esters and mild solvent flavours abound. More chalky yeast and bitty pale malt husk in the end.

Notes: This reminds me of Westmalle Tripel in a way though I much more prefer Westmalle, this is a good tripel but I am just not as impressed.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep golden slightly hazy sunshine hue nice creamy fine bubbled head leaves detailed Belgian lacing. Aroma: Candi sugar lnes layers of sweet pale malts nice fruity undertones some tropical notes with a kiss of hops. Taste: Nice fairly mild overall flavor, sweet candi sugar some fruity undertones and bubblegum with evident alcohol leaves me quite underwhelmed. Mouthfeel: Medium body fine effervescent carbonation, not bad. Drinkability: Nice but for a trappist ale and eight dollars for the bottle I want more, not only do I want more but I expect more.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tuliip glass.

A ridiculous off white soapy head with good retention. I am decanting this on the edge of the glass and it's just massive. It looks like bubble bath in a bottle, leaving some lacing. Body color is a real nice orb glowing bronze, with a good column of rising carbonation. I love this but the head is just too annoying no matter how you slice it. I like big heads, but I don't like them to wait for my beer.

Nose is a great bready malt. Very dry ripping grain and barley. But kind of muted. No sense of booze heat though. Solid.

A sweet wine like body on the palate , but a big not of sugar. Sweet malty body, some spice action, and thick vanilla. Vanilla angle seems to come out more, and matches well with the aromatics of grain on the nose.

I really like this beer, but I don't like to have to wait for its goodness through a giant head. Pretty good though, actually, quite good indeed. I'll want another from this brewery for sure.

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Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, best before end of June 07.

Poured into glass chalice.

Pours clouded orange with a thick, creamy head that descends to a lasting cover that leaves lacing along the sides of the glass.

The smell is of orange peel, spiced dough and a touch of pepper. Slightly perfumy.

The taste is of lemon zest and orange peel. Spiced fresh bread. Some medicinal notes. It has a pleasant, mild taste - not as strong or complex as other Trappists, but nice nevertheless.

Tangy and mildly creamy, the spices linger.

It's not as outstanding as other Trappist ales, but still is a very nice Tripel and fits well with this great style.

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Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried a bottle of this tasty concoction at the Blind Tiger in NYC. Its a new one on their bottle list. Poured a typical Belgian shade of light golden, hazy/cloudy, with a puffy, silky white head, leaving some fine lacing. Nose was all nuts, yeast, fruity. taste is boldly tripel, all the way. Fruity, yeasty notes, pleasing on the tongue and quick to the cranium. Very soft and silky mouthfeel. Finishes dry with more fuit and some spice adding to the mix.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: hazy, dull golden, and infected with a multitude of floating flecks, but topped with a beautiful, pristine, snow-white cap of luscious, lace-leaving foam.
Aroma: softly citric, slightly spicy, and light and airy and uplifting as sea-foam, feeling a bit like a witbier, almost.
Taste: sweetness itself, with just a dash of citric sour at the edges, but overall, fruity, peach, apricot, orange. Zesty, with sour citric character returning, but not dominating. Hops dance delicately, and malt is assuredly around to provide a plush pillow for the tastebuds. A really well-integrated brew, any initial harshness is soon mellow-fied, and ease of drinkability is ensured. Mild, all in all, for sure, but that's really what the style is all about. Very smooth, I could imagine downing this aplenty, if it weren't for the cost. Really, to smooth out financial matters, the only thing to do is actually become a monastic brother, and drink this stuff for free, aye, that's what I ought to do...

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Photo of GClarkage
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

08/12/05- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a bestby November 05 on the label. Have had it ageing for at least a year, so assuming it's a 2003 brew at the latest. Poured into my Maredsous tulip.

Appearance- Cloudy amber pour. Thick, creamy and chocolate mousse like head. Almost like a whipped cream. Excellent caking lace.

Smell- Lemon, plus other citrus and tropical fruit. Also rather hoppy.

Taste- Smooth fruit backed malt flavor. Hops are there and letting you know. Almost a cognac kinda taste. Alcohol comes through slightly. Quite delicious.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, slightly creamy and inviting. Perfect carbonation.

Drinkability- Ahhh, the trappist that gets no play. Well, believe it everyone, this brew is worth some praise.

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Photo of stevoj
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I can’t add to much more to what’s alreayd been said, this is an excellent beer! Smooth and velvety, with snappy palate...this is awesome! Bottle from Mi Orge, Mi Houblon in Arlon.

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Trappist Achel 8° Blond from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
4.04 out of 5 based on 732 ratings.
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