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

749 Ratings
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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Ratings: 749 |  Reviews: 415
Photo of Nesued
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The 11.2oz Achel has been quietly sitting in my beer closet for going on over 4 years now. Let's see if this blond has matured nicely, or if she's the same hottie that I remember. Either way, I see this as a win-win situation.

Appearance - Big head on this tripel. Creamy and dense. I've come to see this as a strong character trait on every Trappist offering I've enjoyed. The head slowly recedes down to a very noticeable half-finger head. The lacing is impressive. The color is a rich amber golden with a yeast haze present. Gotta love those bottle-conditioned offerings.

Smell - As I was pouring it the aroma of this blond caressed my nose. Inviting malts, some sweetness. The typical profile of a Trappist ale yeast used in the creation of this heavenly brew. Some clove notes along with a nice bready aroma.

Taste - Fruits and malt mixed with a bready backbone. This is not an overbearing Tripel. The flavors are muted and you have to find them, rather than they finding you. Lovely.

Mouthfeel - medium to full on the tongue. The carbonation remains a prime mover for this offering and does it well.

Overall - This is no St. Bernardous or Goulden Carolus. This is very mild and surprisingly drinkable. Nice legs on this blond, but I've had better.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl, best before 11/15/2012.

Pours a lightly hazy, rich gold with a huge, large-bubbled white head. Dissipates to a nice, creamy layer.

The aroma is yeasty and fruity, though there's a slightly off, possibly oxidized character, reminiscent of minerals and cardboard.

The flavor is excellent and reminds me a lot of Duvel. The alcohol makes it's presence felt, but there's a lot of delicious spiciness and golden candy-caramel flavors, and also a wine-like, white grapeskin component that is unique. Finishes very swift and clean, with moderate bitterness. Touch sweet overall though. Mouthfeel is fluffy and highly carbonated.

Nice Belgian blonde here. Clean up the aroma, and this would be excellent.

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Photo of rarbring
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy brass colored brew, lively bubbles and a high white head that settles slowly leaving good lacing. Some curtains.

The smell is fruity, pears, mango, pineapple, sour milk, some faint earth tones and yeast.

Initially sweet, syrup, then ripe apples and lemons, spicy, pepper, cardamom, cloves, sour cream, bitter grape-fruit zest.

Medium high carbonation, lively very small bubbles, foamy and soft, a good body, a dry almost coarse finish.

A good tripel, well balanced, nice with strong cheese.

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Photo of cpmichael
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone snifter. Bottle said 19/06/10 on it.

A: Pours a light peach-like color, with a medium white foamy head on the glass.

S: Has a very strong fruity complexity to it. Lemon and pear seem most apparent to me, with some spices and the belgian yeast smell rounding out the end.

T: The front end of this beer has a mild malty characteristic, which eventually leads its way to the fruity backend of the beer. Notes of lemon and pear, which were apparent in the nose show themselves here.

M/D This is a pretty balanced beer, with a more mild carbonation. The beer itself is really easy to drink and has a dry finish to it.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip; 1-finger ecru-white head, creamy in appearance, body is goldenrod, transparent in one glass and translucent in another (pouring technique?). Clings in elegant lacing.

Nose is pungent, yeast and some booze, (faint urine?).

Flavor is quite pleasant, peach, but with a nice dry finish and the faintest trace of hops for balance.

Mouthfeel is nice; carbonation stops just short of creamy, slightly coarse.

A proper Belgian tripel, easily drinkable; limited only by ABV and price.

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Photo of hardy008
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold with a large foamy white head with nice lacing and retention. The aroma is phenolic, with spice, Belgian yeast, and pale malt.

The taste is just like the aroma. Phenolic flavor with spice, Belgian yeast, and pale malt. The beer has a nice sweet flavor, is a little bit peppery, and the finish is sweet.

Medium bodied, well carbonated, and smooth. This is a nice, easy drinking Tripel, which I would seek out again.

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Photo of Mjoepp
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden liquid, huge white head which dissolved quickly.

S: Honey, berries, notes of yeast, warm feeling from alcohol.

T: Sweet. Honey and some spices are dominating. Aftertaste is somewhat bitter, nice hop character. Esters can also be noted.

Overall: Nice trappist. One of the easiest to drink among the trappist beers.

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Photo of dgilks
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Relatively clear golden colour with a thick, long lasting white head.

Nice, sweet, spicy aroma with notes of pear and clove.

Sweet malt plays against a prominent peppery, clove spice note. Moderate bitterness is interesting.

Medium body with moderate carbonation settling to a silky smooth mouthfeel.

A delicious Trappist ale. Much nicer than the Bruin.

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Photo of Zimbo
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear sparkling orangy golden in colour this has a large billowing pillow-like head and an enticing candy sugar smell.

Some slight carbonation and medium bodied it tastes of honey spiced pear with an ever so slight sappy quality. Maybe a trace of banana too.

Easy to drink but more potent than expected. Great balance. Very fine. Very much underrated here. One of the best tripels I can remember.

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Photo of BobZ
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 Oz. bottle. Poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy golden yellow with an amazing, big, billowy head that last all the way through the beer, incredible lacing too which sticks all over the glass. This is the only beer I've ever had which could rival Duvel in appearance. The best looking Tripel I've ever seen.

Smell: As expected for the style. Citrus, spice, and a little sweetness.

Taste: The sweetness is very soft on the front end for a tripel; the bitter hoppy finish is excellent. The bitter notes are more dominant that the sweet ones in this beer, but it remains flavorful with a nice level of spiciness.

Drinkability: Even at 8% ABV, this is a very smooth and drinkable beer.

Achel does an incredible job crafting their beers, yet another solid offering.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rounds out the list of Trappist breweries for me. Took a surprisingly long time, mostly due to a lack of effort.

Clear light golden orange with a dense, white head with excellent retention and lacing, this looks really good. The head isn't the densest I've seen.

The nose is rather excellent. Moderate phenols are noticeable right away, but this is a classic tripel. Saaz hops, moderately grassy and lemony, play off a delicate malt base, one that has a touch of sugar, pilsner and doughy malts and a little honey. Wisps of cotton candy are also present. Alcohol is pretty well hidden, and despite my description, this smells rather dry. Yeast character is moderate, present mostly as a delicate spiciness with white pepper and a little clove. Wonderful stuff.

The palate opens mildly sweet, almost in an artificial, aspartame kind of way. Sharp but also light, there's some candy sugar and a little bit of dough to go with it. Hops are reserved, there's a moderate flavor hop character here with some grassy and lemony character and a firm but gentle bitterness on the finish. Spice and yeast esters are present on the mid-palate and linger into the finish, working quite well with the bitterness. The initial sweetness, while distracting, is something I get used to quite easily. Drying on the finish, this beer is medium-light in body with plenty of carbonation. The bubbles feel fine and creamy, rather than big and scrubbing. Very good stuff, I'll drink this again.

In the interest of science, I split the beer between two glasses: my Duvel glass, and my beautiful (and new) Goose Island wide-mouthed glass. This glass accentuates the malt, especially the doughy, mildly dusty character. The carbonation is also firmer and more scrubbing, the palate tastes sweeter and not as complex. If I were to review that pour, I'd give it a B+ instead of the A- it's gotten here. I guess my Duvel tulip will have to be my go-to reviewing glass here on out.

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Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Achel Blond 2010, split with Gdrydenc.
Review of the 2008 achel blond coming soon, courtesy of GdrydenC.

Appearance: Four or so inches of head. Golden in color.

Smell: Flowery aroma. Smells a like a Duvel but the taste is very different from one.

Taste: Very floral in taste. More sweet than duvel. The yeast is prominent and has a very agreeable estery flavor characteristic. Very nice balance between hops and malt. The alcohol is imperceptible.

Mouthfeel: highly carbonated for the style.

Drinkability: too expensive for an every day. However it is one of the more delicious representations of the tripel style.

2008 Achel:

Appearance: Gold, with a finger of head.

Smell: floral. Could be my imagination, but this one seems slightly more subdued than the 2010.

Taste: Considerably less bitter than the 2010. Flowery estery yeasts dominate. The balance between hops and malt in the 2010 is not as present. Alcohol is nonexistent.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated

Drinkability: I prefer this one to the 2010. While it is not as balanced, it is overall a more tasty tripel.

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Photo of gdrydenc
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared this with itsfreeasinbeer, cheers!

This bottle has a best by date of 20/04/12.

A - Holy head! 4 Fingers of head when pour very slowly. Beer itself is a dark straw color. The head is white and shows no signs of falling at all.

S - It smells very good. It's a very typical tripel smelling beer. Flowery, hints of apricot, maybe even some banana?

T - Very similar to the smell, apricots and yeast are certainly at the forefront. The finish is just as sweet. I love the taste of this beer.

M - Fantastic mouthfeel. The ludicrous carbonation from the pour certainly still comes out in the mouthfeel, but it doesn't overwhelm my mouth.

D - I could drink tripels all day. It's alcohol of 8% is certainly hidden well.

This bottle has a best by date of 13/11/10.

A - This bottle, 2 years older, has only about 1 finger of head. This has clearly calmed down in its old age. The color of the beer is similar, but slightly more gold and less yellow.

S - Smells more flowery, less fruity. Still has a similar sweet smell though.

T - It seems that some of the flavors have faded and others have become more pronounced. The flowery flavors are certainly still there, but I detect very little apricot and banana.

M - The carbonation certainly didn't diminish! Great mouthfeel still.

D - Still very drinkable. The flavors are certainly in much different balance, but I think they are still all excellent.

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Photo of yapi
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Easily better then the brown version! Has a better carbonation, still sparkles, but not overly high. The brown one is difficult to drink, didn't have a problem with this one. Still, if you don't like carbonation, you might skip this one...

Taste is pretty complex but very balanced & easy to like if you love a creamy beer. Sweet & spicey. Apple & pear. Would be able to drink a lot of this one!

A nice addition to the Trappist beers, would recommend to lovers of several kinds of drinks, not only beer.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a wine glass.

A: Huge, light, frothy, pitted head which leaves truly impressive clumps of lace on the sides of the glass. Lots of lively bubbles in the beer, which is the colour of golden wheat. Remarkably clear.

S: A tripel-ly smell -- soft citrus, light grain, strong spices.

T: Delicious. Both creamy and spicy. Fruity, much more than just the tartish citrus I smelled. The sweet creaminess of fruit reminds me of the best Limoncello or lemon meringue pie. The spicy nature of this tripel piggybacks on the lively carbonation, leading to some truly tongue-teasing tastes and feelings. My main complaint is the nature taste of head, usually one of my favourite aspects of the tripel. In Achel's version, it's harsh and metallic -- not at all pleasant...So maybe it's not *overly* terrible, but definitely mars an otherwise exceptional flavour. The aftertaste has too many traces of this fault to be lauded. In sum, the half the taste is superlative, the other, less so.

M: Absolutely the best part of the beer. Creamy-soft, spicy-rough -- the defining dichotomy of this beer. Captivating.

D: Not my favourite tripel, not my favourite Achel. Still, a great beer. A treat to drink, fun, and rewarding. Recommended.

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Photo of impending
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden dirty straw. Classic towering belgian head slowly recedes to a half finger for the duration. Clumpy froth appears as if viewed from an aircraft above the clouds.

Classic aroma as well. Powdery yeast and freshly folded bread. Dominant citrus atop overly ripe light fruits. Phenols wash it all.

Mouthfeel medium yet prickly from the hyper carbonation. Sweet, clean and refreshing. Phenolic characteristics are pronounced.

A distinction between american belgians and belgian belgians :) is in the managing of phenols which the american brewers mostly avoid but the belgians often embrace. Personally, when the phenols veer towards the medicinal variety it does not please me, it tastes like a mistake. I mention this because when the phenols are strong as with this brew and they stay on the cusp of medicinal, the right side, they add a distinctive complexity only true belgians seem able to explore.

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Photo of nataku00
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried to gently pour a bottle into a Duvel tulip, but the high carbonation created a huge four finger head anyway. Slightly hazy golden beer with tons of carbonation streaming from the bottom fed the snow white fluffy head for a long time.

Nose is floral hoppiness with pale malts. Some dried apricot as well.

Taste is light hops with pale malt backbone. A little coriander and fruitiness mid tongue finish bone dry and slightly bitter.

Good carbonation tickles the tongue and contributes to the dry finish. A decently drinkable beer that hides the alcohol well.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a large head leaving lots of lacing.
Nose shows doughy yeast and spicy phenols with soft light fruit underneath (white grapes, pear). The yeast is a little overpowering.
Flavours are quite similar with the addition of some light malt and candi sugar.
Carbonation is stupidly high, just like the bruin. What is the point of carbonation so high that you cant taste the beer?

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Photo of drtth
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes taken on a recent visit to Sydney.

Served in the Achel goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer has a lightly hazed dull honeygolden color with a ¼" of white foam that leaves a nice pattern of lacing. For much of the beer sipping continues to leave lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: The aroma leaves no doubt that a Belgian yeast was used here. There is some fruity character (mostly green orchard fruits with hints of citrus and peach) along with touch of peppery spice and clove.

Taste: The flavors are complex with some malty breadiness serving as a backbone to carry the fruity and spicy flavors. The fruits seem to be Sultana raisins, a hint of citrus, some peach and maybe a hint of pear. The spices are clove and something else I can't identify.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with a nice level of prickly carbonation. The finish is moderately long and with a touch of sweetness remaining even as it turns mostly dry.

Drinkability: For one word to describe this beer think "balance." There is both sweet and bitter here and their interplay leaves one wanting another sip. I quite enjoyed this beer and intend to revisit it when possible.

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Photo of daledeee
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very active white head with large bubbles. Moderate lacing. Clear yellow body with bubbles from the bottom.

Nose is fruit like pears or apples.

Taste is fruit like apples, grapes and pears with a pretty good sized dose of Belgian hops. Very clean, crisp and fresh tasting. Nice mouth feel and easy to drink. A very nice triple indeed.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this in a Leffe glass after raking leaves. Upon opening I didn't have the problem others have mentioned with it "foaming at the mouth".

It did pour a hazy golden color with a great big head that took up the the rest of the glass above the 33cl line. The lacing lasted during the entire glass.

Aroma was very good, clean, but not overpowering. Taste was outstanding, complex but not confusing.

Felt good in the mouth, a little strong on carbonation out of the gate, but settled after that.

Another trappist that got it right.

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Photo of TheDTrain
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After this beer got done gushing, the 11.2 oz bottle was split into a New Belgium Globe glass. 13/11/10 printed on the back. A 4 fingered head turned into a nice hazy gold color. This trippel was crisp, dry, and refreshing yet a bit to mellow for the price tag.

Although this beer was within its best buy date, it would be much better fresh. A good trippel, but for the price I was expecting better.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
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 GilGarp
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stamped 13GI 11:19.

33cl bottle served cool into the Watou glass.

I open the bottle and it's a good thing I have the glass nearby. It almost immediately overflow but I don't loose a drip.

Achel 8 blond is a hazy golden yellow with thick towering head that settles to a rocky cap. Very fine texture and nice chunky lacing left behind.

Aroma is fantastic and just what a good authentic tripel should be. Lemons, herbs, pepper, and yeast. Fresh and wonderful.

Flavor is excellent as well. It's pretty hard to find fault with this beer right now. Great citrus, French bread, pepper... the list of flavors goes on. Perfectly balanced and delightful in every way.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with full carbonation.

I don't know what it is about this beer but it seems like the most amazing thing right now. Very possibly my new favorite tripel.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle served in a DFH snifter glass.

pours a clear straw yellow that builds into a golden tone in the glass... mind-bogglingly large, frothy head has a life of its own; this thing is insane, enormous to the point of being too big, and not going ANYwhere... decent lacing.

aroma is vaguely citric (maybe lemon zest) with some spices and yeast evident. good nose, if nothing to go wild over.

flavor delivers breadiness, yeast... tangy, subdued citrus notes and a distinct bitterness. dry. a bit of astringency in the finish. nice, definitely nice, but to be honest i was expecting a bit more. not quite to the level i've come to expect from a trappist ale.

crisp mouthfeel, medium-bodied with above average carbonation. as for drinability, i'd put it at fair. i wouldn't object to another but for my money there are better tripels out there.

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Trappist Achel 8° Blond from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
4.05 out of 5 based on 749 ratings.
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