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 alovesupreme
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage bottled in 04
Yellow body with a white head that fades to a thin sheet but sticks around. Yeast is in a large unappetizing clump on the bottom of the bottle.
Lots of phenols and lemon character.
Slightly sour but sweet at the same time. A light pepper character plays a role and a malt finish makes up the body.
A full mouthfeel with good carbonation.
A great beer from the lesser known of the trappist breweries.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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 Vancer
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pure Belgium brew, an easy pour of this golden brew cranks up a mountain of white head in the ol' Cordendonk - more than ½ the glass is thick and rich head. The rocky head leaves, of course, nice Brussels lacing.

Aroma reeks of Belgium yeast and a bit of sour funk. Quaff shows off a crisp and carbonated brew bomb of sweet fruity mash. Slick and rich, drinks like a dream with its dry finish. Of course, a great example of a Tripel - just too high $ import fee to make it steadily into the DBF.

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

A) Clear light golden glass starts with a full white head that drops to a modest cover.

S) Belgian banana, peach nectar and a light rose petal aroma

T) Smell is pretty close to taste here. Some earthy leafy hop bitterness and some sweet wheat malt with a twist of lemon peel. Nice balance lets all the flavors come through.

M) Medium light body with a prickly carbonation

O) Easy quaffing, Belgium in a bottle. Rock on you men of God.

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Photo of pinotboy007
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful, cloudy gold with a whipped egg whites-like cap that leaves tasty globs of sticky lace.

S - Banana, that sort of Band-Aid scent, and perhaps a trace of vanilla.

T - Superb ale in every respect. Hints of banana, a wee touch of saline, and flavors too exotic for me to describe. Wow.

M - Rich with a touch of fizz that supports this exceptional offering. Its silkiness is mesmerizing.

D - I could drink a bunch of these but the 8% ABV is the only thing between me and a worn out liver. Amazing stuff!

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy pale orange color. The head is a massive three inches in height, and recedes very slowly into thick thunks of lacing. The aroma is of barnyard funk, citrus, and tangy wheat. The taste is just as funky as the aroma, with lots of tang too. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a velvety texture and nice carbonation. Overall, this is a nice beer that I could easily drink again.

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Photo of erz316
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 33cl bottle into Westmalle goblet

A - the head forms like crazy upon pouring, had to wait a minute to finish pouring. Though in the end the head does retain very well. the body is a dull yellow-brown held out of the light, and when held up to the light it is a hazy light orange.

S - some lemony zest combines with the alcohol present in the beer, this is noticeable even when right out of the fridge. some hoppy notes, along with a tad bit of sweet malts.

T - a very light and refreshing beer, the fruity elements are here to stay, and are expanded on:a light grapefruit like bitterness along with some subtle banana like sweets. the hops also add a nice bit of green bitterness during the finish and after taste. the aftertaste mellows out to some nice grain like notes and sweetness. the finish has a pleasant sweet alcohol taste that made me drink this all to quickly.

MF&D - a good beer, refreshing, but not much to say about it on the whole. not a lot of carbonation (I guess it all went out on the huge head!), not alot of body either. it is beautiful in its simplicity. but I could not drink this all night, as it would get bring.

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Photo of KeefD
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A light gusher upon opening. Pours a very bright golden color with a huge white head that fell slowly becoming somewhat creamy, leaving behind some bubbly lacing. Tons of carbonation bubbles coming up from the bottom of the goblet. Aroma is lemony, light grassiness, apple spice, a small amount of funky sourness. Taste is grainy, earthy, hints of honey, and slightly sweet almost cake batter-like middle and endlessly dry on the finish. Very aggressive carbonation scrubs the tongue. This one needs to mellow out a bit on the table before I continue on with it. Yeah, the carbonation has gone down a bit but it doesn't do anything to help the mouthfeel. It's medium bodied, crisp, dry. A good beer, but definitely nowhere near the top of the Trappists.

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

Pours a dark golden clear, with nice carbonation and excellent lacing. Smells light bready and light fruity, a little pilsneresque, a big thick head that lasts. Tastes beautifully comlex, with light fruit and a nice light mouthfeel. Highly drinkable. Like the rest of the Trappist triples, this is well balanced, very nice.

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

Best buy date of 2/10. Pours a hazy straw yellow/orange with a huge, creamy white head. Retention and lacing are fantastic--still a full one-finger of foam after almost ten minutes. No sediment. Smells strongly of fruit esters with banana and pear coming through behind light citrus. A lot of bready, doughy yeast is also predominant, along with a light spiciness. Slightly tangy upon first tasting thanks to the yeast, with sweet fruitiness playing against spiciness. Very bready, somewhat reminiscent of a Chimay brew. Some bitterness comes along toward the end to make this one quite refreshing. I do remember more hop presence from the bottles I've had in Belgium, but this one has crossed an ocean and sat for a full year, so it's easy to understand. Not as syrupy sweet as Westmalle or many other tripels. Very nice.

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Photo of davidw987
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured most of the bottle into a goblet, gave it a vigorous swirl, and poured the rest ofthe beer into the glass. The beer had a pale straw color and was very cloudy. Clumps of yeast, perhaps a quarter teaspoon in all, slowly sank after the final pour. The beer had a half inch head which dissapated fairly quickly.

The predominant aroma was of yeast. It reminded me of the smell of still actively fermenting beer.

The taste was pleasant, rather estery. I was surprised by hints of chocolate in the after taste. I noticed it a few times over the beer.

The mouthfeel was quite smooth and a nice weight, not to heavy and not to light.

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


330ml brown bottle direct from distributor (vandergeeten) in beijing. no importer's label. marked with "best by" of 14/2/10 (feb 14, 2010)

poured into tulip.

slight gusher. (about half the bottles in this batch were slight gushers.) no problems with yeast sediment this time around. almost crystal clear.

able to pay attention to fruit aromas this time around. hints of apple and pear. less caramel and more bready malts. more herbal and grassy (hop?) hints, and less of cinnamon/spice than the prior review. maybe candied ginger?

flavor is similar to prior review, but more white wine quality detected. phenols, which i wasn't paying as much attention last time, are gentle and meld with esters, diacetyl, hops, etc.

lack of yeast globules means a cleaner feel too.

i wanted to review this again after trying many of the other "classic" tripels (westmalle, etc). but like the st. bernardus, this gives a nice subdued character to the phenols, so it doesn't get in the way and actually mingles and even balances with the other characters. THIS is what i look for in a tripel. wonderfully executed.

aroma 4.0 -> 4.5
taste 4.0 -> 4.5
feel 4.0 -> 4.5

old review, 5-29-2008:

from morel's (parent company and importer) in beijing.

330ml brown bottle poured into tulip. dated sept 2007 by an importer's label.

deep honey color with slight haze, eventually cloudy with yeast. (bottle sediment disturbs easily, it seems) magnificent 3-finger head that gradually fades to a fluffy, wavy layer. lots of pretty lacing.

spicy aroma of maybe weak nutmeg and cinnamon, or perhaps... cardamom? gently phenolic and estery, with yeast and faint caramel.

flavors are similar, with accent on the sweet side. definite caramelized malt note. moderate bitterness of the herbal hops completes into the finish, balancing with the other flavors, which somehow manage to persist longer than expected.

smooth, not too thin, with lively carbonation that is almost fluffy. (if you pour in the last of the yeast sediment, it is a bit lumpy... (lumps of goo, in fact...) so be careful. i don't mind it that much, but not everyone else will feel the same.)

nice, and very drinkable. glad i got myself a couple to keep in the fridge.

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Photo of psulovesbeer
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- good head with lasting lace
Cloudy brown color
S- lots of fruit notes slight alcohol
T- burst of fruit with hops following...nice malt then a nice zip of fruity alcohol
M- fizzy in a good way nice lingering taste stays with you
D- if the 8% don't get ya drink it all night
Light and refreshing

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/2/08. Bottle. SO MUCH HEAD!! The thick, frothy white head swelled to the top of my Chimay glass after I poured in just a few ounces. So apart from the huge foamy, frothy white head, the beer was a cloudy orange. Aroma of light spices, Belgian yeast, and bubblegum. Flavor of alcohol, spices (particularly clove), some light and dark fruits (prune), crisp apple pie. Very hot and spicy. This reminded me of a fruity witbier. Nice balance of spice and fruits. The aroma was better than the flavor. A very complex and delicious Belgian.
8/4/7/4/16 (3.9/5)

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Photo of Lexluthor33
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with an above average,bubbly,creamy head and long lasting,sticky lace.
The aroma of candy,yeast and some citrus/fruit hints.
The taste starts off sweet/candy-like and then the pale malts come in with yeast and spices. As it warms the alcohol comes through more and it has a solvent taste.
The feel was medium body,smooth carbonation and a bit of a creamy feel.

Notes: This blond had a lot of fun and and loved every minute of it. Not bad at all.

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Photo of Tolnik
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper coloration into a pint glass. The head was a great amount and reduced to a lingering amount of lacing. The smell was that of bananas of Now and Later and Citrus. The Taste itself was out of this world as it just left a overall great taste that had you coming back for more. As an unfiltered it fell into the complete taste and fullness that unfiltered beers present themselves as.

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Photo of lhaqq
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear light copper (stopping the pour before the yeast)
S: Sorry, but it smells exactly like Spagettios. I guess I would say it smells like dull citrus fruits and tomatoes; maybe it is just the smells of caramel sweetness and yeast mixing. Pretty unique.
T: Brown sugar and molasses are dominant, but they are both enjoyably light.
M: Has a really light mouthfeel while still packing some good flavor.
D: Hides the abv and is nice and light, probably the most sessionable trappist I've had.

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

33 cl bottle (best before 14/2/10) poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, the Achel 8° Blond is cloudy dark straw gold with a massive, pillowy white head that filled the whole glass, required a delayed second pour while it settled, leaving heavy, foamy lace.

Smell is strong, sweet fruit, limes, and very floral and perfumey, almost like a saison. Served at cellar temp, awesome.

Taste is very good, classic and clean, very strait forward, soft cotton candy esters, sweet pils and candi sugar, with a dry, chalky finish. A great table beer that would pair well with subtler foods like fish or turkey.

Mouthfeel is is light, smooth, dry and crisp.

Drinkability is high, this is tasty and goes down easy, and is excellent with food. Be careful and enjoy!

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Photo of positiverpr
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a:honey-golden. crystal clear. high carbonation. thick, cotton-white, craggy(13/4") head that lasted forever. lacing is superb with thick meringue remnants.

a:alcohol and yeast fruit with a hint of bananna ester. pilsner. yeasty ester with minimal phenol
strange yeasty urea on initial smell for me

t:pleasant pilsner malt and alcohol interlaced with typical belgian yeast light fruit/minimal spice. surprising sweetness may be due to the alcohol. medium bitterness. i can barely detect the floral hops. lingering taste is of bitterness and alcohol.

m:fine, turbulent carbonation dominates initially and gives the beer a much drier feel. as it warms and sits the medium body becomes apparent with a fairly slick mouthfeel.

o:this is an easy drinking triple. the alcohol is present from start to finish, but is never domineering. it supplements all other components of the beer including mouthfeel. very well-balanced to the point that its hard to figure out what contributes certain aspects. i've never noticed the urea scent before in other beers. its in the background but reminds me of a ball-park bathroom(read stale urine). oddly, the note wasn't offensive which i cant explain. world class.

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

Bottle. Poured hazy yellow, averaged size head, and lots of big yeasty floating chunks. Fruity, yeasty, citrus, spice and floral aromas. Sweet beginning taste with a well balanced slightly bitter aftertaste. Also tastes of spices and some bananas. A very good beer and easy to drink.

Notes from 6/17/04

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Photo of nick76
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is yeasty (cheese like), with coriander, corn malt, and fruit (like citrus). The appearance starts with a huge head and then slowly falls to reveal a golden ale with lots of floating particles. the flavor is like the aroma with most of the alcohol being well hidden until the end, then you get a slight warming. The palate is thin but OK.

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Photo of spointon
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from an 11.2oz skinny brown bottle into my St. Bernardus chalice.

A= This ale poured a chill hazed pale golden color with a 2.5" foamy, sudsy head. The head slowly dropped to a thin cap and left only spotty lacing down my glass.

S= Lots of yeasty phenolic notes all over the nose here. Fruity, estery lemon, faint tangerine, and general yeast funk dominate. Also lots of alcohol in the aroma, especially when swirled.

T= Mild sweet malts start this one off, soon followed by a wallop of juicy lemon and other sweet/tart citrus flavors. Phenolic presence in the middle gives way to spicy and warming alcohol in the finish. The alcohol was considerable, yet tasty.

MF= Medium body with what I would consider a tame carbonation level for a Belgian ale. Some crispness is achieved, yet this one remains smooth on the tongue.

D= This had the sweetness and the fruitiness I crave in the style, but fell just short in the mouthfeel department. Still, a damn fine tripel and one I would gladly seek out again.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow color with a huge white cloudy head with nice retention and lacing.

Smells of lemon with apples that have been left out of the fridge, some hint of spices.

Tasted of alochol with some carbonation followed by a nice tangy sweet taste of pears, followed by an aftertaste of spices.

Carbonated, refreshing crips like taste, but left with an acidy aftertaste.

This is my second "Belgium Bond" bier I try, overall Im not impressed.

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

Appearance - 4.0
Poured a huge fluffy off-white head that retained well over a hazy orange-blonde body.

Smell - 4.0
Aroma is subtle but soft and pleasant; pale malt sweetness, lemon and light spice.

Taste - 4.0
Very mellow and smooth but also very tasty. Good balance of sweet and bitter flavours, I can taste raw shortbread dough, mixed spice, lemon and stewed pear.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
Very fine, creamy carbonation starts lively but gets near-flat quite quickly. Feels thick over the tongue with warming alcohol.

Drinkability - 4.5
For a beer of this strength, this is very easy to drink.

The name suggests a Belgian Pale Ale, but the 8%ABV means it is either a BSPA or a Tripel. Overall I would say the beer fits the BSPA mold better, and it is certainly a good beer. Bordering on being too sweet and without the complexity of some other trappist offerings, but still a highly enjoyable drink.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sometimes things that are famous and acclaimed are famous because they deserve to be...and that is the case with this beer. During my Belgium visit, I kept thinking that the best beers of my trip would be diamonds in the rough, things I'd never heard of, and that just wasn't the case. This one is acclaimed, and deserves to be.

It poured a hazy brown, with an industrial-looking head of uniformly sized bubbles which had excellent staying power. It took me about 20 minutes to drink this beer, and the head stayed whole pretty much the whole time. Aroma was sweet and just slightly sour with some non-descript fruit notes. Taste was excellent; lightly fruity and sour with an excellent dry mouthfeel and very good drinkability.

I was impressed by this beer and would recommend it highly. I bought this bottle at Beer Mania in Brussels.

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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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