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

748 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: 748 |  Reviews: 415
Photo of dreadnatty08
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale gold color with good clarity and a dense, massive white head. Aromas are exceptionally fruity and full of yeasty phenolics. Lots of banana, a touch of clove and coriander and even some black pepper. Malt and hop notes certainly take a back seat. On the palate, a hugely carbonated brew settles in so smoothly with a real nice blend of bright citrus fruits and subtle spicing. Overall, this is a really smooth and incredible beer; one definitely not overlooking as often as I do at the store.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour an orange hue with huge head. very aggressive, very thick. at first the beer seemed to have too much carbonation. a sip would increase in volume in the mouth violently with a chemical burn quality. this subsided after about five minutes. the smell of alcohol diminished a bit to reveal a lot of fruit esters. earth bland but strong pear, that seems to blend with the hops and at first give a pineapple liquor scent. a hint of cherry or blackberry. as the beer leveled out it got better. the taste was hoppier then the smell. the ester sit on the nose more the in the mouth. the herbal qualities sit in the palate. maybe a bit of pepper, corinader... hides the sugar and alcohol well once it leveled out. felt like this was a real slam dunk last time i had it... will have to try it again. don't feel like i got the full effect. if you like the gosse island matida... get off your ass. this is where you want to be.

too be continued...

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Photo of Antilochus
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at Chaucer's Pub in London, Ontario. Served in a Achel goblet.

Pours a orangey-amber yellow with some good haze. Decent white head that can be agitated easily from cloud & collar back to life.

Aromas of orange peel, pale malt, alcohol, Belgian yeast, some more fruit. Honeyed.

Rather sweet palate - makes this more of a tripel than a true blonde - but backed up with some reasonable carbonation. A bit boozy as well, this is a sipper despite its lower strength. Spice, pale malt on the finish.

Not bad.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright golden blonde color with a huge frothy white head. A spritzy visible carbonation was noted.

S: a sour fruitiness, bread and noticeable alcohol traces as well some candi sugar sweetness.

T: The flavor yielded some fresh dough, apples, sweet pears along with some light bananas and honey sweetness. There is some spiciness from the yeast, light bread notes and a good clean herbal hopping. A solid and honest brew by all means.

M: spritzy and crisp from the carbonation with warm fruit, bread, and some malt.

D: A solid overall blond with good drinkability and goes down effortlessly. Crisp, refreshing and very enjoyable.

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off, let me just say, that after my introduction to Trappist beer not very long ago, i have developed a huge appreciation for the quality of these beers, and the Achel Blonde 8 certainly does not disappoint.

The Achel pours a lovely translucent gold into a Chimay chalice; bubbles vigorously dancing to the foot of the 2 finger, billowy white head. As the foam slowly subsides, leaving beautiful lacing, i detect notes of fruits: Apples, lemons, and a bit of yeast and alcohol. These carry over gracefully into the taste, especially the apple though the sharp carbonation detracts just a bit from this experience for me. I taste nearly no alcohol at all in this particular brew which is surprising since on this empty stomach, it makes me feel quite nice after just the one :). As with the taste, the mouthfeel, at least to me, is only slightly hampered by the sharp carbonation, though it was still very pleasant by all means.

As i have noticed about all of the Trappist brews, this Achel is extremely drinkable. Like scary drinkable considering if you aren't careful, it can hit you pretty good. The only thing taking away from drinkability (for me) is the alcohol content, which only means that i would hesitate to enjoy more than say, two of these excellent example of what a beer should be.

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Photo of Hookstrat
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first review so I wanted to give myself some room for improvement, but there's not asking much more from a brew. I've never cared much for anything described as blond(e), but I found this bottle on the shelf of my local liquor store today dated April '05 and I figured it was worth a shot that this bottle had been sitting around on the shelf for a few years aging for my enjoyment. I really needed a beer so I didn't bother chilling the thing at all, and I wanted to test out my brand new Westmalle chalice.

Thankfully I was not disappointed as the beer poured a nice, light copper color that surprised me a bit compared to the other blondes I've had (mostly American brewed). The head filled the glass nicely, if a bit thin because it faded rather quickly.

I don't have a great nose, but there are definitely some nice aromas coming off this beer despite a decent alcohol clip. If forced to expound I would note a a little banana, maybe a hint of spice, overall pleasant aroma.

It tastes delicious. Slightly sweet, kind of milky, with that great Abbey Ale aftertaste. The mouth feel starts a bit thin but fills the mouth, not ridiculous DarkLord-full, but really solid.

If it wasn't for the alcohol I could drink this all day...

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Photo of daftafne
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dull, hazy gold with specks of brown sediment/yeast suspended. Two fingers of creamy head slowly dissipated leaving a very small persistent layer of head support by the good carbonation beneath.Overt smells of freshly baked bread/yeast. Also in the nose was banana, spice/pepper, and a scant touch of lemon zest. The taste is pretty smooth and begins with a doughy flavor which gives way to some lemon zest/pepper. Barely sweet. The taste finishesa little hoppy, very metallic and very drying. Although it is trappist brew, it really is not that spectacular of a Tripel.

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

Ignited to the light, the heating glow of marmalade orange sets a backdrop for the foreground of escaped, self-exiled yeast. Its head is typical for a Trappist offering; sturdy and prone to lacing. Its light haze is not enough to prevent all light from passing through.

With its aroma, Achel Blonde explores the wonders of yeast. The monks really have only their yeast to thank for this. It provides a soft, fruity effervescence that hints at orchard fruits. It is very fragrant and well seasoned. It has a distinct character, one that includes a subdued citric tang as well as the enticing aroma of brasil nuts. My head keeps gravitating towards the glass as I attempt to write this sentence, my nose is simply drawn to this smell.

The flavours are similarly seasoned and savory. White pepper, ginger, cardamom and like spices are deceived onto the palate. I have read in numerous sources that no Trappist brewer actually uses any spices in their beer; there really is no need to with yeast like this! Sweet malts underlay the taste of pumpkin, pear, and apple. Faint tang is crowded out by bready, straw malt and drying, bitter hops on the finish.

I truly enjoy Trappist Achel, their offerings are wonderful examples of beer. I think I've always favoured their bruin, but tonight's re-rating of the Blond - a 330ml bottle that is exactly two years past the recommended best before - has seriously thrown that into question. This is certainly a recommended try, aged and fresh. Always a pleasure.

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

Poured into a chalice. Displayed a bubbly white head, with a visible effusion of carbonation rising throughout the gold, only-slightly-hazy body. Some puffy (I believe someone else recently used the word "rocky," which is apt) head stuck around for quite a while, though very little clung to the glass.

Did not smell entirely dissimilar from Duvel or other Belgian blondes (not a bad thing by any means), though it did certainly have a bit of its own character. Sweetly-tinged alcohol on the nose, marked by a unique yeast and a crisp fruitiness.

Noticeable alcohol presence up front combines with strong (but not overpowering) carbonation to give a little bit of a kick. Notes of apple and pear rolled through, slowly replaced by a renewed alcohol presence and peppery spiciness. The slightly spicy, dry finish provides a nice counterpoint to the sweetness that precedes it.

I could easily finish a couple of these without regard to ABV, though more than that in one sitting might be a bit much. Nonetheless, I throughly enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of theghost3
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a nice golden straw color with a thick, champagnelike head. Smell is strong of apple, pears, floral hops and yeast. It has a bitter hops taste with flavors of apple, citrus (lemon & grapefruit) along with cloves. The mouthfeel starts off crisp, but gets rather acidic. Overall, a nice tripel from a Trappist brewery.

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

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours with an extremely rocky, persistent head; very carbonated. Gold/orange color, hazy. Lacing as the beer is consumed.

S: Apple, citrus, clove-like spice, slightly yeasty, and sugar sweet. Some alcohol in the aroma.

T: Starts with the fruity taste, a strong apple/pear-like presence, some citrus-orange character; very sweet for a tripel, somewhat sugary. Finishes with a spicy hop bitterness, but not very dry. Clove-like spicy flavors also present. Any dryness seems to be contributed by alcohol but the sweetness tends to balance it out.

M: Highly carbonated even for a tripel; feels light on the tongue and palate.

D: pretty drinkable; definitely different from other tripels I have had, with more of a sweet character.

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Photo of stulowitz
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Had a ring at the top of the bottle. My guess is it was bottled too early, or there is an infection. Open the chilled bottle and oh my, way over carbonated, but then again, belgian beers tend to be just that. But still. Head is fluffy and beautiful, like sitting in an airplane and looking down on the billowy clouds.

S - Smell is fresh and fruity. Has a distinct smell, not unsimilar to the Westmalle triple, I belive that Achel uses Westmalles yeast, so it doesn't come as a surprise.

T - Taste is powerful, with a slight bitter punch. Me like. Nothing extremely complicated, but rather refreshing and enjoyful. Feel a nice alcohol warmth as it goes down.

M - Highly carbonated, but still has a nice body to it.

D - Drinkable. Would I drink this all night, no, but a bottle or two with a nice book sounds like a nice night in...

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Some of the staff I have spoken to at the Moan and Dove (one of my favorite bars) in Amherst have voiced their love and dedication to this particular Trappist brewery. So I guess that is why I picked up this brew, which I have not tasted in the past. Poured in to my Rapscallion glass an orange coloration, with a very good looking, large frothy white heading. Aroma reveals yeasty spice, green apple skin, hint of mango, and some leafy green hop. Taste is largely fruity...mostly a pear flavor, shadowed by a metallic finish. Light in body, and pretty drinkable for a Tripel. While this might be the smallest of the Trappist breweries, I cannot say that it is the best, or put as much faith in to it as my friends in Western Massachusetts. Sorry, but I have a feeling they are playing a favorite game based on image as opposed to quality of product. This, along with their Dubbel are great beers, but aren't nearly as good as some of the other Trappist examples IMO. This might be a good beginning point for beer drinkers getting in to the whole Trappist thing. Cheers

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
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 JBogan
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light to medium gold with a good sized foamy head which reduced to a thin film soon after.

Smell of straw and hops with some citric notes as well.

Taste was a bit flatter than I was expecting, nothing really jumped out. There was a bit of a yeastyness on the tongue towards the end of a sip.

Mouthfeel was nice. Crisp and with a little carb bite.

Overall this was a fairly enjoyable brew. I'd share it with friends during a spring/summer outing, although it was a little too pricy to make it a regular session beer.

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Photo of deanhead
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a nice golden strawlike color with an adequate lace swarming the glass. It had a reasonably sized head that reduces itself to almost nothing.

Nice citrusy, sweet aroma. Essence of horse blanket & yeast.

Taste was sweet and buttery with a noce hop biterness to it. Slight astringency and almost solvent like.

Bordeline thin moutfeel, but clean and crisp.

Very drinkable beer. I highly recommend trying this one. It's not my favorite Trappist beer, but at 8% it's darn good, and easy to drink.

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Photo of Pencible
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a slightly hazy straw color with tons of white head. It smelled like lemon, wild yeast, and pine hops (more bitterly scented than expected). It had a very strong citrus flavor at first, but that mellowed out significantly over time. It had an oily texture and was quite carbonated, with a mild but lasting bitter aftertaste. Alcohol was surprisingly noticeable in the flavor and aftertaste. Overall this was slightly better than the average Belgian light ale, but still not that great.

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Photo of albern
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice Belgian Trippel but not my favorite. It pours a prodigious very white, soapy and frothy head, that clings to the sides of the glass. It is a hazy orange and very appealing. The haziness formed an interesting cloudy nebula in the glass as it was held up to the light. I don't believe I've seen this before. There were no yeasty bits which is a plus. The smell is very, very appealing. Candied sugars, coriander, apple, banana, all the typical Belgian smells. If you like Belgian ales, the smell will entice. The taste is slightly disappointing in that I had really high expectations. This is a medium bodied beer, less syrupy, fewer candied sugars, not as much banana as I would have liked. You'll get some peppery spiciness and more alcohol notes that I care for. There is a yeasty snap to this beer in the finish. Overall, this is a really good beer, but it does have its weaknesses though. I'm going to review their bruin 8 next. L'Chaim.

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

Notes: Tasted on Tuesday, February 28, 2008. Best before 12/4/09. Bottle conditioned. Ingredients: Water, malted barley, hops, yeast.
Appearance: Head is exaggerated; although it doesn't foam out of the bottle, it erupts as you pour. It is clinical, platinum white. It lasts well, leaves a veritable wall of lace and diminishes to a good, pillowy covering. Beer itself is golden straw coloured, with bronze highlights. Very beautiful.
Nose: Biscuity malt. Belgian yeast. Bread dough. Resiny (piney) and grassy hops. Faint bitterness. Yellow plum. Toffee and something faintly sickly-sweet, like fermenting crab apples.
Taste: Carbonation is surprisingly smooth. Solid malt backbone. Metallic bitter finish. Tangy yeasty doughiness conveys apply sweet/tartness. Vein of acidity. Slightly off-dry, with a long, typical blonde finish. Faint pine on the finish, as well as citrus peel. Suggestion of Thai food, for some reason. Alcohol virtually unnoticeable.

Overall: A very nearly perfectly put-together blonde. More in the style of a blonde than a tripel. Smooth, drinkable, full-bodied and flavourful. Not enormously complex, but I don't think the style is meant to be. A beer of this quality could age quietly and gracefully for years, mellowing even further. For now, it loses a few points because of the metal on the finish, the Thai food, the sickly-sweetness, and the over-zealous head upon pouring. Otherwise outstanding.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz slender bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Appearance was truly exceptional, pouring a hazy, cloudy, straw-colored hue with obvious sediment on the bottom of the glass and a huge, five-fingered head that slowly receded...
Smell was sharp, and on-point with apparent alcohol aromas along with lemons, citrus, and fruit...
Superb Blonde, Tripel taste bursting with quality flavor, including essences of fresh fruit, florals, graperfuit, caramel, lemons, citrus zest, caramel, vanilla, and a nice balance of hops and malts...
Excellent creamy, rich, thick mouthfeel dominated with flavor...
Drinkability was likewise good, with a slight notice of the 8% ABV and thick, quality flavors...
Good stuff...

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Photo of jf60657
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer from the typical small Achel bottle into a tuliped burgundy glass. The beer had a warm orange color and the head was strong and full, almost like meringue. There were notable amounts of yeasty globs. The bouquet was inviting, smelling of citrus and malts. Upon tasting I found grapefruits, caramel, candy sugars and slight alcohol warming. The mouth-feel was great, champagne liveliness that excited my tongue. I think this is a great Belgian and is very well executed for the style. I wont have this too often unless I am teaching a friend about trappist beer or have a specific craving upon seeing the bottle.

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

Purchased from Grapes of Mirth (Columbus, OH) a few days ago. Poured from a 33cl bottle into a Chimay chalice. Bright translucent orange color - not much sediment. Huge rocky bright white head that stuck around forever. Tons of thick foamy lace left on the glass. Very active carbonation keeping the head alive. One of the better looking Tripels.

Smells of yeast, biscuity malts, and spices. Tastes of coriander, lemongrass, biscuity malts. Pleasant, slightly bitter, grassy hops aftertaste. Sweetness not very noticeable. Very dry finish. Alcohol not detectable in the taste or feel.

Feel is creamy, effervescent, and refreshing. Carbonation is high with a very fine, champagne-like quality. Very drinkable.

A very good Tripel. The appearance really stands out on this one - amazing head and lace. Flavour is not as complex as other Trappist Tripels - like Chimay and Westmalle. Overall, a very good Trappist Tripel - although I prefer Westmalle or Chimay over this one.

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Photo of ojclark
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden-orange. Some haze and sediment. Lasting off-white head. Toasty, malty, bready aroma with slight fruitiness. Complex flavor with big spiciness from hops and peppery phenols. Nice maltiness with toasty and bready notes. Very fruity with some alcohol notes. Aftertaste of spice, fruitiness and some alcohol warmth. Long finish. Medium body with rich mouthfeel. Well-carbonated.

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Photo of iasanlee
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear pale golden cider color. Big off-white 4 finger rocky head, with plenty of lacing.

S- Yeast. Spices. Orchard bouquet. Very herbal.

T- Pears, bananas, and fresh strawberry. Slight tartness. Definite citrus hints. Not an overpowering, but obvious sweetness that I expected. Reminds me quite a bit of the New Belgium tripel, especially the finish.

M- Good lively tiny bubble carbonation. light in body, and crisp.

D- Delicious and well balanced, I can see making a night of it, but not a top on my tripel list.

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

33cl bottle poured into a snifter.

A = Hazy gold, big white foamy head, lots of carbonation with small bubbles (looks like champagne bubbles), leaves light lacing on the glass.

S = Hay, barnyard smells (sounds bad, but it works), phenols, yeast.

T = Light flavors of malts, sharp cheddar, slight smokey yeast flavor. Not my favorite tripel , but good and complex.

M = Medium bodied, carbonation at a level that tickles but doesn't overly strong, good coating of mouth, long bittersweet finish.

D = Good drinkability. Alcohol is present but not offensive, tastes are relatively light (for the style) and enjoyable. A great sipping beer in moderation.

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Trappist Achel 8° Blond from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
4.05 out of 5 based on 748 ratings.
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