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

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Trappist Achel 8° BlondTrappist Achel 8° Blond
BA SCORE
4.06/5
Exceptional
763 Ratings
Trappist Achel 8° BlondTrappist Achel 8° Blond
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
Belgium
achelsekluis.org

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,857
Reviews:
423
Ratings:
763
pDev:
9.11%
Bros Score:
3.8
 
 
Wants:
70
Gots:
116
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 763 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of chinabeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

re-review

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.

 2,260 characters

Photo of psulovesbeer
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
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

 298 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
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)

 566 characters

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 469 characters

Photo of Tolnik
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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 +4.2%
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.

 501 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

 764 characters

Photo of positiverpr
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

 1,200 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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 -13.3%
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.

 348 characters

Photo of spointon
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 1,028 characters

Photo of tr4nc3d
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

 451 characters

Photo of LittleCreature
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

OVERALL - 4.1
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 +7.4%
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.

 838 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky golden orange color with a meringue like white head. It actually looked like a spider web for a while. The aroma is of lemon and green apples, light spice and candi sugar. The taste is of pale malt, light candi sugar and pepper, some honey and white grapes. Not very complex in flavor but well made. The feel is fairly light with very active carbonation, the finish is sweet yet dry. A straight forward and simple BSPA, good flavors in nice balance. The flavor profile is not comparable to other BSPAs or Tripels but this one holds its own.

 554 characters

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

 504 characters

Photo of rtepiak
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
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...

 941 characters

Photo of Antilochus
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
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 +4.7%
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 -8.9%
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.

 1,304 characters

Photo of Hookstrat
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
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...

 1,248 characters

Photo of daftafne
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 579 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 1,502 characters

Photo of TheMistler
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 1,043 characters

Photo of theghost3
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
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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Trappist Achel 8° Blond from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 763 ratings
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