Achel Trappist Extra | Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

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Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra

Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dsa7783 on 01-22-2008

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Reviews: 217 | Ratings: 464
Photo of taylor12k
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into two tulip beer glasses (sharing with friend)

poured a cloudy amber with a big, soft head that dissipated within about a minute or two.

we had it on the nose for a long time. we both agreed on really strong honey with strawberry overtones.

taste was honey as well with extended honey aftertaste. thick flavor, not very dry.

now, for clarification sake.. i'm not a fan of belgian beers and would have rated this one a bit lower, simply because i'm not always into these sweeter types of beers. my friend, on the other hand, loves belgian beers and felt it was above average... right up there with the best.

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Photo of EMV
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

L: Pours a dark, dark mahogany brown... nearly black. 1.5 fingers of off-white head.

S: Dark malted sugars... caramel and figs. Slight roast.

T/F: Big roasted sugars and malts... caramel and toffee... light on the dark fruits but some present. Yeasty complexity and finishes nice and dry. Smooth and drinkable... warming and there's some serious ABV in there that's nicely hidden.

O: Belgian monks + beer = happiness. Great beer, and one to sip/savor.

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Photo of dherling
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a rich, clear, amber color with a persistent, creamy head. The nose offered spice, malt, caramel, apricot, bubble gum, and butter. The taste is sweet apple malt, light bitterness, hops, alcohol, medicine, and butter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate dryness and full carbonation. Slight warming from alcohol.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Achel Brune Extra pours up frothy, lively & lacy into an official Trappist Achel goblet. The off-white colored head is creamy & tall and sets off the reddish-amber to chestnut-brown body perfectly. The big bouquet is very complex with lots of earthy, fruity and spicy notes along with some noteable cream sherry overtones. Hints of green banana, carmelized pears, dried figs and hot raisin bread come to mind. The flavor isn't quite as complex as the nose, but starts off with a big flourish of caramel, chestnuts and fig with some yeasty bread character mixed in for good measure. A nice, gentle spiciness takes over midway and carries the brown sugar maltiness along. A touch of Poperinge hops in the background offers a balanced bitterness which dries out the slightly "hot" finish. This is simply a satisfying brew that any Belgian beer lover should seek out. No doubt, this one is destined to be a new classic! Pair generously with a nice ripe Bruges cheese, crackers and freshly cut Bosc pears.

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled shared with Amyliz4. Served in a Mikasa goblet.

Pours a brownish-red color with a good off-white head and quite a bit of initial lacing. The head is fairly stable with pretty good retention. Eventually this falls into a thin collar and a cap comprised of a few bubbles. The nose is really nice and sweet at cellar temperature with plenty of dark fruits, toffee, and some dates. Caramel-like sweetness abounds.

The flavor is a bit more mellow and subdued. There is a bit of bitterness and the sweetness isn't nearly as strong. There are some dark fruits and a bit of a toffee presence, but not like what I was finding in the nose. Not nearly as complex, but still quite good. Bitterness is a bit out of place. Slight bitterness mixing with the alcohol is a bit strange, but I can work with it. Low carbonation and a medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty beer and I'm glad to finally try a bottle of this.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by date of April 2008, Sampled January 2006
This beer sits a hazy, amber brown color in my tulip. The beer is quite well carbonated and is topped by a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head that leaves lacing on the side of the glass as it slowly subsides in a cacophonous mix of large through small bubble. The aroma is quite concentrated with sweet fruity notes reminiscent of figs, sweet plums, raisins and even prunes. There is also a healthy, bready, yeasty note here, as well as some notes of clove. The aroma is quite rich and sweet, but without being heavy. After a bit of time a note of alcohol becomes evident as well.

The taste has that same sweet, fruity character to it, and the body while hefty is perhaps not as rich as I was expecting. It is still palate coating enough to make this a satiating, slow sipping evening as I work my way through this 750ml bottle. It is definitely quite well carbonated as the beer foams up on the tongue, it is not quite as noticeable as in a lighter beer, but it certainly helps to lighten the body of this beer.

Actually at this point I think I would like it to be a bit less carbonated, so I spend the time to make it so. The beer softens out, and becomes even smoother than it was before. The sweetness is a bit accentuated as well, which tends to magnify the fruit notes of sweet plums and figs. In the end this beer does not quite seem rich enough, though in its defense it is at the perfect level for me to be able to finish a 750ml in an evening. The finish has a light sharpness to it (a mix of carbonation, alcohol, and a bit of spicy yeast character), plus a phenolic note of clove.

This is definitely a beer I am happy to have a 750ml bottle of, allows for a quite evening; it is contemplative when I want it to be, and light enough to just add to the experience if I happen to be distracted by a book. Definitely a good beer, one which even grows on me over time; it almost becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Bottled 10/16/2009, I think. Bottle was getting quite old so I opened it.

Appearance - Deep brown with a bit of murk. Builds a nice head as I pour it, as many Belgian darks do. Thick collar as the khaki head recedes.

Smell - I always find it difficult to describe these aromas. It's not caramel, it's much fruitier, but it has a brown sugar tinge to it. Definitely some heat to this, too. Not a sweet aroma.

Taste - Much fruitier right up front. Touch of sweetness. Dark fruits give way to quite a bit of earthy and slightly bitter flavors. Some oxidation could be the cause of the bitterness. Not as boozy as the nose.

Mouthfeel - It is just a little bit thin. Oxidized and bitter, but still a nice drink. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Probably should have drank this sooner. Kept at 55 degrees for 3 years or so, but still showing some age. Still quite a good beer, though.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Nut brown color with red-orange hues. Some haze. Khaki-colored head retains at two inches for the duration. Thick, chunky lacing coats the glass.

S: Coffee cake, cinnamon, caramel, glazed nuts, hint of cocoa. Black pepper. Musty yeast. Hint of herbal hops. Candi sugar. Pear and nectarine esters. Whiff of alcohol.

T: Nutty, cocoa, burnt sugar, cola, some coffee roast. Malty and layered. Very herbal mid-palate. Tea and tobacco. Musty yeast is an anchor. Phenols get peppery and a little smokey. Fleeting dark fruit candi sugar flavors. Hints of tangerine and tropical esters. Spike of rummy alcohol toward the back. Trailing nutty and cola tastes on a long finish.

M: Medium thick body with rich malty textures. Coating and almost syrupy, though the attenuation prevents it from being sticky. Light creaminess. Prickly and bitey carbonation lifts it. Firm but gentle alcohol warmth.

O: It's perhaps a little more malt-driven than most of the other Trappists and seems just a little less complex though it hits all the marks. There's an overall dessert type of feel to it with all the layered malt flavors and richer textures, but the high attenuation prevents it from getting too big and sticky. Though it isn't quite as awe-inspiring as its other Trappist brethren, it still upholds the lofty standards of the Trappist emblem.

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Photo of KDawg
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a chalice. Pours a nice light brown color that is somewhat see-through

balanced with a real savory quality and aromas of malts, caramel, some grains and a touch of dark cherries

this brings the kind of feel that only a trappist ale can bring. Very smooth and extremely balanced with good flavors of malts, caramel and dark cherries. The flavors aren't as pronounced as I would want, but they are still extremely good

This is a real quality trappist ale. Great balance on the smell and feel, but maybe lacking a slight bit in complexity. Nevertheless, this is a real good beer and one that is very enjoyable

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Photo of claspada
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burgundy red color with a large, soapy khaki head.

Aromas being with dark candy sugar and equal dark fruits. As it warms I get more of the bready base malt and some increading plum and red apple skin; emerging alcohol as well.

The tastes begin with bready, grainy maltiness with emerging candy sugar sweetness that help to balance the slight alcohol kick. Dark fruits, mainly fig, plum and grape skin emerge as it warms.

The mouthfeel is full medium-full bodied with medium-high carbonation. Finish is big and bold with emerging spicy yeast flavors that work well with the high effervescent carbonation.

Overall this is a good example of a traditional Belgian Strong Ale. Nothing to out of this world of revolutionary, just a solid from one of the Trappist legends. More tempered as far as the spiciness goes which I appreciate and enjoy over the examples with too much yeasty flavors.

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Photo of papat444
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to franksnbeans for this one.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle (differs from the one in picture, alias bottle)

Brought this at a Greek restaurant, so unfortunately, notes aren't extensive.

Appearance: Poured rich, light brown body, average sized tan head.

Smell: malt & dried fruit.

Taste: Warm, malt-like with some hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Malty with some brown sugar.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable, alcohol is well camouflaged in the abundant taste.

Overall: I wish i was in a more quiet surrounding to be able to fully appreciate this but definitely well crafted & delicious. Next time i'm in the US, i'm looking for this!

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Photo of meatmallet
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a thick tan head. Lots of chunky sediment in the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Caramel, dates, rasins, and figs. Fairly sweet.

Taste: Rasin and fuit with some caramel. The still frothy head disolves as you drink it. Sweet and a little bit bitter. Light chocolate taste in the end.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Lively carbonation and a light body make this an easy beer to drink.

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Photo of cbutova
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Pint glass pour from the 750ml with a dark brown body, some light pierces the very edges. Massive light tan head forms to two or three fingers and settles into a shape that reminds me of the top of fermenting bread, super retention. Lace is super thick with spots and clouds everywhere.

S- A nice mix of malts and Trappist yeast. Brown malts provide a smooth base with notes of toasted nuts, toffee, caramel, biscuit and slight sweetness. Yeast relaxed here in a good way, dark fruits and spicy.

T- Yeast and malts in a super smooth, balanced blend. Yeast takes the edge slightly here in strength with notes of dried dark fruits, plums, raisins, dark wheat bread, Belgian yeast spice and apples/white grapes. Malts follow the nose in the Brown toasted spectrum.

MF- Moderately thick body with a low-medium carbonation. Slick and somewhat oily texture with a slight silkiness. Slight spicy bitterness in the end.

Another solid Trappist brew. I like how the yeast is pretty relaxed and balanced but still asserts a strong profile.

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper and prune color with a thin pearl head that coats the sides and dies with very little lacing. Smells of fig and sweet malt. Taste has spice, dried fruit, fig, sweet malts. Feels full in the mouth with lively carbonation on the tongue. Drinkability is good but somewhat a sipper. Worth a try

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Photo of mynie
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty, bubbly like champagne and amber with a fantastically foamy head.

Smells very fruity. Plums and apricots and raisins. All over ripe. There's also the zing of alcohol in there, too. This is gonna be strong...

Big fruit and malt upfront. Spicy like minced meat pie. Big zip of alcohol. Smoothes out considerably in the middle and ends in a nutty, dusty taste. The zing of alcohol and green banana sticks in your mouth Strange.

I was amazed to see that this is the first trappist I've ever drank. I've bought three of them before, but they are all sitting in my closet. This is a pretty good beer, but I guess I was expecting a lot more.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. $6 from Peace St in Raleigh.

Appearance: First of all, it was a little bit of a gusher. My wife watched me open it, and laughed as I immediately shoved the bottle in my mouth, saying, "See how I feel, now swallow." Pours about as dark as red can be not be brown. Its clear, with a nice off white head, that barely fades at all. Curtains of lace.

Smell: Sweet dark malt and bready yeast. Dark sweet fruit. A little spicy.

Taste: As expected, sweet malt, bready yeast, spice, and dark fruit. Unexpectedly, a surprising amount of bitterness both from alcohol and hops. Really good. Long sweet bready, malt finish with a touch of sourness way on the back. More alcohol on the end as well.

Mouthfeel: Lasting tingly bubbles contribute nicely to the reasonably full mouthfeel. Leaves a little sticky sweetness behind.

Drinkability: All in all, a rich and pretty complex BSDA. The main detractor for me is the sourness on the finish. This gets old, especially as the beer warms, and starts to detract from an otherwise excellent beer. There are better ones for the price, but this is a must try.

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Photo of hardy008
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opaque dark brown with a 2 finger tan head which reduces to less than one finger and stays. Smells like green apples, brown sugar, dates, figs, and raisins. Can't wait to try it.

Sweet flavor with green apples, brown sugar, dates, figs, and raisins. There is some hop bitterness at the end for balance. Very nice flavor.

Medium to full bodied, low carbonation, somewhat creamy, and the alcohol is well hidden. A very solid beer, but the low carbonation does hurt this beer somewhat.

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Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extremely dark tan-maroon. From any distance it appears purple brown. Genernally opague, and the pale beige head disappears with some haste.
The nose is all golden raisins, dates, carob, and cocoa.
Tastewise, it is more of the same. Up front is the dry, not-quite-chocolate-leaning yearnings of carob, augemented by dates, figs, plums, and raisins. Add unto this molasses and brown sugar. Next come yeast with its chalkboard and generalized breadiness. The fruitiness resides through the conclusion and there is little to speak of hop-wise.
Medium bodied with a thickish bodied partially alleived through CO2.
Pretty solid overall, even if It's not in the same class as things like St Bernie 12, des Rocs, Westy, or Rochefort. In it however, better than Chimay Blue

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Photo of jrenihan
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is brown with a moderately sized white head which dissipates quickly. Some lacing.

Dark fruit in the nose, plum and red grape. Vinous and sweet. Fairly typical BSDA. Good but not interesting.

Taste is fairly sweet, lots of plum, red grape and raisin. A bit of brown sugar. Malty. Vinous. Like the nose, it is a fairly typical BSDA flavour.

Medium bodied, low carbonation. Surprisingly thin.

Overall, a good beer, but not as good as I hoped for. Disappointing given the ratings. I found it to be a solid but typical BSDA, without any remarkable qualities.

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Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
4/5  rDev -6.3%

APPEARANCE - Clear amber with 2-finger head that lasts. Good lacing.

AROMA/SCENT - Hops, grain, sweet.

TASTE - Hops, nutty, bread. ABV mostly hidden.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Good carbonation, clean, light, effervescent, crisp, refreshing.

VALUE - $10 for an 11 oz. bottle - not that bad for an import at a restaurant.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - Quite drimkable for a Tripel. Not a sipping beer.

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Photo of paterlodie
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB 08-07. Nice and lasting head, and a dark brown beercollor. Nose is very fruity giving plumbs, apricot and overripe grapes. Some spicyness there also but delicately dosed and not overdone, Dark candysugar and good carramellic maltiness. Taste is sweet and alcoholic with very good candytaste and carramellic maltyness and well bittered playing harmonicly together with the alcohol in aftertaste. Fine mouthfeel IMO maybe litle alcoholic but well enjoyable with good taste. Well recomendable IMO but be aware of high alc% that gets you.

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Photo of Brabander
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an overall good beer. I had this beer for months in my fridge but never had the time to open it. Tonight, on Christmas eve, this is the moment.

Poured in my Westvleteren glass the beer looks good. A nice darkbrown to darkred fluid and a firm head with big bubbles. It is a pity that the head disappears so fast.

Good soft smell of caramel and brown sugar and burned malts

The taste is a sweet one. Not complex but that is the case by most of the dark ales.

Merry Christmas!!

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Photo of therealmcclurg
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very carbonated Belgian Strong Ale. Deep Brown color. Very, very sweet. This was the part that was a turnoff for me. I had high expectations, as I truly enjoy the other Trappist beers. This one is last on the list as far as I am concerned. Its a good beer, but its very sweet, and I can't imagine drinking very much of it at a time.

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Photo of tdawgydog
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this bottle as a Christmas gift. Finally got around to cracking it open tonight.

A - Pours a nice dark brown, very little head but that's to be expected for a good dark ale.

S - Sweet. Refreshing. Opened up my sinuses. A little bit of caramel and a little bit of alcohol.

T - Well aged ale. A little bit of chocolate, super sweet taste goes down a little too easy.

D - Maybe a little under carbonated, a really smooth drink. One of the better Belgian darks that I've had.

M - Overall really fun. Will help me sleep well tonight ;-)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly hazy, impressively bubbled dull tangerine with an infusion of coral red. The pastel gold crown snapped, crackled and popped initially, but now looks somewhat creamy as it continues to deflate. A lack of stickiness results in no more than a few dribs and drabs of sea foam lace.

Other than being metallic, the nose isn't bad. It still has a long way to go to scare the best of style, however. Medium-dark fruit (more medium than dark) is offset by an acceptable Belgian yeast spiciness. It looks like the flavor and the mouthfeel are the last chances for this Trappist strong dark ale to impress.

And that is exactly what the flavor does from the very first sip. Time (and about 720 more ml) will determine whether it's 'great' or merely 'good'. I'm leaning toward the former at this point. It's too damn bad that such wonderful beer is hamstrung by being less than expertly bubbled, because it negatively affects every one of the other attributes.

The flavor is bold and rich. The medium fruits of the aroma are still present, as are double fistfuls of dark fruits. Let's go with dried apricots, caramel-covered apples, ripe figs, sticky dates and plump, juicy raisins. There are also a few lashings of molasses and a surprising amount of anise.

The constellation of flavors changes subtley from the beginning of each mouthful to the finish. It's on the back end that Brune Extra's complexity is revealed, largely due to what tastes like a kick-ass yeast strain. The balance between sweet, bitter, tangy and spicy is to be commended. As is the fact that the ABV seems like a bold-faced lie.

Unfortunately, the body/mouthfeel keeps this BSDA from the major leagues. It's too thin and is, again, too carbonated. It looks like others have had a similar experience, so my bottle isn't unique. Things are improving from a sensory standpoint as the ounces pass, just not enough.

Trappist Achel Bruin (or whatever we're calling it these days) could be one of the best BSDAs that I've ever had the pleasure to consume. The flavor teeters on the cusp of greatness, only to be dragged down by a less than accomplished mouthfeel. It's still a treat that all Belgianophiles should love.

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Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
4.27 out of 5 based on 464 ratings.
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