Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Achel Trappist Extra | Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra
BA SCORE
4.29/5
Outstanding
483 Ratings
Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#774
Reviews:
221
Ratings:
483
pDev:
9.32%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
141
Gots:
79
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 483 |  Reviews: 221
Photo of Mattias
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of xylophonica
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 75cl bottle into a chalice.

A - Dark ruby-brown colour. Minimal head.

S - Slight nutty & caramel aromas.

T - Sweet cacao flavours with a hint of nuts. Actually quite sweet, but with a fairly typical smooth bruin taste.

M - Sweet on the palate.

D - Pleasant to drink without being overly mindblowing.

I'd only ever had Achel once before and it was the blonde. This bruin was ok but really kinda average given the high standard I expect of Trappist ales.

 476 characters

Photo of wyatt13
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of tom10101
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of DARIVA
3.52/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Perfect amber beer with a beautiful head.

S: The smells are not really recognizable, something sweet.

T: The taste is slightly sweet beer.

M: Delicious carbonation and a good foam feeling.

O: Not easily drinkable, beer with a bitter aftertaste.

 251 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.57/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, reddish hints. Good-sized sticky off-white head. Very malty aroma, good yeast dose. Very fruity (dates, grapes), but also has various other malty tones (chocolate, caramel). Gentle alcohol vapors. Rather acidic taste in a yeasty-fruity kind of way. More dates and green grapes. Achel yeast doesn’t provide any dryness. Sweet and closing to licorice at times. Honeyish, herbal. Mostly malty from the beginning until the end. Finish could use some punch. Highly carbonated, medium bodied. It’s just not very exciting and feels like it has been done already.

 569 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy brown color with beige head. Aroma has dark malt, brown sugar and some dark fruit esters. Taste starts sweet, sugary with some burnt caramel bitterness on the finish. Medium to light body with medium carbonation. Well balanced overall but the flavors are a bit muddled.

 283 characters

Photo of sprucetip
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a goblet.

Dark amber to light brown, decent tan head stays for a little while, a little bit of lacing. Hazy when held to light, with some yeast chunks visible.

Smells of sweet malt and fruit, mostly. Perhaps dark fruits like raisins or prunes. Some spiciness, and some alcohol warming at the finish.

Taste is dominated by malty sweetness from the beginning right through the finish. But the complexity of the fruit flavors and spiciness, and maybe raisin inspired bitterness, try to balance it through the middle but don't quite get there.

Full and thick feel in the mouth, with strong carbonation and alcohol warming.

It's going down reasonably well, but the sweetness makes this beer one to share or sip.

Overall a good beer, but based on its grandiose repuatation, I am a little bit underwhelmed.

 828 characters

Photo of pkalix
3.63/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

super creamy-looking khaki-colored head; almost Guinness-like film when tilted to the side... one very beautiful pour, indeed!
interesting, lager-like smell, if it were mixed with a nut brown, maybe? and some candi stuff.
rich on the tongue, as first tasted. kind of syrup-y with some light amounts of darker fruit, Belgian-type sugar-y stuff. taste is less impressive than the smell, which is WAY less impressive than that beautiful pour... the bitterness is fighting the sweetness, and the sweet maltiness wins at first, but then gives way to a nasty bitter.
overall, maybe it's me and maybe i'm just not ready the rich Belgians yet. but I know compared to the Belgians I love that this one ranks kind of poorly. as mentioned by nearly ALL other reviewers, this one aint worth the price I paid for it. not anywhere close. i'm not sure i'd prefer to drink 10 budweisers before this one, but it isn't satisfying me much. I was, however, very impressed with that super-weight bottle it comes in. that thing is durable!
I honestly don't know why the taste went so far south compared to the smell. I really liked the smell. it just seemed bitter; and as a few others mentioned, the SPICE was horrible.

 1,198 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gusher! Pours chestnut with a finger of tan head & lacing

S: Brown sugar, apples, pears & light booze

T: Brown sugar, green apples. Leafy hops & a bit of tartness up front. Orchard fruit, spicy yeast, and oaky notes. Finishes with leafy hops & figs

MF: Soft carbonation & medium bodied

Drank okay but just not complex or malty enough to make me think paying $17 for this bottle was a smart move

 398 characters

Photo of Sephiroth
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says to drink before June of 2007. Pours with decent head, body is reddish brown. Some lacing. Smells quite vinous and malty.

Tastes like a dark tripel. Dark fruits, and grainy malt. Individual flavors are tough to pin down. Bready, and fruity. Mouthfeel is average, Drinkability OK. Other than Westy, this seems to be the rarest of the trappists. It is better than Chimay, but I am slightly disappointed. This is a good beer, its just not one of my favorites. Since I've not had this before, I cannot be sure, but I think a fresher sample would be better.

 567 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2001, enjoyed in 2013 - very nearly 12 years old at this point... Thanks for the relic, Jeff! The dingy and murky copper body comes as no surprise, and neither does the somewhat poor head formation... A fizzy, beige collar manages to work its way atop the rustic brew, settling softly where the beers meets the glass at the top.

Seemingly sweet aroma with a cornucopia of dark fruits; I'm getting massive notes of red grapes, raisins, prunes, plums, and even a little bit of cherry skin and tannin. Fruity and malty with a touch of residual sweetness in the form of Belgian Candi sugar. Little bit of caramel, too, and despite the extended aging period, there isn't really any detectable oxidation on in the nose... impressive!

The taste is very similar, following the nose quite closely with an introduction of plums and prunes abound. It's decadently sweet, again, with a little bit of Candi sugar in there, as well as a hint of caramel and toffee, too. Though oxidation escaped the aroma, it's present in the palate, but it isn't too much of a heartbreaker. It brings forth a mild sherry note, along with the slightest bit of that unwanted, wet cardboard.

A good bit of finishing malt sweetness, along with a hefty bit of vinous-like characteristics, mainly grape skins that are heavily akin to a fine wine. The oxidation was only a mild hindrance, but luckily gets beaten out in the finish by the other elements of the brew. Creamy, medium bodied, and relatively low carbonation, but still not bad given the age of the beer.

Overall, I was really impressed by how this trappist ale held up against 12 years of sitting in a bottle. It's just that... well, I've had better trappist ales. This beer would certainly be more appreciated by wine lovers, though I still found it to be quite tasty; something about it just wasn't exactly my cup of tea. Still nice, especially considering the age... Just a few steps out of my wheelhouse.

 1,947 characters

Photo of Chrysostom
3.69/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As always, I review live, not from notes, puzzling out the libation brewed in houses of salvation. As always, I review to style (ala BJCP), modified by personal taste (contra BJCP), not solely to personal taste, which would be unfair to many great examples of styles that I don't personally favour.

My second beer from Achel (my first was a Bruin 8º), and my first had from a 750mL, or when I was even halfway sober.

(Note, that since my words below to most people won't seem to match up with my numbers on first sight, that I can not stand Rochefort. I'd drink Budweiser first. This has some of those similar spiced flavours, but to a lesser degree, so I can drink this, even if I wouldn't particularly want to.)

Without further ado, a review.

Presentation: 750mL crown-capped bottle, $17.99. Served around 45º and warming as I write. They should at least put a cork on it for $18, nearly twice the price of most other Trappists. The crown cap is somewhat difficult to remove, requiring attack with a beer key from several directions. Although I hear it's kind of rare, so I should be thankful for getting half a case. Poured in to a Chimay chalice/goblet.

A: Clear brown coming out of the bottle, somewhat hazy reddish-brown in the glass with red highlights. Poured gently, as with all Trappists, to avoid getting too many lees in the glass: on said gentle pour, one finger of head is produced, which recedes at a moderate rate (over about two to three minutes) to a cap on the face of the beer, leaving a sheet of lace down the side of the glass.

S: Spice that is very similar to Rochefort (it's nearly impossible to describe except by experience), alcohol, and bready malt. There's some yeast in there too. Doesn't sound incredibly complex, but that spice - whatever it's from, spicing or yeast - complexifies it nicely. None of the characteristic Belgian funk, but the Belgian spice, as mentioned, characteristic of Rochefort. No alcohol. No dark fruit.

T: Rochefort spice comes through loud and clear, and first. Some moderate sweetness, a little funk, and some sweet dark-bread flavours follow. Orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, and nutmeg are components of the spice. Spicing is not overwhelming like Rochefort - Rochefort has so much spice the beer is disgusting and undrinkable. Not my preferred kind of Quad/BSDA, and a demerit for the style (I rate Rochefort similarly lowly, and Chimay and St Bernardus Abbot 12 highly). It gets noticeably better and less spicy (in the bad meaning of "spiciness" as is characteristic of Satan's concoctions such as Rochefort) as it warms, bringing the beer from a 2.75 or 3 to a 3.75. Not extraordinarily complex, especially for a Trappist - the (illegitimate) spicing predominates.

M: Rich and creamy, fading to a somewhat nutty astringency on the finish. Highlight.

D: Moderate middle of "low".

O: Drop the spicing and clone Chimay or St Bernardus Abbot 12, or even Achel 8º Bruin. Not a bad beer, but not great, and disappointing for the price, rarity, expectation, and Trappist moniker.

To style (16E): 90/100 (spicing is allowed, according to BJCP)
To taste: 67/100 (spicing is not allowed, according to my palate).

 3,182 characters

Photo of mattfancett
3.7/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.7/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this from a 750mL bottle. Tasted sweet but highly alcoholic, not nearly as good as I'd hoped for a high-end Trappist.

I'd been waiting to sample this for a while, but was disappointed once I tried it. Kind of run-of-the-mill for a Belgian Strong Ale. Just OK. the flavor was good but not outstanding or anything.

I guess I can't recommend it strongly. Go to other Trappist beers first.

 396 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 9/12/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown with lots of floating yeast particles and a small light tan head. Aroma of sweet fruit, sugar, and slcohol. Flavor is quite fruity (apple, pear, and lots of cherries!), with some Belgian yeast, and slight alcohol presence. Yum! The cherry presence gets a little medicinal by the end, but this is a tasty, quite fruity, sweet beer. An interesting quad.
8/4/7/4/15 (3.8/5)

 418 characters

Photo of chefscott79
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well I was super excited to buy this because I liked their blond so much.
I was not disappointed but not super stoked on it

Appearance:dark brown with a nice head...not as carbonated as some Trappist ales that I have had recently

smell:great malt smell and as it warmed more notes of dark stone fruits

taste:it seemed a bit mellow and I did not get allot of fruit notes as much as I did on the aroma...mostly just dark malt flavors(while good) it did not wow me...also did not have a bunch of estery quality's which I was expecting

mouth feel:creamy and easy to drink

drinkablity: super easy to drink a bit too easy maybe...considering the alcohol content

 660 characters

Photo of DrewShal9
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy, golden with a white head that remains laced on the sides as the beer is drunk or stays if you don't haha
S: very fragrant, fruity, floral
T: sweet initially with tropical fruits of pineapple and guava maybe some mango that turns slightly bitter and drying at the end
M: moderately carbonated with a milky body. Dries like a champagne
O: not bad but not great either. Will return to see if it's different on a fresh palate as I had a few other brews before tasting this one.

 482 characters

Photo of Romulux
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of Euroglot
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rbastone
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of mquartuccio87
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of jeiiVP
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of atpca
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 483 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.