Achel Trappist Extra | Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Achel Trappist ExtraAchel Trappist Extra
BA SCORE
4.29/5
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:
#762
Reviews:
220
Ratings:
483
pDev:
9.32%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
142
Gots:
79
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 483 |  Reviews: 220
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 BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 2,189 characters

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice three inch high head of tan colored lace formed on the top and hung around for a good few moments before settling down to just a thin layer of lace and some nice side glass presentation There were a few touches of carbonation visible as well drifting up toward the surface.

The aroma was very rich, with a nice mixture of sweet caramel notes and dark fruity yeast. Hints of plums and raisins were all over this one, as was a sweet liqueur type aroma, which gave a hint to the alcohol that lie within. A nice touch of spice as well, with hints of nutmeg.. The flavor followed suit perfectly. Opening up with a nice sweet malty flavor that warmed from within, it quickly became much more complex. A small boozy flavor coming in behind it, was laced with nice bits of spice and rum soaked raisin flavors. with the malt profile clearly dominating. There were some lingering flavors of roasted nuts as you got toward the end and the long lasting finish, had the slightest of sour bites to it. Very complex indeed.

The overall profile though was quite mellow with nothing really dominating in one way or another, and a very smooth and creamy Mouthfeel. The carbonation never did let up and led to this one never coming across as dull or flat throughout the session. The alcohol was a touch noticeable at first, but never distracting, and was just enough to let you know this was indeed a nice sipper.

Overall, this was Very rich and complex, and delightfully smooth

 1,473 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 921 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy amber brown off white cream speckled lacing, nice thanks for the sample beergeek279. Aroma: Plums, raisins with brown sugar ripened fruit tones very nice hides the alcohol very nicely almost too well. Taste: Creamy ripened fruit big and chewy flavors alcohol is evident with a deep vinous tone to it, awesome flavor. Mouthfeel: Effervescent carbonation coats the palate nicely leaving the flavors there to linger in a good way. Drinkability: Excellent not cloying in anyway nice Achel selection that gives the brewery some definite credentials.

 563 characters

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of imbibehour
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Into the tulip a somewhat clear ruby garnet Indian red body, then fills with deep mahogany brown color. Head has a nice creamy even texture, whipped up faint tan chocolate and light mocha cream in appearance. Wonderful rising carbonation, just a fantastic looking beer.

Wonderful toasty dense dark malt sugars and dark fruit sensations. Figgy and newton dense sweet cookies. Raisin and dense cake like vanilla. Incredibly rich smelling. Great stuff.

Palate hits with a little light body, but the richness comes through. Dense dark cherries, mild figs and raisins follow. Tight carbonation with a slight wet texture. Malt sweetness bringing in all the notes from the nose nicely. Vanilla finish and cream on the swallow... just coating so nicely.

Overall a real big fantastic tasting brew from these guys. Real solid and impressed this isn't a style I get excited about often, but this beer really delivers.

 953 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of a77cj7
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05/29/08- Purchased at Draegers in San Mateo, CA. This is probably a 2005 vintage.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with a code on the back label. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Caramel brown in color. Full large bubbled dirty white one inch head. Leaves nice lace streaks and sugary caked marks as well.

Smell- Caramel malt bomb in the nose. Sweet and silky smelling with a light nose of some dark fruits (dates and figs maybe).

Taste- Caramel malts is the predominant flavor, but also included is a date flavor and well as a very odd tart, sourlike taste. I have no idea if this is supposed to be there, or if it's past it's prime. Either way, it didn't add anything to the beer, if anything it may have subtraced from the taste. Lightly hopped as well.

Mouthfeel- Full sugary mouthfeel with a high level of carbonation.

Drinkability- The sour notes kinda threw me off, but overall it's still very good. Almost like a low hopped english barleywine (minus the sour)

 974 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gavroche tulip. Pours a dark., murky red-orange brown with a big, fine three finger light tan head with excellent retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark stone fruit, apple, clove, Belgian yeast. Flavor follows with caramel malt, dark and light stone fruit, apple and pear juice, clove, cinnamon and other earthy spicing, brown sugar, finishing with a semi-sweet, slightly sour burst of fruit flavors with light peppery spice from the clove and maybe hops. Beautifully integrated and flavorful. Medium bodied with really nice peppery carbonation that complements the spicing. An excellent, well balanced, complex Belgian dark that is very flavorful. The taste seems a bit subdued at first compared to the two top well-known Belgian strong ales, but the flavor builds and gets more interesting throughout the taste. Complex flavor covers the ABV well, making this a dangerous ale because it continually invites tasting. World class. Glad I finally got to try this rare beer.

 1,005 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is the #3 beer on the "Top Beers - Belgian Strong Dark Ale" list. Served in a Westvleteren chalice because I have yet to find an Achel glass.

Beer is brown and hazy with a thin lazy head, low retention, moderate to low carbonation, minimal lacing.

Aroma is a little sweet, a little roasted sugar, a little weak but good.

Beer is medium to light in body, sweet and no hint of alcohol at all. Finish is nice a big bottle was hard to finish but I'd have it again.

 496 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of stevoj
4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from Mi Grain, Mi Houblon in Arlon. Superlative. Excellent on all counts, prunes, toffee, some malt, some vanilla. A bare hint of the alcohol, not in flavor, but in warmth. A real gem

 190 characters

Photo of tempest
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Split a bottle at Tap and Table in Emmaus, PA. Why, why, why does this beer have to be nearly $29? It's easily the best the legal (not Westvleteren) Trappist beer I've had. Damn. The flavor is soft and malt-heavy with an earthy background. The barley brings a complex mix of typical but delicious candy flavors: figs, toffee, caramel, and cocoa. They're subtle flavors that develop as you sip though, not like some big beer that knocks your palace out. This is an experience, not just a drink. Find this beer.

 509 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of brandoman63
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of bigred89
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the alias "Extra" labeled bottle. Pours chestnut with a good initial head and light lacing. The smell is sweet with candi sugar and a light spicing of clove and cinammon. Some dark fruit and aa breadiness is there as well. Taste is sweet as well, with notes of brandied fruit, but not quite as much spice as suggested by the nose. Rich and smooth with a bit of chocolate at the end as well. Creamy and a little bit on the lighter side as far as mouthfeel goes, at least for Belgian Strong Dark. Nice, but I wouldn't quite put it up with the best beers from the other abbeys.

 579 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by thirdeye11.

Pours a brown color with a white head. Aroma is yeast and Belgian candi sugar. You also get some caramel. The flavor is caramel with a lot of malted sweetness. The alcohol is definitely present. Medium carbonation and extremely drinkable, even for 9.5 percent ABV.

 296 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

 1,997 characters

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev -6.8%

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