Achel Trappist Extra | Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

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94
outstanding
475 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
475
Reviews:
220
Avg:
4.27
pDev:
9.37%
 
 
Wants:
142
Gots:
80
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 475 |  Reviews: 220
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a clear, brown ale with a two and a half finger head poured into my chalice glass. Looks very nice. The head is nice and foamy, and leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

The aroma was of spices, faintly earthy dark malts, rosé wine, and sweet fruits. 9.5 %? Can't tell it in the aroma.

Taste was surprising... dark malts, earthy, toffee, light coffee, some spiciness, and a definite alcohol bite when a large swallow was taken. Very complex and good, like it should be.

Mouthfeel was VERY smooth and creamy.

Drinkability... this stuff went down so damn nice. Would have been a 4.5, but the alcohol taste was a little too prominent, so I had to cut it back a bit. Still, without a doubt an excellent example of the style.

Thanks to GClarkage for the trade. This was just what I needed tonight, after a lousy day at work.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 "a consmmer de preference' avant fin 03-2008" notched on the side of the label, poured into a chalice.

Amber tinged brown with a large creamy head despite a careful decant. Great retention and it leaves sheets of ringed foam as it goes down.

Spices, alcohol, figs, touch of candy sugar, and slight chalky yeast, all backed byearthy malts. The alcohol aroma isn't hot or very peppery, in no way is it out of place. I usually prefer it toward the finish, but this does fine with it upfront. Its almost like the figs were soaked in booze.

Very smooth and complex when tasted. Malts come in like an earthy velvet coating the tongue with spices (coriander and clove), sugars, bittering hops, and a dry finish that is warmed by the abv. Nice full mouthfeel that leaves nothing sticky or oily in its wake.

Not a beer I could session all night given the abv, but something this tasty could be sipped over the course of an evening. I could see myself doing just that with two of these while celebrating a special occassion.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark plum or brown with a white head.

S: Nutmeg, dark fruit, spicy belgian yeast in the nose.

T: Orange, dark fruit, plum, nutmeg, cinnamon, quite sweet, especially with some age (had it once fresh, once well after it's expiration date). Alcohol is definitely present.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: An excellent beer in an excellent style. The Belgian strong dark has become a favorite of mine, though I wouldn't say this is the best of the style.

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Photo of metter98
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy brown in color. It poured with a finger high light beige head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: The taste has sweet aromas of dark fruits.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has lots of malty sweetness with flavors of dark fruits—dates and plums seem to stand out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied and incredibly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very nice to sip and savor but it’s not too difficult to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of Paddez
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found and bought this 750ml bottle in ABS Drinks in Winksele
.

Appearance: A brown & hazy liquid topped by a big, tan head. Very little lacing. Looks creamy and delicious.

Smell: Malts, raisins, dark fruits, coffee, brown sugar & some faint spicy notes. Very good but a bit too faint. Gets more full and complex as the beer warms though.

Taste: Buttery malts, toffee and dark fruits mainly. Slightly dry spices and faint hops balance out the sweetness. Yummy!

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Full bodied, this brew is smooth and creamy. The mouthfeel fits the style really well. The alcohol is wondrously well-hidden and doesn't show at all. Excellent.

Conclusion: A most excellent beer. A prime example of the style and by far the best brew from Achel.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard some good things about this, glad to finally be able to try it.

Pours a nice glowing brown/red color with a finger of head that leaves some webby lacing.

Lightly spiced bouquet, with notes of dates and raisins and flowery Belgian yeast. Hints of alcohol heat, but not too much. Some caramel and vanilla as well.

Taste is very very nice. A good malt profile that is not overpowered by the spices. Lots of sweet raisin and dark fruit. Very well integrated. A bit of heat in the finish but not more than in other comparable beers of this style (BSDA, Quad, whatever you feel like calling it).

Mouthfeel is nearly full bodied with only a slight carbonation prickle. Drinkability is good, but 9.5% quads are best enjoyed in moderation and savored slowly.

The taste on this bad boy is right up there with the best in the style such as St. Bernardus and Pannepot and it is better than Rochefort 10 IMO. I'd love to do a side by side with Westy 12 but I don't think this would quite match up. Buy this beer, you won't regret it.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle (marked best before 7/2008) into the appropriate Achel chalice.

A: Pours a dark brown with an excellent light-tan head. Ruby red undertones are there as well and they show up much better when held up to a light. Lots of sticky lacing as well as a nice layer of head that remains throughout, contributing to the smooth and creamy texture of the beer.

S: Dark fruits: figs and cherries. A little bit of alcohol aromas as well.

T: Starts out with the sweet dark malts followed by lots of cherries, plums, and figs. Finishes with just the right amount of sweetness. The 9.5% is surprisingly nowhere to be found. Overall, a very nice strong dark ale with good, but not great, complexity.

M: Very good mouthfeel. It's well carbonated, smooth as hell as well as creamy.

D: Very drinkable due to the absence of the alcohol in the taste. It's very smooth and very tasty. I definitely recommend trying this beer but at $18 a bottle I don't think I'll be having it too often.

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Photo of seand
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark translucent mahogany, with a large amount of light tan head. A fairly thick blanket retains and leaves thick lacing with longevity.

S: Raisins, clove and other spices, molasses, belgian yeast. Nice subdued but complex balance.

T: Raisiny sweetness through the mid palate, leading into a spiced rum and then a light, non-bitter hoppy note, finishing dry. Lots of complexity; somewhat like an aged beer, without the concentrating effect that aging usually has.

M: Relatively full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, really really good. I'll seek this one out again.

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Photo of akorsak
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL capped bottle.

A: The ale pours with a stunning muddy red, burnt siena color, much lighter than I remember. The body is noticeably hazy with a significant amount of sediment. The head was quite vigourous and thick, measuring upwards of 4 fingers.

S: Candi sugars and dark alefruits dominate the nose, creating a sweet swirling nose that is full of alcohol and bready.

T: The ale has a strong undercurrent of alcohol that really hits you square off the bat. Mixed with the alcohol is a bready, grainy malt body that serves as a base for the adjuncts. The candi sugar creates a noticeable sweetness that augments the alcohol kick. Dark alefruits provide further sweetness with a dry element that leaves the mouth slightly parched.

M: The mouthfeel is huge, full of thick deep flavors that never let the palate rest.

D: The abv is through the roof but well worth it. The monks have created a divine brew that ranks up there with Westvleteren, Rochefort and Chimay.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark amber with two fingers of very dense off white head. Decent retention.

S: Great balance and complexity. I love the dark fruit aromas here - prunes and raisins mixed with plums and even a bit of peach. A bit musty with orange zest and nutmeg. As the beer warms, I get some caramel sweetness to add to the complexity.

T: Esters are surprisingly strong in this beer as compared to the aroma. Lemon and orange zest mixed with nutmeg are apparent. Sweet prunes are also there, but not particularly strong. The beer stays quite dry throughout.

M: A bit thin with fairly strong carbonation.

O: The aroma on this beer is amazingly complex and balanced. The flavor is good, but not quite as strong on the dark fruits as I'd like.

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Photo of LAND_MINE
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of roblowther
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle, aged @ about 58F, opened 1/11. Pours with an effervescent, frothy head that settles into a creamy layter that leaves nice lacing. The beer is ruddy mahogany and just gorgeous, really. The smell is raisins, cherries, cranberries, leather and a sugary caramel that makes the beer seem it will be very sweet (which the fresher examples I've had indicate it can be). The taste is just wonderful. That leather hits first, then cacao, a slight sharpness, a hint of sweet, then a lovely dry, earthy finish that just makes you want more. The mouthfeel is slight carbonation and then a slickness, a bit lighter than it looks or tastes. Drinkability is great, the alcohol is just a warm afterthought and the balance between the sweet and dry makes it go down very easy. To be honest, this has always been at the bottom of the Trappist list but aging this thing really brings out a lot that you don't get with the fresh stuff, beating out what we had at the monastery even though those glasses had the "I'm drinking it where its made with the monks after searching for this place forever" cachet. A VERY nice surprise!

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Photo of stephens101
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I always welcome a new Trappist brew, and all indications point to a winner here, but the proof is in the magnum.

Poured right down the middle of a goblet. Dark reddish-brown in color. Has a slight, off-white head that seeks escape and gets it quickly. A few bubbles reside atop the brew and a thin sheet of lace clings to the side.

The aroma of ripened red grapes, grain, burnt sugar and belgian yeast floats timorous. Tickling the tongue are an array of dark fruits including grapes, plum and persimmon. Behind that lie some more notes of burnt sugar, licorice, faint hops, and a touch of tartness.

Medium to heavy bodied and mostly smooth going down with a bit of an alcohol edge that comes in toward the end and lingers.

A well-crafted brew that is giving me a happy-buzz:) Woot!

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Photo of goldenpeanut
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found a 750ml champagne bottle at Greens (on Ponce De Leon) in Atlanta on a pub crawl with the Hogtown Brewers. (great time if you missed it) Bottle in excellent condition on exterior. Champagne cap and no cork.

I agree with the Belgian Strong Dark Ale category, it fits well, I don't always agree with how beers are classified here.

Bottle and label rather pedestrian, actually, cheap looking, don't be fooled. The quality resides within.

Belgian Dark Strong fits better than Belgian Dubbel because the malt is less pronounced than in a Dubbel, but, the color is actually more appropriate for a Dubbel than a brown. The alcohol is more in line with a Dark Strong too.

The beer pours with a nice, rich head, not too foofy and not understated either. It collapses into a nice rocky terrain soon enough and lasts if you have a laser etched glass. I decided on a goblet style glass for its presentation but I also think a tulip would work almost as well. The Monk's who brew this have chosen a goblet also confirming their divine inspiration with me.

The aroma (not the "smell" listed in the rating scheme) is a pleasant combination of dark candi sugar and alcohol. Once you get past that, there is an underpinning of rum soaked raisins and dark malt that adds sweetness. Not as spicy as a
Trappist tripel or as malty as a dubbel or as complex as a golden but very friendly and reassuring that the first sip will be clean and not disappointing. Yeast character is somewhat subdued for a Trappist tripel but similar to a dubbel but less malty. I know that's repetitive but I'm talking about different characteristics that are similar in their interpretation here.

The flavor is a mirror of the aroma, need I say more? I will. If you explode the beer on our palate you will find that the carbonation converts it totally to foam, really, a rather interesting experience as there is little carbonic bite. Alcohol presents up front but its not hot and very clean. This is most fascinating as I don't really detect alcohol strength on my palate as readily as many other judges. The flavor is not as complex as a golden or as malty as a dubbel, or, as spicy as a tripel (heard this before?). Its not really a Belgian Bruin either. I guess if forced to classify I would put it as a light but alcoholic dubbel.

The finish (not even listed in the ratings for a beer here, so sad) is decidedly on the malt side. The hop bitter is very short and lingers briefly only on the middle rear of the tongue, for a short time. Interesting. Make no mistake, the finish, while malty, is balanced and NOT cloying. This is probably due to the moderate maltiness of the beer overall. Very pleasant and clean. I like it.

Well, lets get to the heart of this evaluation, drinkability and pleasure. Where is this beer appropriate? I feel it would go well with just about any food, the high carbonation cleanses the palate much better than any wine. The restrained hop bitter leaves the palate ready for the next infusion of flavor. The flavor and alcohol please and offer a respite from the accumulation of sensories attacking the palate from the food. refreshment for the next bite, what more can you ask? The alcohol level and volume allows for maintenance of a buzz after a few cocktails before the evening meal. A reason to keep a bottle around all by itself.

This is not the most interesting or novel Belgian you will ever experience, it is, however, one of the most functional. Non beer lovers will not be put off by the bitterness or the funky yeast notes and beer lovers will appreciate its subtlety. A winner and one well worth replication by the advanced homebrewer.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark burgundy red with a huge rocky tan head. 9.5% abv.

S: Sweet aroma, malt with some candi sugar and light bread.

T: The flavor had a huge dried fruit, (raisins, plums) and bread notes. Good yeast attributes makes this a very smooth, and rich beer bursting with spiciness and complexity. Some licorice and dark sherry hints upon warming along with dark raisins and caramel. Very smooth.

M: sweet, silky smooth with a light viscosity.

D: Great drinkability, alcohol is pretty well hidden, and goes down effortlessly. .

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Photo of wmartin
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from Teku from 750ml bottle. Dating on bottle says best before Dec. 2017.

Reminds me immediately of Rochefort 10. Rochefort 10 is one of my favorite beers, though I haven't had it in awhile. Rochefort 10 probably edges this out because of the more pronounced fruity flavors in Rochefort 10 (which are still not dominant), but i put this among the better Trappist quads. Very drinkable, and very desirable. Has a very faint soapy flavor that can be a flaw of beers of this type as well, though it is barely detectable.

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Photo of straightlambic
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CJRubes
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Grackos
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great beer indeed.

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Photo of tconboy
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A nice very red with a nice tan head poured into an Achel chalice. Smells of malt and candy and dark roasty bread. Tastes beautiful with dried fruits, bready. Very very smooth. This goes down easily, highly drinkable.. especially given the ABV. Smooth mouthfeel with but still a little lively. A nice product, as you'd expect from a Trappist product.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Capped 750 mL brought back from belgium. Split two ways poured into snifters, reviewed 7/20/2009

Ar: Caramel and honey sweetness, rootbeer spice, toffee, dark candy sweet, wet with light floral, tart hints, strong maltiness, sweet fruity alcohol

Ap: Thick chunky light tan head, dense, good/fair retention, lace, slight haze, deep brown with tan hints

F: Plum sweet, toffee and caramel sweetness, strong malty sweetness with good caramel/toffee and fruit, hints of tartness (good for the balance), taste dominated throughout by complex fruit and toffee with nutty earthy hints, light alcohol, tartness comes through in mid taste, ends drier and more crisp, doughy hints, faint mild spice (rootbeer), ends with drier toastyness but mostly sweet toffee and fruit throughout, very light solventy alc taste as it warms, prune, plum, *grapey, *earthy mellow hop, *bitterness helps balance

M: High fine carbonation, full/medium mouthfeel, clean end with alcohol warmth, viscous

O: sweetness is good but limits proper occasions for the beer, great maltiness

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Photo of smitty2717
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Super Cellar Warehouse Liquors in Avon CT

A- Dark brown and getting lighter as the glass weighs less. Alot of sediment at the bottom of the bottle

S- Caramel and blackberries giving the hint that this Belgian ale will be sweet.

T- Slightly sour right off the front but finishing sweet. Some of the best combinations in a Belgian ale. Light buttery beer with a perfect finish that leaves you breathing through your nose just to experience more.

M- Silky smooth with a light and fluffy feel when taking in a little foam.

Drinkability- Equivilent to many Gouze beers. Probably drink this one all day.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet from 75cl bottle.

A - Pours a very familiar murky and reddish brown with very minimal head that is off-white.

S - Very delicious yeasty aromas with some nice spice and good sweet malt plus some good sourdough bread aromas are present. There are nice fruit sweet hints. Pineapple, plums and some nice caramel as well. Nice clove as well.

T - This beer really shines in the flavor. Very nice and sweet caramel aroma with great dark fruits. Grape and some nice pineapple as well. Nice phenols and good yeast feel. There is some mild grainy breadyness that shines through at the end as the dry finish takes over. Very delicious.

M & D - Great medium body with nice CO2 which was surprising based on the head. Very nice balance and complexity at the same time. Delicious. Definitely a repeat but dangerous ABV.

Edit: As the beer warms the boozyness is SO very present.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bisho
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quads are my favourite so this could have been a little biased but this is not your typical quad.

I have never been a real fan of Achel Blonde or Brune (I find them a little on the bland side) but this one took me by surprise...

A: Deep ruby brown and cloudy in appearance with a great fluffy head. Lots of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Smells more like a fruity wine. and this is where this quad lacks the typical sweet aroma; only the fig and malt overtones. However, it just makes what is to come even more special.

T: Exceptional! Not the typical sweet aftertaste of my favourite quad (Rochefort 10), it rolls off rather dry but flavoursome all the same! Lots of malt, spice and dark fruit. YUM!

M: Very well carbonated for a quad, lots of lasting bubbles that you can still feel long after it's gone. Somewhat similar mouthfeel to the Unibroue 17.

D: You must drink this at almost room temperature to get the most out of it. Never drink it too cold. A little bit of alcohol burn afterwards but this does not affect what is surprisingly a very easy drinking quad. More please!

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Achel Trappist Extra from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
4.27 out of 5 based on 475 ratings.
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