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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 BobZ
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4 Oz. bottle, Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice. Split with a buddy.

Appearance: Dark brown, head builds to a creamy 1/2" like the Bruin then also exhibits excellent lacing.

Smell: Beautiful, very deep, Belgian yeast, dark fruit, some sweet dark sugar.

Taste: Very nice, sweet, deep, dark fruit (raisin and plumb), hints of brown sugar sweetness.

Mouth feel: Excellent carbonation, silky smooth on the palate.

Drinkability: Very, very, Drinkable, ABV is completely hidden.

Exceptional quad/strong dark ale, falling just short of the St. Bernardus or Westvleteren class.

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Photo of Crosling
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Kulminator in Antwerpen, Belgium.

Ruddy Brown.

Fairly subtle nose with notes of hay, clove, banana, vanilla and plum.

Achel is learning how to brew. What kept the 8 Brune from being a sensational beer was that the intense fruitiness was not balanced by any dark maltiness whatsoever. With the Extra, this is surely not the case. It was soft and very mellow. Dark fruits, mainly cherry and plum were present but were balanced so well by a deep maltiness of chocolate, caramel and cookie. I am expecting some incredible things from Achel in the future. They are now off the training wheels.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well holy-smokes.
This beer tastes fantastic!

It pours a rich ruddy brown with an impossibly long-lasting head.

The smell is delicious. Bready, with a strong vinous note, and some snap-crackle-pop esters mingling with booze that really melds with the malty-shebang.

The taste follows the smell. The beer definitely has a crapton of Special B in it, I'd stake my life on it. But I like that grape-y taste. And it blends with the dry, boozy beer creating a nice sweet/dry dichotomy. I like it,

The mouthfeel is pretty robust for a Belgian. I like it. Not too thick, not too thin, with really bombastic carbonation.


Definitely one of the best Belgians I have had.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml split with cbutova over the weekend. Best before July 2015.

Appearance - Hazy brownish-red with big ol' floaties, especially on the last pours. Beige+bubbly pancake head boasts good retention and decent lace.

Smell - Cola, bread, nuts, yeast, molasses, prunes. Nice and potent at first but seems to lose strength with time, good though.

Taste - Taste is more solid. More dark fruit here, raisins galore, along with cola, dark bread, caramel, light spice and yeast presence. Smooth+good dark trappist ale flavors.

Mouthfeel - Slick and less carbonated than expected, a little odd at first but it grew on me. Not boozy whatsoever and works with the flavors.

Overall - Typically very good trappist-Quad type beer, doesn't really have the flair of Rocherfort, Westy, etc. but certainly a fine Belgian.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Creamy smooth dark brown lace beautiful small retained head. Licorice, touch of roast, chocolate malt, well malted, vanilla and chocolate. Very good carbonation from hops. Trappist fundamental character though very complex. A must have, and with 1-3 pals as its a bomber..

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of RickS95
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, dark medium brown. Head is slow forming and quick to dissipate. The head brings a stark contrast to the dark beer with white bubbles.

Very malty in the nose. Dark ripe fruits are present, red apples and red grapes.

The taste is stellar. It's malty and very fruity. The apples and grapes are prevalent and dominate everything else. It's high in alcohol and while you can taste it, it's not overpowering.

It's a medium bodied beer, a bit on the sweet side. Not too malty, but very fruity. A slight tanginess balances the sweet, which is beneficial because there is no hop presence. It tries to be a dry finish but it lacks the carbonation, leaving a slightly sticky sweet finish.

As usual, it's a great Trappist beer. Bordering on too sweet, but it goes down easy. I'd drink it more often but it was $17 for a half liter...almost worth it.

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Photo of bruachan
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the head went nutty at first, but isn't so sweet anymore, though it did leave some lacing. deep mahogany color

deep husky, bready, toasty, roasty aroma. plenty of dark fruit as well

the flavors are intensely raisiny and figgy. sweet and tangy with some nut characteristics. it's a good brew, and somewhat complex. there's even some cola in there

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Photo of srandycarter
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Voluminous, great head. Leaves fast to ring. Lots of persistent lace.

S - Briny, barny, sour in a sense, solid malt smell.

T - Solid malt core, fruity and lots of barn funk.

M - Medium body, lots of carb, good coat. Great balance.

D - Big beer, but nice.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml green bottle. Hazy dark red translucent body with a half an inch of light tan head. Smells citrussy and pithy. Tastes citrusy and roasty, as well as sour and slightly alcoholic. Nut and caramel show up after a few sips too. Very different from most other beers I've ever tried. Definitely grows on you as you make your way through it. An interesting complex beer that's definitely worth the try and that I'll probably get again.

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Photo of abrand
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL poured into a snifter glass

This pours a dark brown/mahogany color with a tan head that leaves minimal lacing. Smells of caramel, sweet malts, some raisins as well as toffee. Pretty sweet smelling. Taste is a little boozy but good. Plenty of malts and dark fruits on the palate with subtle hints of nuts. Mouthfeel is medium body with decent carbonation. Overall, I really enjoyed this. Couldn't handle the full bottle in one sitting but really enjoyable.

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Photo of MrDell
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


Trappist Achel Bruin Extra
Quadrupel – 9.5% - 750ml Bottle - Best before 16.09.2017

I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on this for a very long time after being impressed by the quality of the standard bruin from this monastery that sources the majority of its ingredients, including the yeast, from Westmalle .

Appearance: Very deep red, almost black with a cappuccino style head. From the underside, head is made up of some really large bubbles. Good head retention.

Aroma: Burnt sugar, sweet dark fruits, Christmas pudding is also in there, but it's really the caramel notes that are dominating. Like melting chocolate and highland toffee.

Taste: Aroma translates well to taste. Mostly the burnt sugar taste upfront, then a short hit of licquorice. You get a lot of warming alcohol after swallowing that is very pleasant and goes on for some time, not a huge finish taste wise though. The Westmalle yeast strain is also quite noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (low for the style). Dry finish.
Overall: Quite light in both body and taste for a Trappist quad. Very drinkable though and the alcohol warmth is very nice and would be perfect on a winters evening. Not a huge difference between this and the standard version, just comes in a bigger bottle with an extra 1.5% ABV. The ingredients must be the same. As this warmed up, the links to Westmalle became more and more apparent. The last few mouthfuls being very similar to Westmalle dubbel.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
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 Beerzebub
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, poured in a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Erupted upon opening. Red-brown, full of suspended bits, finger of loosely knit but sticky beige head, thick sticky sheets of lace. I have to watch the bottle, foam keeps growing out of the top like a snake.

Smells spicy and sweet, with tart dark fruit and heady solvent. A bit like Mexican chocolate and dried cherries.

Full rich dark sweet flavor. Raisins and dried cherries, fig jam, milk chocolate, spices, and solvent and booze. Dark candi syrup is center stage. A touch of balancing grassy bitterness. Long sweet spicy raisiny finish.

Sugary texture, but not quite cloying. Fine lively carbonation. A touch of astringency like fruit skin. Quite sippable.

Heady sweet dark fruity beer. I enjoyed this. Wish I had a slice of fruit cake to go with it.

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Photo of Wildman
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very murky amber brown color with little visible light getting through the murky mess. It formed a huge foamy off white head that acted like a float and coated the glass with lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, raisins and a touch of caramel. A nice flavor of malt, caramel and dark fruit like plums/raisins present. A bit of a sprite finish A warming beer for a nice evening.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice glass, it's a dark brown color with a solid head over an inch tall. Laces and coats the glass as it is drunk. Aroma is chock full of dark, caramalized fruit smells and the sweet smell of malt. First taste is malt, resembling sweet cocoa. Lots of raisiny, vinous fruit follow. Hop bitterness is very restrained, with the malty sweetness offset only slightly. Alcohol is noticible, and very warming before the bottle is finished. Full, rich bodied.

A complex and tasty beer, but almost too sweet, in my opinion.

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Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Phew. Grabbed one recently for the minimalism of it, gathering dust on the back shelf. Glad I did! Super effervescent dark beer with inches of dark brown head that faded quickly. Smelled great with a load of dark fruits, caramel and alcohol. The taste was mostly determined by the dark fruit, but was elaborated with some burnt, smokey tinges as well as some whiskey notes and a little bit of leather and earth on the finish. All in all, a great beer that's really betrayed by its inauspiciousness and usual position deep in the back of the lowest shelf. Can't wait to try this out of the bottle one day.

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Photo of RB7009
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Funky head explosion out of my 750 mL bottle. After, pouring in a Belgian taster glass - clinging head.

Typical fruity, fermented taste (yeast flavored) with similar smells. Maybe hints of figs.

The body is light but can be also tasted a "light creamy" complexion with the interplay of the head.

Color is murky - almost monsterous reminiscent of swimming in a lake and kicking silt on the bottom.

Overall...great. The Belgium monks brew a good brew and I can see why this is a high scoring beer. Judge this beer against Unibroue Trois Pistoles.


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Photo of mrfrancis
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with a creamy, compact tan head that doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

S: Aromas of roasted chestnuts, molasses, chocolate, coffee, caramel, and raisins are very apparent on the nose. No booziness whatsoever.

T: Opens sweet and creamy with notes of vanilla bean, milk chocolate, coffee, caramel, heavy cream, molasses, chestnuts, raisins, figs, and prunes with subtle earthy hop tones arriving just before the finish. This beer finishes sweet with notes of chocolate, dark fruit, and caramel being particularly evident.

M: Full-bodied, thick, and creamy. Almost viscous in the mouth. Carbonation is a little more active than expected. Very filling, but pleasant.

O: This is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale, and is a definite improvement over Achel's other bruins (both of which are very good). More than worth seeking out if you can get it.

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Photo of wl0307
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a 750ml brown bottle, capped; BB 06/10, served mildly chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: elegant dark russet or very dark ruby in colour, coming with semi-lively streams of small bubbles, good clarity, and a dark beige creamy froth of 0.5 cm thickness lasting throughout the drink.
S: pretty sweet but still semi-complex - grainy & semi- dark malts, mustiness of salty-sweet yeasts and brown sugar altogether yield a dense, fruity estery scent to dominate the nose; the lesser elements on the side are overripe stone fruits and very-hard-to-describe herbal elements from the yeastiness. Enjoyable, settled, not extremely estery.
T: a soothing foretaste consists of dark sugary malts, herbal hops, brown sugar, black cherries, sour plums, Chinese black prunes and many other unidentifiable ripe stone-fruits, almost as if they're semi-fermented that a light tinge of alc. is generated naturally. The lovely estery and bitter-sweet finish has lots of dark malts to offer, as well as dried Chinese herbs with its unique chewy palate. Slightly sour-sweet in the end, but this is quite predictable for a yeasty ale from Belgium.
M&D: softly carbonated, med-full bodied, reasonably complex, the alc. edge is evident but not OTT in any sense... An integrated and enticing ale, without a little bit of alc. to remind one of its hidden depth, but overall superbly drinkable and delicate.

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Photo of brentk56
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Extraordinary appearance with a cloudy tea brown body and a rocky beige head; great retention and lacing

Smell: Fermenting figs and Concord grapes; toffee, brown sugar and alcohol

Taste: Starts with a sweet brown sugar and fig aspect that, after the swallow, is joined by some spiciness and chocolate flavors; rather yeasty as well

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but slightly thick; boisterous carbonation throughout; plenty of warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Very interesting beer, but a lot to consume when packaged in a 750ml bottle

The monk's need to hire someone with a better sense of marketing. By changing the label so that it is virtually indistinguishable from the Achel 8%, they have done themselves no favors. The Extra comes only in a 750ml bottle and the 8% comes only in the 12 oz. bottle. Other than that, the labels are way to similar. If Jason at Knightly Spirits in Orlando hadn't explained it to me, I would have presumed that the two beers were one and the same.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Achel Extra

Appearance: dark brown, medium-small head, and good lacing.

Smell: dark fruits, subtle hops, and slight malts.

Taste: dark fruits (figs, dates, etc), slight malts, and a nice sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium and a bit of carbonation.

This is a very nice Trappist. It has a good candy sweetness in the finish. It also is fairly carbonated.

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Photo of TripperDaniel
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes: Tasted Sunday, March 9, 2008. Seems to be only available in the 75 cL bottle. Trappist product. Difficult to find, too. Refermented in bottle. Best before the end of July, 2009. We'll see about that. Ingredients: Water, malted barley, hop, yeast, candi sugar.

Appearance: Pours a lighter colour than I expected - rich mahogany, quite dark, but with rust notes and burgundy highlights. Not quite completely clear. Tan head lasts well, but diminishes to a couple of layers of bubbles, with an open patch, and a good rim. Lacing that looks like desert plateaus. Bubbles continue to form in small mounds on the surface. Very attractive.
Nose: Rich chocolate malt. Very nutty - marzipan, hazelnut, walnut. Musty leather and paper. Slight candied citrus peel. Raisins. Slight metal. Does not smell sweet. Good Belgian yeast funk. Molasses. Apple and tobacco. Faint rummy alcohol.
Taste: Very smooth at first, the carbonation builds a little in the mouth, conveying a rich malty backbone that is a little cloying on the finish. Meanwhile, you get tons of raisin, chocolate and nuts. Off-dry and full-bodied. Nondescript hoppiness offers a quenching character. Lots of nuts on the finish, which is dry and lingering. Alcohol very faint. Some coffee comes out later, as well as a vague herbal note. Also something faintly vinous.

Overall: Not what I had been hoping for. Obviously it's excellent, but it's just missing some complexity. I think it's a little young and out of balance, and in 7 years or so it'll be very good, but I think this is a beer that runs the risk of blending in with all the other unmemorable dark Belgians, regardless of age. For the style it should be darker and richer, in my opinion. Maybe I'm tasting it too cold; I'll let it breathe and warm up and come back to it. Maybe I'm being too harsh. Maybe my expectations were too high.

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Photo of Vipsanius
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a little lighter than other dark Belgian ales...nice 2 finger sticky head with good retention.

The dominant aroma is of grape fruit juice...seriously. Bread, apples plums, and raisins are other scents I could pick up on.

The taste starts sweet, some spices (nutmeg, allspice), the fruit taste gives way to a chocolately flavor...very interesting yeasty bread-like aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is bit over carbonated but otherwise nice. Chewy, full bodied, sticks to the palate.

Like most other beers of this style, this definitely isn't a session beer. There's a fine line here on letting it warm up to get more flavos out of it and letting it get too warm to where the alcohol takes over...not in an annoying way, just enough to mask the other flavors. Overall, a good beer but there's some others I'd prefer in this style.

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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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