Trappist Achel 8° Bruin | Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

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Trappist Achel 8° BruinTrappist Achel 8° Bruin
Trappist Achel 8° BruinTrappist Achel 8° Bruin

Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Style: Belgian Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 451 | Ratings: 892
Photo of Brolo75
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce beer poured into a Belgian stemmed glass

A: Pours a dark red, brown color with a tan colored head, head is full and creamy, a good amount of carbonation is streaming up the sides, beer is clear, some slight lacing, looks nice.

A: Belgian yeast notes, caramel, toffee, figs, raisins, bananas, hint of spice, lots of malts, smells really good.

T: Yeast, touch of banana, spice, clove, toffee, caramel, finish is dry with some spice emerging in the aftertaste, there's also figs and raisins, very balanced, smooth, complex, depth, very tasty.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, dry finish.

O: A very tasty beer, like most Belgian beers I've tasted, this beer is complex with depth, has a nice balance of flavors, a great medium bodied mouthfeel, and is very drinkable. I hope my local bottle shop continues to carry this as I would continually buy it.

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Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
4.56/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can't get this in my region so I'm very pleased to have gotten my hands on this finally. Poured into a st. Bernardus goblet. A world-class example of the style: pours the way it should, nice 3 finger head and spot-on Amber-brown color, wonderful scent and taste. Prickly carbonation felt on the tongue. If you're seeking out a dubbel, there's no reason not to reach for this one.

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Photo of Meyers1023
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a very dark Amber color with a tan head that spreads to the edge of the glass quickly. Smell is toffee, raisins, and yeast. The flavor is sweet bread and dark fruits. You also get a bubble gum flavor from the yeast. The feel is medium with good carbonation. This is a great Belgian dubbel. It has an almost perfect combination of flavors.

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Photo of drmeto
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

-pours a slightly hazy ruby-brown with a medium to big,foamy,offwhite head
-medium carbonation visible
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
-alcohol noticeable
Very nice Dubbel,not as Yeast-heavy than other Trappists (Chimay,Rochefort,Westmalle)

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Photo of Zet
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow, very pretty dubbel: mohagony with amber around the edges and an awesome three fingers of frothy beige head that retains very well and leaves lacing on the glass. A full nose of malt, hoppy herbs and chocolate. Taste follows with the same flavours, very rich. Not as sweet as most dubbels; it tends to lean more to the bitter side actually. Taste is not very complex, but the amount of flavour is very satisfying. Mouth feel is how a dubbel should be: soft, smooth and creamy, with little to no carb noted. Very good dubbel.

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. One finger width tan head, and a ruby red body. Slight carbonation was visible.

S: Apple, pear, citrus, caramel, dark fruit, malt.

T: Apple, pear, citrus, malt, dark fruits, slightly tangy.

F: Creamy, foamy, smooth, medium bodied, slight alcohol warmth.

O: A very good Dubbel.

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Photo of BeerChancelor
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a 30cl chalice.

A: Cloudy dark-brown with one-finger head. Medium carbonation.

S: Yeasty, dark malts, alcoholic, slight notes of citrus and spices.

T: Bready and malty, dark malts. Sweet in the beginning, transitioning to yeasty and a faint hop taste. Also, some dark fruits in the mix. A complex ensemble of flavors going on. Temperature is a huge factor!

M: Very smooth, medium-body.

O: I really like the complex flavor profile! Definitely one of my favorite dubbels. If I had to critique something, is that it doesn't have that "Je ne sais quoi." that would make it a superb beer!

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Photo of Dzu
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 0.33l bottle into goblet.
L: Dark brown color with a medium white foam head.
S: Red wine, plums, roasted sugar.
T: Caramel, raisin, dark fruits. Similar to aroma.
F: Thick and tight , meduim carbonation.
O: Great balanced dubbel.

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Photo of MrDell
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Trappist Achel 8° Bruin
Dubbel – 8% - 330ml Bottle - Best before 30.04.2017

I have had this Trappist a number of times before and I remember it as always been one an absolutely fantastic representation of one of my favourite styles. The recipe for the first of Achel’s beers being devised by the late Brother Thomas of Westmalle and this one by Brother Antoine of Rochefort using yeast, malt –some of which is a chocolate malt - and whole flower saaz hops from Westmalle.

Appearance: Very deep red in colour; more red and less brown than most dubbels. Had a huge three finger, just off white hide when poured but has now dropped back to a fluffy one finger of head, leaving some nice lacing in its wake. Lots of very small bubbles moving up outside of glass.

Aroma: Lots of sweet malt and a bit of booze on the nose along with toffee. There is a slight perfumed tang in the background.

Taste: It's the middle that this beer really triumphs in. Upfront, on the first sip I thought my memory had tricked me as there was not a great deal for a second or two just malt, and then you get a hit of toffee in the middle with then a fairly bitter finish for a dubbel, but then the Westmalle dubbel is similar in that respect. While this is not the most flavour some dubbel, it is one so drinkable and just slides down.

Mouthfeel: Fairly low in body considering the ABV and style. Very smooth and gentle on the palate, with a dry finish.

Overall: I did thoroughly enjoy this beer, but i can't help but feel that it's not all I thought it was when I had it before. I remember it as being the best dubbel I had ever tried at that point and full of flavour but this time around it seems a little muted.... maybe I've just been drinking too many quads recently. Memory is saying 11 / 10 overall for this Trappist brew but in reality, this evening, this 8 / 10. Will have to revisit this soon to see what’s going on!

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Photo of jmasher85
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy shnikes! I tried this up against a most of the other easily available Trappists beers, and this one, while not the best, and certainly one of the least complex, might well have been one of the tastiest. I will happily buy it again. Reminds me of how much I used to adore Newcastle Brown Ale when I first started drinking beer, only this is much better and more...nutty, brown, every way. Doesn't taste anything like the other Trappist beers, lacking any fruit at all, and a good deal of spice, but the nut, savory malt, and sweet toffee flavors make it undeniably excellent. Not to mention a fascinating sawdust aroma (trust me, it's a good thing). I kinda want another right now...

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Photo of josanguapo
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From Playing Kings Bounty Dark Side, in La Trappe chalice. As good as the blonde version. I couldnt determine which of if best without drinking them side by side. Its drink quickly

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Photo of DaveBar
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for just over $3.00 for a 330ml bottle. Served at a bone chilling 4deg C in a tulip. Cellared for almost two years with an expiration date of 6/11/15.

A-Opens well and pours a nice high head that is gone in a minute but film stays forever. Dark brown, unfiltered.

S- Metallic. Boo!

T- Metallic- oxidation kills this beer but shouldn't after merely 1.5yrs away in a cold, dark cellar. Figs are there. Nice little dubbel after you get past the oxidation.

M- Nice and dry. Creaminess is there which is a nice break

O- Pretty good little beer. Have another in the cellar that will be choked back soon to avoid more oxidation.

Food Pairing

This pretty good beer went well with.... Beef stew with beef, potatoes, celery and carrots. Very good blend


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Photo of Jwale73
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle served in a tulip. 20/08/11 printed on the back label. Pours a mahogany hue with a slightly murky clarity and a dense, three inch, cream-colored head that eventually settles into a rocky, half inch cap leaving delicate, textured spatters of lacing in its wake. Nose expresses raisins, figs, prunes and yeast. Taste consistent with nose; however, there's a definite candied fruit quality added to the mix. Also, as the beer warms, some tannic notes are revealed as well as a cold-brewed tea character at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light) with a mild, even carbonation. Overall, this may be my favorite dubbel. Great complexity and flavor and I almost get a cotton candy character in the flavor profile. Truly top notch.

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Photo of FriarMickOnThePlateau
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

At 8% ABV, this is a Belgian Dark Strong, not a Dubbel.

Belgian Dark Strong Ales are dark, very rich, and complex. Most versions are unique in character reflecting characteristics of individual breweries. Authentic Trappist versions tend to be drier than Abbey versions, which can be rather sweet and full-bodied.

Although Achel is authentic Trappist, it drinks more like an Abby. It has a rich chocolate/munich malt character and aromas with a lingering sweetness. Very smooth tasting with a medium-heavy mouthfeel throughout.

I bought an 11.2oz bottle at Red Spirits & Wine AND BEER! on January 19, 2015. The date on the bottle was July 16, 2014, making it 6 months old.

I can't fault this beer to style. I tend to like my Belgian Strongs a bit drier, but this was very easy to drink and enjoyable. Worth a try!

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Photo of REVZEB
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap. The smell is just fantastic from the white foamy head. Dark fruit, honey, flowers, and some fall spices on the nose. Taste is more bready and not as complex, but still very enjoyable. Nice dubbel texture in the body

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.57/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a huge two finger head with great retention, after 10 or 15 minutes, this head was still sticking around! The beer is a muddy brown color, fairly opaque and not possible to see through. The nose is hard to discern, very subtle, but I do get candied fruit and some very dark, very sweet malt. The beer is not nearly as sweet tasting as the nose would suggest, it is very malty, and a lovely thick mouthfeel. The taste starts off with lots of sweet and dark sugars, gets a bit sweeter, and then finises with a fairly nice malt body.

I have to be honest, I do not particularly like this beer. It is a decent representation of the style, but far from something I would buy again, especially at the price this beer goes for (about $6 a bottle).

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Photo of beergoot
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle label data: 05/11/15 (best-by date?) 05KM 13 10 (?)

The body appears hazy with a orange and brown hue; head is thick. Sweet malt aroma with a touch of musty, over-ripe fruit scents. Tart and phenolic edge to an otherwise slightly heavy malt sweetness; some alcohol burn; mildly bitter. Heavy body with a lively carbonation.

The bottle gushed when opened (it wasn't shaken or disturbed prior to opening), but got most of the bottle poured into the glass. The overall lasting impression was of the boozy burn and phenolic character. Some decent caramel malt flavor and feel were evident, along with a ripe fruit tone, but ultimately the beer seemed a bit out of balance and thin in the depth department. Not bad but hardly stunning.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Purchased from Camp Hansen Shoppette, Okinawa, Japan.

A - Pours a solid brown ale showcasing two fingers of creamy head

S - Malts, river water, and brown sugar on the nose

T - A deep, rich, mosaic of spice and bready malts, semi sweet with a dry backing

B - Full, warming, and chewy, with tons of small creamy carbonation

Overall not a bad Bruin I would appreciate a little more sweetness but it does the trick for what I wanted today.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Nose: wine and plum, some sweet malt.
Pours hazy chestnut under a rocky slowly dissipating 3” tan tinted white foam collar. Classic Belgian Window lace.
Palate: plum, fruit cake, caramel, toffee, rich with long lingering toffee flavors well into the finish. Some plum flavors in the finish. The hops are not huge but they are there providing balance. Moderately sweet.
Medium full body with above average carbonation, warming.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%

Pours murky brown. The huge two inch eggshell head remains as a thick cap on top and leaves thick strands of lace. There is visible floating sediment.

The smell is of grainy dark malt, faint spice, caramel, figs and raisins.

The taste is of grain, raisins, plums and molasses with just a hint of hop bitterness on the finish.

The texture is heavy bodied with medium carbonation.

A solid Belgian dubbel with malt, dark fruit and caramel flavors dominating. Those monks are doing it right.

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Photo of TheHammer
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with a solid finger and a half of head that retained masterfully, lacing is decent but not extreme and is the only thing keeping this one from a perfect score here. The body is a heavy brown that shows ample signs of carbonation, but not so opaque that you can't see the solid head being showcased.

Smell: I've noticed that figs seem to be a common theme with Dubbels, but thankfully this one does let them steal the show here. Rich, nutty, toffee malt dominates the nose as brown sugar, figs, plums with a hints of pear, cinnamon and the barest touch of charred wood make this one to remember. Warming helped it out a bit but not much, but that's fine as it's solid none the less.

Taste: Starts with that sweet toffee malt that's presently restrained by nutty almond and walnut tastes and the barest notes of spice. From there a mix of floral and earthy hops, a woodsy note and that odd fig takes over but comes across as presently subdued, as none of them seem capable of taking the spotlight.

Mouthfeel: Although the beer seems to transition too quickly, the fruity dry aftertaste of pear, raisin and sweet malt with the barest nutty hints leave me impressed, as does the ample carbonation that helps out the entire beer but not excessively so.

Drinkability: Ironically though, the carbonation is this beer's downfall as the high carbonation leaves this one a bit gassy. The dryness could be toned down a bit too, but the surreal smoothness and the masterful concealment of the high alcohol content certainly is more then enough to bring it into the positive category.

Final Thoughts: This one is probably my new Trappist beer king, and I think it gave my top picks a run for their money. For some reason I can see this going well wish fish, but realistically, this beer is awesome regardless. Even in the sweltering heat, nor the coldest winter night would not turn this down. Thumbs way up.

Edit: You can remove the probably, this beer is my highest ranked Trappist beer so far and my highest ranked Dubbel at this time. Hopefully that convinces you to try this one for yourself.

2nd Edit: And the title of best Trappist has fallen to Rochefort 8, still don't let that dissuade you from this one.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before 05/11/15. Served slightly chilled, poured into a wine glass.

Pours a ruddy ruby-brown colour, opaque with sediment and topped with one finger of pillowy, pale beige-coloured head. Great retention; this creamy 1/2 inch cap remains in place for much of the drink, depositing lacing as it evaporates at a seemingly infinitesimal rate. The aroma is fruity and malty, with notes of raisin, toasted bread and yeast coming through loud and clear, alongside some cherry, toffee and light boozy notes. Roughly what I expect from this style, but a little subdued.

This is a rich-tasting, highly enticing dubbel. Caramelized sugar and bready malts are the first flavours I detect, with fruity notes of raisin, red apple, fig and ripe banana following soon after. The hops come off as a bit earthy, with some peppery spiciness from the yeast providing a nice interplay at the finish. Dry aftertaste, with a quickly-fading boozy raisin note providing only the slightest bit of heat. Medium in body, perhaps pushing the upper limit of that category, with somewhat assertive carbonation that prickles the tongue. A wonderful sipper that goes down very smoothly.

Final Grade: 4.28, a superb A-. While dubbels are probably my least favourite of the various trappist styles, Achel 8° Bruin is one example that I am finding very easy to enjoy. Well-balanced, with barely a peep from the alcohol content; this is the sort of brew that comes highly recommended to any and all Belgian beer enthusiasts. Is it the finest trappist beer in the world? Probably not, but that doesn't mean I won't be seeking out more of this at some point - hopefully to cellar.

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Photo of TippedMixology
3.64/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

If you're interested in a Trappist beer, (the history and the exclusiveness) this is probably one of the best I've had. That being said, I'd personally pick another beer if given the choice.

Appearance - Heavy head. Cloudy, amber-red caramel coloring--pretty interesting. Probably the most interesting thing about the beer.

Smell - Malty and grainy. A hint of smoke.

Taste - Pretty normal. Malty on the uptake with a sweetness through the middle and a lingering, slightly interesting bitter note at the end--wouldn't say it's a hoppy quality, just bitter... almost like something was toasted a little too long, but not bad.

Mouthfeel - Nothing interesting to report here. Good carb, refreshing.

Overall, pretty decent, nothing special. Would have it again if I come across it.

- Adam from Tipped Mixology

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(best-by(?) date of 05/11/2015 - poured into an Achel chalice)

A: finger of dense, silky-creamy foam, couple shades off-white - settling midway rocky-lumpy - later a soft, pillowy cover that lasts till the end... gorgeous chestnut-red liquid, beautifully clear before sediment... not a ton of lees... lovely, mostly unbroken drapes of lace

S: like a rich, toasty dubbel... mildly wood-roasted grain, maybe even a little earthy noble hop... touch of lightly-burnt brown sugar, currant... wonderous aromas, maybe a touch too mellow overall (due to the design of the glass?)

T: medium-dark caramel malts, brown sugars, essence but not so much sweetness of raisin... not incredible depth, but compact and bold dark, toasty sugary flavors... hint of an herbal-floral ester and subtle allspice in the aftertaste... elegantly understated deliciousness, similarities to Westmalle Dubbel

M: tiny phenolic-spicy prickle up front... luscious-ass, satin-smooth, medium-ish body... finishes perhaps a bit too light?, attenuated by the strong yet static-frayed booze, which its presence gradually fades into the background

O: gotta be one of the best Trappist ales I've had - looks, flavor - just damn refined and fantastic

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Photo of Tucquan
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2014-05-11 in Columbia, PA

A - Clear amber-brown with a 4-finger tan head that sticks around. Some floaties.

S - Grassy, floral, fruit, caramel malt, hint of sour.

T - Pears, caramel, fresh baked brown bread, cinnamon. The Belgian yeast is evident but not predominant. In a way, this reminds me of a thick perry (pear cider). Finishes with a nice balance of fermented pear sweetness and sourdough. Delicious.

M - Light-medium body and effervescent carbonation. Works well for this beer.

O - My wife and I both enjoyed this beer. It's been in our fridge since 2011 and we decided to finally try it on this beautiful, spring day. Perfect.

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Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 892 ratings