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

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Trappist Achel 8° BruinTrappist Achel 8° Bruin

Brewed by:
Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zerk on 01-14-2003

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Reviews: 436 | Ratings: 847
Photo of FriarMickOnThePlateau
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
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 Bowdoinbeerboy
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
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 -10.7%
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 -2.9%

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 +15.3%

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 -0.5%

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 +6.3%
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 +3.9%
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 -11.7%
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 +6.8%
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 +2.9%
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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Photo of IPA35
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A dubbel colour, dark caramel with lots of haze. Offwhite head that fades pretty quickly to an
Inviting layer of foam, just enough to cover the surface of the liquid.

Smells great. Stewed pears, dried dark fruit (especially raisins), caramel (dark malts) and some light alcohol.

Taste follows the nose, a sweet fruity beer with enough bready malts to counter the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good, creamy and full. Medium carbonation. Smooth.

Overal a very good dubbel/dark ale.

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Photo of mick303
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served at celler temp in a tulip snifter. Medium ruby brown wit ha healthy cap of light brown head, showing really great retention and lacing. The beer almost glows, looks outstanding.

S - warm notes of brandy treacle, banana bread with cinnamon and nutmeg spices, figs, honey, slightly sweet but with a lot of of rich mulled fruit and spice, and also a nice yeast component. Lemony, with some distinct fermentation aromas.

T - lots of similar stewed fruits, figs, plums, pears, with clove, nutmeg. Some moderate booziness but it goes really nicely to give a long smooth rolling flavour to it. Some really rich combinations of malt, boozey fruit and spice colliding, caramelization is apparent and works nicely. The finish is almost surprisingly clean, with a hint of yeast, clean dryness.

M - a full bodied dubbel with a sweetish start, and moderate carbonation, coating and satisfying palate, nice sipper. But an appropriate balance, light bitterness, and a nice stewy and lively character.

Really excellent beer here. The boozey and yeasty character are there but behind the wonderfully complex fruity/spice character. Very rich and interesting. Little bad to say about this beer, a solid interpretation, lively and complex at the same time, with a really nice and pleasing character. Paired very nicely with a rich aged cheddar.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $2.95 CDN. Served chilled into glassware.

Appearance - Hazy amber /brown concoction. 3 fingers of dense off-white head leaving some very sticky lacing as the head recedes at a glacial pace. Beautiful looking beer.

Smell - Sweet, Belgian yeasts, candied sugar and a slightly boozy aroma. There's traces of dark fruits and cherries as it warms. Inviting.

Taste - A bit of a let down for me but still very good. Sweet, with that Belgian bready yeast flavor in small quantities and some cooked sugars and caramel. Seems boozy at first but subsides and doesn't linger on the palate. There's a faint metallicness I picked up especially at colder temperatures that is a bit strange, but it seems to go away as it warms. Some cherries in there as well.

Mouthfeel - Softer than expected, despite packing a punch for flavor, but also has that light delicate feel to it as well. A bit spicy in the back of the throat and well carbonated.

Overall - A very nice Belgian that almost seems like a bit of a cross between a strong dark ale and a Dubbel. Definitely improves as it warms and I'm likely to try this one again while it's in stores.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 330 ml bottle to a chalice.

This is one nice looking beer. It pours a red-brown with a persistent thumbs worth of beige head. There is good lacing when you swirl the beer and head retention is long and strong. The smell is typical of a Belgian dubbel with plums, prunes, figs, and grapes all being present along with Belgian yeast. The taste is very nice with all the nose coming to mouth and the typical dubbel sweet coming through. The feel is medium body and carbonation and a touch of creaminess.

I am a fan of Belgian dubbels. Westmalle has always been my favorite and has been the standard by which I measure dubbels. Well...this is damn close. A fine dubbel that would stand with any. Get it if you can.

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Photo of JTuomi
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle into a goblet. Reddish brown with a three finger head that comes down to half a finger. The smell has sweet roasted malts, raisins and a hint of alcohol in it. Quite a sharp first taste that is followed by caramel malt and raisins. Not too sweet though. The aftertaste is dry and a bit bitter with some grapefruit and coffee in it. The alcohol doesn't come through on the taste. Medium body with pretty high carbonation. Feels creamy on the tongue. Overall a really pleasant looking beer with a great taste.

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Photo of stevoj
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Mi Ourge, Mi Houblon. Clear brown color with oily head. Sticky lacing coats the chalice. Nice deep sweet, fruity flavor (prunes, raisins). Easy to drink, and tasty too.

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Photo of ricknelson
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Our group of 4 Beer Advocate members did a recent small bottle tasting of high alcohol brews.
Among the 12 brews tasted was; Achel 8% Brune Dubbel from Trappist. Although not a real high alcohol beer at just 8% , it did finishing 11th with an average rating of 3.56. It is possible that something was wrong with this bottle, maybe age. Can not read the date code for the year.

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Photo of LVituri
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Mais uma dubbel de respeito. Equilibrada e suave. Muito condizente com o estilo, tanto que eu teria muitas dificuldades em discernir a diferença entre ela e a Westmalle dubbel. Acredito que ambas são muito parecidas. Achel é outra cervejaria de peso, com rótulos sensacionais.

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Photo of AmishLightning
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It poured into the glass pretty thick. I would gauge the color as a almost dark blood red with a handful of brown thrown in. Attractive head as well. 2-3 fingered foam with poofy surface that left trailing lacing along the sides.

Smell: Very much like a dry red wine. Figs and grapes also noticeable. Maybe a bit too wineish.

Taste: Once again the taste combats against the nose. I get lots of super sweet malt with a sweet white wine finsh to leave you asking for more. Also I noticed coffe or roasted malts on the initial impression. Figs were definately present throughout the experience. Also, no hops to speak of which is typical.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation went along with a stable body and an INCREDIBLE smoothness which really knocked this beer out of the park. The smoothness felt like it encompassed your mouth and coated your tongue with pillows. I know that analogy makes little to no sense but I can;t find any other words to describe it.

Overall: A fantastic Trappist dubbel that I would highly recommend to anyone. Great experience for a decent price. Cheers.

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Photo of proctah
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a big head that quickly fades to a longlasting lacing.
Smell: raisins bread and caramel.

Taste: same as the smell with licorice and a tad of hoppy bitterness. Complex as top trappistes. Maybe a bit strong sens of alcohol and i could wish the taste to linger a little longer.

Overall: a great double. It is to me a typically dark trappiste. Westmalle dubbel and Rochefort beers are really similar in aromas.

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Photo of DougT
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured slowly into a Rochefort chalice.

Clear mahogany brown with a 1 finger tan head. Dissipates quickly leaving a light lace. Readily bubbles on the Rochefort R nucleation point producing a light foam across the top.

Yeasty smell of dark bread, some dark fruit notes, prunes/plumb, raisins, apricots. Yeast takes top honers, fruit a bit light.

Taste has some hops, not much sweat, some yeast, some dark grains. I get a lot of a non-carmel dark grain like black patent or roasted barley which produces a bitter that isn't a hops bitter. Too big a part of the flavor profile for me. Flavor gets better as the glass warms.

Nice and fizzy, medium body, coats the tongue and inside of the mouth, the flavor last because of it.

Overall not too bad, I'm glad I tried it. The flavor is a bit has a bit too much dark grain bitterness, but otherwise a good beer.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a tulip.
Bottled on 08/20/11. Aged almost 2 years.

Mahogany brown with 4 fingers of loose, fluffy head that dissipates slowly. Cloudy with lively carbonation.

Molasses, plum, candy sugar and nectarine.

Molasses, caramelized brown sugar and candy sugars. Overripe plum, nectarine and red grape skins with nuances of dates and chocolate. Finishes with touches of earthy Belgian yeast.

Medium plus bodied and very smooth.

A very well made Trappist Dubbel. Complex and very easy drinking.

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Photo of TGS
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok. I've passed 150 beer ratings. It's time to write a review for a change and see if I've learned anything. Following the rubric is easy. Now to make some stuff up. Please forgive me.

A- Lightly cloudy, caramel colored

S- Yeasty and floral

T- Nice dried fruits and lightly spiced, with a hint of alchohol at the end

M- Lighly carbonated and a little creamy

Overall- another delightful dubbel...

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Photo of spoony
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 330 ml bottle (best by April 22, 2015) into a chalice.

A-The brew is dark cola colored and mostly opaque. The carbonation is visible and it supports a one and one-half finger head of dense, light tan foam. The head has good retention.

S-This is a sweet-smelling dubbel with scents of overripe banana and bubble gum underneath dark fruit (prunes) and light spices. The alcohol is also sweet and fruity smelling.

T-The taste tracks the smell at first with sweet, dark fruits and a big mushy banana flavor. Towards the middle and finish, however, there is a bit of nutty chocolate and hoppy bitterness that creep in to balance things out.

M-The feel is medium to full body with soft, creamy, perfectly-executed Belgian carbonation that sort-of rolls around in your mouth.

O-I am surprised by how much I enjoyed this beer. I like my dubbels on the sweeter side and this brew delivers that sweetness I enjoy, but it also provides just enough balance in the finish to keep things interesting and prevent that syrupy/cloying feeling. I also think the feel is close to perfect and the alcohol, while noticeable in the smell, is concealed well on the palate.

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Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
4.12 out of 5 based on 847 ratings.
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