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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Ratings: 855 |  Reviews: 440
Photo of FosterJM
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

413th review on BA
bottle to snifter
11.2 oz
8% Bruin on label (I'm assuming I'm adding right review)

App- Dark, very dark orange with an almost brown fade to it. Two finger head and a very nice cling.

Smell- Slight dark fruits with a yeasty damp smell. A little humid on my nose.

Taste- Just a great tasting beer. Slightly yeasty and a little damp, great deep flavors with a little fruit.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbed. A little dampness, sugary, yeasty and tingly on the lips.

Drink- I could drink a lot of these in a sitting. I will have to come back to this dubbel. Very tasty and well crafted.

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Photo of harrymel
2.96/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown with excellent clarity. Two fingers of latte fall to a very thick quilt of the same. Stubborn lacing. Good looker.

S: Whoa, they didn't let the alcohol infuse into the beer at all! Smells like ETOH up front. After that, there's some clove, pepper, skunk (green bottle).

T: Sharp and sweet. Some hints of chicory, allspice and cherry. The skunking is evident - too bad.

M: Thin, thin, thin. Low in carb.

O: Meh, okay.

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Photo of drtth
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer, which has a best by date of 12.03.12, was poured into a snifter glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is rich, clear, chestnut brown in color with a fluffy 1/2" off-white head that recedes visibly but slowly. It eventually settles down to a ring of foam with a thin cap over the liquid. Sipping leaves behind some patches of foam that partly slide back down into the liquid and partly leave behind some leggy lacing that tends to cling to the glass.

Smell: The aroma has some nice brown sugar and caramel character. There's also some fruity aromas here, mostly red apple I think. There also seems to be a definite hint of alcohol as well.

Taste: The flavor is much as predicted from the nose. There is brown sugar, caramel, and a touch of apple. As the beer warms there's also some chocolate or cocoa that emerges. There some peppery spiciness and the flavor of alcohol, but there is neither heat nor burn. What sweetness there is remains under control and there is some distinct bitterness present.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and nicely smooth with a bit of creamy feel from the steady carbonation. The finish is medium long, begins mostly sweet, but quickly becomes dry and a bit astringent, ending with bitterness fading away.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I'm finding this one more drinkable as it warms than I thought it might be when I began. This is definitely a dubbel to drink only lightly chilled. The flavor balance is different than I recall from other dubbels, but is quite nice. One way to describe the impression it leaves is that it is "austere" rather than lush. My overall impression is that this is a very well made beer that has been overshadowed to a degree by other Trappist dubbels which may be "bigger" in flavor but that are not any better. This beer is worth seeking out and deserves to be more well known.

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Photo of ivanwatling
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Good thick head. Brown/red hue when held up to light

Smell: subtle mix of spices and wheat

Taste: Caramel, restrainted biterness. Pleasant. Not particularly complex

Mouthfeel: Fairly low carbonation, fine for this beer. Subtle aftertaste, sweet and bitter

Drinkability: Nice enough but no wow factor. Would choose a different trappist ale over this one, but if it was the only one available I might try it. The bottle label is very poor though, so I would probably pass over it.

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Photo of rarbring
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is clear deep ruby brown amber, lively bubbles, a large tan head that settles slowly and leaves very good lacing.

The smell is earthy, dirt, leather, sweet fruits, pear, peaches. Somewhat yeasty.

Starting very sweet and fruity, like canned fruit cocktail, then some yellow cheese, bitter flour, a note of yeast.

Medium carbonation, very small bubbles, a thick and complex texture, a slightly dry finish.

I can't help wondering if this bottle was a bit off, the yeasty notes were a bit offending. But much good parts around there.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Back label dated 20/10/12.

Pours a rather clear deep reddish brown with crackling, then creamy tan head. Nose is fruity with some dark candi sugar.

Palate is crisp. Dark and fruity, clean texture with clean finish. Tasty and higher carbonation than other Trappists.

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Photo of joehiatt
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful off-white, thick, stiff head. Surprisingly clear. Great bottle appeal.

S - Estery, subtle peppery/spicy hop aroma. Some licorice notes.

T - Sadly, the least great aspect of this otherwise great beer. A pretty average, thin brown. Not a lot of the subtlety you expect of a trappist ale, but still has very even, clean, well-balanced flavors.

M - Dry, but not thin. Full, but not filling. Sorry for the aphorisms or whatever, but 5/5/

D - Not really a session beer, too heavy for that, but each sip leaves you wanting more. Quenching too.

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Photo of bceagles39
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At home February 13 2011 from a bottle poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Burnt caramel with slight reddish hue. Big, fluffy light tan head with amazing retention.

S: Caramel and cocoa and sliced green apple.

T: Very balanced. Sweet but not overly so. Less punch than some others in this style.

M: A bit hot and too fizzy on the first few sips but gets better. Fairly light.

D: Pretty high considering how fast I polished it off.

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Photo of pinkano
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - little hazy amber with very good and exceptional head
S - my god, there is so much going on here - chocolate, raisins, banana, citruses, maple syrup, honey
T - wood, chocolate, banana, raisins, alcohol, malt with nice bitter and fruity end with warming effect
M - medium carbonation with medium body
D - nicely done, drinkable and enjoyable, however kind of strong, so be carefull

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.11/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a burnished gold colour with deep red tinge. Head is cream-coloured, large webs on the side and sinking beautifully and unevenly on the top. Trails of lace left behind and strong, furious bead keeping it alive. Pretty nice.

Nose is quite grainy. Lots of barley with dark grain bread and hints of metal on there. Some slight darker notes, hints of soil and chocolate. Slight sourness with grain husk. Yeah, a bit lacking, just grain and not a huge amount else. Expected more from the style.

Taste is richer, maybe more malty, with a bronzey metallic edge. Lots of burnt sugar up front that descends into a sour and quite phenolic mid-palate with cherry notes and some tart blackberry character as well. Hint of like cleaning solvent or something on the back, with that slightly harsh phenolic astringency. Perhaps not bad stylistically but would appreciate more sweetness or spice. I'm not really enamoured with this beer.

Good full body with lots of texture. Too much carbonation though mars it slightly.

Not too fussed about this, as a dubbel or as a beer. I've had better of both.

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Photo of YannickB
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The dubbel from the youngest Belgian Trappist brewery, poured it in my Achel chalice.

A: Dark brown with a ruby undertone. But it is the head that deserves the most praise. A very dense, big, creamy head with the greatest head retention out there.

S: First of all, there are a lot of malts in the nose. A clear smell of overripe apple comes next with some undertones of red fruits.

T: The taste is very well balanced. First comes a very light sweet flavor from caramel malts. A little bit overripe apple comes back. Then a very light amount of bitter comes into play, no clear hops taste. It ends with some caramel.

M: A full mounthfeel comes from a mild, well dosed carbonation and a feel of fresh made caramel.

D: The drinkability is good, low booziness. The perfect head makes drinking it a pleasure.

Conclusion: A good head is of major importance to a Belgian. And having a nice head like this is just great. Also the beer has a very nice balance to it.

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Photo of MillRat
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy deerskin brown with a fine, persistent white head. Fragrance of malt and fruity yeast, like an orchard in the late summer. Flavor is malty leaning toward sweetness, with more yeast character suggesting apple, pear, and even a bit of grape. Finishes clean thanks to an appearances by the hops, carbonation and ethanol. All in all a nice brew, a little dear in price for what it is.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extremely pleasant slightly hazed brown. Head is extremely robust and sudsy, crackling. Lacing is coarse and diverse. i really love the way the haze makes the beer shine so pleasantly. It's a great looking beer.

Nose is a bit organic, giving a light husky grain character. Pleasantly dark, with a sweetness that is pretty tasty. Slight acidity to it, which gives a sharpness and a lift. I like it.

Taste is a bit smoother, and a bit less organic. It's still good but less exciting. Very brown sugar and a bit of spice, but not a lot. In general, it gives me this big well of nostalgia back to my early craft days, when Belgian ale was the beer I drank. Smooth, light spice, some malty grain, lots of phenols. It's what I remember. It's comfortable and enjoyable.

Feel is smooth and light. Although it doesn't have the acidity, it has the bounce of the light body which gives it a lift.

Lovely brew. Even though it doesn't have the brazen and intense complexity of the best Belgians, it's a very drinkable, and very classic Belgian brew.

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Photo of dgilks
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mildly hazy, deep golden colour with a small light tan head. Average head retention.

Cidery, apple aroma with mild caramel notes. A touch of cinnamon.

Mild malt flavour with lots of bitter apple. Again I get lots of cidery character.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Fair but the mouthfeel accentuates the cider notes.

A reasonable beer underneath the apple notes and easy enough to drink.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes reviewed on 12/7/10:
11.2oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass

A: Fairly moderate pour creates a gigantic 3+ finer foamy off-white head (dense) that lasts forever. Dark brown, opaque, ruby red tones when held to the light. Very pillowy head! Unbelievable lacing.

S: Esters are pleasant, flowery and a little spicy. Has a dark fruit character with maybe the slightest citrus scent. Slightly musty, toasted smell like toasted nuts. Very malty of course. Inviting.

T: Doesn't live up to the nose. Dark musty malt is strong, the over-ripe fruit is fairly strong. Alcohol is a little too noticeable. Has a slightly nutty flavor (like aged beef). Fairly sweet and a little spicy. It's a little more delicate in the finish and warms a bit. Solid strong ale.

M: Medium body, very rich, medium carbonation, chewy, fairly dry finish that's warm and malty. Smooth.

D: Drinks very smoothly. Seems to mellow out as it warms and the more you drink.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Glowing amber to brown. Lots of bubbly head, some very persistent lace.

S - Yum. Juicy fruity, banana, vanilla.

T - Lush, fruity, Belgian yeast shine through.

M - Medium body, almost too much carb for my taste. Very well balanced.

D - Even at this ABV, nice, and more please!

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, with a dual-coloured label that is sort of reminiscent of the Taoism symbol.

This beer pours a mildly hazy, very dark orange brick amber hue, with a teeming tower of effervescent, densely foamy, and essentially puffy beige head, which settles rather slowly, leaving a multifaceted network of webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of somewhat tart, acidic apple and cherry wine, softly roasted caramel malt, bready yeast, dark musty orchard fruit, and quite ineffectual earthy hops. The taste is more subdued, semi-sweet apple, wrapped in a slightly charred caramel malt, some earthy, spicy yeast, fleshy, overripe fruit - think bruised banana and wet figs - low-test red wine, and soft earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is on the low side, quite understatedly frothy, the body medium-full in weight, generally smooth, and perhaps a touch creamy. It finishes with a small drying flourish - alcohol and fruit esters clamping down on the increasingly wan malt, yet providing adequate balance.

A pretty agreeable dubbel, maybe a bit sweet up front, but hardly a runaway sugar or booze bomb, as it does well to mask the 8% ABV, making this slide down oh so enjoyably. Good stuff, overall.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a wine glass.

A: Absolutely gorgeous. Huge, frothy white head sticks to the sides of the glass as it falls. Colour is a warm, vibrant brown; garnet and lovely in light. Visibility only lasts to the other side of the glass. This beer makes me miss Belgium.

S: Fruit -- apple, already fallen from the tree and over-ripening in the sun. Spices -- anticipatory clove. The smell is a bit weaker than I'd hoped, and something less than pleasant lurks in the distance, possibly metallic notes or some strange yeast.

T: Mmmmm. I take a moment to just get lost in the flavour. My nose did not lead me astray, bruised apple and light cloves are the most obvious flavours. A bit of tartness slips in when I'm not paying attention, pleasantly surprising me towards the end. The aftertaste doesn't have a definite beginning, but rather the taste simply tapers off, heroin-slow. After an indefinite amount of time, you realise that yes, you have swallowed and the fruity flavours are still there, sticking to your tongue, with trace amounts of alcohol. Then you take another sip and the wondrous cycle begins anew.

M: Magnificent. Crisp, bubbly, titillating. Smoothish, with some playful roughness around the edges.

D: Drinking the Achel Bruin is an absolute pleasure. It may not be the best dubbel ever made, but it is one of the best-made. This will probably become my go-to beer for introducing people to the style -- fruity, lightly spicy, incredibly nice. Part of my rapture may be the result of being slightly beer-starved of late, but nevertheless, I highly recommend this one. Will be buying again, and again.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown with a big off-white head. Some lacing, a bit murky.

Tart fruit, cherry, toasted malt, alcohol aromas, but not overly strong.

Sweet and tart to start with some bitterness from an overbrowned toast flavor. Wood and alcohol interplay, with a little yeastiness. Nice balance and smooth flavor throughout. The bitter-tart finish is long and pleasant.

Fuller bodied, lots to swish around, but carbonation keeps this from being cloying or overdone.

Easy to drink. Alcohol is well hidden and the brew is actually very refreshing. Great beer.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body w/ 2-finger head that takes forever to die and leave lace ring on top of a mild, nutty yeasty aroma with a hint of figs and black cherry along with a touch of bitter hops and smokiness. Smooth, slightly creamy, tad sweet caramel flavor along with toffee or nutti/breadiness. Some fruit flavors like touch of orange, black cherry/dark fruits, (grapes and sour fruit- maybe), as well as sweet and sour fruit notes. Textbook quality dubbel and a must-try for anyone into this style.

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Photo of tewaris
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle with a best by date of March 17, 2012 poured into an Ommegang balloon on 11/16/2010.

Appearance 5/5
Clear, but not brilliantly so, with a rich and deep dark caramel color, and a big, dense, rocky light tan head. Good retention and excellent lacing. Very beautiful.

Aroma 3.5/5
Brown sugar and caramel notes upfront, with perfumy phenols and some lightly tart, lemony notes, that could've been because of escaping CO2. Yeasty. Weak smelling overall.

Taste 3.5/5
Brown sugar and caramel for the most part with no elements of dried fruits; very slightly bitter towards the end with a medium, long-ish finish that had hints of hops and residual sugars. Mellowing. Slightly tannic right before the finish, after it warmed up.

Mouthfeel 4/5
Medium to thin body; quite effervescent: the glass seemed too small at times to contain the huge carbonation!

Drinkability 4/5
I can throw back a few (and then get in trouble) but seemed like some mildly bittersweet tannic concoction to me, akin to a lightly sweetened black tea.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.16/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown/ruby with a large lasting head.
Nose shows caramel, grassy hops, bready malt and doughy yeast. That grassy character ain't good.
Flavours include loads of candi sugar, bready malt, golden syrup and caramel. Very nice.
Unfortunately there's way too much carbonation. Seriously ridiculous. Can't get much of a taste because of it.

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Photo of hardy008
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown color with 3 fingers worth of beige head with very good retention and a lot of lacing. The aroma has caramel, candi sugar, dark fruit, and a whiff of alcohol. If the aroma is any indication, this should be good.

Sweet without being cloying. Caramel, candi sugar, and dark fruit are present in the taste, and balance together nicely. I do not taste the alcohol very much, but it is there a little.

Light to medium bodied, sweet with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Nice carbonation. Finishes dry. A very nice beer.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle at O'Brien's, San Diego.

Pours a darker red color with a rocky light-tan head. Mild aroma with some malts and hints of sourness. A tasty beer, but quite mild in flavor. There's some light, sweet malts, fruit (grape & apple), and some bitter and sour undertones as well, particularly towards the finish & into the aftertaste. Light- to medium-bodied with mild carbonation. Easy to drink with no taste of alcohol.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice purple-brown color with a good off white head. Nice lacing spots. Nose brings dark sugars with a tiny amount of roast as well as spice and a bit of booze. The taste is raisins, dates, other dark fruits as well as caramelized sugar, some booze, and caramel. Nice medium mouthfeel with low-ish carbonation. Drinks quite well. Good, not great, beer.

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Trappist Achel 8° Bruin from Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse
4.12 out of 5 based on 855 ratings.
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