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RATINGS: 727   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.93/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
Huge, copper-colored, bottle-conditioned ale, still hot off the presses, Achel Trappist Extra is the latest from the tiny brewery at the St. Benedictus Abbey at Achel, in the Northeast of Belgium. At this year's World Beer Championships in Chicago, the Extra was easily the best of the many Trappist beers tasted, scoring 97 points and an "Exceptional" rating. You will find this a very satisfying beer, with just a little malt sweetness, dried fruit flavors, warm sherry notes, and a brisk balancing backdrop of fresh hop bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
FlacoAlto (4127) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 14, 2006
Best by date of April 2008, Sampled January 2006
This beer sits a hazy, amber brown color in my tulip. The beer is quite well carbonated and is topped by a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head that leaves lacing on the side of the glass as it slowly subsides in a cacophonous mix of large through small bubble. The aroma is quite concentrated with sweet fruity notes reminiscent of figs, sweet plums, raisins and even prunes. There is also a healthy, bready, yeasty note here, as well as some notes of clove. The aroma is quite rich and sweet, but without being heavy. After a bit of time a note of alcohol becomes evident as well.

The taste has that same sweet, fruity character to it, and the body while hefty is perhaps not as rich as I was expecting. It is still palate coating enough to make this a satiating, slow sipping evening as I work my way through this 750ml bottle. It is definitely quite well carbonated as the beer foams up on the tongue, it is not quite as noticeable as in a lighter beer, but it certainly helps to lighten the body of this beer.

Actually at this point I think I would like it to be a bit less carbonated, so I spend the time to make it so. The beer softens out, and becomes even smoother than it was before. The sweetness is a bit accentuated as well, which tends to magnify the fruit notes of sweet plums and figs. In the end this beer does not quite seem rich enough, though in its defense it is at the perfect level for me to be able to finish a 750ml in an evening. The finish has a light sharpness to it (a mix of carbonation, alcohol, and a bit of spicy yeast character), plus a phenolic note of clove.

This is definitely a beer I am happy to have a 750ml bottle of, allows for a quite evening; it is contemplative when I want it to be, and light enough to just add to the experience if I happen to be distracted by a book. Definitely a good beer, one which even grows on me over time; it almost becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

<font size=-4>Purchased: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Wine & Spirits, Chicago, IL<font size=-1>

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 6, 2006
Aroma is fruit and honey sweet. Lots of pear aroma. Cloudy brown with a very thin tan head..thinnest head I have seen on a Belgian ale. Flavor is sweet fruit flavored malts with hints of caramel and candy sugar. Alcohol is noticeable and up front. Lacks some of the range of other Trappist ales I have had and frankly some of the depth as well. A great beer, but not one of the best Trappists.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
joergen (25286) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - DEC 30, 2005
Bottle. Cloudy brown coloured with a lasting off white head. Sweet aroma of malts, caramel, spices and alcohol. Sweet flavour of malts, caramel, and spices with notes of alcohol and marzipan.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tmoney99 (13067) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 29, 2005
Bottle. Hazy brown color with a huge frothy light brown head that was lasting and produced excellent lacing. Good complex sweet fruity aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Heavy sweet bitter flavor with a long finish with a small alcohol tone.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jzzbassman (1557) - Arlington, Texas, USA - DEC 29, 2005
Aroma was pleasant and inviting, reminding me of a fine pipe tobacco. The pour was just beautiful; mahogonay with a head that lasted the entire glass. Flavor was heavy on the malt, somewhat vinuous with tobacco and caramel notes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Tejas (973) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 19, 2005
Not much aroma. Maybe a little alcohol in the nose. Nice bready flavor. Slight alcohol flavor too but OK b/c not alcohol hot. Good sipping beer that I’d like to try again. Only negative is maybe a little thin in the body but plenty drinkable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - DEC 4, 2005
Dark amber/brown color,medium sized off white head that had a decent hang time then faded to leave a nice lace behind.The aroma was fruity with a nice spicey side coming through as well as a bit of caramel in there.The flavor was very nice,fruity spicey with a nice feel a bit on the thick heavy side but with all the flavors it doesn’t detract from it but manages to make it all round out nicely.Very nice flavorful brew and well worth having a few more.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Bart (2938) - Brussels, BELGIUM - NOV 12, 2005
At Kulminator-Antwerp. 75cl Bottle, Brown-red colour, small ofe-white colour. What an aroma!! Madeirisation on top. Full body, warm alcoholic taste. Very special beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
YogiBeera (2558) - New Jersey, USA - OCT 25, 2005
Thanks for Joris for sharing this gem with us in his house - we had a wonderful evening! Nice deep brown color, small layer of a head . Sweet malt nose with caramel and alcohol - intense but so yummie! Lot’s of caramel, but not sweet, kind of yeasty with some slightly bitter nuts. IMedium long lasting - Great one!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Storm (2684) - Amager, DENMARK - OCT 25, 2005
Bottle. Yeast in bottom. Dark reddish brown colour with a dense beutiful head. Lovely aroma of dried fruit and complexity. Extremely nice flavour of fruit, caramel and complxity. Great mouthfeel. Big body.

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