312. Trappist Achel 8º Brune

312. Trappist Achel 8º Brune

I've been a fan of Belgian and Belgian style ales since I first had Chimay Grande Réserve and La Fin Du Monde. I've also been fascinated with Trappist beers, which are beers brewed by monks. Currently there are seven Trappist breweries in the world, six in Belgium and one in the Netherlands. They are: 1) Sint-Benedictusabdij (Achel, Belgium), 2) Abbaye Notre-Dame de Scourmont (Chimay, Belgium), 3) Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Orval (Orval, Belgium), 4) Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy (Rochefort, Belgium), 5) Abdij Trappisten van Westmalle (Westmalle, Belgium), 6) Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren (Westvleteren, Belgium), 7) Abdij van Koningshoeven, (Koningshoeven, Netherlands). The term "Trappist" can only be applied to beers produced at these Abbeys, and only these breweries may use the Trappist logo. Similar beers not produced by monks are called "Abbey Ales" rather than Trappist, and not all beers produced by monks are Trappist.

I've had beers from Chimay, Orval, Rochefort and Westmalle, so I decided to pick up an Achel beer at Downtown Wine and Spirits. I let this beer warm for about 45 minutes (serving temp 45-50ºF) before serving it in a Chimay chalice.

This is a Dubbel. Dubbels are typically dark beers made with pale and dark malts. Malty flavors tend to dominate over hop bitterness. They also often contain dark candy sugar, or caramelized sugar. These beers have hints of spice and fruit. They tend to range from 6.5 to 9% alcohol.

Appearance (4.5): This beer pours a dark red that almost appears brown, the red becomes very evident when held to a strong light. The beer is hazy almost opaque, though the dark color may make the main contribution to the opacity. It's topped by a persistent creamy beige head. This is a gorgeous beer.

Smell (5): There's a sweet fruitiness that dominates. Additionally there are hints of clove and breadiness. With swirling I'm getting what I can best describe as a tart aroma.

Taste (4): Caramel and malt flavors are evident first. There's a fruity sweetness in the center of the palate. It finishes with alcoholic warmth evident, and with a lingering but not overpowering bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Smooth and creamy. This almost masks the carbonation. I like the interplay here.

Drinkability (4): This is a good beer, easy to drink. Though the high alcohol content may lead you quickly to drunkenness (not a bad thing).

Overall (4.35): This is a very nice beer. It has all of the complexity of aroma and taste that I love about Belgian beers.

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