Brouwerij de Achelse Kluis - Trappist Achel Bruin Extra
Serving Temperature:52° F
Suggested Glassware:Globe Snifter or Tulip Glass
The Trappist Achel Bruin Extra is the flagship beer of Brouwerij de Achelse Kluis and pours a deep brown with copper and dark amber highlights when help up to light. The thick pale tan head that is formed as we pour lingers for quite some time and leaves behind a thin lace with each sip. Our olfactory senses welcomed aromas of toasty sweet malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and a hint of cocoa (it is Belgian after all). We were then greeted by pronounced aromas of dark dried fruit with plump raisins and figs taking the lead, but followed closely by black plums, blackberries, and dates. There was even a subtle layer of baked red apples and dark cherries. As we swirled our glasses, we discovered sweet spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, the savor of field herbs, and bready, spicy yeast. It was almost too easy to get caught up in the aromas, so we pushed through for the first taste, and wow, what a pleasurable experience!
The robust aromas developed as pronounced flavors on our palates and as we welcomed each layer, sip after sip. The rich malt backbone brought out the caramel, toffee, cocoa, and brown sugar notes. In the mid-palate we enjoyed the sweet and savory flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, delicate herbs, and yeasty, toasty bread. This was all followed by dark fruit flavors of raisins, black plums, blackberries, and dried dates and figs. The baked red apple and cherry notes were not lost, but rather helped bring in other flavors we discovered such as candied blood orange and black currants. The flavors were complemented by a floral hoppiness that provided a gentle balance to the sweeter notes and gave accent to the herbal and spicy flavors.
Full bodied and well rounded, the Trappist Achel Bruin Extra exhibited a finely bubbled and creamy mousse, with a complex, lengthy, semi-dry finish. The alcohol content of 9.5% ABV didn’t overpower the beer or leave any unpleasant flavors behind, just a nice warm feeling, like an invitation to enjoy more. A fine achievement.
Like its Blond Extra counterpart, the Trappist Achel Bruin Extra is ready to drink now, but will age gracefully over the next 3-5 years. There are lots of choices to pair with this fine beer, but we’ve narrowed it down to roasted game birds, ripe Gouda cheeses, and charcuterie. For dessert we wouldn’t shy away from decadent Belgian Chocolate Cake.
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