Thursday, 6 March 2008

Achel Brune

Let me start this tasting note with the most important point: this is a gorgeous beer.

I picked up a bottle of Trappist Achel Brune a week or two ago at Beermania, and I’ve been looking forward to opening it ever since. I tried the Achel Blond during the original 40b40 challenge, and I liked it, so I figured -- being a dark beer kind of guy -- the brune would impress me.

I was not disappointed at all. In fact, it’s even better than I expected.

I was slightly worried when I poured it, though. It looked a bit thinner and had a lighter colour than some of the other dark Trappist beers I’ve tried. But don’t be fooled: this is a wonderfully smooth and complex beer. The head gives it away: big, steady and long-lasting. Just look at that photo...

The taste is cinnamon, vanilla, rich and creamy, malt-loaf-ish. Yum. Alcohol may be 8%, but you’d never know it in this mouth mix. I think it’s actually very close in overall flavour to a Westvleteren 8.

And that presents a problem. Achel Brune almost certainly belongs in my list of top ten Belgian beers. But I don’t know which of the other beers in the group I would demote. What to do, what to do...

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