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McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
McChouffeMcChouffe

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

975 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 975
Reviews: 508
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 39
Gots: 104 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 09-22-2001

ABV varies from time to time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 975 | Reviews: 508
Reviews by IPA35:
Photo of IPA35
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice murky brown beer with an off whie head, not too big as my glass is a little too small (haha). Quite a creamy head.

Smells malty; slightly earthy (I described such a scent as sligtly metallic in earlier reviews).
Caramel and a slighty dark fruitiness.

Hmmm, yeah. A Belgian dark ale? Sure it is dark and Belgian but this is also said to be a scotch ale. Given the taste, it probably is.

Quite malty. It has some Belgian yeasty fruitiness and this is a sweet beer but it is different. More earthy. Easy drinking and less sweet than most Belgian (dubbel styled) dark ales. Rather dark malts actually.

Mouthfeel is medium and creamy with good carbonation.

Overall a solid beer, I usually prefer my dark ales a little sweeter and more fruity but this is an interesting 'different' offering.

More User Reviews:
Photo of PorterLambic
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a turbid, chestnut, almost mahogany, color with a tan head that drops to a chunky raft and leaves some good lacing behind.
Smell is sweet, malt, faint dark fruit, white grapes, light yeast. Great balance.
Taste is exactly what you'd expect from the nose, grape juice, malt, sweetness, a faint yeastiness, some wood. Again, very well balanced.
A lot lighter bodied than anticipated, light effervescence, slightly warming and a faint dryness.

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with some reddish tint with a nice fluffy head,big fruity aromas along with some yeasty-like spiciness.I picked up some sour cherry up front along with some caramel and some spiciness coming in in pretty ubrupt finish.A real solid brew not overly spectacular but had nice strong dark ale characteristics a pleasure to drink.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Beautiful dark, ruby brown with a good head that rose unpredictably.

Smell – The full array of BSDA aromas are here. The deep, dark fruits such as dates, figs, tobacco, etc, are laced with raw brown sugar and lay atop a wonderful, toasted malt base.

Taste – This is extra special. The taste goes as the nose goes, but there’s a little something extra going on at the tongue. There’s some big, alcohol-laced bread that comes out in a surprisingly big way, making this extremely complex, full, and satisfying.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied and chewy with an alcohol reminder makes this one feel amazing in the mouth.

Drinkability – I just went through a couple bad bottles today (two that I reviewed, the third one was so flat I figured it was defective and poured most of it out without rating it), so this was quite a treat. The bread especially that came out in the taste was a very unique flavor and well-appreciated.

Update – I first reviewed this in 2003 a month after joining the site so thought it would be interesting to re-review it with a 2004 vintage. It didn’t hold up nearly as well after tasting over 200+ Belgian ales over the course of the last year, but it was still a good beer and a joy to consume. I dropped most of my ratings by half points but still would recommend.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky brown with red hues and a 3/8 inch white to off-white froth. Aroma of rum, rasions, butter, toffee, wild yeast, sweet dark fruits. All present but all weak. This is not an in your face aroma beer. Flavor is equally restrained and mild but well balanced and not lacking in complexity. Sweet dark fruits and toffee dominate. Some candy and leather. Yeast is a very important factor. A little weak for my tastes but very drinkable and pleasurable. Light bodied. Not warming at all. No hint of an 8% abv.

$3 at Maduro in a McChouffe glass.

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dak earhty/reddish brown with a creamy off white head on top. Looks nice. Smells of earth and spices with sweet tones in as well. Tasted sweet mild caramel malt at first but phenols and peppery flavors were very present. Also had a fruity flavor of darker fruits but not a dark fruit cake flavor. Mouthfeel was creamy but still ahd good carbonation and I know I could drink a few of these. I'm really starting to enjoy Belgian Dark Ales and this one is tasty.

Photo of steelerguy
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark bown, cloudy, some "sediment", nice carbonation, tall tan head and sticks around and leaves some lace.

S - Muted but nice malty aroma with some estery fruits. A touch of phenols but not as much as most dark strongs.

T - Lots of caramel malt and spice flavors with some alcohol coming through at the end.

M - Starts sliky and smooth but finishes with an alcohol warmth and some palate cleansing carbonation.

D - Nice balance of flavors and feel make it quite drinkable.

Photo of JasonA
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks wifey for this wonderful xmas present. Lets see how she did :)

Pours a dark thick ale. Surprisingly dark for a Belgian. Relatively thick head, with lacing and staying power. Settles thick, sits. Very nice.

Smells delicous. Amazing boquet. Im no expert, I cant place a lot of the smells but yummy. Something sweet to start. Definately belgian, but not the dry type of quad smell. Maybe carmel?

Not so roasted malt. Sweet caramel/toffee like. Little alcohol end. Very complex taste, I cant place a lot of this.

Superd. Smooth carbonation. No bite at all. Reminds me of cream soda almost. Not is taste but feel. Explodes in the mouth into what feels like a cloud.

Give me more. Very enjoyable complex offerring. I will be adding others from the brewery after finishing this.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saw this eer in the store. Am looking forward to their upcoming Tripel, thought this would be fun to try. It was a medium brown color with a thick white head. It had a malty caramel odor and a sweet taste with some spice in the background. Felt OK in the mouth. I thought it was a good, but not great beer

Photo of generallee
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a green 1pt 9.4oz bottle into a tulip glass. The abv is listed at 8.0% on the label and the freshness date reads "BEST BEFORE END 2011". The label also has a description of the beer its ingredients and the brewery.

Appearance: It is cloudy and dark brown in color. Through the murky body lots of visible carbonation can be seen rising up to the thick tan head above. This thick tan head has a dusting of darker brown yeast that looks like it was sprinkled with cinnamon. The retention is excellent and it leaves lots of cool lace rings and patterns.

Smell: The aroma is very big and pleasant. It has wonderful sweet bready a fruity maltiness with sour, funky and earthy yeast.

Taste/Palate: It has a deep rich malty character with notes of rich sweet breads, some dark sweet fruits, and sour cherries. It also has a defiant Belgian yeast influence as well, with some funky, dusty, earthy notes. (All in good balance) Also in good balance are the hop notes which are kind earthy and floral. They bring a good balance of hop bitterness to the finish which is a prefect mix of all complexity. The palate has a smooth firmness with a very lively and active yet gentle carbonation.

Notes: Outstanding!!! (IMO) I love the balance, the complexity and the feel.

Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dense frothy head, similar to frothed milk the color is of the deepest brown with some haze. Smells if phenols and earth, bubble gum and sangria soaked fruit. Wet and a little thin on the body, the inner lining of the maltiness holds a hermit like character. Peppery snap of the phenols and some hop bitterness wake the palate up. A solid caramel and wavering alcoholic character meld middle to end. Finishes spicy sweet.

Photo of merlin48
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle served at at 55 degrees into a goblet. Pours a nice ruby mahogany with a small beige head that left considerable island lacing. Aroma was not as profound as most Belgian strong dark ales, but still interesting. Spices(cloves), dark fruits, bananas, and a hint of toffee on the nose. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, medium carbonation. Taste is the surprise here. If I was rating this one blind, I would have guessed it to be an excellent English Bitter, or ESB. Lots of walnut nuttiness, toffee, and biscuit. Approaching room temperature, a plethora of sensations delight the palate. Fruits of all kinds, spices, and even florals seem to be here. Alcohol is cleverly hidden away by all the pleasant qualities going on. Carbonation lasts all the way through, and the finish is dry, with a hint of fruity butternut. This is one of the best ales I've ever tasted, and I can't hardly wait to cellar a few of these.

Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small bottle, allowed to warm up, out of the fridge for about 30 mins. "best before end of 2006" printed onto the bottle. Pours dark auburn, murky with a HUGE thick, creamy and long lasting head Leaving oodles of thick and sticky lacing and sheeting. Malted milk, peat, alcohol on the nose. Bold and smooth brew. Smoky, malty notes of more peat, earthy, slight soapyness. Nice dark brew from d'Achouffe. Well worth picking up some of this widely available brew and enjoying with a hearty meal.

Photo of magictrokini
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky brown with a medium-sized tan head. Lots of molasses, yeast, dark fruits, candi sugar, and grapes in the nose. Great taste. Funny how the Scotch ale qualities compliment the Belgian strong ale qualities. Sweet caramel and banana flavors. Fair amount of licorice, toffee, and raisin. The funk comes through in the end with a earthy/wood quality. Good stuff.

Photo of deebo
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle sitting in the fridge for the past year with a BB date of aug 8 2014 into a chalice
A-ruddy brown but transparent. A tan colored large bubbled head that quickly breaks down
S-Belgian yeast-phenols quite noticeable. Sweet malt also on the heavy side
T-similar to aroma. Estery non-descript notes.
M-soft mouthfeel with the alcohol being quite drying. Medium body and carbonation
O-a nice beer. Not overly anything. Soft mouthfeel and pretty easy to drink

Photo of JoshJ
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much to say about this, other than it's what you would expect from the d'Achouffe brewery.

Its a wonderful flavour, great drinkability and probably a beer I would recommend to someone who wanted to try a Belgian Dark as a starter.

However compared to other beers in its genre, I would say it lacks a certain presence that lets you know its a true dark ale. Otherwise I could easily drink this all night.. wait. I did... and loved every minute of it.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Bottle of McChouffe: Layers on a nice full two finger sized head with cream caramel colored head with a tan brown ambered bodied ale leaving thick patches of lacing. Aroma: Nice mellow spiced fruit tones with mildy toasted malts that fullfill the beer loving soul. Taste: Mild chocolate fulfiling notes of fruit and mild farm house spices excellent beer. Sweet finish not overally sweet nice scotch smokiness going on in the background. Mouthfeel: Fluffy effervescent carbonation mild body great taste. Drinkability: So good it's hard to imagine a Belgian this smooth and tasty.

Photo of chinchill
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 ml squat bottle with a BB date of 4/2016 ... plenty of time remaining but the little gnome on the label called out to me from the refrigerator and I couldn't resist.

Pours hazy dark brown with a durable tan head. Excellent lacing left on the sides of my St. Bernardus snifter.

Aroma: complex and variable, or so it seems. Spicy and yeasty with some alcohol esters an a hint of vanilla.

Flavor: better and more stable if less complex than the aroma. Typical bitter-sweet balance for style (lightly sweet) but perhaps a bit more bitter and sweet than average. Plenty of dark ripe and dried fruit notes, including raisins, dates and dried plums. Faintly yeasty, bready and spicy with a touch of vanilla.

Feel: medium+ carbonation is soft but seems a little bit too high; medium body.

Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta.

Pours a somewhat hazy brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of mildly spicy caramel malts with good amounts of brown sugar and hints of pears and green apples. As it warms the spices come out even more in the nose.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth but muted caramel malt flavors up front with a hint of toastiness are joined shortly by brown sugar and mild spices. Midway through the sip hints of pears and green apples come into play and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a good beer that wasn't quite a BSDA but obviously wasn't a BSPA. Interesting, nicely done, and worth a shot.

Photo of mikedotnet
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Medium-to-dark brown body; fluffy light brown head that dissipates quickly

S - Wonderful aroma- figs, plums, and dark candies make this extremely pleasant to smell

T - This has an absolutely stellar taste- not too sweet, but with plenty of typical Belgian strong dark ale fruitiness and candied sugar presence. There is absolutely no bitterness at all. It's rather one-dimensional, but not in a bad way; the highly-enjoyable taste is rather consistent throughout.

M - Not as much carbonation as I would like; this is somewhat tame compared to other Belgians. It's a little thinner than what I would expect as well, but it's nevertheless very enjoyable.

O - Aside from the low carbonation (which is still enjoyable), I have no complaints whatsoever. It seems like more of a slightly-strong dubbel than a strong dark ale, so for the price I'd probably grab a case of Westmalle Dubbel instead (just because that's one of my favorites). Nevertheless, I'm very glad I picked this up. If you like strong, dark, fruity, Belgian ales, you will not be disappointed by this.

Photo of rastaman
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good beer, malty, spicy, and perhaps a bit sugary (which i didn't particularly like), chocolate and candy sugar flavour, i liked it, but it could have been better, apparently its better when you put it in the cellar for a couple of years, maybe i'll give that a go.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer is a deep dense brown body with a fizzy beige head that turns creamy and last for a long time.
S- The soft red wine vinous aroma leads to dark brown sugar notes and a wet wood finish.
T- The apple flavor gives way to a dry dark brown sugar with an apple butter flavor and a slight watery finish. There is a soft pleasant cardboard flavor that comes through as it warms.
M- This beer beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz and a soft alcohol heat when it is pretty warm.
D- The apple and dark sugar malts flavors are nice and full but not sweet and not much depth.

Photo of FleeVT
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tall green 750ml bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with cream head that starts out at 2 fingers and quickly retreats to 1/2 finger. Lacing clings to glass side. Very tiny bubbles of streaming carbonation.

S: Predominately malty with a mix of both sweet and yeast. A little bit of biscuit. With some swirling you can pick up some dark fruits.

T/M: Initial taste, a dry brew with a nice quick kick in the ass-end. Medium body with a creamy smoothness that disguises the alcohol bite in the back. Semi-sweet malts present as a mix of raisin and some other esters. There is almost a candy like medicinal quality in the back of your throat, but not an aftertaste.

Photo of Brenden
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown? This beer is darker than most so-called black ales with no hint of opacity; can barely see into it, much less through it. A thick, creamy and dense tan head grows to between 1 1/2 and 2 fingers in height. Retention is fantastic; this beer's showing a lot of character. Lacing is left in rocky patches and a thick ring at the top followed by somewhat spottier but thick lacing the rest of the way.
This is a very spicy beer, lots of peppery notes primarily. It's got a thick, malty breadiness to it as well. It's almost like a seasoned holiday bread of some kind, though sweetness isn't so prevalent in the aroma. There's also just a light note of banana and clove. Going into the flavor, just a little sweetness comes out, but otherwise quite a bit of earthy tones come out, tasting more raw and natural but not leafy, though a light herbal quality comes out that I'll presume to think is hops, along with a light nuttiness.
The feel is pretty creamy but mingling with a moderate crispness in about a medium body. It gets a little smoother as the sip lingers, though, and everything works together well.

Photo of azorie
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a: dark cola, poured it from frig, not much head
s: rich earthy malt and hops notes, spice notes with dark candy rich malt notes
t: dark carmel candy is very first strongest flavor. heavy malt backbone, balanced with sharp earthy hops tones.
nice yeast notes. no smoke, so its not really scotch like. lol
m: medium body, low carb, a sipper
o: good strong dark ale, drinkable

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McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 975 ratings.