McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
McChouffeMcChouffe

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BA SCORE
89
very good

998 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 998
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 40
Gots: 115 | 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: 998 | Reviews: 515
Photo of thagr81us
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage. Served from bottle into a tulip. Pours a dark brown amber with a one finger off white head. It maintains decent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of bananas, alcohol, malt, and brown sugar. The flavor was of fruit, massive malt, and slight alcohol. It was medium on the palate with high carbonation. Overall, this beer was excellent. Couldn't find a single thing wrong with it. It definitely aged very well if you can get ahold of an aged version you owe it to your taste buds to try it.

Photo of doktorhops
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have a lot of respect for Brasserie d'Achouffe's La Chouffe, which I gave a glowing review on a while back. What is it about the Belgians that get it so right when it comes to beer? They almost always seem to capture the perfection of flavour, body, aroma and alcohol content. And I'm hoping that McChouffe, the apparently Scottish cousin of La Chouffe's gnome, hits upon that magic formula.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: A deep Mahogany cloudy body presents along with a minimal tan lacing. Looks a treat.

S: Dark fruits, candi sugar and sourdough yeast intermingles along with some pear/apple esters to produce a fine perfume. Expecting some dark fruit and sugar driven flavours.

T: Yep, dark fruits, candi sugar and a light malt base come together. Pear/apple esters, Phenols and sourdough also make themselves present. It's very much a "La Chouffe Dark" then, with the flavour base so similar you might think they were separated at wort (aka the early foetal stage of the brew). The finish is a mid-range medicinal herb bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with a medium (and a tad sharp) carbonation.

D: Really there's not much between La Chouffe and McChouffe, marketing-wise I would have liked if they had been named "La Chouffe Good" and "La Chouffe Evil" with a good Gnome and an evil Gnome on the respective labels for a bit of fun. It really comes down to preference when choosing between the two. I prefer La Chouffe vanilla, however if you like your Belgians with a dark fruit slant (raisin, fig, plum, prune or date) then go the McChouffe, you'll have more fun with the Scottish twin.

Food match: Hard cheese platter, roasted dark meats - beef, venison, lamb, and grilled vegetables are all winners here.

Photo of taigor
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle

A - Dark brown color when poured with medium head and almost no lacing.

S - Smells of dark fruit and bread with spices.

T - Malt sweetness with caramel and toffee taste. Has some apple aftertaste.

M - Medium body with nice carbonation. Very soothing and pleasant.

D - Very drinkable. Would definitely drink again. This beer is very enjoyable in cold weather.

Photo of anakar
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

App - Foggy, Caramel Color, short head
Smell - First thing I noticed; rich smell, kinda fruity... very ripe

Taste - Special. very much like the smell: fruity, ripe, rich and also reminding of toffee & caramel. 5 minutes after I was done I still had a nice after-taste

Mouthfeel - Clear down, very little bubble.

Drink - High alcohol, so eat with it but it goes down so smooth...

Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Moan & Dove, as part of their Belgian Beer Fest.

Presented in a LaChouffe tulip. A 3/4" tan head over the light brown brew, with ample lacing. Aroma is sweet malts, with spiciness and light alcohol notes apparent. Taste follows the nose, with the spiciness and sweetness balancing each other, and light alcohol warming. Mouthfeel and drinkability were both excellent, I look forward to enjoying this brew again.

Photo of zoso493
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Chimay chalice

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany with a bit more red in it than your average BSDA. When you hold it up to the light, it becomes a glistening, deep blood red that looks like the sweetest nectar. Has a two-finger head that's very tame by Achouffe's standards. The head doesn't stick around long, either, and leaves very little lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells of sweet yeast with some dark fruit and even some brown sugar in the background. The predominant smell, though, would have to be the spices. This is pretty reminiscent of the N'ice Chouffe I had a couple of nights ago. (4)

Taste: Like the N'Ice Chouffe, this one also has a diabolical struggle between the sweet yeast and dark fruit and the spices. The spices sting your tongue up front and then recede, allowing the sweet Belgian yeast and prune to finish. Less bold than the N'Ice Chouffe, but the alcohol is much less pronounced, as well.

Mouthfeel: This has a higher amount of carbonation but still retains a really good body. The carbonation and spices leave your tongue stinging for a second, but also leave it very crisp and dry.

Drinkability: This is pretty high in this brew. You'd never know it was 8% ABV. This really separates it from its wintery cousin, as the alcohol is much more subdued.

Overall, this is a really good example of the style and one of the better offerings I've had from Achouffe. The more beers I have from them, the more highly I think of their brewery, and this one is no exception. It has a wonderful interplay of spice and sweetness that makes for a very complex brew. What it lacks in boldness it makes up for in smoothness and drinkability. This is an excellent beer and a terrific example of the style.

Photo of Serge
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely wooden brown in color with a medium fading lightly tanned head. Develops aromas of basement and dust, yeast and hints of roasted malts. Fizzy on the tongue building up a slick bit thin texture but which develops some mouthwatering bitterness. The roast pertains on the palate but which is not unpleasant, far from it, it actually adds to the finish and makes the body. Amazing beer!

Photo of yesyouam
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mc Chouffe is a cloudy raspberry brown ale with clumps of yeast swirling around in it. It has a huge head that leaves great lacy foam on the glass. Foam started blasting from the bottle after I opened it. There are herbs and bread in the aroma, along with something tropical like melon and a note of phenol. It's pretty full bodied and super soft with a dry, chewy finish. It's almost a hint sweet with a spicy herbal bitterness. The malt is thick, like caramel. It tastes earthy and perhaps slightly resiny. The slight sweetness stays steady as the juniper-like bitterness grows. Both flavors linger for a while after the swallow. There's almost a hint of anise and some sort of herbal tea. This is a real treat to drink: Well balanced, flavorful and interesting.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up this relatively new stock on recommendation from a fellow co-worker at John's Grocery. This fine Belgian pours out to a very dark plum color with a perfect foamy head that sticks around through the duration of the glass. Leaves a spotty and sticky lacing behind.

Smells absolutely stunning. Has that Belgian candi sugar trademark resting upon a massive malty base. Smells very phenolic, easily enticing one to take another drink.

The taste is a bit grainy, but it's backed up by a nice blend of candi sugar and a mild spicy hop. Reminds me a lot of St. B's Abt 12 or Westmalle dubbel. Very nice mix of flavors. The finish occasionally leaves a coppery taste in the mouth.

The mouthfeel seems to be a tiny bit weak to me, but this is obviously a forgivable trait for such a fine beer. It's a little bit creamy and grainy, but the body lacks oomph. The high alcohol content is very well hidden, however. Drinkability is good, all points considered.

Photo of cokes
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB: End 2005.

Pours out a glistening yet hazy deep amber-orange body. Massive bone-colored head is sticky, frothy and persistant. Centerfold material.
Nose is comprised of saaz spiciness (first and foremost), some fruity esters, light peat characteristics, toasted carmel, and alcohol. Occasional hints of chocolate.
The is just delightful. Hits right up front with the stinging saaz hoppiness. Some peppery spice tack onto this and make it almost tingling. Once this recedes, the toasted carmel malt makes its way up front. Loads of oaky/woody notes to boot. This stays pretty dry throughout...juices up a little when in warms all the way up, with some fruity (apple and raisin) hues. Earthy, organic peatsmoke textures are interjected amongst the bready yeast tones. Earthy and organic are the adjectives I want to stress with this one. Course grain, faint cocoa, and slight hints of vanilla round this one out. Finishes with a jab of (seemingly english-style) hops, and a touch of alcohol.
The spritz of a belgian, mixed with the malt heft of a scotch ale. Medium bodied, maybe on the thin side..but who cares.
The fact that this is so young will require me to go grab a few to age. This is a very nice one...likely great with a little time.

Photo of mjc410
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice, this beer is a translucent orange-brown, raising a rocky light tan head. The color is a marvel, very rich and inviting. So is the smell, being entirely sweet malty caramel. The taste begins the same way, albeit more intensely, and accompanied by roastiness and hints of cocoa. It then moves to a slight, short biscuit phase. ending on a juicy-sweet note, which is slightly citric. In the mouth, it's medium-thick, and carbonated enough to be nice and tingly. Overall, I rate this so highly because it's complex, sweet without being cloying, and very warming. A most enjoyable Belgian melding of the Scottish tradition.

Photo of 1fastz28
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

has an exceptional color, a beatiful ruby color without hardly any head, the smell is really good, citrus and yeasty wonderfullness. has a strong alcohol note to it, but the taste is awesome, i really enjoy it mouthfeel is full and good. the drinkability is very high, a good beer like this without a crazy price.. belgians might be the best thing ever.

Photo of brurevu
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From my tasting notes: The McChouffe was touted as a Belgian Scotch Ale and was the obvious darker beer of the night. It came with a fluffy tan head and more Belgian yeast notes in the aroma with some sweet malts as well. It was much maltier than the La Chouffe with hints of toffee and dark fruits with the signature Belgian yeast notes as well. Another well balanced and drinkable beer that I will need to try again.

Photo of mulder1010
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML poured into a Great Divide Glass

A-- Poured a dark brown, with ruby highlights through the beer. Big Kakhi colored head that settled into a half a finger head. Good head retention once swirled. Some lacing but not a lot. Well carbonated looking.

S-- Got a grape soda smell mixed with hops! Nice and different. Also got a bubblegum smell as well. Very fruity and very lively.

T-- Prune, grape, and a lot of dark stone fruits in this. More I drank the more it reminded me of sparkling grape juice. Just a bit of hops for flavoring.

M-- Medium to well carbonated. Very lively and active in the mouth. No real biscuit like taste or smell that is so common in Belgian styles. So much more light and fruity. Sugars become more obvious as the beer gets warmer.

D-- ABV is extremly well hidden. Feels and acts so much lighter than the listed 8%. Very different smell and taste as opposed to others in this category and it does make this stand out. Nice beer and in some ways this brewery is very overlooked as a top notch brewery. Very strong line up of beers.

Photo of RedHaze
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle that I picked up in Belgium, with a best before 2008.

Pours a cloudy, red tinged, dark brown with a two finger head that fades quickly to a thick cap, leaving behind a thick sheeting of lace behind.

Smell; very nice dark fruit aromas with plums, dates and maybe a little raisins. There's also some nice caramel, and toffee notes, and I'm also piking up a little coffee in here as well.

Taste; the toffee and caramel are very evident in the flavor with the dark fruits with plums, dates and raisins filling out the middle. The finish has a very rich chocolate presence with a little bit of some coffee notes in there, and touches of yeast. This has a very unique flavor profile, that I'm really liking tonight.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability; the mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very smooth but active carbonation, and the drinkability is just great. I'm having a hard time putting down my glass.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown/black color. Big foamy off-white head, but it dissipates quickly into a bubbly film.

Smell: Deep malt aroma with strong hints of dark fruit (particularly fig).

Taste: Nice (though not particularly up-front) dark malt flavor with some great spicy hints, notably clove and nutmeg (especially towards the finish). Dark fruits come in more strongly a bit after the initial taste: particularly raisins and figs. The aftertaste is definitely bready and has elements of raisin and spice in it.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to heavy-bodied with minimal carbonation. Though not "sticky", there's definitely an enjoyable degree of viscosity here.

Drinkability: No taste of alcohol and it doesn't feel particularly strong either. Good flavor, and easy to drink.

Though not as complex or as good as some beers of this style, I'm glad to have found this one as it is quite enjoyable nonetheless. Rich and malty, with plenty of flavors, both subtle and not, this tends to showcase more of the dried [dark] fruit flavors generally found in this style - and it does it really well. I must confess, though, that I don't entirely get the whole supposed Scottish inspiration/connection with this beer, but who really cares: it is a great beer!

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL (also incorrectly marked 1 PT 0.4 FL OZ) green glass bottle, capped. Best Before End 2002 (so this was aged longer than recommended). $7.99.

This dark ale poured a hazy iced-tea brown with rich, tall, tan foam that settled and did not leave much lace, if any. The smell was nice: apples, malt, biscuity aroma, citrus, and a flowery smell (perhaps the bog myrtle that is listed as an ingredient?). The taste was very good: smooth, caramel malt, apples, a bit of candy sugarl, a biscuity taste, a hint of alcohol, a slight hint of hops, and a trace of bananas. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, and slightly sweet but clean. This ale had aged well and was very mellow and very pleasant to drink leisurely.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany with a thick, light tan head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing down the tulip glass. The first whiff is almost metallic, but later, fruity notes of apple and fig dominate. Molasses and sweet pipe tobacco present as well.

The taste is both complex and well balanced, with subtle creamy malt and a raisiny plum and sour mash blend that lets you know the hops are in effect. Exceptional mouthfeel, semi-thick and bubbly up front and across the palate, leaves a slight hoppy aftertaste. Great carbonation. There's a lot going on in this beer to keep your tastebuds happy...definately recommended by this reviewer.

Photo of dv8sean
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Surprised to see both the bros and the community at large relegate this to "only" a "very good" beer. This beverage is good enough to mock or outright dismiss its critics.

Appearance is not its forte, tho. It's a bit nondescript, and while it pours with a good head, the foam dissipates, and leaves virtually no lace.

From there, however, it just keeps getting better. Banana bread and spice on the nose. Layered and complex. Taste follows suit. Beautiful balance between the sweetness of the malt backbone and the very mild sour funk of the Belgian yeast. Note: this is NOT a "sour beer".

Mouthfeel is stellar. Beer has a long, long finish--somehow being both sweet and dry at the same time. How'd they do that? I'd rate it 5.0 Perfect, but I cannot profess to know what is perfection.

Overall, this is the best beer of its style that I've found...at least to my tastes.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark murky brown color, small, but simmering, tan head. Aroma: mollasses, nuts, butter, cream, dates, raisins, dark rum, all the rich flavors one can imagine. Thick, full, hot mouthfeel, full body, tingly hops. Super-charged with hops, the flavor keeps on coming, simmers and stews, with a long lasting, rich, satisfying finish! Takes the cake for all brown ales everywhere, past, present, future. Round, delicious, sensuous, and utterly lip smackin'!

Photo of bloberglawp
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Lachouffe tulip glass, around 10 c.

Pours a dark brown with orange highlights huge head and a bit of lacing. Good carbonation. Aroma of peppery spice and bit of a hop presence. Flavor of rich malt a fairly large hop bite and a dry, almost saison like finish.

Great stuff!

Photo of obrendano
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

random choice from my local shop

A - heavy green bottle, cutesy elf character lets you know it's a Euro beer through and through. beer pours a burnt orange with traces of sediment. the head on this thing is absurd....foamy, sticky, highly active carbonation. very nice

S - smells slightly of Belgian yeast, fruity character present

T - having grown a little sick (often literally) of the Belgian taste, this is welcoming to me. slight classic funk, but the taste is a harmonizer, not lead. warm peppery malt gives way to a huge caramel and buttery taste, with a buttered bread finish.

M - very lively and sharp carbonation, body is medium but sticky, leaving the caramel and butter flavors all around your mouth for a while

O - can't complain at all about this one. very solid for the style and a very good beer all around

Photo of francisweizen
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes in a lovely 750ml bottle with a cap and no cork or cage! It pours a lovely dark brown colour with a big, fluffy, white head. The aromas are of anisette, licorice, chocolate, caramel, belgian candy sugar, various strains of yeast, and alcohol. The taste is a boozy mix of imported chocolate, high quality caramel, the finest anise, and more. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy and the drinkability is excellent as well. A staple Belgian in my diet! :0-) YUM!!!

F

Photo of ChillMike
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

McChouffe:
A: Pours a beautiful deep ruby red tha doesn't let much light in with a hefty off white head, that leaves just enough lacing around the glass.

S:Very sweet smelling, some nice candy sugar scents along with a fruit smell, I'm thinking a bit of cherry, and a bit of plum. Also a bit of choclatey malt smell. A very pleasant smell, just not enough of it, if that makes sense.

T: Very interesting taste, not what I was expecting at all quite a suprise. Let's see a mix of a cherry and light white chocolate taste then finishes with a nice coffee and caramel esque flavor. I have to say this was quite the treat.

MF: One of my only complaints about this beer is that it does feel just a tad bit too watery, I'd expect a beer that was this deep in color and flavor would be more "meaty" for lack of better words, it's also got just a wee bit more carbonation than I'd expect from this. That being said these are minor flaws in an otherwise great beer.

D: Scary enough I really can't taste the alcohol all that much and it is at 8.5%, I know it's not technically a winter warmer, but this was perfect for a night that was literally freezing in southern california.

Overall I'm really liking this beer and will have to pick it up again. Brasserie d'Achouffe is quickly becoming one of my favorites, they seem to get it right, from the presentation of the bottles to the taste of their wonderful beer.

Cheers!

Photo of nicefix
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thick head with nice lacing. Deep brown in color. Smells fruity with apple spice. Tastes of fruity spice with an almost nutty middle and spicy finish.
This was my third tasting of the night. So I was starting to loose some sensativity on the palate.

Very interesting and complex. In my opinion, better on tap than in the bottle.

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 998 ratings.