1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
McChouffeMcChouffe

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

927 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 927
Reviews: 500
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 31
Gots: 69 | 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:
ABV varies from time to time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 09-22-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of McChouffe Alström Bros
Ratings: 927 | Reviews: 500 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BogBoyJD
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of safaricook
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of thebigredone
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of PeterVesti
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of LoveStout
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of hotsudge
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of scooter231
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium to dark reddish color- changes significantly in the light- some off white head, not too much though. Looks... greasy. Really greasy. Nose is all over the place- it wants to be citrus zest but doesn't quite get there, wants to be candy-ish but isn't really, wants to be piney but it doesn't... just chaos.

Taste is bland. Teetering on boring. Some alcoholness, some dark ripe fruits- but you have to dig for it. Just... bland. Mouthfeel is full and sudsy- the best part of this brew, in my opinion. A good feel. Fairly drinkable, especially considering the alcohol content. But this did not live up to the hype. Meh.

Photo of JimsArcade
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 10 oz. tulip glass.

Medium to dark brown, it generated a light brown head that slowly dissipated leaving classic Belgian lacing along the inside of the glass.

Matly and yeasty in the nose, with a good amount of spice thrown into the mix. Estery aromas show up as well.

What an... intriguing beer. During the initial sips at its coldest temperature, there is multitude of flavors fighting for dominance. The malts, the spices, the yeast, and those esters detected in the aroma are there in big quantities, yet none seem to blend. The alcohol also seems a lot higher than 8%. As the beer warms, everything starts to mellow out into a great harmony of flavors. I thought it was the alcohol muting the tongue (as I would expect a warmer beer to have even more pronounced flavors), but a second glass shortly thereafter revealed the same pattern. To score this beer, I'd have to average a moderately low score for the initial sips and a high score later sips. What a weird beer!

The same things pointed out above for taste apply to its mouthfeel. It's like drinking two different beers in the same glass at the same time.

The changes from harsh to mild in each sampling does not help it drinkability, however. I had two glasses for this sampling, but could not bring myself to have a third. Definitely a one-and-done beer for any particular evening.

Photo of becktone
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes 8-29-08

Eye: In a La Chouffe Tulip: Cloudy reddish brown in color, nice creamy looking head, though retention could be better, starts out nice then fades to little more than a sickly looking blanket over the top of the beer. Lacing is nice looking-thin sheets along the sides of the glass.

Nose: Sweet candy type of aroma. Dark fruit and some chocolate aroma, small noble hop aroma, not really all that prevalent though, just barely there. Nothing all that special, smells good as expected.

Tongue: Spicy flavor and slightly alcoholic. Not as much dark fruit as was in the aroma. Dark malt flavors aren't as strong as I would've expected...slightly smokey and some chocolate, but both seem to be pretty low in flavor. Not as complex as I would've expected. Keep looking for more but its really not there.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Medium in body, seems a bit lighter than a Belgian Strong Dark should be, but that's just my opinion. Low and delicate carbonation, so low that when drinking this beer its not noticed until its thought about, until one is looking for it...I like that, subtle. Pretty much average all around. This is one I"d not be opposed to drinking again, but there are many others that are much better. Easy to drink, but again, pretty much average.

Photo of impending
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml into a tulip. Pours a chestnut cola with garnet highlights. Mocha colored head subsides slow to the surface, nice lacing.

Traditional strong dark with nice phenolic spiciness. upbeat

Achouffe yeast dominates the front end, the dark fruits are under represented. Not much in the way of complexity. The phenols that share the aftertaste are not a strength, hint of a tiny old penny. Medium bodied smooth mouthfeel.

Strong singed peat moss would have been very welcome.
cheers
jd

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml from the Coop for about $4.50.. shared with Brenda.. mine poured into my Kasteel tulip while listening to the Cowboy Junkies.

Short lasting eggshell head atop a brown brew.. quite a bit of yeast slipped into the glass despite a careful pour... no real lacing and an adequate collar.

Aroma is very understated for the style... lite dried dark fruits and lite Belgian phenols... actually very clean, and I am not considering it a good trait... some caramel malts as it warms.

Flavor is again muted. Should not be classified as a BSDA .. just not enough going on. I am not completely bagging it... although, it reminds me of a big-boned American brown (sans hops) with a distinct Belgian touch. Some green apple and raisin fruitiness.. maybe a touch of coriander and nutmeg.. but over all the best thing I can think of, is this is a supremely drinkable brew. Lite for the ABV mouthfeel and perfect carbonation makes me want to have another drink.

I will only buy this brew again simply to see if this review was overly negative, or to share a "training-wheels Belgian" with micro noob.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown-apricot colour with really pleasant beige head, retains superbly but isn't all that thick. The sticky sheet of lace on my mistress' bed...whoops, I mean, on the glass, more than makes up for that, and very strong carbonation. Great-looking brew.

Nose is tart and resiny with a very distinct ethanol character. Fair amount of grape skins, with a hint of peach and maybe a slight banana character as well. Slightly simple, but pleasant enough.

Taste is also quite tart, with a pleasant fruity malt character on the mid, slightly tart grape characters and a hint of vinegar. Very phenolic with a distinct alcohol hit. Throughout the palate there is a lot of sweet characters though, boiled lollies and carob on the front. To be honest it doesn't sit perfectly right with the vinegar character on the back, and the overall palate feels a bit short, with not much of a finish. Pleasant enough but just lacking a bit.

Mouthfeel is very sticky and thick with a large body, not much texture but nice sticky Belgian quality.

As much as I'm not a huge fan of the flavour here, it's very drinkable and pleasant, goes down smoothly, because its tart and phenolic characters aren't quite sharp enough to make me recoil. Could disguise its alcohol better but otherwise pretty fine.

Photo of hotstuff
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

When this beer was poured into my glass, it had a large tan head with fine-small sized bubbles that was fully diminishing. The body was mostly clear with lively carbonation observed. The nose was that of alcohol and some mild clove. The flavor was spicy and malty and the mouthfeel was tingly along with a burning sensation as it is swallowed.

Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a .3L McChouffe goblet at a cafe in France. Reviewed from notes taken in Summer 2010.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of great cream and thickness, and good retention. Colour is a dark nontransparent brown.

Sm: Nuts, floral hops, caramel, and maybe even chocolate. It's hard to tell with my broken nose.

T: Layered subtle nutty notes, floral hops, chocolate notes, toffee, and caramelized malt lurking beneath the surface. Some underlying cream. Sadly, an unwelcome touch of alcohol hits just before the climax, exposing the poorly hidden booze (at 8%? come on...) Built well but imbalanced. Not all that complex.

Mf: Smooth enough to refresh, but coarse enough to coax out the flavour. Wet but not quite refreshing. Suits the flavours alright, but needs work.

Dr: High ABV is poorly concealed. Decently drinkable and of pretty good quality, but very pricey in France. The alcohol presence is a major issue here.

B-

Photo of 4000qtrap
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Source/Serving: 750 mL bottle

S: Peppery brown bread crust. Fairy dry. Notes of espresso, and mocha with heavy, moderately complex spiciness as well as blackened bits of toast. Yeast spiciness actually stands up and perhaps slightly outperform the brown character which itself is quite rich and dry.

T: Similar to the nose with heaps of peppery brown bread crust which were ever so slightly burned. While not overwhelming dry, but all flavors tends to be dry. Dry pepper and complex spiciness, dry brown toasted quite melanoidin-y malts. Very little malty sweetness though. However, an overall lack of bitterness saves the palette from an unpleasant onslaught. Light mint, herbal hops round out the middle. Finish has a touch of minty herbal hop to it with lingering dark cocoa and spiced brown bread.

Photo of Altrurian
3.34/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Fast (but brief) pour into a small Brasserie d'Achouffe tulip produces a quick, coarse, short-lived head. The dominant olfactory characteristic faintly promises tropical sweetness, like the approach to a mango hawker's cart in Chittagong. The beer is a pleasant ruby-brown.

McChouffe has a malty enough anchor, but its mossy, woody sweetness is overlaid by a light Belgian yeastiness and, I suppose, a touch of hops. And so, the beer is not as cloying as a Scotch ale can be. Whether that's a good thing is a matter for debate. One can also argue the merits of the beer's texture, which is noticeably more prickly than creamy. We can agree, however, that McChouffe is wee light, and that such a brew has its place. A tip o' the tam-o-shanter to Achouffe's agents in Cooperstown for making this one available.

Photo of dgallina
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours into the glass a slightly clouded dark brown. Creates a really large off-white head that subsides rapidly, but leaves moderate lacing. Smells sweetly grainy with vinous tones. Simple and uncomplicated in aroma and initial taste. Sugary and effervescent in the mouth, the beer develops a slightly smoky graininess as it warms. A touch of fruitiness comes forward before the dry and sparkling finish.

An unremarkable brown Belgian ale. Vague hints of complexity in an average and over-carbonated beer.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at New Beer Distributors.
It's possible that this bottle was a bit past its prime but I found no freshness date to say one way or the other. Something about this brew struck me as a bit stale. There's some kind of candy in the flavor but I can't pin it down. Medicinal flavors also live in here. Cooked sugar and raisins... perhaps in a slurry.
The 8% alcohol is well hidden behind the sweetness. Pretty easy drinking and pretty smooth but over all I found this to be pretty average, if not lacking, for a Belgian strong dark ale.

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml.

A- Chocolate brown with a slightly off-white head, very dense foam.

S- Wow, a fruit sweetness I wasn't ready for. Smells like fresh flashy fruit, like a ripe plum. Really sweet, but not syrupy. Hmm.

T- Sweetness follows the nose, a bready malt is behind it to balance things out. A faint yeast/spice is noted, but not too tangible. Hops are not really here in any way, but I don't know how old this bottle is. All in all unique, and not off-putting, but not really wowing me either.

M- Moderate body, malt is here but not overbearing. Pretty well balanced. Perhaps a bit too light, actually. Still pretty solid.

D- Moderate. Good, solid brew, unique enough to warrant trying. Not my favorite Chouffe, but worth it, esp. if you dig the darker side of beers. Be careful, though, not like your usual Belgian (strong) Dark Ale

Photo of corby112
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft at the Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with a 1.5 finger beige head that slowly fades into a lastig ring.  Streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Subtle roasted malt aroma with some zesty spice and dark fruit notes.  Slightly peppery with hints of chocolate, toast, caramel and nut.

Medium bodied with a nice balance of zesty spice, sweet malt and dark fruit.  Lots of peppery spice up front followed by sweet malt flavors, notably caramel and toffee before finishing with a prominent dark fruit presence.  Hints of plum, raisin, currant and other dark berries.  Subtle alcohol sweetness but not much heat.  Could use a stronger malt character to balance out swet fruits but still pretty good.

Photo of granger10
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What no cork? Interesting. Anyways, this beer poured a murky brown color with a tan head that was fizzy (weird). The nose on this beer was amazing! Very vinous with spicy notes. Herbal and sweet. Fussel alcohols as well. Unfortunately the taste was not near as good. The vinous flavors are very weak. Caramel is the main flavor I get but it does not have staying power either. Also slight woodyness to it along with a bittersweet chocolate flavor. But all of those flavors are quite weak and don't mesh together. Just one at a time. Strong alcohol flavor comes in the middle and lingers until the finish and beyond. Yeast is not really noticeable (weird). The bottle says for this to be consumed before end of 2006. I'm betting that this beer could age well beyond even that, and maybe be a much better beer.

Photo of froghop
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-clear brown with a small beige head, lively carbonation, and great lacing.

smell of some spice, and some malt.

taste is light, spice, malt, and brown sugar, end is a little spicy and dry.

overall a nice smooth beer with a hint of spice.

Photo of illidurit
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce stubby bottle poured into a Rochefort goblet. Deep russet brown with an ecru head. Poor retention, unbecoming of a Belgian beer, and little lacing. Aroma is primarily bready, dark fresh-baked bread to be exact, with some dusty raisins and vague red fruits. A little booze as well. Flavor is mild for the alcohol level; there's a pleasant bready grainy malt profile with an unsweet chocolate undercurrent but not much in the way of fruity esters. Sweet caramel malt finish, dry with a soft alcohol presence. Palate is overrun by carbonation. This needs some swirling and time to settle down. I was expecting a dubbel flavor profile out of this dark 8% beer but that's just not what it is. Rather pedestrian but not bad.

Edit: Turns out this is a scotch ale. Weird, wasn't expecting that. Explains the lack of yeasty/fruity notes, obviously, but it still doesn't cut it overall.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany clear with scant coating and a foamy ring aroud the tulip glass.

Gentle nose of cake molasses malts.

First swigs: Foamy feel with bark like wood and tobacco hints. ( Have you ever had a backwoods cigar?) Dry molasses aftertaste and easy nutty notes.

Last swigs: One of the flavors of the month at TDR in springhouse, PA.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of jeranbrews
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bruin

A - A brown eggshell head. the consistency of packing foam. Slightly cloudy varnished wood color.

S - hoppy smells like a light bock.  Also some caramel and or chocolate malts.

T - Diluted cheap chocolate flavors like a mousse. With some mild hops and some fusil oil flavors. Aftertaste is subdued but a mix of sweetness and alcohol burn.

M - a bit thin for this style. Wateriness and alcohol burn dominate mouthfeel.

D - like it a bit more than the blonde but it's a bit too simple to drink very often.

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
90 out of 100 based on 927 ratings.