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McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

515 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 515
Hads: 1,024
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 14.61%
Wants: 45
Gots: 126 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of McChouffe Alström Bros
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Reviews: 515 | Hads: 1,024
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby red colour and different spice than the regular La Chouffe from this Brasserie. Appearance and taste of a top Belgium, from aging. Taste more from malt and carmel sweetness, corriander and pepper, but then a Good hop kick aftertaste. Acidity just demands food.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Congregation Ale House in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear honey brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, slight smoke, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild level of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer and a nice Belgian take on a Scotch ale.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: half finger head on a hazy deep brown and maroon body. Thick lacing.

S: breads and yeast with caramel and syrup. Dark fruit notes include grape, raspberry and raisin. Light overall.

T: Fairly sweet overall. Caramel and chocolate malts with yeast up front with a rapid change to dark fruits which are more on the sweet than tart side. Plum, cherry make up the fruitiness.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: This one is almost too sweet ad lacks a little balance on that way. It's still good and overall drinkable.

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Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured cloudy dark brown in color into a snifter glass with a finger sized off white head that quickly died down into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: The aroma isn't that strong but is somewhat musty and has notes of dark fruits and yeast.
T: Mild spicy flavors of yeast dominate the overall taste, which also has notes of dark fruits and nuts along with some hints of caramel and malty sweetness. Some spiciness and a slight amount of hop bitterness are noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from both the smell and taste.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle at De Kelk in Brugge during last week's trip to Belgium. Reviewed from notes.

Serve in a McChouffe chalice.

Pours dark brown with a nice, foamy light tan head. Good retention and plenty of lacing.

Nose brings loads of dark fruits and a bit of sweetness. Flavor falls along the same lines, though the two don't mix quite as well as in the nose. Medium body and good carbonation. Semi-dry finish. Well made and quite tasty.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a dark brown color with a tan colored head. The aromas were sweet and really interested me in the beer. The malts kind of gave me an earthy aroma too in the faint distance. The taste was on the sweeter side, a little more like a sweet version of an Abbey Dubbel. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth and found myself enjoying this brew for the most part. I don't know if I'd ever buy a whole lot of it but I'd try it again one day.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque coffee brown with a creamy, full head thats caps and coats; lacing drapes down the sides of the chalice

Smell: Brown bread, caramel, and yeasty, with chocolate powder

Taste: Opens with a mouthful of spice cake and chocolate powder topped with caramel; dark fruits, apples and spicy yeast add complexity as the flavor builds to mid-palate; after the swallow, the spicy caramel apple flavors persist, along with the chocolate elements

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Rather enjoyable, but definitely on the sweet side

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"McChouffe"...hummm. I wonder if they have been sued by McDonald's yet? Call it what they want--this is great beer! A style-typical dark malt color with browns, rubies, mohogany colors that swirl around a mild haze. Firm and fluffy carbonation that deserves a '5'. Smells candy sweet and fruity fresh with an underlying berry tartness, hoppy spiciness, and vineous alcohol. Flavors unlock the same character but with more power that the aroma suggests. Fruity with dates, figs, grapes, blackberries, and a hint of raisons. Sweet with a light molassas, cotton-candy, candied sugar flavor. Hopped / spiced with a peppery, earthy, musky, nutty character. Throw in a bit of red-wine just for good measure. The beer feels full, but light (carbonated) in the mouth. Mildly prickling and numbing. Leaves the mouth a bit sticky sweet, but not off-putting. This is indeed a super beer!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a huge bubbly off-white head with average retention. Aroma is comprised of strong Belgian malt with a side of floral hops and a top of yeast. Taste is somewhat spicy, creamy and ends with a dry bitter aftertaste. Another quite complex beer from this fine brewery. I’m not sure I really detect the scotch ale influence in this one but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml squat Euro-stubbie bottle. Is the little elf analogue on the label divining for beer?

This beer pours a somewhat hazy dark reddish amber hue, with three fingers of rocky, densely foamy, and bulbous pale beige head, which leaves a decent array of layered cloud lace around the glass as it gently recedes.

It smells of bready caramel malt, a bit of biscuity toffee, aged lemon rind, mixed dark fruit, subtle yeast and mildly zingy winter spices. The taste is caramelized candy, saltwater taffy, pithy dry black fruit - raisin, prune, and chocolate-ensconced cherry - withering yeast, a faintly earthy spiciness, and softly nutty, floral hops. A wee red vinous booziness seeps in as things eventually warm up.

The carbonation is average, alternating between tight and frothy, the body a moderately tame medium weight, and perhaps a bit mealy in its general smoothness. It finishes off-dry, still big and candi-sugar malty, with a pleasant enough spice and floral hop flipside, the booze only a slight twinge.

A pretty enjoyable, if not overly complex BSDA. The players are all there - beefy malt, yeast, spice, fruit, and simmering alcohol, sure, but I suppose I expect a certain extra je ne sais quoi, an indescribable elan, when it comes to these kinds of offerings. Unfair to most? Yep.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark bronzy brown with a generous infusion of orange when backlit. Clear initially, the beer becomes seriously murky when the final few ounces are added to the glass. Fast and furious carbonation results in a poofy head of semi-stiff foam that is toasted beige in color. Wandering wisps of watery lace decorate the glass; temporarily at least.

The aroma is a wonderful combination of sweetly floral hops and dark caramel-like malt, resulting in a whole greater than the sum of its parts. There isn't much yeasty spiciness; perhaps it's saving itself for the palate and letting the more mundane elements shoulder the load in the nose (yeast can be like that; little buggers).

McChouffe tastes like a Belgian brown ale (I think it's high time that style was recognized on this site). Of course that impression didn't hit me out of the blue. The beer itself, via the label, claims that it's a 'Belgian Brown Ale'. What that means to me is the flavor profile of an American or an English brown with the added depth and complexity of Belgian yeast.

The flavor consists of dark fruit (raisins, dates) sprinkled with cocoa powder. There's also an overarching floral hoppiness that ties it all up in a neat package. Finally is understated clove spice. All elements work together in a beautiful symphony of flavors. The beer is both sweet and sour through most of the mouthful, with a hoppy bitterness interceding on the back end. The light-medium mouthfeel is especially buoyant thanks to all the bubbles. No hint of alcohol, even at 8%.

McChouffe, no matter what style one chooses to call it, is a wonderful dark ale by brewers who clearly know how to brew great beer. It's a seamless melding of malt, hops and yeast that gives pleasure whether one attempts to tease out every flavor nuance or whether one wishes to simply drink and enjoy. A fine achievement.

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Photo of zeff80
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from 2/2.

A - Poured out a dark brown/burgandy with a very bubbly, tan, two-finger head. It left small trails of lacing.

S - It smelled of plum, cherries and roasted malt.

T - It tasted of raisin and dried cherries. It had a subtle roasted maltiness.

M - It was smooth and soft on the throat. It was a very heavy-bodied beer.

D - This tastes great, but it was alot to drink in one sitting. Next time I should share it with a fellow BA.

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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11 ounce goblet - $9.75 at Taco Mac in Buford, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours an opaque, dark brown body with a thin wisp of white froth on top.

Smell: Aroma replete with plenty of fruitiness and lightly wafting alcohol and notes of spice, dark bread, dark candi sugar, and maybe even some syrup as well.

Taste: Dark brown breadiness sweetened with dark candi sugar and a firm caramel flavor. Fruity additions of black cherry cola, figs, and red currants. Earthy, herbal hops with a medium-low bitterness. Dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Light warming touches of alcohol. Renewed tastes of sweet breadiness, now with a touch of maple prior to the warming, semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A reasonably pleasant, enjoyable ale, and, though the alcohol isn't entirely hidden, it isn't ever glaring, making for a relatively easy-drinking brew. Paired well with the rockin' mid-90's tunes playing at Taco Mac.

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Photo of nickfl
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - poured with one finger of light tan foam on a hazy, amber brown body. The head settles slowly and leaves decent lace.

S - dark brown sugar, toffee malt and a hint of spicy hops.

T - brown, malty flavors up front. Some fruity notes of cherry and plum in the middle and a finish of spicy hops and fruity, dark malt.

M - a medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - petty good if a bit odd. The malt is a bit heavy for the yeast character but the spicy hops.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

I think this beer can only be properly presented whilst pronouncing its name in a crappy fake Scottish accent. It pours a deep sienna topped by a finger or so of khaki foam. The nose comprises toffee, light nuts, light brown sugar, light dark fruit, and a touch of Belgian yeast. The taste brings in more of the same, though the toffee seems to flatten out a bit and cover everything else in a fine veneer of itself. It all comes out spicily bland, but in a good way...if that makes any sense... The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a nice little brew, nothing in any way exciting, but I would definitely not turn down another if it were offered to me.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its hazy, ruddy-brown body appears as a deep amber when held to the light; and its tall, creamy head of light-tan foam holds exceptionally well and leaves sheets of sticky lace at the outset of the glass. Delicate fruit greets you in the nose with soft prune, delicate raisin, light summer berries; and a touch of mild toffee and caramel to round it out. Some hops appear in the background but never come forward enough to be recognized. Its very fine, natural carbonation caresses the tongue with a thousand soft prickles before warming to become lightly creamy, and then simply sliding away - yet it's medium/light bodied still leaves a memory. Very nice! All of the fruit found in the nose finds its way into the flavor with the addition of a light, milk-chocolate note and some spicy hop flavor. And although it appears quite straight-forward at first, some acetaldehyde and phenolic notes awaken as it warms; the alcohol becomes more apparent, and it becomes dryer in a finish that lingers with some scortched-caramel and dark-fruit sweetness. It's very well balanced and none of it's components (fruitiness, caramel sweetness, alcohol, hop flavor) ever run out of bounds. Nicely drinkable despite it's solid 8.5% abv; and rich without becoming at all cloying - this is an impressive Belgian brew that defies categorization. Well worth trying!

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Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Lynda for bringing this back from Belgium.

Light fizzy head quickly light lacing hazy ruby auburn color.

Nose earthy root like aromas, herbal, esters galore, molasses and syrupy almost candy, even a bit nutty.

Taste light malts, darker nutty malts, very earthy and slight herbal again, esters, chewy nougat almost, molasses and candy. Tons of fruit, plum, raisin, fig, date, etc. bit bitter and semi sweet.

Med bodied, dec carb, bit syrupy.

Overall nice Belgian strong dark/dubbel style, a bit much on the esters and sticky sweet flavors, but nice fruits balance it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, sour fruits, some caramelized malt and a little hops.

T: The taste starts with a burst of sourness from tart fruit flavors (apples, apricots & berries). Then the malt character and Belgian yeast backbone take over with flavors of caramel and some spice. There's a decent hops presence. The after-taste is tart and sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this one isn't one of my favorites but it's a good beer that is worth sipping for a while.

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Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
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.


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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, but dark, ruby. Some tan head. Nose is slightly sweet with a fruit edge. Flavor is mild with a strong sweet tone that has hints of a slight spice and a barely noticeable alcohol tone on the end. Feel has a slightly thicker bubble on it. Easily drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my La Chouffe tulip ( New Years 2002). Pours chestnut, orange when held into the light with 2 fingers of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Apples & brown bread & a touch of cinnamon

T: Caramel, appleskins, leafy hops, a bit of apple schnapps & figs up front. Some dark candi sugar & a bit of raisin, plus orange slices as this warms. Finishes with dark fruit, leafy hops, & a touch of dryness

MF: Fairly assertive carbonation up front plus medium body & a bit of stickyness

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV, although the booze does peak through a bit. This was better on draft across from the brewery! Not bad, but there are better Belgian darks out there

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excellent head with impressive lace; very dark brown--light won't penetrate.

The aroma is primarily malt but there is a nice hop balance to it.

The bottle states that this is a combination of a Scotch Ale and a Belgian Abbey Ale. This is true. It is mostly malt with a wee heavy alcohol content. Still there is a nice hop component that balances the beer well. Full bodied yet properly carbonated.

This is a beer I was expecting far less. It seemed gimicky to me, but this beer is very flavorful and enjoyable.

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McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.