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McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

774 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 774
Reviews: 482
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe visit their website

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
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Ratings: 774 | Reviews: 482 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cranberry with off-white film. Smoke, berry and dark malt on the nose.
Dark berry, chocolate malt, and bark, a big forest fruit jam hit, candy sugar and some clovey yeast and deep spicy hay hops to finish and linger.
Light to medium, fizzy, and slightly chewy.

A self-described Scotch ale.

Belgian character underneath a lot of sweet malts. Not very Scottish, in spite of what they were aiming for. Berry too up front. A sipper.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 22:19:29 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of cbutova


3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Finally getting around to another Chouffe offering. Belgian Brown Ale, eh?

A- Poured from the 750ml into a goblet and a snifter-tulip with a dark brown body, hard to see through at all, just a bit of red on the very edges. Light tan cap forms to a finger or so with a foamy texture and decent retention. The head falls to a small bubbly ring that leaves a medium amount of lace in webbed shapes.

S- Dark Belgian Candi sugar, Belgian yeast spices and bananas come to mind off the top. A complex set of aromas between the malts and yeast that bring figs, raisin, toasted nuts, cloves, bread and caramel to mind.

T- Candi sugar, Belgian yeast and toasted malts come to mind first with a broad set of flavors like figs, dates, raisin, caramel sweets, brown sugar, toasted nuts, cocoa powder and cereal grains. Other things that occur to me are bananas, clove, nutmeg and wheat bread. Candi sugar, once again, is big here, I made it once at home and the semi-burnt sugar flavors are huge here. Slight earthy, spicy hops.

MF- Moderately thick body with a semi-sweet overall feel. Texture is creamy and satisfying considering the sweet, rich flavors present. Slight spicy bitter finish and no ABV in sight.

Feels pretty sweet upon finishing, maybe just a bit much for my taste. The balance is nice and the flavors are plentiful making it a satisfying experience. All in all the flavor is just nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 01:28:52 | More by cbutova
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2002 01:04:35 | More by rastaman
Photo of bditty187


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

Mildly hazy brownish-cherry/tawny hue, impressive colors intricacy. I was surprised at how large this head got, a good two fingers, on a soft pour, of rocky beige bubbles. The head did fade quickly to half of that size, the remainder hung around awhile, it stayed soapy throughout consumption. However, it did not lace well. The nose was intriguing, very airy with pepper underneath, which was quickly followed by Saaz hops spiciness, distant maltiness. The bouquet needed more pizzazz… thankfully the palate does not! Damn that first sip was great! Much hoppier than I’d ever guess, a pleasant surprise, spicy Saaz upfront, hot and tasty! In the middle a note of flowery-pepper emerges, as does a hint of clove but it gets drowned out by a dry maltiness. I can’t say the finish impresses me much, forgettable actually. As it warms the sweetness increases, it is not cloying or tacky but noticeable, yeah, it is a good addition, just subtle enough. The 8.5% abv escapes detection, a marvelous accomplishment. The taste is unique enough to warrant a visit, lovely and complex. The body is medium; carbonation is firm, but not forced. Very drinkable, too bad I only had a small 11.2 ounce bottle; it cost me $4.00 in Des Monies. It is very much worthy trying, recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2003 21:56:51 | More by bditty187
Photo of UncleJimbo


4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2003 22:06:41 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of RBorsato


4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brown (mahogany to a light source) with a nice tan head and nice active carbonation up the middle. Spicy phenols, dark fruit (raisin, prune) malt aromas and flavors. Nice robust maltiness with a touch of alcohol. All around nice balance; not overly sweet. Medium-full bodied with a touch of airiness due to high carbonation levels.

Per Label: "Pilsner malts" & "English Golding and Saaz hops" & "Scottish Ale/Abbey Ale"

Per BD'A website: 16P
Hops: Styrie and Saaz

Best Before: End '08
Tasted: 06/10/07

($7.99 / 25.4 oz. / 75 cl tall green lithographed champagne style bottle - capped)

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2008 19:28:52 | More by RBorsato
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.05/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Currently the Achouffe gnome and Long Trail bears are battling it out for my favorite beer mascots.

Auburn to sepia in color. Fluffy tan head that leaves sand dunes of retention that shift and blanket the beer. Drifts of lace.

Aroma is leafy, woodsy hickory toffee and brown sugar. Tastes of coppery caramel, clean, leafy hops nutmeg and cinnamon. Tastes a lot like GNC caramel mocha whey protein actually. Thin and monotone for a 8% Belgian.

Supposedly this pays hommage to the Scottish influence that Belgium received during WWII. More of a Belgian-y interpretation of a Northern English brown than anything resembling a Scottish ale. What a bummer. I expect more of Achouffe and their gnomish minions.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 23:55:32 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky chestnut brown with a great cream colored head with tons of bubbly lace.

Nose is brown sugar and sweet (not spicy) brown bread. Some yeast, some tropical fruit, a little brown nuttiness.

Smooth and creamy, with malt and light sugar up front. This is less sweet on the palate as it is on the nose. Some sweet brown bread, and then the palate clears to a little fruit, light bitterness. Alcohol is unnoticeable. Good, but a little soft.

Medium body, a little tingly on the tongue.

Overall, a great belgian brown, but doesn't have the strong alcohol punch. Very easy drinking for the style, just a touch weak (alcohol) and a little sugary. Still, very glad I tried this. Easy and creamy and a beauty in the goblet.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 01:31:37 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent dark bronze/brown color with orange hues when held to the light. Fluffy head of beige foam that leaves some wisps of watery lace along the glass.

The aromas begin with a combination of floral hops and dark caramel maltiness. There isn't much yeasty spiciness initially but it increases as it warms as do the dark fruits.

The tastes begin like you would expect from a Belgian brown ale. Highlights include toasted bready brown maltiness with intermingling dark fruit (raisins, dates) sprinkled with cocoa powder. There's also an overarching floral hoppiness and some understated clove spice.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. The finish is both sweet and lightly dry, with a hoppy bitterness interceding on the back end.

Overall this is a wonderful dark ale by brewers who clearly know how to brew great beer. Belgian brown ales (Dubbels) are normally a seamless melding of malt, hops and yeast and this is no exception. Not exactly brewed to style, more brown toasted malt than dark fruitiness but I enjoy the change here.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 17:39:59 | More by claspada
Photo of BretSikkink


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

Dark brown color with orange-russet highlighting. Tanned head is quite clingy, somewhat foamy, and decidedly attractive. Nose is malty-spicy with some floral notes from the hops. Sweet dark fruits ensure an above average score, but nothing amazing.

Flavor is a nice mix of mild and funky, with toasted brown barley and cocoa up front, finishing with overripe banana and spices. Hops are also somewhat floral and add a prick of pepper. Alcohol is quite muted. Well brewed, and quite nice all the way through.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 04:21:43 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of thekevlarkid


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

I'd been eyeing this one at the store and then it appeared on tap at American Flatbread so... off the tap the beer came to me a deep garnet color leaning towards brown. The tan head was about a finger thick and retained very well. Gorgeous curtains of lacing. The aroma was truly a bouquet like a florists shop with lots of sweet malt, citrus and aromatic hops. The flavors were also good, citrus candy, tropical fruit, berries and some hops though the malt profile is a little subdued. Alcohol heat appeared as it warmed up but otherwise it was well concealed. The carbonation was just a little prickly but generally it was clean and easy to drink. Yum!

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2008 13:37:12 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of thierrynantes


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

Beer bottle (33 and 75 cl.), tasted in 1999.

Appearance : brown color, veiled with yeast, with beautiful tan foamy head.
Smell : citrus and clove aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : alcohol presence, dry sour at first, then final bitter-sweet.
Drinkability : good beer in the Belgian style strong dark ale

Review translated from french 5/7/9.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2007 21:17:01 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky, opaque reddish-copper color with a large, thick, frothy tan head. Dry, musty / earthy aroma - lightly fruity, yeasty, a little spicy...kind of cautious. An intriguing, entanglement of organic flavors casually coats the mouth. Dry fruits and spices, sweet malts, and yeast. More mustiness in the taste but its a bit more restrained. Some lingering phenols and even a little smoke. Medium mouthfeel with solid carbonation and no hint of alcohol.

This is a very interesting belgian ale. A little confusing overall but maybe its supposed to be. Crazy gnomes...

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2006 04:29:11 | More by wedge
Photo of Jeffo


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

Got this at the bottle shop down the road.

From a bottle into a tulip.

APPEARANCE: Pours a three finger off-white head with good retention. Maroon or burgundy in color, cloudy, with medium carbonation evident. Eventually fades to a thin foam cap leaving some lacing on the glass. A wisp remains until the end leaving a bit of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: A mild but pleasant nose of sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, raisins mostly, and some brown sugar. Some spicy notes and yeasty aromas as well.

TASTE: Sweet caramel again with more yeasty spices and dark fruits, much like the nose had advertised. Raisins, pepper and coriander feature. Mild aftertaste and a relatively dry finish.

PALATE: Medium body and semi-creamy smooth on the palate. Goes down smooth and finishes slightly drier on the palate.

OVERALL: As solid a brune as their pale is a pale, though the palate is a little bigger on this one. Enjoyed this and would pick it up again at a bar or restaurant. Solid effort.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 20:01:20 | More by Jeffo
Photo of allengarvin


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

Served into a New Belgium chalice glass. Pours a very dark garnet-tinted brown with a rocky, lasting head. Excellent lacing. Nose is full of dark, sugary fruits and modest malt, somewhat roasted. Malts come through much more clearly in the taste, with roasted, toasty notes and some light caramel. Flavor is yeasty, with fruity esters that aren't really identifiable, and somewhat acidic in the finish, though it remains sweet throughout. Big bodied.

Lots of good flavors here, but overall, they don't work together real well. I find it vaguely...disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2006 00:19:51 | More by allengarvin
Photo of wagenvolks


4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 05:27:06 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of clvand0


4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a medium head that drops fast and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is of caramel and spices from the yeast as well as some dark fruits. Nice. The flavor is nice and spicy with a fruity character that I really enjoy. Lots of malts and caramel. Very nice body and easy to drink. Solid.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2004 20:19:20 | More by clvand0
Photo of blitheringidiot


3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2004 04:45:08 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of bashiba


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

Poured a dark cloudy brown with a thick long lasting creamy head.

Has a light musty and earthy smell with a noticeable yeast scent.

Flavor is sweet and creamy with dark fruit notes, a nice maltyness, some yeasty flavors, a noticeable spicyness, and a touch of woodyness.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a smooth warming quality.

Very drinkable, a tasty belgian treat I will look forward totrying again.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2006 00:29:49 | More by bashiba
Photo of DogFood11


3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this big bottle partially into a tulip as a nightcapper. Really nice appearance. Head is easily controlled although starting out slow would be best and increase from there. Head maintains itself perfectly and is slightly chunky. Laces thoroughly.

Significant earthy smell combined with some alcohol and bitter.

Lots of phenol and floral taste comes through up front. A wild boquet of flowers clashes with wood and deeper earthy flavor. The caramel or dark fruit type flavor is somewhat missing in this offering, not to worry it makes up for it with a different approach of toasted malts countered by a zingy carbonation.

Notes: Although this strong dark doesn't fit the mold it is a nice offering worthy of a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 06:18:18 | More by DogFood11
Photo of Absumaster


3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A brown, red beer with a big head that settles after a couple of minutes in the original Chouffe chalice.

Smell is light caramel, a little molasses and some musty notes. I miss out the caramel malts, this tastes like a colored blond beer. The smell makes a pilsner-like impression.

Taste is light, notes of molasses and caramel coloring, which a little astringent. There is a slight warming feeling to the beer, despite it's insane drinkability. The yeast adds a great profile and is herbal and peppery. The absence of caramalt, as confirmed by the brewery itself, creates a beer that lacks the extra bit of depth that a BSDA needs.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2008 08:29:27 | More by Absumaster
Photo of JayQue


4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark brown, dense with no light getting through. A fairly large tan head hat dissipates quickly. Leaves some lacing on the glass. Nice aroma, kind of like a mild Mad Elf/Delerium Tremens type of fruitiness but much more suble. Taste has spices, fruitiness, probably raisins and plum. Much milder than Mad Elf but still more a beer to sip rather than belt down. I could drink several of these over the course of a few hours because it is nicely balanced without being overpowering.

I would have this beer in another category than DT and Mad Elf. Its kind of like a brown ale "belgian style"...Maybe "Imperial Brown Ale" or something.

Mouthfeel is rich without being heavy and drinkability is very good. Not quite a session beer because of the 8.5, but a few of these with good friends and without having to drive afterwards would be a good evening.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 18:35:27 | More by JayQue
Photo of HardTarget


4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: Speaks of “Scottish Ale/Abbey Ale”, top fermenting yeast, spring water, English Golding & Saaz hops, bottle fermentation “lees”, serving temp suggestion 50-55 F, glassware suggestion (tall McChouffe glass) and a best before end of 2008. Great info!

Aroma: Candi sugar and Belgian yeast with hints of cotton candy and dark malt

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black but with thick clear edges. A good finger of tight creamed coffee head looks like it might outlive me. It gave up some lacing but dropped to a clump and a collar.

Flavor: First hit is a bit metallic, but a nice grainy malt base shows up and saves the day. Grape flavor is pretty strong. A fair hop bitter, a touch high for most Belgian examples. There are some aspects that remind me of Rochefort 8, but while this is a nice beer, it’s not in the same league. Still, some of the same honey dew melon flavor as the Rochefort.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit overdone leaving it fizzy. Body is medium and leaves a mild coat in my mouth.

Overall Impression: A nice beer. It has a strong grape soda element to it that is enjoyable, but gets to be a bit much in the bomber. The more I drank and to warmer it (and I) got, the more Rochefort qualities came out. I’m impressed with this one and would suggest it.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2006 04:17:41 | More by HardTarget
Photo of philbe311


3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beer from Brasserie d'Achouffe labeled as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale with a name that hints at a Scotch Ale - I can't wait...

A - A very lively pour with a huge fluffy rocky ecru colored head comprised of a plethora of varying sized bubbles... Retention is modest, but give way to a stellar lacing that is full and inviting... A deep dark brown color with notes of reddish caramel hue... Murky, yet translucent... Some minor sediment floating throughout... Some lively small carbonation bubbles at the top of the glass...

S - Belgian yeast... Chocolate... Plums... Perhaps a hint of cherries... A minor spiciness...

T - The Belgian yeast is the first taste to greet the palette... Brown sugar... Apple... Muted raisins and figs... The presence of alcohol is undeniable...

M - A very tempting kiss of biting carbonation greets the tongue... Medium bodied, yet thin... Chalky finish... The warming effects of the alcohol lingers...

D - A really solid and enjoyable Belgian Strong Dark Ale... While the name may hint at Scotch Ale tendencies, it's Brown Ale that shine through... Gains a lot of depth and complexity as this one warms... Quite quaffable... I would gladly welcome the opportunity to enjoy this brew in the future...

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 02:27:56 | More by philbe311
Photo of Globetrotter


4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon a lone bottle of this in Moscow's fanciest supermarket - Hello! Brown 750ml wine bottle with a multi-colored label featuring what looks like a long-bearded dwarf or leprechan gazing lovingly at a sign showing a chalice of the brew. The label was in French and Dutch (no Russian import label - hmm...), but I couldn't discern any ingredient information. Best before 2007, I popped the cap on 3/20/05.

Pours a clear dark ruby red under a 1.5 finger beige head that settles ever so slowly but leaves only a few wisps of lace on the glass. Little disappointed in the visual experience. The second pour was a bit cloudier, but the head was thinner. The nose features mild apricot and malt. The mouth is very prickly and quite light when cold, but getting heavier as the beer warmed. The tastebuds first experience a mild, soft-spoken sensation that hides the alcoho9l content extremely well. A fine bready malt underlies a light fruity bouquet of plum and grape - more sweet than sour, but not very sweet, either - just present. The malt became much more obvious as the brew warmed, essentially burying the fruit by the last sip of the second pour. Hops are also present, adding a nice dryness and a hint of bitter in the finish. I could see enjoying this more than once, as the complexity and taste change so radically with temperature variations. Definitely worth more than just a dabble.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2005 03:54:30 | More by Globetrotter
McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 774 ratings.