McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

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McChouffeMcChouffe

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BA SCORE
89
very good

510 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 510
Hads: 1,005
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 42
Gots: 118 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 510 | Hads: 1,005
Photo of merlin48
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
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. (922 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. Deep brown amber with crazy head and lacing.
nice sweet malty alcohol aroma...bit of belgian yeast.
Taste is of malty dried fruit, mixed with belgian yeasts and alcohol. Alcohol is obvious, but it should be. This is advertised as a Belgian Brown Ale, which is a way better description than Belgian Strong Dark. Its deff a brown, with belgian tendencies...like it had a condition.
Really great beer...tasty and unique. Worth drinking for sure. (473 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle: This one opened with little evidence of carbonation, but poured with a fairly large head anyway. It died off rather quickly, however. It is a fairly opaqur brown color. The nose was nice, with notes of caramel, yestiness and fruits, although there was a slight hint of a peatiness. The taste has a bit of a roasty taste and dryness that wans’t expected. A bit of the peatiness in the taste also, as well a a bit of caramel and smokiness. Interesting... (469 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
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... (566 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apple brown with a husky coat of sepia foam. Laces thickly. Awesome.

Apple-like aromas, nuttiness, pear, golden raisin, light candi sugar, and steeped grain. A very lovely, delicate nose with great fruity esters and yeast prominence.

Rich dried fruit flavors with notes of apple, date, raisin, and quince. Toffee malts with medicinal phenols. Estery fruit, nutty yeast, light roastiness, and a sweet alcohol; all in good context. Finishes rather dry, and slightly soapy, like a floral finish.

Could use some more body. Drinks great, however. A little powdery dry; the carbonation puckers a bit.

A solid BSDA. Perhaps, a sweeter example. (640 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.92/5  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. (994 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice clear deep amber with a white low and persistent head which lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was slight Belgian farmhouse presence and very slight brett aroma. Behind that presence was a low caramel maltiness and light aroma of dark fruits, raisins and prunes. The farmhouse aroma was accentuated by a distinct earthiness.

The flavor was light, and very similar to the aroma. The beer contacted the palate with a slight caramel maltiness and light spice presence. The maltiness diminished quickly and became dark fruit flavors, once again raisins and prunes. The flavors were low and blended but the longer the flavors contacted the palate the more spicy the flavor became as it dried. Some candy flavors emerged as the beer warmed.

The finish was dry with lasting low belgian yeast spice and caramel maltiness long into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium and the carbonation was fairly high making it seem less. Definitely a beer best consumed at cellar temps to take advantage of all the aroma and flavor have to offer. The alcohol was really only present in the warming sensation after consumption.

750 ml green silk screened crown capped bottle. Best before end 2006 on bottle. Purchased at Total Wine in Chesapeake, VA. (1,284 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (564 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

8% on bottle, just sayin'. A half-percent of alcohol doesn't really matter one way or the other, does it? Opened with an Orval opener and poured into an Allagash tulip. Sue me for using branded paraphernalia.

Pours a cloudy mahogany with lots of sediment hanging suspended in the liquid. Didn't really shake up the bottle, but I don't care, I like this. The head is a half-inch of tan cream that sits there forever. Lots of lace left as the liquid slowly disappears.

Big fruity, vinous nose, almost in the realm of grape bubblegum. Spiciness that could come from the yeast, the alcohol, or both, tickles the nostrils. Also a bright hop element somewhere in the mix.

The flavor remains as fruity as the nose hints; slightly musty, vinous, and with a citrus hoppiness in the finish. Whole wheat raisin muffins; dark fruits. Mild spices, like clove and cinnamon, come in as well, but it's mostly the fruitiness--and the yeast that props it up--which makes the biggest impression. Alcohol and said spices prevent it from being too fruity, but with every other sip I'm reminded of grape bubblegum.

Zillions of tiny bubbles make for a soft, caressing texture; pretty airy and buoyant, which is nice, but maybe not enough overall presence in the mouth.

Not a mindblower, but one I would welcome in my glass at any time. As noted on the back of the bottle, this is meant as a hybrid of a Scottish Ale and a more Belgian-style abbey beer. They nailed that for sure. (1,463 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dusky chestnut, highly carbonated, forming a huge, peaking light tan head with sea foam consistency atop small to medium-sized bubbles. Retention and lacing are excellent, but it is difficult to pour without billowing out of the glass. Gobs of head stick to the edge of the glass, and head always remains at least 1/2" thick. Aroma is spicy and phenolic with notes of cloves, alcohol, hay, wheat malt, yeast and perhaps hints of ginger. No mustiness or sourness appreciated. Mouthfeel is bubbly, but very smooth and light in body despite it's high ABV of 8.5%. Taste begins with spicy phenols, leads into earthy amber malts with the slightest hop bitterness. A peppery wave of alcohol is noticeable but not intrusive. There is a brief slightly oxidized, rubbery note, likely due to the green bottle, but it thankfully quickly dissipates. The lightly dry, oaky finish leaves a saccharin sweetness on the back of the tongue. The alcohol is concealed for the most part...drinkability is good despite it's strength. A 750ml bottle gives me a pleasant buzz. While not imparted with Belgian Funk©®™, it is a satisfying, drinkable brew. (1,132 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a cloudy mahogany color with red highlights and a thin cap of beige head resting on top.

Aroma of sweet malts, raisins, Belgian yeast, and tobacco leaf.

Tastes of sweet malts, plums, raisins, yeast, and Belgian candied sugar and tobacco leaf in the finish. The 8% alcohol is well hidden.

Medium bodied, sticky, and moderately carbonated.

Definitely an enjoyable Belgian strong dark ale and a must try. (428 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from champagne bottle into a duvel glass.

Pours dark brown, reddish tints, some foam sits atop. Good lacing, light malty and nutty smell. Some caramel but faint. Taste is very smooth and even lightly sweet brown ale. Some nuttiness, some cola and root beer buried. Creamy mouthfeel almost reminds me of a soda beverage. Very good. (339 characters)

Photo of bobsy
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 shared by Colin - cheers! I also have a bottle from zorprine cellaring away, so thanks to him for that one too!

Pours a rich brown with an aggressive light tan head that eventually drops to a film, leaving some nice lace spots. Sweet, spicy aroma, with raisins, brown sugar and bread. Sweet dark fruit flavour has touches of raisin, sweetbread and spice. In fact its positively like a dubbel, and not too bad for it either. What hopping is there is certainly very light, as there's only the mildest of bites in the finish, and it can't hold up to the sweetness. There's also a slightly grassy quality to it, which may be hops, or may be faint skunking (either way I thought it added to the beer).The body seems to suit the flavours well with its medium weight and pleasing carbonation.

Another 'not quite what I expected' beer on a night that seemed full of them, but I really enjoyed this BSDA / dubbel hybrid, and found it ridiculously drinkable considering its ABV. A touch more heft to the flavour and this one would be competing with some of the better dubbels out there, but as it stands it seems more dubbel-Belgian strong dark lite. (1,154 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was left after a tasting at my house. Best before end 07. Tihs pours a slightly ambered brown color with a billowing 4.5 finger head that falls to gererously coat the beer. The nose is malty, with some roasted and some slight sweet raisin tones along with some peppery tones. I like the flavor. There are raisin tones, but they are creamy. Slight pepperyness comes through as well. the feel is thick, with very nice creamy texture. The carb is nice and light. I enjoy this one a lot. The flavors are very mellow and meld together well. I like this beer. (558 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The apperance is quite striking. A tall beige head sits on top of a qarnet brown beer. Held to the light this slighly hazy brew almosts glows. Carbonation is quiter intense as well.

Aroma ia sweet and tart and quite malty. I can detect some candied fruits.

Taste has a strong toffee sweetness. Quite malty and yeasty. Maybe its me but i think I can taste very sutlely mind you smoked peat. Or perhaps it's suggestive. Candied fruits also.

This medium weight brew is quite smooth and leaves a bitter aftertaste.

A good beer malty and sweet but perhaps a bit too sweet but none the less a good robust beer. (608 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml green magnum, best before date on the side of the label says 2007. The label also claims only 8% abv. That smarmy looking little gnome on the label has always kept me from picking up any Chouffe products in my travels before, but now that it is available locally I thought I'd drop my bias and give it a try. Even bought the gift pack with the official La Chouffe tulip glass, went all the way.

Attempted to pour some of this brune into the aforementioned glass, and was assaulted by a massive creamy off-white head. When it subsided I managed to get a bit more of the ale in. Very impressive head and head retention, plus the lacing is rather intense. The colour of the body is a cloudy deep mahogany, very inviting earthy/wood hue. Light effervescent nose, I'm picking up some sweet preserved fruit and some nuttiness, some yeasty phenols, and a light detergent character that dances in and out of the fruitiness. Only after it warms a great deal can some malt be discerned. The alcohol can be immediately tasted upon the first sip, and has a warming effect on the palate. There is also the presence of vodka preserved dried fruit, some earthy spiciness to the malt in the middle, and a light fruit finish that gets spicier on the aftertaste. There is a lighter mouthfeel than the alcohol content would bely, but it is also very smooth as well, no real bite to it, or burn. A drinkable brune, but pretty one-dimensional flavour-wise, I wish it had come in a smaller bottle to sample. It's not something I'd buy on a regular basis, but I'm sure I can put that tulip glass to some good use anyways. (1,622 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ML green belgian bottle purchased from Gary's in Madison... Pours a dark-brown and slightly purple hue with minimal head that left distinct lacing... smell was replete with currants, raisins, caramel, and dark brown sugars... slight alcoholic aroma is also noticeable...This artisinal Belgian brewery produces some pretty fine quality beers, and this one certainly fits the bill, complete with quality, character, and substance... taste is very complex and intricate, with a nice combination of figs, prunes, raisins, and noticeable malts and caramel... dehydrated fruits are also noticeable, and the malt factor really pours through... mouthfeel wasn't as rich or thick as some other samples from Brasserie d'Achouffe, but this one was still satisfying, with an extremely easy drinkability despite the 8% ABV which is more detectable in the nose than in the mouth... good stuff and an interesting depiction of the style... Recommended... (942 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (641 characters)

Photo of JayQue
4.12/5  rDev +4%
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. (868 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a dark brown colour with a strong reddish tinge... Creamy tan head poured big and foamy but fades to a thin layer...

Aroma - Sweet and roasted malts, toffee, figs, banana hints, brown sugar, slight vanilla notes...

Taste – Malty, toffee, slight sweetness, treacle, spicy, slight aniseed hints, bitter aftertaste, some nutmeg...

Feel - Quite sharp. Medium body. Very drinkable....

Overall - An excellent beer.... Recommended.... (500 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.96/5  rDev 0%
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... (1,236 characters)

Photo of Sludgeman
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best before Jan 2016. Poured into a tulip.

Another solid d’Achouffe beer! A beer I will drink again, but not outstanding in any characteristic. 3.75

A – Pours a dark opaque brown with a mousey tan one-finger head, dies down to a constant thin layer, good carbonation, some average lacing 3.75

S – Bready, yeasty, slight spice/phenolic 4.25

T – A heavier Belgian pale. Just a hint of molasses sweetness. 3.75

MF – Medium bodied, with a dry finish. Sharp in the middle. 3.75 (487 characters)

Photo of bditty187
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (1,273 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
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. (265 characters)

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.