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
89
very good

865 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 865
Reviews: 490
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 29
Gots: 53 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of McChouffe Alström Bros
Ratings: 865 | Reviews: 490 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%

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.

JohnGalt1, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

rolltide8425, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -2%

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta.

Pours a somewhat hazy brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of mildly spicy caramel malts with good amounts of brown sugar and hints of pears and green apples. As it warms the spices come out even more in the nose.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth but muted caramel malt flavors up front with a hint of toastiness are joined shortly by brown sugar and mild spices. Midway through the sip hints of pears and green apples come into play and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a good beer that wasn't quite a BSDA but obviously wasn't a BSPA. Interesting, nicely done, and worth a shot.

glid02, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of Derek
4.3/5  rDev +8%

A: Dark ruby. Fluffy off-white head continues generating, leaving some nice lace.

S: Prunes & caramel, with a wine-like grape odour.

T: Initially well balanced, fading to a slight bitter aftertaste, with a small touch of tartness. Lots of prune flavour, very Belgian. Dark caramel, with a burnt/sweet taste.

M: Moderate body, a little syrupy, yet sort of creamy. Plenty of carbonation.

D: Awesome. And quite dangerous at this strength.

I highly recommend this one.

Derek, Nov 20, 2005
Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +0.5%

The beer after disassociating itself from the 750ml dark green bottle sets in the glass a brilliantly clear brown color with a semi-creamy tan head piled high on the body, lace a thick and sticky sheet to obscure the glass. The aroma of yeast, hops, sweet malt, a bit of peat smokiness, all rolled up into one, crisp and fresh, the start is inconspicuous in its sweetness, the malts plentiful and the top fair to middling in its feel to the palate. The finish is unrelenting in its acidity, the hops pleasing it their spicy presence, quite dry aftertaste and a fine drinking beer.

Gusler, Jun 29, 2004
Photo of Brad007
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%

Pours into my hopfenstark glass, a darkish-red color with a thick head of foam that seems to stick around longer than usual.

Aroma is smooth and malty with hints of apple and raisin that stand out in the nose.

Taste is a bit strong upfront with some alcohol heat. Subtle taste of raisin and apple at the back of the throat. Kind of subdued though. Feels like it's missing something.

Mouthfeel: Raisin and apple with alcohol warmness, dominate the mouthfeel. I can't pick out much more.

Drinkability is there but I'm just not enjoying this as much as I want to. With some aging, I bet the flavors will come out more.

Brad007, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%

Poured into Watou chalice from 11.2 oz brown bottle. Liquid had a brown orange color, with sticky white head.

Smelled of funky yeast and bread. Not really the La Chouffe aroma though... Taste was really good anyway. Had a dubbel-type flavor, not too strong, nice.

La chouffe is one of my favorites, so I was happy to find this on sale in small bottles. They need to make more of these small bottles available (the big bottles are green and I don't trust them).

TurdFurgison, Aug 27, 2005
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +0.5%

THECPJ, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of wordemupg
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%

750ml bottle poured into corsendonk chalice aug24 2009

A dark brown, deep ruby red when held too light. lots of sediment, two finger head falls fast and leaves no lace.

S sweet malt, raisins, dark fruit, booze, yeast and caramel this is quite complex

T as it smells but more booze and yeast and the dark fruits are more pronounced

M/D good carbonation, but a little thin not bad overall but not great

this beer is a good value(10$canadian) and you should try it , its not amazing but well worth a try

wordemupg, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.18/5  rDev +5%

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark orange brown, nice long lasting tan head and lacing. Aroma of sweet and caramel hops, light and dark fruit, Belgian spice. Medium bodied. Dark fruit, hops, Belgian yeast, a touch of sweet malt throughout. They nailed a cross between a Belgian and Scotch ale. Flavors increase as the ale warms. Medium bodied. A nicely balanced, tasty ale. Well done.

LiquidAmber, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.7/5  rDev -7%

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip. 8.0% ABV, Best Before 2012.

Thanks to bnieman and his Dad for sharing this one!

A - McChouffe pours a hazy brown-amber color with a quickly fading off-white head. Great lace is left behind on the glass.

S - The aroma starts with a rich Belgian yeast and a spicy brown ale nose with moderate hops behind. This has a lot of mineral going on, much like a German pils.

T - Slight mineral pulls through into the flavor with a standard brown ale base. Belgian yeast spices it up adding, well, spice notes, and earthiness. Hops balance it out.

M - This medium-bodied and smooth-feeling brew is lightly dry but still maintains a smooth finish.

D - While this is a good beer, it's not something I'd be interested in having a whole lot of. One better split.

BeerFMAndy, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

atrocity, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Hopheadjeffery, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +0.5%

750 ml bottle, best before end 2013. Served in a tulip glass, the beer pours a murky reddish/brown color with a tan cola-like fizzy head. Head retention is good, with a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is dark fruit, brown sugar, caramel and a bit of spicyness. The brew tastes like caramel, dark fruit, nuts, bready malt, and a bit of nutmeg along with an earthy taste. There's also a slight bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and is well carbonated. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and enjoyable. I think it's a good solid brew.

bluejacket74, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

thagr81us, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours a hazy deep amber to brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, earthy and candy sugar. In the taste, earth, peet, malty, and a small candy sugar. A yeasty and sugar bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry earthy aftertaste. Almost saison like, small dry amlt and great.

OWSLEY069, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of tavernjef
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%

Dried blood brownish red with a medium soft-looking foamy cap that sits briefly leaving behind a big collar and thin skim. Lacing is minimal in big blobby things.

Aroma is dry and delicately soft with a semi-yielding date, prune, dark purple grapey fruitish backlay.

Taste is short, rounded in a softly darkened fruityness of red apple, purple grape, and lesser tarting fruity sugars. A bit sharp on the buds with a big carbonation hump in the middle. Finish is light and airy with a yeasty woodish dryness with a bit of fruit pits and skins trying to grab a bit of interest.

Feel is OK, the short-lived flavors don't help anything as it has a seemingly light/medium body with that hump of carbonation in the middle totally taking away what could be a fairly smooth ride.

Drinkability is a little less then the norm for a Belgian Dark ale. Quite plain, but seems like the effort is there and comes across well made, just not much going on with this one.

tavernjef, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

This one pours a rich, almost opaque chocolaty brown. Aroma is strong and malty and just a touch sweet. Flavor is rich, remarkably sweet but not cloying, strongly malty with hints of fruit and butterscotch and a nutty trace. There is just a tiny hit of hop bitterness. Very smooth and pleasant to sip.

Cyberkedi, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of claspada
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

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.

claspada, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

WOLFGANG, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of dgilks
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%

A beautiful deep, chestnut pour with a billowing pale tan head is what you get here. Some amazing lacing.

Banana, raisin, nutmeg and clove hit first in the aroma. Very fruity and sweet.

Raisins and other dark fruit mark their presence ion the flavour but it is unfortunately backed up by a slight but noticeable alcohol bite. Light hop bitterness which helps to offset the sweetness. Nice spice notes support the main act but it falls a little bit short of amazing.

A nice medium body is cut by above average carbonation. Carbonation is almost a little bit high but this isn't a problem.

A nice beer but I'm not pining for another bottle. There is some good flavour going on here but it doesn't stand up to some other brews and at 8% it does seem worth my while.

dgilks, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of spinrsx
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%

750ml Bottle from the SAQ Gatineau QC for 6.50$

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel/butterscotch and dark fruits. There is also a touch of banana and something along the lines of coconut. It ends with a slightly sweet and dark fruit aftertaste.

Overall – Quite enjoyable and a nice mix of flavours. It was a touch cloying as it warmed up, but still tasty. I'd drink this one again but there are other belgian darks I'd drink before it.

spinrsx, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Appearance – Beautiful dark, ruby brown with a good head that rose unpredictably.

Smell – The full array of BSDA aromas are here. The deep, dark fruits such as dates, figs, tobacco, etc, are laced with raw brown sugar and lay atop a wonderful, toasted malt base.

Taste – This is extra special. The taste goes as the nose goes, but there’s a little something extra going on at the tongue. There’s some big, alcohol-laced bread that comes out in a surprisingly big way, making this extremely complex, full, and satisfying.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied and chewy with an alcohol reminder makes this one feel amazing in the mouth.

Drinkability – I just went through a couple bad bottles today (two that I reviewed, the third one was so flat I figured it was defective and poured most of it out without rating it), so this was quite a treat. The bread especially that came out in the taste was a very unique flavor and well-appreciated.

Update – I first reviewed this in 2003 a month after joining the site so thought it would be interesting to re-review it with a 2004 vintage. It didn’t hold up nearly as well after tasting over 200+ Belgian ales over the course of the last year, but it was still a good beer and a joy to consume. I dropped most of my ratings by half points but still would recommend.

RoyalT, Sep 24, 2003
Photo of RBorsato
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%

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)

RBorsato, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of champ103
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%

A: Pours a dark brown color. At first a beige head forms and rises to about two fingers. The head recedes in an instant. Not much lace to speak of.
S: Dry wood with lots of yeast and sweet malt. Some spicy aromas as well. Very dank and musky. Like wet cloths. Not a lot of depth here.
T: Follows the nose. Some dry wood, malt, and yeast.
M/D: A medium body with a little to much carbonation. Not hard to sip on for the style.

Kind of nondescript malt, and not much more. Not bad, but nothing that really gets me excited.

champ103, Sep 18, 2009
McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 865 ratings.