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McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.

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

891 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 891
Reviews: 494
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 31
Gots: 57 | 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:
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: 891 | Reviews: 494 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hunteraw
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at The Elm Tree pub in Cambridge. I really like this brewery, so I was eager to give this one a try...

Appearance: Very deep garnet in color, with an enormous head. Surprisingly little lacing.

Smell: Rich and malty, with a hint of smoke and dark fruit. Belgian yeast filters through.

Taste: Scotch ale, with a Belgian twist? Caramel, raisin and fig. No smoke on the palate. Bitterness is well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: A little heavy after a while, but nice.

hunteraw, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of friendofthedevil
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Mmmm, mmmm, good. Nice brown color with hints of a deep red when held to the light. Smells a little malty but the taste! Ah! The taste! The taste! Excellent, to be exact. Slightly sweet at the start and then finishes with a nice hoppy note. And really, is it possible to go wrong with a beer championing gnomes on the bottle? Certainly not!

friendofthedevil, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of Antilochus
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Shared a 750mL bottle with a friendly Antwerp(en?) at Kulminator. Served in a McChouffe branded glass. Dark brown, moderately translucent look, head is tan and doesn't stick around. Malty aromas, bit of spice, caramel, etc. Sooo easy to drink, very dangerous, we slid back quite a bit at the bar.. well balanced and carbonated to ease it down. Classic Belgo.

Antilochus, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of lpayette
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, here's yet another beer that I've been cellaring for quite some time and in an effort to consolidate my collection, this beer's time is up.

Apppearance- dark brown with deep ruby hues. A bit too dark to show off the nice clarity within, but you can see through it still when held up to the light. Head is on the small side but there's still some lacing.

Smell- typical brown ale smells with malt dominating. Very little hop presence combined with earthy, and spicey yeast characteristics put the belgian twist on this one.

Taste- not nearly as flavor packed as I expected. It's surprisingly mellow, subdued, and I might even go so far as to say dull. It may have something to do with being cold aged for about a year and half in my beer fridge; I'm not sure, but this just wasn't as flavorful as I expected.

Not a bad choice, but not something I'll seek out again. The other offerings I've had from chouffe have been much stronger IMO.

lpayette, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of Absumaster
3.78/5  rDev -5%
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.

Absumaster, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of JRed
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The good ole Chouffe gnomes have done it again; brewed a delicious drink of a beer that is. Earthy colors with thick head that stays around for a while, what a good brown ale should look like. Not too overpowering of a smell but rather a soothing cocoa bean aroma. Mmmm, smooth, malty, coffee roast with a touch of chocolate spice for an aftertaste and I am transported to Belgium hanging out with midgets. No alcoholic bite to be found despite the 8.0% ABV, it is masked behind the deep flavors that coat the tongue. A tasty Belgian mudslide that's enjoyable any time of year.

JRed, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of Nipitato
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors located in Westborough, MA.

A: Extremely dark amber hue that is opaque. Dark tan head with quarter inch retention. An excellent looking beer.

S: A wonderful aroma. Prominently bready malt with a touch of caramel and crust. Dried cherries and raisin esters. No real hop aroma.

T: Sweet malt. Bready. Alcohol flavors are prominent. Some bread crust. Just a touch of pepper. Taste is sweet throughout with no hop flavor. Alcohol flavor replaces hops as a balancing agent. Just a touch of bitterness at the end. Dark fruit ester add additional complexity.

MF: Highly carbonated with a creamy mouthfeel. Quite mouthfilling. Clear alcohol warmth noticeable.

D, notes: This is a top shelf beer. It's heavy so its sessionability is limited but this is a great sipping beer.

Nipitato, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of philipquarles
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 75cL bottle into a tulip. It's very dark brown (nearly black) that has red hues when held to a light. A medium off-white head that disappears rather quickly, but leaves a reasonable amount of lacing.

Smells of sweet, caramelized sugar and malt.

Tastes very much as it smells. More muted caramel sugars with a slightly bready taste that becomes more apparent the longer one waits.

Mouthfeel is good; standard Belgian bruin thickness.

A bit too sweet for my palate, but definitely not offensive. A decent brew.

philipquarles, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany color, with a thin tan creamy head.

S: bready with some malt sweetness and a chocolate nuttiness with some dried cherries.

T: soft roasted malt nuttiness, with some fresh cherries, and chocolate. There was a nice malt sweetness, soft alcohol notes and ripe fruit coming through in the finish. The overall flavor was very refined and smooth.

M: light and creamy smooth in texture with a good carbonation.

D: An incredibly smooth and silky Belgian brown that went down effortlessly. Very good drinkability.

beerthulhu, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of pinotboy007
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Washington Street Purveyor, Lexington, VA.

A - Looks like root beer with a very nice, rocky head that settles to a ring; only a tiny bit of lacing; yeast floaties abound.

S - Spicy yeast with some cinnamon, pepper, smoked malt.

T = Sweet (not overly) and delicious. Has a nice cola, peat, syrup and modest hops.

M - Lightly creamy w/perfect carbonation that helps hold the beautiful "chorus of taste" together.

D - In spades, perhaps too drinkable! I can see this being swirled down year 'round with no problem. Cheers!

pinotboy007, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 Patrick999
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The last of the commonly available Chouffe offerings I've yet to try.

A - Poured into a goblet. Trademark Chouffe head, dark brown body. Head settles to a small cap, some concentric rings.

S - Roasted malts, some raisin. Maple also seems to want to come to mind. Notes of chocolate, prune, date. Doesn't smell like much cold but really opens up with a few degrees' warming.

T - Hah! Right away, there's that spicy Chouffe yeast. They use such a lively, distinct yeast - lots of clove, nutmeg, menthol. Reminds me of the N'ice Chouffe, though perhaps a bit tighter, which is saying somethihg. A little sweet maple syrup, but the spicy yeast character helps dry that out in the finish. Use of Goldings hops also noted - quite a different earthy hop character for a Belgian Dark.

F - Sits well on the palate with a deft touch for a full-bodied beer. Chouffe always nails the feel aspect.

D - Not your standard Belgian Dark, nevertheless, this drinks beautifully. Kick back, relax and enjoy the contents of the 750ml bottle. This cross between BSDA and Scottish Ale is not as daring an idea as the Houblon Chouffe, but the deft touch of a master artisan brewer is still quite evident here. You can't go wrong with Brasserie d'Achouffe.

Patrick999, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into tulips.

A = Dark clear oak brown with large light tan head made of foam, medium lacing.

S = Light spicy yeast smells including cinnamon, clove, black pepper, also thick smells of smokey malts, very good smells but not quite as pronounced as I would prefer.

T = Sweet light smokey-peaty malt, maple syrup but with a good bitter kick at mid-palate, less of the spicy tastes from the yeast than I expected from the smell. A very good dark strong beer.

M = Medium to medium-heavy body, burns tongue slightly, fair mouthcoating, creamy carbonation level.

D = A good drinkable beer for a relaxing evening.

Traquairlover, May 31, 2008
Photo of Slynger
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

McChouffe pours a deep, cloudy, brown color with a pink grapefruit tint to it. A big, aggressive, fuzzingly creamy, light tan lid comes with.

The smell is a delight. A touch of sweet caramel with plums, berries, and sweet grapefruit. Yeasty as well, with a touch of spice.

Creamy medium-full with loads of tickling and massaging carbonation. The taste has a light sweetness of caramel and plums with bittersweet toffee. More fruits show up pleasantly sour in the form of red apples. Lots of Belgian yeast with a bit of tingly-sharp spiciness.

McChouffe is a very nice beer. BSDA or Belgian Brown as the bottle claims, I don't really know? I do know that it has a great nose, a nice tasty balance, and a classic mouthfeel. Well done.

Slynger, May 23, 2008
Photo of MrMonkey
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Great Lost Bear, Portland ME.

Pours dark brown with brighter amber highlights. A one-finger light tan head fades rather quickly to a sticky ring, but leaves no lacing.

Smell is very faint, but I got some lightly roasted malts, Belgian yeast, and mild fruitiness: raisins, plums and dried cherries, perhaps. There's a very faint earthy smokiness in the background.

Taste is much like the smell: roasted malts and yeast up front, before a smoky spiciness, a bit of dried dark fruits, and a bitter finish.

Medium-bodied, smooth mouthfeel.

Pretty good drinkability. Another enjoyable beer from the guys at d'Achouffe.

MrMonkey, May 18, 2008
Photo of shroompod
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a rocky tan head. Some lacing. Dark Brown in color.

Smell is a faint sweet grain, Allergy sufferer.

I get some of the caramel malts on tasting. I can actually taste a touch of hops , which is odd (I usually can't detect hops in most Belgians).

Mouthfeel is a little thinner and lighter than I'd like.

Overall an easy drinking brew.

shroompod, May 14, 2008
Photo of RBorsato
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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)

RBorsato, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of jdubjacket
4.78/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ah, McChouffe. One of my first Belgians I ever had, and it still holds up. Pours a murky brown with a strong head. Smell is very sweet; sugar and malt mainly. Drinking this beer is like drinking subdued caramelized brown sugar. A very satisfying brew. Absolutely outstanding!

jdubjacket, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of windigo32
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Okay, I'm guessing they changed something... My bottle was brown and listed the ABV as 8.5%

A: The beer pours a deep copper color with a thick, bubbly head to it. Poured to the 25cc line in a Magic Chouffe glass, the head rose to the top and nearly crested the rim. Also, the bottle has a gnome on it. What could be better than that?

S: The beer has a fruity smell to it. If I didnt know any better, I would say apricots.

T: There is a nice sweet taste with a definate palate of roasted malts. You can also taste a slgiht roasted nut flavor. Despite the 8.5 ABV, you dont pick up any alcohol taste, something that can't be said for all higher proof brown ales.

M: There is light carbonation present with each sip of this one. Despite that, it is very smooth, almost silky as it goes down. It has a noticible body to it, even though it doesnt cling to the glass.

D: The beer drinks extremely easily. I was almost ashamed to look at the glass when I was finished tasting if for the review as it was empty and it had only been five minutes.

windigo32, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of ATPete
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Capped 750 ml bottle (before new packaging and supposed alcohol content change)

McChouffe is a go to as far as Belgian brown ales for me.

A- Amber brown, hazy with a nice off white head that lingers in patches.

S- Rather sweet, nutty, chocolatey, toasted. nice.

T- Smooth, warming, hearty. More notes of coffee and chocolate and some spice, its got some meat to it. The hops are present but the focus is blatantly on the malts. The 8.5 ABV warms the worst of moods.

M- Silky, weighty and very pleasant. A 750 ml bottle is a good serving choice alone or with a buddy.

ATPete, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of hopsleeroy
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dak earhty/reddish brown with a creamy off white head on top. Looks nice. Smells of earth and spices with sweet tones in as well. Tasted sweet mild caramel malt at first but phenols and peppery flavors were very present. Also had a fruity flavor of darker fruits but not a dark fruit cake flavor. Mouthfeel was creamy but still ahd good carbonation and I know I could drink a few of these. I'm really starting to enjoy Belgian Dark Ales and this one is tasty.

hopsleeroy, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of rodenbach99
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big 750 green bottle with a crown top

A: nice reddish-brown colour. clean beer
S: malty, spicy and some sugar smell
T: good malt taste, some hops, malt again, very nice clean beer
M: round, nice body,
D: nice belgian ale, good taste, good aftertaste. nice ale

rodenbach99, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of blakesell
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Belgian chalice.

Appearance- Beer pours a dark brown with reddish highlights when held to the light. Has a finger high head of foam that quickly dissapates to a swampy sludge patch with carbonation rising from the bottom. Lacing is glued to the sides of the glass.

Smell- Plum, grape and brown sugar come to the nose first thing, Chouffe yeasty esters that I am beginning to recognise at this point. Brown malts, rasin, a little bit of fig, and rose water.

Taste- Yeasty and alcoholic phenols become present a bit but it doesn't really detract from the taste. Much like the smell it has a nice brown malt/brown sugar flavor with the plum, rasin and fig. A bit of a burnt character that seems a bit different and that rose petal/rose water is pretty well present in the beer as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium thin bodied with a yeasty creamy mouthfeel. Highly carbonated with an acid bite.

Drinkability- While drinking this I found it hard on the 'drink a lot of this beer' scale. Many Belgians are like this but this one was a little high on the yeast content making it that much more difficult. 8.0% ABV also makes this one pretty hard to session.

blakesell, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of zeff80
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

zeff80, Feb 17, 2008
McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 891 ratings.