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McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.

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very good

952 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 952
Reviews: 505
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 37
Gots: 87 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 952 | Reviews: 505 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Just like irish stouts and belgian strongs, nothing is quite like a scotch ale from scotland. But one the closest is mcchouffe. technically its a belgian scotch style winter ale, but it is quite good. the scotch ale flavors come out but are a little hidden by hop flavors and excessive carbonation. sips a little abrasive as I think it is overcarbonated and feels watery for a scotch style, but it does have the warming effect of a wee heavy or a winter ale. This is good beer, but not quite accurate to its claimed style, but a good valiant attempt. worth buying

Photo of ryanismean
2.71/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep hazy brown with a nice foamy head. Aroma is a little odd, not quite what I was expecting. It definitely smells Belgian, but I'm detecting some strange aromas of buttery fruit that I wasn't expecting. It's almost like someone took an overripe banana and sauteed it in butter. As much as I like bananas Foster, it isn't what I'm really looking for in a beer. It isn't unpleasant, but it's odd and I don't think it's right. I get the feeling this isn't what this beer is supposed to smell like.

Taste...well, I don't know what to say. I actually gagged on my first sip. I don't think that's ever happened before. It came across far too sweet, and overly buttery. I'm thinking diacetyl, but I dunno. I got over the funky flavor, and proceeded to finish the glass. Ignoring the bananas Foster, it displays a pretty pleasant malty flavor, a grainy caramelness that matches nicely with the super-esters which are hammering my palate. I can see what the brewmaster is going for, but something is just off about this bottle. I love estery Belgian beers, but this one just has some funk that seems horribly misplaced.

Mouthfeel is actually quite nice, thick and almost meaty but not too chewy. I like it. As far as drinkability, well, after I got past the initial shock of the off-flavor, I think I can finish this. But I get the feeling I may have grabbed the wrong bottle. I don't know what could have caused this, but I really like all the other Chouffe beers, so I am prepared to call this one an anomaly and try it again...but for now I can only judge it on what I have in front of me. Not so great.

Photo of kundabuffer
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily drinkable and mellow with an interesting malty taste. The nose is rather grainy and even "stinky." There's a subtle element of the taste that seems a bit out of place but this is somehow subsumed within the other flavors. It could use a bit more carbonation, I think. In any event it tastes unique and I'm enjoying it.

Photo of Lupe
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown with coppers hues when held up to the light. Dense frothy head quickly shrinks to a thin sheet, and leaves sticky lace all over the glass.

Aroma of fruit and wine - very sangria-like. Sweet malts and a hint of caramel. Very pleasant.

Starts with a slightly sourness and mild bitterness. This gives way to sweet malts - dark fruit, candy, and burnt caramel. Light yeast flavor and a hint of pepper. Alcohol peeks in adding a bit of Scotch flavor. Finishes spicy sweet - like ginger ale.

Light-medium in body, smooth and creamy. Good carbonation. Great drinkability, enjoyable, and a very interesting beer.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, it's uh, interesting. That's certain. There's strange spice combination in the taste that seems like someone weeded their garden and threw whatever they pulled into the brew kettle.

Ok, that sounds a little bad, but it tastes like dandelion or some similar plant was thrown in the pot. Spice aside, the malt follows that of a scotch ale with with sweet roasted caramel and chocolate. I can't tell if there's any smoked malt, but I wouldn't put it past this beer to have a little. Worth a try if you want an odd twist on the classic brown abbey ale.

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

I have had this beer for a good while in my fridge, and this seems like a good time to try it. I am actually drinking it from a McChouffe glass that I won in a raffle last spring, so what could be better? Here we go...

Appearance: The beer pours with a small head of tan bubbles that fell quickly back into the clear brownish-garnet color beer. After the head fell, there was a slow procession of bubbles heading for the surface that leaves a small island in the middle of the glass.

Aroma: My first impression of the aroma was that of spices mixed with some mild oxidative aromatics. As the beer starts to warm a bit, there are some more sweet caramel notes coming out along with the alcohol. As the beer warms further, the oxidative aromatics start to add more complexity with some sherry notes and some dried fruit.

Taste: The flavor is dominated by the malt with some sweet caramel being the major player. I get some spiciness in the flavor as well, but this (I believe) is as much from the alcohol as from any hops. There is a defined alcoholic warming that sets in on the back of the throat, and sticks with you for quite some time. The finish is balanced by the alcohol as much as anything, so there is some serious sweetness lingering on the back of the throat to coat it and slow the effects of the alcohol.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. It is what it is...a Belgian Scottish Ale. It definitely has a lot of Wee Heavy character, and thankfully has a lack of the floral Belgian yeast character that would ruin this presentation. I like the Scottish styles, so I would certainly try this beer again as it is in that realm.

Photo of brantadid
3.06/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a brownish ruby color. Quite dark. Very thin, white head diminishing very quickly.

Sweet, malty nose. Yeast is present but hardly overpowering. Some dark fruit in nose.

Pretty high carbonation. Nice fizzy quality to this beer. Very sweet toasted malts on the front palate followed by some chocolate and fig flavors. Warmed a bit to reveal a slight sour quality.

Very light mouthfeel. Not viscous at all. Rather thin, but nice.

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

A:This one pours a very dark reddish brown with a decent amount of tan head that dissipated pretty quickly. There is quite a bit of lacing with this one.

S: This one has a very pleasant aroma with a fruity type smell.

T: After having its cousin LaChouffe in the past I was looking forward to this one. It definitely did not disappoint. I wouldn't call the flavor complex, it tastes the same from beginning to end. Good thing that the taste is that of a fantastic Belgian Ale. The score would be higher if the flavor was slightly stronger.

M: The viscosity of this one is almost perfect for my tastes. Its not too thick or too thin. There is also some carbonation in the mouth that adds to the mouthfeel of this one.

D: The relatively low carbonation after the pour and very slight warming effects of the alcohol in this one make it very drinkable.

I find it hard to believe I liked this more than LaChouffe. The lower carbonation and deeper flavor put this one even a step above it. I will be having this one again.

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

A - A dark brown to black with red highlights when held to the light. Served in a McChouffe chalice at the Brick Store (perfect pour). Nice head that fell quickly and left a nict tan lace around the glass the entire way down

S - Malty up front with coffee and fruity smells..there were raisins or plums in there

T/M - The taste was awesome. Very creamy and full with little carbonation, Had a upfront taste of coffee with a hint of toffee and plums or raisins

D - A very drinkable brew I could have several in a night. I enjoyed the last sip as much as the first

Photo of bruachan
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i have no idea how long i've had this. i can't remember the last time i visited the place the price tag says i bought it from. hopefully it was kept well

huuuge carbonation keeps a vibrant head alive. it's tight and creamy and may actually be growing as i look at it. it's a bone color and the beer below it is a very nice mahogany

the aroma is initially fruity and malty, and shortly behind it comes the hops. spicy, green. then i get a wave of the typical (and wonderful) rochefort roasty, soft chocolate aroma

i can taste the "mc..." but it's not definitive. i would suggest, however, that this beer was fermented fairly cool for a belgian. the flavor is quite malty. ok, so this does seem alot like a wee heavy fermented with a belgian yeast

Photo of garbercury
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in a Chimay chalice from a 750 ml bottle. Thanks Vintage Beer and Wine for the opportunity to try this one..

A--Deep reddish-brown, two finger head that disappated very quickly, not really any lacing.

S--Nice aroma, fruity almost a bit of cherry in the aroma

T--Still taste that cherry flavor in the beer, good taste

M--Thin and lots of carbonation

D--This is pretty good beer, if you enjoy belgians like me, this is definitely worth a try

Photo of joe1510
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Binnys Orland

Best before 2009

McChouffe pours a crimson red with glowing ruby highlights when held to the light. This beer is surprisingly clear but it has been sitting in the fridge for awhile now so I'm sure the yeast has dropped. A one finger ecru head formed on a rather aggressive pour and faded to a skimming pretty quickly.

Interesting aromas come from this beer. Reminiscent of a scotch ale, of course I guess that's where the name came from. Big dark bread doughy malts along the lines of pumpernickle with that nice spiciness. It's hard to pull things out because the aroma isn't all that pronounced. After a quick swirl I do pick up a lactic quality of cream and a touch of peat. A little spicy yeastiness fades in and out in the background.

The flavor is more along the lines of a Belgian than the nose would suggest. Doughy malts are the base for this brew. On top of this dominant base I get hints of powdery and spicy yeast. Spicy warm alcohol and a hint of copper on the finish. The flavors just don't seem to be enough.

Medium bodied with an incredibly airy smooth feel on as it hits the tongue. Goes down smooth.

Good flavor although a little weak helps this one go down pretty easy.

This would be an excellent brew if the flavors were a little more bold. Mcchouffe is a hybrid Scotch/Abbey ale but the flavors are much weaker than what I'd expect from either of those styles.

Photo of ericj551
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

McChouffe pours a clear light brown with a foamy head that doesn't linger. The aroma is slightly metallic caramel and roasted malts, not a lot of hops and some fruity, yeasty esters. The flavor is slightly sour and bitter up front, giving way to sweet dark fruity malt. There is some yeast flavor but its in the background. Creamy and smooth, there is a hint of alcohol flavor, but not too much, the beer is a smooth 8.5 %.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky brown with red hues and a 3/8 inch white to off-white froth. Aroma of rum, rasions, butter, toffee, wild yeast, sweet dark fruits. All present but all weak. This is not an in your face aroma beer. Flavor is equally restrained and mild but well balanced and not lacking in complexity. Sweet dark fruits and toffee dominate. Some candy and leather. Yeast is a very important factor. A little weak for my tastes but very drinkable and pleasurable. Light bodied. Not warming at all. No hint of an 8% abv.

$3 at Maduro in a McChouffe glass.

Photo of cjgator3
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Green capped 750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Pours a dark and murky brown color with a light tan head. The aroma is malty with some dark fruit and a touch of spices. The taste is pretty complex with some dark fruits and a nice dry and spicy finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied and heavily carbonated. Overall, this is a tasty brew that is recommended.

Photo of dnichols
4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a 330 ml into a lightly chilled mug.

A: Pours a beautiful deep ruby red that doesn't let much light. Head is fluffy at first, light tan.

S: Sweet with a nice aroma of candy sugar along with a berry fruit smell. Very malty aroma with just a hint of clove.

T: Quite a surprise. Rich malty flavor upfront, complements by complex fruity flavors. A refreshing blend of cherry and light chocolate taste finishing with a with a nice toffee flavor. This was a real treat.

M: Medium-bodied and smooth from start to finish. It rested nicely in my mouth and every sip was a joy waiting to happen. Limited bite on the backside with not lingering sour aftertaste.

D: I expected a beer more like the strong pale ale from the same brewery that I have grown to enjoy. I was surprised by a beer that blew by my expectation and became an instant favorite

Overall: I need to sample this beer again…and again…and again.

Photo of basica
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am a lil tipsy whilst writing this review; I had the 75cl of 8.5 ABV Mc Chouffe with only a
small slice of cheese and no water in 20-30 mins. However, I have to confess that I kinda like
this kinda tipsy feeling. The Mc Chouffe is good... yes better than a number of the Belgian
Dark Ales in fact and may well be in my top 10 list; that I will think over when I am more sober.
When I opened this bottle of Mc Chouffe I was plain disappointed due to the slightly dirty cap
with rusted inner edges; note that it was well ahead of its freshness date which is in 2009 April.
I did not want to expect too much. I served this Strong Dark Ale in my Watou St Bernardus Glass
and the La Chouffe pours out almost all black with a nice thick head with good retention. Besides
the bubbly looking foamy head, it was quite a looker. The smell was not as promising with the head
around as it was predominantly yeast. Without too much head the smell was fruity (plums and/or
raisins) and malty with maple sweetness. The taste was pretty focus on the dark malts and maple
sweetness along with a sufficiently strong (though could have been stronger) fruitiness. I just
love the way the maltiness, maple sweetness and fruitiness as well as the strength of the beer
blended together to form a fantastic tasting experience. The entry of the taste was malty and
sweet (dark sweetness) and the finish was soothing. I have to admit that if the fruitiness was
more pronounced it would have been a 10 for sure. The aftertaste was plums and raisins and after
lingering on for some time, becomes grapes. some malt and maple sweetness present too; very nice.
I had a small piece of Philly cheese to go with it in the middle and the malts and maple sweetness
stand up really well with the cheese. The first sip was not as promising but the more I drank it
the more it tastes better and the more tipsy I get. The mouthfeel was another greatness; apt
level of carbonation topped with a nice medium to full body thickness and light creaminess and
very slight stickiness yet not detracting the extreme smoothness in the mouth and down the throat;
almost perfect. I am close to giving this a 10 and I wonder if the bad bottling and slightly rusted
cap inadvertently make things better? I will never know till I try another of this 75 bomber. It's
a Saturday night; some work up my sleeve but I think I am a lil tipsy to be doing work; yes too
good for me to sip on it over an hour with food and water. Signing off here... (still pretty tipsy)

Photo of ski271
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Zeno’s in State College
A: Murky chestnut-brown with 1 cm foamy, light tan head that diminishes to a thin film rather quickly.
S: Very mild. Light yeast & roasted malt with hints of cherry and tobacco.
T: Sweet malts with light fruit. Prune & roasted chestnuts. Light caramel, citrus and yeast.
M: Medium body, moderate-low carbonation, lightly astringent.
D: Served way too cold, I think. Muted the aroma too much. But that’s no fault of the beer. Liked it once I let it sit for a while.

Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into La Chouffe tulip glass:

Pours cloudy light brown with a thin, lasting head. Some spots of lacing stick to glass.

The smell is of carmelized grain and some fresh-cut grass.

The taste is of caramel candy with a grainy backing. Coriander spiciness with brown sugar mix in. Finishes with a sweetened spicy kick.

The body is smooth and sweet.

Another nice brew from Beligium (though doesn't quite stand up to La Chouffe and other some other Belgians that come to mind - nice, but a tad too sweet, IMO.)

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

Had this on tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours an orange brown color with very good head retention and good lacing. The nose is a bit backward initially, but one gets a hint of sweetness and Belgium spices. Smells quite enticing actually. On the palate this is a very nice beer indeed. I get some milk chocolate, citrus and a hint of cherry. There is also a bit of tartness, which keeps the sweetness at bay and keeps the beer from becoming tiring to drink The beer has a nice plush mouthfeel to it, and the abv. is well disguised. It comes across as quite drinkable, and frankly was too soon gone before I noticed it. A very nice offering Brasserie d'Achouffe.

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

a sort of blondish - brown ale
slight sweet molasses and spice
noteable hop flavor
with earthen pepper bite

some slight fig favor
but nothing too sweet

a well balanced moderate
very easy too drink

sweet on the palatte
with a good carbonation

a nice drink with dinner
or aperitif situation

Photo of mizzoueng
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Brown / Caramel in color with a light tan head. Head retention was poor. I got a good 1/2" of head during the pour, but it didn't stay for long.

Smell - Malty, spicey, some earth tones. Not overwhelming, very good balance and hid the alcohol.

Taste - Good. Roasted malts and some spice were blended well with some phenols that were hard to place. I got some yeast flavors once in a while, I think it was just a hint that was hard to place with all the other flavors that were present.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, heavy, thick. Served in a wineglass, this is a sippers beer.

Drinkability - Good. I really enjoyed this beer. At 11 bucks a bottle its a little pricey to drink often, but I wouldn't turn it down. I just wish it came in a regular sized bottle.

Photo of kajerm
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle at the Mundelein beer tasting, pours dark caramel brown. Ratebeer says this is a Scotch Ale, which makes sense with the name, but doesn't really fit the beer.

Aroma was dark malt sweetness and some belgian yeast esters. Alcohol is perceptible. If this is a Scotch Ale (and I'm going to go with BA and say it's not), then it's the most belgian scotch ale in existence.

Tastes like it smells, heavy malts and esters. My friend said it's a lot like La Chouffe (which I didn't get to try), only darker.

The mouthfeel is heavy and chewy, pretty standard for the style (either one.)

As is typical for a BSDA (or a Wee Heavy for that matter), not super-drinkable owing to the ABV and the sweetness.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.18/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - A medium head a top a very cloudy garnet brew. No lacing.

S - Cranberries, cigarettes, currants and cherries. Ugh.

T - Slightly malty wiht a bit of fruit: cherries, currants and cigarettes. Well the last one isn't really a fruit. It is a subtle flavor, but it is a crappy one. Aftertaste is slightly malty with a bit of cigarettes.

M - A little hars, medium bodied, a tad frothy and not very refreshing.

D - It tastes like fricking cigarettes! Come on!! This is just absurd. I guess I see why they have the Scottish element. If you coat anything with cigarettes it suddenly earns the qualifier of "Scottish." Ridiculous. Did I mention that I hate cigarettes?

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 952 ratings.