McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
McChouffeMcChouffe

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BA SCORE
89
very good

998 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 998
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 40
Gots: 115 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 998 | Reviews: 515
Photo of themotherculture
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Uniquely fruity with cherryy hints perhaps. Interesting.

Photo of sbrotschul
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an interesting year ... my wife is in northern France on a teaching exchange through the Fulbright program, allowing me to visit from the US during vacations. I picked up a small selection of beers and a couple of glasses that were suggested by the store owner of an excellent bottle shop in Tournai, Belgium. (See below for my description of the shop and how we found it.)

My wife pointed out Chouffe, as her eye was drawn to the gnome on the label. Unofficially, this is our "Year of the Gnome," so we picked up a Mc Choufee, a La Choufee, and a tulip glass (with gnome bending over) created by Brasserie d'Achouffe in Belgium. I served this along with foie gras and date jelly on toast.

Appearance: (5.0). The initial pour was perfect, with a fluffy brown head about to poke through the brim of the glass. A nice carmel/ mahogany brown color, which made the gnome bending over on my glass, look as if he was gardening in dark soil.

Smell (3.5). Light, earthy, smell with hints of brown sugar, and figs.

Taste (3.5). Hints of carmel and fruits poke through with a slight alcohol breath upon finishing.

Mouthfeel (4.0). Great carbination -- not too many bubbles, but a fun finish

Overall (4.0). A good beer. I'll buy more on my next trip.

*** Le Moine Austère ***
Just up the road from us in Beligum, is a wonderful bottle shop called the Austere Monk (I'll review it after BA adds it: Le Moine Austère, Rue Dorez 8, Tournai, Belgium) (a review: http://www.monnuage.fr/point-d-interet/le-moine-austere-a41282). My wife and kids found the shop while touring the Grand Place and visiting the Christmas village. The family was excited to bring me to the store and even sent a few photos of the wall of bottles.

As I looked at the selection, I instantly wished that I knew more about Belgium beers. I understand a little French and shopkeeper was willing to bring to me some of the local beers and the traditional favorites. (Side note: it is *very* helpful to have a wife that speaks and understands French!) She pointed out which beers were still made by monks (down to five, she said), and those breweries which tend to create craft beers. She loves to make gift baskets, filled with beers, glasses and other treats. I can't wait to return!

Photo of steelcutoats
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought my taster of Mc Chouffe at my favorite neighborhood speakeasy, The Headkeeper, in downtown Greensburg. I had already sampled the wonderful La Chouffe, and was eagerly awaiting my second sampling from the Brasserie d'Achouffe.

I grabbed my trusty snifter and popped the top. The pour was smooth and left a nice creamy head which shortly thereafter dissipated. There was no lasting lacing on the inside of the glass, but I'm pretty sure that was due to the fact that the glass had just been washed. The smell was reminiscent of a Flemish sour brown ale, but not over powering. The taste was a bit sweet, and not as sour as I thought it would be. This beer is very well balanced.

Like all of the craft beers and imports that I've enjoyed in the past, this one is definitely a keeper. I'm going to buy a bottle of each and cellar them to see how they improve with age.

Photo of geexploitation
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew is tasty indeed, but I'm not sure why it's garned so much attention. It's good, though. The color of McChouffe is very appealing -- it's a deep amber color, like a thick, spiced homemade apple cider. The head is signficant but not terribly aromatic. I get some hints of date out of the head, but that's about it. The taste is by far the best aspect of this beer: slightly sweet and highly malty, it asserts itself immediately on the palate and then fades to a nutty finish. Just as quickly as it asserts itself, however, it fades to nothing more than a tingling on the back of the palate. This beer feels very nice on the tongue and is smooth and rinkable.

...However, the flavor profile of this beer, along with its fast dissipation on the palate, bring to mind, to me, a session beer rather than a Belgian ale. This beer would be highly drinkable in a low-alcohol version that could be consumed in many pints over the course of an evening. As a high-alcohol beer, it has to lose some points in my mind... there's no reason to choose McChouffe over some other sumptuous Belgian beers.

Photo of darklordlager
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

75 cl bottle, which erupted after it was opened....

Pours a dark brown colour, with a large head that fell down to 1mm after a minute or two...

Smells of candy, oranges, and some other fruits....

An evident tangy-ness hits you up front, then a blend of caramel flavours with a citrusy, mildly spicy finish.
A citrusy alcohol flavour is revealed as it warms...

An overall pleasant Belgian, not something I would actively seek out again though.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of joe1510
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml
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 Bierman9
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

McChouffe has a rich, deep mahogany McColor, and a prodigious, rocky tan head. Head seemed to last a seriously long time, and lacing was top shelf! The nose was quite pronounced, with a good maltiness assaulting the nostrils. Pretty good body, imo...just about medium. There's a tiny bit of McCarbonation attacking the tongue, yet it is still fairly McCreamy. I seem to pick up a bit of malty sweetness, and ever-so-subtle peatiness, and some dark-fruit type of flavors. Finish is somewhat dry, and the flavors, in general, don't seem to be too pronounced. I like my Belgians to have some whack, but this one doesn't seem to have it.

overall: 3.85
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5

439

Photo of davidchollar
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into my chimay chalice, this belgian strong dark looks really good. perhaps a shade lighter than other darks, closer to a dubbel in appearance. deep mahogany with a thick tan head that never settles.

big nice aroma is obvious before i am even done pouring. typical, nice belgian smells. toasty bread, raisins, prunes, smells rather sweet, no real trace of alcohol in the nose. so far so good, but this one loses points for taste. not sure what it is exactly, but there is an unexpected bitterness right up front that sort of throws off the whole taste. not what i expect after quaffing, and although it is still quite nice and complex, i just don't like the taste compared to others of this style.

this is smooth and easy to drink. listed here at 8%, the bottle says 8,5%. overall not bad, but not a lot of character by itself. great with a sharp cheese.

Photo of dblinkhorn
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml into my McChouffe glass.

Appearance - Pours a muddy brown color with a touch of amber in it. The head is massive (due partly to the very tall and thin glass) at about four fingers. It slowly evaporates and leaves excellent lacing behind. The head itself is extremely silky and is an off-white/eggshell color. There is an average amout of carbonation activity within the beer. And the color of the beer is a dark, very clear, brownish amber.

Smell - Lots of sourness and a decent amount of alcohol on the nose. What little hop aroma there is seems to be somewhat floral. The malt smell is alos very elusive, but has a slightly toasted smell to it.

Taste - Again sourness up front. This slowly gives way to a powerful nutty flavor (mostly peanut and almond). The hops have a mostly bitter character, with only slight floral notes. They are fairly subdued, however. The malt is again and as well fairly subdued. Toasted and slightly rich in flavor, and definitely a back burner attribute of this beer. The most impressive taste about this ale is the strong nutty flavors. The finish and aftertaste are dominated by sourness and earthiness from the yeast. Moderate alcohol burn accompanies the entire taste.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is very well done with this particular ale, and it has a very smooth mouthfeel even with a fairly light body.

Drinkability - The sourness and nuttiness may get a little overpowering after drinking a decent amount of this stuff, so I think that this takes away from its overall drinkability, but certainly not from its flavor alone.

Overall, this is a decent brown ale in all categories except for its superb nuttiness and curious sourness. It has decent drinkability and a very good mouthfeel. Recommended.

Photo of mizzoueng
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
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 dgilks
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saw this eer in the store. Am looking forward to their upcoming Tripel, thought this would be fun to try. It was a medium brown color with a thick white head. It had a malty caramel odor and a sweet taste with some spice in the background. Felt OK in the mouth. I thought it was a good, but not great beer

Photo of Douberd
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured, from a 330 ml bottle. Very dark brown colour which turns to a deep amber against the light, with minimal bubbles. Head is brownish, leaving a light lacing on the glass as it fades out (fast). Nice sweet aroma of vanilla and fruit. Taste is bitter and follows the aroma, the 8% alcohol is not so obvious. Medium thin bodied on palate,lightly carbonation. Overall a great brown beer that I would happily suggest.

Photo of spointon
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one from a 750ml green bottle into a stemmed New Belgium globe glass.

A= This ale poured a cloudy garnet/brown color with a 1.5" frothy off-white head. The head slowly dropped and after a long time disappeared completely. No lacing to speak of.

S= Aromas were of caramel maltiness smothered in Belgian yeast funk and alcohol. The yeast produced a lot of bubble gum and tropical fruitiness.

T= This is a beer that moved through many stages in each sip. The sweet/caramel malts led off, followed soon by a short and slightly unpleasant sour dryness. Then midway the phenols kicked in and swung it back to the sweet and fruity side. The finish was mildly sour, spicy, and quite dry. Up and down and back and forth, these flavors were all over the place!

MF= Medium body (though just heavy enough to call it so) with a super crisp effervescent carbonation level.

D= I have to admit I was disappointed by this ale. I am a huge fan of the other Chouffe beers and I also love Scottish and Scottish-inspired ales so I probably had some difficult expectations to meet. Anyway, I would drink this again if I saw it on tap just to compare but otherwise this is one I will likely skip in the future.

Photo of jnn4v
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice mahogany / medium brown color with a hint of read. Moderate head filling 1/4 of the glass. Some sediment and haze.

S: Smells more Belgian than Scottish, but definitely has elements of each. Belgian yeast, some spice, dark dried fruits, a hint of spice, and Belgian candy sugar.

T: Slightly coppery on the first taste. Candy sugar, some Belgian yeast, and general malty sweetness. Mild hop bitterness. Slightly numbing from the alcohol. Hints of caramel as well.

M: Moderate carbonation and decent body.

D: Seems reasonably drinkable, although the alcohol flavor and numbingness.

Photo of wedge
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
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...

Photo of ElGordo
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750ml capped bottle into my La Chouffe tulip glass. Brownish-ruby body is topped by a huge, foamy tan head that disippates into a good one-finger or so after a couple of minutes. Good carbonation. Aroma of some lightly sweet, medium-bodied malt, tasty Chouffe Belgian yeast, and an underlying clove spiciness. Palate features the dueling influences of some rich, lightly roasted caramel malt, a bit of Euro hops, and the somewhat overpowering yeast. Notes of clove, white pepper, biscuit, and a touch of caramel. Massive alcohol presence on the finish leads to a nice warming sensation all the way down the throat. Nice, medium body is not too fizzy and conveys the flavor quite well. I was, um, forced to finish the 750 bottle by myself. Not like it was punishment.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this after a similar (750 ml) bottle of the blonde. Very nice pour, with a good head, but nothing I couldn't keep in the glass.

I drank it at the end of dinner (chicken kabobs) and onto the patio with the kids. Although the head disappears after a short while, the beer tasted great.

Again, I don't know how they hide the higher ABV in such a good tasting beer. The chocolate/cocoa taste you expect from a beer with half the alcohol content.

Not too heavy, with just the right amount of taste left behind.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

Pours a rich chestnut brown with a fluffy tan head that thins, but maintains. Thick lacing on the glass.

Rather light malty aroma with a mild nuttiness with some fruity and bready tones.

Mild nutty malt flavor upfront leading into light bready and fruity flavors. Rather subdued flavor for a strong ale.

Full body, plenty of carbonation.

A pleasant and drinkable Belgian, but with a rather ordinary flavor compared to others in this style. Still, I had no problems consuming the entire bottle...

Photo of aracauna
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is kind of a run of the mill Scotch ale. Dark, cloudy reddish brown with a nice glow. The slightly tan head is thick after the pour but fades completely although slowly. A mild bit of peat, wood. Thin but not bad. Not rich enough or enough complex malt to be a good scotch, but it's a easy drinking scotch ale that should go well with mild beef dishes.

Photo of markaberrant
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - opaque in my snifter, bubbly light tan head, leaves a bit of lacing behind.

S - fruity, figgy, some fresh spice, almost-saaz like, not a ton of "dark" fruit aromas, but still pretty nice

T - very "grapey" to start, vinous, not super dark or rich, but this isn't a huge beer, so ok, low bitterness, aftertaste is fairly short

M - very light, mouthfilling carbonation, gentle prickles, smooth alcohol, dry finish

D - about as good as any dubbel, not really big or bold enough to be a dark strong

I'm not a big fan of dubbels in general, I'd sooner have the bigger, bolder taste of a dark strong, or else the lighter/brighter/hoppier flavours of a tripel/blonde. Regardless, this is a nice dubbel - if they are your thang, you definitely need to give this one a try.

Photo of ADU
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Complex flavors a bit weird for a scotch ale. But good!

Photo of bobsy
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 998 ratings.