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McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

515 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 515
Hads: 1,021
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 14.61%
Wants: 45
Gots: 125 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of McChouffe Alström Bros
Reviews: 515 | Hads: 1,021
Photo of breakingbland
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet.

The 1-1/2 finger off-white head was composed of rather coarse bubbles. The beer itself was an opaque brown.

The aroma was not strong -- mostly malt with slight hops and tobacco.

The taste follows the aroma. It was sweet up-front. Slight hops and funk. Not an overly complex flavor profile.

The beer had a nice level of carbonation with a firm body.

Overall, this beer didn't quite live up to expectations, although I'd get it again. It offers a different take on a brown ale.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany pour with an off-white two finger head with nice retention and great lacing. Very malty nose with hints of Belgian yeast, brown bread, banana, nuts, toffee, caramel, and dark fruits. The taste follows suit, dominated by malty caramel sweetness. Hints of tobacco, dark fruit, molasses, Belgian yeast, bubblegum, banana, brown bread, and nuts round out the taste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate to fizzy carbonation with a syrupy sweet finish. Overall, this is a solid Belgian Bruin, albeit a bit sweet for more than one.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

I think this beer can only be properly presented whilst pronouncing its name in a crappy fake Scottish accent. It pours a deep sienna topped by a finger or so of khaki foam. The nose comprises toffee, light nuts, light brown sugar, light dark fruit, and a touch of Belgian yeast. The taste brings in more of the same, though the toffee seems to flatten out a bit and cover everything else in a fine veneer of itself. It all comes out spicily bland, but in a good way...if that makes any sense... The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a nice little brew, nothing in any way exciting, but I would definitely not turn down another if it were offered to me.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz. bottle served in my DT snifter. Best before end of 2007 indicated on the bottle. Poured the color of cola with a 1.5 inch loose, fluffy, off-white head that sizzled and popped as it receded. Some strands of sticky, random lacing present during the tasting. Nose is somewhat vinous and yeasty with a hint of oak - nose might be a little off. Flavor profile is difficult to describe - muted candi sugar, a little herbal, a little vinous, earthy/woody/must. Mouthfeel falls somewhere between light- and medium-bodied with a consistent background carbonation present from sip to swallow with a light, lingering burn at the back of the throat. Finish is on the dry side. Fair drinkability. Not sure if it's past it's prime, but it was interesting to say the least. Might need to re-compare with a more contemparary vintage.

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Photo of July2Nov
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy brown cola in color. with a foamy head.

Smell: Bready and sweet.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Lighter to medium in body. Clean. Slightly sweet and bready with notes of plum/raisins. Slight syrupy in the end. Good malts throughout it all.

Overall: Anything with a gnome on the label has my attention and this certainly did. It was a good beer with some good flavor, but nothing I would actively search out. Good overall.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a dark brown color with a tan colored head. The aromas were sweet and really interested me in the beer. The malts kind of gave me an earthy aroma too in the faint distance. The taste was on the sweeter side, a little more like a sweet version of an Abbey Dubbel. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth and found myself enjoying this brew for the most part. I don't know if I'd ever buy a whole lot of it but I'd try it again one day.

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Photo of lpayette
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in colour with an off-white head. Lots of carbonation. Aromas of caramalized malt, yeast, and cut grass. The flavor is an odd combination of sweet malt and spritzy saison-like flavors (citrus, yeast, etc...). It tastes good, but still somewhat muddled. I couldn't detect any of the smoke flavors that you'd get from a beer influanced by the Scotch ale style.

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Photo of peabody
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a really dark brown to black with a slight opaqueness and very fine bubbles/offwhite to tan.
Smell is raisin and caramel malt with a belgian yeast that burns the nose. Not very strong but this might be too cold.
Very average tasting with lots of caramel and nice mellow malty sugar. No hops or fruit here.
Mouthfeel is a bit oily but still finishes clean.
Drinkability is only OK but still worth a try.

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Photo of Squelch
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: dark brown. Tan Head. Nice lacing

Smell: dark candi sugar dominates the aroma.

Taste: nothing stand out. Dark fruits, Dried fruits.

Mouthfeel: Slighty harsh, Slightly astringent. Tingly.

Drinkability: not one I would get every day. The nose is amazing, but the flavor is lacking.

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Photo of iguenard
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

( 33/50, 8.5% alc/vol, Home) Unfiltered red ale that leaves a brown head of average height. Very fizzy. Metal, sugars (the belgian candi kind). Fresh, like cotton candy. Brown sugar, sugar canes. So sweet, the malt nuances are killed off almost completely, although it is quite tasty. Hops flavours are very good, kills sugars and adds a strong dry finish to the beer. Bee-wax, acidic palate. Very sugarry with some metallic tones due to alcohol (and since it's SAQ, its probably aged and badly handled). Definite sweet belgian strong ale. Would drink this warmer at next attempt. Good, but overdone in my opinion. Lets give this a try with coffee cakes and sweet deserts.

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Photo of stephens101
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm a big fan of LaChouffe, so let's see what it's other sibling has to offer. Dark brown in color with some dark red streaks at the very edges. The slight tan head clears off quickly and leaves a few small dots of lace to and fro. Aroma involves big dark fruits (cherries, grapes, figs) up front and a slight malty sweetness in the back. Tastes Vinous and sugary with a big alcohol heat in the middle. A bit of graininess exists. Goes down clean, dry and a bit thin. A Belgian Strong Dark that leaves a bit to be desired, especially when compared to it's lighter, spicier brother, but worth a try.

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Photo of granger10
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What no cork? Interesting. Anyways, this beer poured a murky brown color with a tan head that was fizzy (weird). The nose on this beer was amazing! Very vinous with spicy notes. Herbal and sweet. Fussel alcohols as well. Unfortunately the taste was not near as good. The vinous flavors are very weak. Caramel is the main flavor I get but it does not have staying power either. Also slight woodyness to it along with a bittersweet chocolate flavor. But all of those flavors are quite weak and don't mesh together. Just one at a time. Strong alcohol flavor comes in the middle and lingers until the finish and beyond. Yeast is not really noticeable (weird). The bottle says for this to be consumed before end of 2006. I'm betting that this beer could age well beyond even that, and maybe be a much better beer.

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I always love the bottles and caps of Chouffe beers, they are kind of cute. Poured into a La Chouffe glass. The beer pours a hazy, dark-red-brown color, with a two finger think very light-brown head.

Smell: for me difficult to define (and given the mixed opinion in the reviews below, I'm not the only one). Sharp, spicy, yeast, some lemon and burning alcohol.

Taste: First a sharp taste, then some hints of sweet fruits, sweet malts, spicy malts and some grain. The aftertaste is spicy and too alcoholic.

Mouthfeel: thin-bodied (bit watery), medium carbonation, because of the strong alcohol, not too easy to drink

Overall: Alcohol is too much present, but in general a decent brew. However, there are so many better beers in this style. I prefer the La Chouffe by far!!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 75cl green glass wine style bottle that has a screen printed label. “Mc” appears above the word “CHOUFFE” in purple lettering. A wizened gnome sporting a Kilt completes the presentation. Labeled as 8,5% ABV. Screen printed it has no freshness date.

Appearance: A dark brown chestnut body that is lucid. A light brown head massively robust in nature and stature proudly sits atop the beer and never really goes away during the drink but laces well. Good carbonation lends a, dare I say, classic English Brown Ale appearance.

Nose: Wet yeasty breads and a spicy dough lend a real fresh bakery feel to this beer. Dark malts want to break free but can’t. Restrained.

Taste: Smooth, caramel malt start, which is very enticing but after this the flavors tend to die away rather quickly – somewhat disappointingly. I remember this beer offering more in the past. If this is supposed to be Scotch Ale, as I remember it was at one point, then it needs more of the 8,5% to come through in the middle of the beer. As it is it tastes weak and is a let down. Have the Gnomes messed with this beer I wonder to myself????

Mouthfeel: Average at best, way short of the warming feel a Scotch Ale should present. I’m not going to down mark it for falling short of a so-called beer style – but this is pretty thin and unrewarding as well as forgetful.

Drinkability: Easily taken down at the end of a long Saturday, but the fact that it is a relatively easy drinking beer without many complexities helps the case.

Overall: Described as the “Skotch from the Ardennes”, I first drank beers from Brasserie D’Achouffe in Ostende during a trip to Belgium in Easter 1994, later we visited the Brewery at Easter 1997 – and somehow I remember this beer being much more complex than this bottle offered to me today.

Maybe it’s just the fact that I view this beer through my rose-tinted beer goggles perhaps! Still this is an OK beer, but it falls way short of the “classic” I thought it was from my ailing memory. Time goes by and we all move on I suppose - Damn, I must be getting old! Or this beer has been messed with, or perhaps I’m drinking better beers - Or all of the above perhaps? NOT worth $8 IMVHO!!!

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5


A - A brown eggshell head. the consistency of packing foam. Slightly cloudy varnished wood color.

S - hoppy smells like a light bock.  Also some caramel and or chocolate malts.

T - Diluted cheap chocolate flavors like a mousse. With some mild hops and some fusil oil flavors. Aftertaste is subdued but a mix of sweetness and alcohol burn.

M - a bit thin for this style. Wateriness and alcohol burn dominate mouthfeel.

D - like it a bit more than the blonde but it's a bit too simple to drink very often.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- a nice brown color with a medium to light white head,

Smell- slight spice, malts, raisins, brown sugar and overall candy smell

Taste- The overall flavor on this was good but a little bit one dimensional i felt with an average finish, overall mostly sweet malts, spice, bread, raisins, brown sugar

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with nice carbonated feel

Drinkability- This beer was okay but I have had many better of the style, was definitely a slow sipper and after one I wasn't even slightly tempted to go for another with many other nice beers on tap, just a little bland, not bad but just not amazing

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Photo of atpben
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a bottle into a Duvel glass. Pours a nice brown color with hints of red in it. Foam subsides to a minimal in a few minutes. Aroma of raisins, light brown sugar, and some caramel. Taste has more of brown sugar raisins, and light orange(?) Smooth malty finish with the belgian yeast flavor. I liked it. A Belgian version of a scotch ale. I loved it - the best of both worlds. I liked it better than most scotch ales(which is not one of my favorite styles). Will definately try again. I do want to try this on tap.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml.

A- Chocolate brown with a slightly off-white head, very dense foam.

S- Wow, a fruit sweetness I wasn't ready for. Smells like fresh flashy fruit, like a ripe plum. Really sweet, but not syrupy. Hmm.

T- Sweetness follows the nose, a bready malt is behind it to balance things out. A faint yeast/spice is noted, but not too tangible. Hops are not really here in any way, but I don't know how old this bottle is. All in all unique, and not off-putting, but not really wowing me either.

M- Moderate body, malt is here but not overbearing. Pretty well balanced. Perhaps a bit too light, actually. Still pretty solid.

D- Moderate. Good, solid brew, unique enough to warrant trying. Not my favorite Chouffe, but worth it, esp. if you dig the darker side of beers. Be careful, though, not like your usual Belgian (strong) Dark Ale

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Photo of illidurit
3.39/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce stubby bottle poured into a Rochefort goblet. Deep russet brown with an ecru head. Poor retention, unbecoming of a Belgian beer, and little lacing. Aroma is primarily bready, dark fresh-baked bread to be exact, with some dusty raisins and vague red fruits. A little booze as well. Flavor is mild for the alcohol level; there's a pleasant bready grainy malt profile with an unsweet chocolate undercurrent but not much in the way of fruity esters. Sweet caramel malt finish, dry with a soft alcohol presence. Palate is overrun by carbonation. This needs some swirling and time to settle down. I was expecting a dubbel flavor profile out of this dark 8% beer but that's just not what it is. Rather pedestrian but not bad.

Edit: Turns out this is a scotch ale. Weird, wasn't expecting that. Explains the lack of yeasty/fruity notes, obviously, but it still doesn't cut it overall.

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Photo of drmeto
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

-pours a hazy dark copper with a medium,foamy,off-white head
-high carbonation visible
-cherries,caramel,toffee,bready,brown sugar
-caramel,toffee,bready,black pepper,plums,raisins
-medium body,medium-high carbonation
Certainly better than my first "Scotch Ale".Still not doig all that much for me.

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Photo of froghop
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-clear brown with a small beige head, lively carbonation, and great lacing.

smell of some spice, and some malt.

taste is light, spice, malt, and brown sugar, end is a little spicy and dry.

overall a nice smooth beer with a hint of spice.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany clear with scant coating and a foamy ring aroud the tulip glass.

Gentle nose of cake molasses malts.

First swigs: Foamy feel with bark like wood and tobacco hints. ( Have you ever had a backwoods cigar?) Dry molasses aftertaste and easy nutty notes.

Last swigs: One of the flavors of the month at TDR in springhouse, PA.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of corby112
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft at the Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with a 1.5 finger beige head that slowly fades into a lastig ring.  Streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Subtle roasted malt aroma with some zesty spice and dark fruit notes.  Slightly peppery with hints of chocolate, toast, caramel and nut.

Medium bodied with a nice balance of zesty spice, sweet malt and dark fruit.  Lots of peppery spice up front followed by sweet malt flavors, notably caramel and toffee before finishing with a prominent dark fruit presence.  Hints of plum, raisin, currant and other dark berries.  Subtle alcohol sweetness but not much heat.  Could use a stronger malt character to balance out swet fruits but still pretty good.

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McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.