McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

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McChouffeMcChouffe

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BA SCORE
89
very good

507 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 507
Hads: 1,001
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 41
Gots: 117 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 507 | Hads: 1,001
Photo of jnn4v
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (594 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (766 characters)

Photo of mizzoueng
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (772 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (1,098 characters)

Photo of darklordlager
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (1,284 characters)

Photo of joe1510
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (1,408 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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 (728 characters)

Photo of davidchollar
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (868 characters)

Photo of dblinkhorn
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (1,776 characters)

Photo of sbrotschul
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
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! (2,260 characters)

Photo of steelcutoats
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (878 characters)

Photo of kimcgolf
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer got better as it went along. Poured to a hazy brown with hints of orange. Aroma was apples and a hint of malt. As the glass warmed, the alcohol crept in to nicely round out the aroma. Flavor was good, though nothing really dominated, although hints of spice, possibly cinnamon, were evident. Mouthfeel was spicy, and the finish was smooth and somewhat warming. Not a bad beer. (386 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty tiny bubble lacing. Dark mahogany brown. Aroma offers soft complexity. A number of different features are tasted in the mouth. Soft backbone of Belgian yeast, on first thought this is a bruin. Some notes of toffee. No alcohol, some warming. Medium lingering. Not positive I taste Scotch notes, this is far too light. There is however some gentle liquere like notes as it warms. A very sweet brew. Perhaps some Belgian sugar in there? A gentle balance overall and very enjoyable. Against others similar to it, this beer sadly doesn't offer as much to celebrate - not the same level of strength, depth, or complexity. On its own however, this is a lovely beer - very easy going, light and most defintely enjoyable (718 characters)

Photo of MrIncognito
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown and coffee-like with a tan foam on top. Foam subsides to a nice lace on top of the beer and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S - Not as aromatic as expected, especially due to the high ABV. First whiff I definitely get Belgian yeast, would pick this out as a Belgian easily just off the smell. Sweet caramel notes with some faint dark fruits. Kind of cola-like. A bit nutty, maybe hazelnut, as well in the tail-end.

T&M - Very smooth and creamy beer that goes down easy. Definite dark malts with a caramel backing. Sweet and sugary in the finish but a bit spicier as it warms up. A little thin in the taste for me.

D - Easy-driking and a definite sipper due to the ABV. Would have liked more of a prominent flavor. Very thin in my opinion compared to others. (782 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light tan, two-finger head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Cloudy amber color. Nose is slighty malty. Starts just on the sweet side, finishes mellow, better as it warms; label has the ABV at 8.5% but there is not a trace of alcohol. $8.90 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA. (341 characters)

Photo of Bouncingsoul1682
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this on a whim looking to broaden my belgian horizons and I was thoroughly impressed....

Appearance: Poured nice and dark, some light emitting through.

Smell: Fruity notes, nothing too distinguishing.

Taste: Reminded me alot of Chimay Grand Reserve, which is good thing.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated but not to the extent that say Duvel is, it's a good carbonation that enhances the flavor.

Drinkability: I would definetly get it again very drinkable, very delicious. (488 characters)

Photo of pheurton
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

carmel colored mahogany with a lucsiously thick and creamy looking off white head. grainy sweetness on the nose, with hints of melon, clove, and yeast. more than ample carbonation. a little bit thin in the body. quick dose of slick carmel sweetness, cut by a peppery clove sensation and a kiss of saaz like hopiness. gets a little fuller as it warms. alcohol is cloaked well, and this beer went down with no problem. not hugely complex or overbearing, but a nice dark ale that cloaks is strength well and consistently invites another sip. enjoyable. (549 characters)

Photo of Fish113d
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served chilled into a tulip glass.

Pours the color of chestnuts with a dense, tan, 1 1/2" head that dissipates to about 1cm of surface layer along with some clinging to the sides of the glass.

Aroma is pungeunt from 1 1/2 ft away! Aroma is quite fruity up front on my nose with a butterscotch coming in behind it (this describes a buttery aroma and caramel) to me. A bit of alcohol backs this up. Decent nose, but could be more interesting.

Sharp carbonation up front with a plum flavor combined with caramel. Rather creamy actually in body, and body is medium but still crisp enough to feel refreshing. I also get a bit of alcohol on the tip of my tongue, and toward the swallow the flavor changes over to just a bit of sugar and some slight floral taste. Interesting.

Very drinkable, and sharable with a 750ml bottle. Another well done brew. I'm sure anyone who enjoys belgians in the least bit would enjoy this one. (943 characters)

Photo of TAMU99
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Great pour to a Beautiful dark red-brown
Thick foamy head, light tan that settles slowly leaving curtains on the glass.
Complex smells of cinnamon, yeast, and nutmeg leave a quick bite in your nose
Taste is equally complex with a bold malty foreground, accents of hops. There is a chocolate flavor, some citrus accents and a yeasty aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is the only drawback, as this ale has an almost oily feel that seriously detracts. If it were only a bit drier (to borrow a wine snob word)
Nonetheless, overall this is a very drinkable beer. Certainly is one I'd try again. This work work well for those winter holidays with similarly spiced food. (656 characters)

Photo of Absumaster
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (635 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from a capped 750ml bottle on 12-28-04. Pours out a reddish brown color with a tall bubbly tan head. Decent lacing was left decorating the glass. Aroma is fruity, with notes of apples and other fruits. There was a bit of sweetness and also a good bit of spicy hops. Taste starts off a bit fruity sweet with various fruit flavors melding together. There is a decent bit of spiciness to it and some hop bitterness. Finishes on a spicy sweet note that lingers a bit. Body was about medium with a creamy smooth feel to it. Fairly easy drinking and tasty this is a solid beer. Not my favorite for the style by any means but a good beer no doubt. (649 characters)

Photo of Voonder
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown color with nice off-white head. Smell - malty fruitiness with some yeasty notes. Taste - plums-like fruitiness, maltiness. Very high carbonation, champaigne-like notes. Alcohol is very well hidden, medium bodied, very drinkable. Great session beer. Recommended (277 characters)

Photo of roughsax
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap @ CAH. Served in a goblet.

A: Dark brown. Thick, tan head fades to thin layer. Some lacing.

S: Sweet, nutty. A little light.

T: Sweet (maple, molasses), creamy, toasty, good mix. Little hop presence.

M: Light. Easy drinker. A little watery.

D: Excellent. Could have a few. Very smooth. Alcohol was non-present, which could sneak up on you if you have a few. A good beer from a great brewery. (413 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Lynda for bringing this back from Belgium.

Light fizzy head quickly light lacing hazy ruby auburn color.

Nose earthy root like aromas, herbal, esters galore, molasses and syrupy almost candy, even a bit nutty.

Taste light malts, darker nutty malts, very earthy and slight herbal again, esters, chewy nougat almost, molasses and candy. Tons of fruit, plum, raisin, fig, date, etc. bit bitter and semi sweet.

Med bodied, dec carb, bit syrupy.

Overall nice Belgian strong dark/dubbel style, a bit much on the esters and sticky sweet flavors, but nice fruits balance it. (581 characters)

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 507 ratings.