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McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

McChouffeMcChouffe

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

774 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 774
Reviews: 482
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%


Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe visit their website
Belgium

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
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Ratings: 774 | Reviews: 482 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

("Scotch of the Ardennes"... poured into a balloon glass)

A: medium-dark reddish brown, fair clarity... initially large, but fizzy head - keeps a swirl of a thin cover... minimal lace

S: brown sugar, medium-intensity of burnt caramel, light prune or other dried dark fruit... if you think "Scotch Ale", knowing it's of Belgian origin, you can somewhat sense the endemic characteristics of each (for lack of a better word) "style"

T: clove-like spice with a semi-sweet, cherry-like finish... rich in ripe-red berry/stone-fruit in the middle.... aftertaste moderately bitter with a mild, ghostly, spicy alcohol warmth - bitterness almost citrus-pithy... malty, but predominantly in the mid-dark spectrum and dry... brown sugar and burnt flavors fairly prominent, but outmatched by the assertive, softly-phenolic spice

M: perhaps a bit too thinned-out by the prickly carbonation and spicy alcohol.... does a have a hint of viscosity that is unfortunately attenuated by the recipe and yeast dynamics

O: having had this a few times, really enjoying it some of those times, it's frustrating when it seems not quite on... I would venture a loose comparison to a Belgian homage to Traquair House Ale, mostly in its expression of dark-sugar flavors - not nearly a parallel in overall composition... the proprietary Achouffe yeast factors relatively moderately into its taste, for better or worse

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 01:26:09 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

The dark offering from this fairly well-known brewery in the Ardennes. I have read that these guys only use malt syrups rather than whole grains ... True? In any event, this is certainly a well-attenuated and thin-bodied dark ale that does indeed capture some Scottish flavor elements, albeit with a decidedly Belgian profile nonetheless. A dark reddish brown brew, maybe leaning towards the red, with a moderate amount of light tan head and an aroma that is equal parts fruity esters, spicy medicinal phenols, and sweet caramel or toffee along with a vinous wine or cider-like note. Nice balance between the caramel elements and Belgian spice although I am less wild about the cidery component. Palate largely reflects this, such that I initially get some apple and pear fruit followed by clove spice, golden raisin, musty white peppercorns, faint molasses and bandage-like phenols, and perhaps a whiff of citrus rind. Rather dry, powdery mouthfeel and this brew just screams thinned down with a healthy sugar addition to the kettle. Some alcohol is apparent but not over the top in this regard. Really my main issue is the ultra-thin body and correspondingly airy mouthfeel but the flavor is solid.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 01:53:53 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: ruby-ish brown with a minor amount if head, not unexpected
S: smacks of dark fruit with a bit of tartness, fig and sour apple, perhaps
T: similar to the nose, but heavier on the dark fruit. Also a bit if woodiness. I think the yeast used adds a very mild funkiness, as well.
M: a surprising amount of carbonation tingle despite the lack of impressive head; otherwise standard for the style I believe
O: I didn't feel there was anything special here, just a solid offering. I can't tell if part of the profile is similar to the Houblon Chouffe, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but it was mildly familiar.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 03:00:16 | More by cjgiant
Photo of jonb5
jonb5

United Kingdom (England)

4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, poured into La Chouffe chalice. A: Very dark mahogany, 90% opaque,
two finger tanned head which faded quickly leaving a bit of lacing. S: Brown sugar
and mollases, some yeast. T: Fudge, prune, fig quite sweet but not boozy. M:
Smooth, decent carbonation, thick but not cloying. O: Good, a beer without obvious
faults, only minus point was the fact it can be interchanged with quite a few other
BSDAs.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 19:25:45 | More by jonb5
Photo of Act25
Act25

New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe", sounds like a sneeze, in a squat brown bottle, legend has it as a Scottish Strong Ale collaboration.
A: Winning mahogany, hazy pour with stiff lacey head, that lasts and sticks all the way to the end of my tulip glass. Nicely carbonated and lively.
S: Meditation beer. Candy store, candied apples, cider, berries, yeast, fire, must, hops.
T: Follows the smell with a candied start, then it's a powerful, complex blend that keeps your tongue teasing out the flavors like kisses of grapes, figs, raisens, grassy hops, spice, powdered chocolate, pepper, nuts, zinfandel, minerals.
F: The beer is medium and feels tingly light, thus has the right body given the ABV and the complexity. Finishes clean and cidery.
Ardennes water at the core, this is a must try.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 00:29:42 | More by Act25
Photo of Sludgeman
Sludgeman

District of Columbia

3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best before Jan 2016. Poured into a tulip.

Another solid d’Achouffe beer! A beer I will drink again, but not outstanding in any characteristic. 3.75

A – Pours a dark opaque brown with a mousey tan one-finger head, dies down to a constant thin layer, good carbonation, some average lacing 3.75

S – Bready, yeasty, slight spice/phenolic 4.25

T – A heavier Belgian pale. Just a hint of molasses sweetness. 3.75

MF – Medium bodied, with a dry finish. Sharp in the middle. 3.75

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 02:37:34 | More by Sludgeman
Photo of BeerDocT
BeerDocT

Georgia

4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My Dark Belgian Ale obsession continues... .

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a lovely dark, deep brown. Nice 1/2" head quickly faded into an attractive foamy residue. Good lacing.

Smell 3.5: Very subdued bouquet on this beer. What I do smell is good: phenols, caramel, Belgian yeast. Just a shame there is not more of it in the nose.

Taste 4.25: Front is sweet on the front of the mouth, almost the tip of the tongue. This spreads over the entirety of the palate and is wonderfully warming. Middle is smooth and delicious, but with balanced tastes of noble hops and caramel malt. Finish is slightly spicy thanks to the yeast and also there is a pleasant smokiness along with a cloying taste of caramelized sugar. Aftertaste is somewhat sweet, but then takes a 180 degree turn and becomes dry, uplifting to the palate and utterly refreshing.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Carbonation is spot on for the style and the ABV and the bubble serve to break up the somewhat sweet taste.

Overall 4.0: Pleasant, but very complex and enjoyable. This is a beer that deceives you with its goofy little smurf-like character and its whimsical talk on the back of the bottle about the Chouffe and his Scottish friend, but make no mistake. This is a serious brew from artisans who are experts in the art of brewing. I would recommend this beer to any and all fans of Belgian beer, especially those who are fans of the Dark Side...er, style. ;)

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 06:07:43 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark rich mahogany color about a perfect match for my bedroom suite. Head is small and cream colored it falls to ring laces well for a smaller head. Brew looks good when held to the window nice red notes pretty.

Aroma is dark fruits on a lightly sweet earthy malt base some light yeast notes and small hints of spice to round it out. Aroma isn't to complex fairly simple but nice and pleasant on the nose.

Taste is about like the nose lightly sweet malts earthy notes sprinkles of brown sugars. Wow good cherry notes in the fruits didn't smell that one otherwise dark fruits your plums/raisin notes going on. Finish is more of the same, malt with some good lingering sweetness mixed with some light spice.

Mouthfeel is medium with carbonation that is a little peppy but certainly not over done as I find many Belgians to be.

Overall this is enjoyable on this beautiful fall day defiantly worth a try if you see it on a shelf near you.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2013 22:26:10 | More by mntlover
Photo of azorie
azorie

Florida

3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a: dark cola, poured it from frig, not much head
s: rich earthy malt and hops notes, spice notes with dark candy rich malt notes
t: dark carmel candy is very first strongest flavor. heavy malt backbone, balanced with sharp earthy hops tones.
nice yeast notes. no smoke, so its not really scotch like. lol
m: medium body, low carb, a sipper
o: good strong dark ale, drinkable


Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 18:21:55 | More by azorie
Photo of alphagnome
alphagnome

Iowa

4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Pours what at first glance is seemingly pitch black. However, upon holding it to the light, a deep, rustic ruby color is on display. Crowned by a thick, beige head. Plenty of sediment hangs in suspension and carbonation is visible. Decent lacing.

Aroma:
Sweet. Plenty of dark fruit is present here; raisin, fig, dates, and topped with cherry and a hint of apricot. Plenty of malt character and brown sugar.

Taste:
Again sweet - follows the nose closely. Fruit delivery is a bit more tart than expected, but still chalked full of flavor. Raisin and prune up front with a nice dose of chocolate covered cherries and a bit of yeast esters. The finish is quite boozy, but clean. Reminds me of a port wine. Aftertaste is delightful and brings those chocolate covered cherries back into the spotlight. You will definitely want to take your time with this one.

Mouthfeel:
Heavy - definitely a slow drinker. Decent carbonation. As mentioned above, the alcohol is noticable and provides a mild warming sensation. Finishes semi-dry.

Overall:
Impressive offering here. Well worth exploration. It's not exactly cheap, so that could scare some people away. However, if you can get past that, you're in for fantastic big beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 02:32:05 | More by alphagnome
Photo of polloenfuego
polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle to a snifter

A: a deep ruby brown with a thick three finger head that breaks down leaving a cosmic swirl of foam.

S: dark fruits and slight boozy smell...the yeast profile also comes through.

T: sweet dark fruits and a slight wine or booze flavor. Yeast also sneaks in.

M: medium body with full carbonation.

O: a nice beer, pretty basic and straightforward for a BSDA. I like the warm feeling that it leaves and while not the best I've had, it is a good beer and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 22:35:59 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Finally getting around to another Chouffe offering. Belgian Brown Ale, eh?

A- Poured from the 750ml into a goblet and a snifter-tulip with a dark brown body, hard to see through at all, just a bit of red on the very edges. Light tan cap forms to a finger or so with a foamy texture and decent retention. The head falls to a small bubbly ring that leaves a medium amount of lace in webbed shapes.

S- Dark Belgian Candi sugar, Belgian yeast spices and bananas come to mind off the top. A complex set of aromas between the malts and yeast that bring figs, raisin, toasted nuts, cloves, bread and caramel to mind.

T- Candi sugar, Belgian yeast and toasted malts come to mind first with a broad set of flavors like figs, dates, raisin, caramel sweets, brown sugar, toasted nuts, cocoa powder and cereal grains. Other things that occur to me are bananas, clove, nutmeg and wheat bread. Candi sugar, once again, is big here, I made it once at home and the semi-burnt sugar flavors are huge here. Slight earthy, spicy hops.

MF- Moderately thick body with a semi-sweet overall feel. Texture is creamy and satisfying considering the sweet, rich flavors present. Slight spicy bitter finish and no ABV in sight.

Feels pretty sweet upon finishing, maybe just a bit much for my taste. The balance is nice and the flavors are plentiful making it a satisfying experience. All in all the flavor is just nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 01:28:52 | More by cbutova
Photo of dv8sean
dv8sean

California

4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Surprised to see both the bros and the community at large relegate this to "only" a "very good" beer. This beverage is good enough to mock or outright dismiss its critics.

Appearance is not its forte, tho. It's a bit nondescript, and while it pours with a good head, the foam dissipates, and leaves virtually no lace.

From there, however, it just keeps getting better. Banana bread and spice on the nose. Layered and complex. Taste follows suit. Beautiful balance between the sweetness of the malt backbone and the very mild sour funk of the Belgian yeast. Note: this is NOT a "sour beer".

Mouthfeel is stellar. Beer has a long, long finish--somehow being both sweet and dry at the same time. How'd they do that? I'd rate it 5.0 Perfect, but I cannot profess to know what is perfection.

Overall, this is the best beer of its style that I've found...at least to my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 02:07:47 | More by dv8sean
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter

Germany

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 19:03:54 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of Altrurian
Altrurian

New York

3.34/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Fast (but brief) pour into a small Brasserie d'Achouffe tulip produces a quick, coarse, short-lived head. The dominant olfactory characteristic faintly promises tropical sweetness, like the approach to a mango hawker's cart in Chittagong. The beer is a pleasant ruby-brown.

McChouffe has a malty enough anchor, but its mossy, woody sweetness is overlaid by a light Belgian yeastiness and, I suppose, a touch of hops. And so, the beer is not as cloying as a Scotch ale can be. Whether that's a good thing is a matter for debate. One can also argue the merits of the beer's texture, which is noticeably more prickly than creamy. We can agree, however, that McChouffe is wee light, and that such a brew has its place. A tip o' the tam-o-shanter to Achouffe's agents in Cooperstown for making this one available.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 00:24:57 | More by Altrurian
Photo of Shemmy
Shemmy

Thailand

4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I had 4 shots at this beer, 4 bottles over the course of three days. Really unique beer I thought, nver had anything quite like it. I would add that there was a strong smell and taste of green apples to this beer and it really seems to have something that stimulates your blood to flow making you feel pleasantly warm and relaxed all over. I will see k this beer out in the future, a real favorite for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2013 15:24:53 | More by Shemmy
Photo of joaopmgoncalves
joaopmgoncalves

Portugal

4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a beige consistent head leaving a nice lacing.
S: Belgian yeast, caramel.
T: Nuts, caramel, not that much hoppiness.
M: At the final of the sip, this beer's heavy. The alcohol should be better dissimulated to make it great and balanced. Its good carbonation saved the day.
O: It's a good example of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale even though the alcohol wasn't that much dissimulated to be able to get more complexity out of the beer. Basically there was too much alcohol for this flavor. Yet, it might've been one of the best BSDA that I've had for months.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 00:27:05 | More by joaopmgoncalves
Photo of Vladimiriuz
Vladimiriuz

Netherlands

3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poor this majestic belgian McChouffe in the nice Chouffe glass.
a Very nice dark brown with a very great foamy head appears...

a Little smell of chocolate, roasted barley smell with some lighty coffee elememts.

The taste is fantastic. Smooth, silky and very delicate.
Milk brown chocolate, some caramel en a very good body.

One of my favourite this great McChouffe!

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 09:05:36 | More by Vladimiriuz
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this bomber bottle out of a Beligan Tulip glass.

A: Pours an amber hue with an off-white frizzy head that slowly dissipates into a solid persistent lace.

S: Sweet wine-like aroma with a caramel roasted malt scent.

T: Similar to the smell there is a caramel wine-like flavor with a Belgian yeast background.

M: Pretty boozy – full body and medium carbonation.

O: Awesome Belgian Brew – great flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 01:22:14 | More by ckollias
Photo of TheDoctor
TheDoctor

Quebec (Canada)

3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A:
Pours an opaque mud-grey-green-brown that looks ruby red in the light (looks like elegant bilgewater); has a good three-finger head of tiny-bubbled beige head that settles down quickly and leaves a fine coating. Okay retention; good lacing.

S:
Earthy sweet tones. Cherries and dark fruit intermingled with cinammon and rum. There is a yeasty backbone but it certainly is below the radar.

T:
Quite sweet but not sugary. Really strong notes of fruit and tea right up front with a rising yeastiness towards the end. Not sticky at all, hops and yeast do a great job of cleansing the old palate, with a clean finish and a slightly sticky lingering finish. Kinda tastes like root beer.

M:
Medium bodied with okay carbonation (could have been a bit more for my taste). Decent head, fine finish.

O:
Good beer. Not what I was expecting. It was a lot sweeter than I had hoped but thankfully it is a really fresh sweetness (not sticky/suffocating at all). Definitely not the best Belgian Brown I have had DEFINITELY not as good as their sweet, sweet IPA. But good. Would have again, but probably would not buy it again. If that makes sense.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2013 21:46:51 | More by TheDoctor
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, bottled in June 2004, poured into a wine glass. Thanks GTH!

A- Pours a murky brown color, topped with a large off-white head, nice retention and lacing.

S- Very fruity, lots of apple and dark fruit, some spice.

T- A bit of sweetness but not too much, starts out with a lot of dark fruit and apple, finishes with more emphasis on caramel, bread, a bit of spiciness. Not getting much of any oxidation or anything, this is actually tasting pretty nice after 9 years.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel.

O- A very enjoyable beer, and has held up impressively well after this amount of time.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 05:27:04 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of DJoe
DJoe

Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

June 2013
A: Dark, cola-like with a lie head

S: Very appealing. Fruity and earthy, with a touch of sweetness.

T: Caramelly and sweet, but with a nice alcohol balance.

M: Some carbonation upon sipping.
O: Very enjoyable. Has both sweetness and crisp alcohol

Served in a 33cl blottle

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 01:20:04 | More by DJoe
Photo of sfprint
sfprint

Germany

3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Exp. 11/2013
A: Dark rootbeer and opaque, rootbeer/cola like head and carbonation. bubbles cling to edge of glass.
S: There's a glue/plastic scent. Rubber boot. Also a dark fruity sweetness. Paint. Pretty strange
T: Alcohol is well hidden. Like a not so sweet soda with a strange flavor. In the cola/rootbeer family. odd
M: Explosion of carbonation upon sipping.
O: certainly an odd beer. I wouldn't jump at this one, but not that I can't appreciate it's quality and uniqueness.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 00:33:15 | More by sfprint
Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
LeeryLeprechaun

Colorado

3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Strong white head that turns into lacing on the glass. Dark brown to red in color.

The aroma is dominated by spicy phenols, some alcohol in the aroma, some pineapple.

The first things that hits you is spice, with a spice finish. I also pick up some notes of rum, but mostly the taste is dominated by black pepper.

Body is full.

Overall this beer is okay. It is kind of one dimensional when it comes to the malt and the hops. What makes it impressive is the yeast strain. The phenols and pepper are rather enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 00:52:37 | More by LeeryLeprechaun
Photo of FondueVoodoo
FondueVoodoo

British Columbia (Canada)

4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark oak in colour with about 1 finger of white sandy coloured head. Very nice lacing and retention.

S: Dark fruit, including cherries and raisons, together with some wet wood and yeasty notes. Hints of alcohol esters at the back end.

T: Dark fruits, cherries and raisons, with smooth maltiness. Wet wood and noticeable bourbon notes on the finish.

M: Medium bodied and light carbonation. Very easy drinking.

O: This is a very enjoyable and drinkable beer. It is not overly complex, but the typical Belgian flavours you expect are present. Alcohol is there, but not overt as to highlight that it is 8%.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 01:08:29 | More by FondueVoodoo
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McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 774 ratings.