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: 1,002
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 42
Gots: 118 | 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: 1,002
Photo of cubedbee
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark burgandy red, which in the first pour is very clear, and has a big rocky beige head with good retention. Smell is hay, sour cherries, apples, pineapple, clove, pepper. Taste like biscuity malts upfront mixed with some sour cherries, with a spicy and flowery finish. Taste very crisp and dry and the palate is refreshed quickly after each sip. Not as complex as most of the Belgian ales I've been trying, but goes down very easily and would be great with a meal. (479 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark bronzy brown with a generous infusion of orange when backlit. Clear initially, the beer becomes seriously murky when the final few ounces are added to the glass. Fast and furious carbonation results in a poofy head of semi-stiff foam that is toasted beige in color. Wandering wisps of watery lace decorate the glass; temporarily at least.

The aroma is a wonderful combination of sweetly floral hops and dark caramel-like malt, resulting in a whole greater than the sum of its parts. There isn't much yeasty spiciness; perhaps it's saving itself for the palate and letting the more mundane elements shoulder the load in the nose (yeast can be like that; little buggers).

McChouffe tastes like a Belgian brown ale (I think it's high time that style was recognized on this site). Of course that impression didn't hit me out of the blue. The beer itself, via the label, claims that it's a 'Belgian Brown Ale'. What that means to me is the flavor profile of an American or an English brown with the added depth and complexity of Belgian yeast.

The flavor consists of dark fruit (raisins, dates) sprinkled with cocoa powder. There's also an overarching floral hoppiness that ties it all up in a neat package. Finally is understated clove spice. All elements work together in a beautiful symphony of flavors. The beer is both sweet and sour through most of the mouthful, with a hoppy bitterness interceding on the back end. The light-medium mouthfeel is especially buoyant thanks to all the bubbles. No hint of alcohol, even at 8%.

McChouffe, no matter what style one chooses to call it, is a wonderful dark ale by brewers who clearly know how to brew great beer. It's a seamless melding of malt, hops and yeast that gives pleasure whether one attempts to tease out every flavor nuance or whether one wishes to simply drink and enjoy. A fine achievement. (1,866 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 cypressbob
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, capped

Pours with a dark burgandy body, up to the light some hints of ruby red. Quite hazy, pretty nice off tan head, good retention

Smell, some dried fruit, quite estery. Fresh fruit, melon and pineapple. Little hint of spice, clove and cinnamon

Taste, crisp and biscuity. Not overly powerful, some hint of spice and dried fruit. Bourbon biscuits, mabye raisins too.

Whoa, an eclectic and gratifying experience. A much more subtle dark ale, but filled with flavour and complexity. Dont expect serious, abrasive flavours, this is no rochefort 10, but it is a great belgian brown ale (608 characters)

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with some reddish tint with a nice fluffy head,big fruity aromas along with some yeasty-like spiciness.I picked up some sour cherry up front along with some caramel and some spiciness coming in in pretty ubrupt finish.A real solid brew not overly spectacular but had nice strong dark ale characteristics a pleasure to drink. (343 characters)

Photo of Globetrotter
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon a lone bottle of this in Moscow's fanciest supermarket - Hello! Brown 750ml wine bottle with a multi-colored label featuring what looks like a long-bearded dwarf or leprechan gazing lovingly at a sign showing a chalice of the brew. The label was in French and Dutch (no Russian import label - hmm...), but I couldn't discern any ingredient information. Best before 2007, I popped the cap on 3/20/05.

Pours a clear dark ruby red under a 1.5 finger beige head that settles ever so slowly but leaves only a few wisps of lace on the glass. Little disappointed in the visual experience. The second pour was a bit cloudier, but the head was thinner. The nose features mild apricot and malt. The mouth is very prickly and quite light when cold, but getting heavier as the beer warmed. The tastebuds first experience a mild, soft-spoken sensation that hides the alcoho9l content extremely well. A fine bready malt underlies a light fruity bouquet of plum and grape - more sweet than sour, but not very sweet, either - just present. The malt became much more obvious as the brew warmed, essentially burying the fruit by the last sip of the second pour. Hops are also present, adding a nice dryness and a hint of bitter in the finish. I could see enjoying this more than once, as the complexity and taste change so radically with temperature variations. Definitely worth more than just a dabble. (1,402 characters)

Photo of Hibernator
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 11.2 oz brown bottle and served in a St. Feuillien wide mouthed glass. Best before the end of 2006 clearly marked on the side of the glass.

Appearance lends itself to a dark and hazy brown color. Nice head on top that turns into a thin lacing that leaves various sticky lacing marks all over the glass.

Aroma is spicy with sweetness and raw yeast.

Taste is very smooth, malt heavy with a spicy yeast presence. Flavors of plums or raisins dipped in caramel. Nice level of carbonation that makes this very drinkable at 8.5 % ABV. (556 characters)

Photo of Quaffer
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bottle. Picked this up in KC, MO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This was a deep, red beer that showed amber highlights around the edges when backlit. The off-white head rose up easily to two fingers and settled down quickly. A layer of bubbles remained for the entire time due to the heavy bead. There was a very light amount of lace left behind.

Smell: Yeast, some spicy alcohol, and spicy hops contributed to the aroma. The strongest smell, especially right after the pour, was that of sweet, candy-like cherry. It became more balanced as the beer sat for awhile, though.

Mouthfeel: Very lively mouthfeel. The carbonation really jumped out, but didn't make the beer rough. It gave it more of that fluffy, fuzzy feel. Light-bodied, but a little chewy at times.

Taste: Light sweet caramel and toffee upfront. Tart cherries rose up strong in the middle. The beer quickly dried out on the finish, where a nice does of spicy hops and alcohol kicked in. The alcohol contributed nicely without being overbearing.

An enjoyable, straightforward beer. (1,080 characters)

Photo of thefireman
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as a gift. Pours dark with a somewhat frothy head that stays a bit before settling. Nice carbonation without being overbearing. Lots of caramel, raisons, earthiness. Slight hoppiness, lots of malts. Real nice. Packs a punch at over 8 percent alcohol without tasting like medicine. Lots better if allowed to warm a bit. Great Winter warmer. (348 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep in color with red tints. A thick head formed at first but completely dissolved. The aroma is sugar-coated grapes and slightly of hops. The taste came across as as smooth malts, with a slight hop bite to it. I am also picking up more raisin, and slightly under-ripe melon. The mouthfeel is thick on both the palate and in the stomach. I ahrdly notice any of the 8% ABV. An interesting beer, but not something I may neccesarily hunt for again. (452 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was left after a tasting at my house. Best before end 07. Tihs pours a slightly ambered brown color with a billowing 4.5 finger head that falls to gererously coat the beer. The nose is malty, with some roasted and some slight sweet raisin tones along with some peppery tones. I like the flavor. There are raisin tones, but they are creamy. Slight pepperyness comes through as well. the feel is thick, with very nice creamy texture. The carb is nice and light. I enjoy this one a lot. The flavors are very mellow and meld together well. I like this beer. (558 characters)

Photo of carln26
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I'd had this on-tap before, and was mildly dissapointed. This bottle conditioned version was a nice surprise. Deep brown color with copper high lights, it pours from the bottle slightly hazy with a thick rich cream colored head, and leaves lodes of lace down the side of the glass as the beer settles form the pour. The nose has a nice yeasty bread character along with ribbon candy from the malt and a mild hop flower aroma. The taste has the bread character present in the aroma along with malt sweetness. The hops do not carry over like I had expected. There is more fruit in the flavor profile on the finish. The mouth feel is fuller, smoother than I caught from the draft version. It’s also less “boozier” than I remembered the draft version to be, there for, more drinkable. This has definitely frown on me. (816 characters)

Photo of bigbubba
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice dark reddish amber color with a thick foamy tan head. Lots of tiny bubbles racing to the top. It has a strong Belgian aroma, very spicy and yeasty with a slight musty or earthy tone. The flavor is great, very fruity but not too sweet. The mouthfeel is a little thin for my taste in an 8% beer, but for this style it's probably about normal. Drinkability is ok, but I think I'd have a hell of a headache if I spent the night drinking these. (460 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 RootedFool
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 PT. 9.4 FL OZ bottle purchased at The North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

Let's raise the roof, shall we?

An enormous head on the pour, bubbly and dense, dark tan. The body is a flat, opaque mahogany. Looks lovely in my Maudite pimp goblet. A few thin sheets of lace hold to the glass.

Smell:

Sinus-evacuating waft of alcohol warmth, qualified by an effusion of freshly sliced green apples, plums, grapefruit rinds, with a peppery finish.

Taste:

Opens with a round roll of butter around the base of my palate, warm and embracing, followed by an elevated twist of puckering spiciness -- black pepper corns, citrus rinds. Toward the finish the hop twang becomes very pronounced. The most hoppiness I've ever tasted in a dark Belgian ale. Aftertaste is a palate-tip tinglin' hoe down, and a background of fading fruit cake sweetness and spice.

Perfect amount of carbonation, most evident toward the middle as it helps the hops sizzle into the forefront.

The mouthfeel could be richer, feels a tad thin.

Overall, this brew raised the roof.
My hands are in the air, like I just don't care.
This beer is so tasty I feel like a bear
screaming ZAP, BANG, POW.
McChouffe in the hizz-owwzz! (1,222 characters)

Photo of revdrjbob
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! A great beer, really an excellent beer. From Thirroul Cellars. Came in a 750ml champagne bottle.
Poured a dark brown with a dense white head, that lasted for ages. Thick and moussy.
Aromas of dark fruits, malts, sweetness, alcohol, chocolate, spices.
Tasted great, 10 times better that I remember, started full and malty, with a sweetness, followed by a slight smokeyness (peated malt?), spicey yeasty characteristics, and a lingering malt sweetness. The dark malts weren't roasty, more treacly and caramelly.
A great beer. I did see La Chouffe there too. (564 characters)

Photo of Paddez
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a creamy, brown brew with a decent head that produces some nice lacing.
The smell is sweet and fruity with some port/wine-like notes and something I can only describe as a 'forest aroma' (something grassy, woody, ...)
The taste starts of fruity (dark fruitss) but is overtaken by a spicy, slightly bitter hop bite. Ends with a bready, slighly malty sweetness that acoompanies the hops in a short lingering aftertaste. Nice!
Mouthfeel: well carbonated, creamy and very, very smooth.

This brew is extremely smooth and drinkable. 'Tafelbier' on steroids, great stuff! (589 characters)

Photo of taez555
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a ruby brown, root beer, colored body with a large choppy off-white head.

The nose was classic dark Belgian. Slightly fruity, with some caramel, toffee, alcohol, and phenolic touches.

The taste was surprisingly mild. A very large bubbled carbonation. Caramel, some light licorice, apples, pears, apple peel, yeast with a slight graininess. A very present saaz type hop flavor and bitterness really fight their way through to the forefront. It ends mild with a short lingering aftertaste

Not the craziest Belgian out there, but at the same time yummy. A classic but simple Belgian dark ale. I dig the gnome, but I’ve had better dark ales. (664 characters)

Photo of Cwrw
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at cellar temperature, as close to 10 to 12 degrees as I could get it, as the bottle suggests. Popping the cap of the 750 ml bottle, I first smelt a soft vermouth/sake aroma from the bottle. Unique labelling with some sort of elf or dwarf holding a stock of grain. In the chaliced glass, this beer is extraordinary. Rich chestnut hues with dark rosewood, on the verge of ruby. The head is creamy, sometimes fizzy, tight, and went quickly to a fine layer of light brown/cream. Mix of large and fine sized bubbles in the viscous lacing. The aroma is everything a good brune Belgian should be. Dusty smoked malt, complemented with sufficient but not overpowering yeast, and musty fruits. Freshly baked bread, and extreme sweetness at first, with the head still at its fullest. Grape juice, slight salmon smells, soya sauce, and numerous other aromas make this an extremely complex-smelling beer. Some definite wood in the smell, dust, and strong malt dominance, almost like a fine scotch. Dare I say it, I sense the peatiness of some Island Scotches. There is soap, caramel, roast, vanilla, salty water, and an aroma I cannot fully describe which is new to me. Grassy, spicy hops are there in the background as well. The aroma is extremely appetising, with great complexity, but at the same time it is not off-putting in the least; it is accessible. The taste is all chewy, delicious malt on the front of the tongue. Smooth on the middle, with tart characteristics appearing; nuts, more grainy malt, and dry bread. The hops are detectable, but this is by far a malt offering, with sour lactose in the finish. Some muskiness, some treacle, and definite grist, this is a delightfully full and grainy drink. You can taste the grain as if it were fresh from the stock. Limited carbonation, making this a smooth, creamy beer. On the tongue it seems to turn to foam immediately. Belying its 8%, this beer could pass for a 5 or less. No excessively strong taste means this is an easily quaffable brew, but do not think for a moment that it lacks complexity. As long as supply lasts here, I will be buying these regularly. I imagine it would pair perfectly with a cheese-pasta dish. (2,178 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (1,622 characters)

Photo of elricorico
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good looking beer, its colour is a ruddy brown and the head on it is big and bubbly. The head never did go away, and left all kinds of lacing.

Giving it a smell, the classic belgian aroma stands out. Kinda spicy, pepper smell. Maybe a hint of cola smell to this one, can't pin it down exactly.

This beer, in my opinion, tastes close to more of the belgian strong pale's then the strong dark ales. It doesn't get in your face with the sweet flavours as some of the darks do. It does have some of the dark fruit flavours to it. I can't say that the alcohol makes much of an appearance, and that only adds to the drinkability.

Carbonation is fairly light, more carbonation might actually benefit this beer.

The reaction I had to my first drink of this beers was "smooth", and coming down to the end of this 750mL bottle, I still feel the same. It's a pretty easy drink.

A bit of a downside is a film left in the mouth. I noticed this a lot when I was just starting with this beer, but not so much as I progressed.

In the end, I'm pretty happy with McChouffe, and I wouldn't hesitate to have it again. (1,125 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.67/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a medium head that drops fast and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is of caramel and spices from the yeast as well as some dark fruits. Nice. The flavor is nice and spicy with a fruity character that I really enjoy. Lots of malts and caramel. Very nice body and easy to drink. Solid. (323 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a huge bubbly off-white head with average retention. Aroma is comprised of strong Belgian malt with a side of floral hops and a top of yeast. Taste is somewhat spicy, creamy and ends with a dry bitter aftertaste. Another quite complex beer from this fine brewery. I’m not sure I really detect the scotch ale influence in this one but I enjoyed it nonetheless. (398 characters)

Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber brown with a light thin head, sweet fruity and yeasty smell. Back when he used to make wine, my dad once threw a bunch of stuff at random into the bin just for the hell of it - grapes, plums, pears, etc. It ended up being a fantastic dessert wine, but of course he could never duplicate the recipe. Mix some of that with caramel malt and caky yeast, mellow it down a few notches and you have the McChouffe. Well-balanced hoppiness makes for a nice finish, a bit of a sugary\alcohol mouthfeel but still very drinkable beer. (542 characters)

Photo of paterlodie
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always strange to see these beers with the litle ones on it. Normaly the beers from D'Achouffe are not counting to my favorites; just to much koreander but this one is actually good. Nice appearance, fine smell from yeast, hops&malts delicate in combination. Taste is easy and accesible; bit of malts, litle sweet and nice and dry aftertaste. Good beer! (353 characters)

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