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McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
McChouffeMcChouffe

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

514 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 514
Hads: 1,014
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 44
Gots: 123 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of McChouffe Alström Bros
Reviews: 514 | Hads: 1,014
Photo of benmiliron
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big bottle of this cost 9.99.

A good beer again from the Chouffes! Very very fruity, phenolic smell. Spicy, but not as much as N'ice Chouffe. Not as fluffy as La Chouffe. McChouffe is brown, sugary and a heavy hitter on the alcohol content. A bottle did me in!

All in all a good beer, but I prefer it's cousins La and N'ice. (330 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 Rastacouere
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml, aged 1 year, from a douglas scotch ale glass. Burgundy-brown beer with a big foamy and frothy off-white head that holds the glass reasonably. Flavor profile is yeasty, deeply malty, caramelic and notes of licorice and cloves(which I usually dont particularly like, but fits well here). Bitterness, Astringence. Rather complex, with everything well balanced and pleasant. A beer I love, typical belgian spiciness with a charming round body and dangerously drinkable given its ABV. Belgian take on scotch ale? Sounds about right! (534 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Bottle of McChouffe: Layers on a nice full two finger sized head with cream caramel colored head with a tan brown ambered bodied ale leaving thick patches of lacing. Aroma: Nice mellow spiced fruit tones with mildy toasted malts that fullfill the beer loving soul. Taste: Mild chocolate fulfiling notes of fruit and mild farm house spices excellent beer. Sweet finish not overally sweet nice scotch smokiness going on in the background. Mouthfeel: Fluffy effervescent carbonation mild body great taste. Drinkability: So good it's hard to imagine a Belgian this smooth and tasty. (582 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a NICE clear mahogany brown.

Smells of apples and iced tea, and a bit of malt. There is also an alcohol solvent smell to it and more complex smells riding on it like oak and spice.

Tastes mildly sweet with a very complex mix of flavors. There is a solid maltiness to this and a peanut brittle flavor. The taste is hard to pin down it keeps changing. This is one of those beers that keeps delivering new tastes. It has a DISTINCT caramel and nuts flavor.

Mouthfeel is very good.

VERY drinkable, to bad it is expensive. (535 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle served at at 55 degrees into a goblet. Pours a nice ruby mahogany with a small beige head that left considerable island lacing. Aroma was not as profound as most Belgian strong dark ales, but still interesting. Spices(cloves), dark fruits, bananas, and a hint of toffee on the nose. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, medium carbonation. Taste is the surprise here. If I was rating this one blind, I would have guessed it to be an excellent English Bitter, or ESB. Lots of walnut nuttiness, toffee, and biscuit. Approaching room temperature, a plethora of sensations delight the palate. Fruits of all kinds, spices, and even florals seem to be here. Alcohol is cleverly hidden away by all the pleasant qualities going on. Carbonation lasts all the way through, and the finish is dry, with a hint of fruity butternut. This is one of the best ales I've ever tasted, and I can't hardly wait to cellar a few of these. (922 characters)

Photo of Indybeer
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Poured a hazy dark copper color with a decent head that didn't stick around but did leave some lacing on the glass. Aroma is mildly caramel and malt. Taste starts slightly sweet. Thin mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Finishes with a bitter twang, and a slight astringency. Not bad, but there just seems to be something missing. (346 characters)

Photo of maxpower
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle, cloudy hazy reddish-copper color, nice big foamy off white-tan head that leaves good lacing in the glass, yeasty, fruity and spicy aroma. Bready malty fruity flavors, full and crisp palate, yeasty banana sweet sugary finish, good stuff. (257 characters)

Photo of BeefyMee
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle

Mmmm. I got a bunch of beers to serve at our Christmas eve dinner and this was my favorite. It smells like you might expect, nothing outstanding, but the taste is excellent. There's a slight sourness at first and then malt through the rest of the taste. A bit of the sourness comes back in the aftertaste, and I'm left wanting more. No one else was drinking it so I finished the bottle by myself. Get this if you like trying different Belgian darks or if you just want a quality beer with an interesting and substantial flavor. (543 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color with a thick bubbly tan colored head. The aroma was of caramel, yeast and some minor roastiness. The flavor was all caramel with a very limited bitterness. Raison seems to be the hidden taste that was barely evident. Some yeast flavors were also evident.

The mouthfeel was buttery smooth, and dryness developed on the tongue after swallowing. The malts last a while into into the aftertaste. Medium bodied. Drinkable and very enjoyable. (460 characters)

Photo of ColForbin
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 750ml bottle with a painted label featuring an elf wearing a kilt. The beer pours with vigorous carbonation which gives a large head that quickly fades to a thin lacing.

Smell: Slightly sour, malty, bready, even some hops. Very intriguing.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Just like what the bottle says - a Belgian Scottish Ale. Malty, even some smoky flavors with a slightly sour undertone. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for a big beer - I want something I can chew on and mull over in a Belgian.

Drinkability: A little too thin to keep me interested, but it definitely goes down easy with a little warming feel from the alcohol.

Overall, a very tasty beer that I will be having again. Not quite world-class, though. (721 characters)

Photo of daledeee
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The initial pour was a small bubbling head that goes away quickly. Very dark brown. The first aroma was earthy and grassy(?)

Taste is dark fruity. Some caramel and malt. Not as flavorful as I expected. Rather astringent leaving a puckery mouthfeel.

This beer has very tough competition and falls a little short. Not bad beer but not up to the top shelf Belgians. (369 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
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!!! (2,232 characters)

Photo of moulefrite
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn nice little elf! Pours a dark murky brown/amber and has an almost Oktoberfest look. Very decent lace and a solid cap of head throughout. Aromas favor the sweet, malted/dark candy sugar side, and in the mouth more of the same. Flavors are deep and caramely, with dark candy sugar chiming in hardcore. A touch of that blue cheesy, botrytis flavor I find in the Rochefort Trappist brews? What in the hell is this flavor anyway. Some fruitiness as well here in the way of chocolate covered raisin. Somewhat winey, then turning malty on the finish to boast its beer side. This is cool stuff, and I recommend it highly! (618 characters)

Photo of bditty187
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mildly hazy brownish-cherry/tawny hue, impressive colors intricacy. I was surprised at how large this head got, a good two fingers, on a soft pour, of rocky beige bubbles. The head did fade quickly to half of that size, the remainder hung around awhile, it stayed soapy throughout consumption. However, it did not lace well. The nose was intriguing, very airy with pepper underneath, which was quickly followed by Saaz hops spiciness, distant maltiness. The bouquet needed more pizzazz… thankfully the palate does not! Damn that first sip was great! Much hoppier than I’d ever guess, a pleasant surprise, spicy Saaz upfront, hot and tasty! In the middle a note of flowery-pepper emerges, as does a hint of clove but it gets drowned out by a dry maltiness. I can’t say the finish impresses me much, forgettable actually. As it warms the sweetness increases, it is not cloying or tacky but noticeable, yeah, it is a good addition, just subtle enough. The 8.5% abv escapes detection, a marvelous accomplishment. The taste is unique enough to warrant a visit, lovely and complex. The body is medium; carbonation is firm, but not forced. Very drinkable, too bad I only had a small 11.2 ounce bottle; it cost me $4.00 in Des Monies. It is very much worthy trying, recommended. (1,273 characters)

Photo of nomad
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark color. Had nice thick lace, in fact a bulbous chunky lace, stemming out of a good bright-white head in stark contrast of the beer. Well retained head, too.

Smell was winey like a deep dark red, with malty darkness, calm roasted notes, and a nicely fragrant brandy-ish ester. Then came an even deeper darkness behind it all, a full backbone that was faint but undergirded the whole beer's scent well. Moreover, it was sweetish, with notes of walnut wafting through.

Taste was a great malt mix: sweetish, dark, and roasty malts, followed rosy wine flavors, oak notes - smooth and appreciable. Had a nutty finish of somewhat length. Overall, full-flavored, easy, yet subtle, pulling of the strange but true balance like a good scottish ale should.

Good moderate mouthfeel, washes things down nicely. A very good scottish beer, went fabulously with a Belgian chocolate cake made partly out of St. Bernardus Abt 12. A great scottish ale though could be better; though it was deep and dynamic, it did not possess or culminate toward a high point that wowed me back to it. Regardless, a damn fine beer. (1,124 characters)

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

Appearance – Beautiful dark, ruby brown with a good head that rose unpredictably.

Smell – The full array of BSDA aromas are here. The deep, dark fruits such as dates, figs, tobacco, etc, are laced with raw brown sugar and lay atop a wonderful, toasted malt base.

Taste – This is extra special. The taste goes as the nose goes, but there’s a little something extra going on at the tongue. There’s some big, alcohol-laced bread that comes out in a surprisingly big way, making this extremely complex, full, and satisfying.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied and chewy with an alcohol reminder makes this one feel amazing in the mouth.

Drinkability – I just went through a couple bad bottles today (two that I reviewed, the third one was so flat I figured it was defective and poured most of it out without rating it), so this was quite a treat. The bread especially that came out in the taste was a very unique flavor and well-appreciated.

Update – I first reviewed this in 2003 a month after joining the site so thought it would be interesting to re-review it with a 2004 vintage. It didn’t hold up nearly as well after tasting over 200+ Belgian ales over the course of the last year, but it was still a good beer and a joy to consume. I dropped most of my ratings by half points but still would recommend. (1,319 characters)

Photo of Brian700
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a dark brown with an offwhite head. Most of the head disappears after a while but it keeps some right around the edge. It has an estery smell, very fruity and also some caramel. I can pick up on the Belgian candy sugar as well. Tastes like caramel, a little chocolate, & alcohol. It is sweet but not overly. The taste is very complex. It starts out more chocolately and becomes more fruity towards the middle and into the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is just right. Moderate carbonation, though the head on mine didn't stay to long. I might of had a soapy glass. Overall a damn fine Belgian Ale. (601 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes in a lovely 750ml bottle with a cap and no cork or cage! It pours a lovely dark brown colour with a big, fluffy, white head. The aromas are of anisette, licorice, chocolate, caramel, belgian candy sugar, various strains of yeast, and alcohol. The taste is a boozy mix of imported chocolate, high quality caramel, the finest anise, and more. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy and the drinkability is excellent as well. A staple Belgian in my diet! :0-) YUM!!!

(478 characters)

Photo of SeanChouffe
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark red/amber color, a nice full rocky, tan head--lively and effervescent. Good head retention and a resilient lace. Aroma: spicy, cloves, and alcohol. The taste is complex: creamy and somewhat sweet, but not overpowering. The taste seems to change and develop more character in the middle and toward the finish. Very drinkable beer. (346 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its hazy, ruddy-brown body appears as a deep amber when held to the light; and its tall, creamy head of light-tan foam holds exceptionally well and leaves sheets of sticky lace at the outset of the glass. Delicate fruit greets you in the nose with soft prune, delicate raisin, light summer berries; and a touch of mild toffee and caramel to round it out. Some hops appear in the background but never come forward enough to be recognized. Its very fine, natural carbonation caresses the tongue with a thousand soft prickles before warming to become lightly creamy, and then simply sliding away - yet it's medium/light bodied still leaves a memory. Very nice! All of the fruit found in the nose finds its way into the flavor with the addition of a light, milk-chocolate note and some spicy hop flavor. And although it appears quite straight-forward at first, some acetaldehyde and phenolic notes awaken as it warms; the alcohol becomes more apparent, and it becomes dryer in a finish that lingers with some scortched-caramel and dark-fruit sweetness. It's very well balanced and none of it's components (fruitiness, caramel sweetness, alcohol, hop flavor) ever run out of bounds. Nicely drinkable despite it's solid 8.5% abv; and rich without becoming at all cloying - this is an impressive Belgian brew that defies categorization. Well worth trying! (1,348 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 aracauna
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is kind of a run of the mill Scotch ale. Dark, cloudy reddish brown with a nice glow. The slightly tan head is thick after the pour but fades completely although slowly. A mild bit of peat, wood. Thin but not bad. Not rich enough or enough complex malt to be a good scotch, but it's a easy drinking scotch ale that should go well with mild beef dishes. (357 characters)

Photo of hotstuff
3.32/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

When this beer was poured into my glass, it had a large tan head with fine-small sized bubbles that was fully diminishing. The body was mostly clear with lively carbonation observed. The nose was that of alcohol and some mild clove. The flavor was spicy and malty and the mouthfeel was tingly along with a burning sensation as it is swallowed. (343 characters)

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

A nice dark honey-toned amber with a huge head and beautiful carbonation, a good looking brew. Apples is what is smelled at first, but that was quickly taken over by the malts and hints of spice. The dark amber translates into the taste, the sweet malt and then the warmth of the alcohol, finishing with a metallic like bite. Spices dance around in the mouth, perhaps cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. The alcohol does let you know it is there in the taste. It is a smooth beer and finishing with a crisp finish. (510 characters)

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.