McChouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
McChouffeMcChouffe

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BA SCORE
89
very good

930 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 930
Reviews: 500
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 31
Gots: 72 | 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:
ABV varies from time to time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 09-22-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 930 | Reviews: 500 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tavernjef
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dried blood brownish red with a medium soft-looking foamy cap that sits briefly leaving behind a big collar and thin skim. Lacing is minimal in big blobby things.

Aroma is dry and delicately soft with a semi-yielding date, prune, dark purple grapey fruitish backlay.

Taste is short, rounded in a softly darkened fruityness of red apple, purple grape, and lesser tarting fruity sugars. A bit sharp on the buds with a big carbonation hump in the middle. Finish is light and airy with a yeasty woodish dryness with a bit of fruit pits and skins trying to grab a bit of interest.

Feel is OK, the short-lived flavors don't help anything as it has a seemingly light/medium body with that hump of carbonation in the middle totally taking away what could be a fairly smooth ride.

Drinkability is a little less then the norm for a Belgian Dark ale. Quite plain, but seems like the effort is there and comes across well made, just not much going on with this one.

Photo of RBorsato
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brown (mahogany to a light source) with a nice tan head and nice active carbonation up the middle. Spicy phenols, dark fruit (raisin, prune) malt aromas and flavors. Nice robust maltiness with a touch of alcohol. All around nice balance; not overly sweet. Medium-full bodied with a touch of airiness due to high carbonation levels.

Per Label: "Pilsner malts" & "English Golding and Saaz hops" & "Scottish Ale/Abbey Ale"

Per BD'A website: 16P
Hops: Styrie and Saaz

Best Before: End '08
Tasted: 06/10/07

($7.99 / 25.4 oz. / 75 cl tall green lithographed champagne style bottle - capped)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a rich, almost opaque chocolaty brown. Aroma is strong and malty and just a touch sweet. Flavor is rich, remarkably sweet but not cloying, strongly malty with hints of fruit and butterscotch and a nutty trace. There is just a tiny hit of hop bitterness. Very smooth and pleasant to sip.

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of champ103
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown color. At first a beige head forms and rises to about two fingers. The head recedes in an instant. Not much lace to speak of.
S: Dry wood with lots of yeast and sweet malt. Some spicy aromas as well. Very dank and musky. Like wet cloths. Not a lot of depth here.
T: Follows the nose. Some dry wood, malt, and yeast.
M/D: A medium body with a little to much carbonation. Not hard to sip on for the style.

Kind of nondescript malt, and not much more. Not bad, but nothing that really gets me excited.

Photo of tbeckett
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into a Stella glass.

A - Light tan head that stays tight and sticks around through the duration of the tasting. Nice ruby colour with some yeast goodies.

S - Lot's of dark fruit and candy sugar aromas.

T - Malty. Lot's of big malt flavours. Really sweet. Dark fruit as well.

M - Thick feeling. Medium body.

D - Too sweet to session. Good for a few sips from a big bottle but I couldn't have much more.

Photo of Brenden
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown? This beer is darker than most so-called black ales with no hint of opacity; can barely see into it, much less through it. A thick, creamy and dense tan head grows to between 1 1/2 and 2 fingers in height. Retention is fantastic; this beer's showing a lot of character. Lacing is left in rocky patches and a thick ring at the top followed by somewhat spottier but thick lacing the rest of the way.
This is a very spicy beer, lots of peppery notes primarily. It's got a thick, malty breadiness to it as well. It's almost like a seasoned holiday bread of some kind, though sweetness isn't so prevalent in the aroma. There's also just a light note of banana and clove. Going into the flavor, just a little sweetness comes out, but otherwise quite a bit of earthy tones come out, tasting more raw and natural but not leafy, though a light herbal quality comes out that I'll presume to think is hops, along with a light nuttiness.
The feel is pretty creamy but mingling with a moderate crispness in about a medium body. It gets a little smoother as the sip lingers, though, and everything works together well.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of pathman
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of rudzud
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review taken from notes. Thanks to jlindros for sharing.

A - Pours a slightly hazy mahogany with a very light thin head that leaves nice light side lacing.

S - Very light belgian yeast aromas, with some dark fruits light chocolate.

T - Very nice belgian yeast notes, some sweet carmel malts, good rich dark fruits, and some very nice chocolate (cocoa powder).

M - Nice carbonation here. It is not too heavy or syrupy.

O - I liked this beer. Not a bad offering from d'Achouffe.

Photo of Jwale73
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark auburn brown with some clarity and a two-finger head that dies quickly and leaves some lacing. Some malts in the smell and they contain a little sweetness; cocoa, caramel; only hints of dark fruit. First thing that hit me was a dryer, nuttier taste. Still, it is somewhat sweet and smooth over the tongue despite a little syrupy stickiness and it is almost full bodied (thanks to decent carbonation). There are figs and some roasted malts as well, plus a dark fruit sensation although it finishes dry. ABV hidden well - a good beer to relax with.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown-apricot colour with really pleasant beige head, retains superbly but isn't all that thick. The sticky sheet of lace on my mistress' bed...whoops, I mean, on the glass, more than makes up for that, and very strong carbonation. Great-looking brew.

Nose is tart and resiny with a very distinct ethanol character. Fair amount of grape skins, with a hint of peach and maybe a slight banana character as well. Slightly simple, but pleasant enough.

Taste is also quite tart, with a pleasant fruity malt character on the mid, slightly tart grape characters and a hint of vinegar. Very phenolic with a distinct alcohol hit. Throughout the palate there is a lot of sweet characters though, boiled lollies and carob on the front. To be honest it doesn't sit perfectly right with the vinegar character on the back, and the overall palate feels a bit short, with not much of a finish. Pleasant enough but just lacking a bit.

Mouthfeel is very sticky and thick with a large body, not much texture but nice sticky Belgian quality.

As much as I'm not a huge fan of the flavour here, it's very drinkable and pleasant, goes down smoothly, because its tart and phenolic characters aren't quite sharp enough to make me recoil. Could disguise its alcohol better but otherwise pretty fine.

Photo of illidurit
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

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

Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of francisweizen
4.35/5  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!!!

F

Photo of dcmchew
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of AngusOg
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
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!!!

Photo of outoffocus
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of DmanGTR
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of cokes
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB: End 2005.

Pours out a glistening yet hazy deep amber-orange body. Massive bone-colored head is sticky, frothy and persistant. Centerfold material.
Nose is comprised of saaz spiciness (first and foremost), some fruity esters, light peat characteristics, toasted carmel, and alcohol. Occasional hints of chocolate.
The is just delightful. Hits right up front with the stinging saaz hoppiness. Some peppery spice tack onto this and make it almost tingling. Once this recedes, the toasted carmel malt makes its way up front. Loads of oaky/woody notes to boot. This stays pretty dry throughout...juices up a little when in warms all the way up, with some fruity (apple and raisin) hues. Earthy, organic peatsmoke textures are interjected amongst the bready yeast tones. Earthy and organic are the adjectives I want to stress with this one. Course grain, faint cocoa, and slight hints of vanilla round this one out. Finishes with a jab of (seemingly english-style) hops, and a touch of alcohol.
The spritz of a belgian, mixed with the malt heft of a scotch ale. Medium bodied, maybe on the thin side..but who cares.
The fact that this is so young will require me to go grab a few to age. This is a very nice one...likely great with a little time.

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

On-tap at Prime 16 into an Old English Oil tulip.

A: My glass arrives full to the brim with clear ruby-brown liquid that's alive with fine effervescence; the bubbles serve to sustain a finger of delicate tan head that shows great retention and leaves light lace. Attractive.

S: Deep, bready malt is front and center, with serious toastiness and some background yeast; dark fruits and spice lie underneath. Nice.

T: Decadent maltiness dominates throughout, but is nicely restrained by some drying yeast spice on the finish. Flavors of nuts, prunes, cake, bread, and toffee provide plenty of sweet intensity, only to be balanced by a clean bite of minerality and light alcohol. Excellent.

M: Fairly hefty medium body that explodes with prickly carbonation. A little over the top.

O: This was my first encounter with a Belgian Scotch Ale, but I had no fears - in my experience Brasserie D'Achouffe can do no wrong. While not quite as transcendent as Houblon Chouffe, this brew is quite tasty indeed. The Scottishness of the malt character was apparent, although the overall effect was decidedly skewed to the Belgian side of the continuum. I kind of hoped that they would have thrown some peat-smoked malt into the grain bill, but I suppose it turned out just fine as is. Well done, gnome.

Cheers!

Photo of blackie
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

gotta love gifts of beer

appearance: Pours a 1" fluffy off-white head that gradually falls back. Great retention, with heavy ring and nice layer with a bottom fed "volcano" smack in the middle. Great retention, no lacing. The beer is a rich mahogany brown in color.

smell: At the front I find aged Euro hops, papery and spicy, alongside Pale malts and a subtle toffeelike aroma. I get aromas of a well-browned, crusty pie made with dark fruits and nuts...date and raisin maybe. Some subtle yeast esters and a touch of citrus. Light ethanol spice. Quite nice...simple and well balanced.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is high and lively, and the body has an airy medium feel to it.

taste: Pale Euro malts dominate, but with a lightly toasty, toffee sweetness that makes itself well known. Kinda reminds me of a dark Euro lager...but, you know, as a Belgian ale. Aged, papery Belgian hop flavor and a medium-light bitterness that lingers with a nutty note and a touch of alcohol in the finish. Medium-dry. Dark, crusty bread. Not a whole lot of complexity but definately well built. The "Mc" makes total sense now (never read the back of the bottle before, or inferred what was probably obvious), as there is a definate Scottish malt nuance to both the aroma and taste.

drinkability: Very easy...a nice, flavorful Belgian session beer, despite the 8% ABV. I probably would not go after this one again, but I'm glad to have tried it.

Not sure how well the classification fits, but it's a good beer regardless

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 930 ratings.