La Chouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

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La ChouffeLa Chouffe

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

833 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

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Reviews: 833
Hads: 2,234
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 178
Gots: 356 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-24-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 833 | Hads: 2,234
Photo of Sammy
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First impression-the model for a Unibroue. The licensed Quebec version is a harsh echo of it. The real thing is citrus, yes corriander and pepper, some yeast. Great floral smell. Terrific hops. A great over-the-top head that never quits. The beer that I can get people to switch from champagne. (294 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was from a 750 ml bottle from bevmo, so who knows how old it was. The beer was a nice semi-dark golden color with a tall fluffy white head that had some moderate retention for a belgian beer. The only reason I didn't give the appearance a higher rating is that I could see yeast floating around in the bottle, and this is after it sat in the fridge for a week.

The aroma was very sweet and of belgian yeast (the high abv yeast that is used in a lot of tripels). The flavor was very nice. The extreme sweetness balanced out the 8% abv. I am assuming that the color and sweetness are from candi sugar. There is a moderate hop bitterness and a fairly high carbonation that give it some bite. Very nice.

This beer had a relatively heavy body which is somewhat rare with these belgian golden ales. I am hop head so I really like the thickness of the strong american ales. This was an extremely drinkable beer and will most certianly try it again. (949 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Lab Brewing Company in Agoura Hills, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, fruits, spices, yeast, and some slight banana aromas. Taste is the same with a nice spice finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink. (453 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Two finger frothy head on a dark golden hazy body with nice lacing. Aroma is excellent with a distinct musty floral note with a fruity background. Taste is also on the floral side. The coriander is robust in the one with a semi sweet fruit flavor as well. Medium body and light to moderate carbonation. I enjoyed this one and will get it again. (344 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It poured clear light yellow into a snifter glass with a large, white foamy head. A moderate level of carbonation is evident from the rising bubbles.
S: The nose has some funky citrusy, floral and sour aromas. It's not quite what you would expect from a typical saison.
T: Orangey flavors really stand out in the taste, along with some notes of spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very smooth from the level of carbonation.
D: This beer is a good sipper yet is also refreshing at the same time. (513 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at Rick's in Alexandria and served with Christmas dinner. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a cloudy golden-orange color with a good white head. Very bubbly. The nose is banana, pear, and spice with a bit of creaminess. Really soft and mellow with a bit of a light buttery, chardonnay-esque character. The taste is pretty similar with over-ripe pear and spicing really standing out. The feel is nice--medium body with good carbonation and a good creamy feel to it. This drinks quite well and works nicely with turkey and accompaniments. (550 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color with a big, rocky head; clumps of lace leave a nice pattern on the chalice

Smell: An interesting blend of smells - lemony, yeasty, grassy and spicy, with distinct sweet, candi sugar undertones reminiscent of bit o'honey

Taste: Starts out dry and spicy, with lemon and coriander as the main thread; while the herbal flavors build to mid-palate, they are joined by a sweet anise flavor to balance them out; after the swallow, the grassy hops and yeasty flavors rise to the fore but the finish combines all of the elements

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly creamy, with copious carbonation

Overall: Lots of complexity for this one and well deserving of its reputation (706 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of the classics. i think this basically defines the genre of belgian strong pale ale. it has all the elements, and is one of the more balanced beers in this style thats out there. a little darker than golden, bright russet colored, with a tall white head that is vintage belgian. the nose is a showcase of this very dynamic yeast, as spice laden as it is fruity, and then bittering hops with a european grassiness. the flavor is quite similar, with a little grain sweetness on the front end before the yeast driven dry finish. carbonation is akin to champagne, and the beer is awfully drinkable and creamy for something thats 8% abv. very uncommon. i kind of always keep this beer in the back of my mind and internally compare all other belgian pales to it. very few stack up to la chouffe. (794 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice to see the draught version around these parts. The beer, as remembered, is a run for the top spot of beerdom. The pour is a hazy straw with hints of yeast and spiced in suspension. Good head retention and solid on carbonation promises creaminess and richness. Aromas release a juicy, mouthwatering plethera of ripe fruits, sweet malts, bold esters, tartness, and a splash of honey. The flavors are most bold with fruit flavors of peaches, pears, banannas, apples, lemons, appricots, mangos... Bold sweet malts swirl around the fruits and lend a full, rich cotton candy and bubblegum softness. Back-up notes of clove, corriander, curraco, ginger, and nutmeg gives a ton of variety to the brew. The feel is an anticipated rich, smooth, velvety blanket across the palate; soon washed by fruity tartness and alcoholic strength. Finishes with a mildly dry, clean fruit flavors. Simply a great beer. (898 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out with a nice golden color, the head was thick and white. The lacing was minimal but had a decent retention to it. The smell of the beer was slightly sweet, some grains on the nose and plenty of earthy hops and yeast. The taste of this beer is nicely balanced, grains and malts upfront that fade into a more dry and earthy aftertaste. The mouthfeel was smooth and drinkable. Overall this beer is quite good, and would drink this along with any of the other Chouffe brews out there again. (506 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured an hazy blonde ale with a huge bubbly white head. Aroma is quite spicy with yeast also discernable. Taste is very refreshing with again strong spices (pepper?) and a yeasty finish. Good body and alcohol is not noticeable. This beer represent a quality example of a strong blonde Belgian ale, one can never go wrong with this one. (344 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hugely hazy pale lemon with plenty of jazzed up bubbles. I'm continually amazed at the amount of carbonation in Belgian beer. The head is gargantuan, is a half shade darker than pure white and is stiff and meringue-like. Chunklets of foam are starting to appear and ultimately there's a near-solid wall of lace on the opposite side of the glass. The head is some kind of impressive. It's more than rocky, it's craggy; but it isn't quite mountainous.

There's nothing all that exciting in the nose. It's a little fruity, a little spicy and a little musty, but I don't get the usual pedal-to-the-metal Belgian yeastiness. The flavor is a definite step up. There's a sweetish blonde malt backbone along with spicy, earthy, exotic fruity, strongly herbal elements. It reminds me of a tripel in some ways. The body/mouthfeel is medium-full and is nicely creamy. Despite all the bubbles, it isn't fizzy in the least. Well-hidden ABV.

I'm not a big fan of Belgian beer, but perhaps I just haven't had the right ones yet. La Chouffe won't make me forswear my beloved IPAs, but it is pretty tasty. I'm glad that I picked up two bottles. (1,133 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml squat elfin bottle, in more ways than one.

This beer pours a frosted medium golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy and loosely foamy off-white head, which leaves some random rickety lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly settles.

It smells of strong bready pale Belgian malt, sour orange and lemon citrus, earthy yeast, and a touch of grassy, leafy hops. The taste is astringent, tangy, and spicy citrus flesh, soft pale grainy malt, a sublime, understated barnyard yeastiness, and weak leafy, earthy hops. No sign of the 8 points of alcohol.

Still present after more than a few minutes worth of settling is a prevalent carbonation, one soft and frothy enough to render a smooth, medium-weight body. It finishes clean as it can be with the sugary malt and lingering yeast and orchard fruit, it all seeming somehow a tad ethereal.

A prototypical Belgian pale ale - grainy, moderately sweet, and the rest of the standard spice and booze elements very well integrated into the whole. Careful you don't trip over that oblivious little elf while polishing off this sneaky offering. (1,106 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is actually my mother in laws favorite beer, lol. so i split a bottle with her last weekend just to be nice.

A huge, two inch plus head of off white yeasty foam on top. Nice retention as it hung around for a good long while. Once it finally relented it left behind a ton of gooey lace on the glass.

Very spicey and yeasty. Alot of nutmeg, and fruit notes were very prominent from the start. Lively aroma, you could tell there was a nice amount of yeast in hear. A touch of light eathy hops that seemed to mix out as it warmed up. Smooth, very very smooth. Not even a hint of the alcohol inside this one. It was just a very nicely done belgian pale. Made your lips tingle a bit, this one tasted alive still, very nice. It had a good earthy grain quality and a touch of some light fruit. Very nice balance.

Overall It was effortless to sip. Gave a really good pop once it hit your palate and kept itself feeling vibrant throughout the session. (950 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a somewhat cloudy, golden orange hue with a thick, foamy, bubbly, two-finger head. It left lace on the tulip glass.

S - It smelled of Belgian yeast, spices, clove and hints of caramel.

T - Tasted very good. Spicy hoppiness with tons of yeasty flavors. Nice clove and banana-like flavors, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a great Belgian ale. It was nice to have it on tap. (449 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich golden color with a nice rocky head that becomes a little creamy with some nice lacing,aroma is lighter than expected some spiciness with a hint of some grassiness.Taste is citruisy with a more subdued spicieness again with a grassy hop that comes thru in the finish.It almost has a creamy mouthfeel its a refreshing beer for the alcohol content a nice beer but there are better out there of the style I think. (423 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle - $4.29 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia. Best Before End 2011.

Appearance: Pours out a lightly hazy, golden-hued body with a wispy, white head.

Smell: Aroma of honey-flavored candy with supplementary notes of herbaceous coriander, sugar-sweetened lemon juice, Granny Smith apples spritzed with alcohol, and some soft pastoral florals.

Taste: Sweet, honeyish malt character attacked with a blitz of sweet fruitiness -- lemon, green apple, and even an indistinct tropical fruit character cross the tongue. Meager touch of coriander. Faint floral character from the hops as well as a mild bitterness. Additional spiciness imparted by the Belgian yeast. Minor hint of alcohol, though very well-integrated considering the purported 8%. Finishes dry with lasting hints of fruit and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Easily likable, and easily drinkable (at least in the 11.2 ounce format), it's a tasty, well-fortified Belgian blonde. (993 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of bone white foam that settles slowly and leaves nice lace in its wake. The body is golden-orange with a slight cloudiness.

S - A strong earthy, herbal hop presence, with notes of pepper and rosemary.

T - Spicy yeast up front with moderate hop flavor and a bit of light fruity flavor, peaches or apricots. Pilsner malt richness comes out in the middle and transitions into low to moderate bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium to thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Easily drinkable. The yeast and hop flavors play off of each other wonderfully and make for a complex and very enjoyable example of the style. (655 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Figured I'd give the store's last bottle of this a good home: mine. It pours a mostly clear gold topped by over a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises heavy Belgian yeast, light white bread, clove, a pinch of black pepper, light lemon peel, a hint of banana peel, and a touch of flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, with that heavy yeast character really coming to the fore. This isn't to say that the spices take a full backseat, but they are definitely subservient to the yeast. Lesser beers would suffer from this situation, but this yeast works well. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a very nice BSPA, not quite up there with Duvel and the other standard-bearers, but it comes pretty dern close. (816 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pitcher’s Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light gold with a foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The smell contained mostly wheat & spice with a little bit of lemon zest, hops and alcohol.

T: A bready wheat flavor hits you first, followed by a heavy lemon taste along with some clove spice & hops.

M: Very smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, with a very clean finish.

D: Very tasty and light, with a good kick to it. I could definitely stick with this one for a long time, but it’s a bit pricy to drink several of them in an evening. (666 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fairly rich but sprightly on the tongue. Mellow malt is pleasant but the overall effect is quite sharp. Modest head on the golden grew. Some chewy, grainly taste along with the Belgian flavors. Yeasty hint and a slight bitterness. Hard to find fault, it's not too sweet nor overly bitter. Lacks some of the interesting spice and complexity of other Belgian light ales.

On tap at the Encinitas Ale House. (404 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazed orange gold with a white head. Nose is yeasty and citrus. Flavor is strong with apparent yeast influence and a minute citrus edge. Sweet, but not overly so. Definite influence from spices, but not overpowering by any means. Feel is good with carbonation. Pretty standard for the style, but still good. Highly drinkable. I’d go back to this again and again...and again. (375 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy golden colour with a thick and creamy white lace. Light bodied and very effervescent that is close to a champagne-like mouth feel. Dry pale malt character with a complex spiciness of clove, cinnamon, black pepper and a light hoppy presence. Burst of peachy fruitiness in the middle that awakes the taste buds from more. Lovely in the bottle but even better on tap. (371 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a Mc Chouffe glass, BBD of 31 Dec 2009

Pours an effervescent bronze with 3+ fingers of parfait-like white head. Perfect head retention & lacing

S: Bready, peppery & fruitty & I get lemons + apple peal as this warms

T: Honey malt & citric hops up front. I catch some coriander & orange peel as this warms. Apple peel & honey follows. Finishes with apricot, warming booze, lemony hops & a bit of dryness

MF: Light carbonation & syruppy feel. Great balance

Drinks a little slow, due to its complexity, great example of the style, love this brewery! (572 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright magnificant golden color with a huge frivilously sized head chunky and nice leaves thick bands of lacing oh yeah. Aroma: Wow, very nice peppery farmhouse style exotic spices this is it, the scent tickles the senses with an herbal like approach sends straight beer nirvana my way. Taste: Nice golden ale backed with all of the spices in the scent and then some like a barnyard with nice earthy hop servings and peppery spices this is excellent stuff here not too sweet just right. Mouthfeel: Well carbonated medium bodied golden ale. Drinkability: I can't say enough good stuff abou this one just awesome stuff the herbal spice that comes with it would be perfect for a reduction with some chicken and potatoes. Good stuff nonetheless gets high marks across the board with me.

Update 4/14/14: Nice four packs for affordable prices with short stubby bottles make this one more approachable nowadays, nice to see it's being imported into the states into Ommegang/Duvel Moortgat in Cooperstown, NY. Pours slightly hazed honey golden body with a bright effervescent white head, fine Belgian lace forms on the sides of my glass. Aroma spicy yeast, cereal grains medicinal at times but not overly boozed up. This seems to be in higher production than back in 2004 when I first reviewed it and back in 2001 when I enjoyed it at Smokeless Joe's in Toronto, Canada on tap for the first time. My love affair with Belgian ale is still intact but nothing like it was when I first got into beer, to me a lot of their beers tend to have a lot of sweetness compared to American crafts that I enjoyed more 10 to 13 years ago. Now I'm a full fledged hophead that can still respect one of the beers that really helped get me hooked. The cereal grains come across on the palate with loads of coriander and other spices, black pepper, a hint of pear, a bit of alcohol comes through with the 8% abv, very balanced and well appreciated for what it is. If you need more hops just grab an Houblon Chouffe instead of La Chouffe you'll be glad you did. Tomahawk, Amarillo, there's one other variety of American high alpha acid hops that they use in that brew. Mouthfeel is effervescent the carbonation is a bit much for me but I can still appreciate the flavors it carries along some of the residual sugars left behind in fermentation much better with the higher carbonation. Overall I'm still a fan boy of beer in general and can appreciate pretty much any style, but La Chouffe was a beer that I held in high regards because of the enjoyment and experiences with friends I had when I found this on a weekend trip into Canada with some college dorm mates back in early 2000s. (2,669 characters)

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La Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
92 out of 100 based on 833 ratings.