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N'Ice Chouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

811 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 811
Reviews: 450
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 37
Gots: 63 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 12-14-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 811 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OneDropSoup
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 6 & Save in New Kensington, PA. Dave, the proprietor, recommended I try this before it disappeared. Interestingly enough, Chris at Vintage Estate also recommended it just four days earlier. A good sign.

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip, a hazy, dark tea-like brown with orange highlights. Just a thin dusting of head & very little lace.

Smells of dark fruits at first, some caramel, a very sweet & persistent smell. Is there some baking spice in there too?

Taste is right there: dark fruit up front, honey, caramel malt, some cola-like flavors. The booze is well-hidden at first, but picks up about a quarter of the way in, generating some heat.

The mouthfeel is full, sweet, a little on the sticky side.

Drinkability is very good -- another fine Belgian Strong Dark to sip after dinner. I really enjoyed this, it reminds me of Gouden Carolus' Grand Cru in a lot of ways, but like a little brother to it. Great holiday brew.

OneDropSoup, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml capped bottle.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown which is dark, dark red, almost purplish when held to light. The head is huge, white, puffy, rocky, and never leaves. There are big dollops of chunky marshmallow floating in the rim that remains at the bottom of the glass. Lacing=awesome. Downgraded only for an abundance of suspended yeast, even in the first careful pour.

Smell: Really good. Very yeasty, spicy, and sweet. Sweet, dark fruit and a little nose- burning booze.

Taste: I think I wish this did not have "thyme and curacao peel." Definitely not the curacao peel. It is overspiced and too bitter. That really kinda ruins it. There is sweet maltiness and fruit and nice bready yeast flavors. After I swallow it and the bitterness is forgotten, I want another sip, but then I'm dissapointed again.

Mouthfeel: Good. Pretty much medium to full. Good carbonation. Creamy head in every sip.

Drinkability: So close. Leave out the spice and orange and let the beer speak for itself. As it is, its an almost. I wont buy it again.

rapidsequence, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark ruby red colour, with a very full, but loose-bubbled head of beige foam. Very nice looking, especially the colour and the clarity. Looks surprisingly light bodied for such a high gravity beer, but overall it really does look quite delightful.

Dark fruits and light boozy characters on the nose. Slightly spiced, with notes of cranberries, sultanas and a little sharp pine. Even a touch of oak or brandy. Very nice. I know this is the point, but it reminds me of the flavours of Christmas, and today in Sydney is unseasonably hot, which makes me remember a summer Christmas all the more.

Tingly on the palate, quite rich, and smooth later. Starts with a robust fortified alcohol character, that starts to permeate the sinuses, before a lovely smooth vanilla character comes in to soothe the palate. The alcohol is no doubt noticeable, but it's delicately entangles with the more subtle characters so that it blends superbly. Mouthfeel has the benefit of the light heat, and the smooth back palate. Lovely.

A lovely beer - possibly too high gravity to drink a great deal of - and the heat is so integrated into the palate that you notice every sip. But nonetheless, a truly very delectable and enjoyable brew.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of brendan13
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a goblet a very dark copper colour bordering on brown. A few centimetres of head slowly settles to a thin whisp. Plenty of lacing.
S - First thing to hit is the Belgian clove like spicy yeast notes followed by some dark fruit and caramel malt touches.
T - Quite a spicy presence in the taste too followed through by dark fruit sweetness and caramel malt notes.
M - Medium bodied with a fairly high carbonation.
D - Probably the most drinkable 10% beer I've ever had. Plenty of character with nothing dominating. Very well balanced.

brendan13, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 06/22/2009. On tap at Sunset Grill, Boston. This beer pours brown with a thick white head. The aroma is of sweet malt and light fruits. The flavor is initially lots of sweet malt with slight spices. Kind of bland and too sweet also. Meh...

LilBeerDoctor, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of SleepyMonk
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly chilled 750ml bottle poured to a sniffer glass.

Produces a large rocky and uneven pale coffee colored head. Tight lacing and the body is dense and dark. Held to the light and the color almost shows its self to be a red along the lines of a pinot.

The aromatic character of this offering is rather subdued and weak when compared to what I was expecting after just looking at it. Subtle confectionary type notes such as a caramels blend with pale coffee and dark fruit aromas.

The taste is slightly complex with malt featuring heavily along with herbal spice. Roasted fruit and coffee blend well with the direction the malt driven character is heading.

Big and sweet up front in the mouth gives way to a drawn out and well sustained dry finish that is very much welcome given one gets to experience such a warm taste. There is a certain degree of alcohol across the finish however that is to be expected given the ABV.

This is a damn good strong dark ale. Not as sweet as a Kasteel Brune but quite close. Went well with some crumbly cheese. Whilst it made for a good late night sipper it wasn't quite the winter warmer I was expecting.

SleepyMonk, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml bottle shared with psycohops and brothercannon. 2005 vintage poured into a trio of basic snifters. The ale appears a dark copper color with about an inch of fluffy light ecru foam. Nose and flavor consist of sweet candi, peppery yeast, plums/prunes, toffee drizzled raisins, sugary breads. The ale is medium to full bodied and more than adequately carbonated for the style.

ClockworkOrange, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage 750ml bottle into fluted goblet on 5/29/09. Thanks to akorsak for sharing.

A - Poured a hazy copper-colored body with half a finger of light tan head that reduced to a patchy film and deposited a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

S - Pretty subtle aroma overall with caramel notes and some coffee sweetness. Mild dark fruit character also emerges. Hop character is scant at best.

T - Sweet and mildly tart dark fruit tang with caramel and toffee malt sweetness. Touch of sourness in the finish.

M - Smooth and syrupy texture, although a tad watery overall. Minimal carbonation. Finishes sweet on the palate.

D - 10% ABV? No way! This strong ale really mellowed out and morphed into a rich, sweet and malty brew that concealed its alcohol extremely well.

ffejherb, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of Kendo
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it on tap at the Lionheart in Albany, 5-20-09.

A: Dark coppery-amber body with a small cream- or even khaki-colored head. Some lacing on the way down.

S: Sugary malt and nutty malt with a good dose of boozy alcohol. As it warms, there's some fruit and even some spice.

T: Candied sugar, toffee and caramel malt up front followed by fruit -- cherries -- and alcohol heat at the back end of the sip leading to a surprisingly dry finish given the dominant malt flavors. Think cherries soaked in booze or maybe port (I do get a slight sense of dried fruit as well) and you've got the idea. Also a touch of spice.

M: Medium-to-heavy in heft. Good carbonation. Somewhat sticky.

D: OK. A little bit too much booze in the taste (and nose) for this to be higher on the drinkability score. A nice warming sipper, however.

Edit, 12-21-11: Had it on tap at the Merry Monk in Albany, a new Belgian bar that opened recently. Similar experience, though now with the last category being "overall" instead of "drinkability" I've bumped up the score there to 4. Noticeable alcohol keeps this one from scoring higher all-around.

Kendo, May 28, 2009
Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a 750ml capped bottle. Pours a nice ruby brown color, some big yeast floaters at the bottom, a nice tight egg-shell colored head that left a nice sheet of sticky lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet, vinous, with a bit of peppery spice, typical BSDA. Deep red wine, perhaps some sherry, flavors hit up front with a nice counter-balance of dark candi-sugar, some lights hints of tobacco or an earthy spice. There is a bit of a weird sourness or bitterness to this that I cannot quite place. The feel is moderate with plenty of carbonation, some fusel alcohol is present; though sweet overall finishes with a dry and bitter kick. A nice BSDA, nothing from this brewery disappoints. The brew is a bit boozy and dry/bitter for the style. Still a good pick up.

Gmann, May 28, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a thick brown color. The head is two inches of tannish white foam that recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is anise, plums, and malt. The taste is a nice balance of malt, and spice with the anise sticking out slightly. The mouthfeel is medium full bodied with very lively carbonation. Overall, this is a good Belgian Strong Ale, but not a great one.

KarlHungus, May 09, 2009
Photo of grayburn
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Talk about head, I popped the top on a bottle that had been standing untouched for a couple months and about 5 oz of beer was lost champagne style. She pours a muddy burnt amber into the glass, with a wicked head and lacing.
The smell is all yeast, maybe a little bit of citrus. The thyme is definitely lost behind all that belgian yeastiness. Very nice though.
The taste is sweet and then immediately bitter, not so much hoppy but I think I found the thyme.
It has a medium silky body, with high carbonation.
This beer is a little hot yet, it's the 08 edition, next christmas is would be perfect. Definitely something nice to try though.

grayburn, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught at BTAH, into tulip.

Pours cloudy brown, somewhere between the colors of dark and milk chocolate, with a full, fluffy, 2 finger off-white head. Some wispy lacing at the top of the glass.

Aroma is breaady, yeasty, slight sweet, bit of alcohol.

Taste is caramelized brown sugar and a big spicy yeastiness, some roasty bread crust, moving to a full, rich bready, spicy character, with sweet figs in there also. Spicy alcohol makes itself felt also. Finishes with a sweet spiciness - notes of cinnamon, candied figs in the finish.

Mouthfeel is soft and lush, softly carbonated, creamy, light but feel. Word class beer, one of my winter favorites.

JohnQVegas, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of smcolw
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Solid head with lasting time. Relatively light lace. The liquid is brown and very cloudy.

Pleasant darker malts with a light hop background. There's a candy sugar element to it.

Molasses sugar up front that yields to a pleasant blend alcohol, yeast and light hop. Maybe too much alcohol. There's a brandy-like element to this, with this having about the same body. Low carbonation.

Another great beer from d'Achouffe. I still prefer their IPA.

smcolw, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of Richardberg
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured from a bomber into a stemless wine glass. Dark red-amber liquid with a large, persistent white head.

S: sweet malt, raisin, bit of pepper

T: malt syrup, brown sugar, thyme, bright (but not citrusy) finish of various dried fruits, hint of figs or apricot. Complex and spicy while retaining its core appeal as a yummy Belgian ale. Well done!

M: moderate to thin feel, coats well, moderate carbonation

D: you notice the 10% ABV, but not until it's too late :) I wasn't expecting to be a big fan of this style, but it really is the perfect warming winter ale...for some occasions. I still wouldn't have more than 1 bomber, and I'm still sticking to my big stouts in the general case.

Richardberg, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of Brad007
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-brown color with a two-finger head that leaves some lacing in my pint glass.

Aroma is thick and full of dark fruit and spice with a bit of raisin. Not too overpowering.

Taste is very smooth with a bit of sweet malt and raisin upfront followed by only a bit of spice. A bit chewy as well . Seems right for the style.

Mouthfeel is chewy with a nice amount of raisin and even some alcohol heat (which is well-hidden otherwise).

Despite the holiday theme, this is one nice beer. Highly drinkable and that can be dangerous if you don't realize that it's 10%. Otherwise, pick it up. You could age it as well and it would likely improve anyway.

Brad007, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of talkinghatrack
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Limited Edition 2007 bomber, consumed Feb 2009

a- nice red-orange spectrum in my tulip glass. Two finger head.

s - This is a strange on. I didn't get much of anything on this one on the first pour while cold other than some metallic, malt, and alcohol notes. The thyme and peel scent comes out as it warms - but so does the alcohol. I prefer the fruity warm scent.

t - Average Belgian malts and sour finish. Maybe a hint of citrus and spice. Decent ABV masking until it presents itself strong at the finish.

m - Malty yet thin body with good medium carbonation while cold. Carbonation drops off quickly as it warms.

d - At first I was ready to rate this as an average bomber and decent-at-best draft option if found in a bar. Once the bottle warmed up a bit the smell and flavor get a lot deeper but the alcohol masking weakens. The ABV hit on the finish is harsh and raw. I probably won't buy it again.

talkinghatrack, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of becktone
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage

From notes 11-26-08

Eye: The beer pours a very dark red or garnet if you will, that is when light passes through it. When just sitting on the desk/table it is a dark brown. The brew is clear and forms a very large tan pillowy-rocky-foamy head when poured. Retention is pretty good, as it begins to recede it leaves some nice lacing.

Nose: Citrus notes are evident, one can't deny the use of curacao in this brew. Also a strong spicy yet green aroma..mint-like almost...it puts the picture of fresh green leaves in my head, this has to be the thyme. This leafy aroma (which I assume to be thyme) reminds me alot of the resin/sap that gets on one's fingers when tearing certain leaves apart, or tearing the stems of small green plants apart..really quite an herbal smell, fresh and green. Slight spicy peppery notes under all of this. Alcohol is extremely well hidden, that or it blends so well with these aromas that I can't pick it out. Just got some dark fruit aromas in this brew, plums, some of that sweet dark malt aroma is coming through as well. Overall a very appealing aroma, quite unique...really interested and excited to taste this brew.

Tongue: Definitely some nice dark malt flavors in here as well as dark fruit flavors. It finishes with that green leafy flavor-thyme...long lasting herbal flavor that stays in the mouth once the beer has been swallowed. Alcohol mingles with it close to the finish to produce what almost feels like fresh mint-a little warming and also refreshing. Curacao is one of the first things detected, its right there upfront on the tip of the tongue, that orange flavor is unmistakable. The more I get to drinking this the harder it becomes to taste the dark malt flavors and dark fruit while the curacao and herbal qualities along with some alcohol notes begin to stand out more. The curacao really adds a nice touch here, I'm thinking that it was the intended primary flavor, real nice. Very unique and quite enjoyable.

Feel and Drinkability: The beer has a certain weightiness to it. It comes with the curacao flavor, a certain thick and heavy quality that makes the brew feel full bodied. Carbonation is almost undetectable, a quality that fits this beer well, and something that I feel gives the impression of a heavier body. As aforementioned it slightly warms the mouth and the throat as it goes down. This brew's got a dry finish with some peppery spiciness to it. This is one that I'll have no problem finishing, I look forward to it. As a matter of fact I think that I might just add this to my line up of brews to go with Thanksgiving dinner. Its that good, this is the first time I've had it and I'd really like to see how it goes with dinner tomorrow. Very drinkable, and one of the most unique Belgian Strong Darks that I've ever drank. Real good and dangerously drinkable. Get your hands on this one. Don't know how it is fresh, but I can tell you that at a year old it is drinking real nice.

becktone, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of blakesell
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle is a 2006 vintage dug up from cellar #1. Cellared in near perfect conditions, poured from the 750ml bottle into a Belgian chalice.

Appearance- Cap makes an audible hiss but not much carbonation rises up the neck of the bottle. Beer pours a dark brown and amber with a slim head of carbonation a mere half finger of foam that quickly subsides to a light ring around the sides. Lacing is medium light and hardly clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell- Light malts (on a dark looking beer), no hops, a strong lactic sour smell that is only somewhat pleasant on the nose. none of the expected citrus, but a bit of light fruits. Huge yeasty notes that aren't unpleasant at all. A nutty oxidation smell also lingers on the nose.

Taste- Yeasty and oxidized, but the flavor here is much more pleasant than the smell and appearance. Lovely sweet brown malts, light subdued hops, a bitterness that seems more from the orange peel than the hop, a spicy alcohol warming from the yeast. The oxidation benefits the beer slightly.

Mouthfeel- Warming, downright hot, not sticky or gluey for the high alcohol. highly carbonated on the tongue, and medium high in body.

Drinkability- Very nice, but not something I would vintage age and try again. I'll be going for a fresher bottle next time.

Keep lugging that malt gnomes.

blakesell, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off the tap at American Flatbread this beer was a deep copper color with a cream-colored head. The retention was good as an oil-on-water skim and the lacing was patchy. The aroma was of caramel malt, roasted malt, Belgian yeast, figs and currants. The flavors were distinctly sweet and pungent, big caramel malt, toffee, black cherries, hints of coffee, dark fruits, light chocolate, hints of white pepper, some wood and at the very end I got tart yeast. The 10% was well-concealed but it did make itself present in a bourbon-like way. Generally sweet but not quite cloying. The mouthfeel was semi-smooth, the body medium/full and the carbonation a little too soft. A true example of the style and a challenging brew.

thekevlarkid, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of SRossman
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a burnt orange tint. Looks deep when raised to the light, at the fullest point of the glass, light doesn't penetrate the liquid. Nice foamy head builds up about an inch and a half and slowly settles to about a 1/4 inch and stays.
S: Some interesting spices as the bottle suggests. I also detect some dark fruit which I imagine is a product of the yeast. At 10% abv I expected a little more heat here. It's masked pretty well.
T: Dry with some very bright carbonation. Very smooth, again, alcohol is masked dangerously well. Some more dark fruit comes through and the spices are there in full effect. Nice and full bodied as well. This is so well balanced.
D: It's scary how well this goes down. One bottle is more than enough for me. All around very well crafted beer.

SRossman, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of spointon
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 750ml champagne-style green bottle into my Duvel tulip snifter. This bottle was from 2007.

A= This ale poured a very cloudy medium brown cola color with a 2" lively tan head. The head slowly receded leaving a 1/8" cap and a few spots of lace.

S= Aromas were a complex blend of sweet dark malts and orchard fruit up front (apples and pears mostly). Some spice in the nose as well as an earthy hop character. Fairly high alcohol presence in the smell too.

T= Like the nose, the taste started of sweet and fruity (more apples and pears) but quickly brought a faint sourness and solid spices as well. The spices were reminiscent of holiday desserts, with a faint cinammon and nutmeg quality to them. The earthy hops and the funkiness of the yeast add even more depth of flavor. The finish was dry and a bit warm in the alcohol department. All within a comfortable range though. Nice and complex.

MF= On the big side of medium bodied, with a nice effervescent carbonation and crisp mouthfeel.

D= Definitely a great winter warmer from Belgium. The flavors and the alcohol in this just scream out to be enjoyed by a roaring fire in the dead of winter. Though it could still have used another year of aging, this was a damn interesting and drinkable beer at almost 2 years old.

spointon, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of brewcrew76
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy amber with a thin off whte head.

S - Fruity, apples and pears, spicy, belgian yeast and citrus.

T - Sweet, spicy, cloves, raisins, candi sugar and other spices.

M - Medium body and smooth.

D - A little more spicy than a regular belgian strong dark but very tasty.

brewcrew76, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of brewandbbq
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 1998, 750ml bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours dark ruby with a mahogany hue. Sparkling clarity and a two inch head swelled up in the tulip glass. A slow retreat of the off-white foam lead the way for splattered walls of clingy lace and a solid skim-coat on the surface.

Dark fruit, grape jam, plump malt, hard candies, and rum soaked raisins start the nose. Hints of cherries, orange oil, and peppery spice follow through.

Medium bodied with a sticky, tacky mouthfeel. Slightly chewy and creamy.

Sweet malt, stone fruits, dark rum, and red grapes lead off the palate. A warming boozy note steps forward as well as orangy overtones, rum-drizzeled dough, and plump raisins.

Finishes with a lingering warmth, red fruits, sweet malt, and a hint of menthol way in the back.

The only hint of oxidation was a faint carboard whiff I got when I first opened the bottle. None coming from the glass though, and this beer is in remarkable shape for being 11 years old.
A lot of boozy quad-like overtones, which I've never gotten from this beer before.

brewandbbq, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at High Street Grill. It was presented in a La Chouffe glass, very dark with a thin white head. The aroma was malty sweet, but otherwise unremarkable. The flavor was sweet and slightly phenolic, I did not notice the thyme. A medium bodied beer that is deceptive for its 10% abv.

bonkers, Jan 17, 2009
N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
91 out of 100 based on 811 ratings.