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N'Ice Chouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,004 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,004
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 46
Gots: 142 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 12-14-2001

Brewed with thyme and curaçao
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,004 | Reviews: 483
Photo of mdagnew
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle bought from Hi Spirits, Knaresborough..

Poured a deep dark murky brown colour with a big light creamy brown head which faded slowly to nice light layer... decent amount of sticky lacing coats the glass to the end...

Aroma - Strong treacle / brown sugar sweetness, lots of breadiness, nice strong dark vinous fruits (prunes, plums, blackcurrents, some strawberries), nutty, light thyme herbalness, some dusty notes, medicinal hints, peppery, some very light vinegary sourness, barely any hop bitterness...

Taste - Bready / yeasty notes hit you straight away, light chocolate / biscuity malts, quite strong herbal notes, earthy / woody, faint clove hints, strong dark fruits (black grapes, blackcurrents, plums), spicy / peppery, light alcohol traces, treacle and nutty sweetness, candy sugar...

Feel - Sharp initially then becomes very smooth... medium / full bodied... pretty drinkable for a 10% brew..

Overall - A pretty good Belgian Strong Ale... well worth a try...

Photo of wl0307
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 750ml green giant bottle was bottled on 20/08/2009, served mildly chilled in a long-stemmed, huge bulb-shaped Burgundy goblet.

A: pours a fairly clear, bright russet hue with burgundy reddish glows when seen against light, coming with rather light and fine carbonation and a beige foamy head that gradually settles to a thin cap.
S: the nose has lots of aroma all rolled in one - overripe fruit esters, dark candy sugar, brown sugar, plum jam, aromatic hops (a bit like Styrian Goldings mixed with Saaz), apples, hays, mint leaves, Chinese red-bean-paste like esters, and a noticeable but not sharp edge of alc. The fruitiness comes in balance with enticing hoppiness, while malty profile seems to stay calmly in the background.
T: the finely-carbonated foretaste is mixed and full of enticing & smooth flavour of semi-toasted tea, woody-spiciness, biscuity pale malts, crystal malts, bitter-nutty malts, chewy & bitter-sweet root-herbs, aromatic & dry bitterness as of Northern Brewer, and lingering notes of mixed overripe stone-fruits (prune-ish); seamlessly, the finish concludes with lightly chewy spiciness of hops, on top of a clean and good-quality salty palate of yeasts as well as toffee-ish aroma. The whole flavour shows a nice and smooth structure, not cloying, fairly hoppy, and not at all alcoholic as far as a 10%abv. strong ale is concerned... A sheer bliss, in an unconventional manner.
M&D: the super fine yet still lively carbonation supports the flavour with a fresh touch, while the hop profile somehow helps to keep a clean palate vis-à-vis the rich flavour profile. I've forgotten how tasty McChouffe (the dark one) is, but this Bigger'Chouffe seems to feature a bit more hoppiness, in a skilful and mouthwatering way...! I can drink this ale all night, if I can afford many bottles, that is... 8-P

Photo of vancurly
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One inch pale beige head, caramel chestnut colour

Aromas of lemon rind, ginger powder, glace cherry. Warms to caramel, banana.

Flavours of fruit cake, dates, nuts, candied fruit.

Lighter body than expected, yet warm & sticky. Late alcohol heat.

Nice Winter Warmer.

Photo of zoso493
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one in my cellar for awhile and decided to pop it open on the first day of snow here in Edinburgh! Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my long-neglected Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Pours a nice garnet-mahogany with a subdued (at least by Achouffe's standards), one-finger, foamy head that subsides quickly, leaving some good-looking lacing on the glass.

Smell: This one has a nice spicy taste. Lots of different spices which my sense of smell is not yet acute enough to pick up. Aside from that, there are also some hints of dark fruits, like plum and dates and also a faint scent of something sweet in the back - molasses, perhaps.

Taste: This is a pretty spicy BSDA, as the smell indicated. There's also a pretty big taste of alcohol up front. After the spiciness and alcohol warmth subside, you can get some of the darker fruit tones, as well. As it warms, some of the sweeter notes come out, and combine really nicely with the bitter spices. This brew gets extra points for boldness.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full-bodied and really nicely carbonated, which leaves the mouth feeling dry and ready for another sip. Very crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: Honestly, this is a pretty smooth beer considering it's 10% ABV. The alcohol, however, is a big presence in the taste. This 750 is going down nicely, though.

Overall, this is one of the better offerings I've had from Brasserie Achouffe as of yet. I still have a bottle of the McChouffe in the cellar which I have yet to try, but will probably do so in the next couple. This is a very bold and complex beer, which sits very well with me. It's very unique in the way the spiciness and sweetness are intertwined. I would highly recommend this brew.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ last night, 2008 vintage. On to the beer:

Deep dark brown color. The head is large on top, has great retention, and leaves a show of lacing in the glass. Despite the strength of the beer, it seems a little mellow. Some plums are noticable, along with the dark fruity yeast, plus the addition of whatever mellow, oddball spice Brasserie d'Achouffe puts in their other beers. It doesn't have the same "warming effect" as other winter warmers, but is still a darn good ale.

Photo of TLove
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at RFD Washington.

Had a very unique, fluid, taste full of spices, brown malts, fig, and brown sugar. An excellent, spiced, yeasty sensation in the mouth with some apple cider on the nose and an completely indeterminable bitterness, perhaps from some of the herbal spices.

The alcohol is not even remotely noticeable. There is a complexity that is super subtle and the finish is smooth and clean.

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and fruity aroma that's heavy handed with dark candy sugar and crystal malts. It's sweet with a roasted edge as well as being spiced appropriately. The taste is good also. It's incredibly smooth with a nice crystal/roasted malt flavor as well as a wonderful Belgian yeast fruitiness. It boasts of dark fruits and candy sugar. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's a full flavored Belgian ale with kick ass yeast character and a well balanced malt bill; very tasty.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice, color is a cloudy amber, with floating yeasties. A moderate head dissipates quickly leaving a light trace of bubbles around the perimeter.

Smells of sweet hay and brown sugar, a bit of prune. Very inviting combination, almost like fruit jelly.

A wonderfully unique taste sensation, with numerous flavors, some coriander, berry fruit, brown sugar, ginger, clove, plum, grape juice, and a green earthiness from the thyme. Finishes with lingering notes of thyme and a some bitter hops.

The mouthfeel is light and sparkly with good tight carbonation. A very clean feel that enables the nuanced flavors to come through. A little anesthetizing on the tongue, but in a good way.

For all the flavor this beer packs in, it is light and crisp, like a spiced cider, and is quaffable, but at 10% you must bide your time. This is one holiday ale that I will make a point of having annually.

Photo of Atron67
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottle

shows a foggy brown with little head on top. quite effervescent though.
quite a bit of spice present, being appropriately portioned, its a little bit difficult to fully identify, but as the label claims thyme, i will admit to sensing its presence. general yeastiness in the smell as well. the taste is quite malty for a belgian, sugary complexity. the maltiness turns into a mix of spices and yeasty finish. its incredibly smooth and the complexity is what you would expect for a belgian. high in yeast, maltiness, and a good mix of spattering. i can see why its high ranked, and enjoy it, but still just dont love these styles all so much. but as its intended its all well executed exactly as style.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

At The Blind Tiger, NYC: poured a cloudy dark amber/copper into a tulip, with one finger of white head and good lacing. The smell was a nice mix of strawberry, raspberry, cinnamon, and currant. The taste revealed a much larger malty presence, mixed with caramel, berries, cherries, and apple throughout, and finishing on a sweet note with a slight alcohol burn. Thick, smooth, and syrupy on the palate. A nice sipping beer for the cold winter months.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of my top 10 Belgians...very yummy and enjoyable! Pours from a 750ml bottle stating limited (vintage 2007), dark with large head. Head is creamy and solid. Lasts quite some time and laces beautifully. Aroma is sweet and strong, with overripe raisins and dark sugars. Smokey malts.
Very satisfying! Tastes heavy and complex with a creamy swallow. Lots of Belgian yeasts, dark over-ripe fruits...raisins, figs, dark sugars. Alcohol is definitely noticeable at room temp. Drank at around 60 degrees. Not overly carbonated at all. Very good beer!

Photo of david18
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgian Strong Dark ales are not my favorite style but this one is good for what it is and another success from a great brewery.

Aroma is of strong dark fruits with a hint of hops. The flavor is malt forward with, again, fruits and hops. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good. I would recommend this over a winter warmer or most other belgian strong darks.

Photo of Pencible
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. This poured a nearly opaque mahogany with some light tan head. It smelled like rich caramel and honey wheat with some sour yeast and candi sugar, and a bit of milk chocolate and heavy cream. It tasted like rich caramel and toffee and raisin and honey wheat, with lots of creamy yeast and a bit of sour apple. It was slightly thick with smooth carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a very nice, rich and complex taste. It had great body too, and hid the alcohol well. Capable of being drunk easily, but super sweet and delicious flavors should be savored more slowly. (Similar to Cuvee Van De Keizer, but not quite as good.) Curious how this is fresh, but it was excellent after aging for a couple years.

Photo of manahansf
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, light brown color with a creamy light tan head. The nose is very light aroma of sweet malt. The flavor is also sweet but has very vinous qualities. The finish is dry and similarly sweet and vinous. The flavor fades nicely and leaves with a gentle warming sensation.

Photo of flannelman808
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

update... 2010 limited Edition bottle:

A: Rosy medium brown hue and a light tan colored head. This one has fairly large bubbles and head retention is just fair, nice lacing though.

S: Toffee, butterscotch, marzipan, and some light spicy undertones.

T: Pow the flavors surprise the palate. Lots of spice a bitterness upfront. Dark chocolate coco powder, toasted walnut, and the hops show as well with a pine tree bark sort of bitterness. Nutty, spicy, and complex. Dark chocolate walnut Pot brownies? Marzipan shows up more as it warms, and the sweetness shows a bit more as well.

M: Prickly

D: Medium- to medium: more hops show and help to balance what otherwise would be a very rich beer.

2008 limited edition bottle...

A: Pours a deep copper color and has a sort of reddish tint to it. Head is foamy and has an off white (mother of pearl if you will) color to it.

S: On the nose I get candied pecans or even pecan pie. That brown sugar pecan goo on a thin crispy pie crust is what I am talking about. Also I get a little bit of amaretto and also some spice.

T: Spicy and sweet, this beer is very rich. I get dried orange peel as well as some other estery fruity flavors (caramelized peach to name one outstanding). This beer is like a Christmas pastry fruit dessert.

M: rich and creamy feel on the tongue.

D: Low drinkability as the alcohol is very present and the beer is extremely rich.

Photo of bmacx1082
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy light brown with a full two fingered tan head.

S - Hints of brown sugar, dried fruits, curacao, cinnamon and clove spice.

T - Dark spice with caramel malt and honey giving the spice a little balance with some sweetness.

M - Medium body with light carbonation.

D - Alcohol is evident but is nicely masked with the combination of the sweet and spicy tastes making it drinkable but not in excess.

This beer was definitely brewed for winter making it a N'Ice choice for a holiday drink. I plan on aging the same 2008 for another year to compare to this one.

Photo of jnn4v
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured November, 2009 from a 2007 bottle. I'd had it before a year earlier, and age has helped a lot. It was good to begin with, and has only improved from there.

A: Honey-brown color. Almost opaque and a bit hazy with some sediment. Minor head, about 1/8 to 1/10 of the glass.

S: Magnificent. Smells of honey, balsamic vinegar, dark fruits, brown sugar, and toffee.

T: This tastes excellent. Honey, fine balsamic, candy, marzipan, dried apricots, toffee, and caramel. The closest beer I've had to this would probably be Cuvee Van De Keizer, although this is far more honeyed. Almost reminds me of an aged Raison d' Extra, but with Belgian characteristics layered on top.

M: Very good texture. Completely appropriate for the style. Nice, full-body mouth feel.

D: Alcohol is evident, with a moderate burn on the aftertaste, but the flavors are so good that this is definitely drinkable. Very good.

Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a dark brown color with chestnut highlights and a two-finger tan head. The head slowly recedes into a rocky layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of an amalgamation of spices, sweet caramel malt, and earthy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Weak malt flavors are joined by Belgian candi sugar and spices midway through the sip. Near the end a bit of herbal hops and bitterness enter into things before leaving a spicy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a hefty thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished the bottle without a problem and could have another.

Overall the bottled version's flavors weren't quite as large as I remember it being on-tap. Still, it's a tasty beverage and one that's worth a shot.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of rapidsequence
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of brendan13
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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...

Photo of SleepyMonk
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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.

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N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
91 out of 100 based on 1,004 ratings.