1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

N'Ice Chouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

914 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 914
Reviews: 462
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 48
Gots: 98 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of N'Ice Chouffe Alström Bros
Ratings: 914 | Reviews: 462 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jjayjaye
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy root beer color with a full finger off white head that fades fairly quickly to surface. A good amount of lacing present. The smell is somewhat reserved. An earthy Belgain yeast and malty character that has a spicy factor and is a little sweeter at warmer temps. Boasts a classic effervescence that lends itself to an ultra creamy texture. The slightly sweet malty center expresses subtle dark fruit notes. The taste has slightly less depth than some. Lighter overall. The 10% ABV will be a surprise later. A really good drinker. The plan is to savor the balance of this sample. Recommended.

Photo of dsa7783
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stopped into Super Saver Liquor Locker in Edison and to my surprise, came across this 750 ML, limited edition, vintage 2003 bottle of N'Ice Chouffe... After sampling other beers from this brewery, had high hopes for their winter selection... "Best before end of 2008" on the back - this bottle is 5 years old, so the full array of aromas and flavors should really come through on this one... Dark, mahogany-brown appearance with a frothy and tan head sat atop a dark-burgundy color hue... a noticeable aroma of caramel and figs poured through on this one, and led to a superb conglomeration of flavors that manifested itself in prune, brown sugar, candy, and toffee flavors... Very good taste with a hardly detectable 10% ABV makes for a terffic Belgain beer... Another winner from this exceptional brewery - all of their samples are top-notch... Glad I found this one... Recommended...

Photo of bort11
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received from BRoss242 as part of the BA Secret Santa 07, and this is the last one I haven't reviewed fro the haul. Great big thanks to BRoss242!

Limited Edition 2006 vintage 750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Nice tan head that stands a half inch. Recedes slowly. Leaves a blanket of lacing on the wall of the glass that slides back into the beer. Color is a dark reddish mahogany brown.

Once the cap was cracked there was a very fruity aroma. Smell in the glass is very malty and sweet. Dark candy sugars, nice and not overwhelming. A bit like orange juice that has been sitting out. Taste is balanced sweetness, not over the top at all. Mildly citric bitterness.

Mouthfeel has nice warm medium body. By the end of the bottle my mouth was feeling a little numb. Right now I am feeling very good.

Photo of Lothar666
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 ml bottle with my brother, served at room temperature and poured into a pair of snifters.

A- An aggressive pour yielded an off-white frothy head that was two fingers thick but receeded quickly, leaving bits of sticky lacing around the rim of my St. Bernardus snifter. This was set atop a deep oak colored body with bits of sediment floating in the glass.

S- As my brother would say, it smells like the forest. Fragrant aromas of spices and floral accents are present, as well as a slight smell of citrus.

T- Spices, spices, and more spices, with some sweet malts and a taste of citrus, cinnamon and brown sugar- there is a warming taste of strong alcohol in the finish. Absolutely delicious, this is an excellent night cap beer with a phenominal complexity that improves as it warms.

M- Very light body for such a dark brew, with a pleasant tingle in the mouth from the spices but with the smoothness of a beer with much less alcohol by volume. Most enjoyable.

D- Extremely drinkable for a beer with such a high ABV. The smoothness of the brew makes it easy and tempting to chug or gulp, but the delicious flavors, complexity and price point demand that this is a beer to sip on and savor.

Photo of shroompod
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark brown. Good head , nice lacing.

Smell is faint , some of the curacao peel seems to come through.

This beer taste has a taste of tart apple pie (odd since it's made with oranges), with hints of allspice. I can't really taste the thyme.

Nice medium mouthfeel , good carbonation.

Overall I'll finish the bottle without a problem, 2 might wreck me.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours black looking at first, but a closer look leads to a clear, red mahogany/cedar, with an average white head, good retention.

S: Light, but got some nice but typical BSDA notes, and spices.

T: This is a nice spiced Christmas beer IMO. A thick blanket of dark malt provides the backbone to a complex mix of dark fruit - raisins, grape juice, mixed with some nutmeg and molasses cookies, with a bit of licorice.

M: Nice and smooth, not feeling the 10% at all, though it has a slight warming characteristic, very well done for this style.

D: A very good Christmas beer that only gets better as it warms up, got to buy a bottle of this each November or December.

Photo of dedrinker
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany color with little to no head. The aroma and flavor had a mild spicy character, some sugar evident, and a hint of bubblegum and Christmas cookies. The flavors were complex and tasty without being over done - no overt sugary/ alcohol character. Yes, this one was quite "N'Ice."

Photo of HopGoblin
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber with a thin off white head, which disappears rather quickly. Beautiful aromas of raisins and licorice. First sip is rather spicy, which gives way to slighty bitter orange zest flavor. Strong alcohol prescence gives way to whiskey flavors. The mouthfeel on this one is good, slighty dry, it leaves a fruity flavor in the mouth. The first beer of 2008, may the rest be this good. I look forward to picking up one of these next Christams.

Photo of dnichols
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I shared this fine winter brew with my sons on Christmas day. We poured the capped 750 ml bottle into chilled chalices.

A: It poured a dark brown body with an off-white to tan head that was an abundant three fingers. The head slowly receded leaving a thick curtain of lacing that clung to the side of the glass.

S: It presented a sweet malt aroma rich in caramel and dark yeasts. It smelled of brown sugars and floral herbs and spices.

T: It tasted of sweet toasted malts that generated flavors of caramel and sweet light chocolates. The floral herbs and spices generated by hops and the alcohol gave it a wintery warmness that make me feel like I was enjoying a rich spicy hot chocolate spiced with nutmeg and all spice.

M: It was full-bodied with sweet malts and spices. It was warming and finished clean with no aftertaste.

D: It was a joy to drink...so much so that in some ways I regretted having to share the bottle. I wanted more when my allotment was done. I enjoy Mc Chouffe but this excellent BSDA gives it a run for my favorite from this fine brewery.

Photo of JanM
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured very nicely in a reddish brown colour and with good foam and lacing. The smell was of apple must and yeast. The taste was red jam-ish, sweet and yeasty with notes of bread and spices. Although the ABV is high the alcohol was not so noticable in the taste. It's important to serve this beer just slightly chilled and wait a while before drinking to bring out the full taste.

Photo of jwc215
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Limited edition 2007" - 750 ml bottle:

Pours slight hazed dark brown with a huge fluffy head that descends to a lasting thin cover. Some lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell if of thyme, curucao peel, anise, caramel and chocolate.

The taste and curucao peel give it a pleasant, unique spiciness that does not overwhelm. Caramel, chocolate and anise mix in nicely, as does a zesty fruitiness. Nice complexity. The alcohol is present and warming, but not too sharp or interfering.

It's medium-bodied - a bit effervescent - warming.

A flavorful beer to enjoy sipping on in the winter season.

Photo of BuckSpin
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: v.2006 Limited Edition 750ml bottle in a stemmed tulip

Poured strong, vigorous, with some energy & snap to it. Slightly sour up front on the nose, yet in a sweet way...like a sour candy. Damp, muted spices (orange peel is barely whispering & with some effort I can pick up the thyme) hide in the background play with the delicate yet noticeable presence of alcohol (somewhat port like) added warmth & a slight sharpness. The malts have a subtle dark cherry quality, probably from the candy sugar. Overall its nicely balanced, not too strong nor weak, resonating like an old parlor in a Victorian mansion. As it blooms the malts have a faint breadiness, the sugars grow sweeter with some currant & thicker as in treacle. The sour quality becomes more of a distant mustiness, hence that parlor.

The head was a solid finger's worth of loose ruddy-ecru foam that faded rather quickly and with noticeable hiss & crackle, leaving only a few thin floaters and a very delicate edge ring. The color is striking - a dark, slightly hazed rhubarb-cranberry hue that resembles a 20 year port...most striking. There is a soft radiance to it, it shimmers & dances in the light.

Its interesting that the color & aspects of the nose echo of port in that the mouth-feel reminds me of it as well! So soft, wet, sweet, round, big & full, its like a big, wet kiss initially. The "fireworks" that typically following such a lip-lock come soon behind in the form of those spices - sharp white pepper, orange peel - slightly biting, adding much needed & well crafted levity. While its not a leading role, the thyme used in brewing is there in the mid-ground, adding a very delicate & atypical level to it.

It does grow drier on the palate, although not above what I would clarify as a semi-dry feel. The alcohol takes its que and starts to rise, slowly filling my various dental cavities with a dull warmth and wrapping their occupants in a woolen embrace. It finishes slightly thick & full, a little heavier but not quite syrupy, leaving behind a clean aftertaste rich in stone fruits and dull spices warming themselves (ironically just like the gnomes on the bottle) by the fire of the alcohol's afterglow.

A wonderful beer experience from pour to gulp. This was very nice. A year did not diminish it by any means. I really enjoyed the way it started soft & full and finished in more of the typical Belgian style. Definitely a nice sipper for a cold winter's evening & a beer that can hold up to at least a few years of aging. This would pare nicely with a milder Bleu or a nice dry Cheddar, perhaps even Cotswold & the like. While I'm sure there are number of food offerings that would be nice (they would need to have some zest or spice to them) I feel that this one might be best enjoyed as a sipper. I will definitely make a point of visiting the Choufee gnomes every December. Recommended with no hesitation.

Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle: I had this one on Xmas Eve. It pours a dark brown, ruby tinged color. There was a decent sized beige head on it. A fairly decent amount of lacing. A fair amount of malts to the nose, with some roastiness and spiciness. The taste is quite good. Fairly full bodied with a hint of roastiness to the strong malts. Not real sweet, but nicely balanced. Some fruits coming through also. An excellent holiday beer.

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

Poured from a 750mL bottle, 2007 batch. The beer was dark burgandy color, mostly clear with some floaties. At first there was a pretty good volume of foam, but it passed out quickly. The aroma was sweet malt and spicy spices (guessing thyme and curacao peel from the label). The taste was about as complex as any I've had, lots of competitions between sweet malts, tangy citrus, bitterness and sweetness and spices (maybe add coriander to the previously listed ingredients). Very very nice, and perfect for Christmas Eve.

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

Recently enjoyed a 2006 limited edition bottle of this ale, purchased at my local BevMo store. I was lured by the description of an "ale brewed with spices, thyme & Curacao peel," along with the fact that it's brewed by Brasserie D'Achouffe.

This bottle was found in the cooler at the store along with a bunch of other holiday beers. There was no way to be certain it was stored properly prior to its arrival on the refrigerated shelf, but I thought I'd take my chances.

Poured a rich brown, with a fruity, carmel nose. The very first word that came to mind upon the first sip was "soft," which for me is a bit different than smooth, but not quite flat. This bottle was a little short on carbonation, but not so much that it was undrinkable.

I expected a bigger or bolder taste - maybe more of a kick from the spices, or a little zest from the Curacao peel, but again, it fell a bit short.

All in all I think this seasonal ale is likely quite drinkable. I just think I got a bad bottle.

Photo of joepais
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured dark brown with a tan head that goes quickly to lace aromas of sweet fruit holiday spices and bread .Nice creamy moderately full mouth feel .sweet malts and candies as well as flavors of orange , spices and hops that help calm the sweetness Another wonderful brew from Chouffe

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage.
Poured into a glass goblet. Pours dark brown with the color and texture of gulden draak vintage. The head quickly dissipates into a thin ring. The nose is spicy and of slight dark fruit. Raisin and date. Taste is a similar to gulden, but with more spice and less strength. dark fruit flavors with some orane and spice flavoring. slight hop finish, aftertaste fades quickly. Mouthfeel is odd as it feels a little overcarbonated and quite thin. Drinkability would be good but the carbonation makes it kind of abrasive. Good beer, would probably age very well.

Photo of marcpal
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap poured into chalice at Old Bay, New Brunswick.

A: Very dark red, almost dark cherry coloring with a slight head early. Minimal to zero lacing with a clear film.

S: Strong alcohol aroma with an inviting warmth on a cold night. The malts and spices are present but the overall smell to this one really didnt stick out in terms of one dominating flavor or sugar.

T: Wine type presence here, really pleasant. I really enjoyed the flavor of this one and the alcohol presence, reminiscent of the Elf. The spices are clearly there and not sure which spices hit first but throughout the beer really picked up the different flavors. Warming taste and some fruit tartiness toward the end- big fan of the taste early and even more toward the end..

M: Medium body for the style of ale but the warming presence is really really good.

D: Alcohol to me was evident but a tremendous seasonal beer that you cant put too many down but one or two of these to start a cold night would be ideal.

Photo of largadeer
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle aged for 1 year.

Appearance: A gentle pour into a tulip glass gave me about 1 inch of frothy foam. The body of the beer is a faintly translucent dark reddish-amber. Head retention is somewhat poor, but it's otherwise a nice looking beer.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts and alcohol are most prevalent, with notes of thyme coming through along with other more ambiguous spice aromas.

Taste: This is very malty stuff - it's sweet from start to finish, with very little in the way of bitterness or bite. The malt has a dried fruit and syrupy berry-like quality to it, and I was hard pressed to pick out any distinct hop flavors. The thyme and curacao peel are very present but nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Lower in carbonation than other d'Achouffe beers I've had, but that's not a bad thing at all. It's smooth, warming, and really easy to drink despite the high ABV and the sheer thickness of it.

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

Thanks to Brian for this beer.Drank from a Affligem goblet.

Dark brown with amber edges.Egg white colored head.Some sparse lacing.

Berry,molasses,brown sugar,chocolate,plums tastes.

Yeast,berry,molasses,brown sugar,plums notes.

Mouthful is smooth and easy tasting.Very complex and hard to tell the flavors.

I liked this beer alot.This is the better of the two Chouffe beers I tried.

Photo of atsprings
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottle poured into a Duvel snifter. The beer pours a nearly opaque deep brown with a decent frothy off-white head that diminishes to a ring and leaves spotty lacing. The aroma is brown sugar and molasses with some dried fruits, coffee and just a hint of chocolate. The taste is extremely complex. Dried fruits dominate with some spice and some molasses. The beer is very heavy and somewhat aggressively carbonated. This one is certainly a sipper, decently enjoyable on a cold autumn night.

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

2006 bomber into a pint glass.

A maple-colored body darkens out of the light to a rich amber hue. The head is thin and tan, but retains quite well. A huge malty profile lays out the framework for the aroma, piling on caramel, toffee, and brown sugar notes. The yeast brings a cornucopia of fruits like raisin, plum, pear, and banana. Cinnamon and coriander spices abound as well.

The taste is laced with chewy alcohol esthers, raisin bread, and spices galore. Quite the complex brew; it coats the mouth with a big, viscous body that packs a full-fledged carbonation level and a fierce alcohol finish. All in all, this is a beer to be cherished over a yule-tide fire. Drink carefully, though, as this brew packs a punch. Shame that I downed it in October, but what's done is done. I'll most likely look for this one again.

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

Dark brown with touch of amber at the edges of the class. A little hazy.

Nose resembles tea, herbs, and mild spices.

On the palate the maltiness is notable, as is the thyme and an overall sweetness with some citrus. Again, a tea flavor is present, maybe an herbal tea.

Finishe leaves a taste like a dry wood stick in your mouth, but not in a bad way necessarily.

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

750 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. ABV is 10%. 19 degrees Plato. Refermented in the bottle, unfiltered and unpasteurised. Ingredients include sugars, thyme and curacao. Hazy reddish dark brown colour, huge tan head. Pleasant but fairly moderate aroma with vinous notes, notes of oak and spices, hints of farmhouse. The flavour is distinctly spicy and oaky, with a substantial but not overwhelming sweetness from the malts and sugars. Some yeasty notes. Distinct hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. Warming mouthfeel, but the 10% ABV does not dominate. As a Christmas beer, this one is better suited to accompany an English Christmas pudding than a main course of meats or fish - but is also nice to drink on its own.

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

Vintage 2006

A: Pours a murky, opaque brown with auburn highlights. Head was about a finger, which reduced to a thin layer of bubbles in about a minute.

S: Yeasty, with malty, spicy, and dark fruit notes. A pervasive sweetness and a sharp boozy smell are present in the nose as well.

T: A real tingly kick of cloves and other spices on the palate, blended with a smooth malt base up front. This transitions into a fruity, slightly hopped middle, which segues into a sharp spike of alcohol in the finish. Aftertaste is cloying and somewhat drying. Definitely mellows as it warms, and the flavors come together a bit better, but still off the charts.

M: Carbonation is still very generous, even after laying down for about a year. Crisp and bubbly on the tongue.

D: While this beer definitely gets points for its complexity, I'm not so sure this is one I'd want to revisit too often. With a high abv that causes you to notice the alcohol, combined with spices that seem way dialed up, it seems a bit much. Had these features been scaled back a bit, I think it would have made a great Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
92 out of 100 based on 914 ratings.