N'Ice Chouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe
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Ratings: 801 | Reviews: 449 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev -2.5%
Limited Edition 2003 75cl capped bottle. Poured a cloudy dark amber with a tight tan head. Spicy aroma with notes of orange, berries and candy sugar. Some light hops also detected. This smells like a quality brew. Head settles down, leaves scattered lacing. Mouthfeel is smooth, a medium body that has a crisp finish. This may be the best Belgian winter seasonal I've had yet. Flavor is not complex yet very drinkable and enjoyable. Alcohol not detected in flavor or aroma. A malty delight with flavors of sweet malt, candy sugar, citrus and belgian yeast. Thyme comes through in aroma as the warming process continues. This is an excellent winter ale, one to try if you haven't yet.
01-15-2004 21:11:03 | More by BierReise
4.35/5 rDev +6.6%
Try brew was on-tap at my favorite bar and I'm so glad I tried it!
It came with a finger width of creamy, white head which dissipated after several minutes. This smelled great, spicy, fruity and malty. For such a high alcohol content there was very little alcohol smell.
N'ice Chouffe tasted better than it smelled. The flavor was sweet, malty and spicy with a little kick of alcohol. It is very pleasant tasting. The mouthfeel is rather smooth and full-bodied. This reminded me of a good wine.
I could certainly drink this all night. I wonder if the bottled version is this good?
01-07-2004 21:19:24 | More by babyhobbes
4.28/5 rDev +4.9%
Just plain solid. From the bottle with it's Hobbit type creatures to what is within, this is a great seasonal. Cellaring? If you count my stomach! Pours brownish red. The taste is candy, orangey and malt. Not overly sweet, just the right amount. An excellent beer.
12-22-2003 14:24:59 | More by bewareOFpenguin
4.55/5 rDev +11.5%
2002 edition. Poured chestnutty brown with frothy tan-colored head it the La Chouffe tuliped goblet. Top notch lacing, beautiful. Pruney, raisiny, malt aroma with a mix of mandarin zest and musty, yeasty notes. Smooth texture from the subtlized carbonation. Malty and rich; beautiful, soft spicing round out a nice sweet and sustained finish. So many flavors going on in this beer it's rather hard to describe. Spiced, candied dates with orange zest on them. Quite the delicacy of a winterbeer.
12-19-2003 12:12:12 | More by crookedhalo
3.73/5 rDev -8.6%
2003 limited edition. Pours a dark cloudy brownish red with persistent carbonation and a soft white head. Aroma full a fruity esters. Apples, pears, some slight biscuity malt in the aroma. Taste is heavy on the spice and alcohol. There is some malt and a hefty dose of orange peel. Very heavy on the fruity esters. Alcohol warms in the finish leaving your tongue dancing. As with other beers from this brewery, it seems a little thin tastewise. Too much fruit & spice, not enough malt. This is a good warming belgian, but lacking in the "meat & potatoes" department. Soft dry mouthfeel and fairly drinkable at 10%. Worth a try, but not the best.
12-17-2003 03:12:10 | More by avylover
4.05/5 rDev -0.7%
Sampled on draft at Lucky Baldwin's in a N'Ice Chouffe glass.
Beer pours a dark brown with a very large white head that holds stiff peaks like well beaten egg whites and holds just the same through the whole glass.
Aroma is of chocolate and spiced buttered pecans with a waft of molasses infused fruitcake with deeply brandied fruits.
Flavor matches the aroma with fruitcake and spices and a growing soapy taste that leads to a finish that has a long drying tannin like a chew on a cinnamon stick with a final warming alcohol through to the gullet.
12-12-2003 10:38:02 | More by drewbage
4.25/5 rDev +4.2%
This is my first stab at his brew in quite some time. The last "dead soldier" I have is of the 1999 version, but probably purchased in 2001, and the differences are that that one called itself a barleywine on the label, and this one advertises itself as an "ale brewed with thyme and coriander peel." The descriptions on the back label are slightly different, but this new one calls itself a "winter warmer", not a barleywine.
Deep, dark reddish brown color, with a prodigious, creamy tan head, fluffy, bilious. overwhelming.
Aroma: airy, nutty, spicy, but sadly subdued, at least not providing what I was expecting, though I continued to enjoy it before taking a taste.
Fruity, spicy, a wonderful marriage of flavors, richly malted, brilliantly hopped, full of dark fruit (grapes, cherries, plums), various spices, utterly tasty, happily helped by the orange in the mix. Very sublime, very subtle. Full-bodied, full-flavored, with spice and fruit awarding your good taste at every sip. Nice finish, nice texture...just beautiful...
12-10-2003 09:48:18 | More by feloniousmonk
4.15/5 rDev +1.7%
This was supposed to be the last beer before starting the week off with a better diet... oops, that didn't happen. again. Anyway, the beer did happen, and it was quite tasty. N'ice Chouffe is a dark brown colour, very nice (n'ice?) It smelled a bit fruity, alcoholic too. Tasted fruity also, I didn't taste the alcohol too much actually, just a bit. The spices were different, I thought it was a great blend of flavours. Mouthfeel was good, on the thinner side and pretty carbonated, I could've drank more than the glassfull I had that night, definitely.. :)
12-09-2003 19:36:50 | More by erica
4.13/5 rDev +1.2%
This is another lovely brew from the Chouffe brewery in Belgium. A nice x-mas scene with the people of Chouffe village adornes this 750ml brown glass bottle that is crowned, but not corked. The pour yields a lovely dark reddish/brown liquid with a tan head of foam. Aromas of alcohol, fruits, spices, and malts/yeasts abound. The taste is lovely. Dry, fruity, boozy, and complex....a fine tipple on a harsh winters evening. The mouthfeel is very full, yet not cloying...and the drinkability is very good...
12-09-2003 17:59:57 | More by francisweizen
4.72/5 rDev +15.7%
From a 75cl bottle, the 2003 edition (no I couldn't wait very long...)
Pours into the goblet a dark brown, almost pitch black with a thick tan head. Some dark reddish hints around the edges. Smells heavenly. Spicy and yeasty. Alcohol flavors but mixed in with orange peel aromas and sticky sweet malt aromas too. Very inviting.
My limited palate will not do this beer justice. Spicy and sweet. Orangey flavors, fruity. The fruity yeasty flavors meld wonderfully with the dried orange peel flavors and I am unable to descern where one ends and the other begins. The thyme mentioned on the bottle is evident in the background. The bottle also states that it is brewed with "alot of dark candy sugar" and they do not lie. Lots of sweet, sticky molasses-like flavors. Hints of brown sugar? Lots of sweet malty flavors that I can't identify. Just know that they are good flavors.
Mouthfeel is sticky and the finish surprisingly bitter. Lots of those molasses tones stuck to the roof of your mouth. With all of this big flavor, very very drinkable. The perfect beer for a cold snowy evening. This beer only gets better as it warms. The bottle suggests 60 degrees. My cellar is close to 50 at this point but it warms beautifully.
Easily my favorite Chouffe beer. I just have to get some to cellar before this winter is over, I can only imagine how this would taste with a year or two under its belt.
12-08-2003 04:13:10 | More by ViveLaChouffe
4.5/5 rDev +10.3%
Presentation: 75cl green glass wine style bottle that has a screen printed label. NICE CHOUFFE in red and white lettering adds a Christmas feel to this offering, as does the scene of the Chouffe Gnomes stooped around a small burning fire set against a snow covered village scene. This is an annual brew, and my sample is clearly labeled as Limited Edition 2002.
Appearance: A dark winter-brown body clear and free of any deleterious matter at first, later in the pour some yeast clouds appear. The dirty white head is massive at first, but it slowly rescinds, excellent lacing. Good carbonation, classic appearance.
Nose: Caramel mixed with some yeasty fresh bread odors. Curaçao is prevalent in the middle with brown sugars. The thyme adds a refreshing summer herb garden aspect in the ending.
Taste: Lightly sweet malts, some restrained caramel and a spicy feel at first, no doubt from the curaçao peel. The middle is all malt with some feint hints of an alcohol lick. The ending is the best part for me though, an excellent balance of malts laced with thyme which adds a very refreshing fresh minty dimension to the end of this strong beer. I grew thyme in my Garden in England, who would have thought it would be put to such good use in beer?!! Ill have to remember that!
Mouthfeel: Nice, solid, full-bodied ale that is not overwhelming, or alcohol dominant. The sweet malts add some bulk to the beer, whilst the thyme at the end lightens the load.
Drinkability: Well a 75cl at 10% ABV is never going to be a downer. However, the whole bottle afforded me several Goblet Glassfuls and steadfastly accompanied me easily throughout the night. Gets better, much better, and much easier to drink, as it warms - which means that the end of bottle soon disappears.
Overall: This offering, as the label does actually recommend, really needs to warm to around 60°F before it gets chance to reveal all of its complex nuances. As such, straight from the fridge, your impatience may well mean that you are far from impressed at first.
The 2002 is good to go right away if you see it on the shelves of your local beer store. But dont believe the label hype about Cellaring this beer is at its best around 2 years old and starts to head south after 3-4 years, sometimes quickly in my experience. It is better "fresh" I think.
11-19-2003 06:02:38 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.2/5 rDev +2.9%
Poured a deep ruby color with thinner colored edges - a purple tone. Had a thin head but no lace.
Smelled of cherries, black currants, a fascinating smell of (believe or not) sundried tomatoes, and some soft spice. Opened to hop scents of barely sweet-ish grapefruit and fruity-tart cannabis/whole hop leaves.
Tasted of sweet cherries and a very different sort of caramel malt flavor, possibly because it gets mixed up with the other flavors. These are a darker winter-type spice that jump starts the beer at first and then recedes with the beers opening, the sweetish grapefruit notes through-out, as well as the sourish-tart tone that comes on in the latter of the profile. Possessed a small hop appeal in the finish, while moving toward a thinner mouthfeel.
An interesting holiday beer, and a fine artisanal creation, though not as intriguing to my palette as it was for my brain. Didnt come together as nicely as each part is well on its own. Still tasty enough to be highly drinkable.
11-05-2003 03:54:14 | More by nomad
4.5/5 rDev +10.3%
Appearance The head came right out of the bottle. It poured a beautiful, fine, tan white. The body is an extremely dark brown, cloudy and carbonated.
Smell This opened up wonderfully in my Chimay glass. The deep yeast aroma is laden with dark fruits and sugars. I can almost taste the dates, figs, overly ripe apricots, and brown sugar. Im tasting this with a Lebanese dish I just made that involves making bread, so the kitchen is filled with a wonderful aroma of yeast, bread, and fruit.
Taste This is terrific. The classic flavors come out in force here. This is a very thick blend of toasted malts and bready yeast. The fruits are bigger at the tongue. The figs and dates are huge! The sugar is present as well, making this an extremely well-rounded ale.
Mouthfeel This is full in the mouth. Youll want to eat this one with a fork. Theres a small sting of alcohol, which is amazing for an ale with a 10.0 ABV. The carbonation is big and top notch.
Drinkability I had to drink this exceptional ale while making disgusting, sour faces so that my wife would think that it was horrible. No, seriously, this is a fine example of the style and well worth the ten bucks or so that I paid for it.
Comments This is the 2002 Edition and is a seasonal winter ale, so its been sitting for almost a year. It tastes just right, so maybe this is something to age off the shelf. Either way, this is awesome and would make a great Christmas gift.
Update I first reviewed this in 2003 with a year-old bottle, so thought Id revisit this classed in 2005 with an 04 vintage.
The beer is wonderfully balanced and extremely complex. The curacao that they use in the brewing process ads a particularly inviting dimension to the ale. The fine Belgian yeast stands out in my mind as exceptional, and I really enjoy the way that the sweetness moves in and out of the flavor profile. This is an incredible beer!
09-21-2003 04:01:16 | More by RoyalT
4.65/5 rDev +14%
Bright golden orange, slight haze with a very sticky, off white head. Aromas of berries, yeast and barnyard with a spritz of zesty alcohol. Medium bodied mouth feel at first - it gets heavier as it slides thru your mouth. Flavors of cherries and watermelon mix with pecans dipped in coco and sugar candy sweetness. All this happens an instant before deliciously peppery hops surround and bite your tongue with earthy bitterness, the bitter and warm of alcohol lingers for hours.
I've never tasted anything quite like this. I have had this in a bottle in years past but this cask version is more rich and complex than I remember the bottles being.
Outstanding and unique.
02-22-2003 18:10:57 | More by Shiredave
4.13/5 rDev +1.2%
Barlet Wine Style, really? I thought it was a damn nice dubbel. Pours a perfect reddish brown, with a tan head that slowly faded to a 1/4 inch and held. Very nice lacing. The smell was that of sour cherries and spices, and tha taste matched, with a nice alcohol finish. Very warming as it went down, but not over powering. A spicey yet sparkling carbonated mouthfeel, with a dry finish. Very nice and for me, very drinkable. I was aware of the 10% alcohol, but the taste took over, and had quite a few. One of my favorite Holiday Ales.
02-04-2003 19:07:14 | More by HopheadEd
3.85/5 rDev -5.6%
This was my New Year's Eve beer, served in a champagne glass of course. A pretty good way to end the year! Pours a dark reddish-brown with a medium thin light beige head. Lacing is pretty good. Aroma of herbs and berries. Flavor is a rich medley of fruit, alcohol and a little malt. Very good!
01-15-2003 08:43:47 | More by Dogbrick
4.08/5 rDev 0%
Brownish-amber in color with a huge off white head that lasts. Smell is mild with hints of something sweet. Spicy upfront then changes to something peppery in the end. Small hints of some deeper flavored berry as well. The alcohol is well balanced but still lends that warming feeling as you drink. Unlike any other Barley-Wine style ale that I have had but would like to try it again. Maybe after a year of aging.
12-29-2002 17:50:42 | More by CharlesRiver
4.33/5 rDev +6.1%
Dark brown with reddish hues, and somewhat hazy. Half-finger head. Aroma is subtle for the style, with mild spicy (thyme-like) and fruity (raisin, some apple) aromas. The flavor, however, is big malt all the way. Very sweet, with again some fruity notes mid-palate. Significant alcohol warming and a pleasantly hop bitterness, though not enough to stop the finish from being just slightly sweet. Medium bodied.
12-27-2002 06:54:38 | More by mzwolinski
4.63/5 rDev +13.5%
Garnet hue w/ a light haze, covered by a light beige, fluffy, persistent, very dense head. A waft of sweetly herbal fresh thyme is perceived at first in aroma, then notes of citrus rind and mellow chocolate ensue. As the beer breathes, dark, fructose laden date and raisin like fruitness surfaces along with nostril tingling peppery alcohol. Malt becomes more pronounced as well, with dark caramel and hints of breadiness rounding the aroma out. A pleasure to inhale. Flavorwise, this beer starts out like a Belgian Dark Strong. Dryish, powered cocoa chocolate sweetness hits the palate at first, but this flavor profile takes a wild, but enjoyable turn towards herbs and citrus. Well calculated fresh thyme complements the slight raisiny, dark caramel malt foundation, and melds with both dried orange peel citrusy flavors and bitterness. Mellow chocolate malt is not far behind, then combines mid palate to leave a milk chocolate dipped, candied orange peel impression. Fruity esters are well integrated, being comprised of mild notes of barely ripe pear and plums. Light to medium in body, well attenuated, yet very smooth after the initally high CO2 level dissipates, with a deceivingly crisp, refreshing mouthfeel. Hop bitterness, although paltry, provides contrast to the mostly dark caramel malt derived sweetness. Finishes paradoxically dry, yet long and complex, w/ hints of clove, bread and butter simulatenously lingering. Delicious! This is the 2002 release... I can only imagine what a couple years of cellaring could do. N'Ice Chouffe is easily the most drinkable high gravity brew I've tasted. Deceptively soft all around. It's amongst the most complex beers I've had the pleasure of drinking as well, even this young. It's very unique, creative and satiating; like many other Belgians, however, it's potentially dangerous in drinkability. It seems that this brewery can do no wrong.
12-03-2002 19:09:33 | More by marc77
3.9/5 rDev -4.4%
This beer was an opaque, dark brown, with a "n'ice" frothy, tan head. Glass-lacing wasn't too shabby, either. Nose was more in the winter-spice mode than a malty sweetness. A bit fruity and yeasty, too, and somewhat mild. Body was just about in the medium range, and it had a foamy/bubbly carbonation on the tongue reminiscent of a hefeweizen. Seems to have a lot less sweetness, and more cinnamon, spice, yeast and dryness than I expected. This is listed as a barleywine, yet I find it more in line with some spiced, winter biers, imho. Nonetheless, I still like it! Prosit!
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4
12-01-2002 11:51:23 | More by Bierman9
4.13/5 rDev +1.2%
This beer poured a very dark amber color and formed a foamy light tan head that left circular lace. A good deal of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and raisins. A flavor of malt, toffee and raisins with hint of other spices. A finish that is a touch bitter and has the warming aspect of the alcohol.
11-29-2002 17:32:27 | More by Wildman
4.3/5 rDev +5.4%
Pours a murky reddish-brown, with a huge, big-bubbled head. I had to wait for the head to settle on this on before beginning. Head faded quickly to a fine lace. Spicy and somewhat hoppy aroma with a big toffee malt presence with hints of grape and raisin. Vinous and bitter taste, with a spice presence and plenty of toffee and raisin flavors mixed in. Slightly dry finish, with a spicy and fruity aftertaste. Smooth and chewy mouthfeel. One excellent winter brew!
11-26-2002 16:45:13 | More by Viking
4.75/5 rDev +16.4%
Very interesting...gets WAY better as the bottle empties.
Pours a murky golden-brown (first glass) to a opague dark brown (last glass) with yeast galore...some big floaters. Tan head sizzles it's way to extinction. One of the loudest beers I have encountered.
Heavy grape aroma. Exotic fruit and spice in the background.
Taste is heavy on the the grapes as well. Especially up front. Big carmel/toffee presence also (even more so as it warms..or in the last glass from the 750ml bottle). There is a raw, musty hoppiness in here that is just delightful. I am getting some slight peach fruitiness. Yeast spiciness (peppery) too. Alcohol is prickly and very perceived (but not in a bad way).
Mouthfeel starts on the thinnish side...settles to a substancial coating thickness...very, very impressive.
Warming and nearly sweat-inducing.
Quite impressive. A real treat.
06-05-2002 22:04:23 | More by cokes
3.8/5 rDev -6.9%
(I wrote this up a couple months ago and my notes are lacking.)
The appearance is dark ruby. A frothy head is present. A bit of spice on the aroma. Different in taste than most Barleywines I have tried. A bit of a belgian slant to it. Solid brew.
03-28-2002 17:10:58 | More by Bighuge
3.8/5 rDev -6.9%
Sorry had to give such a great beer a not so good review but this is the 96 vintage too and it is flat.Have had it before that was a 98 and was great so keep an eye out for that.Nice dark copper in color.Nice nose classic english style with a twist from the belgian brewing.Portish taste with great sweetness just wish I had some bubbles to go in it.
03-27-2002 17:34:36 | More by sprinkle
N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
91 out of 100 based on 801 ratings.