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N'Ice Chouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

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N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe

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978 Ratings

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Ratings: 978
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 45
Gots: 126 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 978 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JRed
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, bubbly amber color topped off by big clingy head. Aroma of dark fruit and citrus peels sifts through the air. Medium bodied brew with mild carbonation that disguises the alcohol content well behind visages of dark candy sugar and sour orange peel. The beer finishes wet accompanied by candy sweetness that slathers the tongue and gums. A good winter beer if you are in the mood for orange rinds and candy corn.

Photo of clayrock81
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled this in the fridge for 10 minutes after dinner for a dessert (I am not going to use the adjective nice in this review). Poured into a snifter for a leathery brown body with a quickly receeding one-finger head. Spicy and dark fruits in the nose, reminded me a little of a lambic with some blackberry currants or something; also mild sugariness. A spicy and very warming boost popped on my tonuge on the first sip, then the fruits and sweet malts take over. Not overly sweet, but there is some raw sugar in there and some fruits like orange peel (which is on the label, that's why I put it). Balanced pretty good, although there is a very minor alcohol burn. Somewhat sweet and spicy aftertaste, like gingersnaps. A good after diner beer to split between friends, but I couldn't session this or have another big bottle on my own.

Photo of Hullabaloo2
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 release 750 mL

Aroma - Malt sweetness, dark sugars, and fruit esters dominate the aroma. Some subtle phenol notes; clove and spice. I also pick up some raisin, or prune notes.

Appearance - Cloudy brown with some copper highlights. The head poured a thick creamy almond color about 1 1/2 finger width that settled to about 1 finger width. Very nice lacing.

Taste - First I detect the dark sugars, and the spice. This is then followed by malt, and alcohol; however, it is not as boozy as I would expect for a 10% abv beer. The spice is noticeable all the way through, and the finish is mostly of alcohol. This beer is slightly cloying

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy body with a somewhat high level of carbonation. The beer creamy, and a little hot. Again, the finish is mostly of alcohol.

Overall Impression - This is a nice beer (pun intended), but I would not call it spectacular. I think this beer is balanced more toward the dark sugars, and I wish there was more of a malt presence, and possibly slightly higher IBU to get rid of the cloying character. It only needs a very minor adjustment, and I feel that this beer could be much better. For a 10% abv the alcohol is very well controlled. Some of the control could be attributed to the extra time in the bottle. I will say it's a little better than average.

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

A: Poured a dark, murky amber with a thin, dull white head that faded to a sparse layering leaving only a slight rim lacing behind.

S: spicy, with orange peels, a big malty sweetness and some xmas spicing (cinnamon).

T: spicy and yeasty, with orange peels, and yeasty sourbread. There was some sweet dark fruit (raisins, plums) as well. The 10% abv was modest in the beginning before becoming more noticeable after the swallow providing for a very warming experience.

M: fizzy with some sugary stickiness with a medium fullness. The alcohol warms on the tongue showing its true strength.

D: A nice balanced xmas drink, the spicing is not overly done, but the alcohol presence may limit this to moderation. Overall a good drink.

Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown/reddish color with an off-white head that was fairly large. The head slowly receded leaving a thick curtain of lacing that clung to the side of the glass.

S- Smells of sweet malts 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.

M- Full in body

D- Very great brew. Easy to drink.

Photo of alexgash
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big 750 ml bottle. Served at 50 degrees F.

Hazy, dark garnet body. Thick finger of creamy, rocky, light tan head. Good lacing. Big fruity nose. Lots of Concord grapes, mangoes, starfruit, strawberries, and cherries. Some sugary malts, toffee, and yeasty funk as well.

Some quick toasted malt before big fruit flavors. More Concord grapes, ripe pears, fruit punch. Sugary and sweet. A few roasted notes mid-palate. Rummy bananas and leather in the finish. Mild herbal and floral hop bitterness is barely discernible. Pretty good, if a bit sweet. Full-bodied with a slightly syrupy, yet creamy feel. very N'ice.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A cloudy amber mahogany beer with a light khaki head. Some fantastic retention but no real lacing.

Smell has some floral fruitiness and a light pine scent but not super hoppy. Its more of a malt sweetness with some nice carmel toasted toffee scents. There is a grainy solvent like smell that tips you off to the higher ABV.

A medium body with a sweet malty flavor. Fine smooth (champagne like) carbonation that isn't over the top but a nice compliment to the tastes. There is a slight bitterness and a warm toasted toffee flavor that isn't too intense. A smooth and creamy feel in the mouth with a fine dry aftertaste. Makes me want to drink some more.

Very pleasing and easy to drink. The bottle has a best by date of 09/08/2010. Impressive how the brewery knows the exact date their beverage expires. Very worth a try.

Photo of Beerzebub
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 edition, 750 ml bottle, served in a big wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.

Bright red-amber, lots of swimming particles, fizzy beige head that mostly goes away, attractive tendrils and splotches of lace.

Smells like white and red grapes, plum, apple skin, solvent, chocolate cake, and coriander.

Tastes sweet, and the sweetness actually grows. Grape, apple, prune, fruit skin, sugar, sweet solvent, brandylike alcohol, and in the the background, coriander and chocolate cake. Some astringency like fruit skin helps to balance the sweetness, and maybe the coriander does too, but the sweetness does dominate. The solvent and alcohol are heady and a bit overbearing, but the flavor is good.

Good texture overall, but it can be too fizzy. The heavy heady solventy booze limits this beer's drinkability for me - it almost seems to be causing a preemptive hangover in an effort to prevent me from drinking it - yet it's pretty good.

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

This is a nice Belgian strong ale. The beer pours a tawny, somewhat cloudy color, with just a few yeasty bits flouting on the bottom. The beer does not have much of a head, some retention, not much lacing. The smell is candied sugars, caramel, some roasted malts, sweet malts, caramel, some berry or orange notes as well. The beer is a lot more light bodied than I would have predicted. It is still a medium bodied beer, but not as syrupy as a Belgian 10% ABV ordinarily would be. The taste is typically Belgian in that you will get the candied sugars, the big sweet malt tastes, warming alcohol notes, and some pepperishness in the finish. There are definitely discernible spices to this beer. I'm noticing orange rind, clove, maybe some allspice or cardomman. The downside to the beer, for me, is the throaty burn in the finish. I like my beers smoother, creamier, and less alcoholy than this one. But, at a 10% ABV, some of this is to be expected. This one is worth seeking out, although it isn't my favorite Belgian strong dark. L'Chaim.

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

Opaque dark brown with a nice two finger, off white, micro bubbled head. The aroma kicks N'ice off well with notes of dried cherries, light melon in the back, spices, flowery alcohol esters, and a buttery caramel malt character. Nuttier malt tones on the palate accompanied by some cocoa, tart cherry fruit, prune, and raison. Alcohol is a bit hot, solvent-ie although does aid in a fruity, floral brandy character. Curacao is most evident in the finish but is a bit cough syrupy, and the thyme I couldn't detect anywhere. Semi-smooth mouthfeel and carbonation in on point. Some of the bad point about this beer improves as it warms and makes for a descent drink.

Photo of Patrick999
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oooh, the gnomes....hard to believe I haven't tried this yet, as I've had my fair share of La Chouffe. 2006 vintage, so this should be drinking N'Ice-ly by now, if not at its peak.

Poured a shiny brown into a goblet, with some clarity. Thin cap of head that receded and left no lace. Head retention was much better on subsequent pours, so perhaps the first lackluster pour was my fault.

Aroma is strong, though the particulars are difficult to pick out. Trademark Chouffe quirky yeast makes an appearance with its light funk and considerable spiciness, kinda like a holiday farmhouse ale. I smell a very sweet orange, maybe this is the curacao coming through. A good bit of dark rum too. Smells very appealing. A floral aroma begins to nose out as it warms. This is a fine sniffing beer.

Taste is of a molasses-laden dark rum infused with some orange. Skews to the sweeter side of Belgian strong darks. Interesting spice profile with the thyme as well as the hallmark Chouffe spiciness. Notes of anise and fennel. Outstanding, nearly a 5 but I will deduct a half-point for this beer's inherent sweetness approaching the point of cloying. 10% alcohol only makes itself apparent every now and again with a slight burning in the nose; does not manifest itself at all in the taste.

More than adequately carbonated and generally excellent to the touch. A little on the syrupy side, but then again, this is a really big beer, make no mistake.

All in all, a different Belgian strong dark, but you'd expect nothing less from those crazy gnomes. A huge beer, and hugely complex. If you choose to polish off the 750 yourself, it will last you for a good while, leaving you to ponder the complexity and craftsmanship. The gnomes know what they are doing....don't question the gnomes.

Photo of Proteus93
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark brown snifter pour, with a creamy head companion.

S: Light, sweet, ripe fruits. A touch of spiciness.

T: Musky, leafy & herbal, some bitterness and spiciness. A little bit of a tobacco note in there?

M: A bit expressive, a rich body... a little bigger than what I was expecting.

D: One at a time for me on this one, though it's nice. I may prefer some of the other products a little more, but this one is still a good call.

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

Oh Yeah!!! A nice Belgian. I had an L 2006 vintage in a Chimay goblet, Pours a dark brown with a small off-white head. Head retention is weak, based on the abv. Lacing is weak. Smell is good, astringent, spicy, Belgian candy sugar.

Taste is very good. I served it fairly warm to begin with and the flavors are big without being overwhelming. This is a very approachable beer for newbies to Belgians. It has everything: astringency, spices. candy sugar, bubble gum/banana essence. They are all wrapped up in a smooth mixture that doesn't get overly sweet or annoying over the long haul.

Very smooth, very drinkable. Some alcohol taste but this is one you could sip until the booze kicked in too hard.

I will definitely get a few of these again next year.

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

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a big head initially with tight bubbles. This fades to a cap that lingers. Smells sweeet with candi sugar, a touch herbal, spicy, and with some citrus, particularrly on the finish. The taste is rich and malty, and sweet with candi sugar. The thyme gives the beer a more earthy note that plays of the sweetness nicely. Spicy and a bit rummy, like a good fruitcake. Mouthfeel is a little too carbonated, and it could be a touch creamier. The high carbonation makes it a little les drinkable than it would be otherwise, but it is still tasty. Even though the alcohol flavors are there, it doesn't come off as hot at all. Not my favorite Belgian wwinter brew, but quite nice nevertheless.

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
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
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
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
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
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
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
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
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
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
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
4.12/5  rDev +1%
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
4.53/5  rDev +11%
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
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
91 out of 100 based on 978 ratings.