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N'Ice Chouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe

Not Rated.
N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe

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990 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 990
Reviews: 477
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 46
Gots: 134 | 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

Brewed with thyme and curaçao
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 990 | Reviews: 477 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HeyItsChili
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a 75 cl bottle into a Chimay ghalice. Pours a glowing crimson-brown with a thin, bubbly, tan head that slowly dissipates.

S - Sugary, with caramel, malt, spices, dark fruits and a citrus pop swirling around in the bouquet.

T - Complex, sweet, spicier than the aroma, raisins. There's a nice balance to the flavor. It's not overpoweringly sweet or spicy, and as another reviewer said there's a little citrus tinge to it that sets things off nicely.

M - Thick, warm, a little sticky, not sludgey at all.

D - Smooth, tasty, a real prototypical Winter brew.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark mahogany-hued body with an inch of creamy-looking, off-white head. Very delicate, powdery lacing on the down.

Smell: Sugary, boozy nose with notes of caramel, dried fruits, earthy spices, and orange extract -- it smells like a slice of fruitcake with a shot of liquor poured over top.

Taste: Sweet mix of dark candi sugar and caramel upfront followed by dried cherries and a shot of what you'd expect raisin schnapps to taste like. Small savory, peppery hint along with a taste of dried, bitter orange peel. Light bitterness throughout. Sip of spiced wine. The alcohol particularly comes through on the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. A bit chewy, a bit sticky.

Drinkability: The drinkability for this big, warming, spiced concoction is fair. Another fine beer from a fine brewery.

Photo of corby112
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark chestnut brown with a frothy head with a slight beige tint. Aroma consists of hints of maltiness, spices and thyme with citrus undertones. Very cmplex taste consisting of plum and dark berries, chocolate malt, sugar cane, balanced out by a nice spiciness and slightly dry hopped finish. Very tasty.

Photo of kirkmichel
4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a- dense opaqe ruby color with a thick tan foam at least 2 inches (it ame in a cool N'Ice Chouffe glass goblet) Appearance was impressive.
s- Metallic, but lots of toasted malt and sweet dark fruit sugars.
t- 0zing of sweet red cherries, banana, raisins, and stone fruit, that finishes as just a warm, unobtrusive malty flavor in the middle of the tongue.
m- Viscous, but clean, dousanmt leave too much behind.
d- Very drinkable, but at 10% ABV beware.

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

2007 Edition. A big, interesting Belgian Strong Dark Ale that has been flavored with Thyme and Curacao peel. The flavoring is a blessing and a curse. It does add interesting notes to the beer but also obscures some of the classic Belgian flavor. It's a good seasonal Belgian but it's compared against all BSD's, so that's a bit rough. The beer pours a lovely dark brown with a puffy head. The head dissipates a bit too quickly for a higher score. The nose is malty and earthy. It's an excellent strong Belgian flavor. There's plenty of spice and funky earthiness in the flavor. There's some interesting bitterness, which may be a product of the curacao, and is welcome.

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

cellared for 1 year... vintage 2007. dark brown, tan head, fairly impressive retention for a higher abv and well aged monster. combination of thyme and sugar produces a scent and taste similar to the organic sodas or roots drinks you get at health food stores. herbal sweet, maty and spice that i wouldn't equate with the season come together nicely ( no pun intended ) to create a well balanced medium full nectar. the little bit of age it has on it really made it morph in to one well balanced entity of its own. another nice brew from chouffe.

Photo of pershan
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a slightly cloudy, deep brown with a thin white head into a chalice. The aroma was of sweet candy sugar and that unique Belgian yeast profile. The taste was more of the sweet candy sugar, but dominated more by the Belgian yeast aftertaste, with significant alcoholic esters. A wonderful, full-bodied Belgian strong ale - just what you need for the cold months ahead.

Photo of Onibubba
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2007 bottle. Pours is a dark amber, almost brown with a very nice lingering off white head. Smell is a bit herbal. Hard to describe. Odd. Taste is very herbal / medecinal. Very odd - more like a european apertif if that makes any sense. Piney, but not resiny. Juniper berries? Mouthfeel is highly carbonated. Tastes quite hot as well. The mix of noticable alcohol and medecinal herbs may create a nice winter warmer, but does not work for me as a beer. In fact, I find it to be quite harsh. I'm afraid, in my case, drinkability is poor. Least favorite offing from this brewery, but that is just a matter of personal tastes.

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

On tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Served in a 10 oz. snifter.

Appearance: A dull muddy brown with one-finger of off-white foam that fades rather quickly but leaves a solid sheet of slightly bubbly, sponge-like lacing. Very sticky, nice. It'd score a little higher if the color were more pleasant, 'cause the lacing is really great.

Aroma: Way too faint. Sticky sweet stone fruits, dates, raisins, cherries, a floral estery note, and some boozy, wet alcohol.

Taste: Thick, syrupy, fruity, spicy, medicinal and phenolic. Lots of stone fruits, cherries, dates, very ripe, overripe perhaps. A few spicy yeast notes - very peppery, hints of clove, cinnamon - and a lot of floral notes, as well. Nothing here is too vibrant, but it's all solid and melds well.

Mouthfeel: Soft, with big Belgian "sublimation," powdery and fluffy. Carbonation is subdued but definitely present, which doesn't do much to counteract the thickness. A little prickly. Not bad, on the whole.

Drinkability: An interesting if not outstanding beer. This one's thick as hell, and the abv% is up there, though not necessarily for the style. On the other hand, it's mellow, pleasant, fairly complex, and smooth as hell. Give it a shot.

Photo of dino213aa
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep reddish brown hue, hazy with a deep brown center. Substantial yeast floaters throughout. Pours with an even tan head and minimal lacing.

S: Mild, slightly sweet aroma. Hints of thyme.

T&M: Flavorful spicy character with a soft sweet aftertaste. Very well balanced between spice and sweetness. moderate carb and medium mody.

D: Easy going down and plenty of spicy character, this is a good choice for a wintertime brew. At 10% ABV, this might make for a short session.

Photo of pinotboy007
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice cola brown with a creamy, rocky mocha-colored head and some light lacing

S - Malt, touch of herb, leather, root beer.

T - At 10% ABV I can hardly detect the alcohol that's masked by splendid flavors of leather, oak, vanilla, candied sugar, and raw cinnamon. Has a light sour swing to it that's quite enjoyable.

M - Beautiful, really. Slight fizz supports the creamy frame to darn near perfection, but tends to lighten up rather quickly on the finish.

D - Strong stuff but it's such a nice ale it's hard to resist, so buy two. :)

Photo of Hophead101
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

drank on 5.12.08 at home watching American Gladiators.

pours a very nice brown color with a fantastic head. nice tan and bubbly. head was reduced rather quickly, but was great while it lasted leaving a nice thin layer of bubbles on top.

not a whole lot of aroma, mild malty smell. as it sits more of the aroma comes out - picking up a few more of the spices - especially thyme.

this is full of flavor, wow. lots going on. it definitely gets better as it warms up. can taste the many spices. mouthfeel is a little too crisp. hits the roof of the mouth and back of the throat.

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.

N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
91 out of 100 based on 990 ratings.