McChouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,101 Ratings
McChouffeMcChouffe
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe
Belgium
achouffe.be

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies from time to time.

Added by Mitchster on 09-22-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
533
Ratings:
1,101
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
10.08%
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
175
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 533 | Ratings: 1,101
Photo of Brian700
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a dark brown with an offwhite head. Most of the head disappears after a while but it keeps some right around the edge. It has an estery smell, very fruity and also some caramel. I can pick up on the Belgian candy sugar as well. Tastes like caramel, a little chocolate, & alcohol. It is sweet but not overly. The taste is very complex. It starts out more chocolately and becomes more fruity towards the middle and into the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is just right. Moderate carbonation, though the head on mine didn't stay to long. I might of had a soapy glass. Overall a damn fine Belgian Ale.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber brown with a light thin head, sweet fruity and yeasty smell. Back when he used to make wine, my dad once threw a bunch of stuff at random into the bin just for the hell of it - grapes, plums, pears, etc. It ended up being a fantastic dessert wine, but of course he could never duplicate the recipe. Mix some of that with caramel malt and caky yeast, mellow it down a few notches and you have the McChouffe. Well-balanced hoppiness makes for a nice finish, a bit of a sugary\alcohol mouthfeel but still very drinkable beer.

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Photo of kjc51478
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark brown color with a light but foamy head. Aroma is dark fruits, caramel, and spices. Taste is also dried fruits with caramel and a gentle earthiness. The beer is light on the palate and easy to drink. Even with 8% abv, you don't get much of the alcohol in the flavor.

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Photo of rarevos
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into goblet.

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Head is fluffy at first, light tan. A few sticky trails left behind after it recedes, and some big bubbles in the foam blanket.

S: Sweet aroma with clovey, peppery Belgian yeast. There's a very slight sour quality to the aroma.

T: Malty up front, with a good sweetness of caramel and some dried figs. Prunes, red wine grapes, cherries, and baked apple with cinnamon. Delicious. Finishes with a very light bitterness, and a continuation of the complex fruitiness. This is a damned fine beer.

M: Medium-bodied and smooth.

D: I have no idea what an "Artisanal Belgian Brown Ale" is, and I've read quite a bit on Belgian beer. But categories be damned, this is a really nice beer. I haven't had too much from this brewery, but what I've had has been very, very good. I'll be going back to this beer, for sure.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark bronzy brown with a generous infusion of orange when backlit. Clear initially, the beer becomes seriously murky when the final few ounces are added to the glass. Fast and furious carbonation results in a poofy head of semi-stiff foam that is toasted beige in color. Wandering wisps of watery lace decorate the glass; temporarily at least.

The aroma is a wonderful combination of sweetly floral hops and dark caramel-like malt, resulting in a whole greater than the sum of its parts. There isn't much yeasty spiciness; perhaps it's saving itself for the palate and letting the more mundane elements shoulder the load in the nose (yeast can be like that; little buggers).

McChouffe tastes like a Belgian brown ale (I think it's high time that style was recognized on this site). Of course that impression didn't hit me out of the blue. The beer itself, via the label, claims that it's a 'Belgian Brown Ale'. What that means to me is the flavor profile of an American or an English brown with the added depth and complexity of Belgian yeast.

The flavor consists of dark fruit (raisins, dates) sprinkled with cocoa powder. There's also an overarching floral hoppiness that ties it all up in a neat package. Finally is understated clove spice. All elements work together in a beautiful symphony of flavors. The beer is both sweet and sour through most of the mouthful, with a hoppy bitterness interceding on the back end. The light-medium mouthfeel is especially buoyant thanks to all the bubbles. No hint of alcohol, even at 8%.

McChouffe, no matter what style one chooses to call it, is a wonderful dark ale by brewers who clearly know how to brew great beer. It's a seamless melding of malt, hops and yeast that gives pleasure whether one attempts to tease out every flavor nuance or whether one wishes to simply drink and enjoy. A fine achievement.

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Photo of JMS1512
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On the docket: 750ml bottle of Brasserie d'Achouffe’s McChouffe, bottle date: best before end of 2015. Seems like I’m cutting it close.

Poured into: Etched Chimay Goblet

S: An initial mass of beige-gray head, thick and puffy forms. Underneath, a dark, burnt-sienna body sits, with an orange tint at the base. Tiny bubbles snake up to the top. Eventually, the head dies down to a thin cap on top, bubbles populating the head, sort of like soap.

A: Fruity esters immediately wend their way into your nose, laddie. Ef ya couple that with some yeasty bubblegum and a bit of caramelized malt, you have the knack of it. The hops, while muted, are spicy and earthy. It’s entertaining to smell, the sweetness being a draw factor here.

T: Some of the aroma carries over into the taste. The fruit here is dark and plummy, but gentle. A spot of hay, or husk, sweet caramel, a definite melanoidin tang like that of a Scotch ale, and a bit of spice and earth from the hops.

F: Tingly carbonation, chewy mouthfeel, fluffy. Deceptively light bodied. A kiss of warming alcohol on the end, more pronounced as it warms up (at 8.0%, it’s certainly prudent to exercise a dram of caution. A finish that sticks around.

O: Though the brewery calls this beer a brown ale, and while they’re not exactly wrong, I feel that comes up short in describing this one. Picture the offspring of Gerard Butler and Ellen Petri (go ahead and look her up, I had to, too) in a beer, and this is much closer to the mark. There are equal parts Scotch ale and Belgian Strong Dark in here, and they combine to make something that while new, is evident of its parents. This is a pleasure to sip and meditate on; much like the upcoming celebration of our Lord’s birth.

S: 4 A: 4.25 T: 4.5 F: 4 O: 4.25

Suggested food pairing: Molasses grilled barbecue ribs, beef Szechuan, sharp cheddar cheese, crème brûlée

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Photo of Nipitato
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors located in Westborough, MA.

A: Extremely dark amber hue that is opaque. Dark tan head with quarter inch retention. An excellent looking beer.

S: A wonderful aroma. Prominently bready malt with a touch of caramel and crust. Dried cherries and raisin esters. No real hop aroma.

T: Sweet malt. Bready. Alcohol flavors are prominent. Some bread crust. Just a touch of pepper. Taste is sweet throughout with no hop flavor. Alcohol flavor replaces hops as a balancing agent. Just a touch of bitterness at the end. Dark fruit ester add additional complexity.

MF: Highly carbonated with a creamy mouthfeel. Quite mouthfilling. Clear alcohol warmth noticeable.

D, notes: This is a top shelf beer. It's heavy so its sessionability is limited but this is a great sipping beer.

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Photo of nicefix
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thick head with nice lacing. Deep brown in color. Smells fruity with apple spice. Tastes of fruity spice with an almost nutty middle and spicy finish.
This was my third tasting of the night. So I was starting to loose some sensativity on the palate.

Very interesting and complex. In my opinion, better on tap than in the bottle.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Lachouffe tulip glass, around 10 c.

Pours a dark brown with orange highlights huge head and a bit of lacing. Good carbonation. Aroma of peppery spice and bit of a hop presence. Flavor of rich malt a fairly large hop bite and a dry, almost saison like finish.

Great stuff!

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Photo of obrendano
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

random choice from my local shop

A - heavy green bottle, cutesy elf character lets you know it's a Euro beer through and through. beer pours a burnt orange with traces of sediment. the head on this thing is absurd....foamy, sticky, highly active carbonation. very nice

S - smells slightly of Belgian yeast, fruity character present

T - having grown a little sick (often literally) of the Belgian taste, this is welcoming to me. slight classic funk, but the taste is a harmonizer, not lead. warm peppery malt gives way to a huge caramel and buttery taste, with a buttered bread finish.

M - very lively and sharp carbonation, body is medium but sticky, leaving the caramel and butter flavors all around your mouth for a while

O - can't complain at all about this one. very solid for the style and a very good beer all around

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Photo of francisweizen
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes in a lovely 750ml bottle with a cap and no cork or cage! It pours a lovely dark brown colour with a big, fluffy, white head. The aromas are of anisette, licorice, chocolate, caramel, belgian candy sugar, various strains of yeast, and alcohol. The taste is a boozy mix of imported chocolate, high quality caramel, the finest anise, and more. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy and the drinkability is excellent as well. A staple Belgian in my diet! :0-) YUM!!!

F

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Photo of ChillMike
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

McChouffe:
A: Pours a beautiful deep ruby red tha doesn't let much light in with a hefty off white head, that leaves just enough lacing around the glass.

S:Very sweet smelling, some nice candy sugar scents along with a fruit smell, I'm thinking a bit of cherry, and a bit of plum. Also a bit of choclatey malt smell. A very pleasant smell, just not enough of it, if that makes sense.

T: Very interesting taste, not what I was expecting at all quite a suprise. Let's see a mix of a cherry and light white chocolate taste then finishes with a nice coffee and caramel esque flavor. I have to say this was quite the treat.

MF: One of my only complaints about this beer is that it does feel just a tad bit too watery, I'd expect a beer that was this deep in color and flavor would be more "meaty" for lack of better words, it's also got just a wee bit more carbonation than I'd expect from this. That being said these are minor flaws in an otherwise great beer.

D: Scary enough I really can't taste the alcohol all that much and it is at 8.5%, I know it's not technically a winter warmer, but this was perfect for a night that was literally freezing in southern california.

Overall I'm really liking this beer and will have to pick it up again. Brasserie d'Achouffe is quickly becoming one of my favorites, they seem to get it right, from the presentation of the bottles to the taste of their wonderful beer.

Cheers!

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Photo of brurevu
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From my tasting notes: The McChouffe was touted as a Belgian Scotch Ale and was the obvious darker beer of the night. It came with a fluffy tan head and more Belgian yeast notes in the aroma with some sweet malts as well. It was much maltier than the La Chouffe with hints of toffee and dark fruits with the signature Belgian yeast notes as well. Another well balanced and drinkable beer that I will need to try again.

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Photo of mulder1010
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML poured into a Great Divide Glass

A-- Poured a dark brown, with ruby highlights through the beer. Big Kakhi colored head that settled into a half a finger head. Good head retention once swirled. Some lacing but not a lot. Well carbonated looking.

S-- Got a grape soda smell mixed with hops! Nice and different. Also got a bubblegum smell as well. Very fruity and very lively.

T-- Prune, grape, and a lot of dark stone fruits in this. More I drank the more it reminded me of sparkling grape juice. Just a bit of hops for flavoring.

M-- Medium to well carbonated. Very lively and active in the mouth. No real biscuit like taste or smell that is so common in Belgian styles. So much more light and fruity. Sugars become more obvious as the beer gets warmer.

D-- ABV is extremly well hidden. Feels and acts so much lighter than the listed 8%. Very different smell and taste as opposed to others in this category and it does make this stand out. Nice beer and in some ways this brewery is very overlooked as a top notch brewery. Very strong line up of beers.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle that I picked up in Belgium, with a best before 2008.

Pours a cloudy, red tinged, dark brown with a two finger head that fades quickly to a thick cap, leaving behind a thick sheeting of lace behind.

Smell; very nice dark fruit aromas with plums, dates and maybe a little raisins. There's also some nice caramel, and toffee notes, and I'm also piking up a little coffee in here as well.

Taste; the toffee and caramel are very evident in the flavor with the dark fruits with plums, dates and raisins filling out the middle. The finish has a very rich chocolate presence with a little bit of some coffee notes in there, and touches of yeast. This has a very unique flavor profile, that I'm really liking tonight.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability; the mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very smooth but active carbonation, and the drinkability is just great. I'm having a hard time putting down my glass.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown/black color. Big foamy off-white head, but it dissipates quickly into a bubbly film.

Smell: Deep malt aroma with strong hints of dark fruit (particularly fig).

Taste: Nice (though not particularly up-front) dark malt flavor with some great spicy hints, notably clove and nutmeg (especially towards the finish). Dark fruits come in more strongly a bit after the initial taste: particularly raisins and figs. The aftertaste is definitely bready and has elements of raisin and spice in it.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to heavy-bodied with minimal carbonation. Though not "sticky", there's definitely an enjoyable degree of viscosity here.

Drinkability: No taste of alcohol and it doesn't feel particularly strong either. Good flavor, and easy to drink.

Though not as complex or as good as some beers of this style, I'm glad to have found this one as it is quite enjoyable nonetheless. Rich and malty, with plenty of flavors, both subtle and not, this tends to showcase more of the dried [dark] fruit flavors generally found in this style - and it does it really well. I must confess, though, that I don't entirely get the whole supposed Scottish inspiration/connection with this beer, but who really cares: it is a great beer!

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL (also incorrectly marked 1 PT 0.4 FL OZ) green glass bottle, capped. Best Before End 2002 (so this was aged longer than recommended). $7.99.

This dark ale poured a hazy iced-tea brown with rich, tall, tan foam that settled and did not leave much lace, if any. The smell was nice: apples, malt, biscuity aroma, citrus, and a flowery smell (perhaps the bog myrtle that is listed as an ingredient?). The taste was very good: smooth, caramel malt, apples, a bit of candy sugarl, a biscuity taste, a hint of alcohol, a slight hint of hops, and a trace of bananas. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, and slightly sweet but clean. This ale had aged well and was very mellow and very pleasant to drink leisurely.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany with a thick, light tan head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing down the tulip glass. The first whiff is almost metallic, but later, fruity notes of apple and fig dominate. Molasses and sweet pipe tobacco present as well.

The taste is both complex and well balanced, with subtle creamy malt and a raisiny plum and sour mash blend that lets you know the hops are in effect. Exceptional mouthfeel, semi-thick and bubbly up front and across the palate, leaves a slight hoppy aftertaste. Great carbonation. There's a lot going on in this beer to keep your tastebuds happy...definately recommended by this reviewer.

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Photo of dv8sean
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Surprised to see both the bros and the community at large relegate this to "only" a "very good" beer. This beverage is good enough to mock or outright dismiss its critics.

Appearance is not its forte, tho. It's a bit nondescript, and while it pours with a good head, the foam dissipates, and leaves virtually no lace.

From there, however, it just keeps getting better. Banana bread and spice on the nose. Layered and complex. Taste follows suit. Beautiful balance between the sweetness of the malt backbone and the very mild sour funk of the Belgian yeast. Note: this is NOT a "sour beer".

Mouthfeel is stellar. Beer has a long, long finish--somehow being both sweet and dry at the same time. How'd they do that? I'd rate it 5.0 Perfect, but I cannot profess to know what is perfection.

Overall, this is the best beer of its style that I've found...at least to my tastes.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark murky brown color, small, but simmering, tan head. Aroma: mollasses, nuts, butter, cream, dates, raisins, dark rum, all the rich flavors one can imagine. Thick, full, hot mouthfeel, full body, tingly hops. Super-charged with hops, the flavor keeps on coming, simmers and stews, with a long lasting, rich, satisfying finish! Takes the cake for all brown ales everywhere, past, present, future. Round, delicious, sensuous, and utterly lip smackin'!

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Photo of cokes
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB: End 2005.

Pours out a glistening yet hazy deep amber-orange body. Massive bone-colored head is sticky, frothy and persistant. Centerfold material.
Nose is comprised of saaz spiciness (first and foremost), some fruity esters, light peat characteristics, toasted carmel, and alcohol. Occasional hints of chocolate.
The is just delightful. Hits right up front with the stinging saaz hoppiness. Some peppery spice tack onto this and make it almost tingling. Once this recedes, the toasted carmel malt makes its way up front. Loads of oaky/woody notes to boot. This stays pretty dry throughout...juices up a little when in warms all the way up, with some fruity (apple and raisin) hues. Earthy, organic peatsmoke textures are interjected amongst the bready yeast tones. Earthy and organic are the adjectives I want to stress with this one. Course grain, faint cocoa, and slight hints of vanilla round this one out. Finishes with a jab of (seemingly english-style) hops, and a touch of alcohol.
The spritz of a belgian, mixed with the malt heft of a scotch ale. Medium bodied, maybe on the thin side..but who cares.
The fact that this is so young will require me to go grab a few to age. This is a very nice one...likely great with a little time.

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Photo of mjc410
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice, this beer is a translucent orange-brown, raising a rocky light tan head. The color is a marvel, very rich and inviting. So is the smell, being entirely sweet malty caramel. The taste begins the same way, albeit more intensely, and accompanied by roastiness and hints of cocoa. It then moves to a slight, short biscuit phase. ending on a juicy-sweet note, which is slightly citric. In the mouth, it's medium-thick, and carbonated enough to be nice and tingly. Overall, I rate this so highly because it's complex, sweet without being cloying, and very warming. A most enjoyable Belgian melding of the Scottish tradition.

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Photo of 1fastz28
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

has an exceptional color, a beatiful ruby color without hardly any head, the smell is really good, citrus and yeasty wonderfullness. has a strong alcohol note to it, but the taste is awesome, i really enjoy it mouthfeel is full and good. the drinkability is very high, a good beer like this without a crazy price.. belgians might be the best thing ever.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up this relatively new stock on recommendation from a fellow co-worker at John's Grocery. This fine Belgian pours out to a very dark plum color with a perfect foamy head that sticks around through the duration of the glass. Leaves a spotty and sticky lacing behind.

Smells absolutely stunning. Has that Belgian candi sugar trademark resting upon a massive malty base. Smells very phenolic, easily enticing one to take another drink.

The taste is a bit grainy, but it's backed up by a nice blend of candi sugar and a mild spicy hop. Reminds me a lot of St. B's Abt 12 or Westmalle dubbel. Very nice mix of flavors. The finish occasionally leaves a coppery taste in the mouth.

The mouthfeel seems to be a tiny bit weak to me, but this is obviously a forgivable trait for such a fine beer. It's a little bit creamy and grainy, but the body lacks oomph. The high alcohol content is very well hidden, however. Drinkability is good, all points considered.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Moan & Dove, as part of their Belgian Beer Fest.

Presented in a LaChouffe tulip. A 3/4" tan head over the light brown brew, with ample lacing. Aroma is sweet malts, with spiciness and light alcohol notes apparent. Taste follows the nose, with the spiciness and sweetness balancing each other, and light alcohol warming. Mouthfeel and drinkability were both excellent, I look forward to enjoying this brew again.

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McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
3.97 out of 5 based on 1,101 ratings.
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