McChouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,119 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
Ratings:
1,119
Reviews:
539
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
10.08%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
183
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,119 |  Reviews: 539
Photo of chinchill
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 ml squat bottle with a BB date of 4/2016 ... plenty of time remaining but the little gnome on the label called out to me from the refrigerator and I couldn't resist.

Pours hazy dark brown with a durable tan head. Excellent lacing left on the sides of my St. Bernardus snifter.

Aroma: complex and variable, or so it seems. Spicy and yeasty with some alcohol esters an a hint of vanilla.

Flavor: better and more stable if less complex than the aroma. Typical bitter-sweet balance for style (lightly sweet) but perhaps a bit more bitter and sweet than average. Plenty of dark ripe and dried fruit notes, including raisins, dates and dried plums. Faintly yeasty, bready and spicy with a touch of vanilla.

Feel: medium+ carbonation is soft but seems a little bit too high; medium body.

 794 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle at De Kelk in Brugge during last week's trip to Belgium. Reviewed from notes.

Serve in a McChouffe chalice.

Pours dark brown with a nice, foamy light tan head. Good retention and plenty of lacing.

Nose brings loads of dark fruits and a bit of sweetness. Flavor falls along the same lines, though the two don't mix quite as well as in the nose. Medium body and good carbonation. Semi-dry finish. Well made and quite tasty.

 440 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Lynda for bringing this back from Belgium.

Light fizzy head quickly light lacing hazy ruby auburn color.

Nose earthy root like aromas, herbal, esters galore, molasses and syrupy almost candy, even a bit nutty.

Taste light malts, darker nutty malts, very earthy and slight herbal again, esters, chewy nougat almost, molasses and candy. Tons of fruit, plum, raisin, fig, date, etc. bit bitter and semi sweet.

Med bodied, dec carb, bit syrupy.

Overall nice Belgian strong dark/dubbel style, a bit much on the esters and sticky sweet flavors, but nice fruits balance it.

 581 characters

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with some reddish tint with a nice fluffy head,big fruity aromas along with some yeasty-like spiciness.I picked up some sour cherry up front along with some caramel and some spiciness coming in in pretty ubrupt finish.A real solid brew not overly spectacular but had nice strong dark ale characteristics a pleasure to drink.

 343 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - poured with one finger of light tan foam on a hazy, amber brown body. The head settles slowly and leaves decent lace.

S - dark brown sugar, toffee malt and a hint of spicy hops.

T - brown, malty flavors up front. Some fruity notes of cherry and plum in the middle and a finish of spicy hops and fruity, dark malt.

M - a medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - petty good if a bit odd. The malt is a bit heavy for the yeast character but the spicy hops.

 483 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, sour fruits, some caramelized malt and a little hops.

T: The taste starts with a burst of sourness from tart fruit flavors (apples, apricots & berries). Then the malt character and Belgian yeast backbone take over with flavors of caramel and some spice. There's a decent hops presence. The after-taste is tart and sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this one isn't one of my favorites but it's a good beer that is worth sipping for a while.

 794 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color with small off-white head. Yeasty aroma with some dark fruit. Taste follows the nose pretty well. Carbonation is on the higher side with a medium body. Quite good beer overall.

 193 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dcmchew
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my La Chouffe tulip ( New Years 2002). Pours chestnut, orange when held into the light with 2 fingers of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Apples & brown bread & a touch of cinnamon

T: Caramel, appleskins, leafy hops, a bit of apple schnapps & figs up front. Some dark candi sugar & a bit of raisin, plus orange slices as this warms. Finishes with dark fruit, leafy hops, & a touch of dryness

MF: Fairly assertive carbonation up front plus medium body & a bit of stickyness

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV, although the booze does peak through a bit. This was better on draft across from the brewery! Not bad, but there are better Belgian darks out there

 681 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excellent head with impressive lace; very dark brown--light won't penetrate.

The aroma is primarily malt but there is a nice hop balance to it.

The bottle states that this is a combination of a Scotch Ale and a Belgian Abbey Ale. This is true. It is mostly malt with a wee heavy alcohol content. Still there is a nice hop component that balances the beer well. Full bodied yet properly carbonated.

This is a beer I was expecting far less. It seemed gimicky to me, but this beer is very flavorful and enjoyable.

 521 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11 ounce goblet - $9.75 at Taco Mac in Buford, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours an opaque, dark brown body with a thin wisp of white froth on top.

Smell: Aroma replete with plenty of fruitiness and lightly wafting alcohol and notes of spice, dark bread, dark candi sugar, and maybe even some syrup as well.

Taste: Dark brown breadiness sweetened with dark candi sugar and a firm caramel flavor. Fruity additions of black cherry cola, figs, and red currants. Earthy, herbal hops with a medium-low bitterness. Dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Light warming touches of alcohol. Renewed tastes of sweet breadiness, now with a touch of maple prior to the warming, semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A reasonably pleasant, enjoyable ale, and, though the alcohol isn't entirely hidden, it isn't ever glaring, making for a relatively easy-drinking brew. Paired well with the rockin' mid-90's tunes playing at Taco Mac.

 950 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was excited to find this on the shelf in Mexico.

A: Poured a ruby//brown color, somewhat hazy, with a foamy tan head on top. Pretty good head retention, slowly dissipating to a thin layer of foam on top. Left some thick lacing on the glass.

S: Heavy amount of dark fruit - plum, fig and a little raisin, some caramelized malt and some Belgian yeast.

T: Rather spicy with some pepper and nutmeg to go along with a deep, dark fruit flavor. There is a bit of caramel mixed in as well with a slightly sweet finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, has a slightly creamy feel to it and a sticky finish.

O: Pretty good brew, not one of my favorites, but easy drinking with a good flavor profile.

 710 characters

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.

 1,866 characters

Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dense frothy head, similar to frothed milk the color is of the deepest brown with some haze. Smells if phenols and earth, bubble gum and sangria soaked fruit. Wet and a little thin on the body, the inner lining of the maltiness holds a hermit like character. Peppery snap of the phenols and some hop bitterness wake the palate up. A solid caramel and wavering alcoholic character meld middle to end. Finishes spicy sweet.

 421 characters

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of woodychandler
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I first met owner & brewer Chris Brouwarts at the 2002 Mondial de la Biere in Montreal. I was a recent Pitt graduate awaiting a mid-summer return to begin a Master's program & with time on my hands, I stayed behind when the tour bus headed home. Also, the Pittsburgh Pirates were in town to play the soon-departing Expos, so I seized the chance to go to yet another stadium. Chris is a great guy & we parlayed in my broken French & he bestowed some patches for my jackets & vests. We have maintained a casual friendship & always warmly greet one another at various events, the latest being in DC for SAVOR a few years ago. I am proud to Pop! the cap on this one.

From the bottle: "Artisanal Belgian Brown Ale"; "McChouffe is brewed by the Artisans of Brasserie d'Achouffe deep in the heart of Belgium's Ardennes mountains. Inspired by the tale of a Scottish Chouffe who[,] along with his Belgian friend[,] created an eccentric 'new style' Scottish Ale. This Belgian micro brewery crafts McChouffe with local Ardennes' water, top fermenting yeast, fine hops and malts. Double fermentation produces natural carbonation and a small yeast deposit (lees) on the bottom of the bottle. Enjoy the dark earthy color and spicy flavors of McChouffe. Serve cool between 50-55 F and pour carefully to enjoy the full flavor and aroma of this truly innovative Belgian Ale. Brewed within the luxuriant green Belgian Ardennes using 100% natural ingredients."

I did, indeed, Pop! the cap & began a gentle pour so as not to rouse any lees that the gnome may have collected during his slumber. I still got an oddly shaped finger of dense, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with good retention. It was actually lopsided, denser in some spots and non-existent in others! Bizarre. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & garnet highlights. Nose had a vinous sharpness along with a fusel alcohol booziness. Whee! Mouthfeel was medium with an extreme effervescence. The taste was very much of dried, dark fruits - think raisins, prunes, figs, dates and a little bit of milk chocolate to round things out. Mmmm. The alcohol was there, but not as prevalent as it had been on the nose. Man, this was a tasty beer! I do not want to oversell its sweetness, either. It was held in check, possibly by the alcohol, and made for a vinousness akin to what I noted on the nose. This would be great with spare ribs, like the one that I had last night. The finish was closer to semi-dry than semi-sweet, again thanks to that fruity vinousness that I kept noting throughout. The beer's inherent effervescence acted like a palate cleanser with ever sip & really allowed me to taste it fully. And now, for the pour of the lees (waste not, want not): The clarity was gone, leaving a sip of mud in its place. The vinousness of the nose was now replaced with a caramel-like sweetness. The mouthfeel was flat and grainy on the tongue. The taste had a distilled brandy-like alcohol flavor! Oh my. Finish was sharp and dry. NEVER dump those lees!

 3,045 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

I think this beer can only be properly presented whilst pronouncing its name in a crappy fake Scottish accent. It pours a deep sienna topped by a finger or so of khaki foam. The nose comprises toffee, light nuts, light brown sugar, light dark fruit, and a touch of Belgian yeast. The taste brings in more of the same, though the toffee seems to flatten out a bit and cover everything else in a fine veneer of itself. It all comes out spicily bland, but in a good way...if that makes any sense... The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a nice little brew, nothing in any way exciting, but I would definitely not turn down another if it were offered to me.

 746 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is chestnut brown with a thick, khaki hued head. Lasting retention with ample lacing. The aroma offers a prominent dose of Belgian yeast right up front. Distinctly Belgian all the way. Brown bread, brown sugar, light spice, a bit of toffee and caramels. Relatively light bodied and fairly sweet. Moderate carbonation with only a touch of alcohol. A really solid beer. A nice beer to revisit now and then.

 413 characters

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
3.97 out of 5 based on 1,119 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.