McChouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

BA SCORE
89
very good
533 Reviews
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:
55
Gots:
175
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 533 | Ratings: 1,101
Photo of Suds
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer introduces itself with a serious peppery phenolic smell. There’s also a heavy, sugary-malty aroma, mixed with yeast and a touch of alcohol. It’s a dark brown beer with a moderate, creamy head. There’s a lot of fruit in the taste…ripe cherries and plums, also yeast and generous brown sugar flavors. Pleasant malt backbone. It’s sweet, with a medium body. Alcohol warming sets in after the first few sips. Finish is peppery and lingering, with a little hop bitterness. It’s a solid and drinkable beer.

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Photo of champ103
3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown color. At first a beige head forms and rises to about two fingers. The head recedes in an instant. Not much lace to speak of.
S: Dry wood with lots of yeast and sweet malt. Some spicy aromas as well. Very dank and musky. Like wet cloths. Not a lot of depth here.
T: Follows the nose. Some dry wood, malt, and yeast.
M/D: A medium body with a little to much carbonation. Not hard to sip on for the style.

Kind of nondescript malt, and not much more. Not bad, but nothing that really gets me excited.

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Photo of claspada
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent dark bronze/brown color with orange hues when held to the light. Fluffy head of beige foam that leaves some wisps of watery lace along the glass.

The aromas begin with a combination of floral hops and dark caramel maltiness. There isn't much yeasty spiciness initially but it increases as it warms as do the dark fruits.

The tastes begin like you would expect from a Belgian brown ale. Highlights include toasted bready brown maltiness with intermingling dark fruit (raisins, dates) sprinkled with cocoa powder. There's also an overarching floral hoppiness and some understated clove spice.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. The finish is both sweet and lightly dry, with a hoppy bitterness interceding on the back end.

Overall this is a wonderful dark ale by brewers who clearly know how to brew great beer. Belgian brown ales (Dubbels) are normally a seamless melding of malt, hops and yeast and this is no exception. Not exactly brewed to style, more brown toasted malt than dark fruitiness but I enjoy the change here.

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Photo of dgilks
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful deep, chestnut pour with a billowing pale tan head is what you get here. Some amazing lacing.

Banana, raisin, nutmeg and clove hit first in the aroma. Very fruity and sweet.

Raisins and other dark fruit mark their presence ion the flavour but it is unfortunately backed up by a slight but noticeable alcohol bite. Light hop bitterness which helps to offset the sweetness. Nice spice notes support the main act but it falls a little bit short of amazing.

A nice medium body is cut by above average carbonation. Carbonation is almost a little bit high but this isn't a problem.

A nice beer but I'm not pining for another bottle. There is some good flavour going on here but it doesn't stand up to some other brews and at 8% it does seem worth my while.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saw this eer in the store. Am looking forward to their upcoming Tripel, thought this would be fun to try. It was a medium brown color with a thick white head. It had a malty caramel odor and a sweet taste with some spice in the background. Felt OK in the mouth. I thought it was a good, but not great beer

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Watou chalice from 11.2 oz brown bottle. Liquid had a brown orange color, with sticky white head.

Smelled of funky yeast and bread. Not really the La Chouffe aroma though... Taste was really good anyway. Had a dubbel-type flavor, not too strong, nice.

La chouffe is one of my favorites, so I was happy to find this on sale in small bottles. They need to make more of these small bottles available (the big bottles are green and I don't trust them).

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta.

Pours a somewhat hazy brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of mildly spicy caramel malts with good amounts of brown sugar and hints of pears and green apples. As it warms the spices come out even more in the nose.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth but muted caramel malt flavors up front with a hint of toastiness are joined shortly by brown sugar and mild spices. Midway through the sip hints of pears and green apples come into play and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a good beer that wasn't quite a BSDA but obviously wasn't a BSPA. Interesting, nicely done, and worth a shot.

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Photo of mynie
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh from the tap.

I've stopped writing redundant reviews based on different serving styles except for when there's a marked difference between them. McChouffe in a bottle is good. On tap, it's bonkers.

Dark chocolate brown. Pours an awful lot like Bernardus, actually. Nice beige head, thick and hazy.

Smells of biscuits, light alcohol, milk chocolate, Chips a'Hoy, smooth silk malts. Just a perfect strength, perfect balance blend of what a Belgian dark is supposed to be. Nails it.

Tastes damn close to as a good as it smells. Sort of a very pleasant mix between a Belgian Brown and a BSD. Fruit nodes are more apparent but overwhelmed by the sweet grain and chocolate complexities of the aroma, all backed up by a little kiss of alcoholic burn.

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

The beer after disassociating itself from the 750ml dark green bottle sets in the glass a brilliantly clear brown color with a semi-creamy tan head piled high on the body, lace a thick and sticky sheet to obscure the glass. The aroma of yeast, hops, sweet malt, a bit of peat smokiness, all rolled up into one, crisp and fresh, the start is inconspicuous in its sweetness, the malts plentiful and the top fair to middling in its feel to the palate. The finish is unrelenting in its acidity, the hops pleasing it their spicy presence, quite dry aftertaste and a fine drinking beer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip. 8.0% ABV, Best Before 2012.

Thanks to bnieman and his Dad for sharing this one!

A - McChouffe pours a hazy brown-amber color with a quickly fading off-white head. Great lace is left behind on the glass.

S - The aroma starts with a rich Belgian yeast and a spicy brown ale nose with moderate hops behind. This has a lot of mineral going on, much like a German pils.

T - Slight mineral pulls through into the flavor with a standard brown ale base. Belgian yeast spices it up adding, well, spice notes, and earthiness. Hops balance it out.

M - This medium-bodied and smooth-feeling brew is lightly dry but still maintains a smooth finish.

D - While this is a good beer, it's not something I'd be interested in having a whole lot of. One better split.

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Photo of FLima
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown reddish color with a thick two finger beige head with medium retention and leaving some good laces.
Good aroma of prunes, caramels and crystalized and dark fruits.
Nice flavor with notes of roasted and caramel malts, raisins, prunes, figs, spices (cloves, white pepper), cocoa powder , mild licorice, tangerine citrusy, Belgian yeast, muscatel grapes and herbal and earthy hops. A bit of smokiness and candied sugar as well. Quite dry aftertaste with a mild bitterness and a residual elegant spiciness.
Medium body with slightly effervescent carbonation. Alcohol of 8% abv is very well hidden.
This is a great Belgian Strong Dark Ale, well balanced, tasty and pleasant to drink. Not overly complex at first, but reveals its notes throughout the degustation. Not really a sipper once it can be very drinkable, but you still want to take it slowly to harvest all it has to offer.

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Photo of Pencible
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy mahogany with a fair amount of tan head.
S: It smelled like dry roasted barley and earthy caramel, with some nutty malt and sour yeast and copper.
T: It tasted like sweet raisins and cherries and caramel, with sour yeast and nutty malt and bread crust.
M: It was watery with smooth carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste.
D: This was an interesting beer with a nice blend of flavors. The Belgian and Scottish styles were well integrated - almost too well because it ended up seeming more like a standard dark Belgian ale. Regardless, it had decent body (would have preferred a bit thicker), and it hid the alcohol well, so it was easy to drink. This would possibly improve with some age, but it was still enjoyable fresh.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a rich, almost opaque chocolaty brown. Aroma is strong and malty and just a touch sweet. Flavor is rich, remarkably sweet but not cloying, strongly malty with hints of fruit and butterscotch and a nutty trace. There is just a tiny hit of hop bitterness. Very smooth and pleasant to sip.

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

Brown? This beer is darker than most so-called black ales with no hint of opacity; can barely see into it, much less through it. A thick, creamy and dense tan head grows to between 1 1/2 and 2 fingers in height. Retention is fantastic; this beer's showing a lot of character. Lacing is left in rocky patches and a thick ring at the top followed by somewhat spottier but thick lacing the rest of the way.
This is a very spicy beer, lots of peppery notes primarily. It's got a thick, malty breadiness to it as well. It's almost like a seasoned holiday bread of some kind, though sweetness isn't so prevalent in the aroma. There's also just a light note of banana and clove. Going into the flavor, just a little sweetness comes out, but otherwise quite a bit of earthy tones come out, tasting more raw and natural but not leafy, though a light herbal quality comes out that I'll presume to think is hops, along with a light nuttiness.
The feel is pretty creamy but mingling with a moderate crispness in about a medium body. It gets a little smoother as the sip lingers, though, and everything works together well.

 1,110 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage. Served from bottle into a tulip. Pours a dark brown amber with a one finger off white head. It maintains decent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of bananas, alcohol, malt, and brown sugar. The flavor was of fruit, massive malt, and slight alcohol. It was medium on the palate with high carbonation. Overall, this beer was excellent. Couldn't find a single thing wrong with it. It definitely aged very well if you can get ahold of an aged version you owe it to your taste buds to try it.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy deep amber to brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, earthy and candy sugar. In the taste, earth, peet, malty, and a small candy sugar. A yeasty and sugar bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry earthy aftertaste. Almost saison like, small dry amlt and great.

 296 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from champagne bottle into a duvel glass.

Pours dark brown, reddish tints, some foam sits atop. Good lacing, light malty and nutty smell. Some caramel but faint. Taste is very smooth and even lightly sweet brown ale. Some nuttiness, some cola and root beer buried. Creamy mouthfeel almost reminds me of a soda beverage. Very good.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dried blood brownish red with a medium soft-looking foamy cap that sits briefly leaving behind a big collar and thin skim. Lacing is minimal in big blobby things.

Aroma is dry and delicately soft with a semi-yielding date, prune, dark purple grapey fruitish backlay.

Taste is short, rounded in a softly darkened fruityness of red apple, purple grape, and lesser tarting fruity sugars. A bit sharp on the buds with a big carbonation hump in the middle. Finish is light and airy with a yeasty woodish dryness with a bit of fruit pits and skins trying to grab a bit of interest.

Feel is OK, the short-lived flavors don't help anything as it has a seemingly light/medium body with that hump of carbonation in the middle totally taking away what could be a fairly smooth ride.

Drinkability is a little less then the norm for a Belgian Dark ale. Quite plain, but seems like the effort is there and comes across well made, just not much going on with this one.

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

Appearance – Beautiful dark, ruby brown with a good head that rose unpredictably.

Smell – The full array of BSDA aromas are here. The deep, dark fruits such as dates, figs, tobacco, etc, are laced with raw brown sugar and lay atop a wonderful, toasted malt base.

Taste – This is extra special. The taste goes as the nose goes, but there’s a little something extra going on at the tongue. There’s some big, alcohol-laced bread that comes out in a surprisingly big way, making this extremely complex, full, and satisfying.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied and chewy with an alcohol reminder makes this one feel amazing in the mouth.

Drinkability – I just went through a couple bad bottles today (two that I reviewed, the third one was so flat I figured it was defective and poured most of it out without rating it), so this was quite a treat. The bread especially that came out in the taste was a very unique flavor and well-appreciated.

Update – I first reviewed this in 2003 a month after joining the site so thought it would be interesting to re-review it with a 2004 vintage. It didn’t hold up nearly as well after tasting over 200+ Belgian ales over the course of the last year, but it was still a good beer and a joy to consume. I dropped most of my ratings by half points but still would recommend.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: ruby-ish brown with a minor amount if head, not unexpected
S: smacks of dark fruit with a bit of tartness, fig and sour apple, perhaps
T: similar to the nose, but heavier on the dark fruit. Also a bit if woodiness. I think the yeast used adds a very mild funkiness, as well.
M: a surprising amount of carbonation tingle despite the lack of impressive head; otherwise standard for the style I believe
O: I didn't feel there was anything special here, just a solid offering. I can't tell if part of the profile is similar to the Houblon Chouffe, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but it was mildly familiar.

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Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 750ml capped bottle. Pours a mud puddle brown color with an average cream colored head that left a sparse cap. The smell is of bready malt, some typical Belgian spice/yeast aroma. Has a slightly dark fruit scent as well. The taste starts off with an earthy Beligan yeast flavor, there is a hint of candi sugar sweetness, not much of a fruity flavor as there is a woody flavor. Rounds out nicely with a slighty bitter end. The feel is moderate with tingly carbonation and finishes well balanced. This doesn't feel like a big beer at all, quite sessionable. The taste doesn't blow me away but it sure does drink easy.

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

Poured from bottle into tulip. Deep brown amber with crazy head and lacing.
nice sweet malty alcohol aroma...bit of belgian yeast.
Taste is of malty dried fruit, mixed with belgian yeasts and alcohol. Alcohol is obvious, but it should be. This is advertised as a Belgian Brown Ale, which is a way better description than Belgian Strong Dark. Its deff a brown, with belgian tendencies...like it had a condition.
Really great beer...tasty and unique. Worth drinking for sure.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.31/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown-apricot colour with really pleasant beige head, retains superbly but isn't all that thick. The sticky sheet of lace on my mistress' bed...whoops, I mean, on the glass, more than makes up for that, and very strong carbonation. Great-looking brew.

Nose is tart and resiny with a very distinct ethanol character. Fair amount of grape skins, with a hint of peach and maybe a slight banana character as well. Slightly simple, but pleasant enough.

Taste is also quite tart, with a pleasant fruity malt character on the mid, slightly tart grape characters and a hint of vinegar. Very phenolic with a distinct alcohol hit. Throughout the palate there is a lot of sweet characters though, boiled lollies and carob on the front. To be honest it doesn't sit perfectly right with the vinegar character on the back, and the overall palate feels a bit short, with not much of a finish. Pleasant enough but just lacking a bit.

Mouthfeel is very sticky and thick with a large body, not much texture but nice sticky Belgian quality.

As much as I'm not a huge fan of the flavour here, it's very drinkable and pleasant, goes down smoothly, because its tart and phenolic characters aren't quite sharp enough to make me recoil. Could disguise its alcohol better but otherwise pretty fine.

 1,290 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.39/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce stubby bottle poured into a Rochefort goblet. Deep russet brown with an ecru head. Poor retention, unbecoming of a Belgian beer, and little lacing. Aroma is primarily bready, dark fresh-baked bread to be exact, with some dusty raisins and vague red fruits. A little booze as well. Flavor is mild for the alcohol level; there's a pleasant bready grainy malt profile with an unsweet chocolate undercurrent but not much in the way of fruity esters. Sweet caramel malt finish, dry with a soft alcohol presence. Palate is overrun by carbonation. This needs some swirling and time to settle down. I was expecting a dubbel flavor profile out of this dark 8% beer but that's just not what it is. Rather pedestrian but not bad.

Edit: Turns out this is a scotch ale. Weird, wasn't expecting that. Explains the lack of yeasty/fruity notes, obviously, but it still doesn't cut it overall.

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