Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

McChouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
528 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 528 | Ratings: 1,077
Photo of dansmcd
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Extreme dark brown, thin bubbly head, fleeting strands of lace.

S - Sweet malts, caramel, plum, figs. Nice.

T - Dark fruit and spice. Brown sugar over figs and plums. Some licorice. No bitterness to it at all. Very pleasant.

M - Moderate in body. Right carbonation.

O - A sweet, spicy nectar. No heat to it even as it warms. Delicious, just falls below the top BSDAs in terms of complexity.

 398 characters

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

A - Medium-to-dark brown body; fluffy light brown head that dissipates quickly

S - Wonderful aroma- figs, plums, and dark candies make this extremely pleasant to smell

T - This has an absolutely stellar taste- not too sweet, but with plenty of typical Belgian strong dark ale fruitiness and candied sugar presence. There is absolutely no bitterness at all. It's rather one-dimensional, but not in a bad way; the highly-enjoyable taste is rather consistent throughout.

M - Not as much carbonation as I would like; this is somewhat tame compared to other Belgians. It's a little thinner than what I would expect as well, but it's nevertheless very enjoyable.

O - Aside from the low carbonation (which is still enjoyable), I have no complaints whatsoever. It seems like more of a slightly-strong dubbel than a strong dark ale, so for the price I'd probably grab a case of Westmalle Dubbel instead (just because that's one of my favorites). Nevertheless, I'm very glad I picked this up. If you like strong, dark, fruity, Belgian ales, you will not be disappointed by this.

 1,072 characters

Photo of July2Nov
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy brown cola in color. with a foamy head.

Smell: Bready and sweet.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Lighter to medium in body. Clean. Slightly sweet and bready with notes of plum/raisins. Slight syrupy in the end. Good malts throughout it all.

Overall: Anything with a gnome on the label has my attention and this certainly did. It was a good beer with some good flavor, but nothing I would actively search out. Good overall.

 433 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cranberry with off-white film. Smoke, berry and dark malt on the nose.
Dark berry, chocolate malt, and bark, a big forest fruit jam hit, candy sugar and some clovey yeast and deep spicy hay hops to finish and linger.
Light to medium, fizzy, and slightly chewy.

A self-described Scotch ale.

Belgian character underneath a lot of sweet malts. Not very Scottish, in spite of what they were aiming for. Berry too up front. A sipper.

 437 characters

Photo of impending
3.32/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml into a tulip. Pours a chestnut cola with garnet highlights. Mocha colored head subsides slow to the surface, nice lacing.

Traditional strong dark with nice phenolic spiciness. upbeat

Achouffe yeast dominates the front end, the dark fruits are under represented. Not much in the way of complexity. The phenols that share the aftertaste are not a strength, hint of a tiny old penny. Medium bodied smooth mouthfeel.

Strong singed peat moss would have been very welcome.

 485 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, best by end of 2011. Served at around 65F.

A bit of a gusher upon opening, pours dark brown with red highlights and a fair bit of sediment. Initial two finger foamy, rocky head that diminishes to a foamy ring and light cap and leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is very much that of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, Belgian yeast, candi sugar, dark fruits, dark breads, some alcohol, and perhaps a hint of peat. Very good strength and probably my favorite part of the beer.

Flavor is dark fruits, cherries, raisins, figs, candi/brown sugar, Belgian yeast, toast & bread, some caramel and toffee, moderate sweetness, within range for the style, a bit of alcohol on the finish despite being only 8% and having some age under its belt...less so as I work my way through the bottle.

Mouthfeel is light/medium bodied with strong scrubbing carbonation.

More Belgian than Scotch but never-the-less a very tasty brew. This has been on my to-do list for quite a while so I’m glad to finally have gotten around to trying it.

 1,025 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.

 886 characters

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

A: A murky dark brown, with red notes when held to the light. A nice light tan head is nested on top.

S: Some bread notes, as well as dark berries. Some raisons and a touch of roasted smell.

T: Sweet, with some ripe fruit and dark berry notes. Raisons and plums with some light grape notes. Some roasted notes in the finish. Just a touch of alcohol. Very nice, and surprisingly light.

M: Light in body, with a dry finish. The carbonation is fine in size, and strong in numbers. Effervescent, almost a touch too much..

O: Overall a very nice brew. Great fruity notes, meld with grain and classic belgian yeast characteristics.

 631 characters

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

Served in a large wine glass. On tap at Choice City in Fort Collins.

Mc Chouffe is a dark hazy brown color with thin head.

Aroma is mild and malty with a distinct and enjoyable yeast character.

Flavor is exceptional with great dried fruit and yeast esters. Raisins and figs with clove and a little pepper.

Mouthfeel is smooth but strong. Full bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a great beer, especially on tap.

 418 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 ritzkiss
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle at Winstons in Saskatoon. Pours into a goblet a ruddy, muddy brown color, couple fingers of khaki head. Smells of grapes and light cherry esters, toffee and bread. Flavor follows, candi sugar, grapes, cherry, plums, rye bread, hints of coffee. Easy and not too complex, perhaps a little thin in the body. Hides the ABV well, easy to drink, nothing wrong here.

 372 characters

Photo of MadCat
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Taphouse on Queensway in Hampton, VA.

Appearance: Served in a chalice, it is a dark amber brown color, with 1 finger tan head, leaves considerable lacing

Smell: Very fruity, reminds me most of sweet grapes and cherries, with some good darker malts

Taste: Very sweet, I would almost consider it a desert beer. It is mostly sweet grapes and cherries, with a good helping of Belgian yeast funk. Very complex and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, very smooth texture

Overall: This was awesome. Had no idea this was even available on tap. Not cheap, but worth it. Will definitely look for in bottles.

 649 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.06/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Currently the Achouffe gnome and Long Trail bears are battling it out for my favorite beer mascots.

Auburn to sepia in color. Fluffy tan head that leaves sand dunes of retention that shift and blanket the beer. Drifts of lace.

Aroma is leafy, woodsy hickory toffee and brown sugar. Tastes of coppery caramel, clean, leafy hops nutmeg and cinnamon. Tastes a lot like GNC caramel mocha whey protein actually. Thin and monotone for a 8% Belgian.

Supposedly this pays hommage to the Scottish influence that Belgium received during WWII. More of a Belgian-y interpretation of a Northern English brown than anything resembling a Scottish ale. What a bummer. I expect more of Achouffe and their gnomish minions.

 709 characters

Photo of rickyleepotts
2/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I love hobbits! One thing that I am going to like about this project is learning more about the beers before drinking them. That won’t affect the way I write on the beers, as I am writing based on the nose and the flavor. But it’s cool to learn more about the beers, the brewery, etc. before trying them. Like this beer… the hobbit on the bottle, well that’s a Chouffe. I had no idea, but now it makes so much sense. Anyway, let’s drink.

The beer smells like any other brown ale. Not much going on really. But the smell does help with the first sip. It’s initially smooth, and best served chilled. It slides across the palate and settles on the back of your tongue. The aftertaste sticks around though.

The beer is a Belgian strong ale… and I must admit, I expected more. The bottle is HUGE, comfortable to a wine bottle. So when I spend this much money on a bottle of beer, I expected more. The head on the beer is thick, which makes me think there will be a creamy mouth feel… there’s not.

Now, I’m not saying this beer is bad… but to come all this way from the Belgium and just be this good, I am hurt! Come on beer guys, you can do better than that. I would buy a bottle of this again, but it would have to either be on sale or the liquor store would have to be out of everything else! I like the story of the hobbit… but sadly, that is more exciting than what lay in the glass. Bottoms up… if you can stomach it.

 1,446 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a dark brown color with a tan colored head. The aromas were sweet and really interested me in the beer. The malts kind of gave me an earthy aroma too in the faint distance. The taste was on the sweeter side, a little more like a sweet version of an Abbey Dubbel. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth and found myself enjoying this brew for the most part. I don't know if I'd ever buy a whole lot of it but I'd try it again one day.

 445 characters

Photo of iguenard
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

( 33/50, 8.5% alc/vol, Home) Unfiltered red ale that leaves a brown head of average height. Very fizzy. Metal, sugars (the belgian candi kind). Fresh, like cotton candy. Brown sugar, sugar canes. So sweet, the malt nuances are killed off almost completely, although it is quite tasty. Hops flavours are very good, kills sugars and adds a strong dry finish to the beer. Bee-wax, acidic palate. Very sugarry with some metallic tones due to alcohol (and since it's SAQ, its probably aged and badly handled). Definite sweet belgian strong ale. Would drink this warmer at next attempt. Good, but overdone in my opinion. Lets give this a try with coffee cakes and sweet deserts.

 672 characters

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured in a La Trappe chalice.

A: Pours a cloudy dark brown color with a medium beige head with big retention and many lacings left
S: Brown bread and Belgian yeasts are very noticed. Dark fruits, caramel malts and alcohol
T: Taste follows the nose. Intense brown bread and Belgian yeasts. Amazing. Brown sugar and caramel malts. However, the taste is quite dry and bitter. Intense (good quality) hops too. Perfect
M: Creamy and molasses medium body. Reasonable carbonation. Pleasant bitter aftertaste. Dry
O: Excellent beer as expected

 550 characters

Photo of dbmernin83
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber brown, bordering black, nice frothy head.
Dark fruits, sweet candy nose, a touch of booze.
Sweet, slighty medicinal, light alcohol. Silky smooth.
Very light on the mouth, making it that much more drinkable and dangerous.
A great Belgium strong dark. The light body makes it easier to drink and a little more approachable for beginners than some. All in all, a solid offering.

 386 characters

Photo of robwestcott
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured cold from the tap at finch's a deep dark brown to a tall nonic-pint-like 13oz chouffe glass with a full finger near white head with good retention.

aroma of spice and banana.

super sweet, fruit, grapes and banana - followed by a bit of hot spice.

medium bodied, big carbonation, sweet, no bitter.

drinkable - one, maybe two. overall - great brew.

 357 characters

Photo of
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark reddish-brown with a frothy, dense head.
Aroma is caramel and dark fruit with a faint backdrop of yeasty bubblegum.
The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and the flavour presents a dark, fruity sweetness followed by a gentle finishing bitterness.

 262 characters

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

On-tap at Prime 16 into an Old English Oil tulip.

A: My glass arrives full to the brim with clear ruby-brown liquid that's alive with fine effervescence; the bubbles serve to sustain a finger of delicate tan head that shows great retention and leaves light lace. Attractive.

S: Deep, bready malt is front and center, with serious toastiness and some background yeast; dark fruits and spice lie underneath. Nice.

T: Decadent maltiness dominates throughout, but is nicely restrained by some drying yeast spice on the finish. Flavors of nuts, prunes, cake, bread, and toffee provide plenty of sweet intensity, only to be balanced by a clean bite of minerality and light alcohol. Excellent.

M: Fairly hefty medium body that explodes with prickly carbonation. A little over the top.

O: This was my first encounter with a Belgian Scotch Ale, but I had no fears - in my experience Brasserie D'Achouffe can do no wrong. While not quite as transcendent as Houblon Chouffe, this brew is quite tasty indeed. The Scottishness of the malt character was apparent, although the overall effect was decidedly skewed to the Belgian side of the continuum. I kind of hoped that they would have thrown some peat-smoked malt into the grain bill, but I suppose it turned out just fine as is. Well done, gnome.


 1,300 characters

Photo of kenito799
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Fin du Monde glass.

Medium brown cloudy brew. Lovely malty aroma withsubtle fruity Belgian yeast. This is smoother, dryer and more subtle than many Balgians, thi smust be the Scottish influence. Still more Belgian than Scottish. Very nice and good with food.

 287 characters

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

Poured from a capped 750mL bottle into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet.

Dark rosewood liquid, somewhat cloudy with cardinal highlights and many tiny dregs of lees floating around. A wheat half finger of delicate creamy foam rests up top, crawling up around the collar where it leaves soapy layers of lacing in its wake. Excellent retention.

Bananas, gentle yeast phenols, English digestive biscuits or maybe graham crackers, and a hint of plum in the nose.

Tart palate entry, quickly broken up by complex delicate yeast notes and a wave of rich malt. Fruit pits (cherry, apricot), toasted oat cakes, faint caramel, and more develop into a moderately dry, faintly bready finish. An unusual and vaguely mischievous flavor profile.

Soft, medium-bodied, effervescent, and gently warming.

An interesting beer, though beyond the increased maltiness I don't get much Scottish Ale character per se. Would pair well with a variety of dishes - I picked up another bottle to try in place of my usual Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue) in "Konijntje met Trappistenbier en Oesterzwammen," my favored Flemish rabbit recipe.

 1,111 characters

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

I had this beer today in Achel, Belgium. So nearby the abbey of Achel and the restaurant had no Achel available. This was a good alternative.

Poured in the original Chouffe glass the beer looks ok. Darkbrown to dark/darkred beer and small broken white head. Not much to smell. This beer is with dark stonefruits and malts. Some degree of sweetness in it but not much.

Good beer!

 380 characters

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
3.97 out of 5 based on 1,077 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!