McChouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

Liked This Beer
3.98 w/ 1,122 Ratings

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,122 |  Reviews: 540
Photo of DoreenAndDave
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark brown with an appealing ivory head. Not much of an aroma. Perhaps some brown bread. Taste is excellent. Caramel, malt, brown sugar, toast. It's rich and smooth and kinda sweet. Very well balanced. Great mouthfeel and quite drinkable. All in all, not spectacular, but very very tasty.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a somewhat weak light tan head, but good lacing.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, sugary cola, tobacco, a hint of banana, earth, and floral spices. A nice smooth scent with a lively spiciness.

Taste of sweet dark fruit, tobacco, earth, and sugars. The flavor is as equally smooth as the scent, but with a bit less spice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly oily and smooth with medium low carbonation.

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Photo of MM3
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The McChouffe is red/brown beer with a small white head.

Smell: The smell of the beer is lightly malty sweet.

Taste: The is malty with a very light bitter after taste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of the beer is nicely smooth.

Drinkability: Because the beer has a very malty taste with a nice bitter after taste, it is very easy to drink.

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

Pours with a lively, bubbly, loose head that erupted with smells of yeast, dark bread, mushrooms and citrus. The beer color is similar to weak coffee. Has an instantly-identifiable Belgian body: dense with a reasonable amount of fizz, and a certain quality of thickness that reflects the yeast level, I suppose. Not strong in taste, but there's still plenty to like: the aforementioned bread and mushrooms, with oranges and even some peas. A nice treat and well worth the cost.

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Photo of zoso493
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Chimay chalice

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany with a bit more red in it than your average BSDA. When you hold it up to the light, it becomes a glistening, deep blood red that looks like the sweetest nectar. Has a two-finger head that's very tame by Achouffe's standards. The head doesn't stick around long, either, and leaves very little lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells of sweet yeast with some dark fruit and even some brown sugar in the background. The predominant smell, though, would have to be the spices. This is pretty reminiscent of the N'ice Chouffe I had a couple of nights ago. (4)

Taste: Like the N'Ice Chouffe, this one also has a diabolical struggle between the sweet yeast and dark fruit and the spices. The spices sting your tongue up front and then recede, allowing the sweet Belgian yeast and prune to finish. Less bold than the N'Ice Chouffe, but the alcohol is much less pronounced, as well.

Mouthfeel: This has a higher amount of carbonation but still retains a really good body. The carbonation and spices leave your tongue stinging for a second, but also leave it very crisp and dry.

Drinkability: This is pretty high in this brew. You'd never know it was 8% ABV. This really separates it from its wintery cousin, as the alcohol is much more subdued.

Overall, this is a really good example of the style and one of the better offerings I've had from Achouffe. The more beers I have from them, the more highly I think of their brewery, and this one is no exception. It has a wonderful interplay of spice and sweetness that makes for a very complex brew. What it lacks in boldness it makes up for in smoothness and drinkability. This is an excellent beer and a terrific example of the style.

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Photo of JoshJ
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much to say about this, other than it's what you would expect from the d'Achouffe brewery.

Its a wonderful flavour, great drinkability and probably a beer I would recommend to someone who wanted to try a Belgian Dark as a starter.

However compared to other beers in its genre, I would say it lacks a certain presence that lets you know its a true dark ale. Otherwise I could easily drink this all night.. wait. I did... and loved every minute of it.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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 philbe311
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beer from Brasserie d'Achouffe labeled as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale with a name that hints at a Scotch Ale - I can't wait...

A - A very lively pour with a huge fluffy rocky ecru colored head comprised of a plethora of varying sized bubbles... Retention is modest, but give way to a stellar lacing that is full and inviting... A deep dark brown color with notes of reddish caramel hue... Murky, yet translucent... Some minor sediment floating throughout... Some lively small carbonation bubbles at the top of the glass...

S - Belgian yeast... Chocolate... Plums... Perhaps a hint of cherries... A minor spiciness...

T - The Belgian yeast is the first taste to greet the palette... Brown sugar... Apple... Muted raisins and figs... The presence of alcohol is undeniable...

M - A very tempting kiss of biting carbonation greets the tongue... Medium bodied, yet thin... Chalky finish... The warming effects of the alcohol lingers...

D - A really solid and enjoyable Belgian Strong Dark Ale... While the name may hint at Scotch Ale tendencies, it's Brown Ale that shine through... Gains a lot of depth and complexity as this one warms... Quite quaffable... I would gladly welcome the opportunity to enjoy this brew in the future...

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Photo of jnn4v
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice mahogany / medium brown color with a hint of read. Moderate head filling 1/4 of the glass. Some sediment and haze.

S: Smells more Belgian than Scottish, but definitely has elements of each. Belgian yeast, some spice, dark dried fruits, a hint of spice, and Belgian candy sugar.

T: Slightly coppery on the first taste. Candy sugar, some Belgian yeast, and general malty sweetness. Mild hop bitterness. Slightly numbing from the alcohol. Hints of caramel as well.

M: Moderate carbonation and decent body.

D: Seems reasonably drinkable, although the alcohol flavor and numbingness.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml best before end of 2009...I'm not sure but I'm thinking this might be at least couple of years old.

Pours a slightly murky dark caramel brown with an active, large light tan head. Decent lacing sticking to the glass. Little yeasty bits floating around as I get to the bottom of the bottle.

Very lovely smell. Dates, figs, brown sugar, maple syrups with some spiciness. Very sweet.

The taste balances out the sweetness with a dry malt backbone and a nice amount of spiciness. The dryness is a little surprising. I'm glad it's not overly sweet. Maybe a hint of alcohol warmth as I get to the end of the bottle.

Mouthfeel may be a little thin, but it doesn't feel watery. Carbonation is medium-high, but it lends itself to making the beer more drinkable.

Very drinkable beer. Split between a friend, and I could easily finish the 750ml by myself. Very flavorful, but not too heavy on the palate.

I kind of feel like this is an underrated beer, but maybe age (potentially) has really evened this beer out and turned it into a really exceptional beer. I've had this before, and I don't remember being nearly this impressed. But, I wonder if it's possible that since it's pretty widely available and not too pricey, it might not be getting the hype it deserves. Of course, a B+ is a perfectly respectable score here.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- a nice brown color with a medium to light white head,

Smell- slight spice, malts, raisins, brown sugar and overall candy smell

Taste- The overall flavor on this was good but a little bit one dimensional i felt with an average finish, overall mostly sweet malts, spice, bread, raisins, brown sugar

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with nice carbonated feel

Drinkability- This beer was okay but I have had many better of the style, was definitely a slow sipper and after one I wasn't even slightly tempted to go for another with many other nice beers on tap, just a little bland, not bad but just not amazing

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Photo of taigor
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle

A - Dark brown color when poured with medium head and almost no lacing.

S - Smells of dark fruit and bread with spices.

T - Malt sweetness with caramel and toffee taste. Has some apple aftertaste.

M - Medium body with nice carbonation. Very soothing and pleasant.

D - Very drinkable. Would definitely drink again. This beer is very enjoyable in cold weather.

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Photo of RobeyStreet
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A smooth and comforting dark Belgian ale. I had this while in Amsterdam at Cafe Belgique. I had this right after trying the La Chouffe (pale ale) which was less than impressive. I prefer dark ales as a whole and this one did not disappoint. I was just drinking it by itself but think it might go well with a nice beefy meal.

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Photo of RuudJH
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A strong dark ale within the Belgian tradition. It's the season of dark ales, and McChouffe is a very decent example of it. Both bitterness of hops and sweetness of fruits go well with the slightly roasted character of the malt.
If you try this, you won't complain. There are more superior brews coming from Belgium, but nevermind that.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml. bottle poured into an Ommegang chalice.

A--Pours up a pretty ruby chestnut reddish-brown. Head is minimal, maybe a finger, and fizzy cola. Dies quickly and doesn't lace.

S--Raisins, some roasted nuttiness way back there, and a sweet liquer-like back end that's hot in the nostrils. Hot in the nostrils--sounds like a rock band.

T--Bright and earthy at the same time. At first I thought this was just a dubbel lookalike. Now I'm not so sure. The center of it certainly has abbey ale written all over it--has those plummy, raisiny, jammy notes. Yeast is prevalent, too, in a spiciness. But the hops really lend something here: both an herbal quality and an earthy quality. You also get some pepper from either hops or yeast. The saaz and golding are definitely happening, and alongside the lively carbonation cut through the sweetness of the nearly scottish ale malt flavors, which on the finish somehow transmogrify into a chocolate malt nuttiness. Very juicy, but at the same time very lively and spicy/earthy. Hard to describe but lots of fun.

M&D--Again, bright--champagne-like bubbles which normally annoy me but work well alongside the more syrupy dark flavor profile. Drinkability? Yeah, sure. It's worth trying. Watch the ABV on this, though, as the alcohol is well-hidden.

Claims it's a "new style" abbey/scottish ale. All the way. Crafty brewing by the little gnome who, as the story goes, met himself another gnome who wore tartan. This would all be much less charming if the beer wasn't so dang tasty.

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Photo of weazal
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

S: Indulgent, rich strong sweet, bready dark fruit with brandy. Mild alcohol at the end. It's potent! Just all sweet caramel and brandy upfront.

T: Again, potent. Full-mouth unique tingly, rich, sweet, dark roasted caramel and brown sugar. That's all contrasted by bitter hops at the end. Sweet, bitter, bold, and fun!

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Photo of JBogan
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown body with a thick slightly off white head which remains for a long time and leaves moderate lacing. A nice looking brew.

An aroma of sweet malt and dark fruits. Perhaps a bit too much on the sweet side.

Taste was along the lines as the smell, however it wasn't as sweet as the scent led me to anticipate. There was also some spices in there as well, even cinnamon. Also a bit of pear in the background. The alcohol is very well disguised.

The mouthfeel was wonderful. Full bodied and as velvety smooth as it gets. Just enough carbonation tingle as well. One of the best beers I've ever had in this regard.

Upon first opening the bottle and catching a whiff of the aroma I'd feared this beer would be far too cloying and sweet to be enjoyable. However a sip put that concern to rest and it became even more enjoyable as it warmed.

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Photo of erz316
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle in la chouffe snifter

A - 1.5 finger head, fluffy and filled with big bubbles, cream coloured, and fades pretty quickly. big chunks of yeast flow into the bottle, really big chunks. the body is a translucent dark red-brown, the only thing keeping the brew from being completely see through are the huge chunks of yeast floating around; there is actually so much that it makes it a bit difficult to see. a quick swirl of the glass restores some of the thin foam adorning the top. carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass, making a sort of yeast ferris wheel.

S - dark caramel malts, floral hops, apple juice, and an odd smell from the mass of yeast that fell into the glass, maybe like a plastic bubblegum. the top notes are the apple juice and yeast; the apples are quite juicy and smell like red delicious. the midground is composed of the malts and caramel. the bottom is the flowery, light hops. light alcohol astringency at the back with the hops; this becomes more noticeable as the brew warms up.

T - not the conventional bsda taste. the initial is a strong apple taste, with light touches of the yeast, adding that odd flavour it has. the initial taste pretty much like a cider, but it has a bit too much bitterness from the hops to make that flavour absolute; there is also a bit of alcohol in the mix, which shatters this apple-y illusion. the finish is peculiar, the yeast and hops come out in an odd mixture, that is more sweet and floral than malty and spicy. there is only a tiny bit of spicy dry alcohol (but it is mostly relegated to the aftertaste). the aftertaste is malty, yeasty, and a bit bitter. the sweetness easily dominates this part, it is a very good caramel taste. the yeast is quite an odd creation from brasserie d'achouffe, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.

MF&D - the feel is a bit too carbonated for the style, but the body is right. the drinkability is hampered by the amount of yest which imparts that weird bubblegum flavour.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml squat Euro-stubbie bottle. Is the little elf analogue on the label divining for beer?

This beer pours a somewhat hazy dark reddish amber hue, with three fingers of rocky, densely foamy, and bulbous pale beige head, which leaves a decent array of layered cloud lace around the glass as it gently recedes.

It smells of bready caramel malt, a bit of biscuity toffee, aged lemon rind, mixed dark fruit, subtle yeast and mildly zingy winter spices. The taste is caramelized candy, saltwater taffy, pithy dry black fruit - raisin, prune, and chocolate-ensconced cherry - withering yeast, a faintly earthy spiciness, and softly nutty, floral hops. A wee red vinous booziness seeps in as things eventually warm up.

The carbonation is average, alternating between tight and frothy, the body a moderately tame medium weight, and perhaps a bit mealy in its general smoothness. It finishes off-dry, still big and candi-sugar malty, with a pleasant enough spice and floral hop flipside, the booze only a slight twinge.

A pretty enjoyable, if not overly complex BSDA. The players are all there - beefy malt, yeast, spice, fruit, and simmering alcohol, sure, but I suppose I expect a certain extra je ne sais quoi, an indescribable elan, when it comes to these kinds of offerings. Unfair to most? Yep.

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Photo of matty
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brownish amber colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aoma is fruity and spicy.Taste is dark fruits,spices and scotch.Very bland and unimpressive.There is an alcoholic warmth at the end of each drink.Overall something that was nice to try once but something I ever doubt I would buy again.

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Photo of champ103
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%
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 rvdoorn
3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I always love the bottles and caps of Chouffe beers, they are kind of cute. Poured into a La Chouffe glass. The beer pours a hazy, dark-red-brown color, with a two finger think very light-brown head.

Smell: for me difficult to define (and given the mixed opinion in the reviews below, I'm not the only one). Sharp, spicy, yeast, some lemon and burning alcohol.

Taste: First a sharp taste, then some hints of sweet fruits, sweet malts, spicy malts and some grain. The aftertaste is spicy and too alcoholic.

Mouthfeel: thin-bodied (bit watery), medium carbonation, because of the strong alcohol, not too easy to drink

Overall: Alcohol is too much present, but in general a decent brew. However, there are so many better beers in this style. I prefer the La Chouffe by far!!

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Green 750 bottle with that stupid gnome.

Appearance: Well, I let this sit out for about 10 minutes from the fridge before opening, and it became a gusher. The worst part is that mixed the yeast evenly throughout the bottle. Looks like a cloudy brown with floating chunks. Looks a little orangey in the light. Nice head with some thick but spotty lacing.

Smell: Sweet with dark fruit and pretty malty. Nice belgian yeast and spice smell. Good, not great.

Taste: Different. Sweet and spicy up front. You taste the breadiness somewhere in the middle. There's sweet malt and a woody, smoky taste. The finish is long and rich. The alcohol comes through a little here.

Mouthfeel: It doesn't appear to have low carbonation, but it feels that way. I like more bubbles here. Its not flat by any means, and otherwise feels medium for a Belgian dark, which its really not.

Drinkability: Would be better if it didnt have floating particles, but thats partly my fault. Overall, I really enjoyed this. A little experimentation is good. A Belgian-Scottish ale is a great idea, and works pretty well. Good, not cheap though.

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Photo of aristeros
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Total Wine in Tucson, AZ. Poured into a tulip once the bottle warmed from fridge temperature. Pours a deep red-brown, garnet in the light. Big head, good retention and lacing. Smells of red and dark fruit, spices. Pretty yeasty.

Starts sharp, with black cherries and some spices, but mellows out to sweet malts, darker fruit, and warming alcohol. Maybe a little chocolate? Finishes warm, definitely a sipper. 'Feels' like a 10% ABV. Certainly could mask it better.

Good mouthfeel, but you'd want to finish the session with this because of the alcohol presence.

As advertised, an attempt to marry a Belgian to a Scotch Ale. Solid contender. Makes me want to see what else these gnomes can cook up.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose has dark sour ripe fruit with a good bit of dark malt and some spice. Smells good.

Pours mildly clear nice dark ruby orange, some suspended particulate despite a careful pour. Moderate head. Looks pretty good.

Dark fruity malty - high degree of ester-like flavors. Soft vinous quality. Substantial malt base. Nutty oiliness and biscuit. Soft yeasty spice that complements the malt nicely. Notes of chocolate. Moderate sweetness. It does have a winey dryness that I attributed to a nutty oiliness and soft vinousness. Creaminess not unlike ice cream. Tastes good. Feels good. Good drinkability.

Dark sweet malty relaxing.

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McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
Beer rating: 81.4% out of 100 with 1,122 ratings
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