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:
56
Gots:
175
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 533 | Ratings: 1,101
Photo of davidchollar
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into my chimay chalice, this belgian strong dark looks really good. perhaps a shade lighter than other darks, closer to a dubbel in appearance. deep mahogany with a thick tan head that never settles.

big nice aroma is obvious before i am even done pouring. typical, nice belgian smells. toasty bread, raisins, prunes, smells rather sweet, no real trace of alcohol in the nose. so far so good, but this one loses points for taste. not sure what it is exactly, but there is an unexpected bitterness right up front that sort of throws off the whole taste. not what i expect after quaffing, and although it is still quite nice and complex, i just don't like the taste compared to others of this style.

this is smooth and easy to drink. listed here at 8%, the bottle says 8,5%. overall not bad, but not a lot of character by itself. great with a sharp cheese.

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Photo of dblinkhorn
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml into my McChouffe glass.

Appearance - Pours a muddy brown color with a touch of amber in it. The head is massive (due partly to the very tall and thin glass) at about four fingers. It slowly evaporates and leaves excellent lacing behind. The head itself is extremely silky and is an off-white/eggshell color. There is an average amout of carbonation activity within the beer. And the color of the beer is a dark, very clear, brownish amber.

Smell - Lots of sourness and a decent amount of alcohol on the nose. What little hop aroma there is seems to be somewhat floral. The malt smell is alos very elusive, but has a slightly toasted smell to it.

Taste - Again sourness up front. This slowly gives way to a powerful nutty flavor (mostly peanut and almond). The hops have a mostly bitter character, with only slight floral notes. They are fairly subdued, however. The malt is again and as well fairly subdued. Toasted and slightly rich in flavor, and definitely a back burner attribute of this beer. The most impressive taste about this ale is the strong nutty flavors. The finish and aftertaste are dominated by sourness and earthiness from the yeast. Moderate alcohol burn accompanies the entire taste.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is very well done with this particular ale, and it has a very smooth mouthfeel even with a fairly light body.

Drinkability - The sourness and nuttiness may get a little overpowering after drinking a decent amount of this stuff, so I think that this takes away from its overall drinkability, but certainly not from its flavor alone.

Overall, this is a decent brown ale in all categories except for its superb nuttiness and curious sourness. It has decent drinkability and a very good mouthfeel. Recommended.

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Photo of mizzoueng
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Brown / Caramel in color with a light tan head. Head retention was poor. I got a good 1/2" of head during the pour, but it didn't stay for long.

Smell - Malty, spicey, some earth tones. Not overwhelming, very good balance and hid the alcohol.

Taste - Good. Roasted malts and some spice were blended well with some phenols that were hard to place. I got some yeast flavors once in a while, I think it was just a hint that was hard to place with all the other flavors that were present.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, heavy, thick. Served in a wineglass, this is a sippers beer.

Drinkability - Good. I really enjoyed this beer. At 11 bucks a bottle its a little pricey to drink often, but I wouldn't turn it down. I just wish it came in a regular sized bottle.

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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 Douberd
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured, from a 330 ml bottle. Very dark brown colour which turns to a deep amber against the light, with minimal bubbles. Head is brownish, leaving a light lacing on the glass as it fades out (fast). Nice sweet aroma of vanilla and fruit. Taste is bitter and follows the aroma, the 8% alcohol is not so obvious. Medium thin bodied on palate,lightly carbonation. Overall a great brown beer that I would happily suggest.

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

I poured this one from a 750ml green bottle into a stemmed New Belgium globe glass.

A= This ale poured a cloudy garnet/brown color with a 1.5" frothy off-white head. The head slowly dropped and after a long time disappeared completely. No lacing to speak of.

S= Aromas were of caramel maltiness smothered in Belgian yeast funk and alcohol. The yeast produced a lot of bubble gum and tropical fruitiness.

T= This is a beer that moved through many stages in each sip. The sweet/caramel malts led off, followed soon by a short and slightly unpleasant sour dryness. Then midway the phenols kicked in and swung it back to the sweet and fruity side. The finish was mildly sour, spicy, and quite dry. Up and down and back and forth, these flavors were all over the place!

MF= Medium body (though just heavy enough to call it so) with a super crisp effervescent carbonation level.

D= I have to admit I was disappointed by this ale. I am a huge fan of the other Chouffe beers and I also love Scottish and Scottish-inspired ales so I probably had some difficult expectations to meet. Anyway, I would drink this again if I saw it on tap just to compare but otherwise this is one I will likely skip in the future.

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Photo of jnn4v
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
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 wedge
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky, opaque reddish-copper color with a large, thick, frothy tan head. Dry, musty / earthy aroma - lightly fruity, yeasty, a little spicy...kind of cautious. An intriguing, entanglement of organic flavors casually coats the mouth. Dry fruits and spices, sweet malts, and yeast. More mustiness in the taste but its a bit more restrained. Some lingering phenols and even a little smoke. Medium mouthfeel with solid carbonation and no hint of alcohol.

This is a very interesting belgian ale. A little confusing overall but maybe its supposed to be. Crazy gnomes...

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

Poured from the 750ml capped bottle into my La Chouffe tulip glass. Brownish-ruby body is topped by a huge, foamy tan head that disippates into a good one-finger or so after a couple of minutes. Good carbonation. Aroma of some lightly sweet, medium-bodied malt, tasty Chouffe Belgian yeast, and an underlying clove spiciness. Palate features the dueling influences of some rich, lightly roasted caramel malt, a bit of Euro hops, and the somewhat overpowering yeast. Notes of clove, white pepper, biscuit, and a touch of caramel. Massive alcohol presence on the finish leads to a nice warming sensation all the way down the throat. Nice, medium body is not too fizzy and conveys the flavor quite well. I was, um, forced to finish the 750 bottle by myself. Not like it was punishment.

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

I had this after a similar (750 ml) bottle of the blonde. Very nice pour, with a good head, but nothing I couldn't keep in the glass.

I drank it at the end of dinner (chicken kabobs) and onto the patio with the kids. Although the head disappears after a short while, the beer tasted great.

Again, I don't know how they hide the higher ABV in such a good tasting beer. The chocolate/cocoa taste you expect from a beer with half the alcohol content.

Not too heavy, with just the right amount of taste left behind.

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

750ml bottle

Pours a rich chestnut brown with a fluffy tan head that thins, but maintains. Thick lacing on the glass.

Rather light malty aroma with a mild nuttiness with some fruity and bready tones.

Mild nutty malt flavor upfront leading into light bready and fruity flavors. Rather subdued flavor for a strong ale.

Full body, plenty of carbonation.

A pleasant and drinkable Belgian, but with a rather ordinary flavor compared to others in this style. Still, I had no problems consuming the entire bottle...

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Photo of aracauna
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is kind of a run of the mill Scotch ale. Dark, cloudy reddish brown with a nice glow. The slightly tan head is thick after the pour but fades completely although slowly. A mild bit of peat, wood. Thin but not bad. Not rich enough or enough complex malt to be a good scotch, but it's a easy drinking scotch ale that should go well with mild beef dishes.

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

A - opaque in my snifter, bubbly light tan head, leaves a bit of lacing behind.

S - fruity, figgy, some fresh spice, almost-saaz like, not a ton of "dark" fruit aromas, but still pretty nice

T - very "grapey" to start, vinous, not super dark or rich, but this isn't a huge beer, so ok, low bitterness, aftertaste is fairly short

M - very light, mouthfilling carbonation, gentle prickles, smooth alcohol, dry finish

D - about as good as any dubbel, not really big or bold enough to be a dark strong

I'm not a big fan of dubbels in general, I'd sooner have the bigger, bolder taste of a dark strong, or else the lighter/brighter/hoppier flavours of a tripel/blonde. Regardless, this is a nice dubbel - if they are your thang, you definitely need to give this one a try.

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

Big ole 750 shared by Colin - cheers! I also have a bottle from zorprine cellaring away, so thanks to him for that one too!

Pours a rich brown with an aggressive light tan head that eventually drops to a film, leaving some nice lace spots. Sweet, spicy aroma, with raisins, brown sugar and bread. Sweet dark fruit flavour has touches of raisin, sweetbread and spice. In fact its positively like a dubbel, and not too bad for it either. What hopping is there is certainly very light, as there's only the mildest of bites in the finish, and it can't hold up to the sweetness. There's also a slightly grassy quality to it, which may be hops, or may be faint skunking (either way I thought it added to the beer).The body seems to suit the flavours well with its medium weight and pleasing carbonation.

Another 'not quite what I expected' beer on a night that seemed full of them, but I really enjoyed this BSDA / dubbel hybrid, and found it ridiculously drinkable considering its ABV. A touch more heft to the flavour and this one would be competing with some of the better dubbels out there, but as it stands it seems more dubbel-Belgian strong dark lite.

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

750ml capped bottle, cloudy hazy reddish-copper color, nice big foamy off white-tan head that leaves good lacing in the glass, yeasty, fruity and spicy aroma. Bready malty fruity flavors, full and crisp palate, yeasty banana sweet sugary finish, good stuff.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a huge bubbly off-white head with average retention. Aroma is comprised of strong Belgian malt with a side of floral hops and a top of yeast. Taste is somewhat spicy, creamy and ends with a dry bitter aftertaste. Another quite complex beer from this fine brewery. I’m not sure I really detect the scotch ale influence in this one but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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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.

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

I'm a huge fan of the La Chouffe, but I'm not entirely crazy about this one. It's good enough, but it doesn't really dazzle me. Pours an excellent looking brownish amber color with a decent head though, and smells great. Nice and musty and spicy, with a bit of herbal grassy hops and some sweetness. However the taste is a little less expressive. It's nice to see some subtelty now and then in beer, but I found this beer to be a little uninteresting. Yeah, it had some nice candy sugar qualities and some nice grassy hop tastes, and even some spices, but it didn't all come together as well as it could have. A tad light and thin in the mouthfeel. Not a bad beer, but not a great one.

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

11.2 oz bottle. Poured a hazy dark copper color with a decent head that didn't stick around but did leave some lacing on the glass. Aroma is mildly caramel and malt. Taste starts slightly sweet. Thin mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Finishes with a bitter twang, and a slight astringency. Not bad, but there just seems to be something missing.

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Photo of SleepyMonk
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chilled 750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Looks as though carbonation is fairly low and the head that is created from pouring shifts down to a surface ayer with nearly no lacing.

As one would expect the color is a dark coffee brown and reasonably opaque.

Nose detects ripe dark fruits with malts and yeast plus an indescribable note that is perhaps best described as brown sugar.

In the mouth and across the tongue produces very tasty malt characteristics. Dark fruits are also delivered and so to is the brown sugar.

The lower degree of carbonation is a treat as it caramelises in the mouth and sustains that malt flavor. Finishes try with a comfortable amount of alcohol twang.

Good stuff

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Photo of DogFood11
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this big bottle partially into a tulip as a nightcapper. Really nice appearance. Head is easily controlled although starting out slow would be best and increase from there. Head maintains itself perfectly and is slightly chunky. Laces thoroughly.

Significant earthy smell combined with some alcohol and bitter.

Lots of phenol and floral taste comes through up front. A wild boquet of flowers clashes with wood and deeper earthy flavor. The caramel or dark fruit type flavor is somewhat missing in this offering, not to worry it makes up for it with a different approach of toasted malts countered by a zingy carbonation.

Notes: Although this strong dark doesn't fit the mold it is a nice offering worthy of a try.

 730 characters

Photo of chogm54
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into sniffler glass. BB date April 2016.

L - Hazy, dark brown/ruby. Pours a patchy offwhite head.

S - some bready malts and white wine, but there is a huge whiff of cooking yeasts, pepper and eggs. Repugnant.

T - Luckily the taste is better than the smell - brown sugars, earthy yeast, dried fruit (figs), caramel with a sweet malt base that rises up towards the finish. Very well balanced.

F - lively carbonation for style, alcohol is muted, medium bodied, slick texture.

O - tidy beer, well balanced taste, and im impressed with both the mouthfeel and muted alcohol. The only let down is the smell - the fresh yeast smell isn't pleasant, so block your nose when you drink!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

The dark offering from this fairly well-known brewery in the Ardennes. I have read that these guys only use malt syrups rather than whole grains ... True? In any event, this is certainly a well-attenuated and thin-bodied dark ale that does indeed capture some Scottish flavor elements, albeit with a decidedly Belgian profile nonetheless. A dark reddish brown brew, maybe leaning towards the red, with a moderate amount of light tan head and an aroma that is equal parts fruity esters, spicy medicinal phenols, and sweet caramel or toffee along with a vinous wine or cider-like note. Nice balance between the caramel elements and Belgian spice although I am less wild about the cidery component. Palate largely reflects this, such that I initially get some apple and pear fruit followed by clove spice, golden raisin, musty white peppercorns, faint molasses and bandage-like phenols, and perhaps a whiff of citrus rind. Rather dry, powdery mouthfeel and this brew just screams thinned down with a healthy sugar addition to the kettle. Some alcohol is apparent but not over the top in this regard. Really my main issue is the ultra-thin body and correspondingly airy mouthfeel but the flavor is solid.

 1,200 characters

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