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McChouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

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BA SCORE
89
very good
529 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:
529
Ratings:
1,083
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
14.61%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
169
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 529 | Ratings: 1,083
Photo of geexploitation
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew is tasty indeed, but I'm not sure why it's garned so much attention. It's good, though. The color of McChouffe is very appealing -- it's a deep amber color, like a thick, spiced homemade apple cider. The head is signficant but not terribly aromatic. I get some hints of date out of the head, but that's about it. The taste is by far the best aspect of this beer: slightly sweet and highly malty, it asserts itself immediately on the palate and then fades to a nutty finish. Just as quickly as it asserts itself, however, it fades to nothing more than a tingling on the back of the palate. This beer feels very nice on the tongue and is smooth and rinkable.

...However, the flavor profile of this beer, along with its fast dissipation on the palate, bring to mind, to me, a session beer rather than a Belgian ale. This beer would be highly drinkable in a low-alcohol version that could be consumed in many pints over the course of an evening. As a high-alcohol beer, it has to lose some points in my mind... there's no reason to choose McChouffe over some other sumptuous Belgian beers.

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Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle, poured into The Chimay goblet. The ale is in the 45-50 degree range, maybe a little colder than that.

Appearance: The ale pours with a deep ruby red color. Soft red colors emerge when the ale is held to light. Strikes me as a little too pale, so I gotta dock it just a bit.

Smell: Fruits and spices emerge immediately. Maybe some nutmeg or cinnamon, raisins even. The aroma is pleasing, just a shade or two relaxed from its cousin, N'Ice Chouffe.

Taste: The hop presence is not overwhelming. Instead spices are the predominant taste. A bit of pepper, some smoky flavor (although not a lot) and nutmeg are the flavors I pick up immediately.

Mouthfeel: The ale's spices sit well on the mouth and create a warming sensation as one consumes it.

Drinkability: Even at 8%, this is very drinkable. The spices are somewhat muted, so if you are looking for a stronger spiced beer, pick N'Ice Chouffe.

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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 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 EStreet20
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into a tall Alllagash chalice.

A - Pours out an amber tinted root beer color with a very big bubbly off white head. The head cakes up a little over the rim of the glass. Leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. Nice look.

S - A big bubble gum and fruity aroma along with a whiff of alcohol.

T - Some smoky, spicy hints over a slight malty tone. On the finish some hops and some more spice. however, every flavor in this beer seems very subdued. In fact, for the style, this beer really has very little flavor. I can't figure it out but it just seems like a dry beer with a little sweetness but no really bold flavors I expect out of quality Belgian darks. Nothing offensive, just nothing really to speak of.

M - Nice, well carbonated and very smooth.

D - Really just tastes very bland, which I find shocking due to the aroma. I wonder if I got a bad bottle.

Notes: Very odd that the taste just disappears. I don't think I'll go for this one again.

 983 characters

Photo of Boto
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle: This one opened with little evidence of carbonation, but poured with a fairly large head anyway. It died off rather quickly, however. It is a fairly opaqur brown color. The nose was nice, with notes of caramel, yestiness and fruits, although there was a slight hint of a peatiness. The taste has a bit of a roasty taste and dryness that wans’t expected. A bit of the peatiness in the taste also, as well a a bit of caramel and smokiness. Interesting...

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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.

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

This beer is an almost clear, deep amber color that has ruby hightlights when held up to the light. It is topped by a thin light brown head. The aroma s slightly tart with notes of dry raisin character, bits of toffee, a touch of roasty almost coffee-like notes, and a finish that reminds me of rum.

The taste is rich with a fruity sweetness that is a mix of raisins, figs and a hint of toffee. The finish has a light, though sharp bitterness and a certain astringency or spiciness that is fermentation driven. Either way these notes in the finish provide a great balance to the sweet, fruity caracter found up front. This beer has a really nice balance to it that makes it quite enjoyable. It is rich and satisfying with out being cloying, or even without destroying the smooth drinkability of this beer.

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Photo of Derek
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark ruby. Fluffy off-white head continues generating, leaving some nice lace.

S: Prunes & caramel, with a wine-like grape odour.

T: Initially well balanced, fading to a slight bitter aftertaste, with a small touch of tartness. Lots of prune flavour, very Belgian. Dark caramel, with a burnt/sweet taste.

M: Moderate body, a little syrupy, yet sort of creamy. Plenty of carbonation.

D: Awesome. And quite dangerous at this strength.

I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10/18/05- Purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, best before 2008 imprinted on the bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Clouded brown pour with a larger than 1 inch head. Leaves a solid 1/2 inch head the remainder of the glass. Lacing is a bit better than average.

Smell- Wonderful scented beer. Caramel and lots of spices roaming around. Smells sugary sweet.

Taste- At first a fairly heavy metallic taste sets in. Although I think that taste is actually the strong spices. It mellows out the more you drink. Tons of spices. Almost like a spiced brown ale. Lots of caramel as well.

Mouthfeel- A bit highly carbonated.

Drinkability- A great smelling beer and a better than average tasting beer. Probably will try one in the future. Getting one to age might be a really good idea.

 835 characters

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

330ml Bottle 'Best Before End 2006'

Pours ruby / brown with a ½ finger of large-bubbled light tan foam which disintigrates rather quickly. Nose is almost sherry like, with earthy malt dominating along with wisps of dark cherries.

Entry is silky with a palate pleasing mouthfeel supported by perfect carbonation. Midtaste is robust with earthy malt, woody fruits, and a beautiful Belgian yeast. The finish is a long malt fade complimented by spiced apples and would compliment roasted beef.

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Photo of texashammer
3.01/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ruby brown with a tan head that leaves a nice lace that sparkles in the light. Definitely pretty. Smells somewhat of bready light malt and yeast, but overwhelmingly of metal. Smells like I'm biting into a cheap restaurant fork. In the taste teh metal continues to dominate and makes this beer not terribly drinkable. I did finish my first, small glass but declined a second pour.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in colour with an off-white head. Lots of carbonation. Aromas of caramalized malt, yeast, and cut grass. The flavor is an odd combination of sweet malt and spritzy saison-like flavors (citrus, yeast, etc...). It tastes good, but still somewhat muddled. I couldn't detect any of the smoke flavors that you'd get from a beer influanced by the Scotch ale style.

 369 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep chestnut with a four finger tan head that lasts. Nothing but huge sticky lacing clings all over the glass.
Smell is of lightly roasted malt with a hint of chocolate powder and lots of apple juice esters coming through with perhaps some other fruits hidden in the background of this earthy brew.
Taste is good. Belgian La Chouffe yeast is very evident in the taste with some semi sweetness coming through in an earthy taste with some caramel notes, figs, and apple juice being the biggest flavor picked up for some reason.
Mouthfeel is decent. A hint of spice in this slightly malty brew with a dry finish.

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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 OatherS
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big 75 cL bottle with a gnome on the front.

A: Pours a massive head that laces nicely. Clear brown color, very bubbly. Sounded like pouring champagne.

S: Floral and friuty aroma. Slight alcohol smell but not strong, just there.

T: Sweet but not overpowering almost pop like in the flavor and mouthfeel. Good taste.

M: Very smooth.

D: Something that should come in a six pack!!!!

 396 characters

Photo of Chadbrew
2.96/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up at Spirits Unlimited in Red Bank NJ.
Appearance - Dark brown, murky beer with a very large head that sticks around for a while. Speaking of sticking, there's some pretty good lacing.
Unfortunately this beer kinda goes down hill from hear.
Aroma - Sweet and plum-like full of candi sugars and malts.
Taste - Bitter-sweet with lots of residual sweetness, almost cloying in the finish. Some fruit tastes like raisins and bananas and too much clove.
Mouthfeel - Not a bad mouthfeel, I mean there is plenty of body.
Drinkability - Too much sweetness for my liking. I would have liked to have had this in a 12 oz instead of a big 1 pint 9.4 oz bottle. Didn't even finish it, and needless to say I probably won't pick another one of these up again.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undated 11.2oz poured into a chalice.

Deep, dark brown with a one finger head of big bubbles that is light tan and leaves a sheeet of lace opposite the side I'm drinking from.

Has a yeasty nose that has a note of clove, but its paired with an odd metallic odor. There's sugar and banana underneath, but its rather weak overall.

Creamy and malted upfront, with a suggestion of plums and currants. There's a slight tingle from the carbonation that's paired with some sourdough bread. Subtle spiceness rounds it out.

Creamy mouthfeel...I like it. Drinkable, but not all night.

 585 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up this relatively new stock on recommendation from a fellow co-worker at John's Grocery. This fine Belgian pours out to a very dark plum color with a perfect foamy head that sticks around through the duration of the glass. Leaves a spotty and sticky lacing behind.

Smells absolutely stunning. Has that Belgian candi sugar trademark resting upon a massive malty base. Smells very phenolic, easily enticing one to take another drink.

The taste is a bit grainy, but it's backed up by a nice blend of candi sugar and a mild spicy hop. Reminds me a lot of St. B's Abt 12 or Westmalle dubbel. Very nice mix of flavors. The finish occasionally leaves a coppery taste in the mouth.

The mouthfeel seems to be a tiny bit weak to me, but this is obviously a forgivable trait for such a fine beer. It's a little bit creamy and grainy, but the body lacks oomph. The high alcohol content is very well hidden, however. Drinkability is good, all points considered.

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Photo of dgallina
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours into the glass a slightly clouded dark brown. Creates a really large off-white head that subsides rapidly, but leaves moderate lacing. Smells sweetly grainy with vinous tones. Simple and uncomplicated in aroma and initial taste. Sugary and effervescent in the mouth, the beer develops a slightly smoky graininess as it warms. A touch of fruitiness comes forward before the dry and sparkling finish.

An unremarkable brown Belgian ale. Vague hints of complexity in an average and over-carbonated beer.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light tan, two-finger head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Cloudy amber color. Nose is slighty malty. Starts just on the sweet side, finishes mellow, better as it warms; label has the ABV at 8.5% but there is not a trace of alcohol. $8.90 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

 341 characters

Photo of MrSeth
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown cola color. A one inch tan head forms and stays alive for a good spell.

Lots of yeast and passion fruit in the nose. A slight bit musky.

The taste is a surprise.. toasty malt (like charcoal) with an almost roasted peanut flavor. Drier and lighter bodied than the nose would lead me to believe. It's not sweet at all.. this ale would be good for when you don't want another sweet Belgian Dark Ale, it's practically savory in character. Reminds me of soybeans and other earthy flavors.

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

Pours a deep dark burgandy red, which in the first pour is very clear, and has a big rocky beige head with good retention. Smell is hay, sour cherries, apples, pineapple, clove, pepper. Taste like biscuity malts upfront mixed with some sour cherries, with a spicy and flowery finish. Taste very crisp and dry and the palate is refreshed quickly after each sip. Not as complex as most of the Belgian ales I've been trying, but goes down very easily and would be great with a meal.

 479 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.

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

The beer poured into the chalice clear deep amber with a white low and persistent head which lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was slight Belgian farmhouse presence and very slight brett aroma. Behind that presence was a low caramel maltiness and light aroma of dark fruits, raisins and prunes. The farmhouse aroma was accentuated by a distinct earthiness.

The flavor was light, and very similar to the aroma. The beer contacted the palate with a slight caramel maltiness and light spice presence. The maltiness diminished quickly and became dark fruit flavors, once again raisins and prunes. The flavors were low and blended but the longer the flavors contacted the palate the more spicy the flavor became as it dried. Some candy flavors emerged as the beer warmed.

The finish was dry with lasting low belgian yeast spice and caramel maltiness long into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium and the carbonation was fairly high making it seem less. Definitely a beer best consumed at cellar temps to take advantage of all the aroma and flavor have to offer. The alcohol was really only present in the warming sensation after consumption.

750 ml green silk screened crown capped bottle. Best before end 2006 on bottle. Purchased at Total Wine in Chesapeake, VA.

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McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
3.97 out of 5 based on 1,083 ratings.
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