McChouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

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1,155 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Among the mythical characters living in Fairyland, some are more unusual than others. Malcolm, for example, is different because of his accent and his kilt: when it comes to beer, his favourite is Mc CHOUFFE. The delicious flavours of aniseed, liquorice and toffee tickle his taste buds. If you listen to him, he will boast of its ruby sparkle, its smooth bitterness and its strong character, worthy of his native Scotland. Although robust, Mc CHOUFFE goes down as easily as LA CHOUFFE.

ABV varies from time to time.

Added by Mitchster on 09-22-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,155 |  Reviews: 552
Photo of Tomislav
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of travelguy
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Nunya
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HermitDan
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of marcrech
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of yaron73
4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of woodychandler
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I first met owner & brewer Chris Brouwarts at the 2002 Mondial de la Biere in Montreal. I was a recent Pitt graduate awaiting a mid-summer return to begin a Master's program & with time on my hands, I stayed behind when the tour bus headed home. Also, the Pittsburgh Pirates were in town to play the soon-departing Expos, so I seized the chance to go to yet another stadium. Chris is a great guy & we parlayed in my broken French & he bestowed some patches for my jackets & vests. We have maintained a casual friendship & always warmly greet one another at various events, the latest being in DC for SAVOR a few years ago. I am proud to Pop! the cap on this one.

From the bottle: "Artisanal Belgian Brown Ale"; "McChouffe is brewed by the Artisans of Brasserie d'Achouffe deep in the heart of Belgium's Ardennes mountains. Inspired by the tale of a Scottish Chouffe who[,] along with his Belgian friend[,] created an eccentric 'new style' Scottish Ale. This Belgian micro brewery crafts McChouffe with local Ardennes' water, top fermenting yeast, fine hops and malts. Double fermentation produces natural carbonation and a small yeast deposit (lees) on the bottom of the bottle. Enjoy the dark earthy color and spicy flavors of McChouffe. Serve cool between 50-55 F and pour carefully to enjoy the full flavor and aroma of this truly innovative Belgian Ale. Brewed within the luxuriant green Belgian Ardennes using 100% natural ingredients."

I did, indeed, Pop! the cap & began a gentle pour so as not to rouse any lees that the gnome may have collected during his slumber. I still got an oddly shaped finger of dense, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with good retention. It was actually lopsided, denser in some spots and non-existent in others! Bizarre. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & garnet highlights. Nose had a vinous sharpness along with a fusel alcohol booziness. Whee! Mouthfeel was medium with an extreme effervescence. The taste was very much of dried, dark fruits - think raisins, prunes, figs, dates and a little bit of milk chocolate to round things out. Mmmm. The alcohol was there, but not as prevalent as it had been on the nose. Man, this was a tasty beer! I do not want to oversell its sweetness, either. It was held in check, possibly by the alcohol, and made for a vinousness akin to what I noted on the nose. This would be great with spare ribs, like the one that I had last night. The finish was closer to semi-dry than semi-sweet, again thanks to that fruity vinousness that I kept noting throughout. The beer's inherent effervescence acted like a palate cleanser with ever sip & really allowed me to taste it fully. And now, for the pour of the lees (waste not, want not): The clarity was gone, leaving a sip of mud in its place. The vinousness of the nose was now replaced with a caramel-like sweetness. The mouthfeel was flat and grainy on the tongue. The taste had a distilled brandy-like alcohol flavor! Oh my. Finish was sharp and dry. NEVER dump those lees!

 3,045 characters

Photo of KitoUY
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OlaB
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gives a hazy dark brown color. A small top of foam that disolves rapid, some islands of foam do stay there most of the time. Good lacings on the glass.

S: much fruits like plums and cherries, dried fruits like raisins and dates. Burned sugar I also sense along with caramel malts.

T&F: starts of with the fruits in the flavour , the yeasty sweetness is in the background. In the middle I sense more of spices in the flavours, bitterness from the hops are also there in the finishing, and the aftertaste is lasting for a good period.

O: a good belgian dark. This brewer almost always deliver good beers and this one is no exemptions.

 639 characters

Photo of DegenErik
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bmaggot
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Noice
2.75/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Antyk
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thick cloudy copper color, with a red hue, very active, and chunks of floating yeast. Frothy light brown 3 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with thick legs. Flavors of dark berries, plums, cherries, nuts, cheese, wild yeast, dark grains, wood, herbal spices, faint coffee and chocolate. Highly sugary, with soft sharpness, and bitter herbs. Slick light body with crispy carbonation. Strong but pleasant finish, vinous and dry, lingering sour fruits with a barrel aged feel. Good as an appetizer. Bad freshness, deadly yeast. Decent flavors and a balanced feel. Overall good quality craft. Too much yeast, disgusting huge chunks, maybe a bad bottle?

 658 characters

Photo of aufie
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of misternebbie
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of mikebu
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of teromous
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown body that is opaque but hazy where light shines through. Short eggshell white head that fades out to a fluffy ring. The ring does leave good lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is a very faint raisin aroma but it is barely there. I pick up a touch of brown sugar too but again it is hard to even pick that up.

Taste: Thankfully there is more flavor than there is aroma. I get a big bite of brown sugar and cinnamon with some light anise or licorice flavor. It has a very spicy character to it. At times I feel that it is giving off some pepper flavor and I get a bit of clove.

Mouthfeel: It feels a bit thin and slightly under-carbonated.

Overall: This beer lacks the fruitiness that you would normally find in a Belgian Strong Dark Ale but it is clear that from the name it is designed to be something wholly different. The label indicates as much not only in the name but in the statement that it was "inspired by the tale of a Scottish Chouffe who along with his Belgian friend created an eccentric 'new style' Scottish Ale/Abbey Ale." Leaving the traditional boundaries of style guidelines alone this beer delivers a nice spicy ale that would be perfect for a Christmas Beer. If I was in the mood for a more traditional Belgian Strong Dark Ale this wouldn't do the trick but it certainly would work well as a spicy fall or winter beer.

 1,364 characters

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

Photo of Dzu
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into chalice.
L: pitch black with a massive white foam.
S: prunes, fruits.
T: neutral taste. Dark fruits.
F:medium body and low carbonation.
O: very good beer.

 180 characters

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

Photo of AleMan66
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this straight from the bottle in the dark, so I didn't have a chance to see the color. It smelled great but the smell itself didn't tell me the beer is anything special; the taste did. It is a great brown ale! Love it! It warrents the the cost of almost $3 per bottle that I paid. I will buy it again. My score for this beer might be higher if I had seen the beer and had a better sense of smell.

 410 characters

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 1,155 ratings