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.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 529 | Ratings: 1,083
Photo of RootedFool
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 PT. 9.4 FL OZ bottle purchased at The North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

Let's raise the roof, shall we?

An enormous head on the pour, bubbly and dense, dark tan. The body is a flat, opaque mahogany. Looks lovely in my Maudite pimp goblet. A few thin sheets of lace hold to the glass.

Smell:

Sinus-evacuating waft of alcohol warmth, qualified by an effusion of freshly sliced green apples, plums, grapefruit rinds, with a peppery finish.

Taste:

Opens with a round roll of butter around the base of my palate, warm and embracing, followed by an elevated twist of puckering spiciness -- black pepper corns, citrus rinds. Toward the finish the hop twang becomes very pronounced. The most hoppiness I've ever tasted in a dark Belgian ale. Aftertaste is a palate-tip tinglin' hoe down, and a background of fading fruit cake sweetness and spice.

Perfect amount of carbonation, most evident toward the middle as it helps the hops sizzle into the forefront.

The mouthfeel could be richer, feels a tad thin.

Overall, this brew raised the roof.
My hands are in the air, like I just don't care.
This beer is so tasty I feel like a bear
screaming ZAP, BANG, POW.
McChouffe in the hizz-owwzz!

 1,222 characters

Photo of basica
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am a lil tipsy whilst writing this review; I had the 75cl of 8.5 ABV Mc Chouffe with only a
small slice of cheese and no water in 20-30 mins. However, I have to confess that I kinda like
this kinda tipsy feeling. The Mc Chouffe is good... yes better than a number of the Belgian
Dark Ales in fact and may well be in my top 10 list; that I will think over when I am more sober.
When I opened this bottle of Mc Chouffe I was plain disappointed due to the slightly dirty cap
with rusted inner edges; note that it was well ahead of its freshness date which is in 2009 April.
I did not want to expect too much. I served this Strong Dark Ale in my Watou St Bernardus Glass
and the La Chouffe pours out almost all black with a nice thick head with good retention. Besides
the bubbly looking foamy head, it was quite a looker. The smell was not as promising with the head
around as it was predominantly yeast. Without too much head the smell was fruity (plums and/or
raisins) and malty with maple sweetness. The taste was pretty focus on the dark malts and maple
sweetness along with a sufficiently strong (though could have been stronger) fruitiness. I just
love the way the maltiness, maple sweetness and fruitiness as well as the strength of the beer
blended together to form a fantastic tasting experience. The entry of the taste was malty and
sweet (dark sweetness) and the finish was soothing. I have to admit that if the fruitiness was
more pronounced it would have been a 10 for sure. The aftertaste was plums and raisins and after
lingering on for some time, becomes grapes. some malt and maple sweetness present too; very nice.
I had a small piece of Philly cheese to go with it in the middle and the malts and maple sweetness
stand up really well with the cheese. The first sip was not as promising but the more I drank it
the more it tastes better and the more tipsy I get. The mouthfeel was another greatness; apt
level of carbonation topped with a nice medium to full body thickness and light creaminess and
very slight stickiness yet not detracting the extreme smoothness in the mouth and down the throat;
almost perfect. I am close to giving this a 10 and I wonder if the bad bottling and slightly rusted
cap inadvertently make things better? I will never know till I try another of this 75 bomber. It's
a Saturday night; some work up my sleeve but I think I am a lil tipsy to be doing work; yes too
good for me to sip on it over an hour with food and water. Signing off here... (still pretty tipsy)

 2,540 characters

Photo of Voonder
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown color with nice off-white head. Smell - malty fruitiness with some yeasty notes. Taste - plums-like fruitiness, maltiness. Very high carbonation, champaigne-like notes. Alcohol is very well hidden, medium bodied, very drinkable. Great session beer. Recommended

 277 characters

Photo of SeanChouffe
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark red/amber color, a nice full rocky, tan head--lively and effervescent. Good head retention and a resilient lace. Aroma: spicy, cloves, and alcohol. The taste is complex: creamy and somewhat sweet, but not overpowering. The taste seems to change and develop more character in the middle and toward the finish. Very drinkable beer.

 346 characters

Photo of evlu1441
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It pours a rich, dark, and slightly hazy mahogany colour. The head is sparse and foamy .

The aroma is rich and fruity. Pear come through alongside some light cocoa in the background. The some rum notes come through as well alongside a slight boozy aspect.

The flavour is very aromatic and rich. A slight toffee flavour is present throughout. alongside a slight alcoholic warming component.

Overall, the flavour leaves a bit to be desired, but this is still worth checking out. An interesting take on a Scotch Ale from a belgian brewer.

 538 characters

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

Poured into goblet.

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Head is fluffy at first, light tan. A few sticky trails left behind after it recedes, and some big bubbles in the foam blanket.

S: Sweet aroma with clovey, peppery Belgian yeast. There's a very slight sour quality to the aroma.

T: Malty up front, with a good sweetness of caramel and some dried figs. Prunes, red wine grapes, cherries, and baked apple with cinnamon. Delicious. Finishes with a very light bitterness, and a continuation of the complex fruitiness. This is a damned fine beer.

M: Medium-bodied and smooth.

D: I have no idea what an "Artisanal Belgian Brown Ale" is, and I've read quite a bit on Belgian beer. But categories be damned, this is a really nice beer. I haven't had too much from this brewery, but what I've had has been very, very good. I'll be going back to this beer, for sure.

 888 characters

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

VLAAMSVEST '08

Shared a 750mL bottle with a friendly Antwerp(en?) at Kulminator. Served in a McChouffe branded glass. Dark brown, moderately translucent look, head is tan and doesn't stick around. Malty aromas, bit of spice, caramel, etc. Sooo easy to drink, very dangerous, we slid back quite a bit at the bar.. well balanced and carbonated to ease it down. Classic Belgo.

 374 characters

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.

 868 characters

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

Pours a rich, dark brown with a bubbly tan head. Leaves delicate lace on glass as you drink.

Subtle, but pleasant aroma. Sweetly malty with hints of belgian yeast.

Sweet taste. Dark fruit (plum, raisin) and carmel notes. A bit of spice from the hops. Yeasty notes. Surprisingly clean finish.

Medium body with relatively high carbonation. It works well here!

No problem putting away a 750 ml bottle of this! Very drinkable... but watch out for that 8.5% alcohol!

I'm becoming a big fan of Brasserie D'Achouffe! This was a very nice beer!

 551 characters

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

Had this one on tap at the East Point Corner Tavern (on tap)! It pours a murky brown color with a very bubbly massive head that laces nicely in the McChouffe snifter. It has a nice floral and fruity aroma. The taste is sweet but not overpowering and has a slight warming quality. It has a slightly fizzy and full mouthfeel. It has a very drinkable quality; I could get trashed easily on this drinking it like ginger ale. Very smooth and very drinkable.

 452 characters

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

Thanks wifey for this wonderful xmas present. Lets see how she did :)

Pours a dark thick ale. Surprisingly dark for a Belgian. Relatively thick head, with lacing and staying power. Settles thick, sits. Very nice.

Smells delicous. Amazing boquet. Im no expert, I cant place a lot of the smells but yummy. Something sweet to start. Definately belgian, but not the dry type of quad smell. Maybe carmel?

Not so roasted malt. Sweet caramel/toffee like. Little alcohol end. Very complex taste, I cant place a lot of this.

Superd. Smooth carbonation. No bite at all. Reminds me of cream soda almost. Not is taste but feel. Explodes in the mouth into what feels like a cloud.

Give me more. Very enjoyable complex offerring. I will be adding others from the brewery after finishing this.

 793 characters

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A belgian rendition of a scottish style heavy ale??? Sounds like heaven. And you know what? It's durn close!
An excellent caramel and chocolate malt hits you first off, with an ending of some good alcohol burn. You can feel the 8.5% alcohol that has me buzzing pretty good right now. The pour gives the mountainous head of most belgian brews, along with the brown colour with the copper edges that suit the heavy scots style. Mouthfeel is pretty peppery with the alcohol and the energetic carbonation. It's drinkable, although after one 750mL (26 oz) bottle, I'm pretty good. The original flavour is what really draws me, and the finish does remind you that you're drawing the strong Belgian brew.
Two thumbs way up! (in the words of the inimitable mainstream critic Roger Ebert)

 791 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.

 516 characters

Photo of zoso493
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 1,760 characters

Photo of JasW
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Spiegelau tulip with a huge, fluffy three finger head that dissipated fairly rapidly, leaving moderate lacing. A yeasty musty nose. Taste is yeast, very light fruit for the style, with an unusual and unusually pleasing prominent undertone of nuts. Mouthfeel is top notch for the style. BSDA fan? This is a must.

 325 characters

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.

 346 characters

Photo of TAMU99
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Great pour to a Beautiful dark red-brown
Thick foamy head, light tan that settles slowly leaving curtains on the glass.
Complex smells of cinnamon, yeast, and nutmeg leave a quick bite in your nose
Taste is equally complex with a bold malty foreground, accents of hops. There is a chocolate flavor, some citrus accents and a yeasty aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is the only drawback, as this ale has an almost oily feel that seriously detracts. If it were only a bit drier (to borrow a wine snob word)
Nonetheless, overall this is a very drinkable beer. Certainly is one I'd try again. This work work well for those winter holidays with similarly spiced food.

 656 characters

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

Pours a dark, burgundy/brown with a fine, tan head. The thin head, quickly gives way to silky lacings.

Sweet malt, raisin, clove and phenols make for a pleasant aroma.

Sweet malt and candied sugar up front. Raisin, red grape, dates, and a slight, earthy phenol flavor create a complex taste. There are also some hints of clove and peppery alcohol. Overall, the alcohol is very well masked.

Lightly syrupy, medium bodied and well carbonated, this has a pleasing mouthfeel. A highly drinkable Belgian dark ale.

 517 characters

Photo of IPA35
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice murky brown beer with an off whie head, not too big as my glass is a little too small (haha). Quite a creamy head.

Smells malty; slightly earthy (I described such a scent as sligtly metallic in earlier reviews).
Caramel and a slighty dark fruitiness.

Hmmm, yeah. A Belgian dark ale? Sure it is dark and Belgian but this is also said to be a scotch ale. Given the taste, it probably is.

Quite malty. It has some Belgian yeasty fruitiness and this is a sweet beer but it is different. More earthy. Easy drinking and less sweet than most Belgian (dubbel styled) dark ales. Rather dark malts actually.

Mouthfeel is medium and creamy with good carbonation.

Overall a solid beer, I usually prefer my dark ales a little sweeter and more fruity but this is an interesting 'different' offering.

 795 characters

Photo of alphagnome
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Pours what at first glance is seemingly pitch black. However, upon holding it to the light, a deep, rustic ruby color is on display. Crowned by a thick, beige head. Plenty of sediment hangs in suspension and carbonation is visible. Decent lacing.

Aroma:
Sweet. Plenty of dark fruit is present here; raisin, fig, dates, and topped with cherry and a hint of apricot. Plenty of malt character and brown sugar.

Taste:
Again sweet - follows the nose closely. Fruit delivery is a bit more tart than expected, but still chalked full of flavor. Raisin and prune up front with a nice dose of chocolate covered cherries and a bit of yeast esters. The finish is quite boozy, but clean. Reminds me of a port wine. Aftertaste is delightful and brings those chocolate covered cherries back into the spotlight. You will definitely want to take your time with this one.

Mouthfeel:
Heavy - definitely a slow drinker. Decent carbonation. As mentioned above, the alcohol is noticable and provides a mild warming sensation. Finishes semi-dry.

Overall:
Impressive offering here. Well worth exploration. It's not exactly cheap, so that could scare some people away. However, if you can get past that, you're in for fantastic big beer.

 1,228 characters

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

A - A dark brown to black with red highlights when held to the light. Served in a McChouffe chalice at the Brick Store (perfect pour). Nice head that fell quickly and left a nict tan lace around the glass the entire way down

S - Malty up front with coffee and fruity smells..there were raisins or plums in there

T/M - The taste was awesome. Very creamy and full with little carbonation, Had a upfront taste of coffee with a hint of toffee and plums or raisins

D - A very drinkable brew I could have several in a night. I enjoyed the last sip as much as the first

 566 characters

Photo of xylophonica
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 75cl bottle into a tulip.

A - Big head, very dark colour. Excellent lacing.

S - Sweet dark malts and hops. Lots of sugar-candy aromas and plenty of spices. Bit of earthiness and scotch as well.

T - Very smooth and refreshing. Spiciness coupled with the sugary-smoothness creates a fantastic taste. Possibly better than the standard La Chouffe..

M - Enough carbonation to keep your mouth alive but subtle enough to pass unnoticed to the uninitiated.

D - Delightful. Could drink all day. And I thought the other one was good..!

This is the first time I've tried a second beer from the Chouffe stable (after sampling La Chouffe on countless occasions). Happy to say this did not disappoint and will look forward to (hopefully) sampling on tap when I'm in Belgium later this month.

 798 characters

Photo of punkrkr27
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown pour with a gigantic, rocky, tan head. Complex aroma of figs, cocoa, nuts, leather, tobacco, alcohol, fall leaves, and soft peat. A lot of that aroma gets hidden in the flavor but it still has some nice warming layers of peat, caramel, cocoa, nuts and alcohol. Dry, medium body with plentiful carbonation.

 316 characters

Photo of aristeros
3.93/5  rDev -1%
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.

 721 characters

Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.97/5  rDev 0%
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.

 1,525 characters

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
3.97 out of 5 based on 1,083 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe