McChouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,119 Ratings
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
Ratings:
1,119
Reviews:
539
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
10.08%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
182
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,119 |  Reviews: 539
Photo of Wobbly
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Winston3737
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of doktorhops
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have a lot of respect for Brasserie d'Achouffe's La Chouffe, which I gave a glowing review on a while back. What is it about the Belgians that get it so right when it comes to beer? They almost always seem to capture the perfection of flavour, body, aroma and alcohol content. And I'm hoping that McChouffe, the apparently Scottish cousin of La Chouffe's gnome, hits upon that magic formula.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: A deep Mahogany cloudy body presents along with a minimal tan lacing. Looks a treat.

S: Dark fruits, candi sugar and sourdough yeast intermingles along with some pear/apple esters to produce a fine perfume. Expecting some dark fruit and sugar driven flavours.

T: Yep, dark fruits, candi sugar and a light malt base come together. Pear/apple esters, Phenols and sourdough also make themselves present. It's very much a "La Chouffe Dark" then, with the flavour base so similar you might think they were separated at wort (aka the early foetal stage of the brew). The finish is a mid-range medicinal herb bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with a medium (and a tad sharp) carbonation.

D: Really there's not much between La Chouffe and McChouffe, marketing-wise I would have liked if they had been named "La Chouffe Good" and "La Chouffe Evil" with a good Gnome and an evil Gnome on the respective labels for a bit of fun. It really comes down to preference when choosing between the two. I prefer La Chouffe vanilla, however if you like your Belgians with a dark fruit slant (raisin, fig, plum, prune or date) then go the McChouffe, you'll have more fun with the Scottish twin.

Food match: Hard cheese platter, roasted dark meats - beef, venison, lamb, and grilled vegetables are all winners here.

 1,742 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33 cl. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: A very dark and slightly hazy amber body with an off-white head that fades rather fast (I need to stop serving these so cold, but this review's over a long period of time as I'm drinking it), though the lacing, by the first pour and with subsequent small swirls, leaves some nice wet clumps around the glass.

Smell: Lots of yeast, fruit, blackberry, definite blueberry, mild earthy phenols, some sourness almost like a lambic or a Flanders red with the sour cherries aroma, a healthy dose of pepper spice, and some vinous qualities. Balanced and extremely complex. Sweeter and more delicate flavors also start to surface as it warms.

Taste: Vinous characters are apparent initially, some dark fruit malt notes, apple and blueberry are coming through, sugar cookies, mild medicinal phenols, mild chocolate, caramel, and the faintest amount of curbing hops at the finish, which is balanced and sweet with the apple, blueberry, and sweet peppery spice dominating, until the tingue of hops at the end, all of it providing a very long and lingering finish. There's so much more in this too that I'm sure I'm not picking up on. Exeptional.

Mouthfeel: Ultimately creamy, smooth, and silky, with a fairly full body that doesn't seem cloying to me at all.

Drinkability: Absolutely wonderful stuff, and it makes me love the style even more, as I can't get enough. It never ceases to amaze me how nuanced some of these brews in the style are, and this is surely one of them without a doubt. Looks like I'll be getting as much from the brewery as I can to see if any can match this. I've seen them, but I was always hesitant for some reason to pick up more. Things are gonna change now.

 1,740 characters

Photo of AmitC
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Red auburn color with a few streams of bubbles. Head us full and pillowing, light khaki color.

S: Caramel, raisins, prunes and pecan pies.

T: Very light and subtle brown sugar sweetness. Some vanilla flavored prunes as well. Once it warms, some bubble gum starts to come through with some honey and oak. Finishes with gentle bitterness, moments of maple and alcohol on the tip of the tongue

M: Medium body, a bit fuzzy.

D: This is like a Belgian take on Newcastle, but much better. Its very simplistic but tasty none the less.

 541 characters

Photo of HRamz3
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of ShepardCommander
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of pknyc
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Blakaeris
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights. The head is a huge rocky mass that hangs around awhile and leaves sheets of lacing.

Smell is strong caramel malt base with dark fruit, chocolate, and alcohol.

Taste is exceptionally smooth and balanced. Cherries and chocolate are the dominating flavors. Bready yeasty spices and a slight mustiness add nice complexity. I am surpised at the dryness in the finish, but only mild bitterness. Alcohol is well concealed.

Mouthfeel is medium to full. Nice and creamy.

This is a very tasty treat. Certainly worth seeking out.

 586 characters

Photo of Radome
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750 ml bottle bought in Germany.

A - The beer is medium brown with a serious reddish tint. It is crystal clear. The off-white head is thick, fluffy and sticky at first, but collapses quickly, leaving thick Belgian lace and a thin cloud of bubbles.

S - The aroma is about the malt. Graham crackers, raisins and prunes. There is a hint of sharp hops and a bit of black pepper yeast note. Not overly complex.

T - Flavors are also very malt-focused. Slightly aged-tasting sweet malt. Molasses and raisins/prunes. There is not much hops flavor or bitterness to balance. There is a bit of yeast spice, but not much.

M - Medium body. Tingly carbonation. No alcohol burn. Finishes dry.

O - This is a clean, dry, well-made beer. It is only lacking in some complexity to make it truly great.

 801 characters

Photo of 4ster
4/5  rDev +0.8%

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

It pours a typically hazy and muddled hot chocolate brown. Two fingers of puffy uniform light tan head sustain valiantly. Lacing is varied and ubiquitous.

The aroma is a relatively light but notable mélange of bready toasted malt, brown sugar, dark cherry, cocoa, along with clove and coriander. Alcohol is warm and plentiful.

Upon sipping, the malt is sweet and earthy, with brown sugar again, milk chocolate, dark dried fruit, and caramel. The sweetness is crisped by dry citrus, and a strident spice pairing of clove and coriander. Alcohol spikes through the middle, very warm to the palate. The malt and yeast twist about near the close with a bit of biscuit and a bready undercurrent. The finish is spicy crisp and dry, with a lulling tone of bitterness. It's not especially subtle or clever, but it's an enjoyable enough concoction.

It's actually full bodied, but the carbonation pumps a lightening effect through that moves things along nicely.

I'm not sure exactly what the "Mc" denotes, and I'll admit, I'm not inspired to do the homework to find out. I don't like it as much as La Chouffe, though I wouldn't kick this one off the bar either. The ABV is not as big as its announced presence might lead one to believe, but it's certainly worth of note. So this may not be the first Brasserie d'Achouffe offering I'll reach for, but failing other options, I'd not be too disappointed.

 1,400 characters

Photo of Tivlavrie
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kingmaker
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of froghop
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-clear brown with a small beige head, lively carbonation, and great lacing.

smell of some spice, and some malt.

taste is light, spice, malt, and brown sugar, end is a little spicy and dry.

overall a nice smooth beer with a hint of spice.

 252 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer got better as it went along. Poured to a hazy brown with hints of orange. Aroma was apples and a hint of malt. As the glass warmed, the alcohol crept in to nicely round out the aroma. Flavor was good, though nothing really dominated, although hints of spice, possibly cinnamon, were evident. Mouthfeel was spicy, and the finish was smooth and somewhat warming. Not a bad beer.

 386 characters

Photo of daledeee
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The initial pour was a small bubbling head that goes away quickly. Very dark brown. The first aroma was earthy and grassy(?)

Taste is dark fruity. Some caramel and malt. Not as flavorful as I expected. Rather astringent leaving a puckery mouthfeel.

This beer has very tough competition and falls a little short. Not bad beer but not up to the top shelf Belgians.

 369 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml green bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a slightly hazy copper-brown with a good inch of light tan head. Smells fruity - grape, cherry, citrus - with hints of caramel, chocolate, and smoke. Tastes fruity also, with strong roasty chocolate and caramel, with hints of peatiness. Slight alcohol warming toward the finish, though it is less noticeable with the vigorous carbonation. On the lighter side of medium-bodied. Very very drinkable and extremely tasty. Nothing wrong with this one IMO. One of the best Belgian darks I've had in quite some time.

 569 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into chalice.

Pours opaque, cloudy dark brown bordering on plum, with a gigantic, pillowy tan head that eventually settles down to a creamy cap of foam.

Nose is brown sugar and ripe dark fruit, some spicy yeast, bit of alcohol.

Taste is brown sugar, fresh baked dark bread, and spicy yeast, hints of cocoa and licorice, and dark fruit coming out a bit in the finish. Finish is fairly clean, bready, some yeast, bit of alcohol as well.

Mouthfeel is decadently creamy, full but still a bit light, carbonation is superbly subtle - soft and creamy with just a bit of bite at the front of the mouth. Delicious, superbly crafted beer.

 648 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 11/27/2007 (bottle):

Pours a very dark colored body, with a big tan colored head, very quickly diminishing. Has a dusty, musky aroma, with some dark fruit. Alcoholy taste. Has a dark fruit taste, with some musk, and some alcohol. Strongish alcoholy taste. Kinda flat.

 277 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked the way it poured with a dark brown apperance and a nice foamy head. The aroma was of a spicy nature with a complex smell of malts. Although the taste was of malts and spices, the carbination is what turned me off. If not for the carbination, I would have really enjoyed this beer.

 289 characters

Photo of bruachan
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i have no idea how long i've had this. i can't remember the last time i visited the place the price tag says i bought it from. hopefully it was kept well

huuuge carbonation keeps a vibrant head alive. it's tight and creamy and may actually be growing as i look at it. it's a bone color and the beer below it is a very nice mahogany

the aroma is initially fruity and malty, and shortly behind it comes the hops. spicy, green. then i get a wave of the typical (and wonderful) rochefort roasty, soft chocolate aroma

i can taste the "mc..." but it's not definitive. i would suggest, however, that this beer was fermented fairly cool for a belgian. the flavor is quite malty. ok, so this does seem alot like a wee heavy fermented with a belgian yeast

 748 characters

Photo of morrowd3
4/5  rDev +0.8%

McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
3.97 out of 5 based on 1,119 ratings.
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