La Chouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

893 Reviews
La ChouffeLa Chouffe

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-24-2001

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Reviews: 893 | Ratings: 2,520
Photo of mjc410
1.99/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

A too quick pour into my La Moneuse tulip lets a bit of chunky sediment into the glass (I usually forget to decant Belgians). The beer forms a slow-falling two-finger head, just off-white. The beer's body is a bright orange-gold, and visibly carbonated. The lacing is also quite dense. The nose is bright: full of green apples, grass, a bit of citrus, peach, sweet, and a bit peppery. But, there also seems to a green vegetable scent, like asparagus, that messes things up a bit (I like asparagus, just not in a beer). The taste is sweet and slightly alcoholic at first, but overshadowed by the asparagus flavor I noticed before. Ends fairly bitter. Terrible. Mouth is medium thick, and the carbonation is not as forward as I thought it would be. Still, this beer tastes horrible, so I must have a bad bottle, right? Nonetheless, I'll review and wait for another try.

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Photo of Advocaate
2/5  rDev -51.9%

Hugely disappointed here. Based on reviews here and feedback from friends I expected a lot, and finished feeling let down.

Won't bother with a full review as that would waste time. The finish here was so sweet it just reminded me of bubblegum. I mean that literally: I got notes of Bazooka Joe and Dubble Bubble here. Matter of fact, the nose and taste were absurdly sweet as well. If you like sweet, yeasty Belgians you will love this, but personally, this is a one and done for me.

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Photo of Moxley
2.53/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Opaque peach color with a head that settled quickly with nothing by Emilio Estevez left hanging on for dear life. Sketchy, watery lacing.

S - Faint malt aroma, not much to report in this category.

T - Spiced apple malt up front with floral undertones. Bitter sweet finish with a strong alcohol presence.

M&D - Highly carbonated, and a bit creamy.

A little disappointed in this one. I was expecting a more complex beer.

I'd like to give a shout out to BA reviewer 3080. I don't think anyone can top his/her review of this beer.

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Photo of Pleepleus
2.62/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this with fellow BA Moxley. Poured from a Petit bottle into a goblet, had apricot color and almost very little head that settled to nothing. The aroma was light and malty, but the taste was heavy spice up front with light malty flavor. It got better as it warmed and the sediment sips saved it from disapionting to acceptable, but still not something I would buy again. I wish I had BA member 3080's experience with this one, maybe we had a bad bottle.

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Photo of tlazaroff
2.65/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours golden in color, as advertised, topped with a fluffy white head made of big bubbles. The beer is hazy, but you can still see carbonation bubbles.

S: First thing I get is the grainy smell I get from most pilsners. Background I get some tart fruit, and apricot and maybe light peach.

T: No tartness or sour flavors in the taste like the smell might suggest. I do get a big grainy taste which lingers a while after the finish. There is the presence of something that can't quite identify. Its like a funkiness of sorts, probably from the yeast.

M: Highly carbonated and medium bodied, with a dry finish.

D: I don't care for the drinkability of it, way too bubbly and the flavor isn't to my liking.

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Photo of Indybeer
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1Pt 9.4 oz bottle. Poured a hazy golden color, with a descent head that receded quickly, leaving some lacing on the glass. Aroma is of musty straw, citrus, and malt.Taste is earthy and musty. A very different taste for me. There is some sweetness in there, and a slightly bitter finish. You can feel the warmth from the alcohol. This is a little to earthy for me.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Lable reads 87% malt. Is the remaining 13% beet sugar? Dont know.

A - A frightening amount of floaties in a hazy gold body.
S - Sweet malty aroma with a bit of peachy sourness
T - Very light flavor. The taste begins and ends with yeastyness. The little maltyness which was in the nose makes almost no showing on the palate. Washed out fruityness. Sweet flavors buy not a sweet beer.
M - Light bodied and yeasty mouthfeel.
D - Yet anouther sleepy Belgian pale, lacking in character.

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Photo of goochpunch
2.85/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a brassy gold with a decent sized head that somewhat clings to the glass. No lacing to speak of. This smells overtly of coriander. The pale malts come through, but the spicing is a bit much. There's some booze in there as well. Taste has the same things going on as the aroma (especially with the over-spicing) along with an overbearing graininess and sweetness. There's some toastiness in the finish as well. Mouthfeel is rather sticky and prickly. Not impressive.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
2.92/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 32oz growler into a wide-mouthed glass.

A: Dirty amber with a cluster of soapy off-white bubbles.

S: Weak, sugary water with some bubblegum and clove phenols that just plain don't smell that good.

T: Follows the smell. Tastes like the watered-down remains of what may have been a good beer. Rough phenols and harsh beerish water taste. Carbonation is abrasive.

D: Dumped the last few oz of my growler. This is off and I'm pretty dissappointed.

Overall: Not sure what was up witht this keg, but this was not a good beer. Tasted old, undercarbonated, underattenuated and maybe even infected. Lots of off-flavours and roughness. Not good.

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Photo of Cresant
2.95/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 750 mL into a La Chouffe glass (that I got with the gift-pack). The bottle and box said best by the end of 2009. This is a cellarable beer so I thought nothing of purchasing this pack. Additionally the two beers included were protected from the light by the box. After a hearty pour there was a modest head of soapy looking foam that left spindly lacing. The body was bright butterscotch with a slight haze.

Smell was fruit and faint Belgian yeast. Clean, wet stones. Not much else.

Taste was light tartness and mild malts. A little spiciness, coriander. Mildly sweet and creamy, leaving a sweet linger on the lips. Very little alcohol in the taste or aroma. This one was NOT champagne-like. Overall flavor did improve as it warmed (it was served around 50 degrees in the first place). I would like to try this one fresh because the aged one was a bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel was a bit dead in the mouth. Medium to light bodied.

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Photo of Ant777uk
2.97/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Re-reviewing as the last review I wrote was after at about 5 bottles of various triples and quadruples, and I was pretty much only seeing pink elephants and elfs.

Bought from my Casino supermarket, in Paris.

There is an elf thing on the bottle. Maybe Chouffe is an elf..? Not sure...

Nice look.

In glass, loving it. Deep, red, amber colour. Nice level of head.

Aroma has elements of Duvel, though much more carbon dioxidy, and less apricot fruitness.

Taste certainly draws some parallels with Duvel and Delirium Tremens. For me this is nowhere near as well mastered to the same level. Flavours are less intense, and there is a distinct carbon dioxide/fizzy water flavour.

Coriander is listed in the ingredients, I also faintly taste peach, though overall it's balance of flavours is not up there with the best Belgian triples. As the carbon dioxide bubbles disappear, the taste improves.

I have to disagree with the Bros giving it 99. Going to have a Duvel now to compare. Yes, Duvel is far superior.

Try them together, there is much difference...

Probably the most over-rated beer on this site in my opinion

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Photo of Jemonster
2.98/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was actually the first beer that I rated on BA right after I really got into craft beers. That said, my palate has changed and now I look for different characteristics in a beer. Long story short, I thought I would give this beer another shot since so many people apparently think that it actually is awesome and brewed by mushroom-hut dwelling gnomes in the Belgian forests. My original review follows the new one.

A: Clover honey colored and murky appearance with no discernible head. In a large red wine glass, I cannot look through the beer and detect my hand passing on the other side.

S: Faint but sweet scent, kind of like Christmastime with the spices. Nothing else really there for me.

T: Upfront sweetness and mulled cider-like spices. Slight bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Kind of malty like malted milk. I would imagine this beer might benefit from the addition of citrus to create some action on the tongue, although I'm not the type to add anything to my beer because I like it to express itself. If this beer were to be drank socially on someone elses terms, I just might throw in some lemon.

M: Creamy and slightly heavy without much carbonation. Falls kind of flat on my tongue with nothing to pop out the flavors. This beer actually makes me thirsty.

D: I still can't really drink this beer. It is too sweet and flat, and I'm having trouble drinking it as I finish this review.

In conclusion, I wanted to like this beer but I just don't see what everyone else sees in it. It's like when cute girls go for that a--hole who's a wanna be bad boy and not even good looking. Maybe this beer is just not my style. I want it to have something it doesn't and I can't seem to enjoy it for what it is.

My original review:

A: This beer poured a golden/very light amber from its bottle into a stein. Semi long lasting head that coats the glass as the beer is consumed. The head is a silky looking off white; it has a mild sheen. The most remarkable characteristic about this beer is the heavy sediment in the bottom of the glass. I would call this interesting, but not a selling point for me, as I prefer my drinks smooth...
S: The smell is sweet and mildly fruity, I can't pick out any distinguishing scents that stand out. The smell seems well balanced as far as flavors go.
T: This beer is somewhat strong with a spicy beginning. It has a fruity sweetness and a strong hop bitterness right after the beginning. The aftertaste lingers for a while and remains bitter for the finish.
M: This beer has a malty texture that is more viscous than most beers I have tried. The sticky feel probably helps contribute to the bitterness at the end.
D: I don't think I could drink much of this if I tried and I had a hard time actually drinking a pint of this. It is heavy in a way, but not in a good way like a stout...and that lingering bitterness and sediment at the end just turns me off.

Overall, in my opinion, this beer is overrated. It's average to me. I wouldn't buy it again, especially for $10 for the 25oz bottle.

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Photo of denisconrado
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Expectation to see if you purchase a bottle of 750 ml, but... Appearance: fun label; the glass cloudy, with ingredients in suspension and color of honey. Aroma: A bit of malt. Taste: refreshing, coriander like Hoegaarden (would not be a Witbier??), prominent malt. Personally I preferred the Duvel; would be the temperature?

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep gold; cloudy; big head

Aroma: Tart fruit; coriander

Taste: Dry aftertaste; herbal; hop resins in aftertaste

Remarks: Bought this during our first trip to Belgium. I think it was at a Carre Four just outside Bruges.

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alright. a quick review here....cloudy pale gold with some sediment. Nice head, light carbonation. Citrusy with some metallic notes in the aroma. Flavor is good - still a little metallic tasting, nice spice however. 8% ABV, and you can taste the alcohol to an extent. Maybe a bad bottle?? Kind of a typical blond and maybe not even that good. Disappointing.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.06/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

La Chouffe

Purchased at Circle Liquors- Pennington, N.J.

Appearance- cloudy yellow with a thick thick head.
Smell- sweet lemon and spice.
Taste- clove and cinnimon. Too sweet and sugary.
Mouthfeel- smooth and watery. Just too sweet.

Overall- a mediocre Belgium Ale at best not worth the $9!! Too sweet!!

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Photo of AgentZero
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Hazy golden color with a fairly large white head on it.

S - Bit of funk, floral and grassy notes. It's fairly spiced an belgiany yeast smelling.

T - Can't say I am a huge fan of this one. It's pretty dry, not bad in and of itself, with some phenol kick and a somewhat sourish grassy tasting belgiany type yeast flavor. There's definately fruit present, but it's just not quite sweet enough for this beer.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied, pretty carbonated.

D - Drank a decent amount of it, but couldn't finish the entire bottle. Unusual for me when I drink.

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Photo of mattbk
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Cloudy, golden, very nice color, a bit darker than I'd like, nice head, good retention.
S - It's fairly skunky. I normally would have stopped a review by now, but upon drinking it, it was way better. Green bottles are just not acceptable, I don't care about tradition.
T - Belgian yeasty esters, apple, pear, some clove, no banana, fairly dry, maybe a bit sweet on the finish though. It's tasty, a little heavier than I'd like I think, but quite good. I'd like the finish just a bit drier. As it warms, some bitterness from the alcohol comes through, but it's definitely not hot at all.
M - Well carbonated, again I'd like a touch drier, but pretty good.
O - Normally, this is a style I very much like, but the aroma turned me off quite a bit, and the heavy finish left this beer a bit less sessionable. Still, it's a good beer and I would recommend it (if I could be assured it wasn't lightstruck somehow...)

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Photo of philipquarles
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Cafe Pelikaan in Antwerp.

Pours a nice hazy gold with a fluffy snow-white head. Recedes gradually.

Smells of fruits (pears, a hint of banana?), sugar, and a bit of yeast.

Taste is decent, but a bit unbalanced. The sugary sweetness overpowers the slight hoppiness that is usually present in pale ales.

It felt good on the palate, but was just too sweet to make it really drinkable for me.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Coppery-amber appearance, slightly sparsely bubbled head, very good when poured but dissipating to a thin film now. Kind of cloudy, without actually being cloudy. At least not transparent. Nice lacing.

Strong, actually quite lagery nose. Quite hoppy with a kind of amber ale smell as well. Bit of yeast to boot, not very welcome, but slight. This is your night, beer.

Less lagery than the nose because of a slightly sour, cidery character which dominates. Quite a hoppy flavour on the finish. Bit simple on the palate though, there's those sour, slightly hoppy notes and that's most of it. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, very nice and smooth in fact. Plus it's quite a nice, inoffensive sipping beer, but nothing that makes my loins breach and burst forth with essence.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 7/10/2006 (bottle):

Huge head, white, good lacing, smallish bubbles, somewhat diminishing. Golden color, fizzy, pretty opaque. Very flowery aroma, alcoholy, like Allagash. Intense flower and spices aroma. Coriander, bananas. Fizzy taste, clean sweet aftertaste. Lightish taste compared with the aroma, bananas, flowers, spices. Slight bite of taste in the middle of the taste, but really creamy smooth finish. Not much alcohol taste (which is good) compared with the aroma. Tasty, but missing something in the taste, more fruit, too much flower. Light, slightly watery taste.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

We have tried a bottle from Brasserie d’Achouffe… the theme song is the only reason I remember why. The little elves are so cute! The bottle is big, too. For the price, you can’t beat this Belgian strong pale ale. Of course I say that having not had it… but trusting that an 8% 750ml bottle would be plenty for an evening by the fire. Or on the patio! (Not much fire here in the desert I imagine.)

In the Glass: It looks like a wheat beer in the glass. When I opened the giant green bottle, the spices rushed to my nostrils. I guess that is why they call it a “strong” pale ale. Maybe not. But I am glad that I was able to listen to the theme song once again. It’s so fun!

Nose: The spices are really coming through in the aroma. It has a very strong yeast scent coming in… and I am really not digging the pale aspect. I wonder if they make pale ales different in Belgium than they do here in the United States. Speaking of that, I am thinking about becoming a Cicerone. Has anyone ever done that? I am not even sure where that begins… but would be a fitting certification.

Flavor: The flavor is quite strong, as well. The spices come through quite a bit at first, then settle down as you swallow. Then the dryness that you expect from a spicy beer comes full force toward the end of the swallow and into the aftertaste. There is quite a bit of carbonation on the front of the palate. At first it reminds me of a Brett. I don’t like Brett beers, but this one I can handle.

Mouthfeel: There is a lot of carbonation at the front, but that is quickly gone as the flavors take over. The beer is 8% ABV, and you would never know it. It drinks like a typical American lager. I say that in the way it drinks, and the smoothness as it goes down. It’s a pale, but I still don’t get any of the bitterness that I expected from a pale.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is nice. It has some strong spice notes, and then the dryness that you expect out of an Irish stout kicks in. Not really sure where the dryness comes from, but am a big fan of the finish. The bottle says it is an “artisanal Belgian golden ale brewed with spices”. Those spices are there from the time you pop the top until you have finished drinking.

This isn’t a beer that I would “go to” without a reason, but I can see this being good either in the dead of winter (in most of the country) or in the middle of the summer. I can see myself drinking one or two of these over a nice dinner of red meats including burgers and hot dogs. This isn’t a beer you appreciate with a steak, that’s for sure. The price point is nice, too. Especially for a beer this big. I will hand it to the elf… he sure knows how to brew a good beer!

La Chouffe – The bottle says: “La Chouffe is brewed by the Artisans of la Brasserie d’Achouffee deep in the hear of Belgium’s Ardennes mountains. The legend of gnomes (chuffs) who once brewed in this mysterious region process the inspiration for this eccentric bottle conditioned, double fermented ale.

“This Belgian micro brewery crafts La Chouffe with local Ardennes’ water, top fermenting yeas, malts, fine hops, and coriander for spice. Double fermentation produces natural carbonation and a small yeast deposit (lees) on the bottom of the bottle.

“Enjoy the golden, dense white head and sweet-spicy flavor of La Chouffe. Serve between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit and pod carefully into a wide-mouthed La Chouffe class to enjoy the full flavors and aromas of this ale from Belgium’s most eccentric brewery.

“Come and visit us at Brasserie D’Achouffe in the Ardennes mountains.”

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.34/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery orange color, cloudy. Foam White tall, quite good persistence, very ugly cracks.
The aroma of fruit and floral, fruit dominate among oranges and apples, it is quite delicate and rather dry, malty, light notes of yeast and honey.
Taste: the fruit, apples, oranges, soft banana and a bit earthy accents. Finish slightly acidic, dry.
Bitterness clear and intense, fruity. High saturation, quickly gives a feeling of satiety. Alcohol perfectly hidden.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared a magnum with some friends.
The beer is golden with a white lace and head that remains nice.

The nose is sweet pale malts hints of honey and vanilla subtle

The mouth starts with a mouth of carbonation iit becomes malty sweet and the belgian yeasts comes and drys the palet and makes a slight bitter

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Photo of EStreet20
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml green glass bottle marked best before end of 2007. Poured into a Victory Golden Monkey chalice.

A - Golden color with orange tint and one finger white head. Lots of bubbles rush to top. Head dissipates to a mere surface covering rather quickly.

S - Spicy, peppery aroma. A little grassy with some yeasty smell.

T - A bit sweet but actually tastes a little bland to me. Some spice on the opening, I really can't describe it as anything other than different. Not one of my favorites though.

M - Nice carbonation and a smooth feel.

D - While I'm not too crazy about the taste it is a beer that goes down nice and smooth.

Notes: After trying La Chouffe I am a little disappointed as BSPAs are my favorite style and after seeing the high overall score I was looking forward to this one. However I'm sure my displeaure is simply a matter of personal opinions as many other more experienced BA's have rated this one high. All in all quite different and a beer I'm sure many enjoy. The flavor and lack of a lasting head, however, don't do it for me. Will probably try again to see if I got a bad bottle.

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La Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,520 ratings.
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