La Chouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

895 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: 895 | Ratings: 2,528
Photo of yelterdow
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature in a Duvel tulip. Freshness date reads "BEST BEFORE END 2007".

Appearance- Typical white, soapsudsy head that stands three inches tall on a classic pour. Color is an almost clear pale to medium gold. Fantastic, active stream of carbonation stemming from the etched "D" at the bottom of my glass.

Smell- English Goldings and Saaz hops immediately, combined with Pilsner malt and coriander spice. Alcohol is pretty well hidden, but is slightly noticable. Good balance of aromas.

Taste- Surprisingly huge malt profile... I didn't expect that! Great balance of hops, malt, and spices that certainly delivers. Not as sweet as Duvel, but you can feel the alcohol warmth almost immediately after the second or third *glug* down the gullet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Nice, medium activity that doesn't interfere whatsoever with the pleasant tastes. Thick and rolling in the mouth, this is one solid Belgian. A bit strong for a second helping, but nevertheless a very drinkable brew. Two thumbs up!

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Photo of texashammer
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pale orange with bubbles moving upwards for quite some time after pouring, with a rocky head like meringue (sp?) or whipped egg whites. Smells of yeast and orange zest. Mouthfeel is very smooth with a quick light spritz in the middle. Smooth taste with a zesty "wang" of citrus and yeast. The middle is downright juicy with tropical fruit; finishes dry. Truly lovely and very refreshing and drinkable.

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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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Photo of TastyTaste
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. brown glass bottle, best before the end of 2006 on the bottle. Pours a hazt gold color with some sediment and carbonation visible towards the bottom of the chalice. Head is large and creamy, very good retention and lacing. Very nice belgian yeast woody funk in the nose, alcohol and spices also present. Taste is absolutely crisp and clean, lots of malt backbone, good yeast and subtely fruity flavors. Alcohol also adds some more body to this excellent beer. Mouthfeel is spot on. I could've drank a 750 mL of this, but unfortunately I only had a 330 mL. I will definitely get more next time.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

La Chouffe earns the distinction of having the most infectious jingle in world of beer advertising. If you’ve never heard that catchy jingle “Vive La Chouffe,” my advice to you is to never EVER listen to it. Cover your ears if you’re within earshot. Cover your eyes. Start chanting, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU…etc.” Whatever it takes. Once you’ve heard that jingle, nothing short of massive cerebral trauma will remove it from your brain. It’ll come back to you at odd moments. You’ll start singing it in the shower, while you’re driving a car. Your sexual bliss will suddenly be interrupted by a nagging chorus of “Vive La Chouffe.” You’ll need years of therapy and lithium to recover. It’s just not worth it.

But drinking the beer is a worthy pursuit. La Chouffe has a bright, sparkling effervescence reminiscent of champagne. The body is light golden and mostly clear, though minute suspended flocs are easily seen. A pretty and persistent crown of soft white suds yields a dry and snappy aroma. In its wake, La Chouffe leaves classic Belgian lace in abundance on the glass.

La Chouffe tastes grassy and lightly spiced without being peppery. The coriander is a tasteful compliment and is not overstated. The mildly acidic balance would likely compliment food with distinction. I suspect there’s very little candi sugar here which suits me just fine. The beer improves with subtle warming.

Vive La Chouffe!

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Photo of fisherman34
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is sort of a cloudy golden orange in colour. Horse blanket aromas dominate, with notes of citrus, mild malt, and yeast. The flavors are surprisingly mild, but in a good way. There is an interesting spice/citrus interplay and the body is fuller than expected. I would have liked a bit more of a hop presence, but who am I to argure ? This stuff is still wicked good!

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Photo of Fugazme
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml... bottle cap and best before 2008.

I've had my eyes on this one since coming to BA and finally found it in Kansas City. Thanks Gomer's!

Pours a very nice glass. Thick, white head with a cloudy straw color.

Smell was a tad offensive at first. Settled out nice into coriander and cinnamon. A nice touch of fruit as well.

Taste is spicy and fruity. Apricot and cinnamon. Very nice.

Seems like it could be better with a bit of age, a little young, but a very good beer.

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Photo of joecast
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. best before 2007.
for this review im going to assume this beer is fairly young, belgians use candi sugar to increase abv%, and i know a little about BSPAs.

odd label on the back (guessing its from the importer though there is no "imported by" on it). reads "important shake well before opening". seeing as i dont have any glass to hold the entire contents, im sure it will get shaken enough after several pours.

fairly loud hiss as i pop the cap hints at the lively carbonation. initial pour ends up with about 75% foam in the glass. oops.
this settles fairly quickly to almost no head at all. below average head retention leaves quite a bit of lacing. slightly cloudy golden color with streams of tiny bubbles rising to the surface.
subsequent pours continue forming a rather large head, but the retentionability improves.

mouth watering aroma. some apple cider, and a little winey. for the style, this would be about perfect. slightly floral and some yeastiness that is apparent in some belgians i have tried.
no contribution from any malt, probably due to the use of sugars.

fantastically smooth tatse. any taste from the alcohol (which there is some) lacks harshness. goes down almost like sugar water. im finding it difficult to describe the taste. lack of hop bitterness is expected, but it doesnt leave it sweet or unbalanced.
usually beers are described as malty or hoppy. la chouffe seems to fall into a different category all together, as it really doesnt fit into either of those.

mouthfeel is full but not overwhelming. it fits in just right for a beer of this magnitude.

that little gnome on the bottle has earned a bit of respect from me tonight. hides the alcohol incredibly well. the sediment in the bottle settles out very quickly making it easy to get the most beer for the buck. of course, if you want the dregs, that can be made to happen as well.
ive gone with a 5 for drinkability, but a 750 would be best enjoyed in moderation, or shared. this is so easy to drink it could get dangerous.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. Best Before end of 2006.

Appearance: Awesome golden, crystal clear, body with a sticky, film-like head that stuck to the side of the glass like a glue stick. Yeast sediment was heavy at bottom.

Aroma: Filled with peppery spices and earthy notes. Hay and grass aromas similar to some saisons I've had. Of course, flowery esters fill the nose as well.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Definately a sweet and spicy belgian that is somewhat distinct from other belgians. The clove-like spice bites the tongue while the sweetness finishes. Very clean and light tasting even though it is a full-bodied brew.

Drinkability: Way too easy to suck this down without hesitation and not even notice the kick of this until the little gnomes get inside your head and start playing games.

Viva La Chouffe!

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Photo of Brian700
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is so good I'm going to review it again. It poured a cloudy golden color with a big billowy white head. The head slowly simmered down to a thin cap with some very nice lacing.

The aroma is of coriander, citrus as in orange, nice spiciness.

The flavor is of pale malt with a nice spiciness to it. There is definately coriander here as well as nice citrusy flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium/moderate carbonation.

This is a most drinkable beer and I highly recommend it. Very refreshing.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Capped 750 best before end 2007 poured into a chalice.

Clear light copper with a one inch head of white that slowly settles to >1cm of foam that lasts. Sheeted lace is left inside the glass as it goes down.

Smells of coriander with bitter hops and a little orange peel. Sweet malts underneath. The spice and hop aromas compliment each other nicely.

The taste follows along the same lines as the nose. Dry overall and you can taste that these are indeed English hops. Spritzy carbonation tingle pops up in the middle with the coriander remaining throughout the ride. The citric notes are noticable as well.

The carbonation gives this one an almost champagne like mouthfeel. Very clean. A good one to pair with a cheese and fruit plate.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.57/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a little bit of a roller coaster ride for me. At times I didn't like, at times I enjoyed it quite a bit.
A gentle pour yielded a HUGE head. After the beer level lowered the depth of the horizontal foam competed with the depth of the vertical foam. This is the kind of head you can leave your initials in. You could leave someone a note in this head.
Smells like a lager; smells like "beer". This wasn't nearly as fragrant or spicy as I expected or would have liked. All in all, this reminds me of what I remember of Duvel. This is practically a high class malt liquor or a strong euro lager. Pretty well balanced on the whole, very dry and quite drinkable. Not as interesting or complex as I would have liked. This could quite possibly convert a fan a macros but for the money there are many other brews I'd rather have.

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Photo of BeerNutta
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A = Light golden yellow colour with a slightly foam head.

S = Lightly honey scented with hop infusion

T = Light fruit beginings slowly mellow to a hop middle that is closely followed up by a spicy finish.

M = Lightly carbonated so its easy to drink. But i think for this style it required a little more carbonation.

D = Its a bit expensive in Australia.

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Photo of cypressbob
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

Pours with a cloudy, yellowy golden body, off white head with great retention, creamy and frothy

Smells very fresh, some clove and fresh fruit. Full of sweet nutty esters

Taste, smooth as smooth could be, unbelievably almondy. Some nice spice on the finish

What can I say? On tap, served perfectly in the correct glassware in doesnt get much better

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

never had the 11.2 oz bottle, and realized i never reviewed the beer, so here goes... a staple for me. my cat is named 'la chouffe'.

beautiful clear golden-amber with a mixture of carbonation and floaties harmoniously dancing in sync. big head, reducing to one-finger and leaving crown-like lacing in a chouffe tulip. smells sweet of honey and cloves, some licorice and a nice, vibrant sourness. hints of summery berry are present as well. heavy on the spiced aromas in a pleasant and not overbearing way. like the juice from a honeysuckle.

flavor explodes with the first sip into a floral sweetness and a warming burst of alcohol... nice basic hop presence here adds a bit of green to the party. needs some warming time.. (tick,tock).. honey emerges and satisfies nicely. crisp and smooth with some tingle in the cheeks. yeasty, bready quality fills me up like a nice hunk of artisan bread. a bit hot for 8.0%, and that's the only negative i can even fathom in this beer. one of two beers that hooked me on craft brews and a goodbyeohio staple. near perfect.

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Photo of palma
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden body. Large, smooth looking white head. Pillow top.

Nose: Minerals, metallic, yeasty. Light fruity phenols.

Taste: Spicy, subtle fruit. coriander. green apple. Refreshing. Lighter than expected.

Mouthfeel: Delicate carbonation, but still a very satisfying mouthfeel. Bottle conditioning does wonders as usual.

Notes: A great Belgian Strong pale for the summer. Like a saison with some spice.

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Photo of dwvarner77
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden hue that's at least 200% thick foamy head, that is certainly taking its time falling. Eventually falls to a light ivory fluff, with lots of lacing. Lots of floating sediment; initially active carbonation dies as the session progresses.
Nose is zesty; very malty, with significant yeast and peppery character. Taste is full, lots of malt and yeast, followed by a big spicy/peppery flavor that lingers in the back of the mouth. Hints of alcohol remain as well.
Mouthfeel is good at first,creamy, but flattens more than i would expect as the session progresses. Very tasty, but the alcohol hinders its drinkability somewhat.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I took the cap off a 750ml of this beer, and I instantly remembered the last time I had a sip, several months ago. THis pour to a finely bubbled, giant white foamy head, and a beautiful yellow-orange color. There is a taste of apples and coriander at the start, and the first few sips have a hoppy "rust" taste to them, which recedes as you polish of the pint and a half. This has a bitterness which is not unwelcomed. The bottle says "spiced" and certainly this does not mean nutmeg, cinnamon or clove. There is a floral nose with a definite citrus and lemony quality. There is some great drinkability, and even though it is not as creamy as Duvel or delirium tremens, for instance, it has a peppery spice. that makes it a beer to return to bottle after bottle.

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

Fours across the board.
Appeared a golden and attractive blonde with a nice head...stays with the beer for a while...and a good amount of yeast still in suspension. Aroma was an immediate sensation of coriander. A smooth nectar fizz in my mouth - subtle hop spice finish, not dry at all, with some earthy tones. A captivating mouthfeel . Distinct. I dare say one of the original Belgian artisinales? Great drinkability.

Have had this one of draft many times around the philly area but never ended up reviewing it... this bottled version is memorable.
Looking forward to brewing with this yeast.

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Photo of packetknife
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A solid thick looking dark orange, carbonation and particles floating around. It vaguely reminds me of an underwater scene in the frigid climes... except beer. The nose is spiced oranges and cinnamon to me, almost like mulled wine ingredients before they're added to wine. Yeasty, thick, a bit of spice, some hop... no real kick to it though. Not as much as I'd expect from the visuals and nose. Certainly complex and good tasting but nothing outstanding (at least in the bottle form). The feel is thick and juicy, it makes me want more regardless. Near perfect except for this sligh oily sensation it leaves behind that I can't place. Obsurdly drinkable for the content.

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Photo of theo692
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served cold (perhaps a bit too cold, to start) in a Chimay goblet. Bottle purchased (cold) at WholeFoods...$8 for the 75cl. (Not bad.) I could have sworn that there used to be a cork along with the cap, but I'm probably wrong.

Beers is wonderfully colored, and just cloudy enough to hint that it's not run-of-the mill. Head is minimal, but those lovely tiny bubbles remain in the glass and in your mouth.

Taste is crisp, with a hint of fruit, and certainly spicy. As the beer warms, the flavor becomes fuller and more enjoyable. Not as heavy or overpowering as a Chimay, though still nowhere near a "quantity" beer. Finish is clear and without aftertaste -- impressively consistent throughout. Smell is also clean, without much of an "alcohol" scent -- surprising for an 8%!

Difficult to find anything wrong with this wonderful beer.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I didn't like this beer nearly as much as the McChouffe. It was a decent brew, but it had a hint of funkiness that I wasn't getting into at the time.

It looks good in a tulip glass, pouring a hazy and bold golden tripel color. Has a nice fluffy white head, but isn't as intriguing as most belgians I've had, including the McChouffe.

The smell is very grainy and yeasty. Smells like a spicy wheat beer almost with a hint of belgian funk. It seems like it will be quite sweet.

The taste is kind of funky though. I always kind of wondered what people meant when they described a beer as having a horse hair taste to it, but I think I have finally made the connection. Evidently it is true that smell is more directly connected to memory than any other sense, because I distinctly recall the smell of a horse grooming brush from when I was about 12 years old or so, and it smelled like this beer tastes. It also has a metallic tinge to it, which isn't the most pleasant flavor to mask the barnyard animal funk.

The mouthfeel is a bit spicy and medium bodied. Drinkability is merely average, especially considering the high ABV. Overall, this beer was a bit of a disappointment, especially considering that I loved the McChouffe. If you can get both, try the Mc first, and don't feel too guilty if you manage to skip this one, IMO.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Drank from a 750 ml bottle, poured into Delirium Tremens tulip-style chalice.

Appearance: Golden, slightly orange color. Thick choppy head with good lacing.

Smell: This beer had a slightly skunky smell, but underneath I could detect the musky spicy aroma I associate with this beer. Probably the bottle I drank was abused by light or heat.

Taste: Peppery with tastes of spices I can't name. But the mixture is balanced well. Kind of sour-type fruitiness, like lemons or lime.

Notes: Addictive taste, if you can get it without the skunk.

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Photo of Brent
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Took a little while to warm up to this beer, but I'm glad I stuck with it. First impression (served too cold, I'll admit) was that it was too sweet, the spicing heavy-handed and the alcohol too prominent at the front. As I worked my way through the bottle (and it warmed), the beer's complexity came through, the sweetness receded and the spices sorted themselves out, with coriander and orange peel taking the lead. Surprisingly, as the beer warmed, the alcohol became less strident in character and integrated into the flavor profile. By the end of the beer, I was liking it quite a bit.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/03/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle, capped w/no cage or cork. No freshness date listed. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Golden brew with a slight bit of cloudyness. Beautiful foarmy and chunky head and above average lacing.

Smell- Lots and lots of spices with fruity overtones.

Taste- White pepper, corriander are the main two spices. Also a nice fruity taste as well. Maybe a bit of sweet lemon rind to go with some peaches.

Mouthfeel- Not as highly carbonated as expected. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability- Hello summer beer! Great job on this one. Full of scent and flavor.

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La Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,528 ratings.
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