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 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.

 365 characters

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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Photo of WetCoaster
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Backlit by the golden glow of a sunset over San Francisco Bay, the mountains a hazy smoke blue, hints of pink rising and -- sorry, but it is a glorious night -- anyway, the beer is a lovely glowing deep gold with a furious stream of bubbles producing a firm, pillowy pure white head with pretty much endless retention. Thick, puffy sheets of lace coat the glasswall. That's about as good as it gets.

Smell: Sweet pale malt, Saaz or Hallertau hops pop, oranges and... apricots, maybe? Cake batter and corriander mid, and perhaps a bit of the old barnyard/horse blanket/rainwater what-have-you. It sounds great, but it's fairly mild -- you really have to search for it. I'd like a bit less subtlety, your mileage may vary.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Malty sweetness right off the bat and a bit of alcohol burn early on. Midpalette is a bit juicy -- pick your fruit, I'm thinking apricot -- and a bit spiced and bready. Finishes with a white pepper burn that coats the tongue. The mouthfeel is crisp, but smooth and soft, which is a good thing.

Drinkability: Great; very tasty and smooth. This is an absolute textbook BSPA, which is a bit of a curse: it's SO by-the-books that it's hard to get too excited about it. It's an excellent beer, and I've scored it as such, but at the same time, it's not going to change your life. If you've never had a Belgian beer, this would be a great place to start.

 1,407 characters

Photo of fdrich29
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

La Chouffe "Artisanal Belgian Golden le brewed with spices" Brewed and bottled by Brasserie D'Achouffe, Achouffe, Belgium. 1 Pint, 9.4 FL. OZ. bottle purchased at Downtown Wine and Spirits in Somerville, MA.

Cloudy golden haze crowned with a fluffy white, lofty head that disappeared to reveal perfect glass encompassing lacing.

Clean, crisp smell and taste with cloves, spices, and some citrus taking turns tickling the senses and leaving a comforting warmness behind.

I find myself craving a nice Belgian Strong more often than not these days and La Chouffe has successfully reminded me that my quest to find these beers should continue. Definitely worth looking for this one.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a big Burgundy glass. Cloudy, hazy peach color with a large foamy head. Gobs of bubbles. Smell was clove and spices and yeast and candy. This beer was wonderful. Spiciness, carbonic bite, and Belgian yeasty flavor are perfectly mixed. This is a gorgeous beer with a complex flavor profile that is oh so easy to drink. Rivals its more well known style partner, Duvel. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Stingray5
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml, best by the end of 2007. Pours golden yellow, ever so slightly hazy, towering, fluffy white head. Tiny, rapid rising bubbles. Troical fruit aromas with some banana and spices abound. Light pepper. Creamy, highly carbonated. Sweet on the initial taste, spicy with a slight metallic twinge. Candied sugar. A little rough in the finish, fuesel alcohol. Smooths out a bit as it warms.

Looks nice, smells nice, Tastes good. I think I'll let the next bottle sit a little longer though.

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

Appearance: The beer pours a hazy gold color, with a huge fluffy off white foam that sits gently on the top.

Smell: This beer has wonderful floral and citrus aromas with just a hint of spice.

Taste: Intoxicating. I've never had anything like this before. Grapefruit, apples, very clean.

Mouthfeel: Way too easy to drink. Just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable beer from the bottle, but is absolutely a "can't miss" on tap! My first bottle was a disappointment, but who knows how long it had been on the shelf. Later bottles were much better.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear pale golden with a frothy white head that lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was deeply malty with caramel most prominent. The aroma was estery with pineapple and slight citrus notes. The aroma contained a slight biscuit character as well as some spiciness.

The flavor was light and malty with caramel. The fruity pineapple and citrus from the aroma carried through to the flavor. The biscuit was noticeable near the end of the flavor on the palate and melded with the other flavors. The bittering was decidedly citric and well done with spicy flavors that emerge on the palate over time.

The finish was dry with lasting citrus and light bittering along with a nice spice character that continues into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation was low leaving the impression of less mouthfeel. A very well crafted beer, pleasing in all aspects.

750 ml crown capped silk screened bottle. Purchased at Total Wine in Chesapeake, VA.

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

Thick foamy white head on top of a golden yellow pour. Fruity delicious notes in the nose on top of a bit of sweetness and yeast. Flavor is full of herbal and fruit flavors, most notably some apple and a bit of pear backboned by some sweet vanilla flavors. Dry on the mouth as it finishes smoothly. One of the better beers I've had in a while, and certainly one I'll go back to when I want something with a bit of a punch that still leaves a fairly light impression on the tongue.

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Photo of Vipsanius
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle that has been cellared for over a year. Best before date is "before end of 2006." Poured into a Westmalle chalice.

After pouring "carefully" into the glass as the bottle instructed, I still got a very nice one and a half inch frothy white head and no floating yeast particles that other people have noticed (be careful after your first pour that you don't tilt it to the upright position too quickly...else, this will disturb the yeast at the bottom and you'll get particles on subsequent pours). The color was a beautiful transparent golden color. The initial appearance coupled with the smell, which was pretty light, was very unintimidating...

That is until you bring it to your lips. Wow! A lot of taste. It threw me completely off guard. Very spicy at first, peppers, coriander, and a touch of cinnamon and mustard. Then some subtle herbal aftertones of marjoram and tarragon leaves (subtle herbs...nothing strong like oregano or basil). Somewhere in there you can pick up on some malt flavors but they don't last too long. By the way, this beer leaves some of the most interesting and exquisite lacing I have ever seen. Very nice.

The mouthfeel is pretty carbonated. You may feel a little gassy and bloated after this one. Don't want to be drinking this one with the Queen of England. If you can get away with burping the carbonation out, it's pretty drinkable, but beware of the 8% ABV. It's not very noticeable.

One final piece of advice, be very careful with food pairings on this beer. Pair it with something light or you'll miss out on all of the subtleties it offers.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25.4 oz. bottle. Picked this up in KC, MO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: The first pour out of the bottle was crystal clear and golden, with hints of amber. Subsequent pours became hazier. The white head rose up huge in the tulip and settled down slowly. It became nice and rocky as it did so. A heavy bead sustained some thick patches of foam on the surface of the brew for the entire time. A ton of lace was left behind. Lovely.

Smell: Light and straightforward, but enjoyable. A mix of grapes, apples, spicy hops, yeast, and the bite of spice were all present. Underneath these was a hint of roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with a strong carbonation presence. The carbonation wasn't rough, though; it gave the beer a slightly spongy feel and added a nice presence on the tongue.

Taste: This one had some bite. Spicy and herbal hops combined with black pepper to nip at the tongue. A light bitterness from the hops, along with some spicy alcohol, showed up on the finish. Sweet apple arose in the aftertaste, but it also had a bit of a bite to it as well, kind of like a Granny Smith.

A nice change of pace from the rash of rounder, sweeter Belgians that I have been drinking lately. It had a cutting sharpness that ripped right through the sweetness that did little more than provide balance. Its biggest detriment was that the alcohol came through a little too strong at times.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a 750ml bottle like the one in the pictured. No best by or freshness date on the bottle. La Chouffe had a slightly hazed apricot tone, a blizzard of carbonation and a fluffy white head. Copious amounts of lace were left behind and the head lasted to the last drop.
The smell had an intensely hoppy, spicy aroma with notes of coriander and pepper ruling the roost. Also a mild bready malt aroma, some citrus notes and hints of orchard fruits.
The taste was a virtual carbon copy of the smell. Sweet malt and peaches, a light tartness like from apricots, and some powdery yeast flavors up front. Then on came the hops and spices. Coriander flavor cuts through all, backed by pepper and a hint of vanilla. Finished with a clean hoppy bite. The feel was medium-bodied, creamy, with a drying finish.
La Chouffe is a complex, well-crafted Belgian ale, a fine example of the strong pale ale. Dangerously drinkable, this is now one of my favorites and I'll be on the lookout for the rest of the Brasserie d'Achouffe line.

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Photo of GreatLeo
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Came in a 75cl non corked bottle with best before date of 2005 served in its traditional chouffe tulip glass.
This was my first experience with a unfiltered/unpasterized ale and I certainly was very impressed! It was so very cloudy that I held it up to the light I saw the sediment floating around in it but dont let its different appearance fool this is one high class ale one of the best I've had and continue to drink.

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Photo of horndecker
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the small bottle.

The color is a hazy gold with a rose tinge to it. A full active head, fine carbonation and a nice bit of lace.
The nose is green apples, pepper, orange peel and lemon; grassy and vegetal; then something faintly yeasty and meaty. Reminiscent of some saisons.
The flavors are of tart fruit at first, with a round and sweetish malt center and a gentle hop finish. All suffused with the prescence of clove and earthy yeast.
Nice and fizzy and smooth on the tongue. Tasty and delicious.

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