N'Ice Chouffe
Brasserie d'Achouffe

N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #21
ABV:
10%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,450
Avg:
4.1 | pDev: 9.51%
Reviews:
589
Ratings:
1,370
From:
Brasserie d'Achouffe
 
Belgium
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  73
Gots
  252
SCORE
91
Outstanding
N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe
Notes: When the little animals in Fairyland hibernate, the Achouffe gnomes love to gather in their cottage. By the gentle firelight, they spend long evenings telling the best Ardennes stories while enjoying a delicious N’Ice CHOUFFE. Smooth and strong, with spicy notes of thyme and Curacao, this dark beer warms both hearts and atmospheres, making even the coldest winters joyful.
Reviews: 589 | Ratings: 1,370 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Brutaltruth
Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the stubby little bottle in a snifter. This solid brew pours
a murky dark mahogany with a nice head of off white foam that
subsides to a thick ring, thin clumping layer, and displays some
rather nice lacing. Nose of dark brown sugars, dark orchard fruits,
orange zest, and light phenol notes. Flavors surpass the nose with
dark brown sugars dunked in a fresh zested orange, doused with
light anise, light thyme, and subtle herbal notes amongst fresh
dark bread. Nice mouth feel; medium body, nicely effervescent
with light but lively carbonation, and a moderately dry finish.

Of note; with warmth comes notes of fig and dates.

Excellent!

Cheers

Jul 19, 2020
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TheHammer from Canada

3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Time to have me some Christmas in July

Appearance: Poured with a finger of head that did not lace or retain at all. The body is a dark, nearly black, opaque brown which I swear I sometimes see as purple in the right light.

Smell: Even with ample warming, the potency on this one is lacking, I'm catching toffee malt and plum with maybe a slight hint of nut, but it's far too weak.

Taste: Sweet malt with notes of plum and toffee that turns to a more herbal orange zest with rosemary and a bit of nut. Probably one of the best Christmas beers I've ever had, as it's very clear they aren't going overboard with spice and to make it taste like Christmas, but something to be savoured.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly the carbonation stayed for the whole beer, and the transitioning is good albeit doesn't seem to travel far. The odd man out though is I seem to be getting a bitter herb and nut note sometimes in the aftertaste. That said, it's brief and the mainly toffee aftertaste overpowers it.

Drinkability: This stuff is dangerous, as you would not have even a hint that this is 10%. Settles down very well, is easy to drink, and just approachable enough to be a sophisticated treat without seeming snooty. Medium body and for the most part a great overall experience.

Final Thoughts: This beer did very well for a beer I basically bought for the unique bottle cap. This is what I wish people did with Xmas beers. Just a simple, by the fire, herbed beer without going out of control and abusing cinnamon and candy cane syrup. Great stuff.

Jul 02, 2020
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: opaque; cola brown in color; 1 finger light brown head that receded to a wispy cap; nice lacing;

S: sweet malt and spices;

T: sweet malt for a moment, then mixes with thyme; very little bitterness;

M: medium bodied; moderate, slightly prickly carbonation; dry finish;

O: the thyme character is interesting;

Apr 24, 2020
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Bluecrow from New York

4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a seasonal treat. (-found one in the back of the “cellar.”) The appearance is red-mahogany with a some haze and a 1.5 cm sticky, tan foam cap.
The aroma is of caramel and banana esters. The flavor is rich; toffee, candi-sugar, orange zest are prominent.
This is a pleasure, not overly sweet and without notable alcohol heat.
I am always pleased to find this.

Apr 12, 2020
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InspectorHound from Canada

3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Reminds me of maple syrup, coppery brown with a one finger white/beige head.
Smell: Yeast, dark rye bread, and dates
Taste: Dark fruits like dates, raisins and plums, dark rye bread, with a bit of alcohol sharpness
Feel: Plays high on the palate and at the front of the tongue.
This beer earns a solid B. It lacks the complexity found in my favourite Belgium beers.

Mar 09, 2020
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GarrettB from Colorado

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

December 26th, 2015 - Here on the other side of Christmas I'm looking for an emotional pick-me-up to counteract the withdrawals of holiday cheer. The N'ice Chouffe (2010 Limited Edition) seems like a worthy candidate. Even with extensive aging, the carbonation in the bottle bubbles up to form a healthy, pert head, pushing itself up and out of the glass. And the residual beer in the glass starts its own head, navigating up the bottle and coming out as a neat cylinder, like Play-Doh through a patterned hole. The aroma has a low and savory smell of rosemary and beef, and beef broth. I also smell a little dashi, as if I'm approaching a nighttime oden stand. The flavor is a little lighter and very Belgian. Up from the N'ice is nicely mild, with a mushroom earthiness, a surprisingly sparkling palate, and a short aftertaste with cedar and more earthy, soily flavors slowly trailing off into the dark. Mild, a little dry, and just a little spicy, this beer has survived aging and negligence wonderfully.

Feb 28, 2020
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Label is stamped best by '12 2020'.
Amber brown colored body. One finger of off white bubbly head. Leaves behind some intermittent sheets of lacing.
Aroma of bready malt and yeast, and dark fruit, spice and orange.
Taste of dark bread, yeast, caramel, orange, spice, and dark fruit.
Medium mouth feel, and metallic. Very good carbonation.
Alcohol is present but quite well hidden for higher ABV% (no burn). Good construction of complementary flavors of malt, yeast, fruit, and spice.

Jan 11, 2020
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octortus from Canada

4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 mL Bottle. ABV 10%.
Appearance: Brown/Purple, Under one finger of frothy tan head, Good retention, Medium carbonation, Broken cap remains.
Aroma: Belgian yeast, Dark fruit (plum, raisin, fig), Dark berries, Thyme, Fresh cherry, Orange peel, Slight brown bread, Slight caramel, Alcohol, Quite complex, Nicely balanced, Very enticing.
Mouthfeel: Above medium body, Smooth.
Flavour: Dark fruit (prune, fig, raisin), Thyme, Dark berry, Caramel, Somewhat distracting alcohol.
Overall: Very easy drinking considering the alcohol content. I will say that the alcohol did not seem integrated well into the rest of the beer (moreso in the flavour than the aroma). The thyme was interesting but perhaps could benefit from being more subdued. While complex, it doesn't quite wow you.

Review: 103

Dec 30, 2019
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BGDrock from Canada

4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown, like root beer, murky and unfiltered; fluffy, full, sand coloured head with several minutes solid retention.
Aromas of caramel malt and toffee, syrupy, accompanied by a yeasty tang, and a bit nutty.
First taste is big malt notes, of dark caramel, toffee, sticky toffee pudding, dates, hints of chocolate, cola. All of it balanced by warming heat of alcohol, and complimented by complex umami yeast flavours; feel is full, fatty and unctuous, medium carbonation, with an off-dry finish.

A delight on a winter night. It's sweet, but balanced and complimented enough by other elements to make it just right. Have it as a dessert sipper on its own.

Dec 28, 2019
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Dark brown with a dark head head that dissipates somewhat quickly.
S - Sweet malt and bready yeast along with dark fruits and winter spices
T - Follows the nose with bready yeast and malt along with dark fruit notes, caramel, brown sugar, citrus and winter spices (cloves and nutmeg)
F - Medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation.
O - A nice winter spiced Belgian

Dec 26, 2019
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JonnoWillsteed from England

4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L- Deep chestnut red, slight haze (bottle-conditioned), pours with huge 5cm tan head that's very slowly deconstructing bubble by buble. [ps. holds well].
S- Something unexpectedly fresh and bright about this, well, considering it's 10%.
T- Pungent, deep, roasty, bonfires, coffee. Very deeply flavoured. It's 10% and it has the flavour in parallel so is well balanced/masked.
F- Deep pungent winter-warmer. Phooo.... one for slow sippin' by the winter log fire.
O- Wow, a lovely beer. Nothing out of place.
£3.69/330ml bottle from Wholefoods London W8 BB: 02-2021

Nov 24, 2019
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Barettes from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown pour with a quickly receding head. Lively carbonation. Smells and tastes of caramel apple bananas and an indeterminate spice, slightly peppery. Not my favorite Belgian strong ale as the flavors aren't as complex as others in the category. Still it goes down real smooth for an ABV of 10.

Aug 25, 2019
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officerbill from New York

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 34cl bottle (best by 12/19) poured into a Bernardus goblet.
Reddish brown (almost the color of a dark caramel) with a thick wheat colored head that way became a.
I have a sinus thing going on so I can't comment on the smell.
A full, rich, malty taste. A little sweet, but not sugary. The well balanced spices stay in the background to enhance the flavor of the ale instead of overpowering it.
A very good dark Belgian ale and one of the best "winter ales" I've had. Just remember that this is 10% ABV and the alcohol can sneak up on you.

Mar 11, 2019
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VABA from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revisited 11/15/19

A-Pours nice dark amber brownish color with a generous head and lacing.
A-Aroma has generous fruity and spicy hints
T-The taste follows the nose with well balanced fruity and spicy flavors
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer.
O-A very nicely balanced beer.

Feb 08, 2019
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lastmango from Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep ruby brown with a two finger fizzy tan head. Light lacing is present. Nose of candied sugar, malt and dark fruit. Taste follows the nose with orange peel and winter spices. Crisp and dry finish. Moderate body and carbonation, yet with a bit of thin syrup feels. Easy drinking. Booze is warming but not overpowering.

Jan 20, 2019
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wotta week! Three straight days at the same substitute teaching assignment! Normally, I eschew such things and two is usually my upper limit, but this gig was too good to gloss over/past. I scouted the nearby bottle shop, Country Garden Six Pack, on Thursday & on Friday, I pounced! A sampler four-pack of Chouffe + a glass at a rock-bottom price! Plus some other Belgians that I had drank before. It's a Belgian weekend as the snowstorm & Arctic Inversion approach! I contacted Chris Brouwarts of Chouffe via E-mail, but I have yet to get a response. Onward! [Edit] He says that these are Mai 2018 vintage.

From the Bottle: "Belgian Dark Ale brewed with spices (Thyme and Curacao Peel"; "N'Ice Chouffe, limited edition, brewed only once each winter by Brasserie d'Achouffe in the heart of the Ardennes forest of Belgium. Brasserie d'Achouffe began brewing this intensely complex bottle conditioned ale in 1993. This deep[,] dark [W]inter [W]armer I rich in taste, spicy, full of complex, fruity, berrylike, vinous flavors that are complimented by malt overtones. N'Ice Chouffe is brewed from: water, malted barley, hops, thyme & dried orange peel and a lot of dark candy-sugar. Beer enthusiasts may wish to cellar this bottle immediately for enjoyment in the years to come or serve at 60 [deg.] F as an after dinner drink."

This has been a pretty wondrous day thus far! I had some other Belgians earlier & then I got started on this Chouffe party pack in earnest. This one is the fourth of four so a nap may be forthcoming following this one. I began the finale with a Pop! of the cap, followed by a slow, gentle, C-Line pour into my now well-seasoned Brasserie d'Achouffe glass that came with the set (!). It huffed & it puffed & it blew itself up into three fingers of dense, puffy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head until it couldn't hold its breath any longer & exhaled. Poof! Nowt but heavy, sticky lacing to remember it by. Color was an amazing Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & garnet/ruby highlights. Gorgeous! Nose smelled like a Christmas cookie! Oh, how I loved to bake as a young man. I excelled in HomeEc (Foods) & I wanted to be a baker/pastry chef until drugs fouled me up. The holidays were the best as we were encouraged to find a blend of spices for our cookies, all of which would be judged by students, faculty & administration. I never won, but I also managed to add some herb into mine, making them VERY popular. I would be hard-pressed to pinpoint which spices were used in this, but dang, did it smell like the holidays! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but more like a ball of dough on my tongue. Mmm. I let it roll around to warm & see what spices might emerge from the mélange. Anise? Imprecise. Cardamom? Not spicy enough in the beer. Same with many of the usual suspects, like star anise, grains of Paradise & coriander. The spiciness of the beer simply was not THAT strong. I kept rummaging through my memory, licking my lips as I did so, but to no avail. 8=( The label gave it away - thyme. Thyme?!? In a beer?!? Brilliant! The last time that I used thyme was on a bone-in leg of lamb at Easter with Herbes de Provence as a rub. Mmm. Now, in cogitating on it, I m-I-g-h-t be able to identify it as thyme, but it would take some time. Enough! The back label also mentions mulling/wassailing/heating & I am all for the concept. We have been discussing double-boilers, crock pots & assorted means for a couple/few months with an outdoor pop-up event as part of the plans. This would be a fantastic candidate! It was a subtly spiced beer that could really blossom with a bit of heat. Mmm. & some cookies to go with … Man, these digressions. Bottom line: this was a really nice holiday ale & it could be identified as a "Spiced/Herbed Ale" without any static from me. It finished dry, as any spiced ale should be expected to evince. My next move will be to search out some more to warm & serve in cups, NOT glasses. Laugh at Winter! Heat your beers & wines & sip them from cups!

Jan 19, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tawny brown; thin yet lasting head; rings of lacing. Ripe, dark pitted fruit; plum and dates. Licorice and brown malt; bitter with mild booziness. Heavy body with a prickly, dry feel; warm.

A damn fine beer.

Jan 16, 2019
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MoreBeer4me from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Its good...BUT nowhere up to snuff when compared to Christmas beer such as those brewed by Gouden Carolus or St. Bernardus. This one kind of leaves me wanting more from the beer which isn't there.

Jan 09, 2019
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scootny from New York

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A deep mahogany pour yields a dark tan head that stays for quite some time and leaves nice trails of lace along the sides of the glass. Often clear on its initial dumping I swirled the bottle to introduce the yeast and a light amount of haze.

Nose is sweet and malty with notes of brandy, dark cherries, figs, and dark candi sugar, faint molasses. Some holiday spices waft lightly along the top.

Taste is full on Nat King Cole Christmas. Delicious brandy soaked roasted malt with nuts and nutmeg lingering. Sweet dark fruits and boozy toasted brown bread dipped in toffee. And while there is alcohol in the taste signature, the beer itself is not hot or really alcoholic. It has the FLAVORS of brandy and rum soaked fruitcake, but not the full on alcohol edge and bite. So it goes down so smooth and easy that its a joy, and pleasure to easily have too much. A dry crisp finish is surprisingly short and reveals a light toasted malt on my tongue and mild herbal hops with just a touch of earth.

A bit of syrup and and soft carbonation are this one an easy drinker. The surprise is really just how quenching it is, given the weight and overall category. Holiday brews generally aren't high abv quaffers. This one is.

A great Holiday brew. Period. If you can only have one in the house, this one makes it onto the list of five to choose from.

Jan 08, 2019
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown in color. Poured with a billowy, light tan foam with excellent retention. Sweet dark malt, raisin, prune and sweet dark fruit aromas. Medium bodied with lively,  effervescent carbonation and pleasant warmth from the middle through the finish. Sweet dark malt and estery dark fruit flavors followed by spicy hops that transition medium light, acidic hop bitterness. Soft, sneaky, boozy backbone. Earthy, spicy hop flavors with dark malt flavors on the back end. Finished with light booziness, dark and grainy malt flavors and earthy, spicy hop notes. Subtle malty complexity that is balanced by light hop character and mellow booziness. Estery character is a balance of dark fruit light spiciness.  Mellow, tasty, and warming. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. 

Dec 30, 2018
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damndirtyape from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, best by 11-2019. Date stamp L32804 08:52. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Slow pour to leave the sediment behind gave a very dark copper-ruby red beer with a thin white head. Some occasional persistent strands and islands of lacing noted.

Smell: Not a lot of aroma, but some notes of dark fruits and caramel/toffee.

Taste: What this beer doesn't have as much of in the way of aroma, it more than makes up for it in flavor. Lots of tastes all going on here: dark candi sugar, caramel, toasted malt, dark fruit/berries, thyme, bitter orange peel, and leafy noble hops.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick with brisk carbonation that scrubs the palate clean. Dry finish with a bit of warming from the higher ABV.

Overall / Drinkability: Definitely a slow sipping beer, and I'm glad I followed the advice on the bottle to let it warm up to 60 F before drinking. I had it in the back of the fridge to help the sediment settle out, and when first poured and it still had some chill to it, it was quite bitter and some of the malt sweetness was hidden. Once warmed up though, all the flavors come out to play. A great beer for a winter evening.

Dec 23, 2018
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

had two 330 ml glasses of this over a lunch in Brussels. In the d'Achouffe tulip glass

dark brown in color, a little hazy. thick creamy tan colored head. rich malty aroma - toffee, a touch of spice and dark fruit. similar taste, slightly sweet. thick, full bodied and smooth.

Dec 17, 2018
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Fatheroftoomany from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep dark brown color pour. Tremendous amount of head. Thyme taste is there and I like it. Spicy yet not too spicy and leaves my mouth smoothly. Very good beer and very tasty.

Dec 15, 2018
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Martin194 from Iowa

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Clear, dark amber-brown, light tan head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Bittersweet spices; cinnamon, maybe nutmeg. A bit grassy? Brown sugar and dark fruits. Not a super strong scent, but it's good.

Taste: Sweet, bready, but also pleasantly bitter, roasty. Hints of banana. Definitely a lot of alcohol after swallowing, haha.

Feel: Full body, normal carbonation. The alcohol leaves a warm, dry aftertaste.

Overall: Great beer for a cold night in, warms you right up.

Dec 08, 2018
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spectru from Florida

3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown ale with a creamy colored head, lacy; The aroma is not strong, but fresh; Sparkly, well carbonated; The flavor is rich, full-bodied, fruity, sweet; Hardly a hint of the 10% ABV.

The label on mine was the same as that shown rhere on BA, but the bottle was short and shapely.

Nov 06, 2018
N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1370 ratings