N'Ice Chouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

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N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe
BA SCORE
4.07/5
Exceptional
1,278 Ratings
N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe
Belgium
achouffe.be

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-14-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,811
Reviews:
559
Ratings:
1,278
pDev:
9.83%
Bros Score:
4.19
 
 
Wants:
67
Gots:
239
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,278 |  Reviews: 559
Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gwalchgwynn67
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BIGPOPPAS
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of arizcards
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single from the Craft Beer Hop Stop 11-11-17 for $3.99. Best before 2-2019.

Beer poured light brown with a nice slightly off white head.

Nose is very estery, mainly dark fruits.

Taste is classic strong dark Belgian, figs and currants dominate over yeast fed with candi sugar. The thyme and orange peel adjuncts are ever so light in the background which is nice.

Mouthfeel is classic Belgian yeast strain, light bodied with each sip dancing across my palate.

Overall the base beer is very good and the brewer's touch with the spice was nice and light handed.

 576 characters

Photo of Pohr10
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jroof1
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of stephenlee
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Duncian
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Declanisadog
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bf_89
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mltobin
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of SpaethJam
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of thehyperduck
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Feb 2019 and served at cellar temperature.

Pours a deep copper-brown colour with amber red highlights, generating nearly an inch of frothy, buff-coloured head that slowly dissipates over the next 5-10 minutes. A quarter-inch cap of creamy foam holds fast, ringed by a thick collar and an attractive coat of lacing; lookin' good so far. The aroma is rather subdued for such a strong Belgian beer, with notes of bready malt, caramel and candi syrup mingling together with yeastiness and fruit esters. Hints of prune, raisin and red apple flesh provide a semblance of depth, as does a slight herbal root note; meanwhile, the 10% ethanol is just barely perceptible.

A decent quaffer; a bit too sugary for me, and a bit lacking in complexity by the standard of Belgian strong ales, but at least the abv is well-integrated. The flavours don't stray too far from the boundaries drawn out by the aroma - dark, cake-like malts, molasses and caramelized candi sugar are quite prominent, accompanied by dark, fruity qualities that evoke thoughts of prune, black cherry, apple and fig. It becomes yeastier towards the finish, giving off spicy hints of clove, pepper and cassia, as well as some herbal licorice root, all of which pave the way for a malty sweet, spicy, mildly boozy aftertaste. Medium in body, leaning towards full; the carbonation started off aggressive, so I left the room to do something else for 20-30 minutes. This gave the carb time to thin out, smoothing out the mouthfeel drastically, making it much more pleasurable to sip. Even still, this step really shouldn't have been necessary.

Final Grade: 3.79, a B+. N'Ice Chouffe is, well, pretty nice I suppose, but it could have been better. The thyme and Curacao don't seem to play much of a role here at all - I'm all for judicious use of spicing in beer, but if they're not even noticeable, in either the flavour profile or aroma, then why even bother? In all fairness, I do prefer an underspiced beer (like this) to one that is overspiced... but that sweet spot in between is the optimal target, and N'Ice misses that mark. It's certainly worth a try, but it's easily outclassed by the Trappist equivalents.

 2,212 characters

Photo of Hanglow
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy brown with chunky yeast. Large rocky head

Light aroma, sweet, some bubblegum, low key. Not offensive is about the nicest thing I can say about it.

Lots more going on in taste though at least. Copper coins, toffee apples, sugary. Not bad

Star of the show is the mouthfeel - prickly carb goes great with the body and a lovely dryness. Hint of hop bitterness.

10% abv is almost completely hidden, save a warming sensation. Hard thing to do.

Ultimately it makes me think a pale Achouffe would have been a better choice.

 534 characters

Photo of ikidunot
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of quadmad
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brasserie d'Achouffe "N'Ice Chouffe"
33 cl brown glass bottle, "Best before end 02 2019..."
$4.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Look: A slightly hazy very dark brown body is topped by a finger-thick head of creamy khaki foam that holds remarkably well and leaves some very nice lacing behind.

Smell: Dark sugar, the distinct La Chouffe yeast, and delicate fruit and spice and herbs. The label states that it's brewed with thyme and curacao peel although neither particularly stand out.

Taste: As the aroma suggests with the exception that the spices are clear. The sweetish malt is lightly caramelish and sugary, not quite heading into burnt sugar but maybe a little bit of brown sugar. The fruitiness is soft, with orange, and apple as well, and the herbal character of the thyme is backed by a light spiciness from the yeast. The alcohol never shows despite being a full 10% ABV, although its presence is felt. It balances nicely, and a moderate bitterness rounds it out, leaving it with some residual sweetness in the finish that the light spice and alcohol help to dry out.

Feel: Medium in body with a dextrinous side, and remarkably soft and creamy with a very delicate, fine-bubbled, effervescent and "airy" carbonation.

Overall: A classic, as are several of the La Chouffe beers. Superbly balanced with a lot of flavor but not so much that it weighs you down or overloads your tastebuds. It's remarkably refined and way too easy to drink at 10.0% ABV. This may be a winter beer but I think it could be readily enjoyed all year long.

 1,553 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle. Pours brown with tall, long-lasting, foamy beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is of grassy hops, toasted malt and some fruit. Body is full and crisp. Herbal hops, spices, caramel malt and dark fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long and spicy. Good brew.

 270 characters

Photo of Easton70
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours with a surprising amount of head for such a strong beer but it doesn’t stick around unfortunately.

The aroma is sweet dried fruits.

The flavour is also sweet, unctuous with a real boozy kick. A great beer for late at night on a freezing winter night.

 263 characters

Photo of GoHabsGo
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ichoosefiction
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BenMaalouf
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of OlaB
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apperance is murky dark brown color with a medium top off beige head. Aroma is off dark matured fruits,caramel,bread,raisins,licorice and burned sugar. The taste is sweet where i sense dark matured fruits, while in the back is malty with flavour off caramel, bread and some hints off licorice. In the middle i sense that is also is some spices present, while the finish is long and pleasant with a slight bitterness. Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy. Gives almost immediatelly a warming feel, and has great complexity in the flavours.
This was a delicious beer, very well made. This is what i want in the christmas time.

 657 characters

Photo of 1971bernat
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Metalsnota
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 1,278 ratings