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N'Ice Chouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

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518 Reviews
N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with thyme and curaçao

Added by Bierman9 on 12-14-2001

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Reviews: 518 | Ratings: 1,150
Photo of ThickNStout
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL bottle. Bottled in 2012. Served in a Boulevard snifter.

Pours deep chestnut with just over a finger of cream hued head. Very little lace.

Smells yeasty with some apple and a little peppery spice.

Taste is similar to the nose. A rather dominant yeasty funk with bits of apple, pepper, lemon zest, cherry pits and a healthy kick of booze towards the finish.

Highly carbonated medium body. Dry funky aftertaste.

Not bad but a little too much yeast dominance for my tastes.

 485 characters

Photo of aleigator
3.25/5  rDev -20%

Deep brown, slightly red ember color, thin head which vanishes fast.

Aromas of malt, red fruits, not too intense.

Sweet spices, chocolate, malt, pepper, going together very well. Interessting for La Chouffe, reminds me of the typical belgium witbier, this one is very dark, with intense malts till the very end. Taste doesn’t linger too long, carbonation leads to a well balanced taste. Nice fruity, spicy brown character, with a complex but not overwhelming taste.

 471 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

08 Vintage poured into a Tulip Glass.

A - Dark mahogany with a fluffy ivory head that settles to a 1/2 inch cap.
S - Sweet and slightly funky, with aromas of dark Belgian candi sugar, lots of orange peel, and a touch of savory herbs.
T - Similar to the nose, with flavors of dark candi sugar, dried fruits, orange peel, and thyme/sage. There is a bit of a metallic "twang" and a touch of oxidation, this is just a bit past it's prime.
M - Slick mouthfeel with a medium body and prickly carbonation.
O - A very interesting Winter beer, I love the herbal character added from the thyme. I do wish I had consumed this about a year earlier, though.

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Photo of Brewfan
3.31/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2001.
Poured into my Hennepin chalace. Thick head, lots of big and small bubbles. Head stayed with us for almost the length of the beer. Almost immovable lace. Murky dark brown color. Medium carbonation.
Definate alcohol smell upon whiffing, even at 4 years old. I wonder how much stronger this would have been fresh. Malty with a spicy herbaciousness and wet hay backbone.
Upon tasting, there is an earthy sweetness, smooth caramel and still some phenolic alcohol taste. Peppery and a bit grassy. Silky mouthfeel.
Was expecting a little more from this beer. Maybe waiting 4 years to try it wasn't the best move. I'd like to try a greener bottle and compare.

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Photo of CMW
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured into the glass a dark ruby tint with a large fluffly off-white head. Looks very tasty.

S - This has a much spicier nose than most Xmas beers. There is a heavy smell of sugar as well. Also, slightly metallic.

T - Taste was much sweeter than I had imagined. The malt is a little earthy upfront but this quickly fades to the taste of candied fruit. This sweetness was a little too heavy in my opinion. Small tinge of alcohol in the finish.

M&D - Very smooth but the sweetness makes this hard to drink. I am usually a big fan of their creations but this one just didn't strike me the same way.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle, the last of my BBF volunteer haul, allowed to warm some before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

N'Ice Chouffe pours a very deep brown, with just the faintest cherry outline when held directly to light. The bone colored head is somewhat muted, and while retention is OK lacing is nonexistent. The predominant flavors I'm getting in the nose are a semi sweet milk chocolate and a bit of orange, not a bad combination. The flavor does show some variety. On different sips I find notes of mild milk chocolate and sweet dark fruits up front. On the spice end the orange peel works really well, and the thyme melds together somewhat with a kick of clove from the yeast. All in all though the spice flavors tend to drown out the malty ones a bit too much, I feel like this beer's underattenuated. That concern carries across into the mouthfeel, where the body is surprisingly thin for a 10%ABV beer. This only accentuates what I feel is a carbonation level that is a bit too high. The somewhat fizzy nature does become distracting at times. The alcohol is fairly well hidden in this beer, but all in all there's not really anything to recommend it over plenty of other Belgians.

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Photo of Toddzillamz
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Break yourselves fools! Your favorite b-film star is back reviewing these brews to keep you in the know. I first off want to thank y'all for the fan mail. It means a lot to me, especially in these hardened times. I'm making the best of it though. Fighting the rats for stale crackers and smokin' prison shorts. The one thing I won't skimp on though is good beer! I'll scour the globe to find hidden hop gems, and bring back my findings to my crew (you people). I catch buzzes like Joey B catches Chlamydia. So, here we go into the time of year when the Christmas, or Holiday ales show their faces. Those heartwarmingly sweet little bastards that you wait all year for. Well, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Toss a log on the fire and cuddle up under the bear rug with a couple russian hunnies. We crackin' open some N'Ice Chouffe bitches!

A: Liquid rust with a sandy bottom. Like staring into a aquarium of dead fishes. You don't know what you're in store for. Oh snap, is something moving around down there?
S: Liquid dish soap. I tried to blow bubbles....not the monkey.
T: Not as good as the original...but, you gotta get that last pour. Was worth the wait....well, not really.
M: Very light off the back end. Almost feels like it's stealing my soul as I pull away from the glass. Bizarre.
O: There are handfuls of better Christmas ales out there. Ask Santa for a better gift.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage.
Poured into a glass goblet. Pours dark brown with the color and texture of gulden draak vintage. The head quickly dissipates into a thin ring. The nose is spicy and of slight dark fruit. Raisin and date. Taste is a similar to gulden, but with more spice and less strength. dark fruit flavors with some orane and spice flavoring. slight hop finish, aftertaste fades quickly. Mouthfeel is odd as it feels a little overcarbonated and quite thin. Drinkability would be good but the carbonation makes it kind of abrasive. Good beer, would probably age very well.

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Photo of klewis
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Edition

A: Pours a dark mahoghany color with a one-finger bubbly head. Moderate lacing.

S: Phenolic with a mild baby powder smell and a bit of pepper.

T: The spices and orange peel are quite prevalent in the taste and blend nicely to create a complex, fruity taste. The flavor is sweet with a bit of heat.

M: Medium-full bodied with a typical Belgian fizziness.

D: This stuff smells awful, but other than that, not too shabby. Worth a try and perhaps worth aging.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle at kerstbier tasting at the Shack.

A - Light mahogany with 2 fingers that quickly dissipates. Little lacing left in the glass.

S - Belgian candi sugars and light alcohol. Couldn't smell much else going on in this beer.

T - Belgian candi sugars, light alcohol, caramel, and bittering hops.

M - Fairly thin on the mouthfeel, but very sharp, but not in a bitter sense.

D - Really different most Belgian dark strong ales, but good.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml capped bottle.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown which is dark, dark red, almost purplish when held to light. The head is huge, white, puffy, rocky, and never leaves. There are big dollops of chunky marshmallow floating in the rim that remains at the bottom of the glass. Lacing=awesome. Downgraded only for an abundance of suspended yeast, even in the first careful pour.

Smell: Really good. Very yeasty, spicy, and sweet. Sweet, dark fruit and a little nose- burning booze.

Taste: I think I wish this did not have "thyme and curacao peel." Definitely not the curacao peel. It is overspiced and too bitter. That really kinda ruins it. There is sweet maltiness and fruit and nice bready yeast flavors. After I swallow it and the bitterness is forgotten, I want another sip, but then I'm dissapointed again.

Mouthfeel: Good. Pretty much medium to full. Good carbonation. Creamy head in every sip.

Drinkability: So close. Leave out the spice and orange and let the beer speak for itself. As it is, its an almost. I wont buy it again.

 1,040 characters

Photo of
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opened up a 750ml bottle with cork & cage. The beer was a deep dark brown with red highlights, very clear. It produced a large, light tan head. Aroma was of yeast, spices (mint?), alcohol and cotton candy. Flavor fit with the aroma, in that it was all about sweet. Berries, grapes, some port wine character. The finish had a bit of an acidic bite to it and a lingering sweetness. Body was medium to heavy, with fairly low carbonation. ABV came through hear as a warming sensation. A very complex beer, which didn't really ring my bell. I like a little bit more bitter to balance the sweet.

 589 characters

Photo of vancurly
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One inch pale beige head, caramel chestnut colour

Aromas of lemon rind, ginger powder, glace cherry. Warms to caramel, banana.

Flavours of fruit cake, dates, nuts, candied fruit.

Lighter body than expected, yet warm & sticky. Late alcohol heat.

Nice Winter Warmer.

 268 characters

Photo of ark57
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This dark brown beer is cloudy and has a spicy aroma. It is earthy from the use of thyme. It is still young and I think it would benefit from at least a year of aging. Still, if you are going to drink it while it is newly bottled, it is a good Strong Belgian Ale.

 263 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of off white, foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: An OK, but not overpowering aroma of malt, yeast, and some spices.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, some spices, and whole lot of malt. The flavor here seems awfully muted for some reason. There's an overabundance of malt (contrary to the style) and not enough of other ingredients.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A very uneven beer to say the least. Has some good qualities, but is lacking in the flavor department.

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Photo of roblowther
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Big bottle and a big glass. I'm in heaven. The appearance is reddish brown with a quickly dissipating cream colored head. The smell is sour cherries, oak, and honey. I could build a room in that smell and live in it. The taste is chocolate, licorice, and wood. Unfortunately, licorice and I are not on speaking terms. Mouthfeel is slick, nice. Overall its interesting. It has a very pronounced flavor. I'm not sure about this one but I'm not sorry I tried it.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Froathy, crackling, light brown colored head disappeared quickly leaving tiny specs of lace. Hazy dark chestnut colored beer. Aroma of dark fruit, a bit of curacao, and some chocolate malt. Dark fruits and roasted malts up front followed by a strong alcoholic flavor and a slightly bitter finish. Overall disappointing. Too much alcohol in the flavor, and the whole thing just didn't seem to mesh.

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Photo of Marq18
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured an amber color with nice billowing head

S- Smelled of spice including allspice and cardamom

T- Tasted of slight spice and nice amber malts. Alcoholic on the tongue

M- Nice thick mouthfeel that coats the mouth

Good Belgian ale but would prefer a bit more malt and a bit less alcohol

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Photo of drabmuh
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is amber and clear with a nice head of slightly off white bubbles, medium and small, that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate to low.

Not much aroma here, mild sweetness, some esters.

Beer is medium bodied and light on flavor in the front, it's slightly sweet but then I lose the beer on the palate some where. It's bland and plain, easy drinking especially considering the ABV, but I wanted more flavor.

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Photo of AndoBrew
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

*did not mind would not buy*

Appearance: If held to the light it is deep copper with a kaki colored head, if not, it looks like muddy water.

Smell:Raisins, brown shugga, alc., Hmmmm... kinda smells like a Mc with a kick.

Taste: Dissapointed, I wanted more winter and less McChouffe.. It tastes like a brown belgian. Some spices from alc. and additives, some sweet/yesty zing (like a belgian) This does taste good, dont get me wrong, I just wanted something a little more special from a good belgian beer maker making a winter beer.

Mouthfeel: Got the spritzy carbonation of a belgian, some thickness mixed with the yesty part of a belgian. I am not impressed.

Drinkability: YES! Got me here, it is drinkable, not as candy sweet as other B's and the 10% is just a face warmer, not a drinkability inhibator.

Notes: Its good, nothing wrong with it at all, I want more winter, I want more spice, I want SOMETHING that would make me buy it again. I put a bottle away to age, now I am not sure I will waste the time.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a green 750 ml capped magnum. Pours out a murky brown colour, topped by a tall cinnamon head that slowly settles to a thick frothy cap.

Potent aroma of dates and raisins, dark sugary malt.

Sweet, nearly cloying flavour profile of dark dried fruits, some very mild phenol spice. Sweetness overshadows the rest of the flavour characteristics which dampens any complexity to be found. It's not bad, but it doesn't stand out.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, smooth and silky slick, a bit thinner than I expected but it suits the flavour.

I chalk this up as a good entry level into the style, not too intimidating at all, baby steps all the way, yet still delivers the goods.

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Photo of david18
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgian Strong Dark ales are not my favorite style but this one is good for what it is and another success from a great brewery.

Aroma is of strong dark fruits with a hint of hops. The flavor is malt forward with, again, fruits and hops. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good. I would recommend this over a winter warmer or most other belgian strong darks.

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Photo of TheLiterati
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recently enjoyed a 2006 limited edition bottle of this ale, purchased at my local BevMo store. I was lured by the description of an "ale brewed with spices, thyme & Curacao peel," along with the fact that it's brewed by Brasserie D'Achouffe.

This bottle was found in the cooler at the store along with a bunch of other holiday beers. There was no way to be certain it was stored properly prior to its arrival on the refrigerated shelf, but I thought I'd take my chances.

Poured a rich brown, with a fruity, carmel nose. The very first word that came to mind upon the first sip was "soft," which for me is a bit different than smooth, but not quite flat. This bottle was a little short on carbonation, but not so much that it was undrinkable.

I expected a bigger or bolder taste - maybe more of a kick from the spices, or a little zest from the Curacao peel, but again, it fell a bit short.

All in all I think this seasonal ale is likely quite drinkable. I just think I got a bad bottle.

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Photo of Crosling
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vertical, with a 2002, 2003 and 2004 and I definately perferred te 2004, but I also hate oxidation. Dark ruby color. Very subtle aromatically, comparing multiple samples. Rich toffee and spice with a pretty overwhelming bitter and acidic flavor, along with an orange tone, which may come from spices. Musty yeast as well. Never really been to fond of it.

 354 characters

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2002 Bottle...Best before end 2007 750ml

"Belgian Ale brewed with thyme and curacao orange peel"

Odd little brew from the land of the gnomes. Pours a murky brown with a lot of yeasties. The head is a nice mocha color and maintains its shape and presence the entire session. The aroma is one that I cannot say I have come across before. A very herbal and horse blanket nose makes you wonder how it will taste. The taste is a little overpowered with the earthy, herbal presence. I like how the herbs mix with the sweetness, but it still seems a bit odd to me. The candied sugar doesn't come out until it warms up a bit. When it was just below room temp, this beer seemed to really pull together. The sweetness of the sugar balances well with the rough and earthy body. The high abv is very well hidden, but like LaChouffe, this one creeps up on you and spins your mind in circles. Drinkable....yes, but not more than a bottle here and there. I would like to taste a fresh bottle and see the difference. In my opinion, the whole thyme thing doesn't make magic for me.

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N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,150 ratings.
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