N'Ice Chouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
1,196 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:
Brewed with thyme and curaçao

Added by Bierman9 on 12-14-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,196
Reviews:
529
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
9.85%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
215
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,196 |  Reviews: 529
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy golden/beige color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma of spices with some sweet malt and typical Belgian yeast. Taste is quite sweet with some dominating spices and a yeasty spicy finish. I didn’t think the Chouffe yeast came out as much as it did in their other beers. Body was above average with great carbonation and no alcohol was discernable.

 411 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle aged for 1 year.

Appearance: A gentle pour into a tulip glass gave me about 1 inch of frothy foam. The body of the beer is a faintly translucent dark reddish-amber. Head retention is somewhat poor, but it's otherwise a nice looking beer.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts and alcohol are most prevalent, with notes of thyme coming through along with other more ambiguous spice aromas.

Taste: This is very malty stuff - it's sweet from start to finish, with very little in the way of bitterness or bite. The malt has a dried fruit and syrupy berry-like quality to it, and I was hard pressed to pick out any distinct hop flavors. The thyme and curacao peel are very present but nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Lower in carbonation than other d'Achouffe beers I've had, but that's not a bad thing at all. It's smooth, warming, and really easy to drink despite the high ABV and the sheer thickness of it.

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Photo of zeff80
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a one-finger, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of spice and a tad bit of skunkiness. There was a touch of breadiness, too.

T - There was a nice presence of candy sugar with some bready malt. It had some good spiciness with a touch of dried fruit.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This was a very nice tasting Belgian. The aroma had some issues but it delivered a great taste.

 530 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/24/2012. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, apple, orange peel, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, clove, molasses, brown bread, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, apple, orange peel, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, molasses, brown bread, clove, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, cherry, fig, apple, orange peel, caramel, toast, dark candi sugar, clove, molasses, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and big robustness of dark/bready malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick, smooth, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,583 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass a slightly hazy russet brown with a huge blooming light brown head that sticks like glue as it slowly settles.Very spicey aromas like that of cinnamon and nutmeg with a touch of orange and prune underneath.The orange peel in this brew show on the palate along with some phenolic yeasty spiciness and raisin but its not overly sweet,somewhat breasy mouthfeel compliments the flavors nicely.Its a beer that goes down easy but not overly big flavor wise but solid none the less.

 501 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Creamy smaller head fades semi slowly hint of lacing, semi hazy auburn tan brown color.

Nose nice Belgian dark malts, light spices, sweet malts, light booze and esters, hints of nutmeg, dark fruits, fig and nuts, molasses, dark candi sugar.

Taste is almost the same as the nose, starting with light bitter spices, light booze and esters, dark fruits and nuts, fig, raisin, etc, typical holiday spices, nutmeg, ginger, etc, dark Belgian malts, molasses, candi sugar, dry Belgian yeast, tasty.

Mouth is heavier bodied but not syrupy, decent carb.

Overall tasty, a staple for Belgian Xmas beer, great malts and fruit flavors, hints of esters and some booze, light spices, drinkable and tasty.

 693 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of chinchill
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330 ml stubby brown bottles (4 on 4 different days) date stamped best before 6/2016. Served after some warming in a Belgian snifter.

Poured, with some sediment, into a snifter or goblet. Hazy dark brown body is topped by a small semi-durable head. Splotchy lacing.

Aroma: rich, lightly sweet and very complex with a touch of alcohol.

Flavor: Rich, complex and slightly bitter. Pronounced suggestions of dark fruits including dried plums. Also a bit nutty, spicy and bready. Engaging complexity & overall very appealing flavor.

O: An Xmas ale that is neither sweet nor very spicy, but does have high, partly hidden, ABV.

 631 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours hazy reddish-brown with a half-finger foamy off-white head. The head on the beer dissipates quickly with some amount of retention and a very small amount of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma of this beer is very sweet with hints of bitter orange and spices.

T: The beer's predominant taste is that of malts and spices though there are hints of dark berries and bitter orange - the spices are very noticeable in the finish.

M: Medium bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation.

O: Very enjoyable and the taste of alcohol is nicely hidden in this beer - a good beer to enjoy over the holiday/winter season and seems like it would pair nicely with traditional American Thansgiving & Christmas dinners.

 713 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A wonderful strong dark Belgian brew. On tap at Brabant in San Diego. Big cap of foam on the dark brown beer, served in a squat d'Achouffe tulip. Delirious raisin-like taste, but just moderately sweet.

Dy yeasty tang for the finish, with a burn of alcohol. Crazy stuff. A great Christmas beer-- it's a gift of the Magi! [From notes: Dec. 29, 2014 tasting]

 357 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of dcmchew
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark copper with a very sticky one finger foam, lingering.
Smells of fruit cake, caramel, warm alcohol, cherries and spices.
Expected it to be very sweet and creamy, but surprisingly, it starts off prickly-spicy and crisp. Dried dark fruit in the background, with some crisp citrus up front (oranges, faint tangerines, faint grapefruit), more than mild acidic red apple and yellow pear, sour cherries and nice musty red grapes. Roasted malts, not so smooth, a bit rough, almost giving a sense of burnt Christmas cake crust. Sweet caramel and Belgian sugars throughout. Spicy from the yeasts, not to mention the added thyme (and curacao, weirdly, but i felt that especially in the excess booziness). So some clove, peppercorn, low cinnamon, low cocoa powder. A woody aspect to it, also. Green notes towards the end, with (tiny) hints of pine and spruce. Hop presence, a bit bitter and completing (along with the malts, especially) a not-so-great funky finish.
Booze gets a bit too noticeable later on, not well hidden. Carbonation isn't perfect, or maybe i just expected it to be lower, for a creamy, chewy body. Funky aftertaste gets even bigger, i blame the curacao (or the hops..), still i might be wrong.
Not a bad Christmas beer, but still there are a few off notes. Not so bad as to keep away from, but not in my top ten.

 1,337 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark mahogany-hued body with an inch of creamy-looking, off-white head. Very delicate, powdery lacing on the down.

Smell: Sugary, boozy nose with notes of caramel, dried fruits, earthy spices, and orange extract -- it smells like a slice of fruitcake with a shot of liquor poured over top.

Taste: Sweet mix of dark candi sugar and caramel upfront followed by dried cherries and a shot of what you'd expect raisin schnapps to taste like. Small savory, peppery hint along with a taste of dried, bitter orange peel. Light bitterness throughout. Sip of spiced wine. The alcohol particularly comes through on the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. A bit chewy, a bit sticky.

Drinkability: The drinkability for this big, warming, spiced concoction is fair. Another fine beer from a fine brewery.

 831 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

05 vintage, Pours reddish/claret in mt La Chouffe 02 new years glass witha 3.5 finger deep sand colored head. No lacing or head retention

S: Slight peppery notes up front & a hint of popsicle stick dryness. Sourness/lactic traits sneak in as well

T: Alcohol flows quickly with apple skins. Big piney/herbal hops & choclate take over as it warms. Dryness & oakyness also join the party. Lactic notes also assert along with a treacle taste (minimal).

MF: Medium bodied, but a lttle slickness.

Drinks okay despite the heft, won't lie to ya, love this brewery in my favorite part of BE& I'm not sure they can make a bad beer

 633 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Limited edition 2004. Riotously carbonated, softly glowing orange-bronze with more than a little brick red. What a spectacular color, especially when daylight is permitted entry. Due to the loud 'pffft' on crown cracking, I wasn't the least bit surprised to see a large, puffy, pale caramel cap threaten to overflow the glass. It's softly sticky, looks good as it deflates and deposits a respectable amount of frothy, bubble bath-like lace in the bargain. This is a tremendous looking BSDA.

The nose comes close to meeting the high bar set by the appearance. The first thing that hits me is a clove spicy yeastiness. Not far below that is nutty brown malt and tangy fruit. What I don't smell, amazingly enough, is alcohol. With a little more definition and a little more power...

If anyone is hanging onto a bottle of 2004 (I wasn't, I just ran across this one a few months ago), it's holding up very well. There's no hint of oxidation by my palate. I didn't taste it fresh, of course, but it's hard to believe it was any better then than it is now. I've just noticed that the fine print on the painted bottle reads 'best before end 2009'. That's about right.

N'ice Chouffe is easily the equal of McChouffe, which, along with Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, is my favorite Brasserie d'Achouffe offering. Like the best Belgian beer, it's both powerful and subtle at the same time. It isn't possible to completely plumb the depths of beer this complex, but it sure as hell is fun trying.

Spicy trumps bitter, bitter trumps sweet. It doesn't really matter to me in what order they fall, as long as the beer is this delicious. Heavily toasted barley lives alongside overripe orchard fruit. If it was sweeter, comparisons to apple cider wouldn't be out of line. The star of the show, as in the nose, is a turbocharged yeast strain that is bursting with cloviness.

For some reason, the mouthful that just passed over my taste buds reminded me of chocolate and coffee. Is there no end to the palette of flavors that are being revealed to my palate? It's a shame, but I don't know that I'm able to appreciate thyme and Curacao orange peel. I'm sure they're contributing because this BSDA doesn't taste quite like any other BSDA in recent memory.

The mouthfeel that has been provided works exceedingly well within the scope of the rest of N'ice Chouffe's attributes. It's roughly medium for the style, perhaps a shade lighter, and is carbonated enough to keep mouth interest on the high side. Yeah, like my interest was ever in danger of wandering with a beer this good.

I considered waiting until I could acquire a fresher bottle before reviewing this Brasserie d'Achouffe offering. I'm glad I didn't. This is one humdinger of a BSDA that has just enough distinctiveness (thyme and orange peel?) to make it stand out from the world-class crowd. N'ice Chouffe is a very, very n'ice version of one of my favorite Belgian styles.

 2,945 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Review from notes. Dark brown color with light brown head. Aroma is malty, not very yeast forward. Taste has yeast esters, sweetness, slightly acidic, dark fruits and some spices. Body is on the heavy side with good carbonation. One of the better belgian winter / Christmas beers.

 280 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Solid head with lasting time. Relatively light lace. The liquid is brown and very cloudy.

Pleasant darker malts with a light hop background. There's a candy sugar element to it.

Molasses sugar up front that yields to a pleasant blend alcohol, yeast and light hop. Maybe too much alcohol. There's a brandy-like element to this, with this having about the same body. Low carbonation.

Another great beer from d'Achouffe. I still prefer their IPA.

 447 characters

N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,196 ratings.
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