N'Ice Chouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

527 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: 527 | Ratings: 1,191
Photo of dacrza1
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: December 29, 2015... GLASSWARE: Chimay goblet...OCCASION: basking in the afterglow of The Force Awakens with a beer that has some force of its own... APPEARANCE: dark ruby brown body that reveals none of its contents... the thick, creamy brown head resembles the head of mousse, with thick bubbles wreathing the glass...a thick shade follows its crest... AROMA: ginger, anise, pepper, and vanilla roil in the citrus and pear... small hits of toasted malts work their way in--raisin and currants lastly ... PALATE: creamy, active at the throat, and long-lasting in its finish--one that coats and resounds... shockingly sippable and worth holding in the mouth, with a pleasant, almost softened cola consistency... TASTE: a light grape, vinous sauvignon , with mellow anise, malt, and dry hops that suggest orange and earthy roots...figs and dates, yes sir...slightly sour, with some fermentation making the experience a bit more complex... ...OVERALL: in a run of great strong beers--see Southern Tier's 2xmas and Corsendonk's Christmas Ale--Nice more than holds its own, it owns...as drinkable a weighty beer as one finds, with complexity and enjoyability coupling easily... had this a long time ago, then on a St Patty's Day crawl in State College on tap--and the search was over at The Hop and Vine....one bottle, and one is feeling good...

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml, BB 11/2016.

Look: Pours like many other dark Belgium ales, a hazy amber color with a beige head the quickly dissipates.

Smell: Dark fruits, some sweetness, and a little booze.

Taste: Cola up front, with some dark fruit on the finish.

Feel: Strongly carbonated, like a cola; light to medium mouth-feel, with a bit of a bite on the finish.

Overall: After having tried quite a few, I still don't understand all the fuss about Belgium beers. I get that there is some complexity to them, but I continue to enjoy many other styles of beer more. My guess (and hope) is, after a few years in the cellar, these beers must offer something else they don't offer when fresh.

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Photo of 57md
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brownish copper with two big fingers of head. The nose has that classic Belgian funkiness. The flavor profile is malty and bready but the body is lighter than I'd expect for a beer of this style.

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Photo of flipper2gv
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Murky reddish brown color with a beige head that has a nice retention and some decent lacing. Definitely some alcohol legs, which isn't super surprising considering the abv.

S: There is a decent amount of Christmas spices in this (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg). You also get the usual candi sugar, buckwheat honey, spiced bread and light candied orange peel. Quite a bit of phenols

T: Follows the nose well. Quite sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, for once. Well balanced, but not extremely interesting. Solid.

M: Very round and slightly heavy. Carbonation is deliciously fluffy. No stickiness, which is always appreciated.

O: Nothing earth shattering but a well executed Christmas beer, which tend to be usually too sweet. Get one and enjoy.

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Photo of puck1225
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap into a snifter. Rich dark brown with a thin head and decent lacing. Very nice, pleasant smell, sweet and comforting. Taste of candied fruit, warm spices and dark fruit. A very nice beer. Even my son, who recently went only for Coors Lite and Shiner Bock, likes this beer!

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 10.79/25.9 oz bottle ($ 0.409/oz) at Spec’s 14623
2014 version 25.9 oz bottle at 42 degrees into snifter; allowed to warm to 55 degrees
Aroma – spicy, some caramelized sugar
Head average (Four cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to five mm frothy ring and partial frothy layer
Lacing - none
Body – very deep red-amber, slight haze
Flavor sweet, some spiciness but not overpowering, not picking up the curacao; no malt, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl. There is a mild alcohol burn following ingestion.
Palate medium to full, somewhat syrupy, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of drmeto
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

-pours a slightly hazy ruby with a small to medium,foamy,beige head
-caramel,toffee,plums,raisins,figs,candi sugar,strawberries,banana,chocolate,cinnamon,toast
-Follows the nose plus Herbs (THyme) ans syrup
-elevated bitterniss for the style
-medium carbonation
-medium body
-alcohol noticeable
Great Christmas Ale.The Thyme isn't too in-your-face.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours hazy copper orange. It has a soft glow. Scant head of tan bubbly foam. Smells like orange and nuts. Lots of hop spice on the nose and floral. Herbal twiggy scent that is the thyme. Soft sweet malty scent , a touch of bread. Nose opens up as it warms with brown sugar. A few esters from alcohol and yeast show off that thyme and orange. Some of the bitterness in the finish is the thyme too. Carbonation tickles the finish on this beer like so many good Belgians. Soft fruity finish with the thyme and orange to linger. Boozy warmth and a little bitterness form the hops and from the thyme. Very dry and lingers with the taste of nuts and orange peel.

Outstanding beer. One of the best holiday beers I have ever had. Spirited finish. Vital, not heavy and the flavors are spiced fruit and soft sweet bread.

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Photo of Samlover55
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drink by 6/2016
11.2oz bottle in libbey tulip
L- pours a deep dark brown with a tinge of red, thin rocky head leaves a ring of lacing
S- is of dark fruit like dates and prunes , sweet candy sugar
T- same as nose, has a complex fruity taste, has a nice smooth mellowness to it as well, hides the 10% abv pretty well although it is noticeable
F- medium bodied, creamy feel to it light but crisp carbonation
O- this is my 1st Belgian Strong Dark Ale, definitely a good beer but nothing i'd go crazy for or pay $4.50 for 11.2oz bottle

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Photo of josanguapo
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. Watching Sons of Anarchy 3x05. Good in all aspects, pleasant to drink, but lacks something that make it stand out

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

on tap into snifter

A: Brown dark Amber in appearance almost no head body has good clarity

S: Almost a slight bourbon smell figs dates butterscotch

T: taste is a little more dialed back lighter hints of doughy sweet bread clove bannana a little bit of the figs and dates

M: a little thin and watery a little surprised

O: it's a good beer the nose hints at stronger tastes then it follows through with but it's has some nice candied figs and dates with just a touch of alcohol on the end. Mouthfeel was a little dissapointing

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Photo of keithmurray
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drink by date of 2016

Appearance - brown body with tan head

Smell - clove, caramel, fig

Taste - caramel, fig, clove, cola

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high level of carbonation, slight sweetness from the fig, Belgian spices on the back end, finish is slightly astringent

Overall - decent beverage here, the flavors don't 'pop' like other Belgian dark ales, but it is ok

Price Point - $5.50/11.2 oz bottle

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Photo of Whiteturtle
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Ive been dying to try this for years. Ive never been able to get my hands on it because Kentucky never received it, although they got all the other La chouffe offerings. But I'm in the Big Apple now, so lets see what these gnomes have been working on all year..

Pours a lovely burnt sienna hue. A three finger head.. with stereotypical BSDA retention. Bubbles are always visibly crawling up the sides.

Belgian yeast strain on the nose, of course. I definitely smell the orange peel that this is brewed with. I also get a dash of cinnamon and allspice, maybe a little anise. Sweet malt, burnt sugar, and molasses also get honorable mentions.

Cherry, chocolate orange, clove, and dare I say a bit of spruce?? Ill say this, this beer looks and smells a lot darker than it tastes. Only a minimal perception of spices, which I love. Dark fruits, berries, and a toasty malt finish. Beautiful

If I had one complaint it would be that it is a bit hot. The first few sips caught my throat off guard. It certainly wasn't unbearable, just a bit boozy. But thats not all bad for a winter beer huh?

So far, this and corsendonk christmas have been my favorite belgian holiday ales. Corsendonk is a little sweeter and spicier, while the gnomes came strong with malt and some bitterness to back it up. (Its probably those pine trees, those tricky gnomes). If you can find this, get it. I don't care what kind of beer you like, I don't even care if you like beer (although you probably wouldn't be here if you didn't)... this is awesome. Let the gnomes take care of you for the holidays, you won't be sorry.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle served in my N'Ice Chouffe stem at 53 degrees. 06 0217 (assuming a best by date) printed on the back label. Pours a dull mahogany hue with a dense, three inch, khaki-colored head. A delicate wavy ring of lacing is revealed as the head gradually dissipates into a one inch, rocky, cap. Nose is fairly subdued - some medical notes, perhaps anise, and figs. Taste reveals dull candied citrus fruit, medicinal phenols and christmas spice on a dark malt backbone. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an assertive carbonation, almost gassy, that leaves a residual burn at the back of the throat between quaffs. Overall, not bad - definitely a holiday beer; however, it may be a bit young. Alcohol is well-hidden but I think this one could have used some time in the cellar to even out.

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Photo of JMUduke
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled: 9/19/12 (750 ml)
Consumed: 10/5/15 (3+ years)

Look: dark amber hue, thin head with excellent retention, continuous lacing, sediment in suspension
Smell: licorice, caramel, alcohol, blue cool-aide; it does indeed smell Christmassy
Taste: biscuit, caramel, alcohol well-masked
Feel: great mouthfeel

Overall: I feel as if brew developed well over the course of 3 years, although I have no basis for comparison

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Photo of SM00TH_H0PERAT0R
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer was surprisingly fruity and sweet, especially considering it's dark color and how high the ABV is (10%). If I ever spot this on a shelf again, I could not pass it up.

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

Not sure what the bottling date on this one was but I'm pretty sure it wasn't fresh.

Dark brown with a nice head to start; the head sank to a small rim around the glass. Nose is of plums, spices, boozy alcohol, Belgian yeast and fruit cake. Taste follows the nose but is nice and sweet. This is an amazing BSDA and I need more. The 4 pack i bought was on clearance for $10!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. 2008 properly cellared bottle. Pours a very dark, hazy orange amber with a two finger light khaki head that dissipates to a thick cap, leaving heavy lacing. Lots of chunky floating particles, due to a bit of foaming agitation on pouring. Aroma of sweet malt, fresh dark fruit, milder dark dried fruit, Belgian yeast, coriander, light oxidation. Flavor is plums, apricot, candi sugar, bready malt, hints of orange, coriander summer spices, finishes with rich plum and stone fruit, coriander, light herbal bitterness, very nice. A hint of oxidation, but barely shows it has been aging for 7 years. Medium to heavy bodied with nice creaminess, great mouth feel. Delicious, which very rich fruit flavors and good Belgian yeast character. The thyme is not detectable except as a light, earthy summer herb flavor in the finish. This brewery has not been common in my area for a while, but I'm anxious now to try this side by side with a fresh one. This has truned into a nice mellow, well integrated fruity Belgian with hints of aging. Very nicely done. I'll update this with a more current vintage review when it becomes available again. Great brewery.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is why have I not had this beer yet? Really, really dangerous high octane concoction that is delicious. Does this have alcohol in it? I don't taste any. Will be having again. Simple, pleasantly fruity and very well crafted. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

33cl stubby bottle poured into a tulip glass, best before 11/2016

A- pours a deep brown color with a ruby hue, small fizzy off-white head reduces quickly to just a thin film floating on top

S- brown malts & dark bread, dark fruit (raisin & fig), brown sugar, spiced apples, Belgian candied sugar

T- mix of brown bready malt, raisin & fig up front. Spicy mid-palate gives notes of herbs, clove & cherry. Sweet and yeast finish with a fruity linger

M- medium viscous body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues to the finish

O- hides the alcohol well, plenty of dark fruit

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - dark woody brown color with a frothy tan head
Smell - toasty belgium yeast with some holiday spices
Taste - a lot like the smell but with some sweetness to it and a great malt backbone.
Feel - creamy medi full body with a slight crisp after touch of carbonation
Overall - I'm not usually a fan of spiced beers but love this one. Love the dark belgium sweet taste and the great creamy feel!

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Photo of Reidrover
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

33 cl bottle purchased from Lifesource Natural Grocers in Salem OR $3.99 { limited edition , thyme and curacao peel} Pours a cloudy dark amber colour with a large, thick and rocky lighter tan head. Slightly spicy malty aromas..spices are peppery and deep burned orange peel..nice / Smooth taste..malty, dark fruits and smooth "tablet" ( Scottish sweet similar to dulce de leche)...no sign of the 10% alc Brilliant smooth creamy mouth feel..touch of herb maybe the thyme in the after taste. Super tasty winter sipper

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Photo of IPA1978
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L- cola soda with fair head and lace, good for the style.

S-dark fruit, carmel, straw like must and spice.

T- nice raisin, molasses, phenolic yeast, a touch of spice and sweetness. Could not specifically pick out the thyme.

M- light velvety carbonation but a bit thin in the finish.

O- similar to chimay blue but a bit on the quad side instead of strong dark. Loved it and at 10.99 a 4 pack stock up.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one pours with the appears a vary cloudy and dark iced tea color that has an off white to tan head that rich and pillowy and settles very slow leaving a rich curtain like lacing down the glass.

The nose is delicious with a combination of citrus and bread dominating the floral and alcohol that floats on a subtle bed of coriander, cardamon, nutmeg, and pine.

The taste is spectacular and rich. While it has a very high alcohol content the taste is not dominated by it, it enhances it. The flavors are a well blended citrus, bread and floral explosion of complexity that coats the palate is beer-gasmic awesomeness. the tastiness and flavors of spice are just amazing and perfect.

The moutfeel is super rich and just right for the style.

Overall this is an exceptional beet and extremely enjoyable. I highly recommend it as it is a beer-gasm ina bottle.

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Head small, fairly persistent, light beige.
The aroma is festive, winter or cloves, dried or fried plum and maybe a little orange peel.
Slightly alcoholic flavor, very pleasant, gentian clear, also nice. The taste is dominated by plums and spices. Over time, alcohol becomes more intense, not discarded. All very well composed, beer sensational "drinkable". I highly recommend.

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N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,191 ratings.
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