N'Ice Chouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

528 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: 528 | Ratings: 1,188
Photo of ElGordo
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 750ml capped bottle into a La Chouffe tulip glass. Body is a reddish brown color with garnet highlights, topped by a smallish creamy tan head that settles to a thin, sturdy crown. Aroma of dark Belgian malt, candy sugar, dark fruit (figs), and holiday spices that become more prevalent as the beer warms up. Palate is rich and malty up front, with a good bit of candy sugar. The subtleties of dark fruit and spice emerge mid-palate, with a good bit of holiday spice coming through. The sweetness takes over again on the swallow, yielding to a nice, warming finish that's the only hint of the 10+% alcohol. Body is rich, creamy, smooth, and damn near perfect. Another excellent offering from d'Achouffe.

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

2006 vintage:
Pours a dark dark brown that contains a bit of a red color, with a smallish light tan head that recedes somewhat quickly and doesn't appear to leave any lacing. Smells of sugary malts, lots of spices, and maybe a bit of orange. Tastes of brown sugar, sweet malts, some nice mild hops, rasins, a bit of chocolate, and plenty of spices top this pleasant winter warmer. This is definitely a nice beer, it'd be a lot nicer if it was snowing outside and I'd come in from a day of skiing. That's not a knock on the beer though. Overall I'm greatly impressed with this offering and i'll be picking up a few more of these!

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Photo of phisig137
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 bottle pours a dark ruby mahogany color, with a fluffy two finger head. Nice retention falls leaving behind a blanket of foam and abundant lacing. Quite nice for something of this ABV.

Aroma is beautifully malty, with yeasty notes of dark fruit and rum. Some orange is in there as well, but not overly so. Very nice.

Flavor is very well balanced, great malt flavors of caramel and nutty toffee. Yeast esters are huge and well integrated. You can really taste the thyme on the finish, although if it wasn't printed on the bottle, I would have never guessed what it was. No alcohol presence, aside from a slight warming after a glass. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Drinkability is very good.

N'ice Chouffe is a fantastic winter warmer from a brewer that never disappoints. It is spiced, which I enjoy during the winter, but none of the spices play the leading role. Very well balanced and integrated. I think this bottle could have gone in the cellar for another year, but there is nothing at all wrong with it right now. Highly recommended for winter beer lovers.

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

2005 vintage

A: Dark chocolate brown with ruby highlights. Totally unfiltered and raw appearance. Head is towering but made up of medium sized bubbles...beige color with an amber tint.

S: Raisins, brown sugar, black cherries and dank, musty yeast.

T: Begins very malty and sweet...loads of candied figs, prunes and fermented raisins. A very strong thyme presence, but not overwhelming nor distracting. As the flavors meld, the dark fruit flavor intensify and carmelize leaving an interesting herbal almost cough syrup aspect in the mouth. Finishes dry and somewhat woody with unusual red wine aspects. Aftertaste is lingering cherry pie filling.

M: Medium with a fuzzy carbonation.

D: Nice beer. A touch cloying after a while but thats sometimes the price you pay with dark belgian ales. Not overly complex, just nice and smooth.

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Photo of dherling
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark brown with a red hue on the edge, raisin like. There'sa thin off white head that floats on top momentarily. Big huge nose, malt, alcohol, spice, orange peel. Taste is berry fruit like, with lots of malt, alcohol, spice, orange peel, and more alcohol. I may be mentioning the alcohol too much, it's actually quite balanced. Has a slick to creamy mouthfeel, and a big rip roaring finish.

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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

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Photo of stephendr
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Dull gold murky appearance – nice white head white however, the head does not last long– nose is malty , prunes , raisins , cereals , and oats , caramel , musty , and moldy very sharp – medium sweet sparkly body – initial taste is sweet then turns acidic, and malt , dried prunes , citrus flavor - aftertaste is medium with a creamy, acidic and roasted malts *2003 edition*

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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.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As my 200th review I figured this would be a good choice. I've had it on tap once and in the bottle it's just as good. Now here I am sipping a glass of this, in the opposite season of when I first tried it and I'm enjoying it every bit as much. The pour looks like a brown ale but with a velvety texture. Minor head of dense brown foam that looks like it would massage the tongue. The nose features big malt like an oscar winning actor. I get lots of caramel and brown sugar mingled with exotic spices that only a master beer craftsman could concoct. The nose really is quite unique and I wish my reviewing chops were up to doing this it's due. First in the taste dept I get a slight hint of chocolate, then caramel, an almost flat herbal taste and big alcohol that is NOT unpleasant in the least. It speaks to me and says "hey bro, let's party," oh wait ... wrong voice ... no it says, "hey bro, it's cold outside, let me help you out."
I find it invigorating. Along with this I get plenty of orangey flavor and spiciness.
The longer you hold this on your tongue exploring the flavors the more silky smooth it becomes. Nice.
I feel like I should grab several of these and have them on hand for special nights. I wish I could afford to do that. I surely would because I really enjoyed this beer. Chouffe is really a special brewery that I'm glad I've become aquainted with.

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown colored ale with a good light brown to tan colored head. This one never does really turn clear.

Scent is sweet and fruity with lots of sweet aromas. Brown sugar and black pepper are the major aromas here. Fruit aromas of cherries and figs with some grape aroma. Strong scent of vanilla and lesser scents of other spices.

Taste is sweet with a strong flavor of coriander at the beginning. Quite a spicy flavored Belgian beer to say the least. Spice flavors are pretty much eggnog spices complete with caramel flavor and Bourbon whiskey flavors. Very much a Belgian Brown Ale with Christmas Spices and this is a good thing.

Very good mouthfeel.

A good version of a beer style that works very well as a Holiday beer. If there is any flaw to the beer it is the strong coriander flavor, a beer with lots of spice simply doesn't need any.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at The Kulminator in Antwerp, Belgium.

Poured a clear, garnet color with tall, creamy, light brown foam that persisted and coated the glass. The smell was malty with hints of spices. The carbonation was biting in the nostrils. The taste was malty and fruity (oranges?) with a light sweetness and some spiciness which I could not put my finger on (coriander?). The mouthfeel was smooth though with a sharpness of flavor. The body was medium to full with good strong carbonation. Overall this beer was warming. The drinkability was good for this strong Belgian ale.

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Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large green bottle, etching tells me its best to consume this necter before 2009...woohoo 3 yrs to go...Pours dark plum amber, semi hazy with a large tan head, initially rocky then melting to a thick film and leaving classic and extensive lacing. Nose of fruits, musty malt and yeasty Belgian goodness. Tasty, strong brew, notes of alcohol, cola, Belgian yeast, dark rum, sweet cookie tastyness. Classic strong brew, get some of this Chouffyliciousness and enjoy...

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Photo of rabsten
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage, poured into pint glass. Dark red-amber. Thick head, coarse bubbles, very carbonated.

Mild malted smell. Nothing exeptional.

Taste is special. Anise or fennell in the intial stage, then a sweet maltiness, and a mild finish that leaves you wanting another sip.

Mouthfeel starts out a bit astringent, going along with the licorice-like flavor, but then rounds out into a less dry feeling.

Drinkablity. A pleasant drinking beer.

It's geared towards cold to cool weather drinking, but I've got a nice, warm spring day around me and this beer is doing me fine. I've heard the green glass on this one means it doesn't age too well, so you may want to be wary for looking this one up now. But, if you can find some that has been properly kept (mine was in the back of the fridge for 4 months, out of light's way), it's worth picking up.

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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.

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Photo of rodrot
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark reddish brown color with a fluffy one inch head. Aroma was malty and caramelly in the nose. Taste was quite alcoholic at first with notes of malt, spice, dark fruit, prunes and candi sugar. The beer had a slight hop bitterness in the finish. Overall, this beer tasted overly sweet to me and had a rather thin mouthfeel. I could barely detect the spices that are stated on the bottle(thyme, curacao peel). Drinkability was low due to the strong alcohol and excessive sweet taste. Kind of disappointing, but I guess that's part of the fun of trying new beers. Some really surprise you and others are a letdown.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious beer! Typically Belgian S. D. Ale in that it's very berry like in flavor, sweetness, tartness, and intensity. Sweetened with cotton-candy sugars, barley malt, and spices. Full and rich on the palate without becoming thick or heavy. Sweetly alcoholic, but swirled around the berry tartness. Lightly woody, musky, dates, and figs. Finishes lightly sweet, tart, and spicy. Looks very much like prune-juice, but tastes much better. A firm, rocky head tops off this juicy beverage.

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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.

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Photo of Jredner
2.92/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aroma is highly spiced and tickles the nose. Dark red/brown in color with a typically thick Belgian head. Flavor is somewhat muted in the fore to be honest. far less sweet than most Belgian X-mas ales and that is nice. The fore is very mellow malts and slight spice then the finish is dominated by the bitter orange that coats the tongue. If you press your tongue hard against the roof of your mouth you’ll feel how thouroughly the tongue is coated. A decent brew with a different approache, but I have to say it wasn’t all that great to me.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this at Tully's; hadn't seen it there before. The bottle said Limited Edition 2005. An extraordinary , complex beer. It was a medium brown color with a coffee-colored head and some nice lacing. It had a distinct spicy odor, very warm, almost like a red pepper. Tasting was a revelation. It was sweet, orange, spices, some malt, and a nice warm aftertaste. A little bubbly for my taste. The alcohol is not noticeable at first, but it certainly sneaks up on you. Be careful with it.

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Photo of bruachan
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

steve at hudson w&s had a 2003 vintage so i bought it

garnet and mahogany under a billowing creamy head that sticks some of itself to the glass

the aroma reminds me of rochefort: soft chocolate and nuttiness. fig and vinous notes dance around there too, with spice

a creamy mouthfeel reveals spice: the bottle says thyme and dried orange peel. more appears from the yeast and its relationship with the candy sugar. white pepper and a fair amount of hop flavor

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice crystl clear amber brown with an almost tan head which rose well and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was spicy and interesting with a a nice citrusy punch coupled with a strong dark fruit character. The bottle lists thyme, but the spice in the aroma came across as more of a zesty spice, probably due to some alcohol phenolics. The dark fruits were mainly raisins and prunes and were well executed.

The flavor was nicely done with a well achieved level of spice which contained a moderate citrus presence. The spice was difficult to determine and even with the thyme listed on the label was not a flavor that came to mind. The flavor contained a healthy portion of dark fruits with raisin and prune flavors which complemented the citrus and spice.

The finish was dry with a lasting spice contribution and dark fruits well done into the aftertaste. The body was above medium and the carbonation level was moderate. The alcohol barely makes a presence and only really was a factor in the aroma, even the warming after consumption was low. A very nice beer, unsure why I had not reviewed it before, but a welcomed addition nonetheless!

750 ml bottle. Limited edition 2005 on from silk screen.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Quite a nice winter warmer. Pours a deep, deep red/brown. Looks rich, with a tan head that leans toward a brownish tinge. Looks kind of like a brown ale with some cranberry juice added. The nose is, above all, sweet. I find huge molasses hints in the nose, combined with the curacao peel advertised on the label. In addition to the molasses and curacao, I found prune undertones in the nose.

The molasses and curacao take over in N'Ice Chouffe's flavor. There's an extreme sweetness present -- almost like aspertame -- that is expressed as molasses and curacao. Very few bitter notes balance out the sweetness, but the slight hop note is enough to balance the beer well. The beer itself is rather thin, but the sweet sugars in the beer give the appearance of a more substantial moutfeel.

Overall, this is a sweet, sumptuous brew that is meant to be enjoyed by itself and only once in a while. Very sweet, very heady brew. A treat, but not as good a beer as, say, La Chouffe, the flagship beer for Brasserie d'Achouffe.

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Photo of weeare138
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'04 Edition...
Appears a glowing red and amber with a nice 3 finger tan head that retains nicely and leaves bubbly chunks of scattered lacing around the glass.
Smell is of slightly earthy and caramel malts with touches of berries, lots of melted Belgian candy sugar, and some spices. Definite Chouffe yeast comes through to make for a fine winter brew.
Taste is of the candy sugar with berries, raisins, spices, and touches of spice.
Mouthfeel is subtle and sweet with a mild prickliness that is slick along the palate.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep dark brown with a pillowy beige head that falls into a thin blanket, leaves a nice lace down the glass.
the aroma is rich with carmelized malt, citrus, and unidentified spice/herb (guessing it is the thyme) with a hint of alcohol.
the flavor is heaven rich with maltiness and cirtus, thyme, candied sugars, hint of bitterness.
the mouthfeel is a little thin but that is perfect to the style.
beer is very drinkable but most enjoyed on a cold night.

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Photo of yelterdow
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Edition. Served in a Duvel tulip at cellar temperature. Bottle reads "BEST BEFORE END 2010". I will have to hoard a few of these for the years to come.

Appearance- Juicy, glorious berry red with raisin brown highlights... looks like it could be Rodenbach's heftier cousin. The explosive, four finger head pops and hisses into a thin mat floating on the surface. Lacing is moderate and sporadic, with island-like cling.

Smell- Huge, dark candy sugar and malts with alcohol-soaked spices of curacao peel and thyme. Monstrous and god-like are not overexaggerations of the aroma here... I am sitting here getting drunk off the smell. This is a winter brew built to last, and it has enough going on in the nose to probably cellar for years. If you blended a vintage ruby port with a quadrupel, this is what it might smell like.

Taste- Berry-like fruits plow through the festival of malt and spices, holding nothing back with regard to strength. Full, round, overwhelmingly huge (but not at all to a detriment) this has a balance that could be thought impossible for a beer of 10%. Of the great offerings from Brasserie D'Achouffe, this is actually my favorite.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Near perfection... Slick, rolling, and luscious in the mouth. The tiny bubbles whisk the gigantic, heavy strength of the beer elegantly down the gullet, leaving no harshness or cloying whatsoever. Each time I enjoy a bottle of this edition (2005), I walk away feeling like this beer is one of Winter's great treasures... and one to come back to again and again.

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N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,188 ratings.
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