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 ZachBCSP
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Strong, boozy, and definitely not your session beer. But the strong scent of raisins and alcohol plays nicely on the tongue and the nose. Definitely worth a try for any fan of the darker stuff.

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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]

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Photo of stephens101
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An unmistakeable Belgian fruity sweetness rises from this dark brown and crimson brew. Tastes soft with notes of currant and grain quickly enveloped by various other dark fruits and warming alcohol. Simple and brilliant.

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Photo of maxson924
2.41/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one was recommended to me from all over and I can't say I understand why. The description for this style on this site says that it can be "very bold and in your face" which is definitely true here. It's just that, in my opinion, it's true to a fault.

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

Murky, dark brown pour with a short-lasting tan head. Smells of dried fruit, spices and caramel. The taste is sweet and rich with notes of dark and dried fruit and sugar. It feels like it could benefit from a fuller body.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear brown with an impressive bubbly head. It dissipated to a thin off white ring like lace which retained until about 3/4 through the drink, after which it mostly disappeared. The aroma was my favorite. I first detected brown sugar, followed by chocolate malt, dry fruit and earthy and grassy yeast like aromas. The taste was malty sweet, fruity, spicy, and malty. Most evident was a boozy finish that was dry and felt like a rum and coke. For me the boozy element was a bit too much, which detracted slightly from the other flavors. For this reason I downgraded the taste. The feel was full bodied but mostly drinkable. A low carbonation that nevertheless stings the tongue.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Again, another solid and well done Belgian. Love the yeast flavors in this one and the addition of the spices makes this a perfect choice on a winter night.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A spicy nose carries an array of pitted fruit aromas and sweet malts and yeasty esters. It pours deep brilliant amber bordering on brown under a 2” ligntly amber tinted off-white foam cap with a very fine bead. The cap gradually collapses as the bubble gradually grow and collapse, leaving gothic lace patterns on the glass. Its spicy with a fruity malty sweetness that stops short of cloying. As it warms cherry and plum with a hint of bubble gum become more distinct and prominent with light ginger, cinnamon and a hint of anise coming into focus. The brewer has lightened the body to somewhere around medium so it drinks a lot less hefty than many 10.0% abv beers. The above average carbonation also softens this big beer. The alcohol is smooth and not hot and shows its presence with a gentle warming. An excellent choice for sitting by the fire and relaxing.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a a nice creamy off-white head that takes a long time to dissipate. The beer itself is an opaque very dark brown with hints of purple that borders on black but not quite dark enough.

The beer smell is pretty diverse. The smell has notes of Belgian sugar, dark fruits, and a bit of hops as well. The Belgian sugar is a pretty strong note and mixes very well with the other notes, especially the dark fruit. The sugar gives off a very candy note but does not detract from the beer. The dark fruit notes are primarily dates and figs. The smell also has a slight hop bitterness to counteract the really sugary notes from the Belgian sugars.

The taste is similar to the smell. The beer taste has stronger hop notes than the smell that works well to balance out the Belgian sugar notes. The Belgian sugar and malts give off a nice bubblegum flavor. The dark fruits are still there but the plum flavor is more pronounced and includes a little bit of grape. The taste also has a slight alcohol flavor as well.

The mouthfeel is heavy bodied. The body is on the lighter spectrum of heavy bodiedness, but heavy enough to know that it is heavy bodied. The drink goes down smoothly with some nice carbonation that gives it a bit of texture.

Overall, a fairly good Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I'll probably pick this up again next winter and definitely recommend this.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lot of earthy yeast is prevalent with a lingering hay flavor, almost like a dark saison, mixed with some faint fruit / coriander and caramel. Good balance and mouthfeel, but I feel it lacks a standout feature, solid all around though.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage 750 ml bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, almost opaque, deep, dark mahogany color with a full three fingers of white head that slowly dissolved away into a thick lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer. There is a very active effervesce of bubbles beginning at the bottom of the glass, and followed the curve of the glass to the bottom of the layer of head settled atop the beer.

Aroma: Ah, yes! That’s a Belgian Ale! Strong malt aromas up front, imparting notes of freshly baked bread, followed by /mixed with lots of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes, sour cherries, candied sugar, some alcohol notes as well, and of course Belgian ale yeast.

Taste: Delicious! Lots of malt up front, that quickly gives away to tons of stone fruit! Plumbs, cherries, frigs, followed by some candied sugar-like sweetness. The beer finishes with a slight sour cherry-like sweetness that’s quite pleasant. I also get a few faint notes of orange citrus. Unfortunately, I’m not getting a lot of orange or any thyme, which the beer is brewed with, (according to the label), but this bottle is a few years old, so these flavors could have faded. I really want to try a fresh bottle next winter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and with quite a bit more carbonation that I’m used to in a Belgian dark strong ale, but it’s quite pleasant. With an ABV of 10.0%, there’s quite the strong, pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is another great Belgian strong dark ale! Great flavors of fruit and malt, balanced with some subtle, pleasant sour cherry. Delicious!

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Photo of cjgiant
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated best by 11/2016:
Pours a clear brown, maybe auburn, with a decent amount of small-bubbled off-white head. The head sticks around, and laces the glass lightly. Nose is candy sugar, dark in nature: cola, molasses or dark corn syrup, cinnamon and some sort of earthy spice (nutmeg?). There is also a hint of Belgian yeast as the beer warms, adding a little fruit and spice itself, and I started getting candied orange notes when I noticed it.

Taste is quite similar to the nose. Before it has fully warned, the carbonation and alcohol sting the tongue just a tad. The base taste is a solid strong dark ale, based on other versions of the style I have had. A hint of raisin, but again, a sort of cola flavor, some notes of alcohol, and a very light yeast funk comes in to join at the end of the taste. Feel to me (perhaps due to carbonation) a bit more crackery than bready, lighter in nature than I expected.

A very enjoyable beer. The bottle indicates it has potential for aging. I might try that some day. I think this is an offering you might be able to use to introduce people to the style with its light feel and mild alcohol bite.

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

A - Semi-hazy raisin color with a toffee cream colored head.

S - Toasted toffee, raisins, bread crust, figs, dark fruit, spice, and boozy.

T - The ABV is not at all shy - present from start to finish. Toasted toffee, brown sugar, raisins, figs, banana.

M - Medium full body, velvet.

O - nice!

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a N'Ice Chouffe signature tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy brown with light to medium bubbles, caramel-white head rising thick with initial pour to just about a notch over a finger's length.

Smell: Strong grapes and yeast scent with a light hit of cinnamon. Superb.

Taste: Complex bitterness and sweetness that it's hard to differentiate if it should be complimenting the dinner or dessert. Regardless the raisin feel with cinnamon/nutmeg and a dab of honey will definitely intensify the palates.

Mouth: Medium bodied, and somewhat sticky...then again I all pairing this with high protein dinner.

Overall: I say grab it if you see it, it's a gem. I picked up a four pack and will have my second without regret. Salud!

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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.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark mahogany, little hazy liquid. Two finger high, beige, head. Lacing on the glass.

Nose: Fruit! Apples, banana, dried fruit, pears, brown sugar, dark syrup and fudge.
Taste: Coffee, butterscotch, caramel, a little bit of chocolate, banana, brown sugar, a big bit of sweetness and a bitterness that works against the sweetnees - Great!
Palate: Carbonation that tickles the mouth and great body with a bitterness that just push the sweetness away.

ABV: 10 % - I would NEVER guess! A great Christmasbeer! BUY IT NOW!

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Photo of jonb5
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

300ml bottle, poured into La Chouffe tulip.

A: Very dark ruby, on the way to being opaque, small head, morphed into lid of film which was keen to stay around.

S: Yeasty cranberry, was typical of the La Chouffe beers I’ve sampled and enjoyed.

T: Lots of cranberry upfront, somemolasses. Finished with some real musty yeastiness.

M: Very smooth and light bodied for the high alcohol content, creamy texture.

O: I can’t believe it had 10% abv, didn’t stray from the La Chouffe prototype, a winner, thumbs up from me.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Back label says Best Before End 11 2016.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Dark bread, booze, some spice and it's a bit sweet.

T- Very complex with some Belgian candi sugar, more spice and a nice yeasty quality. Alcohol isn't as apparent as in the aroma. Slightly sweet exhibiting some caramel, heavy plum and raisin. The booze eventually sets in after mulitiple sips.

M- Sharp from the alcohol with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A nice sipper for sure with lots of dark fruit and each element nicely balanced.

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Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev -1.5%

A: Poured dark, almost chocolaty brown into a tulip glass and got quite a nice thick creamy white head. It's snowing pretty hard right now in my neck of the woods and I'm reminded of hot cocoa topped with fluffy marshmallow.

S: The nose is all that the holidays should be. Darks fruits come through strong. Raisen bread.

T: Dates, raisens, figs, and sugar plums all enveloped by doughy breadiness and classic Belgian yeast flavors. Not too sweet, but malty.

M: Nice medium to full body. Almost, but not quite chewy.

O: A real treat. Perfect sustitute for dessert, or an accompanyment.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%

- Bottle Best-before date = Nov 2016
- 11.2 oz. poured into stemless wine glass on 24-Nov-14

Dark fruits, Belgian yeast, candy sugar dominate. Notes of dark berries and hints of orange peel. Don't pick up any thyme, but it does have some light floral notes. Barley malt dominate the 2nd half and finish.

Not in the league of the top-tiered Belgian quads, but might be on the level of a fresh Chimay Blue. A little too Belgian candy cane flavor for me, but definitely respect the fact that the heat is much subdued than the actual abv it packs. Overall, a good BSDA, especially during the winter and at this price point ($4.50/bottle).

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Photo of Dope
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best before 06/16 (this just hit the shelves here).

A: Pours a dark, dark brown with a big and fizzy medium brown head. Head is soda-like and fades out almost instantly. Very little head retention and no lacing.

S: Well, nicely spiced. You can clearly pick out the thyme but I'm not sure what curacao smells like. Lots of sweet maltiness in there for sure. Kinda smells like orange peel? Maybe that's the curacao. Lightly floral.

T: Thyme up front again. Then a really nice candi sugar to sweeten it up in the middle. Sugary with a little brown sugar thrown in for that matter. Lightly spicy in the finish with a little graininess (just an illusion I'm sure). Kind of a flowery, orange flavor, especially in the aftertaste (again, I assume this to be curacao).

M: Fairly heavy mouthfeel and quite sweet. Not cloying. Very clean feel.

O: A really nice BSDA with some unusual wintery spices (not your typical cinnamon and/or nutmeg) but it works. Really nice candi sugar flavor, really clean and crisp. Perfect for today (temperature did not go above freezing all day). Clean mouthfeel lends to superior drinkability.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into my Chimay chalice, this is a deep dark mahogany brown, quite cloudy and with larger submerged particle(s), with much visible carbonation, a low off-white head, and some nice lacing walled around the glass.
Smells like banana, vanilla, nutmeg, raisin and rum with citrus. Terrific, warming nose.
Taste is more warming apple cider flavor (candied) up front, and then some sweet malts, all with a slight burning finish. Some banana esters are still there, and spice, but it comes across more so as alcohol in finish.
Drinks medium and nicely carbonated, somewhat creamy and then stinging.
I liked this, but would have liked it more if the peppery yeast esters didn't leave such a spicy dryness to it all. Maybe aged a year or two this mellows favorably, yet the label states best BEFORE 6/2016? Also, the alcohol punched through more than I like. Despite that, this was still a solid sipper that's ripe for the holidays (it's a bit early but who's counting).

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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.

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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 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.

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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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