N'Ice Chouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

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515 Reviews
N'Ice ChouffeN'Ice Chouffe

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe
Belgium | website

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: 515 | Ratings: 1,138
Photo of BWED
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml poured into a tulip.

A- Dark chestnut, thin delicate off white head. 1/4' retention.

S- Caramel, booze, dark fruits, and toasted malts.

T- Notes of caramel. I pick up the thyme in the finish. Along with a bitter citrus peel.

M- Mild carbonation. Sweet, but dry finish. There is an herby dry feel, as well.

O- Easy drinking for a strong, and the thyme gives this thing some depth.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a cherry/chestnut red color with a light amount of haze. Upon serving there is a tiny just off white head that fades quite fast. Once the head fades, it leaves a great level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is light overall, but heaviest of darker fruit smells with aromas of cherry, plum, and fig. Along with these smells are some more Belgian yeast aromas with a yeast cake, banana, and spice smell consisting of coriander and clove . Along with some lighter nutmeg spice and a bit of a doughy smell, the overall aroma is fruity and inviting.

Taste – The taste begins with tons of sweet darker fruits that the nose hinted too, with tons of cherry and plum with a good level of fig to boot. These flavors create a strong base for the brew and persist throughout the whole of the taste. Quickly following the initial fruity taste, comes a moderate level of a yeast flavor. Mixed with these flavors are some spice tastes as well as a bit of an orange and orange peel flavor. Coriander and clove are the initial spice flavors detected, but are later joined by some flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, and a bit of allspice. While at 10 % abv,, only the tracest level of an alcohol taste comes to the tongue at the very end, and with the rest of the flavors, leaves a very pleasant fruity and more subtly, but nicely balanced spice flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner side for a brew of 10 % abv. with a carbonation level that is on the average side. The thinner body in conjunction with the barely detectable alcohol level make this one almost too dangerously easy to drink. While this may be so, the body and carbonation are very nice for the big dark fruit and moderate spice flavors and create a very nice drinking brew.

Overall – This one was a very enjoyable and dangerously good and easy to drink Belgian dark winter ale. Very tasty.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a pretty good amount of head which looks to have decent retention. The head is a very light beige/almost off-white while the body is a mix of deep amber and light chestnut brown that shows light maroon when held up to the light. There is a good amount of lacing, some sheeting.

Nose- Fairly muted but quite clean. Orange peel clean but not much else. Faint thyme, some grassiness from the bottle. Slight cloves, some brown sugar, some brown bread. All of this is very hard to detect and required vigorous swirling. As it opens up a mix of berry and cherry notes start to appear.

Taste- Lot more presence than the nose. Heavy citrus which moves into brown bread, molasses, brown sugar, and raisins. Very heavy malt bill which is almost a little too much for me. Very bright and spicy on the finish. Lots of cloves which impart an ashy to oaky hint. Some earthiness even. Definite orange peel. Some woodiness. Very cleansing and clean tasting. Candy sugar is definitely noticeable. Herbal and earthy notes from the time. Pretty much flawless but really has nothing which really interests or grabs my attention. Does lack some presence while having incredible integration and balance. Some light berry notes but nothing that I would describe as vinous really. A good, solid beer. The malt bill does begin to fade and makes this beer more drinkable.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with slight syrup to texture. Very light carbonation that still has a little bit of a zing.

Drinkability- Very easygoing and really has no indication of the heat. I had actually forgotten about it being a 10% beer until I got to this section of the review. Reasonable at around 5 bucks a bottle.

Overall- Solid, good beer which remains true to the style while making some departures. I would definitely give it a try. Sort of average for a BDSA but enjoyable nonetheless.

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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.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy brown-amber with a nice three inches of tan head that settles sloppily to an inch or so. Excellent retention; nice minimal lacing. Gorgeous.

Belgian. Orange, doughy yeast, spices, cereals. Really nice and warm smelling but not boozy or overly spicy.

Round bready flavor with lots of spice and warm malt flavors. malty up front with a warm yeastiness and some dark fruits and spices. Orange rind, cherries, nutmeg, brown sugar, licorice, rum.

Round and chewy with a warm, full body. Good and creamy with a perfect level of bubbliness. Really great.

Really tasty winter beer.
I am not much on spicy beers with lots of booze, but this one is really well-balanced and the alcohol is well-hid. Excellent mouthfeel and an enjoyable, warming drink all around.
Would have again; worth trying if you can.

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Photo of JohnnyP3
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

75 cl bottle that says best before end of 2013. Bought it a couple years ago. Pours a chestnut or walnut brown with nice pillow of off-white head that simmers down to a nice collar. Minimal lacing on glass.

Inviting aroma of sweet malts, candied fruit, dark cane sugar, fresh glazed pastries.

Taste matches the aroma. Candied fruits, pear, figs, some berries, sweet malt, caramelized sugar. Sweet and delicious. A little bit of orange peel and festive holiday spice (thyme and curaçao peel) Cannot tell this clocks in at 10% abv.

Mouthfeel is slick with a lingering sweetness. Enough carbonation to keep the sweetness in check. Moderate body.

Very enjoyable winter sipper. Has held up very well over past couple years. Warms you up while relaxing by the fire. Really hits its stride as it warms up some.

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Photo of HughinJette
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Briefly- tasted this on draft at the essen Christmas beer festival. Quite liked it, and a fan of la chouffe's output so bought a four pack of 330ml bottles (€5.95 for 4 in Delhaize, Jette) to have at home. Review based on the bottle.

Pours well. Ober's use of the word 'oily' in describing it apt. dark chestnut brown colour, very opaque.

pours nicely. Used my chimay glass as haven't had a chance to pick up one of la chouffe's nicer tuliped glasses. Solid enough head on the pour.

Great winter sipping beer, but hides its 10% ABV rather dangerously. Similiar texture to a rocheford 10, but a good deal sweeter.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

The beer is the deepest ruby brown. A tan head sits on top for a few moments before receding into an even film. No lacing.

The aroma is rich in roasted malt sweetness, cherries, and wood.

The taste is much like the aroma with a nice fruity cherry note holding most of the palate. There's a slight cinnamon element in the finish, but perhaps that's just the 10% ABV playing tricks on me.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy.

Overall, taste and smell are the best components, and that's what matters. This beer is a great holiday and winter sipper.

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

$13.99 for a 750ml bottle @ BevCo. Green bottle, capped, limited edition. 10.0% ABV. Brewed with malted barley, hops, thyme, dark candy sugar and dried orange peel.

Pours out to a hazy dark brown chestnut, forming a creamy light tan head with spritzy carbonation. The aroma is at first skunked (unfortunately). Why on earth do brewers use green or clear bottles? If you're going to do that, then wrap it in some type of protective paper. Beyond the skunk, there is a distant Belgian funk going on...a little farmhouse character on top of pineapple and mango and some requisite phenolics. The mouthfeel is crisp and deceptively light, lightened by the addition of the candi sugar. Taste begins with skunked hops, followed by a pleasant herbal yet firm bitterness, definite candi sugar, cloves, over-ripe bananas, and a lingering mettalic bitterness in the aftertaste. Somewhat similar to a Rochefort or St. Bernardus 10 but less syrupy and thick, less dark fruit. I honestly cannot taste thyme or orange peel. No fusels, no Brett, no perceptable alcohol flavor other than the peppery bitterness in the finish and the warming. Cleanly fermented.

If this were protected from being skunked, it might be a great beer. On tap, it might be a wonderful beer, but as is, it's a mediocre beer. Skunk is not something that I think the brewers would want or intend. I'm not inclined to buy it again.

Re-review 12/1/13-Now in a 11.2oz brown bottle! $4.59 at Siciliano's. Cripes this is getting expensive. Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep brown, forming a mousse-like soapy light yellow head with excellent retention and lacing. very subtle small wisps of yeast in the bottom of the bottle. Medium strong carbonation, ~3.0 carbs or so. No skunk in the nose this time, mostly dark candi sugar and a little musty basement, cloves. Mouthfeel is prickly with a deceptively light body, finishing clean and well-attenuated, making this easy to drink with no indication of it's 10% ABV. The taste is very nice...dark candy sugar, mellow bitterness, spice from the yeast sitting nicely with the orange. Leaves a delicate pils malt graininess on the tongue in the aftertaste. I can't taste thyme. No off-flavors like fusels, skunk, DMS. Much better without the skunk.
My prior review was L=4, A=4, T=4, MF=4, D=3.5. New review rated to todays beer, which is much better. I would buy this again!

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Photo of GrindFatherBob
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A beautiful ruby beer with a rocky tan/beige 2" head. Steady stream of bubbles. Smells pretty rough. Pennies, musty, and caramel. Some orange hidden under the metallic musty copper. Taste is thankfully far from the aroma. Caramel, thyme, must, orange peel definitely comes through. Big fluffy carbonation, sweet toffee finish. Overall a very nice spiced BSDA.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rustic russet brown color. The foamy cap was small and faded quickly leaving a swirling thick collar and spotty thick lacing.
In the nose I noticed a considerable sour or sherry smell. Plenty of yeast and dark fruits.
The taste was very good. The sweet and sour notes carried over from the nose but not as promident. It has a savory fell too, yeasty sugary and cloves. Plenty of flavor depth.
At 10%, didn't notice.
Like most from Achouffe excellent.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the tap into a 500mL pint glass at Stagiare's in Shanghai, China.

A: The beer is a murky reddish brown with a light tan head that was foamy and didn't last long.

S:Light aroma of fruit and maybe burnt sugar. Yeasty.

T: Slightly fruity with hints of berries. Very yeasty and Belgian tasting, like a dubbel. Good malt character includes toast - lightly bready with a hint of caramel. Comes together strongly like a caramel apple might.

Overall: A nice surprise to be found in Shanghai, but this would be a welcome sight anywhere. Refreshing but also very powerful. A good one to kick back with.

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Photo of Bisho
4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely loved this beer and so did the missus.
Had it on tap at the La Chouffe brewery whilst enjoying one of the N'Icest (pun intended) homemade lasagne's I have ever eaten!
Flavour profile was a cross between a SDA and a Belgian Quad. Bag's of flavour. So much so that I went back for seconds and thirds!
I love the standard La Chouffe and I only wish this one was as readily available for home consumption too. The brewery is too far away from Australia!!!

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Photo of puboflyons
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 75 cl. dark green bottle. Sampled on July 23, 2013.

The pour is a handsome looking deep brown-medium amber with fine clarity and a long-lasting foamy beige head. About as perfect as it can get for the style.

The aroma, while it is alive with Belgian sugars, yeast, rich roasted malts, and a few choice herbs, there was also a kind of cardboard-scent to it. It is a green bottle albeit a dark green bottle and I had cellared it in a cardboard liquor box for seven months. But the aroma was a slight letdown.

The body is a good recovery coming in as medium to bold.

The taste is quite delightful with its solid Belgian malt and sugar sweetness, well-integrated alcohol for 10% ABV, and a spicy, pungent and dryish finale. Except for the nose it was an overall enjoyable beer and I would like another.

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Photo of FLima
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with an off-white head with good retention and leaving heavy laces.
Light aroma of slightly toasted malts and dark fruits.
Sweet fruity taste, lots of matured apples, booze, wood, guaraná soda, and something herbal. Quite dry aftertaste and bitter as well.
Full body with low carbonation. Alcohol is felt but it is harmonic with the overall beer and it has a warming feeling.
Classic seasonal beer, perfect for wintertime.

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Photo of skylander7
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark amber hue, definitely big on the head that leaves behind little lacing

Smell: I'm picking up some floral and spice notes on this one.

Taste: I'm digging the complexity. Lots of different spice going on here.. a little cinnamon, the malts and the yeast come out as well. I'm picking up the thyme in the flavor here also. While there's a lot going on with the taste in terms of the malts/different spices/yeasts, I detect a good bit of balance in that I can't pinpoint one being stronger than the other. Good stuff

Mouthfeel: Creamy/richness/full body with carbonation for sure.

Overall this is a fine beer. I curious on how it will taste with some aging as I feel there's some good balance going on already. Definitely keeping one in the cellar and popping it after a couple years.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A brew I missed out on taking advantage of when I lived out west... Thankfully my BA bro joemcgrath27 was looking out for me, huge props!

A - Pours a cloudy ruby red, finger of head with some retention and no real lacing.

S - Scent is dominated by musty vineous grapes, sugary caramel, loads of candied apple, hints of cinnamon and cloves.

T - Much like the nose, the vineous grapes, caramel come through alongside candied apple, spices linger with cloves and cinnamon, hints of musty cardboard lingers on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet.

O - Incredibly smooth, ABV is non-existent and the flavour profile is incredibly well presented. Nicely balanced and insanely drinkable at 10%. A fantastic brew that aged incredibly well and I am definitely glad I had the opportunity to try it. Thanks Joe!

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Photo of jdhilt
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a five finger khaki head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Hazy amber/brown color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Light cinnamon and malty nose, flavor is dark fruit and cinnamon, warming but higher ABV is hidden. 750ml green bottle, gift, from Madden Beverage.

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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 Beer-A-Lot
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in Duvel tulip.

A - Beautiful dark ale color.

S - Didn't notice anything real special with aroma, but my sinuses might have been screwed up.

T - This beer is really N'Ice. Beautifully balanced. Alcohol was not overpowering. Smooth and tasty, yeasty, good malts.

M - Very solid and rich. Goes well with the style.

O - An excellent, although expensive ($28 for 750) beer. I made a good choice because my friend had already told the bartender (without me knowing) to put my first beer on his tab. :)

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Photo of jwhancher
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought a large bottle back before the holidays at Total Wine in DE. Poured into a tulip glass for review.

A: Appears clear amber red with nice foam that clings to the sides of the glass as the liquid lessens toward the bottom of the glass. Good carbonation.

S: Sweet & somewhat dark malts take hold. Lemon & orange peel. Light spiciness from yeast. The malts are perceived to be dark crystal. Light alcohol notes hit the nose, too.

T&M: Get the thyme in the taste with lemon, orange, and some dark crystal malts. Feels sweet with ample bitterness at the rear to backup the sweet malts. Feels medium-full. Comes off as spicy even though a whole lot of spices don't seem evident. Must be the belgian yeast coming into play. Very nice. The 10% ABV is very well hidden - a bit sneaky.

O: A nice winter beer. Thought it would be more overpowering, but it's a seemingly low-key belgian beer with nice subtle characteristics. Would definitely welcome another of these again.

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Photo of hackmann
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: rich dark mahogany with a beige head and little lacing. On the second half of the bottle (after stirring up the sediment) the body is a dark brown. The lacing is stronger on the second half of the 75cl bottle.

Aroma: very faint, earthy yeast. As it warmed sweet malty notes.

Flavors: this is a tough one; nothing standing out right away but I sure like for some reason (tasty should work). As it warms up a nice spice note develops but I don’t know if I could pick out thyme. Dusty orange peel, brown holiday nut raisin bread, allspice comes to mind with the bready note, thyme starts to show as the ale warms (halfway through the bottle), nice toasted grains, the dark candy-sugar also shows better as the ale warms up.

This is liquid holiday dark bread - with orange peel, walnut, raisin, touch of allspice in the mix and thyme sprinkled on top of the crust.

It is suggested on the bottle to serve at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I have to agree from this experience. When it was still chill from the fridge the notes were muted and they opened up as it warmed. It is also suggested, on the bottle, to enjoy after dinner.

Mouthfeel: smooth carbonation – in other words low, medium to medium-full body, full of flavors once it opens.

To the Point: I really like this ale. Top shelf stuff here. I’ll have to plan to have this in stock next year for the holidays. Hope I remember!

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Hyvee, Council Bluffs, IA
Date: Best by end 2013 (released winter 2011-2012)
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

d'Achouffe's N'Ice Chouffe is a reasonably accessible BSDA that focuses on sweet Belgian candi sugar, ethereal orange and herb flavors, and substantial plum and raisin esters. With its emphasis on smooth, sweet, and fruity flavors, this was an enjoyable BSDA that I would purchase again.

Pours a 2cm tall head of medium-sized bubbles, creating a voluminously foamy mass. Retention is about average, with the decline lasting slightly over a minute, leaving average to above-average lacing in its wake, a few large lines or spots adorning the inner sides of the glass. Body is a semi-hazy copper color with reddish tints, light bringing out orange-red hue. Carbonation is visible and appears fairly active.

The beer has an aroma of smooth, sweet Belgian dark candi sugar, caramel malts, candied orange peel, and vaguely undefinable herbs/spices. Enjoyable, deep, rich, and smooth.

In general, sweet, fruity, and smooth, this was a pleasing Belgian dark ale with little trace of ethanol after only a year of aging. Tasting opens with sweet Belgian dark candi sugar, some caramel malt, and mild juicy plum and raisin-like esters. Mid-palate continues the candi sugar and caramel malt sweetness with appearance of orange peel, herb-like characters, and continued plum and raisin esters. Back of palate remains sweet, but features a hint of bitterness with the herbal notes, and mild ethanol spiciness. Aftertaste is sweet, with lingering fruit esters, orange peel, and herb notes.

Beer is medium-heavy in body, with carbonation of medium intensity. The result is a mouthfeel that foams slightly as it moves across the palate, but never feels prickly or fizzy. Closes semi-dry, with moderate stickiness remaining across the palate.

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

BB end 2014.

Beer is chestnut brown in colour, with a moderately-sized off-white head. Head fades fairly promptly. Good lace.

Nose contains orange, thyme, yeast, bread. Smell is fairly faint.

Taste contains thyme up front, yeast, sweet bready malt, orange peel. I expected it to be fairly sweet, but it is actually somewhat dry. Spices are the most prominent flavour, but not overdone.

Medium bodied, a bit thinner than expected. Moderate carbonation. Astringent.

Overall, pretty good but not something to seek out. I am glad that the spicing is not too heavy but the other flavours are not particularly big.

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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.

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N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
91 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.
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