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N'Ice Chouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

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518 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: 518 | Ratings: 1,150
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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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a murky dark burgundy color. The head is around a finger high, and off-white in shade. Retention isn't very good, fading to a thin collar fairly rapidly. There is a bit of lacing left on the glass, though. (3.25)

Smell: This is a fairly typical Christmas BSDA, featuring a combination of dark fruits (raisins and figs) and spices (black pepper and thyme). Aromatically, it's a bit brighter than the typical BSDA, forgoing a focus on darker malt flavors like chocolate in favor of the aforementioned dark fruits and citrus peel. I'd like to say it isn't as complex as I'd like from the style, but it's still a solid nose. (3.5)

Taste: It starts off very fruity, bringing some nice flavors of orange peel and general dark fruits. On the back end, I really pick a nice thyme flavor, and even some mint. There's a nice layering effect with the malt presence, gaining more prevalent flavors of chocolate, brown sugar, and licorice upon opening up. There is a gentle alcohol presence throughout - key word being gentle. It really helps to nuance the flavors without coming off harshly. This beer is really complex beyond the means my feeble taste buds are able to discern, far more than the aroma indicated. (4)

Mouthfeel: Very airy-feeling, thanks to the massive carbonation. The latter helps to evaporate almost all of the lingering sweetness off of the palate. Despite the mild alcohol flavor, it really doesn't feel 10% at all. Because it's so fizzy, this is quite easy to drink. (3.75)

Overall: The more I drink it, the more I enjoy it. Sure, the nose was slightly disappointing, but the taste was impressive enough to compensate. The spiciness gives it a delicious twist over other BSDAs, making this one well worth my time in the future. (4)

3.84/5: Christmas in September? Sure, why the hell not!

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

A: Dark brown with a rustic cherry tinge. No visible bubbles here. Topped with 2 fingers of beige head.

S:Dark fruits, cherries, plums, a Coke like quality at first, and a frosted freezer or snowflake essence.

T: Dark fruits and cherries, the Coke comes in again, but here I get spices as well- nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom are predominant.

M: Thick but for the style slightly watered. A ton of spicy soda like carbonation.

O: Excellent brew. This is my second time having it, my first was on tap. The bottle version is more impressive in my experience. Drank in Kunming, Feb 6th, 2015.

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Photo of utfiero
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color- hazy, muck and sediment filled brownish amber. Full head.

Aroma- pear, coriander, composting fruit, and hint of tin.

Taste- starts A rather syrupy sweet strong Belgian. Starts sweet with a flat carbonated entry making the making the flavors and feel seem stale, then finishes with mild yet lackluster sweet fruity and spiced notes including pear, raisin, and cheap toffee. Given the many Belgian ales on the market, this one does not stand apart from the field. Purchased at Spec's June 2014. The bottle states "best before end 2014." We're speculating that the heavy haze and suspended chunks of muck in our bottle may have been due to heat in transport.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 6/10/14.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

N'Ice Chouffe - Brasserie d'Achouffe This Belgian Strong Dark Ale Winter Warmer smells like Malt Balls, Dark fruit, Jesus and baking bread... Very enticing~ Head lacing is infinite ... Pours a dynamic Mahogany, Purple/Brown with LOADS of floating Ingredients and a sandy bottom~ Mouthful is very rich, Creamy, yet light in density and not in the least sticky nor did it linger, leaves your palate very pleased and wanting more!~ Heavy Malt, Cinnamon, Orange Peel, Toast, Citrus, Grape/Plum, Brown Sugar, Raisin, a touch Peppery, Thyme and Curaçao Peel, Dark Candy, light Cherry, a bit of banana, just a bit of a woody taste and very much Berry~ Delicious refreshing and warms the soul! I just took another pic of the head lacing... It's literally by FAR the best I've ever seen! Thick and coats almost the whole glass~ Very pleased with this interesting, unique and complex authentic product of Belgium~ Covered the 10%ABV very well on my 2010 edition~ Hope I can find this again~ Overall 97

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

Limited edition Winter

Poured a light caramel color in a tulip with a 3F head.
Lighter than other beers in the same style.

Aroma- candy, toffee.

Mouth feel- very carbonated, perhaps more than other Belgian dark ales.

Taste: candy, some spice.

Overall: I find that the body of this beer is not as full as others in the style.
There is a bitterness in the finish, which overshadows the taste. The aroma and taste could have more candy, as brought out in other beers in the same style.

It's an excellent beer, but I am looking for more sweetness, and an aroma which is stronger.

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Photo of glass_house
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle poured into a glass chalice

Pours a murky chestnut brown with ruby highlights and one finger of frothy tan head. Moderate oily lacing with a thin collar of dark foam and a patchy cap. Smells like raisins, figs, and plums soaked in molasses and spiced rum. Wow, I think I'm going to like this...

Yep, I was right. The dark fruits make an immediate impression, but are more subtle than overwhelming. Toasty dark bread, caramel, and brown sugar balance nicely with the slightly spicy yeast esters and faint earthy hops. Mouthfeel is medium, with enough carbonation to keep it crisp and lively. Clean, dry finish. Definitely on the sweet side, but far from syrupy or cloying.

Another Chouffe masterpiece. This is probably my new favorite of their offerings. This beer is so smooth it's almost impossible to believe the 10% ABV. Glad I finally got to try this, and I can't wait to see what some time in the cellar does for a couple bottles.

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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.

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

330ml Bottle from the Palm Desert CA Total Wine for $2

Appearance – Brown colour with an above average size fizzy beige coloured head. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, grapes/raisins, caramel, spices

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and some yeasty notes. There is also some dark fruit (raisins), and a light clove/coriander spiciness.

Overall – The flavour is kind of subdued, but it's good in a way because it isn't cloyingly sweet like some other belgian darks are. A solid brew.

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N'Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,150 ratings.
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