Brasserie d’ Achouffe
“Our brewery, founded in 1982, is nestled in the green heart of the Belgian Ardennes, and specialises in brewing high quality speciality beers. Our products are easily recognisable due to the friendly elf used to decorate the labels. Elves and other goblins are amongst the most well known characters in myths and legends from the Ardennes. Our spearhead product is LA CHOUFFE, a golden blonde ale whose freshness and fruity taste really make it stand out. Its dark sister, the Mc CHOUFFE, rightly deserves its title of ‘Scotch of the Ardennes’; its dark, full-flavoured texture is reminiscent of its Scottish cousins.”
HOUBLON CHOUFFE: 96 Points
This Triple is available year-round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The HOUBLON CHOUFFE was brewed for the first time in 2006. It is an ‘Indian Pale ale’ type of beer, with a harmonious balance between a marked bitterness (three types of hops are used to make it) and a pleasant fruitiness. The HOUBLON CHOUFFE is unfiltered, and re-fermented in the bottle as well as in the keg.”
My Description: This Belgian IPA is nicely done. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with a nice retention level and it leaves behind a respectable amount of lacing. The aroma is strong with citrus and pine hops taking center stage with Belgian yeast playing a background note. Houblon is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is delicious with bread notes and some sweetness upfront transitioning smoothly into a moderately bitter aftertaste. Pine hops and the Saaz spice notes are apparent along with a light fruit notes. More flavors develop as the beer warms adding to the enjoyment. The alcohol is nicely hidden behind the bitterness and the prickly carbonation. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled salmon, sauteed shrimp, or a heavy salad.
ABV: 9% Color: Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5/10
LA CHOUFFE: 98 Points
This Belgian Strong Pale Ale is available year round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “LA CHOUFFE is an unfiltered blonde beer, which is re-fermented in the bottle as well as in the keg. It is pleasantly fruity, spiced with coriander, and with a light hop taste.”
My Description: This is an excellent example of a Belgian Strong; the complexity of the flavors, the well attenuated body, and the high alcohol content that is beautifully hidden. It pours a large, bright white head, that has an amazing retention level and leaves behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is fresh and pleasant with notes of coriander, pale malts, light citrus hints, and minor notes of yeast spices. I love the aroma, it is very inviting. La Chouffe is medium bodied with a moderately high carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is very smooth, slightly creamy, and the flavor profile is clean and complex. Light yeast spices like pepper and clove swim throughout while light fruit notes of pears and dried orange peels add the to enjoyment. This ale has a great balance with a sweet presence upfront and a hint of bitterness in the finish. Bananas, honey, and some earthiness are also present along with a touch of coriander. La Chouffe has many flavors and none of which overpower any other making this beer extremely drinkable. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, pulled pork sandwiches, or roasted asparagus.
ABV: 8% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
MC CHOUFFE: 88 Points
This Belgian Strong Dark Ale is released year round in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The Mc CHOUFFE is an unfiltered dark beer, which is re-fermented in the bottle as well as in the keg. Behind its fruity flavour a slight hint of bitterness may be found.”
My Description: Mc Chouffe is a nice representation of a Belgian Dark but the flavors just don’t hold up as long as I would have like them too. It pours a good sized, light beige colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a respectable amount of lacing. The aroma almost smells like a fudge shop with notes of caramel, white raisins, and yeast phenols. Mc Chouffe is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors are tasty enough but I feel the carbonation is too high because it drowns out some of the notes that would otherwise come through more vibrantly. Some of the flavors in this beer include a malty backbone with notes of caramel notes and minerals. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with some yeast spice earthiness present. Overall, this is a good ale but nothing overly special. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with roasted veal shank, baked ham, or grilled game meat.
ABV: 8% Color: Dark Mahogany Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
N’ICE CHOUFFE: 95 Points
This Belgian Strong Dark Ale is released seasonally around Christmas in 330 ml. and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The N’ICE CHOUFFE is a strong dark beer that will warm you up during the winter months. It is spiced (with thyme and curaçao) and a light hop taste, a well-balanced beer. The N’ICE CHOUFFE is unfiltered, and re-fermented in the bottle as well as in the keg.”
My Description: There is a wide array of flavors in this ale and even though the alcohol is felt, the alcohol flavor is beautifully hidden making this a great choice for a Winter sipper. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head with a nice retention level and it leaves behind spotty lacing. The aroma is complex and inviting with notes of raisins, molasses, spiced orange peel, black cherries, and even dark rum. N’ice is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is just as complex as the aroma. Dark fruit notes dominate with cherry notes standing out on top of a deep malt backbone. Caramel notes along with some breadiness, raisins, and orange peel are also present. Subtle yeast spice notes linger throughout the finish and the aftertaste has a touch of bitterness for balance. Even though there is a lot going on, the beer still has a light and clean presence. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with shish-ka-bob, grilled steaks, or roasted duck.
ABV: 10% Color: Murky Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10