poured an 11.2oz bottle into an official Brasserie d’Achouffe tulip
glass. It had a best before date of 1/2016 and cost $5.99 ($0.53 per
Appearance: Brown proper color, opaque. Some carbonation visible at the
edges. Pours to an average sized, off-white, soapy head which doesn’t
completely dissipate and leaves trace lacing on the glass.
Smell: No distinctive aromas, but has a familiar Belgian scent. Light and sweet.
Taste: The label to McChouffe describes it as an "Artisanal Belgian
Brown Ale," though the label description makes mention of Scotch
influences. However, the beer itself doesn’t really have much in common
with those British Isle styles. It’s not quite a standard Belgian strong
dark ale, either. So what is it, exactly? And does it even matter? I’d
say no. The best description would be that of a sweet, well-balanced,
non-cloying Belgian brew.
The palette begins on a lightly sweet note. It reminds me of cola or
root beer but without any spiciness or cloying sweetness. There’s some
classic Belgian yeast esters in the nose and flavor in the body. Hints
of vanilla or caramel, though I wouldn’t describe it as
confectionery-like. Only mild bitterness on the backend, though the
Belgian character becomes even stronger as it finishes. Alcohol is both
subtle and supple, adding a minor warmth and balancing out the
sweetness. Not quite sweet enough to be a dessert beer, but too robust
and complex to session.
Drinkability: When I see a Belgian beer with an ABV of 8% I tend to
brace myself, though in the case of McChouffe, it really wasn’t
necessary. The mouthfeel is light and crisp with no sticky or drying
aftertaste. It’s easy to drink in bigger gulps - there’s no reason to