Monday, December 30, 2013

La Chouffe

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1036) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 30, 2013
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into the official Brasserie D’Achouffe tulip glass. It has a best before date of 3/2016 and cost $5.50 ($0.49 per ounce).

Appearance: Beautiful glowing gold hue. Clear with plenty of visible effervescence. Pours to a large, white, soapy head which retains laces very well.

Smell: Strong, fruity aroma of banana and citrus, plus complementary spices and classic Belgian yeast esters.

Taste: There are certain beers the epitomize what a strong Belgian beer should be. La Chouffe is one of them. It’s delightful all around with a tasty, complex palette that’s not only delicious, but actually rather refreshing. The Belgian yeast character plays a major role in the taste of the beer, as do most brews of the variety, but it’s done pretty much perfectly here.

It begins with a clean, fruity sensation of banana, lemons and flowers. Sweet with light malty notes of honey and caramel, but in no way is it cloying. It’s balanced out by an equally robust sensation of coriander, clove and orangepeel. The yeast imparts a hint of dryness and some starch-like character, but that is quickly overshadowed by the beer’s genuine palette. It’s an interesting, and delectable, sensation of fruit, spice and citrus. I wish all the Belgian blondes were this good.

Drinkability: Like any good Belgian, the mouthfeel to La Chouffe is quite fizzy. It’s also rather light and crisp for a strong, 8% ABV brew. There is no alcohol presence whatsoever, and it’s rather smooth going down. The carbonation makes it a self-cleaning beer so that there’s no cloying aftertaste, if any at all (maybe just a hint of spice). Surprisingly refreshing for a beer of this caliber. Dangerously drinkable in hot weather. 
Grade: 10/10