poured an 11.2oz bottle into the official Brasserie D’Achouffe tulip
glass. It had a best before date of 6/2016 and cost $7 ($0.63 per
Appearance: Beautiful maroon/blood red hue. Dark, but clear with plenty
of effervescence visible. Pours to an average size, ivory, soapy head
which mostly dissipates but leave a little lacing.
Smell: Standard Belgian yeast esters with aromas of flowers and spices. No alcohol, though.
Taste: When I think of the taste of a classic Belgian Christmas or
winter-style beer, the palette to N’Ice Chouffe is exactly what I have
in mind. This is a fairly typical Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but with just
a bit of added spices to make it suitable for the holidays. The taste
is similar to a well done Trappist quad, but not as overtly malty. A
tasty and complex concoction of dark fruits (cherry, plum), dried fruits
(figs, raisins) and warming spices (thyme and curaçao). The familiar
Belgian yeast character is also a major component, imparting some powder
or dough-like flavor, along with its usual cinnamon-like zestiness.
There’s hints of caramel sweetness, too, which is an added bonus.
Drinkability: Despite the cute label with gnomes, N’Ice Chouffe is a
little intimidating considering it is 10% ABV. Yet, that alcohol is not
present in the nose, palette, or body. In fact, the mouthfeel is
surprisingly thin for such a weighty beer. It’s extremely bubbly from
first to last drop with plenty of fizziness across the tongue. It’s a
tad surprising the body isn’t more robust than it is, but drinking a
beer this strong that doesn’t feel this strong is always a good thing.