N’ice Chouffe is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale that’s brewed by Brasserie d’Achouffe. For the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a tulip glass from a 330 ml bottle.
What You Need to Know
This Winter seasonal features Curaçao Liqueur blended with orange peel and spiced with thyme. This malty brew is balanced mildly with 20 IBUs and it packs a lot of warmth from its 10% ABV.
The ale pours a dark brown hue and is topped by a finger-thick cap of dense cream-colored foam that shows fair retention. The head’s reduction doesn’t leave behind any lace or residue.
The aroma is initially quite sweet with dark fruits and a hint of banana. Orange then appears and and there’s baked bread in the background as well.
The palate is led by a taste of brown bread that transitions through sweet and mellow dark fruits on its way up to a gentle bite of floral and earthy hops. The spices are there as well, thyme and pepper. And the tasting is rounded out with sweet orange.
The feel is smooth with a medium body and moderately-high carbonation. The finish coats the back of the mouth and the alcohol is drying and lends moderate warmth.
N’ice Chouffe doesn’t present quite as well as some other Belgian brews but that’s nitpicking. Its aroma isn’t particularly strong but it is quite enticing. And that earthy and spicy palate is just perfect for the colder winter months and its alcohol adds a satisfying warmth. Overall, N’ice Chouffe may not quite rise to the best among Strong Dark Ales, but it’s pretty darn good, and certainly worth trying.
Brasserie d’Achouffe recommends the following food pairings with their N’ice Chouffe: meats of braised chicory, mushrooms and tomatoes; game, stews and black pudding. Fish of oysters, smoked salmon and sushi with soy sauce. Milk chocolate for dessert.