krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - DEC 21, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
achouffe of course has it’s cartoon mascots-- a series of not-very-cute hunchbacked dwarfish beings that appear on their labels. these belgian equivalents of leprechauns have red-tipped pinnochio noses suggesting either that they brawl a lot or that they’ve been out tapping on trees like woodpeckers. whatever their proclivities, here the pointy-nosed and red-capped gnome-lings at chouffe have much more sensitively created in the ’04 N’ice a sweet confection for the palettes of big people. by using burdens of belgian candy sugar that would bend the backs of camels-- and flavors lovingly coaxed from cookie-baked malts, one tastes the likenesses of dried fruits and fudge that would attempt to beguile and seduce both young people and hungry honey badgers. yet, those delicacies are held aloft from the innocent by the inclusion of white-hot levels of alcohol. in packaging, achouffe utilizes double-strength kevlar-coated bottle caps and champagne-grade bottles to contain the stallion instincts of it’s potent brews, and so when i opened mine, it’s pent up foam soared like a saturn five in an appetency to burst forth and to sizzle in a snifter-- and then, like a delicately coifed poodle, to be duly admired. it’s color melds yellows and baked-on browns with floaties and burnt plum tones like the bottom of a well-used crepe pan. the foam is a classic of belgian lace: it’s firm cushion of butternut micro-bubbles could be injected into walls for scandanavian grade insulation. aroma is of strawberries, baked apples and baker’s yeast, orange and maple, mint and well-steeped darjeeling chai leaves. the power of suggestion puts thyme into the mixture, but among the green-leafed herbs i’d guess tarragon and sage instead. the carbonation is fiery on first blush, but calms quickly. full-bodied with watery feel, zesty bitterness, sweetness diminishing and alcoholic effect increasing. consumed alone, after a big bottle i found that my left eye could monitor all things on the far right, while my right independently covered appoaches from the peripheral left-- while my mind took up blissful repose in the dreamy center.
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2004 bottle. Very thick and full light-brown head. Hazy / cloudy dark reddish/orange copper color. Nice-looking.
Uhh... fruity belgian aroma with some spices.
Fizzy character. Dry spicy sweet fruit and coffee (very light coffee). Brown sugar. Dry spice rack shit. Good.
Very nice complex spicy character. Nice Belgian Christmas beer.
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
From a bottle shared by Kevin. Cloudy brown body with medium-bubbled tan head. Sweet ’n spicy aroma - chocolate milk, cardomon, peach, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t identify. Very complex. Dry, lightly fizzy mouthfeel. The flavor keeps up the interesting spicy sweetness combo with milk chocolate, lightl roast coffee beans, and strawberry finishing with peppery alcohol. Bit too much alcohol in the finish for me but otherwise a fine beer.
1FastSTi (3338) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2011 2004 bottle via Kevin. Pours to a beige bubbly creamy head atop a deep woody brown. Nice lacing. The aroma is mildly malty and figgy with a Belgian yeastiness and is woody-ish. Definite Curaҫao apparent in the aroma as well. Spicy with Curaҫao. Light Belgian yeastiness. Creamy and medium-full bodied. No discernable alcohol except a light warming of the gullet. 8, 4, 7, 4, 16 = 3.9; Tap 2011. Pours to a murky brown body with a white head and awesome lacing. Aroma is dry chocolate and toasted malt. Flavor is kind of like a scotch ale with light spices and apple. Sweet and metallic. The beer was very metallic up front but mellowed as I let it sit. Lingering on the palate. Medium body. 6, 4, 7, 3, 12 = 3.2
LePoopie (151) - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2005
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Has a pretty good, sweet aroma, with some spice. Dark brown color, with a lot of head, that disappates after a couple minutes. Stronger alcohol flavor, but also sweet and with some spice. Nice body, and a good amount of carbonation. This is pretty nice.
MIBRomeo (2562) - Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
dark nut brown looking pour some nice visable carbonation w/ big off white fluffy head and nice lacing. light sweet malt aroma touch of spice and light alcohol. Good mouth feel nice coating and a smooth swallow. Good full carmel malt aroma some nice spicing and touches of plum and possibly a non sweet cherry in the finish. Alcohol is noticable in the swallow. Pretty darn good stuff though.
Thanks to Kevin for sharing.
beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - DEC 20, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sampled at a 2005 Christmas and Winter beer tasting at Delilah’s, Chicago, IL. 2004 vintage. Clear light brown strong Belgian ale having a long-lasting large white head with good lacing. No discernable carbonation. Nice sweet malt and spicy aroma. Medium bodied that starts with light sweet malt, fruity and spicy flavors. Finishes dry with light malt aftertaste. Notable alcohol warmth. This is a very good drinkable winter brew.
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 17, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma is highly spiced and tickles the nose. Dark red/brown in color with a typically thick Belgian head. Flavor is somewhat muted in the fore to be honest. far less sweet than most Belgian X-mas ales and that is nice. The fore is very mellow malts and slight spice then the finish is dominated by the bitter orange that coats the tongue. If you press your tongue hard against the roof of your mouth you’ll feel how thouroughly the tongue is coated. A decent brew with a different approache, but I have to say it wasn’t as good to me as its rating.
HenrikSoegaard (10624) - Randers, DENMARK - DEC 17, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 28, 2007 Draft at Sct Clemens.
Fantastic beer. Wonderfull head and colour. Powerfull anis aroma, lots of flavorpower, here is everything.
Bottle version: 8-4-8-4-15= 3.9
tsp (113) - DENMARK - DEC 12, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(Bottle 0,75L) Pours hazy brown, with rubyred tones. Head is beige, with quite a lot of lacing. Plesant nose, with sweet and and delicious notes of dried fruits (dates/figs) and orange peel as the most dominant. Taste harmonate well with the nose, just with notes of alcohol added. All in all a very good beer!