Beer: Mc Chouffe
Brewery: Brasserie d’Achouffe
Style: Brown Ale
Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Sight: Cloudy, dark garnet body with a thick, fluffy white head.
Smell: Oh, how I welcome the return of the Belgian Ale. It smells like sweet and tangy phenols (Belgian yeast) with a light malt aroma. There are also notes of apple and metal.
Flavor: Whoa. Just whoa. This literally tastes like walking into a candy store. It reminds me of Sour Patch Kids, that really syrupy sweet fake watermelon flavor, Skittles, and an ice cream sundae with caramel sauce. And a milk chocolate bar with cayenne pepper. Time for lunch…
Feel: Thin with full, effervescent carbonation. I know that’s a weird way of describing carbonation, but it feels like drinking an alcoholic cloud. Don’t believe me? You’ll just have to try it.
Concluding Remark: I’ll start with the caveat that Brasserie D’Achouffe’s Artisinal Brown Ale is a complete singularity. It doesn’t fall into any of the categories of Brown Ale we’ve explored, or even mentioned. I know we referenced that Belgian Brown Ales exist, but we were talking about the traditional Flemish Ould Bruins–a funky, almost sour ale. This? This is a unique hybrid of the Belgian Strong Ale and…a Scotch Ale.
The McChouffe is not a product of a collaboration with McDonald’s–no, it is what the brewers at D’Achouffe call a beer “inspired by the tale of a Scottish Chouffe who along with his Belgian friend created an eccentric “new style” Scottish Ale/Abbey Ale.” While we have not covered Scotch Ales (yet!), I will say that they are known for their caramel and malty flavors (to make a vast overgeneralization). One thing Belgian Ales are NOT known for are caramel flavors, and depending on the style, a heavy malt note. So when examining the two styles that went into the McChouffe, this is quite an accurate result of what a Scotch Ale and Abbey Ale would taste like. Kudos, McChouffe! However, this is NOT a Brown Ale–only by name.
While certainly a bewildering concoction, it’s not a perfect brew. The flavors are really all over the place and it just leaves me with a generic, dare I say boring, sweet flavor. In order to be a successful Scotch-Benelux hybrid, McChouffe should search for some roasted malts. While a valiant effort, I guess this little Chouffe just got too tired on his trek across the ocean to Scotland to create a magical beer.