La Chouffe Blonde D’Ardenne

lachouffe_largeBrewer: Brasserie d’Achouffe, Achouffe, Belgium
Style: Blonde Ale
Alc/Vol: 8%

Description: The flagship beer of the Achouffe brewery, this blonde ale is unfiltered and re-fermented in the bottle after the initial fermentation takes place in the keg. Consistent with a Belgian-style blonde, it is malt-forward and spiced with coriander.

Tasting Notes: This beer was quite the surprise for me. Ordinarily, I expect Belgian-style blondes of this strength to be rather coarse or saccharine. However, this one was quite balanced, with relatively smooth malts, gentle traces of coriander spice and hops, and some serious notes of honey. It was more like drinking mead than ale, and definitely a good way to round out my sampling Achouffe’s regular lineup – at least those that are available here in Canada.

Appearance: Amber/orange, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malts, notes of apricots, honey, citrus and spice
Taste: Smooth malts, slight coarseness, mild tang, honey and coriander spice
Aftertaste: Lingering coarse malts, honey and spice
Overall: 8.5/10

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel

ChouffeHoublon330mlBrewery: Brasserie d’Achouffe, Achouffe, Belgium
Style: India Pale Ale/Tripel
Alc/Vol: 9%

Description: This crossover British and Belgian-style ale was brewed for the first time in 2006. In addition to employing three types of hops, which provide a marked bitterness, the beer is re-fermented in the bottle to provide its tripel strength and malt profile.

Tasting Notes: I was surprised to see the description of this beer, but I found the flavor quite familiar and enjoyable. It was a fitting example of a Belgian Tripel, and in many ways reminded me of Duvel because of its strong, slightly coarse malt flavor. However, this was rounded out somewhat by the hop flavor and what I assume is a lack of candi sugar in the fermentation process.

Appearance: Golden blonde, slightly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Coarse, grainy malts, yeast, slight sugars, hints of citrus hops
Taste: Coarse malts, yeast, mild tang, hints of citrus and hop bitterness
Aftertaste: Lingering malt and hop bitterness, citrus rind
Overall: 8/10