Belgian Strong Dark Ale Brasserie D’Achouffe Achouffe, Belgium 10% ABV
A seasonal offering from the makers of La Chouffe, a Belgian strong pale ale, this strong dark hits all the right notes for a winter ale, while remaining superbly balanced. It pours a mahogany brown, with a fluffy head that drops off to a fine, lacy ring. In a word, beautiful. Take a moment to enjoy the funky, sour aroma of malts, yeast, and rich, winter spices before taking a sip. A hint of the dirty-laundry funk carries over to the taste, but the dominant characters are licorice, raisin, and burnt caramel riding over woody, whiskey-like malts. A solid hop bitterness comes in late, with a bit of piney astringency and drying alcohol. Despite a 10% ABV and a rich palette of strong flavors, this full-bodied, round ale is surprisingly drinkable, though it is no chugger. N’Ice, indeed. Available on tap at the Brick Store Pub.