McChouffe is the lesser-known sibling, and dark beer variant to the famous La Chouffe strong blonde ale.
This beer is a little nod to strong Scotch Ales, with a Belgian slant of course. It sits somewhere between a Belgian Dubbel and a Scotch Ale. The brewery calls the beer a ‘Ardense sKotch’. (There is a play on words there, but it only works in Flemish!)
It is a dark brown colour with a ruby red tinge, topped by a foamy white cap. The aroma is quite strong, with licorice and aniseed dominating the rich malt body.
To taste, the beer is much softer than the aroma would suggest. Sweet dark malts give a backbone of caramel and over-ripe fruits. The dark Belgian candi sugar really aids the colour, without the beer having too much of the roasted malt character, meaning it is softer to taste.
A little hop bitterness from the Saaz-Saaz and Styrian Golding hops lift the mouthfeel, while the flavours combine for a pleasant aftertaste.