#168 – La Chouffe

#168 - La Chouffe

Size: 750 ml

ABV: 8 %

Any range of beers that is world famous for a little gnome deserves to have a fairy tale written about it. Please permit me the opportunity to be Hans Christian Belgianshrimper just for today.

Once upon a time in the beautifully forested swathes of the Ardennes, there lived an industrious colony of gnomes. Hidden away in the secluded hills, these small creatures were rarely seen but were able to brew enough beer to keep the entire Realm of Belgium suitably merry all year round. This golden nectar flowed directly from the sacred spring in the woods of Cedrogne where a thousand years before the Knights Templar of the Crusades had convened secretly to plan their wars. This magical place, once the highest point in the Realm, served as the font of life to its people.

Fate however was to befall this fertile place when a great plague brought devastation to the region. All the local villages rotted away through the ravages of time and neglect, while a great natural disaster caused the hillsides to implode burying alive the gnomes of Achouffe. Almost at once the magical font in Cedrogne slowed to a tiny drip as the thirsty locals queued in despair. Years later water began to seep back through the hole in the rock, and the surviving inhabitants who by now were forced to brew their own beers, began to use this sacred water in honour of the legendary gnomes.

A remarkable event happened many years after the disaster when the last remaining gnome ever seen in the Realm of Belgium had managed to escape from the rockfall under the forest. He would only get as far as the small house owned by two brothers-in-law from the village of Houffalize though. Before he drew his final breath he whispered the legendary recipe of the La Chouffe beer to the gentlemen in question. Those two gentlemen were Pierre Gobron and Christian Bauweraerts and they have remained in Achouffe ever since, drawing the water from the magical spring. That is the fable, and the rest is history.

The beer itself is a completely unfiltered golden beer which is extremely good. I had guests round to dinner and was delighted to share out the 750 ml bottle. Friends who are normally satisfied with lagers in tins were amazed that a beer could be this strong and as tasty. La Chouffe is a fruity delight, with hints of coriander, vanilla and other legendary gnome ingredients. It remains smooth and strong to the very end, and my guests were crying out for more.


Filed under 8, Achouffe, Belgian Strong Ale

9 responses to “#168 – La Chouffe

  1. signalman

    Damned right ! Its a fantastic beer and has beguiled me many times in bars here. Its so good and tasty that I invariably drink too many but it must be good beer, as the hangover never arrives !

    Draught is as good, if not better than bottled.

    Look forward to your review of McChouffe, which is usually around this season.

  2. Cheers Signalman.
    I long to try this on draft!

    You wont have long to wait until Chouffe N’Ice is reviewed (on draft at the Rake in London), however McChouffe will be a way off. I’m still catching up on beer reviews and I have never yet had the pleasure of tasting a McChouffe.

  3. Lucas De gen

    This week I finally bought three glasses of La Chouffe. This is one of my favorite beers of all time. But be carefull it might taste like a smooth beer. You tent to forget the 8%…

  4. La Chouffe is good and a tasty treat but McChouffe gives its sibling six of the best trousers down. I had one of each the other night and McChouffe was far better. N’Ice is a heavyweight and complex beer and it made for an excellent Christmas day a few years ago when I shared a couple of large bottles before dinner with my father-in-law. I wondered why we were getting on so well and then I noticed the strength…

    • I have yet to try the McChouffe. Its currently gathering dust in the cellardrobe… Funny you should mention the N’Ice, as thats next up on my review – a lovely beer especially as it was on tap !

  5. Try Houblon Chouffe if you can find it in Europe. It’s available in the US. Chouffe descibes it as a double IPA/Triple. 9%, three hops. Elixirious.

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