La Chouffe and the FloydWing beer scale revealed

Last night I was reacquainted with La Chouffe, which as the bottle describes is brewed by Belgian Artisans.  It’s brewed in the Ardennes and legend has it that gnomes used to brew it before passing it on and is where the name came from.  The bottle explains that La Chouffe translates to “the gnome”.

I first encountered this special beer in one of the Christmas gifts that nephew #2 puts together for me from his family.  The La Chouffe in that pack was a large bottle (liter size?) which is customary for this brewery.  Only La Chouffe is available in this petite sized bottle (11.2 oz).  This is because Brasserie D’Achouffe believes in the little gnome’s magic of bringing people together to share a big bottle.  They call the petite size the “small beautiful stupid bottle” in homage to the strong individualism of many Americans.  🙂

I absolutely loved it the first time I had it years ago and when I saw it at Flick’s I had to get a bottle.  At $3.99 a bottle, one was enough for the time being.  Would my love of it fade?  Had I remembered it wrong?

Nope!  This is a good beer.  The bottle describes it as an Artisanal Belgian Golden Ale Brewed With Spice.

I forgot my proper pooring techniques in my excitement and ended up pouring the sediment into my glass.  This is a bottle conditioned ale so the yeast and spice is still in the bottle.  Oh well.  First thing you see is a beautiful brownish gold color.  Holding it up to the light shows something truly amazing.  As bubbles fritter up here and there from the bottom, almost non-moving floating particulates are suspended all over.  It’s quite a marvel to see.  Whether this is the spice or yeast, I’m not sure.  There was brownish sedimant on the bottom from my sad pour.

Upon tasting, the back edges of your tongue are assaulted with flavor.  You can taste the spice (which I later found out to be coriander) and a slight fruitiness as your tongue is bitten with every sip.  A truly marvelous beer.

I’ve thought about my new beer scale and here’s the scale unless I have some other worthy suggestions.

  • Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking – Are we sure this is even beer?  Any run of the mill domestic big brewery crap would probably be better.
  • On An Island –  Yeah, it’s beer.  You like it.  It’s better than the mass produced stuff.  You’ll visit it every once in a while or in a pinch, but you’d rather try something new or better.
  • The Dark Side of the Moon – Yumm!  Oh yeah.  This is the standard by which all beer should be judged.  This is what you want in your fridge at all times.  This is what you’ll reach for in the store when you don’t want to take a chance on something new at the moment.
  • Meddle or Animals – WOW!  Every now and then something special comes along that blows you away.  This is a hidden gem.  It brings something special that you just love.  You’d buy it all the time if you could, but that may take something away from it.

So there’s the scale I’ll try to keep to.  La Chouffe definitely fits in the Meddle or Animals category.  I’m kind of going against my philosophy here also, in that I feel I should give a beer multiple tastings (like a 6 or 4 pack) before giving my decree.  But this is an amazing beer.  And if I can only have one every once in a while, it’ll still be worth it.

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2 Responses to “La Chouffe and the FloydWing beer scale revealed”

  1. James Morman Says:

    Every scale like this is of course subjective, but I would have to say that a Miller Chill (my fav right now) is waaaaay better than On An Island. No doubt for a connoisseur like yourself it certainly would not be better than DSotM
    For this reason it might be nice once you have rated several beers that you would either need to add more albums or possibly divide said albums into songs. Naturally Echoes would be the penultimate and any song from PaCoH would be at the bottom.

  2. FloydWing Says:

    Do you realize how long it took me to come up with that scale? Because of this important work, I didn’t get what I wanted to get done today. Everybody’s a critic. 😉

    So you want me to then rank the songs on those albums from best to worst? So for your “Water with a lime” er I mean Miller Chill, I may rate it something around the On An Island – Smile range? Good heavens man, I’ll need to go underground for a year to come up with that scale.

    By the way, I found the section on Gilmour’s site about “David and Polly’s Important Stuff”. I say who gives a damn what Polly thinks. Because of her we’re a few Floyd albums short right now. And with Rick gone, I’d say that pretty much closes the book. Also saw somewhere, can’t recall where, that Nick put out a biography of PF? Hear anything about it? Any comment on those last two Gilmour DVD’s?

    By the way, forgot to mention in the review, the La Chouffe is 8% alc/volume. Another reason that it’s best to settle for the petite size, or share the big bottle. It has a way of sneaking up on you.

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