Style: Belgian dark ale
Brewery: Duvel Moortgat
As soon as I see N’ice Chouffe on the shelves of the local Systembolaget, I know it really is Christmas. Released every year, this dark Belgian ale has become one of the most prominent Christmas beers, with the large size and cartoon gnome packaging helping it to stand out from the shelf. I have had a few times before, and I know how well-made it is so I thought this would be perfect for a tasting… and it was!
This is rich brown, with a soft tan head that remained for a fairly long time. This had aromas of caramel, dried fruits, dark malt, Belgian yeast and hints of spices. The rather thick body coated the inside of the glass when swirled and when tasted revealed rich notes of currants, prunes, brown sugar, nuts, and hints of red fruit in the background. The carbonation seemed to be medium to high and it was smooth on the palate. The alcohol was very well hidden, with the 10% almost not noticeable except for a slight warmth in the chest. The aftertaste was sweet, silky and fruity, with a lingering hint of bitterness as well.
I have always liked this beer, and my opinion hasn’t changed after sampling it again. A very well-made Belgian ale, perfect for drinking at any time of the year, not just at Christmas. Although the larger size of the bottle might put some people off, it is a great sharing beer so grab a few friends and enjoy together.