Our local vendor hasn’t carried this for a few years, but I saw that a small amount had hit St. Louis and I love this beer. I also used to sell a crud-ton of it during the Christmas season at my old store, years ago. It’s a killer value for the money, but if ya can’t get it, ya can’t get it, right?
Well, enter Mike Chappell. I begged, swore, pleaded, threatened, mighta cried a little, and he finally managed to snag us three cases out of Kansas City. Thank you, Mike Chappell! The bad news is, I’ve been meaning to get this posted all week, and now we’re down to just over a case, and that’s all that’s available (in the middle of the state!) for the season!
N’Ice Chouffe is a strong winter Belgian ale that clocks in at 10% abv and is brewed with curacao orange and thyme. The nose is malty and herbal, with a bit of spice and slight suggestion of candied orange peel. On the palate, this is dry, spicy, herbal, and slightly bitter. There are toasty caramel and toffee flavors, but the beer itself is well-attenuated and not particularly sweet. There’s some delicate bitter orange, and a stemmy herbal bitterness, along with a definite, if delicate, hint of thyme. Even though the Anchouffe beers and yeast strain are known for being spicy and phenolic (and you do get a bit of that here), the yeast presence is more subtle in this beer, with the adjuncts and the malt/alcohol balance of the beer largely defining its character. It’s unique, delicious. And it’s flying off the shelves already. This ages very well, and this batch is good through 2024….drink 2, keep 2? It’s what I do every time I can find it! At this (young) age, the herbal component is more spicy and fresh than it is 1-2 years in (which is when I’ve had it most in the past). Grab it while you can!