AChouffe: Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA Triple (Belgium: Abbey Tripel: 9%)

Visual: Hazy gold with a large ice cream Sunday frothy white head that was knife cut by the waitress to a smooth edge. Leaves firm lace clumps as it descends and an odd and slightly rude shaped bump of froth remained in the middle to the very end.

Nose: Crisp wheat hops, crushed gingerbread. Quite yeasty. Ice cream and a prickly feel.

Body: Crushed chives, rousing hop bitterness. Slight hop oil in texture. Slight milk behind hops. Lemon and vanilla.

Finish: Wet and bitter, lots of greenery. Chives and cut leaves. Brown bread. Low fat soft cheese traces. Passion fruit.

Conclusion:  Ordered mainly to the “La Chouffe” royal oak incident (don‘t ask), but I ended up not regretting it for a moment. This Belgium style IPA turned out to be on tap rather than bottled as expected, much to my delight.

Very fresh and light – well light apart from the massive hop kick in it.  There is a universe where that sentence makes sense I assure you.  Like the Belgium takes on stouts their Belgium IPA’s somehow manage to mix the lovely graceful Belgium notes into a heavy duty foreign style without missing a beat. In this case it’s a Belgium Triple and a craft IPA that come head too head.

It reminds me of a highly hopped version of Brewdogs Trashy Blond Monk, appropriately enough, though this is by far the superior beer.  Feels very chewy despite its smooth texture.  It won’t convert a non hop head, but it does add a significant amount to the style, a balance between hop assault and drinkability.

A good evenings slow drink, and the peanuts side snacks complemented it well, with the salt vs. hop kick a delectable contrast.

Background: Drunk on tap. The abv is approximate as I have seen several different abv’s for the tap versions listed, and the bottle version different again. Since I forgot to check at the time of drinking, I have gone for the “official” abv of 9% for the listing.

Listed as an Abbey Tripel, but as its name suggests it is a Belgium take on the IPA, a comparatively recent oddity, but one that should be encouraged.  AChouffe brewery is notable for the “La Chouffe” incident of the Royal Oak pub, from which determination to drink their ales in Belgium came from. The incident is no where near as interesting as it sounds, but we shall continue to refer to it in obscure terms to make it sound like a momentous event.

Note: The vast majority of the book in the image above is taken up with their beer list. A fine restaurant/pub of Bruges it was.