Earlier this week, I announced my upcoming trip to Belgium with a review from one of the breweries I’m scheduled to visit, in that case: Brasserie du Bocq and their Saison 1858. Today, brewery no. 2 will be revealed: Brasserie d’Achouffe!
I’ll be spending several days deep in the southeast of Belgium in the beautiful Ardennes, a region renowned for its rolling hills and large forests. It’s also known for its folklore featuring faeries and gnomes, including our label dwelling friend from Brasserie d’Achouffe!
First brewed in 2006, Houblon Chouffe represents one of the first of the new generation of Belgian “IPA”s. Brewed with 3 hops, it’s not an imitation of English or American IPAs, but a truly Belgian creation.
Appearance: Hazy gold, white head, great retention.
Aroma: Floral, spicy, faint honey notes, lightly herbal hop character.
Taste: Light sweetness, biscuit, floral, spicy.
Overall Impression: Houblon maintains the general “bright” character of the Achouffe but adds a great hit of European hops. It’s not what Americans are used to as an IPA, but something that takes the great yeast character of a Belgian beer, and Achouffe has a great yeast strain, and combines it with some extra does of Euro hops which blend well together. There are a lot of American breweries making “Belgian IPAs” by blending American hops with Belgian yeast. Often, it doesn’t work. If you have a chance, pick up a Houblon Chouffe and let the gnome take you to Flavortown. It’s located somewhere in the Ardennes.
Availability: Nationally at better beer stores. Imported by Duvel Moortgat USA.
You can follow my adventures on:
- I’ll be using the hashtag #belitab2014 “Belgium I think about beer 2014.”