Fall and winter seem to bring some of the best seasonal beers, one of my favorite being N’Ice Chouffe by one of my favorite breweries, Brasserie d’Achouffe. I admit that I may have first wanted to try this beer because of the cute label, which features the Brasserie d’Achouffe mascots, and one of my major obsessions, gnomes, but once I had this beer I was hooked.
N’Ice Chouffe is a dark spiced Belgian beer – well technically for the beer snobs, it’s a Belgian strong dark ale. When I think about this beer, the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” starts playing in my head because this is the perfect cold weather beer and at 10% ABV, it’ll warm you up for sure. It is spiced with thyme and curacao (a fancy version of orange peel essentially) and is similar in flavor to typical Belgian beers, but has a little indescribable special something that sets it apart from the typical Belgian beer. It’s also sweet, like other Belgian beers, but not syrupy like some, making it incredibly palatable – maybe too much if you know what I mean.
N’Ice Chouffe only comes out in the winter, so every year when the weather turns cold, which may really be an oxymoron here in Los Angeles, I start looking for it. Since it’s seasonal, this beer might be a little difficult to come by, but it’s worth the effort if you can find it. Happy hunting!