#12beersofxmas – Day 8

Christmas is so not just one day. Today I ate yet more delicious fowl and other cold cuts, the traditional bubble & squeak, pickles and yes, even more Stilton. It’s safe to say that I’ve managed to stretch out the festivities and in a bid to keep the merriment boundless I switched-up my beer choice for Day 8 of the #12beersofxmas.

Today I opted for the strong, gnome toting, winter warming brew N’Ice Chouffe from Brasserie d’Achouffe (Moortgat), a 10% beauty boasting the classic Belgian stamp across the palate. After two days of whiskey barrel- aged Imperials from Beavertown it was a nice switch-up and proved to be, although very different, just as perfect for the seasonal celebrations. Besides, who can disregard those cute bearded fellas on the label?

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It pours with an impatient fizz, filling the glass with a dark brick-brown-amber, giving off enticing herbal nuanced aromas. Sweet plums and dates fizz and flood the palate, with bread and soft caramel washing in. There’s a real depth to the malts, the carbonation keeping them from becoming ‘chewy’. The classic Belgian flavours are all at the party, with a beautiful herbal hit in the finish from the added thyme and a dry pithy orange joins it for a final dance.

It’s said that the original recipe for the brewery’s’ flagship beer, La Chouffe (8%), was whispered into the brewers’ ear by gnomes from the Houffalize region. At an easy drinking 10%, N’ice Chouffe is leaving me with a warm glow, but I wouldn’t be surprised if gnomes made themselves (g)known…

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Day 8, so far, so good and this has proved to be one of my favourite beers of the series.

Now onto the serious stuff…are gnomes related to elves? Discuss.

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Founder and Editor of Look At Brew - a beer blog dedicated to the celebration and promotion of the modern beer scene. Contributor to Beer Imbiber magazine, Regional Coordinator for the Sussex Tryanuary campaign and founder of the Sussex Bottle Share.