yeah, I don't know who told you to use champagne yeast on an ale, but they wuz wrongo-dongo. Not the right flavor profile, not at all...though it will still be beer. If you want a high-alcohol beer, then use an alcohol-tolerant strain. For the really extreme 12%+ beers, use the white labs Super High Gravity strain. But at 8.5%, there are very few, if any, ale yeasts that couldn't have handled that alone. Most ale yeasts can handle 10% or more. I have seen Nottingham handle upwards of 12%.