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Chimay Blue

Date: 16th August 2011

Alcohol: 9.0%

Volume: 330mL

Price: $4.95 (bottleshop), $12.50 (pub)

Manufactured: Baileux, Belgium

This is a beer that I have been trying to review for some time.  As you may have noticed I have reviewed the other two beers in the series (red and white) which I have thoroughly enjoyed.  I have enjoyed this beer in a social situation sometime back and had some great recollections of its flavour and power.

Appearance (3.5/5)

I must say that this is not the prettiest beer around in the glass.  Similar to the other two beers in the series it has a very high level of sedimentation. The colour is dark (muddy) brown with a slight amber hue.  The head pours large from the bottle but fairly quickly settles to a thin but persistent creamy yellow layer on the glass.  The bubbles are fine forming a nice foam for the length of the drink.

Nose (4/5)

The beer does not have a strong nose but still contains some detail.  I notice sweet Belgium yeast, vanilla and candied sugar scents. Very nice but not overwhelming.

Flavour (5/5)

If the nose is slightly restrained this is made up in full by the flavour which is powerful and complex.  It starts out with sweet dark brown sugar and candy flavour that is mellow and warming.  The word rich keeps coming to mind.  There are deep dark black fruits in there like blackberries and plums that build to a Christmas cake and booze hit.  The mouth feel is amazing; verging on liqueur but still has delicateness achieved by the light carbonation.

Finish (5/5)

Dark cherries that remind me of Christmas at the back of the pallet remain long after the beer has been consumed.  I have finished the beer and yet still now tasting cherries and plums.  There is warmth that is undoubtedly due to the large alcohol hit and a nice light hoppy bitter finish.

Rating: (17.5/20)

This is an awesome beer that I would strongly recommend to all.  Due to the rich flavours and big alcohol hit it is more of a drink to be had in small measure.  If you would like a change with your Christmas pudding this year, try a Chimay Blue.  I reckon the beer and pud’ would be a sensational match.  The only drawback with this beer is the appearance and I have a sneaking suspicion that the ‘Grande Reserve’ 750mL bottle would sort out some of those sediment issues nicely.

Go out, buy some, drink and if you are so inclined enjoy with a good cigar.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

Posted by on 16th August 2011 in Beer

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Chimay Tripel (White)

Date: 25st April 2011

Alcohol: 8.0%

Volume: 330mL

Price: $4.95 (bottleshop), $12.50 (pub)

Manufactured: Baileux, Belgium

This is my second adventure in the Chimay trio following on from the Chimay Red last week.

Appearance (4/5)

Golden amber in colour again with a high level of sedimentation similar to a wheat beer.  The head came out thick and creamy/ fluffy with a yellow tinge in colour.  The head is made up of superfine bubbles similar to some of the stouts but loads more volume.  It throws a crust in the bottom of the bottle that a 10 year old Barossa Shiraz would be proud of.

Nose (4/5)

The first aroma I noticed was the yeasty breadiness that I was able to pick up as soon as the crown was removed.  There is higher end sweet note (peaches/ apricots ?) but overall dominated by wheat bread and malt.

Flavour (4.5/5)

The mouth feel is just like the head looks; a full creamy silk mouth coating with tiny bubbles attacking the tongue.  The fruit is the first flavour I notice with banana and peach followed by yeast and wheat at the back of the palate.

Finish (5/5)

I absolutely love the finish on this beer.  You get bags of honey and fruit around the front of the pallet while the back of the mouth and throat gets dry hop bitterness with ever so slight alcohol warmth that hangs around. Great balance. Whoooaaa.

Rating: (17.5/20)

Pour this beer into a glass and ‘blind Freddy’ could tell you it’s a Belgian beer and not a baddy at that.  It’s a classic that is surprisingly drinkable and available which can’t always be said for the Trappiste beers.  I could easily have a Friday afternoon session on these but alternative transport would be required :-).  A great beer and leaving me looking forward to the final chapter with Chimay Blue.

 

Posted by on 25th April 2011 in Beer

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Chimay Rouge (Red)

Date: 21st April 2011

Alcohol: 7.0%

Volume: 330mL

Price: $4.95 (bottleshop), $12.50 (pub)

Manufactured: Baileux, Belgium

A while back I had a business meeting in Brussels which nicely coincided with some (not unusual) industrial action by the local airport baggage handlers.  Long and short of it; I was stuck in a Brussels airport lounge with a little spare time to taste some of the local beers.  I can’t say I remember everything I tried (Leffe among them) but I do remember leaving with the message, ‘Belgium makes a great beer, but sh*t it’s strong’.

That leads me onto Chimay which is one of the easier to find Trappiste beers that I have been dying to try in order of Red, White and Blue for some time.  I have picked up all three and over the next few reviews you will get my opinions on all.

There are only 7 breweries that are able to call themselves Trappiste that are brewed by monks in monasteries around Belgium and one in Holland. Red is the entry beer at 7% alcohol followed by White at 8% and Blue at 9%.  I would be keep to do all three in the one sitting but I feel the quality of the Blue could be a little random.

Appearance (3.5/5)

Dark red/ tan in colour with a think amount of particulates (muddy) that cloud the beer.  I am assuming this is residual yeast.  The sediment stays around for the life of the drink.  The beer pours with a nice foamy cream head that dies away over time.

Nose (4/5)

The nose is much lighter than I was expecting.  I can definitely pick up the maltiness and fruit at the front.  Other reviews refer to it as bananas but I think that it is more like caramelised bananas with a prominent yeastiness.

Flavour (4.5/5)

This is quite a sweet but controlled beer.  It is caramel in flavour (mid palate) with a slight bitterness.  The beer has a thick body about it like a wheat beer that coats the mouth.

Finish (4.5/5)

The finish has an ever so light splash of bitterness but continues with the caramel sweetness.  The slightly warm alcohol finish in the throat that reminds you this is not a sub 5% beer.

Rating: (16.5/20)

This is a lovely beer no doubt about it, but I cannot say that it is a truly great Belgium beer.  It is let down by the muddy appearance that comes from having a tan beer with heavy sedimentation.  If I was handed one of these at the start of the night I would be a happy man but I just know that better things are to come from the Chimay trio.

 

Posted by on 21st April 2011 in Beer

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