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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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