Posts Tagged ‘Chimay’

12 Beers of X-Mas: Chimay Grande Réserve

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

The blue cap Chimay was first brewed as a Christmas beer, but due to popular demand it is now available year-round. The Grande Réserve is a fine example of an abbey quad, one of few brewed by actual monks.Chimay Blue Before my recent move to New York I had a beautiful Chimay glass, tuned to ring at the pitch of the Scourmont Abbey bells (see it here and here).

The Grande Réserve pours a hazy deep chestnut brown. The straw-colored head is creamy and thick, but doesn’t last long enough. The nose is round, sweet, and almost vinous. Dark fruit like prunes and brandy compliment the caramel and chocolate notes. There is a faint hint of hazelnut.

The flavor is rich. Alcoholic warming supports caramel, dates, prunes, and walnuts. A bit of a spiciness, probably also from the alcohol, might be described as pepper halfway to anise. The body is significant, but remains dry, and the lively carbonation and alcohol keep this beer remarkably drinkable. Have it today, or cellar it for years.

+Chimay Grande Réserve

4.2 (4-8-8-4-18)

Chimay Red Label

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

The Chimay Brewery, one of the seven surviving Trappist breweries, is located within the walls of Scourmont Abbey in the village of Chimay, Belgium. Their red label is officially called Première to reflect the fact that it was the first (and, for many years, the only) beer brewed by the monks of Chimay. Chimay PremiereIn addition to their great beers these monks make a variety of tasty cheeses. The red label is usually classified as a Belgian dubbel due to its dark color and malt character.

Première pours a very hazy cidery reddish-brown. The creamy off-white head doesn’t last nearly long enough. The nose is light and dry, with just a bit of malt caramel. A hint of fermentation fruitiness comes through as apricots and pears.

The flavor is dry and lively as well. The malt and yeast flavors are tantalizingly delicate. Toasty, lightly fruity, and a bit dusty. Very active carbonation. This is a remarkably smooth and light beer at 7% alcohol: drinkable yet complex.

+Chimay Première

3.5 (3-7-7-4-14)