Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue)

As I sit here I cannot help be feel a bit of frustration. Not due to alcohol, my goodness what blasphemy that would be! No, I am amiss because the episode of Conan last night (4-20-11) has not yet been uploaded to the web. Usually they post around 4:00pm EST and I had quite an after work routine going.
Ah well…as they say “easy come, easy go”. But do not expect an unwelcome bias due to this my faithful reader! The alcohol is cheering me up as I write this and I haven’t even tasted it yet. Today I have another Belgian. Not only is it an import, it is in fact a certified Trappist brew.

A quick Wikipedia search on Trappist yields quite a bit of information, I’ll tell you the neat bits.
There are only seven Trappist certified breweries left, Chimay is actually the example picture they have. The beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist Abbey which must be under control of Trappist Monks. So this is as genuine as you can get to having Monks brew your beer!

I picked this one up on a BeerAdvocate recommendation. After sampling Rochefort’s “number 8” I noticed Chimay was on the same list. Chimay, apparently, is widely known. The brewery has been brewing since 1862, and making cheese since 1876! They still do both, offering 4 types of brew and 4 types of cheese. Now that’s classy!

The Blue is a Strong Dark Belgian, right up my alley. It pours exceedingly smoothly (maybe some grammar genius can correct that phrase) with a luxurious foamy head. It leaves no lacing and settles at a moderate pace, That’s a bit of a shame because I really love lacing, especially on fancy underwear.
The color is extremely close to caramel. Wow, I’ve seen darker ones that weren’t as thick however, there is no looking through this baby! That speaks a lot to me about how rich this brew is going to be, maybe I’m completely wrong though. (Not bloody likely)

Ah, one to the fun part..oh wait I have to smell it first nevermind.
Some people would “tsk, tsk” me for that last remark, ah well I’ll never hear it. The smell is abundant with different flavors. At the end is the distinct smell of alcohol. Well this is a 9% brew so that’s not entirely surprising, in fact it’s strangely reassuring to me. The beginning of the aroma reminds me of dried fruit and peppers, very unique and very light.

Ok now here is the fun part, the taste!
Wow, very complex flavor here. I taste the fruit and pepper together, it give it this nice little bite you’d never really expect that is immediately sedated. I can’t taste the alcohol whatsoever. Once again I am surprised at how well Belgian brews hide their high ABV. The body is somewhat rich with a decent carbonation. I wouldn’t say it’s bubbly but its at the point right before you call it bubbly. It really helps the flavors replace one another, a very complex taste to this.

Overall I would say this is a fantastic brew, but in my heart Rochefort 8 takes the crown still. Unfortunately, both these brews are out of my normal price range so they are nice visits once a month perhaps.
Now La Rossa…that’s another story.

Until next beer this is Brian G. signing out!

Categories: Beer, Belgian Strong Dark Ale | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue)

  1. One of my favorite beers! You nailed it in your review. I wish it was cheaper. A pint goes for $12 at a liquor store I frequent.

  2. Thanks mate, glad you liked it!

  3. Pingback: Chimay Blue (Grande Réserve) | More Beer For Me

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