Belgian Tripel

Chimay – Spéciale Cent Cinquante

Good evening faithful readers, and what a spéciale evening we have tonight. For on this fine Thursday vesper, I have a brew that was created in celebration of 150 years of brewing. Chimay, founded in 1862, has released a special beer for this occasion. Now if you don’t know Chimay, they are one of the seven breweries in the world that produces Trappist beer. Their blue label brew is excellent, and all of their beers can be cellared for years, if your into that sort of thing. Me…I can’t wait that long, and I live in Florida with no cellars. So…I’m gonna have to drink this one now.

Oh, she’s a pretty one all right. She’s a lovely golden color, topped with a healthy dosing of that delicious Belgian foam. She looks like rays of sunshine, cascading down from beautiful clouds, as if sent by the beer goddess herself. Her effervescence is quite noticeable as well, due to her stunning clarity. Truly, she is a worthy representation of 150 years in brewing excellence. What truly inrigues me though, is the flavor. The descriptions I read stated: “The distinctive bouquet evokes the rich fruity and complex notes of the Chimay yeast in harmony with a delicate spicy note and the fragrance of fresh noble hops.” Hops you say? Tell me more…

Well, well, the smell does tell. There’s a stark hop presence, but when I say stark, I mean that relatively. It’s nothing like the wallop of hop aroma you get from a strong IPA, this girl is much more subtle. Her aroma is a delicate balance of the spicy sweet scent from the yeast, and a lemony… almost citrus hop aroma. Now she doesn’t just stop there with the aroma, she blankets the entire experience with a health biscuity, malty backdrop. An excellent aroma for this celebration of brew. She really deserves to be tasted at this point.

Oh my…now this is a special beer for a few reasons. First of all, it’s markedly different than all the other beers from Chimay. None of them feature a crisp hop finish like this baby, it blew me away. And it’s executed in an excellent manner in regards to the entire experience. Let me take you one this ride…

It begins in very familiar territory, one filled with sweet malts, pepper, and spice. It’s an extremely welcoming place, one that leaves your taste buds swirling. “But something new is here…” you suddenly notice when you swallow. The ground starts trembling slowly, and a secret door slides apart showing you a hidden staircase in the ground. It’s covered with dark green moss and looks a bit precarious. You look around nervously, wondering to yourself what could be down there, if you should risk going, and….but then it hits you like a ton of bricks. That lemony, herbal aroma that could only come from humulus lupulus, so you run down the stairs and dive in a giant pile of hops. Then you snap out of you daydream that was caused by this brew and it’s hoppy finish.
With us again? Excellent.

Now normally I would say overall at this point…but no…this beer deserves it’s own paragraph dedicated to it’s body. And the best way to put it: It’s awesome! Seriously though, the carbonation is huge! She spits out more bubbles than Bub and Bob combined. (points if you get that reference)  It allows the flavor to mingle extremely well, and the texture it adds is fantastic. She manages to be full bodied and playful at the same time, I suppose a bit like Oprah. It’s a fantastic supporting role to the flavor of this brew, a testament to good brewing.

Overall, (now were here) this beer is nothing short of amazing. It’s a special beer from a company that’s been brewing for 150 years in Belgium and is one of the seven Trappist producing breweries in the world. Treat yourself and get this beer, the next one might not be around for another 150 years.

Until next beer, this is Brian G. signing out!


Categories: Beer, Belgian Tripel | 1 Comment

Victory Golden Monkey Triple

I was offered this brew on a recommendation from a local alcoholic I met in the beer store. He noted I was perusing Belgians and suggested this Golden beauty.
But I’m getting ahead of myself….

Victory is a brewery I am familiar with on some level. I’ve had their HopDevil IPA, I can’t remember how it specifically tastes now that I think of it. Ah well, another for the ever-growing list. It’s a good ole’ American brewery located in Pennsylvania. Ah here’s an interesting tidbit: “Founded in 1996 by Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski in an old Pepperidge Farm bakery, Victory has grown considerably and evolved well outside the traditional small market of a beer-brewing restaurant.” Something about that warms my heart, probably  just the alcohol. Alright enough research, let’s get right into it.

It pours a very light amber, perhaps one could interpret this as “golden”.  It had less than a finger’s width of head which dissipated almost immediately. The aroma brings apricots to mind, though only spices are cited on the bottle.

<Sarcasm> Upon further inspection I realize I have erroneously poured this amber beauty! This has resulted in a less than desirable head. Being the head-lover I am I will ensure this never happens again by reading the pouring instructions on each brew. If it is missing this necessary set of procedures I will write the brewery before pouring to receive proper instructions. </Sarcasm>

Yes, that is a good-natured rib aimed at breweries who print pouring instructions on their beers. Please give me SOME credit! I don’t ask for much but I believe I can pour a beer without instructions…I kid because I love. What matters is on the inside of the bottle, not the outside.

The body is excellent, smooth and silky. That’s truly a coincidence, it happens to be favorite type of body. It goes down with a clear taste, not incredibly complex or rich. The carbonation is barely noticeable which allows you to focus on the other aspects while drinking. I must say for 9.5% I can barely taste the alcohol, deceptively delicious.

I’d highly recommend this brew to those new to Belgians as it seems to have a local twist on an imported flavor. It’s not diving in head first, it’s dipping your toes in Belgians. Just remember it’s 9.5%!
Brian G – Signing Out

Categories: Beer, Belgian Tripel | 2 Comments

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