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Chimay Blue Grand Reserve – Bières de Chimay S. A. (2011)

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20140331-104341.jpgBLC Says:
As we mentioned in our Chimay Grand Classique Cheese post, this bottle from 2011 was a gift from our friend Matt Bollerman. We hung onto it for awhile until we came across said cheese to pair it with. We took some time to try this ripened bottle of Grand Reserve (or Blue as it is more commonly known) on it’s own before we began our pairing. Here are our thoughts on the famous, Chimay Blue (thanks Matt).

Blue pours a rich, deep ruby color with garnet and rust highlights. A very thick, creamy head that is a light sand color forms above the brew. Though the head does eventually fall, leaving behind a copious amount of pillowy doily-like lacing, the cap that remains is still fairly prominent as you can see from the photograph. The carbonation is slow moving, with lots of tiny bubbles present throughout the body. Aroma-wise, sweet malty fruits that border on being candly-like are front and center, with a bit of alcohol, raisin and earthiness in the background. Hints of Belgian yeast come through as well. The taste closely follows the scent, as the base of this beer is a malt heavy body with sweet, rich accents. Raisin and dark fruit flavors are present throughout with a slight earthy bitterness emerging at the end of the sip to provide a bit of balance. There is a touch of gentle warming alcohol, but for a 9% ABV beer it is definitely on the subtle side. A full, smooth mouthfeel makes this beer feel robust without being too sweet or cloying.

What Alicia Thinks:
This is exactly what I expect when someone describers a beer as “Belgian and dark”, though Chimay has been around since 1862 so they’ve had a bit of time to establish themselves in the category. This tastes like a beer that has been being brewed for hundreds of years, if that makes sense to anyone else. It is full of dark fruit notes with malty sweetness and a nice, warming alcohol touch. The body is smooth and creamy and this to me is the perfect beer to enjoy on a colder night with a nice cheese plate (preferably with some of Chimay’s own cheese). This one is strong in both flavor and ABV, so it is not much of a session beer but it is perfect for a small pour on a more special occasion.

What Kevin Thinks:
I am very glad that my first experience with Chimay Blue was an aged botle from our friend Matt. This is a brew you can sit with and enjoy as it opens, warms and fills you with warm feelings (and alcohol). Being one of the few Trappist breweries in the world, the monks of Chimay follow strict brewing and living conditions. There is care in this beer and you can taste it with each sip. I enjoyed the dark, malty, raisin and date notes (a dark Belgian hallmark) and the supple texture of this lovely beer. Flavors and aromas ranged from earthy tobacco to cherry all in one sip, a complex brew for sure. This is a nice ale with a lovely scent, taste and mouthfeel. Way to go monks. For me this is an 8/10.

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale ABV: 9% IBU: 20 Color: Deep Ruby Year: 2011 Brewery: Chimay

The Brewery Says:
The Chimay Blue Cap, “baptized’ “Grande Reserve” in 750 ml bottles is a dark Trappist beer with a powerful aroma, the complex flavour of which improves across the years. It was first brewed as a Christmas beer, explaining the presence of a “vintage”.

This authentic Belgian beer, whose tinge of fresh yeast is associated with a light rosy flowery touch, is particularly pleasant. Its aroma, perceived as one enjoys it, only accents the delightful sensations revealed by the odour, all revealing a light but agreeable caramelized note.

It is served ideally at cellar temperature (10 to 12°C).

Written by A+K

May 5th, 2014 at 1:09 pm

One Response to 'Chimay Blue Grand Reserve – Bières de Chimay S. A. (2011)'

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  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    We need a stable and large quantities of Chimay beer,kindly contact us if you can provide.

    Sincerely

    Maria

    7 Dec 14 at 10:25 pm

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