Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Beer Review #16: Chimay Blue

My first Trappist ale was the La Trappe Dubbel. I bought a bottle of it in Amsterdam, and then had the Tripel on tap. When I bought the bottle, I did so purely on the merits of it's label as I knew nothing about craft beer and less about Trappist ales. So when I drank it that night, my uncle explained to me what it was, and I was intrigued. In retrospect, I regret not stocking up on the stuff, as it was readily available and very affordable, even in the small supermarket located in the centre of the completely residential suburb we stayed in. It is also with regret that I look back on the sepia-toned days of, well, one year ago, when my local Tesco sold Duvel, Chimay Premiere and Chimay Grand Réserve. In those days, I barely noticed the Trappists or the magnificent Belgian Ale as I scoured the shelves for more German Hefeweizen which, in my defence, was a noble cause. Today though, I know the value of a Trappist ale, and this was my first of the Quadrupel variety. It was brewed by the lads in the Notre-Dame de Scourmont abbey, in Chimay, Belgium. I had already tried the Premiere and the Cinq Cents before this, but had taken no notes, so I'll be having those again. As if I wouldn't have been having them again anyway... This was had my little Chimay chalice.

Quadrupel at 9.0% ABV

L: Pours a strange burnt red colour, ruby when held to the light. A one finger creamy off-white head leaves little or no lacing. A film is retained throughout. Carbonation was fairly active. Looks very good in it's proper glass. 9/10

S: Oh yes, rich fruity malty smells, dark fruits and berries, bread and yeasty smells. It's complex and it's thick, deep and inviting.. 9/10

T: It's actually quite sweet. The fruity, malty bread flavours dominate, it tastes rich, hint of toffee malt in the very front, with a very fruity finish. Towards the end, after a swirl, I got a strong and definite taste of apple. Wonderful stuff in here. 10/10

M: It's very smooth, full bodied as you'd expect, slightly dry and very satisfying. Lively enough on the tongue, and really warming with that 9% alcohol. Brilliant. 9/10

The verdict: I want more of these. I want lots and lots and lots of this to drink now, as I please, and I want just as much to cellar for the next decade or more. This is really good beer. I wish I hadn't waited so long to try it. 9/10

The Drunken Destrier score: 92/100

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