I'm a fan of pretty much everything Chimay have put into my mouth (stop giggling) so when this pseudo-curiosity showed up in the Abbot's it was an easy call.
Chimay Dorée is normally reserved for the monastery or café but somehow seems to have found its way to Cork. I shan't complain. I shan't ask questions.
My first impression on the nose is of a saison without any of the farmyardy sourness, if that makes sense. It flirts with being sharp but it remains lightly grainy, coarse, and sweet with biscuit malt. There's a tentative spiciness there too, playing off some light lemongrass notes, but this enjoyable experience doesn't last too long. It loses its punch toward the finish, becoming rather tame and almost bland, but perhaps it's suffering from unfair comparisons with its three stablemates. After all, this is supposed to be easy drinking and largely inoffensive at only 4.8%, and in that regard it delivers a perfectly refreshing and tasty beer.
Beyond that, I have to wonder why anyone would pick this up over the Tripel.