Friday, December 19, 2008

Chimay Grande Rèserve

Ok, so this review will mean two out of my last three reviews are about the Chimay Trappist ales, and 4 straight Belgian style ales, but that's what I'm in the mood for as I try to expand my horizons. Don't worry, the next couple will be different, I promise. I'm becoming such a fan of the Chimays I might have to pick up one of those sweet goblets. This one comes with sky high expectations from a combination of what I've read and from my experience with the red label Chimay. I have to give a shout out to my local beer store for having these hidden gems I am starting to find there, so if you happen to be in the northern valley of NJ go to Beverage Barn in Northvale, NJ. On to the masterpiece.

Big Red approves of Big Blue

Appearance: The beer pours similar to champagne, you can hear it fizz as it builds its three fingers of head. The color is a crisp dark brown with no visibility. The head retains pretty well after a few minutes, but not as lacey like the Chimay red.

Smell: A combination of sweet malts, perfume and spicey hops, with what I swear smells like a bit of pepper are the dominating forces of the smell. I can't put my finger on it, but something in there reminds me of champagne again.

Taste: Wow. So many tastes that present themselves then disappear making it a unique experience. The spicey hops kick it off but are gone in a flash as the sweet malts take over, but just when you think its done it finishes with what can be described as roasted woodchips, almost like a dark chocolate, but with just the flavor and not the feel. Speaking of feel...

Mouthfeel: Alive and carbonated but not overly so, still relatively smooth. It feels light but heavy at the same time because of the dark malts.

Drinkability: I am probably not doing this beer enough justice, because it really is phenominal, whether you compare it to other beers of its style or to any beer. Its got many characteristics from a hoppy pale ale to a stout all combined to make a great Begian Strong Ale. Although you wouldn't know by drinking it, the 9% abv makes this a one bomber a night drink, but it is light enough where it doesn't have to end your night. In fact, if you are planning on drinking heavier stuff like stouts or porters later (like I am), you could get away with drinking it first because of its Belgian ale qualities. This one basically met all my ridiculous expectations and gets a 9.5/10 from me. I better put that goblet on my Christmas list.

Serving type: Bottle
Glass type: Duvel snifter

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

Sounds like the Dom P of champagnes, but belgian beer style. Those peppercorn hops sound intriguing and make me want to drink right now