Chimay Grande RéserveNovember 1, 2009 Baileux, Belgium
Imported by: Manneken-Brussel Imports
Available: all states excluding MS and WV
Trappist monks in the Abbey of Scourmont, in southern Belgium, brew Chimay. As a Trappist product, the beer must be brewed inside the abbey walls under the supervision of the Trappist community, with a substantial part of the profits invested in social services.
Original gravity: 1078
Here’s a beer that’s determined to take any edge off your day—and any autumnal chill out of the air. Chimay’s “blue label” pours a hazy, brownish amber with a frothy, tan head that fades quickly to a skiff along the sides of the glass. There is a lot going on in the nose and the mouth with this beer: whiffs of raisins, apples and a suggestion of alcohol give way to similar flavors, plus figs, candied fruit and a bit of roasted malt—all with a mere hint of the strong alcohol that lies within. Chimay Grande Reserve is a classic beer to herald in the changing season.
- Lisa Morrison
Some questions have been asked about Chimay in recent years, suggesting that quality has diminished a little at this Trappist brewery as the beers have become more widely available. What I can say, on this tasting, is that Grand Réserve (or Chimay Blue) is still a remarkably fine beer, loaded with a malty sweetness that contrasts with gently earthy/woody notes, soft raisins and peppery hints of aniseed or fennel. The port-wine character discernible in older samples is yet to appear in this new vintage, but it still makes a stunning partner to a soft, tangy blue cheese.
- Jeff Evans
Lisa Morrison, aka The Beer Goddess, writes about beer whenever she can and also gets to talk about it on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide and The Book of Beer Knowledge, Jeff Evans is an eight-time editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and one of Britain's best-known beer writers.
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