Purists may howl but Chimay will start appearing in cans. 11.2 ounce cans…
Are bottles traditional, yes. Are they selling, not so much. And I am of the opinion that some tides you can’t fight against if you really want more people to drink Chimay. The pendulum will turn back. I have seen 12oz bottles 22oz bombers, growlers, crowlers and more in my beer life and they will come back in fashion.
The Chimay characterized “Grande Reserve” or more simply as the “Blue One” is a dark Belgian ale that was initially a Christmas beer and that the website says “improves across the years.”
Chimay goes on to describe Ol’ Blue as an “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. ”
I first reviewed this beer back in October of 2009, This is a strong beer. My glass was from a 2008 jeroboam of the Grande Reserve. Alcohol and yeast flavors dominate with a golden ale taste in the background.
How will my more educated beer palate and the cellaring in the 4+ year old beer change that initial thought?
The cork popped out of this 09 09 vintage very easily to my immense relief. Cork fighting is not fun. A little whiff of smoke twirled out of the bottle. The taste seems off here. Very light and watery. Cola caramel notes are the main feature with a lingering bubbly ness. What is throwing the taste off are some metallic notes that start small but grow on the palate. If there was more malt heft left, the discordant note may have been hidden but age has taken that out it seems. The Belgian yeast adds a little spice but more cidery notes to the proceedings.
As it warms up, the lightness and bubbles are replaced with a cloying sugary flavor. It mitigates the metallic note but now the taste is more apple / maple and a bit in the syrup side.
The Verdict? – This counts as a failure. Probably the biggest of the series. I can handle metallic but both the wateriness at the beginning or the sugariness at the ends are a big turn-off for me and I will chalk that up to age not the highly esteemed brewery.
Good ice cream much like good coffee gravitates to craft beer. Which is why you will see Scoops and Coolhaus doing beer ice creams.
Well you can add another one to the list! Quenelle which is just a few blocks from Tony’s Darts Away on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank makes three quite good beer desserts.
Chimay was a simple take with no additional ingredients at all. Just the nice taste of the beer. You got both the beer and ice cream flavors. Which can sometimes elude some desserts where the beer can get lost. Next was the peach lambic which was nice and tart though light on peach. But again definitely beer-y and I liked the sharpness of it.
The friendly folks behind the counter sensing my beer nerdiness also grabbed a taster of grapefruit pale ale ice cream which was bursting with citrus and had a touch of hops in the back. Quite refreshing.
They have other non-beer flavors as well as popsicles so check them out.
I was at Oaks Gourmet over the hill in Hollywood-ish, Los Angeles and saw this Chimay ice cream from L.A. Creamery in their frozen case. So instead of grabbing two beers, I picked up one bottle and one pint instead.
The beer really hits the tongue on the first spoonful but that shock decreases with each additional scoop you take. The texture and taste has some yogurt-y influence and once the Chimay wears down the flavor is a bit plain. (At least for a person who is more accustomed to Ben & Jerry’s)> Overall, I think it is a good representation of the beer. And I would buy a pint again though I am intrigued by their absinthe and moonshine flavors too.