Sunday afternoon’s review of last Saturday night’s beer – CHIMAY BLUE

When I tried my first Chimay last year I wasn’t that impressed. I bought a bottle of the red variety from Tescos and really couldn’t see the appeal.

Soon after this I was lucky enough to visit Brussels on a business-trip and a friend opened my eyes – he described Chimay as the most ‘authentic tasting’ of the widely available Trappist beers. Since that endorsement I have been looking forward to trying another bottle and posting a re-evaluation.

Its funny how a comment from someone you respect can cause you to question your opinions. Its one of the joys of having other people around I guess….

Last weekend I was in ASDA’s Leyton Supercentre with my girlfriend to get some keys cut (we are moving in together in just under a week now ^^). I perused the beer section not expecting much Belgian-wise other than a few Leffe Blondes….

…So I was delighted to find good stocks of a blue-bottled Chimay.

Here's that lovely blue label ^^ Check you local ASDA now - I have found it in the Southgate store as well.

As readers of my original Chimay post will know I am really against the scarlet labels on the Chimay Red sold in my local Tescos so I was delighted to find this navy-blue badged version and immediately bought it (I think it was around £1.70).

I didn’t really notice until I got home and checked the alcohol volume – but it seems that blue labels signify strength in Belgian beers. Both the blue blazed Leffe Neuf and this Chimay Blue clock in at 9% – this basically means two bottles will put most people away. I would definitely recommend these strong ales as an Aperitif with some decent cheese or bread rather than a solo drink – neither are what you would call refreshing or thirst-quenching.

A quick check of the refreshed Chimay website told me that it offers beer in three ‘Personalities’ – this Blue version or (‘Grande Réserve’ as its known in larger variants) is bottle-conditioned and known for its strength and fresh, yeasty taste.

The three Chimay 'personalities' (pic taken from the official website).

The back of the bottle text is in English and reads:

‘The Trappist logo certifies that this ale is brewed in a Trappist Abbey and that the majority of sales income is intended for social aid. Chimay Blue represents the full power and complexity of a well-balanced Trappist beer.’

It’s nice that Chimay are promoting their Corporate Social Responsibility programs (well they are monks at the end of the day lol) but they could be a little more lavish with their back-of-bottle text if they want to compete with the Leffe’s of this world – or maybe the lack of flamboyant copy and concentration on the ale experience is part of the charm?

Next time I'm in Belgium or France I definitely need to pick up a Chimay glass.

Unfortunately I do not have a Chimay ‘Chalice’ (yet) so I used my Leffe glass to enjoy the ‘Blue. This worked well – the wide, high-ball allowing the ale plenty of room to breath. I’m sure this clash is not recommended by Chimay’s branding department though!

After pouring (following Chimay’s own guidelines) the first thing I noticed was that this is an exceedingly dark, thick beer – hold the glass up and almost no light penetrates apart from a soft amber glow at the apex of the glass.

Hold it up and just a tinge of light comes through at the bottom of the glass.

At little flotilla of bubbles formed the head and there was plenty of bitter, heady aroma as I lifted it to my mouth. The first taste hit is VERY chocolaty but this gives way to a deep, crisply bitter taste of hops that is great to swirl around your mouth. I found it a more mellow experience than the almost metallic edge to the Leffe Neuf.

That’s it for the Chimay Blue – its comes highly recommended by me, a little something to savour as your evening unfolds.

(Now I just need to find out which UK supermarket is selling the Chimay Triple? Maybe Sainsburys? Even better if they had it gift-packed with a Chimay chalice.)

Leady247 ^^

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6 responses to “Sunday afternoon’s review of last Saturday night’s beer – CHIMAY BLUE

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sunday afternoon’s review of last Saturday night’s beer – CHIMAY BLUE | leady247 -- Topsy.com

  2. just need to find the Chimay yellow now. Love your new post and congrats to move with your girlfriend :p (even if they had Chimay, Asda key cutter isn’t that good, they could only cut 3/6 keys loooool)

  3. In the UK the Chimay range is available in 75cl and 33cl bottles from a host of nationwide supermarket and off-licence chains including Tesco, Asda and Oddbins. All three beers can be found in the on-trade, with Triple available on draught.

  4. Pingback: Leady247 – February Round-Up | leady247

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