Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) - Bières de Chimay S.A.
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Ratings: 5,379 | Reviews: 2,114 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Chrysostom:
4.65/5 rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
MY REVIEW GOT DELETED BECAUSE I TOOK TOO LONG TO WRITE IT. The following review is heavily shortened, and is affected by the 1000-word mega-review (in my typical style) which was deleted and pissed me off. Will review again from calmness in a few days when I re-up at the package store and pick up a few more bottles, and make sure to cut and paste before I hit "submit".
Introduction: this is one of the best of the Quadrupels, and it's the original. All further Quads, come from Chimay Blue.
The Trappists are a Catholic cloistered religious order, one of the strictest there is. They are called the Order of Cistercians of Strict Observance, an 18th-century reforming order which broke away from the original mediaeval Cistercians, themselves a reforming order and a breakaway from the ancient Benedictines.
Thomas Merton, the famous Anglo-American religious and spiritual author of "The Seven-Storey Mountain", was a Trappist monk - in America!, yes, America has Trappist monasteries - at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. Too bad they don't brew beer.
Without further ado, a severely truncated, unreliable review.
P: 750mL corked and caged bottle poured in to Chimay chalice/goblet.
A: Very cloudy dark brown, small head which quickly recedes to nothing. No lacing. Has hints of mud/lighter dark brown when held up to the light. Nothing that can be called a "highlight", as it's the same colour with light coming through it; however, it is appetizing, and typically Belgian.
S: Booze, esters, and malt. As it warms, booze becomes predominant. The smell is small for such a big beer.
T: Dark fruits, carbonation, esters, malt bomb. Some booze. More boozy than St Bernardus Abt 12, but still with deceptively-hidden alcoholic content. The finish is quite long, and astringent/bitter. The hops come through pretty strong, as does a quite noticeable thin mineral-water aftertaste, which is the only thing I dislike about the taste of this beer. 4.25 to 4.5. It's lower in comparison to St Bernardus, which has a very similar flavour, yet has a better finish and no mineral-water aftertaste.
M: Effervescent while still being relatively thick. Finish is long, and leaves a coating of some sort, not a cleansing.
D: High. One could have many of these, to one's own detriment.
O: A veritable illustration of the maxim, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." This beer is truly greater than any one of its component ratings. 87-92/100.
I recommend searching for a video on Youtube called "Chimay Brewery Tour", which increased my appreciation for this beer, and shows the fusion of monastic life, passion for beer, and high-technology which goes in to Chimay.
Serving type: bottle
03-10-2013 08:32:25 | More by Chrysostom
More User Reviews:
4.13/5 rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
11.2oz bottle served in Chimay chalice glass
Notes taken on 02/28/14
A: Thick sponge-like topping of khaki suds covers over a murky looking reddish brown body. Very compact head with impressive hang time and only some minor streaks of lace left scattered across the glass. Looks quite appetizing.
S: Smells of warm bread and kitchen spices with some rum soaked raisins. There is a light mineral quality to it with some mild alcohol and yeast esters to finish out the nose. Really nice malt and yeast complexities in the aroma.
T: Tastes of bready malts with loads of dried fruit notes like raisin, plum, and figs. Has that Belgian candi sugar sweetness to it but it stays more on the dry side without cloying. Spicy but not particularly clove like phenols which is nice. More of a peppery spice with some loamy earth and banana peel there. Low to moderate bitterness with some perceptible alcohol noted. Really nice and balanced overall.
M: Very creamy and soft with a moderate filling quality. Well carbed with a high amount of spritz on the palate. Finishes lightly dry and a touch thin however this is very clean overall. Some ABV warmth noted.
D: My favorite of the Chimay trinity. A really well done BSD and world class for a reason. Worth multiple visits.
Serving type: bottle
03-10-2014 21:07:32 | More by Nugganooch
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 5,379 ratings.