26 December 2008

Chimay Bleue (BEL)

2008 is apparently Chimay's 25th anniversary in the U.S. So how many people drank this here back in 1983? Nowadays, Blue (aka Grande Reserve) is available even in high end supermarkets. I'll leave it to others to debate whether the increase in distribution has come at the expense of quality.

The cork on 750 ml says 11/07, but I couldn't know that until I popped it. Elsewhere on the label it says "L07-726," which I hope hints at the bottling date. You shouldn't have to uncork this to know how old it is. Blue pours amber/brown which is slightly hazy, even though I was careful to keep the yeast at the bottom of the bottle. The fruit aroma is striking. It's not dark fruits; more like tangerine and apple. This fruitiness comes through initially on the tongue, but then plums, raisins and brown sugar take over. It's a neat effect though: a big beer with a fruity lightness to it.

What I'm less enthused about is the effervescence of it all. This is a pretty highly fizzed beer, which is something I personally don't favor. The head doesn't last long enough to be photoed. I suppose it does help create the perception of lightness though. The 9% ABV doesn't come through until you're already buzzed.

So I think this is very good, but not earth-shattering. Still, if you haven't already tried this, you pretty much have to eventually.

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