yngwie (15605) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - FEB 2, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled, 0.33ltr. (vintage 2003) Dark brown beer with lots of yeast floating around, and a small, dense beige head. Looks delicious. Aroma is lightly roasted malt, with caramel, dried fruit and a little spicyness. When tasted, you’re first stuck by a fizzy mouthfeel, then the flavors of caramel, roasted malt and a little alcohol. There is some spicyness too. The finish leaves you with a balanced bitterness, and a light stickyness in the mouth, due to the sweetness of the beer. This is absolutely a beer to enjoy in the evening, much better than a night cap or a cognac, as it leaves you relaxex, comforted and pleased. I was enjoying it so much that I almost forgot to rate it before I hit the "Add Rating"-button. The colour, ABV and all the other aspects of this beer would make it an appopriate beer for the Christmas dinner, maybe I should try that this year. It has to be a 0.75ltr bottle then. (060202)
KarmanGhia (276) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - JAN 31, 2006
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 4, 2006 This is, of course, a classic beer, and it is not famous, like, say, Bud or Heineken, because of some advertising campagne. I will go so far as to say that it is the best beer in Belgium or Northern France, and this says something very good about the business in general: when the best beers are the most popular, there is something that is right in the world. Now to the rewiew: This pours a dark, almost black tint, that is accented by a plumb rouge and a bit of a purple tinge around the edges of the glass. The carbonation rolls to the top of the glass like German tanks crashing over the Maginot line. The mouthfeel is silky smoothe, but this fills out in the process of the sip to form a generous, fluffy texture. The taste is lightly of chocolate and strongly of plumbs. This balance is crucial --the malts are providing the flavor in this beer and that can sometimes be bad news, leaving only yeast or bread to the executive judgement of the palate. However, the light fruitiness, here, cleans up the sometimes sticky malts and transforms the breadiness at the base of the flavor into a strong, lightly acidic, moderately sweet, strongly textured alcoholic delight that can only be aluded to. The only catch is that you’d better not be expecting any genuine hops when you pick up the glass. All of this is a definitely good thing: Chimay is uniquely at the top of the enormous pile of Belgian beers.
schuimkroaat (427) - Leuven, BELGIUM - JAN 29, 2006
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
33 cl bottle, brewed 2004. Dark mahogany brown with a dark copper tone and a good transparency. A small lacy head. Rich malty nose with raisins, toffee, ripe pears, aromatic tea, a touch of coffee. A refined, yet potent, malty and slightly spicy taste with some nuts and wood and a touch of cardboard. Hops float in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel / finish is very drying and a bit burning.
SHIG (4013) - Wasilla, Alaska, USA - JAN 29, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown, with very little head. Pleasant fruit aroma with a bitter/chocolate taste and malt. Definitely a stocker in my fridge!
auderale (605) - Minot, North Dakota, USA - JAN 29, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2005 Bottle, 33cl. Dark brown pour with medium head. Clean fruity aroma. A malty hops flavor.
ALLOVATE (2685) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - JAN 29, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Who could honestly go past a bottle of Grande Réserve Chimay and say no thankyou! This is an ale that has been tasted by near everyone with any interest in beer whether they have any inklings towards its roots or not. A background favourite of mine I waited until I had cracked a 2001 before rating this.
2004- Poured into its own chalice at around cellar temperature. Extremely muddy with the yeast dispersing into a pulped fruit mess inside the cola brown body with an enormous, creamy beige crown raising up and persisting for the length to trail fine lacing down the glass. Heady aroma, quite woody almost oak-aged with fresh pulped zesty plums, red wine dryness, spicy yeast and an underlying earthy mustiness like old hops. Lovely smooth and almost creamy mouthfeel; vinous notes set it off and develop into an earthy woody mix of malt and hops. Plums and blueberries, driftwood, peppery alcohol and yeast phenols and a hint of pecan pie develop to linger long in the mouth hiding that 9% ABV. Warming and homely, this example seemed more woody than most that I have tried with a long finish that was like a well aged plum wine. Seemed to have more age than the 2001. Quite nice. (75cL, Nookenburra)
2001- Poured into its own chalice at cellar temperature. Quite clear, deep ruby red with a tinge of brown. Head formed off the pour; extremely dense and creamy beige, held in place by streams of very, very fine bubbles to leave a mist over the glass as I drank. Pungent and tart, port-like nose with an immense spicy waft of alcohol and the famous house yeast. Other dried fruits were there with a lick of bitter/sweet chocolate and a touch of polished Jarrah (?). Extremely wine-like in the mouth; mellowing, smooth and yet prickly across the tongue with a good dose of medicinal alcohol that didn’t hinder it at all. Blackcurrant’s, raisins and those distinctive plum notes abound, this was like an after dinner elixir to stir up the rawest of emotion, by the fire with a loved one perhaps. Finish is as smooth as silk letting the alcohol warm to its full extent along with a deeply vinous roundness and depth. I love a good strong ale, and Chimay delivers with fervour. (75cL, Vintage Cellars, Adelaide)
As I said ’who could go past a Chimay’!
TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 27, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Chimay Grand Reserve pours to a beautiful, deep garnet color with a thick, rocky white head, and a very vibrant carbonation. The nose is filled with complex aromas. Aromas of spicy/musty yeast, marry with fruity estery aromas of plum, candy sugar, sweet malt, peppery alcohol, and herby hop character. The palate is firm, with big sweet and dark malt flavors paired with flavors of rock candy, fruity esters, and a back drop of spicy yeastiness. This beer finishes with more of those complex flavors up front, then ends with a warming, peppery alcoholic burn.
Some age in the cellar has taken those raw, young aromas and flavors of a young bottle, and make them more complex and deep. The aromas are more yeasty and spicy in nature, with a bit more malt and alcohol aroma, and a more rounded estery fruit note. The plummy notes will become more vinous and port like. A few years of age will make a phenomenal beer even more complex, and delicious.
This is a world class Trappist ale, and one of the most accessible of all the Trappist ales. It should be available in most US markets. Chimay has done more than any Trappist brewery to make beer lovers aware of these very special beer styles. This beer is the perfect match for strong blue veined cheeses, cured or smoked meats and fish. It also makes a wonderful after dinner drink, and a warming winter brew. Remember you can consume this beer either young or old, I have enjoyed it both ways.
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - JAN 26, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2007 Pours a deep waxy mahogany brown color w/ a full, semi creamy froth that recedes slowly to a clumpy lace. Aroma of rock candy, dried fruit and liver. Full nectar w/ ample residual effers. Mouthfeel is a bit clumsy w/ beachball effers clanging toether. Sweetnes factor is moderate w/ woodsy flavors, tobacco, ripe plums, slight rootbeer, dusty granite. Finish is long and bittered w/ peach pit. Very warming w moderate flavors of alcohol.
Bilzmoude (19) - Ferndale, Michigan, USA - JAN 25, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Smells great! Belgin, dubbel-style aroma... a fruity (apple?) malt smell. Head is thick and creamy. Color is brown and murky. Smooth, cherry flavors with a dry, alcahol aftertaste. Tingles the palate. I like it... I don’t think I can drink this every day, but it is definately good.
Quixote18 (236) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - JAN 25, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep hazy brown color and a foamy, long-lasting cream color head. The aroma was yeasty with some mellow malts. The aroma just screamed "Belgian" to me. I had a very difficult time deciphering the flavor...I think my palate was a little overworked then night. I’ll have to rerate later. I sampled this alongside the Red Cap, and needless to say, the Blue is much bolder. A little alcohol twinge in the finish, but still a very smooth beer.