jerohen (1932) - Bussum, NETHERLANDS - JUN 18, 2002
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 15, 2009 Rating based on aged samples A beer with an enormous potential. Apart from ’fresh’ Chimay Bleu’s i’ve also tasted two, three and (thanks to jbrus) five, ten, 15 and 20 year old ones. A fresh Chimay is nice, malty and a bit yeasty with notes of raisins, liquorice and some alcohol. However, it is nothing compared to ’aged’ one. After two years the flavour has not really changed much, but after 3 years an obvious difference occurs, it’s much more complex: malts, chocolate, coffee, fruits, raisins it’s all there. After five years the flavour has changed so much you wouldn’t recognize it being a Chimay Bleu. It’s more fruity and alcoholic, with an obvious port-like aroma and flavour. A ten year old one was IMO the best of the whole collection: incredibly full flavoured with long-lasting (alcoholic) finish and the aroma was one of the best i’ve ever experienced. Carbonation is totally lost in bottles aged for more than five years (NO head), but who cares? It’s great! Remarkably, the 15 year old bottle was inferior to the 10 and 20 year old bottle. In conclusion, the flavour changes the most after five years of aging and reaches an optimum after 10 and 20 years (and perhaps even later...?). Additional note: Recently also sampled a four year old bottle (Grande Reserve ’99). The flavour of this bottle was really in between a 3 year old (which still has the "fresh" Chimay Bleu flavour) and 5 year old (which is has totally different, more port-like flavours). My personal conclusion is that, if you want to drink a "fresh-flavoured" Chimay Bleu, you should stick to 3 year old bottles (much more complex than new bottles). After the turning point (5 years or older) more port-like, alcoholic and fruity flavours can be detected, which make it totally different from the "fresh" taste. This aged flavour is (IMHO) at best after 10 years (but still excellent after 20).
mauropd (37) - ITALY - JUN 17, 2002
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Definitely a classic for Belgian beers ... and of course if you go for drinking tons of bottle you get bored immediately. Better not in hottest summer ...
wheatbeerboy (103) - Addison, Illinois, USA - JUN 16, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tastes a little like Westvleteren 12 only not quite as complex.
Linc (737) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUN 15, 2002
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Smooth + spicy with dark toffee flavours coming through, alcohol comes through faintly on the nose, though you don’t feel that expected kick that 9%AV should give you.
beerledgend (1197) - Waterloo, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - JUN 15, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark amber in colour. nice thick head, yeasty tatse.
kmeves (1098) - Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 13, 2002
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2007 Fruity aroma, wonderful foamy head. Sweet, malty and spice flavors are overwhelming. Finish is equally enjoyable. I say the brewmaster at Chimay has few peers.
RedTickBeer (39) - Gainesville, Florida, USA - JUN 10, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
First Belgian experience. Had to see what all the beer geeks talk so much about. Very pleasant taste. Sweet and fruity. Achohol very noticable. Maybe the ultimate late night beer in a goblet experience.
luc99 (4) - 9100 sint-niklaas, BELGIUM - JUN 9, 2002 does not count
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 6/20
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JUN 8, 2002
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Large, dirty white colored head w/ an amber body. Nice smooth taste, it’s alcohol level sneaks up on you.
bigal9699 (152) - Orange County, California, USA - JUN 7, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Carbonated head - red brown body. Virtually no hops. Nice and complex malt and fruit flavors. Delicious - my fav of the Chimays!