hophead4499 (7) - Georgia, USA - JUN 26, 2002 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Damn good stuff, here here!! The small bottle is not enough ... must have the 750ml
Hildigöltur (5104) - København, DENMARK - JUN 26, 2002
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Fine dark reddish colour, but the head is dissapointing. Spicy, malty and sweet aroma. The taste is quite complex, but the maltiness and sweetness is very (perhaps too) remarkable.
MuddyFox99 (16) - Adelaide, AUSTRALIA - JUN 25, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
if complexity is the measure by which beers are rated, then the chimay three colour range must be up amongst the best. The bleu in my eyes is the pick of the crop. perhaps it was just the batch I had, but the head was lacking instrength coompared to some other trappistes style beers
mjmurphy2 (85) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 23, 2002
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Good but I felt that it was fighting (and winning) a battle against the alcohol. It seemed like a conscious attempt at masking. Still - spicy, piquant and full of flavor
HH (165) - Everett, Washington, USA - JUN 20, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Good stuff but I think I preferred the White I had. Maybe the White seemed hoppier?
Nuffield (3639) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - JUN 19, 2002
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I know I’m in the minority in preferring the Rouge to the Bleu, but obviously we’re only talking about degrees of excellence here. Gorgeous color; head was not particularly ’dense’--i.e. larger bubbles. Carbonation was striking in the palate--champagne-like tingles, more than to my taste. Aroma was the let-down; not as rich as expected or as the flavor ultimately held. The smoothness of the beer is striking--complex flavors, mild sweetness, some spice (nutmeg perhaps)--but all without being hit on the head by any of them. It went down very fast, which is unfortunate considering the high alcohol, which hit very quickly after just 200ml! (2002 vintage, .33L bottle)
jerohen (1963) - Bussum, NETHERLANDS - JUN 18, 2002
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2014 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.