Recently, I got to try the Chimay Grand Reserve for the first time and discovered why its such a popular beer. It was really, really good! So, it makes perfect sense for me to sample the rest of the beers that came in my Chimay sampler pack (along with the Chimay goblet!). This beer review is of the Chimay Primiere, or as I used to know it as, “The Chimay with the red label!”
Chimay, as you may know is a Trappist Ale. Trappist Ales are a rather exclusive bunch, only being made by seven Trappist Monasteries.
Its made by Monks, which adds a coolness factor, but as I once heard a Monk quoted, (and I paraphrase from memory here) “We don’t make beer because we are monks, we are Monks because we make beer.”
The idea being that the beer is made to support their operations financially, not to sit around boozing it up all day! (Yeah, right!)
Which is what I did. Sort of.
The Chimay Primiere poured a coppery color, and as you can see not much lacing here. The beer seemed to be mostly clear, although not perfectly so. The smallish head did create decent lacing to my surprise!
The aroma was interesting to say the least, and very nice. I thought I could pick up a bunch of things including honey, spice, malt, clove? and a subtle overall sweetness. Good job Monks!
On one hand, I didn’t find this beer to be overwhelming in any way. Somehow, I was just a little disappointed. But then I thought how nicely all the flavors came together in this beer. A real harmony between malty sweetness, spices, and subtle flavors I didn’t expect from the aroma – dark fruit like raisin or plum.
Mouthfeel was good, medium I’d say, and I found this beer to be more lively on the tongue than the weakish-looking head might have suggested, but it was still a smooth drinker. While respectable at 7% ABV, I didn’t really notice the alcohol in the flavors too much.
Overall, I did like the Chimay Primiere, but not quite as much as the Grand Reserve though.
Scott – TheBrewClub
Now all that’s left is the ‘White’ label Chamay!