Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bières de Chimay – Grande Réserve (Blue)

For the Twelfth Beer of Christmas, we celebrated in style.

Unlike some of the other beers, I’ve had this one before. Several times.  Chimay Grande Réserve has long been a celebratory beer around my house.  With every new job, I buy a bottle of Chimay. 

Accomplish something I’m proud of, I buy a bottle.  When Aubrey turned 21 and again when she graduated, I bought her a bottle.  And so, to celebrate the final night we bought another.

I won’t bother raving about how great this beer is.  Obviously it’s something special.   At least to me.  Instead, I’ll just tell you about it as I have the others.

It pours out a mahogany brown.  Translucent but not transparent.  The head forms rapidly and nearly overflowed the glass as I was getting ready to take the photo.  But it dissipates rapidly to a light frosting with low lacing.

Moderate alcohol esters follow cedar, dark fruit, and faint yeast scents.

The yeast and alcohol come through in the flavor along with roasted malt, raisins, and a smokey wood.  The carbonation is crisp and light.  A nice compliment to the silky smooth, medium body.

At nearly $13 a bottle (for 750 ml), this is probably not what you want for your staple beer (mine is Shiner Bock).  But I highly recommend that you find a reason to celebrate and grab a bottle of Chimay Grande Réserve. Maybe just celebrate that it’s Thursday!

Brewer: Bières de Chimay
Location: Belgium
Style: Strong Ale
Alcohol Content: 9.0% ABV
Interesting Note: Grande Réserve is a Trappist beer. These are brewed only by monks in Trappist monasteries. Of the 174 monasteries in the world, only 7 produce beer and are authorized to use the “Authentic Trappist Product” logo.

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