A life just as ordinary

Just like you, but different

Beer – #717 – ChImay – Chimay Grande Reserve 2014

More correctly this is Abbaye de ChimayChimay Grande Reserve 2014. It comes in a special bottle, which might be the only difference between this and the normal blue label version. But! Special Bottle.  New Year off with a bang then.

A Dark beer with a powerful  aroma and complex taste

A beer that is of 9% ABV, in the 26.4fl oz bottle that is also known as 780ml bottle,  making it 270 calories a serve size, this then  is somewhere between 5.33 and 5.55 standard drink units in NZ

Brewed by Chimay in the style that is of  Belgian Strong Ale and that happens in Baileux, Belgium

Chimay Blue is principally distinguished by its character of a strong beer.

Grand Master and his Grande Beer

Grand Master and his Grande Beer

The ‘Grande Reserve’ has a secondary fermentation and is Bottle conditioned  

This is a beer whose fragrance of fresh yeast with a light, flowery rosy touch is especially pleasant. Its flavour, noticed when tasting it, only accentuates the pleasant sensations perceived in the aroma , while revealing a light but pleasant touch of roasted malt. 

This top fermented Trappist beer, refermented in the bottle, is not pasteurised. 

So, what could possibly go wrong? Best before 2019. As it’s only 18:15 I feel I can achieve  drinking this in under two hours. Or I could cellar it for a couple years.

Love the cork and cage thing, I’ve always been a fan of that though, seems posh and old school at the same time. Traditional.

Cork was very very keen to escape and it popped like a cheap firework, but didn’t escape. Aroma from the glass is initially, I thought, vinegar like, that didn’t make me smile.  But then I had another snort and that familiar bubblegum aroma is there as well as chocolaty fruits

Chimay - Grande Reserve 2014Pour isn’t dark dark it is more a muddy brown with a slightly off white head of some note and depth, and it’s very noisy if you listen to it. it is important to listen to your beer now and again.

Nose in the glass much more familiar of Belgium style ales, rich, bubblegum, fruity.

A taste like an angels kiss, with tongues. (It was at this point that I realised I’d overstepped the line).

I really enjoyed the first couple of largish sips, with that nice warm body of softness washing over, and then I began to really think about it and noticed the first thing of an alcohol astringent peeking through, I wasn’t looking for it, it’s just there.

This pulls the beer down somewhat with a more earthy over-taste developing, quite quickly too, as I don’t usually hang about when enjoying the first flush of a beer.

‘pulls it down’ who am I kidding this is a beer that doesn’t have to try hard to be at a loft height and the earthy body is part of the experience, as is that alcohol tang, the full soft mouthfeel and fluffiness in the body and the lingering sweetness that coats the lips, the merest hint trace of a dry hint at the back.

Did I mention angels kissing.

There then followed a gap where the beer evaporated from the glass, leaving a gorgeous lacing, a sugary taste on the lips and a wistful smile. As I sat there lip smacking MrsPdubyah asked why I was tutting, fair woke me from my reverie.

2016-01-15 18.36.16I poured again, clearly enhanced by the alcohol my pouring became much better, in that I achieved almost a 50/50 beer and head ratio. Someday I’ll get this right.

To be more sensible though this is outstanding beer, draws you in and makes you comfortable, does not have any sharp highs of taste or flavour, doesn’t have any tough or rough edges that make you frown a little, has a sweetness that you don’t really notice and carries a larger payload of content of alcohol than it gives away.

A lovely body of that steeped fruits in the taste is what wins it, over the colour, lacing and the head retention, This really is a work of art, well the bottle is, the beer is the work of an artisan. I found myself  wanting to go to a karaoke bar to sing.

 

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 of its things from the thing. Having strangled the same words that Shakespeare might have used I came to a conclusion that I loved this beer, mostly because I really like Belgian beers, and that this has many of the nice things that I like, but is somewhat more mellow and restrained, much more drinkable and the alcohol tang taken away, given space to a fuller fluffier middle. But it does so at the cost of some of the peaky tastes, like that bubblegum thing.

It is a blindingly good bit of beer,

The double dip review

  • Am I enjoying it? I would fight you for the last bottle.
  • Would I have another? Are there more, I would travel, not far, but I would travel to get one. This is really nice.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? This is bloody nice beer, that I recon I could pour and everyone might enjoy for what it is, it isn’t peaky, sharp or attention seeking but it is easy going, a strong beer that hides the strength and takes you on a bit of a surprise journey that you don’t realise you’ve been on. Plus it comes in a pretty bottle.

Music for this :  ‘ Sky Architects ‘  ‘ The Hollows ‘ on Spotify   Sky Architects is a progressive rock band based in Rotterdam. It is rather good listening, if you like that sort of thing.   Might find them on Facebook too

I had it on loud and I had a smile on.

BELGIAN STRONG ALE

Belgian Strong Ales can vary from pale to dark brown in color, darker ales may be colored with dark candy sugar. Hop flavor can range from low to high, while hop aroma is low. The beers are medium to full-bodied and have a high alcoholic character. Types of beers included here include tripels, dubbels and ultra-strong abbey ales.

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