Sunday, January 24, 2010

Belgian Beer Review 4: Chimay Premiere (Red)

I had been sitting on this bottle of Chimay for a couple of weeks, originally intending to drink it at the cabin. It didn't get opened there, so I brought it to our friends' house for pairing with a kielbasa stew. Although Chimay Premiere (or Chimay Red, as we always called it) was one of my first Belgian beers, and certainly my first Trappist, it had been a really long time since I had returned to it and figured I was long overdue.

Brewery: Bières de Chimay (Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont)
Brewery Location: Belgium
Beer: Chimay Première (Red)
BJCP Style:
18B. Dubbel
Serving: Bottle

Appearance: dark and dense, like an unpasteurized cider; thin cinnamon-hued head

Smell: traces of spice--clove and nutmeg--from the yeast; malty with very low to non-existent hops

Taste: caramel and malt, with little to no hop presence; some hints of spice and pit fruit tucked just below obvious perception, with a slight metallic tang

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with full carbonation

Drinkability: As noted above, it had been a long time since I had tried this Chimay iteration. It was less complex than I recalled, but certainly not lacking in character. Probably the perfect beer to have started with years ago because although it promises hints of the complexity shared by its more complicated and sometimes difficult Belgian cousins, nothing in this beer is in your face. Refreshing, and a welcome beer to revisit from time to time.


Llevik of Ekimshire said...

Sounds lovely

Anonymous said...

the red label pleased my tongue but confused my brain with the ?what is it honey or apricot? will continue to try other types of chimay very interesting brew.