The Chimay Brewery is located in The Notre-Dame de Scourmont Abbey, Belgium. The Abbey has been brewing beer since 1862 by monks or overseen by monks. Today, they produce three different beers for market sale and a secret beer only available in the Abbey. They use a special yeast strain that was isolated by Father Théodore as early as 1948 to give Chimay its own unique taste an quality. The beer is sold all over the world.
- Chimay Premiére (Red) (95 Points)
- Chimay Cinq Cents (White) (94 Points)
- Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) (100 Points)
- Chimay Spéciale Cent Cinquante (95 Points)
CHIMAY PREMIÉRE (RED): 95 Points
Chimay Red was the first beer brewed at the Chimay brewery in 1862, it’s current recipe dates from the late 1940’s. It is available year-round in 330 ml. bottles or 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This Trappist beer possesses a beautiful coppery colour that makes it particularly attractive. Topped with a creamy head, it gives off a slight fruity apricot smell from the fermentation. The aroma felt in the mouth is a balance confirming the fruit nuances revealed to the sense of smell. This traditional Belgian beer is best savoured at cellar temperature.”
My Description: Chimay Red is the flagship beer of this company and there is nothing wrong with that, it tastes delicious. It has a grand off-white colored head that holds forever, giving you a great head all the way to the last sip producing minimal lacing. The aroma is fresh with the scent of malt, yeast esters, sweet fruits like apricots and white raisins, and a little breadiness. The beer is medium bodied with a medium carbonation level that coats your mouth and is very smooth and complex. The front of your mouth will taste a nice sweet base with flavor notes of honey, apricots, some yeast, and a slight hint of alcohol. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a hint of sourness and dark fruit. Overall, this beer is delicious and the flavors work really well together. It is best served around 52°F and pairs nicely with mild cheeses, dark chocolate, or roasted duck.
ABV: 7% Color: Brown/Copper Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
CHIMAY CINQ CENTS (WHITE): 94 Points
This Triple is available year-round in limited quantities in 330 ml. bottles and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: ” Of a golden colour, the Trappist beer combines sweet and bitter in a rare balance. The beer’s aroma felt in the mouth comes from the hops’ perfumes: above all, they are fruity touches of Muscat grapes and raisins, even ripe apples.”
My Description: This triple is delicious and enjoyable, another high quality ale from the Chimay brewery. The head is completely ridiculous on this beer. It is off-white in color and very fluffy. It produces some good lacing but the real amazement comes from the retention; it stays big and fluffy to the very last sip where there will be foam on the bottom of the glass. The aroma will reveal the slight complexities of this ale; it has a nice sweet base with scents of Belgian yeast, hops, spice, grapes, and other lighter fruits. The beer is fuller in body with a good carbonation level. The taste up front will be slightly sweet with flavors of grapes and light fruits with the hint of spice. The finish will be dry and moderately bitter with a touch of alcohol. Overall, the transition of flavors is smooth and the beer is refreshing and memorable. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with bistro salads, grilled fish, or honey ham.
ABV: 8% Color: Hazy Gold/Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 4/10
CHIMAY GRANDE RÉSERVE (BLUE): 100 Points
This Belgian Strong was originally brewed as a Christmas Ale but is now available year-round in 330 ml. bottles and 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This authentic Belgian beer, whose tinge of fresh yeast is associated with a light rosy flowery touch, is particularly pleasant. Its aroma, perceived as one enjoys it, only accents the delightful sensations revealed by the odour, all revealing a light but agreeable caramelized note.”
My Description: Thank God they decided to brew this beer all the time as part of their year-rounds because it is damn good. It pours a decent tan colored head that fades quick but holds a thick film the whole way. There is also some good lacing going on as well. The aroma gets you excited about drinking this ale; it is strong with notes of dark fruit, malt, and alcohol. It is a full bodied beer with a slightly higher carbonation level. When you start drinking this ale you will see how delicious it is; it starts off with a sweet base with flavor notes of Belgian yeast, caramel malt, and dark fruits like plums. You feel the strength of this beer but taste the alcohol only minimally. The finish is only slightly bitter with a touch of spice. As it warms up, more dark fruit flavors will become apparent that add to the enjoyment of the ale. It is best served around 52°F and pairs nicely with French cheeses, game meat, or raspberry duck.
ABV: 9% Color: Hazy Brown Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
CHIMAY SPÉCIALE CENT CINQUANTE: 95 Points
This Belgian Strong Ale is highly limited as it is only brewed once. It is available in 750 ml. bottles for around $20-$25.
Brewer’s Description: “This special edition is a full bodied and distinctive strong beer developed within the abbey to celebrate and honour the 150th anniversary of the brewery. Produced with 100% natural ingredients,its pale golden robe and champagne sparkle is topped by a rich white head of foam. The distinctive bouquet evokes the rich fruity and complex notes of the Chimay yeast in harmony with a delicate spicy note and the fragrance of fresh noble hops. At 10% alcohol, the flavour is full bodied and complex with a slight but refreshing tang note and a crisp hop finish that will delight the palate.”
My Description: This brew is definitely delicious and highly enjoyable. However, is it really worth the price you are going to pay? That judgement is reserved for you, the buyer. It is not necessarily any better than the best Belgian Strong Ale’s out there but it is a very limited beer and it should be treated like a fine wine, reserved for a special occasion. It has a beautiful and dense, white colored head with an amazing retention level and it leaves an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is slightly complex and fresh with notes of spices, pears, hops, yeast, and a touch of alcohol. This ale is roughly medium/full bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. It has a smooth, creamy texture and the alcohol is slightly apparent but not intrusive. The flavors are tasty and work nicely together. There is a delicate spice note of white pepper throughout accompanied by floral notes, citrus, green apple, and a hint of malt. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and will linger for a few seconds. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled grouper, salmon salad, or shrimp pasta.
ABV: 10% Color: Orange/Bronze Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10