Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chimay Grande Réserve

Tonight's luxurious taste is from Chimay, a brewery that's been around for quite some time in a monastery in Belgium. They make fine cheeses as well but only their blue labeled Grande Réserve sits in front of me, waiting to be tasted. I'm sure monks making beer and cheese do their best to make it taste great, so lets see what they think makes a beer desirable.

It has a very foamy head that'll leave you with a mustache if you don't give it some time to settle, and like many Belgium ales it has a lot of yeast. In addition to the wheat scent there's a combination of clove, pepper, and dark fruits. On the tongue the fruit becomes a little more along the lines of apples though. Sweetened malts are strong on the tongue and mostly overlap any taste of the yeast. You can taste the crisp and dry aspect of the yeast though. It finishes with a dry "bite" (like some wines) and caramelized overtone that relates to the fruits on the nose and malts tasted.

It isn't the smoothest Belgium ale I've had, or even one with exclusive tastes, but I am impressed by it. This is because the order of the classic tastes and balance of them makes for a very enjoyable experience. I'm ok with it not being smooth to swallow because I want to keep it in my mouth until it's warm, not chug it. A (excellent).