Chimay is made by Trappist monks cloistered away in Scourmont Abbey in Belgium (where they also make tasty Chimay cheese) with the operation's profits paying for the monks' pious lifestyle and charitable efforts. Having been around since 1862, Chimay's a relatively new entry in the world of godly beverages with three commercial beers, all of which are available for purchase in any good old fashioned American beer store: the Premiere (Red), the Grande Reserve (Blue), and the Tripel (White).
If high school French serves us correctly, "Premiere" means "First." That's appropriate since the Red was the first beer Chimay produced. This holy sud has a beautiful burnt-sienna color to it, and shows some cloudiness with a pretty decent head. The Red has a warming stone-fruit sort of smell that was pleasantly gamey. The taste is expectantly sweet, fruity, and malty - a whole lot of flavor without being overwhelming. An accessible example of the classic Belgian Ale.
The Chimay Blue was originally released as a Christmas Beer and is the darkest of the three Chimays - a deep auburn, with a nice head floating on top. We can see some visible suspended particles floating around among the plentiful bubbles, enticing us with promises of big flavor. The Blue's bouquet is very sweet with hints of caramel and a brandy aroma which alludes to the high ABV. The flavor is rich and complex - malty, yeasty, sweet and alcoholic. An excellent beer to warm you up on a cold day.
Ah, the White. The last-born of the Chimay beers. Enchante. Being a Tripel, this beer is much lighter than the others - a bright goldenrod color with lots of bubbles. The smell is nice, with lots of yeast, candy, and medicinal notes. The taste starts sweet, then turns a tad sour, with an alcoholic punch at the end of the progression. Very drinkable. Find a summer day, put a bottle of this in your backpack, frolic off to a secluded spot in the woods, and drink in the beauty of nature with a little assistance from the creations of man.
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