Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beer of the Weekend

Now that you have some background on Trappist beers, allow us to get personal with one in our "Beer of the Weekend" segment. BOTWE won't be a regular feature like BOTW, but it does give the authors a handy excuse to chug different beers at the end of a long work week.

Chimay is one of only six Belgian breweries that produce Trappist beers. Chimay is brewed by S.A. Bières under the supervision of the Abbey of Scourmont. Established in 1850, the beer is still brewed within the walls of the abbey and is bottled a few miles away.

Chimay produces three different beers as well as a smattering of cheeses. Of these beers, the nod to BOTWE goes to Chimay Grande Réserve, a.k.a. Chimay Blue. Chimay Blue is a strong hearty beer, clocking in at 9% ABV, with notes of roasted malts. The brew has a nice, somewhat floral bouquet, but it is not as pronounced as I would expect from a beer of this style. Blue is top-fermented (ale-style) and refermented in the bottle, and for ideal tasting, the beer is not pasteurized. Chimay blue is slightly sweet, but it has a nice acidity and bitterness on the back of the tounge, making it less sweet then some other similar Belgians.

Chimay is best served in a chalice-style (a.k.a. "Gourmet") glass, so that you can enjoy the aromas and color of the brew; however, if you're out hiking on a beautiful fall day with good friends, please don't hesitate to take our amateur advice and pass the bottle around.

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