On the docket: 11.2 oz. Chimay Grande Réserve (blue)
Poured into: Chimay chalice
S: A rich, dark, barbecue sauce-like brown body sits underneath a beige head. I poured with enough force to create a nice, inch-plus head, but it settled down to just more than half a thumbnail. The body is so dark I cannot see the bubble activity from the base of my etched chalice.
A: Dark, fruity, almost bubble-gum like sweetness leads the pack, followed closely by grapey-port or sherry note. Spicy pepper and phenols trail behind, with hops in the rearview mirror.
T: Plum, an overall fruitiness, and a definite twang of umani. This brown-eyed girl has a bit of port in the palate. Like its (argued) diminutive sibling, the Rouge, the Blue also boasts fruit-cake qualities, and while bitter, gives wide berth to its sweetness. Climbing from a manageable 7% in the Rouge to cautionary 8% in the White, Blue boasts an abv just over 9%. You can tell, the warmth from the alcohol is certainly present, but by no means “hot” or solvent-like.
F: Dangerously light and fluffy feel courtesy of the carbonation. Moderately long finish of dryness, and tingle from the bubbles.
O: Regarded as Chimay’s crowning achievement. I understand why. Most people don’t even considering opening this masterpiece until it’s at least five years old. I don’t have that luxury yet, so I’ll settle (right… settle) for the fresh-off the line model. This is a libation for sitting and sipping, not shot-gunning in a contest. Enjoyable during cold weather in front of a roaring fire and a heavy, small-print hardcover novel.
S: 4.25 A: 4.25 T: 4.75 F: 4.25 O: 4.5
Suggested food pairing: filet with bleu cheese butter, sharp cheddar, baby-back ribs, New York style cheese cake- fruit optional