Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

Craft Beer Crosscut 6.23.19: Flight of Chimay

Ron Swarner

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Beer flights in TacomaChimay is brewed in Belgium by Cistercian Trappist monks who apparently have a direct line to God when it comes to the more ethereal matters of the brewers’ art. This champagne of beers goes down smooth, follows its creamy head with a silky mouth-feel and fruity aroma, and packs a serious wallop. The Trappist monks are 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 at Peaks and Pints. Let’s taste them today in a beer flight we call Craft Beer Crosscut 6.23.19: Flight of Chimay.

Craft Beer Crosscut 6.23.19: Flight of Chimay

Chimay-Premiere-Red-TacomaChimay Premiere (Red)

7% ABV, 19 IBU

If high school French serves us correctly, “Premiere” also means “First.” That’s appropriate since the Red was the first beer Chimay produced. This holy Belgian dubbel has a beautiful burnt-sienna color, and shows some cloudiness with a pretty decent head. The Red has a warming stonefruit aroma that is pleasantly gamey. The taste is expectantly sweet, fruity, and malty — a whole lot of flavor without being overwhelming. It’s an accessible example of the classic Belgian ale, if you will.

Chimay-Grand-Reserve-Blue-TacomaChimay Grand Reserve (Blue)

9% ABV, 35 IBU

The Chimay Blue was originally released as a Christmas beer. Ho ho yo this Belgian strong dark ale the darkest of the three Chimays — a deep auburn, with a nice head floating on top. We can see some visible suspended particles floating 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.

Chimay-Tripel-White-TacomaChimay Tripel (White)

8% ABV, 38 IBU

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. Chimay Tripel has a pleasant bready, slightly earthy aroma and flavor with notes of sweet apple and pear, plus a bit of pepper.