History – The Chimay Brewery (“Bières de Chimay”) is a Belgian brewery founded inside Scourmont Abbey, in the Belgian municipality of Chimay in 1862. The brewery produces three widely distributed ales and a patersbier exclusively for the monks; they are known as Trappist beers because they are made in a Trappist monastery. The brewing plant was updated in 1988, and now produces 120,000 hectolitres annually (over 3 million gallons!).
The Beers: Ok enough with the history lesson, on with the beer! This trio of goodness comes in three outstanding concoctions –
- Chimay Rouge (Red), 7% abv. In the 75 cl bottle, it is known as Première. It is a dark brown colour and has a sweet, fruity aroma. The malt in this beer has a nutty character that goes well with the hints of pepper from the house yeast.
- Chimay Bleue (Blue), 9% abv darker ale. In the 75 cl bottle, it is known as Grande Réserve. This copper-brown beer has a creamy head and a slightly bitter taste. Considered to be the “classic” Chimay ale, it exhibits a considerable depth of fruity, peppery character. The taste continues to evolve and develop with a few years of age, and is extremely popular with the Belgian population.
- Chimay Blanche (White…and our favorite), or Chimay Triple, 8% abv golden tripel. In the 75 cl bottle, it is known as Cinq Cents. This crisp beer bears a light orange colour, and is the most hopped and dryest of the three.
Interesting side note about these beers is they actually are ok to age. Many beers do not age very well but Chimay states that you can age the White and Red for up to 5 years and the Blue for up 15. Now that is a long time to wait for a beer!
While all three of these specially crafted Belgian beers are very good the White (Triple) is simply fantastic. While it follows in the tradition of other Belgian triples this one stands out due to it’s unique hoppy character and easy (sometimes too easy, $$) drinkability. The Bleue (blue) was our second favorite as it’s the classic Belgian Ale with tons of flavor and quality.
Where to find: Luckily over the past few years good beer is getting easier and easier to find. We have found bombers of Chimay at our local supermarket. But we warn you ahead of time…this beer is not cheap.
We hope you get to try this beer and experience what real Belgian beer made by beer loving monks since 1876.
Some information provided by Wikipedia