Monday, 25 May 2009

First outing with Chimay

I have often meant to try Chimay beers but two things put me off. Size of the bottle and price. OK so I have bought far more expensive beers than this but mostly they come in either 500ml or 750ml bottles where as Chimay comes in little 330ml bottles and cost about €3 each. Yesterday though I popped in to the off license by the Silver Granite in Palmerstown on the way to my parents house. The last time I was in there they had a few interesting beers including a Christmas ale from Whychwood.
Yesterday though they had very little apart from Chimay (blue and red). So I grabbed one of each as well as two Black Sheep Ales. I also grabbed a 12 year old Redbreast Whiskey as its only €33 as opposed to €45 everywhere else I see it.

First up I had the stronger of the two at 9%. Chimay blue was carbonated very nicely and poured into a large wine glass as it is the closest I had to the stlye. It was a very dark brown and there were dark bits floating at the bottom. It reminded me of homebrew wine actually with the exception of the head.

The aroma had an obvious fruitiness which to me reminded me of plum. There was also a nice alcoholic nose and this was very evident while drinking.

  • sight - Dark brown, floaty bits in the bottom, foamy.
  • smell - Something sweet like plum and definate alcohol on the nose. Yeast
  • taste - A little sweet but not overly so. Alcohol lingers and warms.
  • sweet - 3/5
  • bitter - 1/5
I quite enjoyed this actually, more so than I thought I would. I am not sure about getting it again, perhaps one bottle every now and again but I just hate buying beer in 330ml bottles. I hope Brewdog take note.

Next up was the red label. This one is only 7% though that is still a pretty impressive ABV.
I am going to be honest here, I could not tell much of a difference between this and the blue in most respects.
Sure the blue tasted a little better, had the nice alcohol feeling. The thing is, the red is supposed to be a different style and I just did not get what the difference was apart from the fact it was less impressive than the blue. It reminds me of trying to tell the difference between a stout and a porter.
There was less fruit to the red and an explosive carbonation which had me putting the bottle into the glass while it foamed out of the top before I could pour it. I lost a bit of beer which I wiped up before the photo. After so much foam I found there was little head or carbonation left. Might have just got a shake while in the car.

  • sight - Dark brown/red, floaty bits in the bottom, foamy.
  • smell - Slightly fruity, Plum and a hint of banana? Yeasty
  • taste - A little sweet and fruity, no bitterness, slightly metallic?
  • sweet - 2/5
  • bitter - 1/5
Out of the two I think you can guess that the Blue was my favourite, that is not to say I did not enjoy the Red though. I would certainly try both again and I will have to try a bottle of the White. I have never seen these in the larger 750ml bottles, I wonder do they represent better value?


  1. i must admit to always having a soft spot for chimay, that said though i rarely actually buy it, i'm still trying to make my way through the abbots selection in the downstairs offie.

  2. Off license downstairs? How convenient :D

  3. I think the blue is a superb beer. I'm aging one now to see what happens to it.

    And what's wrong with 330ml bottles?!

  4. The only thing wrong with 330ml bottles is they are too small. I like 500ml bottles, it is just enough beer to satisfy me and I feel cheated by a 330ml bottle. Perhaps that is just me.
    Also I can not re-use the 330ml bottles for my own beer, well I could but I choose not to as again, 500ml bottles are the perfect size.

    A beer in a 330ml bottle is no cheaper than a beer in a 500ml bottle which is probably why I feel cheated.