Friday, October 3, 2008

Chimay Première Ale - Review

Chimay Première (Red) AleI've been looking forward to sampling this Chimay beer for quite a while now. Since my 1st experience with it's darker brother, Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue), I've wanted to try more from the same brewery. Chimay Première Ale, aka Chimay Red, is a Belgian Dubbel from the Trappist monks of Baileux, Belgium. This is a lighter colored brew but commands a healthy 7% ABV. This came in an 11.2oz bottle instead of the bigger 750ml bottle.

This brew pours a reddish brown color with a modest tan head. The head evaporated down very quickly. It seems that with smaller bottles with this style, head retention seems to be an issue. The Chimay Blue in a 11.2 oz bottle also lost it's head early where the bigger bottle seemed to keep a larger head. It must be that the brew wasn't as bottle conditioned as bigger bottles can be.

This beer had a sweet Belgian yeasty aroma. It was funky, and a bit floral. Fruity but not sure just what fruit I was smelling. Perhaps figs or raisin, those come to mind. I could not see through this beer. There was a noticable "hiss" when I opened up this beer so I know it had been well carbonated.

I don't know what it is lately, but the first few sips of a brew just haven't tasted as good as they do much later in the tasting. It took a bit of time to let this beer warm and about half of the glass of beer for the true flavors to start coming out. It was then that I really started to enjoy this beer. I suggest letting this beer warm a bit before sampling.

By the end of the glass I had become a real fan of this Belgian Dubbel. Be careful, because there is a bit of sediment at the bottom of this bottle as I expected. So pour carefully.

This is yet another great example of what a really good Belgian beer can be. I've become a big fan of Chimay beers and would highly recommend this brew to anyone. I'll give this brew a solid 3.6 out of 5 ranking and a repeat buy recommendation.

Now I look forward to sampling the Chimay White in the near future. If you've sampled this beer before, please tell me what you thought of it. I'd love to hear your opinion of this brew. What food would you pair with this beer?

Related articles:
- Chimay Grande Reserve.
- Return to Choice City Butcher and Deli.

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