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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chimay Red Review

Well what do we have here? A gift set!

I picked this up from the near-by LCBO for $14.95 CAD. LCBO stores are starting to get their holiday packs and samplers and there was an abundance of beers one wouldn't normally find in Ontario. I bought the Chimay gift set was because I have been looking for a Chimay Blue for some time now. It has also been a while since I have had Chimay Red so this gift set presented a great opportunity for me to experience all three at once...well...not really all at once. I was also happy to get the Chimay Chalice.

You are supposed to store bottle of Chimay Red in a cellar at 10 to 12 degrees centigrade, but the closest thing I have to a cellar is a cool basement and that is where I stored the bottle overnight and waited for it to cool down a bit. I could have placed it in the fridge and taken it out 40 or so minutes prior to consumption, but I decided not to. The temperature where I left the bottle was 16, close enough.

The beer opens with foam just exploding from the bottle. Yes, this is a bottle conditioned beer, and be careful opening it. The pour is very smooth with a medium thick, creamy head, which takes little time to recede to a nice beige island in the middle of the glass. The color is brown with some red hues, and cloudy. The aroma is spicy, fruity and quite strong. Hints of apples and pears are noticeable. The taste is of roasted malt, dried fruits and some spices with hop bitterness at the end. The finish is short to medium and similar to the end taste - hoppy, bitter with a bit of sweetness from the fruits. The one thing I don't like about this beer is how the wheat taste gradually builds up. The first third of the bottle is great, all the flavours come together to create a fantastic experience, but then comes the second third where the wheat becomes dominant in the finish. The last third ruins the experience from the first third by making the wheat taste even stronger. This is still a fairly decent beer that you can find at some LCBO stores, but I
think that the Westmalle Dubbel is a better, overall, beer. The problem with the latter is that it is hard to find.

Cost - a part of a gift set costing $14.95 CAD, 750 mL bottle of "Chimay Premier" is $6.60
Taste - 7.1/10

Overall - 7.1/10...I prefer Westmalle Dubbel

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