Belgian beers were my first love, a story that I’ve told here before. It took me a long time after enjoying beer to start brewing beer. Then it took me longer still to want to brew a Belgian. When I finally decided I wanted to brew one I had to read Stan Heironymous’ Brew Like A Monk first.
[Ed.: Today we have a great guest post from Jake Metzler, a writer for Midwest Supplies. Jake spends his free time writing songs, brewing beer, and drinking his creations. He’s still perfecting the practice of doing all three at once. He also has a growing collection of brewing supplies. Thanks for getting in touch with us and providing us with this piece!]
Chimay Beer Review and the Search for the Rare, Golden Chimay Dorée
Whether you’re a Trappist monk at the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Scourment in Belgium’s Hainaut province or a beer-lover, chances are you’re familiar with Chimay. For the sake of readers that aren’t members of a Belgian beer-brewing monastic order or haven’t encountered Chimay secularly- it’s a top-shelf brand of ales much sought by connoisseurs. There are three varieties publicly offered by the Chimay Brewery: Rouge (Red), Blanche (White) and Bleue (Blue).
Should this inspire you to seek out some Chimay, it’s probably my duty to moderate the hypothetical sticker-shock. While not Châteaux Lafite-expensive, you can expect to pay between $5.50 and $8… per 12 oz. bottle. Chimay also comes in 750 ml bottles that will set you back between $11 and $15. However, there’s another variety of Chimay that would set you back considerably more than $15 to acquire (unless you’re one of the previously-mentioned Chimay Trappists)…
The day has finally arrived. 12/12/12. I’ve talked about the hype behind this beer before but I’ll very quickly say that this has been rated as the best beer in the world and has been one of the hardest to get. Starting today, and likely only today as it will sell out, the monks have changed their rules so instead of only buying it at the abbey you can buy it across America.
I was lucky enough to win a lottery drawing to be able to pay $85 for the 6-pack + 2 glasses. Some are going to the basement for aging, some are being saved for a tasting with friends, but 1… 1 is going down tonight!
Newer readers may not know this, but Belgian ales are my love, passion, and absolute favorite style. I’ve reviewed a few Belgians (full list) on this site already, including my review of Trappistes Rochefort 8. I also wrote a long post on the history of Trappist beers which you should check out if you’re unfamiliar with Belgian ales or Trappist beers (which the following beer is one of).
Normally the trappist brews are Tom’s domain, but I’ve been waiting a long time to try this one and it’s been long worth the wait. I recently came into three bottles of this from its limited distribution on the east coast earlier this summer and have been waiting to kick a terrible case of mono I’ve had for the past month before I opened the first of them.
A little background: Westvleteren 12 (and all the other Brouwerij Westvelteren beers) are very, very highly sought after. They have the smallest output of any of the trappist breweries and Westvleteren 12 consistently places in the top beer lists year after year. Up until this year it has never been distributed legally in the United States, coming to our shores through overseas beer trades, in the luggage of overseas vacationers, and through other various methods. This year, however, to pay for some capital improvements at the monastery, six-packs will be sold with two glasses for $85.00 or so. This may seem like a lot, but the opportunity to purchase six normally next-to-impossible to buy beers off the shelf is one I’m definitely going to jump on (if I even get the chance).
Regardless, I have the beer and I’ve consumed it, so does it live up to the hype?