Sunday, 7 January 2018

Chimay Bleu

Origin: Belgium | Date: 2010 | ABV: 9% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007

One of the genuine oldies of the stash this, brought fresh from Belgium during a time my wife was travelling there for work a lot, and then completely forgotten about. It's a beer I drink a fair amount of from year to year, and always enjoy. A bottle with nearly eight years on it is therefore intriguing. For the record, the good brothers of Scourmont tell me I should have quaffed this before 2015 was out, so around the time this blog started, then.

It didn't gush, exactly, but on opening a plug of foam began leisurely making its way up the short neck to the lip of the bottle. It seemed thin as it poured, crackling in the glass and completely failing to form a head.

There's a sour note to the aroma, a touch of prune or damson in with the normal fruitcake. I was expecting a tangy flavour on foot of that, but no: if anything the fruitcake is concentrated. It's remarkably sweet, like a moist tea brack or even a gooey caramel square. The texture is definitely lighter, resulting in a much quicker and cleaner finish than usual. If it weren't for the busy fizz this would be downright quaffable, like an English old ale, or a glass of tawny port. The sparkle makes it difficult to relax with.

While not madly different from the original, this bottle has been enhanced by the ageing process. Whether it needs more or less time in the bottle I cannot say, but buying a few bottles cheaply the next time you're in a Belgian supermarket and putting them away somewhere would be a shrewd move.

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