Here we go with the much anticipated, already a little vaunted, Chimay Green. Shipped into the USA from Belgian Shop. With transit cost, the six bottles were approx. $10 a piece. An absolute steal at that price. The usual Chimay presentation, but with the forest green coloring and the ‘150’ wreath moniker.
Light golden, slightly hazed pour with a superb, generous, pillowed, dense white, pitted head. Great retention. Chimay glass does its job with a constant flow of carbonation rising from the bottom center of the vessel.
Nose gives away a yeasty, spice with typical candy and other Belgian (yeast again) notes. It’s great, really great. That’s not to say that I haven’t smelled beers like this before – I have, a million times – but still it sits beautifully. Has me believing the taste will be spectacular.
The first sips. Initially, and just for a second, there is an apple, slightly cider-like element but that is absolutely and quickly overwhelmed by the main event. A torrent of mid-range spice, white pepper, warming alcohol and classic, sweet Belgian sugar/pale notes. Each part is distinct, yet they manage somehow to miraculously combine for a stunning overall experience and sensation. This beer is experiential. There’s some lemon, a touch of floral activity too.
This is quite a hot beer if the truth be know. Every ounce of the 10% ABV comes through, and maybe even with a little more oomph than I was expecting. The alcohol is bordering on too much, but it treads the fine line with skill. I think some may think it’s a little beyond what it should be, but for me it tip-toes along the boundary perfectly. It bites, reminiscent of a great, higher-end, higher alcohol Tripel. The aftertaste is milder than I was anticipating – given the alcohol blast up front – and is serves to round out and deliver the quintessential BSPA experience WOW. The mouthfeel is big and rich. It has some creaminess. It could be a little thinner for the style TBH.
Drinkability off the charts, and that’s even accounting for the huge alcohol. I want it again and again. I had to reach for the second bottle immediately. I’m truly excited by this beer, and that happens so infrequently these days. A return to some good old days of great, great beer. This is Belgian beer at its finest.
Oh my. What a beer. For a brewery like Chimay to come with a new* (at least in terms of permanence) beer there’s a lot of pressure, but they met that high bar, surpassed it, and added a little more on top. I can’t recommend this highly enough BUT know a few things; it’s big, and it’s bold. However, it works. It holds the style lines, despite being aggressive, and you should savor every drop. This comes together beautifully. It’s beautiful, in every sense.
*this was initially brewed in 2012 for the 150th anniversary of Chimay