Brewery: S.A. Bières de Chimay
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Other Notes: 36% French oak, 42% American oak & 22% Rum
Brewer Description: (from bottle) The “Grande Réserve” barrel aged is an exceptional beer that benefits from triple fermentation and extended maturing in barrels. Unfiltered, unpasteurised, this beer has an incomparable rounded, wooden flavour.
(from website) On the eye, the beer boasts a deep brown robe with a bright glint. Its extremely fine and smooth foam also possesses a slight shade of cream. On the nose, notes of vanilla, marzipan and wood are equally predominant. On the palate, the woodiness cloaks the bread crust, roasting, rum aromas and empyreumatical notes. This edition boasts an excellent blend of the characters of Chimay Blue and Rum. A balance between roundness and power that will be appreciated at best between 6 months and 1 year after its bottling.
My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.18
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.1
Intro: A 375ml corked and caged bottle, bottled on 10th August 2017, with a best before date of end of 2022. Poured into a Chimay goblet glass. I always thought of the Chimay Grande Réserve and thus also it’s barrel variants to be a Belgian Quad, but it appears most sites list it as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, so that’s what I’m going to do. Not going to debate this or differentiate the styles as a simple search will show many threads.
Appearance: A slightly hazy dark amber brown colour with a half finger beige head that dissipated quickly to a replenishing ring around the glass, while leaving some nice lacing.
Aroma: Light to moderately sweet, dark fruit, plum, prunes, oak, coconut, vanilla, with notes of rum.
Taste: Sweet malt, dark fruit, plum, prunes, grapes, fig, raisin, toasted oak, toasted bread, brown sugar, clove, vanilla, rum, light booziness.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Nice, complex and enjoyable, but not as good as the base beer in my opinion. I think it’s partly because rum is not one of my favoured liquors.