#ThrowbackThursday: Chimay Bleue

When I started this blog two and a half years ago, I’d already been searching for the beers from the epic list for about eight months. So I’d already managed to find quite a few of them – around 80 actually – before I decided to begin scrawling drunken notes on the back of coasters in order to post them online. To ensure these beers aren’t lost to antiquity, I’ve decided I need to revisit them in a section named Throwback Thursday (original right?). So every* Thursday I’ll bring you one of the beers that I’ve tried in the past but never written about, starting with beer number 58, Chimay Bleue.

* ”Every” Thursday may not actually occur on every Thursday in a year. It may also fall on a Friday or Saturday instead…20140226-215534.jpg

The first time I tried it…

…on a work trip to Sydney. I don’t remember the name of the bar; I do remember that they had a list of “100 Beers from around the world” of which about 75 were standard macro lagers. I also remember being the only patron in the bar. And I remember the bartender opening the bottle; he didn’t have an opener, so he just put it against the edge of the bar and smacked the top of it with his hand until the cap finally flew off and the beer spewed forth (literally). Classy stuff – probably why I didn’t bother committing the name of the bar to memory…

What’s on the bottle?

The name Chimay Bleue comes from…I’m not sure? That’s what it’s called in the book, and on the Chimay website, and Wikipedia, and RateBeer.com etc etc. But it’s not actually written on the bottle; obviously the label and the cap are both royal blue, so it’s not hard to pick which one you need from the shelf. Unless you’re colour-blind I guess, in which case you may need the assistance of a helpful friend.

What’s in the bottle?

It looks like muddy cola sitting in my glass. This gets into my head because I swear I get cola in the initial flavour as well. There’s a spicy, zesty mouth feel with a boozy burn early in the piece. Malty as hell. Milk chocolate and candy – Cadbury Creations?! The body softens as it goes, allowing more sweetness come to the fore. There’s also more clarity in the colour the more I drink, as if I’m sucking up the ‘mud’ as I go. The boozy burn is always there. A certain dark cherry aroma and ever so slight tartness as well. Even some rich apple right at the end. Complex, and boozy.

Final Thoughts

“Wow” is pretty much the only final thought I can decipher through the drunken haze that has enveloped me. Such a maelstrom of flavours, this is definitely worthy of the title “Beer you must try before you die”. In fact, try it a few times.

Fact from the book…

The book suggests that this beer truly does get better with age, with some arguing that it is at its peak after cellaring five years. So guess what I’ve got stashed in my cupboard now! I’ll let you know how it goes in another five years.


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