Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chimay Dorée (2011 original review)


3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (624) - Albany, USA - MAR 1, 2011
"Trappist" beers are brewed by monks in Europe who take the proceeds from the sales and use them for charitable causes. Most of their beers are sold commercially in the United States, but nearly every monastery brews a small, sessionable beer intended for the monks’ personal consumption with lunch and dinner. These beers are only sold to the public at the individual monastery and "Doree" (French for "golden") is the Chimay version of this style.

I received a 330ml bottle from a friend in Belgium (thanks, Bart!), and poured it into the official Chimay chalice

Appearance: dirty golden/light brown, like an unfiltered apple cider. Forms an off-white, soapy, fizzy head which evaporates fairly quickly like a soda. Extremely effervescent carbonation present in the glass despite the nearly opaque color.

Smell: Granny Smith apple and white grape with a distinct sour scent. More akin to white wine than beer.

Taste: This beer is much closer to a dry white wine or a hard cider - but without the clean, crisp palate. Much like the nose the flavor is sour, with tart white grape and green apple. It’s a very sharp taste and it’s very impressive a beer so statistically "small" can have such a bold body. That being said, the flavor is isn’t exactly super delicious as it does remind me of a green apple past its prime.

Mouthfeel: This beer doesn’t dance on my tongue the way many Trappist beers do, but instead seems to scrap it like a razor. The body is very light and thin.

Drinkability: Surprisingly low for a beer this petite. The extreme carbonation gets stuck in the throat and induces a lot of belching between swigs. Drank cold it’s fairly easy to get down, but as it warms it becomes a sipper. The sharp, sour palate demands this beer be paired with cheese or a light meal to dull the edge.

Overall, one of the most interesting and original beers I’ve ever drank. I did find it somewhat refreshing, but it’s difficult to imagine being a monk drinking this on a daily basis because of the sharp palate. Definitely worth trying for the unique drinking experience alone.

Grade: 7/10

NOTE: Read my 2015 re-review of this beer here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2015/01/chimay-doree-2015-re-review.html