Dorée is the “patersbier” of Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont – a Belgian
pale ale or “single” if you will. I first reviewed this beer back in
2011 when a friend in Belgium sent me a bottle. Drinking it again nearly
four years later, it’s almost nothing like I remember. The first time
around it was quite dry and tasted of white grape; this time it’s
remarkably fruity, citrusy and spicy – almost like a witbier. It seems
like a completely different beer to me (it’s possible they changed the
recipe for export). Whatever the case may be, it’s a really good
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into the official Chimay chalice. It was bottled in 2014 and cost $7.99 ($0.71 per ounce).
Appearance: Clear golden/amber hue with plenty of effervescence visible.
Pours to a one-finger, white, soapy head that retains and laces well.
Smell: Strong citrusy notes with a clean floral bouquet. Light esters also present.
Taste: Like any good classic Belgian ale, the first thing I notice about
this beer is how lively it is. An immediate sensation of carbonation,
quickly followed by light fruity flavors, especially orange and lemon.
There’s an almost American hop presence of flowers and citrus, though
not nearly as bitter. The Trappist yeast esters create for some banana
character as well, and maybe even a hint of vanilla. On the backend I
get a firm spicy character from the coriander, plus more orange zest
from the orangepeel. Not much in the way of white grape or any kind of
wine-like character. This is essentially a witbier but without the
wheat. It’s not the kind of beer I would normally associate with a
Trappist monastery, which is probably what makes it all the more
Drinkability: Since this beer is bottle-conditioned, it’s no wonder it’s
so vigorous across the tongue. Frotunately, there’s no carbonation
bitterness. The body is fairly light, and it’s remarkably refreshing
while in the mouth. It finishes mostly clean with a slightly dry,
starchy aftertaste. At only 4.8% ABV, Chimay Dorée would be easy to
session the beer in warmer settings if only the price tag weren’t so