As you've maybe seen in an older report I tasted some Belgian beers a while back... and some of those where really enjoyable.
Due to this I decided to pick up some bottles of those and on Saturday they arrived:
- 6 bottles (Imperial) of Chimay Bleue Grande Réserve 2010
- 3 bottles (Magnum) of Chimay Bleue Grande Réserve 2010
- 3 bottles (Imperial) of Chimay Bleue Grande Réserve 2005, 2006, 2007 (one bottle of each)
- 2 bottles (Imperial) of Deus Brut des Flandres, Cuvee 2009
- 8 bottles of Orval
Here are some more details about those beers....
Chimay (Authentic Trappist product):
Named Grande Réserve in 75 cl (25.4 fl.oz.) bottles, it is principally distinguished by its character of a strong beer. This is a beer whose fragrance of fresh yeast with a light, flowery rosy touch is especially pleasant.
This top fermented Trappist beer, refermented in the bottle, is not pasteurized.
If you think that Magnum is just a Chimay Blue in a 150 cl (51 fl.oz.) bottle, you are forgetting one essential fact, for it is important to appreciate that a large volume of beer affects the development of taste in the second fermentation of the beer in the bottle and gives it a fuller and smoother character.
Deus is brewed with the finest summer barley and select hops, but unlike any other Belgian specialty, it undergoes a lengthy, costly maturation in the Champagne region of France. For centuries, the French have used the elegant and labor-intensive "methode Champenoise” as the way to make the best sparkling wines in the world. Deus receives this treatment, just as the finest Champagne, and the result is remarkable. Following the initial fermentation, Deus is shipped to France, where practitioners of “Méthode Champanoise” follow their strict protocol of bottle turning (“remuage”) and yeast removal (“degorgement”). The entire process takes more than a year, but its well worth the wait.
Deus is clearly not a sparkling wine, nor is it a “beer” in the traditional sense. With flavors of anise, fresh malt, herbal hops and a slightly bready yeast note, it's a combination of those two worlds. It should be served ice cold in a narrow flute or champagne goblet for best appearance and flavor.
Orval (Authentic Trappist product):
It is only two months after it has been brewed and checked several times for quality that the Orval beer leaves the brewery.
It will bring pleasure to those who drink it if they observe the following rules: Beer, a refined drink for the same reasons as wine, must be stored away from light, at a temperature between 10 and 15 °C (46 to 56 F). It should be served at this same temperature and in its special glass, and its sediment should be tasted separately.
The gustative sensations will gain in nuance depending on the age of the beer. Young beer is characterised by a bouquet of fresh hops, with a fruity note and pronounced bitterness, light on the palate and a less firm collar than a beer of six months. The latter will feature a bouquet consisting of a blend of fragrances of yeast and old-fashioned hop. The bitterness is more diffuse and the taste has moved to a slight touch of acidity accompanying yeast and caramel flavors. Served without its sediments, a beer of six months or more, has a particularly bright appearance. It will be less so, if it is served at a temperature below 7 to 8 °C (44 to 45 F).