The monks at the Notre-Dame de Scourmount Abbey have been brewing commercially since 1862 and were the first to use the term Trappist Ale on their labels. In 1948 the era of crown capped 33 cl. bottles began. First there was red, then shortly afterwards blue; it took a further 18 years for the white to come along in 1966.
With an alcohol vol. of 8% it sits nicely between the 7 and 9 of its two siblings. In style however it’s certainly not a progression from the dubbel to the strong dark blue label. Light orange-gold in colour ( the other two are darkened with malt extract ), much drier and more bitter ; in other words, a typical tripel.
The beer is produced in 33cl and 75 cl. bottles, the latter version being called cinq cents, and since 2001 is also available on draught.
As with the other two Chimay beers it immediately shows its class; the aroma is yeast with herb and malt grain and a very slight mustiness. A tart not unpleasant bitterness is way up front in the taste followed by the malt which never becomes over sweet, blending into a sweet apple.
The bitterness settles down in the finish to a refreshing herbal tea element and pepper and clove round up the picture.
No doubt , a great tripel, but I have to say if I had to pick one Chimay beer it would be the blue one and if it had to be one tripel, the Westmalle.
Happy beer drinking!