Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue Cap)
To me, the Chimay Grand Reserve provides a pretty good benchmark for a Belgian Dubbel. It’s not extraordinary, leave that for the Trappistes Rochefort 10, but it’s certainly one to come back to time and time again. The Dubbel is quintessentially a dark belgian strong ale, edging up towards the double digits in the alcohol by volume department (not that Dubbel dubbed its name from this). Being one of the few actual ‘Trappist’ beers, Chimay is proudly brewed by the monks at the Scourmont Abbey. I’d like to say that the monk’s sole purpose in life is to uphold the name of Belgian beers and provide a bloody awesome product, but that’s a lie… they do other stuff too. One thing you might not have known is the revenue from the beer goes back to the community, which makes us good people for drinking good beer!
The Grand Reserve pours a rich amber brown with a slightly tanned head. It’s got a chocolatey caramel nose with a tad of dried dark fruit. The best way to describe the taste is seamlessly smooth. From start to finish the smooth caramel-iness just rolls across the tongue, which may come from the higher percentage. However, weighing in at 9%, you definitely wouldn’t say that it’s too overwhelming or in your face. Behind the caramel, you get hints of dark fruits, as well as a subtlety of sweet spice, giving a voluptuous, well balanced ale.
As I mentioned, this is a beer you keep coming back to, I know I do. Luckily it’s quite easy to come by too. BWS are currently getting rid of their stock, so I bought this one at $10 for a 750mL bottle! But I doubt they’ll last long at that price, so you’re looking to spend about $18.