An obsession with Belgian Ale: Chimay

17 Jan
January 17, 2012

Up until recently, I casually enjoyed the taste of an ice cold Corona on a hot day. Now I know Corona isn’t the greatest of beers, but it tasted fine to me… that is until I was introduced to a Belgian Ale brewed by Trappist Monks called, Chimay. There are 4 different flavors of Chimay, which are easiest identified by simple colors of the labels; red, white, blue, and golden.

I’ll use content from Wikipedia to describe each one.

Chimay Rouge (Red) – 7% abv. In the 75 cl bottle, it is known as Première. It is a dark brown colour and has a sweet, fruity aroma.

Chimay Bleue (Blue) – 9% abv darker ale. In the 75 cl bottle, it is known as Grande Réserve. This copper-brown beer has a light creamy head and a slightly bitter taste. Considered to be the “classic” Chimay ale, it exhibits a considerable depth of fruity, peppery character.

Chimay Blanche (White), or Chimay Triple, 8% abv golden tripel. In the 75 cl bottle, it is known as Cinq Cents. This crisp beer bears a light orange colour, and is the most hopped and driest of the three.

Chimay Dorée (Golden), 4.8% abv ale, brewed from very similar ingredients as the Red, but paler and spiced differently. It is a patersbier, intended only to be drunk at the abbey or at the nearby inn Auberge de Poteaupré, which is associated with the abbey. The monks themselves drink this variety rather than the stronger three. The Dorée is not sold commercially and the rare bottles which make their way out are through unofficial sources. Even the brewery’s own web site makes no mention of this variety.


My personal favorite is the white, but I have yet to try the golden. During the holidays, they had a gift pack available that contained a bottle of each flavor as well as a commemorative Chimay glass. This was my first introduction to the white label, which immediately became my favorite.

In smaller areas, Chimay proves somewhat difficult to find, and if you do happen to find, it can be quite expensive. Ranging anywhere from $10 to $15 a bottle for the white label and a few dollars more for the red and blue, this expensive, but delicious Belgian ale is well worth the price.

I also tried Brasserie Dubisson Cuvee Troll, which was actually quite good as well. Description: Trolls is Dubisson’s fastest growing beer. Made with all blond malts & a touch of orange peel, Trolls is a hazy blond, with a lovely, doughy, fresh malt aroma. Finishes clean.

I definitely have plans to try more imports in the future, but for now Chimay is my drink of choice.

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