Chimay Premiere

For my first couple of posts on Beer(s) For Breakfast, I think it’s only suitable that I write a review of my favorite beer and my least favorite beer. So I’m going to start things of with my favorite, Chimay Premiere.

Instead of trying to sound sophisticated and pompous by writing a beer review that reads like a wine review, I’m going to explain why Chimay Premiere (or Chimay Red) is, in my humble opinion, the best beer in the world… that I have tried up to this point, at least. I’m not going to ramble on about how it’s made, what ingredients are used, etc. because that’s already been done. If you want to know about all that, which I would definitely encourage, start here.

Chimay wins in all categories. First of all, it’s not pasteurized… so you get all the delicious pathogenic micro-organisms. Second of all, it’s made by Belgian monks (which means its blessed and that God approves and probably drinks it himself). As for appearance, it’s copper-coloured and, if poured correctly and into the right type of glass*, yields an extremely creamy head. It has a mild fruit scent, smooth texture, bold flavor, and just the right amount of bitterness in the aftertaste. And in case you’re wondering, you ARE supposed to drink the sediment.

Anyway, that’s all I’m going to say in regards to describing the beer because, as stated earlier, I don’t want this to sound like a wine review. Before going out and trying this for yourself, keep in mind that acquiring a taste for specialty beers like this one takes time. You need to immerse yourself in beer culture to really understand it and develop a palette. That sounds really lame, but it’s true. You can’t expect people who have only ever had ordinary domestic beer to like something like Chimay. It’s complex and aromatic… something that most common beers are severely lacking. If you’re a Molson fan, try something like Leffe Brune before investing in Chimay… it’s not as good, but you’ll get the idea of the kind of flavor you can expect from Chimay and most other Trappist Belgian beers.

Chimay is great for all seasons. The hints of fruit and the sweetness of its flavor makes it ideal on a hot summer day, yet its bold taste and higher alcohol percentage (7%) makes it a great winter beer as well. It comes in two sizes, 750 ml and 330 ml. As far as I know, the 330 ml one is only available in the Chimay gift set which makes its appearance at the LCBO around Christmas time. I would recommend the 750 ml anyway. You can fill your chalice up twice that way. Also, it’s great for sharing (this is only recommended if you have two chalices).

Chimay is available only at select liqour stores, but you can go to the LCBO website and enter it in the search thing to find the nearest store that carries it. If you’re not sure about Chimay yet, try Leffe first (the Brune, not the the Blonde… they’re completely different), see what you think of it, and then make your decision. If you don’t like it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a chump, it just means that your palette isn’t refined enough… or that you’re a chump.

I give Chimay Premiere 5 out of 5 Paul Westerberg heads (obviously). Paul definitely approves. He would drink this for breakfast anyday.

By the way, the Triple and the Blue are both amazing as well. Maybe I’ll review those later…

* Chimay has it’s own chalice. I would recommend picking one (or more) up. They’re great for almost any type of beer other than stouts that need to been pounded into a pint glass. I say this because they’re wide and allow the beer to breathe so you can really take in the aromas… plus it has a stem so you can hold onto that and not the body of the glass so that the beer doesn’t get warm.

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2 Responses

  1. You should add another review and rating for how Chimay tastes in different glasses to stress the point of using the correct goblet.
    I’d figure..
    Chimay Goblet = 5/5
    Westmalle Goblet = 4.5/5
    Wine Glass = 3/5 (actually kind of sour tasting in my opinion)
    Pint Glass = 2/5 (flat tasting – too much head, dissipates, flavour feels tainted)
    Bottle (sin) = 1/5 (flavour not developed/released)
    It always seems to come up when we break out the Chimay.

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