This is the third and final Chimay beer to be covered here, after the luxurious Chimay Bleue and the fruity and sinister Chimay Rouge. The Blanche has proven a little harder to get hold of for some reason, but a recent lunch hour stroll to City Beverage Company finally resolved matters.
Chimay Blanche is very much in the Belgian tripel style, so should be more reminiscent of Westmalle Tripel than of the previous two Chimays. Let’s find out.
As expected, Chimay Blanche pours a much paler colour than its siblings, a beautiful and typically Belgian golden shade, with a pillowy white head. It smells light, subtle and again very Belgian with those distinctive esters that their golden beers always offer.
One taste is enough to know that the Blanche is far more suited to the summer months than the Bleue and the Rouge. It’s a truly refreshing beer, but at a respectable 8.0% ABV, it’s no wimpy pale ale. Instead it’s deep and rich with a huge and satisfying bitter finish.
There isn’t the complex fruit of the Westmalle Tripel, and that beer’s distinct banana notes are largely absent, being replaced by slightly darker toastier notes.
All in all this is a lovely beer. It isn’t a particularly easy one to describe, not least since it constantly reveals more depth as the glass drains, and the beer edges towards room temperature. I think I’m going to need to try another one!
Facts and Figures
|Bières de Chimay S.A., Baileux, Belgium
|City Beverage Company, Old Street, London EC1