602. Bières de Chimay – Chimay Rouge Première

602. Bières de Chimay - Chimay Rouge PremièreMy wife took me to Peoria, IL for my birthday tonight, and we went to Seven on Prospect for dinner. It was a bit crowded, so we sat down at the bar. I normally wouldn’t order this beer while out to dinner, just because of the price it’d probably cost per bottle. But, I figured it was my birthday and I’d treat myself to a good beer on my birthday.

Location: Poured into a wine goblet from the bottle at Seven on Prospect in Peoria, IL.

Numbers: 7.0% ABV, ~ 230 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s a rusty reddish-brown color and fairly hazy with a thick, tan head made up big bubbles, which fell to a thin layer of on top, and left almost no lacing as I enjoyed it. It had a great warm aroma with a mix of raisin, fig, and dark Belgian candy sugar sweetness.

Taste & Feel: It has a medium body and a somewhat crisp mouthfeel from
the carbonation in it. The flavor up front is fairly sweet with a good amount of dark Belgian candy sugar flavors. The dark candy sugar flavors transition into the middle with some light Belgian spiciness coming through. The slight Belgian spiciness grows in the finish, mixing with some spicy bitterness and a good amount of dark fruit, raisin, and fig flavors with the dark candy sugar sweetness that carries throughout. The sweetness lasts in the finish, along with some of the Belgian spiciness in the background.

Food Pairing: There’s a good amount of sweetness in this beer, making it a good brew to pair with food. I ended up having this beet with a shrimp-pasta dish, but I think it would have paired much better with a  thick, juicy burger, or BBQ. If you really wanted to enjoy the flavors of the beer, try a toasted pretzel to bring in some light toasty breadiness with the sweet and lightly spicy flavors.

Overall Impression: It may have been a special occasion, which adds to the enjoyment, but I really enjoyed this beer. The complex flavors, mixing Belgian candy sugar sweetness with light spiciness and dark fruit flavors was nice. I noticed there was a good, lightly chilled temperature for this beer, somewhere between as cold as it was when I received it and a little below room temperature. It let the aroma and flavor develop, but didn’t release too much carbonation (as I found when it warmed up). Overall, I really enjoyed the complexity of this beer and will definitely have to try the blue and yellow labels as well.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Reader Ratings[five-star-rating]

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