Monday, May 2, 2011

Chimay Cinq Cents - Tripel

I received this bottle of Chimay Cinq Cents few years ago for Father's Day or my birthday from the Beer Rovette, I don't exactly remember.  I put it in the beer fridge and there it sat, and sat, and sat.  I watched a New Brew Thursday podcast (April 7) and the three hosts shared a couple of bottles of  Chimay Blue, and discussed Chimays' long shelf-life.  I was worried that I had let my Chimay Tripel languish too long in storage, but after watching the episode I decided to open my bottle.   I can safely say that this beer was not impacted one bit by its extended stay in the fridge.

The Chimay Cinq Cents poured a cloudy copper with a white foam that was tight and not too high.  It had a plenty of carbonation.   The yeast was dominate, but there was a mellow, satisfying hop presence in the finish.  The alcohol was there, but never intrusive.   This is a smooth, satisfying tripel, and sublime is not too strong an adjective.   It is more subtle than aggressive, more nuanced than obtrusive, understatement in a bottle.   The ABV is 8%, and is not boozy at all.  Chimay Cinq Cents is a rich, balanced, approachable beer.  If you are exploring Belgian tripels or strong golden ales, this beer should be on your list, and it will likely become one of your benchmarks. 

Chimay's are widely distributed, which is probably why I tend to overlook them for other beers.  I have now tried all three Chimays and all three are excellent.  Next time your in a big grocery store with limited beer offerings, skip the craft beer standards and look to the top shelf for the Chimays.  You can't go wrong.

And memo to New Brew Thursday guys:  when you do food tastings, everyone should have his own plate.

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