Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Now That's What I Call A Beer!

My step-son John and I have what I would call a strained relationship. We don't have a lot in common except our despise of Apple Macintosh computers. Mine stems from the fact that I am no fool and John's stems from the fact that he owns one and knows first-hand what a piece of shit it is. So if one of us teaches the other something, I am the one doing the teaching and John is the one doing the learning (or not, I told him not to buy that Mac). However, a week and a half ago, on the occasion of his 40th birthday, John taught me something. I'm not sure I should thank him or not.

We met John at his latest digs in downtown Los Angeles and headed for Pete's Cafe, a place that John used to be a waiter at when it first opened. My wife and I ordered wine with dinner, John ordered something I had never heard of before; he ordered a Chimay. Chimay is a brand of beer, made since 1862 by Trappist monks at the Scourmont Abby in Chimay, Belgium. No pun intended, but "Holy crap is this great beer!" Then again, at between $8.50 to $10.00 a 25.4 oz bottle it better be. Those are store prices, at Pete's it ran $18.50 a bottle.

Chimay comes in three flavors, Red, White or Blue. That night John offered me a taste of his Chimay Blue, which had the unmistakable tang of cinnamon. While shopping at Whole Foods yesterday I picked up a bottle of Red and Blue and had the Chimay Red last night with dinner. My god, what an amazing beer. It froths and expands in your mouth like a creamy root beer and has a spicy taste and a fruity aroma. The monks describe it so:

Topped with a creamy head, it gives off a light, fruity apricot aroma produced by the fermentation. The taste perceived in the mouth is a balance confirming the fruity nuances noticed in the fragrance.

Its taste, which imparts a silky sensation to the tongue, is made refreshing by a light touch of bitterness. To the palate, the taster perceives a pleasant astringency which complements the flavour qualities of this beer very harmoniously.

This top fermented Trappist beer, refermented in the bottle, is not pasteurised.
However you want to describe it, Chimay Red is unlike any beer I have tried before. If only it didn't cost so much!

No comments: