2016 Chimay Grande Reserve Ale Barrel Aged by Bières de Chimay S.A

14203384_498865913642849_6410905480117919217_nRating: 7/7

2016 Chimay Grande Reserve Ale Barrel Aged by Bières de Chimay S.A is a 10.5% ABV Belgian Trappist Dark Strong Ale aged in French Oak, American Oak, Cognac and Chestnut Barrels.

Label:
The “Grande Reserve” Aged in wooden casks is an exceptional beer that benefits from triple fermentation and extended maturing in barrels. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, this beer has an incomparable rounded, wooden flavour.

Ingredients: water, barley malt, wheat, sugar, hop, yeast. More info: Chimay.us/barrel

Commercial Description:
The barrel-aged Chimay Bleue of March 2016 stands out from classic Chimay Bleue thanks to the many nuances provided by the additional fermentation in wooden barrels.
On the eye, the beer boasts a deep brown robe with a bright glint. It’s extremely fine and smooth foam also possesses a slight shade of cream.
On the nose, notes of black tea, jasmine and wood are equally predominant.
On the palate, the woodiness cloaks the bread crust, roasting, mocha and Cognac aromas as well as the empyreumatical notes.
This 2016 edition of barrel-aged Chimay Bleue boasts an excellent blend of the characters of Chimay Bleue and Cognac. This balance between roundness and powerfulness is best appreciated between 6 months and 1 year after it is bottled.

Type of Barrels

For this second batch, a mixture of barrels has been used.
38% of French oak – second utilization
22% of American oak – second utilization
22% of new cognac barrels
18% of new chestnut
Produced in limited amounts using craft-brewing methods.
The sophisticated bouquet is perfectly showcased when served at a temperature of between 10 and 12°C.
Alcohol content: 10.5%
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==Introduction==

I obtained this one at my local shop. Having tried the St. Bernardus abt 12 Oak aged, when I first saw this, I thought I must have it. I couldn’t be driven to buy this thought. At a $40+ price, it just seemed way too expensive. Yes, it is Chimay. One of the best and world renounced Belgian Dark Strong ales but this time, in the barrel aged form. I actually passed this one up several times because of the price. It wasn’t until I talked to my friend Richard Avila about this beer that it was clear what I had to do. He had mentioned that, for a lover a Belgian brews, this is something very special and maybe not to try it, might be missing out on something that could well be loved by the community. He said I should try it for the fans of my work to see if they would be intrigued to get this one. This along with the fact that it was aged in several barrels and not just a single or a double but quadruply barrel aged. It was definitely a moving feat. So without further ado, I finally bring you, the Barrel Aged Chimay Blue Reserve.
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Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, prunes, dates, dark cherries, red wine sangria, Belgian dark candy sugar, Amber candy sugar, cane sugar, rock candy, grilled bananas, clove spice, toasted coconut, piloncillo sugar cone, pecan pie, hazelnut, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, port wine, Mexican Dulce de leche Cajeta, leche de cabra, tres leches/ three milks cake, flan, crème brulee, sweetened condensed milk, bananas and clove spice.

Flavors:
Rich Dark candy sugar, Amber candy sugar, cane sugar, rock candy, oak, vanilla, cognac, dulce de leche caramel, crystalized caramel, piloncillo sugar cone, Mexican Dulce de leche Cajeta, leche de cabra, tres leches/ three milks cake, flan, crème brulee, sweetened condensed milk, Dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, prunes, dates, dark cherries, dark cherry yogurt, pecan pie, hazelnut, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, port wine, Chambord raspberry liqueur, marshmallows, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, almond joy, earthy and herbal hops, pilsner grain, fruit cake, molasses, anise, chestnut cake, red wine sangria, waffle cone, graham crackers, grilled bananas, stone fruit peach, apricot, clove spice, chocolate oatmeal cookie and Danish cream.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich dark fruits, oak, caramel, vanilla, marshmallows, port wine, red wine, pecan pie, chestnuts, cognac notes, stone fruits, dark candy sugar and earthy hop notes. No alcohol in the taste, Abysmal Dark Crimson full body, smooth, syrupy, velvety and creamy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Even for the price, this exceptionally delicious bucket lister was just damn amazing. It has been a while since I tried Chimay Blue and the Reserve. Essentially, staples in my early days of craft beer Belgian experience. This one, just takes it to a whole new level. I have tried many Belgian Dark Strongs, all amazing and all over the top. This, however, this is some new godly potion. There is so much going on and all of it is so damn appeasing. Definitely, this one is to save for a very special occasion and supremely and highly recommended to all lovers of the Dark Belgian Arts.
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Anime Corner:
Konan from Naruto was chosen in this pairing to represent the Chimay Blue colors but her Akatsuki outfit also represents the Monks of Belgian of which compliments this beer’s Trappist origin. Also, the fact that she can create angel wings also coincided with the divine beverage that this really is. In a way, the quadruple barrel aging is really a way for her to “unleash”!!
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Sources:
http://bellbell2345.deviantart.com/art/Konan-622565109
http://images.forwallpaper.com/files/images/d/df7f/df7fc741/272209/konan.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/307111
http://i.imgur.com/fUYcfGc.jpg

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