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.
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
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%
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”!!
2011 Bourbon Barrel Aged Grand Cru by Black Diamond is a 9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale which 75% is brewed with Fruit with Vanilla Beans Added and 25% Ale is aged in Bourbon Barrels.
The designation of “Grand Cru” originates from the Burgundy region of France. Brewers have taken the term and applied to it more elaborate, aged and reserved versions of their beers. Our Belgian-style Dark Ale has been taken to the next level by the careful blending and aging techniques.
After much tinkering -with a number of unique ingredients combined with wood barrel aging- we arrived at this wonderful juxtaposition of fruitiness and maltiness which harmonized magically to produce this delicious winter warmer.
When poured, the beer has a deep mahogany hue. In the aroma, figs and dark fruit intermingle with notes from the wood barrel used, as well as subtle notes of banana and bubblegum from the fermentation process. Aging for twelve months on oak brings forth flavor of the barrel, as well as vanillin from the wood that is complemented by vanilla beans which provide a velvety smoothness and richness . The taste starts with the rich sweetness of the fruit, carries through with a rich mellow center and finishes dry, allowing for another glass as you sit by a cozy fire.
I first had this beer back in 2012 for my birthday. Back then it was a beer that my brother got me as a gift. Back then I remember this one for being one for being memorable. Not only in its deliciousness but also the sentimental value since it was a gift from my brother. During a trip over to my friend Julio’s house in La Mirada California, I had visited Sammy’s VIII Liquor and they had a bottle of this aging. While the price was right, I couldn’t help but just bring it back to the site, years later after I first tried it. The artwork was really cool as well. So if it is true that the original bottle was from 2011, then I hope 5 years aged has given way to a very delicious brew. Let’s find out. Cheers!
Wine grapes, oak, bourbon, dark fruit berry jam on toasted rye bread, bananas, clove spice, cinnamon, Dark fruit raisins, prunes plums, figs, dark cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, currants, cranberries, Dark fruit yogurt hints, pecan pie, brown sugar, stone fruit apricots, peaches, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, milk chocolate raisins and chocolate cherry cordials.
Rich Dark fruit raisins, prunes plums, figs, dark cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, currants, cranberries, Wine grapes, oak, bourbon, marshmallow smore hints, stone fruit apricots, peaches, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, milk chocolate raisins, chocolate cherry cordials, port wine, raspberry chambord, dark fruit berry jam on toasted rye bread, bananas, clove spice, cinnamon, Dark fruit yogurt hints, pecan pie, flan hints and crème brulee hints.
Finishes with rich dark fruits, oak, stone fruit, mild bourbon notes, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, marshmllow and cinnamon hints. No alcohol in the taste, crimson dark murky body, smooth, velvety and mildly creamy mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.
An exceptional brew with lots of dark fruit forward flavors with notes of bourbon. This brew reminds me a lot of the Deschutes Anniversary ales except where those are stouts this one is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale/grandcru. Essentially, the Belgian Dark Strong version. Ofcourse, while that is leagues away from this one, I still like this one as it was a gift from my brother a long time ago. I would highly recommend it if you love fruit forward beers with notes of oak and bourbon. Especially if you can find the aged one. Cheers!
Janne D’Arc from SNK’s World Heroes was used in this brew pairing since I used her for the pairing long ago. The castle in the label of the brew reminds me of Nockmaar castle from the movie and NES game Willow. In the movie, it had a strong swordswoman named Sorsha which wore armor similar to that of Janne. While there is no anime version of Sorsha, Janne from SNK was the closest I could find. The brew colors, label and Janne bring me back to the nostalgia of the old school Willow series I loved as a child.
Chimera by Birrificio Del Ducato of Italy is an 8% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale.
This is a top fermented beer which undergoes a secondary fermentation in bottle. It draws inspiration from the great Belgian Abbey beers. With the color of a friar’s robe, it has aromas of caramel and alcohol preserved fruit (pear, plum and morel) with light roasts. The mouth is warm and complex with an unexpected dry finish that makes drinking easier.
“To all those who still hold dreams and will never cease to search for the happiness they deserve”.
Perfecting this beer was certainly challenging. Countless variations were jettisoned before arriving at the refined version we are proud to brew today. The current Chimera is most easily compared to a Belgian Dark Strong Ale. I traveled frequently in Belgium as a young man and I always enjoyed very much its beers. Today’s Chimera resembles those beers that awakened a lifelong fascination with the creation of this wonderful drink.
“It is like following an illusion we fell in love with a long time ago leaving us with the realization that when we pursue our dreams the immortality of spirit is found”.
Obtained this one from my friend Steve in Iowa who was able to send me this and other brews we found while I was in Ames Iowa. This one caught my eye mainly because it was from Italy and I really loved the design. Many of the Italian beers I have tried in the past like Draco and Demon Hunter were some of the best beers I have ever had. So needless to say, this was a rarity as I have never seen it before. The colors of the label also intrigued me. That and the fact that this was Belgian style, it was definitely going to go back with me somehow. Now that I got it, let’s bring it to the site and see what it is about.
Rich dark fruit, raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dates, black currants, blue berries, dark cherry, candi sugar, beat sugar, rock candy, toffee, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice, leather, tobacco, dulce de leche cramel, vanilla, blue berry cobbler, stone fruit peach, apricot, chocolate notes and rum hints.
Rich dark fruit, raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dates, black currants, blue berries, dark cherry, candi sugar, leather, tobacco, dulce de leche cramel, vanilla, blue berry cobbler, stone fruit peach, apricot, chocolate notes, beat sugar, rock candy, toffee, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, port wine hints, red wine hints, oak hints, pepper corns, rum hints, citrus notes and fruit cake.
Dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, wine notes, floral notes, and stone fruit. No alcohol in the taste, dark chestnut brown body, smooth, creamy and watery mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability.
A very good Italian beer made in the Belgian Dark arts. There were so much berries and malty flavors to pick out. It was definitely vinous at some points and definitely reminded me of some of the other Italian favorites but mainly unique to this brewery. A small little bottle but definitely worth the try and worth the pick up.
Franceska Mila Rose, Cyan Sung Sun, Emilou Apacci and Tia Harribel from Bleach were used in this pairing since they become a Quimera Parca so naturally, the name of the beer and the label just seemed to fit so well with them and the colors just stand out as well. Granted, Tia Harribel was not part of Quimera Parca but she is their leader and one of my favorite anime characters from Bleach so ofcourse I would include her.
CebadAgua NocturnFresca by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 8% ABV Belgian Dark Barleywine dry hopped with Jarrylo Hops.
Partial base wort was brewed using brewing equipment at Monkish for the “Monster Home brew Event” back in June 2015. The idea was to create a base pale wort using the equipment at Monkish brewing. Each person would get 5 gallons (or 10 or more depending on how much you would pay) from this concoction you would take it home add to the wort to change the style completely to more than 10 different styles of beer. I purchased 10 gallons and for the second of my home brew concoction I decided to go with a heavier beer adding extra LME and some new especial hops that would give some interesting flavors. Since the idea behind this beer was something dark like the night, the name “CebadAgua NocturnFresca” is a play at the words Agua de Cebada (Barley Drink) and Nocturna Fresca (Of The Fresh Night). Essentially, It is supposed to mean “Fresh Barley Drink of The Night”. A summer’s night type of beer. A fresh, “Barleywine” with a lighter gravity to be enjoyable and full of flavors. So this is what came out of it. Let’s take a look at my final creation of the summer, cheers!
Cola hints, Stone fruit peaches, mango hints, apricot, apple notes, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla , tamarind, hibiscus, floral notes, dark fruit cherry, plums, rich prunes, raisins, figs, dates, candi sugar, currants, raspberries, blue berries, tart black berries, tropical fruit notes, prickly pear, lychee fruit, dragon fruit, passion fruit, spicy notes, licorice hints, anise, rock candy molasses, and anise.
Hibiscus flower drink, Cola hints, molasses, dark fruit cherry, plums, rich prunes, raisins, figs, dates, candi sugar, currants, raspberries, blue berries, tart black berries, Stone fruit peaches, mango hints, apricot, apple notes, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla , tamarind, hibiscus, floral notes, peppercorn hints, mint, chocolate hints, spicy notes, clove spice, bananas, pears, tangerine, tropical fruit notes, prickly pear, lychee fruit, dragon fruit, passion fruit, spicy notes, licorice hints, anise, rock candy and fruit cake.
Rich dark fruit, molasses, tamarind, spicy fruit cake, cola notes, earthy notes, pears, vanilla and other tropical fruit notes. No alcohol in the taste, crimson/bloody moon dark brown full body, creamy, smooth, refreshing, crisp and moderate mouthfeel with an easy to moderate drinkability.
Such a crazy beer border lining a Belgian dark strong with some character of a light Barleywine that I was able to get thanks to special hop notes I added. It is crazy to think that when I brewed this beer, it was meant as a joke and pun to the name Jarrylo as being the Mexican Soda Jarritos. Who knew this beer would turn out to be like an agua fresca/ Fruit-ade type of beer with some flavors of soda but spicy fruit galore. Writing everything I do every step of the way, trying to replicate this beer will be a challenge as it was made using large brewing equipment and grains. So I will see how it goes. For now, this is a high recommend.
Neliel Tu Oderschvank from Bleach was chosen in this beer pairing as she is the second in the whole monster brew theme. The pairing includes darkness but the colors represent the strong hop (yet not hoppy but very fruity and spicy) presence of the Jarrylo hops. These hops are not really for IPA or Pale Ale use but can be as thy give a spice characteristic. Nel, while semi-clothed but looking like a bad ass indicates the flavors of “spiciness” and the “sweetness” that the beer brings respectively. As she is an Arrancar, just like Harribel, both monster brews were definitely very enticing in their own way and I hope I can come up with the recipe again to brew them again.
Take the Black Stout collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang is a 7% ABV Belgian Dark Ale brewed with licorice root and star anise.
A stout as dark at the winters that once engulfed Westeros, as robust as the men who swear their oaths at the weir wood tree. Chocolate and caramel sweetness are balanced by hop bitterness. Roasty, woodsy notes, and an earthy finish.
Pour slowly so as to not disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the rich bouquet.
The second release of Game of Throne series of beers is one that is a Belgian Stout. One of my favorite styles. Ommegang decided to brew many of these so make sure to pick this one up before it is gone. Also, even if this could be a gimmick, similarly like the last beer, you can never go wrong with Ommegang beers.
Aromas are similar to a Black Ale, with fragrances of chocolate, licorice, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, roasted malt, peppercorns, earthy hops, fudge brownie, incense, oak and brown sugar.
The flavors are of roasty and lightly smoked malts, dark chocolate, anise, mint, licorice notes, cola, dark fruit, raisins, plums, clove spice, caramel, earthy hops, pepper, oak, plums, espresso and mocha
The aftertaste is of sweet chocolate, earthy bitterness, dark fruit, and brownie notes. This is a full bodied beer so it is best enjoyed sipping. As it warms up, the beer becomes more balanced. Initially it was pretty roasty but as it warmed up, stuff started to fit together.
Overall this is a very good beer. If you watch the show this may be more enjoyable. I actually do not watch it, but I like good beers and this one is good stuff. Looking at the label with the tree, all dark, woodsy and deep roots in the earth, the flavors make a lot of sense. Might go with Lord of the Rings movies too, who knows. Belgian beer lovers and even those that don’t like licorice will like this one.
Barrel Noir by Almanac Beer Co. is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout with 50% Belgian Dark Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels and 50% American Imperial Stout
This oak-aged ale is our love letter to bourbon barrels. Barrel Noir is a sumptuous, inky ale that celebrates the velvety texture and subtle heat that only Kentucky charred oak can impart. Born from a blend of American imperial stout and Belgian-inspired dark ale aged in bourbon barrels, this rich brew can be paired with braised beef dishes and dark chocolates. Enjoyed best in front of a warm fireplace.
There are very few Belgian Stouts out there that can take beers to new levels. The style is simply one of my top favorites. Some of these beers are coveted while others are easier to find. Today, I try this one which has been partially aged in bourbon barrels. Many of the ingredients are farm grown locally. So a lot of them are fresh. Upon opening the beer, I knew was another awesome special chocolate beer.
Aromas are of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, dulce de leche, flan, marshmallows, espresso coffee notes, brown sugar, candi sugar and sweet Belgian bread notes
The flavors are of very rich milk chocolate, rocky road ice cream, pecans, walnuts, almond joy chocolate, coconut cream, vanilla, raisins, prunes, hints of minor cherry and raspberry notes, bourbon, oak, hints of Kahlua, dulce de leche caramel, flan, chocolate cake with brownie batter and minor earthy bitterness to balance it all out.
Aftertaste leaves with nice chocolate, coffee cake and minor earthy notes along with a bit of vanilla. The alcohol is not too fondly present and makes it nice. Very hidden.
Overall, this beer is simply amazing. Sweet to a not too overwhelming level, yet so many flavors and to a certain point, moderate drink-ability. This beer is a fusion of a bourbon barrel aged quad and an imperial stout which is not something that is done often. So I really think that the right level of brewing fusion is what really makes it outstanding and different from others. The dominating characters that each part brings to the table is simply exquisite. I love chocolate beers, so the extra points in rating are for those awesome awesome chocolate flavors but also because it works so well. A must try for anyone that is a stout and Belgian beer fan. If they ever make this in larger bottles and more available, that would be the best!!
*Overwhelming with milk chocolate, yet not to the super sweet level and enough to give great complexity
Rating: 6/5 *This and St. Bernardus are my top favorites in the world, so please advise as it maybe bias or ambiguous to your decisions… never the less, this one still world class and a common beer at that.
Trois Pistoles by Unibroue of Canada is a 9%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The ultimate in best beers in the world at a very common distribution.
Trois-Pistoles is a remarkably mellow dark ale. To complement its aroma of ripe fruits, it has a pleasant aftertaste that lingers on like old port wine
Enough said, this has been one of my favorite beers ever since I started this hobby. I’ve had this beer over and over again. In fact, this beer can age for at least 7 to 9 years. So definitely will do another review then.
The aromas are of Dulce de leche caramel, Belgian bread, dark cherries, figs, plums, raisins, pears, apples, apricots, chocolate port wine, grapes, vanilla, pecans pie, candi sugar, almost like a coca cola scent, rum, earthy, brown sugar, and whole sugar cone. The flavors are just epic!!… A major rush plum, cherry, raisins, dark and sweet chocolate, port wine, raisin bread pudding, dulce de leche caramel, Belgian bread sweetness, candi sugars, rum and some maple notes. The ale is almost like a Rum and coke but if they were baked in a chocolate cake with fruits and lots of caramel all over and ofcourse the cake batter was made with port wine. While I have had other extremely awesome beers that are super rare and hard to find, this one never let me down, even since the beginning. That is why this beer and St. Bernardus will always have that special place in my heart. This is a world class beer, look it up its awesome!
2011& 2012 Reviews: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/trois-pistoles-by-unibroue/
About the Legend: http://www.unibroue.com/en/beers/18/history
Trois Pistoles (Three Coins) is named after a small village of Quebec. Founded over 300 years ago, Trois Pistoles gave birth to several legends, including one about the Black Horse. It involved a local bishop who conjured up a good devil (appearing in the form of bridled black steed) to haul large brick stones to construct a new church. When someone accidentally removed the bridle, the black horse suddenly vanished just as the last remaining stone was to be set. This stone is still missing, as can be seen when visiting the local church.
Art of Darkness… new label by Ommegang. I have already done several reviews for this beer to know this beer is not an ordinary beer. One of my most world favorites along with Trois Pistoles, St. Bernardus, Black Xantus, Three Philosophers, Black Tuesday, Chocolate Rain and others.
Ommegang Art Of Darkness unites barley and wheat malts, flaked oats, Ommegang yeast, and noble hops in a bewitching demonstration of the brewing arts. Yet there are no secret ingredients nor mystical incantations.
There is only the highest realization of the art of brewing a dark Belgian-style ale of extraordinary flavor, aroma, and balance.
This ale walks the line between being savored now, and being cellared to relish later. As a discerning patron of the dark arts, you an make your own choice.
Tread carefully…this one is evil >:)
Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds by The Bruery is a 14.8%ABV Belgian Dark Ale Brewed with spices and aged in Bourbon Barrels.
The fourth verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” saga incorporates ginger-like spice into a rich and robust dark ale. Happy Holidays!
This is a barrel aged version of the original 4 calling birds. Haven’t tried the original but this one is still awesome, maybe even better :P. The aromas immediately are of strong vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, coconut and banana crème pie, bourbon, raisins, cherries, holiday fruit cake, some chocolate and coffee cake. The flavors are pretty complex with a major solidification of Bourbon, Vanilla, matured Banana, dulce de leche caramel, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, fruitcake with dark fruits like plums raisins, cherries, a bit of apple, hazelnuts, pecans, dark chocolate and and some citrus. The aftertaste is a lot like banana and raisins with some good bourbon and vanilla still there. The alcohol is well hidden, yet do take your time with this. While it is very delicious, it is past the 10%ABV and quite hefty in alcohol. An 8oz serving would suffice and save some for later :). Good flavor is hard to come by. Some beers meet or exceed expectations. For me, this one exceeded them quite a bit. If you can find it…fuck yeah!!!