I like the shape of the bottle. These short fat bottles are becoming a rarity, but everyone that uses them makes good beer. The script around the neck is also a fancy touch which I appreciate. Honestly, fancy is the word I would use to describe the bottle. Its rather minimalist in design with a mediocre “Chimay” crest in the middle, and then “Chimay” written again in big fancy letters. I’m a fan of the limited text on the front of the bottle. The blue background that is light in the middle and darkens as it spreads out is also a nice choice (I completely forget the term for that effect, sorry…). The beer has a feel of Medieval heraldry with its crest and minimalism, and this goes well with the whole Trappist-thing. A nice simplistic design overall. Partially shelf worthy, but only if you have a few of them.
Pours a deep molasses brown with a big white caramelized head that trembles down quickly and a thin lattice work of droopy lacing on the sides. This beer looks pretty in the glass, even with the chunks floating around in it. The smell is like a caramelized biscuit, sweet and malty with some good yeasty notes and light hints of fruits, molasses, brown sugars, candy sugars, and even a little citrusy tinge at the very end. It has a rich sweet taste like caramel and molasses. There is also a lingering flavor of dark fruit and, again, an ever so slight hint of citrus at the back of the taste along with a booziness that can be quite strong. The taste is a little too sweet for my palate, reminiscent of sweet dark candies. It is oozing and thick in the mouth, however, which gives it a very nice feel. It is also a little cloying in the after effects on the mouth, leaving a thick wet trail of saliva on the tongue. Carbonation is nearly negligible in the taste. This is a nice dark Belgian with a lot of nice complex flavors in it. The sweet strikes a little too high in the initial gulp and lingers almost like a tingle in the edges of the mouth, but the mouthfeel is great, and the candied hints are virulently present in the taste. Overall it is a tasty dark Belgian ale, and a great example of the style. It’s rather heavy on the belly, and sweet for my tastes, but a decent beer overall.
(As an end note, I love the chalice that came with the Chimay pack. I got all threw of the Monastery’s beers and a kickass Chalice to drink the shit out of. Needless to say, I feel pretty badass as I sip it.)
Belgian Dark Ale