Slow Beer

Friday, July 27, 2007

Cellar Notes - Chimay Blue

1999 / Tasted Oct 2006 (17/20)
Ok, 7yr old trappiest for A$9, er WTF is going on? (translation - bloody bargain!!). Creamy coffee coloured head shows truckloads of dense lacing. Excellent. Very dark brown in colour. Soft nose of old malts and cooked rhubarb (a nice trait!). Palate is all about balance and subtlety. Soft chocolate and malts; oh so approachable with nil apparent alcohol heat. Tails off a touch on the finish but how can you fault given the age? (5 EuR @ Kulminator)

2005 / Tasted Feb 2006 (13/20)
Decent head on pouring but thins out quickly. Nice reddish-brown in colour. Well balanced nose of sweet, earthy malts and a hint of stewed fruits. Quite elegant. Palate continues the elegant theme but to my mind to a fault. Controlled malts early in the piece with nice liquored chocolate notes but the flavour profile really takes a hit with some noticeable fizz drying the palate out. Finishes a touch hot, a surprise given the fizz. To be honest quite disappointing given the reputation…..I’ve had 50 better beers in the past 12 months.



  • To me, Chimay seems to age quite well and consistently. I had 2001 vintage early last year. Afterwards, I never really enjoyed it young, it feels a bit harsh and fizzy(?). Me and Anton had the 2004 vintage in a 3L jero this year, that was damn smooth on the palate and was probably better than the 2001 in a 375ml bottle.

    Coopers on the other hand is fairly inconsistent. Does it really age gracefully? I haven't tried every vintage but I think the 2001 or 2002 was pretty excellent fresh.

    Sticking on "vintage" beer, do you have any bottles of Murray's AA left?


    By Anonymous Geoff Riding, at 1:17 pm  

  • Hey Geoff,

    I've had Chimay Blue times either on vintage year or one after and have been regularly underwhelmed. But, the 1999 drank last year was awesome. I have 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 in the cellar so they'll make for interesting drinking in due course.

    I also have a 2003 Chimay which I'm going to try this weekend.

    I reckon I'm gunna focus a bit more on cellaring beers etc on this blog as it's hard to find much in the way of organised notes of the web for 'verticals'.

    Coopers? A drink now beer if I every saw one!

    Re Murrays - about 6 left. I reckon this baby is built for long term cellaring.

    By Blogger Stewart Went, at 8:50 pm  

  • I might as well weigh in here...

    I can't decide about Chimay - I never really liked it fresh but I had a bottle a few months ago which was quite good. And I've had one FANTASTIC old bottle of it but a few others have been pretty ho-hum.

    I have a feeling something changed in their production around 2000 (moved to conical fermenters I presume) and the beer no longer ages as well. It *keeps* pretty well, but doesn't really seem to evolve much to me.

    Coopers Vintage I never liked fresh or aged, but it's way better fresh. A pale, 7% beer with a large proportion of sugar will never age well. I don't get it at all. Same with Old Surefoot and Grayston Reserve - WTF is wrong with these breweries?

    I hope the Murray's ages well, but I have some reservations. I think its main feature was the fresh, juicy malt, but that will subside with time. Hopefully the tannins from the barrel will hold it together though.

    By Anonymous Lach, at 10:07 am  

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