Bières de Chimay S.A. Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barriques (Rum) – Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 10.5% ABV

Bières de Chimay S.A. Grande Réserve Vieillie en Barriques (Rum) Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 10.5% ABV (C$35.62 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, packaged on 15-Feb-2017, acquired 13-Dec-2017, reviewed 6-Feb-2018)

Appearance: hazy brown with one finger of dense creamy tan head, excellent retention and  moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: bready yeast, cherries, raisins, brown sugar, oak, rum, cloves. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild spice. (9/10) Palate: medium-full slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, sweetish warming spicy finish. (4/5)

Not wildly different than the non-barrel aged Blue, but there’s certainly a note of oak and rum that wasn’t present in the original. The aromas are relatively mild compared to the flavours on the tongue, but it drinks easily, and the near complete absence of alcohol is pretty impressive. (Not to mention, I’m not much of a fan of rum, so the fact that I don’t find its presence off-putting is no mean feat either.) Helluva good beer, but I’m not sure it justifies the price tag of, what, triple the price of the standard Grande Réserve (Blue)? (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze

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