The simple truth is that I, unlike many of my contemporaries, like my beer brewed by monks in an approximately 150-year-old Belgian monastery. Perhaps it is just my personality that drives toward tradition when it comes to such things as beer or food. Give me something that has its roots deep in success, something that has been around for being itself, and has expanded for doing so. No coercion, no millions of dollars in advertisement, nothing of the sort, just a beer brewed by monks.
The Beer: Named after the place where it is brewed, Chimay, at the Abbey of Notre Dame de Scourmont in Belgium, it is a work that requires its own name according to the different “Trappist” recipes. In this case, I am reviewing Chimay Blue. So what exactly does “Trappist” mean? Trappist is the order of monks working in the brewery at Chimay. It is their recipe and, as stated on their Web site, “the majority of the revenue generated from its sale is used for charitable purposes.”
The Taste: Think of yourself sitting down by a nice cozy fire in a dim room. As you sip this fine beer, your senses are invigorated by its sweet taste. Halfway through the taste there are rings of spice that zip in through your palate. When drinking this, you will notice that the taste changes in degrees of sweetness as your hand warms the beer. Rating: 8.5
On its own: Though it comes in a bottle this beer comes with its own chalice, which reminds me of a brandy glass. It is meant to be held with your hands cupping the bottom while slowly tasting the changing flavor. It is a bit more expensive than Miller Light, but that is because it is to be enjoyed as a work of art, not as something that will “get the job done,” although the alcohol content is nine percent. Rating: 9
With a nice dinner: Despite the advertisements, Miller High Life is not the Champagne of beers. I do not know how many times I have to remind people. If you are going to have a nice dinner, then a beer with tastes of wine is nothing short of a good call (word play). Rating: 8.5
With a date: Chalice in hand, I gaze into her eyes, as she watches me take my drink. I answer her question as to the link between Aristotle and the great scholars of Islam and how they contributed to the founding of Universities in the West. She smiles with intrigue, as I notice that the beer’s presentation in my hand makes me feel sophisticated, adding a sparkle to my confidence. Rating: 8
Final Opinion: It is a wonderful concoction, which will help you realize that there is more to beer than just getting a buzz. Life is to be tasted, and this beer brings a sense of being in an otherwise tasteless life (if all you have is beer that tastes like gutter water).
Where Available: You can find this brew almost anywhere on the Milwaukee Street scene, including Kenadees, Three, Eve, The Social and Tangerine (I prefer Kenadees). It’s also available with a variety of other great beers, at the Milwaukee Public Market on 400 N. Water St.
Popularity: 23% [?]