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Chimay Dorée

Rating: 3.75

Quite an exiting one for me now, a review of a the fourth and final permanent Chimay beer now and one that I thought I would have to travel to Belgium and try at some point but one that I actually managed to subtle upon in Venice over the summer. The beer is a patersbier that was originally intended to be drunk only at the abbey by monks but since 2007 has also been available at the abbey’s cafe, Auberge de Poteaupré where the beer is listed as “Speciale De Poteaupré”. The beer is one that I first became aware of shortly after trying Chimay Blue for the first time back in 2011 and decided then that this is one that I would love to try if I got the chance, thinking that it would require a trip to Belgium. As it turned out, in 2013 Chimay made the beer available in limited quantities in the UK at 19 Fuller’s as well as at 50 bars in Italy under the name ‘Chimay Dorée’ but despite visiting several Fuller’s pubs in London since then I hadn’t come across the beer until my trip to Venice when I visited the Il Santo Bevitore bar in the city. The beer itself is a 4.8% offering and similar to a Belgian pale ale in style with similar ingredients to Chimay Rouge but apparently “paler and spiced differently”. The beer is one that I was very happy to discover in Italy, especially considering I was unaware it was available outside of Belgian and it was definitely the beer find of my holiday.

Chimay Dorée

Appearance (4/5): Light and a slightly cloudy looking golden colour with a foamy and partially creamy white head on top about one centimetre tall, holding quite well initially and leaving some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.
Aroma (7/10): A strong yeast and citrus aroma upfront that gives the beer an almost saison like aroma with some funky notes and a pleasant lemon/orange aroma early on. There is some nice spice and coriander coming through alongside touches of clove before some faint floral notes and the odd herbal one comes through towards the end. The beer is perhaps a touch light than I expected on the nose but proved to be quite enjoyable nonetheless.
Taste (7/10): Chimay Dorée is quite a fruity tasting beer with a lot of funk and tart coming through to begin with, there was again some nice coriander and cloves that matched the nose well. I could detect some Belgian style yeast and lemon peel alongside various citrus notes that again reminded me of a saison before some subtle hops and pale malts appeared right at the end.
Palate (4/5): A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation levels and quite a fresh feel to it. The beer seemed lively and similiar to a saison in a lot of ways but it remained fairly easy to drink with plenty of funk and tart coming through and giving the beer a very dry, crisp feel.

Overall (15/20): This one was a nice enough beer and one that I enjoyed drinking but I think I’d built it up too much in my own mind as it didn’t quite live up to my expectation and I couldn’t honestly say it was anywhere near as good at Chimay Blue, or even Chimay Red or Tripel. It was fresh and lively with a few nice flavours appearing but the nose seemed a little light and the flavours definitely weren’t as complex as I’ve come to expect from Chimay over the years. It’s one that I’m glad I was able to try but I imagine it will likely be a one-off for me and I’ll most likely stick to Chimay Blue in future.

Brewed In: Baileux, Belgium
Brewery: Bières de Chimay
First Brewed: Available outside the Abbey since 2007
Also Known As: Chimay Spéciale du Potaupré
Type: Belgian Pale Ale
Abv: 4.8%
Serving: Draught (330ml)
Purchased: Il Santo Bevitore, Venice, Italy
Price: €6.00 (approx. £4.41)

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