As readers of this blog know, Belgian beer is not one of my preferred favourites. In fact, I have yet to find that mythical Belgian beer that lives up to the hype the Belgians get for brewing it. Upon spotting this one at the monstrous Queens Quay LCBO in Toronto, I thought I would give Chimay another chance. After all, even Scotch-Irish Breweries were able to somewhat redeem themselves from the horrific Coporal's Bitter Brown with John By Imperial Stout. Alas, this was not the case this time.
I had chilled the bottle overnight and poured it into a clean glass for the tasting. The smell of this stuff was very slight, with no discernable alcohol smell to allude to its potent 8% abv. The colour was a sick looking cloudy orange-brown. While not that apealling to many novices, the colour really was not much different than many of the German weissens I have drank and enjoyed. I tipped the glass back, let the beer glide over my tongue and almost gagged on the bitter flavour. The mouthfeel was creamy despite the bitterness, and let to some citrusy undertones in the finish. To be honest, the bitterness was so harsh that it was a decision to try it again. Subsequent tastes seemed to mellow the bitterness, but I believe it was more due to my tastebuds numbing than anything else, as the citrus finish became less and less pronounced as I finished the brew. Overall, I can't see the appeal of beers like this at all. Onesided, simple and strongly bitter with very little upside. Give me a Guinness, weissen or eastern European pilsner anyday over this crap.