Abbaye de Scourmont Bières de Chimay - Grande Réserve Barrel Fermented 2018 Vintage
Serving Temperature:52–59° F
Suggested Glassware:Chalice, Tulip, Snifter, or Teku Glass
This limited 2018 vintage saw Grande Réserve fermented and aged in wooden barrels, going through a triple fermentation and extended barrel maturation. This vintage Chimay release incorporates French oak (34%), American oak (41%), and whiskey (25%) barrels throughout the fermenting and aging process. We love the standard blue-bottle Chimay (it’s been a go-to when it comes to cigar pairings), and we’re thrilled to have secured this barrel fermented Grande Réserve release for our special offer this month. This 2018 vintage is otherwise gone.
This version of Grande Réserve pours a deep brown, reminiscent of rich maple syrup. This shows well-formed light-tan foam despite the high ABV, dissipating to a persistent lacing at the edges of one’s glass. Rich caramelization and brown sugar lead the aromatics, backed up by the lightly sweet impact of oak and darker fruit. The whiskey-barrel presence throughout serves to support and enhance an already exceptional base quad.
This barrel fermented Chimay release offers up a rich, full mouthfeel balanced out by the delicate, fine-bubbled carbonation that helps support all of these Belgian releases. Light effervescence balances the enormous amount of rounded dark malts, sweet whiskey, and vanilla-laden oak. This barrel-fermented and barrel-aged release brings forth a whole lot of that wood character as this is allowed to warm up: vibrant almond and vanilla, warming whiskey elements, and a touch of subtle tannins providing structure. The carbonation and a subtle burnt-sugar note help keep this balanced throughout. An exceptional twist on a classic Belgian strong ale.
Given the high ABV and Chimay’s reliability, this should continue to age gracefully in one’s cellar for a number of years. For pairings: we’d work with that deep caramelization, brown sugar, and whiskey notes, looking to brisket burnt ends or some fiery grilled steak fajitas.
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