Last night, friends and I were at a bar that has a fairly impressive bottle collection. We were drinking tap beers for the most part, but decided to try out two bottles. First, the Chimay Red.
Mr. Wookie's review on this beer is pretty similar to my feelings about it. I was disappointed. Good, but not spectacular. It didn't have the body that I expect in a dubbel...my friend said it tasted "watered down." The flavor itself was good, with the usual fruity and spicy undertones, like banana and what I tasted as just a hint of pepper. It goes down smooth, but for the price, I'd rather have a New Belgium Abbey. Maybe this is the result of my conditioning to prefer American beers that have more pronounced flavors and a higher alcohol content. Next time, I'll try the Chimay Blue.
Second bottle of the night was the St. Peter's English Ale. (Did a search in this thread, found no mention of this beer). I am a pioneer!
Just the bottle piqued my curiosity. If you can't tell in the picture, it's oval shaped, like a flask....and it reminded us of old-time medicine bottles. Unfortunately, they didn't let us keep it. It's a balanced traditional English Ale, starts off malty with some honey undertones, then finishes with a hop flavor and a little bit of what my gf described as "lemon peel." The main complaint we had was that it wasn't complex at all. Malt, then hops. Toward the end, it got more and more bitter...it reminded me of the Arrogant Bastard grapefruit taste I had earlier in the evening, but not nearly as intense. I'd give it
and a half
. Maybe worth a try, but not something I'd stock regularly.
We all preferred the St. Peter's to the Chimay Red. But I preferred the local Tractor Brewing Co. Red Ale to both, especially at happy hour prices of $2.75 a pint. The Tractor Brewing Co. Red Ale is a very solid brew, pours with a nice foamy head, and is a little more light-bodied than most reds I've had. Very crisp and drinkable. Has some caramel and roasted malt flavor to it.