This was supposed to be a christmas day beer, but me and Lady Ale got stuck into the Chimay Grand Reserve instead, leaving this sitting at home for an opportune time. Now is that time. Not that I’m short of beer… I visited Slow Beer yesterday and got 8 or so bottles of different brews. Some have gone already, and the others are waiting for another time. Anyway, let us do it to it.
This is a fairly well known and easy to get beer. You’ll see it in most larger bottle shops (I got this one in Shepparton at a First Choice Liqour). It’s also award winning. I’m drinking this in a 500ml bottle and it’s 5.2% alcohol.
According to the purple and gold label it’s “Silky Rich and Creamy Smooth”… could this beer also be a lost Prince album?
How does it look?
The label treads a line between decadence and old fashioned beer charm. It looks like a beer that really knows what’s up and knows it’s place in the greater beer landscape.
In the glass it pours black with a coffee coloured head that laces nicely as it’s drunk. It’s great looking beer whose looks don’t fade over time (just like Prince!).
How does it smell/taste?
It has quite a thick cocoa smell. I find some chocolate stouts to be too heavy on the chocolate leaving me with an almost sickly aftertaste, so my initial impression was that this would be the same. However the chocolate doesn’t overpower everything else as it’s drunk. Slightly almondy, slightly bitter and the chocolate hangs out in the back of your palate waiting to be noticed. It’s nice to know he’s there and it’s nice to know he isn’t begging for attention.
When should I drink it?
This would have been a great beer with christmas lunch… not that the Chimay wasn’t, but as opposed to the Chimay, this is easier to drink and would take you through lunch to desert and will still taste pretty good when you wake up from your post-lunch nap.
Seeing as it’s not Christmas any time soon (unless you are reading this October through December) then this would go superbly with roast chicken. Bitter chocolate and chicken is used in a popular mexican dish ( Mole) and it’s a surprisingly excellent combination. Some people do find it strange though so of you are one of those weirdos, then try a roast chook and this beer. It might just change your mind and have you looking for a Mole recipe.
This beer is well known and award winning for a reason. It’s elegant and slightly decadent but easy enough to please most people.
I rate it; 4.5 Symbols for Mars.