Chimay Spéciale Cent Cinquante

Chimay 150 Sign2012 marked the 150th year of brewing for Chimay.  Founded in 1850 by monks from Westvleteren, the decision to brew as part of their livelihood was a momentous decision.  Chimay is now the largest of the Trappist breweries exporting beer throughout the world.  This allows them to employ a lot of people in the underemployed south of Belgium. It also lets them fund their many charities and works.

With 150 years of brewing under their belt, the monks decided a special one time release to celebrate the milestone was in order.  Spéciale Cent Cinquante, literally “Special 150,” was the result.  It’s the highest alcohol beer they’ve made to date.  It’s a strong blonde ale.  You could call it a pale Quad or a Belgian Strong Golden.  This was an extremely limited release and not a lot of it made it to the US, and none of it made it to Oregon.  In fact, they didn’t even have any at the brewery when I visited in the fall of 2012.  Fortunately for me, Kevin at Belgian Beer Geek found and shipped a bottle to me for which I’m very grateful.

I decided this beer would be a great addition to my 2 year blog anniversary celebrations as it was bottled in 2012.

Appearance: Light haze, gold, off white head, great retention.

Aroma: Banana, coriander, apricots, mango, floral notes.  Very Spicy.

Taste: Fruity, cracker, floral, orange blossoms, Spicy.

Overall Impression: This is an impressively spicy beer.  The spice from the yeast is almost biting with a long finish.  For a beer of this strength, it’s fairly balanced with only a touch of sweetness.  While the hop balance is present, the spiciness of the yeast does far more to balance the malt.  With a hugely full body, there’s only a touch of sweetness.  If you see a bottle of this rare one of a kind beer, grab it because you’ll never have another chance to try it.

Availability: Limited, one time release.  Probably nearly gone from the world.

10% ABV

Note: Best by the end of 2015

Special thanks to Kevin of Belgian Beer Geek.

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