Chimay Goud and the daily beer...

Posted by John Shearlock on

Chimay is one of those beer names with a reputation that precedes it. As one of only 14 abbey breweries worldwide making authentic Trappist beer, it is special by any standard, and its 170 years of brewing history is testament to this.

As per most Trappist breweries, there are only a handful of Chimay beers to choose from, spanning relatively high and higher ABVs, but the Goud (or gold) that we are looking at today is under 5%. With the current trend for lagers and lower ABVs, I thought this “old world” approach to a lighter style of beer would make for interesting comparison.

Originally, this beer was reserved exclusively for the monks - presumably as its lower ABV would not impede daily activities when consumed at dinner and lunch. This notion of the daily beer, really is a throwback to yesteryear and got me thinking about just how much beer has now fallen out of favour as a source of sustenance, and which is a shame in my opinion.

Of course, consuming beer on a daily basis should be done in moderation, but there really is something to be said for the fortifying and therapeutic qualities of the daily tipple that should not be swept under the carpet, but which so often is in these times of temperance.

Beer consumption is now all too often associated with negativity - which is odd when, for so many of us, it is enjoyed in moderation and provides an experience that is cerebral and sensorial without involving inebriation. Talking of which, let’s see where this Chimay Goud takes us…

In the glass it’s a slightly turbid, copper colour with a white head. The nose is gorgeously aromatic with spiced wheat, florals and tropical fruit notes; banana, guava and citrus (the Gewurztraminer of the beer world perhaps??). The palate is light, clean and refreshingly tart but with enough malt to balance things out. There’s some well placed bitter notes on the finish too that keep it driving through the palate.

This is a real quaffer and although it’s not a lower ABV by many standards, it is in comparison to a lot of Belgian ales and a lot of modern craft brewing. I’m all for lower ABVs, it’s something I have always championed, but I’m also “into” the styles that materialise when ABVs are high. I really hope that consumers will continue to be treated like adults and allowed to make the call on what they consume. I hope too, that with the slew of low and no alcohol beers appearing, we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and overlook exactly what it means to be a beer.

Buy Chimay Goud here


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