Monthly Archives: June 2012

Review of Chimay Premiere

Hello everyone.  Thanks for checking back in on another craft beer review.  For today’s drinking pleasure I’m going to be reviewing the Chimay Premiere (Red) produced by Bieres de Chimay S.A. located in Baileux, Belgium.

It’s been quite some time since I last had this brew, so I’m really looking forward to trying it again.

From the website,, we find this bit of info regarding the beer. 

The Chimay Red Cap, or “Première”, in 750 ml bottles, is the oldest of the Chimays. This Trappist beer possesses a beautiful coppery colour that makes it particularly attractive. Topped with a creamy head, it gives off a slight fruity apricot smell from the fermentation. The aroma felt in the mouth is a balance confirming the fruit nuances revealed to the sense of smell. This traditional Belgian beer is best savoured at cellar temperature (10 – 12°C).

Let’s drink.

This brew comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 7.0%.

It poured a hazy, burgundy/ruby/brown mixture of color.  The crown was eggshell colored and very nicely sized.  The texture was kind of soapy and fizzy with some small compact bubbles.  The retention time was adequate and it left a thin skim of lacing on the sides of the chalice.

The nose was not very strong or robust, although it was balanced pretty well.  Hints of spicy clove and coriander along with some touches of caramel malt.  It presented a very yeasty, baked bread tone with just a light hint of fig.  Mostly straight forward I thought.  Not that that’s a bad thing however.

The taste burst through with a spicy clove at the beginning.  That was followed by some ever present Belgian yeast, lightly toasted breads and delicate caramel sugars.  Some dark fruits of fig and date seemed to be more pronounced in the taste than they were in the aroma.  I never really found any inkling of apricot though.  Oh well, a nice bitter bite finished things off.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  It was somewhat sharp on the initial intake with a lively carbonation that stung the front of the tongue for several sips.  Overall, it was very crisp, but not as dry as I remember it being in the past.  It did leave a decent amount of flavor behind on the palate despite the fact.

The Chimay Premiere is still a solid all around beer.  One that I’m sure I will continue to pick up from time to time in the future.  It’s very enjoyable, highly drinkable, represents the style very well and is so easily obtainable that I sometimes overlook the fact that it is such a well made beer.  I don’t necessarily think it’s the best “Belgian” styled beer on the market, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly either.  It could be enjoyed at any point during the year by just about any level of craft beer drinker.  So, if you haven’t had the Chimay Premiere (Red) in a long time, pick up a bottle next time you see it and revisit a classic.  I think you may find a new appreciation for the brewery.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.85 out of 5
Grade:  B+    

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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in Chimay, Country: Belgium


Review of Dogfish Head Black & Blue

Hello guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Dogfish Head Black & Blue produced by the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, which is located in Milton, Delaware.

We all know about Dogfish Head, so let’s go ahead and get to the website,, and see what kind of info we can find about this beer. 

Black & Blue is a Belgian-style golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. Because we dose Black & Blue with real berries — rather than artificial flavoring — the fruit comes through in the flavor, not just the aroma.

The pureed berries are added as the beer leaves the brewhouse. In fermentation, the yeast — the same one we use in Red & White and Pangaea — feeds on sugars from the barley and the berries, giving Black & Blue a unique complexity and a high ABV.

Let’s try it.

This brew comes in a 25.6 oz. (???) bottle and it has an ABV of 10.0%.

It poured a hazy ruby red to deep cherry color.  It formed a very large, soft, soapy, fluffy head that was off white in color with a smidgen of a pink tint.  The retention time was really good and the lacing was decent enough.  The beer looked very nice in the glass.

As to be expected, the nose was very fruity with tones of blackberry and blueberry.  It kind of smelled like those blueberry Slush Puppies that I used to get as a kid without all of that artificial sugar.  It also presented a mild, floral hop aroma.  Honestly, I couldn’t pick out much else.  Very fruity from the beginning until the end.

With the first couple of sips I received a ton of the fruity berries.  To be truthful, it was almost too much for me.  A little bit of sourness was detected and the bitterness was of low to medium strength.  Again, quite floral.  A noticeable tone of alcohol was found as well.  Overall, very rich and bold and just a tad extravagant for me to fully appreciate it I think.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Dry and a wee bit sharp.  The carbonation was near perfect though.  A touch of warmth was felt from the alcohol and an abundant amount of flavor was left behind after each sip.

Well.  I’m sure that many of you good craft beer folk out there would love this beer.  There is no mistaking that it’s a wonderfully made and unique beer that’s worthy of a try if you are looking to experiment with something a little bit different from the norm, but it’s just not my style.  It kind of reminded me of a fruity mixed drink that my wife might order.  It did become somewhat more bearable as I went along, but the drinkability never did get very high.  I was noticeably struggling with it.  Have any of you ever tried the Dogfish Head Black & Blue?  What did you think of it?  Be sure to let me know your opinion if you don’t mind.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  2.75 out of 5
Grade:  C- 


Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Country: USA, Dogfish Head


Review of Pretty Things Jack D’Or

Hi guys.  How’s everyone doing?  I hope well.

Thanks for checking back in on another craft beer review.  For today’s review I’m going to be trying a Pretty Things Jack D’Or produced by the Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Let’s skip all of the rubbish and jump right to the website,, and see what it has to say about this brew.

“Jack D’Or” is a simple table beer, or “Saison Americain” as we’re referring to it. We are not trying to coin a beer style – we’re just having fun.  The Jack D’Or (pronounced “Jack Door”), is at the very center of Pretty Things and nearly three years on we’re still pleased as punch that he joined us!

Sounds good.  How about a taste?

This brew comes in 22 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 6.5%.

The Jack D’Or poured a beautiful, hazy, honey/gold color with a bright white head.  The texture of the crown was soapy, soft, frothy and comprised of very tiny bubbles.  It was of near perfect size.  The retention time was very good and the lacing was more than adequate.  A very, very nice looking beer to say the least.

The nose divulged tones of white grape, lemon citrus and lemon grass.  Some spicy hints of pepper and coriander were exposed and they were blended very well too.  I also found the slightest bit of “musty funk”.  Not a whole lot, but enough for a solid showing.  A relish of yeast added a sturdy backbone and really helped pull everything together.  A wonderful smelling beer in my opinion.

The taste introduced a medium strength lemon tartness with an easily manageable sourness.  The “funk” seemed to be a bit more forward, although nowhere near overbearing.  The white grapes showed themselves again as well as a hearty dose of yeast.  Minor impressions of white bread backed up the distinct spicy bite of pepper and coriander while a smidgen of grassy hops provided a welcome bitterness.  I’ll say one thing, this brew was very flavorful and agreeable to my taste buds.

The mouthfeel was medium to light bodied.  Very dry, snappy, “bitey”, refreshing and thirst quenching.  The carbonation was lively and an excellent amount of flavor was left covering the palate for a great long while after each sip.

Man.  This is a great brew in my novice opinion.  It’s a “sleeper”.  It has tons of character and personality.  Even though it’s quite elaborate I never found it to be over-the-top or confusing.  Instead, all of the attributes were, for the most part, up front and easily identifiable.  The drinkability was superb, which would make it a killer Spring or Summer seasonal.  I’m definitely picking this up again soon and I’d suggest that you guys do the same.  If you like the Saison style, I doubt that you would be disappointed with the Pretty Things Jack D’Or.  If you do sample it, leave a comment and let me know your opinion.

Thanks for reading guys.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.45 out of 5
Grade:  A  

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