Thursday 9 December 2010
Chimay, Chimay not
I'm writing this the night before. It's a terrible confession to make, but I need to open the calendar the day before as I'll be out on Wednesday 8th at the Caught By The River Christmas social evening and doubtless won't want to put more beer into myself when I get back. The way I see it, that's got to be better than having to catch up, right?
So on the back of the Faro I've just had, I go and pick out a Chimay Tripel. It's a benign label for a genuinely frightening beer and I'm immediately thinking I may have gone too far too soon.
It's the same with my personal life. Hot on the coat-tails of realising my marriage is over, I'm beginning to get the feeling I'm falling for someone else. I've known her for years and never really thought of her in this way before (OK, I did a bit), but lately I'm beginning to feel that line between friendship and desire has been crossed. By me anyway. Time will tell whether anything happens, but for now, I'm really enjoying the uncertainty.
And speaking of uncertainty, I'm really not sure what to think of this one. I've had the brewery's blue and red-labelled beers, both of which were delicious, but this one doesn't look like the others. They're dark and brooding, while this one is opaque, blonde and altogether more deceptive looking. I hope it has the character of the other two, but I'm doubtful. It may or may not. That, too, remains to be seen.
Strength: A colossal 8%
Colour: Golden blonde
Smell: A bizarre combination of cumin and aniseed at first, leading to wet thistles and caramelised honey.
Circumstance: Watching the Ashes highlights (again) and getting ahead of myself (also again).
Tasting notes: Is this a good sign? It's amazing. A jack-booted miscreant smashes the door to your tastebuds down with his size 14s and he's in, windmilling straight away before taking a great big hoppy cosh and pummelling the rest of your mouth with impunity. He then sits down and for all the world looks around wondering what all the fuss is about, calmly pulling out a can of fizzy grapefruit juice and spraying it everywhere while he tokes on a just-lit roll-up. Outrageous behaviour. What neck.
Drinkability: Well if you like that kind of onslaught, yes. It's great. And I do. Really well made and with the right level of bite to insist you keep glugging.
Gut reaction: Strong, fizzy, complex and with a depth charge of sediment waiting to pounce on the clumsier pourer. Tread carefully.
Session factor: Minimal. I'd like to think I could go a couple, but it's 8%. Unwise to attempt more, I think.
Arbitrary score: 8.4