Michael: Sometimes these reviews keep you guessing. You’re not sure what its going to be, an ultra complex A, or perhaps a middle-of-the-road B. Maybe the beer took a turn for the worst, with the funkiest finish of all time and it plunged to a D. With this review, I’ll end your suspense. A+. That’s right, I said it, my first perfect grade, given to the well deserving Chimay Red. I previously reviewed their Blue, and in an emotional post, commented more on the brewery and the monk’s devotion to art in brewed form. Well, this one is all about the beer.

It poured a surprising red. Perhaps I should have been expecting that, but the Tripel didn’t pour white and the Blue didn’t pour blue, so I guess it caught me off guard. Red, but not fire engine red, it evaded me a bit in my attempts to pinpoint the exact shade. Almost a maroon, I decided, fittingly similar to the label itself. Topping this mysterious hue was a bed of tan, an airy, sumptuous head. The nose was both malty and fruity, I believe apricot, specifically. The smell seemed closer to a tripel. The first sip tingled with carbonation, but not overly so. It went down smooth, the picture of a well-balanced brew. There was a fruity quality that was so tangible, it was like I was chewing the beer, but it was neither potent nor overly complicated. There was an incredible sense of refreshment after every sip and it went down, oh, so easy. Until I was finished and stood up from the couch, I didn’t realize just how well this beer hid its alcohol.

This review typifies my frustration with writing. Although I have just finished describing perhaps the best beer I have ever had, I feel as though there’s no way you can possibly understand how good it was, at least not by these last few paragraphs. So forget these words, forget my pitiful attempts at recollecting each and every detail and just go get one. I mean, come on, its an A+! Grade: A+

Tom: Grape notes abound in this full-bodied malt forward Belgian double.  Floral hop aromas, jammy malts, and a perfume-like yeast that contributes a great deal of vibrancy to the hops and malt.  The carbonation is intense and plumes atop a burnt red/brown hue.  Sweet light toasty malts give a smooth aspect as each sip rolled over my tongue.  There is a definate grape jelly/jam aroma that is also evident towards the latter part of the sip right before an herbal hop profile kicks in.  Coming in at 7%, this double offers a quaffable beverage with a rich palate and character.  I really enjoyed this brew as it had similar qualities as Petrus Oud Bruin and Rochefort 6. Grade: A-