Being a blogger can have its benefits. Sure, there’s pressure to write well and write often, there’s blogger’s guilt, but there are also things like last night’s event at Morton’s.
Lauren, from Wordsworth, and the nice folks at Morton’s decided to put together a Chimay tasting preview event for a few of [my favorite] bloggers around town. We ran the gamut of blog topics, but we all enjoyed the beer. I should mention that the preview was complimentary. *
The official Chimay tasting, complete with a representative from Chimay, will be held on October 24. The ticket price of $45 per person includes tax and gratuity, plus
Morton’s will donate $5 from every ticket to the Make-A-Wish
Foundation®. Guests will also recieve a nifty Chimay goblet.
When we first found out about the tasting, we were sad to miss it as we’ll be in Sonoma. Lauren came to our rescue, however, when she came up with Beer for Bloggers. In attendance we had Wine Me Dine Me, Buy Cincy, 5chw4r7z and Don’t Call Me Mrs, and a West Side Foodie Wannabe. It was a fun group, and we definitely enjoyed ourselves.
I’m not really the food girl, so for a review of the salmon, tuna tartare, and filet mignon sandwiches, I suggest you check out Julie’s blog at Wine Me Dine Me. I will say I tried some of the salmon and it was, well, salmon-y. I’m trying to learn to eat it though, so it was a start. Must expand my horizons. However, I was amazingly taken by the Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake. It was 100% nut free and somehow I ended up with an entire cake on my plate while Julie & Kevin split one. I’m not complaining. We all know that I’m a dessert girl, so this really hit the spot. With the diet, I haven’t had dessert in weeks and weeks. I blew the diet last night, but folks, there was all this chocolatey gooey goodness in the middle of the sponge cake. It was worth a returned pound or two.
You don’t come here for food reviews though, so onto the beer. Since it was a beer tasting, Kevin took the notes. However, I wanted to get this post up today and he’s off to a Cirque du Soleil rehearsal (grumble, grumble, envy), so you get my interpretation of his writing. Enjoy our beer thoughts after the jump.
I happen to be a fan of Chimay. Any beer that is treated with such care, such as that given Chimay by the Trappist monks, ranks up there with me. There is something distinctly wine-like about Chimay.
Chimay Cinq Cents (Chimay White)
They say: This golden blonde ale offers a subtle balance between softness and fresh bitterness, with a fruity aroma.
We say: We agree with the press kit. I could definitely smell the hops in the aroma, and I enjoyed the beer, as I thought the hops were tempered by citrus, Kevin and I could both taste lavender and coriander in the beer, and I also got some lavender on the nose. Now, to Kevin’s notes. This Chimay (I think all of them actually) is fermented in the bottle. This is a recent addition to the Chimay collection (2002) and is often served on tab. It’s 8% alcohol by volume (AbV).
Chimay Grand Réserve (Chimay Blue)
They say: This dark brown ale has relatively dry taste with a caramel touch and a complex aroma.
We say: The press kit is really deadly accurate. Kevin and I are were both reminded instantly of bourbon. It’s the caramel in this beer – it reminded me of that caramelized wood used to age bourbon and give it such a unique flavor. Interestingly, this beer can age – Kevin’s notes compare it to port wine. This was a thicker beer than the White, and paired nicely with the filet sandwiches. I also had it with the chocolate cake and was quite content. This was my favorite beer of the night. A trivia tidbit: This was introduced as a Christmas beer in 1954 but was well received and became a regular product.
Chimay Première (Chimay Red)
They say: First introduced and brewed by the Trappist monks at
Chimay in 1862, this original-recipe ale has a warm dark red color and
a soft fruity taste with a slightly bitter touch.
We say: Wow, those press folks are good! This is the only Chimay we had that’s available at the Morton’s bar. I enjoyed this one and found it easy to drink, but I suppose I was so wrapped up in the chocolate cake, I forgot to take notes. It did pair exceedingly well with that cake. Kevin noted some apricot notes, which appeared both on the nose and in your mouth. It’s a smooth beer, but it does have a little intentional bitterness to it.
All in all, we quite enjoyed our night at Morton’s. Good beer, good company, good food; it’s hard to go wrong. Our thanks to Morton’s and Lauren for arranging such a great night.
If you’re interested in attending the official Chimay tasting on Oct 24, just call Morton’s at 513.621.3111. I think they’re restricting the reservations to around 30 people so give them a call soon.
*A note about all the complimentary tastings / dinners / preview events: So far, they’ve all been pretty good. I promise that even if I’m comp’d something, I’ll tell you if I hate it. But Chimay? Those monks just make good beer.
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