While we were in South Carolina last week we went wandering round World Market. I like strolling through the food aisles at a World Market, sweets and biscuits from Blighty, sausages and mustard from Germany, Indian curry sauces, all that good stuff. It is also from World Market that I buy my imperial pint nonic glasses from which I do most of my home drinking. Most stores have a decent enough beer section, admittedly with a lot of the usual suspects but still with the occasional engaging rarity.
As we bimbled about, I spied a gift pack of Chimay, bimbling around stores is not something I usually like, but there are exceptions. The gift pack had a 12oz bottle of each of the three Chimay offerings and a branded chalice, which we spent the week referring to as the "shalice".
First a confession, up until last week, Chimay was the only Trappist brewery I had never had a beer from, for some reason I had never bothered to pick them up. As we were on holiday I decided the time was ripe to rectify that little oversight. That night I sat with the "shalice" and drank the three beers, without the aid of a camera and not scribbling notes, though I did put my thoughts into RateBeer (yes, I know I bash the excesses of RateBeer at times, but it has its uses). Don't worry though, I am not going to regurgitate those notes here, other than to say my favourite was the Cinq Cents as it is called over here, or the Blanche as it is called elsewhere.
As I sat sipping the Bleue, I got to thinking about the Trappist beers and which ones are my favourites. While all of them are very nice, I still think it is a toss up between the Rochefort range and those from Achel. Narrowing it down to one from each monastery, I would go for the Rochefort 8 and Achel 8 Bruin, and trying to choose from those two is nigh on impossible. Perhaps I will soon buy myself a cowl and surplice to use the packet of Trappist High Gravity yeast I have in the fridge.