OK, here is review, nursing a very tired head.
when i went to pick up the Chimay Blue and the Duvel, it was out of the cooler. so i had to run home and put it in the freezer to chill it as fast as possible. went to my buddies about 7, and started drinkin. we did the Chimay Blue first.
first impression upon opening was a strong wine smell, like we had opened a bottle of merlot. it pours a murky dark, with a medium head consisting of small bubbles that desipate fast, but leave a very creamy lace over the top of the beer. first taste confirmed the aroma, very fruity and sweet, very wine like. it had a heavy flavor of yeast, and the 9% alcohol content was very evident. not at all over powering, but you knew you were drinking a strong beer. the sweetness had many layers to it.. it had hints of raisin, caramel, and butter with a touch of bitter at the end. it did have a hint of spicyness, but the variables of the sweet flavors dominated. very bold, good beer. i liked this beer, but not as much as i liked the Chimay Red. i dont care for wine that much, and every time i would bring the glass to my mouth, that strong smell of fruit made my brain think it was wine, and not beer. my buddy agreed. overall, a good complex beer, with PLENTY of alcoholic kick, i give it an 8 out of 10. i prefer the RED, but wouldnt turn this down.
after that bottle was finished, we let out palates reset, and then went to the Duvel. when opened, it had more of a flowery small, and not a fruity smell. it pours a rich golden color, very beautiful with the thickest/creamyist/stiff head i have ever seen. literally, the head is thick, like the meringue on a pie, i kid you not. it clings to the glass and stays forever. i joked that i needed a straw to get to the beer under the head.
anyway, flavor was a mild spice, with again, hints of sweetness. not as sweet as the Blue, and not quite as bold. the Duvel was slightly more tame, less complex. i would call it balanced.. good mix of spice and sweet, but not too much of either. the floral tones stayed evident, with hint of bitterness at the end. and the 8.5% alcohol content is very obvious. it tended to stand out, alerting you to its power. texture was not creamy, and not dry.. again, just a nice in the middle balance. overall, good strong beer. great golden color, with impressive head. i give it 8.5 out of 10.
it was a good night of drinking. after those two, we also split a bottle of the Corsendonk Pale Ale. needless to say, we had a decent buzz going. thats one thing i want to comment on. these are STRONG beers, and i mean in alcohol content. when drinking them, i get a warmth that radiates from my chest, into my stomach, and down my arms. i can feel the 'wave of drunk' as it washes over me. a rather weird sensation.
this has been so fun. i appreciate you guys turning me on to these beers. i will stick to my regular beers for your normal fishing and BBQing adventures, but these belgiums have made a space for themselves. i will definitely select these for holiday and special occasions. in fact, i bought 2 extra bottles of the Blue and Duvel to enjoy on christmas eve. although, i might save one for christmas dinner!!