The Pocket Guide to Beer
Quotations reprinted without permission from Simon & Shuster edition
"With its open kettles, fired by direct flame, and even the odd copper
fermenter, Caledonian holds the deepest traditions of Edinburgh as a
brewing centre. Its much-appreciated range of tasty ales have gained in
malty freshness, hop aroma, and complexity since the brewery's return to
independence. The brewery's specialty, the strong Caledonian Ale ***->****
(1077-1080), marketed in the US as MacAndrew's , has an unusually
pale color for the style and a wonderfully clean maltiness, dried by the
alcoholic power of the finish. A Lowland Single Malt of the beer world."
Chimay Trappist Monastery
"The best known and biggest monastery brewery in Belgium. Its long-serving
brewmaster, Father Théodore, is a greatly respected figure in the
industry, and Chimay's products have been a model for many others. They
are, in the monastic tradition, top-fermenting strong ales, conditioned in
the bottle. Within this tradition, the Chimay beers have a house character
that is fruity, both in the intense aroma and the palate. Beyond that, each
has its own features... Chimay Blue ****, which has a gravity of of 8;
19.62 (1081) and an alcohol content of 7.1; 9... has again that
characteristically Chimay depth of aromatic fruitiness -- a Zinfandel, or
even a port, among beers. Chimay Blue is vintage-dated on the crown cork.
If kept in a dark, cool place (ideally 19 deg. C / 65 deg. F, but
definitely not refrigerated), it will become markedly smoother after a year
and sometimes continues to improve for two or three, drying slightly as it
progresses. After five years, it could lose a little character, but some
samples have flourished for a quarter of a century. A version of Chimay
Blue in a corked 75cl bottle is called Grande Reserve. The larger bottle
and different method of sealing seem to mature the beer in a softer manner.
With different surface areas and air space, a slightly larger yeast
presence and the very slight porosity of cork this is not fanciful."
"There was an English influence in the early American ales, and here it is
again in David Geary's well-established new-generation micro... A Hampshire
Special Ale *** (1070), tawny, bitter-chocolatey, drying to a tremendous
hop finish, is produced for winter, and is also vintage-dated."