Belgian Pale Ale Bières de Chimay


Dorée, a Belgian Pale Ale brewed by Bières de Chimay

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Dorée is a Belgian Pale Ale brewed by Bières de Chimay, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.


The Pale pours a cloudy yellow ochre and is topped by an inch-thick cap of puffy white foam that shows fair retention. A thin, soapy film continuously tops the ale and gobs of lace clutch the sides of the glass. Its effervescence is visibly apparent.


The aroma is spicy with notes of coriander and pepper, yeasty with fruity esters, and backed by a hint of bready malt.


The palate begins with a taste of doughy wheat bread and biscuit. Hints of pineapple, pear, and apricot pop in the middle. A mild bite of hops lingers briefly beyond the finish offering a taste of tart lemon with hints of grass and earthy wood.


Its feel is smooth—almost creamy—on the draw and then becomes prickly carbonic on the backend. Medium-light body with high carbonation. Finishes dryly with a slight astringency.


This Belgian Pale Ale seems very much like a Witbier or German Hefeweizen. It presents nicely but its head retention could be better. Its feel is light, lively, and absolutely wonderful. The aroma and palate are quite pleasant but lack the complexity of the better Chimay ales. And that’s fine. For what this brew is, it’s quite good. It’s sessionable, dry, mildly bitter, and easily crushed. The Dorée makes for an excellent thirst quencher.

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About the Belgian Pale Ale

The Belgian Pale Ale style is also known as the Belgian Blond Ale and its a relatively new style when compared to the history of Belgian brewing. The style was introduced as an alternative to consumers seeking lighter European Pilsner-style beers. Its color is pale to deep gold with good clarity. Its feel is effervescent with medium-high to high carbonation and a medium body that might be slightly creamy. Its alcohol strength is moderate and can lend a slight warmth to the feel. Should have a mildly dry finish. The aroma can consist of grainy sweet malt, a subtle yeast character, and light hops that can be earthy or spicy. The palate follows the nose and can add spicy phenols and a sugar or honey sweetness.