Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24th, 2013 - Chimay Première Is "All Of The Above"!

Good afternoon my friends!  The Meista here pairing a Chimay Première from Bières de Chimay S.A. and "SMPT:e" by progressive rock group Transatlantic!  Right on!!

"SMPT:e" is the debut album by the progressive supergroup ("side project") Transatlantic made up of guitarist/vocalist Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), bassist/backing vocalist Pete Trewavas (Marillion and Edison's Children), drummer Mike Portnoy (formerly of Dream Theater), and keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Neal Morse (formerly of Spock's Beard).  "SMPT:e" was released in 2000.  The album's title is a play on words, the obvious combination of the band members' last initials, and the not so obvious reference to a machine time protocol used in high-end recording studios.  With a nod to the sound of such great 1970s prog bands as Yes, Genesis, Kansas, and Gentle Giant, the album is made up of five very proggy songs: the brilliant 31 minute epic "All Of The Above," "We All Need Some Light," "Mystery Train," My New World," and a fantastic cover of Procol Harem's amazing 1968 "In Held ('Twas) In I".   (At over 17 minutes long, "In Held ('Twas) In I" is widely regarded by rock historians and prog fans alike as the first epic prog rock song in history.)  All I know is Transatlantic's rendition is incredible... as are the other 4 tracks!  This is bold, progressive work, written and executed perfectly by 4 amazing talents... a must own for any prog rock fan!

For something as bold and progressive as "SMPT:e," I felt the Chimay Première with its richness, maltiness, and spicy/phenolic character would be a fitting companion.  The Chimay Première from Bières de Chimay S.A. is a genuine Trappist Belgian Dubbel, meaning it is brewed by Trappist monks following traditional and strict guidelines.  It pours an opaque toffee color in a frosted glass with a big, rocky, off-white head with great sustain and pillow-like lacing.  The nose is spicy and yeasty, but fairly mellow.  There are notes of soft banana, soft malts, Belgian yeast, a hint of spice.  The flavor is refreshingly crisp and malty.  It is characterized by some subtle dark fruit flavors (raisin/plum), but more of a steely caramel or cocoa flavor along with "bright" flavors of lemon, banana, light bread, and spices with just a hint of pink bubblegum.  It has a Tootsie Roll quality without the sweetness as it warms.  There are some nice, bitter black tea notes toward the finish as well.  The mouthfeel is dry and crisp like most Belgian ales, but far more mellow, almost creamy.  Not a weak ale by any means, unlike most Belgian ales that can sometimes be rather boozy, the Chimay Première's ABV is lower (7%), which makes it very drinkable.... especially with the incredible sounds of Transatlantic's "SMPT:e" blasting from your speakers!!

Learn more about the incredible Transatlantic at and the amazing Chimay ales at!

À votre santé!!

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