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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) - Bières de Chimay S.A.

Not Rated.
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,718 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,718
Reviews: 2,172
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 322
Gots: 957 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001)
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,718 | Reviews: 2,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by brother_kenneth:
Photo of brother_kenneth
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oct 2003 i was lucky enough to sample a bottle of 1991 and a bottle of 1981 Chimay Blue from, where else, the Kulminator. My score represents the 1981 version.

The 1991 bottle poured just like a current bottle would minus the head of course. Alot of woody notes in the nose as well as the fruitiness of cherries and raisin with a pinch of spice. While there were many of Chimay's "beer" qualities in this bottle, you knew you were drinking something aged for 12 yrs. The beer as a whole was much more mellow and smooth...refined might be a good word. Still an excellent beer.

The 1981 version on the other hand was much different then a current bottle of Chimay. And what can expect after being cellared for 22 yrs? Much like the 1991 version there was plenty of grape, cherry and raisin in the nose, except this time there weren't "hints". This time everything was much more pronounced. The aromas and flavours jumped out at you. Grape & cherry sweetness. An oaky woddiness. A toned down spiciness. Exceptional smoothness. You could really tell the difference and make no mistake between the 1991 & the 1981.

The finsh lingered nicely but almost faded a little too quick. It left me always wanting more. While this beer taste less and less like a "beer" the more it was aged, it was still exciting to see how a beer can change in complexity and become a more refined drink. By refined i mean, smooth, complex & unique.

A fabulous drinking experience. Worth every penny.

Photo of RoyalT
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tasted this right after the Premier for comparison purposes.

Appearance – Dark, rich brown color with a full, lacing head. The cloudy hue that comes out of this bottle makes your mouth water.

Smell – Opened up to a nice, fruity malt aroma and a brief ABV warning.

Taste – To my tastes, this is exactly what a Belgium Strong Dark Ale should be. The classic tobacco flavor compliments the huge malt and yeast. It all plays exceptionally well over the tongue. Of all the flavors to be found here, I enjoyed most the current, caramel, and dark toffee blend that seemed to kick in at the end, especially as the beer sat.

Mouthfeel – The conservative carbonation was suitable for the style. However, the foamy up front feeling was not to my liking.

Drinkability – This has to be one of the smoothest, easily-drinkable 9.0 ABV on the market. Again, the fizzy front end slowed things down a bit, but once I picked up the body is was quite drinkable.

Comments – I hate to go overboard on a brand available in half of America’s grocery stores (at least here in Seattle it is), but this beer is terrific. If I had the money, I would sip this every time I tasted another Belgium. IMHO, this is the standard by which all others must be judged.

Update: The 2004 vintage is more of the same. I haven’t been able to get a consistant “5” head over time so I’m dropping this rating to a 4.5.

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is one rich looking beer,a masterpiece to look at.Pours a nice amber/brown with with a slight of white frothy head that of course left some beautiful lacing.The aroma was malty sweet of dried fruit.The taste to me was wine-like with a raisiny quality,there is some slight bitterness in the finish.A very complex beer but not easy to drink for me,but a classic for sure.

Photo of davemarc87
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of cam477
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Bmm281
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.38/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was in Chateau Lacour in the heights of the Mastiff Central of Ardeche the last time I had this one. I was never much of a fan of Chimay Blue but for some reason, after several cheap bottles of Rochefort 10, I decided to give it another go. I marched up to my buddy at the bar and ordered a 750, wasn’t offered a glass nor did I want one. I took a few swigs and returned to the mosh pit where RATM’s “Know Your Enemy” was blasting. After quickly downing the translucent dark copper brew, I realized something. This had been the best tasting Chimay Grand Reserve I had ever had. The previous two dozen times I had considered it vastly overrated trite. Maybe it was just the after effects of the Rochefort messing with my taste buds, but this bottle of Chimay was vastly better then any I had ever sipped before. Heck, it was almost mediocre.

So here’s my beef with Chimay Blue. If I’m going to pay as much as this stuff costs, I would like a beer that I don’t have to age 3 years before I drink it. Every time I drink a bottle straight from the store or at a bar, I feel like it is an underdeveloped, uncomplicated baby of a beer. Sure it’s loaded with dark fruits, candied sugar, and lovely Belgian yeasts. They just aren’t very exciting. Liekwise, the body is reasonably depthful and lightly sour but it lacks vitality. Overall, I just can’t understand the hype surrounding this brew when masterpieces like Ommegang rival it so well at a fraction of the cost.

Photo of beerhunter13
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of ricke
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2008.

Serving date: 2009-01-10.

Served in snifter.

Presentation: 330 ml bottle. Freshness date on label (Best before end of 2013).

Appearance: The pour is dark-brown with red hues around the edges. There are lively bubbles and an off-white 2 cm head that stays around for a while but then settles into a nice layer of creamy foam. Some lacings.

Smell: Aromas of dark fruits, primarily cherries, are present. There is also a smell of wood, and a slight sting of alcohol hits the nose.

Taste: This is amazing and clearly triumphs the smell of the beer. Up front are tastes of ripe fruit - cherries and apples - and raisins. Perhaps, there are also some notes of spices here. The malts provide a sweetness to the brew. A slight bitterness accompanied by pleasant alcohol characterizes the finish. Towards the end the alcohol becomes more prominent.

Mouthfeel: The beer is medium-bodied. Carbonation is lively and the bubbles coupled with the creamy foam provides a nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very good. This is a very complex beer, unlike anything I have ever tried. Since ABV is 9%, it should perhaps reduce drinkability a bit, but actually, the alcohol hides rather well and primarily adds to the complexity of this outstanding beer.

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

served in a branded chalice.

LOOK (3.5/5) Pours a deep brown to lighter mahogany - maybe around 30*SRM. This one is quite opaque. Very cloudy indeed. Head is a bit disappointing; it rises to about a finger and a half (rocky, creamy, off-white). This falls quickly , with too little lacing, to a ring around the glass. Some nice carbonation on the inside of the glass.

SMELL (4/5) The smell is malty, as you'd expect, but with a lot of yeast esters and some more tart grape aromas. The malt has some mailard in it, but the dark fruit is gentler than most. This faces to a dark grape-juice flavor. The yeast is also fairly fruity - it also had some banana and bubblegum. Not very much hop or alcohol aroma.

TASTE (4.5/5) The flavor is similar to the nose. There's some more grape and pepper in there, though. The flavor has a lot of melanoidin in there as well (prunes, plums). But this faded to a tarter grape-juice, somewhat vinous, flavor. It rounded out with some spiciness (pepper) that wasn't really on the nose. The finish is a bit on the sweeter side. Some alcoholic warmth.

FEEL (4.5/5) This is medium-full bodied and some higher carbonation. This is what I call 'fluffy' - high carb goes well with the spice.

DRINK (4/5) Drinkability is medium - too heavy and flavorful for a session, but well balanced and complex. A great drink all-in-all.

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of brownbeer
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I believe this is an 08 that i'm pouring into the classic Chimay chalice.

It's mahogany with a thin, cream colored head that fades quickly but is glad to come back around with a gentle swirl.

Fantastic aroma of plums, raisins, pecan pie, yeasty bread dough, and red ripe fruit.

Taste is malty, yeasty genius. Rich and silky with the alcohol perfectly hidden. Brilliant notes of figgy dried fruits, bready and doughy caramel all caressing each other in a perfect way. Velvety body and drinkable isn't the word for it.

World class doesn't do it justice. If you decide to pair it with food, find something light and delicate, otherwise the food will overpower the gentle nature of the beer.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is dark red-brown color with a large head the color of malted milk. It is nicely sculpted but falls quicker that the heads of its siblings. The aroma is faint and I have to sniff hard to gaet anything but what I do get is sweet berries and fresh flowers. Wow.

The hops start the show here spicy, herbal, and floral. They dance around before being overcome by alcohol drenched yeast tinged with just a slight clove that transitions into what I think is a real woody almost whiskey-like sweetness.

The mouthfeel is thicker, slicker, and all-around heavier than other Chimay beers, but still stays springy. This is a great sippin beer. It makes me want to slip into a silk robe and start talkin like the ladies man.

Photo of mveatch
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and hazy auburn pour with a sturdy head that does not dissapear easily. Very sweet aromas of fruit, apple, sweet malt. Sweet taste with a cider tartness. The medium bodied brew is smooth and in no way aesthetically unpleasant. This is a fantastic beer whose alcohol warms in the winter and whose malt fruitiness refreshes in the spring and summer. Further the cider notes make it a great room temperature brew in the late fall. I have tried this beer across many different meals and all of the seasons and have yet to be dissappointed.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to trying this highly talked about Belgian strong Ale.

A- Pours a very solid barley see-though brown hue with beautiful one inch head that hangs around for a minute or so leaving some lacing.

S- Smell is of strong fruits including raisins, plums and brown sugar. Noted toasted malts as well.

T- Let me think how to put this.... Very prominent dark fruit flavors are very crisp. Firey burnt malts and barley hit you midway through. The warmth of the alcohol hits you in the end. Excellent.

M- Almost dangerously smooth with how much alcohol this Belgian is packing. Fresh and invigorating on the mouth, light carbonation is the key to making the drink easy.

D- Very easy to drink and i will buy many next time im in the store. I cant wait to try the other two.
(05-13-09)NOTE(All red, white, and blue are great.)

Photo of weatherdog
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured in a Chimay chalice

It pour a deep auburn with some yeast murkiness. A vigorous pour gives me a very generous head filling the chalice and then settling down to a nice layer of bubbles.

The nose instantly fills me with some tart cherries, much more tart than I remember from the last time I had this beer. It's a much welcome smell as it's one of my favorites in Belgian beers. Behind that some sweet malts and some yeast spice.

That tart cherry flavor doesn't transfer over to the taste very much, it is replaced with mostly some sweetness and dark fruits. On the backend I can taste some alcohol and with the sweetness and Belgian spice I'm drawing comparisons to a mildly spiced rum.

Mouthfeel is medium with a semi-dry finish and high carbonation. As the beer warmed the alcohol made itself more noticeable which dinged the drinkability a bit.

Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of TimBeaulieu
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,718 ratings.