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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,263 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,263
Hads: 7,311
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 19.16%
Wants: 432
Gots: 1,526 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,263 | Hads: 7,311
Reviews by ggroller:
Photo of ggroller
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is beer bliss. If I had to chose just one beer to drink for the rest of my life this would be it. I can remember the first time I had the Grand Reserve and always look for an excuse to indulge in the next.

The color is primarily dark walnut but a little on the ruby red side. The head is white, bubbly , and sturdy as it leaves traces of it's sticky residue on the sides of my Chimay chalice.

The complexity of the smell and flavor is overwhelming. Floral, fruity, yeasty, esthery, wine like, malty, and sweet, with hints of ginger bread, cinnamon, and clove. The moutfeel is creamey, smooth, and inviting. The ABV says 9% on the bottle but this beer really packs a wallop that I can't taste but certainly can feel.

God bless the Monks of Chimay. This beer is heaven on earth.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.23/5  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.

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Photo of likethetaste
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wanted to try this beer because it is so highly rated! Well it is not the type that i would normally go for but I must say this is a good beer. The fact that I like it and it is not a type I usually like says a lot!

Nice lookiing dark amber with nice head.

Spicy smell.

Wonderful spicy flavor with strong but not overpowering or alcohol taste! This would be a great winter warmer beer!!!

Lots of alcohol but very drinkable with good mouth feel. I like this! And will drink it again on a cold snowy night. WATCH out this is very drinkable but STRONG! Be warned :) What a great beer just perfect for cold nights. MUST BE DRANK AT THE CORRECT TEMPERATURE and the older the better! :) Also drink from the proper glass!

An incredible beer that has become one of my all time favorites. After drinking this (and the other Chimay's) all my other beer reviews seem like straw! This is an incredible beer that blows away everything else I have ever tried.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
2.52/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


one of the most fantastically over rated beers of all time

the main point I want to stress here is that this beer is overwhelmed by its astringency
it's just not that good, sorry. it tastes like what I would imagine a store brand trappist would taste like. It is not that interesting, and if it is complex, it is not enjoyable enough to justify savoring or investigation. I have given this beer chance after chance after chance, IMO the only thing it is good for is cooking. I love belgian beer and I hate this ale sooooooo very much 2 thumbs down and downright unpleasant

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%

Review taken from notes Spring 2014. I've jotted down notes on more than 7 occasions with this brew.

750 ml brown Chimay trapping style bottle. Corked and capped in typical Chimay style. Label is blue in color featuring many great Belgian trappist monk artwork I have no less than loved from the beginning of kt craft beer days. Poured into an authentic Chimay trappist goblet.

A - massive head on the pour which displays a very unique tan color which you'll only find on authentic trappist dark ales. It settles after what seems like forever and leaves a thick ring of lacing leaving incredible like stick. Body color is trappist brown with hints of the brown side of dark, mahogany ruby gleaming through when held to the light. Yeast sediment and particles are at full force and only add to the experience.

S - doughy bread like yeast with a buttery sweet caramel note that's simply a trademark of Chimay. A nice semi hoppy note of orange peel and a faint whiff of ripe apple. The more Chimay Blue warms dark fruit really sets within the nose. A mild whiff of alcohol and spice in the background. A simple yet pleasing trappist aroma.

T - the flavor really takes on the simplicity of the nose and hammers home great monk style taste. Sticky, sweet, buttery caramel let off a near candy corn note within the mouth. Doughy Chimay style yeast with big dark fruit flavor. A soft candied orange note creeps up followed by a mild alcohol and spice finish. Delightful flavor.

M - upper medium in body. Displays spot on thickness as intended in this monk brewed ales. Just a perfection of a body for the style. A semi dry spiciness in the finish. Mild alcohol warming that adds even more depth and complexion to the mouthfeel.

O - Chimay Grand Reserve or Chimay (Blue) as most refer to it as, is a simple yet world class Belgian Strong Dark ale and really the perfect option to begin with exploring bigger Trappist ales. It's been a real favorite of mine since our first encounter, and one I'll grab on a few more than special occasions every year. Just a classy ale from a classy brewery. Chimay offering are all world class, but the blue is their way of showing you how talented and perfected a beer recipe can be.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the magnum bottle into a schooner glass. A moderate pour produces a creamy tan head of about an inch. The beer is a hazy yellowish-brown of moderate depth.

The aroma is bready, earthy, fruity and minerally. The flavor has a distinct maltiness, suggesting a gingerbread cookie. Also apparent is a spicy apple-raisin fruitiness, and a lemony tartness on the finish. A peppery bit of spice and pucker punctuate the flavor, while a light earthy funk underlies it all. A little boozy warming is apparent, and perhaps a touch of spicy alcohol bite. Vinous, port-like notes and dark fruit hints become more pronounced as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is frothier than one might expect.

This is obviously a world class beer worthy of its reputation. I'm on a bit of a Belgian kick at the moment (this style becoming more available in my area), and am enjoying this and other Belgian beers very much this Thanksgiving weekend.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Service: Bottle
Best before: Dec-2020

Pours a rich, impenetrable ruby brown with a big beige head that airily drops to a decent film. Good retention; speckled lacing. (4)

Dark bread and spices. Berries, leather, rubbery phenols, cloves/cinnamon. (4)

Dark fruits and dough. Slightly sweet with a woody/hard water taste underlying it all, lots of dark dough, light pepper, dark fruits. (4.25)

Rich, medium-full bodied, with soft carbonation and a smooth finish, well-hidden alcohol, pretty drinkable. (4.5)

Great beer, a classic strong dark ale.
Very lively yeast flavors with layered fruitiness and breadiness. Rich and creamy feel with a smooth, clean finish. Roses, cherries, brandy and cream. The booze is there and there is the slightest garden hose quality to it, but it is a very good beer on the whole. Absolutely will have again. As I already said, it's a classic. (4.5)

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of davemarc87
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of cam477
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bmm281
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

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Photo of beerhunter13
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of ricke
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 1,254 characters

Photo of ExtraStout
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this from a bottle in Shanghai. I was glad to find some quality over there. It pours a very dark reddish brown with a thick, tannish head. Very nice lacing throughout the drink. The aroma is malty with definite fruity undertones. The taste is exceptional even for a Trappist ale. It starts with a sweet maltiness that has real grapey undertones. The taste ends with an alcohol hit that is ameliorated by the fruitiness. It feels almost perfect in the mouth with some real body, nice carbonation, and a lingering taste of fruit. I rate this down a little in drinkability just because of the alcohol content. It is drinkable from first drop to last.

 651 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 1,354 characters

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of brownbeer
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

 691 characters

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 730 characters

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,263 ratings.