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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

7,092 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,092
Reviews: 2,253
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 399
Gots: 1,342 | FT: 16
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,092 | Reviews: 2,253
Reviews by ryantupy:
Photo of ryantupy
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 Bottle

A - Poured a nice cloudy dark brown color with a massive foamy head that slowly turns to a small lace around the glass. A little sticky

S - This beer smelled of ripe fruit right upfront with a malty tanginess in the back. Further down the glass the alcohol becomes more noticable.

T - Very smooth with a nice malty character very rich with flavor. Ripe fruit is very noticable as well as a milt hoppy bitterness and alcohol.

M - A nice full-bodied beer that was on the lighter side of carbonation level. The malts and smooth texture of this beer gives you a very warming sensation.

D - This is a beer that is meant for sipping but with that in mind it is easily a drinkable beer. The alcohol will settle in time and make this beer more drinkable as it ages.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
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
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
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 likethetaste
5/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

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 DaPeculierDane
3.4/5  rDev -20.9%
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 ricke
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
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 ExtraStout
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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 brownbeer
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
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
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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 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
4.6/5  rDev +7%
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
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
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 Clonies720
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color. Carbonation is almost non-existant. It's fairly clear despite the dark amber color. This beer looks alive and inviting. A thick, two finger head forms and then actually SWELLS up to the top of the glass before bubbling down after a few minutes. Leaves some truly stupendous lacing as it goes down

Smell: Starts off with some rich brown sugar, a lot of yeast with some medium malts with a whispy booze. A bit sweet with an earthy background note. Not a whole lot going on here really.

Taste- Very straight forward and clean flavors. Rich and a bit sweet with a good yeasty flavors. Like the nose it's malty with hidden booze that creeps up on you and dark fruits.

Mouth- A light medium body that is also rich and malty but a tad too bubbly.

Overall: I'd buy and drink it again. It's an extremely smooth, drinkable beer. Difficult to justify the price on it though to me.

Photo of Matty-K
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter, a little too cold. Fantastic caramel appearance. Full head faded quickly to nice lacing. What a mouthfeel! Absolutely deduces the tongue, and lingers about for a long but light finish. The alcohol is never forward - this is simply perfectly balanced.

Clearly the work of masters at their art.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

Rich dark brown brew props up a beautiful off-white cap of foamy bubbles at about a half inch with a reasonably careful pour. Near perfect lacing down the glass with moderate head retention.

Complexity at it's finest with swirling aromas of dark fruit, brown candy sugar, roasted malts, and a hint of caramel.

The flavors are at least as complex as the aromas but the come together in tight fusion that stays bonded through to the finish. The malts combine near perfectly with notes of fig or prune, hinting at sweetness without actually being sweet. Any hops present are for balance and are largely not noticed however the overall presence of the brew is so balanced they must be there. The finish is slightly wine like with a bit of alcohol warming on the way down. A classic.

If you haven't tried this one yet, what are you waiting for? There aren't too many others in this style that rise to this level. It is a standard to be judged against.

Photo of steelerguy
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Burnt umber color, translucent, high carbonation, large head that sticks around for awhile.

S - Dark fruit, sweet malt, some nice esters. Smells great, just wish it were more aromatic.

T - Like the aroma but much more concentrated, so full of flavor. Lot of plum, date, and raisin flavors, the caramel malts really come through. Alcohol flavors come through in the middle, but nothing hot or out of place. Just a touch of bitterness on the finish.

M - Finishes very clean, definitely used some simple sugars in here so it attenuates well. Lots of carbonation and the alcohol warmth really make this beer feel great.

D - You can drink much more of this beer than you should. Great balance, not heavy, very enjoyable.

Photo of Dmann
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing brew that I have held of on trying for far too long! This one poured a dark brown color with a very bubbely white head that settled on top of the beer. The smell was of bananna and spice and a subtle hint of mustyness as well. The taste was so fucking good with its perfect blend of bananna, clove spices and a touch of pepper flavor in the finnish. Hops are next to nothing in here but there is much flavor to this beer regardless. My bottle was dated 07/03 so after being aged a year, I'd say it tastes pretty damn good! Try this one if you have not allready and rediscover it if you have not had it in awhile!

Photo of BJ1833
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date on cork was 03/03. Pours a deep brown/copper color with a three finger head. The smell is malty with strong fruit and spice aromas. This beer is highly carbonated, but not overcarbonated. The first taste brings out a strong spice flavor followed by an overripe fruit flavor. A slight orange peel flavor is present in the finish. A medium body beer with a very faint copper-like, metallic finish.

Overall, I like this beer the most of the Chimay brews. A great beer and very good example of an authentic belgian beer.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my Chimay chalice a deep brown with hints of red shining through from the light. A head of tightly grouped bubblies sits on top. Aromas are floral and spicy with hints of candi sugar, raisins, fresh bread and fruits. A bit mellow, yet intriguing at the same time.

First sip brings a floral and spicy onslaught with hints of cinammon and cloves. There's a nice candy sugar sweetness with some fruitiness and a tasty yeast profile. Almost champagne like with the carbonation and body. A tasty brew..but I was expecting a bit more.

Mouthfeel is fairly light with a hefty amount of carbonation. I'd like to see the bubbles cut down a bit as it's a bit much. For a 9% brew this is very drinkable...I'm only drinking the 11.2oz bottle..however a 750 would be no problem.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 750ml bottle with the date 1/06 stamped on the cork. It was a dark brown color with a very small head. It had a sweet, fruity (?raisin, ? banana) odor with a bit of spiciness. I thought the taste would be a little more complex, but it wasn't. It had a spicy, malty flavor, with some mild hop bitterness. A good beer, quite drinkable despite the 9%Abv.

Photo of BeerDreadz
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Amber Bottle pour into a weizen glass.

Appearance: Nice dark caramel color with a light brown/tan foamy head.

Taste : sweetness, caramel, honey, spicy.

Great beer, Great overall, Feels awesome on the mouth. A will definitely drink this beer again.

Photo of SamuraiJack
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I must say that I'm very glad that I did not have a chance to taste this beer until now. I honestly don't think I would have appreciated the beer to nearly the degree I (now) do.

First pour shows a very dark beer with slight auburn highlights and a truly gorgeous creamy mocha head that diminished to a dense, sticky head that persisted to the last drop and lace that coated the inside of the glass.

Aromas are incredibly complex, with strong oak-aged madeira notes and hints of wheat/grain and some classic banana to balance it all. Now THIS is the way a beer should smell. My god - true perfection. It's hard to even think about tasting the beer as you suspect it simply cannot live up to the expectations set by these aromas.

Initial taste shows you wrong. This is an outrageously complex beer. Trying to describe it ends up with you sounding like you're a wine dork. "Initial flavours of oak, leather and firm tannins soften to reveal deep cherry fruit." But seriously, that's how it tastes to me. I taste hints of sherry, of chocolate, some solid phenols and banana leading to the hot alcohol finish. There are just SO many things going on on the tongue with this beer. Wow.

Truly one of the greatest beers in the world. A brilliant brew and a must experience for any fan of fine beverages.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 7,092 ratings.