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

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

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2,229 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,229
Hads: 7,136
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 404
Gots: 1,375 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,229 | Hads: 7,136
Photo of andjusticeforale
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours to the top of the letters on the Chimay chalice. Deep reddish-brown with bubbly -fine carbonation, heavy in body enough to produce large bubbles that form just below the head. It looks a lot like Gulden Draak, perhaps a bit darker.

The smell is yeast and bubble gum with clove; banana bread, and a faint touch of raisins.

Upon first taste, and mine was slightly chilled, the carbonation sits right in the middle of your tongue and will not let the beer meander around your mouth. The mouthfeel and carbonation here are perfect; alive, vibrant- yet subtle, and certainly not watery and apple-juice type feel of a stout; this is more like a cross between pepsi and mineral water.

The alcohol present on the first few sips does create a medicinal, and I have read, I must note correctly, a “menthol” taste. This bitterness balances the sweetness factor. But... as the beer warms, the sweetness wins and the menthol subsides, however, there is always bready-yeasty dryness at the end of each sip; a superb bittersweet hint of apple skin and cappucino.

Compared to the other big Trappist products, the Rochefort 10 and (I’ve never had Westy 12) but
St. B Abt 12, and the like; I would say that this beer is not inferior, neither by style nor the fact that it is marketed and accessible; There is a subtlety in this beer that makes it tremendous, and an accessibility to the Trappist genre that makes it a great “gateway” to beer appreciation.

Perhaps what this beer has that some of the huge quadruples can’t achieve is drinkability- This is a world class beer with truly high drinkability. This is a certain “must try” for all beer enthusiasts. (1,671 characters)

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a golden, dark brown with a medium head that settled to a sticky lace. It had a smell of caramel raisins with malts and nuts.
The flavor is insane. The alcohol level is so subdued, yet the balance of malts and yeast were perfect. The touch of spice and the fruitiness seemed to join forces to arouse the senses. It was sweet, but with a bit of light bitterness.
It felt light,medium carbonation and crispy. So high in alcohol and yet so smooth. As it warms the flavors really come out, the creaminess and the all the other wonders of this Ale are revealed.

Note: This beats wines worth twice the dollar amount. The monks from Westvleteren recommend the Chimay Beers if you can not buy their famous brew. This Chimay is something special,do not look past it or take it for granted. (789 characters)

Photo of Sigmund
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An outstanding beer, very close to "perfect". I agree with all the positive things said by other reviewers, and has little more to add. The spicy, oaky complexity of the aroma and flavour is "out of this world". Wonderful, lingering aftertaste. Alcohol is well hidden. Simply exceptional! (288 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From Notes:

A: Rich brown, almost a cola color, off white head. 4.5

S: Sour apples definite Belgian yeast, fruity and very sour. 5.0

T: Very complex, distinctive yeast profile, fruity flavors really pop out as it warms up , no hops, balanced alcohol for being 9%. 5.0

M: Nicely carbonated, not too thick but still a big mouthful. 5.0

D: Easily drinkable at 9%, one 750ml does the job though. Drinking anymore of this would be a waste, but very fun. 5.0 (457 characters)

Photo of pradipta
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage. Belgium to Singapore via Australia, so probably a bit travel weary. Exceptional, still. Not much of a head, subtle spices in the nose, delightful pungency and same subtle spice taste, light subdued carbonation in the mouth, aftertaste of spices, caramel and an undefinable pleasant bitterness lasts practically for ever. Exceptional beer! (352 characters)

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up this beer as part of a great deal on a Chimay gift set that included the 3 beers (Blue,red,Trippel) & a Chimay goblet.

Poured into the goblet a cloudy brown color, Off white head settles fairly quickly. Smell is absolutely amazing! Sweet malt flavor, raisins, fruits, dark bready aroma. MMMM!!! I've had some other belgian strong dark ale's that a really strong anise flavor that really turned me off, but not so in this one. Taste is amazing! Mouthfeel is smooth and moist, not harsh or bitter in the least. Finish is nice, doesn't linger any longer than necessary. This beer totally surpassed my expectations. As far as drinkability is concerned, let me say this. I've had many different beers, but never before has one made me want to rush out and buy a case of it. WELL DONE! (791 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml. bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

**POP!!!** There goes the cork! That's the first sign you're in for a treat...

Appearance: Pours a deep red/amber brown color, somewhat hazy and mysterious. Looks nearly black, or more like a rustic dark brown, without much light. First pour doesn't have much head, but subsequent ones have a nice, thick (1 in.), foamy off-white head that becomes a shallow, foamy film. You can see the carbonation bubbling up on the edges.

Smell: The beer has an aroma of some rich, deep roasted malts, caramel, a bit of yeast, and some spices and ripe, dark fruits. One of the more complex smells that I've found in a beer.

Taste: The dark fruits made the first contact here, followed by the caramel and then the malt. Extremely rich! Very little bitterness in the taste, though there is a bit of alcohol noticable at the end of a sip.

Mouthfeel: There's quite a bit of carbonation, but it isn't really noticable until just when swallowing it. What's always most surprising to me is that this beer isn't as heavy as you'd expect. Seems to float along the tongue.

Drinkability: Despite the high (9%) alcohol content, this beer is very drinkable. It's incredibly rich in flavor, but as long as you aren't stupid and try to chug this you'll be fine.

This has been one of my favorite beers for a long time, so I finally had to review it here. The aroma is quite possibly the best thing here -- so complex and well balanced. Tastes and looks great as well. If you haven't tried it yet, you should! Spoil yourself with a bottle of this... one of those beers that I always look forward to having. Trappist monks may give up their earthly pleasures, but I'd say this one is rather godly! (1,739 characters)

Photo of Hanger
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 mL bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

A - Opaque red-brown with 10-15 mm of creamy head that dropped to 1-2 mm in a short time

S - Complex - dark fruits & spices along malts, some alcohol

T - similar to smell - spicy dark fruits and sweet malts. overall sweet with noticeable alcohol

M - creamy and full bodied, alcoholic aftertaste, became smoother

D - amazing - really complex and enjoyable aromas and tastes. could easily have one more, will definately drink again. quite possibly the best beer I have ever tasted (533 characters)

Photo of greengorilla
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured this beer out of a 33cL bottle into a tulip glass. It is a dark brown with a bubbly thick light tan head.

The appearance was really beautiful, but it only got better from there. This is how a beer should smell and taste. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

If I could rate the mouthfeel above a 5.0, I would.

It is really exceptionally drinkable no matter what its ABV, but at 9% the drinkability is insane.

This rivals the Rocheforte 8 for my favorite overall beer. (491 characters)

Photo of TheBeerLord
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Words do not do this beer justice, as this is quite easily the tastiest beer ever created. The label looks somewhat nondescript, much like other Trappist beers, but it hides the one of the most complex tastes of any beer I've ever had the pleasure to drink. It's, sweet, fruity, and also slightly peppery, with the faintest hint of bitterness; it's heavily spiced and smells strongly of cloves. I had one of the larger 750 ml bottles, and with its 9% ABV, it certainly hit the spot. This pairs superbly with a juicy, medium-rare steak. (535 characters)

Photo of Hunter
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2nd Chimay in as many days for me. Cinq Cents is my personal favorite, so I'll save that one for last. Grande Reserve is supposedly Chimay's "big brew", the one the monks themselves brew and drink infrequently. Whether that's true, or the stores here believe the hype, this is the most expensive of the three, at $9 for the large. At those prices I could be drinking at a pub! But these beers are worth it. As I said in my Red review, DON'T buy the smaller bottles - something's lost in translation. Chimay's website almost admits as much when it mentions that their beers take on special characteristics when the secondary fermentation after bottling is allowed to work in larger volumes.

The Blue cap pours a dark garnet color, with a long-lasting head the color of beach sand. the head easily regenerates itself with some gentle agitation. Some bits of yeast and sediment will find their way into your glass with all but the most careful pours, but it's really a minor complaint. Nice, steady carbonation in thin threads from the bottom of the chalice.

The aroma is at once more complex, and more muted than the Red. What's hiding in there? Clove, candied fruit, and...mystery. There is a light slap of alcohol (and at 9% it would be unavoidable) but it's more of an inticement than anything else.

The first thing to hit the tongue is a crisp wine-like essense, carried on a silken mouthfeel. If autumn had a taste, it would be this. Dark, earthy spice, oak, berries, and plum. Reminds me of a November sunset, bracing with the promise of frost. (The alcohol must be taking over - I'm rhapsodizing here ;))

Too hard to judge after only one, as it shows you something new each time. This beer is like a beautiful woman - she won't give up her secrets readily. I love this beer, and it's only due to the prohibitive cost that it's not a daily thing for me. As high-brow as beer gets. (1,898 characters)

Photo of jjohnson
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is for the Chimay Grande Reserve 2001 vintage.

Serving type: bottle

Appearance - Poured a dark brown, thick head

Smell - Smells of grapes, dark fruits, raisins, and caramel. Incredibile smelling beer.

Taste - Tastes of yeast, brandy, raisins. The flavors are much more intense than a non-aged Chimay Blue. One of the best beers I've tasted.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is pretty high but it didn't distract from the beer. Full mouthful, very dry almost like a fine red wine.

Drinkability - I could drink this all the time if I had the opportunity. This was a truely incredible beer. I highly recommend you try it if you get the opportunity. You will not regret it. (678 characters)

Photo of Sleepisforthewik
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 1 pint 9.4 oz bottle into a goblet.

A- Dark copper tones with a nice head. The head stays down the entire way.

S- Smell is heaven like. Slight spiced aroma with some delicious malts.

T- Tastes of spices and sweetness.

M- Light and smooth with a body that is hidden until after you swallow the beer.

D- I would drink this whenever I have the chance to pick up a bottle. This stuff is delicious. (412 characters)

Photo of mjurney
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep amber-brown color, cloudy. Lots of fine bubbles. Head looks very thick and creamy.

Rich malts, dark fruit, spices, a little banana.

Taste & Mouthfeel:
Very complex in flavor. Rich malts, caramel, brown sugar, faint milk chocolate. Fruity, black cherries, ripe plums, touch of banana. Spices, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon. Full bodied, creamy carbonation.

Finish & Aftertaste:
Resiny finish, slight warmth from the alcohol.

Overall Impressions:
One of the best beer in the world!! (503 characters)

Photo of Dougal
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You have to give the Catholic Clergy their due...this is an exceptional that must have been contemplated with deep reserve...the nose is wonderfully light yet very complex soft fruit, herb, malt...the taste is wonderful, there are not many beers you will ever taste that can be said to be very similar to Chimay Grande is very balance with beautiful slight bite of the above smells of fruit, herb and malt...chimay is so sophiscated it is indulged like a glass of wine. (493 characters)

Photo of JamisonM
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A dark murky brown color light tan head

S: dark fruit figs with plums and slight alcohol smell

T: less alcohol in the taste then then smell complex deep malts with dark fruits and some yeast in there as well.

M: fairly light mouth for a 9% beer I will say its light to med

D: very drinkable and enjoyable

overall: a great quad deep and complex beer that is consistently great! My highest recommendation! (411 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pulled from cellar and poured at cellar temp.

Pours a very rich brown color, bubbly head light tan in color. Leave s thin white ring with slight lacing.

Smell is that of fruit and light malt. Alcohol smell is more of a wine than most beers. Slight scent of various spices.

Carbonation is crisp, but compliments heavier fruit like flavors. Good combination of sweet and spiced flavors.

Mouth feel is crisp and dry. The sweet and spiciness hits your tounge the different time.

Truly a brew to savor and enjoy. This will be a staple in the cellar to age and enjoy year after year. If only I can stand to let it sit. (618 characters)

Photo of RKnep
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Snifter type glass.

Appearance - Dark amber to brown color. Initially opaque then clears. One finger light tan head that diminishes slowly with great lacing.

Smell - Hint of caramel and fruit. Earthy with a hint of hops. Can't stop smelling.

Taste - Wonderful caramel, chocolate, bread, sweet dark fruit flavor. Hard to drink slowly, it's so good. Gets better as it warms up.

Mouthfeel - Great carbonation. You almost want to chew it.

Overall - One of the best I've had, to date. If I ever brew beer, I want it to taste like this. (550 characters)

Photo of mhillard
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served form a 750ml bottle into a chimay glass. Color is a rich reddish brown, with a decent tan head that sticks around for a good while. The smell only hints at the variety of flavors that are contained within. It seems like each taste gives you a new profile of flavors, there are more rich flavors contained within than I would be able to name. This is a wonderful beer that compliments any meal or occasion. (412 characters)

Photo of Thiestru
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint-sized pub glass (although I've had this in the appropriate Chimay chalice).

Appearance: A cloudy deep brown with a reddish tint. One-finger almond-colored head at the beginning; a wispy covering later on. This leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Dark and malty, with some faint floralness in the background. There is also a fruity sweetness in the aroma, and some alcohol.

Taste: Sweet (but not too sweet) malts, a very subdued bitterness (really more of a tang), and something a little like cherries lurking in there. Wonderfully balanced. There is a definite hop presence here, but far from the forefront; somehow the actual taste of the hops themselves comes through more than any bitterness imparted by them. The alcohol lends some sharpness to the flavor, and is quite warming. This beer is rich but never cloying or saccharine, and it holds many shades of taste.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth.

Drinkability: I could drink this all day. It never gets tiresome. Just got to have a care for that alcohol percentage, though!

In my opinion, this is the epitome of Belgian brewcraft. (1,122 characters)

Photo of BJamesII
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This Dark strong ale comes in at 9% ABV. A dark reddish brown color with a thin head. This beer is flavorful yet not over the top. If you had no preconceptions about the strength of the beer itself you would not think it was strong. Many heavier ales with high alcohols tend to exhibit their strength in the taste. Grande Reserve is not at all like this. It is smooth and easy to drink. There is a dried fruit character and it is not sweet or real heavy. The body feels medium and it is relatively dry yet aromatic. This bottle (750 ml) in particular had slightly less flavor that others I have tasted. Overall it is one of the best Dark Belgians one can spend about $12 (bevmo) on and not feel guilty about the expenditure. After the bottle was finished... needless to say so was I. Even though you can't taste the alcohol, believe me it's there!!!

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay (Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont)

ABV: 9%

For pics and some more words about this beer check out (1,008 characters)

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many of you have tried Chimay in it's various forms - However I have lucked out at our local liquor store where they have a stash of the 2000 millennium Chimay blue - special reserve. 1.5 litre (Half magnum) bottles. And it can be denoted by the "special reserve" label that is attached on the neck of the bottle. This is a special ale that is given fresh live yeast at the bottling stage. This beer is super fine. The hops are perfect and the malt is just there below the hops. Exceptional balance of nose and taste. The taste is exceptionally smooth and clean. the fact that this bottle conditioned ale has had some time to mature in the bottle is what gives it the exceptionally clean taste. This is a real treasure beer that everyone ought to try but unfortunately only a few can.

2001 Reserve - 3 litre Magnum. My firend had this one - or rather we all shared in it as his 200th beer at the Flying Saucer. That bigger bottle does make a difference. The beer has more body and a smoother flavor. Plus this is just a gigantic frgiign' beer! (1,046 characters)

Photo of maputnam25
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured an amber brown color with a creamy half-inch head. Aromas contain dried fruit, maraschino cherries. Flavors of caramel, plum, red delicious apple, raisins, and yeast.
Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied with a pronounced carbonation. An all around excellent beer - praise to the men of God who have bequeathed it to us. (329 characters)

Photo of origais
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Leffe calice
75cl bottle
Vintage; 14 years old

This is simply the best beer I ever had!
After so many years, yes it is a bit flat (very low carbonation), but such complexity and balance for the nose and mouth!
Tasted with friends at home, some liked it some less, but all agreed on the very high quality of the product. (320 characters)

Photo of MadCat
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33cl bottle poured into my Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Hazy brown with a short white-ish brown head, leaves good lacing.

Smell: Sweet, fruity, plums, grapes, berries, bread

Taste: Sweet, tart, and a little bitter at the same time, with sweet winning out. Theres hints of plums, grapes, cranberries, and other berries. Some hints of port in there as well. A bit of earthiness to it too. The flavors improve at it warms a bit, getting more complex, with the flavors melding better.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with crisp carbonation, relatively smooth, getting smoother as it warms, likely due to losing a little carbonation.

Overall: This is one of my personal top 5 beers. If I were rich, I would drink this on a semi-regular basis. Its a sipper, but drinks real easy for the abv. Will revisit this next time I get a 75cl bottle (or even the magnum!) (850 characters)

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,229 ratings.