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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.

5,944 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,944
Reviews: 2,136
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 235
Gots: 551 | FT: 10
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,944 | Reviews: 2,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of treyrab


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on multiple occasions, but since it became part of the BA Top 100, I feel obligated to review it! Poured into my Ommegang chalice...

A: Pours a dark mahogany/burgundy with nice chill haze and a whopping two finger tan head. Very nice yeast floaties (the small kind, not the colossal chunks of yeast) floating around the glass.

S: Smell is nice and abundant with dark fruits (raisins, plums, figs) accompanied by a touch of cinnamon, clove, over-ripe banana and mucho yeast spices. Overall, a pretty dry scent and not too sweet.

T: Nice and dry with the aforementioned qualities. Nice dry fruit, prunes (the kind of your grandfather eats), raisins, and abundant spices. Again, pretty dry and not as sweet as I would think.

Overall, a great representation of the style. As far as Trappist breweries go, I would put this towards the bottom of the list, but that isn't saying much considering the qualities of those beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2009 12:52:31 | More by treyrab
Photo of davidchollar


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i just had the chimay white, but i am eating some crackers and cheese and looking forward to the blue.

dark clear mahagony, big beige head with some large bubbles and not much lacing. smell is obvious from a distance. complex, strong, a definite scent of alcohol but an overall raisin apple juice - maybe even some banana? - pleasantness with a hint of smokiness.

tastes so smooth and clean. wow. i would normally - for example see my unibroue reviews - prefer the lighter trippel, but in this case i like the dark better. this seems better balanced, no big surprises, very drinkable for how strong and dark it is !

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2005 16:21:12 | More by davidchollar
Photo of ChugginOil


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chimay Blue

A- pours a very dark and cloudy brown that resembles murky water (in a good way). Less than a fingers worth of off white head that dissipates quick.

The nose brings an array of dark fruits. Plum, fig, and raisin. Some sweet bready malt scents flower through as well. The alcohol is well hidden.

The taste offers mass for my palate. Where to begin? The dark fruits noticed in the nose blast my senses and are much more definable at this point. Apples and bananas throughout. Some earthy notes are noticed alongside some bready flavors.

The mouthfeel is crisp and delightful, yet full bodied and beastly. Well rounded to say the least.

Overall, great flavors mixed with balance and mass enjoyability. Thank you Mr. Monk

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 21:15:11 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of BrewCrew2010


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown to a copper color beer. Very cloudy with somewhat big particles floating in it. Great, thick, off-white head.

S: Reminds me of barely wine maybe?

T: Plums, raisins, little booze, some malts, and hops. All the flavors are very well balance creating a great beer with an even better finish. Very good representative of this style.

M: Crisp & smooth with a medium bodied and good carbonation.

D: One of my favorite beers so yes, I can drink a lot of these.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 23:35:43 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of jettjon


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Nose, taste
Lows: Dregs on pour

Pours dark purple/raspberry with some dregs evident. Head is one finger tan with tiny bubbles, fading slowly to a nice thin sheet of lacing. Nose is of apples, cherries, grape juice or grape candy. Taste is apple/grape juice to a grape Jolly Rancher or grape candy. Can you say, “grape?” Mouth is bubbly sweet and refreshing. Finish has a bit of alcohol and a brief bite, not bad, but lets you know it’s there. Drinkability is very good: this is a sweet and smooth brew, and is quite refreshing.

Overall: An excellent fruity Belgian dark, heartily recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2006 02:35:57 | More by jettjon
Photo of Jerzdevil1116

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.20 oz bottle. Served in Chimay chalice.

A- Deep brown with red hues. 1 finger light tan head.

S- Malty and yeasty. Some caramel and fruitiness.

T- A little drier than I was expecting. Starts off a little sweet but gives way to alcohol and dry finish.

M- Smoothe texture. Crisp and lively. Nice carbonation.

D- Very drinkable despite the alcohol presence. The larger bottle would go down great amongst a group of friends.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 23:11:29 | More by Jerzdevil1116
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a genuine Chimay goblet. Perhaps lighter than expected, a ruddy orange-brown with a massive amount of tannish head. The forth settles down a bit but the carbonation remains brisk. Although one's Belgian dark ale schema is screaming heavy and thick, this classic is in fact silky smooth, creamy, and of only moderate body, although the flavors are assertive enough. Aroma of cooked orchard fruit (pears and apples), raisins, dates, sweet grains, and a decent dose of cellar must. Boozy and a bit funky in the yeast sense. Although the aroma is not terribly spicy (maybe its my crap sense of smell), the palate is spice-forward ... Pepper and pumpkin pie spice, cloves, and a rather unique and very pleasing floral/herbal essence like dried basil and sandalwood. Malts remind one of rye bread and hints of toasted crust. Sweet rum, dates, treacle, a whiff of chocolate ... A fresher fruitiness as well in this example, almost like Concord grapes. Intermittent blasts of alcohol. The king of Chimay. Perhaps lighter and drier than other Belgian darks but has its own herbal/floral character paired with the yeast, spice, and dark fruit one would expect. A standby in my beer fridge and shockingly drinkable for such a heavy hitter.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 07:25:52 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of dukedevil0


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this 11.2oz bottle in the gift set I got back in Christmas.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with tan colored head that settles down to a nice layer of bubbles

S: Smells of caramel malts, raisins, spices

T: Again, caramel malts, lots of raisins, spices, fruity yeast, and a slight bit of alcohol flavor in the finish

M: well carbonated but smooth, very full bodied, slight alcohol tinge

D: really good flavor, classic belgian quad style, the slight alcohol tinge only slightly hurts the drinkability factor

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 02:31:31 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of brendan13


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into my Chimay chalice a dark reddish brown with a thick inch or so of beige head.
S - Spicy phenolic backed up with a subtle dark fruit aroma.
T - This is the epicentre of what makes this a great beer. Nice malts complemented by some sweet candi sugar as well as the dark fruit and spice notes that were present in the smell. Warming alcohol presence.
M - Smooth, full bodied with medium carbonation.
D - The ABV% and price limits the regularity but a great beer that deserves the praise it gets.
Got a 750ml bottle gracefully ageing in the beer closet.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2007 10:02:05 | More by brendan13
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark burnt orange brown and tan. Very carbinated during pour, huge creamy head that died rather fast. Lots of fermentation at bottom of bottle.

Smell - Nice bubblegum fruit smell. Malts and barley are present. Banana and grapefruit comes out also. Also you can smell the alcohol a little more then the other chimays

Taste - Bolder, thicker and malt and barley heavier then the others, this has a nice flavor. Its smooth still, and not overpowering. The brown sugar and spices add some sweetness to a bold dark ale.

Mouthfeel - Its thicker but still it doesnt ruin mouth. Leaves a coating on tounge, warms palette up with the alcohol and leaves mouth a little dry.

Drinkabilty - Its a smooth and tasty dark ale. Has nice bold flavors but the alcohol is strong enough that 1 or 2 and done is ample amount. Might be my favorite chimay, and is a great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 09:14:56 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of Deadstar


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this out of a 11oz bottle into a brandy snifter.

Appearance: A dark brown, little to no lacing left behind after the 1.5-2 finger head settled.

Smell: I took a few whiffs and noticed some sweet fruity smells; it has a nice aroma.

Taste: A bit stronger tasting than the Triple or the Red, but very pleasant, something nice to sip on. For some reason it reminds me a tiny (very tiny) bit of champagne/wine. Some alcohol comes out as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Just the right amount of carbonation, refreshing to sip on.

Drinkability: With all three of these beers (Triple, Red, Blue) I could only really drink so much. They are all great but as far as having a lot of it, I can't say that I wouldn't prefer drinking a few pints of another of my favorite brews over a similar amount of the Chimay.

Overall this stuff is great, I'm glad I had the chance to try all three so I could taste, smell, and experience their differences.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 22:01:17 | More by Deadstar
Photo of DAllspaw


4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a deep mahogany, ruby color after a very clear pop, from the cork. Hard to beat a bottle conditioned Belgian. Head dissipates quickly but lacing lasts all the way.

initial smell is typical for he style, heavy on the dark fruits. Taste is very well balanced, hardly any alcohol heat, with nice density in the mouthfeel. Perfectly carbonated, sips very well through the full glass. A steal from Costco for $9 before the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 23:28:17 | More by DAllspaw
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 1.26.13

A - Pours a medium cola brown with a one inch tan head that fades slowly.

S - Spices, figs, brown sugar.

T - Same as the nose, a touch sweet, a true Trappist.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body.

O - A nice spicy, nice fruity trappist ale. I can see how this one would age nicely.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 06:07:04 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of zeledonia


4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Finally trying this Trappist classic. I tend to overlook the European beers for less expensive domestic ones, but it's about time I made my way through some more tasty Belgians. Tasted 1 March 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep murky brown, but with an amber shade. Clear coming out of the bottle, but dark enough that it's tough to see through. One finger of light yellowish tan head, very foamy and fizzy like carbonation from soda. Slowly relaxes to a thin but complete cap.

Smell is crisp, which is one of the things I really like in the better dark Belgian ales. Despite being sugar-heavy beers, they manage to have this delicate lightness in the smell, softly backed up by those malty aromas. A bit of tobacco, herbal and mildly bitter.

Taste is dark, sweet, and fruity. Figs, brown sugar, but with that unmistakable Belgian yeast twang. I'm liking this a lot. Not quite on the level of some of the best quads and BSDAs, but really close.

Mouthfeel is, well, overcarbonated. Medium-heavy body, a little chewy, and sticky. But it fizzes up much more than I want to, blocking the flavors from me, so that I'm tasting foam instead of beer. Otherwise pleasant, but that carbonation definitely interferes with my enjoyment of the beer.

This beer is really really tasty. The one thing that brought it down for me was the mouthfeel, which I found overly fizzy for a beer like this. But the rest of it is so good that it carries my overall enjoyment well up. I also found it better at relatively cool temperatures (~50 degrees F) than after it had warmed up a bit more.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 03:40:11 | More by zeledonia
Photo of Mardrommar


4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Pours a dark, blood orange color with light orange highlighting when held up to the light. Appears a maroon color when not directly exposed to a light source. Formed a finger-width off white head that dissipated within the first three minutes, shrinking to a centimeter or so in height. Beautiful lacing along the sides of the glass when swirled. Minimal lacing otherwise. There is a large amount of yeast sediment floating around in the beer. This could be due to the vigorous pour I gave it, or it could be due to the fact the beer has been sitting in the fridge for a year plus.

The Chimay blue has a very complex, pleasant aroma. No one scent stands out -- it blends together and highlights the fact it is a balanced ale. Dark fruits are present, such as plum and raisin, though it has the scent of pear and apple as well. A candied sweetness is underlying. Booziness tends to come through as well. Brown sugar may also be present.

The mouthfeel is the beer is big, coating the entire tongue. Carbonation is high. One of the most complex beers I’ve had. It’s hard to piece together the flavors. The initial flavor is a candied sweetness of sorts that is paired to a boozy flavor, which then transitions into a sharp bitter finish. The finish is crisp, and leaves a mildly bitter aftertaste with a dark fruit complement.

Although this beer is very smooth and easy to drink, it is heavy on the stomach. Its complexity is daunting, I think.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 22:40:05 | More by Mardrommar
Photo of Beaver13


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The Chimay Blue poured a murky, cloudy, caramel brown color. It had a big off-white head that had great retention. It had a rather subtle aroma...yeasty and winey with some oak and a faint fig smell. It had a complex taste that is pretty difficult to describe. A kind of tart, figgy taste up front with some oak and winey tones and a slighty spiced finish. It was a nicely balanced, smooth beer. A great beer for special occasions.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2004 05:35:34 | More by Beaver13
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Anyone who is a fan of belgian beer won't even be reading this as they will probably have drank about 100 bottles of it by now. So for those of you getting into to the belgian game, this is a great starter. It is a classic example of an abbey dark strong ale. pours dark brown and with a nice head. tastes of classic belgian dried dark fruit and has an incredibly smooth finish with nice spicy taste on the finish and the 9% abv is unnoticable. good carbonation, and mouthfeel is just right. this is also a good first bottle for those looking to start a cellar. try to get it in a magnum if you can. good brew. belgian classic.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 04:27:55 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of Fatehunter


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass. Two fingers of foamy head on a reddish/brown colored body.
The aroma is fresh bread, dark fruit (plum and blackberry), candy and caramel.
The taste is deep and dark. There's lots of fruit and bread going on here. The sweetness is present but maintains a low profile, which is nice.
The texture is slick with moderate carbonation and medium to thicker body.
Obviously a great drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 05:33:41 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Southernbrew


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet, brown just like the bottle, moderate bubbly head. Condenses and becomes more foamy.

Pleasant but not particularly strong aroma. Alcohol, fruits, light sweetness and almost raisin-like aromas come through.

Nice full body, medium carbonation. Almost red-wine like flavors. Slight alcohol notes with a light fruitiness, but not citrusy.

Slight lacing down the glass, an excellent beer. I don't think I can describe well enough how good this beer is, just try it.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2004 16:50:06 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of zimm421


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz stubby bottle into a tulip glass. Appears a dark brown color with nice reddish hues. The head is fluffy, thick, bubbly and leaves great lacing.

Nose is sadly muted. I was hoping for much more here. Definitely sweet, caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. There's also some alcohol coming through, but not too much. Taste is more balanced, but starts out very sweet with the dark fruit and brown sugar coming through nicely. The alcohol is very noticeable in each sip, especially as it warms. Finishes with some floral notes, not real bitter on the end.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, nice carbonation and goes down great. Has some nice bite on the tongue. Overall, a great beer. Even more complexities come though as it warms and really makes you think with each sip. Definitely a great brew that every preson should have at least once.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 01:14:18 | More by zimm421
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottling:

A: opaque body produced a half-glass of head with a center-pour into a tulip glass. Head of well-defined fine bubbles showed good retention, persisting throughout the session.

S: immediate soft, sweet dark fruits, like dates and figs, maybe some brown banana

T: crisper than the nose, bitterness tones down the fruitier notes and adds backbone. Now, you’re drinking. Tart yeasts populate the brown malty character. Some cocoa/carob notes as it warmed.

M: medium-weight, frisky carbonation and bitters; some slickness on top of the tongue. Spark of astringence on the finish.

O: Among the BSDAs, I have a few stand-outs: Allagash’s Odyssey, Unibroue’s Maudite, AleSmith’s Grand Cru – which taste different (to me) than the Chimay, which is slightly less to my liking. However, that said, this beer is indubitably among the standards by which all beers of the style are compared. You can’t argue with 150 years of Trappist brewing. Take note: devotees of the style as well as advocates of beer in general should include this in their beer education.

2011 (?) bottling:

A: deep ruby brown; fine bubbled head settles into a rim and film, leaving speckles of lace up the sides

S: caramel malts, some dark fruit notes

T: fresh yeast tops the dark fruits and sweet malts; a little sweeter than I'd expected

M: medium-bodied, fizzy, tiny little sour notes remain in the aftertaste

O: I have heard this was a benchmark beer for the BSDA, and since I haven't had one since my first (before I started reviewing beer), I figured I should come back to it and check it out again.
Yes, it is a true BSDA, but it is not my favorite BDSA - however, you need to try it if you like Belgian beers/strong dark ales.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 23:42:16 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of runner72


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

serving from a 11.2 oz bottle

A - Nice two finger, light brown head. beer is brownish/copper and cloudy. lots of carbonation

S - Earthy, cloves, floral and yeasty smells. very pleasant.

T - earthy, pine taste. you can taste the malt and the carbonation hits the back of your throat. Very little trace of the alcohol

M - very bubbly from the carbonation. taste a little sweetness from malt

D - very nice. you can not taste the alcohol but with 9% ABV, better to sip

Overall, very nice. Monks do it right!

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 22:33:07 | More by runner72
Photo of evlu1441

Alberta (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've had this bottle in my fridge for about 2 years now, and I decided that today would be the day I finally try it. I poured it into the Chimay chalice that came with it. The glass has certainly seen better days, but I expect the beer will be better than ever!

It pours a very dark brown that looks more amber when held up to the light. It's surprisingly clear, and I can see a bunch of sediment floating around (poor pouring technique on my part). The head is thin but very fine and fluffy. It's exactly what I imagine when I think of a Belgian beer in terms of appearance.

The aroma is outstanding! Age has done a lot to smooth out some of the sharp yeast and carbon dioxide aroma that I noticed with the other Chimay beers. Hints of vanilla come through very faintly, and hints of dried fruits fill things out. There is a hint of banana in the background. The whole aroma is wrapped in a faint spiciness. Nothing is too overpowering here, and the aromas remain subtle.

The taste is very smooth, and much less intense than I remember. The malt profile is complex, starting out sweet, and smoothly moving through several smooth toffee/vanilla/cake stages. it leaves some lingering sweetness and an aromatic and slightly woody aftertaste. The alcohol is undetectable.

Overall, this is a nice ale and surprisingly easy drinking. At the same time, it's hard to say exactly what makes it distinctive. A good brew nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 02:26:18 | More by evlu1441
Photo of atigerlife


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle with the cork dated 04/06.
I've had this beer many times but never got around to writing a review...so here it goes:

Cork comes blasting off which adds to the excitement. Big brown head which is rather clumpy. Decent lacing. Beer is a dark brown with reddish highlights when held up to the light.

Aroma is very complex. Lots of dark fruit [plums, figs] and roasted malts. Also has the distinctive sweetness. Perfect.

Taste is of fermented dark fruits and rather "winey". Still has the sweetness. Alcohol is there, but light considering its ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a spritzy, cleansing feel. Rather smooth.

Overall, this is an amazing beer that should be had by all [though some won't like the style]. Certainly, for the style it is a classic. Very distinct. Only downside is that I can't have too many at a sitting as the strong flavors and sweetness get to me [as does the high alcohol content]. Nice digestive.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2006 00:11:11 | More by atigerlife
Photo of titosupertramp


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, murky brown. Good carbonation. No lacing to speak of.

S: Bready, dark fruit, raisin, spicy. Really enjoyable.

T: Follows the nose pretty well. A little surprised by citrus notes that show up in the taste. Raisin/prune aftertaste. Alcohol is present, but in a mild, complimentary way...if that makes sense.

M: Creamy, moderate carbonation. No alcohol burn what so ever.

D: High. Alcohol is very subdued, flavors compliment each other very well.

I really enjoyed the Grande Reserve. This is the first Chimay offering that I've had since developing an appreciation for Belgian beers and it won't be my last.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 00:38:40 | More by titosupertramp
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 5,944 ratings.