Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) - Bières de Chimay S.A.
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Ratings: 6,226 | Reviews: 2,142 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +3%
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.
11-06-2003 14:59:38 | More by Popsinc
4.25/5 rDev -1.2%
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 Americas 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 havent been able to get a consistant 5 head over time so Im dropping this rating to a 4.5.
08-05-2003 03:14:02 | More by RoyalT
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,226 ratings.