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

2,293 Reviews
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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

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Reviews: 2,293 | Ratings: 7,474
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark honey brown in the middle, a lighter candy apple red towards the edges and a light gold and cherry around the very edges of my glass. The head is a soft tan film that is instantly revitalized with a swirl.

Smells of honey and pastry dough with a slight walnut and a light carbon dioxide sour sting. There’s also a little bit of alcohol that drifts through, especially when it warms.

Tastes of gooey pastry dough, honey and again, the light CO2 like sting. In the finish a dry mossy oak makes its self known. After a few seconds, a dry and nutty honey flavor is left lingering on my tongue.

The mouth feel is extremely light and it tends to sting just a little.

Very tasty. I wouldn’t mind having a case of this lying around.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Peres Trappistes (Blue)
11.2 oz brown bottle
Served in a wide mouthed wine glass

Pours a hazy deep brown color. Spotted sticky lacings all over the glass.

Whiffs of Belgian funk, plums and raisins.

Pressured mouthfeel with a natural, funky Belgian yeast kick. Sweet prunes with a brown sugar blast flavor and a clean finish. Very, very drinkable and a perfectly constructed beer.

Great beer. Complex in different flavors and very tasty. What else can you say? This is a real beer. It's a landmark in craft brewing. One of the best Chimay has to offer and worth seeking out. Recommended.

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Photo of davidchollar
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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 !

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Photo of Weizenmensch
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 330mL bottle 2004 vintage, best before 2008 (no specific date available on bottle. Served slightly warmer than usual.

Appearance: Warm mahogany colour with a trace of red inside. Good head retention, particularly given the high serving temperature and ABV. Looks good in a Chimay chalice, some fine sediment at bottom of glass. Seems to have low but consistent carbonation.

Smell: Rich and fruity. Christmas pudding (possibly due to rum, raw sugar or stone fruit esters), molasses, dates, and maybe some rye. Festive!

Taste: Immediately, what tastes like refined sugar, or maybe it's raw sugar of some kind with the souring effect of the carbonation. Not as complex as the smell, and more watery than expected (though this again may be due to the serving temperature). A faint but long lemon sweetness on the tongue, lasting onto the palate. Mildly bitter hops add a nice complexity. Generally sweet and rich but rather thinner than I would have expected. I guess that's mouthfeel though.

Mouthfeel: Disappointingly thin for such a rich-smelling ale. Some sharpness is imparted by hops and sour esters, but it's generally not as full-bodied as I remember. Maybe it's been served too warm and might have gone a little flat as I write this. Not bad but not great.

Drinkability: On a cold night, great. If you can afford it, a few of these would go down well. Not a huge session beer for summer, though... one as your second beer would be best, if at all. Full of flavour, but not as gelatine-thick as some other strong Belgian ales.

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Photo of sinistermadman
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy prune juice color with a nice foamy lace. Smell is of ripened fruit and yeast.

Taste is received first by the malts. Very creamy malt flavor followed by alcohol warming and a wet newspaper taste. Hop bitterness is not as evident as the astringency of the alcohol. Not bad, but not that memorable in my opinion.

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Photo of wingnutter
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked 750ml, 6/05 vintage. Drank from a Chimay goblet.

Pours a nice dark caramel color, nice fluffy head that laces nicely.

Smells like toffee, fruit, malt. Very sweet smelling. Not much else.

Taste: Smooth as can be. Sweet malt with a fruity background. Very complex. Like candy in a bottle. Very tasty - caramel, peach, apple, maple, and a hint of yeasty, nutty goodness. I didnt detect any alcohol until it warmed up - its VERY well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Soft, silky and buttery. This is one of the smoothest beers Ive had. And I mean SMOOTH. Slides down my throat with a nice ever-so-slight hint of alcohol and warmness as it gets closer to room temperature.

If I didnt know betterI I would have never believed this was a 9% beast. It actually got sweeter as it warmed. Maybe I got lucky and got a superb batch, but I dont remember it being this good when I first tried it about 6 months ago. I will revisit again when a new shipment comes in and see if it holds up to this one.

Drinkability is great, but dangerous with the ABV. I could drink this all night, any night, every night.

One of my new favorites, and Im a hophead. One of the few non-hoppy beers I would NEVER turn down. The price is steep, but good beer is the one indulgence I dont mind spending money on.. At $8.00 a 750ml (about $4.00 a 12oz), I think its worth having a bottle or 2 on hand at all times for special occasions or when you just want to treat yourself to a world class brew.

Excellent, excellent beer. Simply brilliant.

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Photo of burnstar
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a big bottle of this at Zeno's. This beer is a nice dark, cloudy, and maybe a bit dark red. Nice big tan head which leaves some excellent lacing. Aroma is very sweet malt with lots of fruit complexities- apples, cherries, and strawberries can all be detected along with a bit of nice yeastiness in the background. Taste is malt again with tons of fruit complexities and some spicyness and yeastiness . This stuff has some nice bitterness to balance it all out as well along with a hint of alcohol- there's really a lot of stuff going on here and I like it. Has a nice full-bodied, not overly carbonated mouthfeel. Very warming and pretty drinkable for such a huge beer. Awesome stuff overall.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.28/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out cloudy brown with ruby highlights and a generous brown/tan head that holds okay, but doesn't leave a ton of lace.

Smell is dark fruits, bubblegum, alcohol, and a little bit of maltiness. The yeast is pronounced, too.

Taste is interesting, it's certainly got a nice little spicy kick to it, some bubblegum flavors at the front, liquor-soaked dark fruit, but overall, the flavor has a bit too much alcohol in it and is a little too hot at this young age for me. It's okay now, and it might turn positively fantastic if I'd aged it for a few years. But...I just thought this one tasted okay. Especially in such a fantastic style, I'd much rather pick up a 750 of Ommegang for basically the same price as what I'm paying for a small bottle of this. The flavor just doest settle out, and the thin mouthfeel is less "spritzy" and more, well, thin.

Overall: Not terrible, but I can't see ever seeking this one out again. I thought the red and white were not-quite-stellar, but I far preferred them to this one.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle opens with a satisfying POP and some foggy smoke rising from the bottle.

Apearance: Christens my Chimay goblet with a huge frothy tan head, about 2" after an aggresive pour. Head fades rockilly and unevenly. Body is hazy and dark maroon, with lots of carbonation rising from the shield emblem etched into the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Sweet toffee and dark fruit, belgian yeast funk. Bubblegum and strawberries. Smells good.

Taste: Sharp and tangy, orange and grapefruit are immediately present, somewhat sour and funky. Alcohol provides a sharpness. Slightly drier, vinous flavors finish. Somewhat raw, could be laid down to mellow for, oh, a decade.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol is strong and provides a warming sensation. Full and goes down slick.

Drinkability: Lots of interesting stuff going on here, I would like to try this in a caouple years. Thanks to Px2Grafx for the bottle (and the glass).

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Photo of Gaben
2.92/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Umm goot ol chimay bluaw. I do dig this beer but 1st of I would have to say do not mix this stuff with any other types of beer in the same night of drinking.

Appearance is damn amazing , has lots of floating bubbles and does stay fresh along time after pourn into chimay cup. Somewhat cloudy and dark but overall nice.

Smell is pretty decent has a good belgian sence with a bit of a darker side due to it being "Bluaw"!

Taste is good , did remind me of a good wheat beer but a had to been a bit sour or something.

Mouthfeel is pretty good you can drink this and not mind it for awhile.

But drinkability if another factor ... goes down sour with a bunch of old chimay yeast floating in the bottle's. I do repeat do not mix this with any other beer or you'll be puking it up that night.

Stay safe and drink da bluaw with easy.

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

750ml bottle. Pours a dark brown/ruby color, very nice carbonation with a huge creamy head that lasts a long time. Very nice lacing afterwards. Scents. of malt, raisins/grapes. Very nice sweet/bitter taste with a slight alcohol warming feel. Medium body. This is a very drinkable brew from Chimay (my first by the way) at 9% ABV the alcohol is hidden very well. Highly recommended.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew pours a dark brown color with amber hues along the edges. The head is off-white and creamy. The aroma is huge,spicy, and malty. The taste is malty and spicy with a hint of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Overall, this is a great brew.

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Photo of becktone
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When poured into my glass this beer has an amazing appearance. The color is a dark brown/dark amber color and has a very large head. The head would have been bigger than 2.5 inches but I wasn't paying attention while I poured and my glass started to overflow. The beer appears to have a very full body. It also has excellent head retention, the head never gets smaller than a quarter of an inch. The head doesn't remind me of soap like any macro brew would, instead the color of the head is more of an off white/tea stain color. Its appearance also is much creamier than most heads on beer.

The smell of this beer reminds me of sparkling white grape juice. I also detect a hoppier smell behind the prevalient grape smell. As the beer warms up it is definitely easier to detect other smells and tastes, so here I wait. After waiting a bit I notice that the aroma of the beer has not become any stronger or changed that much, however it still smells extremely good.

The taste of this beer is amazing, I recommend this beer to anyone who loves beer. I can almost guarantee that you'll like it. The first thing I notice when I drink this beer is the slight bitterness that I feel on the back of my tounge, this bitterness is perfectly balanced by the sweetness/flavor of grapes that is left on the front of your tounge and in the entire mouth once the beer is swallowed. The taste of this beer is very complex, I really can't even begin to describe it except that it is amazing. Besides the sparkling white grape juice flavor and the bitterness there is a third flavor that is coming out now that the beer is getting warmer, maybe a butterscotch flavor, I can't really tell but it reminds me of the overall flavor of Leffe Blonde. I really think that this is the best beer I've ever had.

The beer feels great in the mouth it has a full body that fills up the mouth and the carbonation of this beer is perfect. The feeling of this beer is very satisfying in the mouth.

I will most definitely be buying more of this beer in the near future. I am very impressed by this beer, can't wait to buy some more of this stuff. I am very happy that I bought the one pint 9 ounce bottle after buying and drinking the small 11.2 ounce bottle. I just hope that the store I got the pint from still has some in stock. If I could I'd drink this all the time.

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Photo of WTexas
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle with 03/05 stamped on the cork. The champagne-like pop set the tone for my drinking experience. This ale had a small but pleasant head that remained throughout. Initial aroma was pungent and sour (yet intriguing), not unlike a lambic. Taste was smooth with the presence of alcohol becoming more prominent as the ale warmed. Mouthfeel was agreeable with the carbonation never overwhelming the omnipresent fruit-like flavors. Easily drinkable, but at $7.99/bottle, it’s one to be saved for special occasions.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful golden bown....one of the nicest beers sitting in a glass ever.

The head was fairly huge but calmed down after a few minutes to a fine layer with wonderful lacing. The smell was a nice fruity-malty thing going on that I enjoyed spending some time doing.

The taste is malt and fruit with just a slight hint of cloves and the 9%abv is pretty well hidden. Good stuff.

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Photo of mattdavis452
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm generally an APA fan, but I knew this beer has quite a reputation, so I had to give it a try.

Poured into a glass from the bottle. Smells like it looks, a dark heavy Belgian. About 1.5 to 2 fingers of head, laced alright.

Taste almost has a hint of wine, just as the beer leaves the tongue, then dissipates fairly quickly. Nice and crisp, in this sense.

Drinkability...I wouldn't recommend having too much of it at once, it is a 9% alc/vol beverage. But if you're with discerning friends, then popping the cork on this one is more than worth it (yes, the bottle I got had a cork).

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Photo of Naes
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one pours a murky dark brown with a large off white head.
The aroma is malty sweet with hints of dark fruit.
Its flavor is quite similar to the aroma. Dark fruit character and malty with just the slightest hint of alcohol and a bit of spice.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and generously carbonated with a bit of warming sensation due to its alcohol content.
This is a sipping beer indeed.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've always loved this stuff. 750 ml bottle poured into my Chimay Chalice.

A - What a Belgian strong dark should look like in my opinion. Dark brown with a tiny red tint and a nice thick head that shrinks a tiny tiny bit. However after shrinking to a centimeter or so the head goes nowhere for the rest of the drink and leaves a nice lacing on the chalice.

S - A sweet malt smell with some Balgian yeast. A bit of a smicy kick at the end of my "sniff" as well. Raisins and some other sweet fruits in there.

T - Sweet malty flavors. Some hints of berries coming through here. A bit of a spicy finish, like a peppery character you get in a lot of belgians. A great tasting beer overall.

M - Very smooth, a beer you can "chew on". The carbonation gives it a bit of a tingle too. Not much of a warming sensation, as the alcohol is masked in the feel as well as in the flavor.

D - A great sipper. As far as Belgian strong ales go this drinkability is full speed ahead, but it's obviously not one to pound due to the 9% ABV.

Notes: Basically my banchmark for this style at this point. Can't wait to pick up the Rochefort 8 and compare it.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chimay has got another soild brew here. Poured out to a dark cider like color with a nice 1/2 inch head of almond cream foam, and some lace. Medium high carbonation. Impressive. Aroma of yeast that has been sitting, dark fruits, and some roasted nuts. Taste was along the same lines; Flavors of earth, herbs, spices, malt and yeast are noticeable, with nuances of roasted nuts and aged tobacco. Mouthfeel was smooth and rich, giving no indication of the 9%ABV. Drinkability for some reason doesn't seem all that high, as I think this brew is one you'd only want every once in awhile. Nonetheless, it's a superior brew that's well made, and worthy of your hard earned money. Recommended.

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Photo of Derek
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Ruby-black, off-white head, enough retention for some nice lacing.

S: Caramel and dates with a hint of chocolate.

T: Dark caramel, treacle, fruity raisins, port-like warming finish. Very well rounded, beautiful symphony of flavours. Balanced slightly toward the sweet side, bitterness provided by the dark malts, no appreciable hop flavour.

M: Moderate body, moderate to high carbonation.

D: There isn't any particular flavour that's overwhelming, very smooth, should be approachable by anyone. Slight taste of alcohol could be a barrier to the newbie... but VERY drinkable, considering it's strength!

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Photo of jamesdergen
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, translucent coffee color with a respectable fizzy head that sticks around for awhile.

Smell: Definitely a lot of caramel and some darker fruits, dates and raisins.

Taste: Follows the smell, lots of fruit and caramel with the trademark Belgian malitness. Dryer than some other similar brews.

Mouthfeel: A lot more carbonated than I was expecting. A medium-bodied brew for one of the darker Belgians I've had.

Drinkability: Obviously, the ABV and cost of this brew will limit me to drinking a max of one bottle. Definitely a sipper and a brew to share, especially if you plan on driving in the near future.

Overall a nice dark Belgian that's definitely got some unique traits. The only thing that would keep me from buying it again would be the price tag.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL. Dark, thick brownish red coloration. Rich head comprised of a billion tiny uniform bubbles, not foamy.

Mild, spicy, malty nose. I'm not getting as much as I expected here. Could be that I just stored/served the bottle too cold.

Rich flavor with plenty of component flavors to consider. Fruity, wine-like, but with a definite malt presence. Spicy like many Belgians I have had, but not as sweet as I expected, based on word of mouth, other reviews etc. I get some brown sugar hints, but it's much more about spice than sugar. The alcohol is there, but not obtrusive, mildly warming.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but mildly chewy. Not heavy, but certainly no light lager, either.

Drinkability is good overall. This bottle drank easily, but I was not left wanting for more. Next time I want a Belgian, I will go for the White or Red Chimay, (which I have not yet sampled), or have a Rochefort.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the draft into a Chimay wide mouthed goblet.
A light grape like amber color with a perfect head that stays throughout the entire beer. A very pleasant looking beer on a rainy North Carolina autumn day.
Excellent fruitiness and hoppines in the aroma. Smells a bit like berries, maybe raspberries and blueberries. Terrific spiciness to the hops with citrus aroma and a touch of peppermint and molasses. Raisins rear a head as well.
Quite a hoppy beer. Great balance between the fruitiness of the hops and the power with the fairly strong alcohol. The alcohol doesnt really become an issue until the end of the beer. But at that time it is welcome as it has changed flavors once again; melding and changing and evolving more and more after each sip. Hops are not as strong at the end where the alcohol is, but the malts and the fruit flavors are enhanced quite dramatically. This beer is best at the end or served slightly cooler than room temp.
Wonderful nouthfeel with the hop bite and the alcohol to soothe. Very pleasant. I would drink this beer all day if I could.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gobbled many chimay blue's over time and I'm due to review it. This beer pours a perfect 2-3 finger head that is tan and full of frothy goodness. Sticky and arrogant all the way down. This bitch has an attitude.

Huge dark fruit complexity that is balanced by caramel and a slight bitter twang. Warming is not shy and welcomed for this brew. Smooth creamy mouthfeel thats not too rich and fairly drinkable when taking the style into consideration.

Notes: For the price tag this is one of the premiere beers in the world. National distribution, great complexity, world class offering at a reasonable price. Never gets boring.

Notes: My favorite offering from this brewery so far. One to go.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely beer.

One of those that I've had many times, but never reviewed until now. Pours a dark brown with hints of light shining through and gold around the edges. The head dissipated rather quickly. Much faster than I remember it in the past. Just a bit hanging around the glass.

The aroma is perfect. Very complex and yummy. Sweet with maple and raisins... allspice, apricots, fig brown sugar, molasses... absolutely brilliant.

The alcohol is in the forefront on the palate... it smoothly trickles back to a malty finish. Sweet and fruity. After the third drink I remembered I had fresh figs... wow. This pairs so nicely with the fresh figs. Tasted of dried fruits and very slightly nutty.

A good mouthfeel, as well. Bubbly.

An excellent beer.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,293 ratings.