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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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,230 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

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Reviews: 2,230
Hads: 7,138
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 404
Gots: 1,379 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,230 | Hads: 7,138
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding Belgian and best of the Chimays. And surprisingly my mates liked it better than I did. Great accompanyment to meat. Tasted better after eating. Well balanced, with some sweetness and carbonation.
Three years later and it is a fine drink,yeasty aroma, with brandy-like richness that is popular and went well again with food. Fine trappist. (351 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown color with a 1 inch bone colored head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. No lacing whatsoever. There is lots of sediment floating around in this beer, which I assume is the yeast. Smells of dark fruits (especially raisins), brown sugar, caramel, and malty bread notes. Taste is lots of dark fruits (again with the raisins), caramel/brown sugar, and some malt. Beer has a good carbonation level and is bubbly and crisp. Overall, this is a great BSDA and another great beer from Chimay. (519 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two finger off white head with decent retention and little lacing on a dark murky brown body. Aroma is a little light with mostly raisin plum and yeast. Flavor is also more of the less sweet dark fruits including fig strawberry raisin and plum. Medium body and moderate to high  carbonation. overall as with others in the genre this one is yeasty and drinkable. Sort of a go to beer for this genre (398 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured cloudy brown into a goblet. It had a pillowy head that was off white in color, suspended the yeast particles (resembled nutmeg on eggnog) and left nice lacing patterns. There are also lots of particles floating near the bottom.
S: Complex aromas of dark fruits provide for a rather sweet smell in the nose, particularly as the beer warms up. Notes of grapes and plums really stand out to my nostrils.
T: Dominated with flavors of dark fruits, the taste shares a lot of similarities with the aroma. Some flavors of spices are also detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very smooth. There is a slight amount of dryness in the finish.
D: Although the alcohol is well masked, this beer is a great beer to sip and savor all of the complexities in the aroma and taste. (799 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Fairly-dark brown with some reddish streaks. Decent head.

S: Lots of candied sugar to go along with the Belgian yeast. Some dark fruits.

T: Similar to the smell, although not as strong and complex as I'd like.

M: Very smooth and creamy. Medium-to-heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

D: A very nice sipper, especially out of the Chimay goblet. (352 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea brown color with a spumy khaki head that sheets the chalice with lacing

Smell: Raisiny, bready, a bit of spun candy, gingerbread and tobacco and some fusel alcohol

Taste: Starts with a blast of dry oaky tobacco and then the sweet delicate candied malt kicks in for a while; a bit fruity at first with a green apple aspect, like a caramel apple; after the swallow, the green, caramel apple flavor continues but there is also an underlying earthy and roasty bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a typically lively dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice, but I've enjoyed other Belgians more (642 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

sort of the classic trappist brew, highly available, highly acclaimed. its like the best of a dubble and the best of a quad in one. the pours is dark like raisins and molasses, with a fluffy bubbly Belgian yeast tan head, and the nose is basically the same, dried fruit, dates and figs, and the yeast. some mild spice notes, vanilla, and sweet Belgian candy sugar all make strong appearances on the palate, and the darker sweeter malts have a pronounced fruity character to them, like dried cherries and plums. alcohol is hot here, but it doesn't seem out of place at all. as sweet as it is, the finish mellows, and comes in very smooth, dangerously drinkable for such a rich and decadent brew. a little light on carbonation compared to its peers, and a little thick in body to me, but this beer is a testament to the great trappist brewing tradition, and a beer that deserves to be regarded as highly as it is. just expert. (924 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Any opportunity to enjoy a chalice of Grand Reserve is a special moment for any beer drinker. I don't take these lightly as it as regal and reverent as any in the history of the world.

Dacanting the beer, a dance of growing effervescence and rich barley-soaked elixir separate with a dark ruby liquid that settles underneath a blanket of creamy and lightened tarnish foam. Retention and lacing are utmost prominent as both are displayed as well as in any beer consumed. Hazed with a vale of yeast, the beer is nearly as mysterious as it is handsome.

A world of aromas are displayed as each visit of the nose to the glass reveals wave after wave of aromas that include dried fruits, peppercorn, vinous grape, candied malts, alcohol zing, and thirst whetting acidity. Every swirl of the glass gives new impressions of aroma time after time.

Strong and sweet, the power of the beer is firm and proud while boasting a candy-coated taste of fruitcake, ripe berries, pitted fruits of dates and raisins, red wine must, red grapes, tart apples, and a plethora of candy-sweet fruit that go on and on. Balanced by the most simple hop additions but more so by the yeast-derived spices of freshly cracked peppercorn, white pepper, cinnamon, and a hint of hazelnut give the beer companion to its fruitiness and a reprieve from the candied sweetness.

Tremendously robust as the culmination of rich malt and explosive carbonation engulf the mouth with a sensation of alcohol warmth, powdered sugar, and hoppy/peppery zeal. As the beer seemingly dissolves before finish, it seems that the beer whimsically disappears on the palate for a fulfilled sip that ends in uninterrupted dryness yet full vinous flavor in aftertaste.

A special tasting of a well aged 16-year old versions (1996 vintage enjoyed in April '12) at the cellars of the Chimay monistary reveals less hop bitterness, less peppery bite, but heightened sherry-like vinous quality that melds together wonderfully with a smooth powdery finish and surprisingly creamy yet low-lying carbonation. This beer ages beautifully under the right circumstances! (2,101 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable Belgian brew. I remember some drunk dude at one of my local shops telling me about how great this beer was and I just looked at him and said "Yeah I know..." I guess he figured that a 22 year old wouldn't have tried that beer yet. Needless to say, I had and it was very good. The beer poured out as bubbly brown color with some red highlights. The smell of the beer is a bit on the earthy side with some sweet dark fruits on the nose and of course a hefty amount of yeast. The taste is a little metallic at first but that fades as it warms up. The dark fruits are subtle here but there is a slight sweetness from them, it's a little boozy, and has some spice in the back end too. The mouthfeel of the beer is a little thin but had enough carbonation to keep this one interesting. Overall this is enjoyable, I like to order it on occasion but not often. (867 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pourred a very dark brew with a huge withe fluffy head and small bubble coming on top. This one has less of the sweeter taste then the red and more roastiness. This beer also has a firm body and the alcohol taste is not too distinct. The spice are very complex. This one is also a classic and never can get enough of. (317 characters)

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

Beautiful dark amber with thick tan head that never fully dissipates, constantly rising bubbles. Great looking beer.

Mild aromas of malt and fruit are all I could detect from this one.

This beer has a great balance of flavors. Sweet and fruity on the tounge, hoppy and bitter going down. The fairly high ABV is nearly undetectable.

The mouthfeel is thick and rich, though not quite as creamy as, say, Rochefort. Strong carbonation, as usual with this style of beer.

Drinkability is comparable to other trappist ales. Something to savor, but not an everyday beer. (566 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tobacco leaf brown with an infusion of orange. The beer contains a great deal of yeast and a wealth of vigorous carbonation rushing up to an expansive, ecru colored head. The foam is so soft and pillowy that I'd be surprised if much lace actually sticks to the chalice. There's very little as it turns out.

The nose smells overwhelmingly of clove. There's an undercurrent of musky, dark fruit that doesn't really have a chance to shine due to the olfactory spiciness. Blue's mouthfeel is lighter than expected; a sensation that is heightened by a generous amount of hyperactive carbonation. If I can get past the physical sensation of the beer in the mouth, this is a pretty tasty BSDA, although I've had better.

The flavor profile consists of sweet dark fruit (currants and dates) that has been soaked in a mixture of dark rum and molasses. It isn't overly sweet beer, but there is a light viscousness underlying the otherwise airy, active mouthfeel. Alcohol isn't masked all that well; not a deal breaker by any means. Whereas clove spice dominated the nose, it's much more subdued on the palate.

Grande Reserve is my favorite of the three Chimay beers (as I was pretty sure it would be), but I can't help feel that it doesn't quite deserve its reputation. The best thing about it is that it's pretty widely available. There are quite a few BSDAs, however, that I like a whole lot more. (1,397 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml squat bottle, on the patio at the Sugarbowl.

This beer pours a very dark, murky, orange-brick brownish hue, with two fingers or so of thin, rather fizzy pale beige head, which leaves some stark coral reef lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of ripe dark bananas, pear syrup, fresh red plums, raisins, cloves, yeast, a rather candi-sugar informed caramel malt, and faint earthy, musty hops. The taste is more quite sugary caramelized, and somewhat bready malt, fairly spicy cloves, dusty yeast, muddled dark fruit smoothie, a hint of citrus, and a subtle nod towards warming alcohol.

The carbonation is decently sturdy, a wee frothiness kicking up at times, the body a pretty solid medium weight, smooth, and ethereally creamy. It finishes off-dry, the reserved malt and broadly sublimated fruitiness mostly countered by the lingering spice and floral notes.

BSDAs are quickly becoming the yin to my DIPA-lovin' yang, and this one is right up there in terms of quality and enjoyability. More contemplative musings on a hipster patio than down 'em if ya got 'em, but that's all right by me. (1,117 characters)

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

Poured a deep chestnut brown with a huge head. Slowly faded but never completely leaving a nice lace. Smell was very spicy, nutmeg, cinnamon, fruiteness predominated. Very light smell. The taste was very lively, dancing around in your mouth. Figs, prunes, fruitness predominated the flavor, slight alcohol finish. Big carbonation on this one. This was a long time coming for me, and well worth the wait, loved every second of it and highly recommend. (450 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle pours out a Brown/Maroon color with a huge tan, foamy head. It smelled of mild hops, fruit and there were some floral notes, also. There was a strong malt flavor with hints of spice and caramel. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste. Initially it has a very sharp mouthfeel, but it softens as it warms. It is very drinkable. The only knock on drinkability is the high ABV. (384 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (374 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep, dark amber color with a bit more weight on the brown hues. The head is initially fluffy and khaki colored and then settles down to a thin layer.

S: A lot of subtleties here in the nose. Dark sugary sweetness goes along nicely with some dark fruits and a bit of spicy esters. A mild banana and alcohol note to it as well.

T: A really nice bready malt flavor with a slight bit of sugar behind it. Some mild banana on the finish and sweeter dark fruits as well. Just a hint of spiciness on the finish.

M: A full body with a smooth and creamy carbonation. Despite the sweetness, a mildly dry finish.

D: Such a balanced beer and the mouthfeel is really exceptional and was possibly the favorite part of the beer. The alcohol is fairly well concealed and this is an all around great beer. (797 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Pours a clearish, reddish-brown body marked by a few yeast floaties and topped by a huge, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Dark caramel scent seasoned with sugar and a savor yeastiness. Sharp fruitiness, with cherry definitely leading the way. Slight wafty hints at that 9% ABV.

Taste: Sweetish maltiness with flavors of dark caramel compounded by a spicy dark candi sugar taste. Hint of breadcrusts. Growing plum and black cherry fruitiness. Spoonful of simple syrup. Slight savory yeastiness. Spice and a medium bitterness try to bring a bit of balance. Drying, cherry-packed finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: All kinds of decent, but, and this is between you and me, I'm more of a Rochefort man, myself. (757 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky dark brown under an off-white head which leaves nice lace. Dark fruits on the nose and taste with some spice. Complex and understated. Well done. (160 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chimay goblet.

Finally get to match the goblet to its namesake for the first time in almost four years! Damn. The beer pours a translucent dark brown topped by a quickly-dissipating finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises figs, brown sugar, rye bread, grapes, plums, cinnamon, cane sugar, and some dark wheat. The taste holds notes of everything in the nosde, though the rye bread's strength has increased, pepper is added, and a slight bit of maple syrup appears near the end. The body is a hefty medium, with a high moderate carbonation and an ever-so-slightly chewy feel. Overall, a very good BSDA, especially considering its near-ubiquity. Get some! (673 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish dark amber with a finger of light tan head and some good retention.

Smell: Sweet and malty. Plenty of fruity notes along with some spice from the yeast.

Taste: Malty with a lot of Belgian spice. There is some fruity cherry notes along with a nuttiness. The finish has a mild bitterness along with the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Great balance of bitter and sweet. Extremely complex. Of course I'll have another one when I get the chance. (579 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked & caged. Hazy with yeast & sediment in suspension. Dark tawny copper with reddish highlights. The slight head is made up of very fine light tan bubbles that cannot hold. Lace is limited as well (probably linked to the high alcohol and youth of the bottle). One would hope that a greater head will develop with age. The aroma is rich with dark fruit, candyish notes, alcohol and a toasted maltiness. The body is medium with a lively but gentle effervescence from tiny bubbles, giving a zesty-spritzy mouthfeel that compliments the spice and pepper notes of the beer. The flavor is sweet with a soft, fruity character that's reminiscent of all the Chimay beers, and delicately balanced by bitterness and spice. Swirling flavors of dark fruits, spicy complex alcohols and soft chocolate-like malts combine in a light, but impressive display across the palate. The alcohol is not overly aggressive but still quite noticeable in this, Chimay's strongest beer at 9%. The finish is somewhat thin with a slightly dry lingering aftertaste. At times I've considered each of the 3 Chimay beers to be my favorite, which I see as a great tribute to the monastery. This particular vintage is a bit young at present, but it's still quite unique and very enjoyable as it is. A year of cellaring should improve it greatly. (1,326 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but fruity with apples & dark fruit and a touch of yeast.

T: The taste is of fruit, spice and Belgian yeast and is very well-balanced. There's a slight touch of chocolate and no hint of the 9.00% ABV. The malt character is hearty and the hops presence is mild. The after-taste is yeasty and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, excellent kick, very good representation of style, after drinking just the 330ml bottle, I'm regretting not buying the 750ml bottle. This is definitely a good beer to drink for a whole evening. (824 characters)

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

Wow, apparently I've never done a review for any of the Chimays... this was my staple go-to expensive beer when I really got into craft beer. I used to drink these all the time, so surprised I don't have any reviews. A great way to kick it off with a nice big grande reserve 2012 vintage.

Pours a decent looking fizzy bubbly, lots of bubbles, hits a finger surprisingly, but fades back fairly quickly, foamy lacing, murky darker mahogany ruby color, some sediment as well.

NOse is very rich, loaded with dark dried fruits, fig, date, raisin, plum, etc, nice fruity aromas, with some mild booze warmth, and attached are the nice phenols expected from the style. Surprisingly not sweet and sugary, perhaps the age helped, a little candi sugar and touch of molasses brown sugar but not much, mild toasted nuts and touch of a coffee syrupy kinda note, actually more like dark caramel . Then a mild apple note, with touch of booze and sweet candy, a bit apple brandy like aroma.

Taste brings lots of sweet candy, tons of it but not super sweet, but syrupy nonetheless, lots of candi sugar and molasses, brown sugar and caramelized sugars as expected. Then fruits, again tons of the dark fruits, fig and date right out front, candied raisins with brown sugar, plum juice, etc, again followed closely with the nice phenols and mild warming booze. The dark caramel and brown sugar add nicely to the fruits. Nice soft aged malts, brown malts with plenty of caramel and a mild biscuit toffee, actually decent toffee with a mild nutty flavor, toasted etc. Again a mild apple brandy flavor as well but mostly in the backend. Finish is a bit drier, mild candy lingering, lots more brown sugar and dark caramel, mild booze and phenols, lingering dark fruits as well and a touch of booze.

Mouth is med o heavier bod but syrupy, mild warming tingly booze, dry non-sticky finish somehow, nice carbonation too.

Overall a big time winner, the staple for a great quad or Belgian strong dark style, esp good with some nice age on it. Great dark fruits, sweet flavors without being too sweet, mild syrupy but dry finish somehow, mild booze, nice level of phenols, nice malty character, just well done all around. When I have that itch for this style of beer, this hits the spot quite nicely. (2,275 characters)

Photo of mactrail
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a deal at Stump's Market in San Diego. The big bottle for nine bucks. Having broken the last Chimay glass, I poured it into an Affligem chalice. Big foam-up, but it settles down nicely to a creamy off-white head on the hazy russet brown brew. The foam lasts and lasts.

The musty taste is distinctive. Burnt raisins and sweet malt along with some caramel and brown sugar flavors. Intensely frothy mouthfeel if you slurp away after pouring another slug in the glass. The range of flavors is thoroughly interesting. There are hints of leather, orange marmalade, and even a bit of sourness at the end.

The classic drying tendency eventually takes over the tongue. A bitter edge finally emerges in the aftertaste. The echoes of the sweet malt linger faintly. This does set a standard for strong, dark Belgians. (817 characters)

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,230 ratings.