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

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

5,540 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5540
Reviews: 2119
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%


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:
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: 5,540 | Reviews: 2,119 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2008 00:23:29 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2003 09:04:29 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2010 02:59:44 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2002 07:32:29 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
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 a 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 linger 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.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2009 19:51:48 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Pop!" goes the top, the resounding sound of cork's release a tease of what lies in store.

Color, a ruddy brown, tawny and opaque.
Head is off-white, fuzzy and activley bubbly.

Aroma: playing it quiet, actually spare, arid, I'm getting nothing at all! Light echoes of nuts and toffee, wafts of maltiness. Not too happy with this aspect.

On first sip, a big blast of hops, with malt following immediately on it's heels. We find that this is a brew that must be allowed time to open up, give it a little time and space...shows off earthy, nutty, chocolatey flavors, with a generous amount of zippy, zingy spark on the palate. Taste becomes better, richer, more complex and fruity. Excellent effervescence, featuring that special Belgian spark and yeasty taste. Smooth, though before long the alcoholic component kicks in and rides tall in the saddle.

I've neglected Chimay for quite some time, perhaps after encountering Ommegang, a better tasting ale, in my opinion, when fresh, and at 1/2 the price. Perhaps I've got to try this cellaring business to see what an older sample might offer up to us.

On this tasting, a pretty nice drink, but didn't blow me away.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2003 18:58:22 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled one of these out of the fridge - haven't had one in a long time. Best before 2013, so about a year old. Served in my Darkness tulip.

A - Two fingers of quick-dissolving tan foam with minimal lacing. Opaque dark raisin-brown color, with streams of tiny bubbles visible at the edges. I wish there was a little bit more retention and lacing, but otherwise it's pretty solid looking.

S - Roast barley malt, caramel, Belgian yeast, berries, candy, and a touch of booze as it warms up. It's a very good-smelling brew, and probably the baseline for the style - it's just that after all the other crazy Belgians I've smelled this seems awfully tame.

T - Lots of caramel and bready malts, but with plenty of fruitiness and brown sugar elements, and maybe a bit of spice in there as well. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M - Lively carbonation on the upper lip and tongue, a little too much for my liking. Medium body, and with a surprisingly dry finish for something so sweet. There's definitely some warming that is quite nice.

D - I'm not sure I'd want more than one, but it's remarkably easy to drink for a 9% brew. Still, the carbonation and ABV would make this an evening-ender instead of a starter.

Like I said - it's the reference point for the style, and while it's been surpassed it's still a terrific and worthwhile brew, particularly in places like Ontario where there are limited options.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 00:16:50 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 03:43:28 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ruddy red with a 2 fingers tan head. Head holds okayl& has minimal lacing

Smell: Iron. slight fruitnes & some oaky notes

taste: vanilla, oaky, fruitty, rye& a fruitty finish (too much going on)

mf: slightly syruppy & undergassed

Pretty enjoyable & drinks better than the ABV. If could only try one BE style beer this one brings a lot to the table...

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2006 04:15:23 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a rich Belgian style scent with a number of crystal malts and fruity yeast. The taste is great. It is full of malts and Belgian spice. It has a raisin/ molasses taste that is excellent. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine drinking Belgian style. It's dark and robust, but damn good; a real good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 20:19:36 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay Goblet. I have to say before I get too far into it that this was my favorite of the three Chimays. I thought the red was going to be the best but this one was. I did not record the date but I'll assume it was a recent vintage.

Beer is brown with an offwhite / yellowish head made up of small bubbles that are collapsing slowly into one another into a medium and larger bubbles. Head has some good retention power, fueled by steady carbonation of small to medium bubbles that rise through the beer. Beer is ultimately hazy and the head leaves lacing on the sides of the glass.

Beer's aroma is sweet and bready. Good yeast character to it. I intentionally served the beer with some of the sediment, it didn't affect the clarity but I like a little yeast with my Belgians. Smells wonderful.

Beer is medium to full bodied. Sweet fruit flavors and some alcohol light up the front of the palate, beer is smooth leaving no aftertaste or anything. Second taste I pick up more yeasty character and a good breadiness. Mouthfeel is amazing, the carbonation is providing good connectivity and drinkability is really high. I absolutely slay this beer before I know it. I'm glad this is one of the more accessible Trappists, its a wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 16:51:34 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the small bottle into a pint glass. I had heard a lot about this beer and it definitely lived up to the hype. I had it with a nice grilled ribeye steak and the two compimented each other perfectly.

The beer poured a dark reddish/brown with a thick head. The aroma was very pleasant and the taste was perfect. You can taste the alcohol in the beer, but it is not overwelming. For a beer with 9 percent ABV, this is a very drinkable beer.

I waited a long time to try this beer but I will definitely have more soon.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 04:00:04 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2006 15:08:19 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

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

1987 Vintage: Tasted in March 2001

This was a bottle from 1987 that I had in 2001 at the Kulminator in Antwerp. My first impression was that this beer was still quite good. Had a bit of sherry in the nose, which I attribute to its age, as well as some dark caramel overtones. The taste was still quite chimay like (imagine that). The body was a bit thinner than younger version, and it was much more mellow with much of the esters, fruitiness, and bitterness having aged out. Overall if I had to guess I would say that a well cared for 8 year old must be fabulous.


33cl Bottle, Sampled December 2004
Pours a fairly clear, deep ruby-amber-brown color. It is topped by a tan head and is pretty well carbonated. The aroma is fruity and musty, with notes of prunes, alcohol, and raisins. The taste is sweet up front, with a rich malty center that moves to a fizzy rich finish. This is actually quite a bit better than I was expecting it to be. It is fairly light on the palate, especially given its strength, but it does have a slightly lingering rich malt note to it. It is pretty fruity with concentrated notes of raisin and fig, as well as some spicy yeast notes that hint at ginger, cardamom, and clove. The finish of this one reminds me some of sweet apple cider, it has a certain sharp, almost acidic fruity finish to it that is pretty interesting.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2003 17:06:18 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 03:52:59 | More by Knapp85
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The night of the Chimay in my front room. All three beers to be drank in one session. Red, White and Blue, the colours of the 'Union Jack' .

This blue labelled 33cl bottle with its best before date of 2012 was taken with a whole round of Chimay cheese, also with the blue label. Both bought in Belgium on a resent visit.

Poured into my 'Forbidden Fruit' chalice glass, it looked fine, I ensured the whole bottle including the sediment got into the glass.

Dark and a little cloudy, because of my pouring, the off white head didn't hang around, pity.

Although some BA's can smell the scent of a randy fox from half a mile, I struggle to smell my own farts sometimes, so it is not suprising that all I can smell is burnt malts and plums in this fine beer.

The taste however is easier to detect, a good blend of malt and plum fruits are there for all to find, this is a flavoursome beer and the 9% alcohol doesn't kill the intermix of quality products this beer is obviuosly made from, allowing them to infuse without ruining them.

A very good beer indeed, the cheese from the Monks also helped to intensify the flavours, try them together if you ever get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2007 21:28:14 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled from small bottle into a Chimay glass.
It poured a deep brown with a beautiful, creamy, slightly off-white two finger head. The head was retained, with little loss until near the end, when it became a soft lace.
The aroma was fruity/berry like, with hints of alcohol in the background. It smelled more like red wine than beer, though.
The taste was simply exquisite. It had a well-balanced taste of fruity (though not citrusy) flavor, mainly of raspberry, along with a malty caramel flavor. The sweet and bitter were well-mixed, along with an alcohol flavoring that made it very complex and delicious.
The mouthfeel was refreshing. Along with the complexity, there was just the right amount of water to make it refreshing and drinkable. The alcohol taste does come through, but not enough to overpower any of the tastes. This is an excellent drink to have on a cold, cool, or mild day.
I could certainly drink many of these, had it not been for a combination of the high abv and the price.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2006 20:36:22 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy dark brown with a good head that quickly recedes. Nose is heavy on the alcohol with a large sweet tone to it. Small yeast edge to it. Taste is smooth and sweet with a malty undertone. Feel is bubbly. Probably the smoothest drinking BSDA I have had to date. Extremely drinkable. Even with a 9% ABV. Overall it's good, but it isn't my favorite of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 06:08:53 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 02/03 Appearance: Deep murky brown Mohogany with a silky creamy tan head nice and thick lacing just as thick on the sides very nice. Aroma: Vinous grapes, raisin, bread dough, and dark roasts create mild chocolate tones. Effervescent fruit is the backbone of the aroma. Taste: Once again flavor has a wine like air about it with doughy mild sweet bread, raisiny sweet tones, and decadent grape profile nice. Mouthfeel: Fluffy medium body spritzy but smooth carbonation. Drinkability: Is excellent a masterpiece can't tell it's 9% abv.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2003 21:51:08 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark mahagony / brown color with a 1" head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: loads of malt sweetness with some dark fruits and a bit of hop presence.

Taste: nice malt profile with prunes, raisins, a hint of molasses, a bit of milk chocolate, and a moderate bitterness are the main flavor components.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Drinkability: this is a slow sipping beer. Nice and malty, a nice change from the hop heavy beers dominating today.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 21:39:12 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color and cloudy. One finger head that dies quickly...no lasting lace.

Brown sugar aroma, some nice alcohol

Chocolate malt is the taste that appears on the first sip. Hop is far light than other Chimay's, but the malt is wonderful...think scotch ale in style. The body is lighter than I expected but the carbonation is perfect.

Since I like a hop presence, I personally prefer the Cinq Cents version, but knowing the traditional flavors of Belgians, this is superior.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2006 18:00:13 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bottle, 2007 Vintage,

A: Pours a purple brown into a Chimay chalice with a fair off-white tan head, fair retention, fizzy.

S: Smells heavily of dark fruit, fig, and sugar.

T: Big malt flavour hits you at first then comes the fruit, grape juice, almost winey, prune, and fig, with complex yeast esters.

M: The carbonation gets in the way of the flavour too much sometimes in this one, but not bad for a BSDA, medium-bodied, smooth.

D: Chimay's best beer, a classic, I think there are better examples of the style out there, but this is still really good. Serve at a minimum of 55 degrees.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2008 06:59:19 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

4.23/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 05:29:16 | More by mactrail
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage
Poured a very dark amber color with good carbonation and a small white head. Nose is malt, dried fruits and citrus. Taste was nice malt, caramel, figs, prunes and light citrus. Really smooth and very drinkable. Mouthfeel was creamy and drinkability is good but its not my sttyle.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 02:39:05 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 14:30:36 | More by StonedTrippin
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 5,540 ratings.