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

Not Rated.
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,234 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,234
Hads: 7,157
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 404
Gots: 1,387 | 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.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,234 | Hads: 7,157
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)

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

Shared a corked and caged bottle of this at the Market Cross Pub in Carlisle

A - Tan head sits atop medium brown body with compact bubbles and lasting lace.

S - Bready, strong smell of fresh yeast and sweet malt.

T - Lively, carbonation combines with malty presence. Slighly fruity, crisp ale with subtle flavors of apple and plum.


M - Dances on the tonque with its aggressive carbonation. Light and lively with round luxurious finish.

D - Superior, smooth and restrained for strength contained. Subtle, expressive and effervescent x 2. (558 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (370 characters)

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

750ml brown bottle, corked and caged with a vintage date on the cork.

LOOK: Deep garnet, very clear. Good lacing all around.

SMELL: Buckwheat honey, booze soaked raisins, tart apple, toasted bready, treacle, peppery

TASTE: Super smooth, creamy, full-ish body, date sugar, estery, warming, spicy, faintly medicinal, yeast, mineral, leafy hops, dried grass, toasted fruit cake, semi-dry finish

Still holds on to greatness as it is a few steps ahead of the middle of the pack, with that said there are other Belgian beers that easily surpass this but not so much that I would not keep on coming back. (601 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
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... (367 characters)

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

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

A: Dark reddish brown, hazy. Thick white head and nice lacing.

S: Dark sugars, spice, dried fruits.

T: Strong taste of dark fruits and caramelized sugars. Intermittent bites of hops and alcohol.

M: Medium body, some carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, rich and complex. (311 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet in low altitude Galway, Ireland.

A:Pours a two finger head of fair cream and nice thickness. Textbook dark amber colour. Good retention for the ABV.

Sm: Dark fruits. Typical of trappist ales. Quite lovely. Complex.

T: Dark fruit body. Complex; not as much as the Westy 12. Finish is too short; the notes don't linger as long as they ought to. Very balanced, but not as complex as it should be. Built well overall for the style.

Mf: Wet but coarse. Not decisively either category. Could be better.

Dr: Hides its ABV very well. Easily downable repeatedly, but not special. (622 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  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. (1,405 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (488 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
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. (1,176 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep brown color with 2 fingers of off white head. No lacing and little bit of carbonation evident.

s - Smells sweet of dark fruits, yeast, some spices, and a little bit of alcohol.

t - Dark fruits, yeast, alcohol, malts, and hints of spice. Pretty nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Feels pretty good.

d - A very nice Belgian. Considering the somewhat low price and the fact that it is readily available in many grocery and beer stores, this is a great beer. Very nice dark fruit and yeast smell/taste, and has a great feel to it. Will definitely have again sometime. (643 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (1,271 characters)

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

750 ml bottle into signature chalice, bottled in 4/2013. Pours moderately hazy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big pear, apple, raisin, plum, pepper, clove, banana, caramel, candi sugar, toast, brown bread, floral, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, pear, apple, light banana, caramel, candi sugar, toast, brown bread, clove, pepper, floral, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light/dark fruits, light banana, clove, pepper, caramel, candi sugar, toast, brown bread, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a great crisp malt/fruity/spicy flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a lightly slick, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian dark ale. All around great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,426 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (1,009 characters)

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

A: Pours a cloudy medium brown in color with yeast particles in suspension towards the bottom half of the glass. The beer has a finger tall pillowy beige head that reduces to a thin film over the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: Overall, this beer has a rather sweet smell mostly dominated by dark fruit. There is a definite presence of plum along with a black cherry and grape. The aroma gets sweeter as the beer warms.

T: The taste follows the smell, with the beer having a good amount of sweetness. There is a dominant flavor of dark fruit - plum and black cherry - along with a light presence of spices. Very nice complexity.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Extremely smooth though slightly dry in the finish.

O: The alcohol is very well hidden in this beer, making it slightly dangerous if you have more than one... I think this beer is very enjoyable and a great sipping beer - with great complexity in the taste. (1,046 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  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. (448 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bottle foamed a little upon opening. Pours deep brown/mahogany color with a nice tan head on top, tight foam. Moderate retention and lacing, though not as much as the other two Chimays.

S: Fruity with some raisins and red grapes, and a little bruised apple. A little bit of spicy yeast and an earthy aroma in a sort of musty way.

T: Sweet to open up with a rich malty backbone. A good bit of fruit flavor with grapes, apple, and prunes. The yeast and spice aren't as strong as the aroma, but are there in the background.

M: Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth. Can't taste the alcohol, but there is a slight warming in my stomach.

O: Fantastic beer. Reading over my notes, it didn't really come out, but this is really good. Nothing wrong with it, and easy to pick up. My store always has this, don't know why more people don't try it...ok, well price for one, but I have no problem paying for this beer once in a while. (954 characters)

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

Poured into New Belgium Globe glass.

Pours a cloudy bark brown with slight amber/mahogany. Pours a 2 finger tan head that leaves splattered lace.

Smell is very fruity. Banana notes with clove. Some bready malt aromas as well. Taste is almost a bubble gum. Some fruity taste. The alcohol is also present. Finally there is a cranberry and raisin taste.

Mouthfeel is bitter but goes down smooth and has a great clean finish. The alcohol is very present. Seem well carbonated.

Overall best belgium dark I have had so far. I could easily have a few of these. The only think I don't like about this beer is the price :S (617 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.75/5  rDev +11%
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. (526 characters)

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

750ml bottle into a snifter. The brew pours a clouded mahogany to brown color with a rich khaki head that lasts supported by constantly rising bubbles through solution.

The aroma includes noted of yeasty clove, banana, raisins, prunes, plums, molasses and an overall sense of dark belgian candy sugar with a mild touch of alcohol. Nothing to complain about here, everything smells enjoyable.

The taste is spicy like clove with belgian candy sugar hinting towards a sweeter side of the brew with a flavoring of banana, molasses and more burnt sugary notes. More sips reveal a fruited quality like plum and raisins or dates. Plenty of dark over-ripe fruit with every sip.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A mild warmimg alcohol feel and overall very well balanced. This is one of those brews that I have drank countless times and never bothered to review. Sad how it is taken for granted since it is always available in nearly ever real beer store you visit. (992 characters)

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,234 ratings.