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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.

2,252 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,252
Hads: 7,248
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 19.16%
Wants: 420
Gots: 1,462 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website

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: 2,252 | Hads: 7,248
Photo of billab914
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into my Westvleteren chalice. Poured brown in color with an active tan head filling half of the glass at first. The head settled down quickly to leave a creamy khaki colored foam resting on top of the beer.

The aroma shows a yeasty, spiciness to it with some dark fruit notes an and a moderate malty sweetness coming through. Pretty flavorful and complex aroma to it overall.

The taste is malty sweet with some notes of dark fruit, caramel and brown sugar to it. The finish has just a bit of spices and yeast to it with nutmeg being one of the spices I seem to be getting. A bit of alcohol in the finish but not bad at all. All the flavors come together very nicely and make for a great tasting beer.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation. The frothy head that lasted well into drinking it really adds a nice creamyness to the beer that I love.

Drinkability is good, it's a very good beer overall and a great example of the style. The mouthfeel was pretty much perfect which really helped the drinkability for me. It didn't hurt that it was very good tasting either.

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Photo of Gavage
4.45/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into what else... a Chimay glass. Lord knows I have had plenty of Chimay but it is about time I got around to reviewing it on record.

Chimay Bleu in appearance is first a simple off cream/brow two finger head with bubbles that fall at a slow clip. Body is a nice dark red/brown consistency. Beer leaves a collar throughout the entire glass.

Mild malted feel on the nose with a clean sense of nuttyness. Faint butter as well.

Upon tasting, a fantastic mouthfeel that give way to subtle fruit chews of cherry and other berry notes. A bit prickly though however with the carbonation and on the mid palate and slight malt, but easily handable. Hardly alcohol booming as well for nine abv.

A simple example of the style, good looking, and easily found and affordable makes drinkability very high.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500th beer reviewed...been saving this one the past week or so to take the honor. Small bottle w/o freshness dating. Pours very dark, cloudy and murky, almost black. Fairly large bubble head at first, puffy and lumpy. Head slowly morphs to a 1/8th inch thick tiny bubble film Thick sticky lacing left on the glass. Nose is of powered sugar, fresh fruit, and concord grapes. Smooth medium bodied Belgian, notes of yeast, peppery spicing, tons of sweet malt and more fruity notes, warming alcohol late seals the deal. World class, classic for good reason. Cheers!

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle poured into a Chimay goblet, been meaning to try this one again for some time.

A- A loud hiss once the cap was popped, this one is certainly active with rising bubbles. With a very careful pour I still got a bunch of sediment in my beer. A flimsy off white head appeared as I put some distance between the bottle and glass, it did not last long only leaving some white fluff in the middle. The liquid is a murky red mahagony look, it's not blue at all.

S- A very nice Belgian scent coming from blue from all that wonderful yeast. Getting some malt sweetness plus dark fruits. Some additional sugar in this. Some mild spices in the mix as well with raisins. This could have a fuller scent though it was a bit light.

T- Belgian yeast up front giving off a candy taste, cotton candy. Raisins make a bigger step then in smell. Dark fruits with plums. Some residual sugars as well. Getting some light taste of banana and sweet caramel from the malt. Well rounded but kind of light in taste for me.

M- This one is a smooth ride even though the carbonation is high which gets in the way giving off a certain crispness. The body is much lighter than I expected, I would say its perfectly medium bodied. The candy sweetness sticks around a bit, im not complaining.

D- Very drinkable, I kept going back for more, I just wish the taste was a bit bolder. The alcohol is hidden extremely well, I did not sense it at all. I really need to try this and other chimays with their cheese as well, it probably makes the experience better. While I liked blue and could of drank a ton more of it, the flavor is quite tame compared to other and more acce$$ible offerings.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's the final stage of the Chimay Invitational, and I'm in for the long haul on the Grande Réserve; I have a 750 ml magnum waiting to be popped. The other two Chimay beers I've had have been neck-to-neck, so will the blue label break away from the pack? Find out after the review:

Poured into an oversized wine glass, this beer is dark brown, alittle darker than their dubbel, with a good head like its siblings. I smell dark fruits like plums and raisins, with a hint of chocolate. Taste: Holy Shit! It melts in your mouth like warm butter. Ahhh! Liquid ecstasy! Mild tone of carbonation plays a big role balancing out the dark fruits, phenols, and other flavors. I'd go as far as saying it's comparable to a fine wine. As much press as this beer already gets, I'd say it's still underrated. Wow, I made a good call getting the larger bottle.

The moment of truth has arrived here in the Chimay invitational, and now to reveal thge wineer. The winner of the Chimay Invite goes to...

Grande Réserve!

The Chimay trilogy is complete. All three beers are worthy of a purchase, but the Grande Réserve stands above the other two. If you've been following my invite theme, you know I'm going to say to "look at my previous reviews to see what you missed". Good night everyone!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.06/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium glossy and hazy brown. big head, foamed up nicely, some chunks.
Smell is weak. Not sure what's going on. Yeast and soft fruit seem to come out, but can't quite detect anything strong.
Taste is also a bit weak. Belgian yeast and spice, some dark soft fruit and raisin. Where's the taste?
Kind of flat and syrupy in the feel. Not impressed with this one, overpriced for sure.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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

Sure its a little weaker, but this tastes just like a Quad to me, Three Philosophers especially, but without the cherry lambic. Got a bottle with dinner at La Cena in Fayetteville (just outside Syracuse), The sweetness of the beer went great with the lamb and sweet potatoes. Smells of raisins and dry dates. Tasted more tart and bitter with some cherry, white grape, and brown sugar. Very drinkable, just make sure you don't serve it too cold. This beer comes alive at cellar temp.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 2008 Vintage. Poured from a small bottle into a Chimay chalice. Amber brown body with bubbles hanging in suspension. A soapy head forms on the luscious body.

Smell: Dusty yeast and a whiff of alcohal, with some malt and fruit nuances lurking. Hard cider comes to mind too.

Taste: Ah, my favorite part. Malty up front. Bitter chocolate. Light fruits coupled with warming bourbon notes. A lingering noble hop is there on the edges. As it warms, a clean fusel alcohal character arises more prominately. It really brings out more of the malt too, roasted and woody. All of the flavors unite and do the dance.

M. Full bodied, a bit of a bite. Also sports a dry chalky finish.

D. This is a beer to settle into so to speak. Divinely crafted and really quite fantastic. It recieves a high score because this beer is fun to drink.

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

Pours a solid dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light, and a decent sized off white head that dissipates too quickly leaving a cap on top. The aroma is filled with prunes, plums, raisins, and lots of dark and burnt sugars. Slight aroma of ethanol and a hint of yeast, with just a touch of earthy spicy hops. The flavor is rich and sweet with a full complement of dark dried fruits as well as some complex dark sugary flavors. Slight vinous quality as well as some bready yeasty flavors round this one out quite nicely. Medium to thick body with a spirited level of carbonation and a sweet syrupy burnt sugary mouthfeel. Nice brew, its been so long I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed this ale.

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

First beer that I ever drank with the lady who would become my wife, 13 years ago now, and I'm just now getting around to reviewing it. I've always loved this beer. Some say that it is a shadow of its former self- I can't say for sure one way or another, as it has simply been too long since I've had some. I will say that I think it may lack a little sweetness and depth I thought it once had, but whether that is me or the beer I simply can't say. Pours a hazy brown with a decent head. Aromas of spicebox, alcohol, cream, and dark fruit. Not quite seemless, and the alcohol heat is definitely there. The taste is a bit deper, with some breadiness added to the equation and the flavors are more flawlessly integrated than the aromas as well. Nice mouthfeel with a bit of creaminess. Nice, but I think I prefer most of the other Trappist quads at this point over this beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a chalice, the beer is a dark, hazed, almost opaque, amber-brown coloring with a tall, dense, yellowish head that starts around an inch and settles into a thick film. Aromas of richly sweet date and grapes, giving it a wine-like characteristic. Some subtle spicing of nutmeg and all-spice, with a tone of alcohol throughout, as well. Smells balanced and rich. Flavors are very rich, with heavy old-world fruit sweetness giving a rich and robust blast to the palate. Nutmeg and clove clean up the tail end of the palate, and there is a tangy toffee sweetness that carries through into the aftertaste. The carbonation keeps the beer light and crisp despite full flavors and a full body. Clean, smooth finish, with a tangy sweet and slightly boozy linger. Very solid, very balanced, and very tasty.

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Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO giftpack. 330ml served in my Chimay chalice.

Poured a dark brown/mahogany with a few fingers of creamy, light tan head. Tons of suspended yeast in this one. Great head retention. Nose is quite "soft and subtle" with some dark fruits, plums, light raisin and grape skins. Alot of the notes arise from the yeast as well. Taste is sweet and warming, with a slight acidity; in most respects similar to the nose in terms of the fruits. Relatively high carbonation, but the mouthfeel just hits the nail on the head for me. Smooth and sweet with a bit of stickiness. Drinkability is ideal given the ABV. Great stuff. 45/4/45/45/5

Re-reviewed November 13, 2011: part of the QuadShowdown, 2006 vintage. Nose of overripe grapes, sweet brown sugars, lightly vinous and slightly funky notes. Taste is lightly spicy, plums, grapes, and dark fruits. Vanilla and brown sugar. Gentle carbonation, solid feel, fairly low carbonation. Creamy and fairly sweet. Very nice with age, just as grapey as I recall it being when young, Still some good flavours and great complexity.

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Photo of corby112
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark chocolate chestnut brown with dark amber edges when held to a light source and a thick frothy, pillowy light tan head. Excellent retention, only slowly settling into a lasting cap that lasts throughout, leaving chunks of soapy lacing in it's path.

Slightly spicy peppery aroma with a lot of sweet estery Belgian yeast, chocolate, candy sugar and dark fruits; plum, raisin, prune, fig, etc.

Soft carbonation up front that subdues a bit when the beer warms. Lots of sweet dark fruit character with hints of fige, prune, raisin and plum as well as some silky chocolate and caramel. Very faint sour presence with some pleasant spiciness. There's some cinnamon, brown sugar and candy sugar that provides an excellent balance and complexity to this amazing beer. The alcohol presence is there but the high ABV is very well masked making it dangerously drinkable. One of my all time favorites.

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

Pours a clear dark brown with lots of carbonation, in fact it blew the cork out like a bottle of Champagne!

Smells good, malt and perfume, spicy and a bit sweet.

Tastes very mildly sweet and malty with a bitter bite to back it up. There are some citrus flavors here too and a subtle flowery taste.
Tastes like Chimay red, refined.

Mouthfeel is great.

Very drinkable.

I think I like to wilder taste of the Chimay red a bit more but this is good.

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Photo of weeare138
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, 2005 vintage.
Appears a dark, hazy, murky brown with a 2 finger light tan head that retains nicely. Lots of lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of raisins, plums, figs, cocoa, candy sugar, and yeasty bread with gentle spices swirling in this mix.
Taste is of the same aromas but I can't put it down. The nice caramelized sugar and malt, along with the yeast makes this a right on winner.
Mouthfeel is a tad zippy with the carbonation but still remains smooth for the most part, hiding the 9% well in the slightly sweet brew.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown appearance with flashes of dark blood red. Head is thick and creamy, staying sturdy right to the bottom of the glass.

Nose is rich and organic. Dark malty and intense. Unsweetened chocolate. Very little sweetness, more just deep, earthy natural flavours. Really wonderful.

More dark malt in taste, and more of that unsweetened chocolate and mocha coffee. It's just dark and mysterious.
Hints of spices, cinnamon, cumin and even some black pepper. This is a rich, sippable beer.
The mouthfeel is full and round, moving around your tongue.

Overall, it's just so intense and so rich the drinkability is reduced a little.
An impressive beer, no doubt, and certainly one to respect.

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Photo of biegaman
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep burgundy with Kalamata olive tinge. Despite its dark tone, the beer maintains clarity until the introduction of yeast sediment. The head is fluffy and cloud-like and provides adequate covering for the surface. The beer certainly appears deserving of the royal-looking Chimay chalice designed to hold it.

When young, the beer exudes the odor of little else other than fresh yeast. It's one that I found far too simplistic and one-dimensional. This sample, aged the better part of five years already, is far more layered and intricate. There is a tremendously rich base of dark caramel as well hints both fruity and floral.

This is not the same beer when fresh. One sip in, I can now personally testify to the beer's complexities that come with aging. It has become an intricate, sophisticated drink with striking similarities to a vintage port. There is a brandy-like sweetness, a hint of alcohol strength and a bed of wild flowers and dark, dried fruits.

I'm not overly enchanted with this beer when fresh. With the age under its belt, however, I can definitely see the likeness to fine wines or aged port that many have bestowed upon it. I wouldn't consider this a special occasions beer; this would make a wonderful every-day beer to accompany reading, company or a hearty dinner.

Chimay's reputation may have superseded it for me. It is widely hailed as one of the world's finest beers, only now can I agree rightfully so. It's only apt that this is brewed by monks because it has clearly achieved a higher state of being. This is a heavenly drink, no doubt, that should be found in any respectable beer cellar.

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

Had not had this beer in some time. Forgot just how excellent it is.

The beer pours a rich, hazy brown color, with a persistent, creamy head and excellent lacing. Full marks at this point. On the nose the first thing I notice is almost a milk dud chocolate aroma, with a touch of coffee and brown sugar. Really, this beer has the most pronounced chocolate candy aroma I've ever seen, with a touch of Belgium spices to keep it all interesting. This beer is very lithe and supple on the palate, with flavors of chocolate, maraschino cherry and honey. There's just a touch of bitterness and dryness in the finish, which keeps this beer from becoming tiring to drink. Again, quite impressive. Abv. is noticeable, but in a good way for this beer. It pulls all the flavors together and keeps the beer from becoming too flabby from the sweetness.

Fabulous stuff. For my money, much better then the red or the white.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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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 wl0307
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, BB 2013, served cool in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: pours a very dark brown hue clouded with yeasty bits, showing nice dark ruby glows when seen against light; the fizz level is made apparent by the hissing sound, pumping up a 1 cm thick beige foam that settles in good time to a thin cap.
S: yeast perfume (fruit esters) is everywhere, mixed well with the notes of dark candy sugar and relatively light maltiness; a close sniff reveals the elements - sweetened Chinese red-bean paste, figs, plum preserve, bananas, sweetened black tea, and slightly salty sweetness as of exotic yeasts. Nice, but the complexity doesn't develop into different layers.
T: the lightly effervescent swallow comes with nice & complex flavour, featuring mixed spicy-salty and bitter-sweet yeasty+malty elements, raisins, bitter orange, bitter licorice, burned dark sugar, lightly chewy hop bitterness, that develop well towards the rear of the palate. The finish, just like my previous encounters, comes slightly dry (pleasantly so) and semi-bitter, but still full of undertones as of spiced olives, red-bean paste, Chinese hawthorn fruit candy, and aromatic "red sugar" (NOT brown sugar).
M&D: despite the light effervescence on the first several sips, the fizz level is tuned to perfection as the beer breathes, and the body remains as moderate as the flavour would prefer it to be. The estery flavour and sweetness endowed by the candy sugar are constantly in check by the necessary level of sourness and also nice bitter edge of flavours. All in all, this is a complex yet extremely approachable dark ale, and around 12 centigrade is just about right for a full enjoyment.

* Tasting Date: 18/08/06
This bottle is the "2006 vintage", as stated on the front label. BBE 2011, served lightly chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4.5 A: dark mahogany hue with bright ruby glows when seen against light; the creamy and tight frothy beige head, 2cm thick, sustains pretty well and leaves tight sheets of lacing as it retreats, against a pretty lively carbonated body... Simply elegant.
4.5 S: a semi-astringently yeasty and slightly sulphury note escapes from the bottle as soon as it's opened... in the glass, first approaching the nose is an almost hefe-weizen like fruit-estery note: ripe mangos, green bananas, sour-sweet orangey notes with a touch of Belgian hops that I remember Poppering Hommelbier by... attractive and not overly rich... against a background of deeper scent of caramel-(and Munich-?) malts, candy-sugar, raisins... and a light flow of warming alc. at the tail. Really enticing and harmoniously mixed, reminiscent of Westy 8, albeit with a more straight-forward fruity theme.
4.5 T: upfront on the palate is a flow of effervescent-textured, lightly sour-sweet dark malts backed by plenty of raisins, woodiness, bitter edges of caramel, semi-sweet dried citrus rind... coated by a semi-herbal (licorice), peppery, an attenuated "rusty" mouthfeel (like that of mixing Belgian dark ale with hard, full-fat cheese... try it and you'll know what I mean), and a slightly alcoholic middle that is in turn taken over by a spicy-dryish yeasty undertone, residual hops and creamy, raisiny malts. Surprisingly dryish finish, without any unpleasant sugary/sticky mouthfeel but a sour-yeasty edge does hover in the end.
4 M&4 D: the creamy-fizziness buttresses the whole flavour profile just fine... it's full-flavoured yet easy to manage on the palate; but somehow the texture falls a bit thin at the back and the yeastiness is slightly rough as well... I can't explain how, but the balance is slightly off, perhaps because this bottle is still too young? Nevertheless, I do enjoy it, esp. having not tried it for two years since my last trip to Belgium. Maybe I need to buy a couple to "lay down" for future tasting to see its full potential?

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,252 ratings.