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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,867 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,867
Reviews: 2,202
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 352
Gots: 1,108 | FT: 13
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 (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,867 | Reviews: 2,202 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
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.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.76/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of jwc215
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
3.62/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Mora2000
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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

02/09/06- Received as a gift for Christmas of 2004 from a friend.

Presentation- 750ml caged and corked bottle. Not sure of the year. There is a mark on the bottom of the label, but I have not a clue what it means. It's at the very least a 2004 bottle. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Very dark amber in a color. Nice full inch head, a tad off white in color. About average lacing.

Smell- Lots of dark fruits in the nose. In particular some plums and dates. Also has a heavy grape scent. Maybe a touch like some Welchs grape juice and some grape Jolly Ranchers. Nice smell with everything combined.

Taste- Pretty much right on the nose with the scent. Almost a tad vinous in nature. Big grape flavor..sugary grape with a heavy dose of plums and a light note of dates and figs.

Mouthfeel- Higher than average in carbonation. Lasting nice aftertaste.

Drinkability- About what I expected. Very good, but nothing spectacular. Worth the money and will probably pick up again at sometime. Definitely worth trying. Very tasty.

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Gavage
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.7/5  rDev -14%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,867 ratings.