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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

5,544 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5544
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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Ratings: 5,544 | Reviews: 2,119 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LVituri
LVituri

Brazil

4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A Chimay é outra grande cervejaria trapista belga, e essa cerveja parece ser o carro chefe do selo. Elas são mais leves e equilibradas que as outras trapistas. Menos complexas e mais versáteis. A blue é escura e forte na medida. As versões em rolha são realmente surpreendentes.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 13:03:20 | More by LVituri
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle, best before 2018.

Body is chestnut colored, lots of foam, some even oozing out of the bottle. Average retention with minimal lacing, expected more. The rest is great though. Inviting aroma including spices, flavor is rich with dark plums, candied fruits, fruit cake and a bit of sugar. Overall, a great ale, just needs work on the appearance.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 01:42:20 | More by papat444
Photo of BeerDocT
BeerDocT

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, Chimay. Dusty, expensive bottles lining the shelves of beer stores across the globe. What's inside? What could it be? Will cost prove to be predicate to excellence?

Poured into a chilled La Trappe goblet.

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a dark amber with a nice head...well over half an inch. Good lacing.

Smell 3.75: Bouquet is subdued and very strange for this style. I smell Belgian yeast, but phenols from different styles: banana, cloves. Also, there is a nice hint of earthiness.

Taste 4.0: Front is slightly sweet, but in a warming way. Middle is silky smooth and just delightful with hints of treacly malt and some light noble hops. Finish is smooth with a big wave of malt and some interesting tastes of adjuncts, specifically corn. Aftertaste is long and silky, but sticks to the basics: malt and...well, malt.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Smooth, well-balanced and lovely on the palate.

Overall 4.0: Outstanding Belgian Dark, but not the best I have ever had. The bouquet is a bit off and the taste is somewhat one-dimensional, but -nonetheless-- this is an excellent brew. So, my advice is to save up your sheckles and buy a bottle of this to try. Then once you have done so, save up some more money (less than Chimay, BTW) and buy a bottle of St. Feuillien Speciale instead. Or, go to your local Trader Joe's and buy 750ML of a comparable beer for $5.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 05:35:27 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of MattBeer
MattBeer

California

3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I get why people are crazy for this beer. And don't get me wrong, I finished the whole (big, corked and basketed) bottle. But I don't think it's a world-beater.

It's beautiful, for sure. You want a strong dark ale, and you couldn't photoshop one much better.

The smell is full of dark fruit and not-overpowering sweetness. It's really inviting.

The taste is complex and delic--wait. What's that? Am I just not in love with the yeast, or maybe the esters or something? It's tough to pin down what holds this back from being amazing, which is a testament to the number and variety of flavors in it. But there's one too many cooks in the kitchen, and he's a dick.

The mouthfeel unfortunately accentuates whatever's going on in the taste that, admit it, you don't love either. I mean you may love the overALL taste, but you know something's holding it back. The prickly supercarbonation pushes whatever that thing is right into your taste buds.

When they write movie reviews and talk about flawed masterpieces, they're probably drinking this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 22:54:35 | More by MattBeer
Photo of dirtydisk
dirtydisk

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from a 750 ml bomber.

Appearance: murky brown - May have been overly chilled, but still looks representative of Belgian strong dark ale

Smell: liquor, Belgian yeast, and sweetness

Taste: like drinking a fine red wine. One of the most complex sips I've had. No hint of alcohol. Fruit, spice, roast malt, Belgian yeast, raisins, clove, and more

Mouthfeel: creamy, fully bodied. Traditional Belgian carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 03:58:51 | More by dirtydisk
Photo of Mike_Moe
Mike_Moe

Illinois

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

Appearance: Dark brown, white tan head
Aroma: Smell is very sweet with some dark fruits and a bit of alcohol.
Flavor: You can tell it has a 9% ABV, but it still goes down very smooth. Tastes of rich malt on the back of your tongue, like dark chocolate. The beer is a bit heavy.
Thick, full bodied, non bitter finish.
Overall: If you’re looking for thick, full bodied beer with an alcoholic punch, this ones for you.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 06:51:32 | More by Mike_Moe
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

The appearance stands out due to the thick, frothy head that resembles the top of a serving of espresso. The liquid is dark brown, cloudy, and almost murky looking with some slight carbonation.

I don't get a lot of aroma on this one. The dark fruit, plum and fig notes are there and I expect that, but not much else, just some slight yeastiness.

The taste is similar to the smell, with the heavy dark fruit, some malty sweetness and the lingering taste of candied syrup.

I was impressed by the mouthfeel, as there's some spiciness, only slight carbonation and chewy, creaminess in the middle. Most importantly, there's no alcohol burn.

Overall, it's a tasty beer, but I don't get the complexity and variety of tastes and aromas that the other Chimay offerings provided. Good but not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 20:30:07 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of jwhancher
jwhancher

Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a small bottle from Total Wine in DE. About $5 for a small bottle. Poured into a large tulip glass for review.

Pours brown with amber reddish highlights. After a careful pour, I still got plenty of yeast sediment in my glass. Smells very fruity: rum raisin, pears, green apples, some white grapes. Vinous like and a tad boozy. Tastes fruity upfront much like in the nose. Some background dark malts, maybe some chocolate or caramel - tough to tell behind all the fruity favors. Feels medium full with strong boozy alcohol that burns the back of the throat. Ample carbonation that lends almost a spritzy feeling during every sip. After a careful pour, not much head in my glass lingers.

A great Belgian beer. Would def drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 01:30:23 | More by jwhancher
Photo of BeerGod27
BeerGod27

South Carolina

4.91/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured dark with a good head. Lots of small bubbles coming up from the bottom.
Nose is full-bodied with bready, banana, warm, buttery and toffee characteristics.
Yeast, banana bread, plum, yeast, warming alcohol flavors are apparent on the tongue.
Mouthfeel is very smooth, yet crisp with good carbonation
Excellent beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 18:49:02 | More by BeerGod27
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a genuine Chimay goblet. Perhaps lighter than expected, a ruddy orange-brown with a massive amount of tannish head. The forth settles down a bit but the carbonation remains brisk. Although one's Belgian dark ale schema is screaming heavy and thick, this classic is in fact silky smooth, creamy, and of only moderate body, although the flavors are assertive enough. Aroma of cooked orchard fruit (pears and apples), raisins, dates, sweet grains, and a decent dose of cellar must. Boozy and a bit funky in the yeast sense. Although the aroma is not terribly spicy (maybe its my crap sense of smell), the palate is spice-forward ... Pepper and pumpkin pie spice, cloves, and a rather unique and very pleasing floral/herbal essence like dried basil and sandalwood. Malts remind one of rye bread and hints of toasted crust. Sweet rum, dates, treacle, a whiff of chocolate ... A fresher fruitiness as well in this example, almost like Concord grapes. Intermittent blasts of alcohol. The king of Chimay. Perhaps lighter and drier than other Belgian darks but has its own herbal/floral character paired with the yeast, spice, and dark fruit one would expect. A standby in my beer fridge and shockingly drinkable for such a heavy hitter.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 07:25:52 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of brewerburgundy
brewerburgundy

California

4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, Duvel tulip. Unsure of bottling date, but this bottle was aged 1-2 years after I got it.

Immediately yields a double layered fawn head. The beer is the color of figs, deep red brown.

Smells of bread pudding, raisins, toffee, sweet doughy, fruity yeast, vanilla. Hints of alcohol throughout. Simple, but outstandingly put together.

Yeasty sweet bread, bread pudding, cinnamon rolls not iced, sweetened iced coffee, rum raisin. There's more alcohol here; bitter and a bit estery.

The weight is unremarkable in the mouth. Not too much carbonation despite the large head. Nothing is out of wack and the focus is on the aroma and flavors.

I can see why this is a classic. It's not flashy, but it is very good. There is alcohol, but it falls into line nicely with everything else.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 04:02:05 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of DaveBar
DaveBar

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a wide mouth glass.
330ml bottle at 10deg C
L13-022 2018

A dark ale wih substance. Excellent product at a great price.... $3.65/ea at the LCBO.

S- Light and thin. Not indicative of what the flavor is like

T- Excellent! Very enjoyable. Light on the tongue cold. Opens slowly to expose a light nutmeg flavor. Once it warms it does power up but not hot by any means. Having this one with 6mths since purchase I don't think hotness can be subdued yet.

M- Smooth. Leaves a touch of bitter nut at the end. Carbination stays and stays and stays. VERY lively.

O- Very very good. Will definitely cellar a few.

I don't know why the reviews bash this offering after aging too long however at the price I will try to see how they age every 6mths on every year's batch. Will update this review as I do.

Food Pairing

This excellent little dark ale will pair very well with... Hamburgers

I do cook from comfort to natural to gourmet but do believe in keeping it simple for the most part. Hamburgers will accent this slightly heavy beer. Keep your toppings low and simple and this pairing will compliment each other very well.

Enjoy

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 17:47:17 | More by DaveBar
Photo of imscotty
imscotty

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330ml bottle in a Chimay glass. I love when I find these little pygmy bottles of Chimay, the Bombers are too much unless you are sharing with a few friends.

A: Color is a reddish amber. Pours with a strong head that settles down but lingers a bit, Fairly strong lacing. An attractive brew.

S: Light malt sent, figs and caramel. Some deep rich fruit.

T: Taste figs and dark fruit, caramel. On the finish there is a tart, almost astringent flavor (almost like pomegranate). A nicely balanced range of flavors.

M: The carbonation in this beer is fairly strong and course. I notice the more that I let it sit and warm up the more the flavors stay on the tongue. Nice body and a little pleasant heat from the alcohol.

O: A nice representation of the Belgian style.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 01:52:57 | More by imscotty
Photo of Matty-K
Matty-K

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter, a little too cold. Fantastic caramel appearance. Full head faded quickly to nice lacing. What a mouthfeel! Absolutely deduces the tongue, and lingers about for a long but light finish. The alcohol is never forward - this is simply perfectly balanced.

Clearly the work of masters at their art.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 18:22:58 | More by Matty-K
Photo of Duane_Opfer
Duane_Opfer

Virginia

4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 fl oz bottle poured into a stemmed goblet. No date on bottle. Consumed on 12/1. Written from notes.

A - Tawny purple in color with >1 finger of large bubble foam. Heavy carbonation. Very distinct lines. Lating head due to high carb. No lasting lacing; slowly slides down side of glass and rejoins liquid. No sediment. Whenever liquid recedes, a coating of small bubbles remains.

S - Apple, pear, and dark grapes.

T - Tart grape, plum, and raisins. Hides ABV on delivery, but very warming. Slightly spicy due to alcohol content.

M - Medium bodied and not dry. High carbonation yields an intense tingle throughout mouth. Slightly sticky.

O - Interesting, but not style. Recommend a try though.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 18:11:50 | More by Duane_Opfer
Photo of reebtaerG
reebtaerG

Maryland

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured in chimay glass
A-rich brown color with creamy tan head, great lacing
S-strong aromas of fig and some raisin
T-taste the fig, brown sugar, roasted malt, caramel and spicy yeast
M-full body,creamy throughout
O-great balance of the fruit/spicy yeast and malt flavors

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 05:09:22 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of Pintofbrown
Pintofbrown

Iowa

3.61/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet.

Bright cola, amber body, only a slight ecru fizz that disappears fast.

Spicy and sweet nose. Pepper, fig, raisin, rye bread, and earthy.

Peppery and spicy right away. Then some fig and slight raisin. Quickly morphs to big rye bread and earthy note. Not much finish.

Watery and a little flat. Dry, but a quickly fading finish.

I really like the yeasty and sweet nose. However, the flavors on this are too spicy and not big enough for some better versions of this style. A good beer, not great.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 20:38:44 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 05:05:34 | More by superspak
Photo of Takahiro
Takahiro

Netherlands

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: dark ruby brown, with a thick tan head, coarse foam
S: burned sugar, caramel, prune, red wine, yeast
T: prickly carbonation, prune, caramel, chocolate, alcohol sweetness, nice lingering alcohol warmth after finish
M: highly effervescent, you taste CO2 through your nose, very dry finish
O: great beer. i am having one with an ice cream (caramel&-cookie dough) and they go well!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 19:14:18 | More by Takahiro
Photo of Auraan
Auraan

Arizona

4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle opened in November 2013
Poured a deep brown, with a two-finger fluffy off-white head that grew for a few minutes, then began to recede to a thick ring of off-white leaving modest lacing. Excellent, true to form for a good Trappist ale. Scents of Belgian yeast, candi sugar, dark fruit, molasses, raisins, prunes, a slight metallic twinge, peppery, spicy scents, grape, slight apple, banana comes forward as it warms, melding with the other aromas to make a nice, sweet scent. Very faint hints of alcohol in the background. A rich, sweet, deep aroma with an amazing complexity, as expected of a Trappist ale. Flavor follows the nose. It is quite sweet up front notes of apple, raisin, dark fruit, and slight pear. As it warms in the mouth sweet caramel malt, honey, and spicy flavors begin to emerge, melding with the fruit. As you swish spicy clove and alcohol notes emerge in the back of the mouth. Candi sugar and Belgian yeast spiciness and hints of faint herbal qualities and wood in the background are present throughout. Finish is spicy and burns the nose slightly, with alcohol, clove, yeasty spice, and some non-descript sweet spices. All the flavors meld wonderfully throughout the sip and lead to a rich, complex, satisfying flavor, warming and perfect for cold weather. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, slightly sticky, moderately carbonated and with a semi-drying finish in the mouth. Quite nice. A very good sipping beer. Quite pleasant, with maybe just a touch too much carbonation for me. Overall this an excellent Trappist ale. It is a fine Belgian Strong Dark, with all the depth, complexity and nuance of the style. It is a fine beer to sip on a cold night, strong, with a great depth of scent and flavor. Truly excellent.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 07:49:45 | More by Auraan
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama

Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

Dark brown like a cola . One finger foam quickly settles into some loose bubbles as a cap. No lacings on the glass.

Aroma of figs, molasses, raisins and alcohol.

Taste of sweet malt, raisins, molasses and plum. Smooth, no bitterness, taste of alcohol on the back of the tongue. No aftertaste . Medium mouthfeel , chewy.

Big, smooth flavorful beer. Rich in taste , delicious and worth stocking in the fridge. A great beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 02:51:25 | More by WunderLlama
Photo of rangerred
rangerred

Tennessee

4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle into a goblet.

Pours a slightly hazy very dark ruby brown with a frothy two finger tan head. The head sticks around for a very long time leaving huge globs of lacing once it finally does fade.

Aroma is chock full of grapes and plums along with licorice. A whiff of alcohol along with some spicy yeast notes. Some woody notes in there as well. The aroma doesn't smack me in the face like i was hoping but it is very nice and complex.

The flavor is really heavy on sweet molassas, toffee, dark grapes and plums. Some wood and a fairly hefty dose of alcohol. Thankfully the sweetness tends to fade and does not dominate the taste and mouthfeel. More alcohol is detectable while cold but as the beer warms, more complexities begin to emerge with the wood and dark fruits. Silky smooth and slightly sticky mouthfeel but the sweetness is restrained.

Overall, a very good and accessable quad. While it may not have quite the complexity of some others, it stacks up well and is a favorite of mine that is nice to revisit every now and then.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 03:19:39 | More by rangerred
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator

California

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours hazy rust-brown with a big 2 inch head that settles to a film on top and leaves thin spotty lace.

Smell is of raisins, plums and bananas with just a hint of earthy grass on the finish.

Taste is of sweet malt, raisin, plum, banana, a hint of caramel with a faint bitter aftertaste. Not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with medium body and medium carbonation.

This beer is the blueprint. Several subdued flavors that when combined become large and impressive.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 23:27:46 | More by Furlinator
Photo of itsscience
itsscience

Florida

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle poured into Chimay goblet

Pours a dark brown iced tea color with a finger of white head with carbonation bubbles streaming up the side of the glass. The beer has a rich, sweet dark fruit aroma with big plum and raisin notes, along with a bready malt smell, caramel, and slightly spicy, slightly funky yeast. The taste is big on caramel and sweet malts up front, almost like a Werther's Original candy, then it blends with raisin, plum, and cherry tastes for the finish. The high level of carbonation keeps refreshing the palate and preventing this big beer from seeming like a big beer.

I've been searching for a flaw in this beer over the course of this review and continue to come up empty-handed after half an hour, so I do not give it all fives flippantly but as a last resort. It's just a perfect, benchmark entry in my favorite style, the Belgian quad.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2013 04:23:01 | More by itsscience
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
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 5,544 ratings.