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

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

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2,251 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,251
Hads: 7,243
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 19.16%
Wants: 419
Gots: 1,457 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,251 | Hads: 7,243
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 allengarvin
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 bottle, served in one of my Chimay glasses.

Dark, woody brown color, cloudy, with a large foamy off-white head.

Aroma is fainter than I remembered, much fainter than the other two chimay beers. Lightly fruity, a few spicy notes.

Lots of phenols in this beer. It's spicy, peppery, tasting of dried cloves and nutmeg. Very fruity as well, plums, dried currant, raisins. Restrained hoppiness, and alcohol is not really apparent.

Medium-bodied with a lot of carbonation.

My least favorite of the three Chimays (the Cinq Cents by far at the head of my list), this is none-the-less a well-rounded and complex beer.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1pt. 9.4oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. A big frothy 2 finger head formed that left lacing all the way down the glass. Appearance was quite odd in color. It was a very very light black that reminded me of the water cup color when you paint with water colors when your are a kid.

Small was nice, slightly floral with a crispness to it that was matched with the taste.

Taste was indicative of its 9% ABV but not over powering. Well balanced flavors. Very malty and crisp as well. Strong carbonation, but easy to drink and smooth to the finish. Alcohol kicks in, but does not detract from the other flavors.

Rather thin on the palate and quite carbonated.

Certainly not hard to drink, but not something I'll run back to right away. Finishing the enitre bottle over an hour was not hard, but this is not a brew I plan to stock up on.

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Photo of travolta
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Apperance: A frothy tan head. Mild spotted lacing. Amber and apple cider in color.

Nose: Sweet malt, candied dark fruits, plum, dried red apple, coffee.

Taste: Crisp carbonation at first, which settles into a frothy foamy texture. Sweet malt, Belgian yeast and the Belgian water are strong characteristics.

Notes: Readily available. The 9% is very elusive. Price is not it's strong side. You do get what you pay for, however.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage

Pours a bloodred beer with quite some carbonation, and a lot of sediment gets in to the glass. Nice head that keeps on tempting in the chimay chalice.

Smell is yeast and malt at first with an alcoholic character. Then comes a rich fruity tone with malts, some citrus and anisette. Reminds a bit of wine with the alcoholic character, very nice.

Comes on the tongue like sugared malts with dark fruits (figs, dates and raisins). Then comes alcohol together with a lovely carbonation and some bitterness. This is a filling and musty beer with yeast, dark sugartones and alcoholic fruittraces in the finish. Somewhat dry and bitter, really well balanced and tasty though.

Nice beer, even nicer when it warms up a bit. This is much richer and more potent than chimay red, certainly a store and pour also.

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Photo of aquaderek
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

One word sums it up, wow!!! I am so glad this beer is at my local TJ's store. Bought this beer in the 75cl bottle, and poured into a nice tulip glass. This is what all beers should aspire to look like. Pours with a nice head that dwindles down to a perfect creamy lace. The dark color, the carbonation is a beautiful thing to look at. The nose and taste is incredibly complex, just as complex as any good red wine that I have had. On the nose you get a nice sweetness, maybe figs??? Some of the medicinal phenol. man, this is some good stuff. Rasins some nice hoppiness, the question is what can't you smell, this is really complex. This goes for the taste as well. Sweetness, with a nice bite at the end. I have died and gone to beer heaven, I would love to pair this beer with some real gammy meat. Maybe rabbit, venison, or duck. This beer is GRRREAT!!!

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first read reviews of this beer it was well into the top 100 rated beers, but has since fallen short. 330 mL bottle with no year on the bottle as I hear they usually do for the blue. Pours into the Chimay chalice a dark dark brown with a hint of red and a 2 finger tan head that reduces to a creamy blanket of foam and leaves nice lacing. Has a fruity aroma with bananas, raisins, lemons, cloves, spiciness, nuts, and yeast. The beer tastes sweet with cloves, phenols, alcohol, and hops in the background. Leaves a warming sensation. Lots of flavor that is blended well and is slightly cloying. Beer feels somewhat thick and has a crisp carbonation at first that becomes very creamy. Drinkability is crazy for a 9% beer - couldn't put it down. Wish it were a 750 mL bottle. Great beer, especially for cold winter nights.

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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 Cwrw
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looking at my reviewed beers, I was surprised to find that I had not reviewed Chimay Blue yet, as it is probably the Belgian I drink most regularly. When I get a bottle, I just want to sit down and enjoy it with friends, not sit in front of a computer and rate it; and I suppose that is just the type of beer this is: a sociable, delicious and truly enjoyable drink.

The simple but attractive blue-labelled Chimay bottle with a best before of 2008 on the back right corner poured a dark chestnut liquid into my chalice, topped with a head befitting for a Trappist. A dark beer, untransparent, dense and full looking. Held to the light the red becomes apparent, as does the caramel-tinged edges. Against a purely white background though, this beer is dark rosewood or chestnut. A very light brown head, dark cream coloured. At first it was a good mixture of medium and small sized bubbles; after a few sips, the head formed up and became dense and solid, though not exceptionally large. From above, this beer could pass for the top of a moccha coffee. Swirling the glass creates a lighter-coloured swirl, like a hurricane seen from the top. Fine screen lacing that fragments quickly. The nose is all fruits and malt at first. I get some green apple peel, figs, prunes, red grapes(red wine for that matter), and raisins. The malt translates as light caramel, fresh yeast, extremely sweet chocolate, but NOT the same chocolate character as in some stouts. The mustiness of the yeast is also present, but only behind the sweet malt and yeasty esters. As in all complex beers, there are some aromas that seem to defy identification. Little hop presence in aroma, or taste. The taste is sweet, but less so than the aroma may have led you to expect. Instead, the alcohol is quite noticeable, gently abrasive to the tongue. Grapes and malty sugar at first on the tongue, the phenols in the middle, and some metallic maltiness in the aftertaste, also leaving some unexpected bitterness, but it does not taste like hop dryness--this is more metallic in nature, like iron or some wines. Indeed, the finish is slightly bitter in a red-wine manner, leaving a red wine taste on the palate quite strongly. A medium carbonation, perfect for the style, sufficiently creamy but tingling in the mouth; and for a strongly flavoured Trappist, the drinkability is magnificent. This pairs agreeably with aged cheddar, or even medium cheddar. This is a Trappist that needs to be tasted repeatedly, as all the nuances can simply not be detected on the first try. In addition, different food pairings can make this beer exciting and different almost perpetually.

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

Had a 2000 magnum taking up space in my cellar so I decided that 5 years aging was probably enough.
Poured a dark, reddish that is very clear and a white two inch fluffy head that subsided to a thin ring. Aroma was dry with a nice mineral character mingling with dark fruity esters. The flavor is very smooth and clean with more of the malt flavor dominating than in a fresh example. Rich dark fruit flavors interplay with a subdued dry malt flavor that is more balanced in the aged version. As this bottle aged I believe that it attenuated a bit more which resulted in an overall cleaner impression of the flavor. CO2 levels are high but the beer still remains smooth with no carbonic bite. Overall a very enjoyable ale that having been aged takes on a smoother more drinkable nature while also gaining a touch of oxidation which imparts a subtle raisin flavor. The flavor seems more round than a in a fresh example and having had this one I would recommend that all chimays of adequate strength be aged for at least a year.

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Photo of steinlifter
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a dark amber, nice thick head, that diminished, but left rocky peaks all the way down, smell was fruity and complex, raisin scent present, taste was full complex fruit,... again I distinguish a raisin flavor, a bit of tartness, but finishes smooth, bit of spiciness as well, in my opinion these quality beers, are very hard to describe, beautiful, say's it all, mouthfeel was high carbonated bubbles that tickled the tongue, and a rich creaminess, drinkability is as with all the Trappist biers, X-cellent! Highly Recommended!

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Photo of beersarang
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark auburn, with a generous light tan head.

Smells great, aromas of raisin and sweet malts.

Tastes complex, many malt flavors cover the palate. Very fruity, finishes with sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is that of vibrant carbonation, not too thick.

Drinkability suffers a little because of the sweetness and slight overcarbonation.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of the stubby little 33 cl. brown bottle, and into a tulip, the beer looked dark red, with a two inch thick foamy head fed by lively carbonation beneath. The fruity, spicy, chocolaty aroma accentuated the malty nature of the brew. The taste was warming and mellow with the very sweet fruity malt chasing the dusty yeast and powered cocoa into the background. It was not as complex as other Trappist ales, but was quite satisfying in its own way. Full bodied and sticky, with a lingering spicy dry aftertaste, and just a touch of grassy hops. Alcohol warmth is felt long after the glass is drained, making this a wonderful beer to cap one of those cold winter nights.

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Photo of Franchise
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I poured the beer my first thought is oh my! The beer pours a dark brown, with a light tan color for the head. The smell is of figs,prune, and raisins. At 9% abv you can faintly smell the alcohol but it is not overpowering. The taste is delicious, if you hold the beer on your palate...the sweet carmel flavors, and spices are really present. This is a very well crafted beer one you can sip all night.

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Photo of studentofbeer
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark tea color with a nice tan head. good redish glow, though a bit murky. vinous, yeasty nose with some black cherry, cinammon, toasted malt, and a healthy dose of alcohol. very nice and complex when served at ~60 degrees.

taste has raisin and plum--plenty of dark fruit--some musty/woody flavor, warm alcohol, cinammon, with currant aftertaste. Candy sweetness comes through with the warm alcohol. A nice, lasting bitterness comes through on the back of the tongue, leading to a very full aftertaste.

this is a big but subtle beer, with tons of complexity. a very nice treat.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an initial golden pilsner color and darkens into a darker color as the liquid fills. The head is slightly off white, about an inch thick, and sounds louder than a bowl of rice krispees. The head very slowly recedes to a half inch and stays throughout the glass.

Both the smell and taste were somewhat yeasty, the taste moreso than the smell. The smell, aside from the potency of the yeast, was delicious. Smells kind of orangey and malty. The taste was very good too, but quite yeasty (not overbearingly so).

I might consider buying another to see if perhaps this bottle was skunked somehow, but other than that, if I spend large amounts of money on imported beer, I will stick with the Rochefort 8's and ABT 12's. Perhaps the red will be less yeasty, in which case I will definately have to try another in case of flaw.

edit: I finally gave this beer a second try last night after sitting on the 750ml bottle for quite some time. I noticed that the spiciness I didn't like about it before was much more mellow after the beer warmed. Last time I had it out of one of the small bottles, so it didn't have a chance to warm to room temp like this bigger bottle did. Once it reached room temperature, this was actually quite delicious even with the subdued clove flavor. Nonetheless, I think Chimay is still my least favorite of the Trappists, but I have much more respect for their style after having tried it again.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Blue label Chimay pours an opaque reddish brown color and produces a big frothy head that slowly settles down leaving no lacing. Smell is of spices, particularly cloves, with vinous hues. First taste leaves a smooth chocolate impression ending with touches of fruit. Aftertaste is yeasty. Overall, not a very complex taste, but highly enjoyable. Mouthfeel is very good, and that about says it, really. One I'd definitely have again. A good no-frills Belgian beer you could drink everyday.

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Photo of hero27
2.39/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Looks good in the glass. Head explodes from the bottom of the glass and creates a large, but modest, foamy head. Leaves virtually no lacing, though. Color is very dark and muddy.

Smell: Figures...I hear so many good things about this beer and find out that it's just another spicy belgian. Smell is of hefty malts and clove.

Taste: I don't like spices, and this beer is no exception. It's my personal opinion and I don't mean to drag down the rating of a "good" beer, but spices are simply not to my liking.

Mouthfeel: I'll give it some credit.. it's smooth for a relatively high-alcohol beer. Little carbonation.

Drinkability: The 9% ABV is a plus, as I like a little kick to my beers, but lends the drinkability an average rating.

Overall, I'm obviously dissapointed, and kinda pissed off. I mean, some Belgians I've had have been superb, and some have been not to my liking at all. I read reviews and it's hard to tell because everyone has different tastes. When I originally started drinking more hoppy beers, I didn't really like them much, but now I adore them. However, I really don't think this is a taste I will become accustomed to. Spices/cloves are something that I think should have their place in food, not in my beer.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1.5L magnum from 2000. Shared with company on new years eve. Champagne like pop of the cork. Hazy chestnut color with a tan head. Musky, wood barrel aged smell. Light to medium bodied. Nice carbonation. The taste mirrors the smell with the oak barrel aged flavor.This brew didn't age as well as I'd expected. Still not bad, though.

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

What a great beer used to kick off my New Years Eve!

Poured a hazy caramel colored brown with a several inches of thick creamy head that seemed to last forever.

Smelled strongly of sweet malts with flavors of toffee, dates, and some earthy spices.

Taste is great. A nice mixture of date, toffee, plum, raison and other dark fruit flavors with a sublte hint of wood with a very nice mild earthy hop finish - very balanced and good.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy with a nice warming and a heavy carbonation feeling - great!

Drinkablity is Very good, especially for a beer this big. Finished a 750ml and would easily start in on another if I had one with me. Great Beer!

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Photo of mgdeth
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark amber or light brown in color (it is about the colors of raisins). The head recedes quickly. Yeast from the bottle made its way into the glass.

Smell - Rich raisin/plum/prune and malty smells dominates the aroma profile. No hops are present.

Taste - The taste is a blend of malty sweetness, raisin/plum/prune, and spice. Alcohol taste is clearly present, and hops are not present at all. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel - This beer is really thick, so its name is well deserved. Anything thinner just would not seem right.

Drinkability - The alcoholic flavor is not particularly to my liking, as it makes the beer a tad rough. Otherwise the taste is good, so this tends to make the beer desirable.

Comments - This beer is definitely worth a try. This is not one of my preferred styles.

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Photo of ggroller
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is beer bliss. If I had to chose just one beer to drink for the rest of my life this would be it. I can remember the first time I had the Grand Reserve and always look for an excuse to indulge in the next.

The color is primarily dark walnut but a little on the ruby red side. The head is white, bubbly , and sturdy as it leaves traces of it's sticky residue on the sides of my Chimay chalice.

The complexity of the smell and flavor is overwhelming. Floral, fruity, yeasty, esthery, wine like, malty, and sweet, with hints of ginger bread, cinnamon, and clove. The moutfeel is creamey, smooth, and inviting. The ABV says 9% on the bottle but this beer really packs a wallop that I can't taste but certainly can feel.

God bless the Monks of Chimay. This beer is heaven on earth.

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Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
3.07/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby brown, bit hazy, with an off-white big head that dissipates rather quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

Very little hop bouquet in the aroma, musty yeast, earthy, bit spicy, perhaps clove.

Taste is somewhat sweet with decent balance. Starts sweet and finishes a bit sour. Dark fruits, raisins and prunes, and sweet malts are present.

Overly carbonated and medium body.

An average beer...Chimay remains very average all around for me.

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Photo of makoshark
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers of all time. I found a great deal where you got a free glass with each bottle purchased for only $8.00.

Pours a dark reddish brown with an excellent head. Very nice lacing on the glass. This is definately one that should be enjoyed from the suggested glass. It helps to enhance both the aroma and taste. The slightly sweet taste helps to mask the high alcohol content. The overall drinkability is very smooth with great mouthfeel. This is always one that I use to introduce people to the world of better beers that are available to all.

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Photo of Paddez
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown brew with a decent-sized, dense, tan head.
The smell is fruity, complex and rather sweet with raisins, bread and some earthiness.
The taste is deep, dark and complex: plummy fruits, grapes, wood, bread and some notes of alcohol and malts near the end.
The mouthfeel is very nice, the beer is smooth, well carbonated and although the alcohol is traceable it's well hidden.
Very drinkable too considering the high ABV and complexness of this beer.

Overall, this is an incredibly solid beer that I often go back to, one of the best trappist brews there is in my opinion. My favourite in this style. Highly recommended!

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,251 ratings.