Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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.

2,261 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,261
Hads: 7,301
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 19.16%
Wants: 432
Gots: 1,520 | 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: 2,261 | Hads: 7,301
Photo of joecast
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

wow, what a beer!
crack open the top and watch it work. its like the yeast gets into overdrive and starts working again (ok so its probably only co2, but its cool to watch), to the point that the sediment gets disturbed and redistributed throughout the bottle.

a head starts forming in the bottle forcing me to pour before i am finished admiring the action of whats happening inside.
pour into what i think its a sufficiently large glass. no, the head is enourmous! and that color. beige always seemed like such a dull color before.

the aroma is mesmerizing. sweet malty and faintly of concentrated fruit syrup (berries?). maybe some brown sugar as well.
the beer itself is a deep mahogany color. just light enough to see the sediment floating around at the edges of the glass. almost a dark ruby color when held up to light.

again a sweet malty taste, and strong, but not a harsh alcohol flavor for 9%abv. just a warming finish at the back of your mouth.

easily the best beer ive ever had (yet). everything about it is just done right, not too much not too little. more please???

 1,107 characters

Photo of benmiliron
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Paid $7.99 for a 22 oz. bottle I think? "11/02" printed on the cork.

Good looking dark brown, which I didn't expect. Foamy head that vanishes and doesn't come back.

Smells fruity, yeasty and of alcohol. Good malt and hop presence in the aroma too.

Taste is good. Alcohol soaked fruit, a hint of licorice, candied something. There's a little bit of an astringent taste in there though.

Mouthfeel is pretty standard, a rush of foam then clear bubbly beer.

Drinkability - not worth the price, but a good brew. Would buy more if it were half the cost.

 564 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presented in the signature stubby brown bottle with the blue label, Chimay's top-of-the-line beer had a murky dark brown hue and a compact, resilient off-white head that grudgingly faded to a small cap, leaving behind wispy lace.
The smell was an understated blend of bready malt, candy sugar, and some alcohol-soaked dark fruit. A hint of nuts briefly surfaced after it warmed a bit. The taste had an earthy maltiness and some raisin and candied plum notes for a sweet opening. A yeast infused nut bread flavor and light chocolate and toffee also played across the palate. Unfortunately, a harshly astringent alcohol flavor grabbed the back of the tongue, resulting in a rather unappealing metallic taste, something I noticed in all of Chimay's offerings. The feel was medium-bodied, well carbonated and dry.
Well, I've had all three of the Chimay brews I've seen and none, including the Grand Reserve, have shown me anything to make me get all excited over them. This beer definitely gets better as it nears room temp but never quite reaches the mark for me. Maybe it should have sat in my cellar longer. Somehow, I don't think that would have helped all that much. Overrated, over-hyped, and over-priced, this flagship offering from Chimay doesn't meet the standard set by St. Bernardus' Abt 12 or Rochefort 10.

 1,316 characters

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

Tasted 1/16/04 at our little Extravaganza Belgique.

Now we moved to the grandaddy of them all, so to speak. It had been way too long since I tasted a Grande Reserve (back in May, in Brussels).

This Blue poured very, very dark brown, with a thinner than expected white head, given the relative furiousness of carbonation. Dark, fruity aromas bubbled up from the depths and into my nose. Tasting revealed a smooth, complex ale with a nice, bitter kick and a sweet, alcoholic finish. Sooo good.

Every time I taste this beer, I'm surprised yet again by how good it is. One day, I'll learn.

Spoils of the 10/11/03 Knoxville Raid.

 636 characters

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.

 460 characters

Photo of mschofield
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Foams up through the neck of the bottle on opening. Pours a dark brown with a two finger tan head.
Dark fruit aroma (cherry, plum, and black currant). Lemon and some banana that was drowned in wheat. Smells like a wet dog is running around in the background.
Similar taste, black cherry, roasted malt, woody. A note that tastes like mushroom? Lightly tangy.
I found it had a refreshing wheat beer like feel to it, even at 9% ABV. Medium bodied, very smooth, I suspect it would be heavier without all the carbonation.
I loved this beer, I knocked off .5 from the drinkability only due to the ABV.

 599 characters

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

Comes in a beautiful blue 1.75 pint corked bottle. Explodes slightly upon opening, much to my surprise, haha. Pours a brown red, with a good white-yellow head. Smells hearty, of alcohol and hops. Taste is bold and complex, and I think I can even taste alcohol flavor. Malty and carbonated, this brew has a sweet smell like honey, butter and caramel. Very drinkable, hides it's high alcohol content well. An excellent beer, perhaps I will try cellaring it in the future.

 469 characters

Photo of Beaver13
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The Chimay Blue poured a murky, cloudy, caramel brown color. It had a big off-white head that had great retention. It had a rather subtle aroma...yeasty and winey with some oak and a faint fig smell. It had a complex taste that is pretty difficult to describe. A kind of tart, figgy taste up front with some oak and winey tones and a slighty spiced finish. It was a nicely balanced, smooth beer. A great beer for special occasions.

 431 characters

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

Outstanding Belgian and best of the Chimays. And surprisingly my mates liked it better than I did. Great accompanyment to meat. Tasted better after eating. Well balanced, with some sweetness and carbonation.
Three years later and it is a fine drink,yeasty aroma, with brandy-like richness that is popular and went well again with food. Fine trappist.

 351 characters

Photo of CBFanWish
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A good Belgain beer. A darker amber color than what I was expecting with a decent head. There was a lot of taste. Fruity. A little cherry, figs, yet there was a presence of hops. All along it went down smoothly with moderate carbonation. I haven't had much experience with Belgians, but I know what I like. Chimay Grand Reserve is alright.

Second time around.
It almost put me to sleep. Boring. All of above is the same, it just didn't impress me as much.

 459 characters

Photo of Shiloh
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smooth, is the best word to describe this beer.
Poured a darkish amber with a two fingered head which shortly left behind a frothy tan ring and light center lace.
The body is just above a medium.
Carbonation is very active.
The nose first is to a light yeast scent followed by a fruity mash, but short lived.
The balance is exceptional, starting lightly to the malts (licorice & fruit mash) and ending shortly after with a burnt nuttiness.
Also a slight alcohol warmth to finish.

 492 characters

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

Bought the big 750ml bottle for $5.99. I enjoy many Belgian Brews, especially abbey ales so I gave this one a shot. Not disappointed in the least.

Poured a very dark, cloudy, brown with a fizzy white head. Not much lacing.

Smells like a good Belgian beer. You know it's Belgian as soon as it hits your nose. Spices are present.

Strong malts. Very nice fruit flavor with spices.

I like this brew alot and will surely try more. At 9% it's pretty strong but that never really holds me back from having a few. I urge you to try a bottle if you like Belgian ales.

 570 characters

Photo of maybrick
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not a big Chimay fan per se. However, this Grand Reserve is the stuff. The pour is noteable as it has an extremely creamy haed and dark, rich looking color. The nose is in my opinion quite crisp and sweetly spicy. After my fisrt few sips I had a msile on my face. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and the taste is complex. I picked up a mild choclate and citrus back end with a touch of hop. I'm certain the yeat is giving me the citrus.

Good Brew, definietly woth the price, and I intend to get some more of this.

 519 characters

Photo of Charthepirate
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An absolutely exceptional beer.

Brought to me by my Belgian roomate, blue corked bottle. Dated 09/2003. Good till 2005.

Pours dark and murkey brown. Color is an unimpressive muddy brown. Head is big, poofey, brown and gorgeous. It lasted the whole glass leaving a this tihck lace.

A most aromatic brew, the smells of Belgian yeast, with a touch of sweet. Theres more complexity there, but my snorter is a bit dysfunctional.

A beer that makes my mouth feel like a regal king. Smooth, spicy, flavorful, full bodied, never heavy. Just magnificent. More details; as the beer passes the lips a flavor of bittersweet chocolate, followed by that slight wheatiness of Belgian yeast. Both of the flavors are preseant when the spicy hops hit the tounge and wrap the etire package together. Overall some hints of banana and just a perfect amount of bitter make this beer astounding.

The beer feels a touch watery in the mouth, but the amazing flavor seems go deeper than the taste buds, adding a kick throughout the whole mouth. Theres a warming effect from the alchohal as it goes down that is quite pleasant.

Wow, I don't think I would be a complete beer drinker without trying this stuff. I really hope I can find a few bottles in the states to cellar.

 1,267 characters

Photo of DagFishHead
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Interesting amalgamation of brown, bronze, and amber colors... cloudy like a dark apple cider with suspended particulates. Thick, khaki meringue head fades to a persistent 1/4" capper with minimal, but creamy lace.
Smell: Semi-sweet toasted malt, peppery, earthy, dark/ripe fruits, astringent alcohol and yeast blast.
Taste: Light sweet toasted malts with raisin, plum, fig/date dissolve to a pleasant yeast sourness in the middle, then apparently concluding with a crisp dry citrus finish.. but, then a warm alcohol flourish. Combined with the ethereal mouthfeel, one hell of a ride.
Mouthfeel: Champagne bubbly carbonation, full yet surprisingly light.. like a mousse, full bodied but vanishes leaving a pleasant ghostly memory. Delightful.
Drinkability: Deceptively drinkable high ABV brew. Crack this open as an alternate to champagne for your next celebration. The fuss over this beer is well founded.

 922 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep dark brown color with a light brown head. The aroma is heavenly, with the raisin, plum...dark fruit armoas. I also get a bready/biscuity aroma. The flavor has the bready malt in the beginning, it then flows to the dark fruits i.e. raisins & dates, it then finishes with a bready/biscuity, slightly drying alcohol taste. It is a full-bodied brew the a complexity of aromas and flavors. A top notch brew.

Sampled 11/20/03

 438 characters

Photo of erica
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had Chimay 'blue' in a while, and I kind of forgot how it was until last night. I had a 750ml bottle and it made me smile. It's a dark brown colour with a nice kind of big head that only slowly disappears. It smells strong like a strong Belgian should, sweet and fruity almost. It has that sour-ish fruity flavor, mixed with some sugary sweetness and it doesn't taste too boozy and isn't thick, so the drinkability is very good. You can forget yourself. It's not my favourite Belgian but it's definitely a good one. :)

 528 characters

Photo of yankeeheel
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark brown with a moderate, yet tenacious, off-white head. The smell is of apple, yeast, and bread. Smells sweet.

The taste is fairly amazing. You are greeted with the malty sweetness up front which is strong but not sappy sweet. you then get in to the fruity/spicy flavors of raisin, apple, fig, and clove. Finally it finishes with a very warming alcohol glaze that stays with you. Mouthfeel is quite dense.

A little over-the-top to be a regular brew, but very nice to sip on in the colder months.

 522 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 02/03 Appearance: Deep murky brown Mohogany with a silky creamy tan head nice and thick lacing just as thick on the sides very nice. Aroma: Vinous grapes, raisin, bread dough, and dark roasts create mild chocolate tones. Effervescent fruit is the backbone of the aroma. Taste: Once again flavor has a wine like air about it with doughy mild sweet bread, raisiny sweet tones, and decadent grape profile nice. Mouthfeel: Fluffy medium body spritzy but smooth carbonation. Drinkability: Is excellent a masterpiece can't tell it's 9% abv.

 542 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pourred a very dark brew with a huge withe fluffy head and small bubble coming on top. This one has less of the sweeter taste then the red and more roastiness. This beer also has a firm body and the alcohol taste is not too distinct. The spice are very complex. This one is also a classic and never can get enough of.

 317 characters

Photo of Stingray5
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 corked/caged bottle. Pours a dark chestnut with a soapy off white head. A lot of sweetness in the aroma, along with some roasty malts. A certain brandy-like quality. Next comes a nice smoothness, tastes of rich malts and candy, and more fruitiness. Noticible hop presence in the finish, along with some alcohol warmth. Slight sugar lingers.

Overall an enjoyable ale, if not a little unbalanced. A little too much sugary sweetness at times. Otherwise very good. Just feels like it needs a little more time. Will try aging the next one.

 541 characters

Photo of Lafe
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour of this beer started with a gentle chugging from the 750ML bottle. This resulted in a high, solid-looking head taking up the top third of my pint glass. I would love to sample this beer in the proper glassware, but I do not have any available at the moment...

The aroma is strongly of yeast and fruit, with a bit of an alcohol undertone. The appearance is dark reddish-brown that just barely allows a bit of light to sneak through it. As I drink this beer, it forms a persistent lace down the side of the glass.

The flavor is excellent. An initial sweetness assaults the tongue, with a strong carbonation sending the flavors fizzing all over the palate. It settles to a rich fruity and spicy taste, and leaves a sweet, malty coating on the tongue. There's an understated bitterness that keeps the sweetness from becoming cloying. The 9% alcohol isn't readily apparent, except as a bit of warmth in the mouth and stomach.

Finishing off the first 16 or so ounces, I am grinning happily, because I've only made it less than half-way through the bottle!

 1,067 characters

Photo of Popsinc
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oct 2003 i was lucky enough to sample a bottle of 1991 and a bottle of 1981 Chimay Blue from, where else, the Kulminator. My score represents the 1981 version.

The 1991 bottle poured just like a current bottle would minus the head of course. Alot of woody notes in the nose as well as the fruitiness of cherries and raisin with a pinch of spice. While there were many of Chimay's "beer" qualities in this bottle, you knew you were drinking something aged for 12 yrs. The beer as a whole was much more mellow and smooth...refined might be a good word. Still an excellent beer.

The 1981 version on the other hand was much different then a current bottle of Chimay. And what can expect after being cellared for 22 yrs? Much like the 1991 version there was plenty of grape, cherry and raisin in the nose, except this time there weren't "hints". This time everything was much more pronounced. The aromas and flavours jumped out at you. Grape & cherry sweetness. An oaky woddiness. A toned down spiciness. Exceptional smoothness. You could really tell the difference and make no mistake between the 1991 & the 1981.

The finsh lingered nicely but almost faded a little too quick. It left me always wanting more. While this beer taste less and less like a "beer" the more it was aged, it was still exciting to see how a beer can change in complexity and become a more refined drink. By refined i mean, smooth, complex & unique.

A fabulous drinking experience. Worth every penny.

 1,482 characters

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

On a rainy, dark November evening in Chicago, this beer is just the right drink for this moment. Settling in with Chimay is such a blessing, and a wonderful drinking experience.

After pouring my 11.2 oz. glass into my Orval goblet (forgive me Father Theodore), I was immediately struck by the lovely creamy head that poured out. As I took several looks at this lovely brew before tasting, I noticed the deep mahagony color (just barely translucent), and begin to sip.

Yep, never a letdown with Chimay Blue. The mouthfeel was just right, with enough body up front, but particularly in the finish. I did get some citrus-y notes, too, but the taste of raisons also came through in this sample.

After a few minutes of residuals lingering in the palette, I knew why this beer is so revered: it simpy an outstanding abbey beer, from one of the world's finest, with an abundance of beautiful flavors through and through.

 925 characters

Photo of tavernjef
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is a deep dark opaquely russet ruby color with a very tall off-white fluffy head, almost laughable and too big, took three separate times to pour it from the 11.2 oz. bottle into my Delirium Tremens goblet glass as the head just kept getting in the way, ridiculous head, let me get at it already.

Nose is dull and kinda light, not much going on besides some light lemon peel citrus and yeast, a touch smokey and meaty upon bigger wiffs.

Taste is short lived and a bit boring, complexity is not very forthcoming from this offering. Very dull citrus of melon husk and majorly dulled lemon and peels, lightly sweet malts and subdued spicy yeast with some strange uneven texture that I didn't care for all that much.

Feel is medium bodied with a weird texture I just couldn't get past. Where's the smooth? Where's the creamy? Blah, boring, yuk. Not impressed. The Chimay Red was much better. I'm not sure if I have a bad bottle or what, but I've been saving this bottle, plus a few others for nearly 4 months hoping a bit of aging would make for an interesting session, but nope. I guess I'll be letting those sit alot longer. I'm bored, can I have my Unibroue Trois Pistoles now?

 1,194 characters

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,261 ratings.