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

2,299 Reviews
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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

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Reviews: 2,299 | Ratings: 7,506
Photo of beerinator
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown slightly cloudy. Slight tint of purple. Good retention, with big bubbly head.

Aroma: Grapy with heavy malt sweetness. Fruit that exists in the aroma is primarily grape. Hint of sourness.

Taste: Heavy malt sweetness upfront. Slight hint of fruitiness present. Alcohol kick in the middle of the taste. Finishes smooth, with virtually no bitterness. Slight sour tingle in the middle of the tongue.

Notes: Very Very drinkable, with nice mouthfeel. This beer is not as outstanding as I remember from my first experience.

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Photo of BeerBob
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chimay Ale Peres Trappistes Grand Reserve pours a wonderful root beer brown from a 1pt. 9.4oz brown glass bottle.

Head goes well over three fingers before dropping to a firm quarter inch cap of foam and leaving ample lacing down the sides of the glass.

Nose is mostly malt with just a hint of floral hops and traces, just traces of the 9% alcohol by volume.

Taste is a smooth, very smooth malt... a most smooth malt. A taste that one could fall in love with... I have been mesmerized by this brew and will seek it out wherever I go!

Oh My God... This stuff is GOOD!!!

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Photo of kmo1030
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle
appearance: deep dark hazy brown with a huge craggy tan head.

smell: huge in rich fruit character, plums, figs, prunes, grapes. brown sugar sweetness. no hops detected. cloves are present as well as some slight citrus coffee and chocolate. the smell of this beer alone is excellent.

taste: molasses dominates here but remains delicate. carmel and a hint chocolate add some comlexity to the brown sugar, along with fruit, the plums, figs, prunes, and grapes from the smell are all present in the taste along with a mild sweet lemony flavors like biting a lemon wheel covered in sugar. minor hop bitterness to round things out. the alcohol is disguised well.

mouthfeel: this stuff is liek silk it's got a nice meduim body and a noticable, but delicate carbonation that when coupled with the taste make this a drink like few other things i've had.
an excellent belgian beer.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chimay glass, out of a cute little 12oz stubby bottle.
The beer pours a deep red, suspended flecks of yeast creating a dusty haze. The bottle hadn't been disturbed since i got it, and I poured as to not disturb the sediment. A thick crop of ivory foam forms on the pour, very even bubbled, settling quickly into a large, thick island bordered by a thin collar. A plume of carbonation bubbles vigorously feeds the head. The head actually seems to grow as I drink, a solid, 1/8" coating about halfway through. Rather impressive. Some speckled lace.
The aroma is thick with molten caramel sweetness. Lots of candi sugar, with huge amounts of fruity esters. Hints of apple, pineapple, melon, banana and mango. A slight alcoholic tinge, with a faint yeasty mustiness. Phenolic clove and some plastic-like scent. Very strong, but with a gentle touch.
The flavor starts incredibly sweet. Rather saccharine, chunks of candi sugar smothered in blonde caramel. A bushel of assorted fruit is added as it starts to simmer, adding hints of banana, melon and plum, along with lighter notes of sweet strawberry and apple. The sweetness continues into the finish, a mild phenolic flavor creeping in, adding some spiciness. Rather clove-y, with a bit of plastic band-aid, the kind that pulls off the hair on your arm when you try to peel it off. Perhaps a dash of herbal hops, but it's mostly suffocated by the sweetness. Vague peppery flavor right in end, with a bit of softening, slightly musty yeast deadening the alcohol. It's almost undetectable, save a light burn on the back of the throat. The aftertaste features moderate clove and a lingering candi sweetness. Very fizzy, active carbonation, like drinking a bottle of warm soda, with much finer bubbles. On the medium end of full bodied, with a soft, gentle mouthfeel.
Very nice stuff, perhaps a bit too sweet for me. Not quite cloying, but almost there. I liked it much better than the tripel, but the carbonation was definitely a surprise. I like a bouyant, assertive carbonation in belgian ale, but not quite this much. The mouthfeel is still very smooth, which helps. My girlfriend thinks it's "pretty good". Certainly recommended by myself.

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Photo of Hunter
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2nd Chimay in as many days for me. Cinq Cents is my personal favorite, so I'll save that one for last. Grande Reserve is supposedly Chimay's "big brew", the one the monks themselves brew and drink infrequently. Whether that's true, or the stores here believe the hype, this is the most expensive of the three, at $9 for the large. At those prices I could be drinking at a pub! But these beers are worth it. As I said in my Red review, DON'T buy the smaller bottles - something's lost in translation. Chimay's website almost admits as much when it mentions that their beers take on special characteristics when the secondary fermentation after bottling is allowed to work in larger volumes.

The Blue cap pours a dark garnet color, with a long-lasting head the color of beach sand. the head easily regenerates itself with some gentle agitation. Some bits of yeast and sediment will find their way into your glass with all but the most careful pours, but it's really a minor complaint. Nice, steady carbonation in thin threads from the bottom of the chalice.

The aroma is at once more complex, and more muted than the Red. What's hiding in there? Clove, candied fruit, and...mystery. There is a light slap of alcohol (and at 9% it would be unavoidable) but it's more of an inticement than anything else.

The first thing to hit the tongue is a crisp wine-like essense, carried on a silken mouthfeel. If autumn had a taste, it would be this. Dark, earthy spice, oak, berries, and plum. Reminds me of a November sunset, bracing with the promise of frost. (The alcohol must be taking over - I'm rhapsodizing here ;))

Too hard to judge after only one, as it shows you something new each time. This beer is like a beautiful woman - she won't give up her secrets readily. I love this beer, and it's only due to the prohibitive cost that it's not a daily thing for me. As high-brow as beer gets.

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

A: Cloudy brownish color with some sediment noted. Huge tan head with some very nice lacing.
S: Sort of yeasty right up front. Hints of a clovey spicyness. Alcohol smell is pretty strong, and carries a fruity aroma with it.
T: Mostly a sweet, fruity taste. Nice malt flavor throughout. Has a bit less of a raisin taste than the Red label.
M: Medium/full in body. Alcohol feels pretty strong in this one.
D&N: Less complex in smell and taste than the Red label, I think I'll set a few of these in the cellar to age for a bit and give this one another go. Still a very nice beer.

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

My first Belgian and what an awesome initiation. Pours dark brown with a ton of head. I had to stop pouring because I thought I might end up with only foam. After it settled down, a nice 11/2 inch thick, tan foamy head remained. Tasting the beer through the thick foam was a delight. The first taste was very impressive. For 9% abv, I expected a stronger alcohol taste, but it was suppressed very well.

This is a fabulous beer, one that I will buy many times. Only bought a single this time around, but next time will pick up several.

This is what brewing is all about, and the trappists really know how to do it.

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

I poured this the beer into a Chimay chalice. The color was a piercing bright red and very clear. The head was well developed and always stayed rather thick and creamy. It laced quite well down the sides of the chalice.
The smell was very complex. In the begining it seems rather yeasty or maybe nutmeg it then turns to a spice and finishes with a slight hint of grapes of some sort of fruit.
The taste was very pleasing and very smooth. It starts with a sweet flavor of malt. Then you taste some spice or pepper like flavor in it mixed with a dry feeling that coats your mouth and tingles from the alcohol. As I got to the last 3-4 sips from the chalice it almost seemed like there was a different smell, maybe from the warming of the beer, that seemed to me was like rose pedals or some sort of flower. Was very nice.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.37/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - poured into a chalice, it appears somewhere between brown and a muddy purple. Flaky sediment evenly dispersed throughout the glass. A brief head ends up with only a few stray bubbles around the edge. Unique look for a brew.

Aroma - spicy yeast, some light fruit sweetness at first, then everything kind of dissipates. After a few moments any smell is completely gone. Bummer.

Taste - light malt, lots of bready, yeasty taste, a bit of sweetness, and plenty of alcohol. The active carbonation gives it a sweet/salty blend. A vinous swallow, like a medium red wine. Finishes with a bite, a little background hop grapefruitiness, and alcohol warmth in the back of the throat. Not as impressive as I anticipated, but some decent dimensions and tasty.

Mouthfeel - bubbly, of course, somewhat dry, but leaves a thin coating. Well done for this style.

Drinkability - I don't remember what I paid for this some 2 years ago, but to look at it as many times as I did before finally opening it, I gotta say I had higher expectations. Not unfair for a highly rated beer as this. Nothing wrong with it, but I don't see myself buying it again.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to mer who imported this from Italy (hey I was hoping there would be Italian on the bottle, but oh well)...

Appearance: I sampled this in a chalice (not a chimay chalice however), which effects the color a bit...The beer was slightly cloudy and blood red, bordering on brown. Head was about an inch thick on top, white and megenguey (alright, don't know how else to describe it, but it stayed above the top of the glass without spilling over like a merengue pie). Lacing was ample

Smell: Strong yeasty character (as I think a belgian should be)...Alcohol is very prevalent in the nose, but blends well with the a caramel maltiness. Little hop aroma is present to my senses.

Taste: Very warming...alcohol is strong in the flavor and it bites down on the back of your throat. Sweet maltiness and definitely some spiciness are present. Currants come a bit to mind in the flavor. Yeast definitely dominates the taste though

Mouthfeel: High body. Bitterness is low. Alcohol is a bit too prevalent in the brew, and it would definitely help to let this sit for a couple months.

Drinkability is high, despite being 9% alcohol, I can put back a couple...

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Photo of kegerator
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

from start to finish, this is a great one.
pours a hazy deep brown with a nice offwhite head about 1 inch thick or so that dwindles nicely, leaves some good lace behind as you drink
smells of yeast, malt, caramel and some spice.
taste hits with some strong spice up front but finshes smooth with a caramel, malty finish...outstanding
i really enojoyed this one
i gave it all fives except on the appearance, i woudl have liked to see a bigger frothy head, for a strong belgian ale. but it was still awesome

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Photo of pootz
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A great strong ale, but forgive me for not shamelessly fawning over it. It's a treat to drink this once in a while but thank Gambrinus there are more uncompromised belgian beers available. This is still a good beer but not as good as it was a few years ago. This is another beer that can have it's young 2 dimensional character changed slightly by cellaring for a year or more but it would never get to be that old in my cellar ;-)

Poured a dark slightly clouded amber with a smallish off white cap. Aromas of dates or figs or dried apricots. Started with a surprising big mouthful of sweet bready malts before the expected complex/layered banana-fig-hop undertones took over. As the beer sits on the palate the hop accent builds until the finish is surprisingly drying.

A very delightful strong ale but every time I've tasted it fresh and it has appeared slightly different each time. This may be a matter of ingredient linearity or it could be the brewers equivilent to a "vintage" where there is some batch to batch character differences. All in all, a wonderful drink but may be over rated by some.

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

Appearance: Large bubbling head and dark amber color.
Smell: Figs and bananas as well as hop bitterness.
Taste: Starts with a slight wheat-like taste, then a surprising amount of hops, then typical figs and bananas, then a little warming alcohol. Not your typical Trappist ale.
Mouthfeel: Very high carbonation and a smooth feel.
Drinkability: A 750 of this is just right. Good after-dinner beer.

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Photo of Anonmatel
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Maybe i got a bad batch or something, but i didn't think this beer was that good. The beer itself looked great in glass, and smelt pretty good, i could taste everything that was there (i think). I was suprised to find i couldn't really taste the alcohol much in it. It had a nice clean crisp (albiet early) finish.Maybe it's just me, but i really didn't have much to say about this beer.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wandering down the streets of Kazan, Tatarstan, some 600 miles east of Moscow, I decided to stick my head into the local supermarket just to see what they have. Sure, good selection of local and national brands, then I turn around and find a BA Top 50 beer staring me in the face. Naturally, I buy it. Brown 750ml wine bottle with cork and cage, plain blue and white label. Vintage 2003. Sugar is an ingredient. Best before 2008, I popped it on 4/30/04.

Very attractive pour - cloudy deep brown with a hint of burgundy under a 2.5 finger that showed some nice contour at first but settled to smooth creaminess a bit too quickly. I see only spots of lace on the glass. The nose is not as strong as I would like. What's there is fruity with yeast undertones and just a nip of hops astringency. The mouth is champagne prickly and fairly light - I had hoped for more body. The taste is nice, mild cranberry and cherry, with some definite fruity yeast flavors to open, followed by a reserved but noteworthy hoppy bite to finish. The aftertaste nicely combines the sweet fruit and the hoppy bitter in an impression that keeps dragging you back for more. Am I blown away by this beer? No. But it sure is very, very good.

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

You almost can't call this beer:
It's in its own class. Re-rate: Drank an old (3 year late 90's vintage) bottle that I put away. Smoother (if you can even believe it) with age. Somewhat sweet, with an incredible smoothness. Yet another re-rate. This one was bottled in 01/03. I have to agree with some of the others who have noted the decline of this beer. It is still very good, but I just can't call it exceptional anymore. Some of the subtleness and complexity has left it.

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Photo of merlin48
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz stubby bottle, pours a deep chestnut brown, essentially opaque, body. Two finger, tan colored head is tightknit and leaves beautiful, Brussels lace all over the St Bernardus goblet.
Nice aroma, with bananas and raisins battling a strong coriander note for supremacy. Barnyard yeastiness is also prominent.
Mouthfeel is similar to most dark, and pale, Belgian ales, with a fizzy, explosion of carbonation.
Taste is fruity malt, with figs and raisins in the forefront. Cloves, corainder, and rosemary provide the compliment of aggressive spiciness. Nothing conceals the alcohol here, but why worry when you're enjoying a big Trappist Belgian dark ale. Finish is very spicy, with coriander.
Not my favorite Chimay, nor does it rank up there with my favorite Trappist ales. Still, for a Belgian strong dark ale, this is one of the great ones.

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Photo of anders36
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very, very dark amber colour into the glass. I didn't have the right glass, but wanted to drink the beer anyway. It has a thick creamy head. The smell is fruity and spiecy. A little burned smell and smell of brown sugar. The taste is lovely, with some sweetness and not much bitterness. A little roasted taste of fudge. This is a beer that i like very much. I have tasted it from a 75cl bottle and it was even better than the 33cl bottle that i bought.

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Photo of Trentonator
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has opened my eyes to what great beer should really be like. Drinking this beer is like a religious experience (appropriately, since it is brewed by monks). Unbelievably beautiful and majestic appearance, with a thick creamy head that dissipates ever so slowly leaving an enticing lace. Constant bubbling, and an aroma that can only be described as sensuous. Tastes like nothing I have ever experienced before. Smoky, almost cognac like, it is a beer to be savored and cherished. A bit pricey ($ 12 for a 750 ml), but well worth every penny. This beer will also sneak up on you very seductively, with it's 9% ABV, and before you know it, you will be inebriated, but HAPPY. VERY HAPPY. Do yourself a favor and splurge for a bottle of this excellent beer. These monks can brew!

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Photo of jwilli7122
3.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a very dark, murky, blackish orange/peach. The color of...an empty beer bottle, or a nightcrawler's back. very large, bubbly white head, that fades eventually.

smells very strong of cloves, fruit, and sweet alchohol, as in champagne.

taste of cloves dominates, with some wood, and sweet alchohol flavors. Huge clove aftertaste. I'm not a huge fan.

mouthfeel is full in texture, but light in weight. good.
acceptably drinkable for a 9.0. This tastes very unique and...formal - like it would be appropriate whenever a bottle of wine would be. if i was blind folded, i would not know this was beer. an interesting beverage, but i can't say "clove" is one of my preferred flavors, and i don't forsee myself drinking this beer often.

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Photo of WaltTrombone
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at cellar temperature, in a Chimay chalice. The cork had a date of 07/03. It poured a dark brown, with a light tan head. Aromas of clove, ginger, malt, and sugar. The tastes were maybe not as complex as, say something from Ommegang or Unibroue, but still a good representation. Ginger, clove, malt, leather, lemon, and caramel all swirled around on my happy tongue. The mouthfeel was light, with small, fizzy carbonation. It finished up with clove, caramel, and leather. Very tasty, indeed!

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet, brown just like the bottle, moderate bubbly head. Condenses and becomes more foamy.

Pleasant but not particularly strong aroma. Alcohol, fruits, light sweetness and almost raisin-like aromas come through.

Nice full body, medium carbonation. Almost red-wine like flavors. Slight alcohol notes with a light fruitiness, but not citrusy.

Slight lacing down the glass, an excellent beer. I don't think I can describe well enough how good this beer is, just try it.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bomber with 07/03 on the caged cork.
Aroma: A wine like smell with a strong dose of yeast, pepper, alcohol and a bit of malt.
Appearance: Dark brown/black with ruby edges in backlight. As the level dropped a more clearly brown color took over. Tan head that formed a short lasting largish sized bubble froth before dying down to a thin coat. Got an odd head pattern in my goblet, the very center had an active plume of carbonation, which after sips formed a distinct eye shape with a bubbling iris. Ok, it IS 9%, but that’s what it looked like.
Flavor: A red wine like taste, again with the strong yeast flavor and a small dose of plum. My description isn’t adequate to describe this wonderful beer. The yeast taste is a cousin of the Unibroue line and complements the fruit tastes nicely.
Mouthfeel: Perfect medium body with a slight prickle before it vanishes. Nice and dry with a silky smoothness.
Overall Impression: An amazing beer. It improved as it warmed, so I suggest starting off near cellar temperatures. This has wonderful mouthfeel and a very enjoyable taste. The high alcohol rules this out for any kind of session beer, but as for drinkability, I was disappointed when the bomber was gone (and more than a little inebriated). Not a lot going on in the aroma and it’s not exactly easy on the eyes, but I’ll be stashing more of these babies away next beer hunt. I recommend you do too.

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

Dark brown and slightly hazey. Head is light and doesn't stick around long.

Scent of alchohol and berries. Hops come through as well and give it a warm smell.

Sweet in mouth. Flavor is strong with grassy notes. Grain comes through along with some mild bitterness in finish. Overall it's good but not as good as I would expect.

Carbonation levels are good. Coats tounge well. Overall feels really nice.

I was a little let down by the flavor of this. Alchohol content is high and you can taste it. I think that would make it hard to drink a lot of these.

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

750ml Corked bottle with 01/03 on cork. Poured a reddish brown with a creamy tan head that settled down to a thin film. Aroma is spicy and with lots of yeast present. Peppery and slightly floral. Body is smooth and creamy and with an even carbonation. The flavor is a fruity malty one with yeast and sugar notes. Overall a fine Belgian that is the most available one I can think of.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,299 ratings.