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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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5,542 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5542
Reviews: 2119
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,542 | Reviews: 2,119 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Mike_Moe


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

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


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

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

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


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

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.


Serving type: bottle

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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
Photo of vfgccp

New York

4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle opened in 2013.

A - Nice looking brew. Deep brown body with cranberry highlights. Light khaki head with low retention and lace.

S - Soft and well integrated. Chestnut, banana, nutmeg, brown sugar, caramel, pumpernickel bread.

T - Raisin, fresh pumpernickel bread, banana, roasted chestnut, white booze, black pepper, and caramel.

M - Medium body with nice carbonation.

O - One of the original quad archetype. It reminds you how well balanced and restrained this style used to be before American brewers started brewing the style on steroids.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 00:42:20 | More by vfgccp
Photo of RockChalkWoody


3.76/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very tasty beer. Definitely taste the spice and some fruit as well. It's a solid beer--I would've enjoyed it more if I had actually served at the proper temperature and glass. That's on me.

I will definitely try this again...and get it right next time.

I will say this--it is an excellent beer to sip on while sitting on my back patio enjoying this cool October evening in the Midwest. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 23:32:35 | More by RockChalkWoody
Photo of Xalkalinex


4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Really nice amber color, finger and a half thick head, champaign like carbonation.
Malty, honey with a slight sweetness on the way down. This is a champaign like beer, one of my favorites by far.

Overall, ignore the price tag and get you some, if you think Budweiser is the king of beers, you are lost. Chimay is my favorite beer so far will definitely need another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 18:20:07 | More by Xalkalinex
Photo of watermelon

North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Super opaque dark amber. With a creamy coffee head that left a fair amount of lacing.

S: strong honey and malt scents, also raisins.

T: Super sweet malt flavor, very sweet fruity flavor, some alcohol is present but this beer is 9 percent.

M: Good full mouth feel very full.

O: I really enjoyed it. It cost 15 bucks at the store, not sure its worth that but Im glad I got the chance to try it.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 02:46:10 | More by watermelon
Photo of thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

330 mL stubby bottle picked up at the LCBO; 'best before' 2018. I was honestly shocked to see this one on the shelves of a store right down the street from me that I neglect to check regularly. I quickly scooped up a couple of bottles, because I've heard great things about this one (and it's also the only flagship Chimay product I haven't yet tried). Served at cellar temperature, and poured into a tulip.

Pours a muddy reddish-brown colour, erupting at first with nearly three fingers of head (I guess it's been a while since I've poured into this glass). It dies down gradually over a span of five to ten minutes, coating the sides with gobs of lacing, and eventually leaving behind a creamy cap and generous collar. Looks awesome, and the aroma is equally enticing - there is a good mixture of raisins, figs, banana, toasted malts, caramel and molasses. Nothing out of the ordinary for the style; quite yeasty.

Very tasty stuff, though not exactly as complex as I'd hoped after sniffing it. Dark fruits dominate at first, including the aforementioned raisin/fig duo, in addition to some dark cherry and baker's chocolate. This transitions into some caramel and molasses sweetness, with a touch of banana. The finish offers a combination of malt sweetness, yeast and light clove spice, leaving behind a mildly sweet/roasty aftertaste behind on the palate. I am astonished at how well the alcohol is hidden here; it's detectable, but it integrates perfectly with the rest of the flavours. Full-bodied and very smooth, with mild carbonation that gently prickles the tongue. Deceptively drinkable at 9%, though it sure hits your head quick once you stand up out of your seat.

Final Grade: 4.51, an exceptional A grade. This isn't a style I drink much of on a regular basis, but Chimay Blue is easily my favourite BSDA so far. This is delicious fresh, but I think it's safe to say it would be worth holding onto a bottle or two for a few years - this stuff is made for cellaring, and I hope to review this same vintage in 2015-16 or so. The only problem: mustering up the self-control required to stop myself from opening the remaining bottles of this incredible brew until then!

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 17:24:51 | More by thehyperduck
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 5,542 ratings.