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

Not Rated.
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,019 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,019
Reviews: 2,136
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 243
Gots: 589 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,019 | Reviews: 2,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

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

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

4.5 A: Murky medium brown color. Two plus fingers of super creamy light tan head with great retention and good amounts of lacing. Very good so far.

3.5 S: The nose is too weak, but pleasant. Main aromas that can be picked out are yeasty clove, plum, and dark candi sugar.

4.0 T: The taste is a lot stronger than the nose, which is much preferred. Raisin, plum, and tobacco fruitiness. Clove and pepper spiciness. Nutty with a bit of toastiness. Solid.

4.0 M: Lighter body. Good spritzy carbonation. Goes down pretty easy.

4.0 D: Definitely a solid offering, but I think there are some US breweries making stuff just as good at lower non-import prices. Still, this is something to enjoy from time to time. Good all around, but could use an infusion of power into the aroma.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 03:26:12 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of busternuggz
busternuggz

California

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a Belgian glass.
Nice dark brown with a ruby/garnet tint and an amazingly persistent thick, lush, pillowy head. Leaves thick curtains of lacing.
Nice smells of dried dates and herbs- like licorice root and/or gentian- at first. As it warms I smell some cloves and cinammon bark, a little bit of sugar- like turbinado sugar or something similar, and some kind of caramelized or candied dark fruit. A little like a rich fruitcake. Smells interesting but a little weird.
Caramel, cocoa, stewed sweet figs, and light molasses on the taste, with some brown sugar notes toward the finish. The molasses comes back on the aftertaste, followed by a bit of dank earthiness. There's some floral notes too, like wet fresh flowers, and a bit of a menthol/medicinal taste. There's some sweetness but it's well balanced by the earthy and herbal notes, and the carbonation. As it warms the tastes blend together more smoothly and the herbal and floral notes die down. Very complex and exquisite, very close to a 5 on taste if not for just a bit too much of the medicinal quality.
The texture is nice, carbonated enough to balance the body and sweetness yet still ends smooth and clean. Coats the tongue just slightly.
For its complexity and alcohol, very drinkable. Hides the alcohol very well, though you get a peek at times. I could see cracking another one when I'm done just to dig in to all of these flavors again.
An amazing beer. The nose, while interesting and complex, is slightly off-putting, and that menthol medicinal taste is a bit odd, but those are my only small complaints. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 05:12:05 | More by busternuggz
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich aromas of dark fruits, prumes, figs, dark sweet caramel malts mixed in with some clove and Belgian spiciness; some slight vanilla as well.

The taste is light notes of dark fruit, pear, raisin, and slight cloviness. Finish is sweet and spicy with a candy quality throughout. Lesser notes of maple, vanilla, tangerine, and nutmeg are present as well.

The mouthfeel mouth is lighter than expected due to the soft and creamy carbonation. Alcohol is slightly noticeable in the finish but pleasant. Very soft mouthfeel.

Overall this is one of the best on the planet. Gets improved ratings as well because of the ease at which this can be found all across the country. Definitely a world class beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 18:04:28 | More by claspada
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
StoneBrewFanatic

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy amber/brown into my goblet with about a finger of light tan foam. Retention is fantastic with moderate lacing.

S - Lots of dark fruit, cherries, currants, some apple, roasted caramel malts, and sweet brown sugar. Alcohol presence is there but not overwhelming.

T - Lots of caramel malts, has a toffee like sweetness to it. Big dark cherry presence with just a hint of vanilla and a nice peppery spice in the finish. Moderate warming sensation from the alcohol.

M - Medium to to full in body, high level of carbonation lends well this beer, crisp and dry.

D - This beer is really great, nicely balanced and very enjoyable. A nice treat every so often.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 21:41:09 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of TheSeeker61
TheSeeker61

Georgia

4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yes indeed. Poured a dark amber with a three finger head which diminished but a nice ring and good lacing decided to hang around. Simply beautiful.

Ah the smell was very pleasant with raisins and cherries dominating. This certainly reminded me of the fruit cakes my grandmother baked back in the day.

Began with a raisin fig combination which was a main part of the taste and finished with the alcohol warming the chest. The malts were very apparent as well which led to the sweetness(not too sweet) of the ale.

Mouthfeel was thick and creamy. Really enjoyed it.

The drinkability was smooth and due to the 9%ABV definitely a sipper. Would certainly indulge again. Oh yeah definitely gets better as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 20:40:18 | More by TheSeeker61
Photo of pilotgod
pilotgod

Oklahoma

4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured 07/09 vintage from the 750ml into a Chimay chalice.

A: Wonderful dark color that appears brown, when held to a light it becomes apparent it is really a dark burgundy. When poured with 45 degree tilt it leaves a good nearly two finger head that remains all the way through the drink and leaves great Belgian lace.

S: Lots of fruit and floral notes, must be how the monastery's gardens smell in Spring. Better noses will pick out specific fruits, I detect cherry and possibly apple. The malt notes are very apparent, but there is bit of an alcohol nip that can overpower the other notes. Great smell, but not the best of the Trappist styles.

T: Excellent, smooth and malty. Fruit apparent is mainly a dark cherry note with malty presence to sweeten. This is balance by hoppy notes. The whole ensemble comes together to produce one of my favorite brews.

M: Good, the carbonation can be a little too much. The mouthfeel goes up the longer the beer is aged.

D: This is one of my favorite brews. I can drink it for lunch, dinner, after dinner and just because. The only issue I've found is that everyone agrees it is best to age it. Sorry, but I can't have a bottle of this and let it sit. I HAVE to drink it. If you've never had a Trappist Ale this is the best one to start with. Sure, there are others that are as good or better, but for the price, this is a great beer to get.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 23:24:51 | More by pilotgod
Photo of scottbrew4u
scottbrew4u

Pennsylvania

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

A: Pours into chalice a clear brown color with some burgundy tones and a two-finger tall frothy tan head that settles beautifully but remains the whole time. Lacing is present.

S: Candy apples, molasses, dark cherries, vanilla, rich roasted malt complexity with a hint of burnt malt. More cherries and fruity esters keep going wild and wonderful and somewhat port like. Some spice from yeast and hops in the background.

T: Dark cherries, black currants, vanilla, jasmine, roasted caramel and bready malts combine with some toffee and molasses sweetness. Some sherry and port like flavors with a spicy yeast and it is a touch of heaven. Finish is smooth and well balanced.

M: Velvety smooth medium to full body with a slight alcohol warmth but mostly well hidden.

D: A luscious beer to say the least! So complex in aroma and flavor but balanced and smooth it is a world class beer worth repeating!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 04:17:50 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

755ml corked bottle, 2009 vintage, poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

A: Pours a red mahogany, opaque, 2-finger foamy head that hangs for a little while and leaves good lacing.

S: Dark fruits, bread, alcohol esters

T: A nicely complex mix of a variety of dark fruits, the esters come through fairly strong, lots of bread with the malt, very little hop presence.

M: A little heavy for a Belgian Strong Ale, but that's good news for me. Fairly dry, especially on the finish. Carbonation is moderate and mellows fairly quickly over time, which is exactly what I want. The alcohol does have a pretty strong presence in the finish, but the esters taste more like that of a dry red wine than anything. Very pleasant.

D: This is definitely a strong beer and the heavy presence of alcohol esters make it tough to drink more than one glass, but the great complex flavors and wine-like finish leave you reaching for more.

Overall I was impressed by this Strong Ale. It didn't blow me away like I was expecting, but it does seem to be growing on me the more Belgian strong ales I try.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 17:20:20 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of BuckyFresh
BuckyFresh

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a very murky dark brown/amber, with a foamy, tan one-finger head. Head recedes fairly quickly, but a thin film remains on the surface, pummeled by the active carbonation below. There is very little carbonation to speak of.

Smell: Aroma is everything I hoped it would be. Wonderful bready yeast, refreshing citrus, and deep dark fruit smells make this one complex and inviting. There is a spicy funk happening as well, and I'm picking up something in the background that smells like cookies.

Taste: Flavor has elements of plumb, yeast, brandy, molasses, raisins, and some spiciness. The bite from the carbonation is a nice contrast from the sweeter side of the beer and helps hide the higher ABV really well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with carbonation that is prickly on the tongue. There is some coating warmth from the alcohol, but much less than beers of a similar ABV.

Drinkability: Drinkability is very good for a beer with such a high alcohol content. The finish is is fairly dry and refreshing. A very well crafted rendition of the style!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 02:12:13 | More by BuckyFresh
Photo of Bi0hazrd
Bi0hazrd

Pennsylvania

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

A: Cloudy dark amber body and a two finger high cream colored head that fades quickly.

S: Dark malt, roasted toffe, apple, cherry, plum, marzipan and dark fruits with a hint of hops.

T: Sweet dark roasted malts, yeasty, and just enough hop bitterness to balance it. Finishes very nice and crisp.

M: Very full bodied. At first I thought that there was more carbonation than I care for but I have decided that it has a good balance of carbonation.

D: This is a very well balanced beer and easy to drink. Some alcohol warmth as to be expected but not overwhelming. All in all a well crafted brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 08:03:07 | More by Bi0hazrd
Photo of carpezytha
carpezytha

California

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into huge goblet-like red wine glass. Temp 46 degrees F.

A: Murky dark amber body with cream colored head that left no lace trace.
S: Dark malt, roasted mushrooms, and toffee with a hint of hops.
T: Sweet dark roasted malts, some earthy tones and just enough hop bitterness to balance it. This is such a balanced beer that it actually is an effort to stop and analyze it.
M: Very full bodied ("I'm big boned!" it seems to say), good balance of carbonation.
D: This is a very well balanced beer and an easy one to drink. Not too complicated or mysterious, just a well crafted and quaffable ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 02:16:31 | More by carpezytha
Photo of demuzik
demuzik

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Most people have already hit this one on the nose, but here's another vote to say its great. Massive malt, caramel, molasses, mysterious spiciness and most importantly - smooothe and creamy. The aroma is deep and almost reminiscent of whisky; perfect balance of malt and alcoholic warmth.
Try it already.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 02:28:58 | More by demuzik
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a cellar temperature 33 cl bottle into a Chimay goblet. The beer has a dark brown color; It is to dark for any light to penetrate. The head is about a finger in thickness and composed of egg shell colored foam. Fairly even lacing is left behind as I swirl the glass about.

The aroma is very interesting. Slightly sweet, it reminds me of a red, velvety candy. There is some molasses. Aspects remind me of ginger snap cookies, although I would say that there is any ginger in the nose. There is only the slightest bitterness, but a grassy aroma is present. A hint of the alcohol is also hidden in the mix.

A smooth, prune and plum like flavor greets my tongue as I sip the beer. A bit of molasses is also apparent. The finish is crisp and effervescent. It has that neat twist that the Chimay yeast provides which has none of the mustiness Belgian yeast strains often impart on a beer. It is an all-around exception strong dark Belgian flavor.

The Blue has a medium body and a lot of carbonation. The bubbles are not distracting, but can certainly be felt, especially if you hold the beer on your tongue briefly before swallowing. A coat is left behind, but it isn't sticky or thick; it is much less intense than other 9% ABV beers.

For such a strong beer, this is incredibly drinkable. I don't think I would have much of a problem if this were a 75 cl bottle. There is a reason this beer is so highly regarded. If you haven't had this beer before, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 02:05:31 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of dpnelson1978
dpnelson1978

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into glass goblet.
50°F

$4.75 / ea.

A: Cloudy brown body topped with a small creamy head that quickly dissipates leaving no lacing and a thin creamy cover.

S: Raisin, ripe red fruit, a heavy dose of maple, and brown sugar. Extremely appetizing aroma. No noticeable hop presence.

T: Raisin and brown sugar dominate the palate. Sweet, but not cloying, there is just enough hop character to keep the flavor from overwhelming. Slightly hot around the middle to end, but the finish is clean.

M: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Slight carbonic bite. Lighter body than I expected.

D: The alcohol is well hidden for such a heavy brew, and the flavor is wonderful. In addition, the mouth is clean, and without the sticky texture one would expect from such sweet nectar.

O: Very good example of the style, and a fantastic accompaniment to steak.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 01:26:47 | More by dpnelson1978
Photo of mikepreed
mikepreed

Ohio

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

I would rate the Chimay Blue as my favorite beer of my favorite style. As classic as the Chimay Red is as Belgian dark ale, the Blue seems to be its perfect evolution.

It pours and looks practically like syrup, but the taste and armoma are surprisingly light and fruity. There is absolutely no hint of the 9% alochol content.

I have a small shrine on my bar as a tribute to this beer -- please come visit if you're worthy ;-)

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 18:06:18 | More by mikepreed
Photo of B967ierhunter177
B967ierhunter177

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy, dark brown color with 1/2 inch tan head. It has a fruity aroma with a hint of brown sugar. The flavor is banana with chocolate and malt sweetness. The chocolate intensifies as it warms. It's got a very full mouthfeel. Chimay Blue is a good beer overall but is very filling which limits it's drinkability to just one. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 02:18:13 | More by B967ierhunter177
Photo of danielplainview
danielplainview

Kentucky

3.38/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance
Hazy shade, burnt reddish brown. The head is there but lacing is subpar

Aroma
Warm and sweet aroma with hints of brown sugar, and caramel. Of course, the usual suspects are present but still the aroma is largely nondescript. I was expecting much more.

Taste
Nothing stands out, again I was expecting more given the hype. Nice malt character but overall weak; fruit, spice, and bitterness for the most part. The bitterness could certainly be from hops but has the slightly burnt sugar character.

Mouthfeel
Medium body; medium carbonation, that is prickly at times. Sweet to medium finish with a long aftertaste of fruit, malt, and spice.

Drinkability not a beer that I could have more than 1 of at a sitting.

Good beer. But I do not feel that this is among the best Belgian brews I have had. Like so many things in our culture that are popular, its not really offensive in any way but it doesn't do much to set itself apart.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 02:29:08 | More by danielplainview
Photo of prdstmnky
prdstmnky

Vermont

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*review from notes - Xmas '09*

A pour from a 750ml bottle into a Christmas chalice, cloudy brown ale with a solid 3 fingers of fluffy head and plenty of yeast particles throughout the glass. Lots of Belgian yeast coming through in the nose...a nice spiciness, fresh bread, dark fruits, sweet malts - wonderful aromas in this beer. The taste falls right in line with the scents, subtle dark fruits (plums were my first thought), the bready yeast, a touch of spice (clove / coriander) and some malty sweetness to balance it all out. Lots of carbonation and the alcohol is well hidden. A great example of the style that is always worth revisiting throughout the year, with our without some age on the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 19:51:51 | More by prdstmnky
Photo of arturorg
arturorg

Spain

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a Westmalle chalice

The bottle is from 2010

A:Dark cola brown, with a small head and patchy lace, small visible carbonation

S: Yeast, Sweet raisins, alcohol.

T: Brown sugar, raisins, bitter ending, warming alcohol, medium carbonation.

Overall a very good beer but with no special traits it's like a generic Trappist if possible, the flavors tends to mud against each other. But still a very good one

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 13:02:52 | More by arturorg
Photo of trevorjn06
trevorjn06

Washington

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany/copper with 2 fingers of off-white/tan head that recedes after a minute. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Aromas are subtle but include mild spice, bready malts, dark fruits such as figs, currant and dark cherries as well as caramel, dark/burnt caramel and hints of roastiness in the background. A wonderfully complex nose.

Taste is well rounded and flavorful yet not over-done. It begins with light caramel and a hint of hop bitterness that moves into sweet fruits such as cherries and raisins accented by dark caramel. The finish has light floral notes, spices and more dark caramel.

Mouthfeel is medium/full with medium carbonation. Flavors coat the entire mouth well.

Overall this Trappist Ale is subtly complex and a joy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 03:39:08 | More by trevorjn06
Photo of Sreidy12
Sreidy12

New York

4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay chalice. Beautiful mahogany brown with an off-white 2-3 finger head that recedes to a thin, yet dense layer.

S: Agitation revealed raisiny smell with alcohol and other dark fruits in the background. I was expecting a stronger aroma, but was still very pleased with it.

T: What a beer. Initially sweet malts and fruit/yeast cover the palate, followed by a dry, alcohol-hop finish. Outstanding.

M: Initially thin with medium carbonation, however as it sits on the palate it becomes fuller and coats the mouth. Very smooth finish.

D: Medium-High drinkability. This is a great beer that, if I had it, I could drink daily.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 23:04:33 | More by Sreidy12
Photo of goalie33
goalie33

New York

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into 13oz tulip glass.
A: Dark brown in color, hazy, a layer of off white head coats the top of the beer. Lots of carbonation.
S: Dark fruit and malts with some yeast.
T: Dark fruits aren't as intense as they are in other beers of this style that I've had. The alcohol is well hidden for a 9% abv beer. Nice bready/biscuty taste on the finish.
M: Fine carbonation and medium body feel nice in the mouth.

This is a top notch beer. My favorite Belgian Dark Ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 04:33:59 | More by goalie33
Photo of chalsk
chalsk

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer. Light flowery bouquet with hints of malt. Nice deep brown color with a thin pillowy head. Very well balanced on the palate, sweet and thin up front, bitterness in the middle and a nice malty, dry finish, that does not outstay its welcome. A full bodied beer. I love the tripel with the lighter fare, especially sushi, but this is the go to beer with steaks.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 01:33:31 | More by chalsk
Photo of rand
rand

California

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

From bomber to tulip glass

Pours a completely opaque mahogany and forms a sudsy, two-finger head that creeps up the tulip glass. The head slowly dissipates leaving little lacing. It smells of sour apples, spice, squah bread and a touch of raisin-rum alcohol. The nose is fairly subdued, but gentle twirling releases the aroma...quite complex.

At the front of the sip, the fruity esters of the yeast combine with caramelly malts, but the alcohol is strong and counters any anticipated sweetness. The raisin-y tones are noted, along with cherries and and holiday spice, suggesting clove and nutmeg. The flavor profile is complex and takes a bit of unraveling. The entire swallow is distinctly bread-like (even for beer), as if fresh, artisan bread soaked up all of these amazing flavors. This brew is soothingly rich and creamy on the palate, so it works best if slowly sipped. Still, the striking balance will keep your interest.

Chimay is a triumph in the art of craft beer, and it's easily overlooked. It's ubiquitous, and with a beer geek's aversion to overly marketed beers, you might forget about it. Don't.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 09:24:18 | More by rand
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Coffee. Black appearance with a deep ruby/brown when held to the light. 4 finger creamy head that recedes quickly.

S- spicy with fruits like apple and cherry. An earthy bread undertone. The strong alcohol stands out in the nose too. Rum? Overall sweet smelling.

T- Toffee, caramel, and spices. Brown sugar? A lot like a port.

M- Smooth with just enough carbonation. Thick but not creamy or filmy. Perfect mouthfeel for me.

D- Not for the tame of heart. It definitely has a strong alcohol. Strong and bold. Very complex and hearty. Rich. Its a sipping beer. You can't go downing six of these.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 02:15:51 | More by JayS2629
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,019 ratings.