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

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

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6,368 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,368
Reviews: 2,152
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 280
Gots: 771 | FT: 11
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,368 | Reviews: 2,152 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CaptainTripps
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip.

A: Poured a beautiful hazy dark orangish brown that came with 3 fingers worth of tan head. Really beautiful beer. Left tons of lacing on the glass.

S: Dark fruits come out of the wood work this beer: plums and figs really come to mind. Some spice and earthy tons are coming out, along with some Belgian yeast.

T: Where I think this beer really hits it on the nose is how the spicy yeastyness plays with the sweet qualities of the beer. It really flows nicely and is very smooth tasting with a fry finish. Belgiain dark fruits come into play that makes this beer uber good.

M: Plentiful carbonation with this beer, alcohol is very well hidden and complements the flavors nicely. Beer is super smooth drinking.

D: Very high with this beer. Being passing up this beer at the store for some time and I have been very impressed!!! Very good beer, will be coming back to this one.

CaptainTripps, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of nataku00
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer I haven't had in a while but it's nice to revisit old favorites.

Poured from a year old bottle into a tulip glass. Initial finger of tan colored fluffy head dissipated after a few minutes to a collar of small bubbles that leave a lot of nice lacing that gently slides into the beer after a few minutes. Beer is dark cloudy brown, with lighter browns and oranges at the edge of the glass. Tons of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is rum soaked dark fruits like raisins, figs and plums, sweet caramel, grainy bread, cloves.

Tastes similar to the nose, boozy dark fruits and grainy breads with a bit floral hops. Nice balance of the sweetness, alcohol, and drying bitterness from the hops used, especially on the somewhat dry finish.

A bit thin on the tongue, with the ample carbonation pretty aggressive. Definitely not as sweet as some other Belgian strong dark ales or quads that I've tried, which helps make it more drinkable, as the alcohol is just a light warmth in your throat.

nataku00, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice brown color with plenty of sediment floating around. Great 2 finger head

S: First thing that comes to mind is grape juice. The dark fruits are big time in this beer, and I'm not complaining one bit! Behind the fruit is some yeast and alcohol, but these are nothing compared to the fruit

T: Pretty much the same as the smell. Big showcase in the dark fruit department all the way through. Making appearances are again the belgian yeast and some nice warming alcohol

M: Medium-heavy body with plenty of carbonation. Nice and smooth after the initial taste

D: This is one of those beers that you know you shouldn't drink too fast but have a difficult time holding back. SO easy to drink, but very dangerous at 9%

BEERMILER12, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of glazeman
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Dark brown in color with a 3 finger off-white head that has moderate retention and decent lacing. The head is fairly light weight and not very fluffy which gives it a little less lacing than other beers of this style.

S: A lot of yeastiness, earthiness, and some funk dominate the nose. There's a little bit of soapiness and caramel malt.

T: There are some mild fruits up front such as apple and pear. In the middle I get toasted malt and some yeastiness. There's light floral hops and nuts/woodiness at the finish.

M: I thought this beer had near perfect mouthfeel for the style. The carbonation was appropriately high, without distracting from the overall experience. The beer was crisp and had a good aftertaste.

D: This beer has fairly high drinkability. The alcohol is not really noticeable and the flavors are complex and interesting.

glazeman, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of beerlove82
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A:Nice Creamy tan two finger caramel head with a dark caramel honey brown cloudy appearance.

S: Notes of sweet port wine, fruit notes, caramel and honey also, a hint of spices. Yeast

T: Heaven! honey, fruit, caramel, yeast, theres a lot going on here, can't explain it all but its great!

M: Perfect carbonation, not too dry, refreshing.

D: If I could drink this all day I would be one happy man, but a very drunk one at that. Everything is perfect here!

beerlove82, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottle (2010)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

A murky reddish brown liquid with a thin head that dissipates quickly although this beer is terrifically carbonated. Very little to no lacing left on the glass.

Aromas of raisins, prunes, and cherries are there but I have to struggle to find them.

Sweet malts and dark fruits. Tastes of prunes and raisins and cherries with little hops and plenty of malt sweetness.

Medium to thick mouthfeel bordering on luscious. Very nice.

Drinkable even at 9%.

A relatively boring Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I'd been holding off on trying this for some time as I'd held it as the gold standard, but this beer disappoints on almost every level. While this is still a terrific, delicious, and accessible beer, it's reputation appears greater than its merit.

ehammond1, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of jeranbrews
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - lots of fluffy beige head. Color is a cloudy yeasty dark pumpkin amber

S - yeast and air. Needs to warm a sec. Some alcohol fusil smells. Vague bitter hops and lots of malt

T - sweet with fusil burn. Plenty of malts. Fruits.

M - no complaints but does burn.

D - not bad. An easy to find Belgian dark. But dig a little deeper and you can find better.

jeranbrews, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of jhubeifc
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

After finding three of the seven trappist ales available at my local Carrefour I indulged about bought one of each. Given it's reputation, I decided to start with the Chimay Bleue in a 33cl bottle. I was not disappointed.
It poured a dark and cloudy chocolate/caramel color into the glass and left a creamy head which did not disappear right away, but left an enjoyable froth and lacing on the sides of my glass.
It had a much fruitier fragrance than I expected given it's strength and color with yeast in for good measure. I actually found my mouth water when i wafted it in.
Again, it's flavor surprised me. I have tried my fair share of beer at and over 9% abv and I usually find them overpowering but not this one. It had good dried fruit and bread/grains to the palate with a pleasant malt without the over powering sensation of a high alcohol content. It finished a mild bitter and left me swirling, smelling and sipping until it was done.
Given that I am new to the Trappist beers I may have to come back to this review at some point in the future. I am not, however, new to Belgian beers and this is one fine example of a good strong Belgian Ale. Undoubtedly worth a try by anyone who loves beer.

jhubeifc, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of Ashmada
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark reddish brown, with a sizeable head that progressively recedes, perfect fizziness. Very inviting.

S: Brown sugar, cocoa, yeast, dark fruits, light undetermined spices.
Non-aggressive smell that coaxes you into tasting but does not tell the whole story, a teasing smell.

T: Sweet and creamy, grapes open the ball, followed by malt and dark cherries, slight hint of vanilla.The spices are more present, the alcohol well-hidden and a dry finish.
Very slight bitterness.

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, doesn't cling to the palate, but invites another sip.

D: Very drinkable, but beware the treacherous ABV.

Ashmada, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of CyR
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown

S: Spices, taste typical Belgian beer, a little pepper and bitter chocolate

T: Well spicy, syrupy, chocolate

M: An aftertaste that reminds a bit of Porto

D: Fairly easy to drink despite alcohol


A beer tasting, which matures in fine style in the cellar where it is reminiscent of good Madeira wine. A standard

CyR, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of phisigben
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I served this in my Chimay goblet

Look - This pour a cloudy dark amber/brown, there is a very nice white fluffy head that dissipates to a little ring of head.

Smell - I get apples, Belgium yeast, dark fruits, caramel, and a spice that I cant put my finger on

Taste - I get more dark fruits than apple on the first sip, the Belgium yeast is very good, I really don't taste any caramel that I got in the nose. The spice is certainly more balanced to the sweetness on the palate than it was in the nose.

Mouthfeel - This beer coats the mouth very well, medium carbonation, and the 9% alc is hard to pick up if I drank this without knowing the alc % I would have said 6-7%.

Drinakability - Great drinkability sweet to spice ratio is very well balanced, the alc is hardly noticeable, and I paid $9.99 for a 750ml bottle.

phisigben, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of nickthetick
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clouded brown into a chimay chalice with a finger of tan head that hangs around for the drinking experience. Not a whole lot of lacing left on the glass.

S: dark roasted malt translates into a dark roast coffee aroma. A little hop presence in the form of a blood orange or dark citrus.

T: coffee hints with a tad of anise. Toasty malts like a sweet overcooked biscuit. The hops are there but not a huge part of the profile. Dried dark pitted fruits are left hanging on the tongue.

MF: a nice middle of the row belgian, medium body wit just enough effervescence and not to astringent.

D: love this beer and if I can get it with a free glass I'll never pass it up but I would defiantly pick up a bomber of this if I saw it in a heart beat.

nickthetick, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of Monkey962
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 11.2 oz bottle into a small goblet-as close as I can get to a Chimay goblet!

Appearance: A particularly attractive shade of amber red and brown. It yields a rather small head with delicate lacing.

Aroma: The aforementioned small head gives off an aroma of coffee and caramel.

Taste: The caramel scent carries over along with some sweet chocolate notes and some spiciness. Unfortunately for any hopheads, this beer is not that bitter. I noticed the day after that the beer gave me a spicy, almost oniony aftertaste.

Feel: The feel is very smooth, and the high amount of alcohol creates a very refreshing finish.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, in spite of the high alcohol content, which is hidden well by the complex, sweet and spicy flavors. The only downside is the price, nearly $5 for such a tiny bottle!

Monkey962, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of mjn5036
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged poured into a snifter. Chimay Blue pours earth-brown with red highlights. It looks like a caramel covered red delicious apple. A pleasant, fairly large, nearly white head arises and subsides with haste. Carbonation races to the top long after the beer has been poured.

This one smells like dark sweet fruits, Belgian sugars and yeasts. Apple, grapes and raisons come to mind. A spicy profile lingers in the background.

Taste is reminiscent of the nose as far as the dark fruits are concerned; however the taste is less sweet than the nose would lead you to believe. Undertones of spice are quite nice and become more noticeable as it warms.

Drinkability is very high and the alcohol is really only noticed in the warming effect. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth; medium bodied and has a somewhat dry finish.

mjn5036, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO giftpack. 330ml served in my Chimay chalice.

Poured a dark brown/mahogany with a few fingers of creamy, light tan head. Tons of suspended yeast in this one. Great head retention. Nose is quite "soft and subtle" with some dark fruits, plums, light raisin and grape skins. Alot of the notes arise from the yeast as well. Taste is sweet and warming, with a slight acidity; in most respects similar to the nose in terms of the fruits. Relatively high carbonation, but the mouthfeel just hits the nail on the head for me. Smooth and sweet with a bit of stickiness. Drinkability is ideal given the ABV. Great stuff. 45/4/45/45/5

Re-reviewed November 13, 2011: part of the QuadShowdown, 2006 vintage. Nose of overripe grapes, sweet brown sugars, lightly vinous and slightly funky notes. Taste is lightly spicy, plums, grapes, and dark fruits. Vanilla and brown sugar. Gentle carbonation, solid feel, fairly low carbonation. Creamy and fairly sweet. Very nice with age, just as grapey as I recall it being when young, Still some good flavours and great complexity.

liamt07, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of rpardon7
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a deep reddish brown with a thick tannish head that retained for sometime and left generous lacing on the glass. Smell is bready malt dark fruit raisins and plums with a slight earthy yeasty funk. Taste is bready sweet malt dark fruits with a spicy finish. Mouthfeel is sharp and tight but has such a phenomenal smoothness. Drinkability is wonderful, this is a great beer!

rpardon7, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of boudreaux
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the 11.2 oz bottle into a chalice.

Poured a dark red/brown with a light tan head.Great lacing

Smells and tastes of dark fruits and malt. Slight spice and alchohol burn. Great!

Mouthfeel is nice, there's a slight thick creaminess due to the sediment and fluffy bubbles. Pretty much the best mouthfeel i've ever had

Drinkability is scary good, especially since the abv is 9%!
Serving type: bottle

boudreaux, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of GallowsThief
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bomber into my Duvel tulip.

A - Deep caramel brown pour with about a 3 inch creamy brown head. Head recded quickly and left almost no lacing whatsoever.

S - Sweet, malty smell. Had a very flowery aroma. Smells of dark fruits.

T - Very nice bready malt taste if the first thing. You get a nice fruit taste immediately after which reminds me of a green apple. Just a touch of tartness. You get just a bit of that boozy alcohol feel at the end that is very warming.

M - Lively mouthfeel with good carbonation. Medium bodied. Very smooth and creamy.

D - This is a fine sipping ale to be enjoyed slowly. I can see drinking this bad boy while sitting in a smoky club relaxing.

GallowsThief, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of Zimbo
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


I really want to like this. No, actually, I really want to love this. But I can't. It sure pours an easy head with an appetising hazy brown chestnut colour but it struggles to retain that head for the duration of the drink.

Seems quite advanced for a 2010. Fairly thin and dilute and pretty carbonated. The taste is pretty one dimensional. Gives a sharpness which is not entirely developed. But structually this is just too soft and sweet for what it is supposed to be. And this beer doesn't have the stuffing to be for the long haul. Far too simple.

It's been well over twenty years now but please, please bring back the Brew House Copper and the open squares.

Zimbo, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of keithmurray
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Dark mahogany color with khaki head

smell - cocoa, raisins, plums

taste - not quite as good as the smell, cherries in the finish, raisins, plums, grapes

mouthfeel - body is a bit light for the style, medium carbonation , no booziness to speak of

drinkability - this is a decent beverage

keithmurray, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of noel2977
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle I had cellared for a year... into an Ommegang chalice.

A - hazy, coppery, reddish tint. Opaque. Decent head that dissapates quickly. No lacing on the glass. Sediment noticeable in the bottle.

S - interesting... dank, earthy, with a hint of subdued dark fruit.

T - here's where it gets interesting. I wanted to see what a year in the cellar would do... First wave of belgian spices, slightly subdued. Flavors of apple and fig cascade into pear, and then another layer of spice. Sweet maltiness on the finish. Great character of fresh Chimay, but more 'mature'. Interesting - compleixtiy is maintained, but the alcohol burn isnt present.

M - Craemy, bubbly, yet not oily or mouthcoating.

D - 9% alcohol and such a complex bomb - one's enough.

noel2977, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of crafbrewwhore
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened a 25 oz. bottle, from 2009.

Was alittle leary being it the first bottle I have cellared and opened. Put it in the fridge overnight to bring to temp. Once opened it was pure joy.

-It poured a nice dark brown/red tint.

- Taste for being aged was exceptional, def. had a bit more kick to it than usual. The alcohol didn't over power the taste though which was nice.

My mom was even impressed and shes become a fan of Chimay over the years.

If this was how good my first aging experience went, I am very excited to try out the others that I have down there now.

crafbrewwhore, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of phideltashaggy
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 11.2 oz bottle into a standard pub glass.

Poured a dark red/brown with a light tan head. Decent lacing

Smells and tastes of dark fruits and malt. Slight spice and alchohol burn. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is nice, there's a slight thick creaminess due to the sediment and fluffy bubbles. I would'nt drink more than one or two at a time.

phideltashaggy, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of orz
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a tulip glass.

A: Dark and cloudy. Head a bit irregular, stays for long.

S: The smell is incredible, sweet and complex.

T: I could feel dark chocolate, pepper and citrus. Alcohol nicely masked.

M: Lacks something - the taste is concentrated on the back of tongue.

D: Easy, however after a bottle you feel dizzy, so be careful ;-)

orz, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of Fatheranderson
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good solid entry into the Belgian Strong Ale style. It's spicy and smooth and slightly sweet but overall just amazingly complex and well done.

Appearance: Dark, rich, succulent. It looks like a mahogany wood finish when poured into a glass.

Smell: Complicated... layered... apple maybe? No not really. Stewed prunes mixed with a hint of apple and pear is the best I can describe it and even that doesn't really strike to the heart of the smell. It really just smells smooth.

Taste: Smooth, complex, deep, rich. There's just a tiny hint of alcohol, but overall it tastes almost exactly like it smells... and it's very hard to explain. There's definitely some plum in there now that I taste it again. Maybe plum, pear, and a hint of hickory wood would be a better description of what it tastes like. Add a hint of cocoa and just a little caramelized sugar and you've got a decent approximation of what it's like. There's a whole lot going on with this beer's taste at the same time, and it's really something you have to experience to completely understand. Also, the taste apparently evolves as the beer warms up, unlocking more levels of flavor like gentle hints of vanilla, maybe a little Irish creme?

Mouthfeel: just enough bite from the carbonation to keep it from feeling flat without being overbearing.

Drinkability: it's a very complicated beer which, like any good brandy requires multiple tastings to truly experience all of it.

Overall: this beer is a rich, complex, delightful ale that evolves as it warms. It isn't boozy, but it isn't completely beer either. It's a very unique, well balance ale that requires an experienced beer connoisseur to completely appreciate.

Fatheranderson, Jan 24, 2011
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,368 ratings.