1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

6,721 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,721
Reviews: 2,172
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 323
Gots: 959 | FT: 14
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 (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,721 | Reviews: 2,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice, dark brown color with a brown head in a duvel tulip glass. Smell is fruits and spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon). The nice yeasty bready notes are inviting and the flavor gives you a helping of creaminess and deliciousness. This is among the best ales (if not THE best) and definitely one of the best beers I've ever enjoyed.

It also must be noted that for a 9% ABV drink, the content is misleading as the alcohol is perfectly hidden and the drinkability is superb!

Definitely an ale that will remain in my home on a permanent basis.

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

Out of an 11.2 ouncer...

A - Pours a murky, slightly rusty brown. A couple fingers of thick and creamy tan head sit above.

S - Although not real powerful, the smell is spectacular. Dark fruits are most notable for me. Plums, figs, and tart cherries. Then a doughy cinnamon shows up. That Belgian yeast is surely there, but again, a bit subtle. There's also a hint of clove and just enough alcohol that you have to hunt for it.

T - Follows the aroma quite a bit. Nothing overpowering. Everything just works together...sum of the parts thing. The dark fruits are there at the beginning and never really disappear. The balance between the spiciness and sweetness is perfect. I did notice a woody apple note that never appeared in the nose. Taste is impressive.

M - Starts creamy, but does have a little bite toward the end. Actually makes it feel refreshing...pretty good for 9%.

D - In a word. Unreal.

My first 5.0!

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

An exceptional ale. This is my favorite of the Chimays, so I made it my birthday brew this year. Pours dark brown with a creamy fizzy head. Smells of dark fruits and belgian yeast with a hint of alcohol due to the ABV. Moderate and tingly mouth feel. Taste is complex, with dark fruits, candy, chocolate, belgian sugars, phenols, and very sweet and mild hop character. This one is too easy to drink for the ABV - be careful.

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

A: Brown pour with a dense head, off white in color. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Smell is really heavy. Dark fruits, plums and raisons among others, mix with a maltiness that make it pretty distinct.

T: Extremely well balanced. The dark fruits and the malts blend nicely with the alcohol, which is more present as it warms. Very sweet, but not in a way that you can't drink it.

MF: The carbonation is very nice, medium bodied and only hints of alcohol.

D: Really good. I can't wait to try one with some age on it.

Photo of jayhawk73
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown w/ a two finger caramel head. The smell is that of fruit, clove, malt, and alcohol, w/ a little rum mixed in. The taste is fantastic- rum soaked fruit, w/ an earthy-ness, alcohol, and malt. Mouthfeel is nice- very creamy, smooth, w/ an alcohol burn for the aftertaste. I don't mind the alcohol at all, in fact, I think it adds to the overall taste of this beer. Drinkability is great. 9% ABV isn't overwhelming, and this beer goes down pretty easily. Not my favorite Belgian, but the first 'world-class' Belgian that I had. I've had this beer quite a lot, and it's a go-to beer that's gotten many of my friends into Belgian beer. World class all the way...

Photo of amanofbeer
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter, been waiting to try this one for ages now. Very exciting. I set the bottle down after opening to do something, then looked back and it was spurting. I guess that's what happens with nearly a year of bottle conditioning.

The smell is distinct, mellow, and raisony (a descriptive term that merits much use in this review). The smell suggest a very delicate and balanced citrus to the caramelly darkness. I wouldn't call it dark judging by the smell. Minor burnt characteristics

Amazingly delicate for such a variety of flavor. It is perfectly dry, crisp, and even, all the way to the finish. I wish I had some stilton cheese...oh baby...The raison comes through strong.

Mouthfeel is spritely, crisp and clean, and for such a dark beer, that is an amazing feat.

If I had a million dollars, I would drink 2-4 bottles with every meal.

Photo of AwYeh
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a (750ml?) bomber into a goblet. Bottled May 2010.

A: Cloudy mahogany-brown, with a strong finger or two of densely woven, Belgian tan head.

S: Malts, especially dark fruity ones- plums, currants, dried berries- stand out here. Not extremely yeasty (a recent influx of saisons may have ruined my ability to judge this fairly), but just enough to provide a light tang to the aroma. A light spiciness- cloves, very light black pepper- is also here.

T: Quite sweet, much like the aroma; I detect a lot of the same dark fruits, alongside brown and candy sugar flavors. Hints of chocolate, bread, and the aforementioned (still minor) yeast make this one complex and enjoyable. With warmth, the dark fruits take on a grapy/raisiny/winy flavor.

M: Medium/full-bodied with moderate carbonation (a little less than I expected from a Belgian). Somewhat smooth, with a light warming effect from the alcohol.

D: Not hard to have multiple glasses of this; this may not have been my favorite Belgian strong dark ale, but a good, enjoyable beer nonetheless.

Photo of KajII
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

Poured a rich medium to dark brown with a small off-white foamy head that was fully diminishing and had fair lacing. The aroma was of roasted malts, a mild flowery hops and a light scent of a sweet yeast with notes of dried fruit. It tasted slightly bitter-sweet in the beginning with a hint of raisons and finished moderately sweet and malty and had a slight alcohol tinge at the end with the flavor only lasting a short time. Mouthfeel was medium in body and very creamy yet oily in texture. Overall a fantastic/outstanding brew with one hell of a kick. One of my favorites, but don’t drink too many!!!

Photo of bled
3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Like a cloudy mid to dark brown. Medium head that does not last long.

S-Sweet and malty. I can catch a hint of the alcohol in there.

T-A lot of malt in there with some sweetness. The alcohol tends to linger with each sip as well.

M-Carbonation level is on the high side but I do not mind that. Otherwise fairly balanced.

D-There is a bitter aftertaste that tends to linger and they did not do the greatest job hiding the alcohol content. I would say the drinkability here is below average.

Comments- Not really a strong dark ale kind of guy, but I have had others that I liked better. I would probably drink one of these again if given to me but I would not look to buy one. I think Chimay has done better with their Red and White offerings.

Photo of jodyanthony
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice, about half an inch of head that vanished pretty quickly, leaving pretty much no lacing. Was trying it for the first time, after hearing such good things. Did not quite like it on the first taste, but after about the 3rd sip I got it. Nice fruity taste, plums and currants. Yeasty and good. A bit sweet, almost brandy-like. Smells as good as it tastes. A hint of clove to the smell. Good, but I am thinking it would be great with some more age on it. Will definitely keep my other bottles cellared for a while. Looking forward to trying it again in six months to a year.

Photo of OldRaysputin
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a muddy brown with a subtle head. Carbonation throughout...see how this feels on the palate.

S: Sweet and Fruits galore! Not too heavy on alcohol scent..

T: Wow. kind of like eating at a five star restaurant. I dont know if that makes sense. Definitely taste the alcohol here but not overwhelming. Continue to get dark fruits...Raisins in there for sure.

M: Just right. Carbonation looks harsher than it is.

D: Very Drinkable! Respect this brew. Lots of appreciation to the monks that did this one. (Especially nice to drink out of the Chimay goblet!).

Photo of techfed87
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a strong head. Color is a moderate-cloudy brown.

Smell is of sour grapes along with other types of belgian characteristics.

First sip is a bit more sour than I expected it to be. Mouthfeel is quite effervescent and floral.

As my first trappist ale, I can definitely say that I've set my standards high for myself.

Photo of cpmichael
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone snifter, bottle says L10-075

A: Pours a dark, almost muddy brown, with a medium level of head.

S: Beer smells pretty "hot" right off the bat, some dark fruits, raisins and plums, with yeast and a touch of malts.

T: Flavor is dominated by sweet malts and alcohol, raisins come through in the middle, but it's hard to pick out between the abundance of alcohol and the malts.

M/D: This beer does not seem to be well balanced at all, the flavor profile was dominated by two things, pick up subtleties was nearly impossible for me. There did not seem to be any complexities with this beer. And the alcohol was way to present throughout the tasting. Hopefully a bottle with some age would do this beer some good.

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

Bottle 1/10. Poured into snifter.

Poured very dark amber with a tannish head.
Great smell. Oats, malts, slightly sweet from the fruits, and a hint of the alcohol.
Can taste dark fruits, and some roasted malts.
Medium mouthfeel.
High drinkability. Slightly sweet but not overpowering. Dry afterward.

Photo of Goatshaver
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a dark mahogany with a nice two finger head that quickly diminished into a thin layer.

Smell: Smells of some malts with plum, dark fruits and some molasses.

Taste: A nice smooth malt with the dark fruity and plum taste.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation in the mouth with a bit a dryness at the end.

Drinkability: This is very easy to drink and the great carbonation makes it feel nice and light despite its dark color.

Serving type: 750ml bottle poured into snifter

Photo of THECPJ
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 3/2/11:

appearance: murky brown, with slight orangish hue, 2 finger tan head.

smell: dark fruits, sour, acidic,

taste: dark fruits, malts, brown sugar,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thick mouthfeel, well balanced

drinkability: interesting flavor profile. I could only drink this one once in a while definitely not an everyday brew.

Cheers,

The CPJ

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

Bottled 05/10. Pours a dark, murky, reddish brown with a large tan head. The scent on this beer is wonderful! Plenty of dark fruit, molasses, spice, bread, chocolate, and some alcohol. Taste is exactly how it smells. Initially, I get Belgian yeast flavors with delightful spices and dark fruits. Then I get some bread notes with sweet molasses and a hint of dark chocolate. Finishes with more dark fruit. Alcohol is well hidden in this extremely complex beer. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with a nice dry finish. Drinkability is high. This is an amazing beer that I love being able to have easy access to.

Photo of NickRivers
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A&S - Deep brown with a 2 finger head, with a rich malt aroma.

T&M - Syrup-like mouthfeel with bready, spice flavors and some deep chocolate notes, and a biter finish.

D - Not as good as its counterpart but exceptional considering its style

I must say I liked the Red one better, it was lighter and has less roast to it. This has tons of roasty syrupy malts which add a heavier body and take away from the drinkability. That being said this is still an amazing brew. From the minute you take a sip till it hits your stomach it tastes phenomenal. This may replace my Winter Warmer favorites. I really can't wait to get my hands on some Chimay White Tripel. Support your Monks and go buy this now!!! You won't be sorry, some great tastes and great conversation. Stay thirsty my friends!!!

Photo of jsprain1
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a chocolate brown, slightly hazy. Head disappates down to a one finger head that holds there. Very little lacing.
S- A good bit of dark fruit. An underlying spicyness exists but I was somewhat left wanting on that. Slight bit of sweetness and yeast characteristics exist as well.
T- Sweet fruityness, some figs in there. The finish is sweet with a definite yeasty characteristic to it. There is something like a rum flavor in the beer as well.
M- Carbonation is a bit high for my tastes. Body is standard for size. You can notice a bit of sweet slickness until the carbonation wipes it away. You can sense the alcohol but it doesnt quite feel like 9%.
D- I like the beer, but I set my glass down I can't help but feel that it's overrated. Neither my favorite beer from Chimay or my favorite BSDA.

Photo of IPA4LIFE
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Deep brown, dark, hazy color. Eggshell colored 2 finger head with good retention and really coats the glass.

S- Sweet malts, bread, ripe fruit. A little banana, and some dried fruit flavors. Also a little brown sugar going on here. Pretty complex, but nothing too bold or overly exciting.

T-Sweet fruity maltiness. Banana, oak, some hints of dried cherry. Caramel and sugar. Nice and sweet, without being annoyingly so. Overall, a really well balanced, full bodied beer. Amazing taste, I can't find a fault with it.

M- Smooth, full bodied, viscous, great mouthfeel.

D- Very drinkable. No complaints at all.

Photo of zrab11
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy dark brownish orange color with beautiful 3 finger head

S-Has great fruit notes. can smell figs and plums with some nice earthy tones

T-Has a nice yeasty sweet earthy quality to this. Very very smooth

M-Great carbonation with a medium body

D- this is a exceptional beer. i think they should serve this at wedding instead of champagne. All the flavors blend soo nicely. If you have not had thi beer go find it immedietly. You wont be dissapointed

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

750ml bottle 09/10 date on cork

A- dark, reminded me of honey color. basically amber

S-Earthy and Carmel

T- smooth. its got a sweet and spice characteristic

M- Carbonation, medium body

D- This is a great drinker. Goes down smooth, gives you some flavors. Great belgian style ale

Photo of Fenris244
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hazy orangy brown in color, 1 finger creamy head with good retention with a thick lace around the rim of the liquid

smell is very fruity with raisins, cherry and a green grape aroma. notes of burnt sugar and cranberries are also present.

the beer almost has a spicy quality to it, fruity flavors up front with the spice, these flavors fade quite quickly with the slight bitterness and an almost champagne like flavor taking over at the finish. Although it smells sweet after the initial sweetness the beer is pretty dry.

Medium in body and pretty high in carbonation, I'd never guess it was 9 percent abv by its taste and texture, the carbonation lend this beer a smooth quality and the dry finish kinda cool.

Drinkability is above average, the flavors and texture give this beer a pretty unique quality for me and this beer is certainly out of my comfort zone, that said i definitely want more!

Photo of HipHop5
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pored from a 750 dl bottle.

Amazing cloudy extremely dark amber color. Even in front of the light I can't see through the other side.NICE! Love love this. I haven't had one in so long and thinking that my latest IPA craze would take over. Not at all. The head fall pretty quickly with no lacing what so ever on the Chimay goblet. Not oil at all even tough it may seem like it.

Bread yeasty and spices molasses and Malt up front. Predominant sweetness that is not overwhelming. Amazing hop balance in the back keeps all of this goodness in check. Belgium perfection.

Medium carbonation that hold up until the end feel great on the tongue.

decade if not centuries of craftsmanship make this %9 ABV so drinkable with no trace of alcohol burn.

Nothing else to say. there is a reason why this perfect Belgium style beer sells so well, It's mighty good.

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a a 750 caged and corked into a gobe glass. his beer pours a dark brown with a small light tan head. the smell is bready and yeasty. the flavor is dark fruits and spices. the mouthfeel medium to full bodied mouthfeel with decent carbonation, overall a very good example of the style and it has good drinkability

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,721 ratings.