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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

6,363 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,363
Reviews: 2,152
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 281
Gots: 770 | FT: 11
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,363 | Reviews: 2,152 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Palmcroft
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All I can add is that this beer has an incredible finish. Some malty sweet nougat at the end that masks the hop bite.

Actually, its finish is most reminiscent of the Dogfish Head Midas Touch, which uses honey, saffron, and grapes. So, what the heck is Chimay using? I thought it neutralized the alcohol very well.

Palmcroft, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of wnh
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a commemorative Chimay goblet.

Pours a cloudy red-tinted chestnut brown with a short-lived fizzy light tan head. Very lively.

Nose is sweet dark fruit with lots of spice character. Dark fruit flavors dominate, with a sense of spicy apple cider throughout. Medium to heavy in body, with a thick stickiness cut by lots of tiny bubbles. Tingly, highly carbonated finish. Alcohol shows up--quite strongly--in the second half of the glass. I'm not sure why it appeared so suddenly and so strongly, but it kind of took center stage once it did, hurting the drinkability aspect.

wnh, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Grande reserve (blå)

I'm at the finishing-line. I've already tried the Chimay Premiere (graded A+) and the Chimay Tripel (graded A+) tonight. It feels rather nice knowing that I still haven't opened the third one yet. But here it goes:

A: It pours a dark amber-tone. This cloudy beer with a thick rich head that has a light brown colour (almost beige) looks so tasty.

S: The smell is rather complex, with lots of different smells. It's most definitely roasted, but there is also a fruity smell as well as some hops. This sweet-smelling beer also has an alcohol-tone.

T: It's obvious that this is the strongest of the three Chimays, since the alcohol is present in the taste. This is a roasted beer with some yeast-tones. But there is also fruit (dark) and some hops in it. The taste is very complex. The aftertaste is long with a nice fruitiness, but again - the alcohol is noticeable.

M: Powerful and a bit dry. Even here is the alcohol an issue.

D: It's a great beer (as any beer graded A)!
I think this is the Chimay-beer you should prioritize last on your wishing-list. It is a must on your list, but if you have to choose between this or the other Chimays this one is a clear third choice. When I try these three again (I have three of each in my beer-storage) I will change the order and possibly the ratings will change as well (bare in mind I already had two other, rather strong beers with lots of flavours before this one).

Evil_Pidde, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of CHickman
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with a thick tan head and smells of bread and yeast; tastes malty and spicy with a sweet fruit and yeast finish that's on the dry side; very good beer that's balanced and goes down smooth, yet still has a bite and complex flavors.

The alcohol is not a factor, so it's very easy to drink or sip as it warms up and allows more flavors to prevail. Overall a very good beer and quite enjoyable. I've had this on many occasions and enjoyed it every time.

CHickman, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of davedahl
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Big tan head of big bubbles. Twany colored beer, no real haze...but not quite clear.

Smell: celery salt, biscuit, caramel, whole cherries...all wrapped in a high quality supple leather.

Taste: yeasty, caramely malt, white pepper, mulit-layered malt with strong biscuit and caramel flavors. Quite dry finish. Brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: very highly carbonated - giving it a slight carbonic bite. Dry finish.

davedahl, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of treyrab
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on multiple occasions, but since it became part of the BA Top 100, I feel obligated to review it! Poured into my Ommegang chalice...

A: Pours a dark mahogany/burgundy with nice chill haze and a whopping two finger tan head. Very nice yeast floaties (the small kind, not the colossal chunks of yeast) floating around the glass.

S: Smell is nice and abundant with dark fruits (raisins, plums, figs) accompanied by a touch of cinnamon, clove, over-ripe banana and mucho yeast spices. Overall, a pretty dry scent and not too sweet.

T: Nice and dry with the aforementioned qualities. Nice dry fruit, prunes (the kind of your grandfather eats), raisins, and abundant spices. Again, pretty dry and not as sweet as I would think.

Overall, a great representation of the style. As far as Trappist breweries go, I would put this towards the bottom of the list, but that isn't saying much considering the qualities of those beers.

treyrab, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of nrbw23
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep reddish brown with an off white head. Head dissipates after a few minutes and leaves pretty much no lacing.

S- Smells of darks fruits, sugar, bready and with a touch of spice. A bit of alcohol comes through as well.

T- Caramel malts up front, dark fruits, and spices to start. Followed up with some bready flavors and alcohol. Overall pretty complex here.

M- Medium to full in body and low carbonation.

D- Super easy to drink and highly recommended.

nrbw23, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of joepais
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a challis produced a finger worth of tan head on top of a murky brown body brew. The head last quite along time then transforms to a nice lace across the top of the glass

The aromas of grapes and other dark fruits are up front in this brew. After it warmed the alcohol did show itself.
The flavor is very much like a red wine to me a huge amount of dark fruits, grapes being the chief of them dominate your mouth .It did get a little warm alcohol wise as it warmed. The brew had a nice full to medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

I love this brew, it is one of my go to brews. Although this is the first time I sat to review it the drikability is of the charts. This is the brew that got me into Belgians and is well worth the effort to try

joepais, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle poured into a Chimay goblet, been meaning to try this one again for some time.

A- A loud hiss once the cap was popped, this one is certainly active with rising bubbles. With a very careful pour I still got a bunch of sediment in my beer. A flimsy off white head appeared as I put some distance between the bottle and glass, it did not last long only leaving some white fluff in the middle. The liquid is a murky red mahagony look, it's not blue at all.

S- A very nice Belgian scent coming from blue from all that wonderful yeast. Getting some malt sweetness plus dark fruits. Some additional sugar in this. Some mild spices in the mix as well with raisins. This could have a fuller scent though it was a bit light.

T- Belgian yeast up front giving off a candy taste, cotton candy. Raisins make a bigger step then in smell. Dark fruits with plums. Some residual sugars as well. Getting some light taste of banana and sweet caramel from the malt. Well rounded but kind of light in taste for me.

M- This one is a smooth ride even though the carbonation is high which gets in the way giving off a certain crispness. The body is much lighter than I expected, I would say its perfectly medium bodied. The candy sweetness sticks around a bit, im not complaining.

D- Very drinkable, I kept going back for more, I just wish the taste was a bit bolder. The alcohol is hidden extremely well, I did not sense it at all. I really need to try this and other chimays with their cheese as well, it probably makes the experience better. While I liked blue and could of drank a ton more of it, the flavor is quite tame compared to other and more acce$$ible offerings.

BARFLYB, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of hike20
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Pours cloudy, red-brown color. Nice head and pleasant aroma. Taste is strong and very good overall. Very complex, with some alcohol apparent, which is not surprising for an ale of this strength. Very enjoyable and will be a regular for me I think.

hike20, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 33cl bottle into Chalice.

A. 1 finger light tan head. Caramel ruby brown color. Good Lacing. Nice linger collar of foam.

S. Yeast, malt, dark fruit, spice, sweetness, alcohol.

T. Sweet caramel malt. Spice, clove. More of the dark fruit from the smell. Raisin. Maybe some cinnamon.

M. Full bodied. Dry. Good carbonation. Dry finish.

D. Very good SDA. A little less complexity than some of the other premiere beers within the style. Very easy to drink.

siradmiralnelson, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of Foxtrot
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I see this beer all the time at my local beer scene. I have not had the opportunity to try it, so here is the deep breath before the plunge.

Poured from 750ml bottle into a oversized Cabernet wine glass. Yielded a murky dark brown with ruby hues around the edges along with a nice cream colored head with great retention an light lacing.

Aromas that are instantly recognizable are intense cloves, some sugars, and some toasty malts. Nose seemed to be a little too powerful in cloves, which seemed to throw the other scents under the bus.

I really liked being surprised. The nose had me fooled about this being a good beer. Flavor is sweet with sugars and dark fruits being the center of the beer, followed with cloves, and some nice dark malts to really give this beer a backbone. Alcohol presence is just right, giving the drinker awareness that it's there, but really improving the flavor of the beer.

Mouthfeel was good as well. Finish was a tad drier and quicker than anticipated, but was still on par for the style overall.

Drinkability is great with the abundance of carbonation, but the high alcohol makes this one particularly devious.

Foxtrot, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of NODAK
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma has a yeasty quality to it, with a rich, sweet dark fruit and molasses body.

The carbonation here was high...very spritzy. Taste is right on for a beer of this style. Belgian yeast is definitely noticeable, along with a good dose of dark fruit and molasses and a touch of spice. It's not TOO rich, though. The mouthfeel isn't all that thick, and it's never cloyingly sweet. There's a touch of hop bitterness on the finish, along with some brown sugar. Alcohol is remarkably well hidden.

It's one of the classics, and it shows. Very, very drinkable, especially for the ABV. A beer you can't go wrong with.

NODAK, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of groganb
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Haven't had one of these in a long time. Far too long for my taste.

Pours a deep reddish brown into my Chimay Chalice. With a thick off-white head which dissipates after a few minutes, leaving (oddly) next to no lacing.

Smells of Caramel, Figs, and slightly straw-ish. Builds my anticipation.

Tastes much like the smell hints. Burnt sugar, raisins,and figs, with a noticeable alcohol warmth at the back of the tongue, accompanied, by the slight bite of the hops. Very smooth and delightful.

Mouthfeel is thick with just the right amount of carbonation to aid the smell and flavor of this elixir. Not too watery or too thick.

This is one beer that it should be a crime to drink quickly. I find that if drink it slowly and really keep each sip in my mouth for a few moments; it make each bottle worth ten times more that the $10 price tag. A fantastic brew and my all time favorite. This is one of the few beers (all of them trappist) that motivate me to drive 30 minutes to obtain. Each helping only makes me want more.

groganb, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of Stavage
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Leffe goblet. Very dark in colour, can tell from looking at the sides of the glass that it is a very dark and murky deep red/brown. Lacing is thick and creamy and tan in colour. Leaves a very good lacing.

Smell is a little faint but highly appetising. Caramel, molasses, stone fruits and wild berries. A definite sweet spiciness but also a more savoury malt smell for balance. Overall the 'malt' characteristics are more noticeable to me than the fruity ester characteristics.

Tastes much like it smells, a very smooth malt flavour acts as a nice solid base with the fruits and spices coming off of it. A lot less sweet than I was expecting. In fact less full of flavour than I was expecting, I found my palette feeling a little empty at times. Only a little empty though and the flavours present complimented each other very well.

Mouthfeel was smooth, full and creamy. Didn't find this fizzy at all for the style, I found the carbonation perfect. The mouthfeel was probably the highlight for me.

I mentioned I found the tastes a little faint. I also found my palette was in very good shape after a bottle, rather than being a little tired, and I could see myself being able to sip this all night without my enjoyment dropping. At least until the alcohol thats hiding in their leaps out and knocks me out. Not a personal favourite, but it's still right up there for me.

Stavage, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Really dark-- almost black with dark ruby-brown highlights. Decent sandy head with good retention and great lacing.

S- Sweet-- can get some of the dark fruit (raisins, plums mainly). A touch of alcohol. Simple but really nice.

T- A lot going on here. Raisin, plum again, with some Belgian yeast/spices. Some sweet malt with an almost caramel-ly finish. Delicious. Really grows on me as I drink it. The alcohol in it pops up for a nice kick to it too. A bit peppery. There's also an almost musty, woody note to it. I'm not sure what it is, but I like it.

M- Not too carbonated, which is definitely a plus. Smooth with a slightly dry finish. Nice.

D- I'm loving this, I could drink it for a long time. Gotta get me some more.

LordAdmNelson, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of TexIndy
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into my Chimay goblet. There was a badly lasered number on the back label but couldn't decipher it so no date on it. It was a dark russet brown color with tons of yeast floating even with a slow pour. It had an average sized beige head that slowly settled into a collar with a center foam fed by a carb geyser (gotta love etched glassware). No lacing.

The aroma was raisin, spun sugar, burnt caramel and molasses. Hadn't had this in awhile (was shocked that I hadn't reviewed it yet considering how often I'd had it) and seemed to remember a better aroma. This one is good but a gotta keep sniffing it like I remember. The taste was good but again not as good as I remember. This is a hit and mostly miss style for me as I tend to not like the dark fruit taste. This is more on the hit side but didn't knock me over. Was a bit too sweet and sugary for me. Liked it and definitely would have another but not in a rush to do it.

Overall, a good but not great beer for me. Again, it's not my favorite style so that hurt it but still highly recommend. For me, it's a every year or so in bottle and anytime on-tap if I can find it.

[xYR; aTap]

TexIndy, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.4/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the third and final Chimay I have yet to try. By far the highest rated and most widely available. Here is my review:

A: Pours a real murky brown. Lots of suspended sediment. Head is pretty fizzy as it dissipated rather quickly. Lacing is non-existent.

S: Smell is pretty faint. I get a bit more dark fruit than the other two. Maybe hints of cherry or plum. Malt is there as well. Smells okay.

T: Flavor is pretty sweet. You get more spice in this one compared to the other two. A little dark fruit like cherry and raisin. The malt is there with the caramel and toffee notes I got in the other two. Alcohol is present in the finish. No flavor dominated this beer and everything feels a little subdued and underwhelming. Feels like something is missing. Might be my least favorite tasting of the three.

M: This one is definetly more fizzy than creamy. Medium-light bodied. Seemed a little lacking.

D: I think it is a little too carbonated and fizzy. Flavors are okay, but this beer left a lot to be desired. The mouthfeel isn't as rich as the other two.

I got to say, I am quite disappointed. I was hoping for a stronger, more flavorful version of the Red. This may have been a bad bottle, but I got it in the same sample pack as the other two Chimay beers, which tasted fine. I personally feel the Red was the richest and most flavorful. Don't get me wrong, this is a good beer, but this one lacks the creamyness and flavor the other two had.

OldSchoolGamer, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of mhatters
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet from a 22oz cork-finished bottle

Pours a deep brown with orange tint. Lots of head with thick and porous texture.

Sweet, fruity and malty all at the same time. A hint of clove and pepper at the end.

Sweet and malty upfront, then dark fruit (raisin) and then spicy. Lots going on. Perhaps some vanilla and cinnamon as well.

Carbonation is about right, not too much, not too little.

My favorite of the Chimays, in the early 1990s this was part of my introduction to good beer. While I enjoy it, I do not reach for it much anymore - I go for a bigger Belgian. Not taking anything away from Chimay blue - a classic.

mhatters, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of bill93063
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Perhaps the finest Belgian Trappist Ale in existence. This is a complex and delicate brew with at least 2 different yeasts in the brewing process both top and bottom fermenting. This attention to detail creats a complexity and a character that rivals any malt beverage brewed anywhere at any price. The flavor notes vary from coffee, chocolate, cherry, vanilla, toffee and lemon. This wide of a flavor palate rivals a fine Bordeax wine in complexity but at less than half the price on average provides far better value for the money. The appearance, smell taste and mouthfeel are all off the charts superb. Note, cellaring this beer for more than one year can allow for some moderate level metallic notes. They do not ruin the overall experience but they diminish it to a small degree.

bill93063, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

From a 33cl bottle.

A - Pours a rich almost mahogany with hints of orange and a nice off-white head that is about 1 in thick. It recedes to a nice stable mat. Seems sticky.

S - Very crisp smell some alcoholic notes and some fruits such as banana. There is also a faint spiciness like coriander and pepper.

T - Crisp and spicy. Pepper and coriander are more present on the tongue than the nose. There is a nice nutty and bready finish with the same hint of spiciness that was felt at the beginning. Sweet malt. Medium hop character throughout the finish and a bit towards the middle as well. The alcohol sweetness and warmness is very present in the beginning and throughout.

M - Very well carbonated refreshing and almost champagne like.

D - Refreshing but with higher ABV. 1 or 2 should suffice for me.

JoEBoBpr, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of bbeane
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark red in color. Pours with a thick brown rocky head, that recedes relatively quickly, yet beer looks active after head recession

S- Not super strong smell, though what little smell is there, is that of a malty sweet beer

T- Excellent. Smooth sweet malty deliciousness, that grabs ahold of your mouth a lingers for a few seconds after swallowed

M- Smooth. Little carbonation... considering how active the beer looks. Leaves a lingering malty taste in your mouth

D- Very drinkable. Smooth and tasty

CHEERS!

bbeane, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of yuenglings
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A:(poured in to a over sized wine glass) Has a Beautiful hazey redish brown color with a very nice thick head and ya gotta love the bottle with the cork top.

S: The smell it self is not very strong but there still seems to be alot going on its sweet up front with plum in it and a little nutty chocolate.

T: Kind of like it smells pretty dam good with a little of maltyness to it and for 9% you cant taste the alcohol.

M: Everythings right in this catogorey Nice and smooth very well balanced on the palate not to heavey or light with very good carbonation.

D: This is a very drinkable beer until you go to stand up but thats the best part about it. As far as buying it agian i think i just found the best gift to give anybody who likes to drink beer and as for myself i will be buying some more tomarrow for sure.

yuenglings, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of PintOHops
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked 1pt, 9.4oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a clouded ruby/brown with about an inch of off white head, sediment can be seen when held up to light, head had decent retention. Leaves no lacing, but this beer looks like nothing Ive ever seen before! Smells of semi sweet chocolate wafer, grains, malts, caramel & molasses, followed by a dominate fruity apple, cranberry, pair, and blueberry, very much like apple cider or champagne. You can detect some subtle alcoholic notes, but a little more as it warms. Hard cider aroma overall, very mysterious & inviting.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of mellow sweet, grainy malty notes, caramel & molasses, subtle chocolate, together with dry hard cider flavors consisting of, apple, pair, cranberry, blueberry, prune & apricot. A little dry & acidic, champagne like, alcoholic notes but very hidden, some slight alcoholic burn as it warms though. Has a dominate hard cider flavor profile overall with hardly any bitterness, I haven't ever experienced flavors like this! Mouthfeel is silky, smooth, chewy, has an outstanding feel and some sediment as it goes down! This brew is full bodied!

Drinkability/Final thoughts - I don't know where to start, first off the alcohol is dangerously hidden, you really got to be careful with this one, and the flavors are something Ive never experienced before! I was expecting a robust bitter beer, but this thing tastes like hard cider, like something I would enjoy over the Christmas season! The experience was amazing, I could put down an entire bottle of this and not even be aware of the dangerous alcoholic contents! Coming in at 13.99$ a bottle in CA, it's very expensive but if you can get your hands on it, it will blow you away. I absolutely loved this brew. Cheers!

PintOHops, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of Maction
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This is an opaque, but not hazy, caramel apple color with a creamy lacey head that dissolves fairly quickly.

S: It smells of dried fruit, French bread, sweet and sour, and is slightly boozy.

T: The taste is sweet and bready, with hints of cloves and raisins, dark chocolate and dry champagne. It's a complex flavor, with traces of raspberry hard candy and leather in further tasting.

M: My mouth feels big sparkling bubbles, but this is hefty with a clean hard alcohol finish.

D: I went through the 750 ml bottle with no problem. This is a very drinkable beer for it's richness and high alcohol.

Notes: A great beer. I suppose that I prefer St. Bernardus ABT 12, but this one is slightly more refreshing, though less dessert-like.

Maction, Jun 12, 2009
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,363 ratings.