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

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

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6,712 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,712
Reviews: 2,172
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 320
Gots: 955 | FT: 14
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)
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,712 | Reviews: 2,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottbrew4u
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!

Photo of Satchboogie
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.

Photo of BuckyFresh
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!

Photo of Bi0hazrd
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.

Photo of carpezytha
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.

Photo of demuzik
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.

Photo of ToasterChef
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.

Photo of dpnelson1978
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into glass goblet.

$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.

Photo of mikepreed
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 ;-)

Photo of B967ierhunter177
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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Photo of prdstmnky
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.

Photo of arturorg
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

Photo of trevorjn06
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.

Photo of Sreidy12
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.

Photo of goalie33
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.

Photo of chalsk
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.

Photo of rand
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.

Photo of JayS2629
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.

Photo of CheckmateBrew
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance was a nice dark brown with a very lacy 2 finger head

Very light smell was exepecting more....

Taste lots of things goin on here, malts yeast, hops, but just a touch too much alcohol. Still a very nice brew, and considering the 9% ABV well maybe I should not be too surprised.

Good carbination with lots of tastes and a alcohol finish.

This is a sippin beer, not a drinking beer. I could have one....but I like to enjoy a few.

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

Finally getting around to this one.

A: Really good looking for the style. Black in the glass with a touch of deep brown when held up to the light. Soft brownish white head with some lacing. Excellent head retention.

S: The nose is of cooled dates and sweet plumbs. A nice natural earthiness throughout. Not very estery at all. The alcohol combines nicely with the dark fruit to almost come across like a young port.

T: Starts off with the dark fruit. A little bit of malt. The alcohol rounds out the finish. I like a beer like this where you can pick apart the taste into different stages. Little bit bready. The balance in this beer is incredible. I almost got a touch of bitterness in the finish. Barely there. Perfect.

M: So smooth and creamy. The carbonation is wonderful. Almost has the feel of a cask ale.

D: This is a classic. Not my favorite example of the style but it is one of the best beers in the world and something that you can get with relative ease. Again not the best out there but how can you say anything bad about Chimay?

Photo of zhanson88
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, hazy brown with ruby highlights when held up to light. TONS of head, as soon as I cracked the bottle open head started pouring out. When I got it in the glass there was a good 3 fingers, but retention was fair at best and just a touch of lacing remained.

Smell: Dark fruits, Belgian yeast, cloves, esters, and peppery spices are all plentiful. Nice and complex, as should be expected.

Taste: Dark fruits and cloves and that Belgian yeasty taste up front. Then comes the estery alcohol and peppery spices. Super, complex flavor that is pretty hard to beat.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Medium body, with a nice smooth mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. Very nice. This beer hides it's alcohol very well. Wish I could drink more.

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

Bottle shared by Jeff. Thanks man!

A: Slightly hazy brown color with hints of orange. Moderately sized head with a little lacing.

S: Belgian yeast, scents easily identifiable as a quad, subtle dark fruits, toffee.

T: Chimay is a great brewery and this is a great beer. Heavy Belgian yeast character with notes of dark fruits soaked in alcohol. Raisin and toffee notes are very tasty as well.

M: Moderately high carbonation. Nice feel with a slight note of alcohol in the finish.

D: One of the best quads in the world. I am very glad that this is readily available throughout the country.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle served in a delirium tremens snifter. this beer was my eureka moment in craft beer, and remains a staple; finally getting around to a review.

pours a dark, opaque mahogany tone with a solid finger and a half of a beige-colored head. decent retention, good lacing, and a lasting cap. if not the prototype for how a BSDA should look, i'm not sure what is.

aroma is not quite as robust as i remember; maybe i've been spending too much time with rochefort 10 (a quad, technically, but that's another debate). spice, yeast, and brown sugar evident.

flavor takes it up a notch. smooth and tasty, the nose characters pull through with greater strength and are accompanied by dark fruit and a very faint hops presence. very tasty. as with all BSDAs, as it warms the flavors really open up.

medium-plus bodied with appropriate carbonation. for a big beer i could definitely drink a lot of this so a high drinkability score. easily the best of the chimays, and a great trappist BSDA... that said, there are others i like better (which isn't a knock on grande reserve so much as a testament to said others).

Photo of Kinsman
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009. Poured from the bottle into my chalice, this beer shows off with a chestnut colored reddish/brown body and a massive pillowy light-tan colored head.

Aroma is most noticeably spicy, with strong hints of clove, and little room for anything else. There is an underlying fruity aroma reminiscent of apples and maybe even cherries, but the fruitness tends to come and go.

While the spice seems to dominate the aroma, it sits back a bit in the taste, allowing for a stronger presence of dark fruits like raisins and a sweet alcohol flavor like rum. With a bottle thats at least 10 months old, I'm surprised how noticeable the alcohol seems to be, but its certainly not too hot. Clove-like spice does balance out the sweeter flavors and there is even a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium body, and quite bubbly. Actually, with the loud pop of the cork and huge head, carbonation seems to be a bit high, and it is noticeable with each sip.

Overall, this is, like many other have said, a top notch Belgian. It almost defines the BSDA style and it certainly deserves its reputation, but it just isn't the "wow" beer I expected. At it's price point, compared to other regularly available BSDA's, this is not the best value out there, but definitely one that everyone should try.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,712 ratings.