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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.

6,211 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,211
Reviews: 2,142
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 263
Gots: 690 | 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: 6,211 | Reviews: 2,142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pseudo

New York

4.85/5  rDev +12.8%

750 ml corked bottle poured into wine glass, about a year aged (1/08 on the cork)
pours a nice dark brown/dark amber with an offwhite head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing (in my likely unbeerclean glass) probably my fault on the appearance.. but it still looks great
smells verrry complex. i get a sweet brown sugary smell up front with possibly plums and cherries. Alcohol is also prevalent in the smell.
Taste is godly. Starts out with the sweet brownsugar, into dark fruits like plums and raisins (and ive tasted some apple in some sips as well) into a spicyness with a (pleasant) alcohol taste in the back end. Lingering aftertaste of sweet cherries and plums + spices. hell yeah thats good. Gets better and better as the bottle goes on too (probably because of warmth and more yeast). There is also a slight malty bready backbone. However, there is literally zero floral hoppiness readily found.
Mouthfeel is sublime. creamy and smooth. starts thick, ends with a tingle from the spiciness. Heaven in your mouth.
Drinkability is extremely high for the abv. Probably smoother than any wine in this range, and likely as good or better than most beers in the range. One to sip in the light of your fireplace, good company welcome.

01-23-2009 05:55:50 | More by pseudo
Photo of HalfFull


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

From a 750 ml bottle and poured into a Chimay glass. This beer pours a reddish amber with a nice solid half inch of tan head. A yeasty opaque mahogany against the light. Nice retention, quite an elegant brew.

Moderate yeasts and slightly sweet on the nose, with a mix of fresh and dried fruit. Rather light for the style yet obviously restrained by a copious surface cap, holding the volatile smells at bay. This beer looks better than it smells.

All is good again in the flavor of this beer. Nice complex malt presence with little 'apparent' sweetness save a rather viscous feel. Notes of fig and crystalline brown sugar, some muddled dried dark cherry. A bit thick on the tongue in the finish however.

Firm carbonation yields a nice creamy feel throughout the glass. Yet I think that this beer is excessively carbonated as the taste and smell suffer somewhat by the confusion brought on by said carbonation. (note: I barely contained the cork when opening the bottle, don't know if this is atypical). Drinkability is decent but certainly not exceptional and not nearly as crisp as I would prefer in a strong ale. In the end it tastes a bit like a Cherry Cream Soda(some imagination required!).

Skip the Chimay Chalice and pour this into a large wine glass to allow for better agitation and outgassing of bottle conditioned carbonation, unless all you want to do is look at the beer.

01-23-2009 05:35:46 | More by HalfFull
Photo of theboozecruise


4.88/5  rDev +13.5%

Poured from an 11.2 oz. Chimay bottle into a Chimay goblet... basic brown color with a finger head or so that dissipated pretty quickly, leaving cloud formations on the surface of the beer.

A delicious smell, malty, spicy, definitely some alcohol there, all perfectly balanced.

Fantastic taste, all the hints of the smell blended together on the tongue perfectly. Before I knew it I was done, this is a dangerously drinkable brew. At 9% and so delicious, a few could catch up to you quickly!

01-20-2009 23:29:42 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of pinotboy007


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

A - Root beer like appearance with a nice, creamy cap that slowly fades to a decent collar; no lacing.

S - Root beer, a touch of warm spice, some pineapple citrus, malted milk balls.

T - Quite complex and delicious! Has a nice dates and dried fig thing going on - almost as if those fruits had been folded together in a warm pot; a touch of raw vanilla; alcohol, leather; raw honey and tea.

M - A nice touch of fizz lends some framing to what otherwise might have been a boozy, sweeter ale. This is a very nice drink but the 9% ABV hinders going much beyond a glass or so. Great for year 'round consumption and would be very nice with venison stew.

01-20-2009 21:45:28 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev 0%

Somehow, someway, I've missed reviewing this classic Quad... no longer! 11.2oz bottle poured lovingly into a Chimay goblet.

A. Muddy brown russet with a sticky, long-lasting mellow tan head that settles in and goes nowhere. Opaque and if you pour the dregs you'll get a decent amount of sediment.

S. Rich brown sugar and prunes upfront, lesser dark fruit and a toasty, sweet German black bread malt profile that is quite appealing and hearty. Some warm booze in the nose and a little ester apple bite thanks to the yeast. Hints of pepper-like spice. Good, not mind-blowing. In a nutshell: sweet, deep fruits, mellow.

T. Mirrors the smell quite nicely... what we have here is a rich brown ale with lots of toasty, not-quite roasted malt supported by lots of dark fruit, alcohol, and that Belgian estery-fruity character we all know and love. Rich bread, green apples, candi sugar, nutmeg?, prunes, a touch of orange peel perhaps... it's all pretty good. Well done.

M. Great. Wet, boozy, mid-bodied and pleasingly carbonated to soft perfection. Finish is sweet, fruity and warm with a dry turn at the last. Drinkable as far as these things go.

Chimay Blue is a good beer -- outdone by its more famous rivals, but there is no denying that this is solid stuff and a great beer to start off with if you're about to explore Belgians. Not world-class, but nevertheless delicious and appealing. Recommended.

01-17-2009 18:59:54 | More by kkipple
Photo of BrewerB


4.3/5  rDev 0%

A - Dark copper in color with a thick off-white head. Slightly hazy. Well retained head.

S - Dark cherry like fruits blend with a slightly bready aroma. Chocolate, spice, caramel, nutty. (At this point in the review, my buddy's German Shepherd ripped one hell of a fart. This made it difficult to distinguish other aromas). Alcohol. Hops aren't playing much of a role.

T - Caramel and plum-like fruit notes. Chocolate character is more milky than dark. Heavily malty with a medium-dry finish. Toasty.

M - Creamy texture, medium-light in body with a moderate level of carbonation. Missing out on some carbonation.

D - Good. Though I'd probably stop at 2 pints. Not as drinkable as some other versions of the style.

01-17-2009 06:29:40 | More by BrewerB
Photo of PirateUlf73


4.85/5  rDev +12.8%

Poured out of its 11.2 oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. The final of the trio... here it goes!

A: Dark reddish brown and a quite cloudy. Off-white head has great retention and stickage. Beautiful.

S: Sweet and candy-like initially. Dark, overripe fruits start to sneak in. Plums, raisins, even pomegranate. Some hints of its alcohol as well, in the form of ester notes. Soft breadiness from the yeast rounds it out and holds it together. A symphony for the nose, if you will. Lots going on.

T: Oh my... Where do I begin? Lots of sweet malt character. Lots of complex fuitiness. Some sweet spice up front as well. Yeast character gives the whole thing a nice "twang." As for the alcohol... barely noticeable. More of a warming at the back of the throat. Marvelous!

M: Silky smooth. Coats the tongue very nicely. Aftertaste is sweet and pleasant, and the carbonation moves everything around just right. Not too much carbonation, but just enough to be appreciated.

D: Take it slow and savor the flavor(s). This tiny bottle was NOT enough!

Another style that I'm relatively new to, and I can already tell that this will set the standard for future encounters. It may be a stretch to say that if you don't enjoy this beer then you don't enjoy GOOD beer, but it's the kind that every good BA should try at least once. Highly recommended!

01-16-2009 08:57:36 | More by PirateUlf73
Photo of ncstateplaya

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Appearance: A Bountiful suddsy head, almost almond in color that dissipates to a nice sheet over the surface. It was poured...a cloudy dark amber with loads of yeast in suspension (ahhh a bad pour I would suspect).

Smell: Sweet and fruity - fig preserves comes to mind. You could catch nuances of alcohol behind all of the sweet maltiness.

Taste: There was a spice that I wasn't sure about, could possibly be ginger??? Nice and yeasty with little detectable hop characteristics. The sweet malts sum it up for me.

Mouthfeel: One of, if not the lightest bodied 9% beers I have ever had. It was very smooth with what seemed like moderately high carbonation.

Drinkability: I know everyone loves this beer, however I wouldn't consider this in my top 10 by anymeans. It is very smooth and extremely easy to drink, although I thought it to be a little gaseous. The abv is very well hidden.

01-15-2009 19:42:10 | More by ncstateplaya
Photo of ricke


4.65/5  rDev +8.1%

Vintage 2008.

Serving date: 2009-01-10.

Served in snifter.

Presentation: 330 ml bottle. Freshness date on label (Best before end of 2013).

Appearance: The pour is dark-brown with red hues around the edges. There are lively bubbles and an off-white 2 cm head that stays around for a while but then settles into a nice layer of creamy foam. Some lacings.

Smell: Aromas of dark fruits, primarily cherries, are present. There is also a smell of wood, and a slight sting of alcohol hits the nose.

Taste: This is amazing and clearly triumphs the smell of the beer. Up front are tastes of ripe fruit - cherries and apples - and raisins. Perhaps, there are also some notes of spices here. The malts provide a sweetness to the brew. A slight bitterness accompanied by pleasant alcohol characterizes the finish. Towards the end the alcohol becomes more prominent.

Mouthfeel: The beer is medium-bodied. Carbonation is lively and the bubbles coupled with the creamy foam provides a nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very good. This is a very complex beer, unlike anything I have ever tried. Since ABV is 9%, it should perhaps reduce drinkability a bit, but actually, the alcohol hides rather well and primarily adds to the complexity of this outstanding beer.

01-12-2009 14:40:11 | More by ricke
Photo of baggio


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Bottle@home, 1999 vintage (!)

A: Ruby red with almost no head. Liquid is quite clear.

S: Earth, Ripe fruit, Port wine. Very sweet and inviting!

T: Dark caramel, Port wine, Ripe fruit, Hint of alcohol and some coffee.

M: Very sweet and delicious with a medium body. Very little carbonation but still enough.

When you smell this beer you could swear that it is a port wine you have before you. The taste is similar to portwine but the body is quite alot thinner. This beer has aged with beauty and it was indeed interesting to see what 10 years could do to a beer.

01-11-2009 22:05:10 | More by baggio
Photo of brewcrew76


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

04/08 on cork

A - Deep ruby, brownish with a thin tan head.

S - Fruity with raisins, prunes, plums and figs. Bready malts, toffee and belgian yeast.

T - Candi sugar, sweet bready malt, dark fruits, figs and raisins and a touch of alcohol.

M - Medium body with light carbonation but feels a little heavier than I remember going down.

D - Tasty. Nothing too complex but a very good example of the style.

01-11-2009 03:17:38 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of erz316


4.78/5  rDev +11.2%

33cl bottle. Augustijn Chalice.

A - a real dark brown/red color with a nice tan-ish head, a bit lighter than tan though. the liquid is opaque unless held up directly to a bright light, then the ruddy hues come out and the yeast becomes more obvious, as one can see it floating around. the head settles quickly to a thin layer.

S - there is a good smell of apples once the brew starts to warm up, additionally the subtlety of the alcohol can creep into the nose as well

T - the alcohol taste is most prevalent at the top back of the mouth, a nice dry taste, nothing burning. a swish in the mouth reveals some fruitiness and sweetness, not overpowering though. I might also venture to say there is a hint of molasses in the swallow. the fruity alcohol makes a beautiful taste in the mouth that is hard pressed to be recreated by any monastery or brewer.

MF&D - The carbonation is amazing and highlights the fruit flavours, I have no idea what people are complaing about the the drinkability, even as i sit now, reviewing this beer and drinking it, it is slightly warm and the booze should be kicking me in the throat, but it isn't. I love it, and could drink it until the Cistercians tell me I've had enough.

01-10-2009 22:48:40 | More by erz316
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.13/5  rDev -4%

Bottle doesn't seem to have any dating information on it. It came as part of a holiday gift pack, purchased in December of 2007, consumed in January of 2009, so it's at least 1 year old. Bottle's been in my DBF probably for at least 3-4 months, maybe longer. . . .

A: Poured from the 33 cl bottle into a Chimay chalice. Holy cow there are a lot of chunks! Not particles, not sediment -- chunks. There's no way to decant this to avoid getting floaties, as they're everywhere and at times large chunks flow forth. The body is dark brown, with a lot of sediment and floaties in suspension. A small off-white head settles quickly, though it's reinforced with some rising bubbles.

S: At first it's not too strong -- ripe apples and fruit in general come to mind. As it warms, however, there's more -- raspberries and dried fruit and alcohol. At times it reminds me of a fruity, light red wine.

T: Follows the nose pretty much. Fruit and raisins and molasses in the body, with a hint of spice and then a drying finish from the alcohol at the back end. Warmth from the alcohol is felt in the belly. As it warms, I get berries and some sugary sweetness even more.

M: Light and spritzy. I write the word "airy" to describe the feel, which is affected by the very active carbonation. Call it medium-bodied, though it really feels even lighter in some ways.

D: Very good, especially for a 9% ABV beer. Sweetness is cut by alcohol, which is dry, not hot.

Notes: A good drink, but I expected a bigger body for some reason. An easy drinker and plenty of flavor, but I was surprised by the lighter heft and body of this one.

***Edit, 1/3/11***

Last week, thanks to MRMOJORISIN, I had the pleasure of sampling the "millenium" version of this - a 1.5 liter bottle with a 2000 sticker on it. Afterwards, we sampled a "new" bottle. I for one concluded that the 10 year old bottle was preferrable. The smell was very pleasant - toffee malt with grapes that reminded me of red grape juice. Taste was heavy on the sweet malt, with toffee and caramel malt coming to mind. However, it finished with a tannic-like bitterness. It would've gotten higher scores in both appearance and taste.

01-09-2009 03:47:57 | More by Kendo
Photo of TangTKE402

New York

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%

I poured this sexy little number from an 11.8 oz bottle into a glass chalice. The beer poured smoothly and settled with a nice 3cm head, though it seemed to dissipate faster than I would have expected. The color was a deep mahogany brown and cloudy with a creamy, ecru head. Little to no lacing remained as I drank.

The nose hits very smooth and subtle, and smelled of mixed berries, mild cheese, and a little hazelnut.

This beer fills the mouth, and sparks the tongue into life with its dancing bouquet of nuts, spices, and a hint of filet mignon. The swallow gives away the true nature of this beer: subtlety. Never does this beer overpower, and I expected it to hit me on the swallow, but instead it finished clean, smooth and sparkly with a distinctly understated flavor.

When I poured the bottle into the glass, I emptied the yeast at the bottom, and though it was not recommended to do that by the brewers, I found that it had no major affect on the beer.

This beer is a worn-in leather chair, with a good book and a fire that you can taste, and will remember.

01-09-2009 00:15:41 | More by TangTKE402
Photo of imagineiii


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%

In all my beer travels, Im wracking my brain to try to find any recollection of trying this beer: nope. wow. so here goes.

A: A solid inch and a half of head dissipates to a quarter inch of consistent creamy foam. DEEP amber-ruby in color, and only when held up to the light. What makes a 5 for appearance? i dunno, but i think this is close enough.

S: Fruity and tart, like a prototypical belgian. green apples, melons, alcohol, and yeast. doesnt smell like the color.

T: Never having had this beer, Im initially shocked how much it reminds me of a brewery I drink frequently: Unibroue. very tart but tastes darker than the smells. fruits like raisans, plums, and red apples join the mix. more dryness at the back than i expected. for something so sweet and complex it finishes amazingly smoothly.

M: Light and bubbly to the point of being airy. smooth, clean in the finish.

D: Im halfway done and I dont want this to be over. For a beer of this complexity to finish this clean is astonishing.

This beer is a real treat. At 10 dollars it will remain as such while i enjoy 7 dollar unibroues to get my belgian fix. However, this beer now has a place in the pantheon of great belgians that ill uncork for special occasions (along with chouffe houblon, duvel, and delerium)

01-08-2009 23:29:28 | More by imagineiii
Photo of Asgeirr

Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands

4.85/5  rDev +12.8%

Since it just so happens to be ma b-b-b-birthday (why, thank you!), what better way to celebrate it than to do so with a Chimay Grande Réserve 1999 Vintage? NONE! It's a rhetorical question dufus...

Appearance: Poured into a chalice (what else?) Chimay Grande Réserve anno '99 delivers a turbid, deep burnt umber colour along with a extremely thick and majestic beige "latte" crown which diminishes in a slow pace. The carbonation is vividly appearant for a beer this age, like a maelstrom of small bubbles raising to the surface. and overall it's just magnificent (for a beer that is)!

Smell: Deliciously sweet, plenty of dark fruits, mainly: plums, raisins and cherry in a bold fashion along with a round rum-like scent of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and pleasingly poised with the aforementioned aromas - and ever so nutty/musky! I've had me a few of this perticular brew before (and I'll most definetly will do so again) but I never felt that nut-sensation so upfront, possbily the age... What else is there on the menu, one might ask? Well, we get a certain spicey tone (cloves, pepper) and a stingy yeastiness in the aftertaste while alcohol is insidiously hidden to the tounge.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, smooth and creamy to the palate in a great fashion, the carbonation is surprsingly mild.

Drinkability: This just HAS to be the closest one could come to the ultimate beer, nah what am I saying - it IS the ultimate beer! Make no mistake, to paraphrase the ever so wise Mr. Burns, drink it not only once, not only twice BUT thrice (ad infinitum)! Exceptional. Period.

01-06-2009 22:58:30 | More by Asgeirr
Photo of heatmiserSD


4.88/5  rDev +13.5%

This is by far the best beer I have ever tasted. I have tried quite a few belgium dark ales and this one really stands out at the top. I am not that fond of their white tripel but this one is exceptional. I will be buying this one regularly and will be my go-to special occasion beer!!!

01-06-2009 07:03:41 | More by heatmiserSD
Photo of benclimbs


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

New years '09, I once again followed my new years party tradition and brought a beautiful, classic bottle of Chimay Bleu with me to celebrate revelry. Unfortunately the casino i was in on the strip made me pour into a plastic glass - tear. I hadn't had one of these since earlier in the year in France, but wasn't dissapointed. Great yeast, balanced malts, and rich beautiful wine-like deliciousness and complexity.

01-06-2009 01:48:01 | More by benclimbs
Photo of lhaqq


4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

A: Poured into a Chimay goblet; tan quickly dissipating head. From the side the body is an opaque brown mahogany. From the top, though, it is a speckled brown--lots of yeast particles, gold on the outside and darker toward the center.
S: Smells of molasses, brown sugar, dark fruits, raisins, and some spiciness.
T: Dark fruits--mostly raisins and figs-- are predominate. Also a lot of spiciness present.
M: Good and thick but not sticky. An alcohol bite at the end, but it mixes well with the spiciness.
D: Could maybe have a couple goblets, but too flavorful to have much more than that.

01-05-2009 06:55:27 | More by lhaqq
Photo of Jablonski


4.55/5  rDev +5.8%

Great beer. Poured a 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: darker mahogany color that is largely opaque; huge head and it takes a while to dissipate; no lacing

S: smells fruity and a little bit of bread

T: the spices rule this beer all the way through the aftertaste; sweet fruits initially (bananas that taper down into darker fruits (plums); as others have said, the beer gives a warming sensation

M: perfectly carbonated; not watery

D: I'd say the 750 mL bottle would be perfect; the smaller bottle I purchased left me wanting more; if you drink this beer to fast it will hit you though

I will definitely buy this again.

01-05-2009 04:03:56 | More by Jablonski
Photo of nighthawk

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%

Corked and caged 750mL bottle with vintage date on cork and best before date on label. Poured into a chalice.

Pours a nearly opaque oak, though some carbonation is visible in the glass and toward the edges the colour softens to copper. Several fingers of white, bubbly fizzy head develop then sink to a ring. Bare amounts of lacing left on the glass.

Smells of alcohol, light fruit, plum, with a bready malt backbone.

Taste is remarkably complex, it seems each sip brings something else out. Alcohol dominates early on, but warms more than it burns. Fruit flavours (light: banana and peach, dark: plum and cherry) sweeten the palate. Slightly sweet bread and yeast flavours form a nice backdrop. Some medicinal flavours are tasted early on, but mellow out toward bubble gum as the beer warms.

Surprisingly light in the mouth, with nice bubbly carbonation. Clean and crisp finish that is only slightly dry.

The alcohol isn't hidden, making this a definite sipper, though the light and bubbly body makes this one fairly easy-drinking.

Wow, what a beer. Big and complex, a real experience to drink. Something to savour. I'll have to put a few in cellar and see where they go. Can't recommend this beer highly enough.

01-04-2009 03:24:09 | More by nighthawk
Photo of MerkinMan


4.8/5  rDev +11.6%

A: Dark red / brown with a big head. Many small bubbles from the bottle "refermentation".

S: Fruity esters are very prevalent. Caramel, Plums notes also. Faint bubble gum.

T: Complex, yet no single flavor dominates. Dark cherries are certainly noticable. Caramel and phenols also present. Hops are there in the aftertaste. Dark fruit character lingers on after beer is swallowed. Yeast is more fruity than spicey.

MF: Light bodied. A very dry finish. Impressive how such a strong beer can be so light.

D: Hard to review, but easy to drink. Complex to the hilt, but all the flavors work harmoniously. Never becomes overly alcoholic or harsh. Recommended.

01-03-2009 03:25:17 | More by MerkinMan
Photo of kaseydad


4.43/5  rDev +3%

Definitely the best of the three! Pours a beige cloudy color with a finger and a half of foam. Spicy, fruity flavor with major yeast on the bottom of the 25th Anniversary Chimay glass. Highly recommended on this awesome brew!

Here's to another 25 years in the States for Chimay!


01-03-2009 02:27:31 | More by kaseydad
Photo of theclevername

New York

3.48/5  rDev -19.1%

Oh Chimay... Greygoose of belgian beers... A good product with better marketing and distrobution. Used to drink this beer whenever possible, until I found rarer, better and unique beers.

I have had the blue all over NYC only available in bottles. Pours nice deep brown. Nose has a little too much alcohol for just smelling it. Flavor is nice malt. 9% abv is evident. Good overall, just not my fav.

01-02-2009 23:29:39 | More by theclevername
Photo of brewbucker


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Served in my Chimay 25th anniversary glass. Pours a dark brown with a fairly large light tan head. Just stunning! Aroma is big ripened fruits, spiced malts and yeasts. Flavor is more on the tart side. Sourish malts, ripe fruits. Hints of banana and plum. As it warms the spices seem to come out more. A beautiful classy beer.

01-01-2009 00:22:04 | More by brewbucker
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,211 ratings.