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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,805 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,805
Reviews: 2,187
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 340
Gots: 1,050 | FT: 12
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,805 | Reviews: 2,187 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoctorDog
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz/330 ml bottle poured into a snifter. Aged between 1 and 2 years (lacked the foresight to mark...).

A: Dark and hazy brown appearance. ~1 1/2 fingers of tan, effervescing head, which dissipates to a few sparse bubbles fairly quickly.

S: Raisins and plums... dark fruits...a bit of a port aroma. Fairly sweet. Altogether, fairly subdued.

T: Dark fruits...raisins and brown sugar....cherry, and an touch of sweet chocolate...smooth peppery spiciness. A touch of well integrated alcohol presence. Just flat out outstanding.

M: Moderately high carbonation. Crisp, medium feel.

D: Excellent. Given it's 9% ABV....insanely drinkable.

Future outlook: I need to put more of this (and some other choice Belgian strong darks) down for some cellaring ASAP.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a bunch of times but just getting around to reviewing it. Kind of a chuncky pour, but great garnet color. A little less carb then usual. Amazing rich dry fruit aroma, raisins, plums, bread and grape skins. Tastes like a thick jam, again lots of dry fruits, yeast forward with a thick malt body. Deep flavor without being roasty. Despite all of this Chimay blue is rather dry and finishes a bit clean. Little alcohol is present, but a tad is detectable. What a great beer.

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

A-Murky brown in color. Creamy head. Doesn't leave much lacing.

S-Roasty and toasty. Yeastiness, and a hair of hop bitterness.

T-Very sweet. Deep dark roastiness. Like the nose. Alcohol is masked well.

M-On the heavy side with good carbonation.

D-I found it to be more drinkable than the two St. Bernardus I tasted alongside it but was not as flavorful.

Can easily see why this beer is one of the first belgians people try. Great for someone just learning the style (like me).

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

Poured from caged and corked bottle -no best by date visible.

Popped the cork and it went sailing across the room as if it were a bottle of champagne, poured a nice deep brown with four finger head that descended into a nice lacing that stayed all the way down ,moderate carbonation.

Taste - For a 9%abv brew I was expecting a hot brew that would be difficult to drink,That wasn't the case at all,This was smooth from start to finish,light malt flavors and some spices that combined makes this a extremely well blended and balanced brew.

Drinkabilty -Even though this is a high abv% brew ,It's drinkability is world class,some say it's a sipper but I couldn't drink it fast enough.

I would recommend this to anybody who is search of a great Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Photo of Swedes21
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml served in a chilled glass

Appearance - What a tremendous pouring beer! The beer pours with a solid 9/10 glass full of head then slowly, real slow, disappears down to about 2 fingers. The head is a gorgeous off-white creme colour that has some decent "volume" to it. Beer is a solid amber colour and hard to tell the amount of carbonation.

Smell - I can smell some raisins, some spices and little hop present. There isn't an overall abundance of smell.

Taste - What a great tasting beer! There is a raisin presents at the start followed by a slight bitter spice. The beer leaves a warm aftertaste in my mouth as well. There is also a taste of sweetness somewhere in there, very faint.

Mouthfeel - decent amount of carbonation added here that brings the bitterness level up big time. This is where i felt u can taste the 9% alcohol level. The raisins pick up big time as well.

Drinkability - This is a fantastic beer that offers a lot to the mouth and palette! I am very happy i tried it and will buy again if i can find.

Photo of Chizoad
3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally broke down and got the Blue after avoiding it for some reason. Too much hype probably. After having it built up too much I found it to be a bit of a letdown.

Poured a cloudy brown with hints of red. Nice head to it with big clumpy bubbles. A little flat on the nose but plum and stone fruit definitely in there.

Taste was odd at first when the beer was cold. Almost as if it had the same flavor a corked wine does. I let it warm to almost room temperature and that went away, along with the metallic bite it first had. Nice rich malts and not overwhelming to the palate. Raisins, dates. Good sweetness.

Decent mouthfeel, and very drinkable for the style. Wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again, but not gonna turn it down if offered.

Photo of Broombrew
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured out of bottle into chimay goblet.

I drink mainly american craft, so this was a bit of a switch for me. and i normally dont review beers i drink, but after half a glass of this, i couldnt help myself but write down what i thought of it.

dark murky brown with maybe a reddish tint to it. head is only about half a finger and dissipates quickly, but looks superb. looks perfect in the goblet. i cant wait to taste it, but i put it off for a moment so i can take in its aroma. the most immediate smell is a lingering scent of belgium yeast. i search for more, i detect a light fruit scent, but not fruity. very faint in the aroma department, but not at all bad. rolls through my mouth with a smooth creaminess. i can taste the fruits i smelled with a maltiness that is both heavy and light at the same time. perfect balance of alcohol, not at all overpowering. carbonation is pretty high, but the bubbles are so fine that it works fantastically. taste lingers in my mouth in a good way, reminds me of that feeling your mouth gets after a sip of cranberry juice. all this sipping and the first glass is gone, so i guess that puts the drinkability pretty high. ill leave it at that as i refill my glass.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a dark brown, a bit ruddy, with a slim foamy beige head.

Smell -- Prune, rum-soaked raisin, red grapes, brown sugar, apple must, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, gentle earthy Belgian yeast.

Taste -- Up front is sweet and fruity with fig and prune, rum raisin, red grape, and tart apple. Mid-palate is malty and rounded with spice and alcohol character coming to the forefront. Finish is slightly acidic, akin to plum skin, with a firm alcohol presence. Lingering flavors of grape skin and spice

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with ample fizzy carbonation. A bit sharp on the tongue. Slight fruit skin astringency in the finish.

Drinkability -- This is a great BSDA, though not my favorite Chimay (Tripel). While there are others of the style that I prefer, it does not disappoint.

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

Thanks to BA infi for purchasing this on thanksgiving, shared with ba r0nyn and other friends during thanks giving.

A: Poured half a finger head with a light brown opaque color to it.
The head stayed for a little bit, and when swirled it would come back.

S: First smell is of dark fruits all around. Raisin, Plums and many other dark fruits. Upon further smells I picked up the smell of brown sugar mixed in there. Very appealing.

T: The taste follow the nose almost exactly. Dark fruits (Plum, Raisins, and and a good mix of sugar blended well together.Also in this mix, is malt which added to it perfectly.

M: Moderately carbonated and medium bodied. Nothing to detract from it.

D: Very drinkable beer, would share with others and would recommend.

Photo of mariposafan
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red-brown with a beautiful beige head of creamy foam that lasts very well.

The aroma is a bit of a let down - a somewhat metallic edge overlaying some candy sweetness and yeast. Over time some raisin/plum notes come through but it's all pretty weak.

The taste is much better. A slightly pungent Belgian yeast profile with some cloves and plums. Alcohol dries it out so the lack of real bittering isn't a problem. A little sweetness but not too much.

Good mouthfeel but the carbonation is higher than I'd really like for this rich a drink.

For what it is it's plenty drinkable. If the aroma were better it would be more inviting, however, and smoother carbonation would add an elegance that I feel it's lacking.

Photo of BBP
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a thick chestnut brown with good carbonation, and a beautiful creamy head that kept pretty well considering the width of the glass it was in.

S- A little weak, but I can make out plum, a bit of grape, biscuit, and yeast.

T- Plum, grape, and raisin come in early and then buttery notes take over. For all the buttery notes I've seen in beer, this has some of the nicest. There's some very subtle spices to it as well. There's also a good amount of yeast to be tasted. All of these flavors balance incredibly well, and it makes for a very nice experience. It even has some hints of hops, that balance things but don't take away from the sweeter flavors.

M- Smooth and creamy. The carbonation is spot on. It makes the body feel nice and big while just a bit lighter, and doesn't feel abrasive at the same time by going overboard.

D- Superbly drinkable. There's not much booziness to be found, and the flavors are balanced quite well. I found that both of those things made this drink as impressive as it is. On the other hand, it did seem a little light in the flavor department, as nothing really pronounced itself more than any of the other flavors. It wasn't really assertive. It's the kind of drink that you could easily drink and think nothing of, or slowly drink to pick apart all of the details. I chose the second, and enjoyed it, but I'd love a version of this with everything amped up a bit.

Still a great beer. Pick up if you can. I wouldn't say that it lived up to the hype, but it didn't disappoint.

Photo of drseamus
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark body with thick off-white head. Fairly cloudy.

S: Nice rich sweet aroma. I would like it to be a bit stronger but it's good.

T: Super smooth, as a good quad should be. Some dark fruits but pretty light flavor for a quad.

M: As said above, super smooth. Low carbonation and medium to heavy body.

D: Obviously a classic quad and it doesn't disappoint. It's not the best but it's good.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a wine glass. 2010 vintage.

A: Off-white frothy head atop a murky, medium-dark brown body. Traces of bubbles up the side, little lacing.

S: Primarily dark fruit, with a bit of zing. Tart plums come to mind. Peppery, with some alcoholic yeastiness underneath. Robust. Later, after a bit of warmth, softer fruity smells come through -- stewed apple and even a hint of banana.

T: Spicy, sweet, fruity. Cooked apples. Coy cloves. Cracked pepper. A bit lighter and bit less developed than others I've had in the past, but this is the youngest I've tried. The aftertaste is round, sweet, and completely pleasant. As it warms, the flavours develop, grow, and improve.

M: Pleasantly effervescent, with the slightest stickiest that causes me to smack. Sweeping, forceful, ascendant. I like it.

D: A classic, and the beer that made me realise there was more to life than adjunct lager. This is my least favourite iteration of the Chimay Blue, but I'll jot that down to its age -- I'll try ageing one a few years and see what happens then.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

4.5 A: Murky medium brown color. Two plus fingers of super creamy light tan head with great retention and good amounts of lacing. Very good so far.

3.5 S: The nose is too weak, but pleasant. Main aromas that can be picked out are yeasty clove, plum, and dark candi sugar.

4.0 T: The taste is a lot stronger than the nose, which is much preferred. Raisin, plum, and tobacco fruitiness. Clove and pepper spiciness. Nutty with a bit of toastiness. Solid.

4.0 M: Lighter body. Good spritzy carbonation. Goes down pretty easy.

4.0 D: Definitely a solid offering, but I think there are some US breweries making stuff just as good at lower non-import prices. Still, this is something to enjoy from time to time. Good all around, but could use an infusion of power into the aroma.

Photo of busternuggz
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a Belgian glass.
Nice dark brown with a ruby/garnet tint and an amazingly persistent thick, lush, pillowy head. Leaves thick curtains of lacing.
Nice smells of dried dates and herbs- like licorice root and/or gentian- at first. As it warms I smell some cloves and cinammon bark, a little bit of sugar- like turbinado sugar or something similar, and some kind of caramelized or candied dark fruit. A little like a rich fruitcake. Smells interesting but a little weird.
Caramel, cocoa, stewed sweet figs, and light molasses on the taste, with some brown sugar notes toward the finish. The molasses comes back on the aftertaste, followed by a bit of dank earthiness. There's some floral notes too, like wet fresh flowers, and a bit of a menthol/medicinal taste. There's some sweetness but it's well balanced by the earthy and herbal notes, and the carbonation. As it warms the tastes blend together more smoothly and the herbal and floral notes die down. Very complex and exquisite, very close to a 5 on taste if not for just a bit too much of the medicinal quality.
The texture is nice, carbonated enough to balance the body and sweetness yet still ends smooth and clean. Coats the tongue just slightly.
For its complexity and alcohol, very drinkable. Hides the alcohol very well, though you get a peek at times. I could see cracking another one when I'm done just to dig in to all of these flavors again.
An amazing beer. The nose, while interesting and complex, is slightly off-putting, and that menthol medicinal taste is a bit odd, but those are my only small complaints. Good stuff.

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

Rich aromas of dark fruits, prumes, figs, dark sweet caramel malts mixed in with some clove and Belgian spiciness; some slight vanilla as well.

The taste is light notes of dark fruit, pear, raisin, and slight cloviness. Finish is sweet and spicy with a candy quality throughout. Lesser notes of maple, vanilla, tangerine, and nutmeg are present as well.

The mouthfeel mouth is lighter than expected due to the soft and creamy carbonation. Alcohol is slightly noticeable in the finish but pleasant. Very soft mouthfeel.

Overall this is one of the best on the planet. Gets improved ratings as well because of the ease at which this can be found all across the country. Definitely a world class beer.

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

A - Pours a cloudy amber/brown into my goblet with about a finger of light tan foam. Retention is fantastic with moderate lacing.

S - Lots of dark fruit, cherries, currants, some apple, roasted caramel malts, and sweet brown sugar. Alcohol presence is there but not overwhelming.

T - Lots of caramel malts, has a toffee like sweetness to it. Big dark cherry presence with just a hint of vanilla and a nice peppery spice in the finish. Moderate warming sensation from the alcohol.

M - Medium to to full in body, high level of carbonation lends well this beer, crisp and dry.

D - This beer is really great, nicely balanced and very enjoyable. A nice treat every so often.

Photo of TheSeeker61
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yes indeed. Poured a dark amber with a three finger head which diminished but a nice ring and good lacing decided to hang around. Simply beautiful.

Ah the smell was very pleasant with raisins and cherries dominating. This certainly reminded me of the fruit cakes my grandmother baked back in the day.

Began with a raisin fig combination which was a main part of the taste and finished with the alcohol warming the chest. The malts were very apparent as well which led to the sweetness(not too sweet) of the ale.

Mouthfeel was thick and creamy. Really enjoyed it.

The drinkability was smooth and due to the 9%ABV definitely a sipper. Would certainly indulge again. Oh yeah definitely gets better as it warms.

Photo of pilotgod
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured 07/09 vintage from the 750ml into a Chimay chalice.

A: Wonderful dark color that appears brown, when held to a light it becomes apparent it is really a dark burgundy. When poured with 45 degree tilt it leaves a good nearly two finger head that remains all the way through the drink and leaves great Belgian lace.

S: Lots of fruit and floral notes, must be how the monastery's gardens smell in Spring. Better noses will pick out specific fruits, I detect cherry and possibly apple. The malt notes are very apparent, but there is bit of an alcohol nip that can overpower the other notes. Great smell, but not the best of the Trappist styles.

T: Excellent, smooth and malty. Fruit apparent is mainly a dark cherry note with malty presence to sweeten. This is balance by hoppy notes. The whole ensemble comes together to produce one of my favorite brews.

M: Good, the carbonation can be a little too much. The mouthfeel goes up the longer the beer is aged.

D: This is one of my favorite brews. I can drink it for lunch, dinner, after dinner and just because. The only issue I've found is that everyone agrees it is best to age it. Sorry, but I can't have a bottle of this and let it sit. I HAVE to drink it. If you've never had a Trappist Ale this is the best one to start with. Sure, there are others that are as good or better, but for the price, this is a great beer to get.

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
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
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
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
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
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,805 ratings.