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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BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,737 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,737
Reviews: 2,173
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 327
Gots: 980 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001)
View: Beers (5) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,737 | Reviews: 2,173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbnooshay
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark murky brown color with a fizzy but frothy tan head. This is making a lot of noise, similar to a poured can of coke. Aroma is full of nice hints; raisins & other dried dark fruits, yeast, sweet caramel malt. A very nice typical belgian strong dark ale nose. Taste is full of spice brown sugar sweetness. I do think the mouthfeel is a bit different for the style; on the thin side of moderate with a thin fizzy feel. A very enjoyable strong dark. Drinkable, but after 1 330ml of these i would call it quits due to the cloying sugars. Also, its not as complex as most other trappist beers.

Photo of bamojr
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lovely pour with speckled appearance.
This has a very sweet fruity taste with some super complex notes. I am never disappointed with any Chimay, as they always have excellent taste in their well crafted brews. It has a bit of a IPA taste to it with its hop notes.

Photo of Brez07
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Dark pour with some ruby highlights. Huge 3 finger fluffy off white head; not much retention though. Minimal lacing left on the glass. Poured the whole bottle, so there's some floaties

S: Dark fruit - raisin, grape, fig. Fruit provides a light sweetness. Some yeast mixes in here. Slight twinge from alcohol

T: The fruit and accompanying sweetness are most present. There is a spice also present. Slight smokiness in the finish

M: One of the better beers I've had from this standpoint. Full bodied, with carbonation tingling the tongue. Also coats the mouth. Slightly dry finish

D: Not much more I can say about this beer that hasn't already been stated. Amazing, complex beer that drinks very easy. Try if you haven't already

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

I have waited for a truly special occasion to drink this beer. In this case, that happened to be friends and home-cooked Italian food. After pulling the beer out to warm from being chilled in the fridge, I noticed the cork beginning to wedge its way out of the bottle. Incredible power. It was right then I knew this beer would be comparable to a good champagne. My tulip glass is happy to have true Belgian contents swirled and wafted.

Appearance:
The beer pours a dark brown mahogany, but the light reveals it is cherry in color. An outstanding head forms that's almost light brown/tan. Lacing down the glass and ample carbonation (needless to say after almost shooting a hole through the ceiling with the cork). It looks incredibly rich and inviting, not like any beer I've seen.

Smell:
Quick wafting releases a fruity, almost wine-like essence followed by a more subtle yeast undertone. Not a heavy aroma at all, more sweetness seems to be hitting the olfactory. I am also reminded of raisins, cherries and roasted fig with the brim suctioned to my face until my nose starts giving me answers...

Taste:
Unique. This must be some heavily guarded water because they are helping to produce a masterpiece. There are no doubts in my mind that I'm drinking a well balanced beer with deeply protected complexity. There is almost no hint of the 9%abv while drinking, everybody is keeping their mouth shut. It's a good beer and tastes like one, especially if you enjoy Belgians as much as I do.

Mouthfeel:
Feels wonderful. Its caramel smoothness is followed by a refreshing rush of tiny bottle fermentation bubbles. Yes, I have been drinking this beer while reviewing it...but, that's the only way to do it. My first impression from taking a sip is a sweet malt without any bitter in the swallow.

Drinkability:
Drink responsibly. This beer is highly drinkable and highly enjoyable chilled -> RT. You will grow with this beer and it's safe to base your first impressions of a good Belgian ale on this particular interpretation. Drink up and make sure you fully experience everything these wise Trappist monks have to offer.

Photo of captainjferjado
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: A half-inch head rests on top of an opaque chestnut body. The head fades quickly leaving a restful remnant in the center.
S: A rich alcohol smell comes quickly. It smells warm, sweet, and inviting.
T: Like the smell, it is sweet and warm leaving the taste of roasted chestnuts on the palate and in the throat. Alcohol warms the mouth and throat. Although seemingly simple it is pleasant to the senses and enjoyable.
M: Light carbonation is appropriate and pairs nicely with the high alcohol content and taste.
D: I'm a little concerned about my ability to finish this bomber by myself tonight, but with proper pacing, this should be a proper beer for a long night of reading.

Photo of JamisonM
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A dark murky brown color light tan head

S: dark fruit figs with plums and slight alcohol smell

T: less alcohol in the taste then then smell complex deep malts with dark fruits and some yeast in there as well.

M: fairly light mouth for a 9% beer I will say its light to med

D: very drinkable and enjoyable

overall: a great quad deep and complex beer that is consistently great! My highest recommendation!

Photo of penguinjive7
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this as a groomsman's gift. Best gift ever. Poured into a Duvel glass.

The pour results in a dull caramel color with a creamy, tan head. The head dissapates rather quickly while leaving a bit of froth on top.

The smell includes strong caramel malt with a hint of brown sugar and alcohol.

The taste initially reflects the caramel that was in the smell with the addition of Balgian yeast, but quickly evolves into a plethora of spices with a hint of alcohol to round out the flavors in the finish.

This brew lives up to every expectation that I had for it. The Trappists never fail to impress. For all of the complexities that are present in this brew, I am extremlely dismayed by seeing the end of this bottle. A masterful brew brewed by the masters themselves.

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

THE BEST. My first review, so of course I start with my favorite. What else can I say about perfection in my eyes. Like the perfect woman, only better.

Why does this system say I have to write more words about perfection. Can something so good be done by me? no. Do I even really understand perfection? no Can I explain perfection? no 250 characters yet?

Photo of Spica66
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared a 750 poured into tulip glasses.

A: Murky, dark brown with very good head formation and decent retention. Carbonation keeps alive very well during drinking.

S: Malty and yeasty. Just a slight hint of floral hops in the background.

T: Decent malt base with a slightly fruity taste. This has an acidic finish. I can't tell if that is a function of the yeast or the hops.

M: Very creamy and well carbonated.

D: This beer smells very fresh and has a wonderful mouthfeel. Very easy to drink.

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

Appearance: Pours a dark brown ruby with a big fluffy off white head that dissipates like the head on a soda and leaves lace everywhere.

Smell: Some light raisin and plum with hints on an some other esters hiding around the in the background. Maybe some clove and some very sweet malt mixing around there as well. Overall not super aromatic for a big BSDA but still very nice.

Taste: More dark fruity esters, with more traditional Belgian yeast clove coming through. The sweet biscuity malt really balances this one out at the finish. Just the slightest twinge of alcohol in there as well.

Mouthfeel: Very heavy body with a palate coating slickness.

Drinkability: As just any regular Belgian brew, this one is a huge winner. However it really doesn't stand up to well against the rest of the Trappist brews out there. So if you are looking for your dessert beer and there's no Rochefort/Westmalle/Achel/etc around then pick up a Chimay and enjoy out of a nice big chalice.

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

Chimay Blue has a cloudy dark brown colour. The head lasts barely 25 seconds but since it is a fairly bubbly beer there are always some bubbles coming to the surface. The smell is fruity with a hint of yeast. This beer has a fruity flavour too and is quite acidic. Actually, it tastes like extra thick Champagne. Like all Chimay beers, it feels great on the mouth: foamy and thick.

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

330ml bottle poured into tulip sept5 2010

A light brown with some red after being held to the light, a little too dark to see bubbles but it had a massive beige head that had decent retention and left a few patches of lace

S lots of brown sugar with plum and other dark fruits, some yeast, booze and just a little banana

T what I smell but a little more complex, some dark bread works well with everything else and the booze is a little better concealed then on the nose

M not overly thick but plenty of bubbles cream it up a bit and you can taste it well after you swallow

D for being so young this beer is drinking very well and it's easy to forget it's 9% be careful with this one

I thought I reviewed this one before so I was a little surprised to see I hadn't, I've drank it quite a few times in the last year.
a great beer and everyone should try it, a little age wouldn't hurt its cause but still very nice and well deserving of its spot in the top BA 100

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

I've had the pleasure to move to Belgium recently, and it truly is beer heaven. This Chimay blue is the best one I've had yet, and that is saying something.

It poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay goblet, with a great big head that lasts. I had to pour three different segments to allow the head to settle in between.

It's a good color brown, not too dark, not too light.

The taste is everything. You can taste a variety of malts and caramels, and there is absolutely no after taste despite the 9.0% ABV. I'll return to this one frequently in the future.

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

An immense head fills the glass to the brim when poured along the side at a moderate rate. The lightly tanned rocky top of the head consolidates and slowly descends as the brew is savored, and emits a flowery, fresh-bread aroma from the Trappist yeast with a hint of the alcoholic esters.

Wonderfully dense and cloudy, the rich mahogany-colored ale delivers in the taste what is promised by the presentation. Thoroughly balanced, the tongue is hit with a round mouthful of toasted malts with a caramel-nut accent and a kind of buttery feel that flows smoothly into a deliciously pleasant, roasted treacle and bitter hops flavor in the back palate.

An excellent accompaniment to the spicy Ho Fan noodles with cilantro and mushrooms at dinner this evening.

Thank you Father Theodore, for isolating this exceptional yeast.

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Dark amber brown unfiltered

S- Fruity notes very settle in the hops and also can smell alittle wine. I know monks also make wine. Must be re-using barrels. lol

T-Sweet from the wort almost like the taste of figs. Fruity from the hops not to citrus but more like a orange zest.

M- Semi dry. Very creamy.

D- I must say this beer is a dream for me starting to drink Belgain beer. This one is my top the overall smoothness and taste and smell just outstanding. I can drink this all the time if the price is right of course. But I must get more.

Photo of billab914
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into my Westvleteren chalice. Poured brown in color with an active tan head filling half of the glass at first. The head settled down quickly to leave a creamy khaki colored foam resting on top of the beer.

The aroma shows a yeasty, spiciness to it with some dark fruit notes an and a moderate malty sweetness coming through. Pretty flavorful and complex aroma to it overall.

The taste is malty sweet with some notes of dark fruit, caramel and brown sugar to it. The finish has just a bit of spices and yeast to it with nutmeg being one of the spices I seem to be getting. A bit of alcohol in the finish but not bad at all. All the flavors come together very nicely and make for a great tasting beer.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation. The frothy head that lasted well into drinking it really adds a nice creamyness to the beer that I love.

Drinkability is good, it's a very good beer overall and a great example of the style. The mouthfeel was pretty much perfect which really helped the drinkability for me. It didn't hurt that it was very good tasting either.

Photo of Luk13
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 750ml. Aroma of figs, grapes, dessert spice (cinnamon, nutmeg), a slight strawberry acidity. Taste is mostly dessert spice, cherries, strong malts (a bit roasted) good sugar presence. Solid mouthfeel long, slightly creamy, good carbonation lots of caracter. I find it a little too much dessert spice oriented for my tastebuds. I prefer the fruitiness of the Pannepot or Rochefort. A very example of the style

Photo of gford217
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330mL bottle.

Pours deep mahogany that shows fairly clear copper when held up to light apart from the multitude of yeast particles floating around. Retention and lacing are minimal.

Aroma is very sweet with candi sugar and dark fruits dominating with a roasted malt presence in the background. An overall sweet yeast aroma lingers in the nose.

The taste has an initial candi sugar and raisin sweetness that tingles the tongue with the lively carbonation. The roasted malts are present with hints of clove and other spices.

The mouthfeel is lively, almost effervescent with tons of bubbles on the palate. Medium bodied.

This an extremely good Belgian dark and wonderfully drinkable. It's sweet but not overly so and with the right amount of roasted character and spices.

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

To cap off the trio of Chimay Trappist beers, we will discuss the grand daddy of them all; the Grande Reserve. The other two beers in Chimay's lineup, the Premier (Red), and the White, both show unique flavors and marvelously distinct Belgian qualities. The Premier is a Dubbel at 7%, the White is a Tripel at 8%, and the Grande Reserve is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 9%.

This specific beer style makes me smile every time. If well done (which this is) they can be so entertainingly complex, hugely luscious, and rewardingly delicious. A huge range of flavors can find a home in a Belgian Strong Dark Ale; anything from spices like cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, clove and nutmeg, to fruits like plums, cherries, oranges, figs and bananas, all the way to hops with big earthy rich aromas and zesty acid-like tartness. The Chimay Blue is a true classic, and among my favorites - the level of rich depth erupting from this beer begs for it to be aged for years. If only I could wait that long...

The Grande Reserve comes in 330ml stubby bottles, 750ml corked bottles, and the large corked magnum - which is the only Chimay bottle to be dated. I want 5.

I opened the Blue close to cellar temperature around 12C (54F). Like all Chimay beers, the Grande Reserve is bottle conditioned. I don't always include the sediment resting at the bottom of the bottle in my pour with a bottle conditioned beer - sometimes the earthy yeast flavors can bring an unfortunate bitterness that is not well suited for the beer. With big Belgian Darks though like this one it can fit the flavor profile adding balance and complexity. I made sure that I swirled the bottle close to the end of the pour so that I would be able to enjoy everything this treat has to offer.

The pour was dark and rumbling; it formed life and excitement where it hit the chalice and eventually built a fluffy light brown, close to khaki head. There were streaming pockets of air everywhere in the foam - some small and dense, others near the top were large and mountainous. The beer itself a deep and dark purple garnet with rich mahogany shining though - maroon, copper, dark amber reds and brick browns all glow in the stance of this beer. It was totally opaque, but not hazy; just very calm and deep in thought.

The nose is potent and again, complex. Big spice comes in right away accompanied by thick dark fruits, and an earthy musk - seemingly yeasty. Cloves and nutmeg battle out in front and lead into a deep a richly sweet malt backbone. Rich figs soak in dark brandy, while plums, apricots, stewed pears and dates get mashed together and float up into my olfactory sensors. The yeast comes in still with a lightly funky earth note and hints at tart fruit zest. The lightest and faintest touch of hop freshness glides in and shows a hint of bitter.

Open yourself up fully to the Grande Reserve. A light sip will not come close to unleashing everything that is contained in this beer. Thus, a generous wave of the blue will bring with it big malt richness showing the wild combination of layered fruits and spice that you can pull so easily out of the nose. Spicy and gooey figs and dates come though first, then smooth plums, apricots and molasses melts its way in. That brandy soaked fruit sensation is back and fills your entire mouth.

It may sounds like this is thus far massively sweet, but these big flavors are all very mellow. Rich, but mellow. Beyond that, there is a good punch of earthy yeast and hints of tart spice and bitter hops to balance it out. A surprisingly light and sparling mouthfeel also keeps the texture clean and crisp. I was expecting something silkier and lush, but this keeps the beer alive and exciting. Otherwise it could near overpowering (which I also enjoy).

The overall sensation here is rich complex malt with layers of spice and funk balancing out to a warming and and vastly soothing Belgian ale. The finish is sweet and dry at the same time with a crisp and abrupt end made possible by the beers large amount of natural effervescent carbonation. Beers like this are so magical with food - because it is balanced, yet hugely aromatic and displays a wide range of flavors it can match everything from roast beef to chocolate cherry trifle. I do recommend enjoying your first one own its own.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown to a copper color beer. Very cloudy with somewhat big particles floating in it. Great, thick, off-white head.

S: Reminds me of barely wine maybe?

T: Plums, raisins, little booze, some malts, and hops. All the flavors are very well balance creating a great beer with an even better finish. Very good representative of this style.

M: Crisp & smooth with a medium bodied and good carbonation.

D: One of my favorite beers so yes, I can drink a lot of these.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a cloudy opaque muddy brown with a huge deep brown head that's got lots of big pillowy bubbles. It slowly fades down to a one finger head. After the head settles a nice little circle of foam develops in the center from the etched 'D'. Nose is very yeasty and malty. It's slightly sweet with some caramel and molasses.

Mouthfeel is very nice and rich, it's like liquid bread. It's yeasty and full in your mouth with lots of carbonation, there is a very light tinge of alcohol but given this is 9% that's ok. The flavor is excellent, lots of dark fruits and molasses. Candi sugar is here, yeast as well. It's really tasty and worth the price. I've got a BSDA in bottles conditioning now, if it's anything like this i'll be amazed.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Usually my favorite of the most widely available three from Chimay.

Pours a dark brown and red color. Tons of chunkies go into the bottle, despite even more remaining in the last 5% of the bottle. Tiny head, recedes quickly. A lot of old fermented fruit smell. Cherry dominated.

Big taste of alcohol is the first impression. More cherry, some plum maybe. I can't really differentiate fig from plum, raisin etc. . .
As the bottle continues, the alcohol heat melds well with the fruit. Nothing comes close to a hop profile, I guess its all about yeast and fruit. I think this beer is very much about mood.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a small 12oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. Had Chimay White 2 nights ago, Chimay Red last night, and now the Blue. Although I've had Chimay Blue on many occasions...it's time to review it. Pours a toffee brown out of the bottle, filling the glass a deep and darker brown with a TON of setiment! Wow...the floaties are beautiful! About a finger and a half of creamy tan colored head rises quickly, but dissipates relatively fast. A great looking beer...although lacing is not like the others. Fast sliding and non-sticky lacing.

Aroma is very nice...lots of Belgian yeast and malts. Loads of raisins and figs, and other dark fruits. Booze is slightly noticable.

Flavor is outstanding! Great Belgian style presence. Trappistes beers are so clean and crisp! Well balanced and just stinkin' tasty! More sweet dark over-ripe fruits including figs and raisins, medium body and slightly malty, great Belgian yeast notes...booze is mild. High carbonation. Definitely my favorite in the line-up from Chimay, even though I love them all!

Photo of punkrkr27
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle dated 11/06. Brown pour with a tall fizzy off-white head that fades quickly to a loose ring. Smell is dominated by banana esters with some nuttiness, roast, and a touch of alcohol and flowery perfume. Flavor is a lot of roasty, sweet malt and dark fruit finishing with some banana and a fair amount of alcohol. Medium body with a little too much carbonation and an oily finish.

Photo of sunkistxsudafed
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- gorgeous burgundy hue with matter floating though out, with a bone while head.

S- strong malt aroma. oaky?

T- strong alcohol taste is cut through by all the flavors and aromas of this brew.

M- sparkling fizzy presense makes it enjoyable.

D- too hard to drink. not sessionable at all. to strong in every respect.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,737 ratings.