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

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

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6,370 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,370
Reviews: 2,152
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 281
Gots: 773 | 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: 6,370 | Reviews: 2,152 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RuudJH
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My old time favourite. I've had this in the 80s, and I allways remembered the taste.
The beer is very dark, the smell is florally, with sweet malt, fruits, the taste is full and complex, clear sweetness of apples and dried fruits, a little caramel, bread and roasted seeds, coffee and choco, you can allmost chew this beer.
And the aftertaste is very stable, pleasing and longlasting, it gives a real nice warm feeling.
This is the beer I've allways, and will now, recommend to all the lager-drinkers, to give them a sense of what beer could really taste like.

Such an excellent brew.

RuudJH, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Fairly-dark brown with some reddish streaks. Decent head.

S: Lots of candied sugar to go along with the Belgian yeast. Some dark fruits.

T: Similar to the smell, although not as strong and complex as I'd like.

M: Very smooth and creamy. Medium-to-heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

D: A very nice sipper, especially out of the Chimay goblet.

Thorpe429, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of bloberglawp
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky a yeast infused dark redish brown, a good head but dissipates quickly, no lacing.

Aroma of belgian yeast and liquid candi sugar, soft dried fruits and some oaky must.

Flavor of undermodified malt and some hints of banana and prune. Finished quite malty with a faint lingering hop astringency.

Very good, but I think red is better.

bloberglawp, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of ecoastman
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I wish this beer was available more often in stores around my town. I had this from a small bottle at the Bier Markt in Toronto and then a gift pack from the liquor store. Outstanding and is superior to the white and red labels - by far my favourite of the three.

It pours dark velvet with a dense tan coloured head. Against a light there is some rose hue but the beer is virtually opague. The head recedes but is very well retained with a thin, dense layer. Sadly, no lacing in my new and rinsed Chimay chalice.

Sweet malt and bread along with the characteristic complex Belgian style aromas. Dark fruits in light alcohol and chocolate. All of this and not over powering.

Ultra smooth as the malt hits the palate. All of the aromas deliver in the form of flavour. No bitterness or coursness in the finish. Deception is the description for the ABV - stealth like. Very drinkable but you've got to be careful...

One of my favourites. Reminds me of Avintinus, another one of my favourites...but even smoother.

ecoastman, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of BMoney575
3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on 4-17-09

Pours an excessively deep red color, impossible to see through unless held to a bright light. A fizzy off-white head settles to a nice layer, leaving rings of short-lasting lacing.

Smell is dark fruit, lots of raisin, very clean with not a lot going on. With some effort, I pick up blueberry and a slight vanilla.

Taste is very clean, thin, with an soapy flavor. Not complex, not even flavorful, if not for the alcohol that comes in at the very end. What a disappointment.

Mouthfeel is extremely thin and watery, with quite a bit of carbonation, which doesn't help.

Drinkability is decent, but not what I look for in a $13.99 beer.

Overall, I've wanted to try this beer for a long time, and I was better off before.

BMoney575, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of johnmichael712
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured out of an 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet. There is no freshness date on the bottle. This beer pours a dark, rosewood brown that has orange highlights when backlit with a lamp. The gorgeous, fluffy, whipped head is an off-white color and is supplemented by a ridiculous amount of small carbonation bubbles rising from the depths of the glass. The head lasts for an absolute eternity, and a thick layer of foam remains on top of the beer throughout the entire drinking experience, but it leaves no lace behind.

Smell: The nose of this beer has an exceptionally strong clove smell, and it's no secret that both this yeast strain and this beer comes Belgium. There is also an abundance of sweet malt in the nose, and it brings with it hints of caramel and toasted bread. Despite the appearance of pale hops in the taste, they don't show up in the nose.

Taste: Chimay Blue starts out with a rich infusion of pale, spicy hops mingling with the same clove yeast that was so pushy in the aroma. Following this, the toasted malt comes into play, and it is moderately sweet and very rich. There are also notes of raisins or prunes, and perhaps a bit of molasses, and this leads to a strong taste that is very reminiscent of the crust of fresh toasted bread, eventually culminating in a slight alcohol taste and a spicy, clovey finish that is slightly drying on the palate.

Mouthfeel: This beer has an absolutely fabulous mouthfeel, and it is heavenly soft and creamy on the tongue. There is moderate carbonation, but no carbonic acid "bite"; one of the reasons for the excellent mouthfeel. Medium body, perhaps not as full as it could be, along with a good dose of alcohol warmth, this beer is like a nice, warm bed for the tongue.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, and these 11.2 oz disappeared much faster than expected. The pleasant, spicy taste and the wonderfully soft mouthfeel make for one easy drinking beer, and when you combine that with the 9% ABV this little guy boasts, Chimay Blue becomes one deliciously dangerous beer.

Notes: This is definitely the best of the Chimay offerings, and it's a damn fine beer. Further tastings of other Belgian Strong Dark Ales must follow this one in order for me to make a claim on if it is overrated like most other BA's seem to think, but right now, on a cool spring night, I can't see how this beer could be called anything but excellent.

johnmichael712, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to trying this highly talked about Belgian strong Ale.

A- Pours a very solid barley see-though brown hue with beautiful one inch head that hangs around for a minute or so leaving some lacing.

S- Smell is of strong fruits including raisins, plums and brown sugar. Noted toasted malts as well.

T- Let me think how to put this.... Very prominent dark fruit flavors are very crisp. Firey burnt malts and barley hit you midway through. The warmth of the alcohol hits you in the end. Excellent.

M- Almost dangerously smooth with how much alcohol this Belgian is packing. Fresh and invigorating on the mouth, light carbonation is the key to making the drink easy.

D- Very easy to drink and i will buy many next time im in the store. I cant wait to try the other two.
(05-13-09)NOTE(All red, white, and blue are great.)

wesbrownyeah, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of bonkers
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a caramel brown with a big white head. The fruity esters in the aroma are wonderful, a mix of dark fruit and alcohol. The flavor is sweet with dark fruit notes and finishes with a pleasing amount of alcohol. The brew is medium bodied and has a nice creamy mouthfeel. I am dissapointed I did not buy the big bottle, really good stuff.

bonkers, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of cnally
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

cloudy amber color with good even sediment displacement.. two finger off white head dissipates down to a ring of lacing.

scents of caramel and malt. orchard fruits in the background.

beautiful flavor. even keeled mix of sweet malt and woodsy chocolate and malt. mild coffee flavors linger between the kick of malt and sweet. euphoria. but subdued.

probably the greatest mouthfeel I have experienced from a beer. initally, there is a fizz and punch, which quickly fades through its creamy texture..

just a good,solid beer, exemplary drink, near perfect execution. it is so balanced and subdued, it feels like the first love that you wouldn't think is the best overall. but still you evoke memories, filling you with that good feeling.

cnally, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of GilGarp
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from a chilled 330ml bottle in the New Belgium globe glass. It's murky with sediment even after a three day sit. Maybe I should've waited a month. It has a dark redish brown color with nice creamy bone white head that sticks around.

Aroma is really nice, much like the 'red' only bigger. Lots of great Belgian spiciness and fruit esters.

Flavor is much stronger than the red with bigger dark fruit character and an even more pronounced spicy yeast flavor. It finishes with a dry alcohol burn but it's balanced and pleasant overall.

Mouthfeel is fuller bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability is good but one is enough whereas the red I could drink all night.

GilGarp, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of sjclay00
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark amber color with a nice head. Two finger
S- Not much of a smell here. Basic malt and bread
T- Great taste malt blended nicely hiding the alcohol content well. Wheat is also present
M- Smooth, semi thick with the carbonation tingling your taste buds
D- Could easily drink a bottle of this and maybe another depending on the mood. Two would put a glow on my face

sjclay00, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of greg202stewart
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite Trappists. I have to buy it in the cask and I can't help but finish the whole thing in one sitting. For a dark ale it drinks very smooth and has a complex mix of flavors. Just writing this review makes me want to go get another cask for tonight.

greg202stewart, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of JKrout
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a dark amber with a thick head that dissipated fairly quickly. Somelacing on thop that did not stick to the glass.

Smell: Slightly malty, some wheat, a little sour.

Taste: Slightly malty and wheaty. Maybe some floral hints.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little oily and cloying.

Drinkability: Good. One or two at a sitting, but probably no more than that.

JKrout, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle 22oz. into a Chimay wide rimmed glass.

The color is a cloudy brownish/orange with a nice foamy white head.

The smell is of baked bread, and some really nice floralflavours.

The taste is a bit spicey, a mix of hops, floral and citrus. A hint of black pepper and rain flavor are evident at times.

This beer is the stuff of legends. I have heard many this about Belgian beers and this comes through much better than expected. It is clear that this beer copied and cloned but never surpassed.

Duhast500, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of xerxes2695
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I love this beer! Two caveats if you're trying it for the first time. First and foremost, this beer is much better if it's a little warm. I take it out of the fridge and let it come up to temperature for 30 mins or so, probably somewhere in the range of 50%F. Cold, it's dissapointing considering the good reviews and the cost but half warm it's flavore and aroma really opens up. Second is that different vintages have varying tastes. It's not significant, but noticable. Proabably has to do with the bottle conditioning.

The bitterness is primarily chocolate rather than hops. Malty, yeasty, and just a little sweet (but not too sweet even for this semi-hop-head). Light citrus, earth and Caramel. Champagne -like carbonation and thin but always present head. Really good. If it were cheaper I'd drink it all the time.

xerxes2695, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep burgundy with Kalamata olive tinge. Despite its dark tone, the beer maintains clarity until the introduction of yeast sediment. The head is fluffy and cloud-like and provides adequate covering for the surface. The beer certainly appears deserving of the royal-looking Chimay chalice designed to hold it.

When young, the beer exudes the odor of little else other than fresh yeast. It's one that I found far too simplistic and one-dimensional. This sample, aged the better part of five years already, is far more layered and intricate. There is a tremendously rich base of dark caramel as well hints both fruity and floral.

This is not the same beer when fresh. One sip in, I can now personally testify to the beer's complexities that come with aging. It has become an intricate, sophisticated drink with striking similarities to a vintage port. There is a brandy-like sweetness, a hint of alcohol strength and a bed of wild flowers and dark, dried fruits.

I'm not overly enchanted with this beer when fresh. With the age under its belt, however, I can definitely see the likeness to fine wines or aged port that many have bestowed upon it. I wouldn't consider this a special occasions beer; this would make a wonderful every-day beer to accompany reading, company or a hearty dinner.

Chimay's reputation may have superseded it for me. It is widely hailed as one of the world's finest beers, only now can I agree rightfully so. It's only apt that this is brewed by monks because it has clearly achieved a higher state of being. This is a heavenly drink, no doubt, that should be found in any respectable beer cellar.

biegaman, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of tubeboy
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll start by saying that I'm not a fan of most Belgium ales. This Grande Reserve was bottled in a .75L cork topped bottle and poured in a pint glass.

A. A nice reddish brown color with a tall thin head. So carbonated that it reminds me more of a light pilsner.

S. A sweet smell of yeast with a fruity nose.

T. A caramelized fruit taste that is sweet at first and finishes with a pronounced alcohol aftertaste. This beer is a roller coaster ride for the senses.

M. A nice thick viscosity for a medium colored beer.

D. I was satisfied by the overall experience and may give this style another chance based on this tasting.

tubeboy, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of FrothyBeverage
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chimay Blue has a rich carmel color and you cannot see through the glass. Very frothy head, lots of lace, and the tinyest bubbles i have ever encountered. The bottle is of an unconventional shape. The smell is almost a sour aroma and smells of strong yeast. This beer has a delightful full bodied taste. You can really taste the barley, malt, and yeast with tones of carmel and is a fairly sweet beer. It has a somewhat tangy aftertaste. I drank this beer quite cold and it was very refreshing going down my throat. Smooth yet tingly at the same time. A fine quality beer, drinkable to say the least. This is a nice sipper beer and is a nice change to what i have been recently consuming.

FrothyBeverage, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of juju7
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A great big, rocky head and a brilliant bouquet of figs, raisins, dried fruits and a hint of chocolate. Tastes just as good as it smells. Almost like port in it's intense mouthfeel. Could go on and on about this beer....but I won't. Just know it's really good beer!

juju7, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of jdoncbus
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Piraat tulip. Pours a deep brown with a bold beige head. Displays nice lacing when swished gently.

Rich toasty malt & sweet caramel jump out. Notes of molasses and brown sugar; yeast aroma introduces itself as well. Hints of lemon.

Roasted malt and raw cane sugar on the palate; smooth with a mild crisp. Sweetness gives in to just enough lemon and apricot hopiness providing some bitterness. Aftertaste is somewhat doughy where upon the booze makes its presence with a gentle burn.

What can you say? This beer is balanced enough yet bold with a smooth finish. The booze is hidden extremely well and leaves my palate very happy; an exemplary Belgian.

jdoncbus, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of CaptainIPA
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: Presented in an 11.20 oz. brown bottle with raised lettering on the neck: Abbaye de Scourmont, and a blue label with gold Chimay shield. Served a tad on the over chilled side.

A: Pours a rich, hazed mahogany color with a thin rimming of ecru head that forms paisley islands of foam across the surface of the ale.

S: Raisins, plums, brown sugar, candied fruit, overripe 'nanas.

T: Opens sweet and malty, dark and robust upfront with a brandy-like taste profile with spikes of candied-fruit -- spiced raisins and plums -- and suggestions of brown sugar. Belgian yeast rounds out the middle. Alcohol makes a statement on the finish with a subtle hint of licorice emerging as an afterthought.

M: Medium-bodied with ample waves of lively carbonation.

D: A complex sipper to be sure. This being my first BSDA, I'm not sure how drinkable Grande Reserve is compared to other offerings in the style. Personally, one 11.20 oz. bottle and I'm done.

CaptainIPA, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of grayburn
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

She pours into a chimay goblet a nice reddish brown with a big bubbled belgian head. Very nice, big lacing and good retention
The smell is strongly of raisins and plums. There is a a bit of alcohol hiding in the background.
The taste starts off sweet from the raisins, only to be balanced by the dry and bitter finish of the belgian yeast. Nicely attenuated, with a perfect blend between dry and sweet. A very vinous flavor that is somewhat earthy.
The mouthfeel is clean, crisp, and refreshing, with just a bit of residual sweetness to stay and coat the tongue.
I could drink a 750 of this without much of a problem, but I prefer belgians to share, the 750 size is perfect to take to someone's house for dinner as a wine substitute.

grayburn, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of CampusCrew
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: deep brown copper color, low head retention, quickly disappated

smell: slight coffee, rasin characters

taste: beautiful, mild bitterness, rich deep dark flavor

mouthfeel: super high carbonation... blew up when I opened it and very tasty

drinkability: very very easy and smooth. I feel like a king when I drink it

CampusCrew, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of yermomma
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yummy! Tan head started fairly large and quickly dissipated. Left very nice lacing. Smelled a little sweeter than I expected. A faint floral, earthy smell with a tad caramel. The feel of this beer is very nice... Definitely a substantial beer but the carbonation adds good balance. The alcohol content was very well hidden. I had the smaller bottle and wanted more pretty immediately.

yermomma, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of sevopie
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark cloudy nutty brown with a light brown head.

Smell - A sour fruit or 2 with a noticeable brown sugar aroma and some raisins/dates as well.

Taste - This is what I love about Chimay. Pears and raisins jump out immediately with the brown sugar still definitely present. Slight hints of bread and caramel with a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with the typical Belgian overcarbonation.

Drinkability - I could sip on Chimay endlessly, but as is the usual with Belgians, the drinkability suffers slightly from the overcarbonation. Overall, this one still holds up after 3 years in between last trying it till now. The one that started it for me still is a fine brew.

sevopie, Mar 23, 2009
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,370 ratings.