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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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BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,724 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,724
Reviews: 2,172
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 324
Gots: 963 | FT: 14
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 (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,724 | Reviews: 2,172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djmichaelk
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a SA perfect pint glass.

A - Nice caramel colored, mostly opaque pour. I know some rate based on clarity, but this is how I like it to look. Big pillowy four-finger head the takes 30 seconds or so to drop down to a thin cap that sticks around for the remainder of the beer's lifetime. A bit of sheeting on the glass, not much for lacing. It doesn't last very long, meaning the lacing is only about two fingers off the cap of the beer all the way down.

S - Raisins, dates, and figs, pretty standard stuff. Then some caramelized sugar, toffee, and vanilla. some yeast on the finish. I know it's not unusual for this style, but I can't think of aromas that I would want more than these.

T - Follows through on the aroma, but maybe a bit more on the candied sugar side. The toffee and vanilla really sing, and is dominant on the finish. Creme brulee in a glass.

M - The weakest point for this one, and it's not even weak, just not as strong as the other aspects. It's nice and creamy, but the carbonation fades just a bit too quickly.

D - With the exception of the warmth in my belly, it hides its 9% very well. There is no heat in the nose or the flavor. And the taste makes me crave another sip.

O - One of my first belgians back in the day, and one I keep coming back to. A great gateway beer that is also a great special-occasion beer.

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

Poured this beer into a tulip glass and generated a beautiful, foamy light brown head, a fluffy cloud of wonderful beer heights. The color is a deep mahogany brown that strikes an appetizing chord. The malt aroma is strong and sweet. The fruitiness of the yeast connects with deep plum scents, along with a very small snippet of cherry, and there is just a hint of spice to tickle the nose. There is a sweet, lightly malty ride upfront with spice and lots of fruity flavors. I get cherry and plum, with sugary swirls thrown into the mix. There is a touch of roasted malt, but your palate does need to search it out. The alcohol comes across quite pleasently and there is a semi dry finish to it. There is a lot of carbonation going on here and the body is medium full.

Photo of mmahut
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Magnificent dark colour with small head and medium carbonation.

S: Complex smell containing dark fruits, hidden dark sugar.

T: Well balanced sweetness with bitterness, background notes of malts, sugar and alcohol.

M: Medium body with acceptable carbonation.

D: One of my heart beers for years. When you see me, offer it to me. Bunch of bottles archived. I'm a fan. It's good, try it.

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

750ml into a tulip. Impressive pffft when opening. Not surprisingly, pour created dense three finger head you could eat with a spoon :) dominant flavor of the head was alcohol. Cloudy dark brown tending towards amber.

Very complex nose almost shouldn't be described - everyone has a different idea of what heaven may be like, why try to describe it. ps: the Monks are already a step closer to heaven than you or I, in my heaven they brew there too!

Taste follows the nose, tremendous complexity. One of those brews I'll swish around my mouth to release all the carbonation and help the flavors explode all at once. I'm guessing this may be in bad form when sitting at the Monks' table but they may forgive me when they recognize my bliss.

Bravo Monks !
jd

Photo of Darien
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decent appearance in the glass, nice thick head. Very light brown color and very cloudy looking. Smells pretty mild, flowery smelling and I'm not sure if this is right but it smells sort of metallic. Tastes better than it smells though. Tastes of orange with a bit of nuttiness, very balanced and easy to drink, no one flavor stands out more than the other. Medium bodied and smooth, just the right amount of carbonation. This beer goes down oh so smoothly, the alcohol is hidden incredibly well, a wonderful representation of style.

Photo of BJamesII
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This Dark strong ale comes in at 9% ABV. A dark reddish brown color with a thin head. This beer is flavorful yet not over the top. If you had no preconceptions about the strength of the beer itself you would not think it was strong. Many heavier ales with high alcohols tend to exhibit their strength in the taste. Grande Reserve is not at all like this. It is smooth and easy to drink. There is a dried fruit character and it is not sweet or real heavy. The body feels medium and it is relatively dry yet aromatic. This bottle (750 ml) in particular had slightly less flavor that others I have tasted. Overall it is one of the best Dark Belgians one can spend about $12 (bevmo) on and not feel guilty about the expenditure. After the bottle was finished... needless to say so was I. Even though you can't taste the alcohol, believe me it's there!!!

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay (Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont)

ABV: 9%

For pics and some more words about this beer check out http://sacbeerlog.blogspot.com

Photo of Millski7
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay Chalice from a 11.2 oz bottle.

Very nice pour with a caramel head, somewhat off white. A nice deep caramel brown color with noticeable particles of yeast floating along with some other flavorings. There is a nice hint of roses or flowers when catching the aromas. When drinking this ale, the first key note is the balance and medium mouthfeel. Perfectly balanced and not overpowering in any way. The taste is extremely balanced with a low to mild bitterness at the end, yet the primary taste is still this flowery feel. The 9% alc. hides extraordinarily well and will catch up on you. Overall an exceptional very smooth beer to drink.

Photo of metter98
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured cloudy brown into a goblet. It had a pillowy head that was off white in color, suspended the yeast particles (resembled nutmeg on eggnog) and left nice lacing patterns. There are also lots of particles floating near the bottom.
S: Complex aromas of dark fruits provide for a rather sweet smell in the nose, particularly as the beer warms up. Notes of grapes and plums really stand out to my nostrils.
T: Dominated with flavors of dark fruits, the taste shares a lot of similarities with the aroma. Some flavors of spices are also detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very smooth. There is a slight amount of dryness in the finish.
D: Although the alcohol is well masked, this beer is a great beer to sip and savor all of the complexities in the aroma and taste.

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

I had out of a 750 mL bottle.
A--Nice dark brown, opaque color. It had a good bubbly head that left some lacing. White head.
S--Fairly slight nut scent to it.
T- Like the scent, definitely a nutty malt to it. Floral undertones. Definitely has a sharp, crisp taste. Absolutely sensational.

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

750mL bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: Brown to dark amber. A little like a very dark maple syrup. An aggressive pour got a little bit of a head which faded rapidly down to just a little tiny bit of foam around the edge of the glass. Very little lacing.

S: Lightly sweet. There's some evidence of spice in the nose, and maybe some fig.

T: This is a fairly sweet beer, with just enough bitterness to keep the sweet from being overwhelming. The raisin/plum comparison is okay, but it's very blended and smooth as opposed to having any standout tastes. It's good. It's very good. It's just not as complex as some of the other beers out of the Chimay lineup.

M: It really fills and coats the palate. Medium body and just enough carbonation to give it volume. A fairly long, bittersweet finish that doesn't quite dry the mouth, but does leave the impression of alcohol.

D: Far too drinkable. Nothing about this beer is overwhelming, and it's just as easy to sip it slowly as it is to swig.

Photo of BeerCon5
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky brown color with less than one inch of off-white head, not much lacing.

The scent was of bready malts, raisins, some spice and yeast.

The taste was of darker fruits; plum, grapes, also raisins and currents. Belgian yeast, molasses and some spice were noticeable.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy, low carbonation.

I have to say even though this beer had a lot to offer, I did not enjoy it. I'm normally a big fan of the Belgian Strong's but this was not for me.

Photo of Schwarzwald
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a great Belgium! I, being the dork that I am, poured this beer into a red wine glass. Give me a break, it was the best that I had. I am writing this after drinking the entire bottle, well, it was very very good. Great drinkability and look and feel. I am not one for useless (sorry) adjectives to describe the beer, but man, it was great. Drank it with some burgers and potato salad... mmm mmm good. The head was light cream with nice carbonation. I also really like the yeast in the pour, leave it in the bottle if you like, but it really adds to the depth, I think. Great if you are looking for high alcohol and great taste. It's a winner!

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

It has been too long since I sat for a goblet of Chimay. Mmmm - don't you wish you had one right now?

A smooth pour, one can go right to the middle of the glass with this bad boy, and get the perfect amount of head. The taste is one part chocolate, one part coffee, one part champagne.

Made by some mad monks, our Belgian friends are responsible for this AND Audrey Hepburn. The Trappists have put the essence of the Holy Ghost into a bottle!

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

Chimay Grande Réserve | 750 ml. | 9.0% ABV | 2009 vintage

Bottled on: July, 2009 (10 months ago)

Appearance:
Pours a cloudy brown with a 1" head. Not much lacing.

Aroma:
Dark fruit: plums, raisins, belgian yeast, spices, heavy bready malt.

Taste:
Plums and raisins upfront. The malt tastes amost like liquid whole wheat bread. Theres some spicy Belgian yeast and a touch of warming alcohol at the finish. This is now the third time I've tried it, and perhaps the worst. It tastes a bit... flat. Oh well, here's hoping it was just a bad bottle.

Mouthfeel
Soft and smooth. Medium-bodied. caresses the mouth in a bittersweet embrace that ends. Prickly carbonation throughout.

Harmony
Very drinkable, all the flavors come together nicely in the end. 9.0% alcohol is hidden very well.

$11.99 at Varsity Liquors

Photo of argock
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2oz brown bottle into a Chimay goblet. L08-367 on the back label. Purchased as part of a Chimay gift pack.

A: Mahogany brown with short mocha shaded head with spots of lace.

S: Dark fruits like raisins, prunes, and candied dates predominate with some vanilla, cocoa, and light spicing. Hops are light and earthy. Alcohol is not overpowering but lends some berry qualities. An excellent compilation of malty aromas.

T: Dense dark fruit flavors mimic the aroma with less spice but delicious prune, raisin, and grape flavors, brown sugar and molasses, and much lighter spice component. Hops are lightly drying and herbal. Alcohol comes through pretty strong in this 1-2 year old capped bottle.

M: The body could be a bit beefier although it is easily medium and little more. The carbonation is subdued and the aftertaste is very long and malty.

D: I am intrigued by this brew -- I am going to purchased a few corked 750s and see what transpires over the time. In the meantime, this is a tasty treat for malt lovers, and I can only imagine 5 years of cellaring will deepen the maltiness and tone down the alcohol. I still enjoy Rochefort 10 a lot more -- better feel, more complex flavor. Still, Chimay Blue is no slouch.

Photo of herman77
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark muddy brown. Very cloudy with a big, bubbly, light tan head. No lacing.

S: Sweet bread, dark fruits, raisins, cherries, grapes and gingerbread. Very interesting.

T: Wow, this is really complex. Dark fruits again, raisins and dark cherries. Vanilla and a slight oak influence? Red grapes. It kind of reminds me of a mix between pipe tobacco and champagne. Short, subtle finish. ABV is hidden very well. I would like to try this again in the future when I've had more reviews under me.

M/D: Medium body, with a crazy thick velvety mouthfeel from tons of small zippy carbonation bubbles. Its like the beer turns very thick since the carbonation is so high. It makes the body seem fuller than it really is. Drinkability is pretty good partly because of the great mouthfeel, but also because its so interesting, in a good way, but you have to be in the right mood for this beer, not something I could have everyday.

Photo of rarbring
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A brown hazy beer with hints of ruby, a beige large head, leaving lots of lacing.

The smell is very ripe, sour milk, sweet dark bread, molasses, yeast. Leather and stable.

The taste is starting with sweet dried fruits, figs and dates, some hint of sour notes - a whiff of lambic, malty earthy tones, dark bread crust and finish of with a few bitter almond notes.

Rather high carbonation, small bubbles and a smooth feeling that goes over in a warm and dry feeling.

This is truly one of the greatest beers. Enjoyed with a ripe Gruyère.

Don't remember the Vintage, have later had 1999 and 2001. All good!

Photo of kcstevens
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this for the first time yesterday. I was impressed by the color and taste. I am new to tasting beers from other countries other than Canada. I liked the smell of the beer, fruity smelling, same for the taste when it first hits your mouth. then it went away and I could taste of malt. I wasn't impress that it was in my opinion, to carbonated, almost like soda. other than that it was a nice change from my labatts i drink.

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

Upon reading all the reviews for Grande Reserve I had to try it. Lucky for me my local grocer (Albertsons) stock the blue, red, and white label. At $13 a bottle the Chimay Grande Reserve isn't cheap.

Opening the cork was fun (champagne anyone), but it's whats on the inside that matters. This beer pours a dark caramel with a tan head that quickly fizzes away. Hardly any lacing either. The beer's look is much darker than any other strong ale I have seen. Earns a solid 4.5

Smell is very caramely, and i catch whiffs of grapes, very malty also. Not a bad smelling beer at all.

Taste is very unique. It does seem to have a flavor of white wine but the taste is far more unique. Sweet at first, then the alcohol follows once the sweet taste has calmed down. A very good tasting beer.

The one thing about the blue label that has set me off was its carbonation. It seems a bit over carbonated, the bubbles bite in the mouth for the first second. Once past that the beer goes down easy and it very easy to enjoy.

Will have to pick up all the labels very soon.

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

Poured the 11.2oz bottle into the widest glass I had clean...a pint glass. Shame on me but hey, I was thirsty. Being somewhat new to the world of "tasting beer", I have recognized the Chimay label quite often but never tried it. A creamy, off-white head atops this red-orange, cloudy brew. Fruit, caramel, and brown sugar aromas. The fruit aromas roll onto tounge. Figs. Raisins. Has a full-bodied mouthfeel. Somewhat dry also. The 9% abv is well hidden IMO. A great, flavorful brew. A classic from the other reviews I'm reading. I'd like to try the other Chimay colors before I revisit this one. Maybe even buy one of those expensive varitey packs that carry them all and then I can compare all three.

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

I bought this in a 4 pack at my local package store, and poured into a glass.

The appearance of this beer is darkish brown and pretty thick.

The smell of this beer is yeasty and can slighty smell the alcohol.

The taste is what really makes this beer. First off you get the taste of the yeast which is almost biscuit like. After the rush of yeast you get fruits like apricot and raisins. Lastly you get the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is not too think and its pretty carbonated.

The drinkability is probably a one to two time beer in one sitting because of the alcohol.

I will buy this again and recommend it to people!

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

Aroma of baked apples, fruity malt (grapes?), and some spicy yeast and peppery alcohol noticeable at first whiff. Aroma is both enticing and well within style guidelines.

Pours a clear brown with a thick finger of tan, borderline light brown, head. Large number of individual streams of small bubbles rising from the bottom.

Highly carbonated and very creamy; almost mousse like with a tongue coating property. Mouth enveloping also.

Dark sugary malt upfront with a very long sweet finish that has some faint citrus acid/tartness that is reminiscent of lemon. Grapes and plums are compromise the fruity flavor. Balance is spot on with no cloyingly sweetness. Alcohol heat is noticeable at swallow but under control. Bitterness is very mild with a small tingle on the tongue and a quick dissipation.

Overall a very drinkable and complex fruity beer with great balance and wine like similarities.

Photo of jampics2
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. Well that's some appropriate glassware, nice one Lizard!

Kept the yeast at bay as I poured in the first 6 oz. Looks nice, a dark brown with plum edges. Nice head is huge and sticks around.

Smell is grapes, raisins, apple, sweet candy sugar and bready malt. Some spicey notes as well from the yeast.

Taste follows the nose. Raisin bread with crust. Molasses. Slight alcohol warmth. Just not enough flavor compared to some other beers in this genre (Rochfort 8 for example). But for a Trappist you can get at the local supermarket, this is extraordinary.

Mouthfeel was above average but the carb was so intense it distracted as much as it lightened.

A nice standard but I feel the bar has been raised by followers. Does it deserve props? For sure, a trailblazer in introducing the world to the Trappist flavors. But I feel a bit more flavor intensity would make this on top of the pile once again (sacrilegious? No, sacreliscious!).

Photo of thetomG
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sipping on this one now.. for some reason it doesn't seem quite as tasty as the last time I had it so I'll try to balance my review between the two times I've tried it...

The appearance is probably my favorite aspect of this beer - it pours a cloudy/murky brown color that is quite hypnotizing to look at. The aroma is mainly a sweet/smokey/malty scent. Flavors are largely reminiscent of some standard Belgian yeasts with a strong sweet & roasty finish.

Great beer and definitely something I'd drink again.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, cloudy, red/brown in color, some sediment, low carbonation

Smell: cherry, raisin, candied fruit, and malt

Taste: cherry, raisin, candied fruit, toasted malt,brown sugar, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: slightly sweet, medium carbonation, medium bodied.

Drinkability: A very good and complex Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The alcohol does hit, but so do the fruity flavors. Will definately pick this up again but one glass per sitting max.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,724 ratings.