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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,350 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,350
Reviews: 2,151
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 281
Gots: 760 | FT: 11
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,350 | Reviews: 2,151 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of all5n
3.35/5  rDev -22.1%

As we deal with the national tragedy that is Barack Obama, i thought this nice 750ml bottle would help me get through superbowl weekend. Having him on the superbow pre-game was a nice touch, im glad they let W do that... Oh wait they didnt.

Took it out of the fridge so it could cool down for about an hour before drinking. Popped the cork and there is definitely less carbonation than a champagne bottle. Looks promising!

Appearance: Dark amber color. Almost the color of root beer.

Smell: Very pleasant earthy fruity smell. Nice. No hops.

Taste: Wow. An overpowering sticky sweet malty taste. Not session drinkable at all. Best paired with dinner in smaller servings. Distinct alcohol aftertaste, there is no hiding the alcohol content on this one.

Mouthfeel: Nice, but a bit more carbonated than a beer like this needs to be. Best to let it sit a few hours before drinking.

all5n, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of liquidnoise
4.13/5  rDev -4%

I would give this a strait run of "5's" but the alcohol taste in this beer was too much to ignore. When I want to taste strait up alcohol I drink vodka.

This is the first of the Chimay line I've tried, and I reccomend trying some of the lower strength beers first because I'm sure the alcohol flavor won't be as prevalant.

Other than that, it was a quality brew fo sho. I wouldn't buy it again, as there are so many other options I like better, but if someone wanted to give me one I sure wouldn't turn it down.

liquidnoise, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of mbunje
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%

Small (11.2oz) bottle, poured in to Tulip glass. Probaby 50+ degrees so maybe a bit warm.

A - Dark walnut in color. Very little head. Cloudy with sediment floating around and medium carbonation. Sediment settles down a bit later.

S - Sweet cherry-plum smell, a bit of pepper in the background and other "spicy-ness" I cannot put a word to. Very interesting.

T - Malty sweet cherry and plum, nutmeg, lingering sweet finish

MF - Fairly light bodied for this style. Carbonation is evident and there is a warming alcohol tingle on the tongue.

D - Very drinkable for a 9%...dangerously drinkable.

This is a bit on the sweet side for my liking, but I am a IIPA and IRS fan, so I am used to the dry bitter stuff. Surprisingly good for such a widely distributed beer.

mbunje, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of Riccymon
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured a deep reddish-brown from the 11.2 oz. bottle with a rusty orange hue near the top of the glass. Only about one finger of head resulted, and surprisingly, quickly faded away as many soda-like bubbles rose from the bottom of the glass. Smell is of ripe grapes, dried plums, and sweetness--alternately brown sugar and chocolate.

The taste of Chimay Blue shines among the Belgians (and Belgian-inspireds) I've tried so far. Most pronounced flavor is dried, maybe candied cherries, crusty rye, and those sweet grapes in the back-end. Mouthfeel is silky and full with a dry finish that reminds me of a light red wine.

The taste is so delicious and the alcohol so subtle that I'd love the chance to sit down with a much larger bottle of this beer.

Riccymon, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.13/5  rDev -4%

Poured a dark reddish tone with medium rocky head with a moderate frothy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing.

Aroma and flavor was complex and flavor of yeast and flowery tone.

The finish was long medium bitter of alcohol.

Drinkable complex beer.

tmoneyba, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of Brewligan
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%

My friend introduced this beer to me about a year ago, we were in the store when he turned to me and said, "I don't believe they have this stuff!" (as we live in a pretty small town). We bought 3 bottles and took them back to the house... thus began my love affair with Belgian ales.

Very aromatic dark fruit, raisin, prune, fig, and even a little orange on the nose. Smooth mouth feel and very sharp on the back of the tounge. Pleasant alcohol flavor, that I feel does not detract from overall taste. Wonderful malt flavor and aroma, but not too heavy or overpowering.

I love this beer, it's will always be one of my all time favorites.

Brewligan, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of adamette
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Could have sworn that I reviewed this beer before...I certainly had bought it within the past year...

Poured from a short stubby 11. oz. bottle into my Chimay Goblet. The only thing resembling a "best by date" are the characters L07-649 (?) on the label.

A Very dark, tree bark body which only direct light can get through and even then the light has to go through very murky, deep reds and browns. The head is a generous inch or so but it dissipated surprisingly quickly.

S Sweet malts for sure but grainier than I was expecting with yeasts, barley smells. No hops.

T Nice, pleasing malts in front with almost no hops until, actually, the beginning of aftertaste (just after swallowing). Very true to the style and the alcohol in this one is well hidden. The sweetness fakes my taste buds out quite a bit. I can taste alcohol but it does not feel like the 9% ABV that is listed. Later, after it got closer to room temperature, the taste seemed to thin out a little bit (or was that mouthfeel?)

M Full like it should be with big malt taste, some carbonation and it kind of dances across the tongue.

D Very good for this strong of an ABV and the style.

Notes: I know that I drank this within the past year but I guess my rating did not quite make it here to BA before today. A very good example of my favorite style. I have now rated each of the regularly available Chimays and I believe that I can say that I would recommend them as a sort of benchmark for their style as far as Belgians. The red, white and blue Chimays are all very solid.

adamette, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of cdizinno
4.13/5  rDev -4%

Dark amber, thick head. Tastes great, but I prefer the 'Tripel' or white label to this blue. Complex flavors of fruit and sweetness. Very pricy but this beer is meticulously brewed and its consistent taste is exceptional no matter which style you choose or prefer!

cdizinno, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of Soneast
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%

So you want to drink a Belgian Ale? Well look no further than this beer right here. Chimay; widely available, moderately priced and a damn good beer to boot!

Pours an amber color with mahogany hues. Has a nice, thick, pillowy, cream colored head that has great retention never truly disappearing. Lots of sediment on the bottom so be wary of that. If you don't mind yeast particles, dump it in, otherwise leave that last sip or so in the bottom of the bottle.

Like a lot of Belgian dark ales and quads that I've had this has a lot of dark fruit notes on the nose. Not quite a raisin smell per say, but certainly a sweet rich fruit aroma backed up by a decidedly malted aroma with hints of yeast undertones.

The flavor seems predominated by the sweet malts and brown sugar then followed quite nicely by the dark fruits and baked bread leaving an almost black cherry finish. With quite a bit of booze present. This really warms ya up!

This rich, heavy bodied beer is light on the carbonation, leaving a lot of tongue coverage to help bring out the complex flavors. The flavors really come out as it warms, I'd almost suggest drinking at room temperature. Just an all around tasty, accessible Belgian ale that you can't go wrong with.

Soneast, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%

Served at cellar temperature from a bottle at Aroma Cafe and Wine Bar in Augusta, GA. Bottle conditioning was evident, as foam slowly began to rise out of the bottle shortly after the cap was popped. Poured this eight-dollar delight (though it was free thanks to a punch-card!) into a stemless red wine glass.

Pours dark chestnut with a pillowy tan head that sticks around for the duration of the drink, leaving behind faint webbings of lace on the walls of the glass.

A full, complex yeast-induced spiciness fills the nostrils, with subtle hints of clove and anise; dark fruits peek through a bit, and alcohol becomes apparent as the beer warms, becoming very noticeable as room temperature approaches.

A nice, full body holds surprisingly little carbonation; the great, gorgeous foaming effect seemed to preface a bubbly brew, but such is not the case, as carbonation on the tongue is very soft.

Rich and malty up front, with a great caramel sweetness that gives way to a complex array of raisins, figs, molasses, burnt brown sugar, and a touch of alcohol. Hop presence is quite subdued, nearly undetectable, but present is a spicy carryover from the nose. A light sweetness coats the back of the tongue as the drink goes down, finally finishing with an astonishing dryness that is unexpected considering the considerable malty character of the beer.

Extremely well-balanced, with a high level of alcohol that is, though detectable, well-subdued and none overpowering. The balance makes this a beer that is never cloying in any aspect, but one with a wide array of complex flavors and aromas that co-mingle exceptionally. World-class and highly recommended.

superdedooperboy, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of hopdog
4.43/5  rDev +3%

Rating from bottle (I've had various vintanges and serving sizes).

Poured a medium to darker brown color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas and tastes of plums and other dark fruits. Lightly spicy with light yeast in the tastes as well. Medium sweet.

hopdog, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

A- This beer was looking very good until I poured the last little bit of the small bottle into the glass. Now I have lots of little suspend yeast particles. But before I did that it was looking tasty. Nice dark red/brown with very little head.

S- Dates, raisins, and figs can be smelled. I'm also getting a good malt presence with the smell. If you have smelled Red Man honey chew this has some smells like that too.

T- The malt taste is there up front and quite bold. The fruits are there, but not as sweet and up front like I would prefer. Plus the alcohol taste is too present. This is good, but eh.

M- The carbination is a bit too much, but don't beers like this have too much carbination? I'm not that big of a fan.

D- Easy enough to drink, but the carbination is slowing me down a touch.

Wetpaperbag, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of MilanoItaly
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

This is NOT a session beer ! It must go paired with food. It can compete with quality red wines . I would have liked less carbonation but one can always bottle-opened wait till it decreases .
I found it quite resembling to a stout except for the colour ,less darker.

MilanoItaly, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of aletales
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%

Absolutely marvelous. This beer is a miracle. It has a 9 percent ABV but drinks like it is 5 percent, which could get you into trouble if it was less expensive. The flavor is perfectly balanced with just enough fruity sweetness and just enough hoppiness. I have had Chimay from the 750 and the little 11 oz bottle. I actually prefer the little bottle because I like the tighter carbonation in the mouthfeel better.

aletales, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of pseudo
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.

pseudo, Jan 23, 2009
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.

HalfFull, Jan 23, 2009
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!

theboozecruise, Jan 20, 2009
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.

pinotboy007, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of kkipple
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.

kkipple, Jan 17, 2009
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.

BrewerB, Jan 17, 2009
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!

PirateUlf73, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of ncstateplaya
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.

ncstateplaya, Jan 15, 2009
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.

ricke, Jan 12, 2009
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.

baggio, Jan 11, 2009
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.

brewcrew76, Jan 11, 2009
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,350 ratings.