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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

6,515 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,515
Reviews: 2,162
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 294
Gots: 834 | FT: 12
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: 6,515 | Reviews: 2,162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kiddynamite920
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm glad I had held my thumb over the cork of this 750ml, because as soon as the cage was off and I removed my thumb, that bad boy popped right off.

A: Wonderful appearance, a nice deep reddish brown with a very fizzy head. Chimay just looks better in its respectable goblet. The head started as large fizzing bubbles but has diminished to a smaller ring of off white miniscule bubbles. Very pleasing.

S: I pick up dark fruits on the nose, cherries especially and a very malty aroma. It has very nice spice notes as well and a very noticeable yeasty smell.

T: Taste is out of this world. Very malty and bready with a nice follow up of dark fruits and banana. The cloves and spices are evident towards the end. Very rich and luscious tasting, especially drinking it warmer.

M: The carbonization hits first and last, while in the middle the symphony of flavors and aromas takes place. Different flavors seem to dance across the palate ever so nicely.

D: Very drinkable and elegant. This is a nice beer to sit down and watch movies with, or to share with someone over a nice cheese plate.

kiddynamite920, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of Floydster
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased from the grocery store for right under ten dollars, split with my dad last night, poured into a Chimay goblet, I have had this a few times before as well, color is a mix between medium brown and a dark amber, one inch creamy off white head, aroma consists of Belgian sugars and yeast, dark fruits, sweet malt, citrus, toffee, hint of booze, and strawberries, flavor begins with sweet malt, mostly caramel and prunes in the middle, finishes with some sweetness from oranges and same malts, bit warming in the finish but very mild, warms up with more fruit character and complexities from the caramel, sweet, creamy, and malty mouthfeel, medium bodied, pretty high carbonation that kind of dampered the whole mouthfeel for me, goes down pretty easy for a nine percent beer, smooth and not overly sweet, would be a nice beer to have lying around in the colder months, this beer is a staple and there is good reason for that, not the best but it is a classic Belgian brew and it deserves it rank, I am sure I will cross paths with this one again, worth trying

Floydster, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of Stonepot
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Simply incredible. Beautiful dark reddish body with a small head. Very strong taste with an ABV of 9% but the alcohol is masked behind glorious flavors and spices. Its also sold at the supermarket around the corner from my house, yeah. I will have this again.

Stonepot, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of tone77
3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Pours a cloudy, dark brown color with a 1 inch head. Smells of alcohol and sugar. Taste of yeast, a bit sour, and alcohol. Feels great in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall a good beer, but not great like the other reviews here.

tone77, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage
Poured a very dark amber color with good carbonation and a small white head. Nose is malt, dried fruits and citrus. Taste was nice malt, caramel, figs, prunes and light citrus. Really smooth and very drinkable. Mouthfeel was creamy and drinkability is good but its not my sttyle.

barleywinefiend, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of Jayli
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a gorgeous deeply cloudy reddish brown with a one of the most lively bubbly white heads that I've ever seen. Head retention is outstanding eventually receding to creamy foam that leaves nice sticky lacing on the glass. Nose is of dark fruits - cherries, raisins, dates, and distinct but not overpowering alcohol presence. Taste is of the dark fruits - cherries and raisins with some molasses in the body, there is a touch of spice as well in here, alcohol is also easily present. As the beer warms, fruit flavoring becomes more pronounced and I pick a bit of plum and apple in the taste. Medium body with moderate to high carbonation, light and airy feel on the tongue. This is incredibly drinkable beer - 9% it is a sipper but could sit with it for an evening.

Jayli, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of webmanspidey
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small bottle poured into a snifter. Dark purplish brown with a nice amount of tan head. I'm little happy already that this didn't overflow, as the last few high end Belgians I've had have disappointed me this way.

Smell is very sweet and sugary. That sweet, grape, yeasty definitive Belgian smell... alcoholic and estery. Taste is pretty subdued and mellow. Light alcohol for a beer this strong, fairly sweet. Dark woods, spices, and fruits. Grapes and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is fizzy.. fairly light. Drinkability is excellent. Definitely a great beer.

webmanspidey, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of magine
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a dark brown brew with a touch of light red on the edges in the light. Has a nice big chunky light tan head that has pock marks in it as it settles to a nice 1/2" thick head (prior to drinking). After a few sips head is now a nice island with the traces settling to fill the glass nicely. Some lacing.

Has a strong smell of variety in flavor - fruits, cloves, toffee and yeasts.

The brew tastes smooth and creamy - very balanced. The brew tastes of spice, dark fruits a roasted malt flavor. Has a superior mouthfeel to almost everything else out there. The smoothness and balance is second to none. Alcohol presence is in there - but more of a warming effect then a taste. Wow.

Wow - this brew is a definite sipper. Something to be enjoyed. This is a brew to savor, and enjoy on special occasions or times of year. Not something to "get whacked" with... although it would be easy and fun to do so. Stellar.

magine, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of wknight167
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

04/08 vintage

Apearance - Pours a reddish brown with a thick tan head that quickly drops down to a thin layer before it holds steady.

Nose- Unrefined sugar, raisiny, spicy, dark cherry?

Palate- First thing that comes to mind is that the spices are very well balanced. Caramel flavors complement the fruity undertones. The alcohol is just enough to provide a warming feeling, but not knocking you out.

Mouthfeel- Definitely full bodied, but just barely so. Smooth and lively.

Drinkability- High. Easy drinking and very intriguing. Each sip makes you want another. I wouldn't mind going through quite a few of these in a sitting.

wknight167, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of crnipeter
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

330 ml of 2008 vintage poured into Chimay chalice.

Dark cloudy coppery brown topped with tan head, that quickly dissipates into unstable lace, until only a lacy ring is left on the glass periphery.

Unrefined sugar, fruity esters of cherry, raisin and fig, light alcohol.

Sweet malt, cherries, raisins, figs, quite noticeable alcohol warmth, slightly peppery, hint of bread crust with delicate bitterness at the end. 330ml seems fruitier and lighter bodied when compared to Grand Reserve.

Light-medium bodied, prickly and quite dry.

Could sip this one all night long.

crnipeter, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of greengorilla
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured this beer out of a 33cL bottle into a tulip glass. It is a dark brown with a bubbly thick light tan head.

The appearance was really beautiful, but it only got better from there. This is how a beer should smell and taste. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

If I could rate the mouthfeel above a 5.0, I would.

It is really exceptionally drinkable no matter what its ABV, but at 9% the drinkability is insane.

This rivals the Rocheforte 8 for my favorite overall beer.

greengorilla, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of donteatpoop
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been told to buy this by countless people, and for once I listened. One of the beer stores mislabeled five bottles as $3.99 while the rest were all labeled $8.99. I told one of the guys who manages the store about the mislabel and he said "Well, you might as well buy those $3.99 ones up since they're already in the computer."

Fuck yeah.

So I did. And MAN is it awesome. Just awesome. Dark ale with head that retains throughout the entire fucking drink. I'm really excited about it. Glad I finally bought it, and even more glad that I got an awesome deal.

Smells of bread, grain, nuts, and sweet malt.

Tastes fantastic, goes down really smooth. And not even "Man, for 9% alcohol this is really smooth," either; just smooth.

Sometimes I think smooth should be spelled with an e at the end, but i'm pretty sure that's wrong.

donteatpoop, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper/garnet pour, big persistent off-white head.
Yeast aroma, some dark fruit (cherries/plums), soft perfumy alcohol, caramel malt. Subtle.
Flavours are fuller: caramel and toasty malt, doughy yeast, spicy phenols. Alcohol is more pronounced to the point of being full-on in the finish. All in all the taste is very nice, but it is a shame about the alcohol.
Carbonation is good: high, but not too prickly.

CrazyDavros, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of WakeandBake
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy dark brown color pour with a thin tan head , spotty lacing , highly carbonated. Aroma of sweet malt , Belgian yeast , bread, rasins,lightly flopral and a hint of apple. Flavor is slightly bitter, nice sweet caramel taste, dark fruit , bread and a hint of spice. The high ABV is pretty well hidden and with the tiny carbonation bubbles helping to give a dry finish, well balanced , Full body with a smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable , and quite enjoyable all around.

WakeandBake, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of strangemusic
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, chocolatey brown with burgundy highights, and a smallish, quickly dissipating off-white head. Plain, but elegant.

Smell: Big-time yeast/bready aroma, cloves, ginger and potent alcohol for the most part. Sugary undertones. Characteristic Belgian "hayfield" aroma. Very nice. Do I detect a bit of juicy strawberry?

Taste: That weird strawberry inkling has followed here! Rich, and flavorful, with sugars and caramel dominant, spiciness of cloves and hits of ripe red fruit and citrus, then alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Very soft! So nice! Rich and full in the mouth, smooth going down. Mild-medium carbonation just enough to excite the palate. To me, this is almost the perfect mouthfeel.

Drinkability is good, thanks to the pleasant honeyed aftertaste of the beer, the carbonation level and the smooth, smooth mouthfeel. Savour this beer, don't rush!

For me, the major challenger to this beer, in terms of beers that I can realistically drink often, would be Trois Pistoles from Unibroue, which is stellar in its own right. Chimay Grande Reserve is a "bona fide" Belgian, more subtle in all ways than TP but also much more complex and interesting, and probably better "all-around".

strangemusic, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of br3wmeister
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Medium sized light tan head good retention nice lace, dark hazy brown orange beer.

S- Very sweet nutty aroma, caramel, vanilla and lots of spices.

T- Large caramel and sweet roasted nuts, great spiciness.

M- This is a full bodied beer with a nice silky smooth mouth feel.

This is a very nice Belgian quad, lots of nice aromas and flavors in this beer. I will be drinking this again.

br3wmeister, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml squat bottle, on the patio at the Sugarbowl.

This beer pours a very dark, murky, orange-brick brownish hue, with two fingers or so of thin, rather fizzy pale beige head, which leaves some stark coral reef lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of ripe dark bananas, pear syrup, fresh red plums, raisins, cloves, yeast, a rather candi-sugar informed caramel malt, and faint earthy, musty hops. The taste is more quite sugary caramelized, and somewhat bready malt, fairly spicy cloves, dusty yeast, muddled dark fruit smoothie, a hint of citrus, and a subtle nod towards warming alcohol.

The carbonation is decently sturdy, a wee frothiness kicking up at times, the body a pretty solid medium weight, smooth, and ethereally creamy. It finishes off-dry, the reserved malt and broadly sublimated fruitiness mostly countered by the lingering spice and floral notes.

BSDAs are quickly becoming the yin to my DIPA-lovin' yang, and this one is right up there in terms of quality and enjoyability. More contemplative musings on a hipster patio than down 'em if ya got 'em, but that's all right by me.

biboergosum, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of aristeros
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A vigorous pour into a Chimay goblet from a bottle. An opaque and cloudy red-brown, with two fingers of off-white head that fades fast with some lacing. A little carbonation evident.

Smells of coriander or nutmeg, and sweet dark fruit. Sweet malts. Somewhat dry smell.

Moderate carbonation, but not aggressive. Dark fruit--figs and dates--and some red fruit. Spices, mostly up front, and bready sweet malts throughout. A bit of molasses and alcohol on the back end. Smooth and boozy, lots of character.

Good drinkability and smooth mouthfeel for the style.

Chimay red on tap was one of my first craft beers, though it's taken me a long time to get around to grande reserve. Would like to catch this one on tap, as well, and it would probably make for an even better experience.

aristeros, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of gmfessen
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into the Chimay chalice, beer is a deep, murky brown color with an active, quickly fading, cream colored head. The smell is a mix of spicy yeast, slight fruitiness that reminds me of fruit punch and an alcohol sweetness. The taste starts of with the slightly sweet, dark fruity flavor that was present in the nose and transitions to a slightly bitter, dry, warming alcohol finish. Raisins and figs, slightly spicy. Complex yet simple and difficult to discribe. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a thin, whispy carbonation. Overall, a very drinkable beer that one would not expect the high ABV that is present in this beer. Drink with care.

gmfessen, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a goblet with a 3 finger light brown head. Deep brown, red hues. Good Lacing. Subsides to a few fine bubbles.

S- Yeastie sweet bread, malty, Dark Prune and raisins

T- Very sweet malt. Belgian spices followed by a deep dark fruity taste. Well rounded.

M- High carbonation. Finishes with a sweet fruit taste.

O- This is the beer that started me down the road to craft beer. It might not be the best Belgian Trappist beer out there, but it is quite good. I will always recommend to start with this beer for someone looking to get into craft beer.

DwnTwnBwn, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of petroos
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Anthos restaurant in NYC with a braised lamb shank. Served from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a muddy brown with a tinge of red. Nearly transparent with some murk caused by carbonation. The relatively thin, tan head dissipates pretty quickly. There is very little lacing.

S: This smells wonderful. Chocolate, caramel, and tinges of red fruit and molasses. Alcohol comes through a bit.

T: Tastes very similar to the smell, with chocolately malt upfront followed by a sweet midpalate of red fruits. It reminded me a bit of an old painting of a fruit bowl, except imagine the fruit bowl was covered in molasses and caramel. Dark flavors of cherry, fig, and chocolate. The finish has great retention, and leaves the palette with a bit of a burnt caramel flavor. The alcohol is slightly apparent at the end but overall extremely well hidden. Really good.

M: Mouthfeel is heavenly. The sparse, fine carbonation perfectly balances the dark flavors, giving it a lightness that you wouldn't expect from the ABV and flavor profile. Nevertheless, the maltiness and ABV also lend a creamy counter point to the carbonation.

D: This is dangerously drinkable. At 9.00% ABV it's not even close to a session beer, but flavorwise it damn well could be. A sipper you can gulp.

petroos, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of hckyfn9999
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with reddish hues and lots of sediment. There is about a finger of fizzy white head, that doesnt have great retention and doesnt leave much lace. Aroma is of caramel, raisins, soft spice, and fruit.

Taste is a blend of fairly sweet caramel, dark fruit, molasses, a touch of clove, and a dry cocoa powder finish. Finish is slightly tart. The 9% is pretty well hidden, though slightly noticeable in the finish. A pretty good Belgian.

hckyfn9999, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of pants678
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popped it open and it immediately spewed. A very cloudy amber with a head that doesn't retain. Sediments settled at the bottom of the glass. That may be due to the sporadic opening.

Smells of toffee and carmel. It's spicy, some cinnamon, gives the nose a little kick to it.

The taste is sharp and complex. There's a whole slew of mixtures to tantalize the tongue. There's fruit, plums, pears that go well with a carmel and brown sugar that, seemingly polar opposite, work in conjunction to soften the blow that could be overwhelming. The subtle chocolate and malts can smooth a brew, but instead of threatening to be boring or too close to a porter, but the sharper notes keep your tongue on its proverbial toes. It stains the tongue with a not too drying middle, and slightly convolutes the following sips. I like that.

The carbonation seems to be just right. It's a bubbly cushion that helps combine and sooth. But it doesn't fall out too easily, which is nice. I don't pay for a beer that is there and gone without even recognizing it.

pants678, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of Kromes
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown with no apparent head. Aromas are of molasses, caramel malt, fig, alcohol, fruit, yeast, spice. The taste is initally of a molasses, spice and then the figgy and fruity flavors kick in with the alcohol flavor and warmth. The alcohol is noticeable, but the beer is incredibly smooth and delicious. The mouthfeel is a little heavier than it's brothers but it still has that carbonation tingle that adds to the body and smoothness of the beer. One of the best beers I've had. Delicious flavors, definitely won't pass this up if I'm out and it is available.

Kromes, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of GJ40
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a goblet. Purchased at Lowes Foods in Apex, NC.

A - Brown with a thick beige head. There appears to be a haze but it's a bit dark to tell.

S - Spicy with cloves, bananas and brown sugar.

T - A nice combination of Belgian spices and bready, biscuity malts. Very complex and satisfying. The 9% alcohol is well hidden at first but becomes more apparent as it warms.

M - A creamy texture with a carbonation that starts strong but ends low.

D - An outstanding beer. I can't believe it's taken me so long to actually log a review.

GJ40, Jul 09, 2009
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,515 ratings.