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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

6,219 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,219
Reviews: 2,142
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 264
Gots: 693 | 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
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Ratings: 6,219 | Reviews: 2,142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ch1mpy
Ch1mpy

Sweden

4.88/5  rDev +13.5%

33 centilitre bottle. Stored since 1999. Bought at Systembolaget in February 2008. Relatively cheap, only €4.

Pours dark brown with a coca-cola like head that disappears in a phrasing sound. Not very much lacing. An aspect of the old age is that I actually can see some yeast gatherings that I don't remember seeing swimming around in a glass of fresher newer Chimay Blue.

Extraordinary smell of sherry, currants and dark fruits like plums, black currant and wine. Actually I can't tell if I ever had a beer with so great nose before.

The plums are there again in the taste and it is the fruits that dominate. With some malts in the background. Actually the complex taste is almost hard to put your finger on since the mouthfeel is so total. A presence of rough acidic bitterness fills my oral cavity with pleasure.

The drinkability is almost at 5.0 as well. However some of the alcohol makes itself detectable through all of this beers greatness.

06-10-2008 21:06:53 | More by Ch1mpy
Photo of Thiestru
Thiestru

Georgia

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%

Poured from a bottle into a pint-sized pub glass (although I've had this in the appropriate Chimay chalice).

Appearance: A cloudy deep brown with a reddish tint. One-finger almond-colored head at the beginning; a wispy covering later on. This leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Dark and malty, with some faint floralness in the background. There is also a fruity sweetness in the aroma, and some alcohol.

Taste: Sweet (but not too sweet) malts, a very subdued bitterness (really more of a tang), and something a little like cherries lurking in there. Wonderfully balanced. There is a definite hop presence here, but far from the forefront; somehow the actual taste of the hops themselves comes through more than any bitterness imparted by them. The alcohol lends some sharpness to the flavor, and is quite warming. This beer is rich but never cloying or saccharine, and it holds many shades of taste.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth.

Drinkability: I could drink this all day. It never gets tiresome. Just got to have a care for that alcohol percentage, though!

In my opinion, this is the epitome of Belgian brewcraft.

06-09-2008 11:42:58 | More by Thiestru
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured from 75 cL bottle into chalice. 11/05 vintage per date on cork (this has been cellared for a bit).
A: Nice dark, cloudy garnet color with fairly thick off-white head that lasts for a while.
S: Dark fruit (raisin, etc.), bready yeast note, clove and other belgian spice, nice malt in the background.
T: Very consistent with aroma...dark fruit (especially raisin), bready yeast, clove and other spice with a malt backbone. Taste is deeper and more complex though.
M: Creamy and oh so smooth! Tremendous mouthfeel...one of the best. Lovingly coats the tongue and taste matures and changes wonderfully after the beer has been quaffed.
D: Extraordinarily drinkable. ABV is well hidden. A wonderful example of trappist beer. Complex with exemplary mouthfeel and drinkability.
I get the sense (from talking to people in general and not from the ratings on this site) that this beer is not as well respected as other trappist beer; and I feel that is more due to the fact that this is the most available trappist beer than any actual experience from tasting. Go get this beer! It truly is one of the better beers widely available in the US.

06-07-2008 23:50:54 | More by mwilbur
Photo of julian
julian

Washington

4.83/5  rDev +12.3%

Got this from Whole Foods in Bellevue, WA - bottle - 1PT9.4FL. OZ.

A: after a resounding "POP!" this bottle pours a dark, earthy brown with a light glimmer of copper. Nicely carbonated. The head is an off white cream color with a soft and creamy look. Lacing is minimal on this one for me...although oddly enough lacing begins to stick only near the end, the top 1/2 of the glass are completely clean.

S: definitely lots of malts and balanced spicing mixed with an amazingly fruity aroma. This is going to be good.

T: this is probably one of the best strong dark's I've tried so far. It's a soft, smooth yet crisp and sweet drink. What a delight! The fruit and malting blend together with the spicing for an unbelievable taste.

M: nice and bubbly, but oh so smooth and creamy at the same time. This is a soft, yet rich beer that I can't believe I haven't tried until now.

D: I could drink this until I passed out. The first beer on my list that gets a perfect 5.0 for drinkability. This is one amazing beer that is just so perfect in every way that you could drink this until you poisoned yourself!

This is pretty much my benchmark for Belgian Strong Dark Ales now, it's almost perfect in every way. Truly one of the great Trappist ales.

06-07-2008 01:31:22 | More by julian
Photo of trackstar1043
trackstar1043

California

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%

Picked ou a bottle for a family get-together, had it as a after dinner drink with the best ribs I ever had.

A - Pours a clouded deep ruby, brown, with a bit of sediment at the bottom, and specks thoughout the glass. Has 1 in tan head that left an splended lacing.

S - Deep and rich, a complex delight of malts, brown sugar, molassas, toased malts and dark fruit, plums and rasins. Fantasitic Aromas.

T - Even moreso than the nose, the dark fruits come with a full flavor and the malts and molasses or a bit of carmel tones come through to make a nice deep balancing of the flavors. At 9% you can't even taste it.

M - Full and smooth, with a great lingeing aftertaste worth of great beer.

D - Simiply a great beer, this is a standard of what a Belgium Strong dark Ale schold be, easy to drink and a pleasure everytime.

06-06-2008 17:27:59 | More by trackstar1043
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +12.3%

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va beach. Thanks Joe!

A- A very carbonated pour, a fizzy cackling. Pours an opaque brown black in color. Looks like chocolate pudding to be honest. A nice 2 finger head leaves a nice white lacing on my glass.

S- spices and malts. a strong floral spice comes of the top. This is definitely a Belgian. A good Belgian. A beautiful smell and lingering power as well.

T- Fizzes in my mouth and tastes of floral and clove hit my palate. It is very sweet yet tart at the same time. Some fruity esters come out in the mouth as well.

M- Carbonated and very smooth. Full of energy and life in the mouth and cacklin on the way down. A sweet and tart feel.

D- I could drink these all day. You cant really taste the alcohol but i know it is going to hit me in a few. This is like drinking sweettarts if they made a drink out of it. And very smooth and crisp, i love it. Hats off to chimay.

05-31-2008 19:13:24 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%

Consumed 05/21/08 at LAX Radisson beer tasting.

This was consumed from a 1994 bottle, opened after 14 years!

Pours from the magnum an orange/copper hue. Not a lot of carbonation, which is not surprising in a beer of this age.

The aroma is peppery and sweet.

The flavor is sadly a little corky, but this didn't ruin the beer. The typical fruitiness of "blue label" seems to have faded away with the years, but the sweetness remains. And there's that peppery flavor again. Nice. There's also a hotness which I can't nail down to either alcohol or spice, but it's there and enjoyable.

The lack of carbonation rendered this one a little still in the mouth, which didn't do it any favors.

Amazing that this held up so long and still retains its essential character. Makes me want to go out and drink a fresher bottle...

05-24-2008 16:47:06 | More by charlzm
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

3.53/5  rDev -17.9%

Reviewed by Wisemen Justin and Nick.

Appearance: Dark brown/amber colored with a thick foamy head. Lot's of delicious looking yeast flakes float around like Christmas in Illinois 2008.

Smell: Malty, strong smell of baked bread, fruity - cherries

Taste: It doesn't have much of a taste initially; more of a feel. Strong malt taste along with either plum or cherries or both. After finish reminds me of original flavored bubble gum and finally a slight alcoholic aftertaste. I like the malts.

Mouthfeel: I think this might be the lowest quality of this beer. Not horrible, just didn't feel well in my mouth. Starts off warm and tingly like Ron Jeremy in many of his films.

Drinkability: Expensive to drink. I could sit around and drink these if not for the price.

We had to average our ratings: I (Justin) just don't like the fruity Belgian beers too much. Nick thought it was pretty tasty.

05-24-2008 04:09:42 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

A - A nice finger plus worth of rich creamy velvety dark tan froth... Decent retention gives way to a thick ultra lash lacing... Dark burgundy in color with caramel accents... Slightly hazy... Largely opaque... Coats glass exceptionally well...

S - Malt, Dark Fruit (raspberries and cherries), caramel, perhaps some all spice...

T - Very well blended... Malt and fruit... A hint of tobacco... Warming alcohol aftertaste crescendos as the rest of the taste dissipates...

M - Thick, but not necessarily full-bodied... Mild carbonation... A bit fizzy... Lush...

D - Complexity makes this beer one to enjoy, study, and savor...

05-24-2008 02:53:47 | More by philbe311
Photo of cvstrickland
cvstrickland

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%

750 ml bottle poured repeatedly into a Chimay chalice yields a deep reddish-brown amber body with a swirling tornado of tiny roiling bubbles that feeds a creamy off-white head of two fingers. Nice retention at a chunky sheet that leaves thick, webby lacing.

Smells immediately fruity; black grapes, raisins, with a sugary malt background. Hints of tart cherries and brown bread.

Taste is an evolving experience as the brew warms (as does the drinker). Dark fruit and alcohol announce their presence right away, balanced by a nice twang of yeast and an earthy note. An antiseptic quality vanishes as the beer continues to un-chill, bringing forward a deep, rich, brown sweetness (yes, "brown sweetness"), and a light finishing bitterness that helps keep the drink from being too sweet and fruity.

Just about perfect in the mouth. Medium-heavy and syrupy, cut to perfect quaffability by active carbonation that is really fun to look at in the glass.

My first Trappist offering, and now I want to try all the rest. A renowned beer, not necessarily my favorite flavors or style, but certainly well-done and very impressive.

05-23-2008 00:40:08 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

re-review with 750ml bottle, cork dated 11/07:

there is much more lacing this time, which warrants a change from 3.5 to 4.5 on the appearance score. other aspects remain about the same.

paired with blue cheese, cheddar, and pan-seared ham with dijon mustard, not surprisingly also brings up overall drinkability a full point (partly to compensate for the fact that the taste score should be something like 4.2)

it also helps that i've now managed to find a way to purchase it directly from the importer here in china at a slightly cheaper price.

review from 12/20/2007:

brought back a small bottle from a belgian beer bar in beijing. (how's that for alliteration?) poured into chalice.

pours a dark, reddish brown, decent head, but in time fades to a thin layer of wispy beige foam. not too much lacing though.

nose brings an instant whiff of fruits, ranging from apple, cherry, to raisin. hints of spice (cinnamon) and bread/yeast.

tastes fruity, hints of cherry, before slightly burnt caramel comes through, followed by a steady but not overwhleming bitterness. alcohol isn't too noticeable, but is there if you really look for it.

creamy when rolled on the tongue. otherwise slightly thin, but not watery.

enjoyable, but not sure if entirely worth the price. again - look out, as you might not notice the 9% ABV

05-20-2008 16:36:06 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of kzoobrew
kzoobrew

Michigan

4.95/5  rDev +15.1%

pulled from cellar and poured at cellar temp.

Pours a very rich brown color, bubbly head light tan in color. Leave s thin white ring with slight lacing.

Smell is that of fruit and light malt. Alcohol smell is more of a wine than most beers. Slight scent of various spices.

Carbonation is crisp, but compliments heavier fruit like flavors. Good combination of sweet and spiced flavors.

Mouth feel is crisp and dry. The sweet and spiciness hits your tounge the different time.

Truly a brew to savor and enjoy. This will be a staple in the cellar to age and enjoy year after year. If only I can stand to let it sit.

05-10-2008 02:40:07 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%

750ml poured at 50F into a goblet. Ruby brown with a white foamy head. Not the most aromatic nose. Some fruity malts with Belgian yeast and herbs. The taste was equally unimpressive. Nutty malts and some spicy yeasts and hops. The body is medium and has good carbonation. A drinkable beer, but nothing special. Highly over rated in my book.

05-07-2008 01:06:53 | More by rye726
Photo of jayrod20
jayrod20

Texas

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

The beer poured a deep dark brown into the Chimay glass with a generous off-white head that didn't last near as long as some other Trappists I've tried. The aroma is full of malt and yeast, with a tinge of sweetness. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with a champagne like carbonation feel. The flavor was a combination of malts and fruits. A very good beer.

05-06-2008 03:00:52 | More by jayrod20
Photo of BoitSansSoif
BoitSansSoif

France

4.47/5  rDev +4%

A-Poured rich brownish amber w/thick light-beige head. Light lacing.
S-Estery notes w/rich malt and spice. Apple, cherry, fig, banana, and light caramel on the nose. Aroma is very pleasant.
T-Fig, apple, raisin, and slightly sweet toasted malt, clove, light caramel, and faint yeasty notes. Finish is spicy with light hops bitterness.
M-Rich medium body with nice dryness and sweet balance. Very nice moderate carbonation.
D-Excellent blend of flavor characteristics, aroma, sweetness, dryness, and body. Very enjoyable...a rich bouquet of flavors with a body that has enough backbone to carry them, but is still light enough dance spryly on the palate.

05-04-2008 02:06:33 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%

Apperance: Pours a clearish, reddish-brown body marked by a few yeast floaties and topped by a huge, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Dark caramel scent seasoned with sugar and a savor yeastiness. Sharp fruitiness, with cherry definitely leading the way. Slight wafty hints at that 9% ABV.

Taste: Sweetish maltiness with flavors of dark caramel compounded by a spicy dark candi sugar taste. Hint of breadcrusts. Growing plum and black cherry fruitiness. Spoonful of simple syrup. Slight savory yeastiness. Spice and a medium bitterness try to bring a bit of balance. Drying, cherry-packed finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: All kinds of decent, but, and this is between you and me, I'm more of a Rochefort man, myself.

05-03-2008 00:23:29 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +3%

My last Chimay from the 3 pack with glass...

It pours from the bottle a dark amber brown with plenty of carbonation and a nice finger width thick head.

Smell is a light fruitiness with nice malty finish. Not sweet, but just the right balance of fruit and malt.

Taste is quite similar to the scent, nice fruit and malt taste. Very good flavor, can barely taste the high alcohol content.

Mouthfeel is very balanced, no strange aftertaste and just the right amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable, wish this was the 750mL bottle.

Overall, a great tasting beverage.

05-03-2008 00:01:26 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%

Mixin' up the glassware...from 750 ml bottle to Reidel Extreme Pinot Noir glass - let's see what happens...

Big, bready 2-finger head with muffin tunnels. Carbonation clings to glass, similar to champagne. Head has life of its own from carbonation.

A great deal of yeast with a faint touch of alcohol. Some ginger, more sarsparilla. A little tin; needs warmth. There's a hint of salt - similar to a club soda scent.

Very clean - a little glove leather, some husky braised/boiled malt; alcohol accompanied with mild spice. Again, some salt in context with carbonation - leathery baked apple feel. This is a bit more mild than expected.

Slightly unbalanced mouthfeel - heavier than expected with carbonation. Needs a little more chemistry. Not what is expected but still pleasant.

By no means unenjoyable - a complex effort. Heavier than desired for mild flavor profile. Definitely sippin' material.

05-01-2008 10:21:36 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of jenitivecase
jenitivecase

Kansas

4.43/5  rDev +3%

A: Deep brown/cherry color; liquid is hazy, yet transparent. Poured into a normal glass (again, limited by the constraints of studying abroad) which generated a solid two-finger head. Good retention.

S: A tangy mix of fruits mingled with some yeasty notes; malt is also discernable.

T: Reflective of the smell; again, tangy and sweet with strong, dark fruity notes. A tang of bitterness towards the middle. When first poured, the 9% alcohol was easily tasted, but as the beer warms, the alcohol taste becomes less obtrusive and more enjoyable.

M: Crisp carbonation, yet smooth going down. The carbonation leaves a lingering tingling sensation on the tongue.

D: I could probably have a couple of these, but the alcohol content and the overall complexity of this beer would deter me from multiples in one night. Pleasant experience overall; very enjoyable and good for savoring.

04-27-2008 21:21:27 | More by jenitivecase
Photo of kurtissellen
kurtissellen

Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -15.1%

Emptied into an oversized wine glass creating three fingers worth of light brown head. Had a dark black color to it with mahogany edges with little carbonation present. Smelled and tasted of cherries and mild malts. Another easy drinking high ABV Trappist beer.

04-26-2008 05:00:55 | More by kurtissellen
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%

Dark brown, lighter around the edges. Some sediment flakes from the bottom of the bottle. Tannish head is very soft and fluffy, little lacing.

Spicy aroma, dark fruit and clovey yeast product. One sided and a little wimpy.

The flavor is heavier on the fruits, like rum currant, some sweetness with good viscosity. Prickly pepper alcohol is all over it, especially in the finish. It's either not as good as I remember, or more likely, it was among the very first strong Belgians I had.

Unimpressed with the mouthfeel, fairly light with just a ton of carbonation.

Kudos to the stores and bars attempting to cater to the better beer crowd by carrying this one; now take a couple steps further and look into some world class Strong Dark Ales.

04-25-2008 00:09:19 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Portertime
Portertime

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Such a delectable beer. I bought the three pack with the Chimay goblet in it so naturally I enjoyed this outstanding beer in their own glassware. Poured a brilliant black cherry color with a minimal head but no big deal. Nose had a pleasent dried fruit quality with a mild malts. Tastes was smooth and luscious for a 9 ABV beer with raison notes and a great hop malt balance. I won't get tired of this beer any time soon.

04-23-2008 14:11:19 | More by Portertime
Photo of RixBeer
RixBeer

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Dark ruby/amber with a thin 1/8" head. Smells of fruit and malts. Upon holding up to light, you can see the tiny yeast is completely suspended. It has an alcohol taste that isn't huge or overwhelming but one that mixes quiet well with the malts and dried fruit flavors. has a lighter version of a soda pop fizz one might find in store brand sodas. Still quiet smooth! Been awhile since I've had this beer. Always a great choice! My mouth says "drink all day" but my brain knows how fast that 9% catches up with you. Be careful but enjoy this one to the last drop!

04-21-2008 00:57:41 | More by RixBeer
Photo of Pauly2X
Pauly2X

Wisconsin

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%

A- Dark ruby chesnut body supporting a two finger head.

S- Complex dried fruits intermingled with sweet malt aromas. A little bit of yeast character adds nicely to the complexity.

T- A warming alcohol note carries throuhout, rather than just sneaking up at the end. Carried atop this note is symphony of sweet malts which progreesivley get heavier, almost to dopplebock proportions. Dispite this there is a light and slightly hoppy finish to keep this from being pedestrian.

M- Quite fizzy, yet very smooth.

D- I have to keep reminding myself that this beer is 9.0% abv.

A beer which is certainly worthy of being my 100th beer review! Seriously if you have yet to try this, stop what you are doing and go get some. It is a gem.

04-19-2008 13:09:31 | More by Pauly2X
Photo of Deus1138
Deus1138

Georgia

4.72/5  rDev +9.8%

I probably should have done this review before I got to my last few gulps, but it was just too enjoyable to stop!

I poured into a St Bernardus goblet. This may be blasphemy, but the bottle clearly calls for a goblet, and this is the only one I have.

Not much in terms of head. Very thin layer that quickly dissolved.

It smelled of sweet, dark fruits.

Taste is phenomenal. I mostly detect raisin and plum. Very, very sweet beer, but the sweetness is not overwhelming.

Halfway through the bottle, I read this beer pairs wells with sharp cheddar cheese, which I just happened to have in the fridge. I now feel obligated to review the cheese well!!

This is such a nice, sweet, smooth brew. It will definitely become a regular in my fridge.

Added 4/17/2008 - This brew continues to be one of my favorites. A word of advice: be careful where you buy it! I've come across quite a few bad bottles. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone who reviewed this beer negatively had the misfortune of getting a bad bottle.

04-18-2008 00:00:20 | More by Deus1138
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,219 ratings.