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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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6,708 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,708
Reviews: 2,170
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 317
Gots: 953 | FT: 13
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)
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,708 | Reviews: 2,170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into my Chimay Goblet.

A: Dark mahogany with an off-white head a finger thick. It settles quickly, but leaves great lacing on the glass.

S: Faint, but detectable. Spice, caramel, toast, and dried fruit rise from the surface. There is also some molasses and alcohol.

T: Wow. Cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander... None of these are ingredients to the beer, but the malts and yeast add these type of flavors. Also there are flavors of fig, raisin, molasses, and brown sugar. Hops take a back seat, drying out the finish ever so slightly.

M: Medium to full-bodied and packed with flavor that stays on the tongue for some time after each sip.

D: This is what this style of beer is supposed to taste like. I cannot wait to pick up a few more bottles.

Photo of birchstick
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a hazy deep, dark ruby red / brown with a 1/2 finger head

S - some sweeter fruits - a little bit of green apple, mixed with some darker grapes and dates. There is a lot of sweet and grainy malt with spice.

T - the taste fallows the nose to an extent, but not completely. There are some dry, tart fruits that are mixed with some sweet malt, a touch of caramel and some grain. I also taste a lot of grape/darker fruit. There is also a light spiciness throughout that is very enjoyable. There is a nice balance between the malt and the spice that makes this a very solid quad.

M - 4 full and smooth as it goes down - leaves a slight dryness in the back of the throat after it is swallowed

D -This is a fantastic quad that enhanced even more with Chimay cheese. This had a very nice balance, more so than any of the other quads. It seems like most go heavy on the spice, while this has some spice, but not enough to dominate it. I loved this beer and will seek this out again.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep tawny brown with a good sized off-white head. Sticks around for a while.

S - Lots of dark fruit and spice (mostly clove). There are also hints of malt and alcohol. Smells quite Belgian.

T - Rum soaked dark fruit (raisin, fig, date, currant), Along with a general spiciness (predominantly clove), Alcohol is also fairly prominent, much more than in other similar beers. There is also a good amount of dark sugar and caramel, but these are not too cloying. Very slight bitterness and the end balances these out a bit.

M - Moderate carbonation and probably on the higher side of medium bodied. It probably could be a bit fuller, but that is just kind of nit-picking.

D - Could probably drink 2 in a night and be fine, any more would probably be too much (even if the ABV was lower). It definitely hits the spot though, and is a nice beer to sip at night.

Notes: I do really like this beer. However, compared to other similar and comparable beers, I don't think it holds up as well. Not really a knock on it, it is just in great company. That said, the availability of this beer is certainly a plus, and if I saw it for a good price, I would be all over it.

Photo of BigMike
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Dark brownish red in color. Very hazy with a two finger head that disappears as you're watching. It's light tan in color.

Smell is belgian yeast, bread and a bit like red wine. Candied sugar.

Taste is yeasty. Lots of raisins, plums and dark sticky fruits. SOme pear and sour apple flavors too. Not much hops if any going on here.

Mouthfeel is very full due to the high carbonation. Very tingly in the mouth.

Drinkability is ok. I could drink a couple if i wanted to. But i really don't. I was kind let down by all three of the Chimays. I think they are a bit over rated. I honestly doubt i would ever revisit any of these again. Not that they're bad. There's just a ot better beer out there. Over all i would probably give the entire Chimay gift set a 3.75 out of 5. They're worth trying at least once. Plus the chalice is pretty nice too.

Photo of Dawkfan
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown with 1 finger of beige head. No lacing, but a nice thin layer remains atop a body full of suspended floaties.

S- Fruity, mainly cherries and berries, chocolate malt, candied sugar and belgian yeast. Although the smell is nice, I was hoping for the nose to be a little more robust. I really had to let this one warm up to pull everything out.

T- Much like the nose, starts off fairly sweet from the chocolate and caramel malt, middle and finish is spicy, bready and yeasty. Fruit is noticeable throughout and helps with balancing the flavors.

M- Lighter than what I was expecting. The carbonation is fairly lively, but it manages to remain smooth.

D- This beer does an exceptional job hiding the 9% abv. Definitely one of the better trappist beers out there IMO.

Photo of ne0m00re
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served out of a 750 mL bottle from my fridge into the proper Chimay chalice, alongside Chimay cheese, fontina cheese, pear slices, and slices of a dry salame.

A: Dark brownish red; it poured with a bright fizzy cream-colored head that died down immediately to a thin lace with constant little bubbles rushing up the glass.
S: Tart, earthy cranberry/cherry (fruits in that order of significance), with a hint of bready malts and caramel. The hops don't play a big role in this one.
T: Whole-wheat bread, tart alcohol with the yeasty cherry/cranberry (fruits in that order of significance) sweetness. Again, the hops are barely distinguishable.
M: Crisp and bubbly like a ginger ale, leaving your mouth a bit dry in the finish. The alcohol lingers.
D: I could finish the whole 750 mL bottle; it's pretty drinkable.

The beer settled the two cheeses down, exaggerated the juice of the pears, and accented the saltiness of the salame. Overall, the pairings were excellent!

Photo of dqrull
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Pours a deep hazy brown with a two finger thick b eige head, that leaves little to no lacing, bu t leaves great lid on the liquid.

Initially smells alot of belgian yeast esters, as the beer warms, plums, peaches and apples come forth, as well as a slight sweet note of melted sugar and chocolate.

Taste is slightly muted by yeast, as I have experienced with this beer earlier. Although I thought that I might have disturbed the yeast before drinking it, but this time I had it standing up, untouched for a week, that should be more than enough. But still, the yeast esters are slightly overpowering, and not very interesting in itself. Behind the yeast there are some light notes of fruits, spices and apple pie.

Mouthfeel is okay, but the carbonation is a little too much and in your face, otherwise okay.

Photo of jrallen34
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 11 oz bottle into my Westvletern chalice.

The beer pours a medium brown, much lighter in the light, with a few yeast floaties. The head is light tan but rises only about a finger and is gone very quickly.

The aroma is medium, lots of sweet matls, caramel, dark fruits and candided sugar.

The taste starts pretty matly dark fruit and finishes with a bit of bitterness. The taste to me is a little flat and lacks the complexity of a lot of other beers.

The feel is ok a light on the light side with a boring finish.

Overall, a solid beer but to me the least of the trappists.

Photo of Brabander
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one hell of a Chimay. I was surprised with this one after a had a disapointing Orval this week. A nice and very smooth beer which gives a nice broken white head. You can smell the quality of this beer. Drank it in my Westvleteren chalice. The alcohol is strong but very pleasant.

Drank this one again in 2011 and i must say that i am very impressed by this beer. I had a Westy 12 yesterday which was not as good as this one! The westy was fresh however and this one is three years old. Still, this is a very good trappist!!

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

A: A rich, brown-red color, mahogany. There wasn't much head from this bottle -- I think it is just this particular bottle, though, usually, the head is a thin but nice creamy-ness.

S: Yeast, malt, and spices. I also smell a nut...maybe almond? Vanilla, sugar...

T: The alcohol is quite present, but it is very palatable for this particular beer -- it interacts very well with the malt and almond taste. And I taste...plums? The last flavor that hits is the yeast, which finishes the beer nicely.

M: Warm, full, and smooth. Perfect. I enjoy the slight burn that comes from the alcohol.

D: Wonderful. Great sipping beer.

One of my favorite, classic beers. Always a delight to have.

I am drinking it now while listening to Bach Partitas performed by Glen Gould. A very nice beer/music pairing :-)

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that brought me to the BA website to begin with and started me on an expensive journey into the fine art of beer.

Poured into my Chimay Goblet, it pours a deep rich brown color. Like a deeply stained oak. The head is a perfect size of about half an inch almost through the entire drinking of the beer. It is a nice tan color and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

It smells of all sorts of dark fruits and nuts and dark caramel. Some yeastyness is also present.

Taste is great. All the above flavors in a subtile way with a nice alcohol booziness that actually works for this beer.

Mouthfeel is on the higher end of the carbonation spectrum but it is good for the style.

Overall this is an amazing beer that all beer lovers should have on hand to drink every once in a while. I personally like it with a little age on it but this one is a newer bottle and is still great. This beer is a staple around my house.

Photo of brownbeer
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I believe this is an 08 that i'm pouring into the classic Chimay chalice.

It's mahogany with a thin, cream colored head that fades quickly but is glad to come back around with a gentle swirl.

Fantastic aroma of plums, raisins, pecan pie, yeasty bread dough, and red ripe fruit.

Taste is malty, yeasty genius. Rich and silky with the alcohol perfectly hidden. Brilliant notes of figgy dried fruits, bready and doughy caramel all caressing each other in a perfect way. Velvety body and drinkable isn't the word for it.

World class doesn't do it justice. If you decide to pair it with food, find something light and delicate, otherwise the food will overpower the gentle nature of the beer.

Photo of NicholasSchell
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice.

A- Hazy deep ruby brown, bubbles dancing up the sides of the glass, nice 1 to 1 1/2 finger creamy head dissipates into a shallow ring, carbonation bulging through the center of the beer like magma from a volcano.

S- Tangly, toffee, dark juicy plums, earthy spiciness, lightest hint of caramel or burnt sugar.

T- Beautiful tangy sweetness, grape fruitiness, no trace of alcohol until it warms for a while.

M- Medium-heavy body, medium-almost heavy carbonation, matches the taste well.

D- As far as flavor goes I could drink this all day every day, but the ABV will sneak up if not careful.

Photo of goldbot
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color with lively, off white head which dissipates quickly. Lots of carbonation but no lacing.

Smells of caramel and chocolate malt, a bit sweet, with dark cherry and raisin fruit notes. Some yeast aroma as well, by way of a coriander spice note. Taste is very smooth with chocolate predominance along with caramel malt. Not too sweet though, rather quite dry throughout. No bitterness at all. Finishes with a dry yeast spiciness, with a slight touch of alcohol.

Medium body with a creamy, almost thick or viscous feel. A solid beer overall. While it lacks a bit in complexity, it has a great balance and smoothness that makes it top-notch.

Photo of Dster
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance Poured reddish brown, lacy white head. Should have had my camera.

Smell Alcohol, sweet, tart, woody

Taste Alcohol, tart, slightly sweet, yeast

Mouthfeel Smooth with clean finish

Drinkablity Tasty but could not get after more than one of these.

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

Thanks to Schen9303 for this one. Poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into a Ithaca tulip.

A: Gentle pour (so as to not disturb the yeast) yields a supple, 2.5 finger light cream colored, semi-fine, fluffy head with moderate retention. Beer is a cloudy reddish clay, mahogany. Lacing rises up nicely but dissipates just as quickly.

S: Grape juice, ripe prunes, spicy yeastiness, hint of booze.

T: Opens spicy, ripe purple fruit (grapes, prunes). Middle is slightly tart, boozy, signature Belgian yeast flavor. Hint of cloves. Finish is very clean with a bit of grape flavor almost as an afterthought. Malt character absolutely dominates here as is expected and there's no hop presence to be found.

M: Light to medium bodied, lively, carbonated, watery. Doesn't leave much. Finish is very clean with near no aftertaste. A bit boozy at points but never overly so.

D: A good, solid beer, but completely over-rated. I'd rather have any BSDA from Unibroue. I just don't really see anything special going on here. Complexity is present but its very plain (perhaps because its the original?). Mouthfeel sets a standard though. Very carbonated and watery. Goes down easily but also allows me to enjoy the flavor.

Photo of devilben02
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a stubby little 33 cL bottle, the Grande Réserve pours a cloudy, reddish, cola brown with a thin tan head. The aroma is subtle, with a sweet, yeasty character and an undertone of alcohol. The flavor is both fruity and earthy, with notes of raisins, dried cherries, and other dark dried fruits, and a biting combination of yeast and spice. Highly effervescent like its little brother (Première) and a bit thin in the mouth, but still creamy and smooth nonetheless. At 9% alcohol and with a hint of alcohol in the nose, I was afraid of the booze taking over, but this one is warming without being harsh. Even as it warms, the flavors are amplified but not the alcohol burn. Smooth drinking to the last sediment-filled drop.

Photo of djbreezy
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark brown/carmel color, shallow but velvety head with light lacing up the glass

Smell - Fruity, raisins, grape, plum, sweet

Taste - Carbonation balances the flavors, tastes very close to how it smells, raisins, plum, sugar, and fig flavors, slight alcohol is present

Mouthfeel - Bubbly on the tongue with a medium-light thickness

Drinkability - A very balanced example of the style, very drinkable and consistent

Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a goblet.

Hazy orange brown. A vigorous pour yielded a minimal head with no retention. I was a fair bit disappointed. I've had this before and I know there was lacing then...

Smell is a little jammy - apricot and raisins, a hint of the alcohol. A little clove, some banana esters, and a fair helping of yeast rounds it out.

Slightly sweet, prunes up front. A little bit of sticky sweet raisin, then the full yeast flavors. Well balanced, but not immensely complex. Hints of sugar plum, banana, and allspice, but nothing palate-blowing.

Carbonation is fine, creates a clean beer that is easy to drink. Not my favorite Belgian, or Abbey Ale for that matter..., but a very fine quality one. Enough complexity to warrant aging if you're a fan. Would go well with roasted meats, or a heavy steak and potatoes meal. Or, it's fine to drink on it's own.

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

This is a rock-solid Belgian Ale from Chimay.

Pours a raisin-colored dark brown into a tulip glass. Finger-thick mocha head that remains for some time.

Aromas of plums and raisins, yeast and a generally sweet smell.

Fruity and yeasty tasting, with a preponderance of plums perhaps cherries? Fairly sweet.

Great mouthfeel. Enough carbonation to keep it light, but rich enough to pair well with my meal.

Overall, this is a classic brew and I highly recommend it.

Photo of schanker21
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Brown and very hazy. Essentially opaque. Nice head that retains well.

S- Fruity, yeasty, strong. Very inviting. Makes me want to take a sip.

T- Incredible. I really can't find anything wrong with this. Fruits, especially orange. Great malt backbone. Perfectly balanced. You can't even tell that this one is 9% ABV. Love it.

M/D- What else can I say? This is one of the best beers I've ever had. If I was rich, this would constantly be on my shelf.

Photo of cdpike
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber served in giant wine glass.

Pours a brownish amber with not of ton of foam. Nose is bright citrus (orange), bubblegum and some malty sweetness. Taste is quite complex. The orange and bubblegum esters are right where they ought to be and balance the chewiness very well. The finish is quite dry and surprisingly bitter. This beer has a wonderfully balanced complexity about which I could ponder for quite some time.

Photo of irishking1977
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into my Chimay glass, a red ruby/copper with a moderate light tan head, that with further sipping, left lots of lacing.

S: Belgian yeast, and dark fruits including raisins and possibly cherries. Subtle, yet sweet malt also invades the senses.

T: Haven't had this in quite some time, now I know what I was missing. A truly decadent beer with great complexity and character. Smooth and robust with the taste of dark fruits and candy sugar that also includes the traditional Belgian yeast strain. Moderate malt finish that leaves one wanting another sip.

M: Smooth and rich, with solid carbonation. The pinnacle of a Belgian strong dark ale.

D: An indulgent sipping brew that almost anyone can enjoy. Wine drinkers would appreciate this as much as their vino, while any open minded beer drinker would certainly find something to appreciate with this brew.

Photo of acelin
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11 oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. Bought all 3 available Chimay beers ( Red, Blue, and White) at the local beer store.

Poured a deep chocolate walnut brown with almond fringes and an almond head that disappeared quickly after a vigorous pour. Almost no lacing as you drink this beer - that way you know it's a thick hearty man beer for champions and beer lovers alike.

This beer smells wonderful even as you pour it - scents of dried grapes, figs, chocolate malt, and cherries waft into your nostrils. Such a robust and fervent smell that I can only say smells like beer heaven.

The taste is much the same. As you let it warm even more flavors come out: a certain figgish prunish grapish quality comes through with warm alcohol hitting your tongue on the way down. Truly a warming beer - something I really enjoy.

The mouthfeel was superb. Drinkability is super good for such a hearty, manly beer.

Photo of sitarist
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into a chalice.

A- Pours a deep nut brown, almost looks like walnut wood stain, pretty cloudy. Head is an off white about an inch and a half thick, fades in about a minute, no lacing, foam sticks when you tilt the glass.

S- Smells of sweet, dark, dried fruits. Raisins, figs, dates, prunes. I dont pick up on the yeast like their other beers, but there is a slight hint of bread.

T- Not as complex as the smell, sweet and sour all at once, just a hint of alcohol, the sweet dried fruits come through in the finish/aftertaste, with a hint of caramel, bread when it warms.

M- A little thin to support the flavor. Too much carbonation not enough body. Not bad by any means though.

D- Hell yes its drinkable and will only get better with some time on it. The alcohol is well hidden with just a little bit of a bite on the way down.

Its better in the 750ml bottle for sure. This is one beer that should be aged for at least a year before serving.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,708 ratings.