1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

6,043 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,043
Reviews: 2,136
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 246
Gots: 599 | 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)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,043 | Reviews: 2,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
belgbeerdrinker

Colorado

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

a: frothy head forces its way out right after popping the cork, pours a near-black color with dark brown tints around edges, moderate head settles to thin veil, surprisingly with little lacing. did i get a bad bottle?
s: sweet -- raisins, caramel malts with a twinge of alchohol
t: thick malts with raisin flavor on the front end and finishes with a warm alcohol flavor/hit
m: a very smooth beer given the abv with very good carbonation & a medium/creamy body
d: as stated, very smooth and very enjoyable. admittedly not as good as i remembered the 1st time around, but solid nonetheless. things could be much worse if you're only choice is chimay.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2007 09:57:29 | More by belgbeerdrinker
Photo of dannon71
dannon71

Florida

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: The body of this beer has a rich brown color with a slight hint of red. Cream colored head that starts about 1" - 2" thick depending on your pour and settles to about 1/4" throughout.

SMELL: Beautiful aroma of fruits, malt and molasses blend very nicely together. At first, a complex variety of fruit aromas are evident and hint strongly of figs combined with raisin. Light plum and pear are present here as well. Fruit aromas are quickly followed by the sweet scents of caramel and molasses which linger around the nose for some time. Alcohol is evident but nowhere near overwhelming.

TASTE: Instant flavor of yeast is evident followed by a perfect combination of the spice and fruit pairings. A small hint of bitterness follows then quickly turns sweet on the palate. Taste finishes with a dry crisp that leaves the mouth lingering - no begging - for another sip. Absolutely wonderful!

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body with a definite champagne like carbonation. the finish is nicely smooth and slightly dry.

DRINKABILITY: Very easy to finish the glass due to the complex flavors and uniquely warming qualities of the beer. Very difficult to slow down between sips and to truly savour as this beer warrants. A 750ml bottle is not near as difficult to drink as one may think.

This is by far my favorite Belgian beer. If you can come across a properly aged bottle, which is very hard to do these days, the experience is even greater! There are some exceptional Trappist brews out there but when you consider quality, availability, and cost, this one tops them all!!

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 15:33:30 | More by dannon71
Photo of jmalex
jmalex

Pennsylvania

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

Trappist #3 out of 6 for me. I can't believe I haven't had this before. It's about time, and today is a great day for it.

APPEARANCE: Pours an opaque brown with a vague red tint to it. The head started out at a one finger height and dropped to a nice off-white cap which holds to the very end. Lacing, however, is non-existent.

SMELL: It doesn't seem to have very strong aromas, but they increase at it warms. Light smells of Belgian yeast as well as some fruit (peach, plum). Alcohol is only barely detectable, but it is there.

TASTE: Begins with a quick jolt of Belgian yeast flavor along with the same fruitiness in the aroma. It becomes quite sweet towards the finish, and alcohol starts to come out. As a result, the finish is a little hot and dry. But it's such a complex beer. Incredible.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to medium-light bodied with a fine, champagne-like carbonation. Very smooth, but slightly dry.

DRINKABILITY: A really smooth beer hindered only by the heat (not to sound like a broken record). Really fantastic though. I should have bought the 750 mL bottle.

I see this beer on tap from time to time, but never ordered it. I guess I thought since it's so widely available, it wouldn't stack up to some of the other Trappists in comparison. Today's tasting has proven me wrong, and I'll definitely be drinking Chimay again in the near future.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2007 20:42:57 | More by jmalex
Photo of TheBierBand
TheBierBand

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got a bottle of this (1PT, 9.4 FL. OZ.) at KROGER Grocery store! I paid $9.99 for the bottle. But I figured that hey.... you get what you pay for.... so, I tried it! The brown bottle has a CORK. The bottle label said "see vintage on cork" (My cork said 11/05.... does that mean November of 2005?)

I poured it into a goblet to produce a 1" light tan head that disappeared to a fizzy ring. The beer is the color of dark caramel. Cloudy. When held to light it is a deep red.

The aroma is rich and a bit fruity. Sweet caramel.

OK.... here goes the taste: WOW!.... This is strong stuff! Taste of plum with a big alcohol finish. A touch of caramel sweetness but a good bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: A bit too fizzy for my taste.... this beer is highly carbonated. Also a bit thin for my taste.... I would prefer a bit more substance. Nice aftertaste and mouth coating.

Drinkability: This is a BIG BEER! 9% ABV. It was all I could do to finish the bottle.... best bet....share with a friend. I will buy this again and let it cellar to see the difference.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2007 18:58:07 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle, bottled in 1998
from mushroomcloud via Secret Bunny '07, but saved it for my 500th review

A - explosive right out of the bottle, but nearly all was saved, looks a hazy brown cola-esque color, with a thick nougat colored head that dissipates rapidly, too hazy to note significant carbonation

S - raisins and grapeskins dominate the bouquet, even the girlfriend can pick those aromas out, alcohol and a hint of molassess round out the nose

T - this is dangerous! this doesnt feel like it is a wallop of a beer! the flavors from the aroma are there, the raisins proceed to the forefront, and the grapeskins flavor is extant, but fades relative to the raisin, and a molasses/brown sugar sweetness rounds out the flavor

M&D - as stated, very dangerous, smooth and light bodied, and kind of fizzy, it seems to have lost some body over time, but the flavors have remained, what an amazing beer and aging has been good to it thanks again to mushroomcloud

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 12:08:35 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of sterstar1
sterstar1

Colorado

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

What a great beer. It's so well balanced and simply tastes wonderful. It pours as a lovely color and an excellent head and has a wonderful, fruity nose. The taste is superb. I don't care for the red or the white but this is a trappist that I will always enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2007 23:13:52 | More by sterstar1
Photo of jdubjacket
jdubjacket

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is quite an exceptional beer. I typically pass this beer up at the liquor store since I heard it was a pedestrian beer. After reading raving reviews for it, I had it for the 1st time last night. This beer is exception in all aspects except for its smell. I wasn't too impressed with the aroma. The taste is very clean and refined. This may be one of the few 9.0% ABV beers that can act as a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2007 19:54:32 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of soupyman10
soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a pint glass. Pours an amber brown color with two fingers of big bubbled head that dissolves oddly fast. Second pour goes better, a solid improvement shows that first look was just a bad pour. Nose is molasses and spices. Smells good, but fairly mild. Taste, on the other hand, comes out of nowhere and kicks you square in the nuts. A touch of alcohol up front. Prunes and raisins. Chocolate and some light caramel. The only hit to the flavor is that the alcohol keeps sticking its nose in throughout. Body is medium and highly carbonated. A good beer - one that actually. However, second pour went better and all in all, an excellent one from Chimay.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2007 19:44:10 | More by soupyman10
Photo of surlyseth
surlyseth

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Spendy, but worth it if you've never tried it. I hosted a beer tasting and this won the foreign round, hands down. Somehow it combines abundant fruity flavors with a genuine beer taste. Not too sweet. It's a tight-wire balancing act kind of adventure.
Perfect for a celebration!

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2007 23:49:33 | More by surlyseth
Photo of bahumutx
bahumutx

Michigan

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter

Appearance: Pours a red brown with about a one finger head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Dark Fruits, Malt and a slight alcohol aroma.

Taste: Prunes, figs and other dark fruits. There is also a nice malt background that is present and a nice sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Great mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: I could have one or two of these in a sitting but not more then that due to the high alcohol content.

What a great beer. I will definitely try the other offerings from Chimay. Keep up the great work.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2007 01:51:16 | More by bahumutx
Photo of jar2574
jar2574

Missouri

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

Dark brown, the color of weak coffee, with a cream colored head.

Smells of fruit, plums, maybe a touch of rasberries. A hint of alcohol as well.

The taste is very rich. It is full of complex fruit flavors, yeast and spiciness. Goes down very easily given the high alcohol content. Threre's a nice mouthfeel and chewiness here. Almost a meal in and of itself. It wouldn't be a dessert, because this is too complex and not sweet enough. This would be a main course and a fancy one at that.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2007 01:42:05 | More by jar2574
Photo of saintwarrick
saintwarrick

South Carolina

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

This is a bottle I've had for a little over a year now and was eager to see how it differed from the fresher Chimay's I am used to having.
Pours a solid head, but not as big a head as I am used to from this brew. It settles down to a fine lace, which is odd for a brew normally more carbonated.

Smell is distinctive grapes, plums and prunes which dominated the fruity esters that abound in this brew. The aroma and taste is almost like an old port, sort of reminiscent of a barley wine or an old ale in some ways.

Wow, this beer really ages well. I would recommend setting a bottle of this aside for a year or two the next time you buy some. The fresher Chimay is good, but the older stuff is better. You can't make a bad decision with this brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2007 03:26:07 | More by saintwarrick
Photo of KingG
KingG

California

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ML bottle.
Served at cellar temp and poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance is very good. Very dark brown/red color with a thick, soapy and fluffy almond-colored head.

Snell is good. Plum, raisin and powdered sugar dominate with a pleasing earthy malt fragrance to round things out.

Taste is good. Huge plum flavor, sugary dates and alcohol fumes. Literally like biting into a plum. Luckily, the sweetness doesn't become cloying. There's an earthy, yeasty presence as well. Not extremely complex but well done.

Mouthfeel is good. For the style, carbonation level is almost perfect. Lively in the mouth but finishes a little bit thin.

Drinkability is good. Mostly because the sweetness isn't cloying, the drinkability jumps. One bottle would be enough though.

Overall:
Not the most exciting Belgian Strong Dark Ale out there but worthy of being in the rotation. Nice for a Belgian beer beginner.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2007 08:20:04 | More by KingG
Photo of Poppypitbull
Poppypitbull

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

no words do this justice, the greatest ever perhaps.
dark pour, nice head all the time.
goes down smooth, obviously crafted the way a beer should be crafted and I've come to expect it from the fine people at Chimay. I buy multiple bottle at once and bring them to parties where ever I go in an attempt to educate those who are less fortunate and willingly drink garbage like bud all the time. They don't know what they are missing.
The greatest of all time, period.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2007 17:43:55 | More by Poppypitbull
Photo of PhiloPsych
PhiloPsych

California

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

The color was dark copper brown as it poured into the glass and dark, hazy reddish brown in the glass with a giant bubbly tan head. Smell was a bit weak, but malty and sweetly fruity. The flavor was very rich and the mouthfeel fairly thick (not quite creamy because of the sharp carbonation). The complex malt and fruit flavors are just what I expect from this Belgian style. Despite the 9% ABV, the aroma and taste are both less alocoholic than Chimay's red and white beers. In my opinion and for my tastes, this is Chimay's best brew. It is quite drinkable, too.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2007 01:14:48 | More by PhiloPsych
Photo of sleazo
sleazo

New York

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Fresh direct

ARuddy Brownish opague liquid with a big foamy head that dissipates quickly. No lace, leaves slicks of bubbles floating on top

S-Sweet cherries and other dark red fruit. Mild alcohol heat. Some roasty malt.

T-Candi sugar sweetness with a rich malt backbone. More of those fruits, with a dose of baking spices then an aftertaste which is mildly bitter. The alcohol is there, you know you aren't drinking a session beer. A complex brew.

M-Highly carbonated, medium bodied

D-This is dangerous to me and qualifies as a session for me. The price deters too much imbibing.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2007 20:41:36 | More by sleazo
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but fruity with apples & dark fruit and a touch of yeast.

T: The taste is of fruit, spice and Belgian yeast and is very well-balanced. There's a slight touch of chocolate and no hint of the 9.00% ABV. The malt character is hearty and the hops presence is mild. The after-taste is yeasty and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, excellent kick, very good representation of style, after drinking just the 330ml bottle, I'm regretting not buying the 750ml bottle. This is definitely a good beer to drink for a whole evening.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 03:43:28 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of RedHaze
RedHaze

Nebraska

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. with 11/05 on the cork.

Pours a slightly hazy, very dark garnett, with a one finger head that settles slowly to a thick cap. The lacing is very thick and sticky, completely covering the interior on the glass.

Smell; a bit more subdued than I was expecting, but there are some dark fruits with a little bit of a dusty yeastiness.

Taste; much better that the aroma. Very fruity with some figs, currants, dates and plums. Caramel and cinammon, with a little touch of pepper are present, as well as some cloves.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, which is a bit thinner than I expected, especially considering the higher abv, and the drinkability is pretty darn good.

Oddly enough, this is the first time I've ever had the Grand Reserve (I first had the Premiere about 11 years ago). While this is a good one, there are better, and much cheaper ones to be had.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2007 01:26:10 | More by RedHaze
Photo of sewald
sewald

Brazil

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

Poured on a trappist Rochefort glass.
Medium-bodied. Mild bitterness. Perfumed, dried sweet herbal hop aromas. Full carbonated mouthfeel with toasty caramel malt flavors and prominent dried herbal hop character taking hold through the finish. Carbonation is rather high and vigorous.
Really great beer, but I still prefer the dubbel Chimay Premiere.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2007 23:42:48 | More by sewald
Photo of MCDuhamel
MCDuhamel

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a Westmalle chalice, moderately chilled.

A: Pours a somewhat murky dark mahogany, nearly opaque, with some ruby highlights when held to light. Head is compact and dissipates, but leaves a one centimeter cap. Little lacing.

S: Fig, ripe fruit, some spiciness. Also a bit of a jammy character.

T: A wonderful combination of fig and dark, ripe jam, with a slight aloholic spiciness. As it finishes, there is a quick hop bitterness followed by a lingering taste of dark honey or caramel.

M: Medium bodied, perhaps a little too gassy, but very easy on the tongue.

D: Pretty easy to drink the entire 750 ml bottle, notwithstanding the potency.

Overall: This is a very good Belgain dark ale, although it is not as good as Rochefort 8 in my opinion. As good as it is, it seems to lack depth and intensity.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2007 00:36:45 | More by MCDuhamel
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

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

Poured into a wide mouth glass just like the label suggested, the beer is a reddish brown with a chill haze. The tan head is massive. Surprisingly not a ton of lacing.

The nose is fruity with brown sugar and a bit of spice. Very inviting.

The taste is of slightly smoked caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit and something spicy which reminds me of white pepper. Some molasses and a trace of alcohol late. Great use of malts.

The beer has a slightly sturdy mouth with a nice dry finish. This beer is complex and very easy drinking. Well done!!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2007 22:52:03 | More by Redrover
Photo of BeerBelcher
BeerBelcher

Ohio

3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I’m re-rating this beer as I had it a long time ago, and had it again alongside the other two varieties of Chimay commonly available in the US (white and red) yesterday. And I have to say that with the benefit of quite a bit more beer experience since my last rating, that I significantly over-rated this beer in my previous rating. Yesterday, I found this beer is extremely mild, and while certainly not unpleasant or bad, I found it to be a bit boring. Of the three varieties I had yesterday, this was definitely my least favorite.

Appearance was a dark brown/almost black color with a decently-formed whitish head with limited staying power. Aroma was very mild and faint. I got roasted malt and a bit of alcohol, but not much else. Flavor was the highlight of this beer, but even that I found mild-mannered and rather unremarkable compared to other dark Belgian (or Belgian-style) beers I’ve had. A bit of roastiness and some alcohol, but not much else that you might expect like spiciness or fruit. Mouthfeel was not bad, but unremarkable.

So I’m left to explain why so many think so much of this beer while I’m the odd-duck who’s unimpressed. And my hypothesis is this - that many folks (me among them) try this beer when first expanding their beer horizons, are wildly impressed by the difference, but haven’t yet revisited (as I’m now doing) to compare against the craft/import beer adventures they’ve had since breaking out with Chimay Blue. Sound plausible?

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2007 17:34:19 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of kms910
kms910

Maryland

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

A: ruby-brown with tan lacing – very fine bubbles of carbonation

S: dark fruit, spice, brown sugar, and pepper

T: Swirling flavors of dark fruits, spicy complex alcohols and soft chocolate-like malts combine in a light, but impressive display across the palate.

M: The alcohol is not overly aggressive but still quite noticeable in this, Chimay's strongest beer at 9%. The finish is somewhat thin with a slightly dry lingering aftertaste

D: This particular vintage is a bit young at present, but it's still quite unique and very enjoyable as it is. A year or more of cellaring will only improve it greatly.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2007 14:59:04 | More by kms910
Photo of rm0312
rm0312

Idaho

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

This is an amazing beer. It was the first of the Belgians I had tasted and it is still my favorite. I have drank all of what Chimay has to offer and I have never had any one that I thought was bad! A slight bitterness that first hits the palate, then diminishes into a malty hops flavor! Thick head that is medium lasting as all chimay's are. Bottom Line I loved just like the rest of them!

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2007 22:55:18 | More by rm0312
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

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

330ml bottle, poured into a Brugse Straffe gold rimmed goblet

A 2005 bottle, served at room temp

Pours with a thick deep burgandy body, ruby highlights scattered through. Massive slightly off white head with great retention. Small amounts of lacing up and down the glass

Smell, sweet estery tinged yeast, rich bready aromas, lots of dried sticky fruit... although its there its not as prelevent as some other big dark belgians. Some spicy fig and prune, little bit of biscuity malt too

Taste, thick bready rich alcohol, bread and butter pudding, sticky figs and prunes, reduced and slightly burnt sugars. Thick rich bready body with a few deep almost vinous notes thrown in for good measure, some thick port like boozy alcohol on the finish too

A solid strong dark ale. Tasty, but even with a little age it still seems immature and slightly underdeveloped. Chimay's stuff is always just... ok...

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 23:29:56 | More by cypressbob
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,043 ratings.