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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) - Bières de Chimay S.A.

Not Rated.
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,924 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,924
Reviews: 2,216
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 360
Gots: 1,179 | FT: 15
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,924 | Reviews: 2,216
Photo of arturorg
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a Westmalle chalice

The bottle is from 2010

A:Dark cola brown, with a small head and patchy lace, small visible carbonation

S: Yeast, Sweet raisins, alcohol.

T: Brown sugar, raisins, bitter ending, warming alcohol, medium carbonation.

Overall a very good beer but with no special traits it's like a generic Trappist if possible, the flavors tends to mud against each other. But still a very good one

Photo of trevorjn06
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany/copper with 2 fingers of off-white/tan head that recedes after a minute. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Aromas are subtle but include mild spice, bready malts, dark fruits such as figs, currant and dark cherries as well as caramel, dark/burnt caramel and hints of roastiness in the background. A wonderfully complex nose.

Taste is well rounded and flavorful yet not over-done. It begins with light caramel and a hint of hop bitterness that moves into sweet fruits such as cherries and raisins accented by dark caramel. The finish has light floral notes, spices and more dark caramel.

Mouthfeel is medium/full with medium carbonation. Flavors coat the entire mouth well.

Overall this Trappist Ale is subtly complex and a joy to drink.

Photo of Sreidy12
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay chalice. Beautiful mahogany brown with an off-white 2-3 finger head that recedes to a thin, yet dense layer.

S: Agitation revealed raisiny smell with alcohol and other dark fruits in the background. I was expecting a stronger aroma, but was still very pleased with it.

T: What a beer. Initially sweet malts and fruit/yeast cover the palate, followed by a dry, alcohol-hop finish. Outstanding.

M: Initially thin with medium carbonation, however as it sits on the palate it becomes fuller and coats the mouth. Very smooth finish.

D: Medium-High drinkability. This is a great beer that, if I had it, I could drink daily.

Photo of goalie33
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into 13oz tulip glass.
A: Dark brown in color, hazy, a layer of off white head coats the top of the beer. Lots of carbonation.
S: Dark fruit and malts with some yeast.
T: Dark fruits aren't as intense as they are in other beers of this style that I've had. The alcohol is well hidden for a 9% abv beer. Nice bready/biscuty taste on the finish.
M: Fine carbonation and medium body feel nice in the mouth.

This is a top notch beer. My favorite Belgian Dark Ale.

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

Excellent beer. Light flowery bouquet with hints of malt. Nice deep brown color with a thin pillowy head. Very well balanced on the palate, sweet and thin up front, bitterness in the middle and a nice malty, dry finish, that does not outstay its welcome. A full bodied beer. I love the tripel with the lighter fare, especially sushi, but this is the go to beer with steaks.

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

From bomber to tulip glass

Pours a completely opaque mahogany and forms a sudsy, two-finger head that creeps up the tulip glass. The head slowly dissipates leaving little lacing. It smells of sour apples, spice, squah bread and a touch of raisin-rum alcohol. The nose is fairly subdued, but gentle twirling releases the aroma...quite complex.

At the front of the sip, the fruity esters of the yeast combine with caramelly malts, but the alcohol is strong and counters any anticipated sweetness. The raisin-y tones are noted, along with cherries and and holiday spice, suggesting clove and nutmeg. The flavor profile is complex and takes a bit of unraveling. The entire swallow is distinctly bread-like (even for beer), as if fresh, artisan bread soaked up all of these amazing flavors. This brew is soothingly rich and creamy on the palate, so it works best if slowly sipped. Still, the striking balance will keep your interest.

Chimay is a triumph in the art of craft beer, and it's easily overlooked. It's ubiquitous, and with a beer geek's aversion to overly marketed beers, you might forget about it. Don't.

Photo of JayS2629
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Coffee. Black appearance with a deep ruby/brown when held to the light. 4 finger creamy head that recedes quickly.

S- spicy with fruits like apple and cherry. An earthy bread undertone. The strong alcohol stands out in the nose too. Rum? Overall sweet smelling.

T- Toffee, caramel, and spices. Brown sugar? A lot like a port.

M- Smooth with just enough carbonation. Thick but not creamy or filmy. Perfect mouthfeel for me.

D- Not for the tame of heart. It definitely has a strong alcohol. Strong and bold. Very complex and hearty. Rich. Its a sipping beer. You can't go downing six of these.

Photo of CheckmateBrew
3.56/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance was a nice dark brown with a very lacy 2 finger head

Very light smell was exepecting more....

Taste lots of things goin on here, malts yeast, hops, but just a touch too much alcohol. Still a very nice brew, and considering the 9% ABV well maybe I should not be too surprised.

Good carbination with lots of tastes and a alcohol finish.

This is a sippin beer, not a drinking beer. I could have one....but I like to enjoy a few.

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

Finally getting around to this one.

A: Really good looking for the style. Black in the glass with a touch of deep brown when held up to the light. Soft brownish white head with some lacing. Excellent head retention.

S: The nose is of cooled dates and sweet plumbs. A nice natural earthiness throughout. Not very estery at all. The alcohol combines nicely with the dark fruit to almost come across like a young port.

T: Starts off with the dark fruit. A little bit of malt. The alcohol rounds out the finish. I like a beer like this where you can pick apart the taste into different stages. Little bit bready. The balance in this beer is incredible. I almost got a touch of bitterness in the finish. Barely there. Perfect.

M: So smooth and creamy. The carbonation is wonderful. Almost has the feel of a cask ale.

D: This is a classic. Not my favorite example of the style but it is one of the best beers in the world and something that you can get with relative ease. Again not the best out there but how can you say anything bad about Chimay?

Photo of zhanson88
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, hazy brown with ruby highlights when held up to light. TONS of head, as soon as I cracked the bottle open head started pouring out. When I got it in the glass there was a good 3 fingers, but retention was fair at best and just a touch of lacing remained.

Smell: Dark fruits, Belgian yeast, cloves, esters, and peppery spices are all plentiful. Nice and complex, as should be expected.

Taste: Dark fruits and cloves and that Belgian yeasty taste up front. Then comes the estery alcohol and peppery spices. Super, complex flavor that is pretty hard to beat.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Medium body, with a nice smooth mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. Very nice. This beer hides it's alcohol very well. Wish I could drink more.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Jeff. Thanks man!

A: Slightly hazy brown color with hints of orange. Moderately sized head with a little lacing.

S: Belgian yeast, scents easily identifiable as a quad, subtle dark fruits, toffee.

T: Chimay is a great brewery and this is a great beer. Heavy Belgian yeast character with notes of dark fruits soaked in alcohol. Raisin and toffee notes are very tasty as well.

M: Moderately high carbonation. Nice feel with a slight note of alcohol in the finish.

D: One of the best quads in the world. I am very glad that this is readily available throughout the country.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle served in a delirium tremens snifter. this beer was my eureka moment in craft beer, and remains a staple; finally getting around to a review.

pours a dark, opaque mahogany tone with a solid finger and a half of a beige-colored head. decent retention, good lacing, and a lasting cap. if not the prototype for how a BSDA should look, i'm not sure what is.

aroma is not quite as robust as i remember; maybe i've been spending too much time with rochefort 10 (a quad, technically, but that's another debate). spice, yeast, and brown sugar evident.

flavor takes it up a notch. smooth and tasty, the nose characters pull through with greater strength and are accompanied by dark fruit and a very faint hops presence. very tasty. as with all BSDAs, as it warms the flavors really open up.

medium-plus bodied with appropriate carbonation. for a big beer i could definitely drink a lot of this so a high drinkability score. easily the best of the chimays, and a great trappist BSDA... that said, there are others i like better (which isn't a knock on grande reserve so much as a testament to said others).

Photo of Kinsman
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009. Poured from the bottle into my chalice, this beer shows off with a chestnut colored reddish/brown body and a massive pillowy light-tan colored head.

Aroma is most noticeably spicy, with strong hints of clove, and little room for anything else. There is an underlying fruity aroma reminiscent of apples and maybe even cherries, but the fruitness tends to come and go.

While the spice seems to dominate the aroma, it sits back a bit in the taste, allowing for a stronger presence of dark fruits like raisins and a sweet alcohol flavor like rum. With a bottle thats at least 10 months old, I'm surprised how noticeable the alcohol seems to be, but its certainly not too hot. Clove-like spice does balance out the sweeter flavors and there is even a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium body, and quite bubbly. Actually, with the loud pop of the cork and huge head, carbonation seems to be a bit high, and it is noticeable with each sip.

Overall, this is, like many other have said, a top notch Belgian. It almost defines the BSDA style and it certainly deserves its reputation, but it just isn't the "wow" beer I expected. At it's price point, compared to other regularly available BSDA's, this is not the best value out there, but definitely one that everyone should try.

Photo of Spider889
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

How long I have overlooked Chimay simply because it is everywhere. Wound up buying this at a bar where there was no craft option.

Nice ruby/brown sugar color. Small fizzy off-white head that recedes quickly into minimal legs of lace.

Smells sweet; figs and dates, brown sugar, mild alcohol and yeasty aromas.

The alcohol isn't too noticeable on this beer. Slightly sweet effervescence. Dark cherries and figs, lots of brown sugar and nutmeg flavors as well. Mild banana/clove notes lended by the Belgian yeast.

Fairly well carbonated, light-end of medium bodied. Drinkability isn't bad, definitely a beer worth consuming whenever the mood strikes (or the lack of other options forces your hand). But I doubt I'd ever want a second bottle in a sitting.

Photo of joeland
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: a havey reddish brown color with a one finger high head that fades quick

s: hints of carmel and a bready smell with a mix of yeast. also get a strong malt smell.

t: similar to the smell a nice malt taste with a hint of fruit.

m: medium carbnation with a medium mouthfeel.

d: an awsome beer that is east drinking. defenitlay could have a few of these.

Photo of hophead247
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with hints of ruby red, with a nice thick long lasting off white head. Aroma is pretty much all citrusy hops and some spices, with a bit of a malty backbone. Flavor starts out reasonably sweet and smooth with hints of orange, dark berries and caramel malts. Finish is spices, but not spicy, I can't quite nail it down, but it's dry and nice. Carbonation is nice, and it's really smooth in the mouth, not so much creamy, but very nice.

Photo of uno99
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 2000 Vintage purchased at 400 beers/Beer Mania in Brussels. I've had this many times before, but never one with more than 2 years aging. Shared at Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family.

A: Bottle was very difficult to open, I think it had been waxed to help the seal. the cap that the cage rests under was fused to the cork. Once this was removed with the help of a knife however, it made things much easier. I half expected a gusher, since the bottle had been jostled around a lot. That was not the case however and the pour went perfect into 2 large wine glasses. Much head generated from a heavy pour, and a slight lacing was left with no head retention. Body is a mahogany colored liquid with ruby accents. There was no chunkiness, residual yeast, or floaties of any kind.(3.5)

S: Michael Jackson called this the most port like of all beers. I have never agreed with this until I had this aged version of this beer. I had a couple glasses of port a few weeks earlier at a bachelor party and this Chimay definitely reminded me of that night. Slightly oxidized, but somehow not in a bad way. Almost like opening an old book. The usual apple, cherry, plum, marzipan and dark fruits are present as well (5.0)

T: Almost a wine/ grape like sensation here. Again a little oxidized, but still very pleasant. Fruit flavors are more subdued than a young bottle, but much less edgy. I think 10 years for this particular bottle was the right amount of time. any longer and I think it would have declined a bit. (5.0)

M: carbonation was perfect. Complaints of over carbonation in young bottles are common, but this one seemed a little on the still side which suited the flavors perfectly. Body was a little thin, and not sticky at all. surprising for a %9 beer. (4.5)

D: A drink that goes quite well with itself; a thanksgiving dinner; or one to spur conversation with friends and relatives. In this particular occasion it served all three purposes well, and as I sipped the last drop of this brown nectar, I was immediately reminisce. (4.0)

Photo of MeMyselfNAles7
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My 2nd brew from the chimay group. Another great brew from chimay, love the belgian dark ales.

Used a goblet and the it pour a redish brown brew with a full thick creamy beige crown. Heavy body, nice carbonation, no alchol on the nose. Nice balanced aromas of roasted malts with rippen fruits and folral hints. The malts greet you at teh first taste, roated malts, fruits. Alchol is not strongly present despite the 9 abv%. The aftertaste is sweet and refreshing, nice drinkability. As it warms up the alchol becomes more present.

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

The first time I had this beer 10 years ago I could not appricate it's goodness. Since then I have become a student of beer and I'm still learning.

Appearcence: Cloudy with a 2 finger head. After a few minutes little lacing

Smell: Rich, sweet

Taste: Smooth roasted malt and fruits such as raisens and plums. Little alcohol taste unitl after about 5 minutes

Mouthfeel: Moderate smooth

I'm sitting in an easy chair with the trade winds blowing. The temp is 83. The bottle is 1 pint + 9.4 oz and has been warming next to me for 1 hour. The taste has changed since I first open from the icebox and the beer has warmed wtih more flavors.
Very drinkable but the alcohol content is kicking my butt. I love this beer

Photo of tewaris
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a Gouden Carolus chalice.

Appearance 3.5/5
Slightly hazy, burnt reddish brown with a tan to light brown head that's not rocky like a typical Belgian ale, but is dense and creamy nonetheless. The head retention is decent but lacing is disappointing.

Aroma 3.5/5
Warm and sweet aroma with hints of brown sugar, and caramel. Of course, the usual suspects are present but still the aroma is largely nondescript.

Taste 3.5/5
Nothing overpowering, contrary to what I expected. Nice malt character but overall weak; fruit, spice, and bitterness for the most part. The bitterness could certainly be from hops but has the slightly burnt sugar character of caramel to it.

Mouthfeel 4/5
Medium body; medium carbonation, that is prickly at times. Sweet to medium finish with a long aftertaste of fruit, malt, and spice.

Drinkability 4.5/5
Classic Belgian deceptiveness to it. Some alcohol warmth but alcohol can't be smelled or tasted. Very well done, in the manner only Belgians can!

Certainly good, but many other beers are deserving of being in top-100 in my opinion!

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

Well, like many other beers, this is one that I've been seeing on the shelves since I moved to this area and just never got around to picking it up. Since things have seemed especially slow in terms of cool new beers showing up on the shelves, I've caved and popped for it. Review is from notes taken on 10/6/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a relatively dark, cider-like brown; starts with a big 3 and 1/2 finger fluffy tan head with really solid retention; head slowly fades to a billowy cap and leaves thick patches of lacing here and there; body is pretty cloudy and murky;

Smell: Rich toffee/caramel maltiness; warm Belgium spices; a bit of a faint hoppy bitterness in there that's a bit grassy

Taste: An interested set of flavors, most not uncommon for the style -- nice rich and sweet caramel malts and warming Belgian spiciness (cardamom, nutmeg, cloves); bit of a faint (yet still very present) hop bitterness and a bit of an earthy/grainy/mulchiness; as the flavors swirl around in the mouth, towards the end the malts and spices take over the flavors and it becomes a bit more familiar; definite warming presence of alcohol as well.

Mouthfeel: Body is just a hair under what I would typically consider to be medium in weight; carbonation is strong and prickly, just shy of sharp, so the body comes across as lively; the mouth and belly are definitely left warm from the 9% ABV; a thin semi-dry sticky coating is left, particularly on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: A very good beer with an interesting hoppiness to it -- clearly, I'm not an expert on BSDAs or anything, but I've had quite a few and typically this ingredient is typically more subdued and I think that's a pretty cool take on it, especially from one of the older breweries in the world; very nice flavors and a nice smell (wish it was just a bit bigger, but still good) and a nice finish; it doesn't really sit all that heavy, so I would say the only thing that would slow anyone down on this beer is the ABV.

Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown toffee like color, two finger tan head
S: Hint of alcohol and fruit aroma
T: bready, complimented by sweet malts. Definitely detect phenols, as well as fruity flavoring from the complex yeast, the most discernable of them being cherry.
M: heavy, decently carbonated
D: Very drinkable, almost dangerously so for a quad with such a high abv. If it was only more affordable. It is the perfect weekend beer, and is delicious.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep orange to brown-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, dry, roasty malt, and small fruit hints. In the taste, roasty malts with nice fruit hints, and bit caramel like. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry big fruitiness in the aftertaste. A bit thin, but great flavor and aroma, hides the ABV.

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

750 ml bottle poured into an Affligem goblet.

Hazy/murky brown body with hints of ruby. About a half an inch of off white head. Some lacing left behind, and decent retention.

Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, cloves, and dark fruits (prunes and raisins). Really complex.

The tastes hits with dark fruits first (raisins, prunes and figs), caramel, brown sugar, and cloves (probably phenols). Tasty.

Mouthfeel is big and really spicy. Quite smooth, but still a big beer and a little bit hot.

Quite drinkable and one of the three best quads of all time.

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

Finally decided to finish off the last of my Chimay three pack, poured this into the Chimay chalice it came with.

Appearance: A deep opaque brown of which particles of yeast can be seen. A finger of carbonation is produced, that retains decentlyl although did not lace.

Smell: Lightly roasted malt provides the backdrop for the smell of plums, dates and figs with a yeasty undertone. There is a slight alcholic scent to it though. Warming however is needed to get the full effect.

Taste: The yeast and alcholic taste to this one really takes away from the experience as both are predominant throughout the entire beer. It starts with some doughy malt which then allows the dark fruit taste with notes of cherries and grapes kick in as the yeast goes into overdrive to then be well rounded out by earthy hops. Make sure you drink it at the right temperature, I tried a sip while cold and it's not so great.

Mouthfeel: Good creamy carbonation, good transitioning, subdued dough like aftertaste are all great things which help it's case. However the high alchohol content isn't disguised at all and it is a bit too solvent in nature.

Drinkability: Well, it does a lot of things right, and while the yeast doesn't try the beer out that much, it does take away from it. Sits down easy and if not for the high alchol content it would be a lot smoother.

Final Thoughts: While BA may regard this as Chimay's best offering, I find it to be their worst. It seems a bit too plain to be a high class beer like their other offerings, and the undisguised alchohol content isn't doing it any favours. It is certainly a good beer, but I much prefered their white over this one.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,924 ratings.