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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,876 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,876
Reviews: 2,204
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 354
Gots: 1,123 | FT: 13
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,876 | Reviews: 2,204 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vandemonian
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Chimay Blue has a cloudy dark brown colour. The head lasts barely 25 seconds but since it is a fairly bubbly beer there are always some bubbles coming to the surface. The smell is fruity with a hint of yeast. This beer has a fruity flavour too and is quite acidic. Actually, it tastes like extra thick Champagne. Like all Chimay beers, it feels great on the mouth: foamy and thick.

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

330ml bottle poured into tulip sept5 2010

A light brown with some red after being held to the light, a little too dark to see bubbles but it had a massive beige head that had decent retention and left a few patches of lace

S lots of brown sugar with plum and other dark fruits, some yeast, booze and just a little banana

T what I smell but a little more complex, some dark bread works well with everything else and the booze is a little better concealed then on the nose

M not overly thick but plenty of bubbles cream it up a bit and you can taste it well after you swallow

D for being so young this beer is drinking very well and it's easy to forget it's 9% be careful with this one

I thought I reviewed this one before so I was a little surprised to see I hadn't, I've drank it quite a few times in the last year.
a great beer and everyone should try it, a little age wouldn't hurt its cause but still very nice and well deserving of its spot in the top BA 100

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

I've had the pleasure to move to Belgium recently, and it truly is beer heaven. This Chimay blue is the best one I've had yet, and that is saying something.

It poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay goblet, with a great big head that lasts. I had to pour three different segments to allow the head to settle in between.

It's a good color brown, not too dark, not too light.

The taste is everything. You can taste a variety of malts and caramels, and there is absolutely no after taste despite the 9.0% ABV. I'll return to this one frequently in the future.

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

An immense head fills the glass to the brim when poured along the side at a moderate rate. The lightly tanned rocky top of the head consolidates and slowly descends as the brew is savored, and emits a flowery, fresh-bread aroma from the Trappist yeast with a hint of the alcoholic esters.

Wonderfully dense and cloudy, the rich mahogany-colored ale delivers in the taste what is promised by the presentation. Thoroughly balanced, the tongue is hit with a round mouthful of toasted malts with a caramel-nut accent and a kind of buttery feel that flows smoothly into a deliciously pleasant, roasted treacle and bitter hops flavor in the back palate.

An excellent accompaniment to the spicy Ho Fan noodles with cilantro and mushrooms at dinner this evening.

Thank you Father Theodore, for isolating this exceptional yeast.

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Dark amber brown unfiltered

S- Fruity notes very settle in the hops and also can smell alittle wine. I know monks also make wine. Must be re-using barrels. lol

T-Sweet from the wort almost like the taste of figs. Fruity from the hops not to citrus but more like a orange zest.

M- Semi dry. Very creamy.

D- I must say this beer is a dream for me starting to drink Belgain beer. This one is my top the overall smoothness and taste and smell just outstanding. I can drink this all the time if the price is right of course. But I must get more.

Photo of billab914
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into my Westvleteren chalice. Poured brown in color with an active tan head filling half of the glass at first. The head settled down quickly to leave a creamy khaki colored foam resting on top of the beer.

The aroma shows a yeasty, spiciness to it with some dark fruit notes an and a moderate malty sweetness coming through. Pretty flavorful and complex aroma to it overall.

The taste is malty sweet with some notes of dark fruit, caramel and brown sugar to it. The finish has just a bit of spices and yeast to it with nutmeg being one of the spices I seem to be getting. A bit of alcohol in the finish but not bad at all. All the flavors come together very nicely and make for a great tasting beer.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation. The frothy head that lasted well into drinking it really adds a nice creamyness to the beer that I love.

Drinkability is good, it's a very good beer overall and a great example of the style. The mouthfeel was pretty much perfect which really helped the drinkability for me. It didn't hurt that it was very good tasting either.

Photo of Luk13
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 750ml. Aroma of figs, grapes, dessert spice (cinnamon, nutmeg), a slight strawberry acidity. Taste is mostly dessert spice, cherries, strong malts (a bit roasted) good sugar presence. Solid mouthfeel long, slightly creamy, good carbonation lots of caracter. I find it a little too much dessert spice oriented for my tastebuds. I prefer the fruitiness of the Pannepot or Rochefort. A very example of the style

Photo of gford217
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330mL bottle.

Pours deep mahogany that shows fairly clear copper when held up to light apart from the multitude of yeast particles floating around. Retention and lacing are minimal.

Aroma is very sweet with candi sugar and dark fruits dominating with a roasted malt presence in the background. An overall sweet yeast aroma lingers in the nose.

The taste has an initial candi sugar and raisin sweetness that tingles the tongue with the lively carbonation. The roasted malts are present with hints of clove and other spices.

The mouthfeel is lively, almost effervescent with tons of bubbles on the palate. Medium bodied.

This an extremely good Belgian dark and wonderfully drinkable. It's sweet but not overly so and with the right amount of roasted character and spices.

Photo of StephenRich
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To cap off the trio of Chimay Trappist beers, we will discuss the grand daddy of them all; the Grande Reserve. The other two beers in Chimay's lineup, the Premier (Red), and the White, both show unique flavors and marvelously distinct Belgian qualities. The Premier is a Dubbel at 7%, the White is a Tripel at 8%, and the Grande Reserve is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 9%.

This specific beer style makes me smile every time. If well done (which this is) they can be so entertainingly complex, hugely luscious, and rewardingly delicious. A huge range of flavors can find a home in a Belgian Strong Dark Ale; anything from spices like cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, clove and nutmeg, to fruits like plums, cherries, oranges, figs and bananas, all the way to hops with big earthy rich aromas and zesty acid-like tartness. The Chimay Blue is a true classic, and among my favorites - the level of rich depth erupting from this beer begs for it to be aged for years. If only I could wait that long...

The Grande Reserve comes in 330ml stubby bottles, 750ml corked bottles, and the large corked magnum - which is the only Chimay bottle to be dated. I want 5.

I opened the Blue close to cellar temperature around 12C (54F). Like all Chimay beers, the Grande Reserve is bottle conditioned. I don't always include the sediment resting at the bottom of the bottle in my pour with a bottle conditioned beer - sometimes the earthy yeast flavors can bring an unfortunate bitterness that is not well suited for the beer. With big Belgian Darks though like this one it can fit the flavor profile adding balance and complexity. I made sure that I swirled the bottle close to the end of the pour so that I would be able to enjoy everything this treat has to offer.

The pour was dark and rumbling; it formed life and excitement where it hit the chalice and eventually built a fluffy light brown, close to khaki head. There were streaming pockets of air everywhere in the foam - some small and dense, others near the top were large and mountainous. The beer itself a deep and dark purple garnet with rich mahogany shining though - maroon, copper, dark amber reds and brick browns all glow in the stance of this beer. It was totally opaque, but not hazy; just very calm and deep in thought.

The nose is potent and again, complex. Big spice comes in right away accompanied by thick dark fruits, and an earthy musk - seemingly yeasty. Cloves and nutmeg battle out in front and lead into a deep a richly sweet malt backbone. Rich figs soak in dark brandy, while plums, apricots, stewed pears and dates get mashed together and float up into my olfactory sensors. The yeast comes in still with a lightly funky earth note and hints at tart fruit zest. The lightest and faintest touch of hop freshness glides in and shows a hint of bitter.

Open yourself up fully to the Grande Reserve. A light sip will not come close to unleashing everything that is contained in this beer. Thus, a generous wave of the blue will bring with it big malt richness showing the wild combination of layered fruits and spice that you can pull so easily out of the nose. Spicy and gooey figs and dates come though first, then smooth plums, apricots and molasses melts its way in. That brandy soaked fruit sensation is back and fills your entire mouth.

It may sounds like this is thus far massively sweet, but these big flavors are all very mellow. Rich, but mellow. Beyond that, there is a good punch of earthy yeast and hints of tart spice and bitter hops to balance it out. A surprisingly light and sparling mouthfeel also keeps the texture clean and crisp. I was expecting something silkier and lush, but this keeps the beer alive and exciting. Otherwise it could near overpowering (which I also enjoy).

The overall sensation here is rich complex malt with layers of spice and funk balancing out to a warming and and vastly soothing Belgian ale. The finish is sweet and dry at the same time with a crisp and abrupt end made possible by the beers large amount of natural effervescent carbonation. Beers like this are so magical with food - because it is balanced, yet hugely aromatic and displays a wide range of flavors it can match everything from roast beef to chocolate cherry trifle. I do recommend enjoying your first one own its own.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown to a copper color beer. Very cloudy with somewhat big particles floating in it. Great, thick, off-white head.

S: Reminds me of barely wine maybe?

T: Plums, raisins, little booze, some malts, and hops. All the flavors are very well balance creating a great beer with an even better finish. Very good representative of this style.

M: Crisp & smooth with a medium bodied and good carbonation.

D: One of my favorite beers so yes, I can drink a lot of these.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a cloudy opaque muddy brown with a huge deep brown head that's got lots of big pillowy bubbles. It slowly fades down to a one finger head. After the head settles a nice little circle of foam develops in the center from the etched 'D'. Nose is very yeasty and malty. It's slightly sweet with some caramel and molasses.

Mouthfeel is very nice and rich, it's like liquid bread. It's yeasty and full in your mouth with lots of carbonation, there is a very light tinge of alcohol but given this is 9% that's ok. The flavor is excellent, lots of dark fruits and molasses. Candi sugar is here, yeast as well. It's really tasty and worth the price. I've got a BSDA in bottles conditioning now, if it's anything like this i'll be amazed.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Usually my favorite of the most widely available three from Chimay.

Pours a dark brown and red color. Tons of chunkies go into the bottle, despite even more remaining in the last 5% of the bottle. Tiny head, recedes quickly. A lot of old fermented fruit smell. Cherry dominated.

Big taste of alcohol is the first impression. More cherry, some plum maybe. I can't really differentiate fig from plum, raisin etc. . .
As the bottle continues, the alcohol heat melds well with the fruit. Nothing comes close to a hop profile, I guess its all about yeast and fruit. I think this beer is very much about mood.

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

Poured from a small 12oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. Had Chimay White 2 nights ago, Chimay Red last night, and now the Blue. Although I've had Chimay Blue on many occasions...it's time to review it. Pours a toffee brown out of the bottle, filling the glass a deep and darker brown with a TON of setiment! Wow...the floaties are beautiful! About a finger and a half of creamy tan colored head rises quickly, but dissipates relatively fast. A great looking beer...although lacing is not like the others. Fast sliding and non-sticky lacing.

Aroma is very nice...lots of Belgian yeast and malts. Loads of raisins and figs, and other dark fruits. Booze is slightly noticable.

Flavor is outstanding! Great Belgian style presence. Trappistes beers are so clean and crisp! Well balanced and just stinkin' tasty! More sweet dark over-ripe fruits including figs and raisins, medium body and slightly malty, great Belgian yeast notes...booze is mild. High carbonation. Definitely my favorite in the line-up from Chimay, even though I love them all!

Photo of punkrkr27
3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle dated 11/06. Brown pour with a tall fizzy off-white head that fades quickly to a loose ring. Smell is dominated by banana esters with some nuttiness, roast, and a touch of alcohol and flowery perfume. Flavor is a lot of roasty, sweet malt and dark fruit finishing with some banana and a fair amount of alcohol. Medium body with a little too much carbonation and an oily finish.

Photo of sunkistxsudafed
3.61/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- gorgeous burgundy hue with matter floating though out, with a bone while head.

S- strong malt aroma. oaky?

T- strong alcohol taste is cut through by all the flavors and aromas of this brew.

M- sparkling fizzy presense makes it enjoyable.

D- too hard to drink. not sessionable at all. to strong in every respect.

Photo of droomyster
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish brown, with edges the color of young port. Generous head is frothy and smells very spicy. There's a lot of clove and pepper aromas at first, with tons of Belgian yeastiness all wafting along warm ethers. Even without tasting it, this is a very tantalizing presentation. The flavors are initially a spicy blast that blossoms into sweeter notes of dark fruits (especially dates), caramels and alcohol so strong that it carries flavors and warming sensations up through my head. Medium body finish long, with dark fruits lingering for minutes afterward. A fantastic sipping experience that never disappoints.

Photo of Bfarr
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cloudy mahogany with thin tan foamy head with no retention or lacing. Sweet fruit and brown sugar alcohol with a complex yeast character. Raisin and black cherry alcohol balanced with yeast spice notes and light hop bittering. The retro-olfactory is incredible, enhancing other flavors with a slightly bready linger. Mouthfeel is a balanced combination of fuzziness, syrupy, sharp but smooth carbonation.

Phenomenal, 'nuff said.

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

A - pours a deep brown with 2 fingers of cream colored head that leaves hints of soapy lace
S - belgian yeast, dark unripe fruits, a touch of alcohol, some caramelly malts, some spices as well
T - big cherry flavor, other fruits as well, some very nice alcohol warmth, candied sugar, and only a slight yeastiness
M - medium bodied and chewy with tingling carbonation all over...it explodes on your tongue and all the way down your esophagus.
D - extremely drinkable. alcohol is present but not overpowering, light bodied enough and tasty enough to make it dangerous.

Photo of beerpirates
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottel poured in my Rochefort glass

A: Pours a dark copper color with a nice small head that quickly fades.

S: Smells quite fruity with notes of apples and cherries, spicy clove is also very apparent in the nose. A hint of alcohol

T: Taste is of dark fruits. Not very sweet, but not very bitter at all. Alcohol is quite apparent,

M: Quite a bit of carbonation in this . A bit of bite on the back end, which Maybe could be cure with some time in the cellar.

Good brew , but i'm not a big fan

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 330ml bottle 9,0% ABV

Appearance: Hazy, dark brown in colour with great orangey-red highlights when held to the light. The head, as with most Belgians, is a thing of beauty. Massive, tan brown, great retention and lace, could one ask for more?

Smell: The nose is a mix of sweet fruit and the typical spiciness of Belgian yeast, with the spice coming out top in intensity. The first aroma noted is clove, followed by pepper. A little warming and the sweeter and fruitier notes start to come through. Dates, plums, cherries, currants, molasses, hints of dark sugar and rum all make an appearance.
Don't get me wrong, this is a great nose, but a little more intensity is needed to make it truly world class.

Taste: The taste follows on well from the nose, but has a better balance between the sweet and spicy notes. Dark fruits (currants, dates and plums) and spices (clove and white pepper) are present in equal amounts. Dark caramelized sugar, toasted brown bread and a touch of molasses also make an appearance. The alcohol is not as well hidden as in the nose, however it is well integrated into the flavour profile and does not detract from the beer.

Mouthfeel: Just fuller than medium bodied with massive carbonation (A tad too much for my liking). A gentle alcohol warmth is felt in the back of the throat.

Drinkability: A quality brew and one i will certainly have again. A 750 would go down very well over the course of a good meal.

I must admit I was a little disappointed in Grande Reserve, though I can't help but feeling that an aged bottle could well be the world class ale I was expecting. I will most certainly age my next one for 2 - 3 years minimum.

Photo of ChrisWashington
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the first Trappist I have had. Very clean taste. Pours with some head that quickly recedes. Did not have much of a smell to me. Appeared a light brown color. Reminded me of a cider with the significant amount of carbonation that it had.

Overall the flavor of this beer and mouthfeel were different from any other beer I have had. Very drinkable.

Photo of IPAescotch
3.79/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not much head, not much lace. Decent brown color. Smells of raspberry cranberry, some sweetish malt with some sourness. Taste mimics smell. A little too carbonated for my taste, stung my tastebuds into submission before i could truly absorb the beer. One is interesting, not exactly an intriguing reinvitation.

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

For me this is the beer that all others are compareed to. Probably due to the fact that this was the first Belgian Ale I started drinking. It is also relatively easy to find, so I have had it a lot. Although I did have to go all over Destin, FL to find it during a fishing trip.

Has a great flavor, smell and feel and I have yet to experience a funky bottle, although they are probably out there. If i haven't shared a Chimay with you, then you know you are not my friend.

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

Pours a very cloudy brown colour with a beige head.

I wish I could work out the aromas on this. Some sort of funkiness coming through. A little candied sweetness. Maybe some dark malts.

How easy drinking is this? Some dark fruits, a bit of malt but really just a nice mouthful of beer.

A little alcohol warmth. A little cloying.

A nice beer, very drinkable. But interesting? Not really.

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

Appearance: Deep brown with slightly off white head. Great head retention.

Smell: Slightly fruity, slightly earthy, and slightly funky. Everything seems so well integrated its hard to pick anything specific.

Taste: Woody, dark fruits, distinctive Belgian yeasty flavors. As with the aroma, its difficult to pinpoint anything really specific. It is delicious though.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation at first, but low carbonation at the end of the glass. I like the change, brings a new angle to the flavor profile.

Drinkablility: Good beers are easy to drink.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,876 ratings.