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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.

6,805 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,805
Reviews: 2,187
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 339
Gots: 1,051 | FT: 12
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.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,805 | Reviews: 2,187 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ragedman
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Upon reading all the reviews for Grande Reserve I had to try it. Lucky for me my local grocer (Albertsons) stock the blue, red, and white label. At $13 a bottle the Chimay Grande Reserve isn't cheap.

Opening the cork was fun (champagne anyone), but it's whats on the inside that matters. This beer pours a dark caramel with a tan head that quickly fizzes away. Hardly any lacing either. The beer's look is much darker than any other strong ale I have seen. Earns a solid 4.5

Smell is very caramely, and i catch whiffs of grapes, very malty also. Not a bad smelling beer at all.

Taste is very unique. It does seem to have a flavor of white wine but the taste is far more unique. Sweet at first, then the alcohol follows once the sweet taste has calmed down. A very good tasting beer.

The one thing about the blue label that has set me off was its carbonation. It seems a bit over carbonated, the bubbles bite in the mouth for the first second. Once past that the beer goes down easy and it very easy to enjoy.

Will have to pick up all the labels very soon.

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

Poured the 11.2oz bottle into the widest glass I had clean...a pint glass. Shame on me but hey, I was thirsty. Being somewhat new to the world of "tasting beer", I have recognized the Chimay label quite often but never tried it. A creamy, off-white head atops this red-orange, cloudy brew. Fruit, caramel, and brown sugar aromas. The fruit aromas roll onto tounge. Figs. Raisins. Has a full-bodied mouthfeel. Somewhat dry also. The 9% abv is well hidden IMO. A great, flavorful brew. A classic from the other reviews I'm reading. I'd like to try the other Chimay colors before I revisit this one. Maybe even buy one of those expensive varitey packs that carry them all and then I can compare all three.

Photo of Wogs
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this in a 4 pack at my local package store, and poured into a glass.

The appearance of this beer is darkish brown and pretty thick.

The smell of this beer is yeasty and can slighty smell the alcohol.

The taste is what really makes this beer. First off you get the taste of the yeast which is almost biscuit like. After the rush of yeast you get fruits like apricot and raisins. Lastly you get the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is not too think and its pretty carbonated.

The drinkability is probably a one to two time beer in one sitting because of the alcohol.

I will buy this again and recommend it to people!

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

Aroma of baked apples, fruity malt (grapes?), and some spicy yeast and peppery alcohol noticeable at first whiff. Aroma is both enticing and well within style guidelines.

Pours a clear brown with a thick finger of tan, borderline light brown, head. Large number of individual streams of small bubbles rising from the bottom.

Highly carbonated and very creamy; almost mousse like with a tongue coating property. Mouth enveloping also.

Dark sugary malt upfront with a very long sweet finish that has some faint citrus acid/tartness that is reminiscent of lemon. Grapes and plums are compromise the fruity flavor. Balance is spot on with no cloyingly sweetness. Alcohol heat is noticeable at swallow but under control. Bitterness is very mild with a small tingle on the tongue and a quick dissipation.

Overall a very drinkable and complex fruity beer with great balance and wine like similarities.

Photo of jampics2
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. Well that's some appropriate glassware, nice one Lizard!

Kept the yeast at bay as I poured in the first 6 oz. Looks nice, a dark brown with plum edges. Nice head is huge and sticks around.

Smell is grapes, raisins, apple, sweet candy sugar and bready malt. Some spicey notes as well from the yeast.

Taste follows the nose. Raisin bread with crust. Molasses. Slight alcohol warmth. Just not enough flavor compared to some other beers in this genre (Rochfort 8 for example). But for a Trappist you can get at the local supermarket, this is extraordinary.

Mouthfeel was above average but the carb was so intense it distracted as much as it lightened.

A nice standard but I feel the bar has been raised by followers. Does it deserve props? For sure, a trailblazer in introducing the world to the Trappist flavors. But I feel a bit more flavor intensity would make this on top of the pile once again (sacrilegious? No, sacreliscious!).

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

Sipping on this one now.. for some reason it doesn't seem quite as tasty as the last time I had it so I'll try to balance my review between the two times I've tried it...

The appearance is probably my favorite aspect of this beer - it pours a cloudy/murky brown color that is quite hypnotizing to look at. The aroma is mainly a sweet/smokey/malty scent. Flavors are largely reminiscent of some standard Belgian yeasts with a strong sweet & roasty finish.

Great beer and definitely something I'd drink again.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, cloudy, red/brown in color, some sediment, low carbonation

Smell: cherry, raisin, candied fruit, and malt

Taste: cherry, raisin, candied fruit, toasted malt,brown sugar, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: slightly sweet, medium carbonation, medium bodied.

Drinkability: A very good and complex Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The alcohol does hit, but so do the fruity flavors. Will definately pick this up again but one glass per sitting max.

Photo of chaz01
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a couple sample pours at a beer tasting event in a local grocery store. Served in a champagne flute side by side with Chimay Red and Chimay cheese.

A: Mahogany and amber brown in color, nice head that quickly recedes.

S: Fruity and floral aroma, although not as big in the nose as I would have guessed.

T: Bready, biscuity with some dark fruits like plums, raisins and licorice in the taste. I thought this had very similar flavors than the Chimay Red, but they are exaggerated and very bold in the Blue.

M: Well carbonated with that Belgian yeast characteristics in the finish. Alcohol presence is a little more detectable here than in the Red.

D: This is a great sipping beer to have buy a fire, although the big alcohol presence might want me to limit to one glass. Really intense flavors make this beer stand out on it own, nicely complemented by the buttery Chimay cheeses.

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

2006 vintage consumed on April 29th 2010.

Pours a deep ruby brown color with an off white head (not quite tan) that fades leaving a fair amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell is of dried fruit, fig, plum, banana, candi sugar.

Tastes of figs, dates, raison, cinnamon. The beer tends to turn into whip cream on the finish and leaves a lingering aftertaste of dark brown sugar, some pear maybe, and some roasted almost coffee like notes.

Excellent beer. Can't wait to see what anther two or four years adds to this brew.

Photo of bsp77
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Rich mahogany with thin sustained head.

Smell: Plum and other dark fruit, with molasses, figs, rum, a hint of cloves and a blast of alcohol.

Taste: Very fruity and a little sweet with plum, figs, molasses and a mild earthiness. Somewhat rum like overall, although the alcohol is not as noticeable as in the smell.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, fairly full body, very smooth and warming. Slightly dry at the end despite the sweet malts.

Drinkability: Great sipper that has fantastic malt complexity. Very much an archetype for the style.

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

Rich and pleasing dark ale. Quite the classic...

Presentation: 750 ml corked brown bottle. Blue and gold label pivoting around the standard branding of the brew. Back label offers a multilingual description noting pedigree, social purpose of most of the revenue, and ingredients. Offers serving notes, and shows brewing year (2009), best by date (2014), and Alc. by Vol. (9%). Served circumstantially in a short open glass.

A - Ruby brown pour with some floaters, generous head, average retention, nice surface memory and some lacing.

S - Caramel, sugar, yeasty touches... And a bit of fruity spiciness.

T - Flavor follows with a nice sweet caramel range with touches plum and figs, a nice spicy yeastiness.

M - Medium-full body with generous carbonation.

D - This is always a great drink, reliable and great quality.

Notes: Always a nice one. It had been a while since I had it but it is nice to revisit it. I'm really not overblown by it but there is nothing really that gets in the way of a nice drinking experience.

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

A: A deep, dark amber color with a bit more weight on the brown hues. The head is initially fluffy and khaki colored and then settles down to a thin layer.

S: A lot of subtleties here in the nose. Dark sugary sweetness goes along nicely with some dark fruits and a bit of spicy esters. A mild banana and alcohol note to it as well.

T: A really nice bready malt flavor with a slight bit of sugar behind it. Some mild banana on the finish and sweeter dark fruits as well. Just a hint of spiciness on the finish.

M: A full body with a smooth and creamy carbonation. Despite the sweetness, a mildly dry finish.

D: Such a balanced beer and the mouthfeel is really exceptional and was possibly the favorite part of the beer. The alcohol is fairly well concealed and this is an all around great beer.

Photo of SAABtech
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12/09 bottle

dumped into a chilled mug with nice dark color and full thick head that dispersed nicely.
smells very complex with malts fruits and hops in that order of intensity.
taste is good with an abundance of flavors to dwell on. fruits, malts and earthy tones plus much more. high ABV feel and taste is present with a thick rich feel.
only needed a little bit and had to top the bottle with a champagne topper.

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

Poured the yeast right in. i love it in a good belgian. This one had a significant head and more carbination then i expected really, very tight carbination too, and medium and creamy mouthfeel. Taste is a decent compex mix of all things quad, dark fruits, yeast, that flavor i always accosiate with mineral water,light spicy finishing hops, and caramel malts.

Photo of Cubsfan1087
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've only had one other Chimay beer (Red) and enjoyed it. I thought the Blue was even better. It pours fairly dark, little bit reddish color in it. Nice foamy head, lingers and laces the glass. The smell and taste is surprisingly sweet. The aftertaste is slightly bitter, but the 9% alcohol is well hidden. I highly recommend this beer.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Goddamn belgians and the gushing foam. Got head everywhere the second I opened this one. When I got it to settle down, it poured a dark hazy brown with little floaties about in a chimay glass. The taste is a of very dry dark fruits with a little spicyness to it. Its very smooth and easy to drink for the 9%. A very nice strong ale.

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

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. It pours a nice amber/ruby blend. A 1 inch light tan head forms reducing to a dusting. Carbonation is readily visible, as is some sediment.

The aroma is a good blend of caramel malty sweetness with yeasty bread notes. Some spicy and alcohol notes are also present.

The taste is complex with a fruity malt sweetness that is balanced by the yeast and some finishing spiciness. There is a hint of noticeable alcohol and a minimal cinnamon hit.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a initially biting (almost distracting) carbonation. It still leaves a clean and crisp feeling with a velvety texture at the end.

Overall, this beer is very good but the carbonation takes away from the flavor and the alcohol is well hidden, making it easy to drink but difficult to have multiple times in one sitting.

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

330ml bottle poured into the Chimay goblet glass...

A - Nice cloudy brown body, with a reddish hue. Creamy beige head. Pretty good head retention.

S - Fresh plums, sour cherries, and a bit of green apple. Some pleasant yeastiness, some mild spiciness (clove, cinnamon). Some roasted malts, with hints of caramel.

T - Starts out very fruity, with lots of fresh plums and some sour cherry-like tartness. Then you get some caramel breadiness, with just a hint of chocolate. The finish is still fruity, with just a bit of dryness and very light bitterness.

M - Exceptional is a good way to describe the mouthfeel. It's very smooth, yet somewhat crisp. Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Not boozy for a 9% beer. Some warming sensation at the swallow. Very pleasant overall!

D - The one bottle I had went down very easily and smoothly. I guess the drinkability is good for a strong ale, but moderation is strongly advised here, because the alcohol is quite well-masked!

Photo of ocmpoma
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a delicious, dark brown with a great tan head of foam into my trusty Duvel tulip. The head faded to a film in the center with thin filming on the edge. Great lacing. A gorgeous beer to look at, with hints of amber... guess I could stop staring at it and start drinking it.

This beer has a very distinct aroma -- lots of malt and toastiness, with a hint of mustiness that, rather than finishing up as is typical, dances around the edge of the nose the whole time. A wonderful aroma. The taste mirrors; nuttiness and spice mixed with the malt. There's also a strong hints of raisins on the end, and again the mustiness is there throughout.

I have to admit that the beer was a little too carbonated for my liking; that might be the glass's fault, though... but I've had enough Chimay Blue in my days to think that it's more of a bottling issue than anything else. The mouthfeel is good, and this is definitely a very drinkable beer. World-class.

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

Found the big bottle of Blue in my sister-in-law's fridge on a recent vacation. Turns out she picked it up just for our visit. The Blue Label has always been my favorite of the Chimays, but I've never ranked it. After splitting this one with myself tonight, figured it was about time to toss up a review.

Poured into a large wine glass...several times. Pours a hazy dark brown that glows a burnt orange near the glass when held up to the light. A nice tan one-inch soft frothy head forms quickly, but disappears nearly as fast before settling to a ring of fizzy foam. A fair amount of carbonation is seen in this medium bodied brew. As expected, no lacing left on the side.

Smells yeasty, in a good way. A deep smell exposes the fairly obvious 9.0% alcohol. Sweet, fruity. Smells like some sort of raisin cake soaked in a stiff rum. I like the smell, but wish the alcohol sting was just a bit less. Still, a very nice aroma.

The yeasty thickness is just as present on the palate as it is on the nose. Sweet and bold, this is a very nice beer. Not one of my favorites of the style, but certainly a quality brew. The dark fruitiness is definitely there, although I'm not sure I can discern it to be raisins, like the smell indicated. The alcohol is not quite as evident as one might think after taking a deep sniff, but it is still there as well. I've never had the Blue, or any of the Chimays for that matter, with a bit of age on them, but I suspect that this one would only improve.

Overall, I'm pleased with the Grande Reserve. It's not a beer that I purchase very often, but I won't pass it up when offered. Extremely easy to drink - even with a decent ABV; I put away the big bottle over a couple of hours without feeling even a bit guilty.

Consumed: 04/09/10

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

Simply put ... WOW!

A rich flavored well rounded beer. Spice aromas with touches of caramel and cinnamon...

One of my top ten favorites of all time ...

You'd expect her to be heavy, but she ain't and though i haven't gone through with it yet, i think i could drink two 750ml bottles in an evening because she's not heavy on the stomach...

Tastes of light toffee, caramel and blackberries caresses the tongue and stimulates all areas ...

A touch away from perfection...

Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

A - Beautiful haziness from dumping in the yeast. This is the way I like my trappists. Light coca-cola color with a lingering cap head. I think I've had this one aging for over a year now so that could explain the somewhat thin head.

S - Toffee and currrants. Blackberries and toast. Slight vinegar notes mixed with a ton of dried fruit.

T - Took me awhile to realize what I was tasting that was so distinct. It tastes like saba, the mediterranean cooked grape juice reduction. There's also a bit of spice from the yeast. Again echoes notes of a great balsamic vinegar. Perfect warming alcohol kiss in the finish.

M - Super dry and crisp. Medium viscosity but still a lot of carbonation. I think a year really did a lot for the dryness and I'm happy to see it is still very well carbonated.

D - You can, and most likely will, put this one down quick. While the alcohol is certainly there to warm you up you never feel. While I want to savor every sip its too enjoyable to stop myself from swigging it back.

Photo of runner72
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

serving from a 11.2 oz bottle

A - Nice two finger, light brown head. beer is brownish/copper and cloudy. lots of carbonation

S - Earthy, cloves, floral and yeasty smells. very pleasant.

T - earthy, pine taste. you can taste the malt and the carbonation hits the back of your throat. Very little trace of the alcohol

M - very bubbly from the carbonation. taste a little sweetness from malt

D - very nice. you can not taste the alcohol but with 9% ABV, better to sip

Overall, very nice. Monks do it right!

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

75 cl bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours ruby brown with a foamy beige head and excellent lacing. Dried fruits and aromas from the spice cabinet jump out of the glass.

Rich and very malty but at the same time lively. Smooth mouthfeel with a slightly chewy texture. There is noticable Madeira-like oxidation. Out of the melange of spices present, cinnamon dominates. The spice is beautifully balanced by tree fruits and refreshing carbonation. The very complex blend of deep flavors remind me of vintage port.

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

Pours a deep copper/brown color with a small cream colored head. It's pretty hazy and a little sediment made it into the glass. There's a steady stream of bubbles flowing up from the center of the Chimay glass.

It has a strong yeasty aroma with a little fruity spiciness. Some sweet bready and toasted malts.

It has a very spicy yeast flavor with lots of fruity esters and peppery alcohol. There's also plenty of sweet bready and toasted malt and hint of caramel. The flavor is very rich and complex. Really a great tasting beer.

It's medium to full body with pretty full mouthfeel. Very high carbonation with lots of prickly fizz. I get a nice warming sensation and it's fairly dry.

This one is a sipper for sure with the high alcohol and fizzy carbonation. A very flavorful, complex beer. Really great beer.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,805 ratings.