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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.

6,086 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,086
Reviews: 2,137
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 249
Gots: 621 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,086 | Reviews: 2,137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gasp100


4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy burnt mahogany with a frothy and wispy beige head of small, tight bubbles that quickly diminish and leave sparse lacing down the glass.
S - Dark toffee, plum, raisons soaked in bourbon.
T - Sweet candy, carmelized sugar, dark over-ripened fruit. The alcohol is noticeable but perfect and very warming. This is amazing.
M - Light, clean, tight carbonation with a slick mouthfeel that dries out bigtime in the finish. Very crisp and clear with no cloying qualities for such a sweet beer.
D - Because it's 9% I gave this slightly lower numbers but I could truely drink a good deal of this and gladly pay the piper the next morning.
I love Belgian Tripels -- now I have fallen in love with the dark side as well.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 23:59:33 | More by Gasp100
Photo of maddogruss

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer as a part of my MBA list. It poured a dark amber body with a decent, off-white head that had ok retention, slowing down later to a nice lacing. The smell was that of sweet malts that was very pleasing. The taste was interesting. Since it was a belgian, I knew it was going to be fairly alcoholic (i.e. the 9 %). The initial taste reminded me of a green apple: a sweet yet sour taste that your palette adjusts to. Once it does, the taste becomes more sweet than sour. Towards the finish of the beer, there seemed to be a refreshing taste to it, almost like the feeling your mouth gets after you have had some mint gum. The body was nice, smooth, and full-bodied. This beer went down nice and easy, but it definitely hit me later. While being good tasting, smooth, and nice to drink, the high alcohol content is almost like a sleeper. It sits and waits and when it hits you, it hits you pretty hard. Overall, solid beer and recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2007 19:39:59 | More by maddogruss
Photo of brendan13


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into my Chimay chalice a dark reddish brown with a thick inch or so of beige head.
S - Spicy phenolic backed up with a subtle dark fruit aroma.
T - This is the epicentre of what makes this a great beer. Nice malts complemented by some sweet candi sugar as well as the dark fruit and spice notes that were present in the smell. Warming alcohol presence.
M - Smooth, full bodied with medium carbonation.
D - The ABV% and price limits the regularity but a great beer that deserves the praise it gets.
Got a 750ml bottle gracefully ageing in the beer closet.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2007 10:02:05 | More by brendan13
Photo of ccrida


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

1.5 L bottle, 2003 vintage...this should be just coming into it's sweet spot, and I've been saving it for my first free night at the new house...after this review, I'll enjoy the rest with dinner and then my favorite cigar, a Montecristo No. 2.

Poured into my large Chimay goblet, the Grande Réserve is a hazy dark garnet with a long lasting, medium sized, tight khaki head that leaves lots of foamy lace.

The aroma is rich and malty, figs and coco, with a spicy backbone.

The taste is perfection - wow! While I've had this a good number of times, I've never had one this old, and damn has time served it well! Incredibly smooth and balanced, the sweet candi sugar slightly beats out the spicy yeast, rounded out with a warming glow of alcohol and a dash of phenols on the finish.

The mouthfeel is creamy with a fairly light body.

With good 4+ years on it, this is the crème de la crème of BSDAs. What more can I say, other then I need to get away from the computer, sit down and really savor this bad boy. Good thing I've got a whole magnum left!

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2007 03:10:09 | More by ccrida
Photo of udubdawg


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle

pours a dark reddish brown, and pretty opaque. Head is thin and light tan, fading swiftly and leaving little lace, although parts of the surface of the beer boil with the many nonstop lines of rising small bubbles.

Full, rich aroma, a little musty - in a good way. Plenty of dark fruit, and the alcohol doesn't hold back.

Spiciness that didn't show itself in the nose is immediately evident in the taste. Fruit that seemed carmelized and dark to my nose is coming across lighter and sweeter here. Undeniably good, just not quite spectacular. The spices last all the way through and leave a pleasant "zesty" feeling on the tongue. Mouthfeel is great after initial carbonation rush dies down, smooth and warming.

A sipper, but one I'd gladly have again and again.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2007 02:33:38 | More by udubdawg
Photo of snpub540


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

What an exceptional experience this was. I usually stay away from Belgian Ales for their earthy, yeasty taste, but this offering from Chimay just may have me trying many more Belgian styles.

A- Poured a coffee-like brown hue with hints of amber coming thru when held to light. This was topped off by a 3/4 inch khaki colored head. There was some delicate lacing on the glass the whole time.

A- The nose was very vinous in its aroma. Whiffs of currants, licorice and sweet alcohol were present. Also some floral notes hiding in there.

T- This is was the most enjoyable part of all. Up front I was hit by a sweetness that reminded me of raisins, with a little coffee bitterness. The midpoint was a spicy herbal taste that mellowed into the sweetness of warming alcohol as it left my mouth.

M- This was a very smooth beer. It seemed to coat my whole mouth with every drink.

D- Although the 9% alcohol is definately there, I did not find it to be overpowering at all. Before I knew it all of the 750 mL bottle I purchased was gone. This was definately a delight and I will be sure to have many more of these as time goes on.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2007 04:10:22 | More by snpub540
Photo of goochpunch


4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a bubbly ruby with a thinnish tan head. Leaves some spotty lacing. Smells a touch like sweet wort with lots of fruit, both fresh, tropical ones, and dried ones. Alcohol kind of jumps at your nose a bit. Taste is chewy dark malts mixed with banana, orange, and grape. Phenolics are mild and allow the dark malty character thrive. Finishes slightly drier than the middle and ends with some toasty character. Hay-like hop flavor is mild in the end as well. Mouthfeel is not heavy at all, nor is it slick. Carbonation is pretty active. Awesome BSDA, but it gets kind of sweet as the beer drags on, just slightly hindering the drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2007 02:28:23 | More by goochpunch
Photo of John_M


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had not had this beer in some time. Forgot just how excellent it is.

The beer pours a rich, hazy brown color, with a persistent, creamy head and excellent lacing. Full marks at this point. On the nose the first thing I notice is almost a milk dud chocolate aroma, with a touch of coffee and brown sugar. Really, this beer has the most pronounced chocolate candy aroma I've ever seen, with a touch of Belgium spices to keep it all interesting. This beer is very lithe and supple on the palate, with flavors of chocolate, maraschino cherry and honey. There's just a touch of bitterness and dryness in the finish, which keeps this beer from becoming tiring to drink. Again, quite impressive. Abv. is noticeable, but in a good way for this beer. It pulls all the flavors together and keeps the beer from becoming too flabby from the sweetness.

Fabulous stuff. For my money, much better then the red or the white.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2007 16:58:55 | More by John_M
Photo of pmcadamis


4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Sunsinger wine shop in Champaign and tried it with my parents out on the their deck after dinner.

A - Dark brown brew with a purple cast and a massive three finger head that looks rocky on it's way down to a thin cap. Lots of tan lace is left on the snifter.

S - Fresh brown bread. Sourdough yeast, chocolate, toffee, and caramelized sugar. I also smell some wine-like grape notes along with some rootbeer, brandy, tobacco, and a whiff of alcohol. This is quite complex and it smells delicious.

T - Tootsie rolls are what come to mind as soon as it touches my tongue. I also taste grapes (big fat purplish-blue ones), rootbeer, prunes, dates, black cherries, toffee, tira misu, raisins soaked in brandy....and chocolate tootsie roll pops. Outstanding!

M - Full bodied with a low level of silky and lush carbonation. Some alcohol warmth really adds to the desert-like quality of this brew.

D - This is one of those beers that you sip slowly and cherish, but when the bottle is empty you feel... well, sad. An outstandingly drinkable brew that even my non-BA parents enjoyed. I could drink this all day (and at 9.0% be asleep by 8pm).

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 13:48:27 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of cyrenaica

Ontario (Canada)

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

This beer was tried on July 27, 2007 at the 'Beer Bistro' in Toronto. The beer poured a deep dark brown into the Chimay glass with a generous off-white head that didn't last near as long as some other Trappists I've tried. The aroma is full of malt and yeast, with a tinge of sweetness. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with a champagne like carbonation feel. The flavour was a combination of malts and fruits. A very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2007 00:44:48 | More by cyrenaica
Photo of adowney523


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Belgian-style chalice from a 33 cL brown bottle, color is dark brown with deep ruby hints when held to the light. Appearance is opaque and the tan head leaves great lacing.

Smells of raisins with burnt, sweet candy, and ethanol notes.

Slight buttery diacetyl in the front of the taste. Dark fruit dominates the middle and fades to medicinal phenols and an alcohol burn in the finish.

Small effervescent bubbles and a sweet finish give a nice mouthfeel.
Drinkability is above average for the style.

A trappist ale I will come back to.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 02:24:38 | More by adowney523
Photo of BucBasil

South Carolina

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

Another beautiful beer handcrafted by the one of the 6 Abbeys of Trappist monks in Belgium under vows of silence and poverty, this is one of the world's great beers.

Appearance: Served from a corked and caged bottle into a Chimay goblet. The cork exploded out of the bottle champagne-style when I uncaged it. This is a beer that doesn't mess around... Poured cola brown with a light tan 3/4 inch head. Almost completely opaque unless viewed from the bottom. Simply beautiful.

Smell: Allowed this one to warm in the glass a few minutes befroe consuming. The more it warmed the more the aroma revealed itself to me. Smell is sugary at first with hints of chocolate or molasses. Almost candylike, but I can't really tell which candy. Rich malty characteristics finish out this nose.

Taste: Again, this one improves after a bit of warming. I would say this is best a good bit under room tempurature - not right out of the fridge, but not completely warmed to room temp. Begins with a good hit of malt, evolving into light cocoa and dark fruits. Heavenly taste when allowed to mature to the correct temperature. I can't really describe this one in too much detail in fear that I may do injustice to the taste itself.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Velvety soft on the palate, this one spreads on the tongue with little carbonation. Makes you just want to drink more and more, which is bad because of the 9% ABV on this.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2007 00:22:47 | More by BucBasil
Photo of OKCNittany


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

330 ml bottle into a Chimay goblet

A: poured a hazy dark brown with yeast sediment floating about (because I poured too much). A beautiful 3/4" bubbly tan head did not hold. Minimal lacing.

S: Pleasant aroma that started slowly but really stepped up as it warmed. Sweet & malty, yeasty, very rich.

T: Malt, raisin, yeast, spice, bread, & caramel too. So complex - so enjoyable.

M: Full mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation. Arid finish.

D: It hides the alcohol very well (though there is a nice slight warming). However, it's such a big taste, I wouldn't want (and don't need) many.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 00:31:51 | More by OKCNittany
Photo of SudNut


4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like the strong dark ales this is one of my favorites. Not the best BSDA but at least 2nd or 3rd. Appearance is murky brown with a small foam head no lacing. This beer tastes great; with a 9% ABV it is pretty filling but the alcohol is well masked. Mouthfeel is light with a bit of a blueberry plum taste fading to caramel. Smell is of a caramel coated fruit orchard w/ lots of malty goodness, mmm. I could drink a lot of these even w/ the high ABV! WOOT WOOT!

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2007 05:34:35 | More by SudNut
Photo of brdc


4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Large corked, "caged" bottle. 2007 printed n the cork.
A very nice looking brownish brew with multiple red nuances, and a minimal tan head with little lacing.
The aroma is just marvelous, toasted, sugary, yeasty, candyish, alcoholic and phenolic.
Velvety on the mouth, it goes down wonderfully for such a high powered beer, showing multiple complex flavors on the way down, as suggested by the nose; sweetish, yeasty, heavily malted, peppery spiced, at times dry.
(Barely) Short of fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 01:22:19 | More by brdc
Photo of biggmike


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

Poured an attractive brown color with an off-white head that hung around a long time. Malty aroma of caramel and fruit. Rich and oily mouthfeel. Alcohol content well hidden. Perfect amount of carbonation. Really excellent beer and a style I need to explore further.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2007 10:54:22 | More by biggmike
Photo of Durge


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

This was a restaurant bottle, 11.9 ounce I believe, blue label but did not indicate Grande Reserve as shown on the larger bottle pictured here. Judging from the other reviews this must be the same stuff, and it is good. This was a deliciously murky, root beer colored fizzy brew with lots of large suspended particles and with a fairly minor head and a slight lacing. It smells of pear and malty brown sugar. It tantilizes the palette with sprite carbonation that refreshes while delivering a fairly strong raisin sweetness. The alcohol is quite present yet it has a smooth feel that finishes a bit dry. Fairly drinkable considering this 9% kick. Very nice stuff. Pour me another one...

Update (7-16-08) from a "champagne" bottle tasting after nearly two years in cellar (the bottle, not me): Light mahogany clouded ruby with good off-white beige head and solid lacing. The aroma is a pleasant raspberry and malt chocolate. A smooth cherry malt, raisin and dry earthy hops flavor. Sprite carbonation, flavorful and quite drinkable. Nice.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2007 05:23:53 | More by Durge
Photo of morebeergood


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

Picked up a 750 ml corked bottle for a Friday night. The cork said it was a 2006 vintage. Poured into a Chimay chalice, so I managed to get about 2 and a half glasses out of the bottle. There was a nice head upon pouring, and color was a dark red. Taste was very enjoyable. I've had better Belgians, but for a readily available beer, this one is superb. It was a bit lighter than I would have expected from a strong dark ale. On the other hand, this made it quite drinkable, I drank the whole bottle myself and barely noticed the 9% abv. Chimay Blue is a quality beer at a excellent price for a Belgian.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2007 16:52:20 | More by morebeergood
Photo of belgbeerdrinker


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


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


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


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


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


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


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
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,086 ratings.