1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,500 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,500
Reviews: 2,162
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 293
Gots: 826 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,500 | Reviews: 2,162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of douggoodavage
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: 750ml corked bottle with fancy raised lettering on the brown glass "Abbaye De Scourmont" No expense spared ! I poured it into a large mug firmly at 45 degrees F.

Appearance: Very cloudy reddish brown with a huge three finger head and hardly any lacing. The head dissapated quickly. Tons of yeast is suspended in this brew. Large chunks settle on the bottom of glass.

Smell: I am not worthy of describing these complex scents. Here's my best shot: The alcohol and hops tickle your nose. I smell honey, cloves, brown sugar, sour grapes, and yeast.

Taste: Hop bitterness, & tangy carbonation. Sweet rasins & prunes. Sour grapes, with spicy hints of cloves and crushed black pepper. An after taste that reminds me of spiced rum.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with plenty of carbonation. The bitterness on my tongue makes me squint.

Drinkability: This well done ale is one of the best BSDA I have tried. It is a sipper not a gulper. Its very complex maltiness is nicely balanced with hops.

douggoodavage, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of chiefydawg
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite a specimen to look at really. Brownish red that may be otherwise clear without the suspension of multiple-sized hunks of material. I'm talking some serious chunky monkey Shortly after the pour, you see the turbulence caused by the immense carbonation make the chunks randomly but swiftly rise and fall before it settles and they just sort of suspend in the liquid. Huge whitish head eventually recedes, leaving less lace than I expected.

Scent of figs, brown sugar, and a very faint rum. Some possible clove/allspice in there as well. Really not as heavily scented as I expected in such a strong, carbonated ale though, and I let it warm. Some yeastiness can be picked up as the glass drains.

Getting a prune soaked in spiced, oak-aged rum taste here and me likey. Sweet caramelized molasses coats the tongue as the spice and alcohol cleanse it away at the swallow. Musty, yeasty barnyard funk elbows its way in toward the end. There is a pronounced and slightly surprising hop bitterness that the dry mustiness injects too. Not heavy in the mouth for as strong and sweet as it is either. Goes down too smoothly for the gravity and complexity!

Overall this is truly all it is advertised by style: dark, strong, and Belgian. Definitely a sipper, but much more quaffable than others I have tried. Complexed and yet approachable, this is the perfect night cap. I wouldn't eat anything with it, but just sip in a chair and enjoy.

chiefydawg, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of JonMich13
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to snifter. Beautiful dark amber color with minimal light head and lacing. Cloudy appearance. Smell of raisin, dates, molasses. Taste seemed to follow along with smell. Nice malty taste with virtually no alcohol detected. Finishes smooth and sweet. Not as complex as one might expect. Easily drinkable.

JonMich13, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of unitas3
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unbelievable... Poured from a 750 this beer has a dark amber honey colored body with a light head. The taste is unparalleled to any beer I have reviewed thus far. Molasses, dark sugar and raisin with a smooth and excellent finish perfectly balanced with a slight and sweet malt flavor. This hits a sweet spot with an excellent carbonated mouthfeel. It is certainly a bit more medium bodied then expected and its drinkability is spectacular.

unitas3, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of Nascartailgatefa
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All I can say is wow. Smooth, slightly sweet, not overpowering in any way. Exellent drinkability. Two inch head, minimal lacing. Dark amber in color. Touches every taste bud without overwhelming any one. Gonna cut this review short to continue enjoying. This is what a great beer is about!

Nascartailgatefa, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of sprucetip
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 into goblet. Cloudy, medium brown, thick foamy off-white head stays a while. Lacing doesn't last long. Very active. SMELL is spicy, coriander, yeasty, raisins and other dark fruit, fruity esters, very long legs. TASTE is sweet maltiness, dark fruit, Abbey yeast, bit of booze, and faint hop bitterness all blending and balancing perfectly. Very smooth, balanced, and complex. All it's cracked up to be. FEEL medium carbonation, med/full body, fleeting coating texture, bit of warming. Clean finish with a mild bitterness and drying sensation. OVERALL wicked easy drinker, doesn't really seem big, though it is. Main cause for restraint is the price.

sprucetip, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of Troyone
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not sure how this beer missed my reviews. I, in fact, have some aged. This one for the review is not aged, stamped L08-357.

Pours a dark murky hazy amber color with an unfiltered apple juice hue. The off white head dissipated and too difficult to see the action.

A sweet rich smell of caramel and molasses with some malty aromas and esters as well.

Nice crisp sweet taste of caramel and molasses with a back ground of toasted or roasted malt. The hop flavors may be mostly be orange or a crisp cola.

Moderated to full bodied, resinous, with a crisp comfortable carbonation.

For a complex 9% abv beer this sure is clean and crisp with no aftertaste, almost as though this complexity comes and goes. Leaves you with "what was that and where did it go, I need some more".

Troyone, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark reddish in color. A very nice color. No head or lacing to speak of. The aroma consists of spices, dark fruits and candied sugar.
Taste is dark fruit, and is high in carbonation. I prefer my belgians a lot less carbonated. This is a well made easy drinking, good beer. Can't wait to actually put one down for awhile and see what some time does for it.

FtownThrowDown, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of linnet
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby colour, big creamy beige head, lacing, precipitation from the yeast. Aroma is full of yeast, sugar,dark fruit, and pretty unusual for a trappist beer som hops too. Flavour is full of sugar, alcohol, yeast and dark fruit, even though it is not powerfull there is more bitterness in this beer than is usually the case in this style. Mouthfeel is lively. One of my favourites of the trappist beers, will be interesting to see what happens to it with some aging.

linnet, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of bowersdm
3.4/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice

A - dark brown/ruby like color, it's hard to describe. perhaps the color of a darkly stained piece of cherry wood or mahogany? It had a small head (<1cm) that dissipated quickly into a slight film of carbonation that still retained lumpy pockets of head no more than 0.25cm in height.

S - raisins, yeast, cloves, other spices, alcohol.

T - slightly sweet, with hops in the finish accompanying a dryness. suggestions of vanilla, lemon grass and spices. it wasn't particularly spectacular and I don't quite understand the praise for this one.

M - on par with every other BSDA

D - I'd drink it again, but I'd pick plenty of other BSDAs before this one. It's not even my favorite Chimay beer. Stick to Rochefort 6.

bowersdm, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a ruby brown body with a small tan head that dies slowly, leaving little lace. A mild malt smell that is sweet and mixes with some minor citric hops/fruit and figs for a mellow, quasi-earthy smell. More medium than full-bodied, but extremely smooth and creamy, with sweet malts like caramel seem to be predominant but there are some roasted malts in there to balance it and give some dryness. Fruits and hops are lowkey but there is a hint of hop bite on the backend and a little spice. A well-crafted beer that one can put you down (ABV hidden very well). A classic.

clayrock81, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of goblet
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured it to a goblet
,and let it sit.

A, deep reddish brown (let it warm a bit)with a light foamy head ,little to no lacing .

S,the scent is pleasing,malty dark fruity prunes ,raisins .

T,deep rich malt and hops jump at you,yet it`s light and sweet even a creamy taste to it .

M, malt,alcohol flavor and creamy with a bitter sweet after taste ..

D, this is very drinkable easy to find and even easier to drink a great beer over all.

goblet, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Deep opaque brown with a light but bubbly tan head. A little lacing.

S - Smooth, malty, slightly sugary sweet.

T/M Same as smell, but better. Smooth. Very very smooth. Not heavy, very well balanced. A little sweet, full bodied without being thick, just enough hops to balance out the other tastes. Finishes beautifully. This is the quintessential 'beer'.

D - I could drink this stuff forever.

MunchkinDrinker, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of jlb307
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a slightly chilled 11.2 oz glass into a small pilsner glass. Had on a night out with the wifey.

A: Deep brown and silky. The head was retained the whole time I drank it. Left nice rings on the glass.

S: Fruitier than I was expecting. Hints of black cherry and even strawberries. Very nice.

T: A long lasting alcohol finish. Dark, sweet, and mildly smokey.

M: Very thick and very carbonated, but not in a bad way.

D: Very nice, even on a cold night. Been wanting to try this beer for a long time, and it did not disappoint.

jlb307, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of malty
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stubby 11.2 oz. brown bottle.

Dark chestnut brown with ruby hilights. Cream colored head that dwindles to 1/4". Visible carbonation, though most of it is derived from the etching in the center of the bottom of its namesake's chalice.

The scents are figgy and a bit of boozy alcohol. A few swirls evoke deep & sweet malts with a hint of nougat. Vanilla and a little sourness creep up as well.

Bold yet soft flavors of pruins and mollases with a slighty acrid with a mineraly, flinty, stoney thing going on. The alcohol is somewhat well-hidden, but it's there a little bit. Some yeasty esters give it a micro amount of tartness too. Some chocolate & lots of spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel is superb. Fine and just the right amount of playful carbonation with a medium body. Spicy and semi-dry flavorful finish.

Drinkability is good. I'm content with my one small bottle though. God help the person who drinks seeral of these in one sitting (emphasis on 'sitting').

I've had this ale many times, but this is the first time in at least 4-5 years (and my first time formally reviewing it). It could be my pallet, but I'm willing to wager this ale has been dumbed-down as of late. I remember this ale bursting with flavor with lots of layers and complex as all get-out. The spiciness is still there, but the richness seems to have waned. This bottle is fairly fresh (I'm guess less than 6 months old) so maybe the ale I remember thoroughly enjoying might have had some age on it? Still, a very solid Quad from an excellent and 'heavenly' brewery. I'd never turn a Chimay down. Ever.

malty, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of xhcadamx
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Syrupy brown with TONS of bubbles and a prickly foamy head that disappeared quickly. No lacing.

S - Plums, Raisins, black licorice - not as big as I expected.

T - I am still a big noob when it comes to Belgian beers. Where to begin? This beer is very complex. Bruised pears, plums, raisins, black licorice. Very sweet but has a bitterness at the end that ties it all together.

M - so carbonated it reminds me of a soda! Not at all light bodied. In spite of the carbonation has a very syrupy feel.

D - the high abv is masked well.

xhcadamx, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of talkinghatrack
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - dark and brown like a good root beer. Minimal head drops down to a covering.

s - spicy yeast, cherries, maybe a little apple. The tiniest hint of alcohol.

t - Smooth with a carmelized sugar almost like a piece of good toast. Tangy finish with alcohol. Warming swallow

m - Too much carbonation for me. Light body where a medium body would have been nicer and probably better at masking ABV.

d - Good, for sure. The first glass is hitting strong even after a full meal. Tastes like a 4% ABV for all its 9% ABV strength - top notch there. Just a little too light bodied and over-carbonated to be my top pick over several Ommegangs or a Local 1. Perhaps some day I'll pick up one of the Chimay sampler packs to do a full comparison.

Update: the carbonation decreases and the mouthfeel thickens a bit as it warms up. Bumping mouthfeel from 2.5 to a 3.

talkinghatrack, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of mothman
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium Globe glass.

Pours a cloudy bark brown with slight amber/mahogany. Pours a 2 finger tan head that leaves splattered lace.

Smell is very fruity. Banana notes with clove. Some bready malt aromas as well. Taste is almost a bubble gum. Some fruity taste. The alcohol is also present. Finally there is a cranberry and raisin taste.

Mouthfeel is bitter but goes down smooth and has a great clean finish. The alcohol is very present. Seem well carbonated.

Overall best belgium dark I have had so far. I could easily have a few of these. The only think I don't like about this beer is the price :S

mothman, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of phantomwyse
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark stained cherry wood body, medium transparency, lively carbonation, picture perfect muddy head effervescently rising.

S: Plum, dark cherry, Concord grape, raisin, light cocoa powder, slight wine aroma.

T: Alcoholic chocolate, a sort of light rum endeavor moving to lots of dark fruits. Plum, grape, and apple come into play before switching into sweetness. There's some caramel working it's way as well as some musty candied sugars leading away into just a bit of alcoholic bite at the end.

M: Medium bodied with a creaminess that leaves a coating silkiness.

D: All of the Chimay triplets are damn near flawless. Great tasting, benchmarks of their styles. All very drinkable for the niches they own.

phantomwyse, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of fingerlaker
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The single best beer I have ever had. Full stop.

Even the BOTTLE looked special! "Trappist" was painted on the neck and the labels were extra-thick, colorful and without flaw.

Opening it up, The first thing I was hit with was the unmistakable scent of dry red wine. This lasted for quite some time before I noticed smokey oak wood, plenty of barley malt, cherries and a BIG amount of estery alcohol mixed in with all of it.

Taste... All I can think of is the Mormon Tabernacle choir singing "Oh Holy Night" where it gets to the "FALLL! ON YE KNEEE! OH HEARRR THE ANGEL VOOOIIIICCEESSS!" part.

Oh sweet revelations! Words fail me! This shows itself first as fruity, with grape and cherry notes, followed by the big malt, a mild amount of floral hops with a warming and very present alcohol following through the entire experience.

It could be used as a replacement for wine at a dinner. Something to be sipped and savored, but begging you to fininsh the entire bottle.

It's worth the $13.

fingerlaker, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a deep, hazy dark brown, with hints of red, and a thick, three-finger off-white head. Good head retention Leaves a nice layer of lacing. A quarter-inch of head remained for the duration of the glass.

Smell: Hints of banana and honey, some vanilla. Some chocolate undertones. Very pleasant.

Taste: A bittersweet chocolate bite, with banana and honey-like flavors. Alcohol is definitely noticeable. Fades to a slightly bitter aftertaste, with some of the alcohol burn and the sweetness lingering for quite some time. Almost cloyingly sweet overall. Some molasses notes.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy thick, and very highly carbonated. Felt like I was drinking soda...don't think that's a bad thing, in this case though.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper. It's a little too cloying for my tastes, as the sweetness quickly overpowers and leaves a less-than-desirable aftertaste. Overall, it was a solid beer, I'm just not sure it's in line with my tastes.

StarlightSeraph, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cellared in 2007 and had in January 2009. Chilled slightly and served in a glass.

A: Dark brown with amber highlights. The head is generous and fluffy, receding over a minute into a ring. Light lacing is left throughout the drink.

S: Cognac, wood, floral notes with an essence of earthy malt. Some alcohol sting on the nose. Very rich bouquet.

T: Dark, sweet, fruity malt with hints of wood. A little hint of hops. A definite alcohol heat in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy, and sticky. Good carbonation without being overpowering.

D: I would -- and will -- definitely having this again. However, I wish I'd performed a vertical tasting. From what I recall, the one-year aging tastes the same as a young one. I don't know if there is any point to waiting.

Arbitrator, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

08 vintage drank from a Chimay chalice. Pours a mostly cloudy dark brown color with a super-fine, frothy light beige head. Very good retention and lacing.

Bready, spicy and yeasty nose. Sweet and pleasant with a surprising hint of citrusy hops, almost like lemon peels and guava. There is also a bit of nuttiness that comes through as well...quite a complex smelling beer.

Sweet and zesty taste in the mouth with lots of spice notes - nutmeg, coriander and orange peel. Bready and yeasty flavors are very much evident, but not as dominating as in the nose. Alcohol is noticeable, as is a bitter, dry finish. A great example of a Belgian strong sipping ale. Most definitely a classic, and probably my favorite Chimay.

Side note, I ate some toasted & salted almonds with this beer, and it was a freaking great combination.

twiggamortis420, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of TehAnkh
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.20 ounce bottle in to a goblet.

A: Pours a medium dark brown with hints of amber/orange and about 1 inch of fluffy light brown head. The head recedes quickly, leaving little lacing to speak of.

S: Pez candy and cognac come to mind on the nose. It smells sweet, and floral, but for some reason I can't shake this whiff of what reminds me of Henessey Cognac. Woody, clean, mild and sweet.

T: Once again, pez candy, but the cognac aroma is no longer present. It's become more of a mixture of light fruits and candy such as sweet tarts or pez. Mildly sweet, with just a bare hint of alcohol behind this nice combination of flavors. Floral hops make themselves just barely obvious, mixed with mild grains. Lovely.

M: Initially, it struck me as a little too light, but I was incorrect. Medium bodied, mild, creamy, effervescent and just perfect for the style. A lot more carbonation than I initially thought, and it lends well to the texture.

D: Aside from the mild alcohol warming in the tummy and the price tag, I think this might be one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had. It's got the perfect balance of taste and texture, and even with 9% abv it's dangerously drinkable. I'm glad I didn't buy a bomber, I just might have gotten bombed. In fact, if I knew what I know now, I would've bought 2 bombers and not just 11.2 ounces of this heavenly nectar.

I'm surprised by this brew after having had Chimay Cinq (white) and having been halfway disappointed. I appreciate Chimay as a brewery much more after having tried this, I can't wait to get more!

TehAnkh, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of garymuchow
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My annual Super Bowl Belgian. Part of a holiday pack with a chalice, which this is poured into (given for my anniversary - thanks sweetie).
Initially note a malt character then it moves to a sugary/candy sweet aroma. Nice, but nothing exceptional.
One inch tan head that settles to a low layer cap. Very fizzy sound as it settles. No lacing.
Now the flavor is a different story. Really smooth and not overpowering. Good mix of malt flavors and candy sweetness. Very quickly warms the insides. Rather short finish. The sweetness is really nice with fruit added to the other noted flavors. Enough hops to cut the sharpness some and some drinks finish with a slight hop character. Yum. Minimal alcohol flavor, although it increases some in time, but it's never excessive or overpowering. This is probably a fairly new bottle (considering how it was purchased, but I don't know how the read the dating).
Plenty o' bubbles almost make it effervescent. Pleasing smoothness in the body, although it is a little light in body for style.
I really like the richness being held back in this beer. This adds considerable to the drinkability (and it's scored relative to style). Good beer, nicely done.

garymuchow, Feb 02, 2009
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,500 ratings.