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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.

6,517 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,517
Reviews: 2,162
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 294
Gots: 836 | 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: 6,517 | Reviews: 2,162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of farrago
3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lively foam when you pour it, races to evaporate into dispersed islands of miniscule brown bubbles, close to zero lacing. Murky muddy brown in color, more yellow tinges than orange or red, lots of floating particulate even with a careful pour. The nose leans a good deal on cinnamon, clove like spice and brown sugar for oomph, lesser degree on raisin bread, dry chocolate powder, dried apricots and peaches, figs too, light banana esters, not as forceful as expected, you have to work at drawing out the scents even though the glass has "Chimay" written on it. Full-bodied and a touch heavy on the palate, here the flavors deliver more depth. And while no heat, you can feel the alcoholic content. Clove, allspice, cinnamon spice and orange peel comes at you first, notes of cola and brown bread as well. The carbonation is very aggressive, although not able to cleanse, more so add to the turbulence. Chocolate powder, yeast, raisin, fig, apricot, peach and banana fruit fit into the groove. Dry finish given its body and initial sweetness. Can't say I could drink more a couple in a sitting.

farrago, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of OtherShoe2
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn't execute a careful pour on this one at all -- got a big foamy head that took a while to go away. Murky brown in color. Lacing disappears quickly.

Some raisin bread notes, a little whiff of alcohol, slight hint of sour fruit (cherry), but not much.

Terrific flavors. Good dark brown sugar sweetness, dark dried fruit, fig or date, some yeastiness and some chemical alcohol (the latter came out more pronounced as the beer warmed). Pretty clean finish, with a hint of bitterness as your palate clears. Nothing here that is telling you to pace yourself.

Has some decent body to it, and the carbonation keeps it lighter than it really is.

Overall, this glass is almost done - quickly. Another beer that is a trip down memory lane, with over a decade between tastings. As easy as this goes down, I'm glad I can buy 12 oz. singles. It is just enough, volume wise. A very very enjoyable brew that you intend upon sipping and find yourself going back to the glass faster than anticipated. A great standard and not to be missed.

OtherShoe2, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of david131
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- A very deep ruby red that is absolutely clear with massive off white head that is maintained by some very active streams of rising carbonation.

S- Caramel, candied fruits, brown sugar, spiciness, alcohol. There is also some floral notes. Overall, all the aroma blend wonderfully together.

T- The flavors are the same as noticed in the nose. Very flavorful, but not sticky or cloying. Beautiful.

M- Very creamy and smooth. With just the slightest alcohol presence on the tail end.

D- A delicious beer. It is smooth and very drinkable with just a bit of alcohol presence. It is a bit pricey, but it is a nice treat.

david131, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of bskrtz
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A) A beautiful brown... chocolatey, opaque & thick in appearance. Floaties suspended in a cloudy haze

S) Sweet aroma of baked bread & dark sweet fruits

T) Wonderful, the taste of a superior product. Rich dates & figs, tiny (bubbles) yet plentiful carbonation.

D) A truly well crafted ale. The good news is that due to superior marketing, this one is not too difficult to find. Enjoy often.

bskrtz, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of ThePeskyDingo
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a 2 finger light brown head. Beer color is a hazy amber brown color. Lots of yeast sediments present.

Smells like raisins, brown sugar, and the yeasty smell that ive noticed with many Belgium beers.

Tastes very smooth and malty. Along the same lines as the smell.

Mouthfeel is very 'gentle' and creamy. Low carbonation. Clean finish.

Very drinkable, but spendy.

ThePeskyDingo, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of WickedSluggy
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown and amber in the edges with light brown foam.

S - White wine aroma that seems typical of this dark Belgian style.

T - Smooth and sweet, malty wine-like with lots of fruity estery goodness

M - Low viscosity and wine-like

D - Very nice and easy to appreciate

WickedSluggy, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of nycwinter
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This most recent Chimay (Blue) was poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass (Long and skinny). The restaraunt we were at only had this type of glass.
A: Got a big frothy head due to the style of the glass (I think), light tan lacing throughout. The color was reddish brown and opaque.
S: Sweet like caramel, hoppy, and fruity. Wonderful to say the least.
T: Starts out sweet and fruity, and leaves you with just enough hop and yeast flavor.
M: A little too carbonated, but maybe I just didn't let it breathe enough.
D: Smooth throughout. One was great with a meal, but the larger bottle would be a great appetizer.
Overall, not the first time I have had this one, and it definitely won't be the last. Belgian ales are becoming my favorite style of beer.

nycwinter, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of sjccmd
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into Chimay goblet...what else?

with an extremely careful pour i got large frothy light brown head, very dark red color

rum cake, brown sugar, raisins, dates, quite appetizing aroma

caramel, yeasty and bread, nicely balanced, not at all too sweet

smooth, leaves a nice coating on the tongue, slightly watery and a little high on carbonation for the style

very solid beer, not as exciting as the other trappist breweries but it's an excellent go-to beer seeing as how it's pretty widely available

sjccmd, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of Yesac
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah the gateway beer to craft brew. This is a true classic. It's responsible for getting me into better beer.

A - Medium brownish color. Small ring of carbonation around the edge.

S - Sweet dark fruits, cherry hints, Belgian yeast.

T - Along with the smell.. sweet overall nice Belgian yeast presence with hints of dark fruits and slight sourness.

M - Low/medium carbonation. Even medium coasting of the palate. Not sticky, not dry.

D - Well hidden 9%, great complexity and sweetness.. easy drinker here.

Yesac, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of dqderrick
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - 3.0
Sediment. Cloudy. Maple syrup color. 1/8" head dissipated quickly. Seems low carbonation.

S - 4.5
Fruit! Sweet, smells great! Very Belgian. No hops.

T - 4.5
Mild was my first impression. Little banana. Wow, I don't have good description words, but this beer hit home.

MF - 4.0
Stingy on the front of the palate. Mild.

D - 5.0
Tastes like a 6-7% not a 9%. Easy to drink. I could drink 3 or 4 of these easily and want more.

dqderrick, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of ThirdLap
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chimay was the Belgian that opened my eyes to the beers of the country. Until I visit again, I will always regret visiting Belgium and sampling nary a single brew.

Served in a Chimay glass at the proper temperature.

What a great looking beer. Think deep mahogany brown, complete with its characteristic variations in depth of color. Not much lacing noted, and the head dissipates to a long-lasting thin foam covering.

The nose is filled with spices, dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, and molasses. Some yeasty and Belgian funk undertones.

Taste is more of the same - raisins, caramel, Belgian yeast, and malt. An slight hop presence reveals itself over time.

Carbonation is high, something to be expected with a proper Belgian brew. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and creamy, and the finish coats the mouth with a stickiness that seems to cry out for another sip.

A phenomenal beer.

ThirdLap, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of JJBlanche
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a classic. Even non-beer geeks know the greatness of Grande Réserve.

A - I love the unfiltered yeast menagerie, which is part of the reason why I gave this an exceptional rating...love it or hate it, it's part of Chimay's distinction.

That aside, deep reddish brown. Big, light head that sticks around for a while. Heavy carb.

S - It's got that unique Chimay thing going on. Perhaps some herbal notes from the Trappist yeast. Good.

T - Sometimes I love it, sometimes not so much. Really depends upon my mood. Every so often I catch that herbal, clove-like aftertaste that's characteristic of Belgian yeast. It can be somewhat off-putting, but only in the rare instance where the planets align and I get the full force of it. Otherwise, quite good. Alcohol masked very well.

M - Only gripe in this regard is perhaps a bit heavy on the carb, but that's part of the style. Surprisingly light.

D - Again, surprisingly light and refreshing. Almost dangerous in this regard, and exceptional given the ABV.

JJBlanche, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of Vengeance526
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with copper highlights producing about a one finger tan head that slowly dies to a thin ring and leaves a good amount of lacing.

Aroma is very inviting with sweet notes of brown sugar, dark fruit and molasses.

Taste starts with the dark fruit, revealing some fig and prunes. The taste becomes mildly sweet with the carmelized brown sugar again showing up. Some light spices become evident on the way down. A slight alcoholic burn, reminiscent of rum.

Medium to full bodied. Pretty smooth. Now I wouldn't be drinking a lot of this in one night, but this is fun to sip on throughout the night and definitely worth picking up again on another day.

Vengeance526, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of webbcreative
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a tan 2 finger head that seems to last. Smells like a Belgian, Dark Sweet Malt, yeasty, bready aroma, dark fruits of some kind get a bit of alcohol as well. Taste is extremely flavorful! Get that sweet dark malt I was smelling. Seems like im getting different wonderful flavors on all parts of my tounge, front, sides, middle and back. Sweetness up front, getting some bitterness on the sides of my toungue, and then a little of the alcohol in the back of the mouth. Mouthfeel on this is out of this world. The only way to describe it is that it is Velvety smooth, starts soft on the tongue and I thoroughly expected it start to feel watery but it never did, smoothest beer I have had to date. Its and odd sensation actually - I know I took a drink of the beer, but then all of the sudden its not in my mouth anymore, its like it snuck its wasy over my tongue and down my throught without me know it, that is precisely how smooth this brew is, Vanishes from my mouth without me knowing it!

Overall this really is a beer that lives up the hype. I had this beer for the first time tonight in honor of my wedding anniversary, and I think I might have just started a new tradition...

webbcreative, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of Sleepisforthewik
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 1 pint 9.4 oz bottle into a goblet.

A- Dark copper tones with a nice head. The head stays down the entire way.

S- Smell is heaven like. Slight spiced aroma with some delicious malts.

T- Tastes of spices and sweetness.

M- Light and smooth with a body that is hidden until after you swallow the beer.

D- I would drink this whenever I have the chance to pick up a bottle. This stuff is delicious.

Sleepisforthewik, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of Tarps68
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I would have to say it is the best beer that I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. It is so unique a flavor that it is hard to describe. It is a strong ale at 9.0% but, it is pretty smooth. I would not drink it all night but one bottle is great on a cold night in New England. The price is expensive but, don't let that scare you away it is worth every penny. Try it and you will not be disappointed.

Tarps68, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of johnnymoto
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is AWESOME!

The head was nice and thick and the aroma was very strong right out of the bottle. The taste was nice and sweet with a great balance amongst the many flavors. The mouth feel was exceptional and since this is a pretty strong beer it will hit you after the very first bottle. Great beer that everyone must try!

johnnymoto, Feb 26, 2009
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
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,517 ratings.