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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.

6,367 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,367
Reviews: 2,152
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 281
Gots: 770 | 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)
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: 6,367 | Reviews: 2,152 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mwilbur
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 75 cL bottle into chalice. 11/05 vintage per date on cork (this has been cellared for a bit).
A: Nice dark, cloudy garnet color with fairly thick off-white head that lasts for a while.
S: Dark fruit (raisin, etc.), bready yeast note, clove and other belgian spice, nice malt in the background.
T: Very consistent with aroma...dark fruit (especially raisin), bready yeast, clove and other spice with a malt backbone. Taste is deeper and more complex though.
M: Creamy and oh so smooth! Tremendous mouthfeel...one of the best. Lovingly coats the tongue and taste matures and changes wonderfully after the beer has been quaffed.
D: Extraordinarily drinkable. ABV is well hidden. A wonderful example of trappist beer. Complex with exemplary mouthfeel and drinkability.
I get the sense (from talking to people in general and not from the ratings on this site) that this beer is not as well respected as other trappist beer; and I feel that is more due to the fact that this is the most available trappist beer than any actual experience from tasting. Go get this beer! It truly is one of the better beers widely available in the US.

mwilbur, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of julian
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this from Whole Foods in Bellevue, WA - bottle - 1PT9.4FL. OZ.

A: after a resounding "POP!" this bottle pours a dark, earthy brown with a light glimmer of copper. Nicely carbonated. The head is an off white cream color with a soft and creamy look. Lacing is minimal on this one for me...although oddly enough lacing begins to stick only near the end, the top 1/2 of the glass are completely clean.

S: definitely lots of malts and balanced spicing mixed with an amazingly fruity aroma. This is going to be good.

T: this is probably one of the best strong dark's I've tried so far. It's a soft, smooth yet crisp and sweet drink. What a delight! The fruit and malting blend together with the spicing for an unbelievable taste.

M: nice and bubbly, but oh so smooth and creamy at the same time. This is a soft, yet rich beer that I can't believe I haven't tried until now.

D: I could drink this until I passed out. The first beer on my list that gets a perfect 5.0 for drinkability. This is one amazing beer that is just so perfect in every way that you could drink this until you poisoned yourself!

This is pretty much my benchmark for Belgian Strong Dark Ales now, it's almost perfect in every way. Truly one of the great Trappist ales.

julian, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of trackstar1043
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked ou a bottle for a family get-together, had it as a after dinner drink with the best ribs I ever had.

A - Pours a clouded deep ruby, brown, with a bit of sediment at the bottom, and specks thoughout the glass. Has 1 in tan head that left an splended lacing.

S - Deep and rich, a complex delight of malts, brown sugar, molassas, toased malts and dark fruit, plums and rasins. Fantasitic Aromas.

T - Even moreso than the nose, the dark fruits come with a full flavor and the malts and molasses or a bit of carmel tones come through to make a nice deep balancing of the flavors. At 9% you can't even taste it.

M - Full and smooth, with a great lingeing aftertaste worth of great beer.

D - Simiply a great beer, this is a standard of what a Belgium Strong dark Ale schold be, easy to drink and a pleasure everytime.

trackstar1043, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of Dodo2step
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va beach. Thanks Joe!

A- A very carbonated pour, a fizzy cackling. Pours an opaque brown black in color. Looks like chocolate pudding to be honest. A nice 2 finger head leaves a nice white lacing on my glass.

S- spices and malts. a strong floral spice comes of the top. This is definitely a Belgian. A good Belgian. A beautiful smell and lingering power as well.

T- Fizzes in my mouth and tastes of floral and clove hit my palate. It is very sweet yet tart at the same time. Some fruity esters come out in the mouth as well.

M- Carbonated and very smooth. Full of energy and life in the mouth and cacklin on the way down. A sweet and tart feel.

D- I could drink these all day. You cant really taste the alcohol but i know it is going to hit me in a few. This is like drinking sweettarts if they made a drink out of it. And very smooth and crisp, i love it. Hats off to chimay.

Dodo2step, May 31, 2008
Photo of charlzm
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 05/21/08 at LAX Radisson beer tasting.

This was consumed from a 1994 bottle, opened after 14 years!

Pours from the magnum an orange/copper hue. Not a lot of carbonation, which is not surprising in a beer of this age.

The aroma is peppery and sweet.

The flavor is sadly a little corky, but this didn't ruin the beer. The typical fruitiness of "blue label" seems to have faded away with the years, but the sweetness remains. And there's that peppery flavor again. Nice. There's also a hotness which I can't nail down to either alcohol or spice, but it's there and enjoyable.

The lack of carbonation rendered this one a little still in the mouth, which didn't do it any favors.

Amazing that this held up so long and still retains its essential character. Makes me want to go out and drink a fresher bottle...

charlzm, May 24, 2008
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed by Wisemen Justin and Nick.

Appearance: Dark brown/amber colored with a thick foamy head. Lot's of delicious looking yeast flakes float around like Christmas in Illinois 2008.

Smell: Malty, strong smell of baked bread, fruity - cherries

Taste: It doesn't have much of a taste initially; more of a feel. Strong malt taste along with either plum or cherries or both. After finish reminds me of original flavored bubble gum and finally a slight alcoholic aftertaste. I like the malts.

Mouthfeel: I think this might be the lowest quality of this beer. Not horrible, just didn't feel well in my mouth. Starts off warm and tingly like Ron Jeremy in many of his films.

Drinkability: Expensive to drink. I could sit around and drink these if not for the price.

We had to average our ratings: I (Justin) just don't like the fruity Belgian beers too much. Nick thought it was pretty tasty.

ThreeWiseMen, May 24, 2008
Photo of philbe311
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A nice finger plus worth of rich creamy velvety dark tan froth... Decent retention gives way to a thick ultra lash lacing... Dark burgundy in color with caramel accents... Slightly hazy... Largely opaque... Coats glass exceptionally well...

S - Malt, Dark Fruit (raspberries and cherries), caramel, perhaps some all spice...

T - Very well blended... Malt and fruit... A hint of tobacco... Warming alcohol aftertaste crescendos as the rest of the taste dissipates...

M - Thick, but not necessarily full-bodied... Mild carbonation... A bit fizzy... Lush...

D - Complexity makes this beer one to enjoy, study, and savor...

philbe311, May 24, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured repeatedly into a Chimay chalice yields a deep reddish-brown amber body with a swirling tornado of tiny roiling bubbles that feeds a creamy off-white head of two fingers. Nice retention at a chunky sheet that leaves thick, webby lacing.

Smells immediately fruity; black grapes, raisins, with a sugary malt background. Hints of tart cherries and brown bread.

Taste is an evolving experience as the brew warms (as does the drinker). Dark fruit and alcohol announce their presence right away, balanced by a nice twang of yeast and an earthy note. An antiseptic quality vanishes as the beer continues to un-chill, bringing forward a deep, rich, brown sweetness (yes, "brown sweetness"), and a light finishing bitterness that helps keep the drink from being too sweet and fruity.

Just about perfect in the mouth. Medium-heavy and syrupy, cut to perfect quaffability by active carbonation that is really fun to look at in the glass.

My first Trappist offering, and now I want to try all the rest. A renowned beer, not necessarily my favorite flavors or style, but certainly well-done and very impressive.

cvstrickland, May 23, 2008
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

re-review with 750ml bottle, cork dated 11/07:

there is much more lacing this time, which warrants a change from 3.5 to 4.5 on the appearance score. other aspects remain about the same.

paired with blue cheese, cheddar, and pan-seared ham with dijon mustard, not surprisingly also brings up overall drinkability a full point (partly to compensate for the fact that the taste score should be something like 4.2)

it also helps that i've now managed to find a way to purchase it directly from the importer here in china at a slightly cheaper price.

review from 12/20/2007:

brought back a small bottle from a belgian beer bar in beijing. (how's that for alliteration?) poured into chalice.

pours a dark, reddish brown, decent head, but in time fades to a thin layer of wispy beige foam. not too much lacing though.

nose brings an instant whiff of fruits, ranging from apple, cherry, to raisin. hints of spice (cinnamon) and bread/yeast.

tastes fruity, hints of cherry, before slightly burnt caramel comes through, followed by a steady but not overwhleming bitterness. alcohol isn't too noticeable, but is there if you really look for it.

creamy when rolled on the tongue. otherwise slightly thin, but not watery.

enjoyable, but not sure if entirely worth the price. again - look out, as you might not notice the 9% ABV

tai4ji2x, May 20, 2008
Photo of kzoobrew
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pulled from cellar and poured at cellar temp.

Pours a very rich brown color, bubbly head light tan in color. Leave s thin white ring with slight lacing.

Smell is that of fruit and light malt. Alcohol smell is more of a wine than most beers. Slight scent of various spices.

Carbonation is crisp, but compliments heavier fruit like flavors. Good combination of sweet and spiced flavors.

Mouth feel is crisp and dry. The sweet and spiciness hits your tounge the different time.

Truly a brew to savor and enjoy. This will be a staple in the cellar to age and enjoy year after year. If only I can stand to let it sit.

kzoobrew, May 10, 2008
Photo of rye726
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured at 50F into a goblet. Ruby brown with a white foamy head. Not the most aromatic nose. Some fruity malts with Belgian yeast and herbs. The taste was equally unimpressive. Nutty malts and some spicy yeasts and hops. The body is medium and has good carbonation. A drinkable beer, but nothing special. Highly over rated in my book.

rye726, May 07, 2008
Photo of jayrod20
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 flavor was a combination of malts and fruits. A very good beer.

jayrod20, May 06, 2008
Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured rich brownish amber w/thick light-beige head. Light lacing.
S-Estery notes w/rich malt and spice. Apple, cherry, fig, banana, and light caramel on the nose. Aroma is very pleasant.
T-Fig, apple, raisin, and slightly sweet toasted malt, clove, light caramel, and faint yeasty notes. Finish is spicy with light hops bitterness.
M-Rich medium body with nice dryness and sweet balance. Very nice moderate carbonation.
D-Excellent blend of flavor characteristics, aroma, sweetness, dryness, and body. Very enjoyable...a rich bouquet of flavors with a body that has enough backbone to carry them, but is still light enough dance spryly on the palate.

BoitSansSoif, May 04, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Pours a clearish, reddish-brown body marked by a few yeast floaties and topped by a huge, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Dark caramel scent seasoned with sugar and a savor yeastiness. Sharp fruitiness, with cherry definitely leading the way. Slight wafty hints at that 9% ABV.

Taste: Sweetish maltiness with flavors of dark caramel compounded by a spicy dark candi sugar taste. Hint of breadcrusts. Growing plum and black cherry fruitiness. Spoonful of simple syrup. Slight savory yeastiness. Spice and a medium bitterness try to bring a bit of balance. Drying, cherry-packed finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: All kinds of decent, but, and this is between you and me, I'm more of a Rochefort man, myself.

ChainGangGuy, May 03, 2008
Photo of mvanaskie13
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My last Chimay from the 3 pack with glass...

It pours from the bottle a dark amber brown with plenty of carbonation and a nice finger width thick head.

Smell is a light fruitiness with nice malty finish. Not sweet, but just the right balance of fruit and malt.

Taste is quite similar to the scent, nice fruit and malt taste. Very good flavor, can barely taste the high alcohol content.

Mouthfeel is very balanced, no strange aftertaste and just the right amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable, wish this was the 750mL bottle.

Overall, a great tasting beverage.

mvanaskie13, May 03, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mixin' up the glassware...from 750 ml bottle to Reidel Extreme Pinot Noir glass - let's see what happens...

Big, bready 2-finger head with muffin tunnels. Carbonation clings to glass, similar to champagne. Head has life of its own from carbonation.

A great deal of yeast with a faint touch of alcohol. Some ginger, more sarsparilla. A little tin; needs warmth. There's a hint of salt - similar to a club soda scent.

Very clean - a little glove leather, some husky braised/boiled malt; alcohol accompanied with mild spice. Again, some salt in context with carbonation - leathery baked apple feel. This is a bit more mild than expected.

Slightly unbalanced mouthfeel - heavier than expected with carbonation. Needs a little more chemistry. Not what is expected but still pleasant.

By no means unenjoyable - a complex effort. Heavier than desired for mild flavor profile. Definitely sippin' material.

IBUnit63, May 01, 2008
Photo of jenitivecase
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown/cherry color; liquid is hazy, yet transparent. Poured into a normal glass (again, limited by the constraints of studying abroad) which generated a solid two-finger head. Good retention.

S: A tangy mix of fruits mingled with some yeasty notes; malt is also discernable.

T: Reflective of the smell; again, tangy and sweet with strong, dark fruity notes. A tang of bitterness towards the middle. When first poured, the 9% alcohol was easily tasted, but as the beer warms, the alcohol taste becomes less obtrusive and more enjoyable.

M: Crisp carbonation, yet smooth going down. The carbonation leaves a lingering tingling sensation on the tongue.

D: I could probably have a couple of these, but the alcohol content and the overall complexity of this beer would deter me from multiples in one night. Pleasant experience overall; very enjoyable and good for savoring.

jenitivecase, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of kurtissellen
3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Emptied into an oversized wine glass creating three fingers worth of light brown head. Had a dark black color to it with mahogany edges with little carbonation present. Smelled and tasted of cherries and mild malts. Another easy drinking high ABV Trappist beer.

kurtissellen, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, lighter around the edges. Some sediment flakes from the bottom of the bottle. Tannish head is very soft and fluffy, little lacing.

Spicy aroma, dark fruit and clovey yeast product. One sided and a little wimpy.

The flavor is heavier on the fruits, like rum currant, some sweetness with good viscosity. Prickly pepper alcohol is all over it, especially in the finish. It's either not as good as I remember, or more likely, it was among the very first strong Belgians I had.

Unimpressed with the mouthfeel, fairly light with just a ton of carbonation.

Kudos to the stores and bars attempting to cater to the better beer crowd by carrying this one; now take a couple steps further and look into some world class Strong Dark Ales.

BretSikkink, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of Portertime
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such a delectable beer. I bought the three pack with the Chimay goblet in it so naturally I enjoyed this outstanding beer in their own glassware. Poured a brilliant black cherry color with a minimal head but no big deal. Nose had a pleasent dried fruit quality with a mild malts. Tastes was smooth and luscious for a 9 ABV beer with raison notes and a great hop malt balance. I won't get tired of this beer any time soon.

Portertime, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of RixBeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby/amber with a thin 1/8" head. Smells of fruit and malts. Upon holding up to light, you can see the tiny yeast is completely suspended. It has an alcohol taste that isn't huge or overwhelming but one that mixes quiet well with the malts and dried fruit flavors. has a lighter version of a soda pop fizz one might find in store brand sodas. Still quiet smooth! Been awhile since I've had this beer. Always a great choice! My mouth says "drink all day" but my brain knows how fast that 9% catches up with you. Be careful but enjoy this one to the last drop!

RixBeer, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of Pauly2X
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Dark ruby chesnut body supporting a two finger head.

S- Complex dried fruits intermingled with sweet malt aromas. A little bit of yeast character adds nicely to the complexity.

T- A warming alcohol note carries throuhout, rather than just sneaking up at the end. Carried atop this note is symphony of sweet malts which progreesivley get heavier, almost to dopplebock proportions. Dispite this there is a light and slightly hoppy finish to keep this from being pedestrian.

M- Quite fizzy, yet very smooth.

D- I have to keep reminding myself that this beer is 9.0% abv.

A beer which is certainly worthy of being my 100th beer review! Seriously if you have yet to try this, stop what you are doing and go get some. It is a gem.

Pauly2X, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of Deus1138
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I probably should have done this review before I got to my last few gulps, but it was just too enjoyable to stop!

I poured into a St Bernardus goblet. This may be blasphemy, but the bottle clearly calls for a goblet, and this is the only one I have.

Not much in terms of head. Very thin layer that quickly dissolved.

It smelled of sweet, dark fruits.

Taste is phenomenal. I mostly detect raisin and plum. Very, very sweet beer, but the sweetness is not overwhelming.

Halfway through the bottle, I read this beer pairs wells with sharp cheddar cheese, which I just happened to have in the fridge. I now feel obligated to review the cheese well!!

This is such a nice, sweet, smooth brew. It will definitely become a regular in my fridge.

Added 4/17/2008 - This brew continues to be one of my favorites. A word of advice: be careful where you buy it! I've come across quite a few bad bottles. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone who reviewed this beer negatively had the misfortune of getting a bad bottle.

Deus1138, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of Buebie
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: poured a medium brown, semi transparent, very hazy. Two finger head, which quickly dissapeard. Little to no laceing. Poured some of the chunks accidentally into my glass. No biggie, my homebrew hasnt killed me, this shouldnt.

Smell: Smells like I just popped a cork on a merlot, with that oaky wine soaked cork. A hint of maple, with fruity berries throughout.

Taste: Sweet, fruity with a touch of bitter in the middle. I'm picking up some barrel aged notes. Alcahol warming at the swallow, this is the closest beer to wine I've ever tasted.

Mouthfeel: Zingy bubbles, a good pounding from the carbonation up front, but it quickly melts away. Medium bodies with lingering liquid after the swallow.

Drinkability: Its definatly a sipper. I sould have poured it into a merlot glass instead of a pint glass. You will want to sit and smell it repeatedly before sipping. The smell changes dramatically with warming. A delicious beer, will do business with again.

Buebie, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of Bugsey
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most amazing beers out there.

The smell is intoxicating and heavy. It is sweet with dark fruits, prunes, figs, raisens and carmel, and a hint of port wine.

Taste matches the smell. It is heavy, creamy, with layers of intoxicating flavors. The alcohol is there, but not astringent. Carbonization is light and refreshing. Finish is clean.

Powerful beer.

Bugsey, Apr 15, 2008
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,367 ratings.