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

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

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6,815 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,815
Reviews: 2,190
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 340
Gots: 1,066 | 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: 6,815 | Reviews: 2,190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Whiteweasel
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh the anticipation...my adventures in craft beer have finally taken a giant leap with my first Belgian Trappist ale. This bottle has been sitting in my cabinet for weeks, just waiting for the right time to be enjoyed.

Poured into a wide mouthed wine glass/goblet from a bottle bought in Sept 09 with 09/08 marked on the cork. Enjoyed this momentous occasion with my roommate and fellow advocate Heissebier

Appearance: Absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful brown colour, almost opaque from all the sediment. Head was small, but this might have been from the serving temperature. It is very persistant however, and it mixes around on the surface which only whets my appetite even further.

Smell: At first the scent could only be described as "ohmygod"... However after a little thought, a very warm, sweet fruity and floral aroma, with something almost like pepper. Very estery with traditional ale banana and clove scents, only even better. There really is something almost indescribable about this scent. Transports me

Taste: Such a complex taste, this is going to be difficult...Definitely exhibits the traditional characters of the ale, a banana/clove taste, but also has something of a grape or red wine element to it that I've never really experienced before. It has a distinctive nuttiness to it probably from the yeast that Chimay uses. Fantastic finish; its so smooth and pleasant. The aftertaste is malty and wheaty and very sweet but not in an overdone sort of way. Absolutely incredible taste, and certainly the best beer I've had to this point

Mouthfeel: You can certainly feel the alcoholic content in this beer, and it leaves you a mild boozy warmth in your mouth and down your throat. Very nice level of carbonation which tingles in your mouth and compliments the booziness

Drinkability: I would drink this every day if I could. Hell, I would take a vow of silence and become a trappist monk if I could drink this every day. It's just that good. However the only thing that I hold against this beer is that it is 9% abv, and unless you have a friend with you, the bottle practically begs to be drank all at once, leaving you potentially giddy from something else besides the deliciousness of the Chimay.

Photo of heissebier
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has been sitting in my roommate's fridge since early September. After much admiration and anticipation, it's finally time to try this world class beer!

Appearance- Rich hazy color with a caramel colored head.
Smell- Incredibly complex. Lots of sweet floral scents with hints of pepper and malt.

Taste- The only way to truly appreciate the taste of this world class beer is to try it for yourself. Good carbonation with a melody of flavors and a sweet, fruity finish. As the beer warms up the flavor really comes out.

Mouthfeel- Orgasmic. Rich and complex without being overbearing.

Drinkability- A beer to savor, a little bit goes a long way. This beer has incredible staying power and the flavor continues to develop long after each sip. That being said, I could drink it all day every day. Leaves a warm feeling inside of you!

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in Chimay chalice

A: an off white bubbly head atop a very hazy brown brew. fades quickly to a thin layer of remaining bubbles in the middle of the glass (thanks to the etching in the glass)

S: chocolate covered raisin, belgian candy sugar, a slight smell of belgian yeast, and a smell of wood

T: sweet plum, belgian sugars, hint of alcochol, and wood flavor that finishes with plum, raisin bread, peppery notes and more candy sugar sweetness.

M: A medium-full body brew with a fizzy carbonation that fades to a slightly off-dry

Overall, This beer is a great classic. It's an easy drinker that is also complex and sophisticated. The abv is hidden well, or else covered up by rich flavor. The flavors become more pronounced as it warms, but this beer is best right out of the fridge in my opinion.

Photo of zoso493
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my Chimay chalice

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany color with a fluffy one-finger head.

Smell: Smells of yeast and malts with some dark fruit mixed in there. Maybe some dates, raisins and apple. Also just a touch of toffee and brown sugar.

Taste: The dark fruit again come out with a big malty presence up front. Finishes with a wonderful sharp, dry burst of Belgian yeast. This is pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel: Almost perfect, for me. Full-bodied and just a pleasure to drink.

Drinkability: You'd never guess this was 9% ABV. Pretty drinkable for what it is, though.

Overall, this is a tasy, complex brew, as you would expect from a beer bearing the Chimay name. Signature of the style, it only gets more complex and interesting as it warms up.

Photo of david18
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure I understand the difference between a belgian dark strong ale and a quadruple, but anyway this is pretty good for either category. There are a few american brands actually that I prefer but this is a very solid version of this style. Good dark fruit, great dark color with some cloudiness, good aroma and good carbonation.

Photo of tang3nt
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a trappist glass brown with a light brown head. It had a dark cherry and chocolate nose to it. The start was slightly bitter with a strong roasted malt finish. Quite a full complex body. This is definitely a beer I let sit out for a bit beforehand though. All in all, this is great stuff - an old faithful when I'm out of town and cannot find a decent liquor store.

Photo of Wisconsinality
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a nice deep brown that is a little cloudy(I am one who likes the sediment in the glass) and about a finger and a half of head that recedes somewhat quick but leaves a good lacing.
S- A nice whiff gets me some malt along with some dates and raisins. Also maybe a little bit of the yeast and just a hint of the alcohol.
T- The Grande Reserve is like many of the style, the taste really comes through when it warms up a little bit. Raisins, dates, some brown sugar. The yeast is barely noticeable along with the alcohol.
M- This is a medium bodied beer but I would have preferred it to be a little heavier. It has the right amount of carbonation that makes this one smooth beer.
D- This one goes down very smooth and and could have a couple in a sitting if not for the higher abv. I would recommend this one to anyone, another great one from Chimay.

Photo of projectflam86
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy brown/orange color with a huge white foam head that leaves some sticky lacing.

S- Nice nose full of spice and Belgian yeast scents. Easiest to pick out are aromas of clove, dark fruits, oak, and toffee.

T- Full dark malt flavor with waves of clove, currants, figs, sour apples, caramel, and a sweet Belgian yeast finish. The alcohol creates a very slight warming effect on the way down.

M- Medium/full bodied loaded with carbonation. Spritzy and clean.

D- Really nice full flavor. Highly drinkable.

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

Two years back when my friend bought me a Chimay gift-pack for passing my PhD qualifiers, I stashed the blue away until today. Why? I don't know.

Decanted into my Chimay chalice, this beer is quite the looker. Deep crimson, sanguine almost, with a dense off-white head that recedes to a disk quickly. Great clarity, and plenty of carbonation is present.

The nose is great, with a lot of dark fruit complexity - figs, plums and dates- as well as brown sugar and a little molasses. Bready with the smell of fresh-baked raisin bread as well as some yeast. A touch of oxidation has crept in, lending a little cardboard to the nose. Spicy alcohol is noticeable as it warms up. All told, very very good

Opens big and fruity with plums, raisins and figs as well as a deep and rich bready character, with a mild caramel sweetness. There's a combination of caramel and nougat in here, as well as a rum-like sweetness. Quite deep in flavor. Medium in body with a fabulous, lush carbonation, this is a treat on the palate. A touch sweeter on the finish than I'd like, this beer doesn't really have a long lasting finish like I prefer. Alcohol appears, adding a spicy note. Thoroughly drinkable and enjoyable, this bottle is going down, no problems

**Edit 02 Jan 2013**
750ml bottle, 2007 vintage.

No oxidation, no noticeable alcohol, refined, integrated palate and nose. The mouthfeel is also better - soft and supple, with a medium-high carbonation that doesn't distract. The flavor and nose is driven by fruity notes up front, with a mild spice character, reserved yeast, buckwheat honey, some brown sugar. Age has really integrated alcohol into the flavor profile, it's wonderfully hidden. Excellent stuff, one of my best cellaring experiences I've had.

Photo of Anthony1
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apearance: Christens my Chimay goblet with a huge frothy tan head, about 2" after an aggresive pour. Head fades rockilly and unevenly. Body is hazy and dark maroon, with lots of carbonation rising from the shield emblem etched into the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Sweet toffee and dark fruit, belgian yeast funk. Bubblegum and strawberries. Smells good.

Taste: Sharp and tangy, orange and grapefruit are immediately present, somewhat sour and funky. Alcohol provides a sharpness. Slightly drier, vinous flavors finish. Somewhat raw, could be laid down to mellow for, oh, a decade.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol is strong and provides a warming sensation. Full and goes down slick.

Drinkability: Lots of interesting stuff going on here, I would like to try this in a caouple years.

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

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a medium tan head. Smells strongly of ripe fruit and a hint of alcohol. Taste is molasses and spicy yeast up front, a smooth malt middle, and a hint of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, good carbonation levels. A very good beer, a classic among beer geeks, this is a great beer to have every once in awhile. It is not my favorite BSDA, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of mdwalsh
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

200eight bottle

A: reddish brown and hazy, very little light gets through it. There's a one finger beige head that slips away leaving just a little lace. There's a little active carbonation, not much. It looks sort of dull, I wish it were somehow sharper.

S: It initially filled the air with its Belgiany Beery goodness when I popped the cork, but now I find it rather weak. I get some light fruityness, malt and a little bready yeast. No hops. There is a lot going on there in small quantities and it gives the Grand Reserve a sort of unique smell. Some mouth breathing and retro-olfactory sensing gives me a pretty solid vanillin smell.

T: Much stronger. Very fruity with hints of cherry, cranberry, maybe some mellon and banana and more darker, cooked fruits. There is also something I would call a nuttiness, but not a dry, roasted nuttiness more of a raw, fresh nut taste. Again, no hops, and there's really no bitterness at all, nor is the alcohol at all detectable. It's very smooth and wine-like. Almost cola-like even with the carbonation. There's some vanilla/vanillin in there as well that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

M: Smooth, though the carbonation is a little high for something of this strength to me. Finishes clean and leaves the tongue completely, instead of lingering as a film like some beers do.

D: Very drinkable. A great beer to convert wine drinkers. It's big, so it must be drank slowly, but I think a bottle could last a person a night of good drinking, two or more people for a more casual event.

Photo of PartyBear
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh (2009, same year as tasting) slightly chilled 330ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Dark oak brown, verging on black, with a small foamy tan head. Appears to be heavily carbonated.

Aroma: Rich sweet bready malts, yeasty notes, and lots of caramel and toffee notes. Fruity scent of banana, and apple. There is a clear grainy aroma from the malts.

Taste: The malts are abundant at the front, providing sweet toffees and a bready graininess. Definite banana flavours mixed in with a subtle caramel base. The aftertaste is has a sticky bitter quality.

Mouthfeel: The texture is oily, and smooth, with a nice substantial body.

Drinkability: One of my favourite trappist ales. Really well brewed ale, the mix of flavours is almost perfect, and the feel beautifully heavy and smooth for a trappist. A very well known beer that clearly deserves the reputation it has.

Photo of smallbatchbrewer
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been drinking this stuff for ages. These monks have been making this stuff for as long as history has been written. I have been told the secret is in the yeast and the slow process. Others say it's the rock filtered waters in their wells. I dunno what it is, but these monks know how to brew and I never want to see the day this stuff isn't on the shelf.

To me, the sweetness and the hint of bitterness in this beer mix just right to create its own unique flavor, even among other great Abby ales. My palate summons grapes, dates and spiced apple.

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

33cl bottle poured into Chimay glass.

Pours brown with a 2 finger head. Held to the light it looks like tea still in the pot. Smells of yeast, malt and fruit like plums and raisins.

The taste is apple, then dark fruit and a bit sweet. The mouthfeel is smooth and well carbonated. I can drink a 4-pack of this in a night, so the drinkability is good.

Photo of Mavajo
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Phenomenal beer. The appearance is fantastic, with a deep dark color and two-finger thick head that lasts. Nice smell - but my unsophisticated palate can't elaborate much more than that.

As for the taste - what a wonderful taste. I fell in love at first sip. Wonderful elegant taste with so much going on. Noticeable carbonation, but it works so well in this brew. It's just phenomenal - for such a dark, high ABV beer, this thing goes down exceedingly easily.

Photo of wl0307
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, BB 2013, served cool in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: pours a very dark brown hue clouded with yeasty bits, showing nice dark ruby glows when seen against light; the fizz level is made apparent by the hissing sound, pumping up a 1 cm thick beige foam that settles in good time to a thin cap.
S: yeast perfume (fruit esters) is everywhere, mixed well with the notes of dark candy sugar and relatively light maltiness; a close sniff reveals the elements - sweetened Chinese red-bean paste, figs, plum preserve, bananas, sweetened black tea, and slightly salty sweetness as of exotic yeasts. Nice, but the complexity doesn't develop into different layers.
T: the lightly effervescent swallow comes with nice & complex flavour, featuring mixed spicy-salty and bitter-sweet yeasty+malty elements, raisins, bitter orange, bitter licorice, burned dark sugar, lightly chewy hop bitterness, that develop well towards the rear of the palate. The finish, just like my previous encounters, comes slightly dry (pleasantly so) and semi-bitter, but still full of undertones as of spiced olives, red-bean paste, Chinese hawthorn fruit candy, and aromatic "red sugar" (NOT brown sugar).
M&D: despite the light effervescence on the first several sips, the fizz level is tuned to perfection as the beer breathes, and the body remains as moderate as the flavour would prefer it to be. The estery flavour and sweetness endowed by the candy sugar are constantly in check by the necessary level of sourness and also nice bitter edge of flavours. All in all, this is a complex yet extremely approachable dark ale, and around 12 centigrade is just about right for a full enjoyment.

* Tasting Date: 18/08/06
This bottle is the "2006 vintage", as stated on the front label. BBE 2011, served lightly chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4.5 A: dark mahogany hue with bright ruby glows when seen against light; the creamy and tight frothy beige head, 2cm thick, sustains pretty well and leaves tight sheets of lacing as it retreats, against a pretty lively carbonated body... Simply elegant.
4.5 S: a semi-astringently yeasty and slightly sulphury note escapes from the bottle as soon as it's opened... in the glass, first approaching the nose is an almost hefe-weizen like fruit-estery note: ripe mangos, green bananas, sour-sweet orangey notes with a touch of Belgian hops that I remember Poppering Hommelbier by... attractive and not overly rich... against a background of deeper scent of caramel-(and Munich-?) malts, candy-sugar, raisins... and a light flow of warming alc. at the tail. Really enticing and harmoniously mixed, reminiscent of Westy 8, albeit with a more straight-forward fruity theme.
4.5 T: upfront on the palate is a flow of effervescent-textured, lightly sour-sweet dark malts backed by plenty of raisins, woodiness, bitter edges of caramel, semi-sweet dried citrus rind... coated by a semi-herbal (licorice), peppery, an attenuated "rusty" mouthfeel (like that of mixing Belgian dark ale with hard, full-fat cheese... try it and you'll know what I mean), and a slightly alcoholic middle that is in turn taken over by a spicy-dryish yeasty undertone, residual hops and creamy, raisiny malts. Surprisingly dryish finish, without any unpleasant sugary/sticky mouthfeel but a sour-yeasty edge does hover in the end.
4 M&4 D: the creamy-fizziness buttresses the whole flavour profile just fine... it's full-flavoured yet easy to manage on the palate; but somehow the texture falls a bit thin at the back and the yeastiness is slightly rough as well... I can't explain how, but the balance is slightly off, perhaps because this bottle is still too young? Nevertheless, I do enjoy it, esp. having not tried it for two years since my last trip to Belgium. Maybe I need to buy a couple to "lay down" for future tasting to see its full potential?

Photo of superdavex
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer that hasn't been said before. Perfection in a bottle. The great thing about it is that it's so easily available, if not cheap. It is wise to buy it from a reputable store as I've had one or two that tasted like they weren't stored properly.

Photo of AmberMan22
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I don't have proper glassware, nor immediate access to any to my knowledge. Poured from a 33cL bottle into an undersized glass.

The Chimay Bleue pours a hazy dark plummish-red, with a solid two finger head to it. The head is impressive in itself, with large bubbles at the base, working up to microscopic bubbles at the top of the head. Unfortunately it goes away far too quickly, with minimal retention or lacing.

The smell is impressive, in that it disguises the 9% ABV so well. Alcohol is still present, but mixed well with spices, darker fruits, yeasty undertones to support, and a wonderfully expressed maltiness.

The taste is immediately of a traditional trappiste style beer, but when left to linger in the mouth, the idea of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale comes immediately to mind. once the initial hop/fruit/alcohol blend drifts away, I am treated to a toasted maltiness.

The mouthfeel really does please the tongue. The carbonation is far from overwhelming, unlike most belgian beers that I've tried. It is a medium+ bodied beer, that as I said, feels incredible when allowing it to linger in the mouth.

Overall drinkability is only a 4 for me, because of the high ABV, and the sweetness of the fruity tones. Absolutely a fantastic beer, but not something you can have more than 2 of, realistically.

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

poured from an 11.2oz bottle into the closest thing I had to a Chimay glass. no freshness markings found.

A - poured a dark, hazy tea color. three finger sudsy head with great retention. minimal lacing.

S - subtle fruits, clean malt, fresh bread

T - a very complex taste. pepper, coffee, heavy resin, possibly some cloves?

M - below average carbonation, but full mouthfeel. not overbearing on any level. smooth is the word. only a very slight aftertaste.

D - was expecting a lot and got it. one of the finer beers i've ever had. it's a step above anything massed produced. it looks different, smells different, and definately tastes different.

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

the bottle was bought from NJ to Fairfax (Virginia), just had it at 11 in the morning, I'm on a beer trip here in us. Wow, this beer is..Poured from the bottle into a goblet. Pours a brilliant crimson red & cloudy with a massive suede head. Its beautiful to look at against the sunlight. Showed a lot of life, surprisingly for a big beer. Okay, the smell was dark and fruity all the way. A lot of damson and caramel, and reminded me of a walnut pudding. The head retained all the while so I had my first sip of Chimay thru it - massive to say the least. Dark fruits, mainly plums and caramel are in your face. A little tart feel remains prominent in between sips. Mouthfeel is solid and heavy with medium carbonation. I would keep it down to 1 bottle a go for the ABV, which by the way it hides very well. Very easy to go astray with this one I would say.

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

Pours a deep dark copper that is very chocolately and has a nice persistent tan head. Smell is chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, sour mash, sweet yeast, bread, crust, sugar, molasses, strawberries, blueberries, and peaches. Taste is nice and grounded in some nice roasted malts, with some slight sour yeasty malty in the aftersmell. Mouthfeel is nice and thick and good. Drinkability is good.

Photo of Bricelyn
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Watch yourself with this one boys! As I began unwinding the wire cage it decided to blow its top! Almost took my head off HAHA!!

Pours nicely into my oversized wineglass heads up quickly and then disipates just as fast

Wonder fully dark it has a wonderfull cherry stain color. dark browns accented by deep reds

smell is yeasty alcohol! excellent

Taste oaky then pine with a finish of that wonderfull yeast again and it sticks in your pallate for a little bit reminding you that you want more.

The mouth feel it very bright lots of bubles almost like a warm soda... I served it at 63* F So it may be a little warm but I like my beers warm so oh well it is smoothing out now to due to the agitation of drinking it.

If I were stuck on a desert island with nothing but this I would praise God for the wonderful monks at chimay! God bless em! And if I could afford it always I would drink it quite often!

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kept at room temp for over a month but served cold from the bottle to a glass

A - reddess/dark brown cloudy tint, 1/2" of head at first. As it sat you can clearly see the carbonation

S - Sweat smell, more malt smell then anything. Tough to but the bottle down, kept going back to take another sniff!

T - Sweat flavor at first but followed with a strong malty after taste

M - Heavy feel, full flavored but mellowed to a smooth taste

D - A great beer for the special occasion. A little over powered on the malt. Perfect beer to share or for review by yourself (like I did).

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

9 month old bottle poured into an oversized wine glass from a 750ml tastefully decorated bottle, everything from the cork and the cage to the label has been taken into consideration and decorated so that you know its a chimay product. Poured a nice deep reddish brown color with minimal head. Smelled wonderful and a little boozy like alcohol soaked rose petals dipped in honey. Tastes like plums and other dark fruit with some bready undertones. Nice mouthfeel slightly carbonated. Hides its 9% abv extremely well. Overall i will always have at least one of these on hand. I would like to buy two or three and age them for more than I have.

A must buy.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,815 ratings.