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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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6,370 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,370
Reviews: 2,152
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 280
Gots: 773 | 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
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Ratings: 6,370 | Reviews: 2,152 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Numero 3 of my Chimay sampler! This is just a 11.2 oz bottle, wish i had a 750 : /

Dark cloudy tawny brown. Head dissapeares quick.

I split this ingo 2 seperate pours. The first did not include any of the sediment, the second...all of it!

Super fruity and spicy aroma. Alcohol twang in there too.

Bright cherry and plum flavors. Spicy raisin too. Woody.

I liked the red and white a bit better than this one. I wouldn't mind getting another bottle and aging it. As it is, this seems overly sweet and not my prefered style.

SurlyDuff, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of beavers
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From an 11.2 ounce bottle into an oversized st. bernardus wineglass Pours a dark cloudy chestnut brown with a bubbly tan head that dissipates rather quickly into a thin covering that last the life of the beer. No lacing to speak of. Smells of ripe dark fruits, raisins, brown sugar, tarry tobacco, bubble gum, black pepper, and a barely noticeable alcohol note. Very carbonated and fizzes quite a bit when lightly swishing. Rich malt flavor that translates into plum, candied dark fruit, cola, caramel, with an alcoholic finish that seems to prevent any cloying affect from the rich maltiness. The mouthfeel has a bit too much carbonation for me but it doesn't seem too out of the ordinary for the style. This may also be part of the anti-cloying. The mild alcoholic finish is nice and warming. There is also some residual flavor and bittness in the cheeks after a few sips. I could have another and would love to pick out more flavors. Quite enjoyable and I would say drinkable for being a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I would love to enjoy this with a nice aged blue cheese. It has the strength to cut through the sharpness and the complexity to create an interesting contrast.

beavers, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of RomanW70
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown/purple with a huge frothy white head. Wonderful floral aroma. Great balance of aromatic hops and rosted malt. Subtle combination of flavors, including vanilla, toffee, and dark fruits. Also has a vineous quality. Clean smooth finish. Beautiful, subtle, complex beer. A nice change of pace from the hit you over the head with malt and hops American RIS's and IPA's

RomanW70, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of jamesm7485
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had high hopes going into this with all the reviews and it lived up to the hype. Pour was a dark red brown with a very quick to form thick head( could have been my pour) smell was somewhat fruity with big hints of yeast on the nose. Taste was wonderfull and the mouthfeel was very non offensive. Wish it wasnt 9 dollars a bottle but between this and delirium nocturnium id choose this any day of the week.

jamesm7485, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of csmiley
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep brown with hints of red. An average amount of head stuck around for a while and lacing was good.

S - Nose is made up of yeast, caramel, bread, and bitter fruit. None of these really stand out enough to put in any particular order.

T - In the front of the flavor profile is a deep sweet caramel flavor mixed with a mild amount of spiciness. Next is yeast and bread followed by dark fruit. Not bad.

M - Medium bodied. Carbonation was good. Finish is slightly dry.

D - Drinkability is very good. This is what I would look for in a Belgian Stong Dark Ale. Highly recommended.

csmiley, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of champ103
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy, dark red color with a large white, foamy, frothy head. Lots of lace as well.
S: Sweet and toasty malt and some dark fruits (plumbs, raisin's, dates, ect)
T: Sweet malt dominate, but it is not cloying at all. Caramel and dark fruits that follow the nose closley.
M/D: Smooth, rich, and creamy. Deceptivley easy to drink for the high ABV.

This is one of the first Belgian beers that I tried. I fell in love from the moment I took a sip. One of the best beers anywhere.

champ103, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of FleeVT
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown bottle into chimay goblet. No date.

A: Poors a deep cloudy mahogany with almost no light passing through. Thick, off-white head that simmers to a nice lace.

S: Mild sweet malts are most noticeable, with caramel, pear, and hints of cola coming out later.

T: Smooth malty spiciness and a kick of alcohol. No bitterness to speak of.

M: Medium carbonation, medium body, and silky smooth.

D: A true sipper. Great beer!

FleeVT, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of JEdmund
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Half inch head that settles quickly; dark brown body

Brown sugar and raisins

Taste & Mouthfeel
Mouthfeel is excellent as the fine carbonation turns velvety with the slightest agitation; lots of brown sugar and malt flavor

Enjoyable and very drinkable, though not my favorite Trappist ale

JEdmund, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of jeonseh
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from one of the short fat chimay bottles into a chimay goblet and it is from the 2005 batch.

A - the beer seems to from the bottom of the glass towards the top to be at first a deep, dark, purplish red and then it seems to lighten up as there is an deep orange hue in the middle of the beer. There is a small head that sits on the top and never formed at all. See a lot of carbonation going up to attack the head from all sides and in the middle as well.

S - Smell is a dark grape flavors, also reminds me a bit of a red wine except sweeter and not as big either. That was the prevalent smell that came to me. There was also a hint of bread in there as well.

T - Hmm there seems to be a little bit of everything in here as I get some tart citrus orange and there is also the taste of candied dates that comes in a bit later and also get a bit of a bready yeasty flavor in there as well. Get a nice taste of the alcohol in there as well and with the fruity flavors reminds me of a brandy or brandy soaked dates. The flavor could even possibly be described as rum raisin bread pudding. This gives the beer a bit of a bite in the end of the taste as the alcohol makes itself known. Everything seems to transition together well and the beer is rather balanced.

MF - The beer seemed to have a good bit of carbonation which comes on strong at the beginning and comes with the orange flavor that I found so prevalent. That carbonation really adds some zing to this beer and to the initial feeling in the mouth. It then faded away as the deeper, darker candied, alcoholic date flavor came in. The after feeling is a nice warm feeling in the mouth that just chills out there and not much else.

D- Overall a good beer but not one that really seemed outstanding. It is balanced well and would be good to grab to maybe have with some duck or a dinner party or even to pop open to have with some cheese and fruits. It is one of the easiest to find Belgian strong dark ales but not one of the best, yet still good.

jeonseh, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of rodenbach99
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked brown bottle.

drank in a chimay calisse

A:nice brown reddish colour, foams a lot but it dissapeared fast
S: nice spices aroma
T: nice candy sugar, lots of spices, nice roudness, multi-layers, complex beer
M: round, full body, long
D: perfect sipping beer,

rodenbach99, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of RJLarse
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this one in a small cafe in downtown Spokane. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a dusty brown color and is cloudy. A bubbly beige head caps the beer.

The smell is sweet with some dairy aromas, cream perhaps.

Taste is a mellow burnt sugar flavor, with a little dry bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied, with a hint of alcohol heat.

Drinkability is average for a strong ale. It's not an everyday sort of brew, nor is it sessionable, but it's passable as a single serving. It was overpriced in my opinion at $7 a bottle. I would not have it again at that price.

RJLarse, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of mattster
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opened 750ml Bottle, poured into snifter. Bottle marked "L07-479"

Pour reveals nice dark brown - mostly opaque brew with bubbly tan head of 1/2" atop. Head dies down to a thin lace across top. (as head dies down, brew becomes less opaque).

Aroma is of yeast, dark fruits and sugars. Taste has a nice dark malty taste with really good flavors with excellent wine like qualities. Is not overly yeasty on taste and has an excellent mouth feel with really good finish. Bubbles are present, but not overwhelming, very drinkable, very smooth.

I plan on spending the rest of the evening with this bottle. Salut!

mattster, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle with Chimay Goblet

2007 vintage.

This one is a dark brown amber color, very active and lively, especially the yeastie bits in the center of the glass. Gyser-like bubbles rushes to the surface to create a classic, brown-tinted, tight, soft, sticky three-fingers deep head. Disspates in moderate fashion for the style but leaves plenty of surface foam.

The nose is of sour-fruity yeast, toffee and mild chocolate malt with fresh, veggie, grassy scented hop.

THe balance of flavors is sublime. A clean, semi-sweet malt hits first. There's a rich fruity tanginess from the wonderful Belgian yeast. The hops come mostly in the finish with a very herbal and earthy effect.

This is a smooth, full-bodied feel but very clean on the palate. Lively carbonation keeps this crisp to the fisnish.

high quality stuff.

GratefulBeerGuy, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bottle, 2007 Vintage,

A: Pours a purple brown into a Chimay chalice with a fair off-white tan head, fair retention, fizzy.

S: Smells heavily of dark fruit, fig, and sugar.

T: Big malt flavour hits you at first then comes the fruit, grape juice, almost winey, prune, and fig, with complex yeast esters.

M: The carbonation gets in the way of the flavour too much sometimes in this one, but not bad for a BSDA, medium-bodied, smooth.

D: Chimay's best beer, a classic, I think there are better examples of the style out there, but this is still really good. Serve at a minimum of 55 degrees.

Halcyondays, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of supe11
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review.

Poured from a short bottle into the closest I have to a goblet(Guinness pint glass).

Not quite an inch head that didn't stay too long. Very carbonated, both visibly and in your mouth. The reddish-brown color is very hazy from the yeast and looks beautiful when held up to a light.

I love the balance of this beer. Lightly fruity, somewhat malty and can definitely taste the alcohol in the end. Something I could relax and slowly sip on while reading a book.

supe11, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of Trueant1
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish color. A nice 1 inch tan head. Lacing that coats the chalice then slides down. Lots and lots of yeasties.

Smells spicy and sweet with carmel. Not a lot in my nose now over all that peppery spice.

Ohhh man. My first tatse is almost heaven. Dominate carmel malts with just a touch of funkiness. Dark fruits abound. yeast yeast yeast, yum yum yum. Somewhat alcoholic but hidden well with the malts. This taste is not for the timid!

Mouth feel is sweet up front with a dry swollow. A bit too carbonated. Aftertaste is alcoholic and spicy hops. There seems to be at least 6 "layers" to this beer. Very complex. BUt each sip is consistant until the bottle is gone. NICE!

Trueant1, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of larsee01
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A--Poured from 11.2 oz glass shorty into glass goblet. Moderate tan head with some lacing. Deep raisiny brown. Thick and hazy.

S--Rich, sweet and fruity...and just a little boozy. Deep malt, molasses and raisin, coinciding with appearance. Modest overall scent. Detectable yeastiness but not overly sour.

T--Instantly delightful! More carbonation than it showed in pour. Unassuming but certainly not boring! Sublimely balanced, Up front sweetness and fruity maltiness, great booziness that is not overwhelming, then phenols briefly pop up, followed by just a faint twang of yeast and bitter to round out the balanced finish.

M--Loving the carbonation. Clean and crisp and feeling a lot lighter than a dark 9.0 ABV. Holds up in the mouth well enough to leave you with the gift of a sweet, bready aftertaste.

D--Uh oh. Amazingly drinkable at 9.0! I can see this being a year-round favorite too.

larsee01, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured beautifully into my goblet (unfortunately, it was a St. Bernardus rather than Chimays, but it all worked just the same). Poured a dark, murky brown... lightens towards the top, about 3/4 - 6/8 of the glass, topped perfectly just over the brim with a creamy, offwhite head.

S: Rich, dark fruits and alcohol spiciness. Caramalized sugars

T: A silky taste, very deep and complex... it blends together very well and I have trouble picking out distinct flavours. Dark fruits + ripe fruits, alcohol, something of a sweetbread.

M + D: Smooth and rich... an excellent sipper, and another that would compliment some sharp cheeses very nicely. Well deserving of the reputation of trappist quality. Something I'd like to come back to and try again after some time in the cellar.

Proteus93, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of Ior
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1999 vintage

My first review! I guess this was the first beer I felt I really HAD to review.

Surprisingly lively carbonation (after all this beer is nine years old). Deep, reddish-brown colour, two finger off-white head with surprisingly good retention.

Complex vinous smell; dried fruits, port, burnt sugar, Belgian yeast, and a touch of something I can only describe as cigarette smoke.

Incredibly complex taste! I pick up port, muscovado sugar, dried fruits (plums and particularly figs), maybe a hint of toffe. There is a certain harshness that blends with notes of yeast. Warming alcohol in the finish.

Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel.

I think this is the best example of the style I've had (with Rochefort 8 a close second), and significantly better than other vintages I've tried.

Ior, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of pwoods
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz stubby brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into a oversized wine glass. L07-130

A: Deep brown pour with next to zero visibility. A 1/2 inch head forms and dies to a thin skim. A little bit of lacing.

S: Deep dark pulpy fruits and a warming alcohol smell. Rum soaked dense bread with some yeasty esters.

T/M: Nice boozy dark fruits that seem to drip with pleasant warming alcohol. I thought about crackin' open a DFH Olde School to warm me up after working in the snow all night and day but I think this'll do just fine. Plenty of dense, doughy bread with a touch of sweetness. Body is about medium and holds plenty of lively carbonation. Finish with a drying alcohol effect.

D: I'm really starting to come around on the the Belgians. It sounds so dorky but I swear that the Westy's have opened my eyes. At 5-6 bucks a bottle, I won't be getting this very often but I certainly enjoyed it.

pwoods, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice caramel color with a tightly knit head and effervescence welling from the depths of the beer.
I was surprised at little or no lacing.
I'm puzzled-- generally this beer's flavor profile is much like its head-- tightly knit brewing. But where's the beef? I mean-- OK, it's not a stout, it's not an Ale, it's a Belgian--- but where's the flavor? I taste a hint of caramel, alcohol's dryness, and a teensy weensy peep from the yeast but maybe it's me-- nothing else to speak of. There's flavor body-- but no "wart on the miller's nose". There's a nice clean lasting finish, but once again, I can't coin anything that sparks my imagination-- or my accolades. When browsing the wares at my fave "packie" and I see this beer, will I stop and remark "Oh that one's enjoyable" or do I pass to the next goodie? So far I move along.
I'm still straining to find something to clap my hands over... nice bottle with a cork 'n' cage.

Mouthfeel is congenial. Very nice I keep sipping and straining to taste the Belgian countryside.

Drinkability-- If I were any place other than home, I don't think I'd quaff another pint. Why bother? Well OK, if I was after the side-effects of the 9% ABV but this stuff's expensive.

Maybe the beer's too young to really flower, perhaps a few years in the cellar might suddenly unleash this beer's potential. But generally my sentiments are, ho hum and a yawn... and $11 for 750ml? My eleven bucks are better spent elsewhere... I'll try it again but let the beer age for a few years and report back then..

gueuzeonhigh, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of cbleary
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good Belgian! It poured with a dark brown/black body and a big white head that surprisingly didn't leave a lot of lacing. The taste had notes of rich fruit, port, and spices with a dry and very warming alcohol finish. Just the right amount of carbonation is present. It's also very drinkable considering the high ABV. This one lived up to the reputation. It would be the perfect companion to a rich chocolate fudge cake.

cbleary, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of Strix
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown with a head that quickly dissipates.

Smells of fruit, cloves, and alcohol.

Taste is hard to describe for me. Raisins, spices, fruit (apples, figs?), bread, and a long satisfying dryness with warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel smooth, then quick to carbonate.

I think belgians are still growing on me, but I did enjoy this and the taste had some nice complexity to it. Easy drinking with mellow flavors.

Strix, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of GimpyCane
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured dark murky brown with a two finger beige creamy that fully lasted into a wide mouth wine glass. No lace hung around on this one. Upon popping the cap, a blast of blond tobacco and sweet nuttiness hit my nose. Maple syrup, white raisin and cola follow in scent. First taste, a smooth medium oily body coated the palate with a sweet caramel malty that quickly following. Cola and toffee hid well in the middle with a nutty lemony ending. The ending is accompanied by a long lasting light fruity alcohol flavor. Overall, this brew rocks.
Chimay is smooth with robust flavor and aroma that makes this a dangerous brew to drink. After 5 of these babies, life becomes more interesting. Enjoy

GimpyCane, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of wheelinshirt
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The final bottle from the Chimay gift set that my girlfriend bought me this christmas. 11.2 oz bottle poured into the chimay goblet that was packaged with the beer.

Dark brown copper color, some yeast sediment, Light tan head with little retention and lacing. Thinking that perhaps the glass wasn't washed and rinsed well enough.

Smell and taste were sweet dark fruits soaked in lots of booze. Pretty standard issue for the style, but it stands out by not being overly sweet or syrupy. Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation, the relative lightness makes this one pretty drinkable, especially conisdering the 9% ABV. I liked this a lot, but it didn't blow me away. I would like to cellar a couple and see where they go. Very solid and nice, not my favorite, and its reputation precedes it, so no need to even bother recommending it.

wheelinshirt, Feb 10, 2008
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,370 ratings.