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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,934 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,934
Reviews: 2,216
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 361
Gots: 1,184 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,934 | Reviews: 2,216
Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

A - Beautiful haziness from dumping in the yeast. This is the way I like my trappists. Light coca-cola color with a lingering cap head. I think I've had this one aging for over a year now so that could explain the somewhat thin head.

S - Toffee and currrants. Blackberries and toast. Slight vinegar notes mixed with a ton of dried fruit.

T - Took me awhile to realize what I was tasting that was so distinct. It tastes like saba, the mediterranean cooked grape juice reduction. There's also a bit of spice from the yeast. Again echoes notes of a great balsamic vinegar. Perfect warming alcohol kiss in the finish.

M - Super dry and crisp. Medium viscosity but still a lot of carbonation. I think a year really did a lot for the dryness and I'm happy to see it is still very well carbonated.

D - You can, and most likely will, put this one down quick. While the alcohol is certainly there to warm you up you never feel. While I want to savor every sip its too enjoyable to stop myself from swigging it back.

Photo of runner72
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

serving from a 11.2 oz bottle

A - Nice two finger, light brown head. beer is brownish/copper and cloudy. lots of carbonation

S - Earthy, cloves, floral and yeasty smells. very pleasant.

T - earthy, pine taste. you can taste the malt and the carbonation hits the back of your throat. Very little trace of the alcohol

M - very bubbly from the carbonation. taste a little sweetness from malt

D - very nice. you can not taste the alcohol but with 9% ABV, better to sip

Overall, very nice. Monks do it right!

Photo of MikeGill
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75 cl bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours ruby brown with a foamy beige head and excellent lacing. Dried fruits and aromas from the spice cabinet jump out of the glass.

Rich and very malty but at the same time lively. Smooth mouthfeel with a slightly chewy texture. There is noticable Madeira-like oxidation. Out of the melange of spices present, cinnamon dominates. The spice is beautifully balanced by tree fruits and refreshing carbonation. The very complex blend of deep flavors remind me of vintage port.

Photo of Kallessin
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper/brown color with a small cream colored head. It's pretty hazy and a little sediment made it into the glass. There's a steady stream of bubbles flowing up from the center of the Chimay glass.

It has a strong yeasty aroma with a little fruity spiciness. Some sweet bready and toasted malts.

It has a very spicy yeast flavor with lots of fruity esters and peppery alcohol. There's also plenty of sweet bready and toasted malt and hint of caramel. The flavor is very rich and complex. Really a great tasting beer.

It's medium to full body with pretty full mouthfeel. Very high carbonation with lots of prickly fizz. I get a nice warming sensation and it's fairly dry.

This one is a sipper for sure with the high alcohol and fizzy carbonation. A very flavorful, complex beer. Really great beer.

Photo of adam42381
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown. Has a 2 finger foamy tan head which dissipates fairly quickly. A little bit of sediment floating on top and throughout the beer. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Nice malty sweetness with strong notes of dried fruits.

Taste: Excellent blend of malt and dried fruits. Light hints of alcohol at the finish. Nice dried fruit aftertaste. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation up front. Fairly dry finish.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. This is one to be enjoyed slowly. The high ABV is masked by the delicious flavor so this one could sneak up on you.

Overall: One of the best beers I've ever had. If you see it, buy it. I can't recommend this enough.

Photo of Jesstyr
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my favorite style brew, and I've enjoyed many a bottle of Chimay, but for some reason I've never fallen in love with the Blue. I actually planned to review this a month or so ago, but when I had it it just wasn't as good as I had hoped - something I attributed to bad tastebuds that evening.

Appearance is great - pours a deep ruby amber with subtle haziness. Head is perfect, 2 cm, and lingers the entire drink with excellent lacing. Nose is strong and yeasty, good balance of raisin and an earthiness with subtle floral aspects.

Taste is good, just not tremendous. Overwhelmingly malty, so much so that it overpowers the subtleties that exist - with some floral and dark fruitiness. Too much carbonation that lingers with a dryness that isnt beneficial to the experience. Closes nicely, without any alcohol burn, but it is quite dry and not really conducive to multiple drinks.

I really like this beer, but would go elsewhere for the best of the Belgian Strong Dark Ales...

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

750ml bottle into Chimay chalice (why not?). Bottled June, 2008 according to the cork (it's March 2010 now if you can't read the posted on date of the review).

Chimay Blue was actually my eye-opener craft beer. I've neglected it for several years (if I get Chimay, I go for Chimay White personally). Time to go back and see if my "beginner's palate" missed anything.

Appearance: Moderate pour yields a half inch, fizzy and pillowy off-white head that dissipates slowly into an active, bubbling mound in the middle and around the surface of the beer. Neither head nor the beer leave much lacing. Pours a deep, deep ruby that's almost opaque, with visible bubbles rising in the middle and some sediment floating around even in the first glass.

Smell: Belgian yeast, raisin, plum, grape, clove, some floral character, and a tiny hint of earthy funk. Aroma shifts more towards woodsy grassiness and grape as the beer warms.

Taste: first sip: deliciously deep rush of sweet raisin and plum, transitioning to a big note of Belgian yeast, then moving to a deepening of flavor too big and fast for me to keep up and identify it all. Overall impression is that it's fruity, spicy and smooth. Finishes a little dry, with some warming alcohol present from early on in the glass. There's a smooth, almost chewy hit of roasted malt like a good stout in the transition from the huge carbonation in the middle to the slightly bitter end. Chocolate notes come out as the beer warms.

All the elements from the nose are present in the beer, along with dozens of other random good flavors lurking around and popping up from sip to sip. While each sip is different, each sip is also balanced. Sometimes it's a complex rush of equally strong dark fruit notes and clove, sometimes it's just straight plum to Belgian yeast to roasted malt, but the flavors are always harmonious and complement each other.

Mouthfeel: A beautiful, medium-bodied combo of creamy and juicy. Very carbonated.

Drinkability: Great beer to sit down and savor. I'd imagine it pairs well with some Chimay cheese. Alcohol is present but not overpowering, though it doesn't really matter; 1 350ml or 750ml bottle is enough.

My last impression of Chimay Blue before I stopped drinking it was "Annoying, way too fruity, overcarbonated mess." I guess I have changed a bit since then, because Chimay Blue is world class. I think the carbonation, dryness, and deep dark flavors were probably a bit too much for me when I first started getting into beer. Whether I've changed or misremembered or whatever, I love it now. It's one of those all too few beers that gives you some crazy, novel combination of flavors in every sip, each one interesting, palate-pleasing, and satisfying--with real *character* in all 4 of the objective BA rating categories. It's probably time to put Chimay back into regular rotation for me.

Photo of zoso1967
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark slightly orange brown with a nice ecru head, not much lacing. The smell is spicy and full of currant and dried black sweet cherry aroma. It also has a sort of savory note that I am having a hard time placing. Taste is very similar to aroma with tons of dried dark fruit, some brandy character and herbal hop bitterness. This is definitely more sweet than bitter, but there is definitely a decent amount of dryness. The spice from the yeast is much less noticeable in the flavor. This beer seems to mask its alcohol content better than others of the style, though it is present. Mouthfeel is medium, but is lighter than I expected. Somewhat spikey carbonation kind of takes away from the mouthfeel, but the finish is quite nice. Drinkablilty is good for this style. A classic example of the style, and a solid Trappist style ale.

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep brown color with 2 fingers of off white head. No lacing and little bit of carbonation evident.

s - Smells sweet of dark fruits, yeast, some spices, and a little bit of alcohol.

t - Dark fruits, yeast, alcohol, malts, and hints of spice. Pretty nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Feels pretty good.

d - A very nice Belgian. Considering the somewhat low price and the fact that it is readily available in many grocery and beer stores, this is a great beer. Very nice dark fruit and yeast smell/taste, and has a great feel to it. Will definitely have again sometime.

Photo of ThaCreep
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose slightly bitter fact that evokes a bittersweet chocolate with spices. Setting mouth is relatively soft but not sweet, then we can sense the presence of sugar candy. The body is reminiscent of the sweet liquor as a liquor slight but spicy in a nice way. Over time, it offers in its smells and tastes a texture close to the port (Maderisation) while keeping its keys spice. The post-taste is it, bitter and slightly metallic without being excessive and remains mild on the stomach, which surprisingly for a beer in this category. A beer to mature.

Photo of kirkpjr
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a St. Bernadus chalice.

A: Pours a very carbonated 1 finger head. Dark brown, chocolate color. Some little floaters and almost entirely opaque.

S: Belgian yeast, dark fruits, raisins, and a slight vinegary note. Maybe a hint of chocolate.

T: Tastes alot like it smells. Smooth dark fruity flavors, with a slight zing from the yeast and vinegar notes. Slight chocolate and caramel notes.

M: Highly carbonated. Not as much as the other Chimay's, but enough to draw away from the feel and drinkability. Taste lingers, but not for long.

D: As noted above, the carbonation fills you up. Very drinkable otherwise. Good, but not the best BSD. Alcohol is hidden well.

Photo of guess98224
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue) with my husband for our first Saturday on Our New Deck party.
We drank this out of Grand Cru tulip glasses. Served at 50F.
Appearance: Poured a good reddish amber with a thick cream head. Slightly cloudy.
Smell: Nice fruit and malt mix.
Taste: Tastes Similar to Rochefort 10. Almost a farmhouse ale overtone. I taste a little celery. Very slight alcohol taste on tongue and palate.
Mouthfeel: Slightly thin mouth feel.
Drinkability: This is a 10% abv beer. There are obviously more drinkable beers, but we drink this quite a bit.
If you're looking for a very good Belgian ale with a 10%abv, this is a good choice. Serving type: 25.4 oz bottle (we drank the whole thing.)

Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into snifter.

Appearance: Had a light brown color that is semi-transparent. Started with a fair, fizzy head but it dissipated quickly. Reminded me a little like a soda.

Smell: Strong fruit aroma surrounding the malt in the background. Almost smelled a little grape-like. Quite fantastic smelling.

Taste: Has a solid malt character with lots of fruit flavor coming to the foreground. The fruit was ever so slightly overpowering, leaving with a bit of a sour/tart aftertaste. Very good, though.

Mouthfeel: Has a fair body from the carbonation, but it felt quite fizzy to me. Again, it seemed almost like a soda or champagne.

Drinkability: Excellent beer. The high alcohol content turns me off a little bit in this area. However, I could definitely see myself keeping a stock of this in my fridge.

Photo of Flashsp2
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Grand Reserve (blue) 750ml, roughly aged one year.

A moderate pour into a Duvel tulip generated a ginormous, fluffy, light beige head. Quickly dissipates to a moderate layer which provides some nice stick to the glass. Deep brown/red color which allows a bit of light penetration.

Aroma is big, juicy fruits, some malt sweetness, a light sharp/sour note. Some dark fruit and vinous notes as well. Alcohol spiciness is present as well, sort of underlying it all. Very yummy nose.

Taste is sweet, juicy in the middle, with some raisin/prune on the palette, sort of hiding behind it all. Alcohol provides some punchy spiciness, and gives warmth to the palette and face. Vinous taste abounds, and lingers through the end leaving a nice aftertaste. Some other flavors in there as well, so much going on it's hard to pinpoint everything down. Some yeasty flavors, maybe some clove, and a faint bitter at the finish. Finish is almost drying, like cinnamon on the tongue type of dry.

Mouthfeel is very silky, not heavy or watery, but with a great balance. It just feels very lush and luxurious without feeling too full bodied.

I've had this many times, and it never, ever, disappoints. Fresh it is great, but aged a year or so makes this a thing of beauty.

Photo of KTCamm
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the small bottle into a Duvel glass. Definitely need to upgrade to the champagne size bottle. This beer is as good as I expected.

Pours a dark mahogony brown with creamy white foam. Continually active bubbles and some foam remains.

Smells of dark fruit and raisins. Some sweetness apparent. The kind of smell that makes you want to start drinking.

Taste is a delicious blend of dark fruit and spices. Some cinammon. Very complex, but with minimial alcohol burn. Very nicely carbonated.

Fantastic Very drinkable.

Photo of OnThenIn
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a chimay glass with a finger of head. the color of the head is a slightly tan color, while the beer is a rich brown color.

Smell: The smell is pungent. There are a lot of dark fruits like plums and raisins in the nose, along with some alcohol notes. There is some malt sweetness.

Taste: Upfront this beer has a beautiful sweet dark fruits and peppery spices kinda flavor. Just really complex. There is a little bit of hop bitterness peaking through towards the end. There is a bit of a molasses sweetness that I usually associate with a beer like Old Foghorn.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium to full bodied beer with the carbonation being on the lighter side, giving it a barleywine-esque chewyness.

Drinkability: The heavyness makes it a slow drinking beer and the alcohol is more present than the 9% would have you believe, without giving a straight up alcohol taste (I mean there is a bit more burn than I would expect). Surprisingly, this alcohol characteristic goes great with the rest of the beer and I am really loving this beer. It's a sipper and a great one at that.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

Nice two finger head after the pour. But to my dismay, recedes to a small island of foam before I take a sip. The color is a deep and hazey amber, ambrosia, copper laden hue with strong bubbling.

Yeasty berry, sweet artisan Hawaiian roasted breads, candi sugar, and just enough hops to give this beverage a Belgian beer aroma and not mead.

The taste starts sweet toasted nuts with overwhelming almost roasted sweet bread sprinkled with candi sugar. The middle of the palate is a sweet caramelized fruit, from the yeast and roasted malt combo. But the finish slows things down just a little with some light pine notes from the hops... very light. The feel of this beer is well carbonated cola syrup. But this feeling is not overbearing, but seems to suit this beer quite well.

This beer is a great sipper and would go well with any properly cooked red meat centric meal with a nice brownish sauce of sorts. Or by itself as a nightcap is just fine by me.

This beer is one of the foundations of Belgian brewing.

All though I've been putting off reviewing any Chimay beers because of their widespread notarity, I've tasted it's well deserved.

Photo of eat
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The last 330ml bottle from the set of three I bought, which came with this nice Chimay goblet. I have to admit that I was ignorant to the quality of Chimay before I bought that three-pack and will no doubt be filling the goblet with lots more Chimay in the future. I really enjoyed the Red and White.

Chimay Blue pours a cloudy mahogany and ends up with a hazy covering of beige head. Not much retention of lacing.

Big, complex nose. Very bready, Belgian yeast, spices, minerals, oranges, prunes, toffee. Fantastic. The strength recedes in proportion to the head, leaving some room for a little more presence.

The first quality I notice in the taste is apples. Lots of fresh apple juice/apple cider. Quite sweet, though not cloying. There's a drying bitterness to the finish that almost balances it out (not quite though). Some subdued spice. I don't find the flavour to be nearly as complex as the smell, unfortunately. The 9% ABV isn't exactly hiding, making it clear that this is indeed a strong Belgian ale, both in the mouth and on the finish. Apples and alcohol mostly.

The three Chimay's should be looked to as models of good feel for anyone brewing beer. Whatever they do over there to get a feel like this...they definitely know what they're doing in that respect. Creamy, full medium body. Foamy in the mouth in the best way possible. Feels like you're drinking liquid velvet.

I was really looking forward to this one, saving it for last of the three I had. But it's easily my least favorite! Strange. I think this is actually why I didn't check out Chimay for so long: a friend recommended the Blue a while back and I wasn't too impressed. In my opinion the other two are better brews (maybe I'm strange). A well-made and drinkable beer, but if I'm going to be drinking Chimay, I'll take a Red or White any day over the Blue. A letdown only in that my expectations were so high (similar to how I feel about Duvel).

Photo of timus19
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 750ml. corked bottle from trader joes($10.99)appearance dark earthy brown w/lively carbonation,nose is exceptional apple,bourbon like smell (fantastic!!!)taste-- one of a kind, that yeast strain and abbaye well water,distinguishes this fabulous trappist brew, in my opinion; the best of its style!!!

Photo of JohnL9013
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Dark reddish-brown with a medium head, no lacing. Simple, as expected.

S: This beer has a pretty significant nose, mainly dark malts and with hops in the background. Very, very pleasing smell, I must say.

T: This beer isn't quite as big as I expected it to be, but it's excellent nonetheless. If there's one thing the belgians are good at, it's making an extremely flatline, homogeneous beer with high complexity, and this beer is no slouch. You'll want to keep tasting it over and over just to see what else you can pick up. You can bet I regretted getting the smaller size.

M: High, almost Duvel-level of carbonation. Not my favorite feature but the beer is extremely crisp and fresh.

D: This is one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had, and it's a 9%er. Unbelievable.

This beer is an experience, but it is slightly overrated. If you like this beer, try the St. Bernardus Abt. 12. It has less carbonation and tastes bigger overall, but is less homogeneous and balanced.

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

I bought this beer at my local Harris Teeter (depending on which one you go to, they have a rather impressive selection). Planned on saving it for a while but ended up splitting it with my girlfriend late one night (Mistake. MOST women cannot appreciate a beer of this caliber. To those who can, I apologize).

This was my first experience with Chimay. Hell, it was my first BSDA. I'm a bit of a n00b. So I didn't have much to base the experience off of, but regardless, I was impressed.

Sweet bottle, complete with a cork at the top. I popped it off and prepared to enjoy.

Color was a sort of reddish-brown. As far as looks goes, it screamed high-quality. Huge, frothy head. A step above any beer I had enjoyed prior.

The smell was rather simple. I figured a whiff would tinge the nostrils a bit, but I only got subtle signs of toffee, and maybe some sort of fruitiness. I'm not exactly sure.

The taste, however, was a different story. So complicated. It was very sweet at first, but as it warmed it became much more complicated than that. Sweet, yes, but also a little bit of bite at the end. The alcohol hits the palate at the culmination of the taste. Tons of malt and hops, as I'd expected. A lot of different fruit flavors, and perhaps a hint of dark chocolate.

The carbonation in this beer was amazing. It felt soo good on my mouth. Its bubbles produced all a massaging effect, and they were fun to watch as they danced up and down in my chalice.

Despite the rather high alcohol content, the beer went down easily. I enjoyed every drop.

I wish I could drink beers like this more often. Alas, I am a poor college student, so these must be saved for special occasions and for trips home when Pops is buying. Great beer.

Photo of bump8628
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown with a tight, off-white, creamy head. When held to the light it gives off a mahogany glow.

Aroma has dark fruits, brown sugar, some earhty must, and hint of alcohol.

Taste follows suit with grape skins, raisins, and plum leading the way. Heavily caramelized sugar and spicy alcohol are also quite evident. Musty yeastiness adds a measure of complexity to the dry finish, while ample carbonation tickles the palate.

Not the best tasting of this beer I've had, but this is really a world class beer. Complex, bold and soft at the same time, it would stand up well to a variety of food.

Photo of jsh420
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

cork says 07/07

pours amber brown with a 2 finger head that has great retention and left some spotted lacing

smell of dark fruits camrel malts a little nutty - just no that strong

taste is great - just like the nose all about the malts fruity(grapes & rasins) carmel light grains nutty

mouthfeel - is very light and smooth - it has lost something in the last few years

drinkability is out of this world - one if not the best BSD's out there

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

Hazed deep amber, with scarlet and golden highlights. Big fizzy beige head that had ok retention. Left virtually no lacing.

Nose is sour fruit and fruity esters: dark fruit, apple and lemon predominantly. earthy and spicy toastiness, candi sugar, and an almost ginger bread aroma.

Sour cherries, currants, grapes, lemon, funky apple and pear. Rich candi sugar, toasted bread, dark rum, woody, peppery, slightly medicinal. earthy fruity spicy bitterness.

Bubbly/fizzy, refreshing. dry and rich. smooth and mellow after initial fizz. med body.

Very good drinkability. very complex, great yeast profile, all around great beer. Cellared this for 8 months.

Photo of Trizzle
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been drinking this for a few years now and was even lucky enough to visit the Abbaye de Scourmont. I guess it's about time for a review.

Let me say right off the bat that this is an all time favourite. An absolute classic. This is the 2009.

Pours a reddy brown that can appear murky from the carbonation and occasional yeast sediment. (Am I alone in enjoying that yeast sediment flavour? Any vegemite loving Aussies with me?) Some effervescent bubbles rising from the bottom, top up an ample head that never dies and leaves amazing swathes of itself down the side of the glass.

The aroma is a delicious combination of lemon and orange rind from the yeast and malt, some dark sugar, more citrus and light oily hops.

What makes this beer a great in my opinion is its balance and complexity of flavour. Mild bubble gum sweetness of dark malts, big veal stock like yeast notes, some more citrus from the yeast, subtle dry hop oils, then finishes again mildly sweet, a touch sour and almost salty.

The body is just viscous and smooth, good mid-high levels of carbonation and with a light tang.I'm not ashamed to say I have had a few sessions on this beer .. (Mind you a session @ 9% doesn't amount to a lot of beer).

The scores that I've given here will sum to less than what I really think of this beer. It really is a 100% all round beast - the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts - especially with some age - and the vintages do differ. I was lucky enough to try the 1985, 1986 & 1987 vintages of this in Antwerp in 2009. Awesome experience

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,934 ratings.