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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.

6,083 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,083
Reviews: 2,137
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 248
Gots: 620 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,083 | Reviews: 2,137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Estarrio


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

Poured into a wide glass from a 2/06 bottle. My best efforts could not thwart the large foamy head. Color was an opaque muddy brown with hints of red and yellow.

Very pleasing, complex aroma. Sweet malt, caramel, floral hops and fruity esters.

This brew has sweet malt and candied sugar flavors up front with lots of dark fruit esters. The doughy yeast really takes over in a tart, bitter and spicy finish. At 9%, there is a subtle initial impression of alchohol flavor, which becomes less apparent in the aftertaste.

Widely distributed, this beer is an excellent Belgian representative. The complexities and flavor really come out with cellaring.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 02:37:13 | More by Estarrio
Photo of HimerMan

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served in small goblets on 7/22.

Excellent pour with a tanish head and dark brown body that sustains color and smell throughout.

Mild beer with alcohol present at the start, with a mild fig and brown sugar, spices and typical Belgian flavors that make a sweet, almost wine-like feel in the mouth. Very nice malt balance with a clean and crisp taste throughout.

Overall, the alcohol presents a warming, but not at the expense of taste. Very easy trappist to drink, and easily found at liquor stores. Very nice beer.

I would always look for one of these to enjoy with friends, breads and cheeses. Great beer - buy it, its a great priced beer for what it tastes like.


Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 19:20:19 | More by HimerMan
Photo of jhollick


4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation - Served at cellar temperature from a 75cL bottle with a 04/05 date on the cork.

Appearance - Pours a deep ruby with a brown tint with a sizable and fluffy tan head which dissipated after a few minutes.

Smell - An alcohol warmth greets the nose immediately, followed by a treasure trove of smells, including grapes, raisins, plum, cherries...all sweet and very inviting.

Mouthfeel - Medium to thick in body (about on par with other Belgian strong darks), with a tingle that numbs the tip of tongue. Whether its from the high carbonation level or the alcohol isn't for me to say.

Taste - Magnificent! All of the aforementioned flavors come forth with the candied sugars, transforming from flavor to flavor, sweet to tart, dry to slick and back again. Very complex brew. The alcohol is a tad strong at first, but the mouth quickly adjusts. As the beer warms, it becomes even sweeter and darker in flavor.

Overall - This is a spectacular beer, and well worth the hype that surrounds it. Nothing else needs to be said. This is absoultely one of the best beers I have had.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2006 00:00:58 | More by jhollick
Photo of shroompod


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

Although I've had this many times , my first review. This is also my first "aged" beers with a date of 3/3 on the cork.

Poured into pint glass with no floaties , good head , not much lacing sticking around.

Smell is faintly hoppy , some alcohol coming through.

Taste has a butterscotch tone (more scotch than butter); although somewhat muted , possibly from age.

Mouthfeel is crisp , I wouldn't say dry , but balanced. Good carbonation for 3 years in the bottle.

Drinkabitly is great , a very smooth beer for 9%. I may need to age more of this.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2006 01:44:20 | More by shroompod
Photo of bigman147

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Appearance is dark auburn color with garnet hues. A dark brown yeast particles settle in the bottom of glass. Head is dark, tan and heavy 1-2 inches. It lingered in the glass and lacing was apparent.

Aroma: Smells of dark malt and slight chocolate. Slight hop spiciness and pleasant alcohol notes that warm the senses in preparation.

Taste: The taste is less pronounced than the aroma. Taste is of malt and dark fruits (dates and figs). A slight caramel note. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes more balanced on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy with good carbonation. A little cloying and syrupy but not to the point that its a negative.

Overall, this is a very drinkable beer. I like the balance of malt and hops. The alcohol is pleasant and not overpowering. I could imagine this beer would balance out a little more as it ages.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2006 00:29:20 | More by bigman147
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everyone has a fallback beer. For me, this is my fallback belgian. Thankfully it is getting easier to find when I do my beer runs. Year over year it is consistently good. Shared a glass with a friend who was not a belgian drinker. I have converted another person to my hobby - drinking quality beer.

I'll pass on the review. At this point odes have been written regarding the taste and smell. Enjoy if you can!

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2006 15:01:22 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of zeff80


4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle pours out a Brown/Maroon color with a huge tan, foamy head. It smelled of mild hops, fruit and there were some floral notes, also. There was a strong malt flavor with hints of spice and caramel. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste. Initially it has a very sharp mouthfeel, but it softens as it warms. It is very drinkable. The only knock on drinkability is the high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2006 15:08:19 | More by zeff80
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cL bottle, chilled to just below cellar temperature, poured into a silver-rimmed Chimay chalice. A careful pour yields a deep ruddy brown with a skimming of grey-yellow foam. Yeasty sour clove aromas mingle with scents of vanilla tobacco and green lettuce. Sweet caramel-dipped cherry flavors begin the sip with a cinnamon-roll doughiness at the middle. Allspice and white pepper shore up the back end right before an alcohol-bitter finish. Slick and actively carbonated peppery mouthfeel, medium-to-thin body. As it warms, the mouthfeel becomes fluffier, but not enough to make this outstanding for me. Certainly a good beer, but as far as Trappist beers are concerned, I think I'd choose any of Rochefort's offerings first.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2006 15:50:17 | More by orfeu
Photo of Erdinger2003


4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chimay goblet and from a 750ml bottle.

The head is weak and lacing is thin, but the color is dark to ruby.

The smell is very aromatic and I haven't even stuck it up to my nose. Spicy and slightly peppery with dark fruit undertones like plum are prevalent and has nutmeg and a slight clove flavor.

The taste is very watered down except for the strong flavor of alcohol. Letting it warm up gives more flavors like that of the smell.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated and a little hard and dry.

Overall it's something I will try more and more as it comes in fresh to get the full affect of this beer. I like it when it gets to 50 degrees or a little higher.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2006 03:36:04 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of Gregorious


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

750cl corked bottle....poured into a chalice...

Paired with some nice cheddar and a baguette...

A - Dark maroon color...hints or scarlet and copper. Nice mellow tan colored head.

S - Released as the head dissipated. A rich aroma of roasted malt with a sweet overtone with the alcohol highly pronounced.

T - Everything the smell led me to believe. Most prominent flavor is roasted malt with a hint of caramel... Which was followed by a pleasant sweet aftertaste of berries, dried fruit, tart green apple, honey, and dates.

M - Made mouth happy... Carbonation was just enough and so not to be overbearing and a nice alcohol warmth lingers upwards into my nose.

D - No quarrels with this beer. Good alone and good with food. With its percentage (9%), it makes for not the best idea when trying to escape the summer heat, probably best for an evening bbq.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2006 23:09:22 | More by Gregorious
Photo of BillyB

New Jersey

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

750 ml corked bottle served in a chimay goblet. The only way to go.
Just an awesome beer.

Deep dark brown color with a thick, rocky tan head.

Sweet dark fruit aromas such as plum, prunes, raisons as well as apple and pear. Also aromas of sweet brown sugar, and caramel malt.

Taste is an incredible balance of sweet fruit and brown sugar and roasty, toasty malt.

Med. mouthfeel with light carbonation and a nice alc. warmth.

Just an incredible beer!

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 19:00:01 | More by BillyB
Photo of scottoale


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the squatty little 330ml. brown bottle pours a dark, reddish mahogany-brown ale, with a seriuos tan foamy head of two-fingers. The head finally settles to 1/4 inch leaving some small traces of fine lace behind. The vigorous carbonation keeps the head alive and well.

Sweet dark fruity malt nose, big and fuming with alcohol. Some notes of corriander and yeast come through as well.

Nice sweet malty intro, spicy and complex, yet smoothly balanced down to the finish. Very good taste with a decent alcoholic warmth to the finish.

A medium to heavy body with a smooth, velvety mouthfeel. This is very easy and enjoyable to drink, as a Begian of this style usually is, just beware of it's potentcy...Yeah! Wish I had bought a couple more...

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2006 21:47:10 | More by scottoale
Photo of smcolw


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color and cloudy. One finger head that dies quickly...no lasting lace.

Brown sugar aroma, some nice alcohol

Chocolate malt is the taste that appears on the first sip. Hop is far light than other Chimay's, but the malt is wonderful...think scotch ale in style. The body is lighter than I expected but the carbonation is perfect.

Since I like a hop presence, I personally prefer the Cinq Cents version, but knowing the traditional flavors of Belgians, this is superior.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2006 18:00:13 | More by smcolw
Photo of JBStith

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Chimay and my first Belgian Strong Dark Ale. All in all, its a good beer, but I don't think this is one of my favorite styles. A bit too sweet for me, but here it goes...

A: Beaustifully dark brown and cloudy. Nice off white head with good retention and lacing.

S: Smells of malt and dried fruits. Not much in the way of any hop characteristics.

T: Nice malt backbone and bitterness. Strong underlying sweetness in the form of non-specific dried fruits. A bit too much for my taste. Sweet grows stronger as the beer warms toward room temp.

M: Nice medium to heavy body. A bit sticky, especially as it warms.

D: Avg drinkability. i would enjoy this on occasion as an after dinner drink. However, I would never have more than one per sitting.

Overall, a good beer, but not great. I need to try more offering in this style for comparison.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2006 20:13:18 | More by JBStith
Photo of guitarmage


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

Appearance: Beautiful. Dark red like a wine, but bright almost pink highlights when held up to the light. Cloudy with sediment with an ample off white head followed by a nice ring around the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt, warming alcohol, fruity esters - ripe plum, apple, pear notes.

Taste: Sweet and toasty, very pleasant alcohol warmth, ripe fruit, finishes dry and clean. Citrusy hop notes. Faint unsweetened chocolate. Banana notes after you swallow.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and lightly carbonated, tingles on the tongue and fades, medium bodied. Not syrupy or sticky, it's so clean.

Drinkability: This beer is delicious. If i had a bunch of these infront of me, with a good meal, at %9 ABV I would destroy myself drinking it. It's smooth and complex, my mouth doesn't get bogged down or saturated with the flavor. Potentially the ultimate session brew, except you'd be hammered.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2006 03:00:10 | More by guitarmage
Photo of 51mmz0rz

New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark carmel brown, cloudy, and some yeast floating that I couldn't decant. Light cream color head that retains pretty well.

S: Dark fruits and a nutty yeast aroma. Very slight alcohol. Very complex, I can't pick everything out.

T: As in most beers I've have, the taste up front is foreshadowed by the smell. Sweet Dark fruit and yeast taste, followed by some bitterness and more yeasty flavors.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation, which is relativly high, and definatly refreshing. Full mouthfeel.

D: Highly drinkingable and tasty. I look forward to every sip, though the IBV makes this somewhat dangerous.

For the taste and the smell, I can't pin everything down in this brew. Maybe in a year or so I'll be able to indentify things. For now, at least I know it's delicious.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2006 02:08:31 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of shererjt


3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, opaque brown with a nice tan head. Looked wonderful. Aroma was rich fruit with some phenolics. Malt was there, but it was subdued. Musty. (Note: be sure not to serve this one too cold if you want to fully enjoy the aroma.) Medium-full body, alcoholic, smooth. Somewhat earthy and yeasty. Mouthfeel was lively and amazingly drinkable for a beer this strong.

Very nice sipping beer. At its best when served at the right temperature and out of a wide-rimmed glass. Only thing I would criticize is it wasn't as flavorful as expected.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 03:12:00 | More by shererjt
Photo of FenwaySquid


4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz short fat bottle, no dating of any kind found, poured into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Poured a deep very dark brown color, almost black but not quite, completely opaque. The head formed about 1 finger thick, a nice cream color, and maintained wonferfully.

Aroma: Sweet and spicy with hints of the alcohol. (It is 9% after all.)

Taste: Extremely complex but so good. I noticed some caramel malts up front that gave way to some fruity flavors that I can't place in the middle. The finish is dry and peppery, the only point you really notice the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, carbonation in excellent balance.

Overall: I like the version that comes in the corked bottles a little more, but this would be a good option for someone who is unsure if they'll like it or not. Definitely worth a try if you've never had it before.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 03:52:15 | More by FenwaySquid
Photo of blodgetm


4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first Chimay beer I have had, and now I hope to try them all. Overall, it's a very solid beer, with great complexity that never gets overwhelming.

Appearance: A nice malty, dark brown finish

Smell: A mild fruity aroma, followed by an almost earthy scent

Taste: Here's where it gets interesting. At first, there was a complex malt presence that altered over the course of the beer. The malts were nice and not overpowering, and there was the slightest bit of cloves present. As the beer warmed up, and the pallet built up to the taste, the malts seemed to take on more of an earthy structure.

Mouthfeel: Meduim-heavy bodied, moderate carbonation. Alittle bit dry in the end.

Drinkability: High, granted I can afford more.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2006 03:11:59 | More by blodgetm
Photo of AaronHomoya


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

My first Chimay beer, quite a lovely experience. Pours a nice light brown color with a good head and retention. Aroma is sweet, malty and spicy. Complex and interesting. The taste follows with a spicy and malty flavor with a nice clean finish from the well-placed hops. Mouthfeel is nice, medium-bodied with a pleasing amount of carbonation and smoothness. This beer is quite tasty, and pretty drinkable for something with an ABV of 9.00%.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2006 20:55:36 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of BadBadger

New York

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

The blue pours a very dark brown, with dark red ruby tones, with a beautiful slightly off-white foamy head. The smell is fruity, with malty features coming through. The taste is sweet, malty, fruity, with no inclination of the alcohol contained within this fine beverage. The mouthfeel is nice, having a pleasant carbonated fueled fizz hiting the palatine taste buds, and the tongue enjoys a very mild coating of sweetness. A very nice brew. I will enjoy again and again. Certainly give this a try, if you have not already done so.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 23:48:21 | More by BadBadger
Photo of gemhooch


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a chilled 750 into an oversized tulip. Cork was dated 1/05.

A - Big head which dissipated within a minute or so. Dark auburn color.

S - Slightly smokey, but I'm not sure if it's just me after grilling. I also mowed the grass today and have mild allergies, so maybe my smeller isn't working very well today.

T- Very smooth, with a touch of malt, a wee bit of date (barely) and other dried fruits. But not overbearing in the fruitiness either. I mean it's not one of *those* beers. A delightful complex brew that's difficult to describe.

M - A bit creamy but not cloying. Very nice.

D - Very easy to drink. It had aged a year and some so perhaps that took the alcohol edge off it. Guess I'll have to drink one right away sometime to see the difference.

Initially I was a tad disappointed as I had very high expectations, but after consuming a few oz. and then a few more, I must say this is one fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2006 05:22:12 | More by gemhooch
Photo of Absumaster


3.38/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark brown, almost black beer, with a frothy head that disappears after minutes and leaves a small layer.
Smell was chocolate and a slightly burned smell, not the explosion I expected.
Taste was OK with burned coffee and caramel with a nice maltbitterness, some nutmeg and peppery notes which give the beer some complexity. Alcohol was not noticable. Body was rather thin and bland, aftertaste was dry.
The thin body and the low complexity do not live up to my expectations.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2006 15:48:06 | More by Absumaster
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

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

Finally got around to trying this one now that I've crossed most of the other Belgians at my local store off my list. In fact, this may be my last Belgian for a while, its just getting too hot for them now, I'll start again around thanksgiving or so.

Pours thick and heavy into my goblet with a full tan head that recedes to reveal impressively dense sticky lacing. Color is a mellow mocha that brightens considerably under the light. Nose is heavily fruity and drenched in alcohol. Hints of coriander and cherries.

Taste shows impressive restraint as far as alcohol and is much easier to drink because of it. Thick on the malt flavor but surprisingly clean finish for a Belgian dark with smooth but slightly overcarbonated mouthfeel. Still, a delicious, refined ale with unusual drinkability for nine percent on the booze-o-meter.

Definitely recommended, I'll be trying it again soon.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2006 06:14:20 | More by daliandragon
Photo of Beersignal

Quebec (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small bottle reviewed, exhibits some differences from the 750 ml format I have been told but have never taken the time to fully discover the nuances.

Pours a deep maroon colour with hints of garnet glinting as it is held to the light. The foam is initially generous and spritzy and fades suddenly, leaving a dense film of tan bubbles to float statically atop the brew. No lacing.

The aromas are really what draw me into this beer. This is a cellared sample that I have aged for 3 years so some harmony has been gained in the aromas. It opens with a symphony of malty cocoa aromas, and alternates between firm notes of candied sugar, dried plums, some tanned hide, hints of earth and fungi, as well as mild spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Let the brew warm and traces of vanilla begin to surface through the complex of fruit, malt, spice and yeast. Very pleasant... I could sit here all night just whiffing this sample.

This sample has dried quite noticeably from the cellaring. The mouthfeel is firm but dry, giving ample space for the flavour profile to slowly develop as the beer gains in temp. I first notice malt and spices that fade quickly into a spiral of yeastiness and alcohol. The fruit aromas do not carry over as strongly into the flavours but are perceptible and lead nicely into the long and slightly sour finish. A lingering aftertaste reminescent of cigar smoke beckons me to light up a Partagas Mille Fleurs (available in Canada) and finish the sample with a smoke.


Serving type: bottle

05-25-2006 01:13:20 | More by Beersignal
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,083 ratings.