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

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

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6,737 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,737
Reviews: 2,173
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 327
Gots: 980 | FT: 13
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: 6,737 | Reviews: 2,173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theghost3
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an iced tea-colored cloudy brown with a hint of copper. Head is 1-finger tan; moderate lacing.

The smell is strong of dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel malts & slightly of alcohol. The taste is slightly bitter from the dark, chocolate/caramel malts. Theres also some molasses, dates & bitter/burnt spices. Mouthfeel is rather carbonated; full-bodied.

This is a very drinkable strong dark ale. Wonderful flavors, but watch out for the abv.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky walnut brown with a foamy tan head that patiently dissipates amongst the lively carbonation leaving a thin layer atop the body throughout the beer and only traces of lacing on the inner glass.

The aroma is of dark fruit such as nectarine or plum with raisins, caramel malt and yeast, while a further inspection reveals some brown sugar.

The dark fruits, brown sugar, yeast, and even sweet nuttiness all blend together quite well. As the beer warms, a spicy character develops which is the perfect touch for the slight alcohol burn and I believe I pick up something resembling dark or rye bread as well.

Light to medium in body, with significant carbonation, and an amazing palate to mingle with the generous abv make the mouthfeel very impressive.

One of my favorite styles, and certainly one of my favorites amongst it. This is an excellent Belgian Dark, full of flavor and character, and 100% authentic.

Photo of drtth
3.71/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Maredsous goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a reddish brown color with a ¼" off-white head that recedes fairly soon leaving a layer of fom a small ring around the liquid. Sipping leaves some speckled lacing.

Smell: The aroma, such as it is, is very faint and light and seems to have hints of some fruits and maybe brown sugar.

Taste: The flavor contains some dark fruits and a good bit of brown sugar flavor and some nice chocolate (or maybe cocoa) from the malt.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and there is light soft carbonation. The finish is moderately long and slides from sweet fruit and chocolate into a light dry bitterness from the hops.

Drinkability: A nice beer and I won't turn it down in the future but I think there are many other Trappist beers higher on my list that I would drink in preference.

Photo of choyhosoi
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a glass

A Caramel brown look with a bownish white head that looks very inviting.
The smells I got where mostly sweet and sugary with a raisin or plum scent.Very nice lacing on the glass and not too much carbonation.
It has a nice taste that you hardly even notice and a soft mouthfeel.

I tried this ale awhile back when I first got out of BMC and I didn't think much of it. I think it's good but I prefer other ale's that are similiar.

Photo of julian1117
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Visual Appeal: dark and cloudy, head faded too quickly, barely any streaking

Smell: fruity, heavy yeastiness

Flavour: peppery goodness, fermented fruitiness, maltiness, light hop

Mouthfeel: creamy, but not enough effervescence

Drinkability: 9% abv makes it a sipping ale

Had this for the first time today, on my birthday, June 4th! After all the hype and dropping $14 in PA, I was NOT disappointed.

Photo of ajp0483
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hands down the most satisfying beer I have had yet. Incredible aroma (fruits such as grapes and apples). I felt that the carbonation added another layer to the beverage by giving it an effervescent mouthfeel. Be sure to let it rest once you take the bottle out of the fridge so that the multiple flavors are not masked by the cold temperatures. Over the course of drinking this Chimay, I noticed the flavors became more pronounced and complex, making for a very exciting drinking experience. The taste consisted of dark fruits and spice from the yeast. Some malty sweetness and a hint of alcohol. An incredible beer and experience.

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

Now obviously I have tried Chimay Bleu twice, maybe thrice, in my formative years as a beer drinker, and never really cared for it. Drinking it today could be viewed as a pivotal point in my reviewing life, as I hereby ask the question: am I yet man enough for the blue stuff?

Pours lighter than I remember, although looks darker in the glass than it did in the stream from the bottle. An umber hue with a burnt sienna head, what a nice complement the colours make. Head starts quite voluminous but fizzes off and sinks to about a finger thickness after a minute. Fairly strong carbonation is feeding it from the bottom, and it leaves a thick, but not very sticky, beige lace residual when tilted. Phenomenal appearance.

Nose has all the dark and brooding phenols of an exquisite cognac. A very phenolic nose, with slight (perhaps too slight) hints of dark cherry, orange peel and nectarine. A suggestion of spicy Belgian yeast, and maybe a touch of white pepper. Smell is mostly sweet though, no burnt or bitter aroma at all. Complex, just slightly too subdued for me.

Taste is complex and uncompromising. Sweet yet dark, spicy and supple. Has a mid-palate full of red grape skins, overripe cherry and blood plum, while this is dusted off by the finish which is spicy in an actual fiery, burning way. A green peppercorn bite with a phenolic tang and the burn of a very mild-flavoured but potent chilli. This is all helped along the way by the alcohol sensation, which is a warming, pleasant sensation all the way down but never overpowering. The beer sizzles in the mouth thanks to that effervescent carbonation, yet the body is full and viscous and slides down the throat like a glob of heartburn medication.

This is a flaming hot crossbow bolt of a brew, explosive in potency yet calming and luxurious. It's a beer that makes you feel like a king. Superbly crafted, flavourful and playful. Simply wonderful right across the board.

Photo of Krebsy
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think the guy below me that gave it an F is smoking crack. I had, on Chrismas day night 2008, a bottle of the Chimay Blue in a 1.5L Magnum that was bottled in August of 1996. I have to tell you it was one of the best beer expierences ever. All the flavors were still there as everything had mellowed and blended into 1 and it had it's full carbination.

Still one of the best beers on the market

Photo of jsapunor
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is simply a great beer. It looks nice, smells good and tastes even better. The flavors of dark fruits and a trace of vanilla all blend well within the perfect carbonation. It's taste holds up from first sip to last while the head leaves a nice lacing all the way down.

There are a lot of Belgian strong dark ales that successfully emphasize one partucular aspect of the style's taste. Chimay has taken a more balanced approach and they have pulled it off. Only the high ABV, which you don't taste at all, will keep you from having a second.

World class.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into red wine glass, consumed somewhere around 50 degrees.

A - Quite murky, the color of a dark tea with orange mixed in. Largish 3-4 fingers of light brown head rise, though retention is fairly short and the head falls to nothingness. No lacing.

S - Mild dark fruits (plums, prunes, and currants) atop a fledgingly bready backbone. Some caramel and molasses make an appearance with a back end of sweet spice; cinnamon and clove stand out.

T - Somewhat bland dark bread hits early palate followed by some light notes of caramel, toffee, and molasses. Some of the dark fruit pulls through mid to late palate with a light sourness, but the flavor is fleeting. A final crescendo of sweetness enters in the form of a pronounced but short note of vanilla/banana. Sweetness drops off incrimentally into an earthy bitterness. Bitter clove and cinnamon take the stage near the end with a hard chalkiness and noticable alcohol pop in after the swallow. Aftertaste is mild to moderately bitter.

M - Medium bodied. Carbonation is moderate to moderate-mild. It's difficult to analyze the mouthfeel in context as this is a subtle and therefore challenging brew. Fairly smooth all in all with a carbonation that doesn't interfere.

D - Grand Reserve is a beer I've had on many occasions, even before I was into good beer as a whole. I'm surprised it's taken me this long to get around to reviewing it, but figured there was no better time due to my recent fascination with Belgians. Certainly a good a beer, though I'm not sure I applaud it as much as the beer community at large. Tasty, but somehow indistinct and unoriginal in the world of fine Belgian beers. In a way, it's a little *too* subtle for a big Belgian beer.

Photo of BZero007
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have been drinking this particular work of art for awhile and am now getting around to reviewing it.

The trapist brew pours a coca cola color brown with a hint of ruby red in it. the head too a little extra umph to form a nice size. The aroma from this brew is great and is filled with dark fruits, malasas smell with alcohol along the way. The flavor is a great taste of dark fruits with figs and so on balanced with a great sweet malt. The flavor was not extremly complex as to overwhelm the drinker but was perfect to entice the drinker for more. The alcohol level in this brew is tasted but is also balanced well with the dark fruit flavor. This beer I love to drink the whole night as it is a work of crafting art.

Photo of tjthresh
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass. A dark ruby and brown beer with a big cream colored head. Lots of lace. Low levels of the typicla rumminess, and some yeasty esters. The flavor is much more appealing. Chocolate, rum raisin, caramelized sugars. Very nice. The high alcohol of Chimay Blue do not cause this beer to come off as thing. Matter of fact, it has a quite silky mouthfeel. I shoul get a couple for the cellar. Gotta love the monks.

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

I don't even know where to start. This is my favorite of the Chimay series and has probably topped my list of favorite beers, let alone Trappist beers.

Served: In a bottle, poured into an ale glass.

A: Perfect. As I poured the beer in, the head already started to form, never surpassing 1.5 inches. The body is an unfiltered dark tan color with copious amounts of bubbles. Looks very mysterious.

S: Smells rich with mild citrus and a perfect amount of hops and yeast.

T: Tastes how I described it in a perfect blend. I don't think I could stress the "perfect" enough. Incredibly smoothe and leaves you wondering what you're really tasting.

M: With a mild carbonation, it starts out moderately hoppy with a fruity aftertaste. I want to say lemon and orange.

D: With the ABV of 9.00% set aside, I would love to have another one. This beats out the Chimay Red & White, but not to take away from those two either since they are really good as well. This is my first "all 5" beer.

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

Got this at the bottle shop down the road.

From a bottle into a Chimay Chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 2+ finger medium looking fluffy tan head with decent retention. Color is a deep dark burnt umber or auburn brown with minimal carbonation. A thick cap remains until the end but leaves minimal lacing down the glass. Nice for sure, but needs a little lacing to make it a beauty.

SMELL: A very bold and enticing nose for sure. Some toasted and caramel malt with lots of dark fruits as well. Raisins and grapes are obvious, along with some prunes and dates as well. Some nice spicy elements too, cloves for sure, and added spices from the bed of Belgian yeast. Strong wonderful scent, certainly makes a statement.

TASTE: Caramel and sweet malt up front, with lots of dark fruits again, raisins, dates and plumbs specifically. Spices make a bigger appearance after the initial taste, with cloves and some spices from the yeast and alcohol taking over near the end. Very nice and complex. The aftertaste is mild and long lasting, including caramel malt, raisins, and spices, with a touch of alcohol and Belgian yeast under it all. Very tasty and complex overall.

PALATE: Medium-thick body with medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down as such with no bite, surprisingly. The ABV is nowhere to be tasted or felt. Finishes with a great balance between coating and dryness on the palate. Great feel as well.

OVERALL: A real treat of the brewing industry. One of the best beers out there, and fits in well with the other great offerings from Chimay. This one is actually very dubbel like; could be described as a dubbel on steroids. Very drinkable and extremely enjoyable, this one is a must try for all Belgian beer fans. I'll have to make a nice place in the beer cellar for a stock load of these. Sublime.

Photo of hardy008
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle

Appearance - Pours an amber brown color with a tan, foamy, 2+ finger head which settles down to 1 finger and does not leave a lace on the glass.

Smell - Caramel malt, cloves, dark fruit, brown sugar, and spices.

Taste - Same as the smell. Caramel malt, cloves, dark fruit, brown sugar, and spices. Very good flavor.

Mouthfeel - nicely carbonated, medium bodied, crisp, and sweet.

Drinkability- Very drinkable, and very good. The Chimay beers are outstanding. If you haven't tried them yet, you must.

Photo of Buschyfor3
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a deep, amber-burgundy color; fairly thin but creamy off-white head; fairly opaque, with just the slightest hint of amber highlights along the edges of the glass when held to light.

S: Fairly sweet aroma from this beer - cloves are very prominent in the nose along with a caramel, dextrin sweetness. There is that familiar Belgian spiciness from the yeast - fruit esters, tangy, spicy, delicious. Maltiness is in the back nose, but what you get is a fresh biscuit aroma and a faint bit of whole-grain wheat.

T: Fruity sweetness, maybe a bit of pear, apple, or the slightest hint of citrus fruits. Spicy, tangy clove flavor that closely follows the sweetness. Mid sip, the malt background starts coming forth with a musty whole-grain wheat and fresh biscuit flavor. Finish is slightly drying, with the malt background sticking around with a nutty, slightly buttery finish.

M: Decent carbonation produces a crisp, tingly feel on the tongue; slightly powdery on the finsh.

D: Good drinkability for 9% ABV Strong Dark Ale. I am splitting this bottle with a fraternity brother and it's going down so smoothly that I can probably go for another glass. One 750 on my own though, and I would be good to go for the night.

A good BSDA, and one that lives up to the hype in my honest opinion. Strong flavors, complex and quite delicious. Recommended

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

Expiry 2013, so I think this has been in my cellar for about a year. Tan head, two fingers, steadily retreated to an island of tiny-bubble froth that heaved and boiled at centre glass. Since I was a bit anxious on the pour, there is a lot of sediment added to produce a plum or prune puree with lots of suspended particle matter. Good carbonation, only minor lacing.

Smell of dark fruit tort cake, candied fruit, prunes and with air and warming, a minty air about it. Taste is layered caramel, bitter sour fruit flashes, well balanced acidity. Smooth and even mouthfeel with a bitter finish and sour dark fruit aftertaste. Alcohol well integrated. With air and warming came better balance and a more even flavour profile, rich texture yet smooth and tasty. This could be my favourite of the Chimays I've tried, I could easily go for another right this minute if only I had one available.

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

Grand Reserve pours a very murky tea color. It's littered with yeast particles, even after a careful pour. Carbonation is extremely active and produces a light tan head that nearly reaches three fingers. It was very quick to recede, leaving light lace trailing down the glass.

The nose is quite good, but falls short of special. It features a diverse array of spices up front. Cinnamon, pepper, and light clove are most notable here, but there are surely others. There's some light plum and raisin scents, but they're pretty well buried and don't shine as much as they should. There's an overall earthy quality. It's a little grain and grass, but doesn't lean too far in either direction. Belgian yeast is mildy noticeable. Despite its 9% abv, I'm not picking up any on the nose. Overall, it's a good smelling beer, but needs to crank it up a little in the dark fruit and yeast departments.

The flavor is very, very good. I'm waffling a little on the score, so I'll hold that call. It has a nice spicy flavor. Cinnamon, ginger, and pepper are the primary components. To a lesser degree, there's some clove. Dark fruit is much more pronounced in flavor and this beer is all the better for it. Raisin, plum, and fig work like a charm with this one. It is a little malty and sweet. There's a light cocoa-like chocolate flavor. Belgian yeast is noted, but isn't prevalent by any means. Some residual grain and earthy notes are noted throughout. Alcohol is more noticeable here, but doesn't quite reach a warm or hot level. The flavor profile is very deep and complex. That becomes much more apparent with warming. With that revelation, I've made my decision on the score. Excellent, it is.

Its body feels light and too thin. I had hoped it'd feel more substantial with a few more degrees under its belt, but it doesn't. High carbonation doesn't help. It feels buzzy and never reaches a smooth level. I hate to bash it here, but it has a feel that's barely above average. Drinkability on other hand is excellent. The flavor is nothing short of excellent and it goes down like a dream for a 9% beer. It doesn't taste or feel that big.

Grand Reserve is no doubt a classic. It's an excellent BSDA. To be honest, I've had better representations of the style, but this one easily competes with the best of them. The only thing that really holds it back a little is its body. It just feels too thin and carbonation's a tad high. But, it's all around very impressive otherwise. It probably deserves its spot in the bottom quarter of the Top 100 somewhere. How long it will stay there is anyone's best guess. Impressive stuff.

Photo of mulder1010
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a 750!!!! can not argue with that.
appearance-- a dark orange brown. head quickly dies off.
smell--- very spicy with raisins.
taste- I get a lot of orange
mouthfeel- where the 9% kicks in. very solid in the mouth.
drinkability- not a multiple beer at all. One beer and that is it. I think the red or blanche is more of a multiple beer. Still, the blue is the best by far. I still think the Orval is a better overall beer but the Chimay is world class. In a 330 can do 2 or 3 but in a 750 only one is enough. Not as heavy as other Belgian dark ales so much more drinkable.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this 11.2oz bottle in the gift set I got back in Christmas.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with tan colored head that settles down to a nice layer of bubbles

S: Smells of caramel malts, raisins, spices

T: Again, caramel malts, lots of raisins, spices, fruity yeast, and a slight bit of alcohol flavor in the finish

M: well carbonated but smooth, very full bodied, slight alcohol tinge

D: really good flavor, classic belgian quad style, the slight alcohol tinge only slightly hurts the drinkability factor

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 2008 Vintage. Poured from a small bottle into a Chimay chalice. Amber brown body with bubbles hanging in suspension. A soapy head forms on the luscious body.

Smell: Dusty yeast and a whiff of alcohal, with some malt and fruit nuances lurking. Hard cider comes to mind too.

Taste: Ah, my favorite part. Malty up front. Bitter chocolate. Light fruits coupled with warming bourbon notes. A lingering noble hop is there on the edges. As it warms, a clean fusel alcohal character arises more prominately. It really brings out more of the malt too, roasted and woody. All of the flavors unite and do the dance.

M. Full bodied, a bit of a bite. Also sports a dry chalky finish.

D. This is a beer to settle into so to speak. Divinely crafted and really quite fantastic. It recieves a high score because this beer is fun to drink.

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

A: A dark murky brown, like a thick coffee or tea. Nice Creamy off-white head.

S: Sweet, like fresh fruit, raisons, dates, brown sugar, possibly a sweet bread scent in there as well.

T: Thick, sweet, and delicious. There is a very nice finish in this, something sweet or nutty. I can't put my finger on it. but it is good.

M: Lots of carbonation, a little thick and chewy.

D: Delicious.. very nice beer, much stronger in flavor and body than it's red labeled brother. More of a sipper, but still a great beer.

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

Poured from 750 ml. bottle into my Orval chalice.

A: Dark brown with dark bluish purple hues. Light carbonation pours into a 1 finger foamy, off white head. Quickly disintegrates leaving nothing behind. No lacing to speak of. Like a nice red, color really thins as the brew approaches the edges of the glass.

S: Roasted malt, brown sugar, molasses, bittersweet chocolate, and nuts, and maybe a bit of a light citrus tone.

T: A lightly sweet syrupy malt. Nutty. Roasted coffee beans. A bit of butterscotch.

M: Strangely light body although very hearty and robust. A real bite of carbonation. Pungent aftertaste.

D: Great drinkability. 'nuff said.

Solid atmosphere. Appearance is decent, nose is great. Complex, balanced flavor. Alot in there, but really smooth, velvety feel. This is a great quaff.

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

A: Chestnut brown. Off white skim. A tad bit of lacing left behind.

S: Malty. Bready. Caramel. Slight undefined spices. Some of the 9% shinning through.

T: Rich bready malts accentuated by figs and caramel. Slight bit of spicy alcohol towards the end.

M: Smooth. Medium Bodied. Subtle carbonation.

D: Decent. A few other brews in this style are a bit more pleasing on the stomach and make for a more enjoyable experience, but this is a classic which needs to be experimented with.

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

A- Deep, dark body with purple hues. Thin white head that fades to a ring.

S- Lots of dark fruity aromas and definitely some rock sugar notes are present. Bready/toasted malt base is subtle but there(more noticeable as the beer warms.).

T- Perfectly balanced in my opinion. Malty notes along with dark fruits and rock sugars all jump in. Hops are not really noticable, but they are definitely there keeping the sweetness balanced.

M- Smooth full body with a carbonation that makes those dark fruit and rock sugar flavors jump on your tongue.

D- Simply an awesome beer.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,737 ratings.