1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

6,222 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,222
Reviews: 2,142
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 264
Gots: 694 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,222 | Reviews: 2,142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MCDuhamel


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a Westmalle chalice, moderately chilled.

A: Pours a somewhat murky dark mahogany, nearly opaque, with some ruby highlights when held to light. Head is compact and dissipates, but leaves a one centimeter cap. Little lacing.

S: Fig, ripe fruit, some spiciness. Also a bit of a jammy character.

T: A wonderful combination of fig and dark, ripe jam, with a slight aloholic spiciness. As it finishes, there is a quick hop bitterness followed by a lingering taste of dark honey or caramel.

M: Medium bodied, perhaps a little too gassy, but very easy on the tongue.

D: Pretty easy to drink the entire 750 ml bottle, notwithstanding the potency.

Overall: This is a very good Belgain dark ale, although it is not as good as Rochefort 8 in my opinion. As good as it is, it seems to lack depth and intensity.

05-06-2007 00:36:45 | More by MCDuhamel
Photo of Redrover


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured into a wide mouth glass just like the label suggested, the beer is a reddish brown with a chill haze. The tan head is massive. Surprisingly not a ton of lacing.

The nose is fruity with brown sugar and a bit of spice. Very inviting.

The taste is of slightly smoked caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit and something spicy which reminds me of white pepper. Some molasses and a trace of alcohol late. Great use of malts.

The beer has a slightly sturdy mouth with a nice dry finish. This beer is complex and very easy drinking. Well done!!

05-04-2007 22:52:03 | More by Redrover
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.33/5  rDev -22.6%

I’m re-rating this beer as I had it a long time ago, and had it again alongside the other two varieties of Chimay commonly available in the US (white and red) yesterday. And I have to say that with the benefit of quite a bit more beer experience since my last rating, that I significantly over-rated this beer in my previous rating. Yesterday, I found this beer is extremely mild, and while certainly not unpleasant or bad, I found it to be a bit boring. Of the three varieties I had yesterday, this was definitely my least favorite.

Appearance was a dark brown/almost black color with a decently-formed whitish head with limited staying power. Aroma was very mild and faint. I got roasted malt and a bit of alcohol, but not much else. Flavor was the highlight of this beer, but even that I found mild-mannered and rather unremarkable compared to other dark Belgian (or Belgian-style) beers I’ve had. A bit of roastiness and some alcohol, but not much else that you might expect like spiciness or fruit. Mouthfeel was not bad, but unremarkable.

So I’m left to explain why so many think so much of this beer while I’m the odd-duck who’s unimpressed. And my hypothesis is this - that many folks (me among them) try this beer when first expanding their beer horizons, are wildly impressed by the difference, but haven’t yet revisited (as I’m now doing) to compare against the craft/import beer adventures they’ve had since breaking out with Chimay Blue. Sound plausible?

05-04-2007 17:34:19 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of kms910


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

A: ruby-brown with tan lacing – very fine bubbles of carbonation

S: dark fruit, spice, brown sugar, and pepper

T: Swirling flavors of dark fruits, spicy complex alcohols and soft chocolate-like malts combine in a light, but impressive display across the palate.

M: The alcohol is not overly aggressive but still quite noticeable in this, Chimay's strongest beer at 9%. The finish is somewhat thin with a slightly dry lingering aftertaste

D: This particular vintage is a bit young at present, but it's still quite unique and very enjoyable as it is. A year or more of cellaring will only improve it greatly.

04-30-2007 14:59:04 | More by kms910
Photo of rm0312


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%

This is an amazing beer. It was the first of the Belgians I had tasted and it is still my favorite. I have drank all of what Chimay has to offer and I have never had any one that I thought was bad! A slight bitterness that first hits the palate, then diminishes into a malty hops flavor! Thick head that is medium lasting as all chimay's are. Bottom Line I loved just like the rest of them!

04-25-2007 22:55:18 | More by rm0312
Photo of cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

330ml bottle, poured into a Brugse Straffe gold rimmed goblet

A 2005 bottle, served at room temp

Pours with a thick deep burgandy body, ruby highlights scattered through. Massive slightly off white head with great retention. Small amounts of lacing up and down the glass

Smell, sweet estery tinged yeast, rich bready aromas, lots of dried sticky fruit... although its there its not as prelevent as some other big dark belgians. Some spicy fig and prune, little bit of biscuity malt too

Taste, thick bready rich alcohol, bread and butter pudding, sticky figs and prunes, reduced and slightly burnt sugars. Thick rich bready body with a few deep almost vinous notes thrown in for good measure, some thick port like boozy alcohol on the finish too

A solid strong dark ale. Tasty, but even with a little age it still seems immature and slightly underdeveloped. Chimay's stuff is always just... ok...

04-21-2007 23:29:56 | More by cypressbob
Photo of jim102864


2.75/5  rDev -36%

Poured this Belgian strong dark into my Chimay goblet. Appropriate enough, heh? This corked and caged 1.9 oz bottle with the blue label was cork-dated 2006. The label lacked any information as to exactly when it was brewed which might have something to do with the average experience I had with this beer. Upon pouring, I noted an active head, lots of carbonation and thus bubbles, yet the head disapaited very quickly. A bit of a disappointment. Nonetheless, some lace did web the glass and I moved on to the nose which was...modest to barely noticeable. Some whispers of aged fruit (maybe) but really nothing else. This of course had a lot to do with the taste which was very subtle. Notes of aged prunes and raisens but not much else. Sure, some candied sugar caught my attention but what a ho-hum taste. Mouthfeel was as uneventful as the aroma and taste. Watery comes to mind. No viscous blanket to the tongue. Nada. It's drinkable I suppose, but I don't think this is a beer I will seek out again. Maybe it was a maturity thing. Maybe not. A snooze fest that I will not purchase a ticket for again anytime soon.

04-15-2007 16:26:27 | More by jim102864
Photo of MrHurmateeowish


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Murky, nearly opaque brown body with a half an inch of light tan head. Fruit and caramel dominate the aroma with hints of spice, though the smell is not as strong as expected. Flavor has a fruity character to it, sweet, similar to apple, with spices and alcohol playing minor roles as well (the alcohol is almost non-existant). Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied, a bit lighter than I thought it'd be. Extremely drinkable for the complexity, richness and abv of this brew. Not my favorite, but definitely one of the better brews from Belgium I have had.

04-15-2007 03:35:53 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of BenSelf


4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

This is a very punchy ale, stronger than the other Chimay offerings I have tried. Heavy malt and cream characteristics, well-balanced by the bitterness that cleans up afterward. Coffee and a little bit of bitter chocolate plays around about halfway through the draught. I taste a little bit of dry, red wine sweetness. The aroma is toasted malt and coffee, with a little warm sugar on top. I am really enjoying this beer. But as a newcomer to the world of gourmet beer, it might be a little wasted on me. I will definitely buy more the next chance I get. I recommend this beer be enjoyed in the evening as the sun and temperature are dropping.

04-06-2007 22:35:46 | More by BenSelf
Photo of bark


4.43/5  rDev +3%

Vintage 2006.

Colour is dark brown with a tint of wine red; the liquid is a hazy (bottle conditioned). The finger thick foam forms an uneven beige airy head. Minimal lacing.

The smell is complex: Semi sweet malty notes blends with dried fruits, yeast, grape juice, roasted meat and matured strong wine (oak casks?). Yet it is a balanced aroma.

The taste: Complex and multifaced, but not heavy at all. Earthy notes of yeast, minerals and dry, bitter hops. Dry roasted malt, some touches of sour wheat malt, and some dried fruits, vanilla? The warming aftertaste is mild with butter, fruits and vegetables, roasted edible roots, hints of nuts and almonds. The finish got a little touch of alcohol, but it doesn’t reveal the massive 9% at all.

The carbonation is quite strong with lots of small bubbles. The liquid is not as smooth as expected.

A great Belgian ale in all ways.

04-02-2007 19:53:36 | More by bark
Photo of chrhowe


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%

This is my third review from last night. Going through a Chimay sampler. The "Blue", poured into a Chimay chalice, very dark and cloudy with a 1 1/2 finger head that's thick, tan and stands well throughout the entire experience. Great smell that tells of yeast and sweet fruit. I love the taste of this beer, has it all, malty, sweet, with a hint of bitterness toward the end. It sits well in the mouth, very smooth and enjoyable. Would love to sit down one evening and sip on nothing but this brew. Most definitely not one for the quantity of consumption.
Would pair lovely with a Filet Mignon. I believe.
Most quality and enjoyable of the "Chimay's". However all are excellent in their own right.

03-31-2007 16:10:18 | More by chrhowe
Photo of uconnalum2


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Appearance is a hazy, dark brown with a one-finger tan head. The head subsides a bit but some lasts throughout. The smell is a rich combination of malt and candy sweetness. The taste is excellent. It is a delicious mix of malt, dark fruit (mainly figs) and a little sweetness. The aftertaste is dry but lingers a bit. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with some tingly carbonation. Drinkability is very good. The alcohol is well hidden in the taste but the effect adds up so this limits the amount. Overall, an excellent dark Belgian that I'll certainly have again.

03-31-2007 01:05:54 | More by uconnalum2
Photo of Slatetank


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Shared a corked and caged bottle of this at the Market Cross Pub in Carlisle

A - Tan head sits atop medium brown body with compact bubbles and lasting lace.

S - Bready, strong smell of fresh yeast and sweet malt.

T - Lively, carbonation combines with malty presence. Slighly fruity, crisp ale with subtle flavors of apple and plum.

M - Dances on the tonque with its aggressive carbonation. Light and lively with round luxurious finish.

D - Superior, smooth and restrained for strength contained. Subtle, expressive and effervescent x 2.

03-28-2007 14:38:47 | More by Slatetank
Photo of joeysmokedporter


4.83/5  rDev +12.3%

Poured from the large 750 mL (?) corked bottle. Appearance brown/red with creamy off-white head. Aroma mixes chocolate, caramel, molasses, and slightly raisiny notes. Taste complements the aroma, light mouthfeel and good carbonation. For a big beer this is easy to drink, but difficult to pinpoint the complexity. Pure heaven in a bottle.

I purchased this at a local beer store but have had this on draft in Belgium as well. There is nothing like drinking this beer at a cafe on the canals of Gent or Bruges.

03-25-2007 15:44:32 | More by joeysmokedporter
Photo of MiScusi


4.13/5  rDev -4%

This 11oz bottle was served to me with a frosted wine glass (maybe this place shouldn't be serving Chimay). It poured a more solid root beer brown with a pretty mediocre head even with an aggressive pour, that didn't stay around long. The taste did have some sweetness, fruit, and went down very easy. Alcohol was not detectable. There was really no aftertaste present and the mouthfeel was a very sturdy medium and smooth. Drinkability is so good because the alcohol is hidden and the mouthfeel is great.

03-25-2007 07:11:28 | More by MiScusi
Photo of Poser


4.7/5  rDev +9.3%

Nothing to complain about. A dark pour wth heavy carbonation that keeps the head around forever. Aroma reminds me of a Belgian waffle. Taste is also bready and sweet. Perfect balance. It starts off seeming a little too sweet but has a perfect finish.

I wish I could be more descriptive, but "nearly flawless beer" is about as good of a summary as I can give.

03-25-2007 01:45:44 | More by Poser
Photo of younger35


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Poured into a nonic pint glass from the little 11.2 ounce bottles. Wish I could of properly enjoyed out of a chalice.

Appearance- Pours a very dark murky ruby reddish brown. Allows very little light through and is full of yeasty goodness. Forms a very nice dirty white head that lasts the entire beer. No lacing what-so-ever.
Smell- Sweet candied malts with hints of dark berry’s. Has a very candy sweet aroma that honestly, I did not expect. Has a very subtle yet rich aroma that helps hide the gentle alcohol notes. The overall smell is very gentle but pleasing.
Taste- Very dark berry notes that are balanced nicely by a sour bitterness. Has a almost cotton candy like tone to it. Light roasted malts peak through helping to balance the very obvious alcohol warming. Finishes semi dry on the back of the tongue with lingering sweetness.
Mouthfeel- Like the other Chimays, this beer is quite carbonated. After a bit of warming, it settles to a very nice, subtle bubbling. Pretty thin feel that really allows the carbonation to show. Pleasant.
Drinkability- Well, due to the 9% ABV you’re probably not going to drink more than a couple, but a treat none-the-less. This beer, honestly, is not what I expected, but was such a treat. Really enjoyed this.

03-22-2007 04:13:53 | More by younger35
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.05/5  rDev -29.1%

Pours a medium glossy and hazy brown. big head, foamed up nicely, some chunks.
Smell is weak. Not sure what's going on. Yeast and soft fruit seem to come out, but can't quite detect anything strong.
Taste is also a bit weak. Belgian yeast and spice, some dark soft fruit and raisin. Where's the taste?
Kind of flat and syrupy in the feel. Not impressed with this one, overpriced for sure.

03-18-2007 19:19:29 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of JGS

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%

This beer poured well and had a nice brown color.While I enjoyed the yeasty aroma, it didn't seem that strong to me. The aroma didn't seem to carry much else, however I have recently quit smoking, and am only just getting some of my smell back. The taste was even, with a yeasty flavor predominate and a fruity flavor that seemed to be skirting the edge of the taste. There is that aftertaste I have noticed with Strong Belgian Ales, the sweet alcohol taste that will sometimes linger on your tongue briefly. I did enjoy the mouthfeel. It is a very carbonated beer with a lot of bubbles that play over your tongue. This is a solid Strong Ale with good characteristics. However, after trying it, I would be more likely to try something I haven't had yet. The flip side of the coin is that if I were offered this beer, I wouldn't turn it down.

03-18-2007 18:49:29 | More by JGS
Photo of ndekke39


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Drank this from the 11.2 oz bottle with the blue label. Pours a hazy cola color - dark reddish-brown. Tall tan head that dissipated pretty quickly. Smells of toasted grains, cola, dark cherries, yeast, touch of alcohol. Flavors are much the same - nice complexity of dark fruit, alcohol, toast, cola. Sharp bite on the touch from high carbonation and the alcohol. A very drinkable beer - I had to take it in in sips, but it was very enjoyable, especially as it went from cooler temperature to room temp.

03-17-2007 21:06:42 | More by ndekke39
Photo of willjschmidt


4.08/5  rDev -5.1%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Dark brown color, slightly red. Nice cloudy tan head.
S: The slightly sweet malt smell is the first followed by some fruit.
T: Lots of malt, lots of dark fruits.
M: A wonderful complex taste. Slightly chewy.
D: A wonderful Belgian, a classic for a reason. This will likely always be in my cellar.

03-11-2007 22:00:46 | More by willjschmidt
Photo of Gmann

New York

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured a dark murky brown color with a thick tan head that took its time to dissipate. The smell is of Belgian yeast and candi sugar, not as strong as the tripel but very nice. No noticable fruity smells that are associated with BSDAs. The taste is similar to the smell, Belgian yeast & candi sugar, hints of figs and prunes towards the end. This tastes like a dark tripel. Well bodied and carbonated, a bit silky. Not as fruity or malty as some other BSDAs but has a wonderful taste and is easy drinking as the alcohol is well hidden.

03-11-2007 03:48:09 | More by Gmann
Photo of Hammarby


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%

A: Cloudy amber / brown with red / orange tones. Light tan head that at a glance appeares generous and foamy, but with quite large bubbles, which makes it go away quite fast.
S: First: pears. Then: pears and a hint of roasted malts. After a while: alcohol, spoiled apples, red berries.
T: Bitterness, sharp alcohol sting, red berries, dry sherry in the aftertaste. And licorice. And some dried fruits.
M: Medium body, fizzy carboration. A bit too carborated for my taste.
D: Good.

03-09-2007 21:49:51 | More by Hammarby
Photo of exlex


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Look: A rich and very dark chocolate colour with a wonderful creamy head
Smell: The fragrance is of fresh yeast with a light, flowery rosy touch
Taste: The flavour only accentuates the pleasant sensation perceived in the aroma, while revealing a light but pleasant touch of roasted malt.

First tried this wonderful beer when i began working at a Belgian bar. Loved it and from then on became pretty much obsessed with Belgian beers especially the Trappists. Highly recommend getting your hands on a magnum of the blue and laying it down for 5-10 years, worth it if you can wait that long!

03-09-2007 09:58:58 | More by exlex
Photo of vickersspitfire


3.98/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured out into a snifter, some how I remember this ale having a stronger aroma to it, but it is not disappointing, it has a good sweet smell to it that reminds me of smashed grapes and it does have a slight hint of a dry alcohol. It has a very fluffy tan head that’s about two inches tall and doesn’t fade away too quickly, it has some good lacing and its body is a dark amber color that offers you some good eye candy. It has a clean sharp taste that has a sweet bite that to it and is followed up by a slightly dry, dull aftertaste that seems to be lacking some flavor; it just seems flat or stale.

03-07-2007 04:56:02 | More by vickersspitfire
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,222 ratings.