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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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6,919 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,919
Reviews: 2,216
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 358
Gots: 1,176 | FT: 15
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,919 | Reviews: 2,216
Photo of goldbot
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color with lively, off white head which dissipates quickly. Lots of carbonation but no lacing.

Smells of caramel and chocolate malt, a bit sweet, with dark cherry and raisin fruit notes. Some yeast aroma as well, by way of a coriander spice note. Taste is very smooth with chocolate predominance along with caramel malt. Not too sweet though, rather quite dry throughout. No bitterness at all. Finishes with a dry yeast spiciness, with a slight touch of alcohol.

Medium body with a creamy, almost thick or viscous feel. A solid beer overall. While it lacks a bit in complexity, it has a great balance and smoothness that makes it top-notch.

Photo of Dster
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance Poured reddish brown, lacy white head. Should have had my camera.

Smell Alcohol, sweet, tart, woody

Taste Alcohol, tart, slightly sweet, yeast

Mouthfeel Smooth with clean finish

Drinkablity Tasty but could not get after more than one of these.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Schen9303 for this one. Poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into a Ithaca tulip.

A: Gentle pour (so as to not disturb the yeast) yields a supple, 2.5 finger light cream colored, semi-fine, fluffy head with moderate retention. Beer is a cloudy reddish clay, mahogany. Lacing rises up nicely but dissipates just as quickly.

S: Grape juice, ripe prunes, spicy yeastiness, hint of booze.

T: Opens spicy, ripe purple fruit (grapes, prunes). Middle is slightly tart, boozy, signature Belgian yeast flavor. Hint of cloves. Finish is very clean with a bit of grape flavor almost as an afterthought. Malt character absolutely dominates here as is expected and there's no hop presence to be found.

M: Light to medium bodied, lively, carbonated, watery. Doesn't leave much. Finish is very clean with near no aftertaste. A bit boozy at points but never overly so.

D: A good, solid beer, but completely over-rated. I'd rather have any BSDA from Unibroue. I just don't really see anything special going on here. Complexity is present but its very plain (perhaps because its the original?). Mouthfeel sets a standard though. Very carbonated and watery. Goes down easily but also allows me to enjoy the flavor.

Photo of devilben02
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a stubby little 33 cL bottle, the Grande Réserve pours a cloudy, reddish, cola brown with a thin tan head. The aroma is subtle, with a sweet, yeasty character and an undertone of alcohol. The flavor is both fruity and earthy, with notes of raisins, dried cherries, and other dark dried fruits, and a biting combination of yeast and spice. Highly effervescent like its little brother (Première) and a bit thin in the mouth, but still creamy and smooth nonetheless. At 9% alcohol and with a hint of alcohol in the nose, I was afraid of the booze taking over, but this one is warming without being harsh. Even as it warms, the flavors are amplified but not the alcohol burn. Smooth drinking to the last sediment-filled drop.

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

Appearance - Pours a dark brown/carmel color, shallow but velvety head with light lacing up the glass

Smell - Fruity, raisins, grape, plum, sweet

Taste - Carbonation balances the flavors, tastes very close to how it smells, raisins, plum, sugar, and fig flavors, slight alcohol is present

Mouthfeel - Bubbly on the tongue with a medium-light thickness

Drinkability - A very balanced example of the style, very drinkable and consistent

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

Bottle into a goblet.

Hazy orange brown. A vigorous pour yielded a minimal head with no retention. I was a fair bit disappointed. I've had this before and I know there was lacing then...

Smell is a little jammy - apricot and raisins, a hint of the alcohol. A little clove, some banana esters, and a fair helping of yeast rounds it out.

Slightly sweet, prunes up front. A little bit of sticky sweet raisin, then the full yeast flavors. Well balanced, but not immensely complex. Hints of sugar plum, banana, and allspice, but nothing palate-blowing.

Carbonation is fine, creates a clean beer that is easy to drink. Not my favorite Belgian, or Abbey Ale for that matter..., but a very fine quality one. Enough complexity to warrant aging if you're a fan. Would go well with roasted meats, or a heavy steak and potatoes meal. Or, it's fine to drink on it's own.

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

This is a rock-solid Belgian Ale from Chimay.

Pours a raisin-colored dark brown into a tulip glass. Finger-thick mocha head that remains for some time.

Aromas of plums and raisins, yeast and a generally sweet smell.

Fruity and yeasty tasting, with a preponderance of plums perhaps cherries? Fairly sweet.

Great mouthfeel. Enough carbonation to keep it light, but rich enough to pair well with my meal.

Overall, this is a classic brew and I highly recommend it.

Photo of schanker21
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Brown and very hazy. Essentially opaque. Nice head that retains well.

S- Fruity, yeasty, strong. Very inviting. Makes me want to take a sip.

T- Incredible. I really can't find anything wrong with this. Fruits, especially orange. Great malt backbone. Perfectly balanced. You can't even tell that this one is 9% ABV. Love it.

M/D- What else can I say? This is one of the best beers I've ever had. If I was rich, this would constantly be on my shelf.

Photo of cdpike
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber served in giant wine glass.

Pours a brownish amber with not of ton of foam. Nose is bright citrus (orange), bubblegum and some malty sweetness. Taste is quite complex. The orange and bubblegum esters are right where they ought to be and balance the chewiness very well. The finish is quite dry and surprisingly bitter. This beer has a wonderfully balanced complexity about which I could ponder for quite some time.

Photo of irishking1977
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into my Chimay glass, a red ruby/copper with a moderate light tan head, that with further sipping, left lots of lacing.

S: Belgian yeast, and dark fruits including raisins and possibly cherries. Subtle, yet sweet malt also invades the senses.

T: Haven't had this in quite some time, now I know what I was missing. A truly decadent beer with great complexity and character. Smooth and robust with the taste of dark fruits and candy sugar that also includes the traditional Belgian yeast strain. Moderate malt finish that leaves one wanting another sip.

M: Smooth and rich, with solid carbonation. The pinnacle of a Belgian strong dark ale.

D: An indulgent sipping brew that almost anyone can enjoy. Wine drinkers would appreciate this as much as their vino, while any open minded beer drinker would certainly find something to appreciate with this brew.

Photo of acelin
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11 oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. Bought all 3 available Chimay beers ( Red, Blue, and White) at the local beer store.

Poured a deep chocolate walnut brown with almond fringes and an almond head that disappeared quickly after a vigorous pour. Almost no lacing as you drink this beer - that way you know it's a thick hearty man beer for champions and beer lovers alike.

This beer smells wonderful even as you pour it - scents of dried grapes, figs, chocolate malt, and cherries waft into your nostrils. Such a robust and fervent smell that I can only say smells like beer heaven.

The taste is much the same. As you let it warm even more flavors come out: a certain figgish prunish grapish quality comes through with warm alcohol hitting your tongue on the way down. Truly a warming beer - something I really enjoy.

The mouthfeel was superb. Drinkability is super good for such a hearty, manly beer.

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

330 ml bottle into a chalice.

A- Pours a deep nut brown, almost looks like walnut wood stain, pretty cloudy. Head is an off white about an inch and a half thick, fades in about a minute, no lacing, foam sticks when you tilt the glass.

S- Smells of sweet, dark, dried fruits. Raisins, figs, dates, prunes. I dont pick up on the yeast like their other beers, but there is a slight hint of bread.

T- Not as complex as the smell, sweet and sour all at once, just a hint of alcohol, the sweet dried fruits come through in the finish/aftertaste, with a hint of caramel, bread when it warms.

M- A little thin to support the flavor. Too much carbonation not enough body. Not bad by any means though.

D- Hell yes its drinkable and will only get better with some time on it. The alcohol is well hidden with just a little bit of a bite on the way down.

Its better in the 750ml bottle for sure. This is one beer that should be aged for at least a year before serving.

Photo of nickd717
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Now that this busted onto the Best of BA, figure I have to copy my review over finally.

Pours a cloudy dark brown color with a well-formed, well-retained off-white head and good lacing.

Aroma is amazing. Lots of dark fruits, sweet malt, candi sugar, spices, and Belgian yeast.

Flavor is also awesome. Dark fruits dominate - raisins, dates, figs, and slight vinous notes, as well as some banana. Lots of spices present, almost like an awesome winter warmer. The beer is fairly sweet but not overly so. Caramel malt and candi sugar in there as well, along with Belgian yeast. Really, really complex. This beer also ages incredibly well, so if you get the chance to lay one down for a few years, do it. After a few years, flavor and aroma go up to a 5.0 rating.

Smooth and creamy on the palate with medium-full body and some nice alcoholic warmth without any booziness.

Drinkability is good. Overall this is a really phenomenal beer, maybe the best widely available Belgian out there.

Photo of kmacphail
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a bottle, part of a mixed Trappist Ale case.

The beer pored a brown, cloudy colour with a thick cream coloured head that displayed good retention for a bottled beer.

The nose immediately hit a scent of strong ripe berries, bitter sweet in one. Slight hint of barely but not a very complex scent.

The beer has an initially malty taste, with a slight sweet hit, this becomes slightly bitter with a fruity concoction of citrus and berries. Not too overpowering, very pleasant indeed. The medium - heavy mouthfeel is perfect for this type of beer.

This beer is just about perfect, so why the 3? At 9% there is no way that you could drink this all night, very nice indeed, but not one to finish the case off in the same night. Highly recommended, one of the best Trappist ales I have ever tried.

Photo of minnunderground
4.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz lil bottle
Poured Into goblet at about 45*F
Dark brown amber color
Smell belgian yeast slight spice
Taste starts out sweet and kind of dry then gets into the clovey taste ends on a darker yeast note. With the carbonation doing its thing. Very very smooth after words just the slightest warming sensation in the throat. Wow I just had to had this and was a shame I have not had this before. I am going to be trying the white and red after this.

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

I wanted to try this beer because it is so highly rated! Well it is not the type that i would normally go for but I must say this is a good beer. The fact that I like it and it is not a type I usually like says a lot!

Nice lookiing dark amber with nice head.

Spicy smell.

Wonderful spicy flavor with strong but not overpowering or alcohol taste! This would be a great winter warmer beer!!!

Lots of alcohol but very drinkable with good mouth feel. I like this! And will drink it again on a cold snowy night. WATCH out this is very drinkable but STRONG! Be warned :) What a great beer just perfect for cold nights. MUST BE DRANK AT THE CORRECT TEMPERATURE and the older the better! :) Also drink from the proper glass!

An incredible beer that has become one of my all time favorites. After drinking this (and the other Chimay's) all my other beer reviews seem like straw! This is an incredible beer that blows away everything else I have ever tried.

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

33 cl bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a rich dark brown with 1-inch caramel head. Left the yeasty sediments in the bottle.

S: Semi-sweet scent with raisins and figs. Some yeast and malt as well.

T: Semi-sweet dark chocolate, caramel and raisins. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Complexities abound. Hints to its 9.0% ABV but the alcohol never overpowers the other elements.

M: Full-bodied and smooth.

D: My favorite Chimay out of the three kinds I've tried. Looks good. Smells good. Most importantly, it tastes great. Strong stuff, but it ages well, so I'll save some more for special occasions.

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

.75L 2008 vintage coaxed into a chalice.

A: Pours a rich, dark brown with a strong head that recedes to a thin, but persistent, ring. Hints of lacing.

S: The scents are so complex, really a wonderful beer to entice others with based solely on smell. Sweet malts and yeast dominate here.

M: Full-bodied smoothness with a hint of carbonation.

T: Fruit (specifically bananas) and malt are present from the first sip, but as this beer begins to warm, the taste becomes more complex, with new flavors appearing with every sip. The alcohol is present throughout, but never threatens to overwhelm the taste, despite the high ABV.

D: Absolutely my favorite Belgian, which is why I always keep a few in my cellar.

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

This is my favorite Chimay. Not just because of the higher ABV, but the flavor is more complex and it is still easier to drink.

A - Beautiful thick brown, and dense. As I poured the beer I noticed that the last ounce or two was almost black. It must have settled.

S - Slightly fruity and chocolate.

T - pleasant malts, yeast, and hops. I was expecting some sweetness from the smell, but it is not sweet. It is more like savory. It goes GREAT with your favorite steak dinner.

M - perfect carbonation, and thick

D - Too easy for the high ABV. It can get you into serious trouble... fun trouble.

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

75 cl bottle. 2009 vintage. Aroma of bubblegum, raisins, yeast, and alcohol. Dark caramel color and quite murky. Flavor is slightly sweet with a substantial alcohol bite. Fairly light and champagne-like on the palate. Finishes dry and somewhat bitter. Improves in the glass as it warms and oxidizes. This is a complex one but not as much so as I remembered and expected. I'd like to try it aged a bit longer as the alcohol was too prominent in this bottle. A little disappointing but still quite good.

Photo of thecarster1
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- 11.2oz bottle pouring into my chimay chalice, half finger of head fades quickly to a ring around the glass and spotty lacing - i should have poured harder, but was afraid of a head overflow, deep murky ruby/burgandy coloring, loads of floaties in a variety of sizes - i wonder if - snowflake style - no two floaties are the same?

s- my first sniff immediately brings to mind that pink 'bubblegum' medicine i so loathed as a kid. once i get past that i get deep complex malts, belgian yeast, some alcohol like sweetness that reminds me of whisky, i also get some dryness like doughy, yeasty stale bread. wow, that description sounds awful haha! ohh, the world of belgians..

t- some creamy banana, loads of deep dark fruits - fig, prunes, cooked down mascerated apples, some faint sweet alcoholic esters kick in on the end - alcohol gets much more pronounced as it warms.

m- medium to full in body, very creamy with lots of coating as it goes down. this is more carbonated than i thought it would be.

d- this is my first chimay blue, i wanted to drink this one fresh to compare later with a corked bottle i have in the cellar - if anyone reads this and has an opinion on how long to age this, please feel free to bm me. this wasn't what i expected it to be, but i've found that most belgians aren't, i'm enjoying it very much none the less. i definately prefer drinking it cooler before it warms. this isn't an everyday drinking beer, once in awhile is fine for me.

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

750ml bottle served in its own chalice.

A: Beautiful bottle art and label, first of all. Pours a nice dark amber to brown color. Cloudy and dirty with some particles floating around. Forms a big beige head. Good retention. A thin layer remains for long on the top. Lots of lacing are formed and left

S: Great nose. Sweet, bready and very fruity (raisins, mainly). Notes of wood, toffee, vanilla roasted malts and brown bread. Classic Belgium yeasts. Flowery hops. A bit of alcohol in the end

T: Sweet upfront. Very bready and fruity. Dark fruits, roasted malts, caramel malts. Notes of vanilla and wood. Nice hops profile. Moderate bitterness

M: Heavy, creamy and molasses body. Medium to low carbonation. Bittersweet aftertaste

O: Excellent drinkability. Excellent Trappist specimen. Absolutely recommended

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

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark brown color with reddish hues around the laces. Has a thick white head that dissipates slowly and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Smells strongly of dark fruits and sweet malts. Has that Belgian yeasty smell too.

Taste: Has a strong vinous taste. Starts bitter and vinous and finishes sweet and spicy. Has a noticeable alcohol flavor as well.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and full-bodied with a nice carbonation bite.

Drinkability: Another great beer from Chimay. The Chimay line-up is one of the best in the world of beer. Certainly worth a try and something I will look for in the future.

Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay Goblet. I have to say before I get too far into it that this was my favorite of the three Chimays. I thought the red was going to be the best but this one was. I did not record the date but I'll assume it was a recent vintage.

Beer is brown with an offwhite / yellowish head made up of small bubbles that are collapsing slowly into one another into a medium and larger bubbles. Head has some good retention power, fueled by steady carbonation of small to medium bubbles that rise through the beer. Beer is ultimately hazy and the head leaves lacing on the sides of the glass.

Beer's aroma is sweet and bready. Good yeast character to it. I intentionally served the beer with some of the sediment, it didn't affect the clarity but I like a little yeast with my Belgians. Smells wonderful.

Beer is medium to full bodied. Sweet fruit flavors and some alcohol light up the front of the palate, beer is smooth leaving no aftertaste or anything. Second taste I pick up more yeasty character and a good breadiness. Mouthfeel is amazing, the carbonation is providing good connectivity and drinkability is really high. I absolutely slay this beer before I know it. I'm glad this is one of the more accessible Trappists, its a wonderful beer.

Photo of Boneheadmx
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out to a dark dark dark murky brown with hints of red. Head is tan colored and subsides slowly.

Smell is great! Fruity and slightly floral, with not much in the way of hops. Reminds me a bit of apples and prunes.

The taste was surprisingly fruity, with a rather nice malty finish. Surprisingly easy to drink, and not as malty as I would have thought from the look of the beer. From the taste, this is something that a non-beer-drinker could enjoy, due to it's mildness. I didn't really taste the alcohol as much, but felt it in my belly after a few sips.

Mouthfeel is fairly even and understated for a beer of this type. Not too thick, high carbonation mellows out after the pour.

Drinkability is high with this one. This beer is an example of "don't judge a book by its cover." The huge bottle and impressively dark colors seemed to promise something a bit harder to handle, not as sweet, not as subtle as this, but the smells and taste will surprise you.

Now that I know where they sell this, I will definitely get this again, quite possibly in the near future.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,919 ratings.