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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.

6,259 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,259
Reviews: 2,144
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 271
Gots: 713 | 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
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Ratings: 6,259 | Reviews: 2,144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Rich ruby brown color and light brown lace around the glass. The aroma is filled with grape like fruits and sweet maltiness. A full body with a syrupy mouthfeel. Sweet and roasted malts. Nutty fruit flavors roll around the tounge. Slightly dry and bitter finnish. Truely a work of art. Finer than any wine in my book!

09-21-2005 04:06:16 | More by Luigi
Photo of GolgiIPAratus


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Sampled: 9.10.05

The appearance of this ale displayed a decent head of tan foam sitting on a dark apple cider liquid. Little to no lacing as the head was big bubbled goodness; not sticky.

The smell held funky malts. A twang of the suitable Belgian aroma yielded a light presence of barley malt. Deeper whiffs uncovered a sense of baked banana bread.

Flavor was malty and nutty, with more of the suitable Belgian funk. This brew was rich in taste and feel. A light bitterness in the finish created incredible balance for the never overwhelming sweetness. For it’s dark presence, it was remarkably light in the mouth, carbed perfectly.

This brew is smooooth; EASY to drink, but it should be respected and savored. It’s highly worth it.

09-19-2005 19:00:35 | More by GolgiIPAratus
Photo of kgotcher


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

I had been hanging on to this one for a couple months. It is my first Trappist. Poured from a large corked bottle, Cork says 03/05. I love corked beers, it adds a little style.

Color is a very dark amber, head is creamy with nice light lacings.

Smell is powerful, malty, spicy, fruity. Very complex.

Mouthfeel has very good medium body, creamy with noticably carbonation.

Taste is complicated but very smooth. Fruit and spice balance each other nicely, achohol is noticable but not overpowering. Fruit is more on the Estery side. Rarely does a beer overwhelm my tounge the way this beer does. It hits every part, sweet, salt, bitter, sour, but in a way that does not overpower any part.

Overall this is a serious beer. Powerful, potent, tasty, but balanced. I look forward to trying more Trappist style beers soon.

09-16-2005 03:24:32 | More by kgotcher
Photo of Dithyramb


4.6/5  rDev +7%

I've neglected Chimay for quite a while, basically since I noticed that I could rather enjoy Ommegang for only $5). I was in the mood for something special last night, after wandering into Chesapeake Fine Wine in the mood for antipasti and pizza. Poured heavily into a thick Chimay chalice, you get a beautiful dark reddish brown brew with a fluffy off-white head. Could have used a bit better retention or lacing, but that could have been the glass. Delicious malty aroma that was both fruity and nutty. Creamy, malty, delicious fruits, nuts and berries dance around with a perfect combonation of carbonation. Highly drinkable, the 750 didn't stand a chance. The only thing holding it back is the price here in the states...

09-15-2005 13:49:48 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of cracgor


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Appearance: Dark cherry red with a light tan rocky head. Tons of carbonation. Good retention.

Smell: A burnt fruity smell. Estery with bananas, cherry, apple, and a sour note.

Taste: Very sweet up front. The fruity smells do not translate to the taste, but it is an excellent balance of a roasted malt and a less complex ester flavor than the smell would hint at.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Not alcoholic in the mouth at all, but definitely feel warmth in my stomach. Quite a smooth feel to it.

Drinkability: I love beer like this. Can sit around drinking it and thinking or have it with a nice meal. Very versatile, but I wouldn't go around getting hammered off this stuff.

09-12-2005 16:20:42 | More by cracgor
Photo of fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev 0%

Dark brown in color with an off white head. A delicate and complex brew. Smells of mint, a just-opened box of wooden matches, spices, and yeast. Intricate flavors of yeast, subtle berry fruits, caramel, and toasted oak. Full mouthfeel with a fair bit of carbonation. Quite important to drink this one at a slightly warm temperature to get all of the aromatic and flavor nuances. WOW!

09-09-2005 20:44:40 | More by fisherman34
Photo of thesilverhand

British Columbia (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Sits beautifully in the Chimay chalice. Deep, deep, hazy chestnut brown. What little light escapes at the bottom of the glass reveals nice red tones. It is capped by a massive dome, peaking well above the rim of the glass, of creamy, foamy, yellowed beige foam. It's the colour of old paper, and leaves a nice lace as I drink.

My nose brings images of dark, sweet fruit - raisins. The alcohol is also much more obvious than I expected.

Deep malty complexity - sweet, again with the raisins. It's a bit vinous. I get a sense of grape skins. Coupled with the alcohol, the finish is dry, much like a dry red wine. There is a light spiciness that sets this treat apart, though. Can't quite place it.

For the depth of colour and flavour, this sits quite lightly on the palate; I suspect this is thanks to the active carbonation which provides the long-lasting head of foam. Very enjoyable.

While it is largely a matter of personal taste, this is by far my favourity Chimay...this is a beer I will happily and heartily recommend.

09-07-2005 10:08:27 | More by thesilverhand
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours a very dark mahogany color with slight ruby highlights and a nice, frothy tan head that retains very well. Aroma is a nice blend of fruits; i detect apple, pear, fig and plum as well as candy sugar, and light hints of chocolate, phenols and herbal hops. Flavor is very complex and the profile changes as it warms; first you get a big fruit flavor with hints of apple, pear, fig and plum as well as slight hints of chocolate and a nice candy sugar sweetness, then there are some phenolic flavors and a lightly bitter hop flavor (grassy, hop tea and mineraly) that dries out the brew for the finish and balances quite well. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium to heavy body and a moderate carbonation that increases drinkability. A very nice brew, complex and delicious...another winner from Chimay.

09-01-2005 01:22:14 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of murrayswine


4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

This is courtesy of Biglove, thanks buddy for the trade.

This beer poors a dark mahogany with a suttle crimson edge. The head was nice and thisk with good lacing that lasted the duration of the tasting, and being that this was a 750, thats pretty damn good.
The smell is heavy with cherry/chocalate, coffee, hazelnut, and alcohol.
On tasting, the sweetness of this nectar honed in with sharp esters of chocalate, plums, coriander, orange zest and butter. The body cleans up with the subdued alcohol taste.
The mouthfeel is a dream with subtle carbonation that stays in line with the creaminess.
All in all this is a superb drink that I would never think twice about enjoying again.

08-30-2005 04:51:15 | More by murrayswine
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%

My first high % beer, thanks to our newly popped cap in NC.
A: A beautiful amber, burnt umber color. Poured a nice head that faded to a lasting slight head. Glass was nicely laced.
S: Had a wonderful complex aroma. I could smell mixed fruits and a sweetness.
T: Taste was very complex and changed as the beer warmed. Very bitter and hoppy, yet fruity and sweet at times. First beer that I could actually taste the alcohol. Best if slightly chilled.
D: Not a beer you could drink a lot of or drink often. Can't imagine drinking it with a meal b/c of the complexity of it's taste. But certainly a beer worth recommending and trying. This is a beer to sip and savor.
Notes: I felt like I was a young teenager again drinking a beer for the first time. I don't think my palate or taste is aquired enough to fully enjoy this beer yet. But thanks to a newly popped cap it soon will be.

08-28-2005 15:36:34 | More by wcudwight
Photo of Caesar1pup


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

What can I say that has not already been said. Excellent! Outstanding! Bravo!

Thank you to our legislators here in NC for popping the cap and allowing us the opportunity to enjoy beer greater than 6% abv!

Color, flavor, aroma, and drinkability were all great! The depth and complexity were amazing and at one point I wondered what my life might be like as a monk in Belgium.

Overall: This is one to have every once in a while especially since it’s $4 for a small bottle here. Something to enjoy on special occasions or when you really want to treat yourself to one of the best. You deserve the best so go ahead and enjoy!

08-27-2005 20:45:15 | More by Caesar1pup
Photo of fingolfin72

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

I purchased this bottle shortly after the Cap was Popped. Finally, I can directly enjoy the labors of legislators.

Color: Oiled Mahogany wood, with a palomino head. The head subsided, but never departed entirely.

Nose: Brown sugar, molasses, a freshly opened bag of marshmallows, hints of banana and cedar.

Palate: Big and sugary, balanced with spicy notes. Tones of cocoa and banana with just a bit of a mineral backbone. A subtle, Campari-esque bitter tinge at the end of the lengthy finish.

Those Trappists. How do they do it?

08-27-2005 01:01:51 | More by fingolfin72
Photo of Fish113d


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

Presentation: A chilled bottle served into a snifter.

Pouring a mahogany color with ruby highlights, it leaves a 1/4" tan bubbly head; decent head retention as well. Leaves a nice edge layer with nice lacing. Very little light gets through my glass as I attempt to look through it.

Dark malts on the nose with a bit of fruit (grapes possibly) and a bit of oak. Nothing fancy; not what I expected.

Sipping, I get a sweet caramel flavor with grapes and even some oak wood flavors mainly throughout. Maybe a rasberry chocolate flavor?

Sharp carbonation, I expected it to be a bit softer on the palete, along with a bit of alcohol drying on the finish. Not too shabby, but I did expect a bit less carb.

Overall, a nice tasting full bodied brew, that only has one knock- the amount of carbonation that killed my palete.

08-25-2005 00:50:38 | More by Fish113d
Photo of sopor


4.13/5  rDev -4%

Coppery Brown brew that seemd to light from mahogany brown when poured. Tan creamy head dies down to a thin film that will regrow to a thin head at the slightest agitation.

I can smell this as soon as I begin pouring. A smell like ripe fruit.

A slight roasted malt flaovr with strong fruity sweetness and and a very slight sourness. As it warms the beer got drier and fruityier, with less sweetness.

Very smooth with lively carbonation and moderate body.

For as dark and strong, this is a very drinkable brew!

08-24-2005 13:57:42 | More by sopor
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

Appearance: Deep mahogany color that is a tad cloudy. The beer pours with about an inch of off white foam that looks like it is going to stick around. The beer is so dark that you can't really tell if there are any bubbles rising. You would assume that there are because the head lasts so long.

Aroma: Perhaps my senses aren't in the best shape right now, but the aroma is really mild to me. I get a bit of toasty aromas along with a tad of raisin or plum, and that is about it.

Taste: I am probably going to have to edit my review and give this beer another shot with a fresher palate. Right now I get a resiny /syrupy impression that is made much lighter by the adequate carbonation. There isn't one flavor that is noticeable above the rest, so that is what makes a world-class beer...right?

Opinion: I am a bit shocked that my palate is so blasted. I have been drinking Saisons tonight, so this beer is really smooth and clean in comparison. I have drank this beer on many occasions, and I'll plan to score it according to how I know it to be. I'll be back soon, and I'll plan to make this beer my first of the evening.

08-24-2005 02:57:46 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of SSGPat

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +12.3%

A friend of mine at work was going to Virginia to get this beautiful liquid. I didn't understand.

We poured a 750 last night. It was shared with 4 people.

Quite a lovely head... it just seemed to stay forever (well, for as long as we could keep liquid in the glass).

It had a beautiful nose. I couldn't quite break it down to individual fruits, but it was fruity.

The taste kept changing... it hit you when you first taste, then returned different flavors until the long aftertaste.

It's mouthfeel was very BIG.

I don't believe that I could drink this all night, but I'd like to try. I well made beer by all respects, just with the ABV, I'd be finished before it was through slapping me around.

Thanks to "Pop the Cap" for making this legal in NC!

08-21-2005 21:44:55 | More by SSGPat
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%

Dark mahogany brown in color with a beautiful 3 finger head the color of oatmeal.

Aromas are rich and fruity, featuring plum, berries, cherry, molasses, powdered cocoa, sweet malts, and even some tropical fruit.

Flavor is similar. Lots of dark, ripe fruit, plum, rasberry, figs, raisin, light cocoa, leather, molasses, and assertive floral hops rounding it out. No trace of the 9% ABV.

Body is medium, slick, smooth, and creamy textured. I polish off the whole 750 with ease. Love those Monks!

08-20-2005 14:39:06 | More by AlexJ
Photo of danielharper


4.43/5  rDev +3%

Purchased from Woody's Smokes and Brews, Franklin, TN.

This one pours a nice dark brown color with purple and dark reddish overtones. It has a thick off-white (almost brown) head that dissipates over time into a fine white foamy lacing on the top of the glass.

The scent reminds me more of a dopplebock than a Belgian -- kind of malty, roasty, mildly-hopped aroma with just a hint of alcohol. I find myself drawn into the beer because the aroma is so unexpected.

So strange is the disconnect between aroma and flavor here -- it seems like the beer alternates between tasting like a dark Belgian and some sort of heavy bock beer. At first it has a bitter flavor with the malty elements mentioned earlier, then it moves on into a sweetier, much fruitier and balanced flavor, and upon swallowing it moves back the other way, leaving a bitter aftertaste. Very strange and intruiging behavior for a beer, and the complexity leaves me wanting more.

Mouthfeel is good, moderately thick with low carbonation. Swishes around the mouth nicely but doesn't coat like some other beers. Quite enjoyable.

Overall drinkability is fairly high -- for a beer that's this high in alcohol, it goes down smooth and does not give me anything of an unpleasant aftertaste. At $5.00 a bottle, this beer isn't something I can afford every day, but it's almost one that I _wish_ I could afford every day.

08-16-2005 02:01:43 | More by danielharper
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea brown color with a spumy khaki head that sheets the chalice with lacing

Smell: Raisiny, bready, a bit of spun candy, gingerbread and tobacco and some fusel alcohol

Taste: Starts with a blast of dry oaky tobacco and then the sweet delicate candied malt kicks in for a while; a bit fruity at first with a green apple aspect, like a caramel apple; after the swallow, the green, caramel apple flavor continues but there is also an underlying earthy and roasty bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a typically lively dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice, but I've enjoyed other Belgians more

08-15-2005 02:18:20 | More by brentk56
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


3.78/5  rDev -12.1%

From the 750ml bottle

Pours an opaque nut brown with a thin creamy tan head. Sheets of lace. Smells of caramel, molasses. Fruity plum aromas. Earthy, bready, grainy.

Tastes has lots of oakiness. Hints of vanilla. Molasses. Rich malt. Bready. Bitter finish. Rich in the mouth. A decent sipper but somehow it doesn't all come together. Aroma is magnificent but taste can't live up to it. I have to say I like the White and the Red better.

08-12-2005 01:05:11 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of klewis


4/5  rDev -7%

11.2 oz bottle

A: A hazy dark brown in color with a three-finger head. Fine sediment at the bottom of the glass. Lots of lacing.

S: Dark fruits, vanilla, and alcohol in the nose. No bready or yeasty aromas typical of most Belgians.

T: This beer has a very nice sweetness. Flavors of banana, pepper, and other spices. Very warm alcoholic taste in the finish.

M: Chewy and sticky, it coats your mouth nicely, allowing the flavors to linger. The carbonation is a little lively for my tastes, and the body seems a touch on the light side for a beer of it's ABV.

D: Overall, this is a beer of very high quality. It's not my favorite Belgian, but I anticipate drinking this one again.

08-11-2005 01:04:41 | More by klewis
Photo of Beastdog75

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

Chimay Grand Réserve is supposedly the "crown jewel" of the Chimay line. I did enjoy this beer, but I thought there were many similarities to Chimay Red and it wasn't quite as complex as I thought it would be.

Chimay Bleu pours a dark murky brown color with two fingers of tan foam that last for about 5 minutes. Very appetizing appearance. The smell consisted of some "dry fruitiness," yeastiness, and some spice-like qualities as well (reminded me of cinnamon a little bit). Overall, a pleasing semi-sweet aroma. The mouthfeel was smooth on the palette and had some light carbonation. The taste itself was somewhat sweet, as the maltiness had a "dark fruitiness" to it. The spice-like flavors carry over too, and some light alcohol flavors appeared as well. Seeing how this was bottle-conditioned, it has a distinct yeastiness here too (very Belgian tasting). The overall flavor profile reminded me of the Rood, but this is a bit more flavorful and a bit dryer too. The fruity aftertaste lingers on for awhile as well as the dryness, and it finishes up with a good alcoholic warmth.

This was a smooth, flavorful beer, but I did expect a little more out of it. Perhaps a sampling of an aged bottle is in line for me...

07-26-2005 03:57:23 | More by Beastdog75
Photo of palliko


3.03/5  rDev -29.5%

Appearance is dark auburn with a foamy head and some lacing. Aroma has yeast, fruit, brown sugar. Initial taste is full of yeast, currants, ethanol and brown sugar. Foam is minimal with not much lacing. Body is thin, carbonation medium. Initial taste has notes of malt, yeast, plums, but little hops. Fruits increase as the temperature warms the beer. Finishes dry but with a peculiar aftertaste.

07-19-2005 20:44:35 | More by palliko
Photo of BEERchitect


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%

Any opportunity to enjoy a chalice of Grand Reserve is a special moment for any beer drinker. I don't take these lightly as it as regal and reverent as any in the history of the world.

Dacanting the beer, a dance of growing effervescence and rich barley-soaked elixir separate with a dark ruby liquid that settles underneath a blanket of creamy and lightened tarnish foam. Retention and lacing are utmost prominent as both are displayed as well as in any beer consumed. Hazed with a vale of yeast, the beer is nearly as mysterious as it is handsome.

A world of aromas are displayed as each visit of the nose to the glass reveals wave after wave of aromas that include dried fruits, peppercorn, vinous grape, candied malts, alcohol zing, and thirst whetting acidity. Every swirl of the glass gives new impressions of aroma time after time.

Strong and sweet, the power of the beer is firm and proud while boasting a candy-coated taste of fruitcake, ripe berries, pitted fruits of dates and raisins, red wine must, red grapes, tart apples, and a plethora of candy-sweet fruit that go on and on. Balanced by the most simple hop additions but more so by the yeast-derived spices of freshly cracked peppercorn, white pepper, cinnamon, and a hint of hazelnut give the beer companion to its fruitiness and a reprieve from the candied sweetness.

Tremendously robust as the culmination of rich malt and explosive carbonation engulf the mouth with a sensation of alcohol warmth, powdered sugar, and hoppy/peppery zeal. As the beer seemingly dissolves before finish, it seems that the beer whimsically disappears on the palate for a fulfilled sip that ends in uninterrupted dryness yet full vinous flavor in aftertaste.

A special tasting of a well aged 16-year old versions (1996 vintage enjoyed in April '12) at the cellars of the Chimay monistary reveals less hop bitterness, less peppery bite, but heightened sherry-like vinous quality that melds together wonderfully with a smooth powdery finish and surprisingly creamy yet low-lying carbonation. This beer ages beautifully under the right circumstances!

07-06-2005 01:41:17 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of ericsdawson


4.65/5  rDev +8.1%

this wonderful brew pours into the goblet dark opaque with hints of amber color. beautiful thick off-white head tops this delight. some lacing and amazing head retention. smells fairly mild, mostly sweet and bready. tastes fruity up front, hint of bananas. it finishes with a slight bitterness and mild burn of alcohol. this delicious treat was quite rich and smooth, only complaint would be a little over carbonated. if i had any money, this beer would be a weekly event.

07-04-2005 18:03:51 | More by ericsdawson
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,259 ratings.