1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,643 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,643
Reviews: 2,166
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 311
Gots: 912 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

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: 6,643 | Reviews: 2,166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lhibbard
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A – First, I must say, that the bottle that it came in is a very attractive one. Definitely a keeper. On to the brew itself, pouring from the bottle it came out in a cloudy dark reddish-brown with a very nice creamy head. The head stayed up and didn't really fizz out at all.

S – A yeasty, bread smell at first, but with undertones of fruit and nuts. There was a very very slight scent of alcohol, but nothing to be turned off about.

T – Again, the first thing that hit me with this brew was that very delicious yeasty flavor. It did have the flavor of fruit, apricots (?), and nutty, almonds, flavors that came through in the smell. The aftertaste was very pleasant and didn't leave a alcoholic taste in my mouth.

MF – Smooth! Very, very velvety with little too no sting of alcohol.

D – This is a beer that I will definitely buy again. It is the type of beer that you could sit down on a nice weekend evening and enjoy the mellowing effects. It is also something that I will for sure recommend to friends.

lhibbard, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of armock
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a very dark brown brown color with a tan head

S - Malt and yeast a touch of alcohol

T - Fruit stands out with some sweet malt slight bit of alcohol

M - Good mouth feel good bit of carbonation but not over whelming

D - This is an easy drinking brew this is going to be a beer that I get to treat myself to on occasion

armock, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of BarryNL
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep plum red, with an attractive lacy white head which never seems to fade. There is a lot of yeast in suspension (though I did pour this on the day I bought it so maybe letting it sit for a while would help).

S: The characteristic earthy Trappist yeasty smell dominates. There is some dark fruit, maybe raisins and dates. Warm alcohol aromas also.

T: Yeasty, and underlying malty sweetness with dark candi sugar in the aftertaste. I almost feel its a slightly sweeter version of Westmalle's dubbel. Some complexities such as raisins and stewed plums. Has the sweetness you'd expect of a beer of this strength but well balanced and certainly not cloying.

M: Many trappist beers tend to lack mouthfeel due to the use of sugar, but this one has plenty. Does start out a bit gassy, but this is a beer to nurse for a while and it does calm down.

D: 9% beers are never going to be session drinks but another would be nice...

Overall, a good, typical trappist dark beer. If you like the trappist style you will like this one. A good example of the appellation.

BarryNL, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of CamuMahubah
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber into the mug...with a splendid tan head...

Sweet resin honeycomb...fruity...wine grapes?...these bees must have gorged on raisins...very fruity...

Tasted almost like a wine!...was not expecting this...earthy...fine yeasts...fiery!...starting to feel the heat...I take a walk without my coat and think of making snow angels even though it's eleven o'clock at night...I resist...afraid of what the neighbors will say...Instead I head back in and imagine drinking this at supper sitting close to the hearth on a cold winter's night in 19th century Belgium...

After that first glass...I was like what's all the hoopla about!?...it wasn't long until I was blown away...this beer has the most holy mouthfeel...just let it sit on your tongue...now every sip spends as much time savored as possible...like being charged by a Holstein bull...this beer's whole life flashes before my eyes...she's built like a tank...yet light on her feet...anotherwords one could feel the alcohol but not taste the ethers...

A fine establishment that one frequents has ordered a case of this giant...will drink again...the storeroom is dark and fairly cool...the owner knows of the lifespan of this beer and is doing her right...Once they've aged a year or two...I will revisit...

Bought two of the 03/07 vintage 75 CL bottles...saving the other one for Christmas...

CamuMahubah, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of beeragent
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay chalice. The beer pours a dark amber/brown, forming a thin white head that fades quickly. Light spots of lace on the glass. The aroma consists of a noticeable alcohol presence, yeast and spices. The taste is a complex mix of yeast, light dark fruit flavors, some spices, a good balance of hops and malts, and a light alcoholic finish. Smooth medium mouthfeel. If it werent for the high abv., this would be a great brew to drink all night. The full flavor and smooth taste make for a highly drinkable Belgian. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer, and not at all dissapointed. Recommended.

beeragent, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of skeetermoses
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit, I am a little baised when it comes to reviewing this beer, it happens to be one of my favs. I had a twelve oz bottle of this today and was pleased as usual. I highly recommend this beer to all my friends and do not skimp when purchasing, I still have a couple of bottles left and do look forward to drinking them. The only problem I have with this beer is the price and that is all

skeetermoses, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of andrewm190
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a huge head, dissipates quickly. Holds a dark amber color.
The beer has a fairly rich flavor, a little spice in the mouth and in the aftertaste. One also gets a hint of some fruit perhaps. Figs? Maybe grapes? Leaves the mouth crisp and tingly.
The mouth feel is crisp, but like the head quickly vanishes, and becomes quite comfortable to the mouth.

Smells of some sort of fruit. The smell matches the taste. Its not overwhelming or very strong. For the price, its an O.K. beer, but its worth picking up if you are looking to live large.

andrewm190, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of irishkyle21
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay Blue is my favorite out of the three. I have a few in my cellar but this one is from this year's gift pack so it is relatively fresh. It starts off with a good sized head that settles a top the brew. Good lacing and a deep brown color.

Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, alcohol, yeast and spices. Everything falls into place wonderfully.

Tastes of sweet fruits with alcohol, spicy and earthy hops, strong malt presence and a warming finish. This is one if the beers that got me into Belgian beers and I am always glad to have it.

irishkyle21, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of hwwty4
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 33 cl bottle into a Chimay Chalice (thanks gift set). The final of the three, I saved the blue because its my favorite color. Stupid reason, I know. Poured a dark mahogany with a nice billowy head, didn’t leave much lacing down the glass though. Smell is of yeast, spices, figs and alcohol. Taste is of figs and raisins but has that nice alcohol burn at the end. It really surprised me. Mouthfeel was full bodied with a slight amount of carbonation. Lingered in the mouth for a while. Drinkability was good. I honestly think I would rather drink a red cap.

hwwty4, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of Minkybut
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yes sir, mighty fine. I poured this big boy into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The poured a nice mohogany color, cloudy with a large tan head comprised of nice fine creamy bubbles. Very pretty. The beer smelled sweet like candy with toffee and dates. Initial hit was kinda strong on the alcohol burn but that calmed down on following hits. A little sweet but a beer i will buy again.

Minkybut, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I popped a bottle of this just for the hell of it. it was dark brown-red with a fluffy, billowy head. It smells like dark fruits and yeasty. Good yeasty fruity flavor reminiscent of the Chimay red. This was good but not my favorite belgian, I prefer tripels.

ArrogantB, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of mentor
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Three finger dead tan head over a cloudy dark grown-redish liquid. Smells sunflower, green raisin, fruity is mild with milder chocolate. Touch of sourish that could be alcohol playing with fruity and malty characters. Phenolic is mild because it's lost in a sea of sweetness. Deep and engaging with just the right amount of alcohol rising up to carry the aromatics. Nice honey-like character I'm enjoying.

Taste doesn't deliver what nose offers. Nice, but not stunning. Honey sweet with olifin waxiness. Drying chocolate rides a woody alcohol driness. Honestly, a touch watery. Nutty. Drying finish with a bit of woody and sun-bleached oak. Sun-baked redwood. Delicate and playrull. Not extreme in any way. Has a canola oil character to the finish that rises retronasal. Alcohol is clean and blended phenomenally well with the malt, dark sweetness. Phenols are thankfully minimal (I hate phenols) and work well with the other dimensions. Interesting transition between the sweet fruity start and dry finish.

Md-light body and fairly carbonated. Quite drinkable, not the ponder-bomb I thought it would be.

mentor, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of ajr24
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A nice hazy and cinnamony (if that's a word) with a nice tan/white head that falls into a white-ish sheet of head.

S- Smells a bit fruity with deeper undertones of cinnamon, a bit earthy, too.

T- Tastes like a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon and earthy fruits, the alcohol is also hidden well... pretty much gone during the exhale.

M- Velvety and spicy, a great combination

D- For the high ABV, I would session this beer on taste alone... Like most belgian beers in my book.

ajr24, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of bosco7
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cL. bottle poured into proper chalice.

Dark brown with a head that seems to last only seconds. I've noticed that this seems to be common with the smaller bottles. Etching in the chalice provides a thin layer of tiny bubbles.

Bread pudding, raisin, fig, some chocolate, pepper, and phenols in the nose.

Starts a little sweet with some prune, fig, and raisin. Toffee and rum flavors become apparent in the middle of the sip. The finish is bone dry with spicy phenolics tickling the palate.

Highly digestable offering. Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth at the same time. I love having this beer during this time of year. Simply a classic and a great starting point for anyone wanting to enter the great world of Belgian ales.

bosco7, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep dark brown with a initially decent amount of head that disappears quickly. Leaves no lacing since there is no head left.

S: Belgian yeasty smell mixed with a strong alcohol aroma. It smelled like it was going to taste fantastic.

T: A very full taste with the alcohol content masked nicely. It has an excellent mix of earthy and fruity type flavors. It has the very slightest of aftertastes which is in fact pleasant unlike many competitors.

M: Feels a little too thin in the mouth to give it an outstanding score here, but it still receives high marks due to a perfect amount of carbonation to tickle the tongue.

D: The excellent aroma and taste makes you want to go back early and often for more of this one. I could really knock these back if my wallet could take it.

This is truly a fantastic beer. I now look forward to trying the others in the line. Hopefully they will be as enjoyable as this one.

GatorBeerNerd, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of ralree
3.4/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Deep caramel with a nice head that dissipates slowly leaving a great 1/4 inch lace.

S: Fruity but smooth - not too sweet or too alcoholic. Alcohol is there, but acceptable given the other flavors. Lots of spices and maltiness.

T: Pretty good, even though I'm not a fan of this style. Very alcoholic and fruity flavor up front with a nice alkaline sub-taste. Some great plum and apple flavors after the swallow. Finishes with a bit of yeast and continuing fruit/sweet/alcohol.

M: Medium-light bodied with pretty good carbonation. A little to carbonated for me. Fairly non-astringent.

D: Still a little too sweet for me - I don't think I will buy again. The red Chimay is much better in my opinion.

ralree, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of jbsteiny
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 bottle, 2006 vintage. Poured a dark red-brown with a nice & dense cream-colored head. Smelled of reconstituted dried, dark fruit (prunes, raisins), brandy, and spicy hops. Tasted like heaven -- chocolate, plum, port, hops. I'm not sure past that -- just deliciousness. A bit too fizzy for me, though -- despite being incredibly drinkable (no idea that it's 9%), the fizz burns my throat a bit. Irregardless, one of the world's classic beers.

jbsteiny, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of GbVDave
2.53/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 150cl bottle into a Chimay chalice. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a cloudy reddish brown, dirty appearance, zero head. Hmmm.

S: Big whack of sickly sweet malt with an off-smelling red wine aroma. This is starting to look not so good.

T: Sweet malty flavors mixed with chocolate and that off putting red wineyness. Slightly sour (not in a good way) and finally a tiny bit of cola.

M: Smooth and rich, the lone bright spot of this beer.

D: Not so much...was this bottle bad? Or is this how it is? We were very, very disappointed with this.

GbVDave, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of Dougal
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You have to give the Catholic Clergy their due...this is an exceptional brew...one that must have been contemplated with deep reserve...the nose is wonderfully light yet very complex soft fruit, herb, malt...the taste is wonderful, there are not many beers you will ever taste that can be said to be very similar to Chimay Grande Reserve...it is very balance with beautiful slight bite of the above smells of fruit, herb and malt...chimay is so sophiscated it is indulged like a glass of wine.

Dougal, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of likestoswallow
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle from Vons. Pours a dark cloudy unfiltered brown with a tan head that disappears somewhat too quickly. Aroma is complex with caramel, cinnamon, root-beer, oranges and yeast. Flavor is nutty with almonds and walnuts in the forefront; anise, oranges, yeast in the middle; and mild hops bringing up the rear. Mouthfeel is full, creamy and smooth. Finish is long and satisfying. An Ale for the Ages.

likestoswallow, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of bunnyhustle
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The end of my Chimay trilogy. Poured from bottle into Chimay chalice. Very thick, off-white head at first but it didnt stick around for long, a thin layer is left behind and no lace. Very deep brown, looks black in low light but more of the rich brown color. Smell is great. Smells of bread, apple, raisin, some yeast, and a little roasted grain (fruit being the dominant smell). Taste is on par with smell. Some fruits, grain, and a touch of alcohol, there is a definite earthy overall taste to it. Moderate carbonation and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel to it, leaves a relatively dry feeling in the mouth. The alcohol is hidden well but be warned, it will sneak up on you.

bunnyhustle, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of dnichols
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I split a 750 ml corked and caged bottle with my friend rdunham at a recent party. Thanks for the treat!!!

A: It poured a dark ruddy brown with a caramel to brown sticky head with tiny abundant bubbles that lingered like whip cream on the top of the brew and supported a nice rich curtain as the experience continued.

S: It had a strong rich aroma of roasted malts and dark grainy bread.

T: It had a complex balance of flavors that together presented a sweet warm profile that reminded me of hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cool fall night. Beyond the malty chocolates there was a distinct presence of dark sweet fruits including figs, raisins, and dates.

M: It is a full bodied brew with a sweet fruity front and nice clean back leaving a warm spicy feel in the mouth and a lingering desire for another sip.

D: It was full bodied with a smooth rich balanced presence and a clean finish. This may be best as an after dinner treat or a night cap. Two or three of the 750s would make a full night of joy for me.

dnichols, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of srandycarter
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip - should have went with the goblet.

A - Murky cola color, nice thick head to start that shrinks within minutes. Very coating, foamy lacing.

S - Sliced apples on top of cotton candy. As it warms, the sweet deeper malt comes through.

T - Wonderful balance of sweet burnt candy and bitter finish.
Elegant, and I don't usually use that word for beer taste.

M - Very carbonated, creamy. Full mouth, not a thin beer. Maybe a little, just a little, too carbonated for my taste.

D - Alcohol pretty well disguised and the taste is not overly taxing on the senses. It would be easy to drink quite a few of these.

srandycarter, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of AlephNull
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep, opaque brown -- like an unfiltered apple cider. Head wasn't too impressive and it dissolves into a light film that stays with the beer.

S- A fruity apple scent covers a sugary malt scent.

T- Again the apples are strong. It's a sweet apple taste. A bit of caramels and just a bit of a spicy taste from the hops. A little bit of alcohol but not enough to burn.

M - Moderate body with a good amount of carbonation.

D - A fine after dinner beer that's great around the holiday season.

AlephNull, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of cswhitehorse
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The blue pours a dark amber with a nice foam head an no lacing. The smell is terrific malt dominated aroma. I smell a little brown sugar and faint orange smell The taste is really smooth and it finishes sweet. Overall one of the best Belgian's I have tried to date. I would recommend this one to anyone.

cswhitehorse, Oct 28, 2007
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,643 ratings.