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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.

6,518 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,518
Reviews: 2,162
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 295
Gots: 837 | FT: 12
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: 6,518 | Reviews: 2,162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nota
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours mohogany/ dark amber in color. Big foamy head that made me wait awhile before I could finish filling my glass.My first thoughts about the taste was of dates. As I drank on some more I notice this beer was quite earthy with hint of wood. The 8% ABV was not to noticeable.

This was nice for a treat, but the price will always keep as just that.

nota, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of JDK
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice cloudy mahogany color with a 1 finger head
Almost no lacing at all
Very earthy smell with a hint of pepper
Medium mouthfeel with a nice carbonation, very crisp.
Nice malt taste with some spices, yeast and pepper.
Definately worth trying, especially for a special occasion. Would also make a great gift!

JDK, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of Patrick999
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a caged and corked 750 - my first Chimay Blue. In the process of polishing off the whole thing.

A - Poured a cloudy dark amber. Massive head that settled down quickly, no lacing.

S - Raisins and alcohol...but mostly alcohol. That said, not an unpleasant alcohol aroma at all....nice and spicy. As it warms, I get more of the raisin overtones.

T - I know now why this beer is consistently rated highly. I don't have a ton of experience with Belgian Strong Darks, but I can't imagine one being that much better than this. The aforementioned raisins, along with all fruits brown and purple - plums, figs, dates, grapes - seem to make an imprint on the taste buds. Suggested to serve chilled...but I find that as it warms, it's a lot more flavorful.

M - Well carbonated...there's a lot of alcohol in here but it's not overly harsh. I can tell I'm drinking a strong beer, but it's not bothering me in the slightest.

D - Patently drinkable. A pleasure to drink....too easy to devour that 750. I find myself telling myself to slow down!

Patrick999, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of Lambstrong
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this last night from a 355 ml bottle into a large mouth wine glass (my Chimay glass unfortunately broke last week). The head foams up nicely but dissipates rather quickly and therefore little head retention. I tried to place the aroma which was very subtle. The best description I could come up with was a little fusel mixed with some banana. The taste itself was subtle although I definitely notices a caramel flavor which was quite nice and the mouthfeel was velvety which contrasted exceptionally well. I came away with a revelation that this style is not my favorite but I would try it again.

Lambstrong, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of Talisker
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, Chimay Blue is what it is - a magnificently balanced drink, if it's your kind of thing. Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay chalice. Beautiful deep ruby brown, about two fingers of head that dissipates quickly. Lacing a little less than I would have expected.

Aroma is complex, but not overly so. Spice, banana, malt, maybe even some saltiness buried in there. Taste continues the complexity without overwhelming. Many flavors to explore without throwing in the kitchen sink - stays balanced. Gets much more inviting as the beer warms, but to me doesn't quite click with the nose. Overall texture and finish is tannic - much more so than the other Chimays, and to me overly drying, limiting the drinkability.

But there's no doubting the care in the making of this beer. If you like the style, especially if you relish the dryness here, you could drink this forever despite the high alcohol.

Talisker, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep brown with nice ruby highlights when held to the light. half inch of fairly dense head that drops fairly quickly and leaves a nice ring of lace around the glass.

aroma is great. nice and fruity. cherry and raspberry. bit of alcohol. bit of spice. hint of toffee and caramel.

taste is good. moderate bitterness. caramel and toffee sweetness. a little bittersweet chocolate. bit of dark fruit. anise. bready malt. just a hint of roast.

mouthfeel is good. fairly high carbonation. medium body.

drinkability is good. well balanced and very enjoyable. gets even better as it warms. would like to try this one with a few years of aging.

grub, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of rattech
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: a rich brown tone, the head quickly dissipates: I wish the head was a bit bigger, but it looks delicious 4/5

Smell: Sweet, I can smell a ester quality (a hint of banana is in there) . While it smells quite good I’m not sure how much I like the banana quality.

Taste: There is an alcoholic character in this beer, and a touch of spiciness and esters. It is good, but I think it is a bit sharp.

Mouthfeel: Thinner then I would have expected with a nice touch of carbonation.

Drinkability: the 9% alcohol is going to make it hard to drink a ton of this. The alcoholic character of this beer is there, finishing the 750 mL bottle will be doable, but I’m not sure where it will put me. I would probably buy it again to try with food.

rattech, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of BrewMonkey
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Smell of yeast while pouring, light maltiness. Light subtle grassy/hay smell, alcohol is well hidden. No overpowering individual aromas. Oddly, aroma reminds me of a macro lager like Rolling Rock, but the similarity stops there.
Ap- Popped with quite a hiss, lighter than expected. Cloudy orange/amber. Decent head, very small bubbles, decent retention.
Fl- Smooth light maltiness, really nice bitter side that finishes super clean. Subtle spice of clove/sage lingers on the palate. Citrusy hop in the background somewhere. Very tasty, complex, but well balanced.
M- Nicely carbonated being bottle conditioned, very bubble, medium body.
Overall - Just a pleasure to consume. Very well balanced malt/bitter, finished super clean with a nice residual citrus hop and light malt on the palate. Dangerous from an ABV standpoint given that the alcohol is perfectly hidden. Could probably drink way to many of these given the chance.

BrewMonkey, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of Stephen63
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful dark beer with light foamy head.

S - Mainly sweet

T - Rich full flavour, warming alcohol though hidden and comes through in the finish.

M - Light carbonation and flows easily. Feels fantastic.

D - Deceptively drinkable.

One of the worlds great beers. Although I would rate some of the other trappists higher this is one hell of a beer. Thankfully getting a more common sight in some of the better bars in the UK.

Apparently has lost some of its character in recent years, if so it must really have been something in the past. Perhaps a tasting of a recent and aged beer in the Kulminator in Antwerp would be a good test...

Stephen63, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay pours with a vast amount of carbonation and produces a lovely light tan cranium. Head retention is about the best I've ever seen in any brew I've ever had. It sticks around forever! The body is dark caramel and is slightly hazy.

This gives off aromas of toffee and sweet rolls. Perhaps there is a little touch of a dough pretzel aroma here too.

This tastes a bit different too. Very bready and doughy. There are slight hints of toffee.

This feels a bit powdery at first and finishes warm.

TheSarge, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep chestnut brown with a huge head. Slowly faded but never completely leaving a nice lace. Smell was very spicy, nutmeg, cinnamon, fruiteness predominated. Very light smell. The taste was very lively, dancing around in your mouth. Figs, prunes, fruitness predominated the flavor, slight alcohol finish. Big carbonation on this one. This was a long time coming for me, and well worth the wait, loved every second of it and highly recommend.

mikesgroove, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of veech
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an absolutely outstanding beer that I plan on enjoying for many years to come. This is one the first Trappist beers that has been available for several years in East TN. I finally got around to trying it, and it was more than worth the wait. Served in a Chimay goblet from an 11.2 oz bottle.
The appearance, smell, and taste are almost too complex to describe. There are mutitudes of flavor and aromas that will probably vary from year to year as far as the dominant flavors. The head retention was perfect like the other Chimay's I sampled. The drinkability is excellent, but self restraint must be exercised due to the 9% kick. I give this beer my highest recommedation.

veech, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of beveritt
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 750ml brown bottle into a Duvel goblet. The classic Belgian beer bottle with a blue Chimay label. Chimay has painted their symbol around the neck of the bottle, nice touch.

Appearance: Pours with a thick 2 inch light tan head. Settles very slowly into 1/4 inch of foam. Minimal lacing. Beer itself is a brilliant dark ruby color, beautiful.

Smell: Syrupy sweetness with dark undertones of molasses and raisins. Slightly sour/tangy and slightly metallic.

Taste: Dark, thick flavors assault the tongue. Sugary sweetness without being cloying. Brown sugar, plums, and molasses. Very slight bitterness at the end, but you almost have to force yourself to taste it. Tremendously complex.

Mouthfeel: Less than average carbonation. Great body.

Drinkability: I love this beer. I love the whole Chimay series. One of my first Belgians, many years ago and a classic example.

beveritt, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of Shovelbum
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thin tan head over a medium mahogany body. The head breaks to a ring that regroups around the edge of the glass. Aromas of berries mingle with light caramel—fairly subdued per style. Crisp carbonation inaugurates the first sip. Behind it is a toasty biscuit character, a touch of caramel and some mild earthy and citric hop notes. Earthy Belgian yeast notes throughout, a tad spicy at times. Medium body. Fairly smooth once the carbonation dissipates…

A bit abrasive at first due to the zealous carbonation, however as it calms down it reaches a fine state of balance and the full flavor complexity comes through—rather than just carbonation. I did not perceive much sweetness in here, with the biscuit taking the lead much to my approval. A great beer—a bit pricey, but knowing that the proceeds go to charity and other monkish activities helps lessen the blow, along with the great ale of course!

Shovelbum, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of urokosaki
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cherry wood color with a white layer of foam. The head disappears leaving a ring around the glass.

The aroma is raisiny with a little fruitiness yet very soft.

The taste is biting with a lingering flavor of dark fruit and dark grains. More so that of the dark grains. This is followed by a very sublte pepper note which could be played by hop bitterness. The flavor is slightly woody. A little sweet but balanced against the flavors and bite. The aftermath is warming.

The mouthfeel is initially soft and foamy then slick.

Definately not a session beer. I would easily have a few glasses of this however.

urokosaki, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of rec
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Chimay pours exceptionally well. A tanned creamy head laces and lasts well into the drink. Upon first scent, alcohol and florals come through the strongest.

The aforementioned creamy head and modest carbonation adds to the remarkably soft mouthfeel which stands out as one of the best.

Strong malts come through and a destinctive taste of raisin are the first things I noticed, but its complexity continued to astound me with hints of chocolate and a range of delightful fruits. The aftertaste is spicy, sweet and warm.

There is a very mild alcohol harshness after warmth, but given the ABV this is expected. You could probably drink this all night, delighted with the flavour, but in reality it's definately a sipper and not a session beer.

Easily the best in the Chimay range, as widely accepted, and rightly so. A premium Belgian export, if ever there were one.

rec, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of theformula
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep mahogany, nearly opaque body. The tan head fomaed up madly into a billowing, huge and attractive brew. A looker for sure.

S: Initial scent at about 45 deg. is fruity w/ esters. Plums, rasins and light phenolic/medicinal scent. Those super complex, dark malts dominate. A noticeable but balanced scent of alcahol.

M: Velvety soft, and luscious mouthfeel. Feels like a coating of whipped cream on the tongue. A modest dose of carbonation is refreshing.

T: While straight-laced at around 40-45 deg. or so with high malts and dark fruit, this beauty opens up once it warms up a bit like a dame should. It is so malty sweet, like maple syrup sweet, with a tasty yeast layer that lingers. This is followed by a little chocolate, alcaholic spiciness, with a little diacetyl as well (butterscotch? Rasberry?) and caramel. Raisins and plums of course are the first notes to mention, but this is a complex, big ale. Not much hop presence obviously, just in the finish slightly. Such a great brew...

A: Incredible. A night-sipper, and it's amazing how subtle it is for a 9% ale. This is one of the best Belgians IMO, and is a gift from the heavens. This alone would justify a flight to Belgium.

theformula, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of RoundelMike
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chimay Grande Reserve is a beautiful beer. The deep brown and fluffy head is a great example of the style. You absolutely must drink this one with the proper glassware to get the intended effect.

Everything about this beer is good. Smell, taste, creamy mouthfeel...it's all there. My gripe is that this beer is just a tad too conservative and subdued to really work for me. The smell is good but muted. The taste is interesting but lacks pop. I find La Terrible (powerful hops) or Rochefort Trappistes 8 (more complex, bold taste) to be better beers. Understand, I would never turn this beer down if it was offered. It's really good. It's just not what I'm personally looking for in a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

RoundelMike, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of henrysunset
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark but relatively clear, with some sediment floatign around and a tall head of tan foam.

scent is very aromatic, sweet, floral and spices, nutmeg perhaps. Pleasent, but worryingly sweet.

The beer is sweet, but thankfully the sweetness is very enjoyably rounded out by a rich malty flavor and mellow aftertaste. a little bitterness hits the tongue at first, and fades away as the sweetness slides in. really nice, and very smooth. 9.0% has never been this easy.

henrysunset, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of Bobikel
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a cloudy brown with a medium head. Retention is average, Lacing is good.

Smell - Prunes and currants, a little peppery, no hops, a little malt. Smells inviting.

Taste - Above mentioned flavored with a smooth malt sweetness which subsides into a nice hop bitterness which neither lingers to long, or not long enough. Also a little pear at the front of the mouth. Alchohol while present (at 9%) is nicly subdued, and kept in check. Very good.

Mouthfeel - Light and bubbly on the tongue, with a creamyness filling up the mouth with every sip. Delightfull!

Drinkability - The only thing to keep this one away from a "sessionable" ale, is the ABV. Very strong - Very Delicious.

Bobikel, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of dstc
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown/red cloudy color with full tan head that never seemed to fully disappear. Little or no lacing on glass.

S: Fruit, alcohol and earthiness.

T: Fantastic. Nice strong flavor with a hint of fruit and noticeable alcohol.

M: Bubbly and smooth with the alcohol coming out.

D: Very drinkable. I love this beer. I know it's a little mainstream and I can even find it at my local Heath Food store but I still love it. Simple as that.

dstc, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of NolateM
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle that must've been shaken up a bit. Damn near impossible to open with all the foam trying to shoot out of the top (I know... it's Belgian, but come on)! Opaque muddy mahogany color, with an off-white head that turned into a pretty decent ring. Very attractive lacing.

Smells like dried fruit and alcohol.

Tastes like... well, dried fruit and alcohol. And yeast (no shit, Sherlock). A little bit phenolic. I can see how other people compared it to Unibroue beers, there's something similar to Maudite going on in it... but I think I might like Maudite better. There's a SLIGHT growing caramelly sweetness as it warms, which is pleasant.

Mouthfeel... tingly, bubbly, super-carbonation. Kinda dry.

I don't think I'd want more than one of these (not that I'd turn down a free one). I pretty much just tried it because I was like "You know, it's weird that I've never tried Chimay." Now I have, and well... whatever. It's indeed very good, but not worth its hype, and CERTAINLY not worth its price. If you haven't tried it, try it just so you can say you have.

NolateM, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of malcontent
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark chestnut color, nearly opaque with a head so outstanding that it taunts you, taunts you I say!

A little barnyard in the nose, slightly boozy with good dark grain scents. Earthy and complex.

Same semi-saison mustiness, great woody characteristics with some muted sour fruit/wine like properties.

Same beautiful mouthfeel as the Red, nice alcohol feel (something I enjoy when under control, especially when it is 15 degrees outside in Chicago).

An exceptionally drinkable beer for the style and for the ABV. Still, I find several of the Unibroue offerings to be more drinkable although not necessarily better overall.

malcontent, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of goschool
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first "good" beer. I had my first glass at Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. and I drank it like it was going out of style for the next few months. This is my first bottle in about 18 months.

Appearance: The pour is dark mahogany with red highlights and a frothy tan head that soon fades to a ring of lace and a blotch in the middle.

Smell: The nose has dark fruits, light phenolic fruits, sweet malts, and a small amount of hops.

Taste: The flavor profile starts out with semi-sour dark fruit, phenols bring lighter fruit to the middle to go along with a hint of anise, followed up by a spicy, yeasty finish with a touch of warming alcohol. The taste has that musty Unibroue character (I know Unibroue is considerably newer than Chimay, but they do the musty flavor as good as anybody).

Mouthfeel: The body is on the lighter end of the medium spectrum. It has good carbonation and warming alcohol.

Drinkability: It's still a good brew, but it doesn't wow me the way it once did. This one doesn't deserve the anti-Chimay sentiment that's prevalent among BAs (Red and White probably do). It's nice to revisit an old friend.

goschool, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of jeffaz02t
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Big foam, not quite as creamy as Orval, but def. worth a mention. After a bit, the foam does go down. It pours a redish dark brown.

S: Yeast, slightly fruity, not very fruity but just a hint.

T: Very yeasty, hints of rich fruit, ends on a sweet note with a HINT of bitter. Just a hint.

M: Med CO2 level, med. bodied and goes down oh so easily.

D: I am glad I got a lot of this stuff from my recent trip to Belgium. I will need to go back soon and get more. This is something I would always have in the 'fridge if I lived in Belgium.

jeffaz02t, Jan 16, 2007
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,518 ratings.