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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,350 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,350
Reviews: 2,151
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 280
Gots: 760 | FT: 11
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: 6,350 | Reviews: 2,151 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Amar
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%

A friend and I split a tall bottle (750 ml) at a wonderful Belgian Beer Garden called Vol de Nuit in the West Village of Manhattan. (We paid $21)

Since the place was very dimly lit, I couldn't quite identify the colors but it appeared cloudy, dark and had a good head.

The aroma was distinctly yeasty with subtle hints of berries and other fruits that I couldn't fully recognize.

We were very excited to try this for the first time but once we sipped on this (very expensive) ale, it just fell short of all the hoopla. I am not saying it is not a good beer, it is actually quite refined in texture (crisp, medium body) and balancing of the high alcohol level but just lacked a full or deep flavor. Or, perhpas I should just say that it was a little too subtle for a Friday night at the bar. I suspect the mild sweetness and spiciness will pair well with rich and/or spicy food. I will give this ale another shot with some food this time and see if can identify any hidden flavors that just didn't come out last night.

Amar, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of Chadbrew
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Served right from the cellar into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance - Murky brown with a bunch of particulates. A big fluffy head and the carbonation keeps a good 1/4 inch of head throughout the drink.
Aroma - sweet and very yeasty.
Taste - Big and bready with a spicy yeast flavor. There is a nice clove and banana thing going on.
Mouthfeel - somewhere in the vicinity of excellent.
Drinkability - This is alot more drinkable than the red, not that the red isn't drinkable mind you, just that this is a little more balanced in my opinion.

Chadbrew, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of thepitch
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%

Poured the beer into a tulip glass, it displayed a large, foamy, tan colored head.

The aroma is strong, wheaty and sweet, with overtones of apple and cherry.

The taste is intially of sour cherry with a hint of bitterness and a wheaty, alcoholic aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is spicy with a slight yet well-balanced burn. Very interesting and inviting.

For the style I found it to be quite drinkable, but a bit too strong and too sour to drink one after the other.

Overall, a fine effort.

thepitch, Mar 21, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Had this in the correct Chimay glass in the Grand Duke Pub in Geneva. Actually this is only the latest time I tried it, I've had it many times and never remembered to rate it.

Pours with a nice thick off-white foam on top of burgandy colored liquid. You can see the floating yeastie flavor particles. Smells bready and yeasty, competing with Westvleteren 12 and St Bernardus 12 for aroma in my opinion. Really appetizing appearance and aroma.

Tastes fruity and complex, with the flavor moving from sweet to slightly bitter as I drain the glass. I like this every time I try it.

By far my favorite Chimay offering. The Cinq Cents is good in its own right I guess, but the red label leaves you wanting something more substantial. Go for the blue any chance you get.

TurdFurgison, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.43/5  rDev +3%

I am drinking a Chimay Bleu, 750 ml C&C bottle, poured into a corresponding Chimay goblet. The ale is at room temperature.

Appearance: The ale pours with a moderate head, leaving little lace around the mouth of the goblet. The ale has a color that reminds me of muddy creek water. That is to say it is it has a deep brown color with a high level of sediment. I am reviewing this off of the last pour so there is an abundance of sediment in the glass.

Smell: There is a heady alcohol smell on first sniff. After that, a fruity aroma emerges, driven by figs and raisins. There is also a light cookie/malty aroma.

Taste: The ale has a full-bodied, deep taste. First notes to hit the tongue are those of a semi-sweet, rich malty flavor, like a good chocolate chip cookie. From there, some of the fruit flavors emerge, including the raisins as well as some esters from the yeast. On top of all of these flavors, the alcohol is clearly evident, providing a warming sensation with each sip.

Mouthfeel: The ale warms the body as one sips it. The overabundance of flavors can, at times, overload the palate. Overall though, the ale is very pleasant to sip.

Drinkability: The ale is severely limited by both the price tag ($11 for a bomber) and abv. Despite those factors, this ale is a true gem and stands well amongst the family of Trappist ales.

akorsak, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%

Screen-printed bottle, Chimay Grande Reserve 2001 on label. This is not the normal grande reserve presentation, and I am not sure if I should be reviewing as a separate beer. I bought this from belgium, and I have had it at least 2 years. It is served in a chimay chalice at 50f. Cork is hard to get out (I used a corkscrew) and pops with some violence, prob 50ml beer or more escapes to my counter and floor.

Pours 33% head. Smells very bready, sweeter than I recall normal blue label smelling. (I have never had the beer in this presentation before)

Mouthfeel is very nice - beginning to get the 'mouthglow' i associate with some aged strong belgian beers. The chimay taste/yeast is distinct but this is much smoother than a green version of their beer, and it is far sweeter. Also a greenish taste character present, not sure what that is about.

Aftertaste is not special but very nice, once again sweeter than i recall chimay products being.

I am not a big fan of the chimay beers but my 2 experiences with older versions of the red and blue have both produced notably better beers.

dogfooddog, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of Ego
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

bottled... 12/05 (big bottle)
this is one I have had more times than I can count (and I can count pretty high with my shoes off).. what's the point of reviewing a beer that has been reviewed a million times? I dont know, but then again what the hell else should I do on a monday night? (it isnt football season yet) )

eyes...
super huge fluff of offwhite head crackles in the chalice... 2 full fingers of foamy foam foam. dark amber brown and murky, the head retreats to one finger and holds there but where the head was it still sticks there on the side of the glass... pretty damn awesome looking brew.

nose...
pollinated hops, honey, bread, not very stong but so lucious, very nice.

taste etc...
luxurious. I would marry this beer if it was legal (it probably is legal to marry a beer in alabama). Silky... The ABV is subtle but does let you know it is there (not harsh in any way). The carbonation works here, uber gassy as it may seem I aint burpin up a storm. Nice and drying on the tongue with a yeasty hint in the aftertaste... makes you keep sipping.. and man this is as smooth as a frosh girls ass (prior to the freshman 15). This is flat out awesome, the subtle fruity notes are delectable.

verdict?
I guess I answered my own question about why I reviewed this beer. Sometimes a beer is available all over the place for a good reason.. this one sure is in that category. It is all over the place and unlike my ramblings on this site ... it all comes together near perfectly.

Ego, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of bruachan
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

one of my tour beers from the winking lizard (brought home...i know)

i think i let some of the sediment in so i'll be a little generous with my appearance score. the head on top is quite nice: tight, creamy, with ample lacing. below is a dark mahogany color

banana aroma from a distance, but not up close. up close i do get a yeasty and slightly bready smell. smells well carbonated

mmm...tart breadiness. fruit flavors are subdued; instead it's the bready/yeasty/nutty-type flavor profile. i do get some dark fruit, but minimally

good mouthfeel: creamy enough for the flavor compounds to stick around but not knife-and-fork worthy

bruachan, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of SethB2
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

Served out of a bottle in a Chimay chalice.

Beer looks nice. Deep brownish/red non transparent with a two finger head that leaves behind a small amount of lacing. Smell is of citris and melons and maybe some berries mixed in as well. Taste is fruit and malts with a little alcohol coming through as well, but not as a detriment. Mouthfeel was pretty good, but a little too carbonated for my liking. Drinkablity is very good. I wouldn't have a problem if forced to drink another. Actually, I'd very much enjoy that.

SethB2, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

This beer is dark red-brown color with a large head the color of malted milk. It is nicely sculpted but falls quicker that the heads of its siblings. The aroma is faint and I have to sniff hard to gaet anything but what I do get is sweet berries and fresh flowers. Wow.

The hops start the show here spicy, herbal, and floral. They dance around before being overcome by alcohol drenched yeast tinged with just a slight clove that transitions into what I think is a real woody almost whiskey-like sweetness.

The mouthfeel is thicker, slicker, and all-around heavier than other Chimay beers, but still stays springy. This is a great sippin beer. It makes me want to slip into a silk robe and start talkin like the ladies man.

JudgeRoughneck, Mar 02, 2006
Photo of jabocu
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%

Bottle poured into oversized glass.

A - Very dark black coffee color. Thick light tan head that dissipated surprisingly fast, but left thin Belgian lace along sides of glass. Scattered lacings along surface.

S - Fruity sweetness, grainy and yeasty. Can smell raisin and dates touched with alcohol. Vinous like a deep burgendy. Very rich aroma with medium bouquet. No hops are apparent in aroma.

T- Wonderful raisiny sweetness with a hint of citrus. Lots of apples and brown sugar. Floral hops in middle that have a dry almost slightly more coarse finish. Flavor just lasts and lasts. Alcohol is apparent at first, but after two or three sips, the ABV disappears to very mellow, sweet, and smooth.

M – Full bodied from all the flavor. The carbonation fizzes and creates a deep warm feeling. Starts off feeling a lot of alcohol, but becomes smoother as you get to the bottom. Finishes with a medium level of dryness but the flavor just lingers and warms you up.

D – Very drinkable beer that warms you up fast. Lots of flavor and alcohol level to relax after one or two glasses. A must for trying the Belgian Trappist styles.

jabocu, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of tastybeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Deep brown, dark wood color...faint red/purple tones may be mixed in there. Nice 2.5 finger head bubbley head that would be white if not for a slight purple brown. I'm a little disappointed with the thin retention and non-sticking lace. Sweet malts and fresh spiced green and red apples blend seemlessly with a soothing alcohol and brown sugar aroma. When I smell I can almost taste sweet and sour green apples on the back of my toungue. Pretty awesome. I would absolutely love to smell an ultra fresh one of these. Taste is juicey with candy apples and other fruits, bitter fresh hops, sweet and mellow malts, various spicing, and a yeast that grounds the beer. Mouthfeel is quite nice.

An ocean of awesome, however I do love the smell and taste of apples a lot.

In this beer the alcohol smell is great. I forgot this was 9%.

tastybeer, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of wedge
4/5  rDev -7%

Cork says 10/04.

Pours a deep, dark brown with some ruddy highlights. The head is smaller than I expected - big and foamy at first but quickly shrinks to a thin sheet. Aroma is light yet very full - sweet malts and dark fruit esters and a little spicy...spicy apples comes to mind. Very soft and full flavor - lots of dark fruit esters (with some apple again), sweeter than the smell, and semi-spicy. The alcohol is noticeable in both the nose and taste, but not in an unwelcome way. Smooth, warm, full mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish - and the 9% is very easy to handle.

This is my first Chimay and I like it. Maybe not super-complex, but pleasantly tasty.

wedge, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of barleyman
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured from a cork finished 750 ml. brown glass bottle into my straight sided tumbler. Pours an incredibly thick dark, rocky and uneven, tan head. Leaves the proper Brussels lace at each level down the glass. Color is a hazy brown with a touch of red. Aroma is of bread, slight citrus and malt. Initial taste is of malt and hops with that citrus as well. Very slight characteristic Belgian sourness. Carbonation is pronounced. Orange and clove flavors, light mouthfeel for a beer of this gravity. Drinkability is very easy, for a fan of big beers. If my wife knew I paid $ 10.00 for a beer....
Wonderful beer, I buy it whenever I can.

barleyman

barleyman, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Bottle Pours a clear brown with a large fizzy tan head. Head is lasting even though its very fizzy. Has a sweet fruity alcohol aroma. I get grapes, raisins, some apples a real fruit mix. Touches of cinnamon and nutmeg. The aroma is excellent on this one. Taste is on the dry side with a good mouthfeel. The 9% is hidden very well. Has a light feel. Verysmooth and extremely drinkable. The finish is subtle with a good duration. Leaves a very pleasent taste without a real aftertaste. This is a great beer. Drinks like water, goes down with total ease. If I could only drink one beer for the rest of my life this one deserves consideration.

Birdiebeagle, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of coasterfreak75
4.3/5  rDev 0%

I got this 750ml bottle vintage 05/05 today and just couldn't wait. Poured into a goblet dark brown with a two finger white choppy head that quickly dissapated and left a little lace on the glass.

The smell was quite complex. Heavy in malt with mixed fruit smells, citrus, dates and various other fruit. An almost nutty undertone in the rear of the nose.

The drink started clean and fruity with just a hint of hops in the middle and a lingering dried fruit flavor to finish.

Quite the tasty trappist. Clean mouthfeel, heavy in carbonation at the start but this dissapates and leaves just good beer to speak for its self.

coasterfreak75, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

A 750 ml bottle into a Chimay goblet ... I can't believe I had not reviewed this one heretofore. Pours a slightly cloudy brown color with a boisterous off-white head and sporadic lacing. Head is not well retained, except from a swirl of the glass. Nose is of sweet malt, dried fruits, and yeast. Taste is consistent with the style and quite good ... very earthy, rich, and complex with the yeast/malt interplay. This one (blue label) has a considerable hop profile as well, adding complexity and a balance to the sweet malt and fruits. This ale has a pleasing warmingeffect and is quite "alive" with carbonation and alcohol. Finish is silky and well balanced with a lingering warmth. I've always favored the Chimay blue for some reason, over the others. A standard in my book. If you've not tried it, try it. Among the best in the world? No, but very good and worth the price for sure. Among the best "everyday" tripels perhaps.

beerphilosopher, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of ggaughan
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured a deep brown, almost black color with a medium tan head into a Duvel tulip glass. The aroma is sweet, carmelized malts and some floral notes in the background. There are also spice notes throughout. The taste gave me more of the caramel and malts that I enjoy and a goog balance with hops. This beer, as expected, has a nice taste that lingers in the mouth a bit and definitely warants having a few.

ggaughan, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of weeare138
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%

750 ml bottle, 2005 vintage.
Appears a dark, hazy, murky brown with a 2 finger light tan head that retains nicely. Lots of lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of raisins, plums, figs, cocoa, candy sugar, and yeasty bread with gentle spices swirling in this mix.
Taste is of the same aromas but I can't put it down. The nice caramelized sugar and malt, along with the yeast makes this a right on winner.
Mouthfeel is a tad zippy with the carbonation but still remains smooth for the most part, hiding the 9% well in the slightly sweet brew.

weeare138, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -7%

02/09/06- Received as a gift for Christmas of 2004 from a friend.

Presentation- 750ml caged and corked bottle. Not sure of the year. There is a mark on the bottom of the label, but I have not a clue what it means. It's at the very least a 2004 bottle. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Very dark amber in a color. Nice full inch head, a tad off white in color. About average lacing.

Smell- Lots of dark fruits in the nose. In particular some plums and dates. Also has a heavy grape scent. Maybe a touch like some Welchs grape juice and some grape Jolly Ranchers. Nice smell with everything combined.

Taste- Pretty much right on the nose with the scent. Almost a tad vinous in nature. Big grape flavor..sugary grape with a heavy dose of plums and a light note of dates and figs.

Mouthfeel- Higher than average in carbonation. Lasting nice aftertaste.

Drinkability- About what I expected. Very good, but nothing spectacular. Worth the money and will probably pick up again at sometime. Definitely worth trying. Very tasty.

GClarkage, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of doctorjoeyboey
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%

The appearance is brown and heady. The smell suggests grain and carbonation.So far so good but the taste actually isn't that great. It is moderate as far as complexity goes.and the taste of grain is evident. The alcohol taste is also noticeible and less than ideal. The mouthfeel is a little sharp and not full bodied. Personally, I don't think this beer is that great and would compare it to Duvel. My trappist favorite is still the Westmalle Tripel.

doctorjoeyboey, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.3/5  rDev 0%

750 ml "Grande Reserve" cellared for over one year- Pours a slightly hazed dark amber/garnet color. An off-white, soapy head rushes above three fingers then falls to a thick cap of dense foam with good retention. Spotty lacing. Fusel alcohol in the nose, some roasted malt and dark fruit aromas, and belgian phenols. Sweet dark malt flavor, a hint of plum, and a faint grape skin taste make up a complex palate. Phenols are strong in the aftertaste, and the fusels become spicy- leaving the mouthfeel a touch dry. The carbonation is mild, and the body is medium to full- but subtle hops and spicy alcohol give it a delicate crispness. Some phenols will carry into the finish, and bit of residual sweetness from the roasted malt, but mostly clean and very drinkable considering the style. Overall, an excellent balance of flavor that showcases the marvelous belgian character.

PBRstreetgang, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of phisig137
3.65/5  rDev -15.1%

Poured from a 750 into a tulip. Cork was dated April 05. Apperas a murky cloudy brown, with highlights of red, and a quickly dissapating head. No lacing to speak of.

This beer smells slightly sweet, with only the faintest hints of any fruit. Slight scents of figs and perhaps apples can be detected. The palate reveals much more fruit, mostly dark, figs, dates, brown sugar. Feels quite creamy on the tongue, but lacks the carbonation to lift it. Lingers for quite a while.

All in all, it's great, but you can find much better examples for less money.

phisig137, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of mhillard
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%

Served form a 750ml bottle into a chimay glass. Color is a rich reddish brown, with a decent tan head that sticks around for a good while. The smell only hints at the variety of flavors that are contained within. It seems like each taste gives you a new profile of flavors, there are more rich flavors contained within than I would be able to name. This is a wonderful beer that compliments any meal or occasion.

mhillard, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of sitbooboosit
4.43/5  rDev +3%

The bottle is about two years old.
Pours a dark rusty brown with about an inch of pillowy off white head that later mellows out providing a nice bit of lacing.
Smell is of belgian yeast, dark sugar, fruit, and almost a rye or bourbon type aroma.
Tastes like it smells; the dark fruit and sugar is ever present and brought out more by the high alcohol content. the little hops there are have a presence at the end of the beer, providing a nice tart closing bite to a great beer.
The mouthfeel of this beer is great: velvety smooth on the roof of my mouth.

I really like Chimay Bleu regardless of the slaggy the Chimay products get. miles above most.

sitbooboosit, Jan 29, 2006
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,350 ratings.