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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) - Bières de Chimay S.A.

Not Rated.
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,805 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,805
Reviews: 2,187
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 339
Gots: 1,056 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,805 | Reviews: 2,187 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpecialK088
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into the Chimay Goblet

A-One of those beers that just look sexy (yea i said it) in its own glass. Light brown with a good head that laces thickly down the glass

S-Bannana and some other sweeter fruit, bread and malt

T&M-I dont hand out 5's very often cause that means there is no room for improvent i've never given a beer overall 5's and only handed out maybe 5 or 6 in catagory but the flavor of this beer at 9% abv and the balance is perfect. Sweet malt flavor with a hint of hops, nice smooth and creamy, great level of carbonation and a nice full body.

D-I can't think of a reason that anyone wouldnt find this beer extremly drinkable and want another after the 1st.

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

well 5's should be rare...this beer is rare. what else is there to say. pours perfect with about one and a half inch of head. excellent carbonation. a darker translucent color. very nice dry grain - hop aroma. pleasing to the palate. smooth dry finish.

excellent! if you see this on a shelf - buy it. read the label and follow the suggestions on how to fully enjoy this gem.

suckem up and movem out!!!


Photo of blakesell
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750ml caged and corked bottle into a cube shaped tasting glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a cola dark with just as much head that appears and quickly vanishes. Beer itself is very cloudy and brown with no lacing.

Smell- Big 'ol Chimay bready yeast and darker malts but not so much roast. Hops are hardly detectable. Nuances are hard to come by here and the temperature is not a factor.

Taste- Creamy and yeasty with fruity under notes of dates, prunes, and fig. Hops are subdued at best. Warming alcohol is in with the phenols but it's welcome. Cant get past that trademark Chimay yeast too well overall.

Mouthfeel- Thick, phenolic, band-aid like and medium-full bodied. Highly carbonated and effervescent.

Drinkability- This originally was my favorite of all the Chimays, but after the vertical tasting, I'm not so sure.

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

Chimay Grande pours out a good tan head, very actve in bottle carbonation.Head settles somewhat quickly,but is very actively frothy. deep brown color, beautiful chunks of yeast swirling a nice dark cinnamon-like swirl over the cap when the sedimentary yeast is decanted. 11.2 oz bottle

Aroma- boozy, dark malts, carmelized sugars, dark grain, molasses, very much like a dopplebock, more so than any other BSPS i have had, dried fruits-some currant-like notes add to the complexit
As the beer warms dark, rumlike, bitterish finish, tastes very sweet-maplelike dark sweet sugars-very sweet,but nice biting maltiness of carbonation and phenolic alcohol burn cut,something so candy like maybe a little on the sweet side,no i take it back,more Port wine-like in its complexity. Flavors of cheeries,dried figs and fruits,finished with a tannic dryish finish. This is one to think about,as more and more flavors come through throughout the glass.
This beer was brewed as a Christmas speciality in 1948, and it is very reminicent of warm winter nights by the fire. Very much like a glass of German Gluhweine.

Photo of naterock
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served in chimay goblet
A: dark cloudy brown with red hues, dirty patchy lace, looks bottle conditioned.
S: boutique of toffe, bread (sourdough), and yeast
T: fantastic, sweet candy and bread, toffee with a hint of the 9% alcohol, but is covered up nicely by something that resembles plums, or a soft fruit.
M:smooth and creamy (weird) definitely the best belgian I've ever had
D: a sipper, would go well as a dessert beer, and for special occasions. I am buying another bottle to age for my wedding. long live the trappist tradition!

Photo of KiltedCulinarian
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a goblet. Dark, dark brown color. Two fingers of a dirty brown head, smooth and creamy. Dissipated moderately fast, left nice lacing. Smelled strongly of chocolate. Very full bodied mouthfeel, with a rich flavor. Not overly bitter, nor too complex to really enjoy. Quite smooth, which covered the alcohol content. An excellent brew.

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

Poured from an 11.02 ounce bottle into a chalice.

Pours a medium chocolate with a rocky, pillowy head. Bubbles rush from the base of the chalice to the head. Looks good.

Nose is malt with chocolate and sweet bread. Lovely notes of caramel and toffee backed with sourdough undertones. The aroma is making my mouth water.

Taste is beautiful delicious malt in abundance. Sweet and bready, giving way to a complex grain profile thats hard to place. Yeast is almost sour, small notes of fruit. Chewy dates, raisins and a hint of plum. Warming alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slick and full. The carbonation is soft and gives a nice fluffy feel on the tongue which blasts the sweet malt profile to the edges of the tongue and rounds out the flavor.

Drinkability is good as the taste is wonderful, however at 9% it may get ahead of you fast.

Photo of westweasel
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is a hazy dark brown, with a large off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma is filled with dark fruits and rich chocolate.

The flavor contains rich chocolate notes, dates, some clove, and some bread flavors. The beer finishes fairly dry.

The mouthfeel is creamy, fully, and rich. Wow.

This is extremely drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of joshwlt
3.4/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Granted this is a limited review. I prefer to drink as I type. But I had this at a decent bar here in Gainesville with some fun people nearby, so I'm working off of memory. Off the start it's definitely a belgian, it looks great in the chalice in which it was poured. Dark; if you mixed purple, black and brown you might find this color. It had a tan/light brown head. Tasted as it smelled with dark aged fruits and spice, mostly clove, very tasty. This was rather drinkable and certainly wouldn't be offensive for even the unexperienced palate. A very high gravity feeling though. It wasn't quite my style. It reminded me of a lighter colored unibroue (which creates belgian style ales). Although I've seen and tried this style, this was my first actual belgian trappist ale. I have more belgians sitting in my fridge (westmalle, st. bernardus). I look forward to them but hope that belgian beers have more versatility, because this sorta gave me what I might have thought it would taste like... it did not deceive my pre-concieved notions.

Photo of Ch1mpy
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33 centilitre bottle. Stored since 1999. Bought at Systembolaget in February 2008. Relatively cheap, only €4.

Pours dark brown with a coca-cola like head that disappears in a phrasing sound. Not very much lacing. An aspect of the old age is that I actually can see some yeast gatherings that I don't remember seeing swimming around in a glass of fresher newer Chimay Blue.

Extraordinary smell of sherry, currants and dark fruits like plums, black currant and wine. Actually I can't tell if I ever had a beer with so great nose before.

The plums are there again in the taste and it is the fruits that dominate. With some malts in the background. Actually the complex taste is almost hard to put your finger on since the mouthfeel is so total. A presence of rough acidic bitterness fills my oral cavity with pleasure.

The drinkability is almost at 5.0 as well. However some of the alcohol makes itself detectable through all of this beers greatness.

Photo of Thiestru
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint-sized pub glass (although I've had this in the appropriate Chimay chalice).

Appearance: A cloudy deep brown with a reddish tint. One-finger almond-colored head at the beginning; a wispy covering later on. This leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Dark and malty, with some faint floralness in the background. There is also a fruity sweetness in the aroma, and some alcohol.

Taste: Sweet (but not too sweet) malts, a very subdued bitterness (really more of a tang), and something a little like cherries lurking in there. Wonderfully balanced. There is a definite hop presence here, but far from the forefront; somehow the actual taste of the hops themselves comes through more than any bitterness imparted by them. The alcohol lends some sharpness to the flavor, and is quite warming. This beer is rich but never cloying or saccharine, and it holds many shades of taste.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth.

Drinkability: I could drink this all day. It never gets tiresome. Just got to have a care for that alcohol percentage, though!

In my opinion, this is the epitome of Belgian brewcraft.

Photo of mwilbur
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 75 cL bottle into chalice. 11/05 vintage per date on cork (this has been cellared for a bit).
A: Nice dark, cloudy garnet color with fairly thick off-white head that lasts for a while.
S: Dark fruit (raisin, etc.), bready yeast note, clove and other belgian spice, nice malt in the background.
T: Very consistent with aroma...dark fruit (especially raisin), bready yeast, clove and other spice with a malt backbone. Taste is deeper and more complex though.
M: Creamy and oh so smooth! Tremendous mouthfeel...one of the best. Lovingly coats the tongue and taste matures and changes wonderfully after the beer has been quaffed.
D: Extraordinarily drinkable. ABV is well hidden. A wonderful example of trappist beer. Complex with exemplary mouthfeel and drinkability.
I get the sense (from talking to people in general and not from the ratings on this site) that this beer is not as well respected as other trappist beer; and I feel that is more due to the fact that this is the most available trappist beer than any actual experience from tasting. Go get this beer! It truly is one of the better beers widely available in the US.

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

Got this from Whole Foods in Bellevue, WA - bottle - 1PT9.4FL. OZ.

A: after a resounding "POP!" this bottle pours a dark, earthy brown with a light glimmer of copper. Nicely carbonated. The head is an off white cream color with a soft and creamy look. Lacing is minimal on this one for me...although oddly enough lacing begins to stick only near the end, the top 1/2 of the glass are completely clean.

S: definitely lots of malts and balanced spicing mixed with an amazingly fruity aroma. This is going to be good.

T: this is probably one of the best strong dark's I've tried so far. It's a soft, smooth yet crisp and sweet drink. What a delight! The fruit and malting blend together with the spicing for an unbelievable taste.

M: nice and bubbly, but oh so smooth and creamy at the same time. This is a soft, yet rich beer that I can't believe I haven't tried until now.

D: I could drink this until I passed out. The first beer on my list that gets a perfect 5.0 for drinkability. This is one amazing beer that is just so perfect in every way that you could drink this until you poisoned yourself!

This is pretty much my benchmark for Belgian Strong Dark Ales now, it's almost perfect in every way. Truly one of the great Trappist ales.

Photo of trackstar1043
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked ou a bottle for a family get-together, had it as a after dinner drink with the best ribs I ever had.

A - Pours a clouded deep ruby, brown, with a bit of sediment at the bottom, and specks thoughout the glass. Has 1 in tan head that left an splended lacing.

S - Deep and rich, a complex delight of malts, brown sugar, molassas, toased malts and dark fruit, plums and rasins. Fantasitic Aromas.

T - Even moreso than the nose, the dark fruits come with a full flavor and the malts and molasses or a bit of carmel tones come through to make a nice deep balancing of the flavors. At 9% you can't even taste it.

M - Full and smooth, with a great lingeing aftertaste worth of great beer.

D - Simiply a great beer, this is a standard of what a Belgium Strong dark Ale schold be, easy to drink and a pleasure everytime.

Photo of Dodo2step
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va beach. Thanks Joe!

A- A very carbonated pour, a fizzy cackling. Pours an opaque brown black in color. Looks like chocolate pudding to be honest. A nice 2 finger head leaves a nice white lacing on my glass.

S- spices and malts. a strong floral spice comes of the top. This is definitely a Belgian. A good Belgian. A beautiful smell and lingering power as well.

T- Fizzes in my mouth and tastes of floral and clove hit my palate. It is very sweet yet tart at the same time. Some fruity esters come out in the mouth as well.

M- Carbonated and very smooth. Full of energy and life in the mouth and cacklin on the way down. A sweet and tart feel.

D- I could drink these all day. You cant really taste the alcohol but i know it is going to hit me in a few. This is like drinking sweettarts if they made a drink out of it. And very smooth and crisp, i love it. Hats off to chimay.

Photo of charlzm
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 05/21/08 at LAX Radisson beer tasting.

This was consumed from a 1994 bottle, opened after 14 years!

Pours from the magnum an orange/copper hue. Not a lot of carbonation, which is not surprising in a beer of this age.

The aroma is peppery and sweet.

The flavor is sadly a little corky, but this didn't ruin the beer. The typical fruitiness of "blue label" seems to have faded away with the years, but the sweetness remains. And there's that peppery flavor again. Nice. There's also a hotness which I can't nail down to either alcohol or spice, but it's there and enjoyable.

The lack of carbonation rendered this one a little still in the mouth, which didn't do it any favors.

Amazing that this held up so long and still retains its essential character. Makes me want to go out and drink a fresher bottle...

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed by Wisemen Justin and Nick.

Appearance: Dark brown/amber colored with a thick foamy head. Lot's of delicious looking yeast flakes float around like Christmas in Illinois 2008.

Smell: Malty, strong smell of baked bread, fruity - cherries

Taste: It doesn't have much of a taste initially; more of a feel. Strong malt taste along with either plum or cherries or both. After finish reminds me of original flavored bubble gum and finally a slight alcoholic aftertaste. I like the malts.

Mouthfeel: I think this might be the lowest quality of this beer. Not horrible, just didn't feel well in my mouth. Starts off warm and tingly like Ron Jeremy in many of his films.

Drinkability: Expensive to drink. I could sit around and drink these if not for the price.

We had to average our ratings: I (Justin) just don't like the fruity Belgian beers too much. Nick thought it was pretty tasty.

Photo of philbe311
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A nice finger plus worth of rich creamy velvety dark tan froth... Decent retention gives way to a thick ultra lash lacing... Dark burgundy in color with caramel accents... Slightly hazy... Largely opaque... Coats glass exceptionally well...

S - Malt, Dark Fruit (raspberries and cherries), caramel, perhaps some all spice...

T - Very well blended... Malt and fruit... A hint of tobacco... Warming alcohol aftertaste crescendos as the rest of the taste dissipates...

M - Thick, but not necessarily full-bodied... Mild carbonation... A bit fizzy... Lush...

D - Complexity makes this beer one to enjoy, study, and savor...

Photo of cvstrickland
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured repeatedly into a Chimay chalice yields a deep reddish-brown amber body with a swirling tornado of tiny roiling bubbles that feeds a creamy off-white head of two fingers. Nice retention at a chunky sheet that leaves thick, webby lacing.

Smells immediately fruity; black grapes, raisins, with a sugary malt background. Hints of tart cherries and brown bread.

Taste is an evolving experience as the brew warms (as does the drinker). Dark fruit and alcohol announce their presence right away, balanced by a nice twang of yeast and an earthy note. An antiseptic quality vanishes as the beer continues to un-chill, bringing forward a deep, rich, brown sweetness (yes, "brown sweetness"), and a light finishing bitterness that helps keep the drink from being too sweet and fruity.

Just about perfect in the mouth. Medium-heavy and syrupy, cut to perfect quaffability by active carbonation that is really fun to look at in the glass.

My first Trappist offering, and now I want to try all the rest. A renowned beer, not necessarily my favorite flavors or style, but certainly well-done and very impressive.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

re-review with 750ml bottle, cork dated 11/07:

there is much more lacing this time, which warrants a change from 3.5 to 4.5 on the appearance score. other aspects remain about the same.

paired with blue cheese, cheddar, and pan-seared ham with dijon mustard, not surprisingly also brings up overall drinkability a full point (partly to compensate for the fact that the taste score should be something like 4.2)

it also helps that i've now managed to find a way to purchase it directly from the importer here in china at a slightly cheaper price.

review from 12/20/2007:

brought back a small bottle from a belgian beer bar in beijing. (how's that for alliteration?) poured into chalice.

pours a dark, reddish brown, decent head, but in time fades to a thin layer of wispy beige foam. not too much lacing though.

nose brings an instant whiff of fruits, ranging from apple, cherry, to raisin. hints of spice (cinnamon) and bread/yeast.

tastes fruity, hints of cherry, before slightly burnt caramel comes through, followed by a steady but not overwhleming bitterness. alcohol isn't too noticeable, but is there if you really look for it.

creamy when rolled on the tongue. otherwise slightly thin, but not watery.

enjoyable, but not sure if entirely worth the price. again - look out, as you might not notice the 9% ABV

Photo of kzoobrew
4.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pulled from cellar and poured at cellar temp.

Pours a very rich brown color, bubbly head light tan in color. Leave s thin white ring with slight lacing.

Smell is that of fruit and light malt. Alcohol smell is more of a wine than most beers. Slight scent of various spices.

Carbonation is crisp, but compliments heavier fruit like flavors. Good combination of sweet and spiced flavors.

Mouth feel is crisp and dry. The sweet and spiciness hits your tounge the different time.

Truly a brew to savor and enjoy. This will be a staple in the cellar to age and enjoy year after year. If only I can stand to let it sit.

Photo of rye726
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured at 50F into a goblet. Ruby brown with a white foamy head. Not the most aromatic nose. Some fruity malts with Belgian yeast and herbs. The taste was equally unimpressive. Nutty malts and some spicy yeasts and hops. The body is medium and has good carbonation. A drinkable beer, but nothing special. Highly over rated in my book.

Photo of jayrod20
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a deep dark brown into the Chimay glass with a generous off-white head that didn't last near as long as some other Trappists I've tried. The aroma is full of malt and yeast, with a tinge of sweetness. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with a champagne like carbonation feel. The flavor was a combination of malts and fruits. A very good beer.

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

A-Poured rich brownish amber w/thick light-beige head. Light lacing.
S-Estery notes w/rich malt and spice. Apple, cherry, fig, banana, and light caramel on the nose. Aroma is very pleasant.
T-Fig, apple, raisin, and slightly sweet toasted malt, clove, light caramel, and faint yeasty notes. Finish is spicy with light hops bitterness.
M-Rich medium body with nice dryness and sweet balance. Very nice moderate carbonation.
D-Excellent blend of flavor characteristics, aroma, sweetness, dryness, and body. Very enjoyable...a rich bouquet of flavors with a body that has enough backbone to carry them, but is still light enough dance spryly on the palate.

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

Apperance: Pours a clearish, reddish-brown body marked by a few yeast floaties and topped by a huge, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Dark caramel scent seasoned with sugar and a savor yeastiness. Sharp fruitiness, with cherry definitely leading the way. Slight wafty hints at that 9% ABV.

Taste: Sweetish maltiness with flavors of dark caramel compounded by a spicy dark candi sugar taste. Hint of breadcrusts. Growing plum and black cherry fruitiness. Spoonful of simple syrup. Slight savory yeastiness. Spice and a medium bitterness try to bring a bit of balance. Drying, cherry-packed finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: All kinds of decent, but, and this is between you and me, I'm more of a Rochefort man, myself.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,805 ratings.