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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.

6,809 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,809
Reviews: 2,187
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 339
Gots: 1,061 | 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.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,809 | Reviews: 2,187 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My last Chimay from the 3 pack with glass...

It pours from the bottle a dark amber brown with plenty of carbonation and a nice finger width thick head.

Smell is a light fruitiness with nice malty finish. Not sweet, but just the right balance of fruit and malt.

Taste is quite similar to the scent, nice fruit and malt taste. Very good flavor, can barely taste the high alcohol content.

Mouthfeel is very balanced, no strange aftertaste and just the right amount of carbonation.

Very drinkable, wish this was the 750mL bottle.

Overall, a great tasting beverage.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mixin' up the glassware...from 750 ml bottle to Reidel Extreme Pinot Noir glass - let's see what happens...

Big, bready 2-finger head with muffin tunnels. Carbonation clings to glass, similar to champagne. Head has life of its own from carbonation.

A great deal of yeast with a faint touch of alcohol. Some ginger, more sarsparilla. A little tin; needs warmth. There's a hint of salt - similar to a club soda scent.

Very clean - a little glove leather, some husky braised/boiled malt; alcohol accompanied with mild spice. Again, some salt in context with carbonation - leathery baked apple feel. This is a bit more mild than expected.

Slightly unbalanced mouthfeel - heavier than expected with carbonation. Needs a little more chemistry. Not what is expected but still pleasant.

By no means unenjoyable - a complex effort. Heavier than desired for mild flavor profile. Definitely sippin' material.

Photo of jenitivecase
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown/cherry color; liquid is hazy, yet transparent. Poured into a normal glass (again, limited by the constraints of studying abroad) which generated a solid two-finger head. Good retention.

S: A tangy mix of fruits mingled with some yeasty notes; malt is also discernable.

T: Reflective of the smell; again, tangy and sweet with strong, dark fruity notes. A tang of bitterness towards the middle. When first poured, the 9% alcohol was easily tasted, but as the beer warms, the alcohol taste becomes less obtrusive and more enjoyable.

M: Crisp carbonation, yet smooth going down. The carbonation leaves a lingering tingling sensation on the tongue.

D: I could probably have a couple of these, but the alcohol content and the overall complexity of this beer would deter me from multiples in one night. Pleasant experience overall; very enjoyable and good for savoring.

Photo of kurtissellen
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Emptied into an oversized wine glass creating three fingers worth of light brown head. Had a dark black color to it with mahogany edges with little carbonation present. Smelled and tasted of cherries and mild malts. Another easy drinking high ABV Trappist beer.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, lighter around the edges. Some sediment flakes from the bottom of the bottle. Tannish head is very soft and fluffy, little lacing.

Spicy aroma, dark fruit and clovey yeast product. One sided and a little wimpy.

The flavor is heavier on the fruits, like rum currant, some sweetness with good viscosity. Prickly pepper alcohol is all over it, especially in the finish. It's either not as good as I remember, or more likely, it was among the very first strong Belgians I had.

Unimpressed with the mouthfeel, fairly light with just a ton of carbonation.

Kudos to the stores and bars attempting to cater to the better beer crowd by carrying this one; now take a couple steps further and look into some world class Strong Dark Ales.

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

Such a delectable beer. I bought the three pack with the Chimay goblet in it so naturally I enjoyed this outstanding beer in their own glassware. Poured a brilliant black cherry color with a minimal head but no big deal. Nose had a pleasent dried fruit quality with a mild malts. Tastes was smooth and luscious for a 9 ABV beer with raison notes and a great hop malt balance. I won't get tired of this beer any time soon.

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

Dark ruby/amber with a thin 1/8" head. Smells of fruit and malts. Upon holding up to light, you can see the tiny yeast is completely suspended. It has an alcohol taste that isn't huge or overwhelming but one that mixes quiet well with the malts and dried fruit flavors. has a lighter version of a soda pop fizz one might find in store brand sodas. Still quiet smooth! Been awhile since I've had this beer. Always a great choice! My mouth says "drink all day" but my brain knows how fast that 9% catches up with you. Be careful but enjoy this one to the last drop!

Photo of Pauly2X
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Dark ruby chesnut body supporting a two finger head.

S- Complex dried fruits intermingled with sweet malt aromas. A little bit of yeast character adds nicely to the complexity.

T- A warming alcohol note carries throuhout, rather than just sneaking up at the end. Carried atop this note is symphony of sweet malts which progreesivley get heavier, almost to dopplebock proportions. Dispite this there is a light and slightly hoppy finish to keep this from being pedestrian.

M- Quite fizzy, yet very smooth.

D- I have to keep reminding myself that this beer is 9.0% abv.

A beer which is certainly worthy of being my 100th beer review! Seriously if you have yet to try this, stop what you are doing and go get some. It is a gem.

Photo of Deus1138
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I probably should have done this review before I got to my last few gulps, but it was just too enjoyable to stop!

I poured into a St Bernardus goblet. This may be blasphemy, but the bottle clearly calls for a goblet, and this is the only one I have.

Not much in terms of head. Very thin layer that quickly dissolved.

It smelled of sweet, dark fruits.

Taste is phenomenal. I mostly detect raisin and plum. Very, very sweet beer, but the sweetness is not overwhelming.

Halfway through the bottle, I read this beer pairs wells with sharp cheddar cheese, which I just happened to have in the fridge. I now feel obligated to review the cheese well!!

This is such a nice, sweet, smooth brew. It will definitely become a regular in my fridge.

Added 4/17/2008 - This brew continues to be one of my favorites. A word of advice: be careful where you buy it! I've come across quite a few bad bottles. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone who reviewed this beer negatively had the misfortune of getting a bad bottle.

Photo of Buebie
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: poured a medium brown, semi transparent, very hazy. Two finger head, which quickly dissapeard. Little to no laceing. Poured some of the chunks accidentally into my glass. No biggie, my homebrew hasnt killed me, this shouldnt.

Smell: Smells like I just popped a cork on a merlot, with that oaky wine soaked cork. A hint of maple, with fruity berries throughout.

Taste: Sweet, fruity with a touch of bitter in the middle. I'm picking up some barrel aged notes. Alcahol warming at the swallow, this is the closest beer to wine I've ever tasted.

Mouthfeel: Zingy bubbles, a good pounding from the carbonation up front, but it quickly melts away. Medium bodies with lingering liquid after the swallow.

Drinkability: Its definatly a sipper. I sould have poured it into a merlot glass instead of a pint glass. You will want to sit and smell it repeatedly before sipping. The smell changes dramatically with warming. A delicious beer, will do business with again.

Photo of Bugsey
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most amazing beers out there.

The smell is intoxicating and heavy. It is sweet with dark fruits, prunes, figs, raisens and carmel, and a hint of port wine.

Taste matches the smell. It is heavy, creamy, with layers of intoxicating flavors. The alcohol is there, but not astringent. Carbonization is light and refreshing. Finish is clean.

Powerful beer.

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is deep deep red, almost brown colour. The beer has a lot of carbonation and a big head. The head dissipates because of the carbonation though.

The beer has some yeast smell and one that is similar to the wheat smell. The beer is smells fruity and sweet. The beer has the initial bite from the alcohol and the carbonation, but it has a very sweet taste to it. The subtle dark fruits in the background make the beer very tasty.

The mouth feel is exactly how you'd expect a Belgian Strong Dark Ale would be. The beer is pretty drinkable as well.

Photo of jjohnson
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is for the Chimay Grande Reserve 2001 vintage.

Serving type: bottle

Appearance - Poured a dark brown, thick head

Smell - Smells of grapes, dark fruits, raisins, and caramel. Incredibile smelling beer.

Taste - Tastes of yeast, brandy, raisins. The flavors are much more intense than a non-aged Chimay Blue. One of the best beers I've tasted.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is pretty high but it didn't distract from the beer. Full mouthful, very dry almost like a fine red wine.

Drinkability - I could drink this all the time if I had the opportunity. This was a truely incredible beer. I highly recommend you try it if you get the opportunity. You will not regret it.

Photo of JonathanL7890
3.47/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from a sampler pack.

Poured a light brown, slightly cloudy. I got the last pour with the yeast...

Aroma is malty, raisin.

Mouthfeel is creamy very nice.

Finish is drier than I expected.
Overall, this is very drinkable. The alcohol is very well hidden. I could drink several of these.

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

Pours a rich amber brown with an excellent half-inch richly carbonated head. Smell is a great blend of malts, fruits and molasses...extremely inviting. Taste follows smell with a lightly sweet quality with a brandy-like quality and an excellent tratness on the finish. Drinkability is excellent....extremely smooth with a great crisp finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, rich.

Photo of Cromster
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is of a Chimay Grande Reserve 2001 vintage that was purchased from Beer Mania in Brussels. That cork was very tough to get out due to how long it had been sitting in this bottle.

Poured into a Chimay Goblet.

Appearance - Poured a dark brown with a nice thick creamy tan head. Decent lacing.

Smell - First thing that comes to mind is that this beer smells like a really good Port Wine. Smells of grapes, raisins, and caramel. I can't stop sniffing this beer.

Taste - The taste comes in waves. Brandy, caramel, raisins, and yummy belgian yeast. The alcohol has been subdued by the aging process and the flavors are much more pronounced than in a non aged Chimay Blue. This is one of the best beers I have tasted. The aging has done wonders to this beer. I rank it up there with the Westvletern 12.

Mouthfeel - There are waves of bubbles. The amount of carbonation is intense but it adds an amazing sensation to drinking this beer.

Drinkability - I would drink this every day if I could. I am going to start aging my own ASAP and just wait for the goodness that will be there in the next 5-6 years. This is one amazing beer and if you ever get the chance to have one aged this long do it, no matter what the cost. You will not regret it.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a golden, dark brown with a medium head that settled to a sticky lace. It had a smell of caramel raisins with malts and nuts.
The flavor is insane. The alcohol level is so subdued, yet the balance of malts and yeast were perfect. The touch of spice and the fruitiness seemed to join forces to arouse the senses. It was sweet, but with a bit of light bitterness.
It felt light,medium carbonation and crispy. So high in alcohol and yet so smooth. As it warms the flavors really come out, the creaminess and the all the other wonders of this Ale are revealed.

Note: This beats wines worth twice the dollar amount. The monks from Westvleteren recommend the Chimay Beers if you can not buy their famous brew. This Chimay is something special,do not look past it or take it for granted.

Photo of quad07
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I paid $10.49 for this 1(pint) 9.4oz corked brown bottle/bomber from UFS, 9% ABV. Corked or bottled date 04/07 stamped on the cork.

I filled my large 23oz beer glass and this stuff produced an amazing dark brown caramel looking head. I had to let it settle awhile before I could finish the pour. It was a dark brown murky color with some golden brown caramel highlights when held up to the light. Clear to see it was unfiltered. Some nice lacing.

I could smell nutty aromas and vanilla, raisons, and hints of anise. No real hop smell but some yeast presence.

I could taste caramel, some nutty flavors and raisons. Some floral hop flavor. Kind of sweet with no strong or over powering alcohol taste.

The mouth feel was very carbonated and made my mouth pucker at first with some bite that quickly smooth over with a sweet thick liquorish texture.

It was pleasant to drink but some thing you want to take your time with. It was very filling. Will purchase another bottle. Highly recommend it.


Photo of daledeee
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I found a small bottle and wanted to try this.

The beer pours out pretty easily with a 1" head that leaves nice lace. Some chunks came out too and I don't mind.

Nose is malty and fruity.

Taste is like most dark Belgians but with exceptional mouthfeel. The taste is tart apple, spice and plum. Some caramel and sweetness in the finish. This is one of the best. Very complex and appealing.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's the final stage of the Chimay Invitational, and I'm in for the long haul on the Grande Réserve; I have a 750 ml magnum waiting to be popped. The other two Chimay beers I've had have been neck-to-neck, so will the blue label break away from the pack? Find out after the review:

Poured into an oversized wine glass, this beer is dark brown, alittle darker than their dubbel, with a good head like its siblings. I smell dark fruits like plums and raisins, with a hint of chocolate. Taste: Holy Shit! It melts in your mouth like warm butter. Ahhh! Liquid ecstasy! Mild tone of carbonation plays a big role balancing out the dark fruits, phenols, and other flavors. I'd go as far as saying it's comparable to a fine wine. As much press as this beer already gets, I'd say it's still underrated. Wow, I made a good call getting the larger bottle.

The moment of truth has arrived here in the Chimay invitational, and now to reveal thge wineer. The winner of the Chimay Invite goes to...

Grande Réserve!

The Chimay trilogy is complete. All three beers are worthy of a purchase, but the Grande Réserve stands above the other two. If you've been following my invite theme, you know I'm going to say to "look at my previous reviews to see what you missed". Good night everyone!

Photo of avalon07
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: When poured from a bottle to a tulip glass, had a brownish color and a thick texture. Big, big head and lots of lacing.

S: The smell was subtle, as it is with many of the Belgian beers. Apples, yeast, spices were the most obvious.

T: I got a big dose of the aforementioned apples, yeast and spices (coriander?), along with malt. The alcohol taste is stronger than with the other Chimay beers, but still fairly well masked.

M: A nice high carbonation rate and a smooth finish make for a good mouthfeel.

D: Like the other Chimay beers, this is very balanced, complex and exceptionally drinkable.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,809 ratings.