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

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

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6,506 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,506
Reviews: 2,162
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 294
Gots: 827 | 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: 6,506 | Reviews: 2,162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a dirty brown colot with a 2 finger head that stuck around rather well. The nose was light, with a slight raisin and slight spiceyness. The flavor was nice, with a raisiney and spicey quality with a touch of alcohol to accentuate the spice. The feel was moderate with a decent carbonation. I would like a touch more body on it. Overall, everything seemd a bit thin for me. I enjoyed it though.

kmpitz2, Mar 11, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From an 11.2 ounce bottle poured into a chalice/goblet.
I was expecting a lot more from this beer, particularly for the price I paid for it. A bit more bitter and a a lot less complex than I was expecting as well; much less sweet than other trappist ales I've had, which can be good or bad depending on your mood.the lack of cloying sweetness is appreciated. Perhaps burned or almost burned caramel is a fair comparison as far as flavor goes.
The alcohol is too noticeable in my opinion and the mouthfeel is pretty flat.
Pours a lovely deep, dark brown and is a lovely amber when held up to light.
Didn't get too much of a bouquet from it. What I was able to smell was relatively pleasant.
In my mind, certainly an above average brew but far from superior.

ommegangpbr, Mar 08, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Dark opaque brown onyx hued pour with no light escaping save for scant glints along the sides and bottom. Topped off with a tan khaki foamy ½” head cap steeped into a CHIMAY goblet.

Mixed dark fruit bouquet of figs and yeasty scents abound.

First swigs: Delicate flavors of fig, raisin and biscuit dry malt background. Sweet candied caramel notes peak out. Some lingering almond notes. Clean aftertaste nodding towards fig. Better towards room temp.

Mouthfeel is slightly diluted and flat but the overall feel and enjoyable nature leads to a quite drinkable brew.

Last swigs: CIMAY Blauw is a dry clean fig and raisin drive by hit. My favorite of the CHIMAY big three stable. 9.0 % ABV is hidden.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

blitheringidiot, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of Gaisgeil
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml corked bottle.

This one pours a deep shimmering brown with a thin but substantial off-white head, quite nice to marvel at. Nose is quite strong and fruity but seems less than spectacular I must admit. I was initially a bit let down upon first taste, it seemed quite smooth and rich but a tad one dimensional. As I sipped further though the intricacies and subtleties started to become apparent. There is a nice woody character to the brew with strong fruit tones that are difficult to differentiate from each other. Overall quite smooth and a pleasure to sip but it lacks any certain "wow" factor, so I would say it's rather understated in character. It's a bit thin yet refreshing thereby making it rather easy to drink and the ABV isn't noticable at all, it just adds a nice and cozy warming factor.

I quite enjoyed this brew and may return again, maybe sipping in front of a fireplace with a blanket reading Yeats. It's that sort of beverage.


Gaisgeil, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of horndecker
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the squat 33cl bottle.

Such a deep singed walnut color. Fine active tan head with lasting lace.
Aroma of roasted malt, butterscotch, sweet corn on the cob, citrus notes, chocolates, caramel, raisins. As the brew warms, more and more of these hints show themselves.
First taste brings roasted malts and stewed fruit. A little sense of Sarsaparilla follows, with a mildly bitter herbal flash at the end. The center is juicy but not overly sweet. One is left with a slightly bitter, very satisfying malt lingering on the tongue.
It's not as full-bodied as the appearance would have you believe, but very smooth and silky.
This brew varies a bit from bottle to bottle and year to year, as it should. I have never before caught a whiff of sweet corn in the nose, as I did this evening. But it's always delicious, satisfying and complex.

horndecker, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of BeerNutta
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Grande Reserve, Was given this by my boss when my work contract ended. It was part of a beer hamper with different types of beers. (He was a top bloke)


Appearance: The bottle was distinct in style, 750ml with a cork top. Poured dark red, with a nice 1/2 inch foam head.

Smell: Strong fruity aroma.

Taste: Fruity, almost black current taste.

Mouthfeel: Good, not too much carbonation.

Drinkability: Good, would drink another. However the beer is a bit pricey. Stops me from drinking too many.

BeerNutta, Feb 28, 2005
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown appearance with flashes of dark blood red. Head is thick and creamy, staying sturdy right to the bottom of the glass.

Nose is rich and organic. Dark malty and intense. Unsweetened chocolate. Very little sweetness, more just deep, earthy natural flavours. Really wonderful.

More dark malt in taste, and more of that unsweetened chocolate and mocha coffee. It's just dark and mysterious.
Hints of spices, cinnamon, cumin and even some black pepper. This is a rich, sippable beer.
The mouthfeel is full and round, moving around your tongue.

Overall, it's just so intense and so rich the drinkability is reduced a little.
An impressive beer, no doubt, and certainly one to respect.

lacqueredmouse, Feb 19, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 bottle, served in one of my Chimay glasses.

Dark, woody brown color, cloudy, with a large foamy off-white head.

Aroma is fainter than I remembered, much fainter than the other two chimay beers. Lightly fruity, a few spicy notes.

Lots of phenols in this beer. It's spicy, peppery, tasting of dried cloves and nutmeg. Very fruity as well, plums, dried currant, raisins. Restrained hoppiness, and alcohol is not really apparent.

Medium-bodied with a lot of carbonation.

My least favorite of the three Chimays (the Cinq Cents by far at the head of my list), this is none-the-less a well-rounded and complex beer.

allengarvin, Feb 15, 2005
Photo of Sycodrummer
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1pt. 9.4oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. A big frothy 2 finger head formed that left lacing all the way down the glass. Appearance was quite odd in color. It was a very very light black that reminded me of the water cup color when you paint with water colors when your are a kid.

Small was nice, slightly floral with a crispness to it that was matched with the taste.

Taste was indicative of its 9% ABV but not over powering. Well balanced flavors. Very malty and crisp as well. Strong carbonation, but easy to drink and smooth to the finish. Alcohol kicks in, but does not detract from the other flavors.

Rather thin on the palate and quite carbonated.

Certainly not hard to drink, but not something I'll run back to right away. Finishing the enitre bottle over an hour was not hard, but this is not a brew I plan to stock up on.

Sycodrummer, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of travolta
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Apperance: A frothy tan head. Mild spotted lacing. Amber and apple cider in color.

Nose: Sweet malt, candied dark fruits, plum, dried red apple, coffee.

Taste: Crisp carbonation at first, which settles into a frothy foamy texture. Sweet malt, Belgian yeast and the Belgian water are strong characteristics.

Notes: Readily available. The 9% is very elusive. Price is not it's strong side. You do get what you pay for, however.

travolta, Feb 08, 2005
Photo of stjarnflikka
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage

Pours a bloodred beer with quite some carbonation, and a lot of sediment gets in to the glass. Nice head that keeps on tempting in the chimay chalice.

Smell is yeast and malt at first with an alcoholic character. Then comes a rich fruity tone with malts, some citrus and anisette. Reminds a bit of wine with the alcoholic character, very nice.

Comes on the tongue like sugared malts with dark fruits (figs, dates and raisins). Then comes alcohol together with a lovely carbonation and some bitterness. This is a filling and musty beer with yeast, dark sugartones and alcoholic fruittraces in the finish. Somewhat dry and bitter, really well balanced and tasty though.

Nice beer, even nicer when it warms up a bit. This is much richer and more potent than chimay red, certainly a store and pour also.

stjarnflikka, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of aquaderek
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

One word sums it up, wow!!! I am so glad this beer is at my local TJ's store. Bought this beer in the 75cl bottle, and poured into a nice tulip glass. This is what all beers should aspire to look like. Pours with a nice head that dwindles down to a perfect creamy lace. The dark color, the carbonation is a beautiful thing to look at. The nose and taste is incredibly complex, just as complex as any good red wine that I have had. On the nose you get a nice sweetness, maybe figs??? Some of the medicinal phenol. man, this is some good stuff. Rasins some nice hoppiness, the question is what can't you smell, this is really complex. This goes for the taste as well. Sweetness, with a nice bite at the end. I have died and gone to beer heaven, I would love to pair this beer with some real gammy meat. Maybe rabbit, venison, or duck. This beer is GRRREAT!!!

aquaderek, Feb 05, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first read reviews of this beer it was well into the top 100 rated beers, but has since fallen short. 330 mL bottle with no year on the bottle as I hear they usually do for the blue. Pours into the Chimay chalice a dark dark brown with a hint of red and a 2 finger tan head that reduces to a creamy blanket of foam and leaves nice lacing. Has a fruity aroma with bananas, raisins, lemons, cloves, spiciness, nuts, and yeast. The beer tastes sweet with cloves, phenols, alcohol, and hops in the background. Leaves a warming sensation. Lots of flavor that is blended well and is slightly cloying. Beer feels somewhat thick and has a crisp carbonation at first that becomes very creamy. Drinkability is crazy for a 9% beer - couldn't put it down. Wish it were a 750 mL bottle. Great beer, especially for cold winter nights.

mmmbeer, Feb 04, 2005
Photo of Billolick
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500th beer reviewed...been saving this one the past week or so to take the honor. Small bottle w/o freshness dating. Pours very dark, cloudy and murky, almost black. Fairly large bubble head at first, puffy and lumpy. Head slowly morphs to a 1/8th inch thick tiny bubble film Thick sticky lacing left on the glass. Nose is of powered sugar, fresh fruit, and concord grapes. Smooth medium bodied Belgian, notes of yeast, peppery spicing, tons of sweet malt and more fruity notes, warming alcohol late seals the deal. World class, classic for good reason. Cheers!

Billolick, Feb 04, 2005
Photo of Cwrw
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looking at my reviewed beers, I was surprised to find that I had not reviewed Chimay Blue yet, as it is probably the Belgian I drink most regularly. When I get a bottle, I just want to sit down and enjoy it with friends, not sit in front of a computer and rate it; and I suppose that is just the type of beer this is: a sociable, delicious and truly enjoyable drink.

The simple but attractive blue-labelled Chimay bottle with a best before of 2008 on the back right corner poured a dark chestnut liquid into my chalice, topped with a head befitting for a Trappist. A dark beer, untransparent, dense and full looking. Held to the light the red becomes apparent, as does the caramel-tinged edges. Against a purely white background though, this beer is dark rosewood or chestnut. A very light brown head, dark cream coloured. At first it was a good mixture of medium and small sized bubbles; after a few sips, the head formed up and became dense and solid, though not exceptionally large. From above, this beer could pass for the top of a moccha coffee. Swirling the glass creates a lighter-coloured swirl, like a hurricane seen from the top. Fine screen lacing that fragments quickly. The nose is all fruits and malt at first. I get some green apple peel, figs, prunes, red grapes(red wine for that matter), and raisins. The malt translates as light caramel, fresh yeast, extremely sweet chocolate, but NOT the same chocolate character as in some stouts. The mustiness of the yeast is also present, but only behind the sweet malt and yeasty esters. As in all complex beers, there are some aromas that seem to defy identification. Little hop presence in aroma, or taste. The taste is sweet, but less so than the aroma may have led you to expect. Instead, the alcohol is quite noticeable, gently abrasive to the tongue. Grapes and malty sugar at first on the tongue, the phenols in the middle, and some metallic maltiness in the aftertaste, also leaving some unexpected bitterness, but it does not taste like hop dryness--this is more metallic in nature, like iron or some wines. Indeed, the finish is slightly bitter in a red-wine manner, leaving a red wine taste on the palate quite strongly. A medium carbonation, perfect for the style, sufficiently creamy but tingling in the mouth; and for a strongly flavoured Trappist, the drinkability is magnificent. This pairs agreeably with aged cheddar, or even medium cheddar. This is a Trappist that needs to be tasted repeatedly, as all the nuances can simply not be detected on the first try. In addition, different food pairings can make this beer exciting and different almost perpetually.

Cwrw, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a 2000 magnum taking up space in my cellar so I decided that 5 years aging was probably enough.
Poured a dark, reddish that is very clear and a white two inch fluffy head that subsided to a thin ring. Aroma was dry with a nice mineral character mingling with dark fruity esters. The flavor is very smooth and clean with more of the malt flavor dominating than in a fresh example. Rich dark fruit flavors interplay with a subdued dry malt flavor that is more balanced in the aged version. As this bottle aged I believe that it attenuated a bit more which resulted in an overall cleaner impression of the flavor. CO2 levels are high but the beer still remains smooth with no carbonic bite. Overall a very enjoyable ale that having been aged takes on a smoother more drinkable nature while also gaining a touch of oxidation which imparts a subtle raisin flavor. The flavor seems more round than a in a fresh example and having had this one I would recommend that all chimays of adequate strength be aged for at least a year.

RenoZymurgist, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of steinlifter
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a dark amber, nice thick head, that diminished, but left rocky peaks all the way down, smell was fruity and complex, raisin scent present, taste was full complex fruit,... again I distinguish a raisin flavor, a bit of tartness, but finishes smooth, bit of spiciness as well, in my opinion these quality beers, are very hard to describe, beautiful, say's it all, mouthfeel was high carbonated bubbles that tickled the tongue, and a rich creaminess, drinkability is as with all the Trappist biers, X-cellent! Highly Recommended!

steinlifter, Jan 29, 2005
Photo of beersarang
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark auburn, with a generous light tan head.

Smells great, aromas of raisin and sweet malts.

Tastes complex, many malt flavors cover the palate. Very fruity, finishes with sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is that of vibrant carbonation, not too thick.

Drinkability suffers a little because of the sweetness and slight overcarbonation.

beersarang, Jan 24, 2005
Photo of rajendra82
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of the stubby little 33 cl. brown bottle, and into a tulip, the beer looked dark red, with a two inch thick foamy head fed by lively carbonation beneath. The fruity, spicy, chocolaty aroma accentuated the malty nature of the brew. The taste was warming and mellow with the very sweet fruity malt chasing the dusty yeast and powered cocoa into the background. It was not as complex as other Trappist ales, but was quite satisfying in its own way. Full bodied and sticky, with a lingering spicy dry aftertaste, and just a touch of grassy hops. Alcohol warmth is felt long after the glass is drained, making this a wonderful beer to cap one of those cold winter nights.

rajendra82, Jan 23, 2005
Photo of Franchise
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I poured the beer my first thought is oh my! The beer pours a dark brown, with a light tan color for the head. The smell is of figs,prune, and raisins. At 9% abv you can faintly smell the alcohol but it is not overpowering. The taste is delicious, if you hold the beer on your palate...the sweet carmel flavors, and spices are really present. This is a very well crafted beer one you can sip all night.

Franchise, Jan 23, 2005
Photo of studentofbeer
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark tea color with a nice tan head. good redish glow, though a bit murky. vinous, yeasty nose with some black cherry, cinammon, toasted malt, and a healthy dose of alcohol. very nice and complex when served at ~60 degrees.

taste has raisin and plum--plenty of dark fruit--some musty/woody flavor, warm alcohol, cinammon, with currant aftertaste. Candy sweetness comes through with the warm alcohol. A nice, lasting bitterness comes through on the back of the tongue, leading to a very full aftertaste.

this is a big but subtle beer, with tons of complexity. a very nice treat.

studentofbeer, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an initial golden pilsner color and darkens into a darker color as the liquid fills. The head is slightly off white, about an inch thick, and sounds louder than a bowl of rice krispees. The head very slowly recedes to a half inch and stays throughout the glass.

Both the smell and taste were somewhat yeasty, the taste moreso than the smell. The smell, aside from the potency of the yeast, was delicious. Smells kind of orangey and malty. The taste was very good too, but quite yeasty (not overbearingly so).

I might consider buying another to see if perhaps this bottle was skunked somehow, but other than that, if I spend large amounts of money on imported beer, I will stick with the Rochefort 8's and ABT 12's. Perhaps the red will be less yeasty, in which case I will definately have to try another in case of flaw.

edit: I finally gave this beer a second try last night after sitting on the 750ml bottle for quite some time. I noticed that the spiciness I didn't like about it before was much more mellow after the beer warmed. Last time I had it out of one of the small bottles, so it didn't have a chance to warm to room temp like this bigger bottle did. Once it reached room temperature, this was actually quite delicious even with the subdued clove flavor. Nonetheless, I think Chimay is still my least favorite of the Trappists, but I have much more respect for their style after having tried it again.

neonbrown82, Jan 19, 2005
Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Blue label Chimay pours an opaque reddish brown color and produces a big frothy head that slowly settles down leaving no lacing. Smell is of spices, particularly cloves, with vinous hues. First taste leaves a smooth chocolate impression ending with touches of fruit. Aftertaste is yeasty. Overall, not a very complex taste, but highly enjoyable. Mouthfeel is very good, and that about says it, really. One I'd definitely have again. A good no-frills Belgian beer you could drink everyday.

tomthumbsblues, Jan 12, 2005
Photo of hero27
2.38/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Looks good in the glass. Head explodes from the bottom of the glass and creates a large, but modest, foamy head. Leaves virtually no lacing, though. Color is very dark and muddy.

Smell: Figures...I hear so many good things about this beer and find out that it's just another spicy belgian. Smell is of hefty malts and clove.

Taste: I don't like spices, and this beer is no exception. It's my personal opinion and I don't mean to drag down the rating of a "good" beer, but spices are simply not to my liking.

Mouthfeel: I'll give it some credit.. it's smooth for a relatively high-alcohol beer. Little carbonation.

Drinkability: The 9% ABV is a plus, as I like a little kick to my beers, but lends the drinkability an average rating.

Overall, I'm obviously dissapointed, and kinda pissed off. I mean, some Belgians I've had have been superb, and some have been not to my liking at all. I read reviews and it's hard to tell because everyone has different tastes. When I originally started drinking more hoppy beers, I didn't really like them much, but now I adore them. However, I really don't think this is a taste I will become accustomed to. Spices/cloves are something that I think should have their place in food, not in my beer.

hero27, Jan 10, 2005
Photo of beerceller99
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1.5L magnum from 2000. Shared with company on new years eve. Champagne like pop of the cork. Hazy chestnut color with a tan head. Musky, wood barrel aged smell. Light to medium bodied. Nice carbonation. The taste mirrors the smell with the oak barrel aged flavor.This brew didn't age as well as I'd expected. Still not bad, though.

beerceller99, Jan 09, 2005
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,506 ratings.