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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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6,799 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,799
Reviews: 2,186
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 340
Gots: 1,041 | 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: 6,799 | Reviews: 2,186 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of jmz62565
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark mahogony with a large tan foamy head. The head lasts awhile and leaves good lacing. The smell isn't as strong as a hoped,but there was candy sugar,roasted malt,and alcohol. The taste has a ton of carbonation with dark fruit,raisins and cherries,candy sugar,alcohol,and a nice dry finish. The m/f is medium with all the complex flavors mixing well. What can I say that hasn't been said? This is a world class beer that must be tried.

Photo of BBM
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a reddish brown with a nice off-white head that fizzes out fairly quickly. The smell is of fruits; raisins, cherries, and bananas.

The taste is certainly fruity up front, with some of that patented Belgian spice flavor, as well. There is a warming alcohol finish to this nice, balanced and complex brew. Mouthfeel is medium and creamy. Very drinkable, this Chimay lives up to its reputation.

Photo of guinnessfan
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the first of the 3 Chimay's I have tried. The other 2 reviews will follow in the future.

11.2 oz tiny bottle poured into oversized wine glass.

A: Muddied brown with huge chunks of yeast in suspension. Nice fluffy head the quickly recedes into a ring of lace.

S: Pretty much just yeast. Slight malt perhaps. No alcohol smell until the beer warms.

T: Super smooth, malty goodness. Some dark fruits, not overly sweet. Mild alcohol flavor. Mildly complex, less than most Belgians I have tried.

M: Medium body and smooth, creamy texture. Lighter carbonation. Not much alcohol aftertaste.

D: One of the most "drinkable" Belgians, very mainstream and crossover-ish. Not as complex as many others, but a good beer nontheless.

Good beer that I will get in the future. Definately want 750's from now on since the baby bottle is too small.

Photo of kpantz
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Executive Summary: Not a fan of the Red at all, but the Blue is one of my favorite beers. Period. The complexity of this ale is, in my opinion, it's best characteristic. Keeps me coming back. I'll take this with dinner over a bottle of wine any day.

I've had this one countless times (never have a night at Blue in Bethlehem without it), but have never taken the time to sit down and formally review it.

Appearance: Hazy burgundy pour into my snifter. Light tan head starts out fluffy and gradually reduces to a film. Minor lacing apparent.

Smell: Malts, yeast, perhaps some raisins and brown sugar as well. Alcohol more apparent as it warms in the glass.

Taste: Some of that raisin/date flavor, definitely a tartness to it with a solid malt backbone. Alcohol flavor is there, but it complements everything quite well. A bit dry in the finish, but that only serves to add more complexity to this.

Mouthfeel: Terrific - not too sticky and has a nice, full body. Carbonation level is a little high, but it doesn't hinder my enjoyment of this finely crafted trappist ale.

Drinkability: At 9%, I'd be tempted to knock this thing down, but I have to admit this is one of the few beers I can drink until I can drink no longer. Something about the complex flavors and the fact that it's not too overwhelming...highly, highly drinkable.

Photo of janubio
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brown cloudy beer, with a very foamy head that doesn't take long to disappear. Aroma: Yeast, port wine, chocolate, some pepper and vanilla and slightly lactic. Strong body, it weights in your tongue.Taste: sweet, but with the usual harshness, floral, rum, liquor, chocolate, plums or raisins. Another great beer from Chimay, better if you keep it stored for some years before drinking it.

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

11.2 oz bottle into a holiday-pack Chimay chalice. A generous light tan head atop a dark brown, mahogany ale. The head lasts for a quick minute then leaves slight lacing. Nothing overly impressive here. The aroma is obviously intricate, with fig, apple, grape, and a sharp alcoholic note that compliments it well.

The taste gets a surprisingly subtle, yet complex mix of flavors with a big chestnut and malt bit up front that transitions to a smooth raisiny, citris, and wheat aftertaste. More raisin and plum notes come through as it warms. The feel is of a well-balanced, well-carbonated ale that pleases the palate. A bit dry, but not to the point of losing its appeal. Definately drinkable, with enough here to keep interest through a few beers (if the wallet could take it). Goes well with swiss or brie.

Photo of zuggy9
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It doesn't get much better than this. It pours a nice dark translucent brown with a thick off-white head that retains nicely and finishes with some good lacing. The aroma is rich with fruit and the alcohol is not to be missed. This is rich and smooth, with a nice malty sweetness and fruit flavors. Good alcohol kick and light hoppiness as well. It's very full-bodied, with light carbonation. It's actually a bit warming to drink. Very drinkable, despite it's potent ABV. This is a perfect companion to a nice holiday meal!

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

Appearance: Poured into my Chimay glass (from a cool sampler pack from Christmas) this one is much like the red, but with more plum tones, so it is slightly darker. Carbonation creates a frothy center half dollar shaped circle in the center.

Smell: Mostly yeast and grape.

Taste: Much like the red with more alcohol an not as sweet, but very similar qualities overall.

Mouthfeel: Nice crisp texture.

Drinkability: I'm positive this will not be my last Chimay Blue, especially since it is getting served in more restaurants locally.

Photo of ryantupy
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 Bottle

A - Poured a nice cloudy dark brown color with a massive foamy head that slowly turns to a small lace around the glass. A little sticky

S - This beer smelled of ripe fruit right upfront with a malty tanginess in the back. Further down the glass the alcohol becomes more noticable.

T - Very smooth with a nice malty character very rich with flavor. Ripe fruit is very noticable as well as a milt hoppy bitterness and alcohol.

M - A nice full-bodied beer that was on the lighter side of carbonation level. The malts and smooth texture of this beer gives you a very warming sensation.

D - This is a beer that is meant for sipping but with that in mind it is easily a drinkable beer. The alcohol will settle in time and make this beer more drinkable as it ages.

Photo of ffejherb
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at Brewhouse Grill in Camp Hill, PA on 12/8/06. Poured 11.2 oz. bottle into snifter glass. A friend bought it for me because he was surprised that I never had a Chimay before.

A - Thick, murky brown (almost like a burnt umbra) body with large, off-white head that mostly diminished and left virtually no lacing around the glass.

S - Heavy on the malt with a light yeasty nose and very obvious sweet/white wine overtones.

T - Initial flavor was lightly sweet with a more acidic finish.

M - Carbonation was quite lively. Had a medium to full bodied palate with a fairly creamy texture. The finish was somewhat alcoholic, almost sweet and sour with quite a bit of effervescence.

D - I'm not a huge fan of Belgians, but this is probably the most drinkable one I've had yet. It is a very well-balanced beer and not as alcoholic as I thought it would be, given the ABV%.

Photo of unclederby
3.43/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

stubby bottle serving: cloudy cola-like in color, with a short-lived, off-white fluffy head which disappeared pronto. spotty lacing decorated the chimay glass. allspice and raisin on the nose. taste is a bit spicy (nutmeg,clove) and dominated by an impression of brown/burnt sugar and finishes off-dry and actually a bit sour... mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation and some graininess and a bit slick as well. i'm not noticing the 9% abv.

i can see why many consider this a crossover beer, as it is an easily accesible and aquirable belgian... but it just has too little complexity for me for the style and lacks the elan necessary to bring me back for a return visit...

Photo of Cresant
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this 11.2 oz. undated bottle into a Chimay goblet. Body was a cloudy prune juice/cola color. Semi-opaque, viscous appearance. Healthy off-white head quickly faded to a collar and island of foam.

Smell was subtle but blossomed as it warmed further. Light grainy spiciness. Sweet malts (brown sugar). Faint alcohol aroma. Pancake syrup. Lifesavers candy. Raisin bread. Never overpowering. Complex and intersting.

Taste was a prune-like sweetness. Tart. Faint metallic flavor. Rich, but not too much. An interesting grainy taste that I have never really experienced before, unique.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a zesty pleasant burn of alcohol and carbonation. A very drinkable beer.

Photo of ekempey
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice cloudy dark brown/chocolate color, poured easily it generated a nice head, with dissapated rather quickly. The first smell has raisins on the nose. The beer on the tongue is very rich with almost a creamy quality, though far too carbonated in retrospect. The beer is very drinkable, to it's disadvantage, as my glass ran empty too quickly. I'd buy it agian, but I would need to try to pair it with a meat dish.

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sure its a little weaker, but this tastes just like a Quad to me, Three Philosophers especially, but without the cherry lambic. Got a bottle with dinner at La Cena in Fayetteville (just outside Syracuse), The sweetness of the beer went great with the lamb and sweet potatoes. Smells of raisins and dry dates. Tasted more tart and bitter with some cherry, white grape, and brown sugar. Very drinkable, just make sure you don't serve it too cold. This beer comes alive at cellar temp.

Photo of yeastpuppet
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a murky brown with a tan , fine bubbled , 1.5 finger head that diminished to a thin layer of bubbles that coated the beer surface and 1/2 way up the tulip glass .

Unable to smell any hops , but a fine smell of raisins/plums and malt is most evident . Pleasent . Salivation commences rapidly .

Finely balanced . bitterness and malt sweetness blend together seamlessly . damn this is good ...Mouthfeel is light with carbonation that is just right . This beer is Honed ..

Drinkability wise . this beer sucks . 9 % !!! . I want about 4 more ..
Much too drinkable ..I 'll buy more .and spend a lot of time trying to homebrew a reasonable substitute ....

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

I had an aged bottle from 1999 at Bierhuis Kulminator in Antwerp. It was served at cellar temperature in a Chimay chalice. They had bottles of Chimay Blue all the way back to 1981.

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown-ruby with a creamy beige head that fades to a thin film, leaving patches of lace.

Smell: This definitely smells aged. Rich and malty with notes of caramel, toffee, and dark fruit. There are also vinuous notes as well as some alcoholic spiciness.

Taste: Malty upfront with toasty flavors as well as sweet caramel and dark fruit, sweet, but not too sweet. The finish has a light tartness with pepper, alcohol and a very light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and thick, with low carbonation.

Drinkability: Smooth and full flavored, but mellow.

Overall: This is definitely one that improves with age. I think that it might be worth it to buy a case of Chimay every year just to cellar.

Photo of dgfair
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, served in my Chimay goblet

A - Dark chocolate brown color, almost opaque. Head is big, but a little thin looking. The head dissipates to a nice layer of froth on top of the liquid and sticks around til the beer is gone. Nice lacing on the glass too.

S - Very complex smell from the beginning. Candy sugar, ripe dark fruits, toffee, and caramel first come to the forefront. Just spectacular...the smell is both complex and delighting at the same time. Hard to even take a sip, because I could sit here and smell this all night.

T - Taste is both sweet and peppery with a little underlying alcohol warmth. Pick up the fruity tastes more in the aftertaste, perhaps figs or dates. Maybe even a little apple or pear sweetness coming through. Overall, great taste that will take many more tastings to fully unveil all of the complex flavors.

M - Mouthfeel is very creamy, but seems to be fairly highly carbonated, which takes away from the enjoyment a little bit and makes it a little harder to pick up flavors.

D - I really enjoy drinking this ale and would like to sit around for hours drinking these and pondering life's meaning. Perhaps I should become a Trappist Monk after all.

Photo of Grundle20
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a chestnut brown into the Chimay chalice glass. There was really no head to speak of which made for little to no lacing. I think had that bar I was served the beer at not kept it so cold it would have been slightly more impressive in this aspect.

There's big beefy scents here of toffee, caramel, honey suckle like esters, a warm alcohol presence, and an obligatory underlying yeast funk. Again I believe a little warming time would have made these scents explode but the beer still managed to wow me with it's depth and complexity of scents.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The beer is built up on a huge crisp malt body of dark caramel and toffee malt flavors. The beer drinks slightly thick and full and coats every corner of my mouth. There's spicy floral character towards the finish which ultimately exits with a full aftertaste of big malts.

Bottom Line:
I've had better bottles of this before but this was still respectable. A little aging and some warmer serving temperatures would have served this beer well but I unfortunately didn't have time to sit on my lunch break and let this bad boy breath for a while. Shame on the bar for not properly serving the brew but props for having it at all.

Photo of bigdeuce
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This dark belgian is absolutely phenomenal! Pours a rocky head with great lacing. Is an opaque black color and a great winter brew. Downside to this beer, although one of the top Belgians in the world, is way overpriced. You can get a Duvel for half the price. But, it has fruity esthers, cherries, cocoa, some orange peel and plum. Awesome brew, wish the price would come down to reality, as it is $5.00 for an 11.2 Oz beer.

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

Edit - just sampled a fresh bottle sent by my son from Belgium, hasn't sat in a hot warehouse. Absolutly fantastic1

Wow, just a gorgeous pour – deep ruby red topped by a luscious pillow of dense and tight tan foam. Great lacing left throughout the glass. Good gob of yeastys on the bottle bottom.

First, a spicey whiff of an aromatic malt, clove and mixed fruit. Then the quaff, ummm, what a full bodied, rich wave of the malty mixture of Belgium yeast and candy cane. Nice lil’ pop of phenolics and spice.

Just a superb sipper for any time – a real winter warmer if you desire. The 9% is well hide behind the loaded malts. I’d luv to make this a normal drinker, the $10 bomber price is a bummer, esp. when you could buy this in Belgium for a couple bucks.

Photo of dhchatfield
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my wife's favorite beer. As a result, it's almost always in the house and I drink it quite often. I thought it was time to review...the biggest snow of the year is on the way, my Bengals are on tonight, it's my day off, ahhh

Poured into my La Chouffe mini-tulip. I bought this one chilled. In fact, over-chilled. It's been warming on the counter for over an hour. I'm guessing it's at about 50 degrees.

A - It's funny, as many of these as I've had, I've never really stopped to look. A beautiful dark ruby color. Barely translucent. Not much head, but I tend to pour this one very conservatively. No lacing whatsover.

S - Not much there at the start. A faint earthy plum aroma. A hint of alcohol. As things warm, they start to jump a little. Coffee candy, butterscotch?

T - Wonderful. Deep, rich and full. A good hoppy blast at the forefront that is chased by an earthy malt and yeasty alcohol blast. Very, very, dry at the end.

M - An adventure in itself. Very active across the palate. Muted at first, then the effervescence dances its' tiny bubbles across your tongue, washing everything to the side and making way for the alcohol.

D - Highly drinkable. I flat out love this beer. My wife and I have been known, (on rare occasions) to polish off three 750's of the delicious beer. As I mentioned above, it's always in the house.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,799 ratings.