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

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

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6,739 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,739
Reviews: 2,173
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 327
Gots: 982 | FT: 13
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)
View: Beers (5) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,739 | Reviews: 2,173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MmmIPA
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark brown color,small head.(2nd pour had a better head)

S-Fruit and not hoppy at all.A little malt smell.

T-Malt and I dont know what else I taste.Im prob going to hell for this.LOL

M-Very good,2nd time I had this but my first time reviewing it.Very tasty

D-700 ml Bottle wasnt enough! I wanted more,I could drink a few bottles of this.This is one fine ale!. Recommended!

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

I have an 18 month old bottle of Chimay sitting around, but before trying it out I had to have a brand new bottle, so I bought one and tried it out.

A: Poured into a Snifter a very dark brown color, with a tan head about a centimeter thick that didn't stick around too long but left a nice crown around the edges and put a tad bit of lacing on the glass. On a second glance I figured I'd also use the word cloudy to describe it too.

S: This was really, really interesting. My first impression was raisins or clove, but then I started to think I caught a whiff of alcohol, something like a white rum, as well as a malty sweetness. Definitely, on further reflection, fruity with some caramel too it, floral and yeasty, and I'd have to say it's got a spice character to it. Lots of adjectives to throw around here.

T: Awesome. Starts off kinda sweet and almost spicy, with a caramel like character, and then follows with a floral, light bitterness, with hints of hops in the background and on the aftertaste. You've definitely got the malt character here, and the apparent spiciness is something that's really got me going. I'd also mention that you can feel a slight alcoholic burn at the back end.

M: Medium-bodied, very, very smooth, with a good amount of carbonation there to make it interesting, but never too much. I'd venture to say that, as part of mouthfeel, you have to include the alcohol that lingers on the backend.

D: Can't talk about this like it's a session beer, so any drinkability comment has to revolve around my willingness to drink it. It looks good, tastes great, and exists as a very complex, interesting beer. It's very enjoyable, but I'm sure that if you had more than a 750mL to yourself, the strength and sweetness of this beer might overwhelm you. I'd recommend it in moderation, so that you can enjoy it more. That said, it's always drinkable.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh, the Trappist ales. Can't get enough of them. The blue-label Chimay pours a thinner head than expected, but that thin layer sticks around awhile. Ample carbonation with a super-dark caramel color.

I thought I knew my spices, in the kitchen and in the beer world, but there's something in this aroma that I can't describe. It's like an Indian spice, a bit sharp, but sweet too. I'll call it clove, anise, cinnamon and ginger, with some raisin and rum in the background.

A strong anise flavor hits the tastebuds first, followed by a light milk chocalate-soaked raisin flavor that lingers a good while. All spice elements noted in the aroma above come through in the mouth, subtle but clear. A creamy, milky mouthfeel takes the flavors to another level, and I just can't say enough good things about this one. Certainly nothing bad. Even the high 9% alcohol is incorporated well enough that you only notice it in context of everything else that's going on. Superb, superb, superb.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 750ml bottle, caged and cork. Pours a dark, dark, amber. The tan head was filled with large bubbles, not very thick or stiff, quickly dissipating with only a suggestion of lacing. The carbonation seemed to be lacking a bit, despite of sizzling bubbles through the center. and along the edges.

Gave off an aroma of sweet roasted malt, plum, and a touch of grassy and floral notes. The flavor was full of sweet candied malts and caramel yeast, plum, and a strong presence of alcohol. The spice barely makes itself known, an afterthought.

The mouthfeel is light--too light for a dark ale--sweet and playful on the tongue, smoothing out into caramel yeast, a touch of bright plum, and finally finsihed off with a flare of alcohol.

Despite it's many positive characteristics, it's a bit heavy-handed on the sweetness for my taste, lowering the drinkablity. I'd be tapped out after one--if fact I struggle to finish the bottle. This was out of personal preference, rather than any flaw in the brewing.

Solid but disappointing in respect to the expectations I held for a Grande Reserve. In fact, I wonder what the conditioning of this bottle has been. Perhaps it is just too young and needs more time in the bottle. Perhaps I need to try it again.

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

Appearance: Dark brown color with a large one inch head that difused quickly.

Smell: Sweet fruity aromas.

Taste: Barley wine, not as strong as Grand Cru, but still there.

Mouthfeel: Easy almost creamy feel.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, one of my favs....but price in the bars...

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

Poured a reddish amber color with a HUGE off white head. Fruity, malty, slightly sweet aroma and I still can't get over this head. Smooth spicy taste with slight alcohol presense as the brew warms up. Back a few months ago, this was my introduction to Trappists, and I was not disappointed! I drank a 2000 vintage magnum the other night and just wanted to note how awesome it tasted. Still I thought the aroma was alittle weak, but once it hits your mouth it is amazing.

Photo of dblinkhorn
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a dark reddish/amber copper-brown, but is black when poured completely, unless held up to a light. The liquid is quite clear unless you accidentally pour some of the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. The head pours quite large...about four fingers. It is soapy and light tan in color. It dissipates at an average rate, leaving a velvety (still a bit soapy, in spots) cap on top of the brew.

Smell - Lots of floral scents on the nose, along with a strong aroma of dark ripened fruits. The hops character is clean and crisp, but it is not as strong as the rest of aroma. The malt smells are sweet, rich, and bready. Notes of spice tie it all together, with obvious aromas of clove and a hint of cinnamon. The alcohol aroma is very light, but easy to pick up on.

Taste - The foundation of flavor is the sweet, bready malt. It is very rich and consistent throughout the taste. The floral notes again play a large part of the taste. The hops are hidden in the background of the flavors, but are light in bitterness and pretty clean tasting. The spices are present but also in the background. There is a pleasing alcohol burn throughout the taste, accompanying more malt flavor and a bit of hop bitterness into the aftertaste. This brew has a quite complex flavor, and all the flavors work in symphony.

Mouthfeel - Perfect carbonation all the way though. There is no unpleasant bite on the tongue, but a nice tingle that holds through the entire taste and lingers a bit into the aftertaste. The brew is medium-bodied and as smooth as any beer you can imagine. It massages your mouth and tongue!

Drinkability - With nice levels of carbonation, a well-hidden alcohol presence, and a superb flavor, don't be surprised if you drink a whole 750ml bottle of this by one sitting.

Overall, this is a extremely high-quality trappist brew. Of all the trappist brews, this is definitely my favorite. It has such a nice rounded flavor, perfect mouthfeel, and wonderful smell. This is a must have brew, folks!

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

11.2oz bottle into a brandy snifter.

Pours a cloudy deep red, paired with a nice tan colored head. A nice cap settles a while after the beer is poured. Patchy lacing along the edges.

Strong fruity aromas mixed with hints of alcohol. Small grainy-malty notes. The head is loaded with Belgian fruit aroma themes.

A spicy splash begins the show, settling down to a smooth malty wave. The finish is increasingly dry as it warms, with a strong alcohol finish.

Feels crisp and dry on the tongue with moderate carbonation. Relatively full bodied for an ale of this color. Doesn't feel watered down at all.

A very complex and inviting beer which pulls you in then gives you a kick. A good choice for any celebration (except maybe your friends release from AA).

Photo of flyerduke
3.1/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

When opening the bottle, I damn near punched a hole in the wall with the cork. Beer pours a hazy brown color with a big ass fluffy off white head. Way over carbonated. The aroma smells like a Bud after just poppin’ a can open. Flavor isn’t much better. Light malt sweetness with some background esters. The bitterness seems to linger. Medium body. Slight alcohol warming. Very disappointed with this beer. Hope the wife will drink the rest.

Photo of roblowther
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the 750ml bottle. Pours a gorgeous brownish black with a dense head of tiny bubbles that sits for quite a while, fed by a steady stream of "me too"s running up the sides of the chalice. The smell is lovely, the spice from the oh-so-recognizable yeast mixing with notes of raisin and chocolate. The taste is yeast up front, spicy on the tip of the tongue, then melting to a nutela-like mix and a warming alcohol finish. Mouthfeel is very good, slippery on the tongue and maybe just a whisker thin to support the strong malty/yeasty flavors. The carbonation is excellent and balances the dark character of the beer nicely. The drinkability is excellent. It goes down very easily for a 9 percenter. The brothers definitely got some divine intervention on this one.

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

Poured into a snifter, pretyt impressive dark brown with a nice fluffy carmel head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Smell is of fresh ripe fruits apples with a hint of maltiness and some fresh bread. Taste is very complex tastes like warm apple cider with hints of roasted goodness maybe with some nice yeast touches in there. This was a very good drink the alcohol was very masked and this drink went down very smooth, it stated on the bottle to let it warm up a bit, but I finished it to quickly because of the smoothness of this, I guess next one I drink I will let it warm up a bit to see if another flavor comes out of it. Two thumbs up.

Photo of Generik420
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't have a true chalice style glass to use to drink this, so substituted large wine glasses instead, and they worked out pretty well. This pours a deep brown color and there is a lot of evervescence noticeable the entire time. The aroma is fantastic and somewhat hoppier then I expected from a Belgian ale. This beer drinks more like a wine then a beer, and I think should be sipped and savored slowly to truly appreciate it. Very complex flavors, some malty sweetness, a little sourness, and more then a hint of hops present. What I thought was particularly interesting was if you take a good sized sip and hold it in your mouth for a few seconds, you can feel the carbonation on your tongue. Almost reminiscent of the effect Pop-Rocks or champagne would have. Fantastic beer, but I find it a little pricey to drink on anything other then a special occassion.

Photo of RobertDwight
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a lovely dark reddish brown hue into a challis. I love the head, its very creamy and stays with the beer until the finish. Smells and tastes are of nuts like walnut and pecan, roasted barely, coffee, chocolate, and caramel. I love the mouthfeel of this beer. Drinkability is very good, I could easily have more than my share of this if I am not careful. From the moment you take your first sip and it laps over your tongue until you swallow it is sheer jubilance!

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.05/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chimay- Blue

Appearance- Hazy reddish brown with a thick head that disappated quickly.
Smell- light fruitiness and alcohol.
Taste- immediatelt hit with a raisin/ prune fruitiness followed by a heavy dose of alcohol!! Mild malt tones finish the taste along with spices (pepper perhaps).
Mouthfeel- Fruity but the 9% alcohol is just too high for me. Beer finishes off nicely with a good maltiness.

Overall- A beer that has potential. The flavor is almost there and the alcohol is too high! If these 2 could be better regulated this would be phenominal!

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a dark cloudy brown with a very thick persistent head. The smell is floral and a bit hoppy. The taste is well balanced between malt and hops with a floral hint. The aftertaste is a bit sweet. The mouthfeel is medium bodied but unexpectedly light for the color. The carbonation adds just a little zing to this brew. I’d consider this one a delight to have whenever possible.

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

Appearance: Deep mahogany with a few cloudy orange hues. 1/2 inch head leaves good thick suds. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Bready malts, with a muted background of licorice wisps, blood plums, cherry skins and hints of booze.

Taste: Bread, plums, and hints of apricots - great balance in this one. Hints of licorice and fennel, with caramel and cocoa developments.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with a great bitter finish. Good malty aftertaste. Low carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid Belgian ale - very smooth, very mellow, and very drinkable.

Photo of Iguana
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured a nice looking dark brown with a small 2cm head that settled down quickly.

Smell - Hints of vanilla, ripe fruit, spice, fig. Smells pretty good.

Taste - The taste is good, I guess I may have been expecting more, but I am enjoying this. Spicy, extremely rich and sweet. I'd call it a dessert beer its so rich. Alcohol burn comes through in the end.

Mouthfeel - Sticky, syrupy, thick. Very enjoyable, coats the palette and allows you to fully enjoy what your tasting.

Drinkability - May not have more than 1 of these in a day, but definitly will look to have this again. A great after-dinner beer.

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

Beautiful deep brown coloration with a good inch of light brown head fading fast to little clusters and circles of carbonation, but very, very inviting. Has a nice malty, bready nose on the subtle side with some vinegar/olive traces. Taste is vinegar up front, turning malty after the first swallow, carbonation is brought by the third and a nice balance arrived at in the fourth. Alcohol of course is detected in the aftertaste, and a bit of bitter hops on the back end. Some wine like qualities as in other dark Belgians. Chimay is right up there with the best of them.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle. 1998 vintage. Thanks to Mushroomcloud for this one!

Pours a dark chocolatey brown with a fluffy tan head. Mild lacing on the glass.

Lots of dark fruity aromas and light bready tones. There is also a slight booziness present, but it's a very positive contribution. It smells like this has aged extremely well.

The taste falls short of expectations. It has definitely lost it's edge over time. Don't get me wrong, it does taste just like it smells. Just like a slightly watered down version.

Medium body, good carbonation.

Still very drinkable, but certainly past it's peak. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience to get a chance to taste this vintage brew.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Round 7 of the 9-Round Trappapooza/Trappaganza '06 with expatsteve.

Pour: murky mahogany/garnet with a cm of khaki foam that fizzles to nothing.

Nose: dark, funky fruit - black cherry, prune and date - spicy yeast, sweet vinegar fruit, light booze, tart kiwi.

Taste: dry yeast, plum, caramel cream, booze, flaming cherries, brandy raisins and doughy yeast.

Feel: fizzy, slick, light body, yeasty grit. Substantial yet far from rich due to the alcohol content.

Drinkability/Overall: very high for the abv, this is a lesson in understated, refined complexity and balance. Very nice.

Photo of Socrates
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into crystal wine glass to maximize aroma.

Thick head is a tannish color, medium to large size bubbles giving way to small bubbles upon dissipation. Beer is a nice brown color, opacity gives about 1 inch of visibility.

Smell is very light, some hint of spiciness, but not at all an indication of the flavor, which is much stronger, and enhanced by the active carbonation. Notes of cinnamon and brandy fade to a nice lingering memory of maltiness, carrying the edgy presence of alcohol all the way through. Still, the aftertaste leaves one begging for another swig. However, it is not light enough to permit the consumption of more than one.

I would recommend this beer with a meal where some strength can be used to prepare the palate for each bite, i.e., not a spicy dish. Perhaps turkey with sweet potatoes would be an ideal accompaniment, ideal for thanksgiving, perhaps. I don't think this goes well with salty foods, unlike many other beers.

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

Poured into a Chimay goblet, it is a deep brown color with hints of a nice ruby red. Pretty clear, too. Relatively thick off white head that settled to a nice somewhat thin cap relatively quickly.

Aroma is an abundance of dark fruits. Plum, raisin, etc. Some yeast spiciness/phenolics, too.

Flavor is more of the same, with a nice, subtle roastiness thrown in.

Mouthfeel is quite full with a nice, high carbonation.

Overall, its a good beer.

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

Pours (in a goblet, of course) a dark reddish brown with a thick tan head that is sustained throughout consumption. It settles down to a thin creamy covering. Aroma of sherry, leather, cocoa and alcohol. The mouthfeel is full with a lot of carbonation. The carbonation softens a bit as the ale warms. Dark malt flavor on the front combines with plummy sort of fruitiness. Woody, oaky rum hits midway with the alcohol. No, masking the 9% here. Some feint chocolate toward the back.

This is easily one that could be aged and I wouldn't mind doing so to see how the flavors change over time. Chimay Blue is a sipper... one to sit back with and enjoy. A nice comptemplative, relaxing ale.

Photo of peabody
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pop goes the beer!
Man, this Chimay has some carbonation. After the big boom I poured a tulip glass full and the head almost spilled out. Three fingers at least. The carbonation stays with the drink for quite some time. Very little lacing but the beer was kinda cold.
The cork says 11/05 but you can smell the alcohol first and foremost.Fruits malt and nuts are the main aroma after that.
Malty sweet flavor meets the tounge and a toffee and cinnamon aftertaste followed by a warm alcohol feel in the back of the throat.
This is by far the better of the three Chimay's available.
Mouthfeel is very pleasant with a slight resiny feel after the carbonation leaves.
all thing said, this is a very good beer.

Photo of AmorousAngel
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle, dated 02/06 (split it with my husband; I didn't drink the whole thing).

Very dark opaque brown with a reddish tint. Very fluffy tan head that resembles the froth on a root beer float.

Distinct roasted malt aroma, with a hint of fruit and sweetness. Pleasant touch of caramel.

Flavor does not disappoint. Complex, dominated by roasted malt and sweetness.

A bit tingly on the tongue in the begining, but as it warms toward room temperature, it gets smoother.

A very nice beer for sipping. Heavy and luscious, as expected. Will have to try this again when the the weather gets cold.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,739 ratings.