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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

6,546 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,546
Reviews: 2,162
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 299
Gots: 849 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,546 | Reviews: 2,162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fish113d
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: A chilled bottle served into a snifter.

Pouring a mahogany color with ruby highlights, it leaves a 1/4" tan bubbly head; decent head retention as well. Leaves a nice edge layer with nice lacing. Very little light gets through my glass as I attempt to look through it.

Dark malts on the nose with a bit of fruit (grapes possibly) and a bit of oak. Nothing fancy; not what I expected.

Sipping, I get a sweet caramel flavor with grapes and even some oak wood flavors mainly throughout. Maybe a rasberry chocolate flavor?

Sharp carbonation, I expected it to be a bit softer on the palete, along with a bit of alcohol drying on the finish. Not too shabby, but I did expect a bit less carb.

Overall, a nice tasting full bodied brew, that only has one knock- the amount of carbonation that killed my palete.

Fish113d, Aug 25, 2005
Photo of sopor
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery Brown brew that seemd to light from mahogany brown when poured. Tan creamy head dies down to a thin film that will regrow to a thin head at the slightest agitation.

I can smell this as soon as I begin pouring. A smell like ripe fruit.

A slight roasted malt flaovr with strong fruity sweetness and and a very slight sourness. As it warms the beer got drier and fruityier, with less sweetness.

Very smooth with lively carbonation and moderate body.

For as dark and strong, this is a very drinkable brew!

sopor, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mahogany color that is a tad cloudy. The beer pours with about an inch of off white foam that looks like it is going to stick around. The beer is so dark that you can't really tell if there are any bubbles rising. You would assume that there are because the head lasts so long.

Aroma: Perhaps my senses aren't in the best shape right now, but the aroma is really mild to me. I get a bit of toasty aromas along with a tad of raisin or plum, and that is about it.

Taste: I am probably going to have to edit my review and give this beer another shot with a fresher palate. Right now I get a resiny /syrupy impression that is made much lighter by the adequate carbonation. There isn't one flavor that is noticeable above the rest, so that is what makes a world-class beer...right?

Opinion: I am a bit shocked that my palate is so blasted. I have been drinking Saisons tonight, so this beer is really smooth and clean in comparison. I have drank this beer on many occasions, and I'll plan to score it according to how I know it to be. I'll be back soon, and I'll plan to make this beer my first of the evening.

SkeeterHawk, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of SSGPat
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A friend of mine at work was going to Virginia to get this beautiful liquid. I didn't understand.

We poured a 750 last night. It was shared with 4 people.

Quite a lovely head... it just seemed to stay forever (well, for as long as we could keep liquid in the glass).

It had a beautiful nose. I couldn't quite break it down to individual fruits, but it was fruity.

The taste kept changing... it hit you when you first taste, then returned different flavors until the long aftertaste.

It's mouthfeel was very BIG.

I don't believe that I could drink this all night, but I'd like to try. I well made beer by all respects, just with the ABV, I'd be finished before it was through slapping me around.

Thanks to "Pop the Cap" for making this legal in NC!

SSGPat, Aug 21, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark mahogany brown in color with a beautiful 3 finger head the color of oatmeal.

Aromas are rich and fruity, featuring plum, berries, cherry, molasses, powdered cocoa, sweet malts, and even some tropical fruit.

Flavor is similar. Lots of dark, ripe fruit, plum, rasberry, figs, raisin, light cocoa, leather, molasses, and assertive floral hops rounding it out. No trace of the 9% ABV.

Body is medium, slick, smooth, and creamy textured. I polish off the whole 750 with ease. Love those Monks!

AlexJ, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of danielharper
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Woody's Smokes and Brews, Franklin, TN.

This one pours a nice dark brown color with purple and dark reddish overtones. It has a thick off-white (almost brown) head that dissipates over time into a fine white foamy lacing on the top of the glass.

The scent reminds me more of a dopplebock than a Belgian -- kind of malty, roasty, mildly-hopped aroma with just a hint of alcohol. I find myself drawn into the beer because the aroma is so unexpected.

So strange is the disconnect between aroma and flavor here -- it seems like the beer alternates between tasting like a dark Belgian and some sort of heavy bock beer. At first it has a bitter flavor with the malty elements mentioned earlier, then it moves on into a sweetier, much fruitier and balanced flavor, and upon swallowing it moves back the other way, leaving a bitter aftertaste. Very strange and intruiging behavior for a beer, and the complexity leaves me wanting more.

Mouthfeel is good, moderately thick with low carbonation. Swishes around the mouth nicely but doesn't coat like some other beers. Quite enjoyable.

Overall drinkability is fairly high -- for a beer that's this high in alcohol, it goes down smooth and does not give me anything of an unpleasant aftertaste. At $5.00 a bottle, this beer isn't something I can afford every day, but it's almost one that I _wish_ I could afford every day.

danielharper, Aug 16, 2005
Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea brown color with a spumy khaki head that sheets the chalice with lacing

Smell: Raisiny, bready, a bit of spun candy, gingerbread and tobacco and some fusel alcohol

Taste: Starts with a blast of dry oaky tobacco and then the sweet delicate candied malt kicks in for a while; a bit fruity at first with a green apple aspect, like a caramel apple; after the swallow, the green, caramel apple flavor continues but there is also an underlying earthy and roasty bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a typically lively dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice, but I've enjoyed other Belgians more

brentk56, Aug 15, 2005
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 750ml bottle

Pours an opaque nut brown with a thin creamy tan head. Sheets of lace. Smells of caramel, molasses. Fruity plum aromas. Earthy, bready, grainy.

Tastes has lots of oakiness. Hints of vanilla. Molasses. Rich malt. Bready. Bitter finish. Rich in the mouth. A decent sipper but somehow it doesn't all come together. Aroma is magnificent but taste can't live up to it. I have to say I like the White and the Red better.

ViveLaChouffe, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of klewis
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle


A: A hazy dark brown in color with a three-finger head. Fine sediment at the bottom of the glass. Lots of lacing.

S: Dark fruits, vanilla, and alcohol in the nose. No bready or yeasty aromas typical of most Belgians.

T: This beer has a very nice sweetness. Flavors of banana, pepper, and other spices. Very warm alcoholic taste in the finish.

M: Chewy and sticky, it coats your mouth nicely, allowing the flavors to linger. The carbonation is a little lively for my tastes, and the body seems a touch on the light side for a beer of it's ABV.

D: Overall, this is a beer of very high quality. It's not my favorite Belgian, but I anticipate drinking this one again.

klewis, Aug 11, 2005
Photo of Beastdog75
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Grand Réserve is supposedly the "crown jewel" of the Chimay line. I did enjoy this beer, but I thought there were many similarities to Chimay Red and it wasn't quite as complex as I thought it would be.

Chimay Bleu pours a dark murky brown color with two fingers of tan foam that last for about 5 minutes. Very appetizing appearance. The smell consisted of some "dry fruitiness," yeastiness, and some spice-like qualities as well (reminded me of cinnamon a little bit). Overall, a pleasing semi-sweet aroma. The mouthfeel was smooth on the palette and had some light carbonation. The taste itself was somewhat sweet, as the maltiness had a "dark fruitiness" to it. The spice-like flavors carry over too, and some light alcohol flavors appeared as well. Seeing how this was bottle-conditioned, it has a distinct yeastiness here too (very Belgian tasting). The overall flavor profile reminded me of the Rood, but this is a bit more flavorful and a bit dryer too. The fruity aftertaste lingers on for awhile as well as the dryness, and it finishes up with a good alcoholic warmth.

This was a smooth, flavorful beer, but I did expect a little more out of it. Perhaps a sampling of an aged bottle is in line for me...

Beastdog75, Jul 26, 2005
Photo of palliko
3.03/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is dark auburn with a foamy head and some lacing. Aroma has yeast, fruit, brown sugar. Initial taste is full of yeast, currants, ethanol and brown sugar. Foam is minimal with not much lacing. Body is thin, carbonation medium. Initial taste has notes of malt, yeast, plums, but little hops. Fruits increase as the temperature warms the beer. Finishes dry but with a peculiar aftertaste.

palliko, Jul 19, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Any opportunity to enjoy a chalice of Grand Reserve is a special moment for any beer drinker. I don't take these lightly as it as regal and reverent as any in the history of the world.

Dacanting the beer, a dance of growing effervescence and rich barley-soaked elixir separate with a dark ruby liquid that settles underneath a blanket of creamy and lightened tarnish foam. Retention and lacing are utmost prominent as both are displayed as well as in any beer consumed. Hazed with a vale of yeast, the beer is nearly as mysterious as it is handsome.

A world of aromas are displayed as each visit of the nose to the glass reveals wave after wave of aromas that include dried fruits, peppercorn, vinous grape, candied malts, alcohol zing, and thirst whetting acidity. Every swirl of the glass gives new impressions of aroma time after time.

Strong and sweet, the power of the beer is firm and proud while boasting a candy-coated taste of fruitcake, ripe berries, pitted fruits of dates and raisins, red wine must, red grapes, tart apples, and a plethora of candy-sweet fruit that go on and on. Balanced by the most simple hop additions but more so by the yeast-derived spices of freshly cracked peppercorn, white pepper, cinnamon, and a hint of hazelnut give the beer companion to its fruitiness and a reprieve from the candied sweetness.

Tremendously robust as the culmination of rich malt and explosive carbonation engulf the mouth with a sensation of alcohol warmth, powdered sugar, and hoppy/peppery zeal. As the beer seemingly dissolves before finish, it seems that the beer whimsically disappears on the palate for a fulfilled sip that ends in uninterrupted dryness yet full vinous flavor in aftertaste.

A special tasting of a well aged 16-year old versions (1996 vintage enjoyed in April '12) at the cellars of the Chimay monistary reveals less hop bitterness, less peppery bite, but heightened sherry-like vinous quality that melds together wonderfully with a smooth powdery finish and surprisingly creamy yet low-lying carbonation. This beer ages beautifully under the right circumstances!

BEERchitect, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of ericsdawson
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this wonderful brew pours into the goblet dark opaque with hints of amber color. beautiful thick off-white head tops this delight. some lacing and amazing head retention. smells fairly mild, mostly sweet and bready. tastes fruity up front, hint of bananas. it finishes with a slight bitterness and mild burn of alcohol. this delicious treat was quite rich and smooth, only complaint would be a little over carbonated. if i had any money, this beer would be a weekly event.

ericsdawson, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of lackenhauser
2.85/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, mahogany color. Great big head on top. Decent lacing. Sulfury and yeasty aroma. Reminds me of the dregs of a fermenter. Not a lot there that stands out. A lot of malt upfront flavor wise. Spicy and peppery throughout. I find it fairly one dimensional. The typical "Belgian" yeasts flavor dominates the whole thing. Theres nothing too discernable. Ok body for the style. An average beer overall. Theres some much better beers of this style out there. This just seems like the Sam Adams of Belgians to me. Nothing special and doesnt take too many chances.

lackenhauser, Jun 25, 2005
Photo of NEhophead
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Creamy and pillowy lightly tan head with wonderful retention. Due to the chimay arrowhead at the bottom of the goblet, there's a tornado of carbonation rising to the center of the glass creating a rise in the middle of the head (quite eye pleasing). Thin and condensed lacing with great strength. Deep mahogany in color.

Moderate candied sweetness; brown sugar, nutmeg, pepper, saffron, and a whole other host of spices too intermingled with one another to really identify. Raisin, dates, and dark cherry.

Nice candied sweetness; light hints of mellow dark chocolate. A wall of warming alcohol follows the initial sweetness along with a range of spices: pepper, saffron, etc. Hints of grape, apricot, cherry, and raisin. Finishes dry with touches of oak. The complex alcohol character is very present in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; bold in flavor but mellow on the palate. Almost honey-like in its coating effect.

Overall a fine Trappist Ale; good flavor, great mouthfeel, and wonderful eye candy. The alcohol presence isn't overpowering, but it does keep this ale from session status in my book.

NEhophead, Jun 23, 2005
Photo of mdagnew
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl Bottle from the Vineyard in Belfast

Poured a dark brown coppery colour with a hint of red. Quite a big head which settled down after a couple of minutes to a thin layer on top.

Aroma of chocolate, malt and some citrus. Maybe some cinnamon too ??

Taste – Sweet and malty with a hint of nutty roastiness… also dark fruits (plum, blackcurrent ??)

Mouthfeel – medium to full bodied, quite smooth..

Overall – a world class beer. Unfortunately the bottles I have tasted so far haven’t been very old…. Have a couple cellared now though…

mdagnew, Jun 21, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What better beer to select for my #100. Poured from a 750ml bottle that opened with explosive force.Color is deep ruby-copper color with smallish head. Smell is slighty fruity (raisins) with some malt undertones. Taste was nice and creamy and felt excellent on the tongue. A great beer to enjoy with friends. Goes great with a juicy steak done on the grill.

tgbljb, Jun 21, 2005
Photo of Citadel82
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this with Lunch at Cassis on Stone Street in lower Manhattan. Our hostess was very into this beer but served it in a frosted glass and poured it for us. I graciously accepted and suggested that for future reference she consider a room temperature glass and allowing the customer to pour due to the sediment preferences. She was grateful for the advice and the next round arrived in this manner.

Pours a dark chestnut with a thick and creamy tan head that left lots of lacing. Aroma was fruity, yeasty and sweet. Taste was rich dark malts, caramel and slight hop tang. Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy and was a perfect compliment to the "Steak Frites." Lunch was nirvana. Staying awake til five is going to be a challenge. Cheers.

Citadel82, Jun 16, 2005
Photo of TPSReports
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle served at 48 degrees from my cellar. The is no date on the bottle but a marking of LAM-465, whatever that means.

Pours handsomely into my chalice with a nice finger and half brown head -- mix of small and medium bubbles. The head dissipates over the course of a minute unti is a slight coating on the surface.

This is a fairly dark beer -- not black but seemlingly eggplant dark. (I'm colorblind so not telling what it really looks like to everyone else.)

This a delightful beer that is overpowering the screaming of my 2 year old upstairs. Well, almost. This There is a slight hint of alcohol is in the taste, but not overpowering or unenjoyable. Up front, a doughy malt flavor combined with the yeast. Not as much fruit as I expected to linger on the palate.

This is a smooth drinking brew with just the right tingle of carbonation and hops in the finish. I'm glad that I have this whole bottle to myself for my first experience with Chimay. I will buy this Reserve again, but will look for it in smaller bottles.

TPSReports, Jun 16, 2005
Photo of necoadam
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a deep shade of copper with some good ruby highlights. Big head as well with this one which had to settle down. Smell consisted of yeast at first, but some big dark fruit aromas surge forth. Some underlyinng of malts and roasted aromas. Taste was good. Complex flavors which included dark fruits, yeast, nuts, malts, slight hops, chocolate and roasted flavors. Finished dry which was good to see. Mouthfeel was medium-full boded with good carbonation. The best out of the Chimay lineup for sure. No problems with this beer whatsoever. Recommended.

necoadam, Jun 15, 2005
Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted bottle on 6th June 2005, best by date "before end 2009" batch number LAM-377 (2003).
Poured into Chimay chalice a pleasent dark brown (touch red) with cloud from the contained yeast sediment. A wonderful creamy head formed, a little reminiscent of draught Guinness. This head was quite unlike the other two Chimay Trappists. Appearence reminded me of a large Irish Coffee!

The smell was surprisingly faint, hard to know what it reminded me of; not unpleasent though.

The taste was fairly complex, with roasted malt, slightly burnt blackcurrant with a nice aftertaste lingering. Not too alcoholic despite the 9% present.

The mouthfeel was quite the smoothest I have tasted.

Overall this is one of the best crafted beers I have sampled. In that I mean the full gamut from taking the glass to one's lips, through taste, mouthfeel, swallow and aftertaste are a seemless flow. Excellent.
Hey! My glass is empty!

NOTE: tasted 2004 batch on 31st Oct 2005. All of the above notes apply except for an improved smell. Very nice beer; DO NOT OVERCHILL!

JohnfromDublin, Jun 07, 2005
Photo of alexgash
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle sampled at a small little cafe in Florence. Pours a dark, raisiny murky cola brown with a cobweb-lace-inducing light brown head. Muy nice looking. Nose is dark fruits: plums, raisins, vinous grapes. Some chocolate and roasted notes come through. Light, but crescendo-ing bitterness leads to a yeasty, sherry-ish finish that's drier than you'd think. Full bodied and rich with a nice, creamy feel that never gets cloying. Not my favorite Trappist, but plenty good and you have to appreciate the availability.

alexgash, Jun 04, 2005
Photo of theozag
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

start to finish, this brew looks exactly the same. it'd be a good pint to hide behind, in fact, because it is totally opaque. its color is a slightly-dark brown and it sports a beige-to-tan head that remains a few minutes after pouring.

aroma of this beer is not particularly noticable, but it does have a very pleasant dark chocolate note.

chimay blue starts outstandingly sharp with its roasted malt flavors immediately obvious. it hits your tongue with a distinct bite and from the first sip your tastebuds are "off to the races." settles on your tongue with a distinctly full body and all the richenss you might expect from a high-end after-dinner chocolate. flavors of this brew include carmel, whipping cream, cinnamon, coffee - all over a chocolate-like foundation. finishes much sharper than it starts or settles, as it rolls from the tongue with a strong hop bite and leaves behind a creamy but markedly long-lasting aftertaste (which thankfully isn't too oppressive).

in a single sentence, the best way i can explain this beer is: "like drinking a coffee-dipped chocolate bar that finishes stronger than it starts."

pour and enjoy!

theozag, May 30, 2005
Photo of Brian700
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark brown with a tan head that sticks around for a long time. Excellent aroma. It smells of dark fruit, alcohol, and a little spice. The taste is also a little spicey with flavors of some of the darker variety fruits such as dates, plum, and raisins. The mouthfeel is good. Perfect amount of carbonation for this brew. I would say this is a very drinkable beer considering the Alcohol content. I would definately recommend this beer to anyone who likes great beer.

Brian700, May 30, 2005
Photo of Andreji
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've finally managed to age a beer for further than 6 months.

Poured from a year old 75cl cork-top bottle.

As always, the appearance is as stunning, a creamy tan top, with a good retention, the remaining foam stuck to the sides of my glass, no internal fizzyness, quite a still head.

The smell is fantastic. alcoholey, yes, but with a scent of rum...red fruits, just a slight astringency that is nonetheless discarded, i dunno how to say this, but I'm definetly taken to my mother's christmas dark cake....

The taste...I wish I was more eloquent in my english. the bitterness comes ahead rather than at the end, but blends with a beautiful fruity sweetness, a bit cola-ish, a bit citrusy at times...even a bit floury.

The mouthfeel is just right for the style. the alcohol shows off undiscrete, around a fizzy, yet medium to heavy mouthfeel...

The drinkability, well, as always. i've said it- the alcohol is there, no one's hiding it. but god, don't I crave for another?

Andreji, May 14, 2005
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 6,546 ratings.