1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,552 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5552
Reviews: 2119
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.96%

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,552 | Reviews: 2,119 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of resirob


4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet, this beer is an opaque black/brown. Topped by a healthy tan head.

Aromas of roasted malt, dark fruit, slight spices, and a shot of yeast.

Taste: Substantial fruity malt beginning that easily melds into hop spiciness, with a toasty dry finish. This beer easily makes my Top Ten on taste alone.

Full, smooth, velvet mouthfeel. Clean finish and adequate carbonation bolster the drinkability despite the high alcohol content.

My favorite among the Chimay offerings. There’s always room for a Grand Reserve or two in the beer fridge.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2004 16:28:55 | More by resirob
Photo of ManekiNeko


3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 bottle served lightly chilled in a Westmalle goblet.

Appearance: Murky cola colored liquid topped by a initially healthy and thick off-white head. Recedes to a short layer of foam pretty quick. Not much in the way of lacing.

Smell: Candi sugar and sweet malts dominate. Cloves with some medicinal-esque hops. Pleasant, but not exquisite aroma-wise.

Taste: Anise twinged sweet dark malts with clove aftertastes. Not a very complex taste, but still pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a mild cotton candy-like sensation on the palate.

Drinkability: Pleasant overall, certainly a well-made beer, but I like the other, more obscure, Trappist beers out there. A good intro to the style, though, and readily available.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2004 03:06:28 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a rich Belgian style scent with a number of crystal malts and fruity yeast. The taste is great. It is full of malts and Belgian spice. It has a raisin/ molasses taste that is excellent. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine drinking Belgian style. It's dark and robust, but damn good; a real good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 20:19:36 | More by WesWes
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours an opaque milk chocolate brown. There's an explosive, hellacious off-white head, like a pillowy mousse, that comes and stays for a good long time, with just awesome retention. There's descendingly thicker, winding ribbons of rich lacing.

The aroma carries a heavy malt backbone, along with a yeasty sour note, delivering a grainy, doughy aura. There are lighter notes of clove and cinnamon, with a distant dry citrus at the end, all wrapped around an indistinct vapor of alcohol.

The flavor is malt first, and substantially so, with an earthy sweetness rounded by a mellow caramel note. The yeast lends a biscuity character, and a light, dry grapefruit note mingles with cloves to compliment and mitigate a considerable alcohol presence. The finish is a swirling melange of all the flavors, fading slowly and luxuriantly.

It's medium bodied, clinging across the tongue and mouth, making a strong name for itself. It seems to be an ideal compromise between light and heavy, coating just long enough.

It's a long-time standard, and justifiably so. The flavor and aroma are full and balanced enough to really grab and hold your attention, but not so busy as to lose its identity at any point. This is one of my wife's favorites, and it always puts a smile on her face when I bring it home. In spite of the strong ABV, it's drinkable because you just have to taste it again. There's nothing like a pair of worn slippers, a loyal dog, or a trusty Chimay Blue.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 16:35:47 | More by Foxman
Photo of RootedFool


4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased an 11.20 ounce bottle at the Arcata, California Co-op.

I pour slow and the head literally erupts. "Respect me!" it says, and I do.

Color is a nearly opaque, deep mahogany.

A gorgeous bouquet greets my nose. Rich, hearty malt sweetness, surrounded by savory fruit -- I pick up hints of raisins, prunes, dried figs -- and there's a refreshingly earthy undertone, like a forest after a rain storm, with a tinge of yeast.

The taste opens with bright notes of the fruity, earthy malts so blatant in the nose, followed by a pronounced hop kick along the circumference. Aftertaste is malt and a very balanced alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is creamy and leaves no stickiness on the palate -- clean.

A high ABV is the only reason I'm not giving drinkability a 5.

I'll definitely try this again, along with the other Chimay brews. It's perfect for a rainy winter evening, like tonight.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 03:48:26 | More by RootedFool
Photo of theo692


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A wonderful beer, from the moment you decide to take it off the rack until the last sip. Opening it is a ceremony in itself, like deciding to crack open a fine champagne. The aroma hints that it will be a heavy beer, as do the dark color and dense head. But the taste surprises - a hint of malt, to be sure, but it's not cloying in any way. A smooth flavor that warms as it goes, and a clean finish.

I have tried other beers of this type that attempt to replicate Chimay's remarkable flavor and balance (while packing quite a wallop). I won't name names, but I've found them to be far too aggressive in their flavors (nutty, oaky, or just plain alcohol-y).

Remarkably, this beer feels at home on a night before the fire or a spring afternoon; with a strong cheese or by itself; one or several. You'll find better "seasonal" beers, made specially for Xmas or for a hot summer day, but there is no better all-around beer than the Grande Reserve.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2004 04:31:42 | More by theo692
Photo of jtfest


3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured dark with chocolate highlights - virtually opaque in the glass - with a creamy, small to moderate light tan head. The aroma was of sweet, roasted malt. The carbonation gave the mouthfeel almost soda pop-like resemblances, and it seemed to leave a coating on the palate that lingered after swallowing. The flavor was sweet and yeasty, with sort of a toasted highlight. It's a pretty beer and everything was good, but it didn't leave me wanting another one immediately, so it lost a few points in the drinkability department.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2004 03:33:15 | More by jtfest
Photo of claytri


3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Grand Reserve poured a fine opaque brown with a 1/2 a finger of tan head that dissipated to a nice lace. The smell was of malt, yeast, and alcohol. The taste was a fizzy alcohol with a nice shot of yeast and malt in the finish. It's feel was smooth and foamy with some iron in the aftertaste. Initially it seemed as it might be a good session beer, but the carbonation was just too much. A good beer to finish the night off after a good meal.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2004 21:42:37 | More by claytri
Photo of joecast


4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

wow, what a beer!
crack open the top and watch it work. its like the yeast gets into overdrive and starts working again (ok so its probably only co2, but its cool to watch), to the point that the sediment gets disturbed and redistributed throughout the bottle.

a head starts forming in the bottle forcing me to pour before i am finished admiring the action of whats happening inside.
pour into what i think its a sufficiently large glass. no, the head is enourmous! and that color. beige always seemed like such a dull color before.

the aroma is mesmerizing. sweet malty and faintly of concentrated fruit syrup (berries?). maybe some brown sugar as well.
the beer itself is a deep mahogany color. just light enough to see the sediment floating around at the edges of the glass. almost a dark ruby color when held up to light.

again a sweet malty taste, and strong, but not a harsh alcohol flavor for 9%abv. just a warming finish at the back of your mouth.

easily the best beer ive ever had (yet). everything about it is just done right, not too much not too little. more please???

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2004 06:46:27 | More by joecast
Photo of benmiliron


3.53/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Paid $7.99 for a 22 oz. bottle I think? "11/02" printed on the cork.

Good looking dark brown, which I didn't expect. Foamy head that vanishes and doesn't come back.

Smells fruity, yeasty and of alcohol. Good malt and hop presence in the aroma too.

Taste is good. Alcohol soaked fruit, a hint of licorice, candied something. There's a little bit of an astringent taste in there though.

Mouthfeel is pretty standard, a rush of foam then clear bubbly beer.

Drinkability - not worth the price, but a good brew. Would buy more if it were half the cost.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2004 00:39:29 | More by benmiliron
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presented in the signature stubby brown bottle with the blue label, Chimay's top-of-the-line beer had a murky dark brown hue and a compact, resilient off-white head that grudgingly faded to a small cap, leaving behind wispy lace.
The smell was an understated blend of bready malt, candy sugar, and some alcohol-soaked dark fruit. A hint of nuts briefly surfaced after it warmed a bit. The taste had an earthy maltiness and some raisin and candied plum notes for a sweet opening. A yeast infused nut bread flavor and light chocolate and toffee also played across the palate. Unfortunately, a harshly astringent alcohol flavor grabbed the back of the tongue, resulting in a rather unappealing metallic taste, something I noticed in all of Chimay's offerings. The feel was medium-bodied, well carbonated and dry.
Well, I've had all three of the Chimay brews I've seen and none, including the Grand Reserve, have shown me anything to make me get all excited over them. This beer definitely gets better as it nears room temp but never quite reaches the mark for me. Maybe it should have sat in my cellar longer. Somehow, I don't think that would have helped all that much. Overrated, over-hyped, and over-priced, this flagship offering from Chimay doesn't meet the standard set by St. Bernardus' Abt 12 or Rochefort 10.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2004 16:55:07 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted 1/16/04 at our little Extravaganza Belgique.

Now we moved to the grandaddy of them all, so to speak. It had been way too long since I tasted a Grande Reserve (back in May, in Brussels).

This Blue poured very, very dark brown, with a thinner than expected white head, given the relative furiousness of carbonation. Dark, fruity aromas bubbled up from the depths and into my nose. Tasting revealed a smooth, complex ale with a nice, bitter kick and a sweet, alcoholic finish. Sooo good.

Every time I taste this beer, I'm surprised yet again by how good it is. One day, I'll learn.

Spoils of the 10/11/03 Knoxville Raid.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2004 18:06:16 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of Zorro


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown with lots of carbonation, in fact it blew the cork out like a bottle of Champagne!

Smells good, malt and perfume, spicy and a bit sweet.

Tastes very mildly sweet and malty with a bitter bite to back it up. There are some citrus flavors here too and a subtle flowery taste.
Tastes like Chimay red, refined.

Mouthfeel is great.

Very drinkable.

I think I like to wilder taste of the Chimay red a bit more but this is good.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2004 04:01:10 | More by Zorro
Photo of mschofield


4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Foams up through the neck of the bottle on opening. Pours a dark brown with a two finger tan head.
Dark fruit aroma (cherry, plum, and black currant). Lemon and some banana that was drowned in wheat. Smells like a wet dog is running around in the background.
Similar taste, black cherry, roasted malt, woody. A note that tastes like mushroom? Lightly tangy.
I found it had a refreshing wheat beer like feel to it, even at 9% ABV. Medium bodied, very smooth, I suspect it would be heavier without all the carbonation.
I loved this beer, I knocked off .5 from the drinkability only due to the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2004 22:40:57 | More by mschofield
Photo of RocketWidget


4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes in a beautiful blue 1.75 pint corked bottle. Explodes slightly upon opening, much to my surprise, haha. Pours a brown red, with a good white-yellow head. Smells hearty, of alcohol and hops. Taste is bold and complex, and I think I can even taste alcohol flavor. Malty and carbonated, this brew has a sweet smell like honey, butter and caramel. Very drinkable, hides it's high alcohol content well. An excellent beer, perhaps I will try cellaring it in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2004 02:59:03 | More by RocketWidget
Photo of Beaver13


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The Chimay Blue poured a murky, cloudy, caramel brown color. It had a big off-white head that had great retention. It had a rather subtle aroma...yeasty and winey with some oak and a faint fig smell. It had a complex taste that is pretty difficult to describe. A kind of tart, figgy taste up front with some oak and winey tones and a slighty spiced finish. It was a nicely balanced, smooth beer. A great beer for special occasions.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2004 05:35:34 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding Belgian and best of the Chimays. And surprisingly my mates liked it better than I did. Great accompanyment to meat. Tasted better after eating. Well balanced, with some sweetness and carbonation.
Three years later and it is a fine drink,yeasty aroma, with brandy-like richness that is popular and went well again with food. Fine trappist.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2003 02:41:02 | More by Sammy
Photo of CBFanWish

New York

3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A good Belgain beer. A darker amber color than what I was expecting with a decent head. There was a lot of taste. Fruity. A little cherry, figs, yet there was a presence of hops. All along it went down smoothly with moderate carbonation. I haven't had much experience with Belgians, but I know what I like. Chimay Grand Reserve is alright.

Second time around.
It almost put me to sleep. Boring. All of above is the same, it just didn't impress me as much.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2003 18:10:17 | More by CBFanWish
Photo of Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smooth, is the best word to describe this beer.
Poured a darkish amber with a two fingered head which shortly left behind a frothy tan ring and light center lace.
The body is just above a medium.
Carbonation is very active.
The nose first is to a light yeast scent followed by a fruity mash, but short lived.
The balance is exceptional, starting lightly to the malts (licorice & fruit mash) and ending shortly after with a burnt nuttiness.
Also a slight alcohol warmth to finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2003 04:50:26 | More by Shiloh
Photo of AbePhroman

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought the big 750ml bottle for $5.99. I enjoy many Belgian Brews, especially abbey ales so I gave this one a shot. Not disappointed in the least.

Poured a very dark, cloudy, brown with a fizzy white head. Not much lacing.

Smells like a good Belgian beer. You know it's Belgian as soon as it hits your nose. Spices are present.

Strong malts. Very nice fruit flavor with spices.

I like this brew alot and will surely try more. At 9% it's pretty strong but that never really holds me back from having a few. I urge you to try a bottle if you like Belgian ales.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2003 01:48:24 | More by AbePhroman
Photo of maybrick


4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not a big Chimay fan per se. However, this Grand Reserve is the stuff. The pour is noteable as it has an extremely creamy haed and dark, rich looking color. The nose is in my opinion quite crisp and sweetly spicy. After my fisrt few sips I had a msile on my face. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and the taste is complex. I picked up a mild choclate and citrus back end with a touch of hop. I'm certain the yeat is giving me the citrus.

Good Brew, definietly woth the price, and I intend to get some more of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2003 14:34:29 | More by maybrick
Photo of Charthepirate

New York

4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An absolutely exceptional beer.

Brought to me by my Belgian roomate, blue corked bottle. Dated 09/2003. Good till 2005.

Pours dark and murkey brown. Color is an unimpressive muddy brown. Head is big, poofey, brown and gorgeous. It lasted the whole glass leaving a this tihck lace.

A most aromatic brew, the smells of Belgian yeast, with a touch of sweet. Theres more complexity there, but my snorter is a bit dysfunctional.

A beer that makes my mouth feel like a regal king. Smooth, spicy, flavorful, full bodied, never heavy. Just magnificent. More details; as the beer passes the lips a flavor of bittersweet chocolate, followed by that slight wheatiness of Belgian yeast. Both of the flavors are preseant when the spicy hops hit the tounge and wrap the etire package together. Overall some hints of banana and just a perfect amount of bitter make this beer astounding.

The beer feels a touch watery in the mouth, but the amazing flavor seems go deeper than the taste buds, adding a kick throughout the whole mouth. Theres a warming effect from the alchohal as it goes down that is quite pleasant.

Wow, I don't think I would be a complete beer drinker without trying this stuff. I really hope I can find a few bottles in the states to cellar.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2003 21:29:08 | More by Charthepirate
Photo of DagFishHead

New York

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Interesting amalgamation of brown, bronze, and amber colors... cloudy like a dark apple cider with suspended particulates. Thick, khaki meringue head fades to a persistent 1/4" capper with minimal, but creamy lace.
Smell: Semi-sweet toasted malt, peppery, earthy, dark/ripe fruits, astringent alcohol and yeast blast.
Taste: Light sweet toasted malts with raisin, plum, fig/date dissolve to a pleasant yeast sourness in the middle, then apparently concluding with a crisp dry citrus finish.. but, then a warm alcohol flourish. Combined with the ethereal mouthfeel, one hell of a ride.
Mouthfeel: Champagne bubbly carbonation, full yet surprisingly light.. like a mousse, full bodied but vanishes leaving a pleasant ghostly memory. Delightful.
Drinkability: Deceptively drinkable high ABV brew. Crack this open as an alternate to champagne for your next celebration. The fuss over this beer is well founded.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2003 03:24:16 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of BeerBuilder


4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep dark brown color with a light brown head. The aroma is heavenly, with the raisin, plum...dark fruit armoas. I also get a bready/biscuity aroma. The flavor has the bready malt in the beginning, it then flows to the dark fruits i.e. raisins & dates, it then finishes with a bready/biscuity, slightly drying alcohol taste. It is a full-bodied brew the a complexity of aromas and flavors. A top notch brew.

Sampled 11/20/03

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2003 18:30:47 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of erica


4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had Chimay 'blue' in a while, and I kind of forgot how it was until last night. I had a 750ml bottle and it made me smile. It's a dark brown colour with a nice kind of big head that only slowly disappears. It smells strong like a strong Belgian should, sweet and fruity almost. It has that sour-ish fruity flavor, mixed with some sugary sweetness and it doesn't taste too boozy and isn't thick, so the drinkability is very good. You can forget yourself. It's not my favourite Belgian but it's definitely a good one. :)

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2003 15:32:54 | More by erica
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 5,552 ratings.