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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,242 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,242
Hads: 7,197
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 5.14%
Wants: 409
Gots: 1,409 | FT: 16
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,242 | Hads: 7,197
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (1,026 characters)

Photo of steinlifter
4.68/5  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! (538 characters)

Photo of beersarang
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
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. (349 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of Franchise
4.23/5  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. (405 characters)

Photo of studentofbeer
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (1,437 characters)

Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (492 characters)

Photo of hero27
2.39/5  rDev -44.2%
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. (1,259 characters)

Photo of beerceller99
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
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. (331 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer used to kick off my New Years Eve!

Poured a hazy caramel colored brown with a several inches of thick creamy head that seemed to last forever.

Smelled strongly of sweet malts with flavors of toffee, dates, and some earthy spices.

Taste is great. A nice mixture of date, toffee, plum, raison and other dark fruit flavors with a sublte hint of wood with a very nice mild earthy hop finish - very balanced and good.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy with a nice warming and a heavy carbonation feeling - great!

Drinkablity is Very good, especially for a beer this big. Finished a 750ml and would easily start in on another if I had one with me. Great Beer! (671 characters)

Photo of mgdeth
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark amber or light brown in color (it is about the colors of raisins). The head recedes quickly. Yeast from the bottle made its way into the glass.

Smell - Rich raisin/plum/prune and malty smells dominates the aroma profile. No hops are present.

Taste - The taste is a blend of malty sweetness, raisin/plum/prune, and spice. Alcohol taste is clearly present, and hops are not present at all. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel - This beer is really thick, so its name is well deserved. Anything thinner just would not seem right.

Drinkability - The alcoholic flavor is not particularly to my liking, as it makes the beer a tad rough. Otherwise the taste is good, so this tends to make the beer desirable.

Comments - This beer is definitely worth a try. This is not one of my preferred styles. (810 characters)

Photo of ggroller
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is beer bliss. If I had to chose just one beer to drink for the rest of my life this would be it. I can remember the first time I had the Grand Reserve and always look for an excuse to indulge in the next.

The color is primarily dark walnut but a little on the ruby red side. The head is white, bubbly , and sturdy as it leaves traces of it's sticky residue on the sides of my Chimay chalice.

The complexity of the smell and flavor is overwhelming. Floral, fruity, yeasty, esthery, wine like, malty, and sweet, with hints of ginger bread, cinnamon, and clove. The moutfeel is creamey, smooth, and inviting. The ABV says 9% on the bottle but this beer really packs a wallop that I can't taste but certainly can feel.

God bless the Monks of Chimay. This beer is heaven on earth. (791 characters)

Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
3.07/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby brown, bit hazy, with an off-white big head that dissipates rather quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

Very little hop bouquet in the aroma, musty yeast, earthy, bit spicy, perhaps clove.

Taste is somewhat sweet with decent balance. Starts sweet and finishes a bit sour. Dark fruits, raisins and prunes, and sweet malts are present.

Overly carbonated and medium body.

An average beer...Chimay remains very average all around for me. (459 characters)

Photo of makoshark
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers of all time. I found a great deal where you got a free glass with each bottle purchased for only $8.00.

Pours a dark reddish brown with an excellent head. Very nice lacing on the glass. This is definately one that should be enjoyed from the suggested glass. It helps to enhance both the aroma and taste. The slightly sweet taste helps to mask the high alcohol content. The overall drinkability is very smooth with great mouthfeel. This is always one that I use to introduce people to the world of better beers that are available to all. (564 characters)

Photo of Paddez
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown brew with a decent-sized, dense, tan head.
The smell is fruity, complex and rather sweet with raisins, bread and some earthiness.
The taste is deep, dark and complex: plummy fruits, grapes, wood, bread and some notes of alcohol and malts near the end.
The mouthfeel is very nice, the beer is smooth, well carbonated and although the alcohol is traceable it's well hidden.
Very drinkable too considering the high ABV and complexness of this beer.

Overall, this is an incredibly solid beer that I often go back to, one of the best trappist brews there is in my opinion. My favourite in this style. Highly recommended! (642 characters)

Photo of paterlodie
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Revieuwing one I drink so often is always hard.. what to say about a beer youre in love with! Great appearance with the darkbrown colour, good head that last during the whole drink. Nose is nicely balanced batle between (roasted)malts, hops an yeastfruits, great again. Full cara,roast and otherbarleymalts and candysugar( is it, anyway thats what I taste...) Together with a clean sweetbitter aftertaste makes this beer into an enjoyable sip. (443 characters)

Photo of beertaster13
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer totally changed the way I think of perfect. The apperance throws one off, a deep dark mohagany and brown with tan head. The smell however is light, fruity and floral. Hints of citrus zest and banana and apples with a slight earthy tone, thick bread smell. The taste is light and fruity, bananas and apples on the forefront and a nice herbal spice lingers, the rear is a nice complimentary light malt that brings you to want to drink again, as you continue to taste you will pick up on bread and earthy tones, very complex. Medium bodied and perfect to celebrate any occasion, or just perfect for a twilight evening. (625 characters)

Photo of baiser
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, hazy brown, with a foamy tan head. Yeasty, aroma of dark fruits, prunes and rum. Flavour is complex. Full of dark fruitiness, yeast, chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Drinkability is lacking at 9% abv. Alcohol is warming, but for me, there's just a bit too much. (284 characters)

Photo of chunkylover53
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found a few bottles of this in a nearby LCBO, much to my surprise and delight, and bought as many as I could carry on the subway. On the way home, a lady proclaimed me to be a sinner, citing my beer as evidence, and demanded that I not stand near her. I explained to her that I was disinclined to acquiesce to her request, so she mumbled and made creepy hand gestures in my direction for the rest of the trip.

After a mini-adventure like that, how could I not enjoy this beer?

Appearance: Very dark brown with a big foamy off-white head. And loud. It sounded like the head was full of a certain snappy, crackly and poppy cereal.

Smell: Surprisingly little smell for a beer of this style. A hint of dark fruits, perhaps, but that's about it.

Taste: Yummy. Dark fruits, hops, caramel. Nice, big mouthfeel.

This is a fine beer. Hopefully there will still be some left next time I go. But will I have the courage to brave the hordes of anti-beer gesture-makers on the subway? If I drink a few of these first, then probably. (1,036 characters)

Photo of slitherySOB
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgian dark beer. A good beer, but did not go well with the crocodile meal I had with it. Oh well. Pours a dark, brown and black colour with a huge, white, firm head. Lace is sticky like tape. Smells of raising, figs, plums, malts and alcohol. Taste is sweet and a bit harsh. Lots of malts and dark fruits, blended with a phenol alcohol bite. Mouthfeel is a bit thick and chewy. Drinkable, but I prefer the chimay red. I still need a better appreciation of these dark ales. I like them, but I don't love them as much as the pales. Too sweet for me. (549 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this a long long time ago, before my BA days, and recently just had a sip of my friend's and I was reminded how damn good this stuff is. So I went out and got some. 750ml corked bottle. Pours a transparent brown color, not too dark, nice and smooth looking with a huge tan head full of swiss cheese like holes. Smell is very inviting, very rich. Smells of sweet toasted malts and spiced fruits, perhaps a little dark rum thrown in, with a dash of mustiness. Taste is fabulous. Lots of flavors, lots of complexities. Very bready, but not like your standard loaf. More like pumpkin bread or banana bread or something else sweet like that. A tad woodsy too, with Belgian spices and a touch of bitter hops. Medium bodied but very smooth tasting, not light but not too heavy, despite the brown color. I would drink this beer all the time if it didn't cost as much. Despite it being one of the more popular/commercial/well-know Belgian beers out there, it's with out a doubt one of the best. (989 characters)

Photo of Opethsprite
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought this after seeing it on a list at a local bar/restaurant and hearing some good stuff about it....And I was not disappointed...

Appearance: Simple, elegant bottle. Pours very dark, an almost opaque brown with amber highlights. Very rich head of monstrous proportions that left a residual eggshell lacing.

Smell: A very subtle, poignant smell of creamy smoke and fire followed by a dusty woodiness.

Taste: Lovely hops are noticeable at first, followed by the warm, musky tang of over-ripened fruits. There seems to be layer upon layer of unique tastes here that beg to be explored!

Mouthfeel: A good amount of carbonation is the perfect contrast to the pleasant warmth of the 9% alcohol content.

Drinkability: This is the most perfect beer that I've ever had...and probably the closest to perfect that I'll have for quite some time. An unfailing choice, really. I would make this my beer-of-choice if it weren't for the $15 price tag on my single 1-Litre bottle! A must-try beer! (1,002 characters)

Photo of walleye
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured brown with tan head. aroma roasted malts, raspberries, plums, yeast alcohol, hints of citrus.flavor caramel,fruity, licorice, alcohol, hints of grapefruit, as this warmed the grapefruit got stronger. liked the bitterness. a good beer (257 characters)

Photo of KoG
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time having a Chimay of any color, and it was pretty tasty.

Nice hazy brown with a decent head that lightly stuck to the glass and left a nice amount of lacing on the surface all the way down.

Smell was of dark, ripe fruit with a nice malty backbone and a bit of the 9% abv.

Taste was good. I was expecting something a bit stronger but the sweetness and fruit were balanced nicely. Reminded me a bit of Trois Pistoles.

Mouth was smooth and rich. Left a bit sour but not dry, good carbonation takes care of the finish.

Overall a good choice to be had. I would drink this regularly if it wasn't so (comparitively) expensive. (643 characters)

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,242 ratings.