Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged | Bières de Chimay

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Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel AgedChimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged
BA SCORE
4.21/5
Exceptional
46 Ratings
Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel AgedChimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay
Belgium
chimay.be

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in wooden casks

Added by HopBelT on 12-04-2015

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,420
Reviews:
15
Ratings:
46
pDev:
7.36%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
21
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of videofrog
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Maestro0708
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L- Pours deep ruby with an off white head with excellent retention and some lacing.

S- The aroma is unmistakenly vinous, slightly tart but not sour. Dark fruit smells of plums and dates accompany sweetish malt characters.

T- The flavor is vinous as well, with some great wood character complementing the classic dark fruits and malt flavors of the base beer. A bit of alcohol on the back end along with some slight tartness balances this beer nicely. The barrel character does not dominate but plays nicely with the flavors of the beer.

F- The body of this beer is medium-full and smooth with great carbonation.

O- This is a great slow sipping beer. Perfect for a chilly fall evening or special occasion.

 708 characters

Photo of goodbeergoodfood
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mmilyko
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerBeast
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Korbynlehr
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Spicy and cinnamon is heavy on the nose and taste. This is one of the best Chimay beers I’ve had. Gonna buy a bottle or three and age it. Stay tuned for aged notes.

 166 characters

Photo of TheGent
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BEERchitect
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Among the most esteemed brewing teams in history, the devout abbey of Chimay releases a unique and limited beer that celebrates their darker, stronger quadruple styled ale and ages it in oak barrels to bring out what's best about the already astute ale.

Their Barrel Aged Grande Reserve pours a handsome garnet ruby depth and darkness. Stricken with a soft yeasty glow, the beer sits ominously masculine in the chalice. As its smooth and billowing froth expands, its aromatic perfume seduces the nose with dark fruit, robust red wine, savory brown sugars, peppercorn and a piquant scent of brandy. Malty sweet on the tongue, a wave of steely caramels, brown sugar and hard candy frames a fruit-centric upstart in taste.

Sweetness begins to drift away immediately as the beer's more wine inspired impressions take hold. Blackberry, blackcurrant, black cherry, red grape and a hint of blueberry comes with a strong fortified red wine taste akin to bordeaux. A playful acidity brings a peppery finish laced with fresh cracked peppercorn, light woodsy hops and a drying late palate of oak tannins and wood spice.

Tangy but not sour, the medium full bodied beer has a larger-than-life taste but has an expressive carbonation bounce off of the tongue. Highlighting the beer's fruit and spice interplay, the racy effervescence assists with drying the palate and ensuring a high rate of palatability and lying effortlessly on the stomach. A medium long aftertaste of red wine with brandy warmth rewards the senses nearly into the next sip.

 1,534 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.24/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Medium body with a generous amount if carbonation. Aroma was dried fruit,especially plum,malt,yeast, grainy bread
Taste was very similar to aroma but a bit of spice but also an odd sour vinegar taste. Not sure I it was just this bottle but it really took away from it for me

 274 characters

Photo of Jimlikesbeer
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very nice character. Cream head that lingers to the last drink. Very little alcohol taste despite the 10.5% ABV. Dark amber color, but fairly clear. Maybe my nose is broke, but I don’t smell much. A really like this beer, but $26 for a 12.5oz bottle is a little steep.

 270 characters

Photo of kkmiller76
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bogdawg
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Tcsox
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of impending
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DoctorRobert1969
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GreenMind
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of REVZEB
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I hoped the barrel would fill out the body more, and it did. But some of the more subtle flavors that made the blue classic were covered up in an oak sheen. Not a bad beer, but more balance between the oak and base beer would make it a home run.

 247 characters

Photo of Brolo75
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12.5 ounce bottle poured into a goblet

A: Pours a dark mahogany color, almost black but some light comes through when held up, head is full, creamy, and an off white in color, great retention, slight lacing, lots of carbonation streaming up the glass's maintaining that lovely head.

A: Loads of dark fruits, banana, spice, light toasted brown sugar, caramel, touch of oak, and amazingly, no alcohol on the nose, smells wonderful.

T: Follows the nose with notes of dark fruits like figs, plums, and dates, good hit of spice, touch of wood and oak, brown sugar, caramel, and Belgian yeast notes as well, finish is dry with lingering notes of yeast, dark fruits, and oak, lots of complexity and depth.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, amazingly smooth and creamy, slightly dry finish, doesn't drink like its 10%.

O: Another world class beer from Chimay, while the barrel aging did add much wood or oak, it still had lots of flavor and an amazing mouthfeel, I will definitely pick up another bottle to age.

 1,030 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reddish brown and only lets through the faintest beam of light when held up yo a bright source. Nice long lasting light tan head that continues to leave a cap on the beer while drinking. The aroma is floral hops with the typical raisins and plums. There is some toasted oak and vanilla in there as well. sweet and a little boozy with some alcohol heat. But filled with dry oak, vanilla, raisins, plums, figs. All accentuated with some pepper, cloves and spices. I am a sucker for a Belgian Strong and putting a classic in barrels only makes a classic better.

 558 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour a dark mahogany brown with an initially fizzy light khaki head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma is exactly as expected, Chimay Blue Belgian yeast, fresh and dried plums, dates, raisins and some oaky vanilla notes. Flavor follows, with the base tasting very much like Chimay Blue, one of the classic Belgian strong dark ales, but with a little hint of cardboardy oxidation and light barreling notes of oak and vanilla. Medium bodied with light creaminess and sharp, peppery carbonation. I got this bottle a few years ago to share "on a special occasion" with my sister, who is a diehard Chimay Blue fan. This year was a good year with some promising changes in her life, and it seemed to be a great time to pull this bottle out for Chistmas Eve. She was very pleased with this and though she detected some bourbon in the aroma, which of course I then also smelled, but on reflection, I don't think the barrels used were from whiskey (not much information, but definitely "oak") and the bourbon notes are most likely due to the typical dark fruit aromas of this style, which are robust in the bigger Chimay ales. The barrel influence is not really strong, but there are clear oak and vanilla components. This was a very nice Christmas Eve ale. ABV well covered. The barrel influences are light enough, and Chimay Blue is such a great Belgian ale anyway, I'm not sure if this is a major improvement on an already stellar Belgian, but the oak was a nice addition and this was thoroughly enjoyable. A world class brewery.

 1,531 characters

Photo of Hayley_86
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bières de Chimay "Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged"
12.5 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, corked and caged, coded "L17-559 19688"
$22.99 @ Roger Wilco, Pennsauken, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: First, I love the cute little bottle. The cork came out with just a soft 'pop' and I was able to pour a three-finger thick head easily. Oddly the head seems very light and airy. It looks like the head on a Coca-Cola, and it's dropped almost as quickly. The body is a mostly clear dark ruby and mahogany color; and at this point the head has completely faded and only patches of lace are floating on the halfway bare surface. Not good. Moving on, the aroma clearly expresses oak mixed in with sugary dark malt. It's interesting and enticing, so at least it's got that going for it. The flavor also shows a lot of oak and the dark sugar and caramel from the maltiness remains. There's also some light spiciness from the yeast. I thought that this would be Chimay Grande Reserve with a light edge of oakiness to it but it's actually a fairly different beer altogether. It seems lighter in both body and flavor, I'm assuming because the oak helps to cut through the sugariness, but also because it's less carbonated and doesn't foam up and become airy in the mouth. I'm really liking it right now. I'm not sure it's worth the price but at least I don't feel like I paid extra for something that was just a slight variation from the original. Back to the flavor, there's some dark skinned fruit, mainly raisin, but also some plum and maybe a bit of fig, and the spicy, peppery and lightly clove-like notes from the yeast. Hmmm, I'm also getting a note of anise which I don't recall ever finding in the standard version. As far as the dark sugars go I'd say dark brown sugar, almost burnt sugar, and some straightforward white sugar. A stiff bitterness backs it and keeps it from becoming too sweet in the finish, as does the oaky dryness and a light touch of alcohol. This is only 1% stronger than the regular version but I feel like the alcohol shows more. Maybe it's my brain giving me that suggestion because the oak is tricking it in remembering more alcohol coming from Bourbon barrel aged beers. Or maybe there is something to it, I'm not sure. What I can say for sure is that I prefer the original Grande Reserve. I'm not sure why exactly, but I think that beer is absolutely world class and at the top of its ranks, whereas this just isn't drawing me back sip after sip like the original does. So to sum up, the appearance isn't great but the aroma is quite nice and the flavor follows that. The body is medium and it's got a very nice, fine-bubbled natural carbonation that gently caresses the palate, so that's good, and it is unique, not just Grande Reserve with an edge of oakiness to it. As a whole though it just doesn't have the same magic that the original does. Still, if you can find it at a decent price I'd certainly say it's worth trying.

 2,957 characters

Photo of csurowiec
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 46 ratings