Grande Réserve Barrel Aged
Bières de Chimay

Grande Réserve Barrel AgedGrande Réserve Barrel Aged
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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #30
ABV:
10.5%
Score:
91
Ranked #2,429
Avg:
4.29 | pDev: 6.99%
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
78
From:
Bières de Chimay
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  18
Gots
  24
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Grande Réserve Barrel AgedGrande Réserve Barrel Aged
Notes: Aged in wooden casks
View: Beers
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 78 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Clear coffee blackish-brown with a tall khaki foam head that will happily tower over the glass if you let it, settling to a lumpy, airy foam leaving spongy thick lacing all over.

Smell is delicately spiced, like gingerbread but only lightly toasted, with hints of just baked pumpernickel and softened, warm apples and pears.

Taste is less toasty and also even softer in expression for the style and at such strength. It's ultra drinkable and incredibly inoffensive in every way. The nose takes the leads in flavor, where the delicate phenol becomes spiced pear with a touch of pumpernickel.

The body is smoothly rounded and silky smooth, with a fine, lightly tingly carbonation leading into a super quaffable semi-wet finish that's got a bit of perfumey herbal anise in the exhale. Jesus Christ I could chug this entire bottle...not only is there no booze at all for the ABV, it's just so crushable in all other aspects as well.

Jan 03, 2021
Photo of dbl_delta
dbl_delta from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into goblet. Pours a very dark brown with a minimal head. Initial impression is chocolate and oak, but there is a lot of subtle stuff going on in the background. Mouthfeel is medium; alcohol is quite well hidden. Finish is milk-chocolate sweet, with a slight spiciness. Overall, very interesting and very drinkable.

Nov 22, 2020
Photo of larryi86
larryi86 from Delaware

4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, 2018, poured into a goblet

A- A brownish ruby red with a two finger off white head.

S- Dark fruits, figs, bananas, oak, earthy, hints of whiskey, floral.

T- Dark fruits, bananas, figs, hints of chocolate, oak, touch of whiskey, floral, earthy, hints of caramel.

M- Smooth, light to medium body.

O- Barrel works well with this, amount of banana is a nice surprise.

Nov 07, 2020
Photo of BelgianHops
BelgianHops from Belgium

4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The best of Chimay. Even better than Rochefort 10 in my opinion. An amazing trappist. The taste is silky smooth, complex, delicate, refined and well balanced. The body is very good. The aged variant of the Grande Réserve is one of the best beers in the world. Outstanding.

Aug 13, 2020
Photo of Roguer
Roguer from Connecticut

4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a particularly attractive ale. Significant floaties and particulate, perhaps not on part with Rochefort 10 but close. Dark brown/light cola body. Small head production, and just as quickly disappearing to a ring around the edge.

Boozy nose wrapped in oak; the way the malt and yeast play with the oak, it almost gives off an impression of whisky or port barrel aging. Prunes, oak, dark bread, pepper, raisin, rum, brown sugar, fruit bread, pecan, a hint of cherry. The oak gives it a semblance of oxidation, but that doesn't actually seem to be the case.

Almost a touch fizzy up front, but it quickly settles down. Overall feel is smooth and full bodied, really engaging more and more as the sip settles. Long wet finish.

Chocolate, oak, and a slight meaty smoke, all blending with more traditional BSDA/Quad notes of prune and raisin. Strong caramel and brown sugar comes along on the second half, still wrapped in a blanket of oak. Touches of pepper.

The oak aging has really added something special and unique to this beer; it really hits like red wine up front. It makes for a completely different Quad experience, at once familiar and yet unique. Probably the closest analog is Pannepot.

Jul 19, 2020
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mahogany brown in color with a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering most of the top. The aroma is of dark Belgian candy sugar, sweet malt, and oak. I’m tasting lairs of oak, Belgian candy sugar, and sweet, doughy malt. The mouth is smooth and yet moderately carbonated and crisp.

Apr 05, 2020
Photo of Zorro
Zorro from California

4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear brown ale with a small brown colored head.

Smells sweet. Scent of apples and fruit. Faint scents of cinnamon and brown sugar. Get the scent of apple brandy. Every sniff makes me thing fruit preserves. Defiantly an apple butter scent.

Starts out Spicy and sweet. Slight sour fruit note. Slight tongue sting. Something like a baked apple taste. Distinctly wine like. Doesn't say what sort of barrel but I think one was chardonnay. Certainly more complex than Chimay Blue.

Mouthfeel is good, it really gives your tongue a punch.

Overall completely different. Not sure I would pick this over Chimay Red but it isn't bad.

Mar 29, 2020
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I had this with Dinner for valentines day poured cellar temp in a glass
The color is dark with opaque clarity and thick tan head with lasting retention.
The smell is very caramel dominant with a slight prune-raisin type sweet aroma. The smell of barrel in the aroma comes out more as it warms with mild vanilla quality.
The taste an feel have a lot to be desired - smooth and full of body with flavor of dark caramel and woody essence of barrel aging present and mild alcohol to round out with a mostly dry finish.
This is a great Belgian ale in its own right without any added barrel finish but it is great with the extra time in a barrel which compliments the base very well.

Feb 26, 2020
Photo of pkalix
pkalix from California

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ryan nailed this in his review in April '19.... sorry to plagiarize but his 'smell' is exactly my 'taste'!

Stewed prunes and tart currants. Fruit cake, coffee cake, molasses, brown bread, bakers chocolate, slight hint of Concord grape, allspice and other vague baking spices, whiff of clove, and a soft backing off dusty oak.

i think i prefer the original more, and this definitely isnt worth the price i paid for this, but it's an interesting 'experiment' in a brew so many would have expected this from.

Jan 18, 2020
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had the 2019 version of the Barrel Aged Chimay Grande Reserve. It tasted pretty similar to Chimay Grande Reserve (blue) with a note from the barrel aging.

Look: dark brown with a thick off-white head

Aroma: banana bread, dark fruits

Taste: The flavor is bread, perhaps raisin bread or banana bread, plum, raisin, hint of banana, yeast, a hint of oak and maybe liquor.

Body/Overall: medium body.

Dec 01, 2019
Photo of Wg1041
Wg1041 from Alaska

4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours coke brown. Mild carbonization. Good head.
Tastes of creamy fig and grapes. Sweet taste. Very smooth. No big alcohol flavor, very light. Funny, but it slightly tastes like port.
Love it! Excellence in a bottle

Jun 16, 2019
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle poured into a chalice. 2015 "oak aged" vintage.

A: Dark brown color with tinges of ruby. Off-white creamy head is present for as long as there is beer in the glass. Clarity is good. Lacing is spotty and minimal.

S: Stewed prunes and tart currants. Fruit cake, coffee cake, molasses, brown bread, bakers chocolate, slight hint of Concord grape, allspice and other vague baking spices, whiff of clove, and a soft backing off dusty oak.

T: Follows the nose. Deeply complex. Starts out sweet, with malt bringing layered flavors of brown bread, raw honey, fruitcake, and cocoa. Quick hint of Concord grape deep within. Prune and currant. Burnt crust. Bananas foster. Yeasty intricacies of clove, allspice, and other vague spices. Soft and subtle "dusty" oak flavors round things out. Dries quite a bit and finishes with a lot of lingering spice.

M: Full body with some weight that presses in gently, though the ample carbonation lifts a lot and helps keep it feeling airy and whipped, like heavy cream. Easy and warming in a very soothing way.

O: The barrel aging here seems to have been done not to imbue any sort of spirit influence (in fact there really isn't any), but to allow the beer to gain complexity through aeration and interaction with the wood itself. It works pretty well. What comes out of the barrel is one of the best beers in the world, with even a little more complexity and maturity that enhances things just one degree more. In particular I notice an uptick in ester contributions. This was a pleasure and a rare treat. I hear the later vintages are more spirit influenced, with congnac and rum editions. While I'd definitely be interested in trying those, it's tough for me to imaging them being better than this.

Apr 22, 2019
Photo of TonyLema1
TonyLema1 from South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: deep brown, tan head with tight bubbles, minimal lacing
S: plums figs Belgian yeast, not much bourbon
T: delicious, hints of Belgian yeast, bourbon, maybe cinnamon notes and plums
F: silky smooth, light whiskey on the finish
O: Chimay Blue has always been on of my favorites, and this is a nice variety

Dec 31, 2018
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic from Virginia

4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a good creamy foam head that is an off=white color that looks nice. The beer itself is a dark brown with a ruby hue to it. The beer is clear.

The smell is good with a bunch subtle notes that mix very well together. The initial notes consist of a good cinnamon and clover notes along with the Belgian yeast note. The strongest and main note is the delicious date like note and the lighter caramel note. Essentially, it isn't much that different from the non-barrel fermented blue.

The taste is really good and more complex and different than the original. While the date/dark fruit taste is the most prevalent one there, it doesn't dominate the taste like it does in the smell. The mote subtle notes consist of a mix between the french oak and american barrels; the former gives a slight vanilla note while the latter gives a decent wood note. The whiskey is present but subtle. The taste also has the usual Belgian spices.

The feel is good. It feels thin but still has a good heavy body to it and is slightly creamy.

Overall, this was definitely an interesting take on their blue and worth trying for fans of the Trappist but might not necessarily be worth it for some when looking at the cost.

Nov 24, 2018
Photo of Maestro0708
Maestro0708 from Kentucky

4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Oct 15, 2018
Photo of Korbynlehr
Korbynlehr from Kentucky

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Aug 06, 2018
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.59/5  rDev +7%
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.

Aug 01, 2018
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

3.24/5  rDev -24.5%
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

Jul 01, 2018
Photo of Jimlikesbeer
Jimlikesbeer from North Carolina

4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Jun 09, 2018
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Jan 27, 2018
Photo of Brolo75
Brolo75 from California

4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Jan 01, 2018
Photo of FriedSlug
FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Dec 31, 2017
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

4.46/5  rDev +4%
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.

Dec 25, 2017
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Dec 11, 2017
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joaopmgoncalves from Portugal

3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank at Taberna Belga, Braga and poured to a Chimay glass.

A: The body is brown and dark. The head is beige and shows good retention. However, no lacing.
S: The aroma is mostly composed of raisins, blueberries and some small profile of malts in the background.
T: The taste is very strong of dark berries and raisins with a smoky touch. In the bast, the roasted malts show some power. But in it all, it's an unbalanced taste, having a component that's not very good which I really can't identify.
M: Body is medium low. Carbonation is perfect. Alcohol is barely unnoticed. Bitterness is low.
O: Basically put, it's Chimay Blue with some aging on the raisins flavour.

Jun 01, 2017
Grande Réserve Barrel Aged from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 78 ratings