Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged | Bières de Chimay

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Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel AgedChimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged
50 Ratings
Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel AgedChimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay

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

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Ratings: 50 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of TonyLema1
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
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

 308 characters

Photo of Sparky44
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of goopy
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HattedClassic
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 1,213 characters

Photo of videofrog
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Maestro0708
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
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 +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mmilyko
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerBeast
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Korbynlehr
4.43/5  rDev +5%
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 +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BEERchitect
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
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 +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.24/5  rDev -23.2%
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 +8.3%
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 +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bogdawg
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Tcsox
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of impending
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DoctorRobert1969
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GreenMind
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of REVZEB
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
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 +7.3%
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 +3.1%
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 +5.7%
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.

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Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 50 ratings