Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

2,353 Reviews
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed as a Christmas beer in 1948, this dark ale has rich flavors of mulling spices and caramel, with a smooth palate and warming finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

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Reviews: 2,353 | Ratings: 7,711
Photo of alos31
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Truly exceptional beer. Rich in flavor and mouth feel. Flavors of yeast, apple, honey, bread. Excellent beer to have with a meal, such as roast pork, chicken, or meat pie. Works well also on a cold day.

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks good, nice and full with a creamy head, which unfortunately does not stick around too long.
The aroma is pleasing too, but the taste is a shade on the sour side and fizz on the tongue is just disappointing.
Do not get me wrong, this is a nice beer and you can sense the Christmas beer specialness about it.
Like all Belgian beers, not to be confused with modern day craft ales.
Worth a try? Absolutely! As good as a Gouden Carolus Classic or Christmas? No!

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Photo of Vicarious
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm fairly new to the craft beer scene, but absolutely the best beer I've ever had. Rich foamy head, smooth taste, easy to drink. Not too sticky. Just the perfect beer, I would drink it every day if it wasn't so expensive where I live.

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Photo of futiledevices
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served around cellar temp in a goblet.

Look: Opaque muddy brown with a gold-orange tint around the edges. Big fizzy head that dies quick.

Smell: Apples, pears, red grapes, alcohol, yeast, toffee, citrus

Taste: More of the same, with date-like sweetness, lots more toffee, fruit punch with caramel sweetness instead of typical sweetness, with a surprisingly bright, clean, caramely, citrusy, bready finish. Goddamn that is delicious.

Feel: Way too easy to drink, only a little warmth at the very end. Sticks to the mouth a little bit, but doesn't feel cloying or overly sticky. Lightly effervescent and clean.

Yeah this is delicious. Too easy to drink, and full of flavor and lovely mouthfeel.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 (1 year) versus 2013 (4 year).

Aroma is of Belgian yeast/ spice, some honey, caramel, and a bright citrus note.

Taste is nicely carbonated with a moderate mouthfeel. Nice malt character, dark fruits (prune and raisin), a slight spice, and pleasant citrusy finish.


Aroma is alluring. Cold, it smelled of pure apple juice. As it warmed, pear and a ton of prune juice were noted.

Taste is much lighter and almost thinner than the 2016. Very effervescent. The Belgian spice and yeast notes are a little muted. Still ample dark fruits and citrus.

Overall, regardless of age, this is a phenomenal example of the style. I found four years to be too much, as the beer became a bit too thin, but the aroma on the 2013 was far more complex. From this, I would say a 2 year age would be my reccomendation. It gets a 93/100 overall.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into a chalice. This one is 2015 reserve.

Deep ruby brown hue, the pour quickly builds up majestic light tan creamy head that doesn’t go anywhere until the last sip with its exceptional strength of retention. The head looks very silky smooth and so velvety. There is vast amount of sticky lacing ring and wave along the way down.

Mild estery affair reminds me of prune, raisin, and dark cherry. Malt is biscuity, dough, caramelized, yet sometimes chocolate and toasted. Sugar, honey, treacle, spice, and floral notes draw down to add in more complexity.

The mellow fruity ester that exhibits in a nose also being displayed through the palate sensation with notes of prune, raisin, and dark cherry. Treacle, honey, and sugar sweetness reveal in the middle along with all those malty flavors of toasted bread, biscuit, slight chocolate, and caramel. Big phenol and spice is at the end together with peppery and medicinal hint while some hop bitterness also reinforces in the finish. The aftertaste is long-lasting with spice, bitter, sweet, and slight fruity touch.

Medium to full body with some bold touch through the palate, carbonation is quite low but it is crisp enough to carry all the things well under the smooth mouthfeel and pleasant palate. Finish is very dry.

Great example of what Belgian’s strong dark ale is all about by its sheer complexity without forsaking drinkable yet quaffable quality, it is so tasty and alcohol is very well hidden making me finish it so fast, excellent brew.

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Photo of Steers182
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer although I believe it suffers having to make its way across the pond to the U.S. Would love to give a pipping fresh bottle a try but never ceases to impress.

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

Poured from a 330mL bottle into a snifter
L- Deep amber with high carbonation and thick off white head.
S- Banana, fresh herbs, grass, smokey wood, chocolate, dates, dark fruit, orange, espresso, vanilla.
T- Same as smell with an ever more upfront banana taste.
F- Medium to full bodied with a chalky mouth feel which helps cut through the sweetness.
O- This was my first beer from Chimay and I am beyond impressed. I need to try it again with a proper trappist goblet though.

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Photo of AleSan
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2015) - A deep, dark chestnut body with a thick beige head; sweet caramel aroma, spiced, dark fruit; full in the mouth, predominantly malty, dark fruit as plums, with traces of caramel and nut. Very clean, long warming finish. Great beer

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Photo of dueserdo
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very special in my opinion. That is why I purchased it for the Super Bowl. I am not a beer expert, but at 73 I tried more than I can count. Love the high ABV. The higher the better.

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Photo of Brewfocker80
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled bottle into tulip glass for tasting. No date on bottle
A-Nice 3 finger Khaki head, pours a very dark color with no forced lighting but when held up to lighting is ruby color with carbonation bubbles floating up the glass. Great lacing that never fades. Poured a little too much so ended up with some sediment but that was my fault.
S-Malty smell on the nose with a fruity woody aroma
T-Dark fruits with hints of raisins and cherries, malty with a bit of sweetness and a slight alcohol burn at the end
M-Bubbly on the tongue, wonderful carbonation and smooth and silky
O-Very complex beer that changes with every taste, yeast comes through the malt well and the yeast has obviously attenuated well due to the lack of sweetness and the dryness of the beer. Overall a great example of a monastic beer.

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

750 mL bottle. Pours a murky brown with a big khaki head. Smells of caramel, bread, and banana yeast aromas. Tastes very bready. Has a little sweetness, but less than I would have expected. Earthy and lightly spicy finish. High carbonation. I can’t believe I’ve never rated this. This style is remarkable. This beer is delicious. When someone tries to recreate it and misses the mark even a little bit, it’s practically undrinkable.

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Photo of puck1225
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A lovely beer! Had it on tap. Clear dark brown nice short lived beige head with beautiful lacing. Smell of blackberries and red wine which carries over to the taste. Nutmeg and cinnamon. Really enjoyed it.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Deep hazy burgundy color with a massively thick and creamy toffee colored head and incredibly sticky lacing. Very inviting in appearance.

S - Dark fruity aroma: plums and raisins with faint spice, some slight yeast aroma, caramel malt, and some Belgian candy sugar. Nose is primarily plums and malt.

T - Dark fruit, toasted caramel malt, alcohol, raisins, plums, clove, bready, dark cherry. Some alcohol warming in the back of the throat.

M - Thick and full bodied being borderline chewy.

O - World class.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle with not bottling date or freshness date into standard pint glass.

L: Ridiculous tan head, at least three fingers thick. Dark cloudy brown.

S: Raisins, boozey caramel, toffee, plums, apricots.

T: Rich flavors of dried apricots, plums, raisins with toffee malts and caramels. Nutmeg, peppery, boozy. Great for the holidays.

F: Medium body, smooth like velvet.

O: Just another home run by Chimay. Wonderful beer.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, dark brown caramel with a wonder 2 finger head. A slightly sweet caramel, slightly tart, with some hints of spice, apple, malts and breadiness. This ale is super smooth and rich, but has a wonderful carbonation that makes drinking it very dangerous, as it goes down easy and refreshing--but at 9ABV, that means you'll be feeling fine quickly. So, slow down and enjoy. The slightest bitterness at the end, but overall, well done. A classic Belgian Strong example....

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Photo of Harrison8
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich burnt plum color with a finger of foamy, dark-khaki head. Considering it was poured into a Chimay chalice, that's a lot of head. No lacing left behind. Mulled spices, Belgian yeast, plum, fig, and rolled malts give this beer a hearty aroma. While the aroma has a heavy malt base, it remains sweet and centered around the plum, fig, and spices. Flavor profile is smooth, opening with mulled spices, plum, and fig. Excellent decay of flavors as the flavor profile shows its Belgian side with a zip of Belgian yeast. Nice Belgian, bready finish. Mouth feel is smooth, with a slightly medium-thick consistency. It's easy to sip and savor, without filling up the stomach or palate too much. Overall, a well crafted beer with stand-up Belgian qualities. A pleasant sipper that refrains from being too bitter, and while it does have some malt body, it remains well within the realm of sweet drink-ability.

Served in a Chimay chalice.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


Bottle to goblet at Brick House. March Madness.
Appearance: dark brown
Aroma: Caramel
Taste: nice flavor. Spicy and sweet and everything neat.
FEEL: Chewy texture.

Awesome beer. Even better than i remembered which wad still Damn Good.


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Photo of mothmanscott
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky chestnut brown with 2.5 fingers of foamy, finely bubbled, tan, lasting head that leaves nice sheets & chunks of lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malt & toasted pumpernickel, fig, prune, raisins, banana, hard candy, molasses, toffee, brown sugar & faint coriander. Taste is raisins & other dark fruits of the nose, caramel/brown sugar, toasted dark bread, slight bite & bitterness in finish & semisweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with high degree of carbonation, somewhat chewy & very peppery. Very nice.

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Photo of EMV
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

L: Pours a cloudy dark mahogany color. Two fingers of foamy white head... falls quickly and leaves a haze at the top of the beer. Solid sticky lacing.

S: Caramel and dark sugars... spicy, with clove and vanilla.

T/F: Rich and complex... lots of Belgian candy sugars and dark fruits. Vanilla and spice coming from the Belgian yeasts. Very smooth and creamy. Slight hops at the finish to clean up the palate.

O: An all around treat. Great Belgian Dark Strong, and one of the beers that immediately comes to mind when I consider the style. Can't go wrong here.

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Photo of pattysykes
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip from a bottle marked 2015.

Appearance a dark brown, quite cloudy with 1.5 fingers of fluffy light-tan head.

Fruity on the nose. I pick up dark fruit, cherries and a raisin sweetness.

The flavour is dominated by malt sweetness, raisins and cherries. Faint hints of vanilla and dark wood. Brings to mind a sweet Christmas cake.

Medium-to-full body, nice and smooth with enough carbonation that there's some crispness in there too. It makes for a good balance. The aftertaste is as boozy and warm as you'd expect from a 9% ABV beer, but it's masked by the lingering raisin and malt sweetness.

Overall I'd call it fruity, malty and a pleasure all around. Quite a lot going on in here and I look forward to the next time.

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

The appearance is a pretty hazy reddish-brown. Has good lacing that lingers well.

The aroma is dark fruit, raisins, cherry, and big malt sweetness. Also some fruity esters from the yeast.

The taste is raisins, dark fruit, cherries, big malt sweetness, and estery yeast notes.

The palate is medium plus with a nice lingering sweetness. The maltiness lingers pleasantly.

Overall this is a world class Belgian strong that I am happy to have finally tried.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time enjoying this well-known beauty with the blue label. Poured garnet with a massive head that required a lot of patience. Gigantic. It was poured in a Pilsner glass so you can imagine. Aroma of plump raisins, dark cherries, roasted malt, fruity esters. Taste is cherries, fruitcake, raisins, honeyed malt, caramel and some boozy heat that warms the palate. Great beer - still stands tall.

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11-18-16 - In Chimay, Belgium and enjoyed a couple of these on tap at The Poteaupré Inn at Espace Chimay, about a kilometer from The Abbey Scourmont. Of course poured into the classic Chimay glass with awesome aroma and dark color. Light caramel taste that complemented Le Grande Chimay Trappist grilled cheese sandwich. Such a memory with the wife, who had the Cinq Cents

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Photo of FBarber
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The head on this is incredible - always so velvety and reminiscent of a nitro beer. Smell mixes the traditional belgian aromas with a lovely array of spices. Taste is best when at room temperature. Dark fruits come through in the taste with some spicy phenolic notes. Feel is largely remarkable for the warming finish that leaves you happy and warm inside. Overall a lovely belgian strong dark ale - really one of the best examples of the style.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,711 ratings.
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