Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

2,349 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: 2,349 | Ratings: 7,696
Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy reddish-brown with a two-finger head. The head disapates quickly leaving no lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malts and dark fruit.

T - Flavor is dominated by lots of sweet dark fruits - dates, raisins, and plums. The sweetness fades into a bready yeastiness. Finish has a lingering pepper bite.

M - Full bodied with high carbonation. Very creamy mouthfeel. Dry finish.

O - A very nice Belgian Dark with a good alcohol punch. Nothing special, but still very good.

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Photo of mariposafan
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red-brown with a beautiful beige head of creamy foam that lasts very well.

The aroma is a bit of a let down - a somewhat metallic edge overlaying some candy sweetness and yeast. Over time some raisin/plum notes come through but it's all pretty weak.

The taste is much better. A slightly pungent Belgian yeast profile with some cloves and plums. Alcohol dries it out so the lack of real bittering isn't a problem. A little sweetness but not too much.

Good mouthfeel but the carbonation is higher than I'd really like for this rich a drink.

For what it is it's plenty drinkable. If the aroma were better it would be more inviting, however, and smoother carbonation would add an elegance that I feel it's lacking.

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Photo of PolarBear3
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark, reddish colour with off white frothy head that diminishes sligtly but holds well

S - Bready, slightly sweet malts with hints of dark cherries, some spice a hint of banana and cloves

T - Similiar to nose, bready, yeasty, dark fruits including plums, cherries and raisins. Some caramel and spice with a slightly bitter finish

M - Medium bodied howver a little over carbonated

O - A nice beer with quality complex flavours that goes down well, however I prefer the Tripel any day.

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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.

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

Appearance: Poured a dark mahogany with a nice two finger head that quickly diminished into a thin layer.

Smell: Smells of some malts with plum, dark fruits and some molasses.

Taste: A nice smooth malt with the dark fruity and plum taste.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation in the mouth with a bit a dryness at the end.

Drinkability: This is very easy to drink and the great carbonation makes it feel nice and light despite its dark color.

Serving type: 750ml bottle poured into snifter

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Photo of far333
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass. Dark chestnut color with ruby highlights coming out where the light gets through. Topped with a big, fat, chunky, foamy beige head that just hangs there and settles down, but never really goes away. Aroma is strong fruit and yeast. Flavor is rich and velvety. The flavor almost has texture. It's sweet and fruity and spicy and warm. There's lots here - honey and pear, plus some apple and butterscotch and caramel and plum. You notice more every time you sip. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. A pleasant hop bitter lingers, as does just a hint of alcohol. A pleasure.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a Chimay chalice)

A- This beer has the body of a deep dark walnut color that is to opaque to see through. The head is a creamy smooth light tan color that gives a nice lace with each sip. There is not enough light to see the carbonation but the head last and last.

S- The slight yeasty smell develops into a bready aroma with a hint of toasted and fresh grain. The finish has a slight rose perfume quality in the background with a very faint hint of dried cherries as it warms.

T- This beer has a nice toasted malt taste with some caramel qualities in the roast. The slight sour hint of cherries is in there aswell. There is a hint of dark fruit or red wine that is very subtle but is enhanced by the fizz.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a hefty fizz in the texture which adds some carbonic bite. There is no real alcohol warmth despite the high ABV.

D- This is a dry yet complex beer in the background. The fizz takes over in the finish and the malt complexities are very subtle. It would be nice to have those stand out a bit, and perhaps that is the case when it is fresh.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out into a snifter, some how I remember this ale having a stronger aroma to it, but it is not disappointing, it has a good sweet smell to it that reminds me of smashed grapes and it does have a slight hint of a dry alcohol. It has a very fluffy tan head that’s about two inches tall and doesn’t fade away too quickly, it has some good lacing and its body is a dark amber color that offers you some good eye candy. It has a clean sharp taste that has a sweet bite that to it and is followed up by a slightly dry, dull aftertaste that seems to be lacking some flavor; it just seems flat or stale.

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Photo of sirpsycho
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dated 2006, 750 ml. bottle. Dark, reddish/brown pour. Sweet, slight chocolate, carmel and very, very faint coffee-ish flavor, maybe a touch of raisins. Soft and warm mouthfeel. Alcohol is hidden well. All in all an excellent Belgian Strong, it lives up to it's reputation.

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Photo of adodds
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

L - Pours deep dark brown. Massive, creamy head.
S - Smooth and creamy smell, a little oak and vanilla with raisin and malt present.
T - Mellow. Deep caramel and nutty flavor with a little vanilla on top. A smoky date-like aftertaste exists, but without the sweetness.
F - Flat and heavy body. Not my favorite.
O - I like how creamy this beer is, but I feel the flavor bottoms out just a bit too "low" for my tastes. It feels out of place. I would say 80-85% of the flavor is perfectly in place, with just a faint hint of it "off," like a flat note in a song.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served into a Chimay goblet

Pours a dark amber color, like caramelized sugar. It's lighter than many beers in the BSDA or Quadrupel styles. About one finger of head on this pour, but the buttermilk foam has a nice, thick consistency.

Chimay blue has a fairly tight nose. Aromas of brown bread and Fig Newtons dominate. There's a good hit of nutmeg here, maybe some sandalwood. But it is mostly maltiness.

The taste follows the nose to large degree. Lots of brown malt, and lots of figgy flavors. Heavy nutmeg spiciness, with, like, an herbal note (thyme?). Some green raisin. It's quite good, and very balanced. It's also...restrained. I love subtlety, but I wish the beer were just a bit more explosive.

The mouthfeel is absolutely perfect for the style. Perfectly soft carbonation. Perfect attenuation. Overall, this is a very good beer. It misses the heights of some similar beers from De Struise or De Dolle but this is a lovely exemplar of the style.

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Photo of J-Fidge44_
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Color: medium brown initially then takes on a tint of red

Smell: sweetness malty, caramel, grape and fig notes

Taste: caramel, raisin, slight oatmeal. almost hits the that hoppy bitter note towards the end then stops and finishes beautifully.

Texture: light creamy texture, makes your tongue tingle briefly similar to champagne.

Overall: very nice fall or winter beer for me. was not too heavy and i wouldnt consider a second or third. very unique pallet textures i have not experienced before which was thrilling!!

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep rich brown with some nice amber hues when held to direct light. Head is beige with tight bubble formation. Slightly creamy. Drops to a thin cap and solid bubbly collar rather quickly. Lively carbonation. Nice sheets of lacing. Great retention.

Smell: Dark fruits, Belgian yeast, and alcohol. Figs, plums, and some dark cherry. Big chewy sweet malts. Some caramel. Bready. Nice spice notes. Clove dominates over some banana. Some peppery notes as well. Alcohol soaked raisins. Big on the fruit. Big, but not aggressive, yeasty presence. Some candi sugar to round the whole thing out.

Taste: Raisins, cover it in booze, and wrap it in a Belgian yeast strain. Big malt sweetness. Caramel and touches of toffee try to push through the yeast and alcohol. It only works a bit. Fig and plum come through a bit as it warms. Some nice underlying peppery sweetness mixes with clove. Yeast is decidedly Belgian and hits all of the usual notes. Even some bubblegum hiding in the burp. Mild toasted elements. Banana and apples too.

Mouthfeel: Lively moderate carbonation. Body is medium, but feels a little thin due to the carbonation. Nicely dry and a bit of smoothness.

Overall: Belgian, and unapologetic, and it works.

Not as nuanced as some other beers in the style (speaking broadly of darkish Belgian ales), but worth drinking. Lots of flavor, but it's a bit brash and lacks that overall drinkability that some of the others have. The best showing in the Chimay lineup.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been dancing around getting one of these for some time. Finally splurged!

A - Pours a dark murky ruby red colour, finger of beige head with decent retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - The dark fruit, plums and raisins come off the top, some bubble gum and cloves come through on the finish. Although I was expecting the ABV to dominate, a nice sweetness is present.

T - Much like the scent, though the buggle gum, bananas and cloves tend to dominate. Some sour apple and raisins come through on the finish alongside a bit of pepper and spice. The high ABV goes incredibly well hidden.

M - A bit overly carbonated or my liking, resulting in a bit of a prickly feel going down, though it does finish nicely with a touch of dryness.

O - Definitely a top quality dark Belgian Ale and a great example of the style. Full flavoured offering which wasn't overly sweet and whose ABV was well controlled. Most definitely on the rotation for Belgians in the future.

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Photo of IronLover
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque raisin brown in color. Poured with a thick, frothy beige foam with excellent saying power. Dark, ripe fruit aroma with clove, a hint of banana, and an underlying sweet maltiness. Rich, aggressive carbonation with a rather dry finish. Delicate combination of dark fruit and spicy flavors throughout with hints of banana that occasionally show through. A very light dark roasted malted backbone fights through the carbonation. A touch of bitter hop flavor is introduced at the finish with a bit of booziness too.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy and dark brown with just a little bitterness on the nose. Little head that went away fast. Opaque and doesn’t smell too fruity sweet like it’s brother the Chimay Red. Patchy lacing, nice cap. Strong carbonation, toasted malt. floral hops. Medium body and the sweet fruit is in the short finish. A Chimay is guaranteed civility.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off-white one-finger head atop a rich brown body. Appears to be highly carbonated, constant stream of bubbles rising. Good head retention.

Smell: some malt, and the distinct Belgian yeast aroma, with a hint of spice.

Taste: Spicy, with some dark fruit character but it's in the background. Enough bitterness to balance, this one isn't overly sweet. Dry, slightly woody finish, with alcohol dominating the aftertaste. On the plus side, that means it finishes dry, which always helps drinkability for me.

Mouthfeel: wow, very highly carbonated, so much so that it gets in the way of enjoying the beer. Fairly light mouthfeel, thinner than I was expecting, I think.

Drinkability: too boozy to be highly drinkable. I really wanted to love this one, but I just like it. Didn't live up to my expectations, at least.

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Photo of SAABtech
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12/09 bottle

dumped into a chilled mug with nice dark color and full thick head that dispersed nicely.
smells very complex with malts fruits and hops in that order of intensity.
taste is good with an abundance of flavors to dwell on. fruits, malts and earthy tones plus much more. high ABV feel and taste is present with a thick rich feel.
only needed a little bit and had to top the bottle with a champagne topper.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark murky brown color with a fizzy but frothy tan head. This is making a lot of noise, similar to a poured can of coke. Aroma is full of nice hints; raisins & other dried dark fruits, yeast, sweet caramel malt. A very nice typical belgian strong dark ale nose. Taste is full of spice brown sugar sweetness. I do think the mouthfeel is a bit different for the style; on the thin side of moderate with a thin fizzy feel. A very enjoyable strong dark. Drinkable, but after 1 330ml of these i would call it quits due to the cloying sugars. Also, its not as complex as most other trappist beers.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 750ml bottle with the date 1/06 stamped on the cork. It was a dark brown color with a very small head. It had a sweet, fruity (?raisin, ? banana) odor with a bit of spiciness. I thought the taste would be a little more complex, but it wasn't. It had a spicy, malty flavor, with some mild hop bitterness. A good beer, quite drinkable despite the 9%Abv.

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Photo of goldbot
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color with lively, off white head which dissipates quickly. Lots of carbonation but no lacing.

Smells of caramel and chocolate malt, a bit sweet, with dark cherry and raisin fruit notes. Some yeast aroma as well, by way of a coriander spice note. Taste is very smooth with chocolate predominance along with caramel malt. Not too sweet though, rather quite dry throughout. No bitterness at all. Finishes with a dry yeast spiciness, with a slight touch of alcohol.

Medium body with a creamy, almost thick or viscous feel. A solid beer overall. While it lacks a bit in complexity, it has a great balance and smoothness that makes it top-notch.

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Photo of Rudgers73
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A- Big fluffy wild head. Tan in color. The beer is a deep red/brown.

S- Sweet dark fruit. Black cherries, rasins, figs.

T- Sweet, malty, dark fruit, yeast at the end. Peppery anise, slight alcohol burn towards the end as the flavor thins out.

M- Smooth, peppery, spicy, clean.

D- Very.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the 750 ml bottle of this beer. Cork is marked 08/11. Served in a tulip glass cool.

Pours a sandy and thick foamy head and a very dark garnet and walnut body. Smells like fresh fruit (apricots) and clay. Tastes earthy and fruity. Very highly carbonated. Booze are hidden in this beer.

I have to say I prefer the red more. Not as layered flavorwise. However, I can't complain, its still a great beer.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky dark brown with a fizzy tan head. Pretty good head retention.

Aroma: Some ripe black cherry, dark malt, and hints of yeast and alcohol.

Taste: Flavor is very light for the appearance. Nice dark malt character but lets some dark fruit notes through. Much sweeter than I was expecting but definitely not overly sweet. Aftertaste starts wet and then dries as the flavor turns a little darker and the alcohol warmth becomes apparent. Not hugely complex but satisfying.

Mouthfeel: Really effervescent like a soda. Between thin and medium in body but never watery. Good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this one, it didn't blow me away or anything but it is very good. Would I drink it again? If it was offered to me, yes.

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Photo of artdob
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost a root beer color, dark but not quite black. Tan foam head diminishes somewhat quickly, readying the beer for drinking without having to don a foam mustache.

On the nose, close your eyes and you might think you are in a bakery at early morning as the ovens are getting going - yeasty bread overtones dominate here.

On the palate, there is an initial sugary sweetness, almost like C&H liquid. This is followed with hints of dark fruits - plums and raisins.

Mouthfeel has a good amount of carbonation.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,696 ratings.
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