Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

2,347 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: 2,347 | Ratings: 7,683
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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Photo of mweso2000
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750 mL bottle and paired with a prime rib dinner.

A-Pours a dark amber brown with a two finger head that disappears. No lace
S-Fruity with malt and yeast undertones. Not overwhelming.
T-Sweet malt with fruit flavors. Would have preferred a little more hops and yeast flavor. Did not really notice the alcohol.
M-Thick chewy fell with medium carbonation.
D-Very drinkable despite the high ABV.

Overall I would have to say I was slightly disappointed. I am going to chalk it up to the style. I just think that this type of beer is not my favorite. It was obviously well made and full of flavor. If you like this style, this is an obvious choice.

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

Appearance: Brown and murky since I poured in the yeast, thin but foamy head.

Smell: Smells like a stronger version of the dubbel, floral, sweetness, and clove.

Taste: Rum soaked raisins, clove, a bit of spiciness. Pretty complex and difficult for me to describe, but good.

Drinkability: A little strong but tasty. The small bottle is a good idea.

Probably my second favorite from Chimay. Nice sweet and complex taste, glad I gave it a try.

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

I don't drink too many Chimay beers, mostly around Christmas. However, I did get to try this one out for the first time recently. The taste is great, really fresh. Good head and nice appearance. This is a beer you just want to sip and enjoy. I really enjoyed it and I'll be getting more in the future.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle drawn into a pint glass is a deep dark brown with only a slight filmy random collection of yiny bubbles inside the glass-clinging off-white ring.
Figs, prunes, and raisin bread aromas distinguish themselves from the malt.
To that add wine grapes, roasted malt, and spice at the end (or is that tannin?).
Full, but not heavy, mouthfeel, creamy and almost wet on the finish.
This was really nice after my ceviche.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked brown bottle with blue label. Best before 2014. Very nice cork comes out with a satisfying pop and let's out some nice ''beer smoke'' and kind of tootsie roll like smell. Poured into Jacobsen snifter. Was going to use my Brassin D'Hiver tulip but the back label shows a chalice and so I thought my snifter is a closer match.

L-Very active light-beige head with bubbles of different sizes settles into a 2mm creamy foam. The brew is a very dark brown similar to filter coffee. Almost opaque. When poured looked syrupy but it really isn't that viscous.

S-Dried fruit maybe figs, Yeast, A little tootsie roll, A little salt. Miniscule bit of vinegar but don't let that put you off. Strangely I smell a bit of a fresh vegetable. Tiny bit of alcohol.

T- Starts sweet, Taste follows the smell except for the vegetable part. Cloves. Finishes a little metallic. As it warms, you taste more and more alcohol.

M-Great from the very first sip. Full mouth feel. Foams up a bit as you are about to swallow it. Warming feeling though alcohol taste isn't that strong. Although I wouldn't mind there being more, I think this beer might have a perfect level of carbonation.

D-Great drinkablity... once you taste take the first sip. I don't always feel like drinking one of these but once I start... terrific. I remember the first time I had one. I went to sleep still thinking about it, licking my lips (kind of) trying to remember the tastes and mouth feel.

A great experience. This may very well change, but this is one of my favorite beers, and I am more of a IPA/hops kind of guy.
Taste this beer. Just make sure you don't need to be sober after. For some reason after having one of these I feel tipsier than when I drink some higher ABV's .

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Photo of elricorico
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy brown with what seems like a touch of purple in it. It has a big bubbly tan head that I'm watching slowly shrink. The head never faded away completely and the drink leaves some lacing as it goes.

Has a black pepper and cherry type smell. A little bit of alcohol apparant in the aroma.

Taste is sweet up front with a spicy alcohol finish. Dark fruits to begin and pepper at the end.

Mouthfeel is good, full bodied enough and not over carbonated. Putting into consideration the alcohol content, this beer goes down easy too.

It's good, a beer that I wouldn't mind having again soon.

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Photo of schroe58
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into typical pint glass

a- dark brown with thin lightly colored head that lasted, surprisingly, until finished. nice lacing on glass.

s- smells sweet, hints of caramel and spice and very slight alcohol

t-nose is somewhat citrusy, appearances of spice and slightly nutty followed by wheat rounded out by more spice and finished with more citrus flavor. all flavors blend well into a medium spiced citrus taste.

m-abundant carbonation up front, light clean feel accented by very very slight dry throat feel.

d-very drinkable due to the slightly dry feel in the aftertaste, leaves you wanting more. finished my 33cl in about fifteen minutes so i guess it goes pretty quick. didn't realize that it was 9% abv untill i was finished. can not taste the alcohol while drinking which i like in a Trappist ale.

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Photo of hp2skater
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've always wanted to try Chimay Grand Reserve- nothing but good things to be said. First, I'm not sure if there was a leak in my cork but the carbonation level was pretty weak. Second, from the other Belgian Darks I've had, the Chimay lacked the presence of that unique candied sweetness. Overall, a good BSDA but I prefer a sweeter profile such as that of Guldren Draak.

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Photo of watermelon
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Super opaque dark amber. With a creamy coffee head that left a fair amount of lacing.

S: strong honey and malt scents, also raisins.

T: Super sweet malt flavor, very sweet fruity flavor, some alcohol is present but this beer is 9 percent.

M: Good full mouth feel very full.

O: I really enjoyed it. It cost 15 bucks at the store, not sure its worth that but Im glad I got the chance to try it.

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Photo of DerBayer
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another very good Belgan

Pours a very satisfying medium brown with medium creamy off white head

Smells of dark cherries and caramel but faint

Taste is where this beer really scores - Caramel, chocolate and dark fruit (cherries) are prevalent and balanced by some hop bitterness

Mouthfeel is good ad refreshing but slight dry aftertaset

You do tatse the alcohol after a while

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Photo of Fish113d
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: A chilled bottle served into a snifter.

Pouring a mahogany color with ruby highlights, it leaves a 1/4" tan bubbly head; decent head retention as well. Leaves a nice edge layer with nice lacing. Very little light gets through my glass as I attempt to look through it.

Dark malts on the nose with a bit of fruit (grapes possibly) and a bit of oak. Nothing fancy; not what I expected.

Sipping, I get a sweet caramel flavor with grapes and even some oak wood flavors mainly throughout. Maybe a rasberry chocolate flavor?

Sharp carbonation, I expected it to be a bit softer on the palete, along with a bit of alcohol drying on the finish. Not too shabby, but I did expect a bit less carb.

Overall, a nice tasting full bodied brew, that only has one knock- the amount of carbonation that killed my palete.

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Photo of mikeborglum
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the small bottle with 'Peres Trappistes' on the label; citrus, raisin, spicey aroma, some sulfur presence, deep dark copper color cloudy with frothy white head, some sediment visible, light sweetness, some fruits, mild alchohol presence,medium body, lively, long finish,

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,683 ratings.
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