Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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2,320 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: 2,320 | Ratings: 7,592
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a deep hazy brown color with hints of mahogany seen when held to the light. Upon pouring a one finger tan head is formed. The head fades with some swiftness to leave a nice amount lacing.

Smell – Dark fruits are heavy in the nose with nice prune, cherry, and raisin aromas. There is a yeasty, spicy, and malty aroma as well which meld nicely with the sweeter dark fruit aromas.

Taste- The taste starts out with a nice mix of dark bready malts and darker fruit flavors. These two tastes provide a very solid foundation with which the rest of the taste experience evolves from. More towards the middle the yeasty flavors detected in the nose come into fruition with some spice flavors coming into play as well. Toward the very end of the taste a lighter alcohol flavor develops along with a molasses flavor which when mixed with the bready malt and dark fruits leaves a rather satisfying aftertaste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body is creamy and smooth. It coasts the tongue allowing all the flavors to really sit on the tongue to be experienced. The carbonation is on the medium side adding some tingling excitement on the tongue, but not too high to take away from the creaminess of the body.

Overall – A fantastic abbey beer. It’s renowned and a classic for a reason.

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Photo of skeetermoses
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit, I am a little baised when it comes to reviewing this beer, it happens to be one of my favs. I had a twelve oz bottle of this today and was pleased as usual. I highly recommend this beer to all my friends and do not skimp when purchasing, I still have a couple of bottles left and do look forward to drinking them. The only problem I have with this beer is the price and that is all

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Photo of francisweizen
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


the 2000 magnum of grand reserve, graciously shared by Fishbone at Dwarbis Brooklyn BBQ was superior to the 2001 magnum...with more spicy notes and boozy flare!!!


Presentation - 1.5L corked and caged magnum bottle, of the american version. September 2001Vintage(about 1 & 1/2 years old)

--This vintage 1.5L bottle of Chimay is excellent! I thought that the 33CL and 75CL versions of this beer were excellent but this bottle is just perfection. The Chimay Grand Reserve from this aged Magnum bottle is fruitier, drier, richer, and creamier than its counterparts and is perhaps, my favorite beer to date!--

**Scratch that! I no longer have the same love for "fresher" Chimay than I once did, and I have found many better Dark Belgian ales. However, some 1993 Chimay Bleu at the Kulminator in Anterp restored my faith in this stuff!**

Perfection! This IMO, is much better than the 33cl or 75 cl versions of this beer. Is there an actual difference in the 3 beers? YES! This pours a franticly carbonated dark reddish brown earthy beer with a GIGANTIC fluffy white head into my chalice! This smells wonderfully like fruits, nuts, berries, sugars, malts, and almost everything else you can think of. The taste is more of the same, a beer that practically dances all over your taste buds. A super creamy and full mouthfeel back up this beers high drinkability factor as well. It is very expensive in the states(although quite cheap in Belgium)so I cannot savor it as much as I would like to(@ $30 or so a magnum bottle around here!!!)
A classic trappist ale, IMO, and perhaps the best beer in the world...EVER!!!

Mmmm. I had a 750 of 1986 Chimay Blue at the Kulminator a week or two ago that was simply out of this world. Vinous as all hell and as complex as anything else out there. This one REALLY improve with age!

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Photo of EPICAC
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had an aged bottle from 1999 at Bierhuis Kulminator in Antwerp. It was served at cellar temperature in a Chimay chalice. They had bottles of Chimay Blue all the way back to 1981.

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown-ruby with a creamy beige head that fades to a thin film, leaving patches of lace.

Smell: This definitely smells aged. Rich and malty with notes of caramel, toffee, and dark fruit. There are also vinuous notes as well as some alcoholic spiciness.

Taste: Malty upfront with toasty flavors as well as sweet caramel and dark fruit, sweet, but not too sweet. The finish has a light tartness with pepper, alcohol and a very light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and thick, with low carbonation.

Drinkability: Smooth and full flavored, but mellow.

Overall: This is definitely one that improves with age. I think that it might be worth it to buy a case of Chimay every year just to cellar.

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Photo of CowsCanBark
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 oz. bottle into Samuel Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown/red color that just the smallest bit of light can be seen through. There is a tan two-finger head that seems to dissipate rather quickly. There is, however, a nice amount of lacing left on my glass as I drink.

Smell: I seriously smell brownies. Maybe hints of cocoa mixed with a biscuit-like odor create this brownie smell? There is also a slight bit of fruit essence in the back, with a barely discernible zest.

Taste: Wow, delicious indeed. Dark malty goodness, cocoa, dark cherries/fruits, slightly roasty, definite biscuit flavor. Very minor bitterness that stops as soon as you swallow. The alcohol burn is there, but the taste is excellently hidden!

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, moderate to light body, slightly smooth and creamy. It works perfectly and goes down surprisingly easy!

Overall: One of my new favorite Belgian Dark Ales. This is one hell of a beer, with dark fruity flavors and rich, but tamed, sweetness. Highly recommended.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark carmel brown, cloudy, and some yeast floating that I couldn't decant. Light cream color head that retains pretty well.

S: Dark fruits and a nutty yeast aroma. Very slight alcohol. Very complex, I can't pick everything out.

T: As in most beers I've have, the taste up front is foreshadowed by the smell. Sweet Dark fruit and yeast taste, followed by some bitterness and more yeasty flavors.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation, which is relativly high, and definatly refreshing. Full mouthfeel.

D: Highly drinkingable and tasty. I look forward to every sip, though the IBV makes this somewhat dangerous.

For the taste and the smell, I can't pin everything down in this brew. Maybe in a year or so I'll be able to indentify things. For now, at least I know it's delicious.

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Photo of HugoGrim
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in a 33 CL bottle, the back of the label appears to read "LAN - 167", but again... no idea what this means.

Poured into a snifter a deep, very dark almost purplish brown. Head disappeared quickly, though bubbles remain along the rim. Spotty lace. When the head was gone the bubbles formed what looked like a radar screen's view of a hurricane in the center of the snifter.

Robust Earthy scent. Hints of caramel and sweet malts.

Rustic caramel flavor. Alcohol is more evident than in the white. Very deep complex flavor.

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Photo of ahommell
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark Brown. Opaque. Deep orange. Lots of carbonation. Fantastic head that if you let sit becomes a sticky finger head.

S: Malty. Yeasty. Carmel. I get the sense of some fruit: Prunes. Raisins. Malty. Nothing overpowers.

T: Malty. Yeasty. Spicy. Smell mirrors the taste. Like other Chimay products, this one has a taste that could be an amazing bread as well.

M: Creamier than I expected, yet the carbonation leaves that to be short lived. Spicier than I expected as well. Alcohol ends the overall feel and I am not disappointed one bit.

O: Well, I cannot say I am disappointed. Drinkable in any quantity. Wonderfully Belgian. Not giving it 5's across the board... BUT DAMN GOOD BEER.

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Photo of Kastler
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Opened from a corked reserve bottle. It fizzed and some spilled as if someone had shaken it up (damn it Costco get your shit together).
Poured into a Gotlands Bryggeri weissbier glass.

A - Dark, opaque brownish red. Not cloudy yet still opaque with a light held up to it. Clearly a heavy brew

S - Malty, sweet smell with hints of yeast. It almost reminds me of molasses. Very strong. Kind of gave me a headache after too many wafts, but exactly what I would look for in this style.

T - First it is very sweet and a little fruity. Then the malt's presence overwhelms the sweetness. Almost no hint of bitterness or hops. Although, the strong dark ale is 9%, I couldn't even notice an alcohol taste.

M - Creamy and a little bit thick from the all the malt. Although the opening brought a fizz over, a perfect mild carbonation.

To be honest, this is probably the best beer I have tasted to date. For a 9% beer, the mixture of flavors and yeast is unmatched while masking the alcohol. A must have for any beer lover. Bought at Costco in Washington for about 12$ in the large corked bottle.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

Rich dark brown brew props up a beautiful off-white cap of foamy bubbles at about a half inch with a reasonably careful pour. Near perfect lacing down the glass with moderate head retention.

Complexity at it's finest with swirling aromas of dark fruit, brown candy sugar, roasted malts, and a hint of caramel.

The flavors are at least as complex as the aromas but the come together in tight fusion that stays bonded through to the finish. The malts combine near perfectly with notes of fig or prune, hinting at sweetness without actually being sweet. Any hops present are for balance and are largely not noticed however the overall presence of the brew is so balanced they must be there. The finish is slightly wine like with a bit of alcohol warming on the way down. A classic.

If you haven't tried this one yet, what are you waiting for? There aren't too many others in this style that rise to this level. It is a standard to be judged against.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers wanted to rate it for the Michael Jackson toast since he's the person I heard about a from on the Beer Hunter series years ago. Reviewed it on my birthday instead,named my German Shepherd after this beer and had it instead of wine at my wedding. My special occasion beer.

On with the review,poured into my Chimay glass (what else?) a mirky reddish brown color,looks like apple cider. Has a creamy,froathy light tan head that falls into a constant creamy coating that never dies. Extremely tiny bubbles very tightly knitted togeather screaming towards the surface. Love just watching it.

Spicy,very earthy,with a nutty character,lots of dark fruityness with a musty/woodsy scent.

Complex taste dark fruit raisins/dates/figs reminds me of a fruit cake. Delicate spicyness,very earthy with sweey syrupyness. Slighty tart with a touch of sourness. Finishes dry, with a warming booziness creeps up on you nicely, just enough,but not overbearing,nor does it drown out any of the other tastes of the beer. Perfect!

Very smooth and creamy has a light mouthfeel,velvety with some pleasing tangyness. Soothing beer goes down almost too easy. Very enjoyable haven't had this beer in a while almost forgot how great it really was. Won't wait this long again before I have another. Would be a great winter warmer beer. Must try beer.

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Photo of jamesm7485
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had high hopes going into this with all the reviews and it lived up to the hype. Pour was a dark red brown with a very quick to form thick head( could have been my pour) smell was somewhat fruity with big hints of yeast on the nose. Taste was wonderfull and the mouthfeel was very non offensive. Wish it wasnt 9 dollars a bottle but between this and delirium nocturnium id choose this any day of the week.

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Photo of makoshark
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers of all time. I found a great deal where you got a free glass with each bottle purchased for only $8.00.

Pours a dark reddish brown with an excellent head. Very nice lacing on the glass. This is definately one that should be enjoyed from the suggested glass. It helps to enhance both the aroma and taste. The slightly sweet taste helps to mask the high alcohol content. The overall drinkability is very smooth with great mouthfeel. This is always one that I use to introduce people to the world of better beers that are available to all.

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Photo of Sreidy12
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay chalice. Beautiful mahogany brown with an off-white 2-3 finger head that recedes to a thin, yet dense layer.

S: Agitation revealed raisiny smell with alcohol and other dark fruits in the background. I was expecting a stronger aroma, but was still very pleased with it.

T: What a beer. Initially sweet malts and fruit/yeast cover the palate, followed by a dry, alcohol-hop finish. Outstanding.

M: Initially thin with medium carbonation, however as it sits on the palate it becomes fuller and coats the mouth. Very smooth finish.

D: Medium-High drinkability. This is a great beer that, if I had it, I could drink daily.

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Photo of SpecialK088
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into the Chimay Goblet

A-One of those beers that just look sexy (yea i said it) in its own glass. Light brown with a good head that laces thickly down the glass

S-Bannana and some other sweeter fruit, bread and malt

T&M-I dont hand out 5's very often cause that means there is no room for improvent i've never given a beer overall 5's and only handed out maybe 5 or 6 in catagory but the flavor of this beer at 9% abv and the balance is perfect. Sweet malt flavor with a hint of hops, nice smooth and creamy, great level of carbonation and a nice full body.

D-I can't think of a reason that anyone wouldnt find this beer extremly drinkable and want another after the 1st.

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Photo of maddmaxstar
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chimay Grande Reserve (11/10 on cork)

A - Deep Mahogany Brown, dark and almost opaque. Gratious Foamy, sudsy and thick head that goes away slow.

S - Spicy, Malty, hints of prune, raisin and other fruits.

T - Hints of Prune, Black Cherry, taste fading into a Cocoa Powder finish, with a Slight bitterness at the back of the tongue. Alcohol seems to be well masked.

M - Velvety smooth, creamy, Good carbonation.

D - An amazing Trappist Ale. This is not a beer for those who wish to chug back a brew, but you knew that. No, this is a beer for sipping, an excellent beer for special occasions, for celebrations. A fantastic high quality beer that is complex, delicious and divine. Overall, one of the best beers I've ever had, and one of the best beers...period.

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Photo of hoppyserpent
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I recently took a trip to Brussels and had the opportunity to savor this brew and a significant number of other other Belgians at the Delerium Pub near the Grande Place downtown. I also had ample occasion during my visit to sample Chamay from other taps and often from the bottle. This is an excellent brew with a deep color, spicy/hoppy flavors, a nice full-bodied texture, excellent head (some may say excessive - required a knife to crop it off, but I loved it) and a full 9% alcoholic delivery.

I've noticed some difference in freshness and/or quality between the Chamay I've sampled from the US bottled vs. that at the Delerium (but I am a new convert to the Belgians and whatever I can get in the US is still FINE). These Belgian beers are unlike any other, and require an open mind to appreciate the taste but they are of excellent quality and produce a thoughtful, present-tense, pleasant sensation.

I write this from the US under the influence of three Chamays - Enjoy people! One of the best!

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Photo of TOMHONE
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Smooth, creamy and extremely tasty. By far an absolutely fantastic beer. A joy to drink. We bought many a bottle in Brussels at the local grocery store. Not pricey at all. My pals thought they died and went to heaven. For they have never had a premium world famous brew before this.

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Photo of RobertDwight
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a lovely dark reddish brown hue into a challis. I love the head, its very creamy and stays with the beer until the finish. Smells and tastes are of nuts like walnut and pecan, roasted barely, coffee, chocolate, and caramel. I love the mouthfeel of this beer. Drinkability is very good, I could easily have more than my share of this if I am not careful. From the moment you take your first sip and it laps over your tongue until you swallow it is sheer jubilance!

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Photo of Lukie
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured murkey brown with a strong thick head that settled into a layer on top.

Dark Chocolate, roasted coffee bean, almost bitter, and some fragrant spices all come out of this. It smells dry from the alcohol and spice character.

Not too much sweetness in this, but lots of spicy characters, with hints of dried dark fruit. There is a slight medicinal quality in the finish.

Lots of vibrant carbonation that actually helps make this drink easier. It is very lively and not too heavy. The alcohol is hardly noticable.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Blue label Chimay pours an opaque reddish brown color and produces a big frothy head that slowly settles down leaving no lacing. Smell is of spices, particularly cloves, with vinous hues. First taste leaves a smooth chocolate impression ending with touches of fruit. Aftertaste is yeasty. Overall, not a very complex taste, but highly enjoyable. Mouthfeel is very good, and that about says it, really. One I'd definitely have again. A good no-frills Belgian beer you could drink everyday.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As far as belgian strong dark ales go, this is the bench mark. I've tried to find one that comes close but for the availability and ABV, i just can't find anything better and more satisfying

A-dark amber brown, light tan head

S-maple, beautiful but not over powered sweetness. light alcohol note, slight cherriness

T-matching taste hits up front, cherries after-taste, alcohol note barely present

M-medium but soft carbonation

D-I dont think there's any "common" beer as good as this. It never ceases to make me feel wonderful. The taste stays and is easy to drink. I can never have too much of this!!

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Photo of steinlifter
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a dark amber, nice thick head, that diminished, but left rocky peaks all the way down, smell was fruity and complex, raisin scent present, taste was full complex fruit,... again I distinguish a raisin flavor, a bit of tartness, but finishes smooth, bit of spiciness as well, in my opinion these quality beers, are very hard to describe, beautiful, say's it all, mouthfeel was high carbonated bubbles that tickled the tongue, and a rich creaminess, drinkability is as with all the Trappist biers, X-cellent! Highly Recommended!

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite Belgian brews. Pours dark brown with some sediment and a creamy white head. Smells of chocolate and prunes, and incredible aromatic combonation here. Flavor is strong figs, plums, raisins, and nice chocolate combo, with nice alcohol warmth. Heavy/chewey mothfeel. Just perfect. I suspect that this bottle had been sitting around a while, as it is a bit lighter on the palate fresh. I prefer the heavier feel.

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Photo of TitanTake
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: bottle poured into a frosty mug

A - Amber in color; huge, very firm head; exceptional body; head last an extremely long time

S - strong smell of berries with a woody back-end;

T - bursting with flavor; strong alcohol on initial taste; not overpowering;

M - creamy and light

D - wonderful to drink when you get the opportunity; the cost of the beer can be prohibitive for casual drinking

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,592 ratings.
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