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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: 7,602
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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Photo of jwweaver77
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL corked bottle. Drank during UFC 90.

Appearance: Very nice dark brown color with some red tint. About a finger of foam at the top.

Smell: Very heady, fruity, maybe figs?

Taste: Very smooth for such a dark beer. The malty flavor almost feels like it sticks to your tongue.

Mouthfeel: Not overly carbonated.

Drinkability: Excellent beer, One of the best I've had in a while. Was sad when the bottle was gone!

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

Poured into Chimay Goblet

A- Pours a muddy brown with red highlights. Large white head that settles into a thin white line, very little lacing.

S- I smell dark fruits, apples, pears, and strong caramel malts. Little bit of yeast funk towards the end with an overly sweet bread smell also.

T- Starts with a very upfront malt taste that goes into a fruitiness mostly apples and cherries to me. Finishes up again with the overly sweet bread taste that I can't describe well. Does have a nice earthen note throughout though.

M- Lively. Sticks to your mouth and lingers which is not a bad thing at all when it tastes so good!

Overall a very strong performer in a category loaded with great beers. This is a truly must try.

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Photo of Auraan
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle opened in November 2013
Poured a deep brown, with a two-finger fluffy off-white head that grew for a few minutes, then began to recede to a thick ring of off-white leaving modest lacing. Excellent, true to form for a good Trappist ale. Scents of Belgian yeast, candi sugar, dark fruit, molasses, raisins, prunes, a slight metallic twinge, peppery, spicy scents, grape, slight apple, banana comes forward as it warms, melding with the other aromas to make a nice, sweet scent. Very faint hints of alcohol in the background. A rich, sweet, deep aroma with an amazing complexity, as expected of a Trappist ale. Flavor follows the nose. It is quite sweet up front notes of apple, raisin, dark fruit, and slight pear. As it warms in the mouth sweet caramel malt, honey, and spicy flavors begin to emerge, melding with the fruit. As you swish spicy clove and alcohol notes emerge in the back of the mouth. Candi sugar and Belgian yeast spiciness and hints of faint herbal qualities and wood in the background are present throughout. Finish is spicy and burns the nose slightly, with alcohol, clove, yeasty spice, and some non-descript sweet spices. All the flavors meld wonderfully throughout the sip and lead to a rich, complex, satisfying flavor, warming and perfect for cold weather. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, slightly sticky, moderately carbonated and with a semi-drying finish in the mouth. Quite nice. A very good sipping beer. Quite pleasant, with maybe just a touch too much carbonation for me. Overall this an excellent Trappist ale. It is a fine Belgian Strong Dark, with all the depth, complexity and nuance of the style. It is a fine beer to sip on a cold night, strong, with a great depth of scent and flavor. Truly excellent.

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Photo of cudmud
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay glass and the beer quicky produced a dark ruby color with a rich tan head. The head goes on to produce a nice clingy lace.

This beer contains lots of wonderful aromas. I detect raisins, apples, hops, sugars, and alcohol. The aforementioned aromas do a good job of hiding the alcohol.

The flavor is fruity and malty with a nice hop aftertaste. Likewise, the alcohol is noticeable in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel and drinkability hit the mark. All in all, a superior beer.

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Photo of Alex-by
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

0.75l bottle, but too young - only 1 year old.

A - Dark amber color. Head is too big when you pour 1st glass, which is not happening with 0.33l bottles.

S - Sweet malts, caramel, fruits, wine, raisins. Very complex and strong flavor.

T - Even more complicated than smells... Caramel malt, sugar, wine, bitter of roasted malts.

M - medium to full body. Medium carbonation. Creamy. Alcohol was not very apparent

O - Amazing beer. Full of flavours and it gets more flavorful as it is getting warmer.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark cloudy brown. Decent tan head that last a good amount of time. No lacing at all on this one.

S - Smells of plums, figs and other dark fruits with a bit of brown sugar. Im picking up grains as well, maybe even a slight alcohol presence with a little sourness towards the end.

T - White grapes up front with a bit of alcohol. Then there are grains in the middle that sort of counter the alcohol and mellow out the sweetness with a nice earthy touch. Im picking up mainly wheat, maybe oats as well. It Then finishes off even sweeter but with a nice alcohol warmth.

M - Very smooth, with medium carbonation. Coats the palate evenly and gently. Exceptional.

D - Excellent. This is an amazing beer. Very well put together. I loved it from start to finish. Even with the high ABV the drinkability is still good.

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Photo of philosobeer
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the first beer in my week of Trappist beers. A beer a day, one from each of the Trappist monasteries that bottle their beer. I poured this into a Chimay goblet.

A - cloudy, and very dark, brown with some orange-red notes. (Or is that red-orange?) White and tan in some parts of its sticky head. That head? Retained pretty well, by the way.

S - Anyway, this beer has a super yeasty aroma, you can smell the malt, but also some wine notes. It smells like a german white wine and lychee in a way that totally contrasts what I think of as a typical dark beer, even belgian dark beer. There's plum in the smell too. And maybe some raison.

T - The first thing I got here this time was some yeast and bread crust from darker malts. And some caramel flavors, that lead into sweetness and ... ahhh. Plum, fig, and date, seeds and nuts. It warmed a bit in the glass, and I tasted spicy notes, like grains of paradise. The alcohol is present and warm, but with a strong dark ale this is perfect winter drinking. I'd go on, but, for how could I? It might need a treatise.

M - Sharp on the tongue with its foamy effervescence, a touch of bitterness, and spice. High gravity, but not too high. which lends to its...

D - ...drinkability. Which is nice for a beer of its strength and complexity. But, uhhh, I couldn't drink tons of this, or probably have it every day, either. What can you really expect from this, though?

What a wonderful way to start a wonderful week,

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Photo of Mavigo
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was pulled out at the table, Happy Thanks Giving everyone! Poured this guy into a snifter.

A: Poured a rich, cloudy, oak brown color, with a half inch caramel head that vanished after a few minutes, reduced to rings and a little bit of patches around the glass, has some lacing.

S: Very aromatic, dark fruits, burnt sugars, can smell the alcohol, spices, malts, cinnamon, spices

T: Tastes incredible, it is outstanding. It's very sweet, brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits, grapes, figs, malts, grains, very complex flavor, has a whole lot going on, but it all compliments each other.

M: its a very likeable beer, such a complex flavor, balanced with the warm kick of the alcohol, along with its mid-level carbonation, its outstanding

O: Its what I expected and more, was in awe when this was brought out on the table, this beer is incredible, such a perfect balance. Goes down smooth and its fulfilling. It's very expensive, but for those one time occasions, takes the place of the champagne. A must try for everyone, great interpretation of the style, the archetype.

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Photo of MAFC_Trainer
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - dark brown, no head

Aroma - fruity, nutty, hint of chocolate

Taste - nutty with chocolate after taste

Feel - smooth, full of flavor

Overall - really good Belgium nutty chocolatie ale. Will defiantly have another

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Interesting amalgamation of brown, bronze, and amber colors... cloudy like a dark apple cider with suspended particulates. Thick, khaki meringue head fades to a persistent 1/4" capper with minimal, but creamy lace.
Smell: Semi-sweet toasted malt, peppery, earthy, dark/ripe fruits, astringent alcohol and yeast blast.
Taste: Light sweet toasted malts with raisin, plum, fig/date dissolve to a pleasant yeast sourness in the middle, then apparently concluding with a crisp dry citrus finish.. but, then a warm alcohol flourish. Combined with the ethereal mouthfeel, one hell of a ride.
Mouthfeel: Champagne bubbly carbonation, full yet surprisingly light.. like a mousse, full bodied but vanishes leaving a pleasant ghostly memory. Delightful.
Drinkability: Deceptively drinkable high ABV brew. Crack this open as an alternate to champagne for your next celebration. The fuss over this beer is well founded.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,602 ratings.
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