Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

7,765 Ratings
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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Ratings: 7,765 |  Reviews: 2,364
Photo of Brob245
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a: Big fluffy light tan head sits atop a hazy amber body.

s: sweet malt, spicy, dark fruits, and cloves.

t: molasses, sweet malt, raisins, spice and some light funk. Complex and tasty.

m: high carbonation works well in this one. light to medium body. smooth.

d: for many Chimay is their introduction to Belgian beer. It was the first belgian I saw and the the first I tasted. Because it is everywhere and is essentially mainstream Belgian, I think I have had a bias against Chimay. But I can't deny that they make some damn fine beer. I wish more people would branch out and try other Belgians, but Chimay is an excellent start.

Chimay Grand Reserve is a beer of wonderful complexity, great drinkability (really? 9% abv?) and high cellarability (wish I could afford to lay a few down).

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Photo of flagmantho
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a wine goblet.

Appearance: slightly opaque mahogany brown with a nice head which dissipated rather quickly.

Smell: apples and pears right off the bat. There's a nice crisp malt there which you might call a biscuit aroma, and below that a heady yeast aroma which just adds to the experience. It's great!

Taste: tree fruit and a bit of an alcohol bite, but there's also this muted chalkiness which adds an underlayer of flavors which meld together but which I can't really identify; perhaps the creamy mouthfeel is contributing to this chalk perception. It's very good though.

Mouthfeel: enticing creaminess I have come to expect from Chimay.

Drinkability: at 9%, the alcohol really starts to affect the drinkability of this. It is super tasty, but we're talking about a nice dessert or digestif beer here.

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

Photo of cnally
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

cloudy amber color with good even sediment displacement.. two finger off white head dissipates down to a ring of lacing.

scents of caramel and malt. orchard fruits in the background.

beautiful flavor. even keeled mix of sweet malt and woodsy chocolate and malt. mild coffee flavors linger between the kick of malt and sweet. euphoria. but subdued.

probably the greatest mouthfeel I have experienced from a beer. initally, there is a fizz and punch, which quickly fades through its creamy texture..

just a good,solid beer, exemplary drink, near perfect execution. it is so balanced and subdued, it feels like the first love that you wouldn't think is the best overall. but still you evoke memories, filling you with that good feeling.

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

Photo of TagoMago
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 ml. corked bottled poured into trappist goblet.

Appearance: Creamy dark brown with a slight red hue. Pours with a very vibrant and lasting head. A decent lacing is present.

Smell: Malty sweetness combined with a fairly strong alcoholic presence. Some esthery grape-like elements are also noticed, combined with a musty, yeasty character.

Taste: Intense carbonation with a full-bodied smoothness. This is very sherry-like in quality. Malts combine with fruits (grape, plum) and alcohol. A very musty Belgian yeast flavor is present. Belgian candi sugar is present in the flavor as well, providing much of the beer's sweetness.

Overall: Simply put, this is one of the best Belgian ales - let alone one of the best beers - in the world. It is every bit worth the $10 for a 750 ml. bottle. It's almost flawless in every way - a real treat. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Two10tim
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of BatDaddy
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep orange brown with a fluffy billowing off-white head that hangs around a good bit before settling down to a nice ring of foam around the edges.

S - Sweetness. Candied fruits, brown sugar. Some dark fruit along with apple. Touch of yeast and a touch of alcohol.

T - Dark fruits and spice. It's sweet but a subdued sweetness - less than what I expected from the nose. A bit earthy. Dry. There's some spicy alcohol that tickles your throat on the the finish. Really tasty.

M - Dry and bubbly but still smooth and a bit chewy.

D - Good. Certainly a sipper, but it's so good you have to force yourself to only sip and not guzzle.

I still have to learn patience when bringing these up to serving temp - or store them a bit warmer. The flavors and mouthfeel really didn't start showing their true colors until I was halfway done with my glass.

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Photo of Shveta
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of JK4Stout
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours so smooth you almost wonder why this isn't making porn! I love the look of a great Belgian going into a chalice. The head was spot on, whcih was pleasing as I am by far not an expert in pouring.

S: Now this is something interesting. I have had this beer a few times before, but never stuck my snout deep in there. This time I am getting some plum notes as well as a sweetness to rival kittens in sweaters.

T: Love every second of this. I am not a big fan of Chimay White, but the Red and Blue really do it for me. I love the forceful malt flavor that blends well with the sugars. This just proves it isn't all about the hops.

M: Medium, maybe a hair too much carbonation, but certainly doesn't detract much.

O: I dig this brewery, the beer, and the bottle. I kind of wish it were a little more affordable, but maybe I am just thinking that since it is popular price should go down...that is a silly arguement (I am argueing with myself). Perfectly happy with this and my new gold rimmed chalice that came with the pack.

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Photo of Drewsive
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MagicJeff
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked bomber into my Bruery tulip.

A: Beautiful light to medium brown--almost cola like. Nice tan head which holds on for a while, and nice lacing on glass.

S: Intense raisin and fig. Slight candy sugars. Some bready yeast too.

T: Raisins, dates, and even some tart fruit mid tasting (green apple?). Sweet caramelized sugars. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: It is definitely full bodied, but it is pretty light drinking-wise. Very drinkable.

Overall: This is a great beer, simply put. A lot going on. Would love to age one and see how it progresses--this vintage is 1-13, and I suspect that this beer would change a lot given some time. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Crack of the bottle marked 09/05 on the cork itself; Pours a dark mahogany ruby color that glows in a subtle way with red light when held up to illumination. A frothy tan head bubbles up and slowly recedes to a dished concave centimeter-thick, being visibly fed by streams of bubbles appearing in the depths and climbing up the sides. They're doing their best to keep the head up and look to be doing their job.

Plum, citrus peel on the scent; Lazily fruity zing and zip with just a tiny bit of tartness and some crisp malty scents; It reminds me of Trois Pistoles but isn't so in-your-face, and has a little more malt scent, too.

Wow, that's weird... The first thing I think when I sip it is that it tastes... like Trois Pistoles. Exactly like it, actually. Hell, I'll even be so bold as to cut and paste from that review. Sour-sweet flavors on the palte. Citrus peel, sour grapes, plums, rhubarb, raisins, with a gently warming alcohol that doesn't affect taste, only feel.

The carbonation is zippy and swishy, medium-sized bubbles that swirl around... Some syrupy flavors and tastes left behind.

Okay, I'm really weirded out. I keep going back to my review of the Unibroue beer and have decided that these are almost exactly the same. The only difference is that the Trappist version I now hold in my hand holds a better head and has a little less sour, more malty scent.

This is a great beer and I'm reviewing it with the respect it deserves; But my experience has been seriously diminished by the fact that I can get the same thing for less money from a closer brewery than Belgium.

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

Photo of barrelman
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

cork 07/05

Appearance: Small head with next to no lacing. Rich caramel color.

Smell: Mostly malty nose wth little hops. Slight abbey yeast aroma backing maltiness up.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation level makes flavors really pop on your tongue (even after several glasses). Robust maltiness with hints of cloves and no alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is perfect.

Drinkability: I am halfway through a 750 mL and feeling good (although it might be because the Bucks are winning). I foresee the rest being a smooth ride, both through the bottle and the game.


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Photo of amaass2
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Bombelsky
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle.
L17-0 05
Best before: 12/20/22

Clear, deep amber reddish. Huge frothy off-white head, leaving very good lacing. Persisting. Moderate malty and yeasty notes. Plenty of bread and mild, peppery tones. Some soft, floral hops. Light prunes. High malty, bready, rich sweetness, medium-low bitterness. Full body. Medium carbonation, oily, spicy. Medium dry finish, but there are some sweet notes getting in. Smooth, warm alcohol, gets edgy.


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Photo of jbmalta
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Admiraldinty
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy brown mahogany with a creamy tan head. Aroma is malty, fruity, and there is a touch of tobacco. Taste is not as fruity as other Belgians I've had (the plummy flavor is missing.) Far more malty, and rather spicy. This is one complex beer, and I'm sure my inexperienced taste buds are missing out on a great deal. Fairly smooth drinking. Drinkability suffers because of the somewhat high price and abv.

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Photo of Brez07
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Dark pour with some ruby highlights. Huge 3 finger fluffy off white head; not much retention though. Minimal lacing left on the glass. Poured the whole bottle, so there's some floaties

S: Dark fruit - raisin, grape, fig. Fruit provides a light sweetness. Some yeast mixes in here. Slight twinge from alcohol

T: The fruit and accompanying sweetness are most present. There is a spice also present. Slight smokiness in the finish

M: One of the better beers I've had from this standpoint. Full bodied, with carbonation tingling the tongue. Also coats the mouth. Slightly dry finish

D: Not much more I can say about this beer that hasn't already been stated. Amazing, complex beer that drinks very easy. Try if you haven't already

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

This is a very unique beer. It has a light, effervescent mouth feel while expressing dark, malty, spicy, stewed fruit flavours and aromas. A touch sour and herbaceous on the finish which adds complexity.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

755ml corked bottle, 2009 vintage, poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

A: Pours a red mahogany, opaque, 2-finger foamy head that hangs for a little while and leaves good lacing.

S: Dark fruits, bread, alcohol esters

T: A nicely complex mix of a variety of dark fruits, the esters come through fairly strong, lots of bread with the malt, very little hop presence.

M: A little heavy for a Belgian Strong Ale, but that's good news for me. Fairly dry, especially on the finish. Carbonation is moderate and mellows fairly quickly over time, which is exactly what I want. The alcohol does have a pretty strong presence in the finish, but the esters taste more like that of a dry red wine than anything. Very pleasant.

D: This is definitely a strong beer and the heavy presence of alcohol esters make it tough to drink more than one glass, but the great complex flavors and wine-like finish leave you reaching for more.

Overall I was impressed by this Strong Ale. It didn't blow me away like I was expecting, but it does seem to be growing on me the more Belgian strong ales I try.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this in the correct Chimay glass in the Grand Duke Pub in Geneva. Actually this is only the latest time I tried it, I've had it many times and never remembered to rate it.

Pours with a nice thick off-white foam on top of burgandy colored liquid. You can see the floating yeastie flavor particles. Smells bready and yeasty, competing with Westvleteren 12 and St Bernardus 12 for aroma in my opinion. Really appetizing appearance and aroma.

Tastes fruity and complex, with the flavor moving from sweet to slightly bitter as I drain the glass. I like this every time I try it.

By far my favorite Chimay offering. The Cinq Cents is good in its own right I guess, but the red label leaves you wanting something more substantial. Go for the blue any chance you get.

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Photo of Darien
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decent appearance in the glass, nice thick head. Very light brown color and very cloudy looking. Smells pretty mild, flowery smelling and I'm not sure if this is right but it smells sort of metallic. Tastes better than it smells though. Tastes of orange with a bit of nuttiness, very balanced and easy to drink, no one flavor stands out more than the other. Medium bodied and smooth, just the right amount of carbonation. This beer goes down oh so smoothly, the alcohol is hidden incredibly well, a wonderful representation of style.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,765 ratings.
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