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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay S.A.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
2,311 Reviews
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A.
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,311
Ratings:
7,558
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
19.16%
 
 
Wants:
482
Gots:
1,762
For Trade:
18
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Reviews: 2,311 | Ratings: 7,558
Photo of Jraiona
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 2012 into a tulip. Color was a beautiful dark brown with a cream color head with little retention. The aroma of malt, and molasses is quite prevalent with a subtle aroma of raisin. The taste is of prunes, malt and molasses with a subtle note of caramel on the back end especially as the beer warmed. In spite of it's higher ABV it does not come across as boozy. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of JoLight
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: deep, deep dirty brown, almost like prune juice but not as thick and with more brown hues than prune juice. The head is beige and soapy, very thick, and retains a half-finger's width, leaving some spots on the glass.

The aroma is of honey-wheat brown bread. It's got honey sweetness, and a background of yeast and banana chips. Maybe some raisin. As the beer warms, the banana chip aroma becomes more pronounced. No alcohol on the aroma.

The taste is the same as the aroma. No alcohol. The bitterness is mild to none.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy and carbonated.

The finish is somewhat dry.

Overall, this beer is more mild than, say, St. Bernardus Abt. 12, both in flavor and aroma, as well as alcohol level. Yet, it costs more in the areas in which I've seen both products. That's something to consider (and I mean that in a neutral way). Nonetheless, this is, hands-down, a world-class beer.

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Photo of FLima
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I have been celaring this for a few years, my mouth is watering like a dog looking forward to a steak.
The cork made a huge stomp that made a mark at my ceiling. So far, so good.
Brown orangeish color with a huge beige head with great retention. It got darker later.
Nice malty and fruity aroma with notes of prunes, molasses, orange marmelade, coconut, vanilla, figos and mild Port wine. Brazilian “manjar de coco” would be a fair description for what predominates in the nose.
Very complex flavor with notes of prunes, molasses, peppery yeast, cloves, noble hops, burnt coconut, umami, toasted malts, cinnamon, apple puree, candi sugar, rose petals, a bit of banana and vineous fruits. I should stop looking for fruther notes. Finishes smoothly dry with a medium bitterness.
Bordering full body with velvety carbonation. I didin’t feel its 9% alcohol at this point.
Excellent Belgian Dark Strong Ale. This is surprisingly elegant, complex and fruity without being overly sweet.
This is a treaty and a big reference for the style and it should be forbidden to be drank too young.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours - Deep dark brown with tiny tan head excellent lacing head lasts forever.

Smell - oak, plum, dark fruit, figs and dates.

Taste - Rich sweet plum, oak figs, sweet caramel.

Feel - Medium body excellent carbonation no alcohol presence at all.

Overall - An excellent beer, great smell taste and feel.

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Photo of woomThomas
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer is hazy and dark brown in color. The foam is beige and will firmly. The foam has small to medium bubbles that hang around for a while. The foam leave direct track in the glass. Scents of some malt and dried fruit. Some floral and candied sugar with rum raisins. A little bitter orange and yeast with a little fruit cake. Very round in the aroma with a nice sweetness. The flavors are as scents. But with a little cocoa and a little caramel. There was a little lees. Is a real good balance in it all. Rich body. Moderate Carbonic. A little sweetness and a little small dry. Good roundness sitting on the palate just long.

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Photo of MACrist
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: A very opaque mahogany. Finger + of tan creamy, foamy, long lasting head. Good level of carbonation when rocking the glass.
AROMA: Floral, candied sugar, rum raisin, yeasty/bready fruitcake.
TASTE: Everything I get from the aroma plus a nice bit of toffee.
FEEL: Full on carbonation, very dry, medium body.
OVERALL: A delicious glass of beer. Letting it warm over the hour, and the flavors intensify.

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Photo of MikeA21
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chimay is the reason I drink craft beer. I was turned on to chimay about 20 years ago and it was very hard to find a beer as good until the last few years when craft beer has really become popular. The Grand Reserve has a bold strong flavor that keeps you coming back for more. It has a strong malt smell and pours dark with a good head. Their are many great beers around today but not many have been brewing as long as Chimay.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This iconic Belgian strong dark ale pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a slight red tint and a very large tan foamy head. The smell is rich and malty with a hints of alcohol and dark fruit. The flavor is robust with a good kick of alcohol that hits you right away with flavors of dates, brown bread, and honey mixed in culminating in a spicy finish. The body is somewhere between medium and heavy. Everything about this beer is classic strong dark ale. It is really a nice drinking experience and everything is well balanced. My only criticism would be that it is maybe not as complex as I would have hoped. It’s rated 2nd for the style and I think it should undoubtedly be in the top 10 if not top 5, but it’s maybe very slightly overrated. I liked the Allagash Odyssey a little better for example.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a solid creamy head that lasts and leaves a film all over. Nose is dark malt and dark fruit, but not as pronounced or complex as expected. Taste has more depth with lingering spice, caramel, and dark fruit notes. Zesty feel on the tongue with high carbonation. Very good beer, but not my favorite in the style.

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Photo of jamesroses
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle

Appearance: looks like coca-cola, black with a 2 finger head of medium bubbles. Weak lacing. Lots of carbonation.

Smell: black fruits like fig and raisins with a touch of sourness, black sugar and alcohol.

Taste: figs and raisin fruitiness with the alcohol very present in the mix. Starts sweet and ends sour. The mix of flavours is not so sounded as I'd like it to be.

Mouthfeel: pretty strong carbonation produces a somewhat fizzy initial feeling. Strong alcohol presence. Bitter chocolate aftertaste.

Overall: nice beer, I liked it better that La Trape Dubbel and Quadrupel offerings for example, but it's still 2 steps under Rochefort 10. Lacks a bit of fruitiness in my opinion.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.3 ounce bottle poured into a chalice

A: Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a big frothy head that did not last, bottle was gushing when I opened it, lots of yeast even with a gentle pour.

A: Dark fruits like figs, dates, raisins, plums, brown sugar, toffee, no alcohol at all on the nose, slight aroma of spice and banana, smells pretty good.

T: Like the nose, dark fruits, slight spice, hint of banana, toasted toffee, very smooth and easy to drink, semi-dry finish with a mix of flavors lingering in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation

O: While the flavors don't punch as this bottle might be old, but overall a nice balance of flavors and aromas, very drinkable for 9% ABV, complex and deep, a beer I will definitely reach for again.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy and slightly murky dark brown with a two finger head of slightly tan foam and champagne like carbonation.

Red grape and apple skins, caramel, dates, figs, slightly herbal and spicy noble hops, and some slight funk.

Plums, dates, fig, raisins, caramel, and pleasant yeast spiciness.

Medium-bodied, high carbonation, bubbly, sweet, and creamy smooth.

Overall, masterfully layered and extremely pleasing creamy smoothness with a nice fizzy carbonation to wipe the palate clean.

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Photo of Malt_Man
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Served at room-cellar temperature from 330ml bottle into tulip glass.

L) Dark brown, almost black colour, opaque. Started with a big off-white head, which diminished to a tan bubbly film.

S) Sour-tinged odour with a definite candy sugar. Over smell of very fresh fruit cake. Bits of coconut, and alcohol.

T) Quite sweet, nice deep sweet malt flavour, topped off with a hop bitterness hint to balance. Carbonation gives it a sourish edge.

F) Nicely carbonated. Very easy to drink at this ABV. No bitterness in the aftertaste, just a very easy drinking strong beer.

O) Very easy drinking strong Belgian bier, huge value at Tesco at £2.49.

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Photo of teromous
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

No bottle or import date that I can see. The bottle I am reviewing is the 750ml corked and caged version.

Appearance: The body is dark brown that is completely opaque. Even in the light I don't get any color pinpoints. There is a bit of light that makes it through the bottom edge of the glass showing just a lighter version of the brown body. The head is thick and fluffy with a light tan color. It stays up for a while then gently fades to a short cap leaving some fine lacing in the glass.

Aroma: I get some bubblegum and a very light date aroma. Overall it doesn't have a lot of aroma and the dominant scent is bubblegum.

Taste: Very light flavors here to match the aroma. A bit of that bubblegum flavor mixed with a touch of sweet brown sugar. The finish is a very faint tea leaf flavor. The flavors are nice but faint.

Mouthfeel: The beer is exceptionally smooth and easy to drink. It is very well carbonated and the carbonation really helps to push the beer across the palate and deliver the light flavors to the corners of the mouth. Again the beer is very easy to sit back and enjoy because it has no rough edges whatsoever. I do wish it has a bit more of a finish.

Overall: It's a decent Belgian Strong Dark Ale. There are many other Belgian Strong Dark Ales that I would prefer over this one but preference is subjective. The light simple flavor and character of the beer would make it easy for anyone to enjoy.

 1,427 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(33 cl bottle, code L15-688... no Chimay glass or wide goblet on hand, so I poured this into a teku)

L: vinous-purple hued liquid, sporting some central cloudiness, clearer around the edges... the pour puts up a messy tuft of suds, rocky at first... last ounce brings with it some relatively large chunks of yeast

S: dark sugars are immediately apparent, with a slowly emerging overtone of black grape and maybe even a hint of cola and/or licorice... sense of a thick smear of dark caramel drawn out across a baking pan gives an almost 3D quality to its smell

T: dense, subtly-complex malt foundation... finishes out with some burnt-caramel but not quite molasses, and a flare of a sort of chocolate-covered currant at the end... I couldn't readily tell whether any other breweries try to mimic this beer, but this beer's layered/stacked dark, fruity/roasty malt depth and lasting flavor is something the imitators often lack... while the malt underbelly is excellent, the fruity esters are a good bit smeared and foggy up top, kinda dying in the front of the palate and not contributing much to flavor structure definition, while a little bit of phenolic spice settles in the back... 4.25+

F: at first, a bit lighter and more spread out (centered flat) than expected... it loosens up and lends a more elastic flow as it warms... coiled viscosity, quiet heat, drawn out numbing... arguably unsung drinkability

O: haven't had this much in recent years, or even that much ever, to be honest - this might be the 4th or 5th time?... I could certainly see getting this again soon - the richness in its taste comes as a slight surprise, not something I remember... a delightful sipper

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Photo of nout72
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably the best Trappist/Belgian strong dark ale and overall the best beer I ever tasted. I only recently came to that conclusion.
Chimay blue is one of the 1st Trappist, stong beers I tried in my life. At that time, I was 17 years old, I liked beer, no matter what type and to me Chimay blue tasted just like a trappist, I couldn't exactly tell a difference with a Westmalle dubbel. Later I came to appreciate the differences, but to me Chimay still was just a trappist you could buy everywhere. Beers like Rochefort or St. Bernardus weren't readily available and just how it works in the mind, unknown, more rare beers always taste better. I have dismissed Chimay the last two decades, always chose Rochefort, St. Bernardus, La Trappe and recently Jopen Ongelovige Thomas over the blue labeled bottle.
But Chimay blue beats all of them in my opinion. And for the biggest part because it leaves no strong sweet aftertaste. The aftertaste isn't exactly dry, but it doesn't stick too long. All the other trappist/abbey beers to a certain extent blurr or flatten the taste after a while. The best example is the Rochefort 8, the sweet aftertaste ruins the experience to me.
Chimay has the ideal balance between sweet and bitter. It is smooth (non-boozy) like a Rochefort 10 and spicy like a St. Bernardus, and the amount of carbonation is spot on. True the sweetness isn't that round and smooth like a Rochefort 10, it is more stingy (for lack of a better word) but it leaves with little trace, therefore every new sip tastes great, not muted.

Do note: with this beer it really is important to serve it at a minimum temperature of 10 degrees Celcius, not any colder, because when served too cold the taste is watery and muted. I usually drink this beer at (slightly lower) room temperature, 17 up to 19 degrees Celcius works great for me.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look--Pours a unique murky-copper with faint maroon highlighting that suggests a "fruitiness" right out of the gate. The highlighting isn't "off-putting" but it is a bit strange. The head and lacing dissipate almost immediately, which isn't uncommon with this style, so no "mark down" for that.

Smell--Agressive nose of dried fruit--fig, raisin, (prune perhaps?) with bready and banana notes that stay forward throughout the drinking experience. Almost reminds me of a banana bread with dried fruit. Unlike some better strong Trappists (i.e. Rochefort 8 or 10) this doesn't modify much as the beer warms.

Taste--Very smooth and drinkable considering the alcohol content, but is rather sweet and boozy compared to even stronger similar offerings. Unlike some others that develop a subtle bitter-chocolate note as they come up in temperature, this one just gets sweeter. The carbonation doesn't have quite enough staying power to provide some balance.

Feel--Warming in a very pleasant way, and very drinkable.

Overall--I like this one, but wouldn't rate it as high as a Rochefort 8 because it lacks that extra "nuance," and stays a little too sweet throughout the drink. Still an excellent Trappist.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

During the course of my career, I have had this ale at least a dozen times. I kept this bottle for almost five years, about the length that some claims it is at its richest, fruitiest stage.
I agree.
What I might have done wrong is that its high carbonation (its only flaw in my book) does recede after a ten minutes... so the second half of this bottle was better than the first.

MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" gives Chimay 4 pages, but then, he really likes the Trappists.
MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave it 4 of 4 stars (very rare) and talked at length about how the fruitiness mellows with age.
As one of the most frequently reviewed beers in the world, it deserves to be on the "!001" list.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Chimay 'Blue Cap' @ 9.0% , served from a 330 ml bottle purchased for $4.50
A-pour is a murky gold from the bottle to a murky amber in the glass with a medium size beige head leaving a streaky lace along the chalice
S-big & boozey
T-similar to the smell big & boozey
MF-ok carbonation , big full body
Ov-not the best Belgium Strong Dark Ale I've tasted , just ok
prost LamperLand

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Photo of rex_4539
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good beer but overhyped and overpriced.

Don't get me wrong, it is a very tasty beer and better than 90% of what you usually find on the average supermarket shelf.

Would I buy it again? Sure, if there was nothing better. But there are so many other options that this falls way down my list :)

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Photo of FinestCityBeerGuy
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This beer is fizzy. Aggressive head, but dissipated very quickly. Spritzy, bubbly.

The appearance is what I think “malty chewy beer” would look like. Light brown for a traditional Belgian strong dark ale.

Smell: cinnamon, banana, yeasty, faint pepper/spice. Bitter snickerdoodle. Aroma is subtle, can’t smell from more than a few inches away.

Taste: cinnamon, banana Belgian-like. Subtle but distinct alcohol finish. Can definitely taste the 9%.

Mouthfeel: holy carbonation, Batman ! super fizzy, bubbly, effervescent, aggressive.

Overall, a great Belgian Dark Strong Ale. Definitely a sipper, to be enjoyed slowly.

 636 characters

Photo of Troy-Hawaii
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought from Tamura's $7.29 11.2oz bottle
Cloudy dark brown color
High carbonation
Heavy creamy mouthfeel
Taste of plums, raisins.
Overall a nice beer to have on a cold night. The high alcohol will warm you up, but it doesn't have that strong alcohol taste that other beers with similar levels have. Its nice to just sip, relax, and enjoy. I would drink again.

 366 characters

Photo of GodLovesBeerMan
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ahh to pour this beer is truly a blessing. It sits in the glass with the firmness of a high gravity beer. Yet with a bit of agitation in will move quickly. It bubbles for the life of the beer with a slight wobble it will reveal that it is not a quad... but close. It has many of the characteristics. A rich flavor profile, complete with the dark sweet flavors or currants, raisins and some lighter sweet notes of toffee. It's color is almost entirely dark, except for the brown to deep ruby reds hinting at the edges. Indicating the rich malt bill that builds this miraculously fine beer. Good to the last gulp.

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Photo of Viaduck
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Once the cage is undone there is almost no need for a corkscrew, a lot of pressure behind that cork. Pour dark reddish brown with a lovely head. Liquid bread with a strong malty finish, very nice. Plenty of carbonation to tickle the tongue.

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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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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
95 out of 100 based on 2,311 ratings.
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