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

2,311 Reviews
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

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

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Reviews: 2,311 | Ratings: 7,558
Photo of fscottkey
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.00] There is staggering 3 fingers of eggshell colored head. The head looks fairly dense and very creamy. The head is covering a mahogany colored beer. The cork lists the vintage as 2014 and the bottle lists the ABV (9.0%).

S: [3.25] The dense head is making it hard to get an initial nose. The nose seems subdued. I am getting caramel and red wine esters.

T: [4.00] The taste follows the nose with a nice rich caramel taste. This beer has a really solid malt build that gives some toast flavors in the middle. On a few sips I thought I got an off rust flavor. My favorite flavor is the one that is NOT there. I really do not like Belgian yeast. This beer has none of the Belgian yeast flavor.

M: [4.00] Nice carbonation. Slick mouthfeel, maybe a tad on the watery side though. There is no sense of the 9% ABV.

O: [3.75] This bottle has aged for almost a year. I have never had the beer fresh - but this is really good. The primary flavor is a caramel that is very appealing. As mentioned above there is no flavor of Belgian yeast (which I dislike). I left this bottle for a long time for fear of the disappointment of Belgian yeast. I find this to be a really enjoyable beer.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: 33 cL (330 mL) Capped Bottle

A- Pours a nice brown with a slight amber tinge. Lingering tan head.

S- Nutty and earthy. Dark Fruit making a presence as well (raisin, prune, etc)

T- Dark fruit and christmas spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc) as well as a slight booziness. Despite the label's prescribed drinking temperature of 12 degrees Celsius, I poured the beer straight from my fridge which is just around 2 degrees C. I noticed that the boozy character thinned out as the beer warmed and more dark fruit came through. I definitely recommend that you let this one warm (to about 12 C) before consuming.

M- Medium body and moderate carbonation. I noticed fine bubbles clinging to the bottom sides of the glass which is something I seldom see in a beer. Neat!

O- At last, an additional world class Trappist Brewery makes it's debut in my Province (the first was La Trappe)! As soon as a saw a shelf of Chimay Blue, I jumped at the chance (despite the high asking price of $6 CAD per 330 mL bottle) and I have to say that I was not disappointed in the least. What a beautifully executed Belgian brew.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Ommegang glass.
A - Pours a deep raisin brown with 2 fingers of cola-like head. But this head stays for a good long time.
S - Maybe my sniffer is not working today, but this beer has almost no aroma at all.
T - Tastes of dark fruits (muted) and a little bready. Slight alcohol kick. Some sweetness comes in on the finish.
M - Medium body and carbonation.
O - If you are new to this beer, don't drink it cold. Let it warm to almost room temp to get all the flavors. This is a difficult beer to identify because the flavors do not hit you over the head. But it is wonderful, one of the best of the Belgians.

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Photo of Ant777uk
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just bought in a bottle from my new local supermarket in Paris, never had before, not sure what to expect...

Bottle looks pretty cheap. Not expecting much...

Dark, deep, lingering foam...

Aroma is natural, deep and inviting. Though a little too carbon dioxidey (in case you are foreign, that is not a word, I just created it...)

Very flavoursome and highly drinkable, for 9%. Reminds me of Christmas, even though it is October. Bitter, citrussy, loving it. Definitely going to be drinking more of this. Unfortunately not tonight as my supermarket closes in 8 minutes and I live on the 7th floor with no lift, typical hardcore parisian style.

Very good feel, it really zings in your mouth and the bubbles themselves have flavour.

This beer is pretty cheap in Paris, and the best I have had so far that they sell locally. Will have to be careful as it probably will not mix too well with my current 7th floor no lift parisian style

After 8 months in Paris, I would add that this beer is variable, sometimes it really is not that good, and recently it's taste has massively reduced in my experience. So I am downgrading the ratings...

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Photo of khmel
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a beautiful beer. Pours a semi-opaque brown with an amber tint. The head is big, foamy and beige/off-white. The nose is very reminiscent of a mash tun. Lots of sweet malt smell with some sweet fruit notes (like baked apples) and that unmistakeable smell of wort. The taste is just a bit of hops in the front but the sweet malt follows quickly and covers any bitterness until the dry finish that carries a few of the burnt notes. Mouth is very smooth and full-bodied but keeps a dry and light finish. A really great BSDA.

 528 characters

Photo of gandres
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to wine glass
Appearance: pours dark brown, dark amber
Smell: Aroma of slight toasted grains
Taste: very good, well balance
Fell: very good, slightly carbonated
Overall: Very good beer, will drink again

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pretty good and has a touch of sweetness on the finish like many other traditional trappist Belgian ales. I didn't love this, but the flavor is very complex and palatable. I wouldn't drink this very often, but it was enjoyable.

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Photo of worldsworstextra
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Finished off a bottle that was aged for 5 years. Age likely impacted my experience but this was a great beer. The flavors are integrated very well, little heat, and the brandy comes through nicely in the finish.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Service: Bottle
Best before: Dec-2020

Pours a rich, impenetrable ruby brown with a big beige head that airily drops to a decent film. Good retention; speckled lacing. (4)

Dark bread and spices. Berries, leather, rubbery phenols, cloves/cinnamon. (4)

Dark fruits and dough. Slightly sweet with a woody/hard water taste underlying it all, lots of dark dough, light pepper, dark fruits. (4.25)

Rich, medium-full bodied, with soft carbonation and a smooth finish, well-hidden alcohol, pretty drinkable. (4.5)

Great beer, a classic strong dark ale.
Very lively yeast flavors with layered fruitiness and breadiness. Rich and creamy feel with a smooth, clean finish. Roses, cherries, brandy and cream. The booze is there and there is the slightest garden hose quality to it, but it is a very good beer on the whole. Absolutely will have again. As I already said, it's a classic. (4.5)

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Photo of Arthuros
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Less sweet, and drier and nuttier than its red sister.

You'll find all you'd expect from a dark Belgian ale here, and then some.

Off white foam that dissipates quickly, medium carbonation.

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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 JNPIII127
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this was an exceptional beer. the high alcohol by volume had me a little skeptical at first, but don't let that fool you. this beer is not overly boozy and has a wonderful taste.

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

Nutty tastes, reminds me of a stronger New Castle. It is like the Scottish Ale of the Belgian Strong ales if that makes sense. I definitely apriciate the taste of this beer but would prefer a La Fin Du Monde

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Photo of jonesry09
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite "everyday" beer right now.
Don't let the high abv fool you, this beer is not "boozy" at all.

The head has great retention and lasts as long as you want it too.

Sorry for the short review but I am not the greatest at picking out the smallest of flavors.

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Photo of Sabre311
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trappistes beers are really in a class of their own. This 9%er doesn't taste it at all. Its sweet but not too sweet. Just enough bubbles perfect color.Fruity but not overally just a perfect drink.

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

Enjoying my first Chimay ever right now and Im happy to try the Blue version. This amazing trappist beer has a dark brown color, looking like ice tea to me and has a medium head with good carbonation. It says on the 330 ml bottle that the best serving temperature is between 10°C - 12°C, means that a fridge would be way too cold for this brew!
I smelled dark fruits, raisins and chocolate. Amazing mouthfeel. The 9% ABV is perfectly hidden. Im sure I could drink a lot of these without any problem :) Really, an amazing beer, little pricey but probably the best on this planet!

 580 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a big snifter. L14-044 is printed on the label -- not sure if that's a date or what.

Pours murky brown/gray with a medium head and lots of carbonation. Head stands up, supported by the effervescence. Smell is classic Belgian Strong Dark -- musty, dark overripe fruits, dates. And yeast.

Taste is strong in the date department, moderately sweet (but not as sweet as I was afraid), some kind of sour flavor I can't readily identify.

Mouthfeel is nice -- thick, chewy, not sticky, not heavy (yeah I know, thick and chewy but not heavy -- not sure how to describe the sensation). Overall, solid beer. Love that it's readily available. Surprised I've gone this long without reviewing it.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle purchased at Brussels grocery store.
BB: 12/2020
Served chilled in a Delirium tulip.

Pours very dark brown with tan head. Smells mainly of roasted dark malts and like a solven...sort of like varnish (?!).

Taste is full, hefty, malty. Alcohol is well masked. At 9%, big kudos on that!
There is some sweetness on the tongue, but not as much as others here that reach this ABV.
I like this one much more than the Chimay Red.

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Photo of akdo
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: As perfect as the Trappistes Rochefort 8, which is also a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. While this body doesn't make a transition from ruby to amber, it still has a dark amber body with a reddish brown lower-end and a light brown head. Moreover, thanks to the carbonation, the head retention is perfect.

Smell: I could smell some hints of roasted, but not smoked, hops. You can sense the smooth bitterness.

Taste: Despite its high ABV, I didn't taste the alcohol, which is a good sign. The beer has a bouquet flavours which encompasses black currants, honey, caramel and roasted hops. There were also some hints of coffee at the back end.

Feel: The beer is not as creamy as Trappistes Rochefort 8 is on our palate. However, it is an easy drinking beer with a sublime taste.

Overall: This is the best beer from Chimay. It is the total package given its nice body and palate. The flavours manifested themselves individually when you know how to drink it slowly.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- This beauty pours a dark cola color that is somewhat hazy and with a caramel colored head that starts about one finger thick and settles to a nice thick film over the beer. I cannot tell what the carbonation looks like in the murkiness but I can tell you all that the lacing of this one is subdued and the foam quickly slides back into the glass. Not bad overall!

S- Toffee, caramel, blackstrap molasses, dark maple and cooked brown sugar probably round out the initial aroma profile. Dark fruits like plum, raisin, fig are present and there are notes of dark chocolate and some muted coffee tones as well....very balanced smelling Ale for sure!

T- This is dark and delicate overall.....flavors follow suit to the aromas quite well, with the dark fruits taking over initially but the chocolate and coffee tones are quite noticeable.....the sweetness found in the aromas sharpens into a deeper darker suculent version of themselves....the toffee and molasses is much more noticed! The finish is somewhat dry and of Earthy spices....awesome!

M/O- The carbonation of this one really explodes well on the palate, allowing the full spectrum of the complex flavors to show themselves individually. The body is medium/full and the rich balanced nature of this one is something to sit back and think about! The high alcohol content is a non factor and this is quite drinkable so I would imagine this could creep up on a person rather quickly! A champagne of Trappist beers is what this is!

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Photo of rxmk
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark murky brown with a big creamy head. Like most belgians moderate carbonation with lots of yeast, sugar and hops on the nose. IMO this beer is way overrated as i have had better tasting belgians than this. Smell- yeast, soil, dried raisins, leather,brown sugar, malt.
Taste- fizzy. Moderate carbonation. bitter alcohol, malt, yeast. No sweet aftertaste. Surprisingly an easy beer to drink at this ABV. Dry and yeasty. Strong Dark murky ale that makes you almost taste murky monk's underground cellars.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy chestnut brown with excellent brulee head, hell retention. Smell - candy sugar, yeasty ethers, dates, figs. Taste - dark fruits, raisins, belgian yeasts, spicy hues. Rich, delightful and warming.

Grande reserve 2012 (brewed to honour 150th birthday of Chimay). In comparison with newer Chimay blue head retention is not so long,

Grande Reserve 2010. Head and retention are less than for newer. Aging characters are sharper, more chocolate and stale tones. Beer degradation comparatively with 2012 is very intense.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours a very dark brown, billowy white head.

S - Plums, elderberries, caramel, soil.

T - Fruity esters explode from the front of the palate, with notes of banana and stone fruit. A rich, caramelly malt sweetness catches up quickly, along with a robust floral flavor from the hops. The esters evolve into whirlwind of dry fruit and spice until it ultimately dominates with a dry residual spiciness.

M - Medium-full body, moderate carbonation.

O - Incredibly complex and robust. Definitely drier and more bitter than other beers I've had in the style, but nonetheless a great brew.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks dark brown with the edges revealing a bit of amber. Smells of plums and raisins with some sweetness like honey. Tastes like honey and plums with flowery notes and maybe some spiciness like cloves. The carbonation stings the tongue slightly but is not too much. It has a medium body and a nice slightly sweet slightly bitter finish that lingers until the next sip. Hard to tell this beer is 9% with the excellent balance of maltiness and bitterness.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was poured into a chalice.
The appearance was a fairly dark brown color with some light amber hues along the sides of the glass. The head was white with about two fingers thick of level foaminess. Lacing runs down in thick foamy strings.
The smell had some light Belgian spices, brown sugar, figs, raisins and some remnants of light cooked apple.
The taste combined the sweet with the spice through the previously mentioned flavors. A lingering fruity sweet to lightly spiced aftertaste runs into the finish.
The mouthfeel has a medium body with a good sipping quality about it. Carbonation seemed good - becoming slightly smooth.
Overall, this is a classic for a reason. Its a standard for the style.

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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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