Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

BA SCORE
95
world-class
7,765 Ratings
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay
Belgium
chimay.be

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
7,765
Reviews:
2,364
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.51%
 
 
Wants:
527
Gots:
1,924
For Trade:
17
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,765 |  Reviews: 2,364
Photo of Captain68
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

92

2 characters

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

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.

Great.

 459 characters

Photo of wmartin
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chimay Blue, one of the world's great beers, or so they say.

I've been trying various versions of this beer over the last 2 years. I've had 5 samples of it, each one has been different in some way. Review rating is based on the 750ml bottle dated 2017 sourced direct from Belgium in March. This version has a different label than 750ml bottle bought at the same time in the U.S. dated 2016, which was imported into Texas.

The first copy of the beer I had was a 12 oz bottle from a bottle shop. I was disappointed as it had a cardboardy flavor. Cardboard flavor is indicative of a beer well past its prime, yet this beer should store well for half a decade. Perhaps it had been on that shelf in the bottle shop for a decade, or stored at 80 degrees F for awhile. Both those things are possible.

The next sample was from a 12 oz bottle in a restaurant. I found this quite good, but not one of my favorites. The characteristic Trappist yeast flavor and fruity nose, combined with some maltiness; is what made it good. Still, I wouldn't say it was spectacular. Hard to see what all the fuss was about.

But I persevered. The next sample I had at a tap room in Seattle that had around 150 taps. I asked what version of Chimay they had. When the waitress came back and said "Chimay Reserve, Blue"; I immediately bought a glass. It came in a Chimay chalice. The person I was with, who doesn't like beer, stated that it really looked good. It was quite a site with it's glittering glass, frothy foam, and brownish orange color. And drinking it was a fantastic experience. One of the best beers I've ever had. The memory of it lingered the rest of the week, despite having a couple other great beers afterwards.

On that, I obtained a couple 750ml bottles from a US distributor hoping that the larger size would be more resilient to storage issues, and more like the draft version. While I initially enjoyed these bottles, a soapiness to the flavor began to bother me, and left a disagreeable memory. I was beginning to despair at being able to repeat the Seattle experience. These bottles were dated "2016" on the cork.

I found a Belgium site that would ship direct to the U.S. and got a 750ml bottle of the Belgium version, which I just drank moments ago. This bottle was dated on the cork and label as "2017". And it had no soapy taste whatsoever. I wouldn't say it was up to the level of the Seattle version as the fruity notes were not as pronounced, but I loved it and will probably get some more (direct from Belgium if possible). I don't know if the difference between this one and the US labeled one was because one was 2017 and one was 2016, because they ship inferior stock to the US, or because of storage issues; but I think that the fact that the Belgium-sourced sample was a year younger is a good sign for getting things direct from Belgium.

The Seattle on-tap sample would be a 5; but obviously consistency is something of a problem.

 2,978 characters

Photo of mjgsilva
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jtee
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From a 330ml bottle served at 14 degrees Celsius into a chalice. The bottle has been cellared for a good handful of months however I lost track :)

Look: Excellent appearance from the colour to the head (given the style). It pours a clear dark brown with red highlights. One finger of foamy, tan head that settles to an impressive cap after three minutes. The cap remains until your last sip. Poor lacing... and here I thought my glass was beer-clean...?

Smell: Quite strong an aroma with notes of caramel, banana, Belgian yeast, brown bread, and dark fruits. Hints of peppery spice and herbal hops to improve the overall balance. There's no doubt the malts and esters are here to shine.

Taste: Exactly what the aroma promises. Intense and balancing towards sweet. Not cloying. Prominent estery notes of dark fruit and banana as well as bready malts, and caramel. Absolutely delicious.

Feel: Medium-full body with high carbonation. Creamy, warming, and prickly with a smooth alcohol-warmth.

Overall: Fantastic example of the style. Malty-rich with strong esters and a hop character that brings it all together. I'm a little sad the vessel is empty... I better buy another one.

 1,180 characters

Photo of Superseed
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

Photo of ovaltine
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I should've tried this 10 years ago. Pours a dark mahogany color, relatively clear, tan head. Aromas are heavy funky yeast and Belgian sugars. Yum.

Taste is the Belgian sugars first, then the funky yeast reminds you that you're drinking a Belgian Ale. Magnificent.

 269 characters

Photo of xanadu1988
4.84/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The first beer that blows me away. Just wow

43 characters

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

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

Photo of RMW66
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of slufsar
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rjd722
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of wanderingpints
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jrfehon33
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Treefig33
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of DraftDaddy
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of BNarc
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Nedster10
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Stefko
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DrAnnaNemis
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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