Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

BA SCORE
95
world-class
7,753 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:
7,753
Reviews:
2,363
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.51%
 
 
Wants:
525
Gots:
1,920
For Trade:
17
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,753 |  Reviews: 2,363
Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable Belgian brew. I remember some drunk dude at one of my local shops telling me about how great this beer was and I just looked at him and said "Yeah I know..." I guess he figured that a 22 year old wouldn't have tried that beer yet. Needless to say, I had and it was very good. The beer poured out as bubbly brown color with some red highlights. The smell of the beer is a bit on the earthy side with some sweet dark fruits on the nose and of course a hefty amount of yeast. The taste is a little metallic at first but that fades as it warms up. The dark fruits are subtle here but there is a slight sweetness from them, it's a little boozy, and has some spice in the back end too. The mouthfeel of the beer is a little thin but had enough carbonation to keep this one interesting. Overall this is enjoyable, I like to order it on occasion but not often.

 867 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of metter98
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured cloudy brown into a goblet. It had a pillowy head that was off white in color, suspended the yeast particles (resembled nutmeg on eggnog) and left nice lacing patterns. There are also lots of particles floating near the bottom.
S: Complex aromas of dark fruits provide for a rather sweet smell in the nose, particularly as the beer warms up. Notes of grapes and plums really stand out to my nostrils.
T: Dominated with flavors of dark fruits, the taste shares a lot of similarities with the aroma. Some flavors of spices are also detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very smooth. There is a slight amount of dryness in the finish.
D: Although the alcohol is well masked, this beer is a great beer to sip and savor all of the complexities in the aroma and taste.

 799 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Any opportunity to enjoy a chalice of Grand Reserve is a special moment for any beer drinker. I don't take these lightly as it as regal and reverent as any in the history of the world.

Dacanting the beer, a dance of growing effervescence and rich barley-soaked elixir separate with a dark ruby liquid that settles underneath a blanket of creamy and lightened tarnish foam. Retention and lacing are utmost prominent as both are displayed as well as in any beer consumed. Hazed with a vale of yeast, the beer is nearly as mysterious as it is handsome.

A world of aromas are displayed as each visit of the nose to the glass reveals wave after wave of aromas that include dried fruits, peppercorn, vinous grape, candied malts, alcohol zing, and thirst whetting acidity. Every swirl of the glass gives new impressions of aroma time after time.

Strong and sweet, the power of the beer is firm and proud while boasting a candy-coated taste of fruitcake, ripe berries, pitted fruits of dates and raisins, red wine must, red grapes, tart apples, and a plethora of candy-sweet fruit that go on and on. Balanced by the most simple hop additions but more so by the yeast-derived spices of freshly cracked peppercorn, white pepper, cinnamon, and a hint of hazelnut give the beer companion to its fruitiness and a reprieve from the candied sweetness.

Tremendously robust as the culmination of rich malt and explosive carbonation engulf the mouth with a sensation of alcohol warmth, powdered sugar, and hoppy/peppery zeal. As the beer seemingly dissolves before finish, it seems that the beer whimsically disappears on the palate for a fulfilled sip that ends in uninterrupted dryness yet full vinous flavor in aftertaste.

A special tasting of a well aged 16-year old versions (1996 vintage enjoyed in April '12) at the cellars of the Chimay monistary reveals less hop bitterness, less peppery bite, but heightened sherry-like vinous quality that melds together wonderfully with a smooth powdery finish and surprisingly creamy yet low-lying carbonation. This beer ages beautifully under the right circumstances!

 2,101 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml squat bottle, on the patio at the Sugarbowl.

This beer pours a very dark, murky, orange-brick brownish hue, with two fingers or so of thin, rather fizzy pale beige head, which leaves some stark coral reef lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of ripe dark bananas, pear syrup, fresh red plums, raisins, cloves, yeast, a rather candi-sugar informed caramel malt, and faint earthy, musty hops. The taste is more quite sugary caramelized, and somewhat bready malt, fairly spicy cloves, dusty yeast, muddled dark fruit smoothie, a hint of citrus, and a subtle nod towards warming alcohol.

The carbonation is decently sturdy, a wee frothiness kicking up at times, the body a pretty solid medium weight, smooth, and ethereally creamy. It finishes off-dry, the reserved malt and broadly sublimated fruitiness mostly countered by the lingering spice and floral notes.

BSDAs are quickly becoming the yin to my DIPA-lovin' yang, and this one is right up there in terms of quality and enjoyability. More contemplative musings on a hipster patio than down 'em if ya got 'em, but that's all right by me.

 1,117 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet in low altitude Galway, Ireland.

A:Pours a two finger head of fair cream and nice thickness. Textbook dark amber colour. Good retention for the ABV.

Sm: Dark fruits. Typical of trappist ales. Quite lovely. Complex.

T: Dark fruit body. Complex; not as much as the Westy 12. Finish is too short; the notes don't linger as long as they ought to. Very balanced, but not as complex as it should be. Built well overall for the style.

Mf: Wet but coarse. Not decisively either category. Could be better.

Dr: Hides its ABV very well. Easily downable repeatedly, but not special.

 622 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea brown color with a spumy khaki head that sheets the chalice with lacing

Smell: Raisiny, bready, a bit of spun candy, gingerbread and tobacco and some fusel alcohol

Taste: Starts with a blast of dry oaky tobacco and then the sweet delicate candied malt kicks in for a while; a bit fruity at first with a green apple aspect, like a caramel apple; after the swallow, the green, caramel apple flavor continues but there is also an underlying earthy and roasty bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a typically lively dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice, but I've enjoyed other Belgians more

 642 characters

Photo of oline73
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish dark amber with a finger of light tan head and some good retention.

Smell: Sweet and malty. Plenty of fruity notes along with some spice from the yeast.

Taste: Malty with a lot of Belgian spice. There is some fruity cherry notes along with a nuttiness. The finish has a mild bitterness along with the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Great balance of bitter and sweet. Extremely complex. Of course I'll have another one when I get the chance.

 579 characters

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pourred a very dark brew with a huge withe fluffy head and small bubble coming on top. This one has less of the sweeter taste then the red and more roastiness. This beer also has a firm body and the alcohol taste is not too distinct. The spice are very complex. This one is also a classic and never can get enough of.

 317 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark amber with thick tan head that never fully dissipates, constantly rising bubbles. Great looking beer.

Mild aromas of malt and fruit are all I could detect from this one.

This beer has a great balance of flavors. Sweet and fruity on the tounge, hoppy and bitter going down. The fairly high ABV is nearly undetectable.

The mouthfeel is thick and rich, though not quite as creamy as, say, Rochefort. Strong carbonation, as usual with this style of beer.

Drinkability is comparable to other trappist ales. Something to savor, but not an everyday beer.

 566 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of zeff80
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle pours out a Brown/Maroon color with a huge tan, foamy head. It smelled of mild hops, fruit and there were some floral notes, also. There was a strong malt flavor with hints of spice and caramel. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste. Initially it has a very sharp mouthfeel, but it softens as it warms. It is very drinkable. The only knock on drinkability is the high ABV.

 384 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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

750 ml bottle into signature chalice, bottled in 4/2013. Pours moderately hazy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big pear, apple, raisin, plum, pepper, clove, banana, caramel, candi sugar, toast, brown bread, floral, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, pear, apple, light banana, caramel, candi sugar, toast, brown bread, clove, pepper, floral, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light/dark fruits, light banana, clove, pepper, caramel, candi sugar, toast, brown bread, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a great crisp malt/fruity/spicy flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a lightly slick, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian dark ale. All around great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,426 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of mothman
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium Globe glass.

Pours a cloudy bark brown with slight amber/mahogany. Pours a 2 finger tan head that leaves splattered lace.

Smell is very fruity. Banana notes with clove. Some bready malt aromas as well. Taste is almost a bubble gum. Some fruity taste. The alcohol is also present. Finally there is a cranberry and raisin taste.

Mouthfeel is bitter but goes down smooth and has a great clean finish. The alcohol is very present. Seem well carbonated.

Overall best belgium dark I have had so far. I could easily have a few of these. The only think I don't like about this beer is the price :S

 617 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,753 ratings.
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