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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
2,332 Reviews
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
Reviews:
2,332
Ratings:
7,632
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
19.16%
 
 
Wants:
497
Gots:
1,816
For Trade:
15
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,332 | Ratings: 7,632
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Fairly-dark brown with some reddish streaks. Decent head.

S: Lots of candied sugar to go along with the Belgian yeast. Some dark fruits.

T: Similar to the smell, although not as strong and complex as I'd like.

M: Very smooth and creamy. Medium-to-heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

D: A very nice sipper, especially out of the Chimay goblet.

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is one rich looking beer,a masterpiece to look at.Pours a nice amber/brown with with a slight of white frothy head that of course left some beautiful lacing.The aroma was malty sweet of dried fruit.The taste to me was wine-like with a raisiny quality,there is some slight bitterness in the finish.A very complex beer but not easy to drink for me,but a classic for sure.

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

Wow, apparently I've never done a review for any of the Chimays... this was my staple go-to expensive beer when I really got into craft beer. I used to drink these all the time, so surprised I don't have any reviews. A great way to kick it off with a nice big grande reserve 2012 vintage.

Pours a decent looking fizzy bubbly, lots of bubbles, hits a finger surprisingly, but fades back fairly quickly, foamy lacing, murky darker mahogany ruby color, some sediment as well.

NOse is very rich, loaded with dark dried fruits, fig, date, raisin, plum, etc, nice fruity aromas, with some mild booze warmth, and attached are the nice phenols expected from the style. Surprisingly not sweet and sugary, perhaps the age helped, a little candi sugar and touch of molasses brown sugar but not much, mild toasted nuts and touch of a coffee syrupy kinda note, actually more like dark caramel . Then a mild apple note, with touch of booze and sweet candy, a bit apple brandy like aroma.

Taste brings lots of sweet candy, tons of it but not super sweet, but syrupy nonetheless, lots of candi sugar and molasses, brown sugar and caramelized sugars as expected. Then fruits, again tons of the dark fruits, fig and date right out front, candied raisins with brown sugar, plum juice, etc, again followed closely with the nice phenols and mild warming booze. The dark caramel and brown sugar add nicely to the fruits. Nice soft aged malts, brown malts with plenty of caramel and a mild biscuit toffee, actually decent toffee with a mild nutty flavor, toasted etc. Again a mild apple brandy flavor as well but mostly in the backend. Finish is a bit drier, mild candy lingering, lots more brown sugar and dark caramel, mild booze and phenols, lingering dark fruits as well and a touch of booze.

Mouth is med o heavier bod but syrupy, mild warming tingly booze, dry non-sticky finish somehow, nice carbonation too.

Overall a big time winner, the staple for a great quad or Belgian strong dark style, esp good with some nice age on it. Great dark fruits, sweet flavors without being too sweet, mild syrupy but dry finish somehow, mild booze, nice level of phenols, nice malty character, just well done all around. When I have that itch for this style of beer, this hits the spot quite nicely.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky dark brown under an off-white head which leaves nice lace. Dark fruits on the nose and taste with some spice. Complex and understated. Well done.

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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

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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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked & caged. Hazy with yeast & sediment in suspension. Dark tawny copper with reddish highlights. The slight head is made up of very fine light tan bubbles that cannot hold. Lace is limited as well (probably linked to the high alcohol and youth of the bottle). One would hope that a greater head will develop with age. The aroma is rich with dark fruit, candyish notes, alcohol and a toasted maltiness. The body is medium with a lively but gentle effervescence from tiny bubbles, giving a zesty-spritzy mouthfeel that compliments the spice and pepper notes of the beer. The flavor is sweet with a soft, fruity character that's reminiscent of all the Chimay beers, and delicately balanced by bitterness and spice. Swirling flavors of dark fruits, spicy complex alcohols and soft chocolate-like malts combine in a light, but impressive display across the palate. The alcohol is not overly aggressive but still quite noticeable in this, Chimay's strongest beer at 9%. The finish is somewhat thin with a slightly dry lingering aftertaste. At times I've considered each of the 3 Chimay beers to be my favorite, which I see as a great tribute to the monastery. This particular vintage is a bit young at present, but it's still quite unique and very enjoyable as it is. A year of cellaring should improve it greatly.

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Photo of mactrail
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a deal at Stump's Market in San Diego. The big bottle for nine bucks. Having broken the last Chimay glass, I poured it into an Affligem chalice. Big foam-up, but it settles down nicely to a creamy off-white head on the hazy russet brown brew. The foam lasts and lasts.

The musty taste is distinctive. Burnt raisins and sweet malt along with some caramel and brown sugar flavors. Intensely frothy mouthfeel if you slurp away after pouring another slug in the glass. The range of flavors is thoroughly interesting. There are hints of leather, orange marmalade, and even a bit of sourness at the end.

The classic drying tendency eventually takes over the tongue. A bitter edge finally emerges in the aftertaste. The echoes of the sweet malt linger faintly. This does set a standard for strong, dark Belgians.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but fruity with apples & dark fruit and a touch of yeast.

T: The taste is of fruit, spice and Belgian yeast and is very well-balanced. There's a slight touch of chocolate and no hint of the 9.00% ABV. The malt character is hearty and the hops presence is mild. The after-taste is yeasty and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, excellent kick, very good representation of style, after drinking just the 330ml bottle, I'm regretting not buying the 750ml bottle. This is definitely a good beer to drink for a whole evening.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Pours a clearish, reddish-brown body marked by a few yeast floaties and topped by a huge, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Dark caramel scent seasoned with sugar and a savor yeastiness. Sharp fruitiness, with cherry definitely leading the way. Slight wafty hints at that 9% ABV.

Taste: Sweetish maltiness with flavors of dark caramel compounded by a spicy dark candi sugar taste. Hint of breadcrusts. Growing plum and black cherry fruitiness. Spoonful of simple syrup. Slight savory yeastiness. Spice and a medium bitterness try to bring a bit of balance. Drying, cherry-packed finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: All kinds of decent, but, and this is between you and me, I'm more of a Rochefort man, myself.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tobacco leaf brown with an infusion of orange. The beer contains a great deal of yeast and a wealth of vigorous carbonation rushing up to an expansive, ecru colored head. The foam is so soft and pillowy that I'd be surprised if much lace actually sticks to the chalice. There's very little as it turns out.

The nose smells overwhelmingly of clove. There's an undercurrent of musky, dark fruit that doesn't really have a chance to shine due to the olfactory spiciness. Blue's mouthfeel is lighter than expected; a sensation that is heightened by a generous amount of hyperactive carbonation. If I can get past the physical sensation of the beer in the mouth, this is a pretty tasty BSDA, although I've had better.

The flavor profile consists of sweet dark fruit (currants and dates) that has been soaked in a mixture of dark rum and molasses. It isn't overly sweet beer, but there is a light viscousness underlying the otherwise airy, active mouthfeel. Alcohol isn't masked all that well; not a deal breaker by any means. Whereas clove spice dominated the nose, it's much more subdued on the palate.

Grande Reserve is my favorite of the three Chimay beers (as I was pretty sure it would be), but I can't help feel that it doesn't quite deserve its reputation. The best thing about it is that it's pretty widely available. There are quite a few BSDAs, however, that I like a whole lot more.

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

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

A: Dark reddish brown, hazy. Thick white head and nice lacing.

S: Dark sugars, spice, dried fruits.

T: Strong taste of dark fruits and caramelized sugars. Intermittent bites of hops and alcohol.

M: Medium body, some carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, rich and complex.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep chestnut brown with a huge head. Slowly faded but never completely leaving a nice lace. Smell was very spicy, nutmeg, cinnamon, fruiteness predominated. Very light smell. The taste was very lively, dancing around in your mouth. Figs, prunes, fruitness predominated the flavor, slight alcohol finish. Big carbonation on this one. This was a long time coming for me, and well worth the wait, loved every second of it and highly recommend.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy medium brown in color with yeast particles in suspension towards the bottom half of the glass. The beer has a finger tall pillowy beige head that reduces to a thin film over the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: Overall, this beer has a rather sweet smell mostly dominated by dark fruit. There is a definite presence of plum along with a black cherry and grape. The aroma gets sweeter as the beer warms.

T: The taste follows the smell, with the beer having a good amount of sweetness. There is a dominant flavor of dark fruit - plum and black cherry - along with a light presence of spices. Very nice complexity.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Extremely smooth though slightly dry in the finish.

O: The alcohol is very well hidden in this beer, making it slightly dangerous if you have more than one... I think this beer is very enjoyable and a great sipping beer - with great complexity in the taste.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Shared a corked and caged bottle of this at the Market Cross Pub in Carlisle

A - Tan head sits atop medium brown body with compact bubbles and lasting lace.

S - Bready, strong smell of fresh yeast and sweet malt.

T - Lively, carbonation combines with malty presence. Slighly fruity, crisp ale with subtle flavors of apple and plum.


M - Dances on the tonque with its aggressive carbonation. Light and lively with round luxurious finish.

D - Superior, smooth and restrained for strength contained. Subtle, expressive and effervescent x 2.

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

A: A deep, dark amber color with a bit more weight on the brown hues. The head is initially fluffy and khaki colored and then settles down to a thin layer.

S: A lot of subtleties here in the nose. Dark sugary sweetness goes along nicely with some dark fruits and a bit of spicy esters. A mild banana and alcohol note to it as well.

T: A really nice bready malt flavor with a slight bit of sugar behind it. Some mild banana on the finish and sweeter dark fruits as well. Just a hint of spiciness on the finish.

M: A full body with a smooth and creamy carbonation. Despite the sweetness, a mildly dry finish.

D: Such a balanced beer and the mouthfeel is really exceptional and was possibly the favorite part of the beer. The alcohol is fairly well concealed and this is an all around great beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ruddy red with a 2 fingers tan head. Head holds okayl& has minimal lacing

Smell: Iron. slight fruitnes & some oaky notes

taste: vanilla, oaky, fruitty, rye& a fruitty finish (too much going on)

mf: slightly syruppy & undergassed

Pretty enjoyable & drinks better than the ABV. If could only try one BE style beer this one brings a lot to the table...

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

750ml brown bottle, corked and caged with a vintage date on the cork.

LOOK: Deep garnet, very clear. Good lacing all around.

SMELL: Buckwheat honey, booze soaked raisins, tart apple, toasted bready, treacle, peppery

TASTE: Super smooth, creamy, full-ish body, date sugar, estery, warming, spicy, faintly medicinal, yeast, mineral, leafy hops, dried grass, toasted fruit cake, semi-dry finish

Still holds on to greatness as it is a few steps ahead of the middle of the pack, with that said there are other Belgian beers that easily surpass this but not so much that I would not keep on coming back.

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Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color and cloudy. One finger head that dies quickly...no lasting lace.

Brown sugar aroma, some nice alcohol

Chocolate malt is the taste that appears on the first sip. Hop is far light than other Chimay's, but the malt is wonderful...think scotch ale in style. The body is lighter than I expected but the carbonation is perfect.

Since I like a hop presence, I personally prefer the Cinq Cents version, but knowing the traditional flavors of Belgians, this is superior.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chimay goblet.

Finally get to match the goblet to its namesake for the first time in almost four years! Damn. The beer pours a translucent dark brown topped by a quickly-dissipating finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises figs, brown sugar, rye bread, grapes, plums, cinnamon, cane sugar, and some dark wheat. The taste holds notes of everything in the nosde, though the rye bread's strength has increased, pepper is added, and a slight bit of maple syrup appears near the end. The body is a hefty medium, with a high moderate carbonation and an ever-so-slightly chewy feel. Overall, a very good BSDA, especially considering its near-ubiquity. Get some!

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bottle foamed a little upon opening. Pours deep brown/mahogany color with a nice tan head on top, tight foam. Moderate retention and lacing, though not as much as the other two Chimays.

S: Fruity with some raisins and red grapes, and a little bruised apple. A little bit of spicy yeast and an earthy aroma in a sort of musty way.

T: Sweet to open up with a rich malty backbone. A good bit of fruit flavor with grapes, apple, and prunes. The yeast and spice aren't as strong as the aroma, but are there in the background.

M: Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth. Can't taste the alcohol, but there is a slight warming in my stomach.

O: Fantastic beer. Reading over my notes, it didn't really come out, but this is really good. Nothing wrong with it, and easy to pick up. My store always has this, don't know why more people don't try it...ok, well price for one, but I have no problem paying for this beer once in a while.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,632 ratings.
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