Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

7,764 Ratings
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay

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

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Ratings: 7,764 |  Reviews: 2,364
Photo of cd_beer_disapear
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of PatrickJR
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into red wine glass, consumed somewhere around 50 degrees.

A - Quite murky, the color of a dark tea with orange mixed in. Largish 3-4 fingers of light brown head rise, though retention is fairly short and the head falls to nothingness. No lacing.

S - Mild dark fruits (plums, prunes, and currants) atop a fledgingly bready backbone. Some caramel and molasses make an appearance with a back end of sweet spice; cinnamon and clove stand out.

T - Somewhat bland dark bread hits early palate followed by some light notes of caramel, toffee, and molasses. Some of the dark fruit pulls through mid to late palate with a light sourness, but the flavor is fleeting. A final crescendo of sweetness enters in the form of a pronounced but short note of vanilla/banana. Sweetness drops off incrimentally into an earthy bitterness. Bitter clove and cinnamon take the stage near the end with a hard chalkiness and noticable alcohol pop in after the swallow. Aftertaste is mild to moderately bitter.

M - Medium bodied. Carbonation is moderate to moderate-mild. It's difficult to analyze the mouthfeel in context as this is a subtle and therefore challenging brew. Fairly smooth all in all with a carbonation that doesn't interfere.

D - Grand Reserve is a beer I've had on many occasions, even before I was into good beer as a whole. I'm surprised it's taken me this long to get around to reviewing it, but figured there was no better time due to my recent fascination with Belgians. Certainly a good a beer, though I'm not sure I applaud it as much as the beer community at large. Tasty, but somehow indistinct and unoriginal in the world of fine Belgian beers. In a way, it's a little *too* subtle for a big Belgian beer.

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Photo of Casterbridge
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of onlymurderers
4.75/5  rDev +11%

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

It's interesting how so many reviewers, both on this site and in reference material, taste different things in this beer. Here's what I got. Poured a massive ecru colored head which settled to lacing and traces. Color is a deep russet, almost cider-like. Smell has malt, raisins, figs, or basically dark dried fruits. Taste has more of the same and it's quite rich. There's an acidic zing which persists in one of the longest lasting finishes I've ever had in a beer. Clearly this deserves the world class status it holds. Of course I'd prefer if it were cheaper. And what I don't get from it, which I've seen other reviewers claim, is plum, pear, honey, or bubblegum. Say what?

 678 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a caged and corked 750 - my first Chimay Blue. In the process of polishing off the whole thing.

A - Poured a cloudy dark amber. Massive head that settled down quickly, no lacing.

S - Raisins and alcohol...but mostly alcohol. That said, not an unpleasant alcohol aroma at all....nice and spicy. As it warms, I get more of the raisin overtones.

T - I know now why this beer is consistently rated highly. I don't have a ton of experience with Belgian Strong Darks, but I can't imagine one being that much better than this. The aforementioned raisins, along with all fruits brown and purple - plums, figs, dates, grapes - seem to make an imprint on the taste buds. Suggested to serve chilled...but I find that as it warms, it's a lot more flavorful.

M - Well carbonated...there's a lot of alcohol in here but it's not overly harsh. I can tell I'm drinking a strong beer, but it's not bothering me in the slightest.

D - Patently drinkable. A pleasure to drink....too easy to devour that 750. I find myself telling myself to slow down!

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Photo of NWHopinator
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Marvicsin
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Tdenham
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jonb5
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, poured into a large tulip shaped wine glass. Dark amber colour with hints of ruby around the edge, almost opaque, 3 finger tanned head. Belgian yeasty aroma with notes of malt and raspberry. Tasted malt, caramel, raspberry, biscuit, plum and brown sugar. Booze very well hidden, balanced with a slightly bitter finish. Body was on the thick side of medium, smooth texture with decent carbonation. The depth of the beer combined with how well it hid the booze was very impressive, but I wouldn't say it blew me away. It might need to age for a year or two.

 569 characters

Photo of GoGators
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of AlexChillton
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Waveoff
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Lettsgo3
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hwwty4
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 33 cl bottle into a Chimay Chalice (thanks gift set). The final of the three, I saved the blue because its my favorite color. Stupid reason, I know. Poured a dark mahogany with a nice billowy head, didn’t leave much lacing down the glass though. Smell is of yeast, spices, figs and alcohol. Taste is of figs and raisins but has that nice alcohol burn at the end. It really surprised me. Mouthfeel was full bodied with a slight amount of carbonation. Lingered in the mouth for a while. Drinkability was good. I honestly think I would rather drink a red cap.

 566 characters

Photo of jettjon
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Nose, taste
Lows: Dregs on pour

Pours dark purple/raspberry with some dregs evident. Head is one finger tan with tiny bubbles, fading slowly to a nice thin sheet of lacing. Nose is of apples, cherries, grape juice or grape candy. Taste is apple/grape juice to a grape Jolly Rancher or grape candy. Can you say, “grape?” Mouth is bubbly sweet and refreshing. Finish has a bit of alcohol and a brief bite, not bad, but lets you know it’s there. Drinkability is very good: this is a sweet and smooth brew, and is quite refreshing.

Overall: An excellent fruity Belgian dark, heartily recommended.

 609 characters

Photo of jneiswender
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the 750 ml bottle of this beer. Cork is marked 08/11. Served in a tulip glass cool.

Pours a sandy and thick foamy head and a very dark garnet and walnut body. Smells like fresh fruit (apricots) and clay. Tastes earthy and fruity. Very highly carbonated. Booze are hidden in this beer.

I have to say I prefer the red more. Not as layered flavorwise. However, I can't complain, its still a great beer.

 405 characters

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

Photo of DemoniChris
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of endless1408
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Ego
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottled... 12/05 (big bottle)
this is one I have had more times than I can count (and I can count pretty high with my shoes off).. what's the point of reviewing a beer that has been reviewed a million times? I dont know, but then again what the hell else should I do on a monday night? (it isnt football season yet) )

super huge fluff of offwhite head crackles in the chalice... 2 full fingers of foamy foam foam. dark amber brown and murky, the head retreats to one finger and holds there but where the head was it still sticks there on the side of the glass... pretty damn awesome looking brew.

pollinated hops, honey, bread, not very stong but so lucious, very nice.

taste etc...
luxurious. I would marry this beer if it was legal (it probably is legal to marry a beer in alabama). Silky... The ABV is subtle but does let you know it is there (not harsh in any way). The carbonation works here, uber gassy as it may seem I aint burpin up a storm. Nice and drying on the tongue with a yeasty hint in the aftertaste... makes you keep sipping.. and man this is as smooth as a frosh girls ass (prior to the freshman 15). This is flat out awesome, the subtle fruity notes are delectable.

I guess I answered my own question about why I reviewed this beer. Sometimes a beer is available all over the place for a good reason.. this one sure is in that category. It is all over the place and unlike my ramblings on this site ... it all comes together near perfectly.

 1,502 characters

Photo of stomioka
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of BJSmit
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of TGS
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,764 ratings.
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