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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
7,812 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
Ranking:
#503
Reviews:
2,376
Ratings:
7,812
pDev:
10.47%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
530
Gots:
1,948
Trade:
17
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,812 |  Reviews: 2,376
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
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 zeff80
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
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 LXIXME
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -7%
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 zestar
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Boone757
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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 Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of mothman
4.17/5  rDev -3%
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 +4.7%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

 1,326 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml 2014 (cork dated) bottle, Uncorked with a nearly violent pop, leading me to expect a gusher but it was well behaved.

Excellent aroma with lots of fruit notes, some spiced fruitcake and a hint of yeast.
The flavor largely follows. Improved with some warming even though it started at about 50F.

Lively carbonation in a medium body.

 342 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 1,046 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of jlindros
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 2,275 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 824 characters

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

 374 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -3%
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.

 352 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mactrail
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 817 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Gagnonsux
2.79/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this in a 3-pack which included one of each Chimay variety plus a glass for around $11.00. Yesterday, I tried their Tripel and didn't really like it. I like this Blue better than the Tripel, but I can definently tell Belgian ales aren't my thing. Appearance is really dark, not quite coffee colored, but close. Head is moderate height, but quite creamy. The head never quite goes away and leaves a thin layer on top of the beer. Smell is of spices, slight apple smell. Taste is mainly of spices, reminds me of something I'd have around Christmas. Smoother than the tripel I had yesterday, but similiar. 9% alcohol is barely tasted, but noted by a warming of my stomach. Overall, I now know this isn't a style of beer for me, so I probably won't get it again.

 765 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 7,812 ratings
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