Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

BA SCORE
95
world-class
7,781 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:
7,781
Reviews:
2,367
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.51%
 
 
Wants:
527
Gots:
1,934
For Trade:
17
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,781 |  Reviews: 2,367
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Gagnonsux
2.79/5  rDev -34.8%
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 XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of billab914
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into my Westvleteren chalice. Poured brown in color with an active tan head filling half of the glass at first. The head settled down quickly to leave a creamy khaki colored foam resting on top of the beer.

The aroma shows a yeasty, spiciness to it with some dark fruit notes an and a moderate malty sweetness coming through. Pretty flavorful and complex aroma to it overall.

The taste is malty sweet with some notes of dark fruit, caramel and brown sugar to it. The finish has just a bit of spices and yeast to it with nutmeg being one of the spices I seem to be getting. A bit of alcohol in the finish but not bad at all. All the flavors come together very nicely and make for a great tasting beer.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation. The frothy head that lasted well into drinking it really adds a nice creamyness to the beer that I love.

Drinkability is good, it's a very good beer overall and a great example of the style. The mouthfeel was pretty much perfect which really helped the drinkability for me. It didn't hurt that it was very good tasting either.

 1,115 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of vfgccp
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle opened in 2013.

A - Nice looking brew. Deep brown body with cranberry highlights. Light khaki head with low retention and lace.

S - Soft and well integrated. Chestnut, banana, nutmeg, brown sugar, caramel, pumpernickel bread.

T - Raisin, fresh pumpernickel bread, banana, roasted chestnut, white booze, black pepper, and caramel.

M - Medium body with nice carbonation.

O - One of the original quad archetype. It reminds you how well balanced and restrained this style used to be before American brewers started brewing the style on steroids.

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Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -6.5%

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...

 367 characters

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 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 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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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.

 1,397 characters

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -6.5%

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 paulish
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of woodychandler
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

If I was unsure about ever having had Chimay Blanc yesterday, no such question exists today for Chimay Bleu. I remember many years ago, during the original iteration of the State College Brewers Expo and when B. United was the east coast distributor for Chimay, they actually had some on tap! The reps recruited some lovelies to help them pour and at the end of the first session, I went off to dinner. When I returned for the start of the second session, only one of the reps was there, although they had three people initially. When I inquired, I was told this rhyme - "Chimay, Chimay not, but with Chimay, she definitely may!" With all due respect to Billy D. Williams, he should shill for Chimay Bleu if he is going to proclaim that a beer "Works every time!"

Another fond memory was from Dec 2001 and I was in Bruxelles, having scattered some of my late Pops' ashes in Paris, per his request. I was staying in a youth hostel and the attached downstairs bar had 11.2 oz. bottles on the cheap and I partook every night that I was there.

Finally, I will never forget the yahoo at The Sharp Edge who came in and yelled at the duty server, "Hey, darlin', gimme some'a that Chimmy (hard ch-sound, not sh) stuff! I hear it's supposed to be real good!" She looked at him quizzically until he started pointing at the bottles of Chimay in the coolers. The regulars, including myself just snickered and filed that gem away for just such an occasion as today.

From the bottle: "The registered trademark 'Trappist' certifies that this ale was brewed within the walls of an existing trappist monastery under the control of the trappist community. A major part of the sales revenue is used by the monks to support charitable works. The exceptional yeast isolated by Father Theodore, combined with the purity of the highly protected water of the abbey's walls, gives Chimay its unique richness. Since 1862, Chimay's secondary fermented ales have neither been pasteurized nor filtered and only natural ingredients are used. To fully appreciate the strong character of the Chimay Blue, serve slightly chilled, in a wide-mouthed glass."

I was going to bow and scrape before this beer, loudly proclaiming "I'm not worthy!" until I popped the cap and it began to foam up through the neck. This is MUCH too precious a beer to allow to go to waste and so I sprang into action, decanting it into my Westmalle glass so that I could stop the foaming. I created a dense finger of light-tan head with excellent retention. Color was a deep brown with cola highlights, but it was too dark in its color to be able to gauge clarity. I could still see the lees in the bottom of the bottle, so I would guess that I did okay. The nose on this beer is worth the price of admission! I have stated many times over that I am a self-avowed hophead and do not generally like malty beers, but this is an exception. The initial waft is of dried dark fruits, followed by a healthy smack of alcohol heat and then chocolate and nuts. I could sit with my nose buried in the glass for a while, but a) you get the idea, b) there are plenty of other, better reviews and c) I am anxious for a sip. Mouthfeel was full and creamy with an initial sugary/malty sweetness and some big heat, followed by caramel and toffee, then dried dark fruit and finally a touch of yeasty must. Finish brought the heat then settled back for a slightly dry aftertaste. Right after that, the mellow began to set in and I felt sleepy, very sleepy. My my, what are they doing at Scourmont?

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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 ZEB89
4/5  rDev -6.5%

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 mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep brown color with 2 fingers of off white head. No lacing and little bit of carbonation evident.

s - Smells sweet of dark fruits, yeast, some spices, and a little bit of alcohol.

t - Dark fruits, yeast, alcohol, malts, and hints of spice. Pretty nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Feels pretty good.

d - A very nice Belgian. Considering the somewhat low price and the fact that it is readily available in many grocery and beer stores, this is a great beer. Very nice dark fruit and yeast smell/taste, and has a great feel to it. Will definitely have again sometime.

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Photo of Gkruszewski
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%

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.

 797 characters

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

750 mL bottle. Pours a murky brown with a big khaki head. Smells of caramel, bread, and banana yeast aromas. Tastes very bready. Has a little sweetness, but less than I would have expected. Earthy and lightly spicy finish. High carbonation. I can’t believe I’ve never rated this. This style is remarkable. This beer is delicious. When someone tries to recreate it and misses the mark even a little bit, it’s practically undrinkable.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,781 ratings.
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