Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

2,353 Reviews
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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Reviews: 2,353 | Ratings: 7,712
Photo of Brewfocker80
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled bottle into tulip glass for tasting. No date on bottle
A-Nice 3 finger Khaki head, pours a very dark color with no forced lighting but when held up to lighting is ruby color with carbonation bubbles floating up the glass. Great lacing that never fades. Poured a little too much so ended up with some sediment but that was my fault.
S-Malty smell on the nose with a fruity woody aroma
T-Dark fruits with hints of raisins and cherries, malty with a bit of sweetness and a slight alcohol burn at the end
M-Bubbly on the tongue, wonderful carbonation and smooth and silky
O-Very complex beer that changes with every taste, yeast comes through the malt well and the yeast has obviously attenuated well due to the lack of sweetness and the dryness of the beer. Overall a great example of a monastic beer.

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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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Photo of puck1225
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A lovely beer! Had it on tap. Clear dark brown nice short lived beige head with beautiful lacing. Smell of blackberries and red wine which carries over to the taste. Nutmeg and cinnamon. Really enjoyed it.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Deep hazy burgundy color with a massively thick and creamy toffee colored head and incredibly sticky lacing. Very inviting in appearance.

S - Dark fruity aroma: plums and raisins with faint spice, some slight yeast aroma, caramel malt, and some Belgian candy sugar. Nose is primarily plums and malt.

T - Dark fruit, toasted caramel malt, alcohol, raisins, plums, clove, bready, dark cherry. Some alcohol warming in the back of the throat.

M - Thick and full bodied being borderline chewy.

O - World class.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle with not bottling date or freshness date into standard pint glass.

L: Ridiculous tan head, at least three fingers thick. Dark cloudy brown.

S: Raisins, boozey caramel, toffee, plums, apricots.

T: Rich flavors of dried apricots, plums, raisins with toffee malts and caramels. Nutmeg, peppery, boozy. Great for the holidays.

F: Medium body, smooth like velvet.

O: Just another home run by Chimay. Wonderful beer.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, dark brown caramel with a wonder 2 finger head. A slightly sweet caramel, slightly tart, with some hints of spice, apple, malts and breadiness. This ale is super smooth and rich, but has a wonderful carbonation that makes drinking it very dangerous, as it goes down easy and refreshing--but at 9ABV, that means you'll be feeling fine quickly. So, slow down and enjoy. The slightest bitterness at the end, but overall, well done. A classic Belgian Strong example....

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Photo of Harrison8
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich burnt plum color with a finger of foamy, dark-khaki head. Considering it was poured into a Chimay chalice, that's a lot of head. No lacing left behind. Mulled spices, Belgian yeast, plum, fig, and rolled malts give this beer a hearty aroma. While the aroma has a heavy malt base, it remains sweet and centered around the plum, fig, and spices. Flavor profile is smooth, opening with mulled spices, plum, and fig. Excellent decay of flavors as the flavor profile shows its Belgian side with a zip of Belgian yeast. Nice Belgian, bready finish. Mouth feel is smooth, with a slightly medium-thick consistency. It's easy to sip and savor, without filling up the stomach or palate too much. Overall, a well crafted beer with stand-up Belgian qualities. A pleasant sipper that refrains from being too bitter, and while it does have some malt body, it remains well within the realm of sweet drink-ability.

Served in a Chimay chalice.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


Bottle to goblet at Brick House. March Madness.
Appearance: dark brown
Aroma: Caramel
Taste: nice flavor. Spicy and sweet and everything neat.
FEEL: Chewy texture.

Awesome beer. Even better than i remembered which wad still Damn Good.


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Photo of mothmanscott
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky chestnut brown with 2.5 fingers of foamy, finely bubbled, tan, lasting head that leaves nice sheets & chunks of lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malt & toasted pumpernickel, fig, prune, raisins, banana, hard candy, molasses, toffee, brown sugar & faint coriander. Taste is raisins & other dark fruits of the nose, caramel/brown sugar, toasted dark bread, slight bite & bitterness in finish & semisweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with high degree of carbonation, somewhat chewy & very peppery. Very nice.

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Photo of EMV
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

L: Pours a cloudy dark mahogany color. Two fingers of foamy white head... falls quickly and leaves a haze at the top of the beer. Solid sticky lacing.

S: Caramel and dark sugars... spicy, with clove and vanilla.

T/F: Rich and complex... lots of Belgian candy sugars and dark fruits. Vanilla and spice coming from the Belgian yeasts. Very smooth and creamy. Slight hops at the finish to clean up the palate.

O: An all around treat. Great Belgian Dark Strong, and one of the beers that immediately comes to mind when I consider the style. Can't go wrong here.

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Photo of pattysykes
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip from a bottle marked 2015.

Appearance a dark brown, quite cloudy with 1.5 fingers of fluffy light-tan head.

Fruity on the nose. I pick up dark fruit, cherries and a raisin sweetness.

The flavour is dominated by malt sweetness, raisins and cherries. Faint hints of vanilla and dark wood. Brings to mind a sweet Christmas cake.

Medium-to-full body, nice and smooth with enough carbonation that there's some crispness in there too. It makes for a good balance. The aftertaste is as boozy and warm as you'd expect from a 9% ABV beer, but it's masked by the lingering raisin and malt sweetness.

Overall I'd call it fruity, malty and a pleasure all around. Quite a lot going on in here and I look forward to the next time.

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

The appearance is a pretty hazy reddish-brown. Has good lacing that lingers well.

The aroma is dark fruit, raisins, cherry, and big malt sweetness. Also some fruity esters from the yeast.

The taste is raisins, dark fruit, cherries, big malt sweetness, and estery yeast notes.

The palate is medium plus with a nice lingering sweetness. The maltiness lingers pleasantly.

Overall this is a world class Belgian strong that I am happy to have finally tried.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time enjoying this well-known beauty with the blue label. Poured garnet with a massive head that required a lot of patience. Gigantic. It was poured in a Pilsner glass so you can imagine. Aroma of plump raisins, dark cherries, roasted malt, fruity esters. Taste is cherries, fruitcake, raisins, honeyed malt, caramel and some boozy heat that warms the palate. Great beer - still stands tall.

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11-18-16 - In Chimay, Belgium and enjoyed a couple of these on tap at The Poteaupré Inn at Espace Chimay, about a kilometer from The Abbey Scourmont. Of course poured into the classic Chimay glass with awesome aroma and dark color. Light caramel taste that complemented Le Grande Chimay Trappist grilled cheese sandwich. Such a memory with the wife, who had the Cinq Cents

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

The head on this is incredible - always so velvety and reminiscent of a nitro beer. Smell mixes the traditional belgian aromas with a lovely array of spices. Taste is best when at room temperature. Dark fruits come through in the taste with some spicy phenolic notes. Feel is largely remarkable for the warming finish that leaves you happy and warm inside. Overall a lovely belgian strong dark ale - really one of the best examples of the style.

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Photo of 60sFolks
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It presents itself through an inviting coppery color. The smell, dried fruit at their best. This nose sells it to my soul. The taste is a very full fig and wine grape.
Outstanding world class work from the monks.

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Photo of zuun
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown colored and quite creamy on the top with perfect thickness. Bottle looked like wine bottle, with cork. It smelled a little bit fruity, a little bit nutty. Quite smooth and creamy feeling on swallow. Overall one of the best dark strong ale I ever had.

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

Pours coppery brown with a golden rim. Gloopy bubbles rise to the center of the glass as the head dissipates, leaving film that spots the surface for the rest of the drink.

The aroma boasts smooth toffee, wet brown sugar, butter, and fruit pudding with boozy raisins. There are some underlying autumnal spices which carry through to the tongue, the booze coming to the forefront as you reach the bottom of the glass.

Wonderfully smooth, prickles of carbonation tickle the palette as you swallow. All in all, this is a rich, decadent experience, but it comes more subdued and less complex than other Belgian strongs or more ballsy quad-ish beers. The leather armchair of trappists.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ruddy brown pour. Lots of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Floaties. Small 1/4" off white head. Dark fruit and cherry smell. Lots of alcohol.

So much alcohol. Dark fruit. Raisins, plums, the usual suspects. Its just a style I can't get that down with. Brown sugar in smaller supply. Caramel, burnt. Carbonation good. I dunno, there's just a bitter toffee, overripe spoiled dark fruit thing going with pronounced alcohol that always has me wondering how this got to be so almost universally loved.

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Photo of FFreak
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased a corked and caged 750 ml bottle at Trader Joes for $12.99. Poured into a tall tulip. Dark mohagany with a huge soapy head that sticks around and leaves a nice lace coating on the glass. Aromas are very nice with dried stone fruit, dates, brown sugar. Taste has some fruit and brown sugar as well. Mouth feel is great...medium body, creamy, well carbed, easy drinking. Overall, this is a great Belgian Trappist.

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Photo of beermachine1680
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Along with the Rochefort8, one of my favorite trappist beers in the market. While the R8 is a little more classier of the two, this one is like eating a delicious home cooked meal. Body is a tad thicker than the R8. A notch below in complexity but beautiful in its simplicity. I could drink more of this beer in one sitting than the R8. It is that smooth, balanced and gets better and better the more I drink it. Bless this beer

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Photo of daydesiang
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon opening the bottle, a very strong malt smell followed by dried fruit, clove, and hint of banana. Taste same as the smell, strong malty taste with a lots of dried fruits, clove and hint of alcohol. Surprisingly smooth for a 9% abv. Pretty good carbonation too. A sweet, fruity and non bitter after taste. Lovely.

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

A: Poured into a Chimay chalice to a deep brown with some mahogany highlights with a dense two finger dense head that retains well and leaves some lacing
S: Smells of dark fruits toasted malts, caramel and mulling spices.
T: Taste is caramel and toffee with some dark fruits and mulling spices. Swallow is caramel, more dark fruits, and spice
M: This beer has a full body with soft but adequate carbonation and a dry finish.
O: Overall this beer is a benchmark for the style. Great flavors and complexity keep this one enjoyable. This is a must try if you like Belgian Strong Dark Ales

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A classic poured from the 750 ml bottle in a snifter. This fine Belgian pours a
dark brownish mahogany, lightly cloudy, with a fantastic head of off white foam
that subsides to a thick ring, nice thick layer, and sports the signature lacing known
for the Chimay brands. Nose of astringent booze, raisins, apples, and light candy
sugars. Flavors lightly exceed the nose with raisin, apple, and pear notes touched by
brown sugars and awash in cola and sweet malts with a touch of bitterness from hops
and a nice light yeast note on the back with a touch of Belgian spice. Excellent mouth feel, tingly
and invigorating, lively carbonation, subtle dryness on the aftertaste.....awesome.
I must admit, that while it is available at many grocery stores it is always a treat to be able
to enjoy fantastic craft that is available in wide distribution.

Always a pleasure.

Their cheeses are fantastic as well by the way.


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Photo of goodsuds
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the best Belgian Strong Dark Ale's I've ever had. I'd say it takes a close second to Gulden Draak, which is my #1 in this style. It's more carbonated than most, but that's not a bad thing. There isn't a lot on the nose; sweet malt, dark fruit. Taste is bready, sweet, slight molasses flavor, barely detectable hops. Mouthfeel is medium-full. It pours a thin white head that recedes quickly, minimal lacing. Overall this is one heck of a beer. Perfect for a cool early autumn evening outside.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,712 ratings.
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