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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
7,851 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 7,851 |  Reviews: 2,381
Photo of dleiner
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance had a dark brown colored body with a massive three finger white head. The head must last for about a good four minutes before it died. Minimal spider web lacing speckled the sides and slid fairly quickly down the sides of the glass. The smell had raisins and cherries with light pears and caramels in the background, slightly in a bready sort of way. The yeast is very subdued, but its there. The taste takes all of the previously mentioned flavors and combined altogether in a sweet bready yet somewhat earthy sort of way. The palate sat about a medium with nothing remotely close to having any sort of harshness on the tongue. As many times as I’ve had this, this is probably the smoothest most Belgian beer on the market. It leaves a sweet sticky aftertaste and a slightly dry finish. Though at 9%, I’d still say fairly sessionable. Overall, this is a Belgian I like, probably because the yeast is tamed well. Nice dessert and night cap!

 959 characters

Photo of SpongeHop
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - red-brown beer, with a ruby glow when held against the light. Big hazelnut head. I almost didn't want to drink it.
S & T - raisins, slight candi sugar, milk chocolate on the back-end, toasty maltiness. Rum-raisin chocolate bonbons.
F - nice and creamy, so so smooth.

O - Take your time when drinking this. The tastes evolve and you discover more and more as you sip it over half an hour. It was quite the experience, and I'm not even that big a fan of the Belgians.

I do recommend this one.

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Photo of Corrado42
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SmokySignals
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Uncorked 2016 into Mountain Layers Belgian Goblet. Pop! What a smell!

Head galore! 3/4 ths of the glass was fine light tan rich dense foam. Crumbling down to a nice even layer, it puts off a rich decadent brandy or port-like scent; dark sweet fruits and quite boozy (9% abv).
Deep dark golden brown appearance is perfect. It glows a fiery red orange with a phone light behind it, while tiny bubbles race to the top.

Taste follows nose; sweet, rich candied plums with and added alcohol punch, but a perfectly crisp dry finish. Decadent.

My favorite aspects of Chimay Grande Reserve Ale are its crispness and dryness, which fight to overcome the rich sweetness. A little too sweet out front and a bit too much alcohol smell for me, but certainly top notch for sure.
I should have warmed this up a bit longer, I think. The malts seem to start showing up as it warms.

May be perfect for a Christmas or New year party, after smashin favorites first.

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Photo of stortore
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. Had 1/13/17.

Pours a dark brown, a little garnet on the edges in the light, fairly opaque, with a huge three inch foamy head on an average pour. Lots of foamy lacing. The smell is Belgian yeast, candi sugar, caramel, dates, figs, malt, some spices- cloves, for one. Light black pepper in the head, a little cola aroma. The taste is also strong on the yeast, much more malt than the nose, caramel, figs, candi sugar, dates. A quick flash of light bitterness up front. Smooth, creamy, a solid, medium body, well carbonated- a little on the high side.

A classic and top notch Belgian Strong Dark, with well blended flavors and a big, complex aroma. This is a beer everyone should try.

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Photo of priley
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Alpha-Leader
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cipherbreak
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice bright and lively brown with a foamy head that rises and dissipates quickly.
S - Sweet malts, bread, caramel, and nuts dominate here.
T - Sugars. with a mildly bitter aftertaste. Sharply carbonated.
M - Smooth and balanced. It flows with ease.

O - Excellent Belgian Ale. Very enjoyable. Let it sit a bit before the first sip, as it shines when a tad warm.

 365 characters

Photo of BVGDrug
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of poisoneddwarf
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Captain68
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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Photo of vitamin_g
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bombelsky
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle.
L17-0 05
Best before: 12/20/22

Clear, deep amber reddish. Huge frothy off-white head, leaving very good lacing. Persisting. Moderate malty and yeasty notes. Plenty of bread and mild, peppery tones. Some soft, floral hops. Light prunes. High malty, bready, rich sweetness, medium-low bitterness. Full body. Medium carbonation, oily, spicy. Medium dry finish, but there are some sweet notes getting in. Smooth, warm alcohol, gets edgy.


 459 characters

Photo of wmartin
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chimay Blue, one of the world's great beers, or so they say.

I've been trying various versions of this beer over the last 2 years. I've had 5 samples of it, each one has been different in some way. Review rating is based on the 750ml bottle dated 2017 sourced direct from Belgium in March. This version has a different label than 750ml bottle bought at the same time in the U.S. dated 2016, which was imported into Texas.

The first copy of the beer I had was a 12 oz bottle from a bottle shop. I was disappointed as it had a cardboardy flavor. Cardboard flavor is indicative of a beer well past its prime, yet this beer should store well for half a decade. Perhaps it had been on that shelf in the bottle shop for a decade, or stored at 80 degrees F for awhile. Both those things are possible.

The next sample was from a 12 oz bottle in a restaurant. I found this quite good, but not one of my favorites. The characteristic Trappist yeast flavor and fruity nose, combined with some maltiness; is what made it good. Still, I wouldn't say it was spectacular. Hard to see what all the fuss was about.

But I persevered. The next sample I had at a tap room in Seattle that had around 150 taps. I asked what version of Chimay they had. When the waitress came back and said "Chimay Reserve, Blue"; I immediately bought a glass. It came in a Chimay chalice. The person I was with, who doesn't like beer, stated that it really looked good. It was quite a site with it's glittering glass, frothy foam, and brownish orange color. And drinking it was a fantastic experience. One of the best beers I've ever had. The memory of it lingered the rest of the week, despite having a couple other great beers afterwards.

On that, I obtained a couple 750ml bottles from a US distributor hoping that the larger size would be more resilient to storage issues, and more like the draft version. While I initially enjoyed these bottles, a soapiness to the flavor began to bother me, and left a disagreeable memory. I was beginning to despair at being able to repeat the Seattle experience. These bottles were dated "2016" on the cork.

I found a Belgium site that would ship direct to the U.S. and got a 750ml bottle of the Belgium version, which I just drank moments ago. This bottle was dated on the cork and label as "2017". And it had no soapy taste whatsoever. I wouldn't say it was up to the level of the Seattle version as the fruity notes were not as pronounced, but I loved it and will probably get some more (direct from Belgium if possible). I don't know if the difference between this one and the US labeled one was because one was 2017 and one was 2016, because they ship inferior stock to the US, or because of storage issues; but I think that the fact that the Belgium-sourced sample was a year younger is a good sign for getting things direct from Belgium.

The Seattle on-tap sample would be a 5; but obviously consistency is something of a problem.

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Photo of mjgsilva
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jtee
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From a 330ml bottle served at 14 degrees Celsius into a chalice. The bottle has been cellared for a good handful of months however I lost track :)

Look: Excellent appearance from the colour to the head (given the style). It pours a clear dark brown with red highlights. One finger of foamy, tan head that settles to an impressive cap after three minutes. The cap remains until your last sip. Poor lacing... and here I thought my glass was beer-clean...?

Smell: Quite strong an aroma with notes of caramel, banana, Belgian yeast, brown bread, and dark fruits. Hints of peppery spice and herbal hops to improve the overall balance. There's no doubt the malts and esters are here to shine.

Taste: Exactly what the aroma promises. Intense and balancing towards sweet. Not cloying. Prominent estery notes of dark fruit and banana as well as bready malts, and caramel. Absolutely delicious.

Feel: Medium-full body with high carbonation. Creamy, warming, and prickly with a smooth alcohol-warmth.

Overall: Fantastic example of the style. Malty-rich with strong esters and a hop character that brings it all together. I'm a little sad the vessel is empty... I better buy another one.

 1,180 characters

Photo of Superseed
4.81/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Strohm
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Walnut
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ovaltine
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I should've tried this 10 years ago. Pours a dark mahogany color, relatively clear, tan head. Aromas are heavy funky yeast and Belgian sugars. Yum.

Taste is the Belgian sugars first, then the funky yeast reminds you that you're drinking a Belgian Ale. Magnificent.

 269 characters

Photo of xanadu1988
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The first beer that blows me away. Just wow

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Photo of MeIquiades
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Coffeeist
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of RMW66
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 7,851 ratings
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