Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

2,349 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: 2,349 | Ratings: 7,697
Photo of beermanbrian
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown color with nice thick off white head. Smell of dark fruits. Taste is very rich, nice maltyness with fruit and spice overtones. Mouthfeel is awesome, smooth. The best of the 3 Chimay offerings. Overall, just an enjoyable beer. I am now a fan of Chimay.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from a gift pack containing the white, red and blue along with a chimay goblet glass. pours quite dark and somewhat cloudy with a white head. malty, somewhat spicy odor. taste is pretty darn good. heavy malt character. chocolatey. belgian spices on the back end. mouthfeel is full and about right for the style. good drinkability and with a fairly hard hitting alcohol punch.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This 2000 vintage magnum was generously shared by Texashammer. What a gal!

Rusty brown with deep red highlights. The off-white head is soft and generous. Sweet tart fruit introduces wine-like aromas, which touch also on lambic and apple cider. Sweet raisin fruit and dates appear on the palate, with boozy goodness before mid-palate to contribute a generous warmth. Bitterness and dark malt round things out. This regal melding of flavors drinks so nice and smooth.

A rare treat.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a big ass bomber purchased in Belfast (Maine not Ireland) Pours ruby red/brown, smells of dried fruit, like apricots. Tastes the same with some hoppy characteristics and alcohol, but seems to fade out quickly. Moputhfeel is ok, but a bit thin for a Belgian like this. Overall it's pretty good and will have it again and again but it's not great.

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Photo of clickpush
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 750ml bottle to wide mouth wine glass. Pours the color of then coffee with a half inch of light brown head that melts down to a thin, soft looking coating with plenty of lace.

Nose: somewhat fruity like cherries and plum. I was kind of dissapointed that it wasn't stronger though.

Mouth: Excellently strong carbonation with warm, alcoholic exhale that was strong enough to make my ears tingle. Tastes of toffee, coffee, and malt.

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Photo of DrJay
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So it's been a year since I tried one of these and fortunately I still had a bottle from the group that I purchased for my last review. Many of the qualities that I found in my previous tasting still exist, but overall it's a much more mellow beer. The dominant characters now seem to be a pleasing caramel and toffee malt component along with raisins and figs. The yeast has receded a bit, but there's still a fair bit of breadiness. Overall, it's quite smooth and malty - to me it's improved with a bit of aging. I've still got one more bottle from that bunch, so I'll see if I can hold on to it for another year.

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Photo of jwc215
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled from small bottle into a Chimay glass.
It poured a deep brown with a beautiful, creamy, slightly off-white two finger head. The head was retained, with little loss until near the end, when it became a soft lace.
The aroma was fruity/berry like, with hints of alcohol in the background. It smelled more like red wine than beer, though.
The taste was simply exquisite. It had a well-balanced taste of fruity (though not citrusy) flavor, mainly of raspberry, along with a malty caramel flavor. The sweet and bitter were well-mixed, along with an alcohol flavoring that made it very complex and delicious.
The mouthfeel was refreshing. Along with the complexity, there was just the right amount of water to make it refreshing and drinkable. The alcohol taste does come through, but not enough to overpower any of the tastes. This is an excellent drink to have on a cold, cool, or mild day.
I could certainly drink many of these, had it not been for a combination of the high abv and the price.

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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.

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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...

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

This and the Abbaye des Rocs Gran Cru are my favorite in this style. Pours dark brown, almost black. Aroma of cherries and dark fruit. Also lots of roasted malt. It just smells rich. Taste is incredibly well balanced. I look forward to every taste as I enjoy this baby. Chimay is not as sexy as other, harder to find Belgians, but it's hard to do better than this one.

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Photo of vanrassel
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a Chimay goblet, this beer looked like it should: dark, almost opaque with ruby highlights. On top sat a majestic one-finger head that lasted as the beer dwindled, leaving ample lacing on the glass as I drank.

The smell I picked up was of alcoholic esters with some figs. The taste was a fine balance between a roasty malt and more yeasty characteristics. Overall, smooth and well-balanced for a beer that's 9 per cent ABV. Taste-wise, I prefer Trois Pistoles, but this one felt better going down: less abrasive carbonation while still being every bit as warm in the belly. A classic.

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Photo of EvilKeith
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce brown bottle

Pours into the snifter somewhere between a hazy dark brown and a deep ruby color. Begins with a fluffy sudsy camel colored head, lace is fine and slides slowly back down the glass.

Smell is earthy, nutty, sweet dark fruit with a hint of smokiness.

Taste is ...a must try experience.

As anyone can see from the hundreds and hundreds of reviews on this site that this is a damn fine Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Try it for yourself, you won't be disappointed.

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

Poured a deep , maroon/brown with aburn edges. An inch and a half of super creamy and dense , baige foam formed a inpenetrable layer on top , with walls of lacing left sliding down the chalice. Aroams of sweet and ripe dark fruits , blackberry , blueberry etc , chocolate , yeast , and alcohol are in the nose. Taste is a pleasantly complex and rich blend of dark fruits , malt , some medicinal taste , a bit of chocolate , and some warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with a dry , yeasty , and lingering aftertaste. A very tasty and rich Belgian strong dark ale. Very drinkable

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Photo of Bsmith
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recently opened a bottole of this that I had purposely saved since August 1999.

I was very concered that this would have gone bad, I was pleased to find out that it wasn't. The cork popped open with authority. The aroma was wine-like but it still carried the characterisitcs of caramel and burnt butterscotch(?). The ABV was way above the normal 9%, I guess the yeast had done its job. All hoppiness was understandably gone and the finish was fairly dry.

It was an exceptional experience and can't wait to save a couple of more bottles to open in the next 5-10 years.

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

This was a 750ml bottle with the date 1/06 stamped on the cork. It was a dark brown color with a very small head. It had a sweet, fruity (?raisin, ? banana) odor with a bit of spiciness. I thought the taste would be a little more complex, but it wasn't. It had a spicy, malty flavor, with some mild hop bitterness. A good beer, quite drinkable despite the 9%Abv.

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Photo of nickss
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle boured into a large wine glass.

Pours a deep opaque brown... very nearly black. Huge 1.5" head... very rocky, very loud, very nice.

The first thing I notice in the aroma is yeasty breadiness. A bit of clove and some banana is noticeable. Big and rich aroma. I dig it.

The taste is certainly more subdued than I was expecting. A bit of yeast, a bit of malt...a touch of doughy breadiness.... kinda boring though.... not exactly bad... just... eh.

The mouthfeel is a bit too crisp and thin for my taste.

Very drinkable for a 9% brew.... I just remember this one being more memorable.

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Photo of Freshie
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice dark auburn hue, with head that laces thick to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is very packed with complexity. Spicy, with a smokey character. I detected a sweet malt quality as well, possibly from a fruit influence.

The taste is very reflective of the aroma, with spice, and very smooth malt flavour. I detected some sort of fruitiness, that I could not describe, there is alot going on there. Suffice it to say, it was still excellent. Good blance, and good carbonation.

Very easy to drink. I had people who are not avid beer drinkers, citing how good it was, so that says a lot. It appeals to more than just craft beer fans. You do not need an accquired taste, just drink and be merry.


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Photo of tomParis
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, dated 12/05 on the cork.

Color is dark auburn, hazy, almost opaque. Big light brown head.

Smells mostly fruity with a little bit of spice and hops. Cherries, plum, clove, and alcohol. Taste is similar; cherry, plum, caramel, spice and a little tartness and bitterness in the finish. Very complex, very tasty.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, full bodied but not syrupy at all. I could definately have a couple more of these.

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Photo of Rezzin
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark red mahogany color - I can't see through it. This thing must be bottled conditioned because it's hazy. I'll remember to be more careful with my pour next time. Rocky biege head.

S - Sweetness from the malt and a strong spiciness and yeast. This one is difficult to describe.

T - Spicy and malty with an alcohol sweetness. Much like it smells. As it warms up it gets spicier. Slightly fruity.. plums maybe? I'm pretty new to Belgians so this one is big one for me - will take some time to get used to.

M - Well carbonated, fairly smooth in the front and surprisingly crisp and tart in the back.

D - Overall not a bad beer but for me personal preferance, will take some time to get used to.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a darm mohogany color with a light tan head. The head is thick and fluffy. It fades slowly, leaving a massive amount of laces.

This beer has a spicy aroma. I can smell some cloves. Also, I detect some yeast aroma. It has a caramel malty aroma also. The alcohol content is hidden well in the aroma.

This beer tastes slightly spicy. Some cloves lead into coreander. It has an earthy yeast flavor also. It tastes just a tiny bit sour..I can also taste some fruit. Cherries.

This beer is highly carbonated, complimenting the style. It goes down smooth, leaving a spicy aftertaste.

I think this beer would make a good session beer, except that it is just a little high in alcohol. But the flavor is great, and I can see myself having a few. Thanks David for hooking me up.

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Photo of ElGordo
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a 750ml bottle with champagne cork and bail. With no agitation in over a week, the beer still energetically bubbled over once I popped the cork. Pours a pretty garnet-brown color with ruby highlights, topped by a creamy khaki-colored head that dissipates a bit more quickly than I would like. Aroma of slightly sweet European malt, Belgian yeast, and notes of raisin and bread, with an underlying whiff of alcohol. Palate is understated - sweet, honeyish malt blended with a touch of Euro hops. Notes of spicy yeast, raisins, plums, and very faint caramel are present. Finish is nice and warm, so as not to let you forget the alcohol content. Body is nice and creamy, but also a tad foamy. Still, right on the mark for the Trappist style. All-around, quite drinkable for such a big beer.

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Photo of sevineyes
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with a blue label.

A: Poured with a 1-inch head that's off-white and very dense. Leaves good lacing.

S: Not a big smell. Yeasty. Gives way to blueberry or gooseberry.

T: Huge. Cherries, plums, bananna that gives way to an alcohol evaporation and dryness. Mid-tones are more along the line of watery berries.

M: Very carbonated but with a dry finish.

Overall: The smell doesn't set you up propery for how the taste hits you in the mouth. I really love this beer. The complexity of the taste is worth trying again and again. The alcohol is very subdued and can sneak up on you.

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Photo of Amar
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A friend and I split a tall bottle (750 ml) at a wonderful Belgian Beer Garden called Vol de Nuit in the West Village of Manhattan. (We paid $21)

Since the place was very dimly lit, I couldn't quite identify the colors but it appeared cloudy, dark and had a good head.

The aroma was distinctly yeasty with subtle hints of berries and other fruits that I couldn't fully recognize.

We were very excited to try this for the first time but once we sipped on this (very expensive) ale, it just fell short of all the hoopla. I am not saying it is not a good beer, it is actually quite refined in texture (crisp, medium body) and balancing of the high alcohol level but just lacked a full or deep flavor. Or, perhpas I should just say that it was a little too subtle for a Friday night at the bar. I suspect the mild sweetness and spiciness will pair well with rich and/or spicy food. I will give this ale another shot with some food this time and see if can identify any hidden flavors that just didn't come out last night.

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Photo of Chadbrew
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served right from the cellar into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance - Murky brown with a bunch of particulates. A big fluffy head and the carbonation keeps a good 1/4 inch of head throughout the drink.
Aroma - sweet and very yeasty.
Taste - Big and bready with a spicy yeast flavor. There is a nice clove and banana thing going on.
Mouthfeel - somewhere in the vicinity of excellent.
Drinkability - This is alot more drinkable than the red, not that the red isn't drinkable mind you, just that this is a little more balanced in my opinion.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was in Chateau Lacour in the heights of the Mastiff Central of Ardeche the last time I had this one. I was never much of a fan of Chimay Blue but for some reason, after several cheap bottles of Rochefort 10, I decided to give it another go. I marched up to my buddy at the bar and ordered a 750, wasn’t offered a glass nor did I want one. I took a few swigs and returned to the mosh pit where RATM’s “Know Your Enemy” was blasting. After quickly downing the translucent dark copper brew, I realized something. This had been the best tasting Chimay Grand Reserve I had ever had. The previous two dozen times I had considered it vastly overrated trite. Maybe it was just the after effects of the Rochefort messing with my taste buds, but this bottle of Chimay was vastly better then any I had ever sipped before. Heck, it was almost mediocre.

So here’s my beef with Chimay Blue. If I’m going to pay as much as this stuff costs, I would like a beer that I don’t have to age 3 years before I drink it. Every time I drink a bottle straight from the store or at a bar, I feel like it is an underdeveloped, uncomplicated baby of a beer. Sure it’s loaded with dark fruits, candied sugar, and lovely Belgian yeasts. They just aren’t very exciting. Liekwise, the body is reasonably depthful and lightly sour but it lacks vitality. Overall, I just can’t understand the hype surrounding this brew when masterpieces like Ommegang rival it so well at a fraction of the cost.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,697 ratings.
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