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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

2,312 Reviews
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001

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Reviews: 2,312 | Ratings: 7,561
Photo of Rio
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11,20 oz bottle. Poured dark, almost a dark mahogany color, with a towering head. the head has receeded fairly quickly, but it hangs around. Kind of a stale sweetness to the smell, perhaps a bit of a fruity tone in the background.

The grape juice taste noted in the Chimay Red and White isn't so prevalent here, more of an afterthought, but it does remain. More of a sweeter fruit comes to the forefront of this one. A tiny bit of a metallic after-taste/feel follows up this beer, that has a bit of a dryness to it on the tongue, and a feeling of bubbles popping on the back of the tongue as the brew is washed down.

A very fine brew. Very tasty, without any tastes that are too over the top. Pretty smooth and subtle, I think, but impressive none the less.

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

One of my favorites. Rich, malty/yeasty smell and taste to start, turning hoppy and floral as it breathes.

I tried it with Chimay cheese for the first time tonite... which was an experience to be sure. Amazingly well paired, highly recomended. Definintely brings out the brown sugary sweetness in the beer, and takes the top off of the floral bite.

A bit on the pricey side though, not an every day beer.

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This ale is a special treat for me. Served in a 7.5dL corked/caged bottle and poured into a Duvel tulip glass with exquisite care. The appearance is fascinating, a darkly tan amber color that refracts the light into reddish hues. The head is thick and tenacious. The aroma is heaven - darkly sweet bread with raisins, plums and perhaps a hint of mango laced with molasses or brown sugar. The yeast is evident also, moreso as this delectable nectar warms to nearer room temperature. Taste is exquisite. The perfectly-balanced hops compliment the slight yeast flavor as the sweet dark fruit courses through your palate. The head traps the volitiles and lasts for the length of the glass. The taste becomes more and more complex as the ale warms. The mouthfeel is crisp and peppery for such a dark ale, in part due to the perfect carbonation. This beer is very drinkable because of the excellent taste, but you'd be inebriated after the second one.

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Photo of BJ1833
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date on cork was 03/03. Pours a deep brown/copper color with a three finger head. The smell is malty with strong fruit and spice aromas. This beer is highly carbonated, but not overcarbonated. The first taste brings out a strong spice flavor followed by an overripe fruit flavor. A slight orange peel flavor is present in the finish. A medium body beer with a very faint copper-like, metallic finish.

Overall, I like this beer the most of the Chimay brews. A great beer and very good example of an authentic belgian beer.

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Photo of TagoMago
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 ml. corked bottled poured into trappist goblet.

Appearance: Creamy dark brown with a slight red hue. Pours with a very vibrant and lasting head. A decent lacing is present.

Smell: Malty sweetness combined with a fairly strong alcoholic presence. Some esthery grape-like elements are also noticed, combined with a musty, yeasty character.

Taste: Intense carbonation with a full-bodied smoothness. This is very sherry-like in quality. Malts combine with fruits (grape, plum) and alcohol. A very musty Belgian yeast flavor is present. Belgian candi sugar is present in the flavor as well, providing much of the beer's sweetness.

Overall: Simply put, this is one of the best Belgian ales - let alone one of the best beers - in the world. It is every bit worth the $10 for a 750 ml. bottle. It's almost flawless in every way - a real treat. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle. Pours a murky dark brown, with a lack of ruby/red/purple notes that I have seen in other similar brews. Has a very nice looking tan head (1") that has a slight (very slight) brown-red tint to it. Overall looks very rich and inviting. A pleasure to behold. Aroma- bready, dark fruits (plums, cherries, prunes). Yeast is subtle, with a slightly off-smelling component. Really hard to pin it down, but there is something organic that is slightly unpleasant. Overall aroma is good, but there is one component hidden that isn't right. Flavor- very rich, complex, more than I can describe. I like this stuff! Slight alcohol presence (much more subtle than some I have had, which I think is a good thing). Sweetbread, port, with a sharpness from alcohol and hops overlying it. Nicely balanced. Mouthfeel rich and chewy.

Overall, I really like this nectar of the gods- my favorite Chimay (now that I've tried them all). This did not give me the wow factor of something like the Rochefort 10, but still very good.

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Photo of nomad
3.45/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2002 vintage

This is one of a handful of beers (mostly Belgian) that stole my interest away from wine. A wonderful introdcution to the complexities of beer, and easy to find, I've never put down my growing sense of this product. Many bottles later, I decide to use a bottle that I aged for two years as review fodder. Lovers of Chimay Blue say two years is a great point...

Pours a murky brown with a light notion of amber, but lacking the clarity of some dubbels. Carbonation is quite fizzy building a foamy head that dies away quickly. Left behind is a lump of bubbles in the middle of the surface from the carbonation stream living off the small flat circle of the chalice's bottom. Lacing is eventually strong and dripping all over, but cannot counter the lackluster color and fizzy head.

Smell is a cheap version of prunes, dark malts, toffee, and spices. Yet, these spices are neither distinct nor appealing. In time, all of the above weave into a vinuous character that is what you might call the backbone of the beer's scent.

Amazing how as your palate grows, and as you enoy much superior dark Belgian beers the night before, Chimay Blue can be so unimpressive. Woody with bare grape flavors accompanied by tannin-like dryness, the malts are as thin as the mouthfeel. The carbonation is terrible, as fizzy, sharp, and flavor-destroying as a warm soda can be. I guess I'd say there are some fruity flavors and sweet-ish malts in the mix, but this beer pales in comparison to recent experience with Gouden Carolus, St. Bernardus 12, and even Old Jubilation as better dark Belgian-like brews.

Years later, this beer is passable. Dare I say its a beginner's beer? That is pretty much what it is for me.

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Photo of Dmann
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing brew that I have held of on trying for far too long! This one poured a dark brown color with a very bubbely white head that settled on top of the beer. The smell was of bananna and spice and a subtle hint of mustyness as well. The taste was so fucking good with its perfect blend of bananna, clove spices and a touch of pepper flavor in the finnish. Hops are next to nothing in here but there is much flavor to this beer regardless. My bottle was dated 07/03 so after being aged a year, I'd say it tastes pretty damn good! Try this one if you have not allready and rediscover it if you have not had it in awhile!

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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.

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Photo of faernt
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been cellaring Grand Reserve for about eight years now. I try to save it for at least five years before I open one. I think Michael Jackson said it starts to take on a "sherry-like" qualities after then. So, in honor of that concept, I decided to drink a relatively fresh 750 to appreciate the change. I also plan on revisiting this review with my findings on subsequent years. The one I'm drinking now has a cork date of 10.03.

It pours with a whopper of a head. It's two inches tall in this chalice. I have a 12 oz chalice and this 750 is going to fill it three times. ( Is 750 a beer geek equivalent of a 40?). The bubbles are small and the head slowly subsides into a thin layer that has little foam islands floating in it. It's a foamy archipelago in there. The beer is the color of figs.

The smell is Chimay....(I've been drinking this for years)...it's a little spicy and I can't separate the spices to say what they are. I'll have to read the reviews of other, more nasal sensitive BAs. Not being able to pull it apart is fine with me. Mystery brings me back for another try.

The taste is bitter and sweet and spicy with the mouthfeel not being as heavy as I expect from a beer like this. I move the glass and the foam returns. One other thing about bottle-conditioned 750s is the way they change if you work with the yeast. The first pour is clear. The second pour has a little yeast disturbance. The third is the big yeast hit. Each of the three glasses of the same beer from the same bottle is different. I like that.Chimay yeast is spicy.

This is why it's so drinkable. Change is good. I will amend this review with future tastings.


Ok, I'm drinking a bottle with a cork date of 02.99 today. It's Friday and I've had a dense week. It's time to relax with a reward for getting through. I choose the Grand Reserve.

It opens with an optimistic pop. The white smoke of a good beer swirls sinuously out of the top of the bottle. I look at the cork to check the date of 02.99 and it's there. I have to peek at the corks when they are in the bottle and sometimes I can see the date and often I can't.

Earlier, I'd pulled it out of its resting place. It was kept in a horizontal position since '99 when I bought it. I put it in the refrigerator very carefully to avoid an explosion and overflow. It worked.

It tastes musty and that's good. The body is medium heavy and the head is varied from pour to pour. It starts as a one inch head. The second pour has a two inch head. What a taste. I don't get this idiosyncratic taste out of beer that has been freshly put into a 750. Is this cork or what? It is good. I will have to pin down this aspect of taste. It's great.


I've just opened a bottle with a cork dated 11.99. It pops and smokes, but doesn't overflow. The pour nets a decent head with bubbles that are slightly large and small. The smell is musty and the taste is seriously cork. The bottom of the cork that was inside with the beer is bumpy and irregular. It looks like taste buds.

The head subsides and the cork taste remains. It's almost too much. The sweetness makes it through with the cork. It still tastes like Blue but the cork is coming on strong. I'd drink this before now if I had a choice. It's still good, but the preoccupation is cork. It's a bit out of balance with the cork override. The beer is great otherwise.


This bottle is 05.01

It opened well with a serious pop and the happy swirlly white fog. No overflow happened. It poured well. I'm drinking it with a thin wedge of Stilton which is working well. The taste is not as dominantly corky as the last bottle I had. This actually has a medium body and a very balanced taste. It's not too sweet, but yet, a little sweet. I still taste hops. This beer is nearly seven years old and it's very lively.

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Photo of tjd25
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head is very dense and silky; the way it fades into a thin collar is incredibly smooth. The beer pours an opaque dark brown color with some notes of orange and purple. The smell is nicely yeasty with toasted dark malts and a light banana aroma; some hints of cream and butter too. The taste shows some fruity aspects, bananas and apples, but is mostly yeasty, with a very round and full maltiness that gives the beer a very nice bready aspect. Like cereal bread, partly melting in the mouth. A very warming alcohol feeling circles the mouth, and maybe some light nots of citrus. A very good beer, although there are some better examples of the style.

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

Picked up a stubby 330ml bottle from Bacchus in Chattanooga. Pours out a lovely vision into my trusty goblet. A nice deep shade of translucent brown, like weak coffee. A rich creamy head overflows the goblet without breaking and spilling over the side. Teeny-tiny carbonation bubbles are apparent on inspection, but you have to look for them.

The smell is highly evident of that delicate, musty yeast. A spicy-alcohol aroma also tickles my nostrils. Rich malty smell is apparent as well as a mixture of fruits, grapes with an over-ripe tone is what strikes me the most. This all blends into an overall earthy yet dainty and delicate aroma.

The taste is excellent first of all, just the overall flow of it before I attempt to break it down into it’s components. Big musty presence throughout…lovely. Very sweet and malty up front, this leads into the fruity part of the flavor. Plums and dried figs are apparent in the middle as well as residues of candy sugar. Tight and tart with vinous alcohol flavors at the end, this shares the finish with a delicate ballet of spicy European hops. The mouthfeel is creamy and really gives all those flavors a chance to hang out and be known.

Once again, I have no complaints about any of the beers I have tried from Chimay. This beer is delicate and still rich. The complexities of the beer take you on a beautiful voyage from sweet to musty to tangy to spicy. I'm definately on the look out for this one again.

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Photo of cbl2
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A stunning amber brown in color with intense carbonation, capped by 2 inches of frothy white head that is slow to settle and laces nicely.


Sweet overripe fruit (grapes) predominates the nose. Alcohol is present as well.


Carbonation tickles the tongue, bringing with it an explosion of grape/wine flavor, that barely masks the abundant alcohol. Finishes with a dry, sherry like aspect. Intriguingly complex, but not my favorite trappist.

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Photo of beerinator
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown slightly cloudy. Slight tint of purple. Good retention, with big bubbly head.

Aroma: Grapy with heavy malt sweetness. Fruit that exists in the aroma is primarily grape. Hint of sourness.

Taste: Heavy malt sweetness upfront. Slight hint of fruitiness present. Alcohol kick in the middle of the taste. Finishes smooth, with virtually no bitterness. Slight sour tingle in the middle of the tongue.

Notes: Very Very drinkable, with nice mouthfeel. This beer is not as outstanding as I remember from my first experience.

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Photo of BeerBob
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chimay Ale Peres Trappistes Grand Reserve pours a wonderful root beer brown from a 1pt. 9.4oz brown glass bottle.

Head goes well over three fingers before dropping to a firm quarter inch cap of foam and leaving ample lacing down the sides of the glass.

Nose is mostly malt with just a hint of floral hops and traces, just traces of the 9% alcohol by volume.

Taste is a smooth, very smooth malt... a most smooth malt. A taste that one could fall in love with... I have been mesmerized by this brew and will seek it out wherever I go!

Oh My God... This stuff is GOOD!!!

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Photo of kmo1030
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle
appearance: deep dark hazy brown with a huge craggy tan head.

smell: huge in rich fruit character, plums, figs, prunes, grapes. brown sugar sweetness. no hops detected. cloves are present as well as some slight citrus coffee and chocolate. the smell of this beer alone is excellent.

taste: molasses dominates here but remains delicate. carmel and a hint chocolate add some comlexity to the brown sugar, along with fruit, the plums, figs, prunes, and grapes from the smell are all present in the taste along with a mild sweet lemony flavors like biting a lemon wheel covered in sugar. minor hop bitterness to round things out. the alcohol is disguised well.

mouthfeel: this stuff is liek silk it's got a nice meduim body and a noticable, but delicate carbonation that when coupled with the taste make this a drink like few other things i've had.
an excellent belgian beer.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chimay glass, out of a cute little 12oz stubby bottle.
The beer pours a deep red, suspended flecks of yeast creating a dusty haze. The bottle hadn't been disturbed since i got it, and I poured as to not disturb the sediment. A thick crop of ivory foam forms on the pour, very even bubbled, settling quickly into a large, thick island bordered by a thin collar. A plume of carbonation bubbles vigorously feeds the head. The head actually seems to grow as I drink, a solid, 1/8" coating about halfway through. Rather impressive. Some speckled lace.
The aroma is thick with molten caramel sweetness. Lots of candi sugar, with huge amounts of fruity esters. Hints of apple, pineapple, melon, banana and mango. A slight alcoholic tinge, with a faint yeasty mustiness. Phenolic clove and some plastic-like scent. Very strong, but with a gentle touch.
The flavor starts incredibly sweet. Rather saccharine, chunks of candi sugar smothered in blonde caramel. A bushel of assorted fruit is added as it starts to simmer, adding hints of banana, melon and plum, along with lighter notes of sweet strawberry and apple. The sweetness continues into the finish, a mild phenolic flavor creeping in, adding some spiciness. Rather clove-y, with a bit of plastic band-aid, the kind that pulls off the hair on your arm when you try to peel it off. Perhaps a dash of herbal hops, but it's mostly suffocated by the sweetness. Vague peppery flavor right in end, with a bit of softening, slightly musty yeast deadening the alcohol. It's almost undetectable, save a light burn on the back of the throat. The aftertaste features moderate clove and a lingering candi sweetness. Very fizzy, active carbonation, like drinking a bottle of warm soda, with much finer bubbles. On the medium end of full bodied, with a soft, gentle mouthfeel.
Very nice stuff, perhaps a bit too sweet for me. Not quite cloying, but almost there. I liked it much better than the tripel, but the carbonation was definitely a surprise. I like a bouyant, assertive carbonation in belgian ale, but not quite this much. The mouthfeel is still very smooth, which helps. My girlfriend thinks it's "pretty good". Certainly recommended by myself.

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Photo of Hunter
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2nd Chimay in as many days for me. Cinq Cents is my personal favorite, so I'll save that one for last. Grande Reserve is supposedly Chimay's "big brew", the one the monks themselves brew and drink infrequently. Whether that's true, or the stores here believe the hype, this is the most expensive of the three, at $9 for the large. At those prices I could be drinking at a pub! But these beers are worth it. As I said in my Red review, DON'T buy the smaller bottles - something's lost in translation. Chimay's website almost admits as much when it mentions that their beers take on special characteristics when the secondary fermentation after bottling is allowed to work in larger volumes.

The Blue cap pours a dark garnet color, with a long-lasting head the color of beach sand. the head easily regenerates itself with some gentle agitation. Some bits of yeast and sediment will find their way into your glass with all but the most careful pours, but it's really a minor complaint. Nice, steady carbonation in thin threads from the bottom of the chalice.

The aroma is at once more complex, and more muted than the Red. What's hiding in there? Clove, candied fruit, and...mystery. There is a light slap of alcohol (and at 9% it would be unavoidable) but it's more of an inticement than anything else.

The first thing to hit the tongue is a crisp wine-like essense, carried on a silken mouthfeel. If autumn had a taste, it would be this. Dark, earthy spice, oak, berries, and plum. Reminds me of a November sunset, bracing with the promise of frost. (The alcohol must be taking over - I'm rhapsodizing here ;))

Too hard to judge after only one, as it shows you something new each time. This beer is like a beautiful woman - she won't give up her secrets readily. I love this beer, and it's only due to the prohibitive cost that it's not a daily thing for me. As high-brow as beer gets.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy brownish color with some sediment noted. Huge tan head with some very nice lacing.
S: Sort of yeasty right up front. Hints of a clovey spicyness. Alcohol smell is pretty strong, and carries a fruity aroma with it.
T: Mostly a sweet, fruity taste. Nice malt flavor throughout. Has a bit less of a raisin taste than the Red label.
M: Medium/full in body. Alcohol feels pretty strong in this one.
D&N: Less complex in smell and taste than the Red label, I think I'll set a few of these in the cellar to age for a bit and give this one another go. Still a very nice beer.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Belgian and what an awesome initiation. Pours dark brown with a ton of head. I had to stop pouring because I thought I might end up with only foam. After it settled down, a nice 11/2 inch thick, tan foamy head remained. Tasting the beer through the thick foam was a delight. The first taste was very impressive. For 9% abv, I expected a stronger alcohol taste, but it was suppressed very well.

This is a fabulous beer, one that I will buy many times. Only bought a single this time around, but next time will pick up several.

This is what brewing is all about, and the trappists really know how to do it.

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Photo of HochFliegen
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured this the beer into a Chimay chalice. The color was a piercing bright red and very clear. The head was well developed and always stayed rather thick and creamy. It laced quite well down the sides of the chalice.
The smell was very complex. In the begining it seems rather yeasty or maybe nutmeg it then turns to a spice and finishes with a slight hint of grapes of some sort of fruit.
The taste was very pleasing and very smooth. It starts with a sweet flavor of malt. Then you taste some spice or pepper like flavor in it mixed with a dry feeling that coats your mouth and tingles from the alcohol. As I got to the last 3-4 sips from the chalice it almost seemed like there was a different smell, maybe from the warming of the beer, that seemed to me was like rose pedals or some sort of flower. Was very nice.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.37/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - poured into a chalice, it appears somewhere between brown and a muddy purple. Flaky sediment evenly dispersed throughout the glass. A brief head ends up with only a few stray bubbles around the edge. Unique look for a brew.

Aroma - spicy yeast, some light fruit sweetness at first, then everything kind of dissipates. After a few moments any smell is completely gone. Bummer.

Taste - light malt, lots of bready, yeasty taste, a bit of sweetness, and plenty of alcohol. The active carbonation gives it a sweet/salty blend. A vinous swallow, like a medium red wine. Finishes with a bite, a little background hop grapefruitiness, and alcohol warmth in the back of the throat. Not as impressive as I anticipated, but some decent dimensions and tasty.

Mouthfeel - bubbly, of course, somewhat dry, but leaves a thin coating. Well done for this style.

Drinkability - I don't remember what I paid for this some 2 years ago, but to look at it as many times as I did before finally opening it, I gotta say I had higher expectations. Not unfair for a highly rated beer as this. Nothing wrong with it, but I don't see myself buying it again.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to mer who imported this from Italy (hey I was hoping there would be Italian on the bottle, but oh well)...

Appearance: I sampled this in a chalice (not a chimay chalice however), which effects the color a bit...The beer was slightly cloudy and blood red, bordering on brown. Head was about an inch thick on top, white and megenguey (alright, don't know how else to describe it, but it stayed above the top of the glass without spilling over like a merengue pie). Lacing was ample

Smell: Strong yeasty character (as I think a belgian should be)...Alcohol is very prevalent in the nose, but blends well with the a caramel maltiness. Little hop aroma is present to my senses.

Taste: Very warming...alcohol is strong in the flavor and it bites down on the back of your throat. Sweet maltiness and definitely some spiciness are present. Currants come a bit to mind in the flavor. Yeast definitely dominates the taste though

Mouthfeel: High body. Bitterness is low. Alcohol is a bit too prevalent in the brew, and it would definitely help to let this sit for a couple months.

Drinkability is high, despite being 9% alcohol, I can put back a couple...

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Photo of kegerator
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

from start to finish, this is a great one.
pours a hazy deep brown with a nice offwhite head about 1 inch thick or so that dwindles nicely, leaves some good lace behind as you drink
smells of yeast, malt, caramel and some spice.
taste hits with some strong spice up front but finshes smooth with a caramel, malty finish...outstanding
i really enojoyed this one
i gave it all fives except on the appearance, i woudl have liked to see a bigger frothy head, for a strong belgian ale. but it was still awesome

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Photo of pootz
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A great strong ale, but forgive me for not shamelessly fawning over it. It's a treat to drink this once in a while but thank Gambrinus there are more uncompromised belgian beers available. This is still a good beer but not as good as it was a few years ago. This is another beer that can have it's young 2 dimensional character changed slightly by cellaring for a year or more but it would never get to be that old in my cellar ;-)

Poured a dark slightly clouded amber with a smallish off white cap. Aromas of dates or figs or dried apricots. Started with a surprising big mouthful of sweet bready malts before the expected complex/layered banana-fig-hop undertones took over. As the beer sits on the palate the hop accent builds until the finish is surprisingly drying.

A very delightful strong ale but every time I've tasted it fresh and it has appeared slightly different each time. This may be a matter of ingredient linearity or it could be the brewers equivilent to a "vintage" where there is some batch to batch character differences. All in all, a wonderful drink but may be over rated by some.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
95 out of 100 based on 2,312 ratings.
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