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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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2,331 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: 2,331 | Ratings: 7,630
Photo of jtw5877
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a brownish garnet kind of hue with an effervescent white head that lasts forever. Yeasty spicy aroma that matches the taste. Malty yeasty mouthfeel with a little bit of alcoholic spiciness. A classic beer that sometimes gets a bad rap as if it were a macro. don't believe the hype this is a quality beer.

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

Poured a wicked high head with an off-white color over a deep brown beer. The head subsided gradually with a great textured look but not a lot of lace. The aroma was a little more subtle than I expected. The aromatics I did pick up were mostly slight hints of grainy maltiness and a little bit of raisin and fruit. The flavor was dominated by a complex maltiness, with a hint of caramel and some slight fruitiness and an alcoholic warmth. Some hop bitterness was present to balance but overall this was a malty beer. Some herbaly, wood-like notes at the end of the tasting add a nice touch. Tasty and complex but I'm afraid it isn't as interesting to me as it once was. Still, a classic and delicious.

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

Pours dark brown with a beautiful inch of head. Very small bubbles. Smell is clean with light fruit (plum?) aroma. Very smooth. Alcohol is evident, but not distracting. Spices and slight plum flavor. The best of the red/white/blue chimay trio. Not worth the price, but still a good (not great) ale.

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Photo of trevorwideman
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a half-inch head that subsided rapidly but stuck around with a minimal but lovely lace for the entire glass. Dark colour with lots of unfiltered goodness. Malty, pleasant aroma. Taste of dark fruits and slight alcohol, to be expected from a 9% beer. Complex, but not too much so. Tangy mouthfeel, very drinkable despite high alcohol, but the price is what would keep me from drinking more than one in a session. Lovely beer, I look forward to trying others from this brewery.

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Photo of dgallina
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with bronze and copper tints. Minimal initial head that quickly dissipates into a thin layer of foam. Some lace on the glass.

Malty, toasty aroma with vinous undercurrents.

Sweet and fruity flavors. Banana with alcohol spice most prevalent Very smooth and rounded. Nice execution of the basic flavors, but not the most ambitious or complex of the Trappist strong dark ales in my opinion.

Nice weight, carbonation, and roundness in the mouth.

Very drinkable for a strong dark trappist ale. Deceptively strong.

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

The beer poured into the chalice a deep amber brown with a tall white head which lasted to coat the glass.

The aroma was fruity with belgian yeast spiciness. Also present was a dark fruit aroma, namely raisins, and a bit of caramel.

The flavor was deep, dark fruits (raisins and plums) with an ever so slight and complex molasses flavor. The belgian yeast spiciness was prominent and a slight bready/biscuit flavor was hiding in there somewhere. A definite alcohol warming was present and a caramel impression accompanied it.

The finish was dry with dark fruits and warming alcohol long into the aftertaste. The body was medium and well done. A nice complex and interesting beer.

11.2 ounce bottle, thanks poundboy.

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Photo of etaggie09
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: muddy brown with moderate-high carbonation. off white-light tan slowly diminishing head. good lacing.

Aroma: brandy, red wine, some earthy, yeasty, malty, and fruity smells as well.

Taste: good balance and a nice sort of earthy flavor. not as good as the smell belied. I can't find much in here. There's some sweet malt and alchohol presence, but not a very significant flavor.

Mouthfeel: body is just a tad thin, but the carbonation is done well.

Drinkability: Easy. 9% keeps you from drinking too many though.

Notes: Now I know why a lot of people say Chimay is overrated. I must say I agree. It lacked the complexity and flavor that I was expecting. Not a bad beer by any means, but certainly not as good as advertised.

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Photo of trumick
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown unable to see through, nice big head that lasted the entire beer with lots of lacing.

Scent is of friut, sweet malts, yeast, alcohol.

Taste is very nice, sweet rich malts, dark fruit, yeast, hops and finishes alcohol and dry. This is very complex and hard to describe, but it is very, very good.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, mouth warming, smooth, creamy and nice carbination on the higher side, makes it almost refreshing.

Drinkability is good. I would have another but I can only afford one at a time. The alcohol is a bit much, but only those two things make this beer less drinkable to me.

This is a very nice beer. I will try many more Chimay products.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Oxblood/mahogany with a fairly thin tan head. Decent duration. Some lacing. Fine, fairly mild carbonation. A bit cloudy.

Smell: Complex, but somewhat faint. Yeast funk, spice, red apple and plum; sweet and a bit sugary overall with a slight hint of rum alcohol.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Again, it's correct, adaquate, but not particularly compelling. There's yeast, spice, earth, perhaps a bit of tobacco, and a caramel apple fruitiness. It's surprisingly citrus/hoppy bitter at the finish. Also a surprise is its thin body, although there's a pleasant creaminess. Carbonation peeks in at the finish.

Drinkability: It's a nice enough beer, and lighter than its 9% ABV might suggest.

I'm not overwhelmed by this beer, which is surprising, because I'd always counted it among my favorites before I tasted it objectively. I should note that this bottle was fairly fresh and the less desirable 11.2 size.

I'll come back to this one, no doubt. As of right now, though, I much prefer their red label dubbel.

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Photo of GDMFSOB
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Chimay.
I picked up a big bottle of this at the liquor store with the promise of a free glass with the purchase. They were fresh out of glasses but I got the brew anyway, and boy am I glad I did.
The beer is dark brown in color with some hints of red. If I didn't know better i'd think I was looking at a glass of bourbon.
The off-white head dissolves quickly but leave a few bubbles around the edges resembling a glass of Pepsi or Coke.
The scent is apples, pears, grapes and cinnamon and the flavor is the same with caramel and a great malty taste.
The mouthful is tinglingly perfect. Light but not thin.
The aftertaste is fruity and malty but not very intense.
The nine percent alcohol content is fairly well hidden.
I'll definitely be returning to this one.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, dark reddish-brown. Smallish, tight head with very littel lace.
Smell is malt and a light cherry fruitiness. A bit weaker than expected.
Taste is smoky, malty, cherry, hops then alcohol late.Great complexity.
Mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy, full bodied and warms the mouth and throat.
Drinkability: If it weren't 9% ABV, I could drink this all day long. Yet another fine beer from the Belgians.

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

Pours deep red brown topped with a thick tan head. Orchard full of aroma apple, blueberry, and cinnamon. Flavors of dates, apples and oak with a dry warm finish. Mild carbonation and tongue coating mouth feel.

This is still a very complex beer. A special occasion calls for a beer like this.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

75 cl bottle, cork dated 04/03. Pours a yeasty deep chestnut color with some rust colored highlights. Greyish beige colored foam. Yeasty, dark candi sugars and malty, some ripe fruit esters, and lighter, toastier malts are all traits of the nose. Dark malty taste, with a pungent yeastiness and dark fruit notes with a light astringency in the finish that is cleansing. Higher carbonation level keeps the beer feeling airy on the tongue. I feel this is the most tasty and complex brew of the Chimay line. I'm not sure why Chimay is treated unfairly; sure they may have tweaked recipes over time, but all of their beers are still world class. I'm not a beer snob, I just like good beer... and this is good.

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Photo of TinusTime
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown with mahogany highlites. Nice off white head that grows and grows. The head is magnificent. Spritely carbonation rises up the chalice. Its almost a shame to drink it and spoil the picture. Aroma is of spice and a rich fruitcake doused with liquer. Taste is nice. Fruity malts up front followed by the Chimay spicyness and peppery notes. ( is it the yeast) Alcohol is there but not overwhelming. Nice and smooth mouthfeel-- full but not chewy. You would never guess it is 9%. Of all the Chimays I liked this one the best. Very drinkable. I would like another soon

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Photo of mntlover
2.83/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

My last Chimay it pours a dark reddish brown with nice light tan head. Aroma dark fruits, grape wine like with hints of alcohol. Taste of alcohol with a sudden burst of carbonation obscures most of flavor that is present. Malt hints of dark fruit, grape, and candy like about all I could find threw the alcohol. Mouthfeel is fine to much carbonation otherwise pretty good. Drinkability is bad could of had 2 12oz of Trois Pistoles for the price of this one 11.2 oz and they would have been more the twice as good.

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Photo of Padron4KM
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml Bomber:
Pours a dark brown with a good sized tan head that disapates to a thin cap.
Aroma is mostly smokey, a little fruity, a little spicy. Flavor is slightly sweet, dark dried fruit (somewhere between a raisin and a prune) a little spicy (clove) with just a slight touch of bitterness on the back end.

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Photo of heidelbeerg
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer. Better than the red label Chimay. Poured a nice deep mahogany color with a good creamy head. It is loaded with flavor and very balanced. A very delicious bready/yeasty malt flavor with a just barely discernable hop character. This is a great brew. The 9.00% ABV is hardly noticeable making it very dangerous because it tastes so good.

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

I've heard from alot of folks that Chimay is over-rated. I'm afraid I'm going to have to dis-agree. While not absolutely staggering, earth-shattering good, it's a very fine brew indeed, worthy of the reputation that it holds. Regretably, however, I have a little bit of a stopped up nose at the moment. As such, my sense of smell and taste are a little bit impaired. Even still, I can easily smell the yeast and spice, so typical of this style, emanting from my glass. Quite strong. A dark ruby, murky rust colour, this stuff had a nice three-quarter inch slightly off-white head on it when I poured it. Now it has subsided to little more than a frosty haze over the surface. Excellent thick, sticky lacing coats the sides of my glass, and the smell of yeast and spices is only amplified when you take a drink. The mouth feel is quite smooth and easy to drink, inspite of the carbonation level being a little bit higher than I would have anticipated. The fact that this is a 9.0%abv is well disguised. It does have a little bit of a warming sensation as it goes down, but not even close to being unpleasant or overpowering. This is my first "baptising" with Chimay, and now I'm even more excited about having the white and red label ones. Certainly I will have this again. Very Impressed.

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Photo of stangbat
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this for $8.99 a bottle when visiting my mom. Cork is dated 11/03. This is my first experience with a true Belgium ale and I'm not disappointed.

Pours a dark golden brown with minimal to no lacing. A distinct toasty aroma, very nice. Has a nice full mouthfeel, seemingly due to the high carbonation and/or alcohol. A nice toasty taste, however I can't really detect the fruity flavors others mention. I don't notice any outstanding hop flavor or bitterness, hence a nice balance and no real aftertaste.

I think I'll definitely pick up one of these every so often when I'm in Lawrence.

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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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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,630 ratings.
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