Grande Réserve (Blue)
Bières de Chimay

Grande Réserve (Blue)Grande Réserve (Blue)
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #2
Ranked #587
4.33 | pDev: 10.39%
Bières de Chimay
Grande Réserve (Blue)Grande Réserve (Blue)
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 2,438 | Ratings: 8,087
Photo of Bighuge
3.55/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby with a great head that melds into "rolling hills" as the head ever so gradually dissipates. There's a pungent yeast aroma. Slight amount of fruity esters on the nose too. Fair amount of carbonation. Goes down the hatch fairly smooth for a 9% a/v. Either this beer is fairly bland or I just have a hard time identifying taste qualities in Belgian beers. I get a little sour tartness and a deeply hidden candied apple taste. I don't get much more. It is a very drinkable high alcohol beer without a lot of appealing flavors in my opinion. Blasphemy I know being such a highly regarded Trappist brew.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An outstanding beer, very close to "perfect". I agree with all the positive things said by other reviewers, and has little more to add. The spicy, oaky complexity of the aroma and flavour is "out of this world". Wonderful, lingering aftertaste. Alcohol is well hidden. Simply exceptional!

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Photo of rastaman
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great beer, dry palate with decently bitter finish, hints of chocolates, cloves, caramel (quite malty). Not my favoured Chimay, but damn good non the less.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.73/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, small fine head. Mild, sweet nose. Malty flavors, along with dark fruit thrown in. Ends on the dry-side. Enjoyed the flavor and the body, but a little rough on the tongue.

overall: 3.8
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of packetknife
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Everything about this beer was great except I couldn't drink the whole bottle. Nice pour, bits of spice but mostly fruit on the nose. The Red and Blue were available in MN. I heard the Red was better but never got to it, now I can't find it. One thing though, make sure the bottle wasn't either overly cold or sitting warm. Everybody I know ended up with an inconsistent bottle or a bad tongue.

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Photo of mophie
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of those beer-nirvana experiences. You can tell by the look (ruby-brown, rich tan head), and the aroma (dark fruit, spice, brown sugar, pepper), that this is special. The taste is so complex, yet so balanced, that God must be playing a part in there somewhere (and I am not necessarily a religious man!). Sweet, dry finish. This is a world-class beer!

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Photo of beerluvr
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This from a batch/or bottled in Jan. '01, purchased on the day of my Daughter's birth, aged with a LOT of patience for exactly 1 year in my cellar. Pours a beautiful slightly hazy ruby-ish hue, with the usual lively& effervescent Chimay head, nose is oh so slightly corky, with the "horse blanket" bouquet present. Taste - smooth maltiness followed by a nice complexity of (in order of domination)malt yeast & hops...the aftertaste just seems to evolve everytime I smack my lips, with just enough hop bitterness to make themselves known. Beautiful, a great bottle enjoyed on a great occasion! Beers of this magnitude are meant to be savored for special times.

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Photo of marc77
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Muddy brown hue, w/ hazy deep ruby when held to light. Dense, thick, creamy and smooth light tan head is well retained. Suspended aggregates of yeast from the bottle conditioning. Yeast esters are surprisingly mild, consisting of mild clove and peppermint are perceptible along with pleasantly mellow tart fruit. Nutty, dark caramel malt surface in aroma as the beer warms. The taste is initially quite sweet with raisin like contributions from the dark crystal malt (special B?) Caramelized dark candi sugar notes are also present, but aren't assertive. Mid palate dryish chocolate malt coupled w/ the light hop bitterness lend a bittersweet note and tart fruity esters akin to unripe plums emerge. Moderate in body, w/ a smooth, dextrinous and agreeable mouthfeel that helps facilitate the superb drinkability. Finishes w/ notes of maple sugar and woodiness lingering briefly on the palate. This 750 ml is quite young, being bottled 9/01. Certainly worthy of cellaring. Although not the most complex Dark Strong, Grande Reserve is refined in overall character, being both very flavorful, yet restrained enough to prevent any cloying qualities. Delicious. I'm re-reviewing this. The 750 ml bottle is much more balanced and tasty all around. A true classic.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I went to a excellent German restaurant / pub called Ludwigs with the wife here in Philly. I must say as far as the beer list goes, the place is heaven sent. The food was excellent too...back to the beer--> Presentation: 33cl (11.2oz.) capped bottle. Exceptional brew, it has a copper / hazy / foggy appearance to it. A excellent malty sweetness that is well balanced with the peppery yeast spiciness that gives a nice alcohol warming sensation. Overall a excellent brew!

9% abv.

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Photo of pbrian
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33 cl bottle, not dated. An excellent beer, no doubt. Another one of the world class beers that are so drinkable at 9% but it just didn't have the depth I was anticapating. Maybe I drank it too young but I'd much rather have a 75 cl bottle of Trios Pistoles for the same price.

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Photo of John
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 33cl (11.2oz.) capped bottle. Exceptional brew all the way around. Gorgeous dark and hazy appearance. Big malty sweetness blends with peppery yeast spiciness and pleasant alcohol warming sensation. A brew to savor on a special occasion.

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Photo of bk3nj
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one beer that will make you silly quicker than you would ever expect.. It's STRONG, but it tastes so good (very complex fruit notes), you'd never realize what it's doing to you.. This is made by monks?!? They must have a wicked sense of humor..

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Photo of mmthompson33
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer demands respect. To fully appreciate it, it should be drank at the proper temperature, and hope that you have a good bottle, because the quality can vary. But if you get one of the good's heaven. Incredible head and aroma, with a surprisingly light, fruity complex taste for its dark color. And some serious 9% kick. Drinking this beer at a campground near the brewery in Chimay, Belgium (where a 750ml bottle is $2.50) was a religious experience.

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Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 8087 ratings