Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
7,812 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: 7,812 |  Reviews: 2,376
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4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed immensely in La Grand-Place, Bruxelles and on my couch--each time poured from bottle into a snifter-goblet and consumed over roughly 25 minutes.

A nutty-red caramel brown color with virtually no translucency. Pours a one finger head with little retention. Endearing slow streams of bubbles continually rise to feed the speckled ring on the glass. Near the bottom, thick glycerin stares up from winey-warm sips.

The overall smell is of a light brandied fruitcake. Its bready malt draws in the mouth to take a bite. The candied plums, figs, and cherries are vibrant, and toasted walnuts suggest there will be some smoke in the flavor, as well. Caramelized banana fills the middle of each breath with some vanilla overtones. Orange and some lemon pierce the boozy air, carrying along a lingering cinnamon.

The alcohol and carbonation delay emergence of taste for just a moment while all those aromas crawl up the nose to set the stage. So, the banana is pressed down enough to allow more of a red sweetness to show in the form of cherries and currants. Lots of malt carries along some roasted pear. Orange peel with nutmeg and allspice bring to mind cidery holiday cheer. An aluminum taste-blade slices into the banana some more near the end of warmer mouthfuls. I would prefer a little less of the tropical fruit and just a bit more hopspice, but I know this is a centuries-old blend that's to be respected for what it is.

The tight, fine carbonation does a lively dance on the insides of lips and all over the tongue. Working together with the booze, it creates a bright burn that's mirrored in the gut as the 9% begins to collect. The tannic dryness of a wine offsets sweetness well and makes me reach for the glass again. Wait long enough between gulps, and buccal surfaces feel almost metal-polished--a reminder that there are hops doing their part. All these moving parts keep this fat, creamy monk from smothering you--he's jolly and round, but never too heavy. A true classic religious experience.

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4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 7,812 ratings
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