Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
Liked This Beer
4.3 w/ 7,801 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

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Ratings: 7,801 |  Reviews: 2,372
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look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a chalice

a: pours a deep brown, white head quickly reducing to a thin film.

s: malts, dark fruits such as plums, raisins, and figs, some yeastiness

t: fruity and rich, high carbonation, dark fruits, caramel and brown sugar, giving a very light richness to the beer. almost a bubbly champagne-like quality, while still full-bodied.

o: a very enjoyable BSDA, very widely available as well, perhaps a bit high carbonation, but very nice regardless.

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look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In my opinion this is one of the most overrated beers.

Ofcourse, it's a great lable, a great bottle and a great brewery. But more objectively seen: this is just a very poor beer. It really doesn't deserve 95 out of 100.

L: average look and top;
S: candy sugar and cream; but where are the levels/depths we know from St. Bernardus and Gulden Draak? No flowers, no spices, no bitterishness.
T: even more poor; very straightforward, without any depth. Cream can be mentioned.
M: okay; drinkable;
O: very disappointing. This really isn't the big guy that many people think it is.

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look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottling:

A: opaque body produced a half-glass of head with a center-pour into a tulip glass. Head of well-defined fine bubbles showed good retention, persisting throughout the session.

S: immediate soft, sweet dark fruits, like dates and figs, maybe some brown banana

T: crisper than the nose, bitterness tones down the fruitier notes and adds backbone. Now, you’re drinking. Tart yeasts populate the brown malty character. Some cocoa/carob notes as it warmed.

M: medium-weight, frisky carbonation and bitters; some slickness on top of the tongue. Spark of astringence on the finish.

O: Among the BSDAs, I have a few stand-outs: Allagash’s Odyssey, Unibroue’s Maudite, AleSmith’s Grand Cru – which taste different (to me) than the Chimay, which is slightly less to my liking. However, that said, this beer is indubitably among the standards by which all beers of the style are compared. You can’t argue with 150 years of Trappist brewing. Take note: devotees of the style as well as advocates of beer in general should include this in their beer education.

2011 (?) bottling:

A: deep ruby brown; fine bubbled head settles into a rim and film, leaving speckles of lace up the sides

S: caramel malts, some dark fruit notes

T: fresh yeast tops the dark fruits and sweet malts; a little sweeter than I'd expected

M: medium-bodied, fizzy, tiny little sour notes remain in the aftertaste

O: I have heard this was a benchmark beer for the BSDA, and since I haven't had one since my first (before I started reviewing beer), I figured I should come back to it and check it out again.
Yes, it is a true BSDA, but it is not my favorite BDSA - however, you need to try it if you like Belgian beers/strong dark ales.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 93.1% out of 100 with 7,801 ratings
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