Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

7,753 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,753 |  Reviews: 2,363
Photo of J4de
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

33cL bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter at home. 4 years from best before date/served at 10°C.

Appearance - Had to be extra careful pouring - obstinate airy cream coloured head, noisy at that, with crackles and pops. Deep leather brown which lets through almost no light and ember spot reflections. Head collapses into curvy lumps.

Smell - Can't help thinking of Tarte Tatin: caramelised cooked apples. As well as a subtle fresh outdoors smell.

Taste - Again, caramel but also licorice and almost salty. Very slightly bitter.

Mouthfell - Great mouthfeel: as in the glass, very frothy. Full and creamy. Almost a wine consistency, leaves a very wet aftertaste.

Overall - Great beer, which gets better once finished, amazing aftertaste. Looking forward to trying the other Chimays, as well as different Trappistes. Will be having this again and highly recommend it.

 879 characters

Photo of karatebartender
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of CellarGimp
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of celticfutblclub
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of garuda
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of shuajw
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of justintcoons
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of beui
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of avaldivia
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of bombadil
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of WesM63
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 11.2oz Bottle, poured into a Stella Tulip.

A: Darker brown almost caramel color. Good strong 2 finger creamy white-brown head.

S: Slightly sweet with a malty aroma.

T: Delicious?! Starts sweet and fruity (fig?) with a malty middle and slight alcohol finish.

M: Medium body, just about perfect.

O: First time reviewing on BA. A fine example of a Belgian Ale.

 376 characters

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

appearance - hazy iced tea, light tan head

smell - slight alcohol, vinous characteristics, big raisin notes, other dark fruits like plum, HUGE juicy concord grape, toasted sweetness, light caramel maltiness

taste - smooth sweetness, raisin, caramel. a bit of spice in the middle of the tongue. quite a big yeast presence. light bitterness on the finish, faint alcohol warming up from the chest slowly to the back of the tongue.

mouthfeel - prickly effervescence, creamy mouthfeel with a lighter medium body, but nice richness.

delicious beer, crazy how much it smells like a red wine or grape juice. dangerously drinkable. i wouldn't necessarily say it's a top 5, but it's for sure a world class brew.

 706 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750. A loud POP as the cork was removed set the stage.

Amber-brown and a bit cloudy, absolutely huge head with tremendous staying power and great lace, and lots of tiny rising bubbles.

Smell is a nice blend of fruits, lots of great malts, caramel and bready, brown sugar and Belgian yeast.

Tastes very good. There's an up front fruitiness, mostly dark fruits like figs and raisins, with some plums and pears. Malts are well represented, it's a bit non-specific although the smell reminds me more of caramel malt than anything else. Light brown sugar flavors make it somewhat sweet, but still with an element of dryness typical of the Belgian styles. Yeast flavors round things out nicely.

Body is medium and very well carbonated. Slightly dry, malty aftertaste. Alcohol warming.

Overall it's an excellent beer, as was expected from Chimay.

 862 characters

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

330cc bottle poured into a Chimay goblet
A: Dark brown with a one-finger lingering head.
S: Rich toasted bread/malt. Not complex but pure and bold.
T: Roasted malt, toast, fig... I don't know how to describe it but this tastes like the color brown.
M: Rich, toasted and bold. The 9% ABV is well integrated.
O: Tasty and enjoyable.

 330 characters

Photo of flyingpig
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2010 bottle, cellared for around 9 months and poured into a teku glass.

Pours a dark sort of reddish brown almost chestnut colour with a tan white head about two fingers width high. The head appears quite bubbly that stays put for quite some time before finally reducing to a thin lacing over the surface of the beer. It may have something to do with the fancy teku glass I poured it into but even after the head recedes this one still looks fantastic.

Surprisingly sweet but still not overly, it smells of dark roasted malts and a strong but very pleasant alcohol aroma to it. There is a fair bit of fruit to this one as well like dates and perhaps some fig. I also detected some brown sugar and vanilla as well but this seems to come and go. As the beer sits and gets a chance to open up a little some chocolate and spice become more pronounced as well. A very complex smelling beer & one that is great on the nose.

Again quite sweet upfront with a a faint alcohol kick to it that is part sugar, part spice. Some good chocolatey malts and hints of caramel along with the dark fruits noted in the smell. An amazing taste to this one with a malty sweetness and a great creamy taste added to the fact the beer is incredibly well balanced and tastes great.

Medium bodied and quite rich on the palate with medium carbonation. It is really smooth and goes down much easier than a 9% beer should. There is still a solid alcohol kick to it and the finish is relatively light in bitterness.

Simply amazing, this beer is without a doubt one of the best I have tried so far. It has great depth and an fantastic smell coupled with a solid feel and brilliant taste, it's almost perfect. No doubt one that I'll find myself going back to time and time again, perhaps not quite as much as some slightly less rich beers but definitely a world class ale & one that you should definitely try if you haven't already. I'll be picking up a few more of these to cellar pretty soon.

Featured in my 1001 Beers to Try Before You Die Blog:

 2,067 characters

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

I've had this in two forms (the 750ml corked and the 12oz capped bottle) and have the 3L waiting for my graduation from seminary in 2012. The beer pours a murky brown color with an off white The smell is he least boozy of the trappists with a very sweet dried fruit smell with some yeast. The taste is smooth and crisp witha very sweet finish of sugary fruits. the smell is sugary and dried fruit. This is a great beer to share with new comers to the beer world. I've never had a person not like this heavy hitting beer.

 520 characters

Photo of BrewStoutMagic
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this fine ale from the small 11.2 bottles of the sample pack. The appearance was dark with ruby coming through as it held to the light.Smell was malty and little bit fruity. Taste was bitter and dry with a dark fruit after taste. This is a strong tasting ale but very good.I'd buy more if they cost less.Ha ha

 315 characters

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

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a Chimay chalice/goblet/whatever.

Looks a bit like iced tea or prune juice with a half inch tan head that goes away fairly quickly and does not really leave much lacing to speak of.

The smell is of raisins, dark fruits, caramel, sweet malts.

The mouthfeel is exceptional. The taste is almost reminiscent of a wine. The dark fruits and sweetness shine through, with a bit of alcohol warmth on the back end. A damn fine beer. Maybe a bit above my level. I definitely like and respect it, but can't say it would be a regular in my fridge. It's a good winter warmer, for sure.

 612 characters

Photo of dunit697
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer I believe is a bit high-brow for me honestly. I can recognize its incredible taste and mouthfeel, but to me this beer is up on a cloud and not as easily sensible/accessible as others, but is still an incredible beer and likley the best I have tasted.

 260 characters

Photo of match1112
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: dark reddish brown body with a three finger tan head that takes it's time leaving.

s: sweet, bready malts, yeast, figs and plums.

t: tastes like a liquid fig newton. definatly taste the bread and figs.

m: medium to heavy body. maybe a little too much carbonation, or maybe i didnt give it enough time to setttle down. once again with chimay there is a long dry finish with a little warmth from the alochol.

o: my favorite of the three that chimay has to offer.

 468 characters

Photo of GreenJetta912
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great head upon pouring into a goblet. poured to the fill line, the head pokes out the top but didn't overflow. 3 fingers and great retention and lacing.

The nose is a little hint of malty alcohol but the main component it a spicy, bready yeast character.

The middle is malty sweet and carmelly with a spicy belgian yeast character. I'd kill to use this strain of yeast in some homebrew. TASTES LIKE SOURDOUGH BREAD. Carmelly, a hint of alcohol and a perfect mouthfeel. crisp carbonation.

The finish is spicy (yeast) and warming. Great warmer for a chilly November afternoon.

btw- vintage 5-11

 597 characters

Photo of karait95
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark looking, well carbonated beer forming a big light brown head,

S: A lot of alcohol is present, also fruits can be sensed at first dark malts, toasted malts in the back with almost null hops.

T: Toasted malts, little hops, alcohol can be tested and also dark fruits maybe prunes.

M: Even it is a balanced beer the alcohol is a little high, not bad for the style but always complicating the structure.

No doubts one of the best representatives of Belgian beer.

 470 characters

Photo of zimm421
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz stubby bottle into a tulip glass. Appears a dark brown color with nice reddish hues. The head is fluffy, thick, bubbly and leaves great lacing.

Nose is sadly muted. I was hoping for much more here. Definitely sweet, caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. There's also some alcohol coming through, but not too much. Taste is more balanced, but starts out very sweet with the dark fruit and brown sugar coming through nicely. The alcohol is very noticeable in each sip, especially as it warms. Finishes with some floral notes, not real bitter on the end.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, nice carbonation and goes down great. Has some nice bite on the tongue. Overall, a great beer. Even more complexities come though as it warms and really makes you think with each sip. Definitely a great brew that every preson should have at least once.

 853 characters

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,753 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More