Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

7,783 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: 7,783 |  Reviews: 2,369
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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Photo of jbowers56
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, Chimay. The old standby, and one of my first truly inspiring craft beer experiences.

Forms a slightly larger bubbled head than im used to with this style, but stays around for a good amount of time. Laces well. A deep brown colour with some golden hues.

Good one. Plenty of ripe fruits - pear, fig and even perhaps some orange. A lot lighter on the nose than I remember. Some of that typical belgian phenolic profile presents itself as well. All supported by a rich malty presence. Unmistakeably belgian.

Overcarbed. Perhaps not Chimay's fault, it's gone a long way. Alright, swirled it a lot and now lets get down to business. Big malty presence, more so than on the nose. Seems to lean more on brown/special malts than super dark malts for the flavours and colour here. Toffee, and christmas pudding is what i'm getting. Those fruity notes are there, but maybe some banana bread also coming in. A very, very good beer. Spicy phenolics and hop bitterness blend perfectly to balance this big belgian ale.

The overcarbonation hasn't helped the mouthfeel. It's full, but also just a touch hollow.

A good beer, for sure. I've had his tasting a touch better, but this is just fine as an example of this classic belgian strong ale. Underrated amongst beer geeks, for sure. I prefer Rochefort though....

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Photo of doktorhops
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #100. Something special = Chimay Blue.

I've been wanting to polish off this bottle since trying (and loving) Duvel, but I wanted to make it a special occasion, and what could be more special than a century of reviews? Well many things, but let's not think long and hard about that whilst waiting for our Chimay to get up to temperature. Let's think about the last 99 brews; the triumphs, the surprises, the mediocre, the God awful *cough*VB*cough* and all the other tastes in the rich global tapestry that is beer culture, viva beer!

Poured from a 750ml corked bottle (got to have it corked people) into a large brandy glass.

A: This has got to be the brownest brown I've ever seen in a beer; my colour wheel states the body is a deep chocolate and the head is a firm 1.5cm fawn.

S: In a word; nice. You know you're in for a 9% ale here - the aromas are rich candied fruits, toffee, toasted biscuit and morello cherries. A very sweet and full fragrance, fantastic but not quite as good as Duvel which is more crisp and pear/apple based, however this is my personal preference.

T: Bold, very bold flavours here. They begin with a heavy biscuit base followed by the sour cherries the sweet candied fruits (think again cherries but also with added figs and plums), slight hop bitterness and a long dry finish. Super effort here. Duvel's evil twin if I had to pick it; Duvel is all crisp and light whereas this is dark and heavy. There is an alcohol note towards the end, but of course it is a 9% beer! [duh]

M: Very even bodied brew for the ABV - mid to heavy with medium carbonation and the dryness of Blue means that it doesn't cloy the palate like the other heavy beers out there.

D: The more Belgian Tripels I drink the more I'm beginning to believe that it isn't all about hops - it's yeast that makes an outstanding brew. Think about it: every Belgian brewer talks about the "mystical yeast" strain that they've isolated and keep in a large concrete vault 500 meters underneath their abbey which is guarded by cyborg gorillas that feed off the remains of beer aficionados and international spies that attempt to steal the formula. It's all about the yeast people! Anyhow I digress, how is Chimay Blue overall? It's a very close second place to Duvel in my opinion. However going off taste alone is difficult because everyone has their own taste and another mans Duvel may be another mans Victoria Bitter, ergo: beer is in the taste of the beer-taster.

Food match: Chimay Blue is so dry that it's a palate cleansing beer, i.e. game on when it comes to food. However I would recommend a meal befitting the quality (and cost) of this brew; caviar, lobster, truffles, foie gras, rare mushrooms that can only be purchased in Japan, baby panda's, etc.

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Photo of seesnow3
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 8/11, Chimay goblet
Pour-Thick and terribly rich head, fades but holds at a thick foam broken but very even lacing, rich and foamy, Cloudy brown with just a touch of orange

Nose-Hops, chocolate, floral?, very smooth flow and rich presence

Palate-Bitter, light milk chocolate, slight floral notes?, dark fruits (currants and others), very nice

Body-Heavy and rich, creamy, some effervescence, medium flavor
Finish-Light and sweet chocolate, some bitter, very nice beer with a very nice texture, high quality top notch stuff

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Photo of korguy123
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby bottle into tulip.
Review from notes.

A- Extra hazy dark brown pour. Looks like burnt caramel. Finger width eggshell head of large bubbles. Dissipates to a 1/8" cap hovering the top. Lacing is minimal.

S- Brown sugar, vanilla, dark fruits fresh baked bread with wonderful Belgian yeast and toasted marshmallows.

T- Dark fruits, Belgian yeast, brown sugar, vanilla, toasted marshmallows. Not nearly as sweet as the nose would lead on but still very satisfying.

M- Medium bodied, carbonation is lively on the tongue and sticky sweet on the lips..

O- Oh man what isn't to be said about this beer. It's simply magical and I wish it was readily available to me.

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Photo of haywire77
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brew poured a muddy orange/brown with massive amounts of slightly off white head bubbling over the side of my snifter.

Smell is sugary sweet malts and maybe some fig and that classic Belgian yeast smell. Am I in a bakery in Belgium? When I think of beer, this is the scent that comes to mind.

Taste is bready sweet malts just like the nose. There is a little alcohol in here, but I want to say there is no way it's 9%. Dark fruit comes through the unwashed hop presence.

Mouthfeel is about as good as it gets for the style. Medium bodied and clean on the palate with a nice bubbly carbonation that tickles the nose and taste buds.

Overall this is up there with the great ones. I could drink this all night if it weren't for the fact it might put me on my backside rather quickly.

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Photo of hiku7
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I split a 750 ml with my wife. This was a nice big strong ale that went well with chocolate.

Poured opaque brown with hints of orange. It had a light tan thick head that retained foam and lacing well.

Smelled doughy, a bit yeasty with some funk and spice. Some raisiny esters. Not as much nose on it as I expected. Taste was molasses, toffee, and caramel, with some nuttiness. Low bitterness, mild tartness and a bit of spice.

Full bodied and viscous, almost a bit syrupy with some residual sweetness. Smooth moderate carbonation.

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Photo of fx20736
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Goblet. Served directly from the cellar, so approximately 60-63f.

A beautiful color between Claret and Umber or a few shades deeper than a fine Sherry. Noticeable carbonation provides a thick Cappuchino colored head that takes a long time to settle and leaves a creamy coat of lacing.

A dark fruit nose reminiscent of Dates and Figs with some alcohol esters and a molasses like sweetness and just a whiff of hops.

A soft and supple mouthfeel which glides effortlessly around the tongue.

Malty, sweet and boozy, lots of dark fruits here including some dark cherry and some tongue tipped bitterness on the fade. As the beer warms a burnt toffee edge creeps in.

Notes: I had planned to cellar until the Holidays but couldn't resist so I took this cool Autumn day and popped the cork. So glad I tried this one.

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Photo of MsRif
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle during my quad phase. Poured a nice light brown color with a beige head (moderate) that stayed throughout the session. Very minor lacing. Aroma was that of mild spice, cocoa, dark fruits and yeast/bread. Tastes of dark fruits, yeast, mild spices...very complex and well balanced.

Medium bodied with good carbonation. Smooth and the ABV! Very good...would have again...and again...

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Photo of jbakajust1
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 with a few others, poured into an over sized wine globe.

A - Pours a hazy deep chestnut w/ light brown highlights and a 1.5 finger fluffy beige head that persists to a thick cap. Leaves no lace, but this puppy has legs.

S - Smells of spicy alcohol, chocolate, sweet malts, dark fruits, and rich breads.

T - Tastes of plums and pears, spiciness, rose water, chocolate, juicy dark fruits, and bread dough.

M - Smooth and sweet on the palate, with effervescent bubbles. Balanced to the malts, and way too drinkable. Alcohol is barely noticable.

O - Very good, rich, complex, deep, and way too drinkable. Had to go back for another glass once the second bottle was opened.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark brown, cloudy, with a bit of sediment and a thin white head that doesn't fade. Dark fruits, black pepper, and caramel in the aroma. Soft, velvety texture that is full of caramel, toast, black pepper, a little banana, and butter. A little heat from the 9% ABV warms on the way down.

As with most Trappist beers, the more it warms and the more you savor this, the more complex and delicious it becomes. A 25 ounce bottle is not enough!

Outstanding. A must-have

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Photo of claaark13
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

1986 stub bottle. Man, I wish I could post the photo of this one. Rusted cap, disintegrating label. After my pour, the section of label that had touched my hand was attached and looked like pieces of ash. Just wonderful. Prepare to read "for its age" a lot.

A - Interesting. The bottle opened with a nice hiss. Poured a light brown, lighter of course than a fresh pour. Acceptable amount of lacing, which returned upon sifting. For its age, it looks great.

S - Not quite as much musty aroma as I'd expected, but it's there. Little bit of bread, little bit of malt. Not too powerful.

T - Actually pretty good. The flavors have combined well together and created a smooth flavor. The dust flavor upfront and significant dryness at the end made this interesting for me.

M - Well it couldn't be much better for its age, but it could certainly be worse. A little thin, but that's because most of the body was stuck to the bottom of the bottle.

O - I'm giving this one an exceptional overall score. I'd happily drink it again, but that could be more of a personal preference than a recommendation. From my experiences, drink this one in the 5-8 year range, or somewhere after the 11 year area and before the 25 year area once it gets better again.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.59/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

1986 vintage shared at Cam's house for his birthday

I got the bottom of the bottle so it poured very cloudy.

A. Dark brown with tons of yeast

S. Sweet dark maltiness, lots of dark fruit

T. Very thin flavor with dust and chalk. Some dark malt

M. Very thin

D. Good, but not phenomenal. I'll have to put up a newer vintage review at some point.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1986 vintage courtesy of Sean.... Thanks man. This is a treat.

Cap breaks on opening

Pours a fairly clear light brown. Looks pretty decent.
Smells sweet and malty. Pretty light and nice on the nose. Tastes light and maybe a touch fruity. Malty, sweet, the mouthfeel is a bit weak. But tastes really nice.

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Photo of tony223366
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From my beer journal. Reviewed on September 17, 2011.

A: Dark brown with a slight reddish hue. Very cloudy. Thick white head. 2 fingers quickly turned into almost nothing.

S: Sweet maltiness lies up front. Tons of dark fruits hit and then a definite sugariness. Tons of dark fruits turn into some alcohol leaking in at the end.

T: Follows the nose. Seriously rich malts up front followed by rich dark fruits. Big alcohol flavors carries you through.

M: Love the carbonation! It's needed to help you roll through this malty beast. Medium body.

O: Another great Trappist beer. Love it

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Photo of Jimmys
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle into tulip. all for myself.

A: bustling dark reddish/white head. tries to make its way out of the glass. resides back down to a reasonable size. some lacing. a sort of murky brown color. besides the head, not exactly a pretty brew to look at.

S: a fudge-like chocolate aroma. brown sugar and caramel. maybe a little toffee. a slight grape aroma gives it a champagne-like quality. almost floral. not sure if that is a fruity smell or from the hops, but it is unique.

T: tobacco and chocolate. maybe a little cedar woodiness? molasses. fruitiness as well. figs, pears, and grapes. a sweetness that is there, but not puckering or in your face. finish is dry. very dry. alcohol is a non-factor

M: highly vibrant carbonation. close to champagne-like. tastes medium-bodied even if the alcohol is closer to full-bodied. it's nice to see successful bottle conditioning, but wouldnt hate the carbonation to be a little more subdued.

D: im not finding this ridiculously complex, but extremely clean. solid flavors. i find the very strong carbonation actually hinders some of the more nuanced flavors. i enjoy having this bottle from start to finish to note the flavor and aroma differences as the bottle warms and the CO2 escapes.

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Photo of samie85
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a deep chestnut color with dense, meringue-like head that stays around for awhile.

S-Smells of fruity and light clove notes and some plum and raisin notes.

T-Rich plum and light hints of clove with figs and notes of brown sugar.

M-Medium bodied and slick with moderate carbonation and a slight alcohol warmth.

D-Wow, this one surprised me. I haven't ever really loved BSDA's/Quad's, but this one is very subtle and delicious.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. slightly chilled bottle poured into the good ol' Chamay chalice.

A: Vigorous pour produces a dark brown, cloudy elixir and yields a two finger off-white/tan head. Like other Chimay beers, a beautiful lacing remains throughout the entire drink.

S: Smell is very sweet with some dark fruits and a bit of alcohol.

T: Grape is the dominating fruit here. There's a lot of Belgian sugar and yeast flavor, as well. The taste is pretty outstanding. The 9% is pretty well hidden, though it peeks through as it warms.

M: Obscenely amazing. The beer coats the inside of the mouth and sends a cascade of the beer effortlessly down the throat. Medium body with medium carbonation.

O: Probably my favorite offering from Chimay. The taste is amazing...the mouthfeel is borderline orgasmic. Trappist beers seem to always have a certain element to them that makes them legendarily good. This is also probably my personal top BSDA. Thank God it's readily available in the US for a pretty good price. There is really no comparison.

I can die a happy man having enjoyed this.

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Photo of chocosushi
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Goblet

A ~ Pours brown with a Royal Purple hue with very fine carbonation. This particular bottle erupted when poured.

S ~ Deep candi sugar notes & loads of every dark fruit one could think of (prunes, plums, grapes, etc) with an undercurrent of smooth grains.

T ~ Candi Sugar, Belgian Caramelized Malts with Plum,Dates Yeast mid-palette. Grapeskins & Soft Floral notes on the back end. Touch of white pepper on the finish.

M ~ Full in body. Great balance for the style. Dark fruit notes are kept in check and are not too ester-driven. Bitterness is mild. Carb is perfect to style. Heat is present, yet subdued compared to other examples.

D ~ Drink this about once a year & it never ceases to amaze. Pairs very well with food and is very satisfying at any occassion. A great intro to Belgian Darks.

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

Brown in appearance with a strong foam. The smell is, well, very nice. The smell is rich and promising. This is very nice on the mouth, overall the taste is good. We found this beer to be a nice surprize. With 9% ABV this drinks more like a barley wine. A nice drinking beer never the less. Will go well with beef and gravy..

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a gift set of three with Chimay "Chalice" at Costco. Coding : L11-135 043286.

Opened with distinct rush of carbonation and pleasant yeasty aroma. I poured this rather gingerly to NOT unduly disturb the yeast sediment at bottom of bottle, into the chalice provided. Pours a lovely ruddy brown,hazy due to being unfiltered. (Reminds me of some of my own homebrew!) The monks are right about using the chalice, the head lasts a fair amount of time, delicately lacing the glass. The taste improves with every sip, being fruity and yeasty,very complex; you can discern the alcohol in this , but pleasantly. Highly enjoyable!

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,783 ratings.
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