Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
7,882 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:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,882 |  Reviews: 2,393
Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've been drinking this one for years, in both 11 oz and 750 ml bottles, young and aged. Finally getting around to reviewing this one. Pours a nice mahogany color, with a creamy topping of meringue-like foam. Aromas of booze soaked fruits, brown sugar and Belgian yeast. Rich, thick and full bodied, with flavors of brown sugar, Belgian yeast, chocolate, booze and raisins.

 373 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.76/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown. The hazy soft brown makes it look a bit heavy. On top is an active explosion of bubbles. Retention is moderate, though lacing lacks a bit.

I didn't get much in the smell. A bit malty, but nothing else stood out.

The taste is all Belgian. Sweet dark fruits dominate the taste buds, with a little alcohol in the finish.

The mouthfeel follows the taste. Early on, it's sweet. There's some spiciness in the middle, as well as some cleansing carbonation. The swallow is all heat from the alcohol.

Despite the high ABV and the obvious heat from it, it's pretty tame for 9%. In addition, you've got the bite from the carbonation. It's an intense beer, but never is overpowering in any way and because of that, actually goes down pretty well.

 760 characters

Photo of skypup
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

.33L Bottle served in a Chimay Chalice

Unfiltered Copper color; thick foamy head.

Definitive yeast/biscuit odor. Has a hint of fruitiness.

You can slightly pick up the alcohol, fruitiness and mild tartness; Smooth on the palate.

Good drinkability; this is a great beer, comparable with other Chimay Beers.

 309 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.62/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet in low altitude Galway, Ireland.

A:Pours a two finger head of fair cream and nice thickness. Textbook dark amber colour. Good retention for the ABV.

Sm: Dark fruits. Typical of trappist ales. Quite lovely. Complex.

T: Dark fruit body. Complex; not as much as the Westy 12. Finish is too short; the notes don't linger as long as they ought to. Very balanced, but not as complex as it should be. Built well overall for the style.

Mf: Wet but coarse. Not decisively either category. Could be better.

Dr: Hides its ABV very well. Easily downable repeatedly, but not special.

 622 characters

Photo of blackcrow911
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Ommegang snifter
A - A redish brown color with a off white head, a coffee look to the head.

S - Yeast, like a bread.

T - Tastes like raisins, and grapes.

M - Very smooth.

O - Not what I was expecting in a beer, reminds me of a wine, but very good. Will buy again.

 283 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark brown opaque body with plenty of sediment. Slightly offwhite head with low retention, and a thin rootbeer type bubbling.

Smell - Alcoholic. Boring. Worst part about the beer.

Taste - Woah. That is good. Different and good. Strong yet very balanced.

Mouthfeel - Nice and active on the tongue.

Overall - I love this beer. Best trappist i've had since the Rochefort 10.

 388 characters

Photo of MufflnMan
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have a 2007 Jeroboam of this I can't wait to try. This pour was from a 750ml into a Chimay chalice. Everything you could want and ask for of a strong dark ale. Gorgeous contrast of the dark brown body with the white lacy head. Intensely complex smell of fruits and spices. Taste follows suit with the most incredible balance of flavors. Somehow, even with its complexity and 9% abv this is still so easy to drink, but I wouldn't dare do anything but sip this. Overall, as close as it gets to perfect.

 500 characters

Photo of drowninginhops
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in Chimay glass one (1) year after date printed on cork.
A: Hazy brown. with white head that is just perfect.
S: Yeasty with alcohol in the back
T: Indeterminante fruits with some hop
M: Flawless. creamy with perfect carvontion.
D: Almost too high not the type of beer that you would want to put back quickly but is so well made that it could be done easily. But at ~10% ABV you would not get thru too many.

 415 characters

Photo of chefelf
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this one several times but never posted before. I love anything by Chimay. If you took a Heineken and crossed out the name and scribbled "Chimay" on the bottle with a Sharpie I'd probably enjoy it a lot more. Come to think of it, that may be a far cheaper way for me to get beers I enjoy.

I don't know if the blue label is my favorite of the Chimay line but it is very, very good.

 390 characters

Photo of MadCat
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33cl bottle poured into my Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Hazy brown with a short white-ish brown head, leaves good lacing.

Smell: Sweet, fruity, plums, grapes, berries, bread

Taste: Sweet, tart, and a little bitter at the same time, with sweet winning out. Theres hints of plums, grapes, cranberries, and other berries. Some hints of port in there as well. A bit of earthiness to it too. The flavors improve at it warms a bit, getting more complex, with the flavors melding better.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with crisp carbonation, relatively smooth, getting smoother as it warms, likely due to losing a little carbonation.

Overall: This is one of my personal top 5 beers. If I were rich, I would drink this on a semi-regular basis. Its a sipper, but drinks real easy for the abv. Will revisit this next time I get a 75cl bottle (or even the magnum!)

 850 characters

Photo of AEK
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml brown bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A. Cloudy brown-red beer with an off-white, candy floss like head.

S. Some fruity notes, sugary sweetness and a trace of bananas lurking about too.

T. Cherry fruit like taste at the forefront. Dried fruit stones and a touch of honey.

M. Medium bodied.

D. Certainly NOT the beer it was a few years back when Brother Thomas was in charge of brewing, there's a lot of complexity lacking in there these days. For me, this can no longer be classed as a 'classic' Trappist beer.

 526 characters

Photo of BarleyStud
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted the 2010 Grand Reserve. The fun starts with the upside down and slow rotation to mix the yeast. This is followed by an explosive cork pop that wields a nice waft of carbon fog. A fruit filled scent precedes the pour.

A wine snob would call it complex with a long on the palate finish. A little too strong on the alcohol, but it had a good caramel flavor. A very nice, long laster with a mouthful of taste. It will definitely age well in the cellar. Loved it.

 467 characters

Photo of socon67
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang snifter
A - Pours caramel brown with a very inviting cream colored foam. There is slight carbonation present.

S - Smells of bread, dark fruit, and a rum liquer. Almost reminds me of a rum cake around the holidays.

T - Tastes sweet with flavors of plum, raisins, and dark cherries. Goes into a booziness of a spiced rum, and then finishes crisp with the tawny bite of a port wine. Just an excellent blend of complex flavors.

M - Probably its best quality, this ale is insanely smooth and a wonderful texture that can go with a nice meal, as a cocktail drink, or an after dinner appertif.

O - Yeah, this is really good. Since it is generally easy to get in the states, it is a must buy for those looking for a high end belgian ale.

 758 characters

Photo of Intrinsic
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maybe I just got lucky, but the head on this ale could not look any more perfect. Its incredibly dense and has better retention than I've ever seen. Grande Réserve is a dark caramel colour and lets very little light through the goblet its in.

The smell is remarkable, with notes of spice, bread and hops all intertwined in a complex dance that excites the senses. The taste takes it one step further, with a very earthy, heavy malt that completely lacks sweetness. The bitterness is almost overwhelming but stops just short of that, creating a unique blend of flavours that seems close to perfect. Bread, earth, spice and hops all play a part.

As the dense head would suggest, this beer is very creamy, very heavy, and, to my delight, very dry. Its so heavy I think I'll only need one of these for now, but I will definitely drink another when I see it. Grande Réserve is a wonderful beer.

 893 characters

Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice, dark brown color with a brown head in a duvel tulip glass. Smell is fruits and spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon). The nice yeasty bready notes are inviting and the flavor gives you a helping of creaminess and deliciousness. This is among the best ales (if not THE best) and definitely one of the best beers I've ever enjoyed.

It also must be noted that for a 9% ABV drink, the content is misleading as the alcohol is perfectly hidden and the drinkability is superb!

Definitely an ale that will remain in my home on a permanent basis.

 541 characters

Photo of alkemy
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Out of an 11.2 ouncer...

A - Pours a murky, slightly rusty brown. A couple fingers of thick and creamy tan head sit above.

S - Although not real powerful, the smell is spectacular. Dark fruits are most notable for me. Plums, figs, and tart cherries. Then a doughy cinnamon shows up. That Belgian yeast is surely there, but again, a bit subtle. There's also a hint of clove and just enough alcohol that you have to hunt for it.

T - Follows the aroma quite a bit. Nothing overpowering. Everything just works together...sum of the parts thing. The dark fruits are there at the beginning and never really disappear. The balance between the spiciness and sweetness is perfect. I did notice a woody apple note that never appeared in the nose. Taste is impressive.

M - Starts creamy, but does have a little bite toward the end. Actually makes it feel refreshing...pretty good for 9%.

D - In a word. Unreal.

My first 5.0!

 921 characters

Photo of raszputini
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional ale. This is my favorite of the Chimays, so I made it my birthday brew this year. Pours dark brown with a creamy fizzy head. Smells of dark fruits and belgian yeast with a hint of alcohol due to the ABV. Moderate and tingly mouth feel. Taste is complex, with dark fruits, candy, chocolate, belgian sugars, phenols, and very sweet and mild hop character. This one is too easy to drink for the ABV - be careful.

 424 characters

Photo of russwbeck
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown pour with a dense head, off white in color. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Smell is really heavy. Dark fruits, plums and raisons among others, mix with a maltiness that make it pretty distinct.

T: Extremely well balanced. The dark fruits and the malts blend nicely with the alcohol, which is more present as it warms. Very sweet, but not in a way that you can't drink it.

MF: The carbonation is very nice, medium bodied and only hints of alcohol.

D: Really good. I can't wait to try one with some age on it.

 524 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown w/ a two finger caramel head. The smell is that of fruit, clove, malt, and alcohol, w/ a little rum mixed in. The taste is fantastic- rum soaked fruit, w/ an earthy-ness, alcohol, and malt. Mouthfeel is nice- very creamy, smooth, w/ an alcohol burn for the aftertaste. I don't mind the alcohol at all, in fact, I think it adds to the overall taste of this beer. Drinkability is great. 9% ABV isn't overwhelming, and this beer goes down pretty easily. Not my favorite Belgian, but the first 'world-class' Belgian that I had. I've had this beer quite a lot, and it's a go-to beer that's gotten many of my friends into Belgian beer. World class all the way...

 675 characters

Photo of amanofbeer
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter, been waiting to try this one for ages now. Very exciting. I set the bottle down after opening to do something, then looked back and it was spurting. I guess that's what happens with nearly a year of bottle conditioning.

The smell is distinct, mellow, and raisony (a descriptive term that merits much use in this review). The smell suggest a very delicate and balanced citrus to the caramelly darkness. I wouldn't call it dark judging by the smell. Minor burnt characteristics

Amazingly delicate for such a variety of flavor. It is perfectly dry, crisp, and even, all the way to the finish. I wish I had some stilton cheese...oh baby...The raison comes through strong.

Mouthfeel is spritely, crisp and clean, and for such a dark beer, that is an amazing feat.

If I had a million dollars, I would drink 2-4 bottles with every meal.

 857 characters

Photo of KajII
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

Poured a rich medium to dark brown with a small off-white foamy head that was fully diminishing and had fair lacing. The aroma was of roasted malts, a mild flowery hops and a light scent of a sweet yeast with notes of dried fruit. It tasted slightly bitter-sweet in the beginning with a hint of raisons and finished moderately sweet and malty and had a slight alcohol tinge at the end with the flavor only lasting a short time. Mouthfeel was medium in body and very creamy yet oily in texture. Overall a fantastic/outstanding brew with one hell of a kick. One of my favorites, but don’t drink too many!!!

 641 characters

Photo of bled
3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Like a cloudy mid to dark brown. Medium head that does not last long.

S-Sweet and malty. I can catch a hint of the alcohol in there.

T-A lot of malt in there with some sweetness. The alcohol tends to linger with each sip as well.

M-Carbonation level is on the high side but I do not mind that. Otherwise fairly balanced.

D-There is a bitter aftertaste that tends to linger and they did not do the greatest job hiding the alcohol content. I would say the drinkability here is below average.

Comments- Not really a strong dark ale kind of guy, but I have had others that I liked better. I would probably drink one of these again if given to me but I would not look to buy one. I think Chimay has done better with their Red and White offerings.

 748 characters

Photo of jodyanthony
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice, about half an inch of head that vanished pretty quickly, leaving pretty much no lacing. Was trying it for the first time, after hearing such good things. Did not quite like it on the first taste, but after about the 3rd sip I got it. Nice fruity taste, plums and currants. Yeasty and good. A bit sweet, almost brandy-like. Smells as good as it tastes. A hint of clove to the smell. Good, but I am thinking it would be great with some more age on it. Will definitely keep my other bottles cellared for a while. Looking forward to trying it again in six months to a year.

 592 characters

Photo of OldRaysputin
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a muddy brown with a subtle head. Carbonation throughout...see how this feels on the palate.

S: Sweet and Fruits galore! Not too heavy on alcohol scent..

T: Wow. kind of like eating at a five star restaurant. I dont know if that makes sense. Definitely taste the alcohol here but not overwhelming. Continue to get dark fruits...Raisins in there for sure.

M: Just right. Carbonation looks harsher than it is.

D: Very Drinkable! Respect this brew. Lots of appreciation to the monks that did this one. (Especially nice to drink out of the Chimay goblet!).

 566 characters

Photo of techfed87
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a strong head. Color is a moderate-cloudy brown.

Smell is of sour grapes along with other types of belgian characteristics.

First sip is a bit more sour than I expected it to be. Mouthfeel is quite effervescent and floral.

As my first trappist ale, I can definitely say that I've set my standards high for myself.

 325 characters

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 7,882 ratings