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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
7,824 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: 7,824 |  Reviews: 2,379
Photo of paceyourself
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/01 on cork. Great inviting copper color, medium head with little lace. Complex aromas lost from my pounder (won't make that mistake again). A unquie malty taste but 9% is well hidden. A pleasant aftertaste that seems to stay. A top of the line belgium.

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

You can think about cellaring this but it tastes too good to wait. Drunk slowly the high ABV won't hit you and the alcohol is not noticeable. High carbonation and serious head that takes a while to dissipate.

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Photo of beernut7
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This deep dark Belgian brew pours into the goblet with a color like an abyss. The foamy beige head dissipates rather quickly but gives off an earthy aroma with hints of Belgian yeast and the scent of raisins. The flavor literally crescendos from the first sip from a light bubbly earthy flavor to a deep raisin and dark malt with a warming character that rivals a bonfire after a day in the freezing wilderness. The finish is clean and slightly fruity. The aerated mouth-feel does not at all harsh the brew. I am really developing a love for Belgian Ales.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked & caged. Hazy with yeast & sediment in suspension. Dark tawny copper with reddish highlights. The slight head is made up of very fine light tan bubbles that cannot hold. Lace is limited as well (probably linked to the high alcohol and youth of the bottle). One would hope that a greater head will develop with age. The aroma is rich with dark fruit, candyish notes, alcohol and a toasted maltiness. The body is medium with a lively but gentle effervescence from tiny bubbles, giving a zesty-spritzy mouthfeel that compliments the spice and pepper notes of the beer. The flavor is sweet with a soft, fruity character that's reminiscent of all the Chimay beers, and delicately balanced by bitterness and spice. Swirling flavors of dark fruits, spicy complex alcohols and soft chocolate-like malts combine in a light, but impressive display across the palate. The alcohol is not overly aggressive but still quite noticeable in this, Chimay's strongest beer at 9%. The finish is somewhat thin with a slightly dry lingering aftertaste. At times I've considered each of the 3 Chimay beers to be my favorite, which I see as a great tribute to the monastery. This particular vintage is a bit young at present, but it's still quite unique and very enjoyable as it is. A year of cellaring should improve it greatly.

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Photo of jreitman
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep color in color with a nice amount of tan head. Fruit flavors are dominant, but quickly followed by the signature belgian yeast. Very complex beer as the more you drink, the more flavors are revealed. ABV is noticeable, but did not detract from the brew.

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

Very dark amber in color with tight cream color foam. Nice pleasant complex smell and taste of fruits and roasted nuts. Slightly on the sweet side with a tangy but not bitter finish. Just a little sourness on the after taste also. Best Belgium brew so far!

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Photo of StevieW
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle date stamped 10/01 on the cork. Pours a deep rich copper color. Tight thin tan head, rather foamy and flavorful. Lots of complex smells, rum roasted plums, and other fruits along with big belgium yeasty smells. Nothing dominates, just complicates. Nice subtle tastes however. Rich rum soaked fruits hit your taste buds, first, then some yeast middle. Lots of subtle tastes present. Alcohol is noticable, and makes for a thin feel. I would make this an after dinner night cap beer, not one to guzzle down with dinner. I expected something more spectacular, but still a very good belgian ale.

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Photo of AaronRed
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark, almost like a port. Big creamy tan head with little bubbles stayed throughout most of the time. Smells of port, with hints of nutmeg and figs, maybe. Althought the taste is rich and powerful, it is far from overwhelming. It is so smooth and wonderful, I seem to forget how good this beer really is. This is a sweet beer, full of flavor, with such character, it is unique and stands alone.

 413 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
2.76/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ehhhhh I expected more out of this. Pours nearly black with a thin lace on top. This will kick you square in the balls at 9% and that alcohol taste is prevalent. I found the taste very similar to Duvel, but much more bitter. Duvel is good...this stuff was not.

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Photo of ADR
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and evident but restrained aroma of berries, maybe strawberries. Darker, opaque brown color, mound-holding 1/2 inch head. Deep woodsy flavor, touch of caramelized oak barrel and a back-taste of brown sugary notes. Quite light-bodied and spritzy, the final impression is fuller and very pleasant. Very distinct flavor, nice. Alcohol has more of an effect on the brain than in the taste.

 390 characters

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

It's a nice dark red to brown with a healthy beige head. Spice and hops are noticeable in the smell. It has a slightly yeasty flavor with a fruity flavor close to raisin and a nice spicy kick. It's well-balanced and the smell and flavor of alcohol are barely detectable. A very nice beer.

 288 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby with a great head that melds into "rolling hills" as the head ever so gradually dissipates. There's a pungent yeast aroma. Slight amount of fruity esters on the nose too. Fair amount of carbonation. Goes down the hatch fairly smooth for a 9% a/v. Either this beer is fairly bland or I just have a hard time identifying taste qualities in Belgian beers. I get a little sour tartness and a deeply hidden candied apple taste. I don't get much more. It is a very drinkable high alcohol beer without a lot of appealing flavors in my opinion. Blasphemy I know being such a highly regarded Trappist brew.

 622 characters

Photo of Sigmund
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An outstanding beer, very close to "perfect". I agree with all the positive things said by other reviewers, and has little more to add. The spicy, oaky complexity of the aroma and flavour is "out of this world". Wonderful, lingering aftertaste. Alcohol is well hidden. Simply exceptional!

 288 characters

Photo of rastaman
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great beer, dry palate with decently bitter finish, hints of chocolates, cloves, caramel (quite malty). Not my favoured Chimay, but damn good non the less.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, small fine head. Mild, sweet nose. Malty flavors, along with dark fruit thrown in. Ends on the dry-side. Enjoyed the flavor and the body, but a little rough on the tongue.

overall: 3.8
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of packetknife
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Everything about this beer was great except I couldn't drink the whole bottle. Nice pour, bits of spice but mostly fruit on the nose. The Red and Blue were available in MN. I heard the Red was better but never got to it, now I can't find it. One thing though, make sure the bottle wasn't either overly cold or sitting warm. Everybody I know ended up with an inconsistent bottle or a bad tongue.

 394 characters

Photo of mophie
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of those beer-nirvana experiences. You can tell by the look (ruby-brown, rich tan head), and the aroma (dark fruit, spice, brown sugar, pepper), that this is special. The taste is so complex, yet so balanced, that God must be playing a part in there somewhere (and I am not necessarily a religious man!). Sweet, dry finish. This is a world-class beer!

 363 characters

Photo of beerluvr
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This from a batch/or bottled in Jan. '01, purchased on the day of my Daughter's birth, aged with a LOT of patience for exactly 1 year in my cellar. Pours a beautiful slightly hazy ruby-ish hue, with the usual lively& effervescent Chimay head, nose is oh so slightly corky, with the "horse blanket" bouquet present. Taste - smooth maltiness followed by a nice complexity of (in order of domination)malt yeast & hops...the aftertaste just seems to evolve everytime I smack my lips, with just enough hop bitterness to make themselves known. Beautiful, a great bottle enjoyed on a great occasion! Beers of this magnitude are meant to be savored for special times.

 659 characters

Photo of marc77
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Muddy brown hue, w/ hazy deep ruby when held to light. Dense, thick, creamy and smooth light tan head is well retained. Suspended aggregates of yeast from the bottle conditioning. Yeast esters are surprisingly mild, consisting of mild clove and peppermint are perceptible along with pleasantly mellow tart fruit. Nutty, dark caramel malt surface in aroma as the beer warms. The taste is initially quite sweet with raisin like contributions from the dark crystal malt (special B?) Caramelized dark candi sugar notes are also present, but aren't assertive. Mid palate dryish chocolate malt coupled w/ the light hop bitterness lend a bittersweet note and tart fruity esters akin to unripe plums emerge. Moderate in body, w/ a smooth, dextrinous and agreeable mouthfeel that helps facilitate the superb drinkability. Finishes w/ notes of maple sugar and woodiness lingering briefly on the palate. This 750 ml is quite young, being bottled 9/01. Certainly worthy of cellaring. Although not the most complex Dark Strong, Grande Reserve is refined in overall character, being both very flavorful, yet restrained enough to prevent any cloying qualities. Delicious. I'm re-reviewing this. The 750 ml bottle is much more balanced and tasty all around. A true classic.

 1,257 characters

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I went to a excellent German restaurant / pub called Ludwigs with the wife here in Philly. I must say as far as the beer list goes, the place is heaven sent. The food was excellent too...back to the beer--> Presentation: 33cl (11.2oz.) capped bottle. Exceptional brew, it has a copper / hazy / foggy appearance to it. A excellent malty sweetness that is well balanced with the peppery yeast spiciness that gives a nice alcohol warming sensation. Overall a excellent brew!

9% abv.

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Photo of pbrian
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33 cl bottle, not dated. An excellent beer, no doubt. Another one of the world class beers that are so drinkable at 9% but it just didn't have the depth I was anticapating. Maybe I drank it too young but I'd much rather have a 75 cl bottle of Trios Pistoles for the same price.

 280 characters

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

Presentation: 33cl (11.2oz.) capped bottle. Exceptional brew all the way around. Gorgeous dark and hazy appearance. Big malty sweetness blends with peppery yeast spiciness and pleasant alcohol warming sensation. A brew to savor on a special occasion.

 250 characters

Photo of bk3nj
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one beer that will make you silly quicker than you would ever expect.. It's STRONG, but it tastes so good (very complex fruit notes), you'd never realize what it's doing to you.. This is made by monks?!? They must have a wicked sense of humor..

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Photo of mmthompson33
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer demands respect. To fully appreciate it, it should be drank at the proper temperature, and hope that you have a good bottle, because the quality can vary. But if you get one of the good bottles....it's heaven. Incredible head and aroma, with a surprisingly light, fruity complex taste for its dark color. And some serious 9% kick. Drinking this beer at a campground near the brewery in Chimay, Belgium (where a 750ml bottle is $2.50) was a religious experience.

 476 characters

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 7,824 ratings
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