Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

2,353 Reviews
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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Reviews: 2,353 | Ratings: 7,711
Photo of Rudgers73
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A- Big fluffy wild head. Tan in color. The beer is a deep red/brown.

S- Sweet dark fruit. Black cherries, rasins, figs.

T- Sweet, malty, dark fruit, yeast at the end. Peppery anise, slight alcohol burn towards the end as the flavor thins out.

M- Smooth, peppery, spicy, clean.

D- Very.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the 750 ml bottle of this beer. Cork is marked 08/11. Served in a tulip glass cool.

Pours a sandy and thick foamy head and a very dark garnet and walnut body. Smells like fresh fruit (apricots) and clay. Tastes earthy and fruity. Very highly carbonated. Booze are hidden in this beer.

I have to say I prefer the red more. Not as layered flavorwise. However, I can't complain, its still a great beer.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky dark brown with a fizzy tan head. Pretty good head retention.

Aroma: Some ripe black cherry, dark malt, and hints of yeast and alcohol.

Taste: Flavor is very light for the appearance. Nice dark malt character but lets some dark fruit notes through. Much sweeter than I was expecting but definitely not overly sweet. Aftertaste starts wet and then dries as the flavor turns a little darker and the alcohol warmth becomes apparent. Not hugely complex but satisfying.

Mouthfeel: Really effervescent like a soda. Between thin and medium in body but never watery. Good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this one, it didn't blow me away or anything but it is very good. Would I drink it again? If it was offered to me, yes.

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Photo of artdob
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost a root beer color, dark but not quite black. Tan foam head diminishes somewhat quickly, readying the beer for drinking without having to don a foam mustache.

On the nose, close your eyes and you might think you are in a bakery at early morning as the ovens are getting going - yeasty bread overtones dominate here.

On the palate, there is an initial sugary sweetness, almost like C&H liquid. This is followed with hints of dark fruits - plums and raisins.

Mouthfeel has a good amount of carbonation.

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Photo of mweso2000
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750 mL bottle and paired with a prime rib dinner.

A-Pours a dark amber brown with a two finger head that disappears. No lace
S-Fruity with malt and yeast undertones. Not overwhelming.
T-Sweet malt with fruit flavors. Would have preferred a little more hops and yeast flavor. Did not really notice the alcohol.
M-Thick chewy fell with medium carbonation.
D-Very drinkable despite the high ABV.

Overall I would have to say I was slightly disappointed. I am going to chalk it up to the style. I just think that this type of beer is not my favorite. It was obviously well made and full of flavor. If you like this style, this is an obvious choice.

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Photo of Mdog
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown and murky since I poured in the yeast, thin but foamy head.

Smell: Smells like a stronger version of the dubbel, floral, sweetness, and clove.

Taste: Rum soaked raisins, clove, a bit of spiciness. Pretty complex and difficult for me to describe, but good.

Drinkability: A little strong but tasty. The small bottle is a good idea.

Probably my second favorite from Chimay. Nice sweet and complex taste, glad I gave it a try.

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Photo of LeRay
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't drink too many Chimay beers, mostly around Christmas. However, I did get to try this one out for the first time recently. The taste is great, really fresh. Good head and nice appearance. This is a beer you just want to sip and enjoy. I really enjoyed it and I'll be getting more in the future.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle drawn into a pint glass is a deep dark brown with only a slight filmy random collection of yiny bubbles inside the glass-clinging off-white ring.
Figs, prunes, and raisin bread aromas distinguish themselves from the malt.
To that add wine grapes, roasted malt, and spice at the end (or is that tannin?).
Full, but not heavy, mouthfeel, creamy and almost wet on the finish.
This was really nice after my ceviche.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked brown bottle with blue label. Best before 2014. Very nice cork comes out with a satisfying pop and let's out some nice ''beer smoke'' and kind of tootsie roll like smell. Poured into Jacobsen snifter. Was going to use my Brassin D'Hiver tulip but the back label shows a chalice and so I thought my snifter is a closer match.

L-Very active light-beige head with bubbles of different sizes settles into a 2mm creamy foam. The brew is a very dark brown similar to filter coffee. Almost opaque. When poured looked syrupy but it really isn't that viscous.

S-Dried fruit maybe figs, Yeast, A little tootsie roll, A little salt. Miniscule bit of vinegar but don't let that put you off. Strangely I smell a bit of a fresh vegetable. Tiny bit of alcohol.

T- Starts sweet, Taste follows the smell except for the vegetable part. Cloves. Finishes a little metallic. As it warms, you taste more and more alcohol.

M-Great from the very first sip. Full mouth feel. Foams up a bit as you are about to swallow it. Warming feeling though alcohol taste isn't that strong. Although I wouldn't mind there being more, I think this beer might have a perfect level of carbonation.

D-Great drinkablity... once you taste take the first sip. I don't always feel like drinking one of these but once I start... terrific. I remember the first time I had one. I went to sleep still thinking about it, licking my lips (kind of) trying to remember the tastes and mouth feel.

A great experience. This may very well change, but this is one of my favorite beers, and I am more of a IPA/hops kind of guy.
Taste this beer. Just make sure you don't need to be sober after. For some reason after having one of these I feel tipsier than when I drink some higher ABV's .

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Photo of elricorico
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy brown with what seems like a touch of purple in it. It has a big bubbly tan head that I'm watching slowly shrink. The head never faded away completely and the drink leaves some lacing as it goes.

Has a black pepper and cherry type smell. A little bit of alcohol apparant in the aroma.

Taste is sweet up front with a spicy alcohol finish. Dark fruits to begin and pepper at the end.

Mouthfeel is good, full bodied enough and not over carbonated. Putting into consideration the alcohol content, this beer goes down easy too.

It's good, a beer that I wouldn't mind having again soon.

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Photo of schroe58
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into typical pint glass

a- dark brown with thin lightly colored head that lasted, surprisingly, until finished. nice lacing on glass.

s- smells sweet, hints of caramel and spice and very slight alcohol

t-nose is somewhat citrusy, appearances of spice and slightly nutty followed by wheat rounded out by more spice and finished with more citrus flavor. all flavors blend well into a medium spiced citrus taste.

m-abundant carbonation up front, light clean feel accented by very very slight dry throat feel.

d-very drinkable due to the slightly dry feel in the aftertaste, leaves you wanting more. finished my 33cl in about fifteen minutes so i guess it goes pretty quick. didn't realize that it was 9% abv untill i was finished. can not taste the alcohol while drinking which i like in a Trappist ale.

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Photo of hp2skater
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've always wanted to try Chimay Grand Reserve- nothing but good things to be said. First, I'm not sure if there was a leak in my cork but the carbonation level was pretty weak. Second, from the other Belgian Darks I've had, the Chimay lacked the presence of that unique candied sweetness. Overall, a good BSDA but I prefer a sweeter profile such as that of Guldren Draak.

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Photo of watermelon
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Super opaque dark amber. With a creamy coffee head that left a fair amount of lacing.

S: strong honey and malt scents, also raisins.

T: Super sweet malt flavor, very sweet fruity flavor, some alcohol is present but this beer is 9 percent.

M: Good full mouth feel very full.

O: I really enjoyed it. It cost 15 bucks at the store, not sure its worth that but Im glad I got the chance to try it.

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Photo of DerBayer
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another very good Belgan

Pours a very satisfying medium brown with medium creamy off white head

Smells of dark cherries and caramel but faint

Taste is where this beer really scores - Caramel, chocolate and dark fruit (cherries) are prevalent and balanced by some hop bitterness

Mouthfeel is good ad refreshing but slight dry aftertaset

You do tatse the alcohol after a while

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Photo of Fish113d
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: A chilled bottle served into a snifter.

Pouring a mahogany color with ruby highlights, it leaves a 1/4" tan bubbly head; decent head retention as well. Leaves a nice edge layer with nice lacing. Very little light gets through my glass as I attempt to look through it.

Dark malts on the nose with a bit of fruit (grapes possibly) and a bit of oak. Nothing fancy; not what I expected.

Sipping, I get a sweet caramel flavor with grapes and even some oak wood flavors mainly throughout. Maybe a rasberry chocolate flavor?

Sharp carbonation, I expected it to be a bit softer on the palete, along with a bit of alcohol drying on the finish. Not too shabby, but I did expect a bit less carb.

Overall, a nice tasting full bodied brew, that only has one knock- the amount of carbonation that killed my palete.

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Photo of mikeborglum
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the small bottle with 'Peres Trappistes' on the label; citrus, raisin, spicey aroma, some sulfur presence, deep dark copper color cloudy with frothy white head, some sediment visible, light sweetness, some fruits, mild alchohol presence,medium body, lively, long finish,

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Photo of fulcrumbs
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little too yeasty for me. A very solid belgian ale... but if you are looking to spend $$$ on a belgian that is readily- available... would rather go with Unibroue or support my local micro- brews testing out new belgian brews.

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3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml into Chimay Chalice. 2009 printed on cork.

A: Pours a bold deep brown, with hints of dark wood character. Pours a finger head and retreats to a thin foamy layer. Lacing is minimal and carbonation is a medium level.

S: The aroma is medium intensity and shows notes of plum and currants. Nice malty character, which is very multidementional. Faint hint of alcohol.

T/M: Clean body, with a silky smoothness. Body is not overly thick, but has a nice layered texture. The taste is that of dark fruits and rasins. Lingering finish is not too impressive, taste is gone fairly quickly.

O: Overall this is a solid beer, with a good following. I find other beers in the style to rank higher than this, but does have very good quilities. Great gateway into Belgians.

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Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review #600 last night, I thought this would be a nice way to go, a classic Trappist ale.

A- Dark red with some haze and a huge off-white head. Great retention and size seems to be a Trappist tradition. Big pillow leaves spotty Belgian lace.

S- Dark brown sugar malt, raisins, dark cherry fruit and a nice Belgian yeast profile to round it all out, some spice and bread.

T- Good balance of Belgian yeast (bread, spice, coriander, clove), brown sugar malts and dark fruit. Nutty, floral, apple, grape, apricot and sweet hints in there as well.

MF- Insanely foamy and carbonated, like champagne level. The cork pretty much shot out like a gun so I was expecting it. Some bitterness.

The only complaint is the huge carbonation, it really ends up drinking like foam instead of liquid but that is minor problem because the flavors are nice. I would be interested to try this on tap.

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Photo of charlzm
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 05/21/08 at LAX Radisson beer tasting.

This was consumed from a 1994 bottle, opened after 14 years!

Pours from the magnum an orange/copper hue. Not a lot of carbonation, which is not surprising in a beer of this age.

The aroma is peppery and sweet.

The flavor is sadly a little corky, but this didn't ruin the beer. The typical fruitiness of "blue label" seems to have faded away with the years, but the sweetness remains. And there's that peppery flavor again. Nice. There's also a hotness which I can't nail down to either alcohol or spice, but it's there and enjoyable.

The lack of carbonation rendered this one a little still in the mouth, which didn't do it any favors.

Amazing that this held up so long and still retains its essential character. Makes me want to go out and drink a fresher bottle...

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Photo of Spider889
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

How long I have overlooked Chimay simply because it is everywhere. Wound up buying this at a bar where there was no craft option.

Nice ruby/brown sugar color. Small fizzy off-white head that recedes quickly into minimal legs of lace.

Smells sweet; figs and dates, brown sugar, mild alcohol and yeasty aromas.

The alcohol isn't too noticeable on this beer. Slightly sweet effervescence. Dark cherries and figs, lots of brown sugar and nutmeg flavors as well. Mild banana/clove notes lended by the Belgian yeast.

Fairly well carbonated, light-end of medium bodied. Drinkability isn't bad, definitely a beer worth consuming whenever the mood strikes (or the lack of other options forces your hand). But I doubt I'd ever want a second bottle in a sitting.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1340th Review on BA
Bottle to Chimay 25cl
750ml c/c

Thanks to my coworker Ryan for the birthday gift

App- Starts up top with a medium dense brown and falls to what I would say is a light tan. One finger head with some nice pond layer bubbles.

Smell- Starts off with some rich brown sugar, a lot of yeast with some medium malts with a whispy booze. A bit sweet with an earthy background note.

Taste- Very straight forward and clean flavors. Rich and a bit sweet with a good yeasty flavors. Like the nose it's malty with hidden booze that creeps up on you and dark fruits.

Mouth- A light medium body with a medium bubbly carbonation. A rich malty body but way too bubbly.

Drink- Good but not as good as I remember. Guess tastes change over time. Others in style are slightly better.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330mL bottle, with code L10-725. poured into Chimay branded goblet. drank right after a bottle of the Red, for comparison.

deep amber brown color. thin off-white head. a bit better looking than the Red. aroma if fruity, raisins, plum.

as expected, a bit stronger in flavor and booziness, an improvement too. not as complex as I hoped for though. body is better, thicker, smooth. but could still be improved.

overall - a good beer, but I was expecting more.

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Photo of BenConnery
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I first had this in a bar in Brussells. Can't be more specific, there where a few...
A deep brown in colour, the head was fairly shortlived. This is a very full bodied beer, with many flavours coming through, as with most of the trappiste beers.
Hints of fruit with a woody flavour also coming through. Some spicy overtones as are often present in Belgian beers.
This is a beer with strong ABV that is not too strong tasting, the Belgians certainly have that skill down pat...
I love trappist beers but their expense, especially here in Oz makes them a rare treat indeed...

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Murky brown in color. Creamy head. Doesn't leave much lacing.

S-Roasty and toasty. Yeastiness, and a hair of hop bitterness.

T-Very sweet. Deep dark roastiness. Like the nose. Alcohol is masked well.

M-On the heavy side with good carbonation.

D-I found it to be more drinkable than the two St. Bernardus I tasted alongside it but was not as flavorful.

Can easily see why this beer is one of the first belgians people try. Great for someone just learning the style (like me).

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,711 ratings.
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