Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
2,320 Reviews
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay
Belgium
chimay.be

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,320
Ratings:
7,592
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
19.16%
 
 
Wants:
492
Gots:
1,787
For Trade:
16
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,320 | Ratings: 7,592
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 750 ml bottle into a Chimay goblet ... I can't believe I had not reviewed this one heretofore. Pours a slightly cloudy brown color with a boisterous off-white head and sporadic lacing. Head is not well retained, except from a swirl of the glass. Nose is of sweet malt, dried fruits, and yeast. Taste is consistent with the style and quite good ... very earthy, rich, and complex with the yeast/malt interplay. This one (blue label) has a considerable hop profile as well, adding complexity and a balance to the sweet malt and fruits. This ale has a pleasing warmingeffect and is quite "alive" with carbonation and alcohol. Finish is silky and well balanced with a lingering warmth. I've always favored the Chimay blue for some reason, over the others. A standard in my book. If you've not tried it, try it. Among the best in the world? No, but very good and worth the price for sure. Among the best "everyday" tripels perhaps.

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

Poured a deep brown, almost black color with a medium tan head into a Duvel tulip glass. The aroma is sweet, carmelized malts and some floral notes in the background. There are also spice notes throughout. The taste gave me more of the caramel and malts that I enjoy and a goog balance with hops. This beer, as expected, has a nice taste that lingers in the mouth a bit and definitely warants having a few.

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Photo of weeare138
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, 2005 vintage.
Appears a dark, hazy, murky brown with a 2 finger light tan head that retains nicely. Lots of lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of raisins, plums, figs, cocoa, candy sugar, and yeasty bread with gentle spices swirling in this mix.
Taste is of the same aromas but I can't put it down. The nice caramelized sugar and malt, along with the yeast makes this a right on winner.
Mouthfeel is a tad zippy with the carbonation but still remains smooth for the most part, hiding the 9% well in the slightly sweet brew.

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

02/09/06- Received as a gift for Christmas of 2004 from a friend.

Presentation- 750ml caged and corked bottle. Not sure of the year. There is a mark on the bottom of the label, but I have not a clue what it means. It's at the very least a 2004 bottle. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Very dark amber in a color. Nice full inch head, a tad off white in color. About average lacing.

Smell- Lots of dark fruits in the nose. In particular some plums and dates. Also has a heavy grape scent. Maybe a touch like some Welchs grape juice and some grape Jolly Ranchers. Nice smell with everything combined.

Taste- Pretty much right on the nose with the scent. Almost a tad vinous in nature. Big grape flavor..sugary grape with a heavy dose of plums and a light note of dates and figs.

Mouthfeel- Higher than average in carbonation. Lasting nice aftertaste.

Drinkability- About what I expected. Very good, but nothing spectacular. Worth the money and will probably pick up again at sometime. Definitely worth trying. Very tasty.

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Photo of doctorjoeyboey
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is brown and heady. The smell suggests grain and carbonation.So far so good but the taste actually isn't that great. It is moderate as far as complexity goes.and the taste of grain is evident. The alcohol taste is also noticeible and less than ideal. The mouthfeel is a little sharp and not full bodied. Personally, I don't think this beer is that great and would compare it to Duvel. My trappist favorite is still the Westmalle Tripel.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml "Grande Reserve" cellared for over one year- Pours a slightly hazed dark amber/garnet color. An off-white, soapy head rushes above three fingers then falls to a thick cap of dense foam with good retention. Spotty lacing. Fusel alcohol in the nose, some roasted malt and dark fruit aromas, and belgian phenols. Sweet dark malt flavor, a hint of plum, and a faint grape skin taste make up a complex palate. Phenols are strong in the aftertaste, and the fusels become spicy- leaving the mouthfeel a touch dry. The carbonation is mild, and the body is medium to full- but subtle hops and spicy alcohol give it a delicate crispness. Some phenols will carry into the finish, and bit of residual sweetness from the roasted malt, but mostly clean and very drinkable considering the style. Overall, an excellent balance of flavor that showcases the marvelous belgian character.

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Photo of phisig137
3.59/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 into a tulip. Cork was dated April 05. Apperas a murky cloudy brown, with highlights of red, and a quickly dissapating head. No lacing to speak of.

This beer smells slightly sweet, with only the faintest hints of any fruit. Slight scents of figs and perhaps apples can be detected. The palate reveals much more fruit, mostly dark, figs, dates, brown sugar. Feels quite creamy on the tongue, but lacks the carbonation to lift it. Lingers for quite a while.

All in all, it's great, but you can find much better examples for less money.

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Photo of mhillard
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served form a 750ml bottle into a chimay glass. Color is a rich reddish brown, with a decent tan head that sticks around for a good while. The smell only hints at the variety of flavors that are contained within. It seems like each taste gives you a new profile of flavors, there are more rich flavors contained within than I would be able to name. This is a wonderful beer that compliments any meal or occasion.

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Photo of sitbooboosit
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle is about two years old.
Pours a dark rusty brown with about an inch of pillowy off white head that later mellows out providing a nice bit of lacing.
Smell is of belgian yeast, dark sugar, fruit, and almost a rye or bourbon type aroma.
Tastes like it smells; the dark fruit and sugar is ever present and brought out more by the high alcohol content. the little hops there are have a presence at the end of the beer, providing a nice tart closing bite to a great beer.
The mouthfeel of this beer is great: velvety smooth on the roof of my mouth.

I really like Chimay Bleu regardless of the slaggy the Chimay products get. miles above most.

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Photo of jdm
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark though still translucent brown with a medium light brown head that has significant staying power. little to no lacing which surprised me. smells of earthy hop, sweet malt and candi, and a little toffee. taste matches nose but with sweet and earthy dominating. those two standing out strong and still being individually discernable is very interesting. tasty. a light body for such a strong brew along with the sweetness make this dangerously drinkable for such an alcohol-filled drink. i love it.

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

Sorta smells like a spiced baking ham. Kinda an amalgamation of sweet brown sugar and cloves. Looks beautiful. If this beer was a woman Donald Trump would want to have a 4 million dollar wedding with it. Dark brown with a huge frothy mocha head that fades too soon. Tastes like bread pudding soaked in spiced rum with a little brown sugar and dried fruits thrown in. Very lip smacking malt base. Improves vastly as it warms. I really need to get a fridge that stays at 55 F.

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Photo of barrelman
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

cork 07/05

Appearance: Small head with next to no lacing. Rich caramel color.

Smell: Mostly malty nose wth little hops. Slight abbey yeast aroma backing maltiness up.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation level makes flavors really pop on your tongue (even after several glasses). Robust maltiness with hints of cloves and no alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is perfect.

Drinkability: I am halfway through a 750 mL and feeling good (although it might be because the Bucks are winning). I foresee the rest being a smooth ride, both through the bottle and the game.

Excellent.

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Photo of rustymoore
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chimay blue is amazing...pours well with a medium to larger head with little lacing. The smell is good but not the best I have ever had. Malts and caramel comes to mind. The taste is outstanding. Cloves and spice are definately there. The alcohol taste is barely noticable. Another one of those beers that can get up into trouble if you have a case of this stuff. All around best Belgian ale I have had in my short reviewing career.

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

Purchased in a 33 CL bottle, the back of the label appears to read "LAN - 167", but again... no idea what this means.

Poured into a snifter a deep, very dark almost purplish brown. Head disappeared quickly, though bubbles remain along the rim. Spotty lace. When the head was gone the bubbles formed what looked like a radar screen's view of a hurricane in the center of the snifter.

Robust Earthy scent. Hints of caramel and sweet malts.

Rustic caramel flavor. Alcohol is more evident than in the white. Very deep complex flavor.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ten years ago my wife bought me a bottle Chimay for Christmas. She went to the beverage staore and asked for the best beer on the shelf. Chimay is what they sold her.

a - Dark amber color with a lot of head. Head lasts and eventualy becomes lace which lasts forever on the sides of the glass.

s - Fuity alcohol aroma, full of carmel malt and hops.

t - Taste is full of malt with fruity hops tingling the tongue.

m - Mouthfeel is perfect. Viscous without feeling slimey or thick. Fine carbonation leaves the pallette clean and refreshed and waiting for more.

d - I would drink this any time anyplace. It goes with everything. I think it would be a great ale to serve someone who never drank anything but "yellow fizz". It has taste, character and drinkability. The worst part of drinking Chimay is getting to the bottom of the glass.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.03/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter. The color is murky brown with a nice head that dissipates very fast. Decent active carbonation. Lacing is unremakrable. The smell is sort of faint, somewhat fruity with the aroma of belgian yeast. Taste is of sour apple and spice intitially, there is a hint of cloves present also. The finish is dry and alcoholic, not very bitter, it actually tastes like Bourbon, suprisingly. The beer has a medium thickness on the palate, is adequately bubbly, but could use some more body. This beer was not what I had expected. Not that exquisite, not all that drinkable for a Belgian.

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Photo of sauron681
2.19/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I have been looking forward to trying this beer for a very long time. What a dissapointment.
750ml. bottle corked and caged. Vintage: 10/05
Poured very nicely, dark burgundy/ruby color, excellent thick head. A very inviting smell, and mouthfeel. Perhaps a hint of raisins, and a bit spicy. The taste however was almost like drinking Methyl Ethyl Keytone. Very harsh, strong, chemical alcohol taste to it. I could not finish the whole bottle. I will try this beer again, but will let it age a couple years and then see.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was tasted in a goblet from a 750mL corked bottle.

The beer pours a dark burgandy color with a sizeable off white head with good retention and lacing. The beer smells of berry-like fruits. Most likely grapes, raisens, and cherries. The taste also exhibits these qualities in larger amounts. The beer feel quite thick and is balanced with a nicely generours amount of carbonation. I would love to drink this all the time.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Crack of the bottle marked 09/05 on the cork itself; Pours a dark mahogany ruby color that glows in a subtle way with red light when held up to illumination. A frothy tan head bubbles up and slowly recedes to a dished concave centimeter-thick, being visibly fed by streams of bubbles appearing in the depths and climbing up the sides. They're doing their best to keep the head up and look to be doing their job.

Plum, citrus peel on the scent; Lazily fruity zing and zip with just a tiny bit of tartness and some crisp malty scents; It reminds me of Trois Pistoles but isn't so in-your-face, and has a little more malt scent, too.

Wow, that's weird... The first thing I think when I sip it is that it tastes... like Trois Pistoles. Exactly like it, actually. Hell, I'll even be so bold as to cut and paste from that review. Sour-sweet flavors on the palte. Citrus peel, sour grapes, plums, rhubarb, raisins, with a gently warming alcohol that doesn't affect taste, only feel.

The carbonation is zippy and swishy, medium-sized bubbles that swirl around... Some syrupy flavors and tastes left behind.

Okay, I'm really weirded out. I keep going back to my review of the Unibroue beer and have decided that these are almost exactly the same. The only difference is that the Trappist version I now hold in my hand holds a better head and has a little less sour, more malty scent.

This is a great beer and I'm reviewing it with the respect it deserves; But my experience has been seriously diminished by the fact that I can get the same thing for less money from a closer brewery than Belgium.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.2/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mohogany with a fizzly big-bubbled head that doesn't last long (could it have been the glass? jeez, that was not a good head) The beer continues to sizzle like a soda for a long time. Aroma is very metallic at first in its chilled state, much less so as it warms. A bit of fig, but more of date. Decent peppery phenolics. Rhubarb. The flavor is sweet, with too much root beerishness, probably helped by a vinous quality. Carbonation is also reminiscent of soda, and at the end there is a sugar/alcohol coating in my mouth. Overall a bit hot, yet soda-like. I have had this a few times and, while I don't remember being thrilled with it (I always preferred the red), I do not remember the blue being this lackluster. Improves a lot as it warms to room temp, so DRINK IT WARM, but still not anything memorable.

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Photo of Calico
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This used to be my favorite beer, back in the late 80s and early 90s. My first introduction to the style. Now I've found others I like more, but this is still a pretty good one.

This particular bottle was quite fresh tasting, surprising as it was bought at Beers of the World who are not known for rotating stock quickly.

Poured dark brown with a nice head but poor head retention. I can't see through this beer - very thick and cloudy. Musty nose, pruny and a little winey. Taste is cherry, raspberry, apricot and a tiny bit of raisin. Alcohol and phenols very apparent in mouthfeel, as is tannin. Astringent. Alcohol burn in the back of the mouth. Sugary finish.

Back in the day, I used to get horrible headaches from too much of this stuff so it was a rare treat. This particular bottle seemed very drinkable, but overall I would recommend taking this beer easy.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogony brown with a good head but poor longevity and lace. Smells of caramel, toffee, raisin, plum and mild chocolate. Main taste of raisin and plum with toffe and chocolate. Decent bitterness and not much alcohol flavor. High carbonation. Somewhat smooth and creamy. An OK beer but I think this one will improve greatly with cellaring. I think I will but more and give it a try.

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

Pours a dark brown with some slight ruby highlights around the edges, and forms a creamy, tan head that stays well, leaving great lacing as I drink my way down the Chimay goblet that came with the sampler pack that I found on sale at the local NSLC outlet. Smells of spicy fruits with a bready overtone and some alcoholic notes as well. Tastes beautiful, raisins and cloves with the classic belgian breadiness and not even a hint of the 9% ABV, which is hidden magnificently. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and nicely warming. Drinkability is excellent. If it wasn't closed I'd go to the liquor store and buy another right now. And it's -10 and snowing hard right now.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.32/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Meh.
I had high hopes for this beer, it is supposed to be the quintessential Belgian Strong Dark. Well, I've liked others of the style, but this particular offering leaves me wanting.
It pours nice and dark. The colour reminds me of a well-made cigar, actually.
It smells heavenly, wow, prunes, prunes, and more prunes with a light alcohol lacing. What more could you want?
The taste and mouthfeel is where this particular offering falls flat on its face. I mean, the taste isn't bad, just one dimensional. The mouthfeel is thin, very thin. I've noticed this with Belgians in general. Carbonation does not equal body!!! But, alas, I am of the germanic drinking tradition, where a nice thick mouthfeel is essential for a pleasant taste. Heavily carbonated and bubbly, it isn't a bad mouthfeel . . . just thin. No love here. The taste is OK. It makes me long for a Gulden Draak, or any of Unibroue's products.
Actually, it makes me want a Korbinian. Man, why do all dark belgians make me want that beer? They are close, but oh-so-far.
A good brew, don't get me wrong, but certainly not worth the pricetag!

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Photo of revdrjbob
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 vintage 750ml bottle, champagne cage sealed. A Christmas present 2 years ago from my malt supplier, and well worth the cellaring to be tasted. Sampled with Teaser in Leffe goblets.

Poured a dark red amber into the glass with a 1.5cm thick creamy head, that clung to the glass with heaps of lacing.

Aroma: Rich, malty, evident alcohol, earthy, rum and fruit. It has a very Chimay aroma to it, I love their yeast! Hints of aniseed and chocolate.

Taste: Rich, malty, toffee and caramel, bitter and sweet, and smooth as. I've had the 330ml bottles before, and a 2003 of this in 2003, but this aged perfectly. Hints of chocolate, plenty of phenolics, but not overpoweringly so. Finishes long, alcoholic, dry and sweet. Fruity and jammy with hints of pepper and spices. Very full mouthfeel.

I think someone just peed my pants.

This is awesome, can't wait to try the 2005 vintage in 2007!

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,592 ratings.
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