Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

2,348 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: 2,348 | Ratings: 7,685
Photo of Gattopardo
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A deep, dirty brown with a lighter color around the edges. The head dissipates quickly and leaves thin lacing.

Smell: Sweet fruit scent with spicy highlights.

Taste: First hits one with the strong and slightly chocolatey presence of malts and a touch of citrus. Not bitter at all and the alcohol content is not really noticeable except for on the finish. Lots of carbonation sticks to the tongue along with a pleasant fruity essence.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with just enough creamy texture.

Drinkability: A complex and nice to sip brew. Swirling this beer around the mouth is a cherished experience. Indeed, it is so pleasant that the alcohol can easily sneak up on you.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours to the top of the letters on the Chimay chalice. Deep reddish-brown with bubbly -fine carbonation, heavy in body enough to produce large bubbles that form just below the head. It looks a lot like Gulden Draak, perhaps a bit darker.

The smell is yeast and bubble gum with clove; banana bread, and a faint touch of raisins.

Upon first taste, and mine was slightly chilled, the carbonation sits right in the middle of your tongue and will not let the beer meander around your mouth. The mouthfeel and carbonation here are perfect; alive, vibrant- yet subtle, and certainly not watery and apple-juice type feel of a stout; this is more like a cross between pepsi and mineral water.

The alcohol present on the first few sips does create a medicinal, and I have read, I must note correctly, a “menthol” taste. This bitterness balances the sweetness factor. But... as the beer warms, the sweetness wins and the menthol subsides, however, there is always bready-yeasty dryness at the end of each sip; a superb bittersweet hint of apple skin and cappucino.

Compared to the other big Trappist products, the Rochefort 10 and (I’ve never had Westy 12) but
St. B Abt 12, and the like; I would say that this beer is not inferior, neither by style nor the fact that it is marketed and accessible; There is a subtlety in this beer that makes it tremendous, and an accessibility to the Trappist genre that makes it a great “gateway” to beer appreciation.

Perhaps what this beer has that some of the huge quadruples can’t achieve is drinkability- This is a world class beer with truly high drinkability. This is a certain “must try” for all beer enthusiasts.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a Chimay chalice)

A- This beer has the body of a deep dark walnut color that is to opaque to see through. The head is a creamy smooth light tan color that gives a nice lace with each sip. There is not enough light to see the carbonation but the head last and last.

S- The slight yeasty smell develops into a bready aroma with a hint of toasted and fresh grain. The finish has a slight rose perfume quality in the background with a very faint hint of dried cherries as it warms.

T- This beer has a nice toasted malt taste with some caramel qualities in the roast. The slight sour hint of cherries is in there aswell. There is a hint of dark fruit or red wine that is very subtle but is enhanced by the fizz.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a hefty fizz in the texture which adds some carbonic bite. There is no real alcohol warmth despite the high ABV.

D- This is a dry yet complex beer in the background. The fizz takes over in the finish and the malt complexities are very subtle. It would be nice to have those stand out a bit, and perhaps that is the case when it is fresh.

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Photo of bunn4funn
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into a snifter

Appearence was a beautiful caramel color pour with a thick, fluffy, cream colored head that deminished to a thin topping. Very bubbley

The aroma was of pulms and sweet grapes, and brown sugar it seems also shows itself also. Pretty complex to say the least with a nice little alcohol and no hops to be found.

The taste was just as the smell had indicated, except i didnt feel that it was as complex as i was led on to beleive. This could be solved by a little cellering. The plumish fruit tastes were very evident up front leading to a malty backbone that was enhanced by a sweet flovor of brown sugar and maybe caramel. Finished off with a little warming sensation

Mouthfeel was complex to say the least. Very rough on the tounge and at a medium weight still leaves your mouth clean and happy
I found this ale to be very drinkable dispite its higher abv%

Overall a grand example of a strong dark Belgian and will go to when my wallet allows, beautiful in appearence and taste great to say the least. You will not be dissapointed.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a nice brown with ruby opaqueness to light. The head was a large creamy off white color. Moderate amounts of spider web laceing down the side of the glass.

Smell: Smells spicy coriander and pepper play with undertones of chocolate.

Taste: This beer taste spicy with peppery goodness dancing upon waves of malty goodness.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied ale. There is a cleaness to the overall mouth sensation.

Drinkability: I have always liked Chimay products in general. This is eminently drinkable. I do think that this beer does gain from cellaring.

This bottle was dated 2003.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark honey brown in the middle, a lighter candy apple red towards the edges and a light gold and cherry around the very edges of my glass. The head is a soft tan film that is instantly revitalized with a swirl.

Smells of honey and pastry dough with a slight walnut and a light carbon dioxide sour sting. There’s also a little bit of alcohol that drifts through, especially when it warms.

Tastes of gooey pastry dough, honey and again, the light CO2 like sting. In the finish a dry mossy oak makes its self known. After a few seconds, a dry and nutty honey flavor is left lingering on my tongue.

The mouth feel is extremely light and it tends to sting just a little.

Very tasty. I wouldn’t mind having a case of this lying around.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Peres Trappistes (Blue)
11.2 oz brown bottle
Served in a wide mouthed wine glass

Pours a hazy deep brown color. Spotted sticky lacings all over the glass.

Whiffs of Belgian funk, plums and raisins.

Pressured mouthfeel with a natural, funky Belgian yeast kick. Sweet prunes with a brown sugar blast flavor and a clean finish. Very, very drinkable and a perfectly constructed beer.

Great beer. Complex in different flavors and very tasty. What else can you say? This is a real beer. It's a landmark in craft brewing. One of the best Chimay has to offer and worth seeking out. Recommended.

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

i just had the chimay white, but i am eating some crackers and cheese and looking forward to the blue.

dark clear mahagony, big beige head with some large bubbles and not much lacing. smell is obvious from a distance. complex, strong, a definite scent of alcohol but an overall raisin apple juice - maybe even some banana? - pleasantness with a hint of smokiness.

tastes so smooth and clean. wow. i would normally - for example see my unibroue reviews - prefer the lighter trippel, but in this case i like the dark better. this seems better balanced, no big surprises, very drinkable for how strong and dark it is !

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Photo of Weizenmensch
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 330mL bottle 2004 vintage, best before 2008 (no specific date available on bottle. Served slightly warmer than usual.

Appearance: Warm mahogany colour with a trace of red inside. Good head retention, particularly given the high serving temperature and ABV. Looks good in a Chimay chalice, some fine sediment at bottom of glass. Seems to have low but consistent carbonation.

Smell: Rich and fruity. Christmas pudding (possibly due to rum, raw sugar or stone fruit esters), molasses, dates, and maybe some rye. Festive!

Taste: Immediately, what tastes like refined sugar, or maybe it's raw sugar of some kind with the souring effect of the carbonation. Not as complex as the smell, and more watery than expected (though this again may be due to the serving temperature). A faint but long lemon sweetness on the tongue, lasting onto the palate. Mildly bitter hops add a nice complexity. Generally sweet and rich but rather thinner than I would have expected. I guess that's mouthfeel though.

Mouthfeel: Disappointingly thin for such a rich-smelling ale. Some sharpness is imparted by hops and sour esters, but it's generally not as full-bodied as I remember. Maybe it's been served too warm and might have gone a little flat as I write this. Not bad but not great.

Drinkability: On a cold night, great. If you can afford it, a few of these would go down well. Not a huge session beer for summer, though... one as your second beer would be best, if at all. Full of flavour, but not as gelatine-thick as some other strong Belgian ales.

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Photo of sinistermadman
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy prune juice color with a nice foamy lace. Smell is of ripened fruit and yeast.

Taste is received first by the malts. Very creamy malt flavor followed by alcohol warming and a wet newspaper taste. Hop bitterness is not as evident as the astringency of the alcohol. Not bad, but not that memorable in my opinion.

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

Corked 750ml, 6/05 vintage. Drank from a Chimay goblet.

Pours a nice dark caramel color, nice fluffy head that laces nicely.

Smells like toffee, fruit, malt. Very sweet smelling. Not much else.

Taste: Smooth as can be. Sweet malt with a fruity background. Very complex. Like candy in a bottle. Very tasty - caramel, peach, apple, maple, and a hint of yeasty, nutty goodness. I didnt detect any alcohol until it warmed up - its VERY well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Soft, silky and buttery. This is one of the smoothest beers Ive had. And I mean SMOOTH. Slides down my throat with a nice ever-so-slight hint of alcohol and warmness as it gets closer to room temperature.

If I didnt know betterI I would have never believed this was a 9% beast. It actually got sweeter as it warmed. Maybe I got lucky and got a superb batch, but I dont remember it being this good when I first tried it about 6 months ago. I will revisit again when a new shipment comes in and see if it holds up to this one.

Drinkability is great, but dangerous with the ABV. I could drink this all night, any night, every night.

One of my new favorites, and Im a hophead. One of the few non-hoppy beers I would NEVER turn down. The price is steep, but good beer is the one indulgence I dont mind spending money on.. At $8.00 a 750ml (about $4.00 a 12oz), I think its worth having a bottle or 2 on hand at all times for special occasions or when you just want to treat yourself to a world class brew.

Excellent, excellent beer. Simply brilliant.

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

Shared a big bottle of this at Zeno's. This beer is a nice dark, cloudy, and maybe a bit dark red. Nice big tan head which leaves some excellent lacing. Aroma is very sweet malt with lots of fruit complexities- apples, cherries, and strawberries can all be detected along with a bit of nice yeastiness in the background. Taste is malt again with tons of fruit complexities and some spicyness and yeastiness . This stuff has some nice bitterness to balance it all out as well along with a hint of alcohol- there's really a lot of stuff going on here and I like it. Has a nice full-bodied, not overly carbonated mouthfeel. Very warming and pretty drinkable for such a huge beer. Awesome stuff overall.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.28/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out cloudy brown with ruby highlights and a generous brown/tan head that holds okay, but doesn't leave a ton of lace.

Smell is dark fruits, bubblegum, alcohol, and a little bit of maltiness. The yeast is pronounced, too.

Taste is interesting, it's certainly got a nice little spicy kick to it, some bubblegum flavors at the front, liquor-soaked dark fruit, but overall, the flavor has a bit too much alcohol in it and is a little too hot at this young age for me. It's okay now, and it might turn positively fantastic if I'd aged it for a few years. But...I just thought this one tasted okay. Especially in such a fantastic style, I'd much rather pick up a 750 of Ommegang for basically the same price as what I'm paying for a small bottle of this. The flavor just doest settle out, and the thin mouthfeel is less "spritzy" and more, well, thin.

Overall: Not terrible, but I can't see ever seeking this one out again. I thought the red and white were not-quite-stellar, but I far preferred them to this one.

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

750 mL bottle opens with a satisfying POP and some foggy smoke rising from the bottle.

Apearance: Christens my Chimay goblet with a huge frothy tan head, about 2" after an aggresive pour. Head fades rockilly and unevenly. Body is hazy and dark maroon, with lots of carbonation rising from the shield emblem etched into the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Sweet toffee and dark fruit, belgian yeast funk. Bubblegum and strawberries. Smells good.

Taste: Sharp and tangy, orange and grapefruit are immediately present, somewhat sour and funky. Alcohol provides a sharpness. Slightly drier, vinous flavors finish. Somewhat raw, could be laid down to mellow for, oh, a decade.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol is strong and provides a warming sensation. Full and goes down slick.

Drinkability: Lots of interesting stuff going on here, I would like to try this in a caouple years. Thanks to Px2Grafx for the bottle (and the glass).

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Photo of Gaben
2.92/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Umm goot ol chimay bluaw. I do dig this beer but 1st of I would have to say do not mix this stuff with any other types of beer in the same night of drinking.

Appearance is damn amazing , has lots of floating bubbles and does stay fresh along time after pourn into chimay cup. Somewhat cloudy and dark but overall nice.

Smell is pretty decent has a good belgian sence with a bit of a darker side due to it being "Bluaw"!

Taste is good , did remind me of a good wheat beer but a had to been a bit sour or something.

Mouthfeel is pretty good you can drink this and not mind it for awhile.

But drinkability if another factor ... goes down sour with a bunch of old chimay yeast floating in the bottle's. I do repeat do not mix this with any other beer or you'll be puking it up that night.

Stay safe and drink da bluaw with easy.

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

750ml bottle. Pours a dark brown/ruby color, very nice carbonation with a huge creamy head that lasts a long time. Very nice lacing afterwards. Scents. of malt, raisins/grapes. Very nice sweet/bitter taste with a slight alcohol warming feel. Medium body. This is a very drinkable brew from Chimay (my first by the way) at 9% ABV the alcohol is hidden very well. Highly recommended.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew pours a dark brown color with amber hues along the edges. The head is off-white and creamy. The aroma is huge,spicy, and malty. The taste is malty and spicy with a hint of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Overall, this is a great brew.

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Photo of becktone
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When poured into my glass this beer has an amazing appearance. The color is a dark brown/dark amber color and has a very large head. The head would have been bigger than 2.5 inches but I wasn't paying attention while I poured and my glass started to overflow. The beer appears to have a very full body. It also has excellent head retention, the head never gets smaller than a quarter of an inch. The head doesn't remind me of soap like any macro brew would, instead the color of the head is more of an off white/tea stain color. Its appearance also is much creamier than most heads on beer.

The smell of this beer reminds me of sparkling white grape juice. I also detect a hoppier smell behind the prevalient grape smell. As the beer warms up it is definitely easier to detect other smells and tastes, so here I wait. After waiting a bit I notice that the aroma of the beer has not become any stronger or changed that much, however it still smells extremely good.

The taste of this beer is amazing, I recommend this beer to anyone who loves beer. I can almost guarantee that you'll like it. The first thing I notice when I drink this beer is the slight bitterness that I feel on the back of my tounge, this bitterness is perfectly balanced by the sweetness/flavor of grapes that is left on the front of your tounge and in the entire mouth once the beer is swallowed. The taste of this beer is very complex, I really can't even begin to describe it except that it is amazing. Besides the sparkling white grape juice flavor and the bitterness there is a third flavor that is coming out now that the beer is getting warmer, maybe a butterscotch flavor, I can't really tell but it reminds me of the overall flavor of Leffe Blonde. I really think that this is the best beer I've ever had.

The beer feels great in the mouth it has a full body that fills up the mouth and the carbonation of this beer is perfect. The feeling of this beer is very satisfying in the mouth.

I will most definitely be buying more of this beer in the near future. I am very impressed by this beer, can't wait to buy some more of this stuff. I am very happy that I bought the one pint 9 ounce bottle after buying and drinking the small 11.2 ounce bottle. I just hope that the store I got the pint from still has some in stock. If I could I'd drink this all the time.

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Photo of WTexas
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle with 03/05 stamped on the cork. The champagne-like pop set the tone for my drinking experience. This ale had a small but pleasant head that remained throughout. Initial aroma was pungent and sour (yet intriguing), not unlike a lambic. Taste was smooth with the presence of alcohol becoming more prominent as the ale warmed. Mouthfeel was agreeable with the carbonation never overwhelming the omnipresent fruit-like flavors. Easily drinkable, but at $7.99/bottle, it’s one to be saved for special occasions.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful golden of the nicest beers sitting in a glass ever.

The head was fairly huge but calmed down after a few minutes to a fine layer with wonderful lacing. The smell was a nice fruity-malty thing going on that I enjoyed spending some time doing.

The taste is malt and fruit with just a slight hint of cloves and the 9%abv is pretty well hidden. Good stuff.

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Photo of mattdavis452
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm generally an APA fan, but I knew this beer has quite a reputation, so I had to give it a try.

Poured into a glass from the bottle. Smells like it looks, a dark heavy Belgian. About 1.5 to 2 fingers of head, laced alright.

Taste almost has a hint of wine, just as the beer leaves the tongue, then dissipates fairly quickly. Nice and crisp, in this sense.

Drinkability...I wouldn't recommend having too much of it at once, it is a 9% alc/vol beverage. But if you're with discerning friends, then popping the cork on this one is more than worth it (yes, the bottle I got had a cork).

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Photo of Naes
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one pours a murky dark brown with a large off white head.
The aroma is malty sweet with hints of dark fruit.
Its flavor is quite similar to the aroma. Dark fruit character and malty with just the slightest hint of alcohol and a bit of spice.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and generously carbonated with a bit of warming sensation due to its alcohol content.
This is a sipping beer indeed.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've always loved this stuff. 750 ml bottle poured into my Chimay Chalice.

A - What a Belgian strong dark should look like in my opinion. Dark brown with a tiny red tint and a nice thick head that shrinks a tiny tiny bit. However after shrinking to a centimeter or so the head goes nowhere for the rest of the drink and leaves a nice lacing on the chalice.

S - A sweet malt smell with some Balgian yeast. A bit of a smicy kick at the end of my "sniff" as well. Raisins and some other sweet fruits in there.

T - Sweet malty flavors. Some hints of berries coming through here. A bit of a spicy finish, like a peppery character you get in a lot of belgians. A great tasting beer overall.

M - Very smooth, a beer you can "chew on". The carbonation gives it a bit of a tingle too. Not much of a warming sensation, as the alcohol is masked in the feel as well as in the flavor.

D - A great sipper. As far as Belgian strong ales go this drinkability is full speed ahead, but it's obviously not one to pound due to the 9% ABV.

Notes: Basically my banchmark for this style at this point. Can't wait to pick up the Rochefort 8 and compare it.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chimay has got another soild brew here. Poured out to a dark cider like color with a nice 1/2 inch head of almond cream foam, and some lace. Medium high carbonation. Impressive. Aroma of yeast that has been sitting, dark fruits, and some roasted nuts. Taste was along the same lines; Flavors of earth, herbs, spices, malt and yeast are noticeable, with nuances of roasted nuts and aged tobacco. Mouthfeel was smooth and rich, giving no indication of the 9%ABV. Drinkability for some reason doesn't seem all that high, as I think this brew is one you'd only want every once in awhile. Nonetheless, it's a superior brew that's well made, and worthy of your hard earned money. Recommended.

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

A: Ruby-black, off-white head, enough retention for some nice lacing.

S: Caramel and dates with a hint of chocolate.

T: Dark caramel, treacle, fruity raisins, port-like warming finish. Very well rounded, beautiful symphony of flavours. Balanced slightly toward the sweet side, bitterness provided by the dark malts, no appreciable hop flavour.

M: Moderate body, moderate to high carbonation.

D: There isn't any particular flavour that's overwhelming, very smooth, should be approachable by anyone. Slight taste of alcohol could be a barrier to the newbie... but VERY drinkable, considering it's strength!

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,685 ratings.
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