Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

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2,315 Reviews
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay
Belgium | website

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: 2,315 | Ratings: 7,579
Photo of warriorsoul
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AlexJ for this one...the man knows great beer indeed.
Pours a dark mahogony w/ a full finger and a half of off-white head after a gentle pour...lacing is tight, but quite thin.
Gentle aromas of sweet malt, caramel, vanilla and some carbonation in the nose.
Taste is very enjoyable...a hefty dose of carmelized malt, raisins, cherries, and a touch of alcohol.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied at first, yet firms up with warming...prefer this one at room temperature. The carbonation could be a touch less, but does not distract from the drinkability one bit.
A fine brew and one I will revisit again.

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Photo of cardwel1
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have to poor this nice and carefully, and get the right kind of glass to let it air properly.

It's a deep brown, but not quite as murky as the Chimay premiere (red label) and doesn't have quite its bitterness. Something smooths out the taste and makes it a bit more drinkable.

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

Presentation: 750ml brown glass semi-custom bottle, corked and caged, white on deep blue label

Appearance: dark copper with huge beige head, magnificent lacing all way to the bottom

Smell: toasted maltiness, fruitness, hops, alcohol

Taste: medium to full body, very crisp mouth feel, malt and yeast, dates, figs, raisins, prunes, hoppy bitterness in background, and you can feel alcohol in it

Notes: the best of Chimay (and my favorite)

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Photo of waldowin
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Poured a wonderful nut brown, with a *massive* head that took forever to fade. Had to pour half a glass at a time, as the other half of the glass would just be foam for ages.

Smell - Hints of citrus, and mostly a dark malt, and roasted nuts.

Taste - Man, this is a complex brew. When it's colder, you get mostly malts and a hint of roasted nuts and dark fruit. As it warms, a sense of raisins/dates comes to the front, and the nuts take on complexity. Extremely tasty, and very rich.

Mouthfeel - This is definitely an unfiltered beer. You can feel the thickness of it as you drink, lots of malts have gone into creating the effect. A pleasure to drink, but so rich you have to take your time.

Drinkability - As wonderful as this beer is, I challenege you to finish a bottle in an hour. It took two of us the entire length of a movie to finish a half bottle each. It's just *so* rich and thick that one glass feels like two to your stomach. Unfortunately, I had to dock it for that, but otherwise this beer is fantastic.

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

It tastes like this... It smells like that... I don't think I can add anything to the scores of people who came before me on that front. What I can say is that this beer grows on you real time. As I started to drink it, I thought it was a little thin, but when I got to the end of the bottle I forgot all about this or that or ratings or 3-4-5, or whatever. The taste became more and more palatable, but more importantly, this beer offers a clean buzz (something unfortunately not discussed in these pages), that is really divine. Every drink has its own way with the brain cells, and this one is particulary gentle. My advise is that you should try it at least once in a life time, if not once a day.

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Photo of Luigi
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Rich ruby brown color and light brown lace around the glass. The aroma is filled with grape like fruits and sweet maltiness. A full body with a syrupy mouthfeel. Sweet and roasted malts. Nutty fruit flavors roll around the tounge. Slightly dry and bitter finnish. Truely a work of art. Finer than any wine in my book!

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

Sampled: 9.10.05

The appearance of this ale displayed a decent head of tan foam sitting on a dark apple cider liquid. Little to no lacing as the head was big bubbled goodness; not sticky.

The smell held funky malts. A twang of the suitable Belgian aroma yielded a light presence of barley malt. Deeper whiffs uncovered a sense of baked banana bread.

Flavor was malty and nutty, with more of the suitable Belgian funk. This brew was rich in taste and feel. A light bitterness in the finish created incredible balance for the never overwhelming sweetness. For it’s dark presence, it was remarkably light in the mouth, carbed perfectly.

This brew is smooooth; EASY to drink, but it should be respected and savored. It’s highly worth it.

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

I had been hanging on to this one for a couple months. It is my first Trappist. Poured from a large corked bottle, Cork says 03/05. I love corked beers, it adds a little style.

Color is a very dark amber, head is creamy with nice light lacings.

Smell is powerful, malty, spicy, fruity. Very complex.

Mouthfeel has very good medium body, creamy with noticably carbonation.

Taste is complicated but very smooth. Fruit and spice balance each other nicely, achohol is noticable but not overpowering. Fruit is more on the Estery side. Rarely does a beer overwhelm my tounge the way this beer does. It hits every part, sweet, salt, bitter, sour, but in a way that does not overpower any part.

Overall this is a serious beer. Powerful, potent, tasty, but balanced. I look forward to trying more Trappist style beers soon.

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

I've neglected Chimay for quite a while, basically since I noticed that I could rather enjoy Ommegang for only $5). I was in the mood for something special last night, after wandering into Chesapeake Fine Wine in the mood for antipasti and pizza. Poured heavily into a thick Chimay chalice, you get a beautiful dark reddish brown brew with a fluffy off-white head. Could have used a bit better retention or lacing, but that could have been the glass. Delicious malty aroma that was both fruity and nutty. Creamy, malty, delicious fruits, nuts and berries dance around with a perfect combonation of carbonation. Highly drinkable, the 750 didn't stand a chance. The only thing holding it back is the price here in the states...

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Photo of cracgor
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark cherry red with a light tan rocky head. Tons of carbonation. Good retention.

Smell: A burnt fruity smell. Estery with bananas, cherry, apple, and a sour note.

Taste: Very sweet up front. The fruity smells do not translate to the taste, but it is an excellent balance of a roasted malt and a less complex ester flavor than the smell would hint at.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Not alcoholic in the mouth at all, but definitely feel warmth in my stomach. Quite a smooth feel to it.

Drinkability: I love beer like this. Can sit around drinking it and thinking or have it with a nice meal. Very versatile, but I wouldn't go around getting hammered off this stuff.

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Photo of fisherman34
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with an off white head. A delicate and complex brew. Smells of mint, a just-opened box of wooden matches, spices, and yeast. Intricate flavors of yeast, subtle berry fruits, caramel, and toasted oak. Full mouthfeel with a fair bit of carbonation. Quite important to drink this one at a slightly warm temperature to get all of the aromatic and flavor nuances. WOW!

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Photo of thesilverhand
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sits beautifully in the Chimay chalice. Deep, deep, hazy chestnut brown. What little light escapes at the bottom of the glass reveals nice red tones. It is capped by a massive dome, peaking well above the rim of the glass, of creamy, foamy, yellowed beige foam. It's the colour of old paper, and leaves a nice lace as I drink.

My nose brings images of dark, sweet fruit - raisins. The alcohol is also much more obvious than I expected.

Deep malty complexity - sweet, again with the raisins. It's a bit vinous. I get a sense of grape skins. Coupled with the alcohol, the finish is dry, much like a dry red wine. There is a light spiciness that sets this treat apart, though. Can't quite place it.

For the depth of colour and flavour, this sits quite lightly on the palate; I suspect this is thanks to the active carbonation which provides the long-lasting head of foam. Very enjoyable.

While it is largely a matter of personal taste, this is by far my favourity Chimay...this is a beer I will happily and heartily recommend.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark mahogany color with slight ruby highlights and a nice, frothy tan head that retains very well. Aroma is a nice blend of fruits; i detect apple, pear, fig and plum as well as candy sugar, and light hints of chocolate, phenols and herbal hops. Flavor is very complex and the profile changes as it warms; first you get a big fruit flavor with hints of apple, pear, fig and plum as well as slight hints of chocolate and a nice candy sugar sweetness, then there are some phenolic flavors and a lightly bitter hop flavor (grassy, hop tea and mineraly) that dries out the brew for the finish and balances quite well. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium to heavy body and a moderate carbonation that increases drinkability. A very nice brew, complex and delicious...another winner from Chimay.

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Photo of murrayswine
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is courtesy of Biglove, thanks buddy for the trade.

This beer poors a dark mahogany with a suttle crimson edge. The head was nice and thisk with good lacing that lasted the duration of the tasting, and being that this was a 750, thats pretty damn good.
The smell is heavy with cherry/chocalate, coffee, hazelnut, and alcohol.
On tasting, the sweetness of this nectar honed in with sharp esters of chocalate, plums, coriander, orange zest and butter. The body cleans up with the subdued alcohol taste.
The mouthfeel is a dream with subtle carbonation that stays in line with the creaminess.
All in all this is a superb drink that I would never think twice about enjoying again.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

My first high % beer, thanks to our newly popped cap in NC.
A: A beautiful amber, burnt umber color. Poured a nice head that faded to a lasting slight head. Glass was nicely laced.
S: Had a wonderful complex aroma. I could smell mixed fruits and a sweetness.
T: Taste was very complex and changed as the beer warmed. Very bitter and hoppy, yet fruity and sweet at times. First beer that I could actually taste the alcohol. Best if slightly chilled.
D: Not a beer you could drink a lot of or drink often. Can't imagine drinking it with a meal b/c of the complexity of it's taste. But certainly a beer worth recommending and trying. This is a beer to sip and savor.
Notes: I felt like I was a young teenager again drinking a beer for the first time. I don't think my palate or taste is aquired enough to fully enjoy this beer yet. But thanks to a newly popped cap it soon will be.

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Photo of Caesar1pup
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What can I say that has not already been said. Excellent! Outstanding! Bravo!

Thank you to our legislators here in NC for popping the cap and allowing us the opportunity to enjoy beer greater than 6% abv!

Color, flavor, aroma, and drinkability were all great! The depth and complexity were amazing and at one point I wondered what my life might be like as a monk in Belgium.

Overall: This is one to have every once in a while especially since it’s $4 for a small bottle here. Something to enjoy on special occasions or when you really want to treat yourself to one of the best. You deserve the best so go ahead and enjoy!

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Photo of fingolfin72
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this bottle shortly after the Cap was Popped. Finally, I can directly enjoy the labors of legislators.

Color: Oiled Mahogany wood, with a palomino head. The head subsided, but never departed entirely.

Nose: Brown sugar, molasses, a freshly opened bag of marshmallows, hints of banana and cedar.

Palate: Big and sugary, balanced with spicy notes. Tones of cocoa and banana with just a bit of a mineral backbone. A subtle, Campari-esque bitter tinge at the end of the lengthy finish.

Those Trappists. How do they do it?

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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 sopor
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery Brown brew that seemd to light from mahogany brown when poured. Tan creamy head dies down to a thin film that will regrow to a thin head at the slightest agitation.

I can smell this as soon as I begin pouring. A smell like ripe fruit.

A slight roasted malt flaovr with strong fruity sweetness and and a very slight sourness. As it warms the beer got drier and fruityier, with less sweetness.

Very smooth with lively carbonation and moderate body.

For as dark and strong, this is a very drinkable brew!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mahogany color that is a tad cloudy. The beer pours with about an inch of off white foam that looks like it is going to stick around. The beer is so dark that you can't really tell if there are any bubbles rising. You would assume that there are because the head lasts so long.

Aroma: Perhaps my senses aren't in the best shape right now, but the aroma is really mild to me. I get a bit of toasty aromas along with a tad of raisin or plum, and that is about it.

Taste: I am probably going to have to edit my review and give this beer another shot with a fresher palate. Right now I get a resiny /syrupy impression that is made much lighter by the adequate carbonation. There isn't one flavor that is noticeable above the rest, so that is what makes a world-class beer...right?

Opinion: I am a bit shocked that my palate is so blasted. I have been drinking Saisons tonight, so this beer is really smooth and clean in comparison. I have drank this beer on many occasions, and I'll plan to score it according to how I know it to be. I'll be back soon, and I'll plan to make this beer my first of the evening.

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Photo of SSGPat
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A friend of mine at work was going to Virginia to get this beautiful liquid. I didn't understand.

We poured a 750 last night. It was shared with 4 people.

Quite a lovely head... it just seemed to stay forever (well, for as long as we could keep liquid in the glass).

It had a beautiful nose. I couldn't quite break it down to individual fruits, but it was fruity.

The taste kept changing... it hit you when you first taste, then returned different flavors until the long aftertaste.

It's mouthfeel was very BIG.

I don't believe that I could drink this all night, but I'd like to try. I well made beer by all respects, just with the ABV, I'd be finished before it was through slapping me around.

Thanks to "Pop the Cap" for making this legal in NC!

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

Dark mahogany brown in color with a beautiful 3 finger head the color of oatmeal.

Aromas are rich and fruity, featuring plum, berries, cherry, molasses, powdered cocoa, sweet malts, and even some tropical fruit.

Flavor is similar. Lots of dark, ripe fruit, plum, rasberry, figs, raisin, light cocoa, leather, molasses, and assertive floral hops rounding it out. No trace of the 9% ABV.

Body is medium, slick, smooth, and creamy textured. I polish off the whole 750 with ease. Love those Monks!

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Photo of danielharper
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Woody's Smokes and Brews, Franklin, TN.

This one pours a nice dark brown color with purple and dark reddish overtones. It has a thick off-white (almost brown) head that dissipates over time into a fine white foamy lacing on the top of the glass.

The scent reminds me more of a dopplebock than a Belgian -- kind of malty, roasty, mildly-hopped aroma with just a hint of alcohol. I find myself drawn into the beer because the aroma is so unexpected.

So strange is the disconnect between aroma and flavor here -- it seems like the beer alternates between tasting like a dark Belgian and some sort of heavy bock beer. At first it has a bitter flavor with the malty elements mentioned earlier, then it moves on into a sweetier, much fruitier and balanced flavor, and upon swallowing it moves back the other way, leaving a bitter aftertaste. Very strange and intruiging behavior for a beer, and the complexity leaves me wanting more.

Mouthfeel is good, moderately thick with low carbonation. Swishes around the mouth nicely but doesn't coat like some other beers. Quite enjoyable.

Overall drinkability is fairly high -- for a beer that's this high in alcohol, it goes down smooth and does not give me anything of an unpleasant aftertaste. At $5.00 a bottle, this beer isn't something I can afford every day, but it's almost one that I _wish_ I could afford every day.

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea brown color with a spumy khaki head that sheets the chalice with lacing

Smell: Raisiny, bready, a bit of spun candy, gingerbread and tobacco and some fusel alcohol

Taste: Starts with a blast of dry oaky tobacco and then the sweet delicate candied malt kicks in for a while; a bit fruity at first with a green apple aspect, like a caramel apple; after the swallow, the green, caramel apple flavor continues but there is also an underlying earthy and roasty bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a typically lively dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice, but I've enjoyed other Belgians more

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 750ml bottle

Pours an opaque nut brown with a thin creamy tan head. Sheets of lace. Smells of caramel, molasses. Fruity plum aromas. Earthy, bready, grainy.

Tastes has lots of oakiness. Hints of vanilla. Molasses. Rich malt. Bready. Bitter finish. Rich in the mouth. A decent sipper but somehow it doesn't all come together. Aroma is magnificent but taste can't live up to it. I have to say I like the White and the Red better.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
95 out of 100 based on 2,315 ratings.
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