Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) | Bières de Chimay

BA SCORE
95
world-class
2,345 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:
2,345
Ratings:
7,680
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.51%
 
 
Wants:
511
Gots:
1,870
For Trade:
17
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,345 | Ratings: 7,680
Photo of THSdrummer
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich burnt plum color with a finger of foamy, dark-khaki head. Considering it was poured into a Chimay chalice, that's a lot of head. No lacing left behind. Mulled spices, Belgian yeast, plum, fig, and rolled malts give this beer a hearty aroma. While the aroma has a heavy malt base, it remains sweet and centered around the plum, fig, and spices. Flavor profile is smooth, opening with mulled spices, plum, and fig. Excellent decay of flavors as the flavor profile shows its Belgian side with a zip of Belgian yeast. Nice Belgian, bready finish. Mouth feel is smooth, with a slightly medium-thick consistency. It's easy to sip and savor, without filling up the stomach or palate too much. Overall, a well crafted beer with stand-up Belgian qualities. A pleasant sipper that refrains from being too bitter, and while it does have some malt body, it remains well within the realm of sweet drink-ability.

Served in a Chimay chalice.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

**
03/19/2015

Bottle to goblet at Brick House. March Madness.
Appearance: dark brown
Aroma: Caramel
Taste: nice flavor. Spicy and sweet and everything neat.
FEEL: Chewy texture.

Awesome beer. Even better than i remembered which wad still Damn Good.

**

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky chestnut brown with 2.5 fingers of foamy, finely bubbled, tan, lasting head that leaves nice sheets & chunks of lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malt & toasted pumpernickel, fig, prune, raisins, banana, hard candy, molasses, toffee, brown sugar & faint coriander. Taste is raisins & other dark fruits of the nose, caramel/brown sugar, toasted dark bread, slight bite & bitterness in finish & semisweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with high degree of carbonation, somewhat chewy & very peppery. Very nice.

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Photo of EMV
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

L: Pours a cloudy dark mahogany color. Two fingers of foamy white head... falls quickly and leaves a haze at the top of the beer. Solid sticky lacing.

S: Caramel and dark sugars... spicy, with clove and vanilla.

T/F: Rich and complex... lots of Belgian candy sugars and dark fruits. Vanilla and spice coming from the Belgian yeasts. Very smooth and creamy. Slight hops at the finish to clean up the palate.

O: An all around treat. Great Belgian Dark Strong, and one of the beers that immediately comes to mind when I consider the style. Can't go wrong here.

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Photo of pattysykes
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip from a bottle marked 2015.

Appearance a dark brown, quite cloudy with 1.5 fingers of fluffy light-tan head.

Fruity on the nose. I pick up dark fruit, cherries and a raisin sweetness.

The flavour is dominated by malt sweetness, raisins and cherries. Faint hints of vanilla and dark wood. Brings to mind a sweet Christmas cake.

Medium-to-full body, nice and smooth with enough carbonation that there's some crispness in there too. It makes for a good balance. The aftertaste is as boozy and warm as you'd expect from a 9% ABV beer, but it's masked by the lingering raisin and malt sweetness.

Overall I'd call it fruity, malty and a pleasure all around. Quite a lot going on in here and I look forward to the next time.

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

The appearance is a pretty hazy reddish-brown. Has good lacing that lingers well.

The aroma is dark fruit, raisins, cherry, and big malt sweetness. Also some fruity esters from the yeast.

The taste is raisins, dark fruit, cherries, big malt sweetness, and estery yeast notes.

The palate is medium plus with a nice lingering sweetness. The maltiness lingers pleasantly.

Overall this is a world class Belgian strong that I am happy to have finally tried.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time enjoying this well-known beauty with the blue label. Poured garnet with a massive head that required a lot of patience. Gigantic. It was poured in a Pilsner glass so you can imagine. Aroma of plump raisins, dark cherries, roasted malt, fruity esters. Taste is cherries, fruitcake, raisins, honeyed malt, caramel and some boozy heat that warms the palate. Great beer - still stands tall.

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11-18-16 - In Chimay, Belgium and enjoyed a couple of these on tap at The Poteaupré Inn at Espace Chimay, about a kilometer from The Abbey Scourmont. Of course poured into the classic Chimay glass with awesome aroma and dark color. Light caramel taste that complemented Le Grande Chimay Trappist grilled cheese sandwich. Such a memory with the wife, who had the Cinq Cents

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Photo of FBarber
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The head on this is incredible - always so velvety and reminiscent of a nitro beer. Smell mixes the traditional belgian aromas with a lovely array of spices. Taste is best when at room temperature. Dark fruits come through in the taste with some spicy phenolic notes. Feel is largely remarkable for the warming finish that leaves you happy and warm inside. Overall a lovely belgian strong dark ale - really one of the best examples of the style.

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Photo of 60sFolks
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It presents itself through an inviting coppery color. The smell, dried fruit at their best. This nose sells it to my soul. The taste is a very full fig and wine grape.
Outstanding world class work from the monks.

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Photo of zuun
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown colored and quite creamy on the top with perfect thickness. Bottle looked like wine bottle, with cork. It smelled a little bit fruity, a little bit nutty. Quite smooth and creamy feeling on swallow. Overall one of the best dark strong ale I ever had.

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Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours coppery brown with a golden rim. Gloopy bubbles rise to the center of the glass as the head dissipates, leaving film that spots the surface for the rest of the drink.

The aroma boasts smooth toffee, wet brown sugar, butter, and fruit pudding with boozy raisins. There are some underlying autumnal spices which carry through to the tongue, the booze coming to the forefront as you reach the bottom of the glass.

Wonderfully smooth, prickles of carbonation tickle the palette as you swallow. All in all, this is a rich, decadent experience, but it comes more subdued and less complex than other Belgian strongs or more ballsy quad-ish beers. The leather armchair of trappists.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ruddy brown pour. Lots of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Floaties. Small 1/4" off white head. Dark fruit and cherry smell. Lots of alcohol.

So much alcohol. Dark fruit. Raisins, plums, the usual suspects. Its just a style I can't get that down with. Brown sugar in smaller supply. Caramel, burnt. Carbonation good. I dunno, there's just a bitter toffee, overripe spoiled dark fruit thing going with pronounced alcohol that always has me wondering how this got to be so almost universally loved.

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Photo of FFreak
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased a corked and caged 750 ml bottle at Trader Joes for $12.99. Poured into a tall tulip. Dark mohagany with a huge soapy head that sticks around and leaves a nice lace coating on the glass. Aromas are very nice with dried stone fruit, dates, brown sugar. Taste has some fruit and brown sugar as well. Mouth feel is great...medium body, creamy, well carbed, easy drinking. Overall, this is a great Belgian Trappist.

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Photo of beermachine1680
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Along with the Rochefort8, one of my favorite trappist beers in the market. While the R8 is a little more classier of the two, this one is like eating a delicious home cooked meal. Body is a tad thicker than the R8. A notch below in complexity but beautiful in its simplicity. I could drink more of this beer in one sitting than the R8. It is that smooth, balanced and gets better and better the more I drink it. Bless this beer

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Photo of daydesiang
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon opening the bottle, a very strong malt smell followed by dried fruit, clove, and hint of banana. Taste same as the smell, strong malty taste with a lots of dried fruits, clove and hint of alcohol. Surprisingly smooth for a 9% abv. Pretty good carbonation too. A sweet, fruity and non bitter after taste. Lovely.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a Chimay chalice to a deep brown with some mahogany highlights with a dense two finger dense head that retains well and leaves some lacing
S: Smells of dark fruits toasted malts, caramel and mulling spices.
T: Taste is caramel and toffee with some dark fruits and mulling spices. Swallow is caramel, more dark fruits, and spice
M: This beer has a full body with soft but adequate carbonation and a dry finish.
O: Overall this beer is a benchmark for the style. Great flavors and complexity keep this one enjoyable. This is a must try if you like Belgian Strong Dark Ales

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A classic poured from the 750 ml bottle in a snifter. This fine Belgian pours a
dark brownish mahogany, lightly cloudy, with a fantastic head of off white foam
that subsides to a thick ring, nice thick layer, and sports the signature lacing known
for the Chimay brands. Nose of astringent booze, raisins, apples, and light candy
sugars. Flavors lightly exceed the nose with raisin, apple, and pear notes touched by
brown sugars and awash in cola and sweet malts with a touch of bitterness from hops
and a nice light yeast note on the back with a touch of Belgian spice. Excellent mouth feel, tingly
and invigorating, lively carbonation, subtle dryness on the aftertaste.....awesome.
I must admit, that while it is available at many grocery stores it is always a treat to be able
to enjoy fantastic craft that is available in wide distribution.

Always a pleasure.

Their cheeses are fantastic as well by the way.

Cheers

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Photo of goodsuds
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the best Belgian Strong Dark Ale's I've ever had. I'd say it takes a close second to Gulden Draak, which is my #1 in this style. It's more carbonated than most, but that's not a bad thing. There isn't a lot on the nose; sweet malt, dark fruit. Taste is bready, sweet, slight molasses flavor, barely detectable hops. Mouthfeel is medium-full. It pours a thin white head that recedes quickly, minimal lacing. Overall this is one heck of a beer. Perfect for a cool early autumn evening outside.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L - This one is all head, it pours a chestnut brown to form a dark chocolate black body, and upon first pour consists of only 10% body, the rest is head. After awhile that fades though and the beer is primed for drinking.

S - I'm actually not getting much on the nose for this one...maybe some freeze dried bananas, a little clove, some amaretto.

T - Flavor is punchy. Lots of cherry, dark wheat, following with peach, ash, and some metallic flavors.

F - Super creamy, nice carbonation to level it out. Dry finish.

Overall, it's not the knockout I thought it'd be. I'm not biased, I just write reviews on how i experience the beer. I think Chimay Blue is okay, but not legendary.

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

The beer poors nice in a glass, it is fizzy and it has a good head, 1.5 fingers. It is a dark beer, clear, and it looks a clear dark red when hold to the light. It smells sweet , I got notes of nuts, its got a bit of a caramel smell to it. Nice hoppy smell, notes of coffee and chocolate. The taste is nice and warm, hop flavor, I taste a bit of a sweet,l. Nice balance of flavors, you can't taste it's a 9% apv(!!) beer. It's very smooth on the tongue, nice warm feel in the throat. The aftertaste is of nuts and chocolate.
Overall I would return to this beer, it is nice example of a dark Belgium beer, it proofs once again trappist beer is on the top of the league, these monks know how to brew beer.
It certainly is a nice beer to drink when serving a meal with fish, or to enjoy when relaxing, and relief some stress.

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

So I'm nota huge fan of Belgian strong darks, more of a Belgian pale guy so take this with a grain of salt. This is definitely a good beer and top of the style in my opinion. Pours a deep brown color with a rich creamy head. Smells of fig and raisin bread. Taste of dark fruits, prunes, arisen and a bit of oak and port wine. Medium to heavy mouthfeel, juicy and a bit creamy.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 2012 into a tulip. Color was a beautiful dark brown with a cream color head with little retention. The aroma of malt, and molasses is quite prevalent with a subtle aroma of raisin. The taste is of prunes, malt and molasses with a subtle note of caramel on the back end especially as the beer warmed. In spite of it's higher ABV it does not come across as boozy. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of JoLight
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: deep, deep dirty brown, almost like prune juice but not as thick and with more brown hues than prune juice. The head is beige and soapy, very thick, and retains a half-finger's width, leaving some spots on the glass.

The aroma is of honey-wheat brown bread. It's got honey sweetness, and a background of yeast and banana chips. Maybe some raisin. As the beer warms, the banana chip aroma becomes more pronounced. No alcohol on the aroma.

The taste is the same as the aroma. No alcohol. The bitterness is mild to none.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy and carbonated.

The finish is somewhat dry.

Overall, this beer is more mild than, say, St. Bernardus Abt. 12, both in flavor and aroma, as well as alcohol level. Yet, it costs more in the areas in which I've seen both products. That's something to consider (and I mean that in a neutral way). Nonetheless, this is, hands-down, a world-class beer.

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Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,680 ratings.
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