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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,353 | Ratings: 7,709
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.

 741 characters

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.

 482 characters

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.

 397 characters

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

 374 characters

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.

 445 characters

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.

 214 characters

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.

 263 characters

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.

 682 characters

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.

 515 characters

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.

 427 characters

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

 439 characters

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.

 316 characters

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

 593 characters

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.


 931 characters

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.

 514 characters

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.

 687 characters

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.

 824 characters

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.

 423 characters

Photo of MFMB
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.

 376 characters

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.

 396 characters

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.

 917 characters

Photo of FLima
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I have been celaring this for a few years, my mouth is watering like a dog looking forward to a steak.
The cork made a huge stomp that made a mark at my ceiling. So far, so good.
Brown orangeish color with a huge beige head with great retention. It got darker later.
Nice malty and fruity aroma with notes of prunes, molasses, orange marmelade, coconut, vanilla, figos and mild Port wine. Brazilian “manjar de coco” would be a fair description for what predominates in the nose.
Very complex flavor with notes of prunes, molasses, peppery yeast, cloves, noble hops, burnt coconut, umami, toasted malts, cinnamon, apple puree, candi sugar, rose petals, a bit of banana and vineous fruits. I should stop looking for fruther notes. Finishes smoothly dry with a medium bitterness.
Bordering full body with velvety carbonation. I didin’t feel its 9% alcohol at this point.
Excellent Belgian Dark Strong Ale. This is surprisingly elegant, complex and fruity without being overly sweet.
This is a treaty and a big reference for the style and it should be forbidden to be drank too young.

 1,086 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours - Deep dark brown with tiny tan head excellent lacing head lasts forever.

Smell - oak, plum, dark fruit, figs and dates.

Taste - Rich sweet plum, oak figs, sweet caramel.

Feel - Medium body excellent carbonation no alcohol presence at all.

Overall - An excellent beer, great smell taste and feel.

 306 characters

Photo of woomThomas
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer is hazy and dark brown in color. The foam is beige and will firmly. The foam has small to medium bubbles that hang around for a while. The foam leave direct track in the glass. Scents of some malt and dried fruit. Some floral and candied sugar with rum raisins. A little bitter orange and yeast with a little fruit cake. Very round in the aroma with a nice sweetness. The flavors are as scents. But with a little cocoa and a little caramel. There was a little lees. Is a real good balance in it all. Rich body. Moderate Carbonic. A little sweetness and a little small dry. Good roundness sitting on the palate just long.

 629 characters

Photo of matcris
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: A very opaque mahogany. Finger + of tan creamy, foamy, long lasting head. Good level of carbonation when rocking the glass.
AROMA: Floral, candied sugar, rum raisin, yeasty/bready fruitcake.
TASTE: Everything I get from the aroma plus a nice bit of toffee.
FEEL: Full on carbonation, very dry, medium body.
OVERALL: A delicious glass of beer. Letting it warm over the hour, and the flavors intensify.

 412 characters

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,709 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.