Review of Chimay Grand Reserve

12 May
Thanks for checking back in on another craft beer review everyone.  For today’s drinking pleasure I’m going to be having a Chimay Grand Reserve produced by Bieres de Chimay S.A. located in Baileux, Belgium.

This beer has long been a staple in the craft beer community and it’s been some time since I last had it, so I figured I’d give it a proper review.

Let’s get to the website,, and see what kind of info we can find on this brew.  

“Grand Reserve” in 750 ml bottles is a dark Trappist beer with a powerful aroma, the complex flavour of which improves across the years.  It was first brewed as a Christmas beer, explaining the presence of a “vintage”.

This authentic Belgian beer, whose tinge of fresh yeast is associated with a light rosy flowery touch, is particularly pleasant.  Its aroma, perceived as one enjoys it, only accents the delightful sensations revealed by the odour, all revealing a light but agreeable caramelized note.  

How ’bout a pour?

The Chimay “Blue” comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle and with an ABV of 9.0%.

The beer was a hazy, dark burgundy to brown color with a light tan head that was poured to a real nice size.  It was very smooth, but kind fizzy.  The retention time was adequate and the lacing looked pretty good too.  After settling it left a thin skim on top of the liquid for the entire drinking experience.  Pretty sharp looking brew right here.

The nose revealed hints of sugary raisins and light notes of fig.  Quite bready with bursts of that Belgian yeast.  Some welcomed spices of pepper added a bit more complexity.  I never really detected any caramel or toffee malt to be honest.  Overall, not terribly strong or robust, however very well balanced and proper for the style. 

The taste seemed to be a little more forceful.  The raisins and figs became more pronounced.  As did the alcohol.  The peppery spice added some kick while the breads and smooth Belgian yeast really created a “round” flavor profile.  The caramel malt developed some as the brew warmed considerably.  The taste was rich, sweet and harmonized.  Very tasty to say the least.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, kind of creamy, a touch chewy and dry.  The carbonation was very nice and a decent waft of warmth was felt at the back end for the first few sips.  More than enough flavor was left behind after the swallow.  A very nice aftertaste with this one.

In conclusion, I really like this beer.  More than solid all around.  It gets better and better with each passing second.  In my opinion, the entire Chimay line is sometimes overlooked or taken for granted due to the fact that they are so readily available.  I’m guilty as well.  This brew is very easy to drink for 9.0% and it has enough complexity to ponder and warrant discussion.  It’s very appropriate for the style also.  If for some reason you guys have not tried the Chimay Grand Reserve or if it has been a while since you last did so, pick up a bottle and enjoy the next time you see it.  I know I sure did.  I need to start buying this on a regular basis again just to have an enjoyable and flavorful beer at my disposal when the mood hits.

As always, be sure to let me know what you think of this brew if you’ve had it.
Thanks for reading and commenting guys.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.15 out of 5
Grade:  A-     

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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Chimay, Country: Belgium


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