Chimay Grande Réserve

Chimay Grande Réserve, Abbaye de Scourmont
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
94
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20
Description 

Grande Réserve was first launched in 1948 as a Christmas ale under the name “Blue Cap.” It’s success and reputation as a strong ale of the highest quality led to it’s year-round production as Chimay Grande Réserve. Today it is the standard bearer of the Chimay range and has become notorious for its amazing cellaring ability. A beer cellar on the grounds of the abbey secures a vast selection of Chimay Blue bottles whose ages span a multitude of decades.
The beer is remarkably dry for the style and the hint of sweetness is derived purely from the highest quality of malts. Flavors of dates, fig and pear are complimented by aromas of dark bread, with a touch of rose. As the beer ages it maintains its elegance while taking on flavors or sherry and tobacco.

Profile

ABV: 
9.0%
IBUs: 
30
Served at: 
50 - 52º F
Judges Review 
Michael Heniff's picture
Judges Rating:
94
Aroma:
22 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Chimay Grande Réserve by Abbaye de Scourmont​ is a Trappist beer and is being evaluated as a Belgian Dark Strong Ale (category 26D in the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). Belgian Dark Strong Ales are deceptively strong dark beers that have a harmony of rich malt, fruity esters and peppery phenolics.  Chimay Grande Réserve is an “Authentic Trappist Product” and is one of the classical examples of the style.

Chimay Grande Réserve pours brown in color with a slight haze and a big mousse-like tan head. The aroma is of moderate bready malt with hints of chocolate that is complemented by esters of dark and dried fruits of plums and raisins; moderate peppery phenolics add a third dimension of complexity to the aroma. The flavor is similarly a complex blend of bready malt, dark fruit esters and peppery phenolics in a medium body despite the strength (9 percent ABV) making this deceptively strong ale exceedingly drinkable. The finish is moderately bitter with a rich and complex maltiness (that is never sweet) and a light carbonic bite and hint of warmth.

Chimay Grande Réserve is one of the standard bearers of the Belgian Dark Strong Ale style (or also referred to as Belgian Quadrupel or Quad). If you have never had this beer, make it your next goal to try this classic example. If you have had it, you already know how good it is. Always seek this beer out!