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Michael Heniff's picture

Judge's Review: 94 Rating - Chimay Grande Réserve by Abbaye de Scourmont

November, 2019
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
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!