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Chimay Première (Red) - Bières de Chimay S.A.

Not Rated.
Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,634 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,634
Hads: 4,637
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 262
Gots: 831 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A.
Belgium | website

Style | ABV
Dubbel | 7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,634 | Hads: 4,637
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle, Sampled December 2004
Pours a lightly hazy amber copper color that is topped by a pale amber head that is large and frothy. The beer is well carbonated with a steady cascade of bubbles rising form the bottom of my glass. The aroma is typical of the chime yeast with notes of bubblegum, alcohol, fruity notes of plum and raisin, some spicy notes of ginger, all-spice, and clove. The fruity notes are definitely the dominant ones in the nose.

The taste is lightly sweet, with soft fruity notes of plum, raisin, fig and clove up front. The beer then moves to a sharp note that is a mix of carbonation, and yeast derived esters, as well as a bit of alcohol in the finish. The beer is quite light on the palate, almost a bit too thin. There is a certain level of astringency in the finish, which I have always found a bit distracting in beer brewed with the Chimay yeast strain.

Overall this is not a bad brew, certainly nothing to get really excited about, but it is a solid beer. It really could use a boost in the malt intensity / body department though, it just seems a bit thin.

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Photo of jera1350
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into a Chimay chalice a murky beef gravy brown with slowly moving bits. Nice susdsy head that reduces after a minute to a tan ring.

Effervescent like smell that tingles the nostrils. Lemon zest, yeasty, hops, bready and roasted malt. Picking up some sweet lilac as well.

Malty, some toasted biscuity flavors. Deep, deep roasted malt, almost burnt. Hop bitterness, but not as pleasant as the nose. Hint of chocolate and coffee bean.

Really active carbonation. Pretty harsh and rough on the tongue. About medium bodied.

My least favorite Chimay by far. Not as complex, flavorful or easy drinking.

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Photo of TerryW
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good looking opaque cider coloured beer with a big creamy soft head, no real lace. Tough job to pour this one into the glass as it literally exploded from the bottle.

Spicy, fruity nose with hints of vanilla. Just a whiff of alcohol as well. Sweet, but not overly so. Fun to inhale this one.

Taste is lots of fruit (oranges, raisins) and spice and malt. Gently sweet, slight hint of alcohol again to finish. Bread or yeast a quite noticeable characteristic.

Pretty decent beer, easy enough drinking, nothing to overwhelm you for better or worse.

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Photo of eberkman
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby portlike brownish red. Cloudy. A fiery red when held up to the light. A thick tan head reduces very quickly to a thin island on the surface, but lacing remains on the glass.

The smell is not remarkable or particularly strong. Faint skunkiness at first whiff with some fruity malts. The taste is a sweet-sour with a mildly bitter finish. Again, some fruit sensations in there. Decent flavor.

Mouthfeel is rather thin and highly carbonated. Decent drinkability because of its exceptional smoothness.

This ale is objectively very good. Definitely worth trying, but it's probably my least favorite of Chimay's big three and not one I'm going to go out of my way for when a lot of variety is available.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle with my Chimay Chalice naturally
Notes from 01/25/14

A: Deep amber color. Rusty brown tones and a bit of yeast haze across the body. Thick two fingers of dense khaki suds forms atop. Near perfect retention efforts with some light dots and streaked lace travelling down the glass. Looks expertly crafted.

S: Dusty minerals and some mild Trappist yeast character on the nose. There are some soft bready notes and a light toffee sweetness. Not incredibly pungent aromas. Some distinct banana and clove materialize as well.

T: Toasted dark breads with some dried fruit and Belgian yeast notes. A light combination of banana peel, clove, and peppery spice. There is a subtle toffee sweetness to the beer by and large. Not particularly bitter to me and the alcohol is pretty much nonexistent. Wet earthy minerals at the finish. Not bad but not terribly exciting.

M: A bit watered down and thin in feel. Medium to lighter body. Some soft drying at the finish.

D: This is a decent Belgian Dubbel with some nice and easy drinkability. Definitely starts off strong but tends to fall apart at the seams for me. Good but not great.

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Photo of chunkylover53
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a corked 750mL bottle, into a Rochefort chalice.

Pours an amberish brown colour with a foamy, but quickly dissipating head.

Very little smell compared to other Trappistes I've had. A slightly sweet note, but that's about it.

Taste is a little weak, also, but the candy sugar is fairly prevalent with a bit of caramel and a vey slight floral note.

Overall, it's not nearly as complex as, say, a Richefort or a Westvleteren (But then, what is?), but that makes it a whole lot more drinkable, overall.

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Photo of MJR
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle with a cork dated 02/06.

Appearance: Underneath a massive, fluffy, light tan head is a burgundy body with touches of amber, red, and peach. The head fills half of my goblet on the pour, and takes quite a while to shrink. Leaves decent lacing on my glass.

Smell: Aroma of sweet fruit intermingled with a strong spice note. This one has a very distinctive smell.

Taste: Flavorful with lots of fruit and spice in an acceptable balance. A bit heavy on the yeast flavor... The finish has a really slight smokiness that I haven't ever noticed before. While it starts off nice and rich, it's aftertaste leaves something to be desired, as it's a bit thin and lacking in complexity.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin body with a crisp, dry mouthfeel. Finishes with a tart dryness that, unfortunately, seems to highlight the subpar aftertaste. A bit watery...

Drinkability: Fairly good. It's fairly drinkably for a 7%abv brew, but it's watery body and 'not-nearly-as-complex-as-before' flavor does hurt it.

This beer comes across much better in my memory, as it seems much less flavorful and complex as other examples from years past. Is this brew being dumbed down?... Disappointing...

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Photo of Jesstyr
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at Gingerman in South Norwalk in a Chimay chalice and paired with mussels. Chimay was the ultimate beginners dubbel, but I wonder if I have now outgrown it a bit. It lacked the distinction of the other trappists and big time belgians. To be fair, I've had better Chimay's than tonight, but not taking notes - I'll have to re-review.

Pours a maroon with little light head and decent lacing. Quite indicative of the variety of dubbel, and a very attractive brew. Smell struck me initially of cherry, which was quite interesting, and also had heavy malt and caramel. Taste led off as a dry malt, with slight hints of chocolate and cherry, but nothing excessively robust, which is disappointing. Mouthfeel is dry, but not overly so, and doesn't affect the drinkability. Alcohol level is not particularly high, but it almost feels higher than other dubbels - an oddity. It goes down very easy, and particularly smooth.

Altogether this is an enjoyable brew, but there are better ones out there...

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Opened with a pop and a trail of smoke climbed from the rim of the bottle...always love that. Poured into Chimay chalie. Nice deep dark purple with creamy head with nice lacing. Classic for the style.

S - Grapejuice, alcohol spicy crispness. Smells pretty sweet.

T - Spicey alchohol with the dark fruits more in the background. Enjoyable and good flavor, but all in all not too exciting.

M - Creamy and soft with a bitter tangy afterbite that transitions to a super cooling feel.

D - Not bad and easy to enjoy, but for me, there are many better dubbels that are more to my tastes.

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Photo of smurder187
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been a big fan of Chimay white for a while, so I got a 3 pack this Christmas to try out its siblings. When poured in a glass, it has a gorgeous slightly cloudy amber tone with subtle carbonation. It smells very fruity and a bit of caramel. It tastes solid, very drinkable and laid back. I was hoping for a little more spice to pop out, but it left me wanting a bit more. Overall a good beer.

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Photo of thebarracuda
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

another corked beer (vintage jan 2006) pours a medium brown with a thick head that settles quickly, leaving some lace around the rim. Its got a very light carbonation, with creamy undertones, very clear and light, almost a thinned out version of Grand Reserve. With its darker color and fair amount of sediment, and as mellow and smooth as this beer is, you'd never guess its a 7%

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Photo of jrallen34
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from an 11oz bottle into a Chimay glass.

The beer pours medium tea colored brown with lots of carbonation. The very light tan head rises about 4 fingers then falls relativerly quickly. A soapy full head stays for a while. The retention is ok.

The aroma is pretty strong with lots of balance. There is dark fruit, light alcohol, caramel and lots of yeast.

The taste is a little boring and light. It starts off with some caramel then gets very yeasy.

The feel is really light.

This is one of the worse trappist beers and a terrible dubbel. Westmalle, westy and achel destroy this.

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Photo of descartes
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: Dark ruby brown with lots of sediment, with thin head.
Smell: Malty, chocolate and nut smell, very earthy.
Taste: Very carbinated front with a weird nut carmel mix in the middle. Very murky taste.
Mouthfeel: Over carbination, almost feels like champagne. Which for me is not a good thing.

Overall: A dssapointment, not really a clear taste with too much carbination.

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Photo of Yagman3000
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a small bottle into a fluted British pint glass.

Appears rather hazy with a blend of rust and ruby with mostly orange browns. A tiny head rests on top.

Smells a bit of citrus with more cumquat flowing through. Wondering if its taste will shine through on the lighter side.

Tastes as the smell was described with some wangy overripe citrus in there from the yeast.

Mouthfeel is a bit dusty from a slight hop bitter. There's some dull fruit resonance too.

Overall it didn't rock my world. I wish the flavors were a little more sweet, subtle, and less musty.

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Photo of Brad007
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Still haven't tried this beer up until now. Pours a medium brown color with a fluffy off-white head. Aroma is strong and malty upfront with a hint of raisin and even some breadiness. Taste is malty and somewhat too smooth at first. Goes down well but doesn't leave much on the tongue. Raisin/breadiness in the aftertaste. A second sip confirms some chewiness and the malt is somewhat stronger. No dryness to be detected. Just really smooth.

In my opinion, the taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma. It's smooth, it's drinkable and that's about it to me. I'd still recommend you try this for yourself.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A beauty of a deep ruby red in color, medium sized soapy head, decent retention, tiny strings of carbonation noted. Faint aroma of fruit, apples, some sugary notes also. Slightly chewy and some candied flavors noted off the top. The body is of light apple peel, sugary, some light Belgian peppery spices, although tough to detect. Finishes a bit dry. Has subdued characteristics of a Dubbel, just lacks the massive flavors, still highly drinkable for the style.

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Photo of RickyS
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark copper liquid, cloudy and with a beige head which is persistent but not abundant. The aroma is pretty mild but what I smell is very good. Malts, figs, marzipan, spices and a bit of alcohol. The taste follows on the same lines. Mouthfeel is creamy with prickling carbonation. All in all I like this beer but it feel kind of a shadow of a much better product.

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Photo of flaminghomer
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i just drank four PBR's so i'm sure that my taste buds are numbed and and that this review may be a bit off, but maybe not. smell is fruity with light grain. color is very nice. a deep copper amber. head is foamy large and loud bubbles that didn't stick too well. taste is fruity and citrus. i dont pick up very much hops. i'm glad i tried it, but it will be a long time before i buy it again.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a chalice.

Pours a deep rich reddish-brown color, small head that fades fast and no much lacing on the glass.

Smell is a mix of peppery spice, candied sugar, light fruity esters and a sweetness from the malt.

Taste has an aggressive carbonation that pricks the tongue, bit on the high side for me, definitely picking up the peppery spice in the forefront with the candied sugar adding a touch of sweetness in the aftertaste, the alcohol feels stronger than I would expect, finishes very dry.

Can't believe it took this longer for me to try something from Chimay.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a hazy hue of rose with amber highlights and one finger of frothy beige head.

Smell -- Plum, honey, raisin and prune, fig, pear, spice, clove and some alcohol.

Taste -- Slightly sweet with drupes and dried fruit, honey, apple and pear. Yeast brings about clove and some banana. Spicy notes reminiscent of allspice, white pepper, and ginger. Lingering flavors of clove, plum skin, and estery yeast.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with ample prickly carbonation. A little too hard on the tongue.

Drinkability -- I remembered this being better. Certainly solid, but since my first Chimay Red I've had better Dubbels.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. Pours a cherry red with lots of bubbles and a 1/8" head.

S- You get the same Chimay yeasty aroma as from the white. I also get a smokey aroma.

T- Much fruiter than the white. My notes get a little short at this point but I remember enjoying this.

M- Higher carbonation which cuts through the malts well.

D- Good Belgian brew. Somewhat strong but very good overall.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet. The head forms quickly and is foamy with great retention. Color is a hazy, murky brown color with a bit of red when held to the light.

The aroma is fruity, spicy, and completley yeast dominated. Bannanas and pears come through from the fruity yeast. There is also a touch of hops, with some wet leaves. None of the dark malts come through in the nose.

Flavors follow the nose, with a touch of bananna in the front, along with burnt sugar, figs, and a minerally, dirt like flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, with the creamy cap of foam included in every sip. The body feels very light for a relatively big beer, with not much of an impact on the finish except for a yeasty coating. After a short time, the beer seems to get a little flat, probably thanks to the trappist logo etched on the bottom of the glass.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 11/05/10 notes. This was a bottle from 1993 thanks to ygtbsm94; curious to see how this one held up, thanks Brad.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with very light carbonation evident and almost no head at all.

s - Smells of cardboard, bready malts, sugar, and dark fruits.

t - Tastes of bready malts, wheat, sweet sugar and fruits, and a hint of spice.

m - Light body and low carbonation. Very smooth and easy drinking.

d - A decent beer, but I think it has faded a bit over time. The expiration on this one was 1997, and I don't think it improved at all with age. I would say drink this beer fresh or with 2-4 years on it.

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Photo of Ochsenblut
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Dubbel has a ruby hued mahogany body with a cm off-white head that sticks around for quite a while.

It smells of fresh pastry and rum raisin, whilst fuming alcohol slightly.

Very creamy mouthfeel with well attenuated hay like malts punctuated subtly by drying hops that move into medicinal and barnyard notes. It leaves a slightly tannic bite that fades to mustiness and subtle metallic aftertaste.

It's slick on the mouth despite the dense bite of the suspended carbonation.

This brew is mellow, and less sweet than most Dubbels I've had. It's high carbonation distracts me a bit, but is pleasing nonetheless.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into Abbaye Val-Dieu goblet

A: 1 finger whitish head, smooth, small bubbles. Cloudy red coloring. Some active carb, but it's hard to see into the glass. head sticks around real nice. Minimal lacing.

S: Smells like beer, as poor and general a statement as that is. A little sweet, very little floral.

T: Tastes at first like a Belgian in general, decent maltiness, but not thick, and sourish. Fairly thin, but biting taste. A little fruity esters, I think apple, but I hesitate to say that. The more I drink, the more I taste a sugary candy sweet on the back of my mouth

M: Smooth, thin, but enjoyable. Nice amount of carbonation.

D: More drinkable than many other Belgians I've had, enough to make me maybe consider another Chimay..

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 1,634 ratings.