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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

4,424 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,424
Reviews: 1,629
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 223
Gots: 641 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

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 (6) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,424 | Reviews: 1,629
Photo of bobhits
1.62/5  rDev -61%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Red

Pours a deep brownish red, lighter than the blue, but very similar. I clearly suck at decanting these small bottles as floaters are in here and I have at least 2 oz left in the bottle. Carbonation is almost gone before this has been typed. A bit bland, but dubbles aren’t really show cases I suppose.

I feel like this one is taking on hef like characteristics. A touch of bubble gum is coming through here. I think this is a touch cool so I’ll finish in a bit. Sweet fruity notes from hops, with some fruit malt esters. Wide mouth glasses just don’t do the job on the nose…but this is their glass!

I just don’t know what to say here. This isn’t a good dubble. The flavors aren’t intense, malt dominate, and the balance that is here isn’t done in an overly enjoyable way. The hops here aren’t great and the fruity flavors of the malt just aren’t working with the hops.

This beer might have been saved with a nice well carbonated and creamy body. The problem is this beer’s carbonation is awful. The big bubbles and over carbonation here are a huge problem here.

I have often found this style to be pretty darn good, but this one isn’t. It doesn’t taste bad…but what beer really does? This is however an awful example of beer.

Photo of Mickey1313
1.69/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

This had so much promise but it's bitter initial taste, after taste and insane amount of carbonation ruined any flavor that it hoped you would taste. I wanted to like this, especially with its Monk folklore. But it is simply unrefined and just... Monastic in the worst way.

Photo of edthecat
1.78/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I tried this a year or so back and was very disappointed. I was super shocked to see how highly it was regarded here... so I decided to revisit this brew with the thought that maybe I had a bad one...

This was from a bottle poured into a chilled pint glass

A - Nice brown/reddish/amber color... good head but not too frothy... looks delicious. Lacing really good on the glass while drinking.

S - Strong alcohol smell to the nose mixed with vinegary overtones. The same as the last time I tried this beer... which is what turned me off in the first place. Not a pleasant nose on this one. No other noticeable complexities.. just vinegar and alcohol.

T - Tastes like a alcohol heavy beer with a vinegary aftertaste. The flavor is not unpleasant upon sipping, initial flavor is good. The aftertaste was just so overwhelmingly bad and came so quickly it ruined it, and made it hard to describe what was "good" about the initial flavor.

M - Not too bad... not too light or heavy. Did not feel like I had to "chew" the beer, but it was not a lawn mowing beer either.

O - I'm just not happy with my experience with this beer. I am really shocked at how highly it is rated here. It is so hard to get past the alcohol/vinegar smell/taste with with one. I've had plenty of beers with higher alcohol content that were not so strong with the alcohol on the tongue. Is it possible that I got 2 bad bottles? Could be... but I'm not gonna get this again anytime soon.

Photo of IntriqKen
1.94/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured a light amber with incredibly large white head that melted rather quickly to fine lacing.
Aroma was musty yeast and too sweet malt with a touch of dried fruits.
Taste was overshadowed initially by the extremely high carbonation level of tiny bubbles...almost like the beer couldn't make it to my tongue but got blocked off by CO2 first.
Primarily sweet malt and raisin-dried fruit tastes...too sweet in my mind.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin after the carbonation disappears, for a beer this sweet and fruity tasting. Unpleasant aftertaste of stale yeast.

I will have to try this one again just to compare notes, but I didn't enjoy this Chimay nearly as much as the hype. In fact, I didn't enjoy it at all.

Photo of Crosling
2.32/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sampled at a shared tasting in Venice, Italy. Light Ruby. Unpleasantly aromatic with notes of bread, medicines, seawater, salt, green plants and dark fruits. Dark fruits reside but the entire front and mid-palate is completely non-existant. The finish however is lovely, lingering and full of a malty sweetness. Once again though, my main problem, as with all the Chimay beers is the total lack of body. Gentle overall, and the complete lack of character from the front to the mid is what disappoints most. It's just one dimensional, especially in the aroma.

Photo of ivanwatling
2.35/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Frothy head, that started to spew out of the bottle when I took the cap off.

Smell: Nothing special, typical of a trappist ale

Taste: A huge disappointment. It was simply unpleasant. Sure, it had characteristics typical of a trappist ale but something was not right. I tried several sups before pouring the rest away

Mouthfeel: Too lively

Photo of biglite351
2.38/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A - Orange-gold and not very see through. Foam looked like soda and vanished quickly.

S - a little now bitter than a typical pager.

T - full sweet and fruity. Not bitter and no bad after taste. Not too strong, but nice.

M - mild. Not real feel. Comparable to a mild ice tea.

D - due to its mildness and lack of bitterness or after taste, I bet you could drink a lot of these without realizing it. I would just rather have something a little not noticeable.

Photo of RDAdams
2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: A deep reddish brown beer with a very nice head.

Smell: Having already had Grande Réserve and Cinq Cents, I was disappointed with the aroma of Première. It was spicy, but the spices were overcome with the odors of yeast and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: was about average for an average beer, but not what one would expect from a $10/liter beer.

Taste: I was also average, except for the harshness of the first swallow.

Drinkability: Well I didn’t care for it. In fairness, I will try it again. There are others who rate it very high so it must have appeal I have not found.

Photo of Bugsey
2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Tasted this out of brown paper bag during a taste test. What a disappointment. I thought is was some sort of beer/cider mix. Carbonization was prominant, complexity was low, and the malt taste was orange to apple. Drinkability was low.

I love malty begian beers, and I'm sure I would have had a biased review if I saw the label before drinking it. I'm glad I tried this one honestly, with the brown paper on it. Now I know I won't try it again.

Photo of mattcrill
2.42/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A dark and murky copper pour. Definite floaties in there and carbonation veins stream through the body of the beer. Head retention is nice. An ivory color with a sudsy character to it.

Smell: A stale and funky belgian yeast smell to it. This is the smell that turns me "off" on belgian beer. However, I will try to remain open-minded about this. Some alcohol esters here and there but that damn belgian yeast smell keeps dominating the game here.

Taste: Same belgian yeast taste, some wheat bread characteristics, possibly some dark fruit, a hint of carob, and a brush of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and nicely balanced carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm sure this is good for the style but I don't like belgians. Sue me, I don't care. Back to the American Craft Beer scene for me.

Photo of PatandDavid
2.43/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

There's something about this brewery that promises so much, and delivers not enough.

Dark reddish/brown color when poured. Big fluffy head that disapears as soon as you look away.

Smell is lightly clovey, with a touch of sugar.

The mouthfeel is light. Tingle of small bubbles on your tongue. What I taste is slightly musty malt, a sugary sweetness, and it finishes so quick, you wonder why there's not more taste in your glass.

Maybe I'll get this again, but this so far has been a brewery that I am in no rush to drink from again anytime soon. Not horrible, but not the great beer experience I thought I would get from such a big name in beerdom. Pat

Photo of justiceavocado
2.57/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Corked bottle into snifter.

A – Darker than many dubels, a deep auburn. Cloudy with a slight white-tan head, perhaps half a finger. The bubbles look tight and foamy, I expect this to be rather carbonated. The retention is good and the lacing is slippery.

S – Banana and raisins. A sweet smell, and not too strong. But perhaps that's just my sniffer.

T – Sweet right off, then a bit tart, with a sweet finish. The initial sweetness follows the nose, fruity and nutty, and the tartness is more like the rind of a fruit than its meat. The finish has a bit of wood in it? All in all, the flavors happening here are very subtle, and the booze is undetectable.

M – I was right about the carbonation. It feels good melting away down my throat. It's a very light feeling beer, not chewy at all.

O – Okee dokee. I'm trying to be objective about this, but I'm not blown away. What do I say? Maybe it has something to do with the temperature. I am drinking it right out of my American fridge, hardly ideal conditions. I'm not committed enough to this review thing to wait to submit it an hour from now after I've had it warm up. But then, I have every intention of drinking the whole 750 tonight, so it'll get plenty warm. My guess is I'll like it better twenty minutes from now. Okay. Enough.

Photo of Brunite
2.6/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass. Sound is a factor here as well. You actually hear this one bubbling and popping in the glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber brown bordering on ruby red. Nice head initially but it settled quickly leaving no foam nor lace. Crazy intense carbonation off the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Dark, tart cherries. Also apple & pear notes. Some raisin and fig.

Taste: There is a definite sweetness to the beer. For me; it is almost cloying. It is saved by the tart/dryness on the finish. There is a lot of carbonation and a definite dry finish with some spicy pepper notes.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation on the tongue. Goes down like a dry wine.

Drinkability: This started out easy. The flavors were nice at highly drinkable. As time went on....it got less interesting for me and left me craving something more....like a nice stout, IPA, or rye beer. (Honestly....I may not finish this one. As it warms...not much left but carbonated cherry juice with a kick.)

Overall: I am sorta surprised here. I expected a little more but not sure what. This was something to be experienced but I doubt I'll go back for seconds...since I did not finish this one. Not earth shattering and almost unpleasant. I'd choose a nice bottle of wine, instead, to get the flavor profile and characteristics I get here.

Photo of lackenhauser
2.7/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A muddy brown color. Good head overall. Low aroma-malty with a yeasty profile. Somewhat earthy and bready. The earthiness comes thru in the flavor-almost seems dirt like. Malty enough backbone but the overall flavor is very muddy. Somewhat bitter and a lot of yeast to it. Ok body. Really nothing special here to speak of. I honestly think the whole Chimay thing is overhyped. The only time I can see buying this again is right at the source. Theres a ton of better dubbels out there.

Photo of Offa
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

To me, this is a rather disappointing dubbel and I don't think it comes close to Westmalle.

This is dark reddish brown, somewhat fizzy and a little murky. It has a big light tan head that steadily dissipates to a thin ring, leaving weak lace.

The aroma is yeasty with a lot of orange peel, hints of clove and banana.

The taste is dry at first but then becomes quite sweet. It's noticeably alcoholic the whole way through, with a vague, light taste like German dark hefeweizen. Struggling to detect elements, I can find only faint hints of whole wheat and prunes in a character that is otherwise mostly 7-up and alcohol. The finish is mostly prunes and alcohol with a soft hint of whole wheat bread. In the end, this seems boring and bland, particularly for the clear alcoholic qualities.

Photo of bditty187
2.77/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy, mashed cherry hue, brown in spots, darkish crimson around the edges… thick, frothy, bubbly off-white head… eye-candy in a goblet. Excellent head retention. No lace though. Average bouquet, kind of weak, kind of simplistic… yeast dominates (not very potent), slight candy-fruit, pepper, slightly horsey… apathetic. Empty and hollow palate… lackluster in the flavor department, yeasty and spritzy, light clove, peppery, very distant fruit. The alcohol is absent on all accounts. The lack of complexity hampers the enjoyment of drinking it… far too clean for a Dubbel. Where’s the malt foundation? The body is thin and watery… the finish is curt, distant peppery aftertaste… it’s hard to savor a beer that leaves no mark on your tastebuds. Medium-light body… airy mouthfeel. Chimay Red is a major yawner; skip it.

Photo of jamesdergen
2.81/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an amber-tinted iced tea with a small off-white head.

Smell: Some spice and grassy notes, but not much in the way of any perceptible aroma here.

Taste: Very dry and relatively bitter. Some dark, dried fruits, grassy notes and the alcohol at the end.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but light. A bit too carbonated which really detracts from the flavors in this beer.

Drinkability: I suppose the taste and high carbonation are the main things detracting from the drinkability factor here. I will finish this 33cl bottle, but wouldn't hit another one even if I had it.

Disappointing. The blue and white Chimays are far superior in my opinion. I suppose it's worth trying to compare to the other two, but it's not a beer I would recommend to my friends.

Photo of Calico
2.93/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured lovely clear amber with slight lacy head. Gorgeous color.

The aroma was of slight fruity esters with a little sweet malty note.

Interestingly, the first thing I noticed upon drinking it was the alcohol warmth. Then that subsided and I really couldn't taste much of anything. A rather watery beer. I think I'm comparing it with the Blue, with which I am more familiar (been drinking that stuff on occasion for over 17 years). I was expecting the thick sweetness of the Blue and it just wasn't there. Not an utter disappointment; I would drink it again, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Photo of laituegonflable
2.94/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quick back story. This was one of the first beers I ever reviewed on BA and gave it a score of 4.55 (with some juvenile notes from my uneducated palate thrown in). Since then I've failed to recapture the sensation of orgasmic ambrosia I thought this beer was at the time and when the re-weighting came in the score was bumped up to 4.8. Too high, I thought, so I put the challenge to my friends to serve me this blind some time so I could re-evaluate in fairness. BA @lacqueredmouse heeded the call, and this new review is the result.

Pours a dirty red colour with much floaties. Head is off-white, nice and dense with a whipped-egg texture. Lace is sticky and provides a nice sheen. Quite good; not sure about floaties.

Smells very musty and slightly mouldy, a bit weird. Lots of grain on there and yeast esters as well. Hint of white bread and brown sugar, maybe some acetyldehyde as well. Slightly cidery, slightly bready. Can't say I'm a big fan.

Taste also lacks a lot. Plenty of sweetness to it with barley and some brown sugar notes. hint of honey on there and some herbal notes coming through late. Mild grass and some myrtle with some light thyme and medicinal phenols on the back. Sweetness on the front and spice on the back don't quite merge seamlessly with one another, and overall I'm a bit underwhelmed.

Thin mouthfeel, little bit of texture but lacking a bit as far as making its presence felt.

Quite disappointed. There's just not a lot to this.

Photo of gnoff
2.94/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Swedish "Systembolaget".

Brown color, brown head.
Belgian beer scent.
Very metallic taste.

A bit unpleasant, and it's not just this one bottle, I've felt it when I've tried it (the red) before as well.

I love the Blue Chimay, but the red one is just not glass of beer at all.

Photo of Beaver13
2.96/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Chimay Red poured a cloudy copper-gold. It had a fizzy fine-bubbled white head that had decent retention.

The aroma was very vinous (red wine / champagne) with some sour notes.

The flavor was strong pear and champagne with smaller notes of alcohol and a little sourness. Some yeastiness and bitterness came out as it warmed. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth, but a little fizzy.

Overall, I personally didn't care for the flavor at all (pear and champagne). I really don't like champagne and this was way too similar for me. It was pretty well made and did get a little better as it warmed, but I was already tuned into the flavors I didn't care for.

Photo of JDV
2.98/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, dark reddish brown color with an off white, dingy yellowish quickly diminishing head, and floating yeasty sediment. Has a fruity, sweet, and sour nose similar to a flemish sour ale. Initial taste strikes me as fairly dry and bland and then opens up into a spiced fruitiness, with a clove-like coriander flavor with an almost dull numbing effect. This could also be the intense over carbonation that almost strips and dries the tongue. Overall, quite drinkable for a fairly high alcohol beer, but I'm not a big fan of the clove spiced flavors in this and in hefeweizens.

Photo of imfinished
3/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's drinkable, but it's completely bland. Very little in the way of taste or smell. Nothing else stands out. A fairly boring beer.

Photo of Klassicchris
3.01/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured our of bottle into glass. Cost was not worth the taste. Sour fruit is all I can taste even after an hour. Not my kind of beer. Prefer IPA/porter so I may be a little spoiled. Not into fruity tastes.

Poured nice caramel w light head.

Smell-sour
Taste-sour fruit

Photo of yelterdow
3.03/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at cellar temperature in the Chimay chalice.

Appearance- Pours a deep chestnut/garnet, with a finger of bone white head. Good cling... a thin mat and foamy center island remain standing.

Smell- Spices and dark fruit, plums, figs, a mild aroma of shoe leather. No real alcohol nose going on here... more notes of briefcase and bowling ball bag. Flan.

Taste- Extremely weak for a dubbel... not much character at all. Very diluted tastes of dark fruit and malts, with a light hop bite in the very finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Quite thin but nicely carbonated... a very easy drinking dubbel. For the style, it doesn't interest me nearly as much as St. Bernardus or Westmalle, but it certainly isn't bad.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,424 ratings.