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

Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

3,483 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3483
Reviews: 1537
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%


Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,483 | Reviews: 1,537 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

1.58/5  rDev -61.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 20:11:12 | More by bobhits
Photo of edthecat
edthecat

Delaware

1.8/5  rDev -56.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 17:15:20 | More by edthecat
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

1.93/5  rDev -53.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2006 17:18:21 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of ivanwatling
ivanwatling

United Kingdom (England)

2.3/5  rDev -44.4%
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

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2011 18:43:59 | More by ivanwatling
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

2.33/5  rDev -43.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2006 01:04:45 | More by Crosling
Photo of Bugsey
Bugsey

District of Columbia

2.35/5  rDev -43.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2007 14:47:30 | More by Bugsey
Photo of RDAdams
RDAdams

Maryland

2.38/5  rDev -42.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2005 21:13:33 | More by RDAdams
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

2.4/5  rDev -42%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 19:54:56 | More by mattcrill
Photo of biglite351
biglite351

Pennsylvania

2.4/5  rDev -42%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2010 21:44:55 | More by biglite351
Photo of PatandDavid
PatandDavid

Massachusetts

2.42/5  rDev -41.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2003 17:59:16 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of Brunite
Brunite

Illinois

2.58/5  rDev -37.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 05:34:47 | More by Brunite
Photo of justiceavocado
justiceavocado

California

2.58/5  rDev -37.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 23:55:19 | More by justiceavocado
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

2.68/5  rDev -35.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2005 02:37:40 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

2.7/5  rDev -34.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 21:23:01 | More by Offa
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

2.75/5  rDev -33.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2003 18:40:42 | More by bditty187
Photo of jamesdergen
jamesdergen

Minnesota

2.78/5  rDev -32.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 02:34:34 | More by jamesdergen
Photo of Calico
Calico

New York

2.88/5  rDev -30.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 13:54:10 | More by Calico
Photo of gnoff
gnoff

Sweden

2.88/5  rDev -30.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2006 20:13:20 | More by gnoff
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

2.9/5  rDev -30%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2004 06:07:27 | More by Beaver13
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

2.95/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 00:15:10 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

3/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 18:48:51 | More by JDV
Photo of palliko
palliko

California

3.03/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a cloudy burgundy, massive foam and long lived lace. Aroma is my least favorite spice, and the reason I avoid Belgian beers – clove. Doughs and yeast mixed with light fruits are there also. Body is medium with complimentary carbonation. Initial taste consists of phenols and bitter hops offset by fruit, malt, yeast, ethanol and esters. An expensive beer. For those who like cloves, go for it.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2005 20:46:45 | More by palliko
Photo of yelterdow
yelterdow

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2006 21:29:19 | More by yelterdow
Photo of bigkahunas4
bigkahunas4

Massachusetts

3.03/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a gorgeous ruby amber, with great lacing. The nose didn't overwhelm me by any means. Taste was mainly graham cracker, and quite sour. Mouthfeel was light and very carbonated.

I was very disappointed and underwhelmed by this. Love the Chiimay quad, but this one just doesn't do it for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2008 13:07:01 | More by bigkahunas4
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one gushed a little when opened, nothing wild though, just a slow rise up and over flowing. in the glass it is a semi-hazy reddish orange tint with a finger of off white head.
nosing into the glass shows mostly soft spices, similar to what a rye would impart, and some clean pears and light fruits.
Flavors are a mellow malt backbone with earthy noble hobs over the top, and some spices.
Mouthfeel is medium thin, not a really long finish either.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2011 05:47:22 | More by ChadQuest
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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,483 ratings.