1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,486 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3486
Reviews: 1537
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%

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

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,486 | Reviews: 1,537 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of theboozecruise


4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Caramel color with some red tinges to it... small creamy head. The smell was what I've come to expect from good Belgian ales... spicy, sweet, very well balanced. Delicious taste to this one as well. Malt with the spices picked up in the aroma all coming through.

This might be my favorite Dubbel to date.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2009 14:03:39 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of GilGarp


4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a New Belgium globe glass and served slightly chilled.

Even after sitting several days from the time of purchase, there is still a lot of sediment floating in the beer. Color is a hazy copper orange and the small amount of white head doesn't last as long as I expected. It settles to a thin layer with no signs of lacing.

Aroma is really pleasant with typical Belgian yeast smells of banana and clove with a nice sweet and spicy layer as well.

Flavor is also excellent. It has all the great flavors I associate with a Belgian including the fruity esters, spice notes like clove and cinnamon, maybe some pepper, and a nicely bittered dry finish.

Mouthfeel is medium plus body with a good effervescent tingle. Drinkability is very good and, if this were a 750ml, I would have no problem finishing it off.

This may have been the first great beer I ever had (back when I was in college) and I remember liking it a lot back then even when my experience with beer was mostly crap. I'm glad to see that it's still a great beer after all these years.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 22:48:07 | More by GilGarp
Photo of GordonQuid


4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750Ml bottle to a sifter glass.

Deep amber w/ a 1 inch white head. Ample lacing present.

Smells of fresh dates, raisins, ripened pair fruit and dark cherry candy laced w/ chocolate.

Taste is full bodied fruit-cake w/ a delightful yeasty bite that lingers.

Good full mouthfeel but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 18:03:31 | More by GordonQuid
Photo of JordanEllwanger


4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fizzes quickly out of the bottle yet slow rising off white head in the glass and fizzes down leaving no lace. A rich dark opaque burgundy color.

Smells of liquor and deep bread malts.

Taste is very bready with it's graininess leanding to the alcohol flavors. Very much malt even after.

Feel is well and smooth, medium bodied.

Very drinkable and a great beer.


Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 05:04:48 | More by JordanEllwanger
Photo of fastsrt

New York

4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one lives up to the hype, it is such a Balanced beer there are no flavors that are over bering, sometimes i find that the Belgian yeasts over power the other flavors in the beer not here. it starts off smooth and finishes smooth, this was a enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 21:04:59 | More by fastsrt
Photo of vandemonian


4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer has a cloudy, amber colour. The head was about 1 cm high and lasted about a minute, however it never quite went away due to the persistent carbonation. It has a lovely sweet, hoppy smell with a hint of yeast. The flavour is like lightly roasted malt with a slightly bitter, almost citrussy aftertaste.
This beer feels great in the mouth. It is reasonably thick and foamy, due to the carbonation.

Great flavour and extremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 00:11:39 | More by vandemonian
Photo of Callaghan


4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A: Nice off white head. Plenty of bubbles coming up from the bottom center of the glass. The color is rusty, very cloudy, but an attractive red hue shines through. Though it produced a nice 2 finger head, for some reason, it died quickly, and left a very thin, spotty film around the edge of the glass. This is unusual for me, as normally the head retention is pretty good. I've enjoyed this beer many times, and this is the only time the head died like this, and not left any lacing. Maybe my glass wasn't too clean?

S: This is more like it. Syrupy sweet, reminds me of the "lik-a-stik" that comes in a "fun dip" packet. Flowery, and honey. A little clove in there as well.

T: I love the way this beer tastes! Malty, but not overpowering, it allows so many other flavors to come through. Apricot, honey, clove being the most present, figs, and when warmer, the flavors become more distinct. A little peppery at the finish, and everything ends together, leaving you wanting another sip. Truly wonderful!

M: Silky smooth with a good amount of carbonation. The beer has to warm up first, as there is too much carbonation when it's too cold. When warm, it slides onto your palate with ease, allowing you to pick out what it has to offer, at your own pace. A very nicely balanced flavor, that while it sits in the mouth, the carbonation turns it to cream. I really like this, and I have not had another beer that can do this quite like Chimay Red.

O: One of my favorites! I have had this many times, and will continue to have this over and over again. Everything from the pour to the finish is a treat, (though on this pour, something was not right...) There are others out there that come close, but for me, this is the One!

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 03:43:52 | More by Callaghan
Photo of barnzy78


4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into my Chimay glass, pours bronze/light brown with a bubbly ivory head, excellent head retention, but no lacing on the glass. Aromas are bready, fruity, Belgian yeast, banana, and woodsy. Delicate flavors and tremendously balanced with notes of bready malt, ripened dark fruits, raisin, currant, faint chocolate, chardonnnay, toffee, earthy hop bitterness, and wood, while finishing dry. Booze is warming, especially towards the end as the ale itself warms up a bit.
Mouth-feel is creamy, silky smooth, lighter bodied, but feels fuller from the perfected carbonation. Overall, one of my absolute favorite beers out there. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 03:45:15 | More by barnzy78
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

4.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chamay-moi, Chamay me fan. I used to think Blue was it, but red, white, blue all good in their own rights. Much depends on the temperature and condition of the bottle. This red Dubbel is a good one.

Appearance: Pours an opaque mahogany brown color with a tan fluffy head that hangs around and leaves much lacing. (served in a Carton Tulip)

Smell: Caramel malt backbone is decorated with herbacious, cedary, woody, raiseny nose; much must and yeast also, but it all works for me. Old world Church like.

Taste: As it smells, but fuller, rounder, with some spicy clove, berries, and a nice long bitter ride to the finish, then toffee sweetness and fresh cut tart apples. Beautiful finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium creamy, well carbonated, cidery, tingly, and again a beautiful, appetizing finish.

Drinkability: Subtle, contemplative. I like it as well as any other dubbel. In some ways, so far, I may give the edge to white, red, blue in that order, but it's l always love the one I am with.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 20:14:15 | More by Act25
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured with a large head that quickly dissipates to a nice off-white bead. Nice yeasty/fruity nose.Very effervescent as usual, with a lively, slightly acidic mouthfeel, drying out in the end. I dunno, seems to me that this once had a bit more character in the years past, but still a world classic brew. Glad it's become widely availiable in my area.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2002 16:41:39 | More by beerluvr
Photo of joeysmokedporter


4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Preface to the normal evaluation--I served this bottle with minimal chilling time so it was served fairly warm. This was the first time I've had Chimay red since I began grading beer. I was absolutely blown away by the malty paradise of this beer, which seems to get better every time I drink it. I normally see the good German Oktoberfests and dopplebocks as the standard for malty goodness. not anymore.

A: pours reddish-brown, hazy, but a substantial head that settles slowly and leaves a model Belgian lace in its wake.

S: caramel and spice, combined with an alcohol note.

T: what I've long awaited. Starts with an amazing maltiness, caramel and fresh-baked bread. a slight amount of estery fruit and spice, before a very light bitter finish that is barely there unless you attempt to notice it.

M: A very light beer that packs a lot of flavor. Good carbonation.

D: The Chimay beers set the standard for drinkability. If surrounded by an unlimited supply, I could drink myself into oblivion. If I am dying, please surround me with a substantial supply of Chimay Red and Blue. I would not regret anything. Long live the very able monks who continue this tradition.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2007 03:15:38 | More by joeysmokedporter
Photo of NCSUdo


4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle. Cork dated as 2006.

A: Great color. Clear ruby/brownish, crimson-like color. Second glass was more hazy probably due to yeast, but that was my fault. 1 inch head that died down and left little lace. Great color but the head left something to be desired.

S: At first, seemed a little lacking. However, it did eventually reveal itself. Sweet up front, with some bananas, pears and apples. Definite spiciness, cloves. Good smell overall.

T: Sweet up front, banana fruitiness dominates. Some raisins also. Little to no alcohol, same goes with hops. Ultimately semi-dry finish. Overall a great taste.

M/D: Heavy body, but not too heavy, with a fair amount of carbonation. Great drinkability. A sipper but not something I would have to limit myself to 1 bottle at a time. Drinks much lighter then expected, extremely smooth, if I could give it a 6 I would.

Overall a great beer. This one is going to go into the books as my snobby beer. The one I brag about and always have on hand. Incredible taste and drinkability, coupled with a damn good appearence.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2007 00:17:20 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of Popkorn615

New York

4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served chilled, poured from bottle into a chalice-shaped glass.

A - Pours a dark amber with a one-fingered head that completely dissipates after a few minutes. Moderate carbonation - bubbles can still be seen floating through the body even after 10 minutes.

S - Fruity, a little nutty, and a touch liquory (thanks to its higher than normal proof - 7%), and a little malty. Tons of beautiful aromas filled my nasal passages. I couldn't pinpoint which fruit could be smelt/tasted, but after reading the mini-manual, the indication of apricot confirmed that fruit was the culprit.

T - Fruity, and subtle nutty, flavors are present. The increased alcohol content (as opposed to other beers) is more apparent. Sweet with a hint of honey-flavor.

M - Probably the silkiest feeling beer I have ever tasted. Tingly while in the mouth, and flows down the throat like a smooth river. Gives off a slight warmth as it goes down.

D - A beautiful-tasting beer, and moderately filling. I could definitely have a couple of chalices worth, but because of its filling-ness and elegance, I don't think I could drink a ton of it.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 02:20:31 | More by Popkorn615
Photo of Buggies


4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with some hints of dark orange. Big head that fades to nearly nothing.

S: Smells sweet. Has a nice fruity aroma to it.

T: Taste is a little fruity with sweet malt. There is also a little spiciness there. Maybe clove? It makes for an interesting taste. Also has a warming affect as if there was big abv, but there isn't.

A very easy drinker that you can sip on during the evening hours to relax.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 22:33:46 | More by Buggies
Photo of mralphabet


4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz Bottle Poured into Tulip glass

A: Reddish copper in color with a nice haziness with lots of yeast floating around.... About 2 fingers of hissing head... that disappears pretty quickly, little lacing. Very Belgian...

S: Fruits, everything from plums, apricots to apples and a mix of spices (clove, nutmeg & a touch of honey)... Not very beer like.... almost wine like in smell.

T: Wow.... There is a lot going on here.... all the fruitiness is in the taste.... It is sweet but it is nicely balanced with a light bitter finish. I just cannot nail everything down... I just tastes wonderful.

M: It is a little overly carbonated, it feels crisp and sharp when cold, but gets a little thicker as it warms. Alcohol is well hidden.

D: This is a slow drinker.. Let it warm and sit back and enjoy. Not a multi-session beer, 2 will do you.

My first Chimay. It is a wonderful brew.... with all the fruitiness it is almost wine like but it is a Classic Belgian Monk Brew.... a must try !!! Cannot wait to tap my White & Blue !!

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 03:17:44 | More by mralphabet
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Smaller 12oz bottle (sadly) poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a dark crimson tinged reddish brown with active but moderate white foam.

Smells of Belgian yeast, and malt. Hints of spices like cinammon and some fruit.

Quite tasty, though hard to describe. Complemented well with the carbonation. Nice hop at the finish that completes the experience.

Strangely delicious, and very easy to drink. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 13:37:01 | More by KTCamm
Photo of jmerloni


4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A nice rich brown that's a bit hazy with medium beige head that recedes fast. This looks nice and creamy.

S - Malt, lots of malt. Dark fruit. Caramel. Yeast. Some spice.

T - All the nose and more. One of the most complex tastes I've encountered. There are so many things working and interacting here that it's incredible. Plum,chocolate, black cherry, raisins, a little citrus lemon, caramel, thyme, and some yeast. Despite all the flavors, the taste is not overpowering and by no means is this beer "fruity." Very interesting.

M - Perfect. Could not be better crafted. Carbonation is there but not overimposing and it is consistent through each sip.

D - Surprisingly drinkable and thank god for that. The abv is completely hidden and it's middling in the first place. I could drink 3 or 4 of these. Expensive though.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 00:28:05 | More by jmerloni
Photo of arghbowl

New York

4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay goblet

A - Poured a very dark amber to copper with a nice fluffy 1/4" or so head.

S - Raisin and caramel up front, with a slightly spiced scent lingering in the nose.

T - Looks are deceiving. This tastes nothing like it looks, as it tastes like a very welcoming, but looks like it could be rather harsh. Again, rasins, and caramel dominate, but there's also a nice spiced finish. Very pleasant, and certainly invites another sip. Great aftertaste that isn't unpleasant at all. Sweet and savory at the same time.

M - Pleasant but somewhat syrupy. Nice level of carbonation - not too much or too little.

D - Almost too drinkable. Taste will leave you wanting more, and a large bottle would most likely be the perfect amount. Not a beer you can drink too many of, but with a beer this good you shouldn't want to.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 02:40:55 | More by arghbowl
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a chalice

A: pours a deep amber brown that is extremely hazy and pours with a full finger of frothy light tan head with extremely fine bubbles that lingers really nicely and leaves absolutely not lacing
S: great scent, cherries and slight licorice at the end of the nose, quite pleasant
T: very nice taste for the style, slight woody notes in the middle, cherries and dark fruits throughout, leaves a nice malty character with a very very slight licorice taste on the palate
M: medium carbonation, the head has lingered for a long time and thus i get a slight bit in each sip, the head is very thin and seems to pop aggressively in the mouth, almost like pop rocks
O: a really wonderful representation of the style, loved every aspect of it except the awkward bubble popping

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 00:58:58 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of LVituri


4.69/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Outra cerveja que eu acho menosprezada pelos especialistas. Mas na minha visão, trata-se de uma cerveja de coloração linda, bom aroma e ótima presença gustativa. Um rótulo da Chimay que me surpreendeu nas duas experiências que tive com ela, principalmente na versão rolha.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 13:18:30 | More by LVituri
Photo of MusicmanSD


4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simply put one of the best damn beers I've ever had. The original Chimay. The way it looks, ohhhh how I wish there was a 10 option! Fantastic off-white head, with the cloudy orange-red sunset looking body. Head recedes quickly, however, never does become a ring! The smell is awesome with raisins, sugar, molasses, caramel, and lots of other aroma's I'd never even dreamed of smelling in beer. The taste is the aforementioned last sentence except the yeast kinda makes it metallic tasting in a way. Alcohol is well hidden, although sort of prevalent at times. Kind of like a smooth, more refined, Arrogant Bastard. The mouthfeel isn't 5.0, but it's damn smooth. A running trait of this beer. The drinkability is awesome. You'll probably be toasted after one bomber bottle (in my case, 3 goblets full), but damn is it good. Wish it lasted longer and I had a tap of this in my house! Smooth and sweet. Perfect! Or in another case...Brilliant! Can't wait to try the blue label. Dubbel might be my new favorite style of beer!

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2006 04:16:40 | More by MusicmanSD
Photo of czechsaaz


4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big yeasty aroma, liquid bread, although an overused phrase, is appropriate. Also fermentation aromas of dark pit fruit. Also a very nice malt component of darker crystal and maybe some munich. A little spicyness of clove and pepper.

Deep reddish orange and clear with a great thick off white head that lasts and leaves great lacing.

Great malt character, deep brown sugar sweetness and a small dose of roast malt. Fermentation is very fruity, I get apricots and plums and sweet orange peel. Honey notes and a little bit of spice are in there too. Hop bitterness is apparent but very much in the background.

Full bodied with a fairly high carbonation level which makes it seem very lively.

It's a great example of a dubbel. It is hefty enough to be a winter warmer but subtle enough to drink anytime. Also a great food beer that will work with spicy, grilled or chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2006 08:13:26 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of adowney523


4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Belgian-style chalice from a 33 cL brown bottle. Pours a reddish-brown with an off-white head that fades quickly but leaves good lacing.

Smells of dark fruit and molasses with faint alcohol.

Tastes very sweet with vinous character. Slight medicinal phenols along with the flavor of baked brownies and plum.

Great carbonation with a sweet finish makes it very smooth and drinkable.

Outstanding! Near perfection in a bottle to me. Let this one warm before you drink it as the flavors are best at cellar temperature.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2007 02:08:13 | More by adowney523
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bready, fruity, intense flavor… prunish brown head frothy head carbonation… rich flavor, banans, fruit, cream, … clean finish, no bitterness… toffee-like..caramel sweetness, full-bodied flavor… sweet finish, sweet lingering aftertaste… goes down smooth… excellent drinkable… full of flavor… bready aroma and taste… caramel/toffee taste… crisp, clear… malty, honey flavors… burgundy hue… 11.2 oz short, fat, bottle, copped in a gift set from gary’s in Madison included chimay glass… strong 7% alcohol percentage not noticeable behind fig-fruit, sweet finish.. recommended…

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 15:29:10 | More by dsa7783
Photo of generallee

New York

4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a stubby brown 11.2oz bottle into a signature Chimay chalice that came with the gift set.

Appearance: It has a deep burgundy color with reddish amber highlights. The body has a light haze with a few small bits of yeast suspended in the liquid just above the bottom of the chalice. Its head builds up tall and thick with a creamy off white colored head. The head slowly recedes to a thin wispy covering that hangs on tell the finish and even leaves behind a small amount of lace.

Smell: The aroma has a pleasing dark sweet malt character with lots of good fruity esters and earthy Belgian yeast. There is a slight phenolic presence as well.

Taste/Mouth feel: There is a good sweet malty body that is full of fruity notes like apricot, dates and plums that mixes with some earthy yeast. In the middle there is a very slight astringency. It also has some light herbal hops spice and a pleasant alcohol that adds depth and warmth. In the finish the sweetness fades off giving way to dry earthy yeast. The texture is smooth with a slid medium to full body and well balanced carbonation.

Notes: This is a very solid Trappist Dubbel and an absolute joy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 22:35:03 | More by generallee
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,486 ratings.