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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

3,486 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3486
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,486 | Reviews: 1,537 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown color with large but dissipitating head. Good smell with spice and some fruit, which did not disapoint in the tasting. Semi-dry aftertaste.

Had a bottle after two years, and it's smooth, decent for a large brewery.
Three and a half years after my first bottle, and it is a staple when I take a nice corked 750 ml. to a party. Molasses and creaminess in the yeast. Keeps on drinkablity.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2003 16:30:50 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy opaque prune juice color with a small 1/2 inch head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Yeast sediment in the bottom of the glass. Smells of dark fruits like plums and raisins, caramel, yeast. Tastes of dark fruits, caramel, honey, yeast, cloves and maybe cinnamon. Very tasty. Beer is somewhat highly carbonated. Crisp and clean in the mouth. Excellent drinkability on this very delicious dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 02:36:46 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is one of my first Belgian beers and is my first Trappist Ale. I used the opportunity to christen my new Chimay goblet. My beer fridge is right at the temperature recommended for this beer by the brothers themselves, so all the pieces are in place.

Turbid, dark honey brown. It looks like it might be kind of coppery orange if/when it clears. I slowly inverted the bottle before opening, so that probably stirred things up quite a bit. I'm not sure if that was such a good idea. The head is light almond in color and looks soft. A good 1/2" persists, but I don't see much in the way of lace.

The aroma is fruity and a bit spicy, with maybe some background hoppiness. The flavor is predominantly malt and spice (clove with some cinnamon) that is accentuated as the beer warms. There's some hoppiness as well, but like the nose, it's in the background. Sweet tries to take over on the finish... and doesn't succeed. The mouthfeel is overly bubbled and almost fizzy.

I have mixed feelings about my first Chimay. It isn't as good as expected, but perhaps my expectations were too high. It's a good beer and I'll probably drink it again. That said, it's far from a favorite.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2004 18:55:04 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was really well done here with a nice amber color with a light hint of caramel around the edges, big head comes up and over the top and settles down gently into a firm and long lasting pillow with loads of side glass lacing. Aroma is nice, much sweeter then I was expecting. Lots of caramel and malts right up front here, light hint of an herbal note boucning around as well, but not terribly strong. Warming brings out a yeast note that is quite intresting and adds a light fruit touch to it, but very sweet still. Flavor again is very intresting and not what I was expecting. Rich notes of caramel and almost candied like sugar abound here. Light touches of hops play on the tongue now as well, very intresting. Comes across almost like an amber ale to me, has that bready maltiness and caramel flavor I associate with it. A bit thin on the feel but the carbonation really saves it and gives it that little bit of pop to pull you in. Soo nicely done that it goes down like candy and really just a smooth and really nice drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 17:33:30 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque rusty brown color with a white fluffy head that hangs around and leaves lacing around the glass

Smell: Caramel malt backbone offsets a herbacious, medicinal nose; rather phenolic and musty; distinct yeast odor as well

Taste: Spicy clove and bubblegum tastes are among the first flavors to make themselves present; followed by a subtle flash of bitterness after the swallow; some vague toffee sweetness and green apple also arrive to join the other flavors in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly watery compared to other dubbels; lively carbonation

Drinkability: Subtle and understated, but there are other dubbels I prefer

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2005 00:44:56 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pourred a copperish brew with a nice big head. The head stayed on top for a long time. Very complex spice with a not too distinct alcohol taste. I would describe the taste as sweet with a light bitterness aftertaste. Very firm body. This is classic and can never get enough of this.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2003 18:41:04 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprised to see this on tap at the Liberty Taproom, Myrtle Beach. Served in proper Chimay chalice and a reasonable temperature. The beer seemed under carbonated, especially for a Belgian Trappist, and was evident in the thin foamstand and the more dull texture. The aromas are candy sweet, malty, fruity tart, and berry like. Flavors bring the same characteristics as the aromas, and add dark, dehydrated fruits, syrup sweetness, bread, yeast, and cherries. The body was firm and moderate despite the light caronation. Finishes quite sweet with a hop bittering. True to Trappist quality, this is one fine brew.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2007 22:27:36 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a goblet with Thanksgiving dinner 2010.

Pours a medium brownish-crimson color with a single-finger white head with a touch of lacing. The retention isn't the best either, though it's certainly a nice color. Nose is dark caramel, purple plum, dates, raisins, and a touch of booze.

The flavor brings forward some notes of lightly-sweetened dark fruits, raisins, and malt along with a fairly strong presence of dates and a nice yeasty character. Medium body with low carbonation and a bit of booze. Drinks fairly well but doesn't have all that much depth.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2010 21:48:27 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured cloudy brownish amber into a snifter glass with a very large head that quickly dies down into a thin, swirly head. Yeast particles are clearly visible floating near the bottom of the glass.
S: Malty, yeasty aromas dominate the smell.
T: There's an immediate sense of malty sweetness, followed by some spices. The finish is a bit dry, but is interesting because it counteracts the initial sweetness. The dry finish completely disappears as the beer warms up and the overall taste becomes sweet, but not in any way overpowering. The presence of alcohol is completely masked.
M: The beer has a light to medium body and feels smooth, mainly due to the level of carbonation.
D: It's very easy to consume, and becomes even easier as it warms up and becomes sweeter.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 23:06:50 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a murky, mahogany-hued body with an inch of fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Dark caramelized malts with a touch of treacle, dark fruits, toasted bread, and spice.

Taste: Toasty dark malts with a caramel sugar sweetness and light dusting of spice. Slight breadiness. Vinous fruit character with flavors of plums and golden raisins, though it develops a stronger banana taste upon warming. Fleeting hint of cocoa powder. Brief yeastiness. Finishes a bit sweetness with a final cocoa-fruit mix.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Well carbonated.

Drinkability: Pretty good! Nice complexity and fairly well-balanced. In fact, the whole Chimay family is very solid and overall enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 00:27:06 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahh a nice Sunday brunch beverage,pours a nice medium brown with a slight orange tint with a huge rocky head that leaves some incrdible lacingAroma is fruity and slightly smokey.The flavor starts out a little smokey but it semmed to get a little watery in the middle ending with a nice malty,bready flavor lingering.A very nice looking beer and tastes pretty good but would have liked a little more richnes.Still a extremely well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2003 16:38:08 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Chimay chalice.

With my new chalice here, I can make the perfect beer/glassware combination. Boom. Just as nature intended. This stuff pours a mostly clear ruby-sienna topped by a half-finger or so of sandstone foam. The nose comprises raisins, figs, rich caramel, Belgian candi sugar, and a smattering of clove. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a definite vein of dark fruits, a swirl or two of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of ginger. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mostly fluid feel. Overall, a damn solid dubbel, a clear classic of the style. Not much else to say than that.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 05:16:13 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Small bottle. Age unknown, but prior to the fairly recent packaging change-over; and aging is not really needed with this beer. Cloudy reddish-brown with an orange cast. The light tan head wants to rise out of the glass at first, but eventually subsides to a very creamy 1/8" head that holds throughout the serving and leaves some nice lace. The aroma is lightly fruity (dark fruits - raisin, plum, fig... and maybe some lighter fruits as well), lightly phenolic (even some minor bubblegum), gently citrusy, somewhat woody, somewhat sweet, softly spicy (clove) and subtly leathery. The body is light/medium but with a very soft, smooth, and creamy palate from a very fine, natural carbonation. The flavor is somewhat rich with a fruity, bready malt flavor, some yeastiness, and some light grassy hops that round and balance. It finishes semi-dry with a light spiciness that lingers. Although it may appear one-sided at first, a closer examination will reveal that there's much more going on. That's what makes this beer work so well - its great balance and finesse. The flavors and aromas don't reach out and grab you individually, but rather act as a whole, which gives it complexity as the varied characteristics are slowly revealed at different times throughout the serving. Highly drinkable, and quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2002 17:12:38 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml stubby bottle. The middle bro in this particular Trappist family.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium bronzed amber hue, with a multitude of effervescent, climbing, loosely foamy off-white head, which settles at an even pace, leaving a bit of pocked storm cloud lace in its wake.

It smells of semi-sweet bready caramel malt, candi sugar, fleshy black fruit (plum and prune, mostly), a bit of yeast, some mild indistinct spice, and faint earthy hops. The taste is more bready, lightly toasted caramel and toffee malts, sugary dark fruit, ethereally spicy yeast, and some light leafy, almost weedy hops. No real sign of the elevated ABV.

The carbonation is moderate, if a bit fizzy at first, the body a decent medium weight, with a certain fruity pithiness, and generally quite smooth. It finishes slightly off-dry, still tempered in its maltiness, and fairly clean.

A nicely balanced, tasty sipper, not too heavy - a good thing I forced myself to slow down and appreciate it, when the urge to pound it back after another hectic prep day was strong.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 21:05:18 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear crimson coloration, with busy fizzing above in the beigish head, which dies quickly..nose is spicy, sweet, caramel, and cola, dark fruits and more, but, really, not enough...these days, I expect more from a dubbel.
In the mouth, tasty enough, but not much more than average...nutty, slightly chocolatey, very light, very lean, leaves the palate quickly, though...and a dull fuzz remains on the tongue, and dies...pretty average, really.
Boy, this used to be a good beer, I mean, a really good beer, but, this is just kind of dull. Medium bodied, dull, soporific finish...fizzy cola-ish taste...very dull, compared to other Belgian, hey, even, no, especially American offerings!!!
I am damned disappointed in the dullness of this rather dreary, lackluster, coasting- on -the- coattails- of- it's- past-kind of brew.
It's been several years since I've had a bottle of this, and it may be many more, now that I've had it again. It's like you get a glimmer of the taste, but it dies too quick, and does nothing...this should never be thought of as an exemplar of this style, if you really want to try the real stuff...even Maredsous is better than this!
A better beer than, say Milwaukee's Best, but not a match for St. Bernardus or even Allagash!

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2004 10:38:59 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz. bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a light color with a large foamy off-white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast and dark fruit, with subtle notes of caramel and spice, but overall the smell isn’t very strong.

T: Flavors of the same things that you get in the smell, yeast, spice, caramel & dark fruit all compliment each other well. I noticed a little bit of a metallic flavor that faded completely as the beer warmed slightly. The after-taste is sweet and a little bready.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, it has a good kick but not too strong that it catches up to you too quickly. I only had a small bottle, but I could have polished off a large bottle with ease.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 06:14:25 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dubbel is probably my favorite beligian beer style & I've always enjoyed this one, except when too young (seemed to be a problem in some the drink markets I found France (Cora) & somewhat on base at the class 6 stores in Germany, not the case with this sample!

Poured murky red (settled out nicely) with a 2 fingers+ whipped tan head with superior lacing and head retention

Smell: Iron and fruitiness

Taste: Iron up front, breadiness/fruitiness & the a slighltly yeasty dry finish

MF: Rich, moreish, effervescent

Very quffable & a good starting point for those who've never tried doubles, not the best, but pretty close IMHO

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2006 03:20:41 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a thick off-white head that lasts. The aroma is good. It has a malty, yet very spicey scent. It smells like there are some crystal malts and ginger used. It has a strong rootbeer type aroma. The taste is good. It is light with a watery finish. It has a decent belgian brown flavor to it. It is smooth going down. There is no sign of an elevated abv. taste. The mouthfeel is great. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation . This beer drinks well; an excellent sessions beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2004 23:03:41 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Beer is brown and hazy. Forms a thin white head of tiny bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Smells slightly hoppy. Good nice wet aroma, with a lot of malt character.

Wow, totally not what I remembered. This beer is great, a little yeasty with great spice character and nice full body. Beer's drinkability is high and mouthfeel is great. There is a specific sweetness to this that I really appreciate. Second taste, seriously this is a great Belgian ale. The bitterness is not as obvious as I once thought but now there is a great flavor of bready yeast that adds to the total profile of the beer. A truly wonderful beer experience.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 05:10:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly hazy brown color with a white head. The aroma is dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel malt. The flavor is grapes, dark fruit, caramel malt, alcohol, yeast and brown sugar. Very complex and very nice. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A world classic that didn't disappoint. 4

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2010 04:20:33 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared a big bottle with a fellow beer lover. Pours out a dark amber or even brown-ish color. Good size head, 3 fingers, at least. It smelled of yeast, fruit and you could detect the alcohol, as well. It had a much more malty flavor and it had a spicy kick, also. It had a crisp mouthfeel. The only complaint is that it is a little heavy. Overall, Chimay proves they know beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2006 19:25:45 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 18:00:07 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking reddish brown color. The head was fizzy and white, which also doesn't leave too much lacing either. The smell of the beer is a mostly earthy and a little spicy. The taste spicy upfront and suttles into a dry earthy sweetness in the end. The mouthfeel was about the same at the Grand Reserve. Overall this beer is good, I'm not a huge fan of the style but this one is worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 04:10:30 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay glass - It had a cloudy orangish-brown color with a thick foamy head that was well-retained.
The smell was floral and tangy with a bready background.
The taste was of a floral fruitiness - esp. apple - balanced between sour and bitter. Yeast and alcohol were noticeable, but in the background.
The mouthfeel was smooth, but a dry bitterness remained.
It is a delicious beer, though I prefer the "white" Chimay a bit more, and the "blue" Chimay much more.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 19:17:17 | More by jwc215
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know I said in an earlier review I was saving my bottle for years to come, well I still am.

This review is of a bottle bought in September 2007 and best before 2011, it is being drunk on my 'Night of the Chimay' as I have all three beers and some cheese from the Abbey all purchased in Middelkerke on the Belgian coast during a resent visit.

Was it the cheese? Or was it the other Chimay beers lined up next to it, this beer was a lot better than the first review in all aspects.

It seemed richer and fuller, it looked happier too. Its aroma was wholesum and more fruity, the flavours stood out more and the overall enjoyment was a whole lot greater.

I am now really looking forward to trying the beer i have set aside for later (2010).

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2007 21:52:27 | More by BlackHaddock
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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,486 ratings.