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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,600 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

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Reviews: 1,600
Hads: 4,448
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 5.88%
Wants: 224
Gots: 653 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,600 | Hads: 4,448
Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

5/24/2010: Revisited this and I don't like it as much. Intense fruity esters with a peppery finish, somewhat cloying.

Appearance: Dark chestnut, just barely translucent, with less foam and carbonation than Chimay's other 2 beers.

Smell: Mild fruity sweetness, bringing to mind black cherries and figs.

Taste/mouthfeel: Nutty and malty with a mild lingering sweetness and a slight peppery quality. Medium-bodied and surprisingly quaffable. Great stuff.

4/4/4.5/4/4.5 (469 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (1,178 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -2%
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. (1,062 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (1,045 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (377 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (440 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (696 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown foam on a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles pretty quickly and leaves relatively little lace.

S - Malty aroma of caramel, mild raisins, and spicy, fruity alcohol.

T - Carmel and raisins up front, followed quickly by dark roast flavors and a bit of hop flavor. Dark caramel flavors really come out in the middle, along with yeasty fruit, and interact nicely with the raisins before melding into roast flavor that combines malt and hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium-thick body with high carbonation and a very dry, almost chalky finish.

D - Quite drinkable and complex, it is surprisingly dark and roasty without as much fruity caramel character as one might expect. (713 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (640 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany color with a two finger off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Somewhat sweet malt with a strong presence of brown sugar and dark fruit.

Taste: The dominant themes here are just like the smell. Malty with some brown sugar and dark fruit notes. There is a bitterness in the finish along with some warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with slightly over aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a toned down version of the blue in my mind. Good, but I would rather have blue. (604 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (1,316 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (891 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded brown with an orange tint. Thin creme head. Nose is male and sugar. Flavor is the same. Earthy overall tone. Very slight fig and fruit thing going on as well. Feel has a bit of a nipping carbonation. Liquid is thick enough. Slightly complex on this one. Certainly not boring. And definitely a reliable beer. (323 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Sunset Cantina in a heavy goblet.

The lacing was great, just as I expected and it left some dazzling rings in the glass. Sweet raw honey-like malt aroma and flavour, some herbal medicinal flavour clash with a fresh tasting juicy hops. Ripe tropical fruit is vague but present. A hell of a lot sweet than what I am used in the bottle, I actually prefer the bottle but would certainly order this again. (417 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
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 (641 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The macro of the Trappist Ales, if that's possible. Anyway...Appearance: deep amber brown with an fluffy creamy textured tan colored head very nice retention lacing is trademark Belgian lacing tiny webbed even patterns. Aroma: Mild fruit tones of apple and raisin variety are evident a bit of a musty breadiness their I'm guessing product of the yeast and a mellow malt profile is here with hops blended into the harmonious mix. Taste: This one by far when compared to other Belgian ales lacks in comparison most of the time, flavor has a musty finish the fruit isn't quite as apparent as in the aromatics flavors seem dull here not as much of an orgy of flavor as I would like to occur there is however a breadiness mixed within the flavor some bittering hops here in the finish but overall overrated on reputation alone in my book. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied creamy texture nice no complaints and not too much praise. Drinability: Yeah it's clean and finishes nicely but hand me a bier from Brewery Ommegang anyday before Chimay Red (Premiere). (1,044 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a (nonreal) pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland, on October 29th, 2010. Pours a five finger head with cream and nice thicknessl reduces to two fingers over about two minutes. A dark cloudy amber colour. Definitely appealing.

Smell: Multiple balanced notes of fruit, barley, and a hop lacing. Hard to detect individual flavours with my broken nose, but I can tell already this is built well.

Taste: Built very well. Slight cream on the open, a note of fruit balanced against its barley and non-adjuncts, and a satisfying finish. The aftertaste has some fruit as well, maybe raspberry? Overall very well built for a dubbel.

Mouthfeel: Coarse where it needs to be. Not too wet. Gets more dry at the finish to make me want more. Refreshing but tantalizing.

Drinkability: I'll seek this out in the future. I prefer it to Chimay blue. It's not the best dubbel I've had, but we're quibbling over which bar of gold has more minor dents. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed. (1,025 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours as a cloudy brown with some nice raspberry color. The head starts off beautifully, it disipates quickly. There is no lace left on the glass.

The aroma is candy sugar with a slight amount of hop. Intiguing.

The flavor is quite mild up front--lots of sweet caramelized malt. A nice, but muted, hop shows up to provide excellent balance. I detect citrus, banana and alcohol warmth. There is some cream-like sourness. This is full bodied and highly carbonated.

As one of the six Trappest Ales; this marks a great start to our flight of Chimay Ales. Next up: Cinq Cents. (585 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
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! (1,259 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (633 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (707 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (479 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature chalice, bottled on 8/31/2013. Cork popped itself off when I uncaged it. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light chocolate, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light nuttiness, light chocolate, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Moderate amount of yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light chocolate/nuttiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming lingering after the finish. Overall this is an incredible dubbel style! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,611 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

large bottle served in a chalice. Improved with some warming.

My favorite Belgian, as of a few years ago, but never rated and not sampled for some years.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a grand, creamy tan head that reduces to a durable top coat. Full lacing washes down the side of the glass with every sip. The head, at least, deserves a 5.

Plenty of fruity yeast in the nose, with some sweet malt, a hint of tartness, and light notes of cloves and dark fruits.

T: a tart and fruity dubbel, featuring fig and apricot notes, with a fine balance of sweet, sour and light bitter. Some mild alcohol esters complement rather than detract from the flavor. Hard to criticize, but perhaps a tad more yeasty and earthy than ideal in the finish -- or this can be part of its charm.

M - rather lively carbonation, but perfect for the medium-full body. Slight dryness in the finish. (881 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slightly cloudy orangish dark brown with a small amount of visible sediment (yeast) near the bottom of the glass. The beer has a just shy of two finger tall beige head that reduces to a thin layer covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light lacing os observed.

S: There is a very malty and slightly yeasty aroma overall for this beer. I detect some sweetness to the malts with hints of brown sugar. There are also some hints of dark fruits, mostly raisin and plum/prune. There is a subtle hint of the alcohol as well.

T: The beer has a nice and sweet malty body upfront, with lots of hints of dark fruit and brown sugar. Then there is a light spiciness with a light clove presence. The beer seems to get a little sweeter as it warms but never gets too sweet (not cloying at all). There is no taste of alcohol.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This is a pretty easy drinking beer and gets even easier as it warms up and there is additional sweetness. The presence of alcohol is faintly there in the smell but well hidden in the taste. A very good example of the style and one I have been drinking for a number of years (and likely will continue to drink). (1,277 characters)

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
91 out of 100 based on 1,600 ratings.