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

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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

4,197 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,197
Reviews: 1,584
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 179
Gots: 449 | 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:
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: 4,197 | Reviews: 1,584 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of metter98
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
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 herbaceous, medicinal nose; banana and must; distinct yeast odor as well

Taste: Spicy clove and banana 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

Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: single finger head foamy. Mild gold with crimson hues

S: malt with dark fruit notes

T: malt and dark fruit. Mild hops, touch of bitterness in the aftertaste. Nice spice character.

M: medium body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: A very well made and complex beer. Always pricey on draft but a decent pick up in bottles.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
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

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a bright copper color with a fine bubbly belgian head. smells woody, yeasty, and slightly fruity. dried fruits in the flavor tart a bit perhars like cranberries or bing cherries, green apples even. floral hops gently appear in the flavor as well, but the yeast is the star here for me, slightly sour but very round in the finish. mouthfeel is great, like all chimay brews its lively and drinkable. this is not what i think of when i think of a dubbel, its lighter and more fruity than many examples of the style, but it is a very well made beer, and one that im sure ill purchase again.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of zeff80
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,197 ratings.