Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,634 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,634
Hads: 4,637
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 262
Gots: 831 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A.
Belgium | website

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 (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,634 | Hads: 4,637
Photo of ivanwatling
2.35/5  rDev -42.7%
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

 353 characters

Photo of Ant777uk
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Colour...reddish black...perfect.

Aroma is very spicy and complex...loving. No fruit, just serious manly beer aromas...

Flavour is well balanced, with great bubbly aftertaste that comes through after. Though it simply does not compare with Bleu. So why buy when you can buy Bleu..?

Overall, having already been drinking lots of Bleu during 4 months, it seems a let down. Though compared with other beers, it's still tops.

This is kind of a sunlight version of Bleu...drink in the hot weather

 495 characters

Photo of Tawnos
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard glass.

The chimay red label pours a golden brown with a cloudy center. The substantial head leaves little lacing as it diminishes.

The smell is subdued. Subtle notes of toffee and a hint of chocolate intermingle with the spice smells.

The taste is good, like a brown ale/red ale crossover. Neither overly sweet nor bitter, the malt and alcohol both play a role in warming the palatte. The feeling of alcohol diminishes quickly and is replaced by caramelly malts and very subtle hoppiness. The aftertaste is a bit dirty, it makes me want to drink more to refresh the good flavors.

I could drink this the whole night, but would prefer to mix it up. For an extra dollar, the blue label chimay makes a much better deal in my opinion.

 765 characters

Photo of Popkorn615
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

 1,114 characters

Photo of TheGarvenator
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark, murky amber color with an extreme foamy response that dissipates slowly.

S - caramel and fruit with hops

T - caramel malt is my immediate taste...then raisin and more dark fruit taste...

M - very well balanced...not too bitter/tart

O - very enjoyable...great taste and smell which compliment each other perfectly and the balance of ingredients makes it that much better. There isnt anything I can point out as a flaw with this beer...I now understand why it is so highly praised; its well deserved...Cheers!

 529 characters

Photo of dsprainman
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle.
This beer pours a nice amber. Thick beige head. Sufficient lacing.
Smells of malt and plums. Rather bland to be honest.
Taste again brings memories of dark fruits and a sort of caramel/ brown sugar in the background. Not that outgoing.
Mouth-feel is somewhat lively. Not overly heavy.
All in all, This is alright but not really feeling it given the other two Chimay offerings and the many other dubels out there. Don't get me wrong, Its a stellar brew, just fell a little short of expectations.

 525 characters

Photo of Myk
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a hazy brown colored beer, slight amber in when backlit. small tan head that depleted fast. the aroma was figgy, fruity, and spicy yeast. the taste was much better than the aroma and appearance. it was spicy and hoppy with a soothing malt character. fig or grape fruity taste. it was very light body with a light and very drinkable mouthfeel.

 342 characters

Photo of RDAdams
2.4/5  rDev -41.5%
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.

 591 characters

Photo of captenaj
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this at the Total Wine shop in Ft Myers, Florida.

Appearance: Rich reddish-brown color with a thick, one-fingered head.

Smell: Malt, cherry, yeast.

Taste: Delicious. Very slight hops but the malt was more prominent. Although there was a slight cherry aroma, very minimal fruitiness was present in the taste. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with a very smooth finish.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth without a hint of the 7% ABV.

 453 characters

Photo of KaiMiller
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Subtle. Faint sweet aroma. Clear copper-brown, wonderful but fleeting head.
Banana esters, sweet spices (eg cloves), ripe stone fruit (apricot), apple pie. Yeasty, bread and toffee in the mouth. Slight alcohol warming in the finish. Exquisite if unchallenging. I want to drink a lot of these.

This is the benchmark of a soft, beautiful, balanced beer. I love it.

 363 characters

Photo of elvisnj
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sat down at ESPNZone in NYC Time's Square for a business meeting.

I had low expectations for the beer menu until I saw Chimay Red.

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay Goblet.

Looks good with a very small head due to careful pour. Appearance is dark. Hard to tell what color as it was not well lit but from what I can see it is a good looking beer.

Nose is all Belgian yeast and malt. Smells great. Taste is strong malt with dark fruits. Fig and raisin sweetness with a hint of bitterness. Candy sugar flavor and hops mixed just right with taste and effervescence. Mostly a clean finish with only a bare hint of malty bitterness at the end.

Carb is crisp and just right. Slight phenol warmth shines through. All in all a great representation of the style from a great brewery.

Lunch at ESPNZone was not bad. This beer was definitely the best part.

He shoots.... HE SCORES!!!

 882 characters

Photo of konadrinker
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a chalice

A: Pours a reddish brown, can't see through it at all. Very interesting appearance. 1 finger light tan head. Hardly any lacing.

S: Slight spice and distinct yeast scent with a little fruit (black cherries and figs) and a touch of hops. Not much of a nose, but what is there smells pleasant. Slight musty smell lingering underneath.

T: Pretty complex, lots of flavors going on here. A little sweet, a little bitter, a little sour, a little spicy. Slight sweetness to start, that goes a little spicy/yeasty and then a little sour and bitter. Finishes slightly dry, and crisp. None of the flavors are overpowering, they are all in a great balance.

M: Lighter to medium body. Lots of very fine carbonation bubbles. Slightly smooth mouthfeel.

D: Great drinkability. Very refreshing and easy to drink. Alcohol is pleasantly masked.

 867 characters

Photo of SteveMi
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured gently from the bottle into a chalice.

A - Dark brown with reds that come through the light. It kept a one and a half finger off white fluffy head. Carbonation was consistant and refused to let the head fall too early. Beautiful!

S - Sweet caramel and spice. Hints of raisins with a slight bready addition.

T - Raisiny, sweet bread and spices. Not terribly complex but satisfying nonetheless.

M - Medium body. High carbonation but not enough to hamper enjoyment.

O - Quite a treat! I'm embarrassed I had not given this oen a chance earlier while scouting for belgian beers.

 586 characters

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

Almost a paradox - a trappist beer that I can find in almost any UK supermarket or off-licence.

Given the ubiquitous nature of this beer, it is surprisingly good.

It's very warming, but not treacly like a lot of other high-alcohol beers (it's 7%). It does have a fruity aftertaste, and goes down very easily. I could drink about 3 of these before I wanted something lighter (or fall asleep). I'm not sure it's a beer to accompany a meal (it is almost food in itself), I always drank blond beers when I was eating red meat or Mussels in Belgium, I never really considered trying a heavy beer with food.

 608 characters

Photo of pojo41
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Darkish amber color with a good, off-white head. Good lacing on glass.
Malty aroma. Tastes of caramel, malt and raisins with a touch of bitterness at the end. Another beer shared with my brother. This tasted great as did every beer we drank that night. Another great beer.

 273 characters

Photo of tko741
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2oz mini-bottle right into a matching Chimay goblet. A curious and inviting mocha/citrus brown, with a cream colored-head that settles to a fine mist over the beer, leaving not much in the way of lacing.

Initially smells of delicate orange zest, a little malt toastiness, and some ripe dark fruit. Very inviting. After the sip, a bit of the steely maltiness hits you, which some may not enjoy.

The taste is, at first, filled with luscious malts, followed by a fleeting hop tinges. After that, the steely malt flavors come into play, but it's not unpleasant at all. Finishes a bit dry on the palate.
Mouthfeel is spongy, tingly, and never boring.

I could certainly go for a few more rounds of this if I could afford it!

 739 characters

Photo of CountJustinian
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice shade of brown with only minimal head that dissipated quickly. Smell is powerful and fulsome; fruit and spice are detectable. Cola flavor is evident in the taste, as are sugary malts and pepper. Mildly sweet, yeasty, creamy and dry. Medium body with high but soft and smooth carbonation. Finishes crisply with no bitterness whatsoever. Alcohol is hidden nicely for a 7.00. And for those who are into sessionability, this is an extremely sessionable beer. I only wish the waitress had brought me a clean glass with each additional bottle....

 554 characters

Photo of erickehoe
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burgundy with 1/2+ inch creamy, bubbly head. Looks like molasses.

Aroma of ripe bananas, a bit of scalded milk. Yeasty with some pepperiness. Notes of ten cent bubblegum.

A bread-like beginning to this beer. Chewy and complex, maintaining subtlety and a deep maltiness. Notes of banana, bubblegum, spritzy and light carbonation through the middle. A hint of spice pokes through, only momentarily. Finishes with an elegant, cleansing springlike hop flavor. Subdued. Warming.

Sweet, velvety mouthfeel. Finishing with a dry cleansing.

A beer on the sweeter side, but offers complex flavors from beginning to end. Subtle use of hops allows the bubblegum, banana and yeast to pervade. Highly enjoyable and drinkable.

 728 characters

Photo of stodbrew
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a beautiful deep red, verging on brown, color. Clear. Thick white head that settled to about a quarter inch and lasted the whole glass.

Aroma is strangely lacking. There's a bit of spice but that's about it.

Flavor is a bit better, there's some more phenolic spiciness, but it disappears very quickly.

Mouthfeel was full with quite a bit of prickly carbonation.

Overall, its a good beer, but its a bit on the boring side.

 444 characters

Photo of jdoherty
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is as spectacular as advertised. Got my hands on this little bottle at a bodega in the Bronx (of all places).

A: A golden amber hue that gets darker on the way to the top. You can visibly see the sediment in a clear glass.

S: Chocalate nodes with a perfectly equal hops and malt smell. The two can not be mixed more perfectly. In my opinion this is the ultimate beer aroma.

T: A bitter caramel smell that leaves a sweet taste upon going down. There is a chocalate aftertaste which makes you want a few more sips

M: Heavenly, the carbonation tickles your tongue and the flavor fully coats your mouth

D: To be sipped and enjoyed, it almost forces you to savor every drop.

 689 characters

Photo of wilkowski
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an 11.2oz bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Beautiful thin white head that lingers. Body is a cloudy, ruddy brown.

S: Clove, a little pepper, light fruits, significant dry yeast, some malty sugar.

T: Outstanding balanced dubbel. The tastes follow the nose: more yeast, clove, light malt.

M: This beer is silky smooth, but has a strong carbonation running throughout. It's a pleasure.

D: Eminently drinkable. Goes down almost too easily.

 451 characters

Photo of MsNitch
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: A ruby brown brightness with fast bubbles and a thick head

S: Beautiful caramel and banana notes hidden under belgian yeasts with a possible dried fruit or toasted touch. The high fermented alcohol hits on the nose a little with some tang.

T: Sweet zinging red fruit that whizzes into maltiness that is clean but spicy.

M: My favorite part of the Chimay is that light mouth coating, followed by the warming bitterness and then lingering tartness on the sides of the cheeks.

O: This tartlet is sip-able, cookable and a dream to look at with lovely drawn back hop that melts into a roasty, meaty malt and belgian yeast that isn't afraid of its fruity aspects. All around sweet heart of a beer.

 700 characters

Photo of MikeCooke
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Chimay Premiere.... This pours an alluring burnt red color with a beautiful fluffy two finger white head. Although the beer doesn't have much lacing it does bring an aroma of nuts,figs,cinnamon and some kind of berries I can't put my finger on. The taste follows the smell as to be excepted. There's a tinge of bitterness towards the end. It has a highly carbonated yet drinkable feel. My overall feelings on this beer are its a good one but I don't feel the need to rush out and get more.

 489 characters

Photo of Doppel07
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Monstrous foamy Chimay head that diminished well but left behind a thick cottony lacing. Sweet floral and yeasty fragrance. Also aromas of stone fruit, bubble gum, and cotton candy. Flavors of citrus and candy-sugar. Alcohol is noticeable. Lively champagne-like mouthfeel but medium-bodied and silky smooth. Very nice.

 318 characters

Photo of aleyeast
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

75 cl corked bottle poured into the proper Chimay Glass

bottle age at drinking is approximately 2 years old (I know Jackson says it will evolve for 6 months, and he is right)

mostly alchohol and fruit on the nose, warming not astringent

color is brownish red, turbid

liveliness seems missing at first, but it warms up nicely. Taste of dried apricots, currants, thin caramel. I believe I prefer this younger, but it was still quite enjoyable at this age.

Another comment I have is that the corked and crowned version, although the same beer, may need two different review areas as they seem to develop in the bottle differently.

 642 characters

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 1,634 ratings.