Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting 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.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,623 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,623
Hads: 4,568
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 18.54%
Wants: 246
Gots: 771 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their 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 (6) | 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: 1,623 | Hads: 4,568
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dim orange russet stormy hues with a settling beige ¼” tight head cap containing some tiny floating suspended particles in a CHIMAY goblet, which continuously flows the bubbles to the surface center. Sediment flows to the pit of the goblet.

Light aromatic character of yeast and some delicate bread dough notes. Once warmed some sparse malty bouquet perks with a hint of awl-kee-hawl.

First swigs: Flavors first begin with Belgian yeasty bread dough qualities. Sugar and cake malt. Dry short ephemeral aftertaste. Light benign flavors that merely hint towards the Belgian style.
Mouthfeel is to the point of an instantly overly foamy carbonation. Like an old girlfriend, this is a drinkable brew that seems to always be at my door that can’t be turned away without a quick frivolous spin before acting like it’s beneath me.

Last swigs: CHIMAY Rood is steadfast yeasty slightly vanilla peppery foamy clean Belgian. CHIMAY beers are all a slight taster. Nothing bold bowls over the tongue. [CHIMAY requires a just-right temperature. Once there, it’s sure to please] The first beer that should be tried as a cross over towards the Belgian lands of no return. 7.0 % ABV is well hidden.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

 1,231 characters

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

33 cl bottle, at the White Horse at Parsons Green, London. Served in "appropriate" Chimay glass (whether those wide chalices really ARE the most appropriate for savouring complex beers, is a discussion of its own). Unfortunately served far too cold - you’d think White Horse waiters knew better. For good measure, the waiter poured the beer along the side of the glass, which prevented the beer from "opening up", the head disappeared quickly and the beer kept too much carbonation. The beer has a brown colour, aroma of leather, balsamico vinegar and barnyard. Flavour is quite dry, well hopped, elements of leather and tobacco. Hints of cardamom and ginger. Aroma and flavour improves somewhat as the beer slowly warms up, but altogether this remains my least favourite of the Chimays - give me a Bleu, please! Still a decent beer, but with the Trappists I expect more. Will re-rate when I personally control the temperature and the pour.

 941 characters

Photo of edchef1850
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BELGIUM!!! what else can you say. These monks can make some beer. I have yet to meet a belgiun beer i didnt like, and Chimay Rood in a goblet poured from a bottle is so right on.I love the color, the smell, the flavor is perfectly balanced for me.I have always loved Chimay, since the first time i saw Michael Jackson, sipping his way through the trappist breweries of Belgium. It is quintessential, a must try .

 412 characters

Photo of mjc410
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 33 cl bottle

Appearance: Hazy, very dark golden-brown. A spiraling, massive white head, and I tried to pour it lightly. It eventually receded to a few millimeters with patchy lacing high up the glass. The lacing is amazing to look at.

Smell: Spicy yeast, slight alcohol. Woody? Incredibly rich and full smell.

Taste: Spicy from the yeast, bitter and sweet (odd) in the finish. Taste improves greatly as it warms (and I thought that I'd waited long enough!) No hop hints noticed. Aftertaste lingers longer than I can wait until my next sip. I can't personally put my finger on the various flavors, but it really is simply GOOD.

Mouthfeel: Thick, coating. Carbonation is not really noticable, just thick and yeasty.

Notes: I almost gave this beer a mediocre review. Then I let it warm up more. This needs to be served at the correct temp. (10-15 degrees below room temp, I think). It's a lot of fun, and I hope to try some more and the rest of Chimay's offerings.

 990 characters

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

Appearence: Out of the bottle comes a nice clear copper with a thin creamy beige head.

Smell: The smell is syrupy sweet with a powerful amount fo lacohol and spice in the background.

Taste and Mouthfeel: While it's smooth and fruity at first, it finishes on a very sour and dry note, with a long lingering sweetness that sticks to the inseds of your mouth. The fruitness is really powerful and tasty, but is missing something. The mouthfeel is fizzy.

Drinkability and Overall: A good beer, but a little dissapointing. I got a blue one in the cellar, hopefully that'll be better.

 587 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

75 cl cork and caged bottle cork dated 5/04. Pours a russet bronze-brown color with a pillowy beige head. Light musty and dusty aromas with a pear-like fruitiness and nuances of clover honey. Astringent from the get go, husky and cocoay malty notes come later in the sip. Earthy and tree bark-ish at times. Light pepper suggestions; sweet, yet dry. A bit too fizzy in the mouthfeel. A very nice drinker, but not as adventurous and fulfulling as some other trappists. Certainly no sloucher, though. Could be earth-shattering to one who has never tried a trappist beer before.

 574 characters

Photo of Beastdog75
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of all the Trappist breweries, Chimay is probably the most commerical and mainstream. Their brews have a pretty wide distribution and it seems that they're usually the first trappist beer that "good beer drinkers" try. In light of that, I still found that the red-labelled Chimay was a nicely flavored and enjoyable brew.

I poured Chimay Première out of the 750mL bottle into the appropriate goblet and it had a nice ruddy color to it, sort of like a cloudy reddish brown with some burnt orange hints to it. About a finger and a half of foam forms and lasts for about 3 minutes before thinning out. The aroma was somewhat fruity with some hop presence in the nose. Somewhat like a mixture of cherries, plums, and citrus along with some musty yeast character as well. The mouthfeel was somewhat thinner than expected, but still had a moderate carbonation to it. A sweet malt flavor hits the tongue up front, and the best way I could describe it is that it reminds me of the "molasses/coconut" candies that I would get at the Wildwood boardwalk in Southern Jersey. There is a dry, plum/grape like fruitiness in there with some citrus, spice, some phelonic qualities, and a very light alcohol taste. The aftertaste has some lingering dryness and graininess and the brew concludes with some light alcoholic warmth.

I found this beer to be easily drinkable. While there are probably better dubbels in Belgium, this is a good one to start offf with. It also helps to have the Chimay goblet, as it seems to add something extra to the experience.

 1,549 characters

Photo of beertastegood
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the best all-around beers I have ever had. It is a beer that truly reminds me why beer is classified as a type of food. Pours a golden color, with slight cloudiness. Smells of belgian grain and bread. Tastes malty with good floral, hoppy finish. Yeast predominates throughout the drink. This is one beautiful beer. It is no trouble to drink a 750mL bottle like it was a 12oz.

 390 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

05/03 on the cork.

Pours a rich auburn with a frothy light tan head. Smell is fruity, caramel malt, lightly bitter, candy sugar/molasses.

Taste is again that rich fruity and caramel malt. Lightly spicy. A bit overcarbonated but that fades as it warms. Rich and smooth. A bit sticky mouth especially in the aftertaste.

Not overly complex but surprisingly good.

 368 characters

Photo of stjarnflikka
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy red and brown beer with thick foam and some carbonation.

Smell is fresh! Apples come to mind together with typical belgian yeast and just a touch of malts and alcohol. Nice and fruity with hints of grapes and anisette.

Taste is first a little malty. Yeast comes together with a faint sourness but a certain bitterness in there. Musty and filling with fruits in there to. Somewhat roasted with a finishing touch of roasted barley and soothing alcohol.

Really had a great memory of this, did not quite live up to that though.

 545 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I much preferred the Chimay red over the blue, contrary to the BA avg rankings. Perhaps the bottle of blue I had was skunked, because there was a HUGE different in yeasty taste as I took a step down the ladder to the red. The yeast in the red was present in the taste, but it was much better masked by the typical (if it could be called that) blend of spices, fruits, candy flavored malts. The alcohol content is significantly lower, thus making this much more drinkable, though it still weighs in at a rather hefty 7%. Even though this beer made up for my disappointment with the blue, I haven't been completely convinced that Chimay is worth all the hype. Nonetheless, I will definately revisit this one in the future when money permits (and I don't necessarily need to treat myself to something such as an ABT12 or Rochefort 8). I have already lined up another bottle of blue from an alternate source though, which will hopefully produce better results for me.

 963 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ouncer sampled, no freshness dating observed, but none needed here. Pours light brune and cloudy, with the well developed lace expected. Spicy, nutty, earthy. Full flavored, very tasty brew, nutty,yeasty, Belgian spicing, candy sugar glowing softly on the palate. Long tasty finish. Classy classic, seek and enjoy.

 319 characters

Photo of joecast
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours with a nice beige foamy head and the exact same color of the bottle/label. an attractive reddish-brown with plenty of yeast sediment floating around. very little noticeable carbonation.

malty sweet aroma, with a hoppy similarity to goldings. tiny bit of alcohol underneath.
flavor leaning heavily on the malty side with plenty of sweet dark (plum) fruits. very well balanced though, and seemingly provides a whole meal in its fullness.
mouthfeel is full but not terribly smooth. ill blame that on a young bottle though as its best before date is 2007.
overall, a seriously solid beer. give this a bit of aging, and id be ready to pledge monkdom.

 658 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Trappist beer and my first dubbel. 330 mL bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. A gentle pour delivers a 1 finger head that leaves nice lacing and a beautiful blanket of tiny bubbles. The beer is a dark orange/brown with a huge stream of bubbles from the etched bottom of the glass. Smells of cloves and pepper. Tastes are also cloves and pepper, with a lot of malt, some hop bitterness, and a hint of alcohol. Delicious. Carbonation is prickly at first, but becomes very smooth, almost perfect. If I could afford to drink this all the time I would.

 557 characters

Photo of mgdeth
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark amber or light brown and highly carbonated, this beer forms a nice thick head on the pour. The beer appears to be cloudy with yeast from the bottle.

Smell - Rich malt aroma dominates the smell profile. No hop aroma is present.

Taste - Malty sweetness is king in this beer, with chocolatey and slight roasty flavors thrown in for good measure. There is just a hint of hops hiding in there as well.

Mouthfeel - Not too thick, and maybe even a bit thinner than I expected. It seems appropriate for the style.

Drinkability - Due to the smoothness of this beer, it is highly drinkable. The beer's flavor and body are very forgiving, so give your macro swilling buddies a few sips of this,

Comments - Overall, this beer is a pretty good experience. I am not a big dubbel fan, but this one is definitely worth a try.

 843 characters

Photo of AlexJ
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2002 750, all to myself on New Years Eve. Pours beautiful garnet amber in color with a hazy glow, yeilding a magnificant pillow of head that remains throughout the beer, eventually settling into a creamy veil. Lucious dried fruit and yeast aromas, raisens, apricot, sweet spice, anise, bread,and honey. Taste is similar to aroma with lots of fruit, cherries, sweet malty bread, floral and herbal hops, and spicey yeast. Very rich and complex with a medium mouthfeel and ample carbonation. Finishes rather dry with an little nip to remind you that it's 7%. I've had this beer quite a few times now and this bottle is the best tasting I've ever had.

 647 characters

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

Chimay is one of the beers I simply can not live without so it stands to reason that I gave it a high score.

I poured the beer into a Chimay goblet with red and white letters and a silver rim. It pours a meduim coppery red color with an off white, tan, 1/8" thick head that stays in the glass right down to the last sip.

Cinnamon, cloves, tea, nutmeg, spearmint, and ginger make for that signature Chimay aroma that I love so much. All the above is also what I taste through the carbonation and slight hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth while slightly thinned by carbonation. I would drink this beer daily if it weren't so expensive.

 648 characters

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

A good 50% of what should be required for proper Belgian appreciation is desire. I received my 750 of Chimay Premiere for my birthday in July of 2001 (bottled date 11/00), and finally decided that Christmas Eve was the proper time to uncork it. I'd made a curry leg of lamb, asparagus and my own version of Bombay potatoes for dinner, and thought to myself, "Yes, it's time." Post-meal forensic analysis has proven that I made a spectacular decision.

Appearance: Damn, that is one beautiful beer. Deep orange, almost amber. I hadn't a proper dubbel glass, so I used a red wine goblet instead. The head poured about 1/4-1/2 inch thick, bubbles were evenly distributed and the head itself dissipated relatively quickly after my first sip.

Nose: I'm not hep enough to the BJCP guidelines enough to explain the smell that Belgian ales give off, but the thing that springs to mind immediately is 'bubblegum', but that's not right. It's a fruity smell, almost like opening a box of golden raisins. Zero hop aroma.

Taste: Again, the fruitiness is the most dominant flavor. I still like the golden raisin comparison, with just a hint of spiciness that I can't quite place. It's sitting there on the back of my tongue taunting me, and I just can't place it. No alcohol profile that you can detect, but it's still going to hit you about halfway through the glass. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: I'm continually surprised by Belgian beers, as I always expect them to have a much stronger mouthfeel than they do. This one isn't light, but it isn't overpowering. Light carbonation that you can sense when you sip.

Drinkability: I stand by my assertion that you really need to want this beer to drink it. I could have polished off three or four of the 750 ml bottles with my dinner, but I only had the one. Damn. Fortunately, I had started off the evening with an Ommegang. I'll save that review for later.

A great beer, and a brewery that is worth the appellation of 'classic'.

 1,975 characters

Photo of tatterdash
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked 750 ml bottle, had this a lot but never reviewed it, here goes. Pours mahogany with a thick creamy off-white head. Aroma of cloves, biscuits, a bit winey and some dark fruits. Taste was some malt and fruit up front, with some spices and biscuit in the middle and a warming finish with a touch of hops. Mouthfeel was almost crisp at first, but grew creamy and smooth as it warmed. This is fine brew and very readily available, sure the white and the blue are even better, but this is a fine Dubbel.

 504 characters

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

Purchased in a bottle, poured a hazy amber darkish iced tea color with carbonation funnelling from the center, in my Chimay glass, and a half inch head.
Smell is light with hints of a cookie caramel malt, grapefruit resin hops, and a doughy bubblegum licorice aroma.
The taste is a moderate confirmation of the aroma with the difference being more of a pine grapefruit hops.
The mouthfeel is comfortable with medium to light carbonation and smooth.
The drinkability is excellent for this type and maybe my favorite in the Chimay family.

 540 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -11%
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.

 1,098 characters

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

750 mL bottle poured in an oversized wine goblet. I was able to get the whole bottle in the glass, with room to spare. The glass is supposed to hold about 1000 mL of liquid. Still, it could not contain that head. Huge. Had to stop, let it settle, then pour again ever so carefully. When the final drop falls out of the bottle, I'm left with a not quite brown, somewhat orange nectar. With a head three fingers thick and creamy. When held very close to a light, the beer is a hazy orange, and I can see little bits of yeast floating around. Oh, I poured the yeast in. Smell is raw malts, bread, honey, alcohol and some floral hops. Very faint floral hops. Taste immediately starts out sweet. Honey and bread. The sweetness grows, as the honey becomes more pronounced and the bread changes to almost a pudding flavour. Bread pudding? I've had bread pudding once, a long time ago. This flavour reminds me faintly of it. Aftertaste is sweet, with a mild bitter zing. Throughout this flavourful experience, the hops are their in the background, adding just a mild balance for a terrific beer. Mouthfeel is excellent. Cannot be improved. It's creamy, thick, coats the tongue, mouth and throat, and yes has a light carbonation that teases the senses. Highly drinkable. I can sip this for hours. In fact, that's what I'm doing now.

 1,323 characters

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

Picked up an 11.2 oz bottle for $3.00 at the Papago Brewing Company back in September.

Poured a cloudy reddish brown color, with a nice 3 inch creamy head that dissapated quickly. Nose is of fermented fruits. Taste starts off with a blast of double fermented malts and finshes with a slight subtle hop. The whole trip is pretty smooth! Mouthfeel is very fulfilling and is also lively enough to keep things very interesting. Overall drinkability is pretty good, a very enjoyable beer!

 486 characters

Photo of MrNuggets
3.29/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The head is almost tan, but not quite. Starts out big and full and dies way to quick. Smell is fruity with a nice yeast kick at the end. I was expecting more from the taste. Everything was there, but nothing really grabs me. Mouthfeel is thick and dry. One bottle is plenty for me, there is certainly nothing wrong with this beer, I've certainly enjoyed many bottles, but there is something lacking in the flavor.

 413 characters

Photo of bashiba
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy brown color with a thick white head that left rather quickly, but still had substantial lacing down my goblet.

Smells of dark fruits like dates, raisons, and plums along with a slight yeasty odor.

Taste is much more subdued than the smell would leave you to beleive. Has a nice Nutty maltiness to it without being sweet. Balances very well with a nice dry earthy finish.

Mouthfeel is a very full warming feeling along with a slight dryness, overall pretty nice.

Drinkability is pretty good, the more I drink this the more I like it.

 558 characters

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 1,623 ratings.