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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,621 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,621
Hads: 4,559
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 18.54%
Wants: 245
Gots: 760 | 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: 1,621 | Hads: 4,559
Photo of cncbofh
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark clotted blood color into my chimay goblet. Nice thick off-white head that stuck around the entire drinking session.

Smell: Halls Menthol drops, orange candy, bananas and cloves.. nice esters.

Taste: Dare I say jolly rancher sweetness, apple tartness, lots of great fruit and candy sugar flavors. Much sweeter than I thought. But it's not overpowering and has a sharp bite followed by a real mellow aftertaste that is not entirely unpleasant. Good Stuff.

I could (and will) drink lots more of this. Moving on to the Blue and Cream labels later.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a dark red and brown color with a massive head. It's leaving a reasonable amount of lace behind, too.

The smell is of dark malts, caramel, and a bit of alcohol. The taste brought more of this, with some amount degree of esters as well. It's a well blended and balanced brew, although it's lacking the complexion found in some of the competition.

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Photo of sacfly
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown pour. Dense, thick head. Very small bubbles that lace well. Slightly fruity, musty smell. Smooth and creamy start, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Good dubble, but not great. Flavor is a bit too subdued compared to other examples of this style.

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Photo of davewrona
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has a light hint of carmel flavor and is just delicious. Rather expensive, but worth the money! You will love drining this beer for its taste and nouthfeel. You will appreciate even more if you a have a couple domestics lights before sampling this one!

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Photo of beerceller99
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

33 cl.with a "LAK 345 J-9" bottling code; sometime in 2002. Pours a orange-red color with an off white head. Has a vinous smell with a very dry, malty, grape sweet and spicy flavor. Light bodied with a lively bubbly mouthfeel.
Not my favorite style,but a decent brew nonetheless.

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

Poured a murky brown with a good sized bubbly tan head. The head had some staying power to it, and never completely disappeared.

Has a faint cherry smell, with a bit of alcohol to it. I also think I may detect a bit of raisin to it.

The taste is dark and sweet, with a bit of a sour cherry finish. It is fairly pleasant.

This beer is pretty easy to drink. It has a good balance of carbonation and body. Though not a beer I'd have all the time, it's not something I'd hesitate to buy again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
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!

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Photo of 99bottles
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish amber body, a 1.5" head of tiny off white bubbles rises and dies to a thin lace after a decent amount of time. Active carbonation for the style.

Smell: Toasted malt, some faint frutiness. Would anyone know what "Chimay Smell" is if I were to use it as an adjective? Because there is this unique smell common to all three Chimays that I can't describe, but I'd recognize anywhere. I bet Venom could describe it for me. Spent yeast, I suppose?

Taste: Moderate sweet malts tempered with some toasty grain notes reminscent of breakfast cereal. Alcohol is there, but actually contributes it's own to the flavor which is well balanced and consistent. Yeasty and light fruity esters in the finish. Not wild or crazy, but certainly a solid Belgian beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but kept light by active carbonation and lively yeast. Best in my opinion when the yeast is kept in the bottle.

Drinkability: Oh, it's easy to enjoy and rather common nowadays. I'd usually look to the white or blue, but the red is a good intro to Belgian beers and is easy to enjoy. As with all imports the price is a consideration, especially with more interesting items to pick from, but Chimay is a tasty brand and one that keeps its products rather consistent. Nice beer.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.96/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Chimay Red poured a cloudy copper-gold. It had a fizzy fine-bubbled white head that had decent retention.

The aroma was very vinous (red wine / champagne) with some sour notes.

The flavor was strong pear and champagne with smaller notes of alcohol and a little sourness. Some yeastiness and bitterness came out as it warmed. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth, but a little fizzy.

Overall, I personally didn't care for the flavor at all (pear and champagne). I really don't like champagne and this was way too similar for me. It was pretty well made and did get a little better as it warmed, but I was already tuned into the flavors I didn't care for.

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Photo of diamonddave
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Finally gave in and bought a small bottle of this stuff. Four bucks for an 11.2 oz. bottle, so honestly, I hope I don't like it too much. I just ain't got the fundage to drink like this on a regular basis.

Pours murky amber with a respectable thin, fuzzy head. Smells sweet and a little tart, like bitter fruit or something. I think I might smell a hint of raisin or plum; but then again sometimes I think Sammy Davis, Jr. is still sleeping in the guest room, so don't mind me.

The taste is like BANGBANGBANGBANG! Highly carbonated and tingly, slightly fruity, just the tiniest bit acidic/medicinal (which I guess would be called "phenolic"). Finishes malty and sweet. Bounces around all over the palate. Very complex flavor. Those Trappist monks must really know their shit.

Pricy, but definitely worth drinking sparingly. Unless you've got a six-figure salary or a trust fund, pick one up every once in a while, savor it, and then forget it exists.

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Photo of KroMagnon
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I didn't see a vintage date on this (if I recall the bigger bottles have it on their cork but the little ones lack a cork). The beer poured a clear golden-amber with a nice tan head that lasted very nicely. The aroma was a touch worty-malty with some slight mustiness and a touch of melon and spicy vanilla (but not really strong) - I expected more esters for the style, and complex raisin notes, but the aroma was nice. The flavoer was superb - fully malty, robust, with caramel and toffee notes as well as some toasted bread. The bitterness was not dominant and was easy to miss, meaning it blended well with the malty profile of the beer. Also the alcohol didn't dominate either, and was almost not noticable. This one could get very dangerous very fast. Wonderful.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well being it one of the Trappists I always think of great beers, most certaily if the name is Chimay and I love the white/tripel version of it.
Now for something else a bruin/dubbel.... Apearance good but little light to my taste and not completely clear. Smell hops and some caramel so OK. Taste gets more sweet while I drink the 0,33 l bottle but doesn't get over the sweet edge, that with some caremelmalty taste in it makes it in my eyes a good bruin beer.

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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.

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

Pours a medium reddish brown with a large slightly off white head that lasted a good while. Smell is fruity with a touch of white pepper sharpness and what seemed to be just a touch of camphor. Taste is malty and fruity strong at the beginning. The spicyness seems to come in just when the beer might seem to be getting too sweet. Some tartness at the end but not a lot. Over all a steady offering. I would drink it again, but at the price I might choose something with a bit more personality

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

750ml bottle. Been sitting in my fridge about a year (cork reads 03/03). I let it warm up a bit after taking it out, and it gushed out over the top when I popped the cork...what the heck? After I let it gush out in the sink, I poured a glass in a proper Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Deep reddish-brown with a good head of creamy foam.

Aroma: bready, yeasty aroma.

Flavor: Good malt, with strong estery notes (raisins, perhaps? plums definitely), though not as strong as many abbey ales, low hops. Alcohol slightly detectable but not strong. Nice body. Drier finish than I remembered, over fairly quick.

Though I prefer the Chimay Cinq Cents best of the line, I do try to get in a few Reserve's and Grand Reserve's a year. When I first tried it about 12 years ago, I found it shocking and nearly undrinkable; now it's just one of a number of trappist and abbey beers I drink regularly, and though it's not the most interesting one out there, its still a classic.

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

750 ml bottle.

Pillow-like, off white head that settles after a moment. Plenty of noticeable carbonation. Some yeast-floaties are also present. Thin, spotty lacing that has trouble sticking. Ruby red hue and light brown in appearance.

Faint nut-like aromas along with some dark fruit (cherry, grapes). Malty sweetness. Alcohol presence is also apparent.

A malty sweetness that isn't too sweet due to the carbonation that cuts through the dubbel. An oak flavor drives this ale. Some faint fruity esters that provide a mild tartness. A warming alcohol flavor is also present throughout.

Medium bodied; The carbonation is a bit high but doesn't override the flavors. Actually quite refreshing and not too heavy.

Very enjoyable. Not the best dubbel I've had but definitely worth a try. The heavy alcohol aroma/presence isn't hidden well at all and 'could' limit the amount of pints consumed. Otherwise a nice dubbel.

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Photo of DrJay
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, dark reddish-brown. Thick off-white head that settled to a fine lace after a couple minutes. Light clove and peppery spiciness, some malt sweetness, and fruity esters were present in the aroma along with some light phenolic character. Most of the aromas carried through into the flavour with much less spiciness and a little boost to maltiness. Additionally, there was a slight alcohol warming, the fruitiness was reminiscent of plums, and there was a light bitterness providing some balance. The finish was more malty, with little bitterness coming through. Medium/high carbonation adds to the medium body to produce a very smooth texture.

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Photo of Rio
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle says it's '11,20 oz.,' which I'm guessing is 11.2 oz. Pours a cloudy reddish color, with a nice, thick bone white head that receeds a bit, but hangs around. Smell is lightly hoppy, and has a bit of a fruity aroma.

Taste starts out kinda sweet, but turns tart towards the end. Reminds me somewhat of like a grape juice, I think. A few other fruity flavors in there, as well, but hard to put a finger on. Feels crisp in the mouth, and pretty clean, but it feels a little bubbly around the edges.

All in all, it seems like a very good beer, for one of my early ventures into the style.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a cloudy dark amber / brown ale with a small beige head. A sweet fruity aroma with a spicey hop characteristic. The fruity sweetness tantilizes the tip of your tongue at first. Then a smooth spicey hop presence perculates on the middle of your tongue and the finish leaves a great tasty coating in your mouth.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boom! I popped the cork, and poured this garnet (or darker - where's my home depot color match) liquid. There was little head formation, but the aroma of candied sugar, and raisins was enticing. The brew was light bodied, and well tempered. As dubbels go, it seemed mild but employed a palate of flavors to create subtle and shifting moods. The sugars and raisons were the dominate flavors, but some hints of banana and maybe even close made their way into the flavors. Each taste seemed slightly different but always enjoyable.

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Photo of BJ1833
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very excited to try this brew as I've read much about the trappist ales. Pours a light brown, almost gray color. Nose is very fruity, almost like a bowl of mixed berries, with a hint of spice. The mouthfeel is very smooth, but maybe a bit overcarbonated. This is full of different flavors, tasting something new with each drink. The first taste is yeasty with a strong date and raisin flavor. The spice flavors come through with the next drink as well as a slight banana flavor.

This beer is much of what I expected, very flavorful and complex. I can't wait to try the blue and tripel ales.

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Photo of mntlover
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a redish brown with a off white headthat doesn't last long. Aroma is good sweet fruity and malty with light wiff of alcohol. Tastes is malty with light fruit flavor and light yeasty bread flavors followed by lightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light medium drinkability is good but honestly for the price you can get so many better beers. I know lots of people think highly of Chimay but I fail to see why, still have the blue to go hopefully it will live up to the hype.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a 25.4 oz bottle of this for my birthday. Hell yeah!
Date on the cork says 11/03.

Pours out light orange with the biggest friggin head I've ever seen! Fluffy, frothy, and arrogant...this beer's got some class! Bread-like malts with light, flowery, perfumy hops. Also a nice fruity aspect to it. Apples, pears, and even some peach scents and flavors in there. Mouthfeel was a little chalky, but the drinkability is very high. I killed this sucked faster than I wanted to, but I enjoyed every second of it!

The only improvements that could be made to this beer would be to make it a little less carbonated and the mouthfeel is a little dry. Other than that, a top-notch beer that was very enjoyable. Can't wait to try the Chimay Blue...

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

Color: murky dark brown

Head: Bubbly, 2 fingers, faded to very thin.

Smell: slight floral

Taste: the dubbel really shows in this one. I was expecting more of a trappistes style. The result is a beer that in mouth feel is bubbly, but also seems like an ale. I think it is a median between the two in mouth feel. The flavor reminded me at first of a bubbly brown ale, then progresses into a little spicyness, and finishes very very clean with a little hopps. little lingering flavor.

drinkability: good, i could go through a bottle or 2 in a night.

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Photo of Cwrw
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Holy beer.

Pouring a dark amber, rich red, rosewood, dark oak colour. Untransparent, with a great deal of off-white, foamy, creamy head, which seemed to recede very quickly after sipping. The lacing is intensely sticky, staying like paint on the glass. Aroma is definite apricot and apple, with yeasty fruitiness and wood/oak smells. Immensely fruit-filled aroma which is heavenly. (Excuse the pun.) Cream, subtle spices, roasted sweetness of malt, and some very soft, buttery smells I find hard to describe. The taste is everything hoped for: strongly fruity, warmly alcoholic, yeasty, creamy and highly carbonated, dense, filling, and long-lasting. Apples, peaches, apricots, oak, aged cheese, sweet bread, musk, dust, and a sweet finish, yet one which leaves the mouth quite dry with a definite hop feel. It has a very "aged" feel to it, tasting like something that has been slowly developing in a dark mediaeval cellar for years and years. Tasting the last bit from the bottle, with the lees, makes for a superbly natural taste: supremely earthy tasting, ultra healthy, full of vital vitamins. The mouthfeel, for me, is perfect--literally. At first it is smooth and liquidy, but in the middle it becomes very foamy, but goes down incredibly easily. This, however, makes the drinkability quite dangerous: these can go down ever so easily, ever so quickly. But this is not a beer to be taken quickly, any more than a classic book is to be read with over-haste. Drinkability is still first rate. Enjoy every drop of this, slowly. These monks found a taste of heaven.

(Aged for two years, a bottle of this beer takes on an even better aroma, which is hard to believe. Now, strong pineapple aromas. Strong "meat" smells: not the roasted aromas of a burnt malt such as in a stout or porter, but a much cleaner, spiced meat smell. I cannot get enough of the aroma--there are so many nuances. Massively strong fresh bread/yeast notes dominate. Nuts, pine wood--it goes on and on. Ageing has also created a smoother mouthfeel, with more phenolic warmth. Upon my word, you have not truly tasted this beer until you have aged it for a few years. This makes me want to go out and buy 12 of these and cellar them, to save for very special occasions.)

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 1,621 ratings.