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

1,644 Reviews
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Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A.
Belgium | website

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

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Reviews: 1,644 | Ratings: 4,685
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 33 cl stubby bottle, poured into a Chimay Goblet. Pours a medium brown with a slight red/orange cast. Slightly translucent, with a 1-finger high white head with small bubbles. Aroma is very gentle, nice, not strong and overpowering. Slightly sweet with sweet fruit-candy aroma (raisins/dates) and maybe a little chocolate. Flavor is slightly sweet like the aroma, but has a firm bite of hops. As the drink warms in the mouth, an unpleasant medicine-like sharpness comes aroound that ruins the nice flavors that come before. Overall, I was unpleasantly surprised after all the good things I had read about Chimay. This is my least favorite of the Trappists that I have tried so far.

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Photo of resirob
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, rusty brown. One finger creamy off-white head and lots of lace.

Aromas of sweet dark fruit, bready yeast, and cloves.

Taste is well balanced between fruit, malt and spices, with cloves slightly dominant.

Smooth, medium mouthfeel. Crisp, dry finish adds to drinkability.

A very good beer to have around, and my second favorite among the Chimay beers.

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Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a thick off-white head that lasts. The aroma is good. It has a malty, yet very spicey scent. It smells like there are some crystal malts and ginger used. It has a strong rootbeer type aroma. The taste is good. It is light with a watery finish. It has a decent belgian brown flavor to it. It is smooth going down. There is no sign of an elevated abv. taste. The mouthfeel is great. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation . This beer drinks well; an excellent sessions beer.

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

The big, bubbly, khaki head leaves a little lacing. Ruby brown colored beer that seems to glow. Nutty, malty, mellow plums mix in the aroma. Light fruit, not apricot maybe apple, with dose of yeast, some caramel maltiness and some alcohol. Fizzy mouthfeel makes the body feel lighter then it is.

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Photo of jwilli7122
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

NOTE: DISREGARD OR DELETE THIS REVIEW. I mistakenly reviewed the wrong beer. I haven't had this one.

The waitress suggested this to me at a show in Las Vegas and I was very impressed. I'm not sure what an Abbey Dubbel is, but I'm pretty sure this is the only one I've ever had. I really enjoyed it.

Appearence was brown with a tan head and good lacing

Smelled very nice...I remember nutty and spicy aromas and some slight fruit

Taste was great - extremely smooth...woody, nutty...a little bit fruity but definitely not overly sweet. Medium texture. An excellent beer.

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Photo of surfmeister
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: murky brown bilge water but with gorgeous thick creamy head, with lacing that stayed.
Smell: Hands down the most pleasantly fragrant beer I have sampled. Fruity, spicy, I just wanted to keep sniffing!
Taste: similar to smell but more restrained, malty, hop bitterness was restrained, great dry finish
Mouthfeel: silky smooth
Drinkability:easy drinking relative to what I expected, could have had a few more
Note: seems to be what many other brewers are striving for, that is, complexity without hitting you over the head, American micros should pay attention

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Photo of jtfest
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured cloudy brown-orange with a small off-white head. The aroma actually had a bit of a 'bite' to it -- peppery floral with undertones of malt. The mouthfeel was thick and fizzy from the carbonation, with almost a nettley feel on the palate. It tasted toasted peppery and very smooth, with a complete lack of bitterness in the aftertaste. The whole brew felt 'regal' to me, and it seemed eminently drinkable. Very pleasant.

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Photo of claytri
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.5 oz bottle.

It poured a wonderfully cloudy amber, with a thumbs-width of tan head. It had a very fruity smell. The taste is a strong yeast, which should be expected from a sustaining beer such as this. A very satisfying taste it mixed well with cheese and bread. It should be excellent with a meal or as a meal. The feel was superbly smooth with a medium body and an oily finish. This beer is highly drinkable.

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

Tasted 1/16/04 at our little Extravaganza Belgique.

Kicking off our little indulgence session was this beauty (as we decided to move through the Chimays in ascending ABV level), with a creamy white head over a soft, amber-brown brew.

Both in the nose and on the tongue, Premiere is soft and round, with entertwined sweetnesses of alcohol and fruit, with wheaty touch and an intriguing but subtle bitterness before a smooth finish.


Spoils of the 10/11/03 Knoxville Raid.

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Photo of HochFliegen
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Chimay poured a deep red with a good head that lasted till the last sip. The lacing was moderate. The smell was of a very spicy and fruity nature. The taste was inline with the smell. A slight spice to it with a fruity almost pear like taste. A malt flavor was also present but much less than the other flavors. The mouthfeel was moderate and very nice.

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

I've been saving this bottle for some time and I finally shared it with my father this past weekend as we celebrated the birth of my first son last Tuesday.

A delicate pour produces a beautiful white head that lingers and slowly, very slowly, calms to a moderate lace. The fruity, honey aromas bring me to the lowlands of Belgium and Flanders, the home of my ancestors. The yeast danced and swam in the glass as I held it up to the light. What a beautiful looking ale.

My mouth fills with pleasant fruity and honey flavors with a mix of spices and cloves. It's a very enjoyable sip, after sip, after sip. I taste apples and pears that drys to a crisp maltiness.

Cheers! Life is good my friends.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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

Pours a good-looking clear brown with lively carbonation.

Spicy fruit smell, a bit peppery and mildly sweet. There is a faint toasted wheat smell here too.

Very mildly sweet flavor and up front spicy. There is a nice hop bite to this one that is subdued in most beers of this sort. There is a nice malty note to this too. The alcohol in this completely hidden.

Mouthfeel is excellent.

A good beer.

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Photo of Dubblebock
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was my first attempt at a Belgian Trappist. For better or worse, the Chimay Red has a reputation as the bargain basement choice in the Chimay line, the blue labeled Grande Reserve getting the lion's share of the accolades. Truth is, though, this is a hell of a good beer, and I can't wait to give the Grande Reserve and the White a try to compare and contrast. It made for a wonderful New Year's choice, and it was fun to pull the cork on this rather than another bland bottle of champagne.

The beer poured magnificently. It raised a beautiful head, probably a half-inch thick. It was poured into a lead-crystal goblet, and it was the perfect choice for this beauty. The smell was fresh and fruity, hints of pears and apples coming through in the aroma.

The taste was smooth and full of flavor. Yeast sediment swirled in the glass, and the beer took on fresh identity as it warmed. This was an extremely fruity tasting brew, the pear and apple tastes coming through and clearly dominating the palate. The carbonation was almost like a champagne, and the beer kept it's body throughout the drinking experience. I let one glass get a little too warm, and the aftertaste got slightly bitter, but at the proper temperature it was a joy to quaff.

Above average mouthfeel, easy finish. The Chimay Red really was a good introduction to the Trappist style. I'll be sampling more.

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

Appearance: Hazy, deep, brown apple-cider body. Voluminous and effervescent head fades to a 1/4" orange-tinged, frothy light-tan cap with loads of creamy lace.
Smell: Sweet malt and light carmelized sugar, yeasty mustiness, sharp herbal spices.
Taste: Sweet smooth malt start, top is light and fizzy, dries quickly and quite thoroughly with an acidic yeastiness and tart citrus character. Aftertaste is malt with bitter/toasted herbs.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied, a fluffiness is introduced by the champagne-like carbonation.
Drinkability: Good stuff. I prefer Chimay Blue.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My favorite of the Chimay line.

This is the type of beer that makes me want to drink. The flavors are astounding slight herbal/fruit flavors, and just smooth enough. This is a much dryer beer than the other two chimays and is perhaps why I like it.

Very good

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Photo of Shiloh
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice.
Arrived a dark brown tea like colour, a full finger head with quick withdrawl leading to a nice thick lace.
Nicely carbonated and dusky.
Medium/full body.
Malty nose plus a minor yeast.
Fruity mash taste with no discernible lead, only a light sweetness to begin and finishes the same.
Impressive mouthfeel.
No evidence of alcohol to the nose or taste.

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

Sometimes you just feel short and would like to give or snatch a point of less than a 0.5 value. This is absolutely the case, as it is so far the "less good" Scourmont Chimay.

Pours a dark red/brownish tone with a tan thick lasting head that sits atop and leaves significant lacing. The carbonation, although not visible, "is there", and is valuable.

The smell is similar to the others, blending wheats and malts with some alcohol in a very nice aroma that invites you to proceed.

As for the taste, although it is very nice, it is a dryer representation of its sisters, where the basic elements of wheatyness, hoppyness and maltyness are present, but the taste fades from the embracing sweetness of the others to a stronger bitter feel that, although very nice, doesn't topple my bias towards Grande Reserve.

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Photo of diablo14
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

alas i have to rate this between the two bottling types, and the cork version lowers the score. in the crown capped medium its a beauty. loses some character in the corked version.

pours a beautiful rich red color with a thick white head thats not as rocky as i would expect, but still has volume and staying power. under crown caps smells quite floral an tart. under cork its far more malty and has a lot of peaty elements. same with the flavor. theres a rich malt presence in both backed with a classic fruity taste. in the crown cap finishes quite full and dry. bordering on a grand cru but not quite as excessively tart, with a still firm bitterness. under the cork its very rich, with earthy flavors and some tannin like aspects. doesnt finish anywhere near as dry and i find this a detraction from the beer overall. gimme two small bottles over the biggun any day.

crown capped this is minimum 4, cork is between 3 and 3.5. maybe its just me, but the red just isnt condusive to a cork. the blue gets away with it far better.

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Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown color with large but dissipitating head. Good smell with spice and some fruit, which did not disapoint in the tasting. Semi-dry aftertaste.

Had a bottle after two years, and it's smooth, decent for a large brewery.
Three and a half years after my first bottle, and it is a staple when I take a nice corked 750 ml. to a party. Molasses and creaminess in the yeast. Keeps on drinkablity.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a Chimay chalice, Chimay’s Premiere has a murky reddish-brown color. A durable, creamy 1½” mottled off-white head perched atop a large central column of carbonation that ably stoked the head. Some blotchy lace was left in the head’s wake.
The aroma was a sweet/spicy mix of some dark fruit, bready malt and pepper and possibly coriander. The taste had a complex profile. Initially sweet, there were various fruit flavors ranging from green apple to pear and plum over a slightly yeasty malt backbone. The yeasty flavor blended with some candy sugar mid-range to further the sweetness. Then a spicy, peppery flavor built up along with a light medicinal, astringency through the finish. A mild bitterness lingered on my lips after each drink. The feel was full-bodied, creamy and smooth.
Well, that was pretty good. At 7%ABV, the alcohol content doesn’t come through to much until near the finish. A complex brew worth seeking out.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle. Served in a Chimay chalice.

Pours a deep hazy brown. Caramel hues down the sides of the chalice. A good frothy head which stays as a foamy all covering disk in the glass. Weak spotty lacing. Scents are tangy malt. Very fruity and floral. Fruit over powers the floral some. A better balance would have been nice. A crisp clean scent on the nose.

There is a good sampling of malt in this ale. But the fruits are the dominant flavors. I taste a pare, sour apple and some plumb for smoothness. A nice grain flavor in the middle followed by a pass of bubble gum. A tangy fruit tart mixed with bread for the finish. A very sweet and dry finish. Too sweet for me.

A nice rich bright mouthfeel. It is crisp, inviting and very easy to drink. At first the carbonation is rough but it mellows over time.

Overall this is a well crafted ale. Sadly it is a little too sweet and tangy for me.

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

Pours to a deep bronze-copper color with a thick tan head. It has a nice level of carbonation. The aroma is spicy, peppery, medicinal with aroma of dark fruits, and candi sugar. The flavors are of pepper and dark fruits, with an earthy, medicinal taste. It is a bit astringent and drying in the finish. It is smooth, and easy drinking. A complex medium bodied brew.

Sampled 10/23/03

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Photo of vitesse
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

served in small brown bottle.
nice appearance and smell. nice sticky head and rich nutty smell. taste was good, too. nice yeasty/clove notes. slightly spicey and nutty. no aftertaste at all, though
the mouthfeel killed it for me. the body of this beer just seemed to totally drop out too quickly.
a decent dubbel but i think there are better out there.

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

Pours an amber-copper color, a bit hazy with the yeast.
Head is yellowish/off-white settles quickly into a continuing lacing.
Like the lace, the carbonation lasts through the glass, a stream of small bubbles.
The first taste to hit is pepper with a pepper nose as well. Moves to aromatics, and then fruit.
I could drink a few of these in a setting, especially if with dinner - a bit surprising for the 7% alcohol.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 1,644 ratings.