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

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

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,600 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,600
Hads: 4,449
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 224
Gots: 654 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,600 | Hads: 4,449
Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll admit the reputation of this beer influenced how I approached it. Solemnly. No radio was playing. The time was 5 after a day of tweeking the house, now waiting for the spouse to arrive. The beer came in a 33cl square, rocket-shaped bottle. Condensation formed liberally on the brown glass. Setting sunlight played off of the raised glass text: "Abbaye de Scourmont."
Nowhere does the package read "Premiere." It DOES read "Imported by Paterno Imports" though. This is a firm I know from the wine trade. An old colleague and hero of mine works for this outfit, selling mostly wine I presume. Their prices have a reputation for being "optimistic," at least in our jurisdiction. I notice no monkey-business when it comes to the price of this beer though. Circa $3.50 is what I expected to pay (before my discount.)
I pour a glass. It's too cold.
As I allow it to warm up I observe an opening of sweet strawberry fruit and nutmeg. Rare Solera Brandy rises up to support and give power to the flavors...shaded with Indian Ocean spices...Madagascar pepper...Indonesian nutmeg. This is subtle though. This graceful spinning wheel of flavor discreetly allows a deeper, more neutral flavor to reign. It might best be described as the taste of various fresh cream preparations. It is almost more of a texture than a flavor, like whipped cream melting cleanly away.
Ripe black cherry flavors feature prominently as it gets warmer. Now, nearly 70 deg. F, and cherry wood-aged Calvados churns beneath a delicious little peppery bite of yeast. Remarkably complex, smooth and drinkable beer. My last sip was at nearly 80 deg. F. Amazing! Creamy, Baileys Ir ish Cream with exotic, expensive spices. What great yeast! (1,710 characters)

Photo of bditty187
2.77/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy, mashed cherry hue, brown in spots, darkish crimson around the edges… thick, frothy, bubbly off-white head… eye-candy in a goblet. Excellent head retention. No lace though. Average bouquet, kind of weak, kind of simplistic… yeast dominates (not very potent), slight candy-fruit, pepper, slightly horsey… apathetic. Empty and hollow palate… lackluster in the flavor department, yeasty and spritzy, light clove, peppery, very distant fruit. The alcohol is absent on all accounts. The lack of complexity hampers the enjoyment of drinking it… far too clean for a Dubbel. Where’s the malt foundation? The body is thin and watery… the finish is curt, distant peppery aftertaste… it’s hard to savor a beer that leaves no mark on your tastebuds. Medium-light body… airy mouthfeel. Chimay Red is a major yawner; skip it. (827 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
2.43/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

There's something about this brewery that promises so much, and delivers not enough.

Dark reddish/brown color when poured. Big fluffy head that disapears as soon as you look away.

Smell is lightly clovey, with a touch of sugar.

The mouthfeel is light. Tingle of small bubbles on your tongue. What I taste is slightly musty malt, a sugary sweetness, and it finishes so quick, you wonder why there's not more taste in your glass.

Maybe I'll get this again, but this so far has been a brewery that I am in no rush to drink from again anytime soon. Not horrible, but not the great beer experience I thought I would get from such a big name in beerdom. Pat (663 characters)

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.61/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A beauty of a deep ruby red in color, medium sized soapy head, decent retention, tiny strings of carbonation noted. Faint aroma of fruit, apples, some sugary notes also. Slightly chewy and some candied flavors noted off the top. The body is of light apple peel, sugary, some light Belgian peppery spices, although tough to detect. Finishes a bit dry. Has subdued characteristics of a Dubbel, just lacks the massive flavors, still highly drinkable for the style. (461 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Large 1 pt. 9.4 FL oz. Bottle with cork. Also suggested glassware on the side.
Aroma: Combination of yeast and some spice. My wife describes the smell as “rotten fruit” but it’s quite inviting to me.
Appearance: Darker copper red with strong carbonation. A whirlpool of bubbles formed from the center of my Chimay goblet. Formed a creamy tan head of very small bubbles that laced the side.
Flavor: Same spice taste that the aroma forecast. Some apricot flavor comes through, but it’s subtle. A clean tasting beer, no off flavors at all. The beer is extremely well balanced. It starts with a sweetish, but nowhere near cloy start, mid-taste is all about body (see Mouthfeel), and it finishes with a slight bittering, almost cleansing experience, with a prickle of carbonation and alcohol, but the alcohol taste is next to invisible.
Mouthfeel: This is where Chimay shines. It’s liquid silk; it’s almost slick. It has body, somewhere in the middle ground, but it seems to coat the mouth and slide down the throat. I don’t normally give this area of a review much weight, but the simple touch of this beer to your mouth lets you know these monks mean business. The beer makes your lips a bit sticky as well.
Overall Impression: It’s worth investing in some glassware for this. I own a Chimay goblet (called a Gourmet) that I use for heavier beers with the gold leaf rim. It’s about $5 but if you are serious about beer, pony up the dough. This is an outstanding beer. Drinkability? The one hefty sized bottle has me feeling quite friendly, but I’d gladly tackle another if it were offered. This is an abbey beer folks, a little slice of history carefully put in a bottle just for you. As Ben Franklin said, beer is proof there is a God and he wants us to be happy. I think the monks agree. (1,854 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Red brown opaque body with rapidly disappearing head. Berry aroma. Very little hops flavor and very easy to drink. medium/light body and amazing easy to drink. Where the other Chimay beers are shooting for finess over intensity, I believe this one achieves it. (260 characters)

Photo of BierReise
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looking at this beer in my glass reminds me of the Charles River in Boston. From the swampy color to the tan foamy head. Aroma is complex, fruity, malty with a slight floral presence. Crisp and effercescent, yet smooth and medium to full bodied with an ever so slight metallic finish. Very drinkable especially at 55+ degrees. Good sample of a good Belgian Abbaye. (364 characters)

Photo of taez555
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer out of the 330ml bottle into my snifter. It poured a light brown almost yellow body straight out of the bottle but once in the glass was a full brown. The head was a beige/white with very fine bubbles.

This beer had a beautiful nose. A very german yeasty weis smell. Some apples, malt and very soft hint of raisons.

The taste of this beer was very nice. Full rounded bitterness. A firm currant flavor. Some soft raison and apple tartness. A very slight bitter roasted malt also. It finishes with a warming alchohol touch enhanced by the soft bitterness that lingers for a short while.

What is really nice about this beer is how well balanced it is. It's never overpowering or overwhelming, but each flavors has it's own spot and compliments the other flavors. A very nice beer. (803 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml brown bottle, best before date on the back (LOTS of time allotted to consume). Poured it out into a chalice, a very murky deep coppery red, moving well into the brown range, very thick off-white creamy head. This subsides a bit, but sticks around most of the way down the glass, and also leaves a decent lacing. Nose possesses apples, cloves, banana. Taste is spicy, especially cloves, and traces of apple. Mouthfeel is rich, but it goes down a bit acidic. I would imagine this would compliment grilled red meat very nicely (especially game meat), I'm looking forward to trying it out. (591 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy brown with hints of red around the edges. It has a minimal head and minimal lacing - a very attractive looking beer. The aroma is filled with fruits and malts. The flavor is very enjoyable. It has a lot of fruity flavors and it is fairly sweet and full bodied. The alcohol is vaguely apparent, but just to the point that it adds character to the flavor. I would highly recommend this beer as well as the other Chimay products. (451 characters)

Photo of goz
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown in color, with a thick, creamy off-white head that lingers, leaving sheets of lacing. Aroma is malty, slightly yeasty, fruity (banana and apple). Malty sweet start, middle is fruity with banana and some apple, and an acidic finish. Body is on the fuller side of medium. (275 characters)

Photo of Redrover
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large 750ml champaign style bottle. The classic Chimay look.

The beer pours a muted brownish red. Incredible head that lingers throughout the beer. Some of the nicest lacing I've seen.

Beer smells great. I first pick-up malt & spice. Fruit flavors also waft up from the glass. Yeasty/bread aroma as well.

Taste is just as good as I remember. Malt supported by hops. Complex web of fruit and spice. Spot on carbonation. Beer changes slightly as it warms and malt becomes more dominate. As I was further into the bottle, I began to wonder if the beer has become slightly "lighter" in look/taste over the years.

Incredible smoothness makes this one easy to drink. A first class beer from start to finish. (714 characters)

Photo of Winter
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Available in bottles at a German bar, Von Trier, in Milwaukee and served in the proper Chimay chalice. Hazy brownish-maroon in color with a creamy, off-white head. Aroma consists of a combination of malt, cloves, dark fruit and a touch of yeast. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied. Initial medicinal taste startled me a bit, but I soon adjusted. Flavors aren't overly complex, but the taste is extremely enjoyable. Malt, hints of feint chocolate, yeast and a touch of sweetness. The alcohol is masked very well. Impressive. (526 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle purchased from a Basha's Supermarket...

Appearance: thick spongey tannish head, ruddy copper color w/ slight haze, temporary lacing, looks good in my Chimay glass, head dies down to a spotty cap

Aroma: some continental hop spiking through the malty background, a warming all-spice scent on the edges, some alcohol wisps

Flavor: cork-taint is rather prominent in this sample; aside from that... a semi-sweet malt backbone with a smooth hop flavor that gives way to a slightly metallic finish, hop bitterness is balanced in the semi-dry finish, some raisiny notes and a bit of all-spice warmth, alcohol is noticeable but not piercing

Mouthfeel: thinner than I remember it (haven't had a Chimay since about a year ago), seemingly light-medium body, crisp carbonation and a mellow alcohol warmth, slight astringency felt on teeth

Drinkability: a good stand-by to savor every once in a while (Tim Webb's controversial opinion aside). Chimay is a good Belgian beer, but there are many others that are far better. (1,035 characters)

Photo of AudioGilz
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a light amber color with a huge head of white frothiness. I had a very stuffy nose during this review (damn spring allergies!), so all I got out of the aroma was some yeast and sweetness. The flavors were easy to pick up though....dark fruits start and finish with some yeast character in between.....very enjoyable. I had to pay $8 for a 750mL bottle....pretty steep to me, I'd rather get the Chimay Blue for that matter....it's much more complex and rewarding. But this is a great beer if you're looking for a little less acohol and complexity. (551 characters)

Photo of TAMU99
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another good beer from Chimay.
Dark and cloudy with a thick light brown head that hung around forever.
Strong malt and wheat taste with a prominent hops flavor. The bitter hops are stronger in this one than the Blue/Grand Reserve, but they certainly do not overpower the malt.
Enjoyable mouthfeel that is neither too thin or too heavy.

Drinkable certainly, but like the other Chimays a bit pricey for everyday consumption. (432 characters)

Photo of BeerAngel
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed raison color with a nice fluffy white head. There is just a hint of sweetness at first but then you notice the fruit and spices as well in the aromas. This smells great! At first taste you sense the hops sliding into the fruit (maybe raison-like) with light spicing and a hint of yeast. This well blended beer is medium to light bodied and finishes with a dry spice finish. It is a very nice beer that would pair well with certain meals. Op uw gezonheid! (477 characters)

Photo of Riggo
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous reddish brown/copper color; relatively opaque, with a light tan head that falls to a very thin collar and remains for the duration. No lacing to speak of on my glass. The nose is potent and wine-like, with musty yeast and nutty malt but mostly fruity--apples, apricots, raisins, plums. As it warms, caramel/burnt sugar notes come forth. On palate, crisp and tart with fruity apple notes but well-balanced with oakey malt sweetness. Higher abv is evident but ultimately a very balanced ale, complex yet subtle. Finish is earthy with a mild hop bitterness and relatively short. Mouthfeel is nice--silky, syrupy, but with cleanness of carbonation. A well-balanced ale and a mild hop crispness deliver a relatively drinkable brew, even with the complexity and higher abv. (784 characters)

Photo of BittRnessabounds
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Emobeerguy generously shared this fine brew with Marty and myself. We'd been saving this for a special occasion, last night the occasion was "not doing our senior theses."

This beer gave me high hopes from the first pour and it did not let down. The color is a deep and hazy red with just a touch of brown with a nice fluffy white head that slowly dissipated to a wonderful lace that remained throughout. The smell was very spicy with a fruit (dominantly apple) background. The spices and malt character blended together with just a touch of yeast and hop flavors to make a wonderfully smooth and tasty beer. I greatly enjoyed this beer and look forward to having it again. (677 characters)

Photo of Marty
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apples! That was the first thing that came to mind when I smelled this beer. It tasted fruity and a little tart, which may be why I initially thought "apple" instead of any other fruit. Very smooth and easy to drink, given its alcohol content. Medium-sized head that settled rather quickly. Deep red hue. Great beer. (316 characters)

Photo of EmoBeerGuy
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as a Xmas present and shared it last night with some friends and fellow BAers.

This one pours to a garnet hue and has a nice thick frothy head. Better head retention than the Chimay White label that I had recently. The smell is exceptional as it highlights the spiciness of the brew. The apple notes are also readily apparent from the nose.

Taste-wise, this is an exceptionallly smooth brew, with a good deal of complexity. Flavor is dominated by citrus, spice, and a strong apple flavor. Would be a very good beer to pair with some read meat, spicy food, or by itself after dinner with some strong cheese.

I enjoyed this one very much, though at 9$ a bottle on my college budget it will have to be for special occasions only. (747 characters)

Photo of BigHead
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pretty beer when poured in a glass, and the aroma of fruits was a pleasure. The thick head was probably more due to my error in pouring, but still lovely nonetheless. The first sip was fruity and slightly hopped, but very smooth. I was happy the entire glass, except when it was empty. The overall flavor did subside some with each sip as my tongue got desensitized to the bouquet of flavors. I am still working on my ability to properly describe what I am tasting in beer lingo, but this might work too....yummy. (515 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had red in quite awhile, and I was suprised as to how mellow this beer is compared to the many stronger styles i've had since. This tastes almost like an English ale (Fuller's?) or a doppelbock(Salvator?) as much it does a Belgian dubble. Nice, winey-like malt smoothness and creaminess, some spice, but not too much. Possibly the least sweet Belgian trappist or abbey I've had. Head disappeared quickly, one of the least impressive appearances i've seen in a Belgian or Belgian-styled beer. Almost no lacing. On the other hand, considering the still-potent ABV, this is a very easy-drinking ale. Nice taste, nothing to put you off. High quality, but real subtle for a trappist. (688 characters)

Photo of Myk
4.12/5  rDev +1%
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 Reidrover
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this as part of a Gift pack( Red, White and Blue 330ml bottles witha Chimay Chalice ) a very good deal.

This beer pours very well into the beautiful chalice leaving a wonderful murky brown beer..with ruby accents and a fantastic huge light tan head which has staying poweer.
It has a strong aroma, but at the same time it is not overwhelming.I smell tons of different fruity aromas, tart fruits mostly, black cherries, rasberries even gooseberries..and a faint alcohol scent too..with some malt in the back.
The tase, given the strong aroma, is surprisingly "light".Theres some malt sweetness followed by a good hop after tatse.I also get a nice warming alcohoil effect as the beer goes down my throat..this has a good clean taste.
It feels very smooth on the tongue, not a lot of carbonation, this taste lingers.
A fairly drinkable brew, very easy to down a few I am sure (888 characters)

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
91 out of 100 based on 1,600 ratings.