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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.

1,634 Reviews

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

Pours a reddish/brownish hue with only a slight little head and good carbonation.

Aromas of spices, anise, caramel, fruit and some nuttiness.

Taste is round, smooth, slighty drying and only a touch of bitterness. Malty flavours of caramel and roast grains with a mixture of floral/fruity flavours with another big hit of spice, this time pepper. Has a very spicy/peppery and sprizty front palate that sort of brings it out of balance.

Otherwise, great stuff.

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

It has been a while since I have had this beer (it's really difficult to pass over the Grande Reserve), so I thought "it's about time."

This beer is amber in color (emphasis is on red) with a reasonable sized tan head. Starts somewhat murky but progresses further as more and more yeast is poured. The smell is rather tame for a Belgian abbey style beer. Fruity with a slight nutty aroma are noticed in the smell. Tastes rather malty with a decent hop bitterness. This beer is not as fruity or as "big" as the blue label. Malty and somewhat spicy. Subdued fruit flavors, particularly banana and citrus fruit. Quite crisp and very drinkable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pourred a copperish brew with a nice big head. The head stayed on top for a long time. Very complex spice with a not too distinct alcohol taste. I would describe the taste as sweet with a light bitterness aftertaste. Very firm body. This is classic and can never get enough of this.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty hazy deep amber brown colored brew topped in a massive off-white head that dies very slowly and basically stays there until you are finished with an empty glass covered in lace. The aroma has some sweet fruits and citrus as well as some yeasty bread smells.

The flavor starts out with a sweet malty flavor with a touch of fruits. Soon after, I pick up a nice citrus bite followed by some spices. There is a lot more to this than the white. Deep malt flavors provide a solid backround for the finish which gives way to a nice spicy aftertaste. Delicious fruity burps really add a nice touch. I picked up on some metallic flavors about half way through, but it was only for a sip or two, wierd. This is a pretty good drinking belgian. I think the blue reserve is by far the best from these guys, but you should give this one a whirl.

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Photo of granger10
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite a nice brew! Poured a dark amber color with a smaller head than I would have liked but left a good amount of lacing. Yeast sediments flow freely throughout my glass. I smell lots of sweetness and some other nondescript flavors. The initial taste reminds me of some sweet candy I've had before (not sure what though). As I continue more flavors show. A complex mix of bready yeast and spices create wonderful complexity. Deeper malts also come through (maybe caramel). Quite nice. Not extremely complex but still was a great multi-dimensioned brew!

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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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The macro of the Trappist Ales, if that's possible. Anyway...Appearance: deep amber brown with an fluffy creamy textured tan colored head very nice retention lacing is trademark Belgian lacing tiny webbed even patterns. Aroma: Mild fruit tones of apple and raisin variety are evident a bit of a musty breadiness their I'm guessing product of the yeast and a mellow malt profile is here with hops blended into the harmonious mix. Taste: This one by far when compared to other Belgian ales lacks in comparison most of the time, flavor has a musty finish the fruit isn't quite as apparent as in the aromatics flavors seem dull here not as much of an orgy of flavor as I would like to occur there is however a breadiness mixed within the flavor some bittering hops here in the finish but overall overrated on reputation alone in my book. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied creamy texture nice no complaints and not too much praise. Drinability: Yeah it's clean and finishes nicely but hand me a bier from Brewery Ommegang anyday before Chimay Red (Premiere).

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Photo of grynder33
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured very dark, fruity hop aroma, mildly hop fruit taste, hard to distinguish what kind of fruit, alittle carmel sweet in the middle,and seemed to get sweeter as it went along. The strenght of this brew sneaks up on you.Glob of foam stays on top till the end

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Photo of jlervine
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with off-white head. Smells of yeast, rich malt, fruit, and rum. Tast is malty and evenly spicy - hint of white pepper, I think. The mouth is very full, and the beer is very filling to drink - dinner in a bottle! This was my first Chimay, and part 1 of a 3 part vertical Chimay tasting.

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Photo of PZuke
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a brown slightly reddish color with about half an inch of white head or so. The carbonation can be seen from the constant bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. It has a fruity smell of plums and raisins and a nice malty smell. The first taste is that of sweetness like caramel and then it goes into the fruity taste. The malt a slight alcohol taste is also pleasant. The taste is very crisp and pleasing to the mouth. It has a heavy mouthfeel that tells you this is not your run of the mill beer. I would recommend drinking this brew at home with the proper glassware. This beer is relatively easy to find and it will cost you a few dollars more then the average beer but it is well worth the expense.

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