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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.

1,612 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,612
Hads: 4,519
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 237
Gots: 718 | 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
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Reviews: 1,612 | Hads: 4,519
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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Photo of budgood1
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my first chimay. out of the 1pt 9.4 fl. oz bottle. cork dated 11-99.

pours out a thick and luscious dark copper amd amber colour. some sediment and other floaties milling around. a rather large and fizzy head appears and reduces rather quickly. stiff musty aroma...dark ripened fruits and yeast. somewhat winey in nature. tastes and flavours are rather subdued...malt flavours are of the caramel nature, with slight wooden notes followed by lots of ripened fruits. i like the flavour and it's quite appealing. mouthfeel is best described as full and rich, with a light carbonation that produces a certain crispness that lingers in the aftertaste...more tongue tingling rather than silky smooth. absolutely no hint of the 7% ABV. highly drinkable, but i was a bit letdown by the overall impression of this abbey dubbel. i'm guessing the bottle was a little past it's prime, although my limited experience with belgians tells me i might have to resample this again. which i will gladly oblige.

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

An enjoyable brew, if not quite as enjoyable as a Westvleteren. Nice malt back with the plummy, raisiny taste from the candy sugars. Slight alcohol taste but nothing overpowering. A good version of the style and one I will order again if I see it at a bar. For home consumption, I will buy the Westlveteren over this, but still a good beer.

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

Reddish-brown with a foamy white head - your typical dubbel. Sweet a spicy nose. Medium-bodied but with a very sharp carbonation that's slightly distracting and not really pleasant. Only mildly fruity with figs and plums. Mild on the hops. Malt is also present but only in the background. Overall fairly spicy. This is a fairly good dubbel, but not exactly what I was expecting or hoping for.

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahh a nice Sunday brunch beverage,pours a nice medium brown with a slight orange tint with a huge rocky head that leaves some incrdible lacingAroma is fruity and slightly smokey.The flavor starts out a little smokey but it semmed to get a little watery in the middle ending with a nice malty,bready flavor lingering.A very nice looking beer and tastes pretty good but would have liked a little more richnes.Still a extremely well made beer.

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

750ml bottle- Color is a solid caramel brown with a peachy reddish tone, nice inch high head of tight bubbly off-white creamy foam, faded slowly to a skim always present and large drippy lacing.

Smell is one complex mother of a dubble, quite unique, good smokeyness comes through with bacon and smoked dried oranges, sweet smokey malts, other dark but dullish fruit of plum and raisin, candied toffee notes and what I'm guessing is alot of wild yeast and a bit of cherry as well. Hard to get past the smokey sense, but it tames as it sits longer.

Taste is smooth and creamy delight of complexity, let this sit awhile after pouring, it seemed to ripen on the vine as it warmed a bit. Finally as I begin to reward my taste buds it starts with a touch of mint up front leading right into a punch of sweet malts, dulled oranges and dark fruits, mostly plum, a subtle touch of raisin, cherry, and toffee. The smokey sense from the smell is all but null and void. I was hoping it would maybe show up somewhere as it warmed, but nope. Towards the end it pick up some banana esters and good amounts of milding spice, clove, and yeast keeping this very smooth and quite full, a bit of a tingly-fluffy carbonation shows up late towards the finish.

Complexfully wonderful and a great sipper. Excellent yeasty surprise; smooth, creamy, tingly, spicey, fruity, nearly everything a good Belgian needs this has.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown color, large lacy head. Malty, fruity and spicy. Smooth mellow taste. Lots of flavor, complex and subtle. Hint of apricot, banana, vanilla and other spices and aromas. Mouthfeel is very full and round. Finish is smooth and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Great beer. My favorite of the red, white and blue.

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

Appearance – Nice foamy head and a beautiful, light brown color.

Smell – Some malt and a deep clove aroma. Yes, it does get bigger if you pour it in the Chimay glass, swirl it, and let it sit.

Taste – The taste is too tight after the pour. Wait ten to fifteen minutes and it will deliver on the bouquet: complex mix of yeast, malt, the clove again, various fruits, and even some hops. There’s also something in there that reminds me of a stout but I can’t pin it.

Mouthfeel – Nice carbonation and smooth. A little too foamy for my tastes, yet very easy on the tongue.

Drinkability – Very good once it breathes. Someone could easily open up this beer, chug it, and never know what they had.

Comments – This beer is very complex; I couldn’t even begin to figure out all of the tastes. It is a real treat.

Update: In 2004 I haven’t had an overly foamy sample so I am raising the Mouthfeel rating by 0.5.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.36/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a medium tan head with fine sized bubbles. Yes, the nose did remind me of vomit. The body was murky and there was carbonation observed. The hue was that of cider and the lacing was sparse on the sides of my glass. The flavor was spicy and the mouthfeel was smooth and tingly on my tongue.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought locally (Steve's Liquor & Fine Wines refrigerators) as part of the Chimay gift pack (Red, White, Blue + chalice). A few months in my fridge.

The medium-sized off-white head is coarse. My pour was overly careful, and there wasn't much lacing. The head collapses to a film, but the stream of bubbles from the center of the chalice keeps regenerating a little foam island on top. The beer is a hazy red-brown, but it clears as it settles. Lots of bubble-gum smell, but also spicy, fruity and yeasty. Alcohol joins the spice and fruit in the front. The middle is buttery, malty, full, Christmas, caramel, spicy goodness. A touch of metal disrupts the dry, yeasty, spicy finish. A nice bready aftertaste.

Well, this is just a simple, straight, buttery, spicy, fruity, delicious Belgian. It may be my favorite of the three.

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Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +22%
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!

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Photo of bditty187
2.77/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.43/5  rDev -40.7%
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

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.61/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of BierReise
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of taez555
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of clvand0
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of goz
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Redrover
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Winter
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 1,612 ratings.