Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,624 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,624
Hads: 4,570
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 18.54%
Wants: 245
Gots: 772 | 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: 1,624 | Hads: 4,570
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.

 967 characters

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.

 909 characters

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

 385 characters

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.

 356 characters

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.

 417 characters

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.

 467 characters

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.

 643 characters

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.

 282 characters

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.

 845 characters

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!

 553 characters

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.

 608 characters

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).

 1,044 characters

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

 260 characters

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.

 306 characters

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.

 727 characters

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.

 995 characters

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.

 340 characters

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.

 392 characters

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.

 440 characters

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.

 1,405 characters

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.

 323 characters

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.

 929 characters

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.

 305 characters

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.

 830 characters

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!

 1,710 characters

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 1,624 ratings.