1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,687 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,687
Reviews: 1,551
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 140
Gots: 224 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,687 | Reviews: 1,551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm a Chimay'osceptic. There was a time when I was part of the enduring cult of Chimay but that was sometime ago.

It is fizzier and thinner (emptier??)than when I first drank it in 84 and there are many more clinging big bubbles too underneath the temporary reasonably foamy head. There's a slight metallic quality too. The trademark complex yet soft firm finesse backbone is long gone and there's very little interplay between the remaining elements. It is just rather duller than it should be.

Can't for the life of see why this beer is so loved on this site. Prime example of the Emperor's new beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 21:17:14 | More by Zimbo
Photo of skypup


4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

.33L Bottle served in a Chimay Chalice

Unfiltered reddish-brown; thick foamy head that lasts several minutes. Visual particulates at the bottom of the glass. Just the right amount of carbonation.

Definitive malt /Has a deep earthy smell like wild mushrooms.

You can taste the earthiness and malts in this beer; the carbonation doesn't fizzle out while the beer sits.

Exceptional drinkability; this is a great beer, that should be experiences and enjoyed. I served mine with some aged cheese.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 18:14:41 | More by skypup
Photo of foogerd

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this so many times just never got around to reviewing this. 33 CL bottle.

This is such a classic dubbel and in my opinion probably the best one around the taste and aroma match each other perfectly. Sweet bready spicy thick and foamy this is a meal in a bottle. Seek this one out before drinking another Dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 05:55:16 | More by foogerd
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy opaque prune juice color with a small 1/2 inch head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Yeast sediment in the bottom of the glass. Smells of dark fruits like plums and raisins, caramel, yeast. Tastes of dark fruits, caramel, honey, yeast, cloves and maybe cinnamon. Very tasty. Beer is somewhat highly carbonated. Crisp and clean in the mouth. Excellent drinkability on this very delicious dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 02:36:46 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml Bomber

Appearance - Hazy red/brown colour with a large size beige coloured head. It's hard to see the carbonation level due to the haziness and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - wood, an earthiness, dark fruits, malts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a large amount of carbonation and it has a unique taste. I can pick up on a woodiness mixed with apples and malts. There are also notes of dark fruits and and a strong earthiness and even some champagne flavour. The beer finishes with a clean crisp malty slightly dry aftertaste.

Drink - This is one of the favourites of my good buddy Swedes21 and I finally got around to trying it. It has a very unique taste that was along the lines of an Orval mixed with a Westy 12. It's a excellent beer that is surely worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 00:10:33 | More by spinrsx
Photo of chiccabeer


3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dark beer that pours nice into a bottle. There is a good amount of head with an average smell to the beer. To me the beer tasted watery, but it did have a good flavor to it. The after taste is sweet, but not too strong. It would be a good beer for dinner. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2011 01:22:48 | More by chiccabeer
Photo of philbe311


3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a Chimay Goblet (duh)...

A - Two fingers worth of rich whimsical light tan colored creamy froth that is fairly active when first poured before quickly settling... Impressive retention gives way to a very thick creamy inviting lace... The color is a warm caramel brown color that is somewhere between medium and dark on the spectrum... There is a subtle ruby hue beneath the surface... A touch of murkiness... Only a stray carbonation bubble can be seen climbing along the sides of the glass every now and again... As sophisticated and glorious a that I've ever seen...

S - Rather mild... Touches of dark fruit - Plums, dates, figs, with a hint of cherry... Belgian yeast... Faint brown sugar... Some subtle spicy notes... Simple, but effective...

T - A muttled mix of dark fruits... Brown sugar... Grainy... Notes of cherry...Some very subtle hints of tobacco... Some spiciness...

M - Lush to start... Medium bodied... Sturdy... A bit of ultra fizzy carbonation... A bit chewy in the middle... The finish has a touch of dryness...

D - One of the most beautiful that I've ever laid eyes upon... A solid Dubbel to boot... Sophisticated and very well rounded... Mellow... A bit reserved and far from the best in class, but a very good beer none the less...

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2011 01:06:54 | More by philbe311
Photo of malty


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/3 liter bottle that most likely 2 years old, but has been carefully stored in my cool, dark cement wall/floored cellar.

Poured into its proprietary stemmed chalice (carefully, as not to get any chunks of yeast) a beautifully clear and deep copper-ruby color. There is plenty of small suspended yeast particles upon close inspection, but to no harm. The whispy white head settles to a perfect halo with a tattered-edged circle in the center. Lots of visible fine uprising carbonation. Unfortunately no lacing at all to speak of.

Overripe plums and fig paste caress the nostrils while a ghostly cinnamon spice creeps up from behind. White pepper and powerful clove command the middle. Dark red cherries mixed with a little sherry ride the rails.

Tastes EXACTLY like the scents I described above. And I'm not being lazy either. Pinpoint perfectly translates from scents to flavor. There's a comforting and trademark Belgian artisanal mineral water flavor that I remember tasting in my first Trappist Ale (La Trappe Quad) back in '93 and completely loving it. Still loving it today.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very spritzy, playful, lifting and ultra fine carbonation at a moderate level. The aforemention 'mineral' flavor, along with some colvey spiciness in the finish.

Drinkability is good. Especially fireside on one of the last winter afternoons of the season.

Overall a world class beer I remember enjoying several times in the past (almost) 20 years that I'm now realizing I've never given a proper formal review. I know palates change, but the overall flavor/impact of this classic seems to be a bit timid that what I remember. Don't get me wrong, it's still a phenomenal offering from a spectacular brewery, but I have to wonder if the recipe has been toned-down. Nonetheless, I absolutely still enjoy it and I'm very glad to have it readily available at many local retailers.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 21:10:22 | More by malty
Photo of THECPJ


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes:

appearance: murky orangish brown with a 2 finger off white head

smell: tart, mix of sweet & sour, dark fruits, caramel, malts

taste: dark fruits, sweet

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

drinkability: decent not my favorite from the style and this is easily attainable in the area.



Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 15:06:21 | More by THECPJ
Photo of Ochsenblut


3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Dubbel has a ruby hued mahogany body with a cm off-white head that sticks around for quite a while.

It smells of fresh pastry and rum raisin, whilst fuming alcohol slightly.

Very creamy mouthfeel with well attenuated hay like malts punctuated subtly by drying hops that move into medicinal and barnyard notes. It leaves a slightly tannic bite that fades to mustiness and subtle metallic aftertaste.

It's slick on the mouth despite the dense bite of the suspended carbonation.

This brew is mellow, and less sweet than most Dubbels I've had. It's high carbonation distracts me a bit, but is pleasing nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 21:51:12 | More by Ochsenblut
Photo of henryd30


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fairly dark and slightly opaque with light brown head.

S: Great sweet aroma, carmel, maybe a little clove.

T: Great flavor - warming alcohol aftertaste, but not overwhelming or bad, perfect.

M: A little warming, but overall smooth with nice carbonation.

D: The alcohol was upfront and center, but wasn't overwhelming at all. Went down quite nicely - am sure the ABV, rather than the drinkability would limit it from being an all night beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 02:17:12 | More by henryd30
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

The pour was a medium copper in color with an average sized off white foamy head that was mostly lasting and had some what fair lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted caramel malt, a light resin hop and a sweet yeast with a hint of apricot, banana, dried fruit and some spice (cinnamon and maybe a little nutmeg).

It tasted very light, sweet and malty with notes of sweet dried fruit and banana in the beginning and finished moderately sweet with a tinge of bitterness that had a nice malty feel to it with notes of caramel and spices at the end. Although I would have liked the flavor to last a nice long while, it only lasted a short time.

Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied and watery yet somewhat creamy in texture with a flat carbonation.

Overall a very enticing brew, but anything from this brewer seems to taste well.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 21:13:36 | More by KajII
Photo of atomicbeer

New Mexico

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Looks like an unfiltered apple cider, brown with gold. A small beige head settled to a thick ring and fine covering with a continuous small eruption at the center of the glass. Aroma is browned apple, clove, banana-apple, cinnamon, and apple-raisin pie. Taste follows aroma with warming alcohol. A fine one indeed.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 04:07:03 | More by atomicbeer
Photo of MinnesotaRIS


4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle. Pours with average body. Probably too cold but I did not get a great deal of head on this one. Very little lace and residual foam. Red color, darkened amber, slight haze though that can be attributed to bottle trub. Bubbly.

S malt, low, earthy hop aroma. Smells Belgian.

T - a touch of alcohol on the tongue that rounds out into the Belgic tartness and sl. sourness. Very full mouthfeel, bubbly on the palate and low hop flavor. Aftertaste that leaves one wanting to savor this one rather than drink it quick. Very balanced beer.

I would have this again and it makes me desire to try all the Abbey beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 02:06:26 | More by MinnesotaRIS
Photo of Outchillen


4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers, and probably my favorite belgian
A: Nice reddish amber, nicely carbonated, head fades quickly
S: Nice and lightly malty, sweet and floral
T: Sweet and smooth, nice malty and great yeast flavor
M/D: nice and light, very good example of a dubbel, I could drink this all day

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 19:02:51 | More by Outchillen
Photo of cpmichael


3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone snifter, Bottle says L09-087

A: Pours a ruby-red with a minimal amount of head in the glass. Not overtly carbonated.

S: There is a strong presence of malts with some caramel and toffee in there. Hints of cloves and a bit of yeast.

T: Pretty strong on the malt and yeast profile, with a bit of toffee. There is a touch of hops on the back end of this beer.

M/D: This beer wasn't very carbonated and that might have hurt its complexity. There just was not a lot going on and this beer never really kept my interest throughout the pour. Mediocre flavor. I would grab a Rochefort 8 or Westmalle dubbel anytime over this.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 15:39:15 | More by cpmichael
Photo of Scotchboy


3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Making my way into the land of the Trappist Ales.

Chimay Red, poured from a stubby into a New Belgium globe.

Pours the color of hazy ice tea, a deep amber hue. A finger or so off-white head settles slowly into a consistent ring. Alcohol legs are ok. Attractive beer.

Smell is instantly of green apples and white grapes and white wine. Spicy and sweet, a little alcohol, a little bready/yeast character. Floral too...nice.

Medium bodied, good carbonation. The immediate flavors are spices; ginger, clove, and a mint-like numbness to the tongue. The malts contribute some breadiness and blend together with the yeast character. At the end of the mouthfeel there are some hints of powdery dark chocolate. The apple rind/white wine/funk from the nose show up on the aftertaste, with a lingering sweetness...tart maybe? The alcohol warms you up as the beers temperature rises.

Overall a good beer, drinkable but not overly so...Dubbels are not my favorite style so far, I need to try a few more to compare this one to.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 04:53:19 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of SirSketch


3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruby brown color and a fizzy head, which fades quickly. Nose is surprisingly spicy and yeasty with a bit of heat and a great grain character. Smells a little of unfermented wort (which is not such a bad thing). Some fruity esters come out in the taste. Roasty and caramel flavors appear, too. Very enjoyable, straightfoward, and archetypal example of a dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 02:51:19 | More by SirSketch
Photo of nickshep7


3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (7/20 date on the cork) poured into Chimay Chalice. 3 fingers of gorgeous creamy of white head. Excellent retention w/ a little less lacing down the glass. Smell was caramel and Belgian yeast (mmm). Taste was similar to nose, but had a little bit of a lingering metallic taste/feel. I've had this with 18 months of age on it in the past and remember it being much, much better (A+ quality). Overall, I like this brew a lot. I think I may pick up a few to cellar for football season -- seems like a great fall sipper.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 12:44:02 | More by nickshep7
Photo of Kinsman


4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle with 02/10 stamped on the cork. Just over a year old at this point.

Opened with a loud pop of the cork and poured in the glass with a hazy crimson color, filling it up to form a nice light brown body with rusty red highlights. Beige colored head fills the glass for about an inch thick and hangs around for quite a bit.

Aroma is greets you with a phenolic spice of cloves before a fruity note of raisins and plums comes along. Malty sweetness steals the show but leaves room for just a bit of the yeast profile to come through.

Taste reveals a bit more complexity but still remains strong with the dark fruit flavors, giving it a flavor similar to that of grape juice. Yeats profile adds a bit of spice as expected with some clove and medicinal notes.

Mouthfeel is rather light but quite lively. Overall, you can't go wrong with this dubbel. I feel dubbels do not get the attention they deserve in the world of Belgian beer and while this is not my favorite of the style (Westmalle is pure greatness), a beer like this should surely get more love.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 01:09:09 | More by Kinsman
Photo of NickRivers


4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A&S - Beautiful cloudy amber with a 2 finger creamy tan head with a lot of lacing. Bready aromas, coriander, roasty malts and lots of stewed dark fruit.

T&M - Super sweet and malty with a bitter finish and some great carbonation. Medium body.

D - Not to bad for a beer with a cork.

Go out and buy this one. So much to say. Great looking bottle fascinating backstory about the Trappist brewery and the Monks. I believe the Blue is darker than this one, but this beer is great for getting into craft brews. The Blue might be too strong for some in that category. The appearance is amazing as well as the mouthfeel. Despite the cork this has ton of carbonation making a medium bodied mouthfeel. Go support the Monks and buy this beer. Makes a great centerpiece haha. Stay Thirst My Friends!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 07:13:08 | More by NickRivers
Photo of Hopfenpeter


4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a rich murky amber and builds up a nice beige prickly head. It leaves some lacing on the glass, but not as much as I expected.
The smell is very aromatic and announces fruitiness and good malts.
The taste is quite remarkable and greets you with plums, prunes, some apple and raisin up front, followed by caramel ,brown sugary malts and being nicely kept in check by a great selection of hops, just the right amount. The yeast adds nice creamy feel. The alcohol is nicely hidden and will hit you at some point hard.
Very drinkable brew with good carbonation and freshness. Very good brew!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 04:23:59 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of arghbowl

New York

4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay goblet

A - Poured a very dark amber to copper with a nice fluffy 1/4" or so head.

S - Raisin and caramel up front, with a slightly spiced scent lingering in the nose.

T - Looks are deceiving. This tastes nothing like it looks, as it tastes like a very welcoming, but looks like it could be rather harsh. Again, rasins, and caramel dominate, but there's also a nice spiced finish. Very pleasant, and certainly invites another sip. Great aftertaste that isn't unpleasant at all. Sweet and savory at the same time.

M - Pleasant but somewhat syrupy. Nice level of carbonation - not too much or too little.

D - Almost too drinkable. Taste will leave you wanting more, and a large bottle would most likely be the perfect amount. Not a beer you can drink too many of, but with a beer this good you shouldn't want to.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 02:40:55 | More by arghbowl
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was really well done here with a nice amber color with a light hint of caramel around the edges, big head comes up and over the top and settles down gently into a firm and long lasting pillow with loads of side glass lacing. Aroma is nice, much sweeter then I was expecting. Lots of caramel and malts right up front here, light hint of an herbal note boucning around as well, but not terribly strong. Warming brings out a yeast note that is quite intresting and adds a light fruit touch to it, but very sweet still. Flavor again is very intresting and not what I was expecting. Rich notes of caramel and almost candied like sugar abound here. Light touches of hops play on the tongue now as well, very intresting. Comes across almost like an amber ale to me, has that bready maltiness and caramel flavor I associate with it. A bit thin on the feel but the carbonation really saves it and gives it that little bit of pop to pull you in. Soo nicely done that it goes down like candy and really just a smooth and really nice drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 17:33:30 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of HeyItsChili


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a corked n caged bottle into a Chimay goblet. Pours a dusty ruby color with with hazy blond highlights. A creamy khaki head settles atop the beer and slowly fades to a low fog.

S - Aroma has got that Belgian malt profile bigtime, sweet brown sugar, raisins, caramel.

T - Up front is really raisiny, little spicy reminiscent of brown spiced rum, faint green grass taste.

M - Velvety, slightly chewy, good carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 03:09:18 | More by HeyItsChili
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,687 ratings.