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

Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

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3,481 Ratings

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Ratings: 3481
Reviews: 1537
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%

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
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Ratings: 3,481 | Reviews: 1,537 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BethanyB

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark amber in color, and very clear. The long-lasting head is white and frothy.

Smell: Toasted malt, brown sugar, bananas, and cloves. More bright-smelling than I expected. Like a slightly toastier Hefeweizen.

Taste: Round, complex, sweet maltiness with a light background mixture of banana bread, bubblegum, and coriander. A light bitterness adds some balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth and clean going down, with very little alcohol warmth detected.

Overall: A good beer, just not my favorite Dubbel in the world, and definitely not my fave of the Chimays. Leaves me wanting a little something more. To me, it's solid, but not entirely special.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 20:56:48 | More by BethanyB
Photo of TMoney2591


4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Chimay chalice.

With my new chalice here, I can make the perfect beer/glassware combination. Boom. Just as nature intended. This stuff pours a mostly clear ruby-sienna topped by a half-finger or so of sandstone foam. The nose comprises raisins, figs, rich caramel, Belgian candi sugar, and a smattering of clove. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a definite vein of dark fruits, a swirl or two of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of ginger. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mostly fluid feel. Overall, a damn solid dubbel, a clear classic of the style. Not much else to say than that.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 05:16:13 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of admiral


3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a classic beer that is great to sip on a dark night (or anytime really!)

aroma: malt, spice and slight white wine

taste: caramel, spice, malt and candied banana with some slight chocolate (along with a hint of citrus and hay early on in the drink when it is colder)

an easy to drink dubbel that is outstanding in appearance, with good head retention, and most importantly, has plenty to please the palate.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 12:11:04 | More by admiral
Photo of MagicJeff


4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into my glass

Appearance: She looks beautiful. Deep ruby-ish copper body with a generous tan-white head. Head reduces a little bit but is retained throughout drinking, with lacing at the end.

Smell: Slightly boozy sugar raisins. Some candy sugar smell in there too.

Taste: Wow. Intense plum and dark fruits coupled with subtle sweet apple components. Really comparable to biting into a big juicy plum. This is so complex and inviting. As it warms I pick up more apple. This thing is just too good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied; pretty refreshing given the fruit components.

Overall: I can't believe it took me this long to discover the greatness that is Chimay. Honestly I'm embarrassed. I'm already aging a Blue Chimay...Don't think this one needs any aging so get your hands on it as soon as you can!

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 02:34:04 | More by MagicJeff
Photo of Amish_Ambush


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quick review here.

Taste: Light fig, light hops, light molasses.

Ap: Cloudy nut brown. Solid head

Smell: Fig, slight astringent smell but nothing too bad.

Notes: A solid enjoyable beer.

Last Reviewed: 08-30-2006 03:36:42


Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 17:59:30 | More by Amish_Ambush
Photo of ablackard


4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy red and copper hue, but up to a bright light, the more shallow you get in your glass, the more bright yellow it appears...great sunset appearance. Not much head but nice legs.
S: A very nice sweet caramel and perhaps dates
T: Very nice blends with a perfect amount of carbonation to mask the higher alcohol, but not a real big mouthfeel which makes this a perfect beer in my opinion for almost any occasion. A little toasty without any hop flavor.
Overall: A little pricey, but I feel it is well worth it. I will definitely have this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 01:40:23 | More by ablackard
Photo of Jdbateman83


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My favorite Trappist, and one of my all time favorite Belgian styles. A little on the expensive side. Works well when it's cold out or hot out.

Burnt caramel, malty, sweetness, no hops. A slight bi much on the carbonation. But nothing a swirl in the glass can't handle.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2013 05:28:26 | More by Jdbateman83
Photo of Uniobrew31


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks awesome when poured into a wide mouth chlace. great thick head and amber color.
smells sweet with fruity esters
tastes as Perfectly balanced as any beer I have ever had. not overly boozy as some doubles can be.
overall I would drink this beer every day and for every occcasion if it was more affordable. A good treat once in a while though.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 18:44:35 | More by Uniobrew31
Photo of fizzgig


3.81/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

33cl Chimay bottle into tulip glass.

A: Opaque medium amber, finger of head that dissipates but takes its time.

S: Strong malt with fig or date. Dissipates before too long.

T: Strong malt with mid and late bitterness.

M: Modest carbonation burst, malty feel with nice coating.

O: Certainly above average with a strong presence but I don't see the cult status. Bold flavors without a point or much character but nonetheless well crafted. If this is what you gave me I'd be perfectly content.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 23:57:02 | More by fizzgig
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml cage and cork bottle purchased at LCBO for $6.40 CDN. Poured left out briefly after refrigeration and poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance - Beautiful reddish brown /roan color with 1.5 fingers of tan head the sits elegantly on top of the beer. The head also lasts a long while. Not transparent, but not opaque either, just a bit murky. Beautiful.

Smell - Cherry, plum other dark fruits, apple and pear. Also a bit boozy smelling. A touch of chocolate caps this amazing aroma.

Taste - Dark fruits all melded together, with slightly sour cherries being the most prominent. A little boozy up front but not too noticeable just enough to let you know the booze is there. That accompanies a bit of sweetness that transitions with the fruit flavors into a candied fruit taste. I should mention that these flavors are delectable, there is also a subtlety in that while they are prominent, they are not overstated. Light bitterness towards the end.

Mouthfeel - Rich, velvety, mouthfeel with medium / high carbonation, but not syrupy.

Overall - Delicious, one of the absolute best in the style, which strikes a great balance between complexity, which it has enough of and simplicity as the beer is not overloading your senses. To me this makes me appreciate it's greatness even more.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 18:18:05 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of Tebuken


4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its color is red copper, rather opaque.Abundant everlasting foam with a nice lace.Its aroma is fruity, mainly red fruits reminding.On the palate red fruits are confirmed, very complex taste with a subtle sweet touch. Its body is medium and the bitterness is felt strongly in the aftertaste.An exquisite beer,really .

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 15:28:28 | More by Tebuken
Photo of mscudder


4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter.

A - Murky amber hue with an ivory head which dissipated quickly with no retention.

S - Heavy caramel, ripe dark fruits and a pinch of spice.

T - Explosion of sweet bubblegum and clove as it strikes the tongue, follows with a melody of dark fruits and cocoa as it warms.

M - Medium body with an excess of carbonation, a trend with Chimay.

O - This is a very deep Dubbel. Much more complexity versus temperature than I have seen in others of the style. A unique beer that I have no problem with enjoying as a desert.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 03:12:39 | More by mscudder
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Chimay chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a hazy copper-garnet color with a small tan colored head. The head fades rather fast leaving only a trace level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is fruity with nice smells of darker fruits. The fruits are mainly of a resin, plum and prune. Mixed with the darker fruit smells are some nice yeasty smells as well as some spice aromas. Rounding out the aroma is wheat bread and a banana smell giving it an overall dark Belgian aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with darker fruit and a slightly biscuit flavor. The darker fruit are just as would have been expected from the nose being mostly of raisin and plum. Right up front there is a moderately spicy taste of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon which is quickly meet with some caramel and banana sweetness. Toward the middle some yeasty taste begin coming to the tongue while some of the biscuit disappearing. Toward the end, a tiny bit of alcohol comes to the tongue as well as a moderately strong molasses sweetness which when combined with all the rest, leaves a nice somewhat sweeter and warming taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is medium in its thickness and creaminess with lots of carbonation bubbles filling the body of the brew. The moderate body and carbonation make for a more crisp feel balancing out the sweetness of darker fruits and sugary tastes well.

Overall – Fantastically tasty and quite a pleasant drinking brew. This is renowned for a reason.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 00:10:15 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Mojo


3.74/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> Chimay chalice

A - Pours up a hazy apricot color with a one finger off white head, decent retention, and no observed lacing.

S - raisins, grain, bananas

T - spicy taste with notes of coriander, orange peel, raisins, and bready malt with a dry yeasty finish

M - decently carbonated with a pleasant feel in the mouth.

O - not my style, but for lovers of trappist ale, this one ought to be a pleaser.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 02:21:44 | More by Mojo
Photo of hackmann


3.19/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: misty copper to dirty copper body with a big two finger head that leaves very little lacing on the glass

Aroma: wheat bread, yeast, light dry dark fruit,

Flavors: caramel; raisin; toasted bready malts; earthy yeast

Mouthfeel: plenty of fine fizzy carbonation; smooth; not sweet, not bitter – so it is well balanced; easy to drink;

To the Point: rather boring overall, I had this three years ago and thought the same thing

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 02:42:39 | More by hackmann
Photo of ryan1788a5


4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: Hazy red-brown color on the pour. Two fingers of thick, creamy beige head retain extremely well, even in the wide mouthed goblet. Lacing is persistent and sticky, coating the walls of the glass in a foamy blanket.

S: Rich and highly complex on the nose with aromas of dried fig, fruitcake, molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, pepper, candied apple, plum, and I could go on forever. Excellent.

T: Spicy up front. Cinnamon, pepper, brown sugar, hint of clove. Candied apple, plum, and dried fig follow. Malts lay a rich baseline of bready and dessert-like tastes. Brown bread, caramel, fruitcake, bread pudding, hermit cookies, ginger snaps, etc. Candi sugar. Drying finish with a bit of a clove bite, caramel and fruitcake.

M: Thick in body, though the candi sugar and high attenuation, coupled with the very expressive carbonation, lighter its perception considerably. Full and creamy with a scrubbing bite. Very good.

O: One of the benchmarks for the style. A very special brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 00:48:02 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of gcamparone

Rhode Island

4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a La Trappe goblet. Purchased in North Attleboro, MA.

A- Pours a light muddy brown color with a generous thick white head with a shade of brown, assumingly from the yeast, that sits on top as the head dissipates. Leaves little lacing.

S- Has a nice roasty flavor, like lightly toasted bread. White grapes, light fruits, plums, brown sugar, toffee also come through.

T- Has the nice belgian notes that make these beers the best in the world - the first taste that hits the tongue is a fruity, estery flavor complimented by belgian spices. Banana, apple, grapes, raisins, plums on the follow through. The finish reveals some slight hop character. Aftertaste is candy-like, brown sugar and molasses.

M- Creamy and easy to drink, not too heavy. Medium carbonation.

What a rich, complex, and flavorful beer. A must try for all Belgian beer fans. Lighter than Chimay Blue but just as respectable.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2013 03:17:30 | More by gcamparone
Photo of TheDoctor

Quebec (Canada)

4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich reddish amber with a fat beige head that pours big and settles to a nice, creamy half-inch. Great retention and great lacing.

Big malt smell but otherwise nothing to write home about. Some dark fruit and bisuity notes. Pretty unobtrusive.

Malty but there is a constant hop presence backing it up. Rich and full of malt, minerals, earth, grass, brown sugar.

Nice, borders on thin but isn't bad. Okay carbonation, creamy (but could be more). Smooth finish with some lingering carbonation-feel and cherries.

Solid beer. Good in all the right ways. The taste is nice and complex but I feel the the hoppy yeasty funk it has is a little too much (it is fucking delicious, but it fights with the overall malty character and prevents me from saying it is well-balanced). Either way, great! Good enough that I have to nitpick it : )
Would certainly have again in a heartbeat!

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 00:24:20 | More by TheDoctor
Photo of IchLiebeBier


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

Appearance: Cloudy copper with big head

Aroma: spicy hops; malty; dried fruits (raisins?)

Taste: Peppery hops; malty, smooth, well balanced

Remarks: Had it as part of the 4 beer sampler at the Inn at Chimay.

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 12:10:29 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of Oakenator


4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy dark brown with a generous head. Head retention is nice - still remaining well after pour. Some spotted lacing sporadically on the glass.

S: Malty and sweetness.

T: Super quality malts - nice and smooth yet multiple layers. Middle to end is a nice candi sugar flavor with a pop of hops somewhere in between.

M: Fun drinking beer - really nice body - not too heavy and not too light.

O: Great brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 23:36:28 | More by Oakenator
Photo of utopiajane

New York

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel brown with a quickly disappearing head to a nice cap. Little yeast floating on top. Light fruit and spice on the nose with a lot of bready malt up front. Good lacing, medium carbonation. The body of the beer is a little heavy. The toffee malt and fruit esters combine for a pronounced sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 12:02:02 | More by utopiajane
Photo of soju6


4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a good head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma is quite complex with dark fruit, spices and a bit boozy.

T: Taste of dark fruit, spices, caramel and a subtle sweetness. Very mild bitterness and a clean finish with just a bit of lingering sweetness.

F: Medium body, smooth with a velvety texture. The character changes as it warms.

O: Great beer, complex with a lot going on from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2013 00:12:44 | More by soju6
Photo of emd


4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Simple yet elegant bottle with not particular art. Corked.

Pour & Appearance:
Tons of head that sticks around for a while and leaves lacing. Dark brown with a bit of golden to it.

Very complex scent with notes of nuts, dark and rich spices and more things that I can't even pinpoint.

Quick to foam, Chimay Red MUST be sipped or taken in small amounts. Extremely filling due to the carbonation level but incredibly rewarding at the same time. While I have downed an entire bottle of this way too quickly before, it is certainly a treat that should be savored or split with a friend.

Chimay Red presents a complex and detailed taste that evolves from start to finish with each tasting. Hints of apricot, nuts, and spices come out at various points during the tasting. Brilliantly complex and never disappointing.

When I'm in the mood for a complex beer, Chimay Red is one of my favorites. If you want something to pound down with some buddies, this isn't for you. If you want to relax with a friend or by yourself and pay attention to the subtleties and nuances of a beer, this is a must taste.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 23:34:42 | More by emd
Photo of Roguer


4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Huge, 3+ finger off-white (almost yellowish) head. When I popped the cork, it was accompanied by quite a sound. Head maintains quite well for a while, and leaves nice lines of lacing. The beer itself is a dark nut brown, with no trace of haziness or carbonation; that's how dark it is. A hint of coppery-yellow glow when held up to the light.

S - Instantly, a strong note of banana, wafting from the bottle itself. Closer inspection reveals nuts (walnut?), dark malt, still some banana, and maybe clove. One of the best initial smells I've ever had from a beer. Fades to an easy nuttiness as the beer warms.

T - Dark and nutty, with a smooth, rich sweetness following. A slight alcohol warmth in the third finishes it off. Not particularly spicy for a dubbel; very smooth. As it warms, the strong nuttiness fades a little, leaving an easy flavor (hard to define other than Belgian yeast, or "dubbel"-like), and allowing a bit of candi sugar/banana flavor to come through.

M - A little spicy and carbonated (expected after popping the top), not as smooth as I'd like, but since this is definitely a sipping (vice gulping) beer, it's not a problem. Slightly oily, allowing the flavors to wash over the tongue; the carbonation stimulates the taste buds just slightly, allowing each flavor to stand out in order. Mouthfeel improves as it warms, and coats the back of the throat wonderfully.

O - It's not too often that a beer is exactly what I expected, but this is exactly the case here. I can only compare it to the Westmalle dubbel, but there are differences enough that it is a separate beer, no doubt. I don't get those who call Chimay overrated; this is an excellent dubbel. Very drinkable, very tasty, and exactly what a traditional dubbel should taste like.

Bottled October 2011 (so just over 1.5 years), poured into a Duvel tulip.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 20:30:24 | More by Roguer
Photo of Blindpigbiz


3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Style/abv: dubbel/7%

Smell: dark plums and tannins withe sweet vinegar subtleties

Taste: a dark fruit bouquet with semi-spiced peppers and red grapes with hints of bitter chocolate (maltiness)

Mouthfeel: slightly effervescent

This is an awesome beer to pair with filet crostini and caramelized onions as well as any cheese that has a sour taste, like a blue or a goat cheese

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 22:42:45 | More by Blindpigbiz
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,481 ratings.