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

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

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3,903 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,903
Reviews: 1,558
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 157
Gots: 322 | FT: 3
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,903 | Reviews: 1,558 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of celticfutblclub


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-14-2011 16:16:37 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of garuda


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-14-2011 15:27:37 | More by garuda
Photo of justintcoons


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-14-2011 14:45:51 | More by justintcoons
Photo of magictacosinus


4.34/5  rDev +4.8%

Poured into a tulip glass out of a 330ml bottle. Freshness date is listed as "2015."

I've actually had this more out of 750ml bottles than the 330ml ones. Might be one of the main reasons this beer has always had a special place in my heart. It was also, like others I've already reviewed here, a beer that introduced me to great quality recipes.

I find this to be the most unmistakable dubbel that I've seen yet. It pours a deeply murky, reddish-brownish color with tons of carbonation and alcohol leggings on the glass. The head is creamy, bubbly and quite unbelievable in appearance. A great looking beer.

The smell is extremely diverse - more so in ways that not even the most over-the-top Belgian quads can match. There's caramel everywhere here, sugary and spicy aromas, and absolutely excellent fruity esters resembling raisins and dried fruits. The yeast, which in my view is the best part about Chimays, truly shines here. It smells funky but extremely fresh, wholeheartedly resembling fresh bread - or, if you want to get more technical, fruit cake that has just been baked.

The flavor and mouthfeel are massive here as well. This could be as scrumptious as dubbels get. It tastes of fruits at first, but it's extremely malty in the middle. The hops develop a nicely bitter end to the initial sweetness. Chewy, creamy and refreshing. There may be a slight watery feel and excessive carbonation at times, but I feel that it balances out the diversity of flavors in between the malts and the hops. Through this, it manages to be complex yet not antagonizing - which, to me, makes it a premier redrinkable beer.

Chimay Rouge is one of my favorites due to all of the different sides that it takes. It manages to be sweet yet still hold a bitter end. It's very malty yet diverse in fruitiness. It's thick in body yet dangerously easy to drink. The alcohol level is just right, as well. Have I had more intense beers? Yes, yet few are as revisitable as this. Beer excellence all around!

11-12-2011 21:46:15 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of dirtyskunk


4/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours a dark amber brown, almost opaque, but with some lighter tan/gold highlights near the edges. Maybe two fingers of off-white, light tan head. Dissipates slowly, but eventually its a very thin cap. Pretty much no lacing.

Very dry, bready smell. Very light caramel sweetness, and very very mild spice and fruit esters. More alcohol as it warms. Very reserved, past the point of subtlety. A little more here would go a long way.

Mouth follows the nose closely, but there is a bit more to it here. Caramel/spices/toasty bread meld nicely, almost gingerbread like. A touch of booze. Very subtle tartness in the fruit as it warms, a hint of apricot. Nice dry finish, sort of a mineral profile. Sweetness is not overdone, hops are barely perceptible. There is some vague bitterness, but it might be the medicinal phenols instead of the hops.

A bit too carbonated for me, but that is apparently characteristic of the style. It's otherwise got just enough body and balance.

Overall this is a beer that matches the Dubbel definition almost word for word, but it's all a little too subtle for me. Nothing stands out too much which is good and bad. It's well balanced, but conservative and traditional. A good beer, but not the best trappist, and definitely not the best of the style.

Edit: After a second tasting it's grown on me a little bit, but I maintain my overall rating. Good, but not great.

11-12-2011 17:52:08 | More by dirtyskunk
Photo of ONUMello


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

330cc bottle poured into a Chimay goblet
A: Hazy caramel brown with lots of carbonation and a one-finger lingering head.
S: Nondescript sweet fruit and malt, a hint of spice.
T: Complex with spice (clove in particular), herbs, fruit, malt, and a bitterness on the finish.
M: Crisp and a bit tart.
O: Certainly unique but in a good way. I love the complexity, am not a fan of the bitter finish, but I would not hesitate to get this again.

11-11-2011 22:15:32 | More by ONUMello
Photo of KickInTheChalice


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured from a 330 mL bottle into a Chimay chalice at Firkin.

Appearance: The pour is a caramel brown color with a general opaque nature and a medium sized tan head.

Smell: The nose is mostly smooth caramel malt, some soft orchard and dark fruits, and some Belgian spice.

Taste: The taste flows well from the nose. Caramel malt, cherry, plum, a bit of raisin and red grape notes go along with a nuanced Belgian spice. The finish is still sweet, but not as much as the start of the sip.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the light side of medium for the style. It is creamy, but also a bit fizzy. Clean and smooth,

Overall: There is a good reason Chimay beers have been around forever. They are delicious.

11-09-2011 23:23:01 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of match1112


3.93/5  rDev -5.1%

pours a murky reddish brown with a two finger off white thick sudsy head that slowly fades to a thin cap of froth. smells very sweet, dark fruits (plums, raisins) malts, yeasty with a touch of clove. taste is pretty much the same as the nose. mouthfeel is crisp and lively at first, then fades into a long dry finish. overall i'm not sure what all the hub-bub is about with this beer. it's decent but not one of my favorites.

11-08-2011 00:57:37 | More by match1112
Photo of jonb5

United Kingdom (England)

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

330ml bottle from 2004. Poured into a palm glass. Dark ruby colour. 2 finger tanned head. Strong fruity aroma. Tasted strong hints of cherry, chocolate and mousse au chocolat. The beer had a great feel to it, it had aged well, so easy to drink but it was a sipper rather than one to drink fast.

11-07-2011 11:14:06 | More by jonb5
Photo of orock25


4.6/5  rDev +11.1%

Served in a challis...

Appearance - A dark glow. nice head with the our that fades. carbonation persists.

Smell - Sweet to the nose. you can really smell the belgium uniqueness here. I'm now getting excited to drink this beer.

Taste - Sweet with the right amount of bite. again, loving the Belgium style especially the yeast.

Mouthfeel - crisp with very little aftertaste. could be a little smoother. but gets better at the right temp.

Overall - Fantastic. I could drink this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

11-07-2011 00:43:38 | More by orock25
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +7%

large bottle served in a chalice. Improved with some warming.

My favorite Belgian, as of a few years ago, but never rated and not sampled for some years.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a grand, creamy tan head that reduces to a durable top coat. Full lacing washes down the side of the glass with every sip. The head, at least, deserves a 5.

Plenty of fruity yeast in the nose, with some sweet malt, a hint of tartness, and light notes of cloves and dark fruits.

T: a tart and fruity dubbel, featuring fig and apricot notes, with a fine balance of sweet, sour and light bitter. Some mild alcohol esters complement rather than detract from the flavor. Hard to criticize, but perhaps a tad more yeasty and earthy than ideal in the finish -- or this can be part of its charm.

M - rather lively carbonation, but perfect for the medium-full body. Slight dryness in the finish.

11-05-2011 19:29:18 | More by chinchill
Photo of mrfrancis


4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

A: Poured a glowing amber with a creamy, lingering beige head that left a thin trail of lacing all the way down the sides of the glass.

S: Dry, malty aromas reminiscent of dark bread are immediately noticeable on the nose. They are joined by faint fruity aromas reminiscent of figs, dates, and prunes before a pleasant vanilla creaminess asserts itself.

T: Opens malty and smooth with notes of chocolate, figs, prunes, dates, caramel, heavy cream, vanilla, and dark bread. The finish is sweet, smooth, and long with notes of dates, figs, caramel, and cream.

M: Medium-bodied, off-dry, and gently effervescent. Very drinkable and balanced for the style.

O: An excellent Trappist ale. I've often felt that many of Chimay's detractors are more critical of the popularity of these ales than of their quality. This exceptional beer does nothing to change my opinion.

11-02-2011 14:51:32 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of TheAlamoWrocker


3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a Tulip glass.

A: The colors are roughly a Copper and a Mahogany. The carbonation rises nicely. The head really didn't stick around very long, but what is left looks like it will lace nicely. After I finished my glass it turns out it really didn't lace at all.

S: Smells of Raisins and malts while some minor spices in the background of it.

T: The taste is mostly malts with a slight hoppness at the end that almost bites. Cloves and yeast become present as this drink warms up. It taste really sweet, maybe even too sweet.

M: This just hits the mouth really carbonated, the carbonation is extremely active with a medium body.

O: I'm not a fan of the sweetness and the active carbonation, but where I dislike this drink I can see where others might enjoy. Not a bad drink, but far from great.

11-02-2011 06:14:25 | More by TheAlamoWrocker
Photo of TheBeerWatcher


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

I kept this bottle at room temperature because I wanted to drink the beer at a slightly higher temperature … expecting a deeper and more complex taste. There is a lot of pressure when I remove the cork, the beer tries to find its way out immediatly.
Colour: Chimay Première leaves a reddish brown beer in the glass, slightly hazy with not much carbonation. The creamy head is thick and beige. It leaves a nice lacing on the glass when dissapearing very slowly.

Aroma: very sweet smell with a malty undertone and a spicy touch of pepper. A very inviting and intense smell.

Taste: Chimay Première is a very drinkable beer with an ABV of “only” 7%. At first, the taste seems relatively simple, dominated by malts and hop bitterness. When taking a few more sips however, the beer becomes complex of taste and very well balanced with a warming alcohol presence. The full body is combined with a fresh crispness. The mouthfeel is a bit like syrup and sticky. The dry finish makes you longing for more instantly.

Try this beer with a beef stew … why not use it IN the beef stew. Chimay Première will also go well with any grilled meat dish. And why not drink it as dessert ? Beats a cappucino !

10-28-2011 08:43:21 | More by TheBeerWatcher
Photo of musicman575


4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

If you're looking for complexity, look elsewhere. A fair amount of yeast and malt with a bite of hops. Finishes pretty dry. There's a little bit of caramel and pear in the smell, but nothing that really develops and wows. Finishes slightly dry and fizzy.

10-28-2011 05:59:21 | More by musicman575
Photo of crossovert


3.8/5  rDev -8.2%

I have had this one before, but not recently, I'll review it. Best Before End: 2014.

It pours a reddish brown with a quickly dissipating white head.

The smell is unmistakable. It smells almost like a framboise. It has raspberries and dark fruit amidst caramally dark candi sugar malts.

The flavor follows. Lots of sweet caramel and alcohol, ripe dark fruits, some earthiness. It is a good dubbel.

10-28-2011 02:02:54 | More by crossovert
Photo of micromaniac129


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a slightly murky reddish brown color. Poured into my chimay goblet I got a tall dense tan head. Took awhile to fade and left good lacing.
A well carbonated ale here.

Aroma is sweet candied malts and perhaps some dark fruits and apricots.

A sweet tasting beer with candied sugar complex malts and fruitiness.

Thinner then other dubbels almost watery. First sip is sweeter followed by some light bitterness. Carbonation givesthe beer some lightness.

Drinks well and has an understated complexity.

10-23-2011 13:38:17 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of justiceavocado


2.58/5  rDev -37.7%

Corked bottle into snifter.

A – Darker than many dubels, a deep auburn. Cloudy with a slight white-tan head, perhaps half a finger. The bubbles look tight and foamy, I expect this to be rather carbonated. The retention is good and the lacing is slippery.

S – Banana and raisins. A sweet smell, and not too strong. But perhaps that's just my sniffer.

T – Sweet right off, then a bit tart, with a sweet finish. The initial sweetness follows the nose, fruity and nutty, and the tartness is more like the rind of a fruit than its meat. The finish has a bit of wood in it? All in all, the flavors happening here are very subtle, and the booze is undetectable.

M – I was right about the carbonation. It feels good melting away down my throat. It's a very light feeling beer, not chewy at all.

O – Okee dokee. I'm trying to be objective about this, but I'm not blown away. What do I say? Maybe it has something to do with the temperature. I am drinking it right out of my American fridge, hardly ideal conditions. I'm not committed enough to this review thing to wait to submit it an hour from now after I've had it warm up. But then, I have every intention of drinking the whole 750 tonight, so it'll get plenty warm. My guess is I'll like it better twenty minutes from now. Okay. Enough.

10-21-2011 23:55:19 | More by justiceavocado
Photo of magine


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Poured into a goblet.

Pours a dark amber, dirty filled with yeasty goodness. Head has nice tight bubbles, off white fluffy frothy head. Head settles to a nice coating of lace, very good lace and froth remain atop the brew. Great looks.

Brew smells of dark fruits; malty, yeasty, Belgian sugars, estery nose. Very good nose here.

Brew is balanced; great carbonation and smoothness in the middle. Finishes slightly peppery sharp and zesty; some bitterness and drying in the aftertaste. Wow lets talk flavors here; very good yeasts, dark fruits, and good malty flavors. The brew drinks really smooth and mellow. Even better as it warms. Excellent mouthfeel here. A tremendous brew here.

Wow, the best dubbel I have tried. Fantastic all around brew. Can understand why this is their flagship. Excellent world class stuff here.

10-21-2011 01:07:14 | More by magine
Photo of brew3crew


4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

2000ish . Thanks Roger . Well the 2000ish oone iis shity so i am reviewing the other one

A-yellowish maroon with white head that quickly disapates

S-weird smell that I can't quite put my finger on.still good though

T-follows the nose. Sweet and malty and melded well

M-sweet and smooth

O-very good beer. Try not to go too far back with this one.

10-20-2011 23:45:25 | More by brew3crew
Photo of BlastBeats


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle.

Appearance: very hazy reddish brown with an exceptionally fluffy off-white head.. I initially poured straight down the middle and generated a massive four-finger head.. thankfully it receded fairly quickly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: light fruit; apricot.. some yeast-related spiciness.

Taste: sweet maltiness is intertwined with fruit flavors (apricot) and a small dose Belgian spice.. traces of chocolate as well.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied.. incredibly smooth.

Overall: a standout dubbel indeed.. as of now, it ranks alongside Pere Jacques for top honors.

10-16-2011 07:33:09 | More by BlastBeats
Photo of CaptJackHarkness

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Bottle from gift pack with Chimay "chalice" from Costco.

Scent is fruity.Body has the color of unfiltered apple cider, produced a one and a half finger of head, which quickly dissipates.Spotty lacing of chalice. Taste is excellent, reminiscent of fig,date,and Asian pear!Not at all bity or bitter.

10-09-2011 21:54:54 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of Macca


3.53/5  rDev -14.7%

This pours a cloudy very dark amber colour with a generous tightly packed off white head.

Aroma of sweet Malteser like malts. A touch medicinal. Maybe dried fruit.

Very nice malt profile on the palate. Not too sweet. Lots more dried fruit tastes. A slight bitterness at the back.

Full mouthfeel. High carbonation but it works well.

This is a well made beer but like many dubbels and triples it does little for me.

10-06-2011 10:04:07 | More by Macca
Photo of PorterLambic


4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours a deep, hazy brown with reddish highlights. Nice, tight medium tan head. Great retention.
Smell is classic dubbel: richly malted, dark fruits, a hint of sweetness and sour and just a whiff of hops. Great balance.
Taste is malt, dark fruits(figs, raisins, fermented cherries), a touch of sour followed by a touch of sweetness. Balanced well.
Rich with a sharp effervescence that mellowed quickly. Medium-full body. Restrained but persistent aftertaste.

10-06-2011 01:19:18 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Callaghan


4.65/5  rDev +12.3%

750ml Bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A: Nice off white head. Plenty of bubbles coming up from the bottom center of the glass. The color is rusty, very cloudy, but an attractive red hue shines through. Though it produced a nice 2 finger head, for some reason, it died quickly, and left a very thin, spotty film around the edge of the glass. This is unusual for me, as normally the head retention is pretty good. I've enjoyed this beer many times, and this is the only time the head died like this, and not left any lacing. Maybe my glass wasn't too clean?

S: This is more like it. Syrupy sweet, reminds me of the "lik-a-stik" that comes in a "fun dip" packet. Flowery, and honey. A little clove in there as well.

T: I love the way this beer tastes! Malty, but not overpowering, it allows so many other flavors to come through. Apricot, honey, clove being the most present, figs, and when warmer, the flavors become more distinct. A little peppery at the finish, and everything ends together, leaving you wanting another sip. Truly wonderful!

M: Silky smooth with a good amount of carbonation. The beer has to warm up first, as there is too much carbonation when it's too cold. When warm, it slides onto your palate with ease, allowing you to pick out what it has to offer, at your own pace. A very nicely balanced flavor, that while it sits in the mouth, the carbonation turns it to cream. I really like this, and I have not had another beer that can do this quite like Chimay Red.

O: One of my favorites! I have had this many times, and will continue to have this over and over again. Everything from the pour to the finish is a treat, (though on this pour, something was not right...) There are others out there that come close, but for me, this is the One!

09-28-2011 03:43:52 | More by Callaghan
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,903 ratings.