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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

3,864 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,864
Reviews: 1,558
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 156
Gots: 310 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,864 | Reviews: 1,558 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bucklemyshoe
bucklemyshoe

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

330 mL bottle at 48 degrees into a Chimay chalice.

A: It pours a murky reddish-brown color with a finger of tan head that dies quickly.

S: Sweet figs, apricot, candi sugar, and a little yeasty spice. It is a little underwhelming.

T: Mellow and tangy figs, dates, and apricots, some orange peel, cloves, and peppery spice.

M: This has a medium-light body with above-average carbonation and an easy and clean finish.

O: It is always a pleasure to enjoy a Chimay product; very nice.

05-02-2011 00:06:31 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.4%

750ml bottle served in a snifter.
*review from notes of 4/24/11 (finally got around to reviewing it)

pours a murky light brown/amber tone; moderately aggressive pour yields billowing foam which recedes into a lasting head... nice lacing evident.

nose offers caramel malt, spice, and a touch of dark fruits. not flooring, but a nice aroma.

taste delivers more of the same. caramel malty with spice and secondary notes of plum, raisin, and fig. again, not the boldest or most complex flavor profile you'll come across, but a fine dubbel nonetheless.

medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall, chimay red is a very solid beer. definitely not among my favorite trappists, and in my opinion it even takes a backseat to a number of dubbels on the market; that said, it remains tasty and enjoyable, and very approachable even for a non-craft drinker.

04-30-2011 09:50:53 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of eduardolinhalis
eduardolinhalis

Switzerland

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%

750ml bottle poured in its own chalice.

A: Nice bottle art, a classic. Imposing wired cork with a bright red label. Pours a cloudy dark amber to brown color with a medium beige head. Medium retention. It never disappears completely leaving not much lacings

S: Sweet on the nose. Brown bread, candy sugar, dark fruits (mainly plums), caramel malts and Belgian yeasts

T: Follows the nose. Brown bread, caramel malts, yeasts and a delicious hoppy and bitter end. Just a little bit of alcohol can be felt

M: Medium to heavy body. Creamy and molasses. Medium carbonation and reasonable bitter aftertaste

O: Delicious Belgian Dubbel. Mandatory to Belgian beer lovers

04-25-2011 16:08:05 | More by eduardolinhalis
Photo of kevinv
kevinv

Texas

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

330ml bottle from part a gift set. Poured into the Chimay chalice that I actually purchased the gift set for.

A - Pours a dark, cloudy, rust colored brown. Huge, thick, off-white head with awesome retention. Delicate lacing left all around.

S - Deep caramel malts with notes of dark fruits and a subtle spiciness. Predominantly malty, but the slightest hint of hops pokes through.

T - Dark toasted malts with a sugary sweetness. Nice blend of spices. Light fruitiness comes through more as the beer warms. Only a slight bitterness and a small presence of alcohol.

M - Medium bodied, a bit lighter than expected. Adequate carbonation. Very smooth.

D - Great easy drinking beer. This was my first time trying the 'Red' after having the 'Blue' multiple times and I must say that it lived up to my expectations.

04-22-2011 14:05:00 | More by kevinv
Photo of ballz50401
ballz50401

Iowa

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%

Served in a Ommegang chalice poured from a 11.2oz bottle. Batch code: L07-257

Appearance: Dark bronze in color with some yeast sediment that found its way in my glass. A constant head sits on top from the high carbonation.

Smell: Rich malt. Toasted caramel with cocoa notes. Some spicy phenols with fruity esters.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Complex malty sweetness followed by a very nice yeast ester profile. Toasted malt and dried fruit are the highlights before finishing dry. Meduim bodied.

Overall: A rich, complex, and tastey brew. Something that I'd like to enjoy again on special occasions.

04-21-2011 04:45:36 | More by ballz50401
Photo of stckhndlr
stckhndlr

Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

A- Cloudy merky orange amber color. Good head

S- Where to begin with this one. Figs, dark fruit, caramel, if you sniff deep enough you get a rootbeer note in there. Wonderful aroma

T- All that you smell in this one you taste in it too. The rootbeer flavor comes out in the aftertaste.

M- Bitters seemed a little higher than other trappists I have tried but other than that it is smooth and refreshing.

O- Overall it's a trappist beer. You can't go wrong. It's a winner.

04-20-2011 19:08:06 | More by stckhndlr
Photo of


5/5  rDev +20.8%

Glowing burgundy in the glass with small white head and fine carbonation that leaves perfect Brussels lace all the way down. Aromas of honey and malt sweetness, earthy and spicy noble hops, and, buried somewhere back there, a hint of sour apple cider. Silky and dry mouthfeel with a malt sweetness that is strong, but not at all overpowering as it is matched perfectly by herbal hops and a rich ripe fruitiness similar to really good dark chocolate. Has a curious finish that is dry and sweet simultaneously and leaves you wanting another sip as soon as you swallow the first. Ridiculously drinkable for such a strong, complex beer. This is quite possibly the perfect beer.

04-20-2011 01:20:03 | More by
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
ForWhatAlesYou

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev -13.5%

33cl bottle into a Chimay goblet

A: Loosely formed 1 finger head. Deeply cloudy reddish brown in color.

S: Not a lot of aroma going on here. Sweet malt, some honey/molasses and dark fruit.

T: Bready. Soft pretzel-like flavors. A light metallic taste masks a lot of other flavors. Small clove/spicey yeast. A little fig.

M: Highly carbonated.

D: I have had Red before and thought it better then. Changing tastes or bad bottle, I don't know but I call it how I see it.

04-18-2011 12:15:38 | More by ForWhatAlesYou
Photo of ivanwatling
ivanwatling

United Kingdom (England)

2.3/5  rDev -44.4%

Appearance: Frothy head, that started to spew out of the bottle when I took the cap off.

Smell: Nothing special, typical of a trappist ale

Taste: A huge disappointment. It was simply unpleasant. Sure, it had characteristics typical of a trappist ale but something was not right. I tried several sups before pouring the rest away

Mouthfeel: Too lively

04-17-2011 18:43:59 | More by ivanwatling
Photo of uustal
uustal

Rhode Island

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

Pours a red/brown/orange combination with a two-finger cream/brown head. Aroma of dark fruits, sweet candied malt and a bit of Belgian spice. Flavor begins with the sweet candied malt. Plum, date and raisin dark fruit malt as well. Bread and caramel. Good sweetness. Belgian spice and a bit of earthy hopped finish to counteract the malt.

04-17-2011 04:30:19 | More by uustal
Photo of richkrull
richkrull

Wisconsin

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured a very dark amber color with a big slightly off-white head. Lots of malt character in the nose. Also smells like fruit to me. Tastes like quite a bit of fruit coming through as well. Slight bitter dry aftertaste as well. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Goes down pretty easy. This is a pretty good tasting beer overall. I can't really think of any negatives against it.

04-17-2011 02:21:55 | More by richkrull
Photo of clayphilly
clayphilly

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%

Had this with John, Fatim. It pours great, not to heady, and the beer is well balanced, just not my taste for some reason. You can tell this is a "type" of beer, and the recipe is obviously perfected, but just not my style. Chimay Blue is heads and shoulders better.

Notes:
-33cl bottle
-Flandes Bar, Oviedo, Asturias

04-16-2011 18:47:04 | More by clayphilly
Photo of jayhawk73
jayhawk73

Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

A- Pours a medium copper color with a two finger caramel head. Very difficult to see through this beer, very cloudy. Head sticks around for a while, and leaves decent lacing. March 2010 vintage, so this one's a little over a year old. Served in my Chimay chalice.

S- The smell is really nice. Lots of spice- cinnamon, clove, along with yeast, malt and other light spices, maybe some honey. This beer has a really easy smell to recognize. Of course, I've had this one quite a bit as well.... Very pleasant, not too heavy or harsh. Very balanced.

T- Very good taste as well. It's got an earthy taste to it, w/ the spices making their appearance. Very balanced as well, nothing really is out of whack on this one. There's also a sweet malty flavor that tries to overwhelm everything, but disappears on the aftertaste. Aftertaste is nice and malty, and last a while.

M- Mouthfeel is really nice- very creamy and malty w/ a slight sweetness. Really great- It's not too heavy, and not too light- just perfect for this type of beer. Very complex as well. The warmer it gets, the more the flavors and complexity come out.

O- This is a great Belgian dubbel, and an easy one to drink. I tend to like the blue label a bit better, but for the style - this is a staple that I really enjoy. Easily available and worth the pick up if you enjoy great beer.

04-14-2011 00:21:22 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of FanofHefe
FanofHefe

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -7%

Pours a deep amber color with some slight orange hue and slightly hazy. Very carbonated - big bubbly light tan head that has decent retention.

A lot going on in the aroma. Dark fruit, bready yeast, caramel malt, and some Belgian spice.

The flavor is even more complex than the aroma. Plum, raisin, and some slightly tart citrus flavors. Spicy yeast flavors and some bready malt.

Very high level of carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. Chimay is legendary but this one comes in a little lower than the white and blue. Still a very good brew.

04-13-2011 00:03:05 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

Served in a Chimay challice. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a very lightly hazed brown color with an orange tinge to it. The 1/2" head is very light tan and fluffy. The head persists nicely and leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass. For most of the beer, sipping produces some lacing, most of which slides back down to the liquid.

Smell: The aromas include caramel and dark fruits (raisins, plums) with a hint of spice (clove?).

Taste: The flavors include the caramel sweetness, the dark fruits (plums and raisins) and all have a tinge of spiciness that is subtle but reminds me of cinnamon and clove.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth but is also a bit prickly with the active carbonation. The medium length finish begins in the sweeness of the malt. It then begins trailing off but seems reluctant to yield the stage to the hops. While the finish does get dryer to the end, the grassy hops never do really assert themselves here to end things off.

Drinkability and Overlall Impression: Quite drinkable this one. I've had it before but now think that I've not had it as often as it or I deserve. I'll be changing that. There is just enough loss of sweetness in the finish that taking the next sip is quite natural and easy. A bit more sweetness would bee too much. I'll be happy to have this one again as I think there's a good bit of complexity here that needs to be sampled several times to be fully appreciated. My overall impression is that this is a well made nicely balanced beer and well worth having.

04-12-2011 12:17:17 | More by drtth
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -26.3%

330mL capped bottle, with bottle code of L10-734. no idea-bottled in 2010? poured into official Chimay goblet.

appears a cloudy orangish brown color, with foamy off-white head that condenses into tightly packed bubbles to form a thin covering. aroma is a bit herbal, with yeast

taste has a touch of sweetness, bready, with a fairly dry finish that's a bit fruity. just a bit off, odd aftertaste. body is a bit thin, moderate carbonation.

overall, disappointed. it didn't stand up to many of the other dubbels/belgian dark ales that I've had.

04-12-2011 03:33:21 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of b3shine
b3shine

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +8%

Draft to said chalice. The perfect appearance for a Belgian dubbel. Orange and hazy; fairly opaque for its color. Great citrus bouquet. Tastes the part, too, and is the quintessential beer of its type. Very subtly carbonated. Mouthfeel is good too. An oldie but goodie.

04-11-2011 19:52:13 | More by b3shine
Photo of Jinholic
Jinholic

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

Appearance - Very dark brown can't see through it at all, off white head only got 1 finger. Didn't get any lacing at all, but I am only using my little dollar store goblet (my kingdom for a westvleteren glass).

Smell - Nice yeast up front with lots of dark fruit in the back, grapes, fig, plum not all that powerful though.

Taste - All that yeast and fruit hit me at once with a nice earthy spice with sweetness from the malts to balance it out.

Mouthfeel - Rather smooth with the carbonation. For being 7% I was expecting a drier finish but it was pleasantly clean.

Overall - A balanced beer that has lots of flavor in it, I only wish it didn't cost so much. That said go grab one and see for yourself.

04-10-2011 04:36:28 | More by Jinholic
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

Appearance - Medium dark bown cloudy body with a small barely offwhite head with good retention.

Smell - Dusty when it's too cold. After warming up slight banana. Some unidentifiable smell I haven't smelled since childhood and that I for some reason associate with the color purple and maybe some kind of hot grain cereal. Just for nostalgia sake, that gives the score a boost.

Taste - Very interesting and complex. Strangely, not exactly enjoyable. But not bad. First beer I've had that could be described as such.

Mouthfeel - Creamy with carbonation, medium full body.

Overall - Very interesting beer. Pretty good too. More interesting than good, but still good. Awkward wording, but that's the best way I can describe it.

04-06-2011 02:45:33 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of bskrtz
bskrtz

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

11.2 ounce bottle served in glass Chimay beer challis

A) Cloudy, unfiltered mahogany brown soup. Beige puffy head. Floaties, yeasties and sediment

S) Baked bread, coriander, raisons, figs & stewed plums. Opens up with mild esthers

T) Mild -- Chimay's Pater 6 version of their excellent Reserve (Blue). Sweet cooked fruits, caramel, root beer & mild hopps.

M) A bit thin for the style. Ample carbonation and bottle conditioned fizz. Alcohol is mild.

O) Chimay Red is mild version of it's big brother -- the stronger 'Blue'. The lower alcohol profile allows for a second one, which I find better than the first.

04-02-2011 15:20:28 | More by bskrtz
Photo of jsprain1
jsprain1

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -6.3%

A- Deep brown, burnt sienna as I believe Crayola might call it. Thin buttermilk colored head retains well but leaves almost no lacing.
S- Malty, with some light milk chocolate and some dark fruits playing into it. I pick up some yeasty characteristics.
T- Mostly fruity, like figs, with some spicyness showing up here that didn't show up in the aroma. A touch of cocoa. A bit sweet throughout.
M- Significantly thinner and more carbed than most of style. This was a big downturn for this one.
O- A decent beer, but certainly the least favorite of the Chimay beers for me, and not one of the better Abbey or Trappist beers I've come across.

04-02-2011 02:32:11 | More by jsprain1
Photo of antonlauter
antonlauter

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Personally i an not a huge ale fan, i am not big on bitter tasting beers, but this beer had a perfect balance for my pallet. I got more of the carmel aspect of the beer and it was totally new for me. i have read reviews on beer that i tasted before saying"the carmel flavor really stood out in this beer" but chimay delivered it in a way that helped me understand what people were referring to without the bitter. very smooth very enjoyable. excellent

03-28-2011 04:20:46 | More by antonlauter
Photo of Intrinsic
Intrinsic

Germany

4.47/5  rDev +8%

I think I may have messed up the pour on this one, because its quite murky, a light brown that's almost opaque. Nevertheless, it looks really good. The head is beautiful, about 1/2" thick and very dense.

All sorts of smells are mingled together in Chimay Première. Unknown spices, fresh fruit, notable hops, and a slight maltiness all blend together very well.

This beer is much more refreshing than I initially imagined. Its quite light, and all the smells I mentioned previously are present in the taste, save the fresh fruit. The hops are very pronounced, but not too much for this particular beer. The balance is almost perfect. This is an absolute delight to drink. So creamy, so dry, I may just try this again next time I see it. Which shouldn't be too long considering its available at the SAQ. This beer is top notch.

03-27-2011 22:44:36 | More by Intrinsic
Photo of atlason
atlason

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1%

Pours brown with graceful head and light lacing.

Heavily carbonated, to the point of interfering with the characeristic doughy yeasty belgian notes.

Nose: Light, very pleasant yeast and caramel

Well integrated caramel on very subdued hops. Dark maltiness dominates and lingers in long aftertaste.

Overall very charming caramelly experience although less interesting than some of the other Trappiste beers (notably Orval), probably owing to excessive levels of carbonation and somewhat understated hops.

03-26-2011 03:13:23 | More by atlason
Photo of MadCat
MadCat

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +9.9%

Appearance: Cloudy light amber brown color, with a small white head that goes down to an even layer quick, leaving some lacing

Smell: Sweet malts and bread with some Belgian yeast spicyness

Taste: More sweet malts, hints of plum, clove, bread, spice, and earthiness. Quite the complex brew, and quite delicious.

Mouthfeel: Thick with crisp carbonation, but something in there makes your mouth feel happy

Overall: One of my favorite beers. ABV is well hidden here, so it drinks easy, though it still encourages you to drink slow and savor it. I wish it was cheaper, because if it were I would always have it around. I do like the Grande Réserve better, but this has its place.

03-24-2011 01:24:25 | More by MadCat
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,864 ratings.