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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,737 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,737
Reviews: 1,551
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 145
Gots: 253 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,737 | Reviews: 1,551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bamojr


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

very cloudy poor with a quick dissipating white fluffy head. This one has a very nice malt flavor with a slight sweetness that rounds off perfectly. It has a bit of a cider feel. Has a nice cold mouth feel with a decent drinkability. It is a little bit weaker than some duppel's that I have had in the past.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 01:22:07 | More by bamojr
Photo of TheLVBeerGuy


3.15/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

poured from a baby bottle into a snifter

A-Pours incredibly light cherry brown with a head that rapidly disapears with a violent noise. sounds like pop rocks or something

S- cherry notes with sweet hops and alcohol

T- Very light fruity flavor and alcohol. Very potent for a 7%. Hops stay strong all the way down. I was at first really disappointed by this beer, but i let it rest and open up to find a much better beer after 20 or so minutes

M- for too much carbonation to start, almost felt like seltzer water. Let sit for a while or you will also be disappointed

D- chimay is very over rated in my opinion. Would not purchase any of them again except maybe to try them on tap.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 19:37:54 | More by TheLVBeerGuy
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

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

Baby bottle as part of the Christmas gift pack. Had this numerous times before and enjoyed it but we'll see how the review goes.

A - Hazy/grainy lightish brown colour with some red tones with a slightly off white, creamy head of half a finger when settled. Nice carbonation streaming from the lazer etching of the Chimay chalice.

S - Dates, raisins, mild booze. Sweet smelling maltiness is very inviting.

T - Mild booziness is still there with some more mild malty sweetness in the form of darker fruits mixed with sweeter elements like burnt sugar or caramel.

M - Some carbonation to keep things lively. Very smooth textured. An array of creaminess is present and the flavours linger for a good length. Sort of a dry finish.

D - This would be a good Belgian to sesh. Not overly strong at 7% and full of flavour. Could be more complex and the sweetness needs more balance but it's still a nice drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 00:26:53 | More by tbeckett
Photo of Ruination2007


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

7 months old
A- Dense off white creamy, frothy head. Settles to one finger head. Deep burgundy amber color.
N- Resinous and malty, minor phenols.
T- classic Chimay grainy malt flavor, roasty in back. Noticed a light mix of caramel, burnt and fleeting hint of spice.
M- Rich with a dry finish, supporting carb, steady tight carbonation.
D- Goes down easy, light feel for a dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 23:10:34 | More by Ruination2007
Photo of SamN


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a large goblet.

Chimay Première pours with an enormous thick, rocky head of light dirty tan color. The beer is a thick and cloudy looking red amber hue. Extremely dark, almost black center. Beautiful glow from light behind it. Smell is of prickly hops, but underneath is a swirling malty mass of fruits like apples and pears and some very light caramel undertones buried deep in there.A little raw and medicinal, this is a potent and strong smelling brew. Taste is fruity, with starchy malts with an almond tone, spicy and potent hops characteristics. Smooth and warming finish. There is a hell of a lot going on here, but the main flavors are fruitiness, spiciness and somewhat sweet, but all quite balanced. This taste is not something I would say I "like", but it is complex and inviting to drink. There seems to be a little tiny bit of fishiness here, too. The beer is lively and active, but with a large body that coats the palette nicely. Quite bubbly and gassy.

Drinkability? Fair. This is a big and potent brew, with nothing quite like it in the US. Is it a good beer? Yes. Is it something I liked drinking? Sure. Would I seek it out again? Probably not. A beer like this needs a special occasion, a reason to drink such a mighty brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 22:51:43 | More by SamN
Photo of BamaViper1


3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.5 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet.

The Chimay dubbel pours opaque brown with an off-white head. The head dissipates leaving tiny, and few, whisps of lacing.

The beer smells of roasted caramel malt.

This beer immediately has a a caramally malt center that mellows into more of a burned caramel/sugar taste. The finish is long but a little sour. There are hints of that sour/tartness in the overall taste of the beer when inhaling though the beer.

The mouthfeel of the beer is a litle lighter than I was expecting. Especially in the finish. But the body has good carbonation.

Honestly I could probably drink a lot more of this beer; however, I feel like there are better dubbels out there. The slight sourness of the beer doesn't compliment the malt as much as I had hoped. Good work from Chimay, but honestly speaking, the Blue Grand Reserve is the Chimay for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 07:03:58 | More by BamaViper1
Photo of JAXSON


3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, pours a reddish chestnut with a wispy head. Nose is belgian yeast, light figs, some chestnuts. Kind of underwhelming. Flavor is at first too bitter with a long, bitter finish, faintly cola-like. As it warms some nice creaminess comes through, with some raisins and figs. Decent, but too watery. Heavily carbonated. Some of the fine nuances are there, but this is just a large step down from the Grand Reserve, and is watery compared to some of the better dubbels out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 04:01:37 | More by JAXSON
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 11/05/10 notes. This was a bottle from 1993 thanks to ygtbsm94; curious to see how this one held up, thanks Brad.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with very light carbonation evident and almost no head at all.

s - Smells of cardboard, bready malts, sugar, and dark fruits.

t - Tastes of bready malts, wheat, sweet sugar and fruits, and a hint of spice.

m - Light body and low carbonation. Very smooth and easy drinking.

d - A decent beer, but I think it has faded a bit over time. The expiration on this one was 1997, and I don't think it improved at all with age. I would say drink this beer fresh or with 2-4 years on it.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 00:10:02 | More by mdfb79
Photo of AgentMunky


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a wine glass.

A: Light frothy head doesn't last very long atop this pleasantly chestnut-hued dubbel. Murky, reddish, with noticeable carbonation.

S: Light fruit and subtle spices (cloves, foremost amongst them).

T: Crisp fruit. Dancing carbonation. Yeast. Peppery spices. The main body is light, delicate, slightly hopped, and almost floral in nature. The aftertaste is equally understated -- dryish and yeasty, but powerfully enduring, carrying the hint of dried apples.

M: Magnificent. It's hard to get much better than this. Nothing is obviously outstanding, with the possible exception of the brilliant carbonation, but everything (spices, hops, fruits, carbonation) combine to create a truly scrumptious mouthfeel.

D: Chimay's reputation is well-earned. Though this may be my least favourite of the three I've tried, it feels wrong to dub it 'least' in any way. A delicious beer, wonderfully drinkable, marvellously tasty. If only I had a nice cheese, my life would be complete. Needless to say, recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 21:25:12 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

Best before 1997 (vintage 1994)

It's always fun to try old vintage beers. I thought this one mellowed out quite nicely and held up like a champ.

A: Very hazy, dark brown hue with a small head that generates a smattering of lacing on the glass. The beer also contains some black sediment, randomly floating in slow motion throughout the liquid. It is almost two decades old, so one can't judge the appearance two harshly.

S: Belgian yeast and malt. The aroma smells like a quadrupel more than a dubbel. It's already quite evident that 16 years of age has had a profound effect on this trappist ale.

T: Malty and yeasty, this old Chimay dubbel tastes like a lighter version of a quadrupel. The beer is incredibly tame and mellow, with a really enticing Belgian yeast component.

M: Low carbonation level, certainly attributed to its old age. The feel was thin to medium bodied, with alcohol flavors non-existent.

D: A really fun experience. It makes me want to buy a few cases of Chimay and tuck them away in the back of the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 01:23:27 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of A380

Manitoba (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark red with a rocky beige head that lasts quite some time, good lacing, smell.. not so crazy impressed.. but it is okay, smells better than the average beer.. smells kinda sweet thats about all i can pick out. Carbonation very strong! Tastes slightly sweet with a nice spice to it and some alcohol ester taste. overall i would say this is pretty ok. not exactly what i thought it would be because of its high rating but i dont really have much to complain about either so i say give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 05:55:16 | More by A380
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

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

Tasting notes from 10/30/10
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Very dark amber colour with one finger of bubbly off-white head.

S - Dark fruit - some raisins and figs. Some sweet brown sugar and spices.

T - Some dark fruit (raisins, figs) and a nice sweet brown sugar taste. Some cloves and spiced notes round out the flavour profile.

M - Light to medium body, nice chew. Lightly carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 02:04:11 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of BuckyFresh


4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into my newly purchased Chimay chalice! Pours a murky brownish red, with a tan one-finger head. Retention is pretty decent, but even after it recedes, there is a thin film of head left on the beer that remains in perpetuity. Little or no lacing to speak of. There are quite a few yeasty chunks hanging around in the glass, and from observing the layer of film, I can tell that there is quite a bit of carbonation present.

Smell: Spicy yeast, bread-like smell, with quite a bit of citrus zest to brighten things up. There is some nice malty sweetness and some dark fruit fragrance that is typical of the style. I'm also picking up a slight phenolic smell and some lingering alcoholic warmth.

Taste: Nice balance between the peppery clove and spicy yeast on one side and the malty, brown sugary sweetness on the other. Some good plumb flavor happening and a nice bite from the carbonation. Seems to have a creamier, fuller body than other dubbels, which I appreciate. It's almost like enjoying some bread pudding in liquefied form!

Mouthfeel: Very well balanced, and a body that surpasses other dubbels I have tried. The flavor is deep and nuanced, but finishes quite clean.

Drinkability: This confirms my love for this style of beer and provides enough complexity that you would never get bored.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 20:53:02 | More by BuckyFresh
Photo of dcook11


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

A- Looks very much like an iced tea. Slightly murky brown with a two finger head that disapates fairly quickly. Medium amount of carbonation.

S- Initial lack of smell, but as the beer warms up subtle notes become apparent. Faint to modertae alcohol on the nose followed by a slight grape scent and malt sweetness. Not incredibly complex.

T- Initialy grapes with a slight hop bite and malt sweetness. Alcohol is slightl abrasive and not well hidden. The finish leaves the drinker with a lingering bitterness. As the beer warms, both alcohol and appearance become more noticable...not in a good way.

M- Chimay is medium bodied and relativly smooth with a slight bite from carbonation.

D- Moderate to high. Relative lack of complexity make it a no-brainer, but odd medicine after taste is off putting. Further, ABV is far too noticable for a seven percent dubbel. Bitterness also unpleasent at termination, not enough malt sweetness and masking of ABV to counter-act it.

Serving type: growler

10-30-2010 05:13:32 | More by dcook11
Photo of kojevergas


3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a (nonreal) pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland, on October 29th, 2010. Pours a five finger head with cream and nice thicknessl reduces to two fingers over about two minutes. A dark cloudy amber colour. Definitely appealing.

Smell: Multiple balanced notes of fruit, barley, and a hop lacing. Hard to detect individual flavours with my broken nose, but I can tell already this is built well.

Taste: Built very well. Slight cream on the open, a note of fruit balanced against its barley and non-adjuncts, and a satisfying finish. The aftertaste has some fruit as well, maybe raspberry? Overall very well built for a dubbel.

Mouthfeel: Coarse where it needs to be. Not too wet. Gets more dry at the finish to make me want more. Refreshing but tantalizing.

Drinkability: I'll seek this out in the future. I prefer it to Chimay blue. It's not the best dubbel I've had, but we're quibbling over which bar of gold has more minor dents. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 20:43:04 | More by kojevergas
Photo of ToasterChef


4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A cellar temperature 33 cl bottle poured into a Chimay goblet. A translucent brownish liquid with copper highlights fills my glass. Atop is sits a big head of tan foam. The head settles to a skim. Swirling the beer about leaves an impressive even coat of foam on the sides of the glass. Some small bubbles rise from the bottom.

A sweet malty aroma greets my nose as I inhale. I can discern sweet plums, Belgian yeast, and a bit of molasses. It smells very much what I expect this style to smell like.

The flavor isn't very sweet, but I do taste a lot of molasses and brown sugar flavors. There is also some plum and raisin. The finish has that characteristic Belgian funky bite to it; it's a flavor that is alcoholic and not quite vinegary, slightly tart, and catches your attention. I remember it being strong in the Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw; it isn't that strong here, but very noticeable.

This si a full bodied beer. It leaves a mildly sticky coat that has a lot of molasses and plum flavors contained within. Carbonation is at above average levels.

I find this beer to be easily consumed. In the past I've worked my way through the 750ml large format bottles' I wish this was one of those times. I've never grown tired of this beer. All of the flavors work well together and keep me coming back for more. This is an exceptional beverage; we're lucky that it is as available as it is.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 00:07:31 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of onechordwonder


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

Purchased as an end of summer treat from the local Wegmans; poured into a brandy snifter as I don't own a goblet.

A- Nothing better than popping the cork on something as fine as this beer. Huge amounts of dishwasher soap like foam on top of the cloudy, dark, and kind of maroon colored liquid.

S- You can smell the alcohol on this one; yeasty with caramel, honey and vanilla.

T- It tastes like it smells, with a bit of stone fruit added into the equation.

M- Not as syrupy as I would have imagined, great body and medium carbonation.

D- Certainly not your everyday after-work beer, but it's pretty easy to get through a 750ml of.

All in all, a fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 20:53:04 | More by onechordwonder
Photo of Philipp


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

Poured from the small bottle straight into my Chimay Goblet.

A- What a beautiful beer! Sort of reddish, non-seethrough dark brown color with a thick tan head. Just gorgeous.

S- Sweet and boozy :P

T- Actully rather dry, the smell suggests a real sugarbomb but the overall impression is fruity, in a raisin-like sense.

M- Not exactly smooth, but for some strange reason, I don't bother :P

D- Well, not exactly what I could drink 24/7, but 2 or 3 are definetely in.

Yeah, go ahead and get it, it's a whole new way of viewing beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 17:55:04 | More by Philipp
Photo of AlexLMS


4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown colour. Cloudy. Opaque due to the dark appearance with some floating yeast. The head is light tan, moderate to low in size and kind of frothy. It does not last very long and does not present a lot of lacing.
Aroma: sweet malts, molasses, vinous alcohol and bitter hops.
Taste: confirms the aroma with the added presence of cloves.
Mouthfeel: smooth, medium carbonation, high but well disguised alcoholic strength and medium to full body.
Finish: lingering bitter spicy aftertaste.

Overall: great dubbel. Deserves its fame.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2010 15:43:17 | More by AlexLMS
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can remember a short while ago that anything Belgian I would avoid. When I would get something traditional I would find myself grimmacing with each sip. I've slowly realized that my tastebuds are ever changing and I'm starting to get into a groove. I'm realizing that dubbels and quads are my thing and tripels are not my fancy.

I walk through the LCBO weekly and always pass Chimay and have never felt the urge to try this; Until now.

750ml into DFH signature glass served cool not chilled.

A- Hazy red/brown pour. Two finger off white head that just won't go away. Lacing is fantastic and carbonation is stellar.

S- Yeast right off the bat, subtle corriander, figs, prunes and what I perceive as strawberries. brown sugar and vanilla give this a nice sweetness that makes me antsy for the first sip.

T- Figs and prunes, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. not as sweet as the nose would make you think. Fairly dry aftertaste. Getting a little metallic taste that seems to disappear as this warms a little further.

M- medium to full bodied, sticky sweet on the lips.

D- This was a very pleasant experience and it's amazing how fast i enjoyed this whole bottle. Very affordable and worthwhile.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 17:28:52 | More by korguy123
Photo of Swedes21

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml poured in a chilled pint glass...

Appearance - I love the sound of a cork when you open the beer. The beer pours with a LOT of head, i would say my glass is 3/4 full of head. The head is a nice light brown and comes through looking good. U can see a lot of carbonation in the head, however, hard to see when in the beer. Colour is a solid random auburn, looks delicious.

Smell - I can smell a bit of the hops as well a sweet background. For the first time, i can almost smell a hint of caramel.

Taste - This is a smooth beer, there is no aftertaste and goes down so clean. I can taste the sweetness in the beer and enjoy its overall composure. I can honestly say there is no hint of the 7% alcohol.

Mouthfeel - The beer comes to life a little more with the mouthfeel. The carbonation level increase the flavour of the beer. The beer is light but has a creamy hint to it.

Drinkability - Please continue to produce this beer. I have 2 Chimay so far on my beer trail and i think they are both amazing beers. I am so impressed with this beer and will stock it in my fridge, i can hand this out to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 00:44:04 | More by Swedes21
Photo of jhtipton


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

Poured from a .33 liter bottle into a chalice. It provided about two inches of fluffy sea foam type head that eventually went down to about 1/2 finger of head. Some mild lacing occurred. A nice red tint. Smells like a loaf of warm bread, some mild spiciness and some fruit characteristics. Nice complex flavor. Can taste the yeasts, some roasted malts, and mild hops with fruit overtones. Can't put my finger on the exact fruit but goes nocely with the bread. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not syrupy like some dubbel, and not overly alcohol feeling. Drinkability is fine and dandy, could enjoy a few at a sitting, and since they are readily available at a fairly decent price, don't mind if I do.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 17:29:09 | More by jhtipton
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Opened with a pop and a trail of smoke climbed from the rim of the bottle...always love that. Poured into Chimay chalie. Nice deep dark purple with creamy head with nice lacing. Classic for the style.

S - Grapejuice, alcohol spicy crispness. Smells pretty sweet.

T - Spicey alchohol with the dark fruits more in the background. Enjoyable and good flavor, but all in all not too exciting.

M - Creamy and soft with a bitter tangy afterbite that transitions to a super cooling feel.

D - Not bad and easy to enjoy, but for me, there are many better dubbels that are more to my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 01:20:42 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of billab914


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice. It poured a caramel brown color with a very frothy and creamy head to it. It had some very nice head retention to it as I drank it.

The aroma has a fruity, spiciness to it with some notes of apple, pear and clove coming through. It also has some bready, caramel and malt flavors to it as well.

The taste has that classic Belgian yeast spiciness to it throughout the flavor. More of the bready and caramel flavors come through towards the finish. The flavors all really come together nicely and end up being pretty balanced.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is good, it's a very good beer with some great flavors. Everything came together nicely and it's a very good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2010 01:20:53 | More by billab914
Photo of taigor

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into chimay glass.

A - Poured brown, mahogany color with huge white head that slowly dissipated leaving significant lacing around the glass.

S - Bready yeast, malts, caramel and spices.

T - Sweet fruits upfront with bready aftertaste and hints of honey and nuts.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - I would definitely would love to have more in the future but it is a bit overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 19:21:45 | More by taigor
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,737 ratings.