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

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

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3,964 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,964
Reviews: 1,562
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 160
Gots: 343 | 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: 3,964 | Reviews: 1,562 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arghbowl
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.

arghbowl, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
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.

mikesgroove, Feb 27, 2011
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.

HeyItsChili, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of dbaker61
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A deep coppery-brown color, just a hint of haze. Poured with a huge (+2") light tan head, which settled down to a ring in a couple of minutes. Left minimal lacing.

Smell: Overripe fruits, plum, currant, cloves, a little yeast.

Taste: Malty but not very sweet. The malts and hops are well balanced. Just a little bitterness after the malt flavor leaves.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with a ton of carbonation. Slightly sticky. A hint of alcohol.

Drinkability: Very nice, but I don't want too many of these. I can come back to it day after day, but not one I'd pound down multiples of. One of the tall bottles would be perfect (I had the 330mL one here, left me wanting just a few more sips).

dbaker61, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of desiderius
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful caramel color (brown-red against light); little transparency; little carbonation evident; head dissolves quite quickly and leaves no lacing. Fine sediment in the glass after pouring in the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Much less aroma than I had hoped for, though overall balanced and pleasant. Hints of dark fruit, malt and alcohol.

Taste: Softer than expected, and almost delicate. Hints of indeterminable dark fruit; mild hops at the background; mild typically belgian malt basis. Flavors are less complicated and rich than expected for a trappist brew, but balance perfectly. Both sweetness and bitterness are minimal and just as much needed for correct balance (for my taste). More bitterness and hops after pouring the sediment in.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body contrasted nicely to some crisp carbonation, rolls pleasantly on the tongue.

Drinkability: Exceptionally drinkable brew; doesn't show its 7% ABV; could be compared to a lager (well, almost) and I could definitely drink it in a warm summer night (though not day). My 330 mL bottle was not enough.

This may be a less complicated and seductive drink than other trappist brews, but I suppose a good beer doesn't have to be robust and overwhelmingly complex. I could call it a great combination of trappist quality and drinkability.

desiderius, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance; light tan head, quickly dissipates with little lacing. Hazy tawny colored body.

smell; mildly sweet plums mixed with yeasty bread dough. Caramelized brown sugar with some spiced hops, just a hint of allspice and dried dusty lentils.

taste; plums wrapped in a buttery coat with some earthy notes. Like butter fried fresh morels and plum preserves. The hops are subtle but add a citus note that blends well with some mild sours in the finish.

mouthfeel; very rich, with a stinging carbonation, mellowed out with alcohol warmth and numbness. Sticky and slick in the finish.

drinkability; very drinkable and pleasant, has a numbing warmth from the alcohol that gives a sense of well being, I like this much.

Sachsenfreude, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of mklinger
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice caramel brown. Full off white head that was rich but didn't last too long.

Aroma is full of Belgian fruitiness. Not sure how to describe it, but it's a distinctively Chimay smell. Whenever I use the Chimay strain in brewing, I get the same aroma I can only describe as Belgian fruitiness. Otherwise, a bit plain aroma-wise.

Taste is better than the aroma. Bready malt with more of that Belgian fruit and a little herbal hop spiciness.. Nice complex beer for one that's also very easy drinking. Quite a light body for a rich beer. Carbonation helps the mouthfeel be fuller, but this is a pretty light drinking beer that it would be easy to down too quickly. Very nice beer.

mklinger, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of vkv822
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into chalice.

Pours a murky dark caramel brown with a frothy off-white head.

The nose is bready, with hints of clove and caramel.

The taste has notes of apple and faint dark fruit as well as some faint pepper and clove with a malty caramel sweetness.

The mouthfeel was pleasant, with a medium body and subtle carbonation. It does feel just a bit thin at times though.

Overall a well done and easy drinking beer, though I didn't really feel that anything stood out in particular for me.

vkv822, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of TheBrewo
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The brew pours a rich, caramel brown color. The head stands two fingers high, and is composed of elegantly stacked, tiny white bubbles, with islands of bigger, frothy tan bubbles bobbing about. This disappears at a medium pace, with little lacing left to remind us of it. While the color acts to take the translucency away, there is an additional yeasty haze to the look. No outright sediment is noted, and carbonation looks light to medium. The nose is serious, with bready malts playing loudly over a robust yeasty background. There is faint grassiness that falls somewhere between sour and sweet. Orange rind also periodically dips in and out of the nose. Tasting, we begin with malts, malts, and malts. At the inset they seem overly mild, but as the flavor settles on the tongue a bitterness is revealed. This is from the fusion of the yeast with the malts, which seems to be inseparable, and boldly represented. Through the middle some further bittering clovey phenols mix in, along with a hint of citrus. We finish with a mouthful of yeast, and a washing of clean malts to the end. The aftertaste is bitter to the feel of the tongue on the palate, and breathes with malts, an odd hint of molasses, and booze. The body of the beer is medium and the carbonation is extreme. With each sip the tip of the tongue is attacked by biting bubbles, with the rest of the mouth filling up with foam. The frothiness was pleasant, and the beer was very creamy, if not overly so. The abv is appropriate and the beer drinks fine.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew is how no-nonsense it is. Many dubbels can run the risk of presenting as too sweet or syrupy, but here we find one that is bold in its malting and yeasting, and not afraid to highlight them. It is quite a simple brew, but it leaves the drinker happy. The one downfall is the over carbonation. It is equitable to drinking a highly fizzy glass of champagne, mouthfeel wise, which acts to detract from the beer's otherwise pleasantness.

TheBrewo, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of WAN2RIDE
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter.

An off white head of fine bubbles sits atopa translucent brown/amber brew.

Smell is of caramelized sugar and browned apples.

Taste is spicy/peppery upfront with a lightly toasted and candied nut flavor following, not really nutty but somewhat praline
actually. Not much belgian yeast flavor, which surprises me, and a very slight hops/alcohol dryness and astringency after swallowing and waiting a moment.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated and refreshing.

Very nice and not too heavy or too biting.

WAN2RIDE, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a chalice.

Pours a deep rich reddish-brown color, small head that fades fast and no much lacing on the glass.

Smell is a mix of peppery spice, candied sugar, light fruity esters and a sweetness from the malt.

Taste has an aggressive carbonation that pricks the tongue, bit on the high side for me, definitely picking up the peppery spice in the forefront with the candied sugar adding a touch of sweetness in the aftertaste, the alcohol feels stronger than I would expect, finishes very dry.

Can't believe it took this longer for me to try something from Chimay.

deltatauhobbit, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of pburland23
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into my Chimay chalice.

Enjoying a night cap on a Friday night after a busy week. Couldn't have picked a better brew.

Pours a hazy crimson red with an aggressive, effervescent off white head that lingered before settling into some world class lacing. Smell is inviting, it's peppery but sweet with cloves and some fruitiness...bananas, peaches, apricots.

Taste is spot on for a Belgian dubbel. Taste is fruity and spicy with a great balance between the sweetness of the malt and some slight hops bitterness. There is definitely some fruit flavor (plum) and more cloves. The traditional Belgian yeastiness appears in the background of each sip and it ties the whole taste experience together well.

The mouthfeel is middling and the carbonation is sublime. It was constant throughout the entire beer. As for drinkability, the 7% is hidden quite well. I could stand to have a few of these in a sitting although I'd be paying for it in the morning. All in all, another wonderful beer from the trappist monks at Chimay.

pburland23, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of BinaryBeer
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Dark reddish-brown hue, a slight head appears shortly after the beer settles.

S: Sweet & Spicy. Hints of cherry, white pepper and malt.

T: It doesn't seem like the taste matches the smell. Slightly sweet, not as spicy as expected, some bitterness to the aftertaste.

M: Some carbonation, very light feeling, almost foam-like.

D: Definitely not a session beer, but did go down very easily. Could definitely drink a few without problem.

Would recommend for anyone that enjoys a decent Dubbel.

BinaryBeer, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of JMad
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the big bottle of this Chimay and poured some into my tulip...

It pours a murky reddish brown, There is a thick, off white, bubbly head that is very active.

You can smell tart cherries, white grapes, and a touch of sweetness and maybe plum.

It's just a bit sour, a hint of cherry, a little lemon and grass and a yeasty aftertaste.

This feels a lot lighter than I expected, there is lots of carbonation and a tart, dry finish.

I thought Cimay Premiere's flavor was a little mellow, the smell was great, it drinks very easy and I would definitely drink it again.

JMad, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of nickthetick
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: deep dark hazy and cloudy mahogany into a chimay chalice. A thin khaki head hang around for the experience and leaves spotted lacing.

S: wet leather, in a good way, belgian candi sugars and bready dark malts.

T: more of the candi sugars and yeast. There isn't any discernible hop profile and minimal malt notes. The sweetness is almost cloying.

MF: heavy body and a little thick and chewy.

D: I wouldn't pick up the singles but wouldn't pass up the mixed pack with the glass.

nickthetick, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of Cozzatoad
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle

A- Hazy and slightly murky light brown. One finger off-white head that quickly recedes to a very thin top-covering layer. Moderate lacing

S- Sweet malts and yeast combination: slightly bready, caramel, brown sugar. Some alcohol in the mix giving it a faint rum-like feel. Some dark fruit notes on the back of things

T- Sweet malts as the smell suggested. Caramel and bready notes whit the faintest hint of roastiness. Yeast definitely plays an important role in this beer, with a persistent sweet, sugary feel and some light spicy notes (expecially clove) on the back of things. Dried dark fruit background notes as the smell suggested: plum, raisin, maybe peach

M- Medium body and carbonation. Nicely smooth. A bit too dry for the style, expecially on the palate, not fitting very well with it's creamy, malty character.

O- Straightforward dubbel. Not the most complex out there, but still quite peculiar as Chimay yeast is pretty easily detectable. Drinkability and overall balance are quite nice. Felt a bit heavy on my stomach

Cozzatoad, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of afinepilsner
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz brown bottle
7% abv

Chimay Red was brown in color and cloudy with fine particles floating about. It had a large off-white head that soon becomes only a thin ring with little lacing. The smell was dark malt and yeast aromas. The taste was dark fruit, malt, yeast, peppery spice, and a little hop flavor. The finish was long and dry. The mouthfeel was good with a medium body and medium-high carbonation. Drinkability was good as well. This is a good Dubbel and worth a try.

afinepilsner, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of boudreaux
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark and dense, like an unpasteurized cider; thin off-white head, about a finger thick at its height

Smell: traces of spice (clove, nutmeg); also a malty, bready aroma; alcoholic notes also present

Taste: caramel and malt, with little to no hop presence; some hints of spice and dark fruit tucked just below obvious perception, with a slight metallic tang; a touch of alcohol as the brew warms

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with full carbonation

Drinkability: Too strong for more than 2, but beautifully complex and enjoyable; one of the best drinking experiences I've had

boudreaux, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of chefelf
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love the smoothness of Chimay, the tiny Champagne-style bubbles, and the Belgian flavor. This was my first introduction to Belgian beer and it is still one of my favorites.

I enjoy this beer so much that I decided to purchase the large bottle and it was twice as good! This is one of my favorite go to Belgian beers and even though I'm a lightweight it's very easy to polish of one of the larger bottles in one evening.

Also, I drink it in the Chimay glass that has the little etching in the center so the bubbles rise from it. I have no idea what the purpose of that is but it's got to be good for something.

It certainly looks cool.

chefelf, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Usually poured in a snifter glass from bottle or on-tap. Dark hazels brown with a half inch of a nosily bubbly head, lots of small chunks float everywhere, very tasty looking beer. Sharp yeast, smooth banana, a touch of alcohol, and cherries fill the nose, beer smells better and better when beer warms to proper temperature. Banana, and sweet malts comprise most of the flavor, there seems to be a slight smoky aspect to it as well, the flavor is very good but seems slightly watered down. Quality has gone noticeably down and I prefer the bigger brother (Blue) over this one.

CuriousMonk, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of Brunite
2.58/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass. Sound is a factor here as well. You actually hear this one bubbling and popping in the glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber brown bordering on ruby red. Nice head initially but it settled quickly leaving no foam nor lace. Crazy intense carbonation off the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Dark, tart cherries. Also apple & pear notes. Some raisin and fig.

Taste: There is a definite sweetness to the beer. For me; it is almost cloying. It is saved by the tart/dryness on the finish. There is a lot of carbonation and a definite dry finish with some spicy pepper notes.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation on the tongue. Goes down like a dry wine.

Drinkability: This started out easy. The flavors were nice at highly drinkable. As time went on....it got less interesting for me and left me craving something more....like a nice stout, IPA, or rye beer. (Honestly....I may not finish this one. As it warms...not much left but carbonated cherry juice with a kick.)

Overall: I am sorta surprised here. I expected a little more but not sure what. This was something to be experienced but I doubt I'll go back for seconds...since I did not finish this one. Not earth shattering and almost unpleasant. I'd choose a nice bottle of wine, instead, to get the flavor profile and characteristics I get here.

Brunite, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of jrenihan
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour of the label is not picked at random- the beer is a light brown, somewhat reddish colour. A dirty white head of some size sits atop. The yeast smell is very apparent, and perhaps a bit of toffee.

It took me awhile to place the taste, but bizarrely enough, it reminds me a great deal of unagi, the lightly barbequed Japanese eel dish. I realize that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, but i love unagi, so this was in no way a bad thing! I can also taste raisin. You cannot tell that this beer is as strong as it is.

The carbonation is slightly too apparent for me, but generally the beer feels very nice. Carbonation aside, it drinks very well indeed.

jrenihan, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of Samp01
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy reddish amber with a nice tan head and good lacing. Aroma of caramel malts, some dark fruits. Taste is sweet malts, some belgian yeast, some plums and dates, some cherries. Palate is nice medium bodied, good carbonation. Finish is sweet malt, plums, dates, raisins, sweet spices, ending in a long nice sweet nutty aftertaste. Overall a nicely balanced and drinkable brew. Very enjoyable.

Samp01, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep amber with nice fine head, slow fade and creamy rings of lace. Beautiful.

S- Spicey. Sour belgian yeast, banana notes, and clove. Musty notes.

T- Bold spicy character. Slightly more watered down than the blue label. fruity. Cherry and banana. Mellow and nice.

M- Creamy and medium bodied

D- Easy to drink. A sipper due to spice and alcohol content.

JayS2629, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of JMforman
3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

To be honest, I was kind of disappointed. I've heard a lot about this beer, but I wasn't real thrilled. Not bad though.

A- Deep amber, good head, good retention

S- Cherries, must, alcohol

T- Malt, dark fruit, cherry, black pepper

M- Thinner than I was expecting. Medium to light. It was a bit over carbonated, but it could've just been this bottle.

D- Not bad

JMforman, Jan 29, 2011
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,964 ratings.