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

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

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4,116 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,116
Reviews: 1,573
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 171
Gots: 404 | FT: 4
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: 4,116 | Reviews: 1,573 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

KickInTheChalice, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of match1112
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

match1112, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of jonb5
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

jonb5, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of orock25
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

orock25, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of chinchill
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

chinchill, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of mrfrancis
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

mrfrancis, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

TheAlamoWrocker, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of TheBeerWatcher
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 !

TheBeerWatcher, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of musicman575
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

musicman575, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of crossovert
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

crossovert, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of micromaniac129
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

micromaniac129, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of justiceavocado
2.58/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

justiceavocado, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of magine
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

magine, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

brew3crew, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of BlastBeats
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

BlastBeats, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

CaptJackHarkness, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of Macca
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Macca, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of PorterLambic
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

PorterLambic, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of Callaghan
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Callaghan, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of bryehn
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into an oversized wine glass. BB of 2013.

Pours a deep, hazy and rusty ruby-amber colour with a fairly large tan coloured head that burns off quickly with no retention or lacing. You can see the yeast suspended in the beer, which always looks cool.

Sweet and sticky aroma. I get banana, yeast, honey, malts and a raisin-like smell, as well as a sharp spicy tone.

Taste is malt forward and sweet, with a strong earthy tone and a hint of cloves. The finish is quite bitter with a dry spicy character.

Big pop on the tongue from the yeast with a medium body. Goes sticky and malty, then has a dry aftertaste with a slight syrup character. Almost no trace of alcohol/ABV.

Extraordinarily drinkable, though maybe a touch too sweet. I've always been a bit intimidated by Belgian beers and I'm pretty sure this was my first dubbel, but I'll be sure to try others now. Seems like it would go well with garlic-based foods or an alfredo sauce.

bryehn, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of bobhits
1.58/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1


Pours a deep brownish red, lighter than the blue, but very similar. I clearly suck at decanting these small bottles as floaters are in here and I have at least 2 oz left in the bottle. Carbonation is almost gone before this has been typed. A bit bland, but dubbles aren’t really show cases I suppose.

I feel like this one is taking on hef like characteristics. A touch of bubble gum is coming through here. I think this is a touch cool so I’ll finish in a bit. Sweet fruity notes from hops, with some fruit malt esters. Wide mouth glasses just don’t do the job on the nose…but this is their glass!

I just don’t know what to say here. This isn’t a good dubble. The flavors aren’t intense, malt dominate, and the balance that is here isn’t done in an overly enjoyable way. The hops here aren’t great and the fruity flavors of the malt just aren’t working with the hops.

This beer might have been saved with a nice well carbonated and creamy body. The problem is this beer’s carbonation is awful. The big bubbles and over carbonation here are a huge problem here.

I have often found this style to be pretty darn good, but this one isn’t. It doesn’t taste bad…but what beer really does? This is however an awful example of beer.

bobhits, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of thewalkindude
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Turbid is the best way to describe the appearance of the Chimay Red: it looks as though someone disturbed the sand in the water near the shoreline. Dark tan / caramel in color, murky, and has a head that fades quickly, but leaves a light blanket of foam. Smells malty with a hint of raisin and plum, with the slightest trace of hops. As far as flavor goes, its yeasty and malty with distinct spice notes and dark fruits. Bitterness lingers on the tongue as it goes down. Has a medium body and heavy carbonation that washes over the taste buds like a thousand little kisses every time I take a swig. A strong Dubbel.

thewalkindude, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of portia99
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a somewhat muddy, murky brown with hints of amber and red that are hidden a bit by the murk. Three fingers of fizzy head forms and falls steadily over a minute or two to the surface leaving behind sparse pockets of lacing on the glass.

S - Lots of caramel, a bit on the burnt side, sweet maltose, a bit of smokiness/char, spicy Belgian yeastiness, mild booze, not much for hops.

T - Malty/sugary, earthy hops/bitterness, sweet, spicy, cloves, Belgian yeast. Smooth and malty overall.

M - A bit on the foamy side with a high carbonation level. Body is medium. Very mild booze, smooth.

O - Good, not amazing though. Good solid beer that is quite drinkable. Not my favorite in the style, but still solid.

portia99, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of lancecenter
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful burnt-red/brown color. Fairly murky. Three finger head that lasts. Nice white lacing.

S - Lots of malt, spices, and raisin notes. Slight phenol smell.

T - Sweet and malty with a hint of cloves. The alcohol content is much more noticeable from the taste than the smell (but still not overpowering).

M - Medium mouth feel. Not nearly as heavy as you would imagine. Malty alcohol aftertaste.

O - One of my favorite beers from one of my favorite styles. This is what Ben Franklin was talking about...

lancecenter, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of bump8628
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt red with slight murkiness despite a careful pour. An inch of creamy, ecru head leaves a speck or two of lace before settling down to a thin cap. A nice blend of fruits including plum, grape, and cherry jump out first before being evened out by a bready, musty yeastiness and a sharp phenolic note. Some brown sugar emerges as it warms, as does a biting bitterness at the back of the palate. It perfectly exemplifies the extremely dry, yet creamy mouth presence that almost all of the Trappists have perfected. An excellent and complex ale that would stand up well to roasted root vegetables, braised lamb, and a chocolate-laden dessert.

bump8628, Sep 08, 2011
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,116 ratings.