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

3,687 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,687
Reviews: 1,551
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 140
Gots: 224 | FT: 1
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)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,687 | Reviews: 1,551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 75cl bottle into a chalice.

A: Cloudy, muddy medium brown color. Pours a slight carbonated bubbly white head which quickly settles and dissipates entirely. Color thins out toward the edges of the glass. No lacing to speak of.

S: Sweet chestnut roasted malt. Honey and herbal tea.

T: Dark roasted, almost charred, malt, unsweetened chocolate, a subtle sweet tea, and a semi-sweet/semi-bitter vegetable flavor that I can't quite place.

M: Feels really carbonated. Not as heavy as you'd expect. Also, not the strong alcohol taste you normally characterize with a dubbel.

D: Good sipping brew.

Decent appearance, although pretty nondescript. The roast and sweet nose does make up for the lackluster appearance a bit. Nice combination of flavor components, but nothing really stands out. Overall, this is a pretty solid quaff.

On a side note, I have to be honest this underwhelms/disappoints me a bit especially compared to the tripel, and strong dark Belgian. Definitely good, just not up to my expectations I guess.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 05:10:29 | More by bmwats
Photo of mralphabet
mralphabet

Virginia

4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz Bottle Poured into Tulip glass

A: Reddish copper in color with a nice haziness with lots of yeast floating around.... About 2 fingers of hissing head... that disappears pretty quickly, little lacing. Very Belgian...

S: Fruits, everything from plums, apricots to apples and a mix of spices (clove, nutmeg & a touch of honey)... Not very beer like.... almost wine like in smell.

T: Wow.... There is a lot going on here.... all the fruitiness is in the taste.... It is sweet but it is nicely balanced with a light bitter finish. I just cannot nail everything down... I just tastes wonderful.

M: It is a little overly carbonated, it feels crisp and sharp when cold, but gets a little thicker as it warms. Alcohol is well hidden.

D: This is a slow drinker.. Let it warm and sit back and enjoy. Not a multi-session beer, 2 will do you.

My first Chimay. It is a wonderful brew.... with all the fruitiness it is almost wine like but it is a Classic Belgian Monk Brew.... a must try !!! Cannot wait to tap my White & Blue !!

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 03:17:44 | More by mralphabet
Photo of maleman
maleman

Mississippi

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

Poured from a 11.20 oz bottle into a pint glass...SORRY, that's all I had clean!

A - poured a dark, hazy tea color. one finger head that quickly receded into a tight cap. thin lacing.

S - lots of bread, some spice, a bit of coffee.

T - not as big a punch as I expected. the spices were present along with some dark chocolate.

M - a balanced mouthfeel, less than average carbonation, some alcohol detected in the aftertaste.

D - this one is definitely one of the better beers I've ever had. however, i'd rate it a step or two below Chimay Blue.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 23:23:50 | More by maleman
Photo of Wisconsinality
Wisconsinality

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice

A- Pours a cloudy, beautiful brown with a bunch of tiny little bubbles coming up the side of the glass. It pours a nice fingers worth of head that recedes somewhat quick with a little lacing.
S- This has a very nice smell to it, a bit of malt, a little hint of cherries and maybe some raisins. Also just the slightest hint of alcohol.
T- I pick up the malt right away with a bit of sweetness, some raisin, maybe some dates and cherry. This is fairly complex and intriguing. Has an aftertaste that is liken to dr. pepper.
M- This is a medium bodied brew that is smooth on the tongue and has just the right amount of carbonation.
D- Overall this is a great representation of the style. Goes down great without the slightest hint of the 7.0%ABV.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 01:48:45 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of abar22
abar22

Alabama

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

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay Goblet

Chimay Red poured dark red with brown edges. The head was 2 fingers thick and settled into a solid whitish gray cap.
Nose consists of fruits (apricots?) and sweet malts. Perhaps a hint of alcohol but it is well covered up. Not quite as fragrant as I'd like but pleasant none the less.
Intense carbonation hits the palate first, followed by a light bitterness. The apricots from the smell are back in the body and the ending has hints of plums and alcohol. The ending is semi-dry and a bit astringent.
Mouthfeel is a bit fizzy and light but it is on par with other Dubbels I've had.
This is a great beer overall and quite drinkable for the style. As I reviewed this beer I found the bottom of the glass much sooner than I usually do. Chimay never fails to impress.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 02:00:36 | More by abar22
Photo of JordanEllwanger
JordanEllwanger

Michigan

4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fizzes quickly out of the bottle yet slow rising off white head in the glass and fizzes down leaving no lace. A rich dark opaque burgundy color.

Smells of liquor and deep bread malts.

Taste is very bready with it's graininess leanding to the alcohol flavors. Very much malt even after.

Feel is well and smooth, medium bodied.

Very drinkable and a great beer.

Cheers,
Jordan.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 05:04:48 | More by JordanEllwanger
Photo of ClevoPiwo
ClevoPiwo

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice hazy rich brown color with a decent head. I was disappointed to not see any lacing as the head rather quickly dissipated down.

The smell is good, malty and sweet. Caramel, fruits, clove spice and yeasty-ness come through in the aroma.

The taste is similar to the smell, with a nice combination of malt body, sweetness, fruityness and spice. Perhaps a bit of a hop character, or maybe just the grainy malt combining with the clove spice to create an illusion of spicy-earthy bitterness.

Overall, very good with a decent body and a nice flavor balanced between the clove, malt and yeast flavors. Alcohol is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 03:56:19 | More by ClevoPiwo
Photo of ProfessorCJ
ProfessorCJ

Alabama

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

Poured from 33 cl bottle into a chalice.

A-Brown/red with some turpidity. Several fingers of light tan foam that slowly dissolves into lacing with a nice ring. Too dark to see much carbonation.

S-Not an overwhelming nose. Hops with a malty undercurrent.

T-Wow, the taste is really balanced between the hops and the malt. Hint of sweet and spices in the after taste. I don't taste the alcohol. Worth every penny.

M-Has a little chew to it. I can still taste it even though the sip was several minutes ago. A little carbonation left.

D-Definately drinkable. The balance makes this an ale could drink daily, summer or winter.

I Can't wait to try the Reserve.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 19:00:15 | More by ProfessorCJ
Photo of jimiv73
jimiv73

California

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wow this is good beer i poured this off into a widemouth glass and it took about ten minutes to pour! wow any man loves head like that thick white and creamy lol! anyway i drank this so fast it was gone and i was off to get another already chilled!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2009 00:43:48 | More by jimiv73
Photo of kegger22
kegger22

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown with a generous head that remains throughout the sampling. The aroma that I got was mildewy, although that was not a turnoff. The taste was clean, crisp and malty sweet. I reminded me of a super-carbonated Speckled Hen. Feel was medium bodied and heavily carbonated. Drinkability: while it doesn't sit heavy on the stomach, I wouldn't want much more than the bomber I opened.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 22:02:48 | More by kegger22
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Bar tender poured this into a chalice with the perfect two finger head on it. Definately red, looks like some stuff floating in the bottom. Nice looking beer.

S - Sweet malts, some fruit, something that I can almost describe as prunes, but not quite. Intriguing.

T - Sweet, malty, fruity. Hides the alcohol pretty well. A little citris as well.

M - Medium bodied, a little slicker than I would have liked, nice carbonation.

D - A little bit heavy for me for a double, but an enjoyable drink. Could not do a whole lot of these.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2009 19:29:58 | More by AgentZero
Photo of thepeter
thepeter

United Kingdom (England)

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper red hues with a small amount of sediment at the bottom. Fluffy off white head that turned to a film quickly and left little lacing.

S - Sweet malts, hint of candied fruits and a bit of hops but overall just little hints of all this nothing overpowering, but I am not complaining.

T - Again I find a lot of the tastes subdued but still very nice and refreshing. Dryer than I remember it being. Still some fruits and malt but a nice slightly hoppy bitterness that balances it out beautifully.

M&D - Like I said, drier and easier to drink than I remember. I know it is made for sipping but I was thirsty and it was tasty and now it's gone. I want another one!

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 18:44:07 | More by thepeter
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a two-fingers thick light tan head into my Chimay chalice that left a thin ring of lace throughout. the body was a reddish-brown color.
s - fruity and malty with a slight sour tone to it.
t - sweet cakebread and malt with a slight hoppiness.
m - bubbly and medium on the tongue.
d - very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2009 19:28:34 | More by GPHarris
Photo of CheckMate
CheckMate

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle caged and corked. obtained at Shaw's Supermarket Windham, NH. Poured in to a Konings Hoeven goblet and shared with BA member MrHurmateeowish. pours a deep red color with an inch of off white head that slowly dissipates. scents of chocolate fills the nose, malts, fruity. tastes of chocolate, sweet, a little bit of hops. light carbonation. kind of a sipper. very well made beer.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 03:53:52 | More by CheckMate
Photo of CarlP2
CarlP2

Alabama

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottle into my Chimay chalice. Gotta start the new chalice off with the appropriate beer.

A- Cloudy copper color. Starts off with lots of fluffy off-white head that recedes to leave a nice layer on top of the beer. There is also some lacing left as the beer goes down. I've seen tiny little reddish black sediment in this beer before. There is none from this bottle though.

S- Strong smell of malts with some hints of spiciness. There is a sweet sugary smell as I agitate the glass a little.

T- Malts and dark fruits. It finishes with a bit of the spicy/tangy taste that I smelled. No aftertaste at all, which seems strange to me. I'm used to complex beers finishing with some sort of aftertaste to enjoy and think about. It leaves me wanting another sip as soon as I put the glass down. No hints of alcohol at all. The flavors wake up just a little more as the glass warms. The flavors are all very well balanced, there isn't one that overpowers any of the others.

M- Medium body with a lot of carbonation. Goes down very smoothly. I wouldn't mind a little less carbonation, but it is common for the style.

D- Very tasty and easy to drink. 7% abv isn't a killer, but it's not something to drink all night. A 750ml is a nice way to accompany and finish a nice meal.

I tried this beer several times when I first got into craft brews, and it wowed me with its complexity of flavors and smells. Since then, I've tried several other Belgian styles, DIPA's, and imperial stouts. It doesn't wow me anymore after trying many other strong styles of beer. I will still drink it from time to time though, as it is still a very good beer. And I've still got the white and the blue to review from the pack.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2009 19:20:25 | More by CarlP2
Photo of DerBayer
DerBayer

Germany

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can I say other than that I was slightly disappointed with tatse and smell after its inviting sexy looks in the Chimay glass. It s got a chestnutty tinge to it and perfect head.
Smell is a bit of alc with caramel and malt and some faint cherry notes
Taste is much the same but the dark fruit comes through more
Body is medium and carbonation is decent.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2009 07:45:06 | More by DerBayer
Photo of patobandito
patobandito

New Mexico

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

Number two in my sojourn into Chimay.

Pours a copperish amber color. Thin head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing to speak of. Smells a bit grassy, with some sort of spice that i cant quite place. Taste is of oranges and again, a spice a cant place. I touch woody, even. Its light to medium bodied, almost a bit watery.

Easily drinkable, and a truly enjoyable brew. Another score for chimay.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2009 04:11:03 | More by patobandito
Photo of jdubjacket
jdubjacket

Georgia

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at my local store. Sampled all Westvleterens and am re-visiting my Belgian roots.

Pours a copper, amber color with a moderate amount of sediment.

Smell is slightly subdued. Belgian yeast is definitely the most prominent scent. Some light fruit scents, but like I said, it's subdued.

Taste is Belgian yeast at its best. A little bit of toffee, and a hint of oranges.

Slightly watery mouthfeel but balanced well with the carbonation.

Dangerously drinkable. Overall, a good beer. I think there are better dubbels out there though.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2009 00:02:23 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

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

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a wine goblet.

Appearance: dark apple cider in color; opaque with a thin head.

Smell: very, very subtle; I get little wisps of apple and pear. What I smell is good, I am just not getting very much aroma at all.

Taste: taste is relatively mild and difficult for me, as a novice Belgian drinker, to define. Is it just so well balanced that I can't pick out individual characteristics? In any case, it's good. As the man (sort of) said, I may not know Belgians, but I know what I like -- and I like this.

Mouthfeel: superb. Medium-thick body with a very nice carbonation that leads to a very creamy, pleasant experience.

Drinkability: even at 7 percent, this stuff goes down smooth like butter. I know I had Chimay red once a long time ago, but after this reintroduction I am going to have to be getting it a lot more often.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2009 01:46:39 | More by flagmantho
Photo of pmccallum86
pmccallum86

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry gold color with many visible floating sediments. Nice sized bubbling head with dried fruit aromas. The taste is of primarily dried fruit, almost tastes like a hoppy raisin. Good mouthfeel, very full bodied and smooth texture. This is a delicious beer and is very drinkable, I could have several in one sitting easily. As usual Chimay makes a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 03:10:28 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, tan/brown color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of yeast, citrus, tart malt, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of a Dubbel. Mouth feel is sharp and slightly crisp. High carbonation level and slight dryness along with high level of tart. Tastes of tart malt, citrus (banana), yeast, very slight hop, and slight sweet malt. Overall, not too tart, complex, easy drinkability, and good body.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 00:05:44 | More by Tone
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into a Chimay chalice a murky beef gravy brown with slowly moving bits. Nice susdsy head that reduces after a minute to a tan ring.

Effervescent like smell that tingles the nostrils. Lemon zest, yeasty, hops, bready and roasted malt. Picking up some sweet lilac as well.

Malty, some toasted biscuity flavors. Deep, deep roasted malt, almost burnt. Hop bitterness, but not as pleasant as the nose. Hint of chocolate and coffee bean.

Really active carbonation. Pretty harsh and rough on the tongue. About medium bodied.

My least favorite Chimay by far. Not as complex, flavorful or easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 23:58:10 | More by jera1350
Photo of WCBCFrank
WCBCFrank

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay pours a decadently deep reddish brown topped off in a goblet with a beautiful cloud of off-white foam. Good lacing throughout. Balance with the taste of ripe plums and dark fruit; the slightly twinge of caramel and sugar; good carbonation and yeast flavor throughout. Balanced, highly enjoyable!

For the novice: A must, period.

Personally: Back when I was a young man (ok, ten years ago) I had my first bottle at the Ten Spot in Olde City and I was hooked. It opened the door to world of flavor and complexity that is Belgian beers. It is one of my desert island beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 17:02:55 | More by WCBCFrank
Photo of JMD
JMD

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich reddish brown color with creamy off-white that dissipates quickly. A considerable amount of sediment floating in the glass.

S: Fruity aroma, ripe plums and fresh apples. Sweet malt and carmel. Spices notes with hints of clove and cracked pepper.

T: Sweet up front, carmel malt and molasses. Plums and dark fruit, some apple. Finishes spicy and a bit medicinal.

M: Rich and creamy with ample carbonation. This beer coats your mouth as you drink it.

D: A classic beer and a great example of the style. Full of flavor and great texture. I could drink these all day.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 00:48:33 | More by JMD
Photo of BacklitAvenger
BacklitAvenger

Illinois

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

Appearance - A hazy honey color. I tried it first being careful to decant without yeast, and then after sipping that way stuck a straw into the bottle to rouse the yeasties. That made it look properly enchanting, a darker apricotish color positively filled with floating crap. I like floating crap. Makes the beer look nice and hazy and seems to thicken mouthfeel.

Smell - Fruits. I'm not getting that clove thing that people talk about a lot. I'm getting a huge basket full of fruits. Not dark plum-like as would be in a RIS or tropical like can result from some hops. Call it semi-dark fruit.

Taste - Was expecting the fruitiness to seperate into some identifiable flavors more than it did. This stuff is absolutely delicious though. We're talking apricots and figs and dates and things, and honey. It is sweet, yes, but I dislike cloying sweetness, and this is far short of that. Rather like the natural sweetness of the fructose in a fruit. There's a bitter note in the finish, and an earthiness from the yeast perhaps, but all considered this is a remarkably well-melded beer. Each flavor bleeding into the next, blended rather than distinct.

Mouthfeel - I do not like excessive carbonation, but it slows in a minute or two and the ample yeasties thickened it up a good bit. Rich but not viscous, and not sticky. Good stuff here.

Drinkability - A bit higher in alcohol than my usual stuff, but just took longer to drink it and to let it warm in my hand and release those rich flavors.

My first Belgian. Thinking there'll be a much higher percentage of Belgianness in my future eh? Yes I think so. Want the blue Chimay first, more fruit there I hear.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2009 18:06:12 | More by BacklitAvenger
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,687 ratings.