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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.

3,685 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,685
Reviews: 1,551
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 140
Gots: 223 | 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)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,685 | Reviews: 1,551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SimmoGee


4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice

A - Dark brown in colour, high carbonation which pours initially with an aggressive head. This head didn't appear for very long though (dirty glass?.

S - Slight nut and raisin smell although to me it wasn't very strong.

T - What it lacks in smell, it makes up in taste. Strong sweet fruity taste with very slight alcohol after taste. Not overpowering.

M - Strong carbonation dances around the tongue. Taste and mouthfeel are definitely the highlights

D - This is definitely drinkable, superb taste and mouthfeel. This is a great example of a dubbel although, I think Westmalle Dubbel wins by a nose if only I could get it more often.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 09:39:13 | More by SimmoGee
Photo of CityBoy1986


4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet from a 750 ml corked bottle.

The pour is a hazy copper with two fingers' white head. The head is gone rather quickly, and lacing is next to none.

The nose is sweet and fruity with some sourness. The taste is bready whilst retaining the sweetness, sourness and fruits and adding some spices.

The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected and well carbonated. I could probably drink this all evening.

This is a great Dubbel (as it should be). I am looking forward to enjoying this again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 22:50:07 | More by CityBoy1986
Photo of GilGarp


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

330ml bottle poured into a New Belgium globe glass and served slightly chilled.

Even after sitting several days from the time of purchase, there is still a lot of sediment floating in the beer. Color is a hazy copper orange and the small amount of white head doesn't last as long as I expected. It settles to a thin layer with no signs of lacing.

Aroma is really pleasant with typical Belgian yeast smells of banana and clove with a nice sweet and spicy layer as well.

Flavor is also excellent. It has all the great flavors I associate with a Belgian including the fruity esters, spice notes like clove and cinnamon, maybe some pepper, and a nicely bittered dry finish.

Mouthfeel is medium plus body with a good effervescent tingle. Drinkability is very good and, if this were a 750ml, I would have no problem finishing it off.

This may have been the first great beer I ever had (back when I was in college) and I remember liking it a lot back then even when my experience with beer was mostly crap. I'm glad to see that it's still a great beer after all these years.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 22:48:07 | More by GilGarp
Photo of prosper

Alberta (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden brown. Slightly hazy, though I tried to decant the beer off the yeast as best I could.

Smells intensly fruity, almost candy-like. Sweet malts, lots of esters. No hops.

Taste is, well, about as expected. Much like the smell. Light on the spice and phenols, though, mostly fruity esters and caramel malts.

Mouthfeel is medium. Surprisingly so, actually.

This is just too much to be a 'drinkeable' beer. Strong flavours, high alcohol.

Technically, a very good beer. Just, not really my thing.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 02:19:52 | More by prosper
Photo of mjaskula

New York

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

Poured into a large wine glass. Pours a cloudy, thick with yeast, reddish brown with a moderate tan head which head dissipates slowly.

The smell is interesting, malty with some dark fruit, alcohol, and a bit of sourness. The taste is sweet and malty, but also a bit sour. The alcohol is warming and a bit spicy. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Overall, I don't like it as much as I hoped I would.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 02:32:14 | More by mjaskula
Photo of linnet


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big creamy beige head deep red cloudy colour. Smell is yeasty, sweet, dark fruit, but the yeast dominates. Flavour is yeasty and very vinous there is also some hops in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very crisp with heavy carbonation, medium bubbles. This beer was very good it's big brother is a bit better, but this is also great!

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 18:08:21 | More by linnet
Photo of Kensai


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

Color is orange-brown, few particles swim in the glass. Smells nuts and honey, very pleasant.

A sip or two, nice and dense. The aftertaste is simply amazing: the nutty flavor is there, one of the strongest I've ever tasted! You don't feel too much alcohol which is a good thing.

I tried this beer with [lean] fish fillets and pairs them greatly!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 11:34:32 | More by Kensai
Photo of Jeffo


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at the bottle shop down the road.

From a bottle into a Chimay chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger medium-thick fluffy off-white head. Decent carbonation evident, especially from the centre stem of the glass that ends up making a very cool psychedelic decoration in the middle of the thick film cap. Colour is brown-mahogany. Head is very persistent and a bit thick cap remains until the end but leaves next to no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: A strong yeasty scent with lots of dark fruits, raisins and plumbs, as well as a bit of cloves and herbs as well. A bit of sweet pure honey and caramel malt as well. Very nice.

TASTE: Sweet caramel malt and a bit of honey as well. A strong yeasty component, common to the style. Dark fruits, such as raisins and plumbs again, as well as a bit of clove in the background. The mild yet long lasting aftertaste is bitter-sweet and very appropriate. Complex and interesting.

PALATE: Medium-thin on the palate, but powdery smooth as well. Medium to higher levels of carbonation, goes down smooth, no bite, and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Could be slightly heavier.

OVERALL: A top notch trappist dubbel, and another great offering from Chimay. I could drink this one all evening. Very drinkable, very enjoyable, and one I'll re-visit for sure. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 19:16:04 | More by Jeffo
Photo of iamntbatman


4.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nut brown in color with a big, thick head. The beer is definitely cloudy, even with a fairly gentle pour. The lacing is the only thing that takes away from the appearance of the beer, as it could have been even stickier.

Smell: The smell here is all about the unique yeastiness. The malt and especially hops here take a back seat to that yeasty goodness. Fruity esters from the yeast abound.

Taste: Quite mild, with a sweet nutty flavor. The yeast is the big player in the flavor, as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and syrupy with no alcohol burn to speak of. Nice tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: I could drink this all day! Although at double the ABV of my typical session (some sort of English Dark Mild or Bitter is usually the order of the day) it would probably be a big mistake.

I gotta say, I put off drinking a Chimay for far too long. For some reason, the beer is extremely readily available in my area but the high price kept me from ever giving it a shot until I read a little more into it. Well done, Trappist monks!

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 04:22:06 | More by iamntbatman
Photo of GatorBeerNerd


3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle purchased as part of a mixed gift pack. Poured into the Chimay Chalice that came with the pack.

A: Pours a ruby highlighted dark brown color with just a ring of bubbles for head. I was pouring very slowly to try to keep the yeast out of the glass. That might have kept the head from forming so I wont deduct from the score too much for that.

S: A nice dark fruit aroma as you would expect from the style. A bit of a spiciness in the aroma that I would expect more from a tripel.

T: Following the nose, the taste is predominantly dark fruit and spicy notes. There is a little bit of alcohol warmth as well. The overall taste is on the sweet side.

M: It is somewhere between light and medium body. The carbonation is astringent like the bottle of White I had earlier tonight.

D: The carbonation and ABV make it a bit of a sipper for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 03:21:39 | More by GatorBeerNerd
Photo of mdwalsh


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

11.2 oz bottle into Abbaye Val-Dieu goblet

A: 1 finger whitish head, smooth, small bubbles. Cloudy red coloring. Some active carb, but it's hard to see into the glass. head sticks around real nice. Minimal lacing.

S: Smells like beer, as poor and general a statement as that is. A little sweet, very little floral.

T: Tastes at first like a Belgian in general, decent maltiness, but not thick, and sourish. Fairly thin, but biting taste. A little fruity esters, I think apple, but I hesitate to say that. The more I drink, the more I taste a sugary candy sweet on the back of my mouth

M: Smooth, thin, but enjoyable. Nice amount of carbonation.

D: More drinkable than many other Belgians I've had, enough to make me maybe consider another Chimay..

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 01:58:38 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of ThePeskyDingo


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

Poured with a 2 finger light tan head. Color is a brown-amber color with yeast sediments floatin about.

Smells malty, with dark fruit notes.

Tastes malty, yeasty, some citrus tastes thrown in there with some spice.

I feel an initial crisp carbonation feel on the end of my tongue. Smooth going down. Clean finish.

Easy to drink, goes down very well. Alcohol is very hidden.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 05:10:30 | More by ThePeskyDingo
Photo of JBogan


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

A slightly hazy light copper color with a smallish head which left moderate lacing. Slightly in color than I was expecting.

Fruity aroma. Maybe some pear along with some darker fruit and a bit of sweet malt.

Taste was along the same lines as the smell, although alcohol was a bit more prominent. Somewhat of a mustyness in there as well.

Mouthfeel was excellent. Smooth, and with a nice prickly feeling.

Overall this is a very drinkable brew and one I'll certainly revisit again.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2009 00:16:59 | More by JBogan
Photo of BierFan


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Labeled as a 2007 vintage. Poured from a cage-corked 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. The cork launched itself into the cieling after the slightest nudging and the carbonated contents of the bottle began to foam over the top. Luckily not much of this great beer was lost.

Big light tan head sits on top of a dark brown body. Head drops kind of fast. The components of the aroma are very blended together. Lots of sweet dark fruits. Everything in the flavor is very mellow. Figs, prunes, and a little brown sugar. Mouthfeel is kind of thin, but that's not a bad thing and it helps to make it supremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2009 04:15:07 | More by BierFan
Photo of colts9016


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

Poured into the Chimay glass at 45 degrees.

Appearance: A dark orange with dark copper hues in the beer. There is a light tan to a dark ivory head that has some retention to it. There is a lot of effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is mostly cloudy with some light coming through.

Nose: A rich malt aroma with some sweetness. There is some floral, citrus, and clove like spices emanate from the beer. In the background of the beer is some dried cherries, phenols, banana, and some peppery notes.

Taste: A very rich thick complex malt with a subtle sweetness in the beer. The flavors in the beer is citrus, dried cherries, and spices. Coming from the end of the beer there is phenols, bananas, and some peppery notes.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated and slightly spicy. The mouth feel is medium body to medium full. The finish is slightly bitter and peppery. This is the first dubbel that I can stomach. The beer has a nice full complete body, there is no separation in the flavors. I really like this beer. Out of the red, white and blue Chimay, this is second to the blue.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2009 05:29:50 | More by colts9016
Photo of dbtoe


4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the corked 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip

Looks good, a brownish red color with an off white head.
Smell is sweet and yeasty, some dark fruit and spice.
Taste a lot going on here. Very complex spicy and yeasty, with a lot of sweet fruit. Balanced towards the sweet side but nothing over powering.
Feel a little thin but carbonation helps allot. A little sticky finish but smooth.
Drink a very easy drinking beer I could have a lot of these and often.
Comment I liked Chimay Red a lot. It is a very good and tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 17:09:29 | More by dbtoe
Photo of strangemusic

British Columbia (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a dark brownish-red, almost approaching wine-like, with a very thin and quickly dissipating head in my Westmalle glass, a dubbel characteristic. Personally I like a bit more head on my beers... the appearance is simple but not boring.

Again, in a way that is characteristic of the dubbels I've tried, Chimay's Red (Premiere) does not have an arresting or powerful aroma, but what it has is subtle and inviting and very much improved by letting the beer sit until it warms up a little bit. Delicious candied sugar and a hint of red apple, as well as Belgian yeastiness, are noticeable. I prefer a bit more aromatic punch, but this is nice and complex.

The taste is not as subtle, but certainly not in-your-face. There is a big caramel/candied sugar carryover from the aroma then a kick of spice (clove or even rosemary-like), malt and breadiness from the yeast. There's a lingering aftertaste of that spiciness.

The mouthfeel is surprising! Soft, but carbonated and quite "dry", pretty solid and full in the mouth. You can feel it sticking around in your mouth afterward, which is great for certain beers, but I'd rather have less of it with this one.

As for drinkability... it's by no means exceptional. I like to crack a bottle of the Red on occasion but it's got enough eccentricities in the taste and feel that this is not a beer I'll reach for night after night.

Overall: I'd rather reach for a bottle of Westmalle Dubbel if my local store has it, but this is not bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 04:10:00 | More by strangemusic
Photo of stcules


3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark red, some floaties, strong carbonation. One and a half finger of a beige compact foam.
Candy sugar and red fruitiness at the nose, a strong maltiness, with fruitiness.
At the taste the same things, with a predominant candy sugar sweetness, and fruitiness.
Sweet, but drinkable.
Again sweet in the aftertaste, for a not so great drinkability.
Not bad, but too sweet for our taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 19:50:39 | More by stcules
Photo of ghebel


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

A - Turbid, brown/red color. Decent off white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Smells of many esters and phenols - fruity and cloves. Also cinnamon and sweet malts.

T - Taste follows smell with a spicy after taste.

M - Has a nice tingle on tongue and cheeks. Moderate body. Seems to leave a "coating" in the mouth.

D - This is not my usual style, but it got better as I drank it. I will drink it again and try others of the same style.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 00:22:19 | More by ghebel
Photo of clayrock81


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

Poured into a Chimay goblet for a leather brown body with a quickly disipating one-finger white head. A nice sweet malt smell of caramel, toffee, some roasted malts and minor scent of bitter hops and dark fruit. An inherent fruit flavor of orange and grape or something tropical, with some herbal hop bitterness that passes over the tongue with a prickly, dry feeling. Still, this is a medium-bodied beer that goes down smooth and has residula sweetness the entire time you're drinking it with some minor spices on the backend as well. A well-balanced dubbel that anyone should try if they haven't already.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 19:18:19 | More by clayrock81
Photo of sjccmd


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

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay goblet

Dark red, lots of bubbles, forms a large light tan head that gradually fizzles away

very nice, molasses, brown sugar, hint of dark fruits, bready malts

not quite as exciting as the smell, less going on but still good, the bread character comes out more, not as sweet as the smell would suggest, nice malty finish

a little thin and watery, maybe too carbonated as well, it doesn't keep me from enjoying the beer, but it could be better

very easy to drink, I would have liked more umpf but the style is not always particularly umpfy as compared to Quads and SDA's

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 02:18:02 | More by sjccmd
Photo of williamherbert

New York

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

The appearance is thick, murky dark cherry red, with a tinge of mahogany. Steady, thin off-white head resembling the ozone layer. Opaque as the deep oceans.

Spicy yeasts are glittery in the nose. Some orange peel, some bar soap. As it warms, it becomes more flowery.

The taste is spicy with a pretty bready base. Belgian yeast with a flowery hop. A spicy, spiky initial flavor, but a sweet citrus/fruity finish, which follows into the aftertaste.

The feel is fizzy and chewy. A big thick consistency, leaving a nice aftertaste. A really great beer, greater than the sum of its parts.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 02:54:27 | More by williamherbert
Photo of n0315


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

Looks beautiful, tastes good, VERY drinkable. I could drink several of these, no problem. Basically what every other review says. A top notch brew, for sure. The best trappist? I don't think it is. Worth a drink, even if you need to go out of the way to get one? Indeed.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 20:50:00 | More by n0315
Photo of thirdeye11


4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. My first pour I got a huge 3 finger head from this one that quickly fades to nothing, and no lacing on the glass whatsoever.

A: This beer is absolutely gorgeous. Yeasty sediment floats throughout the beer, and I think that yeast throughout only improves the taste so for me this is a positive. It is a medium dark brown with slightly red tone to the appearance and impossible to see through under any lighting condition.

S: At first when cold (40 degrees from my fridge) this beer has very little smell. Some dark fruits come through, although nothing like a quad. As the beer warms however there is a strong smell of brown sugar which is awesome. More phenolic smells become apparent even though this beer is extremely deceptive of its alcohol content in taste.

T: One of my absolute favorites to drink, and maybe my favorite Chimay over the blue. This beer is extremely well balanced. Never bitter, never too sweet, and you cannot discern the alcohol at 7% even in the slightest. I think that any beer drinker could appreciate this one due to the fact it isn't too sweet ever.

M: This is my only complaint about Chimay Red. It's a little thin on the mouthfeel and shows absolutely no lacing whatsoever on the glass. I wish it was slightly thicker, but this is a minor complaint. The one thing that brings its score back up for me is the carbonation which is absolutely perfect. In my Duvel tulip this is the first beer I've noticed "actively" carbonating itself from the "D" etched on the bottom of the glass all the way to the top of the beer. The carbonation is ridiculously perfect.

D: I could drink this beer all night. The yeast floating around in my opinion makes it all the more delicious, and it is never too sweet which is why I think drinking multiples would be no problem at all. It's also not too strong at 7% so you could have 3-4 without issue, at least I could. In fact I drank the entire 750ml last night and would have enjoyed another glass! This is one I plan to purchase semi-regularly for the house.

Overall probably my favorite Chimay, but the blue is close. Enjoy this one often!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 15:21:18 | More by thirdeye11
Photo of StarlightSeraph

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper, more on the brown side, with two fingers of frothy, off white head. Subsided reasonably quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Bananas, clove, some kind of metallic/astringent note I couldn't place.

Taste: Very, very smooth. Chocolatey/banana notes up front, which fade to a nice sweetness in the aftertaste. Mild bitter hop notes, but the sweetness dominates. It's a mild enough sweetness not to become cloying, and instead remains rather pleasant. A little watery, overall, however.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, but like Chimay's other offerings, too highly carbonated. The high carbonation adds a harshness which takes away from the smooth taste.

Drinkability: Well, this was the only one of Chimay's three main offerings that I enjoyed finishing, so that counts for something. It's very smooth and refreshing - and to be honest, tastes more like a watered-down tripel than a dubbel.

I've been underwhelmed or disappointed by all of Chimay's offerings, but this is the best of the main group (Blue/Red/White). It was a bit watery, but overall, an enjoyable brew.

EDIT: Interestingly enough, I looked back, and rated the Blue higher than this one. I know I liked this better - might have to go back and give the Blue another try.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 04:30:50 | More by StarlightSeraph
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,685 ratings.