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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.

3,948 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,948
Reviews: 1,561
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 159
Gots: 338 | 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: 3,948 | Reviews: 1,561 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smudgewhat
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

god i love this beer. i've been sampling many many many belgians trappist/abbey ales and american versions of that style over the last few years and this is one of the best. it's kind of the perfect belgian dubble. if you don't already know what a belgian trappist tastes like then my review (slim as it is) isn't going to help you anyways. so either trust me or don't, but there's a reason why this has an A rating from not just me.

smudgewhat, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of Schwarzwald
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

This beer is very impressive in its bottle. Popped the top and poured it into a large pils glass, only thing I had at the time. I like the Chimay beers pretty cool. This particular species has a lot of rich fruit flavor and is very drinkable even though it has a higher ABV. I think that the overall richness of the beer must be enjoyed with some desert or something sharp like a hard cheese. Definitely try this awesome Trappist!

Schwarzwald, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of erosier
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

L: Pours a nice hazy orange-red-brown color with a tall and very thick off white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, aromas of fruits, sugar, and yeasty aromas.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, rich caramel flavors, dark fruits, nice yeast flavors finish this off with a touch of hops at the end.
M: Smooth, rich, warming, perfect amount of carbonation, medium to heavy feeling.
D: Pretty drinkable, this is a big full bodied, full flavored beer with a medium amount of abv that is a classic example of a dubbel.

erosier, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of shakercuda
4/5  rDev -3.4%

I thought I was opening a bottle of Champaign, it foamed like a volcano, so I quickly poured it into my favorite glass and truly enjoyed a very good beer. I remember it was expense, so I don't know if I would buy it again, but will look for it on the shelves when I go to Goodie number 3 in Dallas.

shakercuda, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of zoso1967
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%

Pours a muddy orange brown with a wonderful almond head full of fine bubbles. The head slowly recedes but remains as a thin layer on top of the beer for quite some time and leaves no lace. The aroma is full of spice from the yeast as well as the aroma of dried cherries, raisins, bready malt, some woodiness and brown sugar. The flavor is mostly malty with a nice fruitiness and a sort of cherry/prune thing going on. Brown sugar is also evident, as is some dark, bready malt, earthy hop notes, some leather and a clove/cinnamon spice from the yeast. This beer is wonderfully balanced, so well balanced in fact that a quick sip would lead one to think this is one dimensional, but the more I slowly enjoy this goblet, the more nuances seem to surface. The mouthfeel is medium, with carbonation that I wish was a little bit more subdued, but it's not a deal breaker. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Probably my favorite of all of the Chimay offerings.

zoso1967, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of greengorilla
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

I had this beer poured from a bottle into a goblet.

It is a hazy caramel brown color with a decent tan head. There is not as much lacing as I remember being on my first Chimay Red, but that was on draft.

I love the smell. It is a malty and spicy combination.

The taste equals the smell. The malt dominates, but there is just enough clove the flavor the beer without overpowering it.

The mouthfeel may be this beer's best attribute. This is how a beer should feel.

It is very drinkable. I will drink this beer as often as I can afford to.

greengorilla, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of StaveHooks
4.1/5  rDev -1%

A - Poured into a Chimay goblet. Murky chestnut brown, nice head off the top but fades into a few islands of active bubbles, that stay until the end. Almost no lacing.

S - Sweet Belgian yeast, loads of fruit, honey, alcohol vapors, toasted brown sugar, spicy nutmeg.

T - Sweet malt, roasted fig, plums, cherry, caramel, the spice really comes out as it warms. Mouthfull is very nice. Medium to full body. No stickiness.

This is a solid Dubbel. Always a good choice for the style. For whatever reason the Chimay name seemes to be a more recognized Belgian beer than other ones in it's class. It deserves it.

Don't drink this cold! It provides little taste or smell while cold. This beer as most should sit and warm to fully smell, taste, and sense everything that's going on.

StaveHooks, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of Elimination
4.18/5  rDev +1%

Into chimay goblet

appearance, red/brown, a little lacing around the rim

smell fruit esters, grape, yeast, dough, very sweet smell, the fruit scents really stand out especially the grape and berries

taste: a very superb dubbel taste, really exels in showing how its done. the sweetness is strong, a wine like taste stands out, fruit, a little malt, very little hops but this is what it should taste like

mouthfeel is very good, wish more belgian 'style' beers could be like this

drink: I wish I had some great cheese to have with this cause it would pair perfectly. but i guess 'undrinkability' should be how well i can drink it, well in that case, i would love more of this.

Elimination, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of drxandy
4/5  rDev -3.4%

11.20 oz / 33cl to chimay glass - part of the 3 pack giftset
drank at cellar temp

pours a dark hazy orangish red in light, brownish without, beautiful tightly laced cream colored head slowly fades

smells of fruity yeast esters, clove banana, spice, sweet malt

tastes sweet with a dry finish, very little hop presence is balanced out by the malt sweetness, spicy yeast becomes creamy in the finish, malt and yeast forward beer, good carbonation, alcohol is quite hidden, finally the hop bitterness comes out in the finish along with alc. warming

mouthfeel is sweet and creamy but still feels a little thin.. makes it more drinkable, excellent balance, not something i would seek out, but easy to drink and fairly enjoyable

drxandy, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of CaptYellow
3.85/5  rDev -7%

From notes:

A: Dark brown with the slightest lacing.

M: Medium. Creamy.

T: Malty. Slightly fruity.

D: High.

O: More malty than the white and I prefer it over the white- but to each his own. Rather expensive but perhaps fair for the style. A beer I buy very occasionally and would only care to drink occasionally.

CaptYellow, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
4.1/5  rDev -1%

Pours a nice reddish brown color with thin cap of off-white head, leaving a nice cap and good lacing. Scent is of fresh yeast bread, light brown sugar, a touch of fruit, spice and alcohol. Taste brings a nice, straightfoward combination of the lightly sweet and bready malts, belgian yeasts are present but not overpowering, mild spicing and light dark dried fruit (prune) tastes as well as a kiss of alcohol. Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, no lingering tastes. A nice, mild dubbel.

rfgetz, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of Snamnoum
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%

Appearance - deep garnet, looks like murky pond water. Pour produces two fingers of head but fades quickly. Pretty average lacing.

Smell - malt, alcohol, and light phenols

Taste - Rich malt and yeast, pretty simple but well balanced

Mouthfeel - very good carbonation, almost chewy

Drinkability - a substantial brew but easy to drink I could definitely drink a couple of these

Snamnoum, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of bbkd3b
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured from the 750 mL bottle into a goblet. Away we go.

A - Hits the glass with a darker shade of red, burgundy I guess. Very hazy, as I've come to expect from Belgians. At the top is fluffy, tan head that takes up about half the goblet. Dissipates after a good while, leaving some nice lacing. Pretty.

S - Very complex smelling. An assortment of berries, caramel, and a nice amount of spiciness on top. Just barely, I could sense that nice, yeast smell of Belgian beers. Very inviting.

T - Surprisingly spicy. Peppery, almost, on the first swig. I don't have the best palate, admittedly, but I can tell when something is brewed well, and this definitely fits that description. A hint of sweet malts balances nicely with the spices, and the more I drank, the more I tasted it. A sort of caramel flavor, I guess. Very good.

M - The body was syrupy with good carbonation. Considering the alcohol, this was a surprisingly warming beer. I almost felt hot. The spices used perhaps?

D - I don't know how much of this I could drink at a time. The flavor was a bit too harsh for anymore than single-shot sipping. That's not to say I won't drink more of this beer, though!

Overall/notes: While not as good as their tripel, this is a very good beer. I found this at a surprisingly affordable price, and sprung at the opportunity. Money well-spent, I say.

bbkd3b, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours a muddy reddish brown color with a good size bubbly white head. The head fades quickly to a covering of the glass. Smell is malty with a vague hint of fruit - apples and pears.

Taste is interesting. There is some Belgian yeast / candi sugar going on and much more pronounced peppery spiciness. The flavors blend together well and the alcohol presence, while there, is not a negative thing.

Mouthfeel is rich enough for the style. The spiciness feels good on the tongue.

Drinkability is good. This is a flavorful well crafted beer.

JayQue, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

Bottle from 1998

Poured into my Orval chalice.

A. Pours an orange-tinged brown with a thin head on a hard pour.

S. Smells of bread, caramel, figs, and other dark candied fruits.

T. Very sweet - almost like fruit cake - with lots of brown sugar and brown bread. Quite delicious, but not quite as good as the nose led me to believe.

M. Thin with a good level of carbonation

D. I was a bit disappointed with the taste after the incredible smell, but the mouthfeel is really what let me down here. Something this beautiful should be thick and luscious. Even so, this is a real treat and I'll enjoy the others that I have stocked away.

BeerAndBourbon, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of snogglethorpe
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Attractive dark brown color with a giant solid head.

Smell is ok; yeasty, "beery". The mouthfeel is nice, slightly thickish and chewy, but not greatly so.

A strong yeast taste, with a slight bitterness and a mild sweetness, a little brown sugar and roastiness. There are hints of more -- it's definitely a tasty beer -- but they're in the background and hard to single out. A suggestion of dark fruits. Basically it tastes like "belgian beer", and really, it's a nice taste, but doesn't seem all that distinguished. Alcohol is well-hidden.

A nice drinkable beer, but perhaps a tad overrated.

snogglethorpe, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of jt31914
4.1/5  rDev -1%

A: Red/amber color with 1/4 inch of head and little lacing.

S: Fruit and caramel; very burnt smell with dried grape aroma.

T: Dried grape and fig mixed with caramel maltiness.

D/M: Very drinkable and smooth, I like this beer, especially for a dubbel, I prefer it to the blue.

jt31914, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of StJamesGate
3.85/5  rDev -7%

Pours oxblood with a loose but stiff lumpy beige head. Nose is Craisins, slight phenol and a bit of funk. Sugared plums and wholewheat bread in the malts along with followed by winter spice hops. Light to medium, fizzy, some burn.

Nice balance, but a bit thin. I could see where it pairs with food rather than trying to stand on it's own.

StJamesGate, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of gyllstromk
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

Pours cloudy light brownish-red. Aromas of fig, cherry, with bready notes. Flavor is dry with mild clove notes; more bread effects. A thin and wet feel. Chimay's basic offering: if you want the real deal, go for the blue or white: much more in the flavor department.

gyllstromk, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of impending
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

750ml into a snifter. Creamy fine bubble head dissipated rather quickly but retained surface head through out the session.

Belgians (brews ;) smell just wonderful and this is a fine example, malts, fruits and spices.

Taste follows the nose with an excellent slightly dry aftertaste which lingers. There is a lot of flavor here but it is muted, dulled from what they could be. Thin to medium smooth mouthfeel. Taste warms well.


impending, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of Erish
4.43/5  rDev +7%

I poured this 11.2 oz. bottle into a Chimay chalice (the gift set was on sale at Cost Plus World Market for $10 - score!)

A: rusty reddish color, almost opaque; a thick one-finger head that quickly falls into a fine, long-lasting lace.

S: mmm... loads of sweet but complex malty and yeasty aromas.

T: I got the sweetness up front, but then quickly found clove, yeast, maybe some kind of toasty, sweet bread flavors, caramel, a bit of banana, and definitely alcohol; the hops make an appearance, and then linger and mingle with the other flavors in a long, satisfying finish.

M: Medium weight, mouth-coating, and satisfying.

D: This beer is complex, and needs to be enjoyed slowly. It is quite tasty!

Erish, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of xylophonica
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a 75cl bottle into a tulip.

A - Dark brown colour with loads of head. Very little lacing and head retention is average.

S - Strong sweet chocolate and caramel with roated malt. Touches of vanilla and licorice as well.

T - Definitely a dubbel. Mild phenolic hit. Sweet at first but fading nicely - only the most slight bitter aftertaste. Bit of a burnt caramel/brown sugar feel. This one grows on you slowly as you drink....

M - Basically smooth but with a strong sense of carbonation - fizzes all the way down.

D - As I mentioned above this one seems to improve as you drink (maybe it's the mix of sediment into the beer). Either way I want more.

Have had this before in the 33cl variety and liked it previously. This time however first drink was so-so, second was almost off the chart. I got nothing from the first glass but with the second the characteristics really started to shine through; the scent and taste both became very prominent (glad I'm reviewing a 75 and not a 33). Probably the best example of this style that I've had but this does strike me as a more modern take on the format than others - doesn't really feel like a beer brewed for monks. Either way it's great!!

xylophonica, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of appenzeller
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

First review where I won't describe. What's the point? This is ubiquitous for a premier beer.

As a starving exchange student in Europe, Chimay opened my eyes to what beer can be. (Must have spent my daily ration on one bottle!) Not my favorite style, but I picked up a bottle for posterity. I deeply respect this beer, the craftsmanship shows in the flavors, the complexity, and the quality of the ingredients. Perhaps most surprising (dangerous) is how smooth and subtle this is for an ABV beer of its high level.

A pillar of the beer world, what can you say?

appenzeller, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of thetomG
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a dark and murky deep rich reddish amber color with just a bit of white head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is an instant blast of dark fruits, and the flavor is quite similar but with a bit of a lingering warmth from the alcohol.

Light in the body with a fairly thin texture and some quite fizzy carbonation.

Excellent beer - I will definitely be drinking this again.

thetomG, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of tvljr
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%

Poured into a pint glass from the 750ml bottle.

Nectar of the gods.

Deep red color with a cloudy haze and the perfect Belgian lace.

Full bodied and full flavored. Not to be missed.

Have had both on tap and out of the bottle and it's always best out of the bottle. Seems to hold its flavor better.

tvljr, Jun 07, 2010
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,948 ratings.