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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,294 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,294
Reviews: 1,600
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 197
Gots: 533 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,294 | Reviews: 1,600 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kjyost
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL corked & caged bottle purchased at the LCBO in July 2010, cellared until present. Consumed with Trappist cheese...

A: Except for the final pours (with flaky yeast), clear, light brown beer with nice lacing and retention.
S: Dried fruit, especially figs and raisins with little other aromas going on.
T/M: Fruitiness and a light malt body, though somewhat thin. Well carbonated. Finishes fairly cleanly.
O: Nice Dubbel, though I was expecting more.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 ml cork and cage bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip.
Glassware and storage pictured, 7% ABV, L10-109, 02/10 on cork.

A - A loud pop from the cork is followed by heavy gun smoke from the bottle. The crimson amber brew is left less vibrant from cloudiness but is topped by a well-formed bone-colored head. Low retention and no lace through. Strange for a Belgian.

S - Pungent Belgian yeast erupts from the beer. Spice, earthy clay, white pepper, and low dark fruity esters are all imparted into the amber malt aroma. No hops are present.

T - Dark candi sugar adds sweetness and color while lightening the body. Toasted caramel malt and spicy Belgian yeast esters. Not as complex or abundant as the aroma.

M - Excessively carbonated, the mouthfeel and taste are almost destroyed by the abounding biting bubbles. Spicy-finishing and medium-bodied, it's fairly dry.

O - I like this brew but I find it increasingly taxing to drink with each sip. This isn't just over-carbonated for a dubbel, it's over-carbonated for champagne! Distracting and disappointing but a good dubbel otherwise.

Photo of Tripphop
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a light brown color, light shines through easily around the edges of the glass. Head is generous and lingering, tan color to the rich mousse. Clumps stick to the glass as the beer is swirled and sipped. Aromas are enticing, dark fruit and chocoalte. Flavors are fantastic, very creamy and soft mouthfeel with chocolate, raisin, caramel, plum, and sugar cookie. Nice beer, very reliable and food friendly.

Photo of Treebs
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour from bottle into Chimay Chalice

A: Pours a dark brown color. Pretty cloudy and light is unable to pass through due to this. Light tan, 1.5 finger head that disappears pretty quickly leaving no lace behind.

S: Dried out fruits, apples mostly, with a musky, hoppy smell that follows. The malt really comes through. There is some yeasty notes in there as well.

T: Creamy orange peel and other dried fruits come through, little sour and bitter end note that doesn't sit for very long. The maltiness gets highlighted through middle which is nice.

M: clean mouth fell. Medium bodied. lots of carbonation but subsides quickly.

O: Overall a good dubbel. Some of the flavors aren't as pronounced as I would like them to be, Mainly some sweeter notes, but overall I enjoyed it.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle with a date stamp of L10-616, decently fresh for a Chimay beer. Pours a surprisingly light, coppery color that is hazed even with a gentle pour. Large-bubbled tan head without much lace.

Caramel and bread on the nose. Light yeast spice and a bit of musty-esque hops.

Both malty and yeasty at the same time, and both hit the spot pretty well. A lighter body does not hide the alcohol as well as the Blue, but still glides down with ease thanks to the delicious combination of malts used here. Hops dry it out enough on the finish and is complex enough to keep it loads of fun all the way through a bottle. This one seems a good aging candidate for 2-5 years.

Photo of indesertum
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured in a pilsner glass

color is deep amber red. very nice creamy white three, four finger head. cloudy. head retention is very good (even after 10 minutes head is stll there)

fruity aromas, i swear i smell sherry vinegar. a little funk

complex flavors. i taste sherry vinegar and the funk is also there on taste. there's a good richness to it, some berry fruits, maybe also apple

mouth feel is somewhat rich. mild carbonation

overall i like it very much. it's a light-ish beer, but has a good richness to it. well balanced.

Photo of edthecat
1.78/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I tried this a year or so back and was very disappointed. I was super shocked to see how highly it was regarded here... so I decided to revisit this brew with the thought that maybe I had a bad one...

This was from a bottle poured into a chilled pint glass

A - Nice brown/reddish/amber color... good head but not too frothy... looks delicious. Lacing really good on the glass while drinking.

S - Strong alcohol smell to the nose mixed with vinegary overtones. The same as the last time I tried this beer... which is what turned me off in the first place. Not a pleasant nose on this one. No other noticeable complexities.. just vinegar and alcohol.

T - Tastes like a alcohol heavy beer with a vinegary aftertaste. The flavor is not unpleasant upon sipping, initial flavor is good. The aftertaste was just so overwhelmingly bad and came so quickly it ruined it, and made it hard to describe what was "good" about the initial flavor.

M - Not too bad... not too light or heavy. Did not feel like I had to "chew" the beer, but it was not a lawn mowing beer either.

O - I'm just not happy with my experience with this beer. I am really shocked at how highly it is rated here. It is so hard to get past the alcohol/vinegar smell/taste with with one. I've had plenty of beers with higher alcohol content that were not so strong with the alcohol on the tongue. Is it possible that I got 2 bad bottles? Could be... but I'm not gonna get this again anytime soon.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle at 48 degrees into a Chimay chalice.

A: It pours a murky reddish-brown color with a finger of tan head that dies quickly.

S: Sweet figs, apricot, candi sugar, and a little yeasty spice. It is a little underwhelming.

T: Mellow and tangy figs, dates, and apricots, some orange peel, cloves, and peppery spice.

M: This has a medium-light body with above-average carbonation and an easy and clean finish.

O: It is always a pleasure to enjoy a Chimay product; very nice.

Photo of perrymarcus
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a snifter.
*review from notes of 4/24/11 (finally got around to reviewing it)

pours a murky light brown/amber tone; moderately aggressive pour yields billowing foam which recedes into a lasting head... nice lacing evident.

nose offers caramel malt, spice, and a touch of dark fruits. not flooring, but a nice aroma.

taste delivers more of the same. caramel malty with spice and secondary notes of plum, raisin, and fig. again, not the boldest or most complex flavor profile you'll come across, but a fine dubbel nonetheless.

medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall, chimay red is a very solid beer. definitely not among my favorite trappists, and in my opinion it even takes a backseat to a number of dubbels on the market; that said, it remains tasty and enjoyable, and very approachable even for a non-craft drinker.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured in its own chalice.

A: Nice bottle art, a classic. Imposing wired cork with a bright red label. Pours a cloudy dark amber to brown color with a medium beige head. Medium retention. It never disappears completely leaving not much lacings

S: Sweet on the nose. Brown bread, candy sugar, dark fruits (mainly plums), caramel malts and Belgian yeasts

T: Follows the nose. Brown bread, caramel malts, yeasts and a delicious hoppy and bitter end. Just a little bit of alcohol can be felt

M: Medium to heavy body. Creamy and molasses. Medium carbonation and reasonable bitter aftertaste

O: Delicious Belgian Dubbel. Mandatory to Belgian beer lovers

Photo of kevinv
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle from part a gift set. Poured into the Chimay chalice that I actually purchased the gift set for.

A - Pours a dark, cloudy, rust colored brown. Huge, thick, off-white head with awesome retention. Delicate lacing left all around.

S - Deep caramel malts with notes of dark fruits and a subtle spiciness. Predominantly malty, but the slightest hint of hops pokes through.

T - Dark toasted malts with a sugary sweetness. Nice blend of spices. Light fruitiness comes through more as the beer warms. Only a slight bitterness and a small presence of alcohol.

M - Medium bodied, a bit lighter than expected. Adequate carbonation. Very smooth.

D - Great easy drinking beer. This was my first time trying the 'Red' after having the 'Blue' multiple times and I must say that it lived up to my expectations.

Photo of ballz50401
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Ommegang chalice poured from a 11.2oz bottle. Batch code: L07-257

Appearance: Dark bronze in color with some yeast sediment that found its way in my glass. A constant head sits on top from the high carbonation.

Smell: Rich malt. Toasted caramel with cocoa notes. Some spicy phenols with fruity esters.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Complex malty sweetness followed by a very nice yeast ester profile. Toasted malt and dried fruit are the highlights before finishing dry. Meduim bodied.

Overall: A rich, complex, and tastey brew. Something that I'd like to enjoy again on special occasions.

Photo of stckhndlr
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy merky orange amber color. Good head

S- Where to begin with this one. Figs, dark fruit, caramel, if you sniff deep enough you get a rootbeer note in there. Wonderful aroma

T- All that you smell in this one you taste in it too. The rootbeer flavor comes out in the aftertaste.

M- Bitters seemed a little higher than other trappists I have tried but other than that it is smooth and refreshing.

O- Overall it's a trappist beer. You can't go wrong. It's a winner.

Photo of
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Glowing burgundy in the glass with small white head and fine carbonation that leaves perfect Brussels lace all the way down. Aromas of honey and malt sweetness, earthy and spicy noble hops, and, buried somewhere back there, a hint of sour apple cider. Silky and dry mouthfeel with a malt sweetness that is strong, but not at all overpowering as it is matched perfectly by herbal hops and a rich ripe fruitiness similar to really good dark chocolate. Has a curious finish that is dry and sweet simultaneously and leaves you wanting another sip as soon as you swallow the first. Ridiculously drinkable for such a strong, complex beer. This is quite possibly the perfect beer.

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle into a Chimay goblet

A: Loosely formed 1 finger head. Deeply cloudy reddish brown in color.

S: Not a lot of aroma going on here. Sweet malt, some honey/molasses and dark fruit.

T: Bready. Soft pretzel-like flavors. A light metallic taste masks a lot of other flavors. Small clove/spicey yeast. A little fig.

M: Highly carbonated.

D: I have had Red before and thought it better then. Changing tastes or bad bottle, I don't know but I call it how I see it.

Photo of ivanwatling
2.35/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Frothy head, that started to spew out of the bottle when I took the cap off.

Smell: Nothing special, typical of a trappist ale

Taste: A huge disappointment. It was simply unpleasant. Sure, it had characteristics typical of a trappist ale but something was not right. I tried several sups before pouring the rest away

Mouthfeel: Too lively

Photo of uustal
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a red/brown/orange combination with a two-finger cream/brown head. Aroma of dark fruits, sweet candied malt and a bit of Belgian spice. Flavor begins with the sweet candied malt. Plum, date and raisin dark fruit malt as well. Bread and caramel. Good sweetness. Belgian spice and a bit of earthy hopped finish to counteract the malt.

Photo of richkrull
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark amber color with a big slightly off-white head. Lots of malt character in the nose. Also smells like fruit to me. Tastes like quite a bit of fruit coming through as well. Slight bitter dry aftertaste as well. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Goes down pretty easy. This is a pretty good tasting beer overall. I can't really think of any negatives against it.

Photo of clayphilly
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this with John, Fatim. It pours great, not to heady, and the beer is well balanced, just not my taste for some reason. You can tell this is a "type" of beer, and the recipe is obviously perfected, but just not my style. Chimay Blue is heads and shoulders better.

-33cl bottle
-Flandes Bar, Oviedo, Asturias

Photo of jayhawk73
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium copper color with a two finger caramel head. Very difficult to see through this beer, very cloudy. Head sticks around for a while, and leaves decent lacing. March 2010 vintage, so this one's a little over a year old. Served in my Chimay chalice.

S- The smell is really nice. Lots of spice- cinnamon, clove, along with yeast, malt and other light spices, maybe some honey. This beer has a really easy smell to recognize. Of course, I've had this one quite a bit as well.... Very pleasant, not too heavy or harsh. Very balanced.

T- Very good taste as well. It's got an earthy taste to it, w/ the spices making their appearance. Very balanced as well, nothing really is out of whack on this one. There's also a sweet malty flavor that tries to overwhelm everything, but disappears on the aftertaste. Aftertaste is nice and malty, and last a while.

M- Mouthfeel is really nice- very creamy and malty w/ a slight sweetness. Really great- It's not too heavy, and not too light- just perfect for this type of beer. Very complex as well. The warmer it gets, the more the flavors and complexity come out.

O- This is a great Belgian dubbel, and an easy one to drink. I tend to like the blue label a bit better, but for the style - this is a staple that I really enjoy. Easily available and worth the pick up if you enjoy great beer.

Photo of FanofHefe
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with some slight orange hue and slightly hazy. Very carbonated - big bubbly light tan head that has decent retention.

A lot going on in the aroma. Dark fruit, bready yeast, caramel malt, and some Belgian spice.

The flavor is even more complex than the aroma. Plum, raisin, and some slightly tart citrus flavors. Spicy yeast flavors and some bready malt.

Very high level of carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. Chimay is legendary but this one comes in a little lower than the white and blue. Still a very good brew.

Photo of drtth
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chimay challice. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a very lightly hazed brown color with an orange tinge to it. The 1/2" head is very light tan and fluffy. The head persists nicely and leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass. For most of the beer, sipping produces some lacing, most of which slides back down to the liquid.

Smell: The aromas include caramel and dark fruits (raisins, plums) with a hint of spice (clove?).

Taste: The flavors include the caramel sweetness, the dark fruits (plums and raisins) and all have a tinge of spiciness that is subtle but reminds me of cinnamon and clove.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth but is also a bit prickly with the active carbonation. The medium length finish begins in the sweeness of the malt. It then begins trailing off but seems reluctant to yield the stage to the hops. While the finish does get dryer to the end, the grassy hops never do really assert themselves here to end things off.

Drinkability and Overlall Impression: Quite drinkable this one. I've had it before but now think that I've not had it as often as it or I deserve. I'll be changing that. There is just enough loss of sweetness in the finish that taking the next sip is quite natural and easy. A bit more sweetness would bee too much. I'll be happy to have this one again as I think there's a good bit of complexity here that needs to be sampled several times to be fully appreciated. My overall impression is that this is a well made nicely balanced beer and well worth having.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.06/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330mL capped bottle, with bottle code of L10-734. no idea-bottled in 2010? poured into official Chimay goblet.

appears a cloudy orangish brown color, with foamy off-white head that condenses into tightly packed bubbles to form a thin covering. aroma is a bit herbal, with yeast

taste has a touch of sweetness, bready, with a fairly dry finish that's a bit fruity. just a bit off, odd aftertaste. body is a bit thin, moderate carbonation.

overall, disappointed. it didn't stand up to many of the other dubbels/belgian dark ales that I've had.

Photo of b3shine
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft to said chalice. The perfect appearance for a Belgian dubbel. Orange and hazy; fairly opaque for its color. Great citrus bouquet. Tastes the part, too, and is the quintessential beer of its type. Very subtly carbonated. Mouthfeel is good too. An oldie but goodie.

Photo of Jinholic
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very dark brown can't see through it at all, off white head only got 1 finger. Didn't get any lacing at all, but I am only using my little dollar store goblet (my kingdom for a westvleteren glass).

Smell - Nice yeast up front with lots of dark fruit in the back, grapes, fig, plum not all that powerful though.

Taste - All that yeast and fruit hit me at once with a nice earthy spice with sweetness from the malts to balance it out.

Mouthfeel - Rather smooth with the carbonation. For being 7% I was expecting a drier finish but it was pleasantly clean.

Overall - A balanced beer that has lots of flavor in it, I only wish it didn't cost so much. That said go grab one and see for yourself.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,294 ratings.