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

3,859 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,859
Reviews: 1,557
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 156
Gots: 309 | FT: 3
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,859 | Reviews: 1,557 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cratez
cratez

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

330ml bottle from the LCBO, poured into a Chimay glass.

Appearance: cinnamon brown body with nearly an inch of head that subsides very quickly. No lacing, which tells me I may have poured the beer wrong (the chalice isn't dirty). Lots of yeast and sediment in the body - you can see it swirling at the bottom of the glass while drinking.

Smell: yeast, alcohol, and extremely fresh fruit, including pears, apricots, and a strong grape aroma. Lovely.

Taste: juicy malts, caramel, tart/bittersweet hops, and a warming alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: tangy and crisp upfront with a smooth body and wet finish. A diverse and complete mouthfeel.

Overall: Chimay Red is a fruity, aromatic, and warming abbey dubbel with some nice complexities. On previous tastes I didn't use the proper glassware and I forgot to let the yeast settle. This time I corrected both those errors and gained a new appreciation for the incredibly fresh smell of this beer. The flavour doesn't possess the metallic notes it had when, on a prior taste, I drank it almost immediately after pouring. It's a solid beer, though I prefer Westmalle Dubbel and St. Bernardus Prior 8 to this offering.

01-22-2009 04:21:31 | More by cratez
Photo of ricke
ricke

Sweden

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

Vintage 2008. Serving date: 2009-01-21. Served in snifter.

Presentation: 330 ml bottle with freshness date (Best before end of 2012) and recommended serving temperature, glassware and cellaring procedure on the label.

Appearance: Dark copper color with a 2,5 cm brown-shaded and sparkly head that dissipates rather fast and leaves some small lacings.

Smell: A general sweet and fruity smell (kind of like ripe apricots), soft chocolate nougat and notes or grass sits firmly on a backbone of yeast and spices.

Taste: First, sweet malts, fruits and bread hits the taste buds. Then, a mild yeast note and a distinct spicy flavor - primarily cloves - takes over for a while before the finish. It's just slightly vinous. The finish is characterized by a gentle bitterness, even more gentle tartness and spices. Towards the end, it develops a nice caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice and lively carbonation. Very nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very well-composed beer with interesting, pleasant and sometimes subtle notes to be discovered. Highly recommended.

01-21-2009 20:55:33 | More by ricke
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

Brownish colored head that swiftly recedes to a thin layer of constantly renewing micro-bubbles. Super-cloudy red-brown in color, like mud or plumbing backup, can't get any more opaque without being black. The nose unfolds in a slow, if not sneaky, manner, surprising spine and hoppiness to frame the dark chocolate, caramel, coriander, ginger spice and candied plum and cherry fruit scents, banana bread, chooses balance over nostril penetration. Medium-bodied, the flesh is sculpted and hard, no jiggle. A good deal of the sense of momentum comes from the ever-present carbonation. The ginger and clove spice almost turns to cumin, pairs up with grass and grain notes. Without excess sweetness, there's raisin, fig, date notes and fresher cherry fruit. Bready like fruit-bread or cake not a loaf of bread, leesy as well. Even with nothing out of place, does sort of spin off at the end. Good drinkability.

01-19-2009 00:08:22 | More by farrago
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

A: Poured a hazy cranberry-orange with a billowy beige head that cratered in the middle leaving a clean lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: The nose was yeasty with some candi-sugar and ripe fruit.

T: The initial flavor was sweet caramel, rum raisin, candi-sugar, bananas and cloves. Theres a nice dry booziness with some ripe prunes, cherries, and a touch of dry peppery spicing. The german noble hops provide a nice gently flowery bitterness against the clean pilsner malting.

M: a bright, crisp carbonation which was lively with spicy caramel, and a boozy alcohol warming. The body was medium full.

D: Drinkability was amazing and not much else to say.

01-17-2009 00:03:44 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of steeler
steeler

Ontario (Canada)

4.63/5  rDev +11.8%

Well i finally got around to trying this, and I'm sure glad I did! Pours out a hazy dark copper red, with a VERY bubbly thin head, that recedes to nothing. Looked very inviting, looked very good! Smell was great, no off smells what so ever, the hops came through, and you could smell some of the sweetness, I cant put my finger on it exactly, but it defiantly smelt great! Hands down, this was one tasty beer! It goes down real smooth, finishes with mild hop bitterness, and then you feel a warming sensation from the alcohol. Very interesting and very well done. I enjoyed this one immensely! The only downfall i saw with this beer was, the mouthfeel. It felt very thin, and tad over carbonated, with the same sensation as pop would leave in your mouth. Not too bad, but at the same time i was very disappointed. I could honestly drink more than a few bombers of this beer, it is of high quality, and well balanced, it went down easy, and the higher ABV was a nice added bonus. Overall this was worth the money I spent, I have to defiantly try the other Chimay variants. Overall this is a very interesting beer, and I HIGHLY enjoyed this! World Class.

01-08-2009 05:40:50 | More by steeler
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.58/5  rDev -13.5%

Purchased in Dec. 2007 and aged at room temperature in a closet (I don't have a cellar).

Poured chilled into a glass (not goblet).

A: Dark mahogany with orange highlights. Generous head that recedes slowly into a ring that leaves glass lacing.

S: Dark fruits, bready malts, apricot, banana, caramel.

T: Figs, raisins, apricots. Hints of nuts and a very strong taste of chocolate that wasn't present in the young flavor. Finish is of cloves and slight bitterness.

M: Very chewy, full-bodied, but not particularly sticky.

D: I was not very impressed with the aging experiment. Either I did not do it right, or the beer should have been had much younger than this. I will buy a bottle and try it sooner to confirm. Regardless, their blue and white labels are much better.

01-08-2009 00:56:37 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of theboozecruise
theboozecruise

Louisiana

4.65/5  rDev +12.3%

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Caramel color with some red tinges to it... small creamy head. The smell was what I've come to expect from good Belgian ales... spicy, sweet, very well balanced. Delicious taste to this one as well. Malt with the spices picked up in the aroma all coming through.

This might be my favorite Dubbel to date.

01-07-2009 14:03:39 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of Lexluthor33
Lexluthor33

New York

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%

Caramel with reddish tint. Great head,bubbly and hold well.
The aroma of malts,spice and fruits. Some yeast residue.

The taste of sweet malts,fruits and some hops.This is done just right with enough complexity to enhance the balance and character.
The feel was medium body perfectly carbonated and some yeast.
A very smooth, easy to drink beer. This is what it's all about.

Notes: Fire in the belly,but not overdone. A top notch beer that must be had more frequently than not.

01-04-2009 22:53:34 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of bonkers
bonkers

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -1%

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours the color of rum with a big white head. The head settles to leave a wispy covering over the brew and bits of lace are left on the sides of the glass. Phenolic notes are prevalent on the nose along with figs and raisins. The flavor is of dried fruits and is slightly sweet. The finish has a light alcohol feel to it, I do not taste any hoppy bitterness. The beer is medium bodied with adequete carbonation. The brew is fairly quaffable for a dubbel. A good beer but others provide a better value for the style.

01-04-2009 18:49:00 | More by bonkers
Photo of Vengeance526
Vengeance526

Louisiana

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

Pours a hazy orange color that produces a lively white head which soon dies down to a light ring but leaves plenty of lacing along the glass.

Rich aroma of dark fruit and some slight smokiness.

Tastes of figs and raisin, bread with a slight nutty character and a lingering sweetness in the background. Also some cloves are evident.

An exceptionally smooth beer that comes off fairly medium bodied. Would have expected it to be more full bodied but overall was a great brew that I will be sure to enjoy again.

01-04-2009 08:00:01 | More by Vengeance526
Photo of bonk420247
bonk420247

Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

served by bottle, pored into glass...Chimay Glass. Good feel and better taste, easy drinkability. I had hard time with cost associated though. There where some slight fruity tones, associated with the head, bitter at the end though. I highly recommend for the starter Dubbel Style brew.

01-03-2009 23:41:01 | More by bonk420247
Photo of froghop
froghop

Washington

3.85/5  rDev -7%

pours a dark brown with an orange tint when held up to the light, large tan head, very good lacing.

smell is of toffee, grass, fruit, some cocoa, few spices, some malt, and a touch of brown sugar.

taste is light, slightly sweet, a little bitter, some caramel, dark pitted fruit, some spice, touch of cocoa, ends dry and slightly bitter.

01-03-2009 23:32:33 | More by froghop
Photo of racer2k
racer2k

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

2006 Vintage poured from 33cl bottle into a goblet glass

A: Deep golden mahogany hue which pours a very nice thick two finger head which dissipates slowly. Head is off white and leaves a nice consistent lacing after each tasty sip.

S: Yeast, fresh bread, banana, and fruits are in the nose

T: Malty nutty taste with a hint of spice. You can tell that the yeast strain is time tested and extremely complex. The malt is present up front but smooths out to a fruity and lightly hopped finish.

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium body that is extremely smooth on the finish.

D: Excellent beer that is complex but very drinkable. Even the 2006 vintage was an excellent beer. The 7% abv is definitely there but this beer is so complex that the alcohol is not front and center.

Overall - Chimay is a fine beer as always!

01-03-2009 01:31:20 | More by racer2k
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.47/5  rDev +8%

Pours off-brown with slight haze, thin white head laces down as the glass is consumed, but not overly heady.

Nose reminds me of fresh baked brown breads, cave mustyness, and perhaps some flint & other rocks (maybe slate).

On the palate is a soft bready malt sweetness, light brown sugar, toast, and more of that cave flavor.

Medium bodied. Easy drinking. Much better near room temperature.

01-02-2009 23:58:24 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of pseudo
pseudo

New York

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%

a: Pours a copper brownish color with a slightly tan head into my snifter. Medium head dies to small cap with nice lacing. Looks excellent.

s: very complex. Some fruity notes are lightly noticeable (figs/plums), malts/breadiness, some sweetness, some alcohol.

t: great. not sweet. Kind of bitter, very bready and yeasty. No hops to be found. Somewhat fruity with a distinct malt character with breadiness. Alcohol appears highly by the end of the glass (as carbonation dies). It is masked well in the beginning however. Excellent.

m: Medium bodied. Carbonation is medium, dying (at least for me) in my snifter by the end. good feel overall.

d: medium drinkability. Could probably drink the whole 750ml (i shared it with my friend on new years however) but there seemed to be quite the alcohol presence at the end of the glass which annoys somewhat (it could just be my glass... not sure).

01-02-2009 08:25:47 | More by pseudo
Photo of kaseydad
kaseydad

California

4.1/5  rDev -1%

A very cloudy pour with a nice layer of foam that covers the entire mouth of the Chimay snifter. The aroma has hints of apple and pineapple. A spicy finish compliments each sip. Very nice beer and I will definitely purchase and drink this tasty brew again in the future.

01-02-2009 02:08:01 | More by kaseydad
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%

A-Hazy ruddy copper tinged brown with a medium light tan head that reduces down to a thin cap and leaves beautiful lace.

S-Mild fruit notes of plum, figs and cherry. Sweetness rises about the drier spicy oak notes.

T-Fairlt rich but fleeting. Flavour comes on strong but then leaves just as quickly leaving me somewhat disappointed. Dark fruits, as in the nose, with sweet biscuit and a nice aok/clove spiciness. Finsihes with a nice kick of cherry sweetness.

M-Medium-light bodied and a bit lacking. This does not have the big broad beefy shoulders that some other Belgian dubbel have. Nice creamy smoothness does help make up for the lack of body. Finishes fairly dry.

D-Certainly tasty and lovely to look at but the fleeting flavour profile and lack of body beefiness does not help this one hold up to other highly regarded dubbels. Regardless of this fact Chimay Red retains enough flavour and character to be a highly drinkable and enjoyable brew. Will always retain a near and dear place in my beer heart as this was my original gateway craft beer!

01-01-2009 00:21:44 | More by Deuane
Photo of PirateUlf73
PirateUlf73

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured out of an 11.2 oz bottle into (what else?) my Chimay chalice. Got this in a gift pack along with the White and Blue varieties, but those are for another day.

A: Cloudy and brown with a touch of orange. Head was slightly off-white, and it had decent retention and nice lacing.

S: Sweet with notes of dark, overripe fruits. Slightly bready as well with a hint of yeast, but the fruits (plums!) are the star of this olfactory show.

T: Very good. Not as sweet as the nose suggested, which was fine by me! Dark, fruity flavors and some interesting malt notes make this a very complex brew. Sweet malty aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with some tingly carbonation. Smooth and finished relatively clean.

D: Smooth and well carbonated. Silky malt feel and interesting flavors. All this means that one little bottle was certainly not enough!

Very impressive indeed. Interestingly enough a lot of this beer's characteristics bore (to me anyway) a striking resemblance to a beer I reviewed not too long ago, Caracole Ambrée. The Chimay runs circles around it, mainly due to its superior construction and deeper complexity. I'll be looking for a bigger bottle next time!

12-29-2008 10:27:55 | More by PirateUlf73
Photo of cvfish
cvfish

Louisiana

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

A - This beer poured a cloudy reddish brown color that produced a fluffy tan head that retained well and left a nice lace around the glass

S - The aroma was dominated by a huge bready yeast, with some malts and earthy notes

T - The taste was again dominated by a bready yeasty flavor, had some grainy malts, along with some fruity background, with a little alcohol on the back

M - This was a big, creamy, smooth beer with a medium to heavy body, grainy with sediment, moderate carbonation

D - This was a very good, hearty and thick (especially since they brew it to survive during fasting), a very good Dubbel

12-29-2008 00:23:11 | More by cvfish
Photo of chsanders
chsanders

Nebraska

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%

This was the first time that I tried any Chimay beer, and was actually a little disappointed. The appearance was classic -beautiful color with a great head. I like Belgian beers but this one left me wanting in the flavor department. There was a little bit of sweetness from the malt and some fuity flavors but it took a few tastes to really find them, the earthy notes -almost musty-seemed to cover up most of the flavor.

From some of the other reviews I almost wonder if my bottle hadn't been taken care of properly -the cork had 11/07 stamped on it. I won't be afraid to try this one again and hopefully I'll get more out of it than this one.

12-28-2008 07:08:15 | More by chsanders
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

330ml.small stubby brown bottle that was part of a Chimay gift set. Poured into the commemorative 25th. Anniversary chalice (denoting 25 yrs. in the USA), a murky copper-brown with thick creamy off-white finger of head. Good carbonation and head retention.

Sweet and spicy in the nose... fruity malts, spicy yeast with some hops and faint alcohol in the background.

Full sweet maltiness upfront with notes of plum, fig and sour apple that slowly winds down with spicy yeast and somewhat bitter hops. The finish is slightly dry and for the most part clean, with a bit of sweetness in the aftertaste and some warmth from the alcohol. Very tasty Dubbel with a medium plus body and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinks like a true Belgian...a pleasure to consume and enjoyed time after time. Get some!

12-26-2008 09:21:23 | More by scottoale
Photo of erz316
erz316

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

A - a solid opaque brown, no chance of light getting in. a thin, one finger, head tops the crown of this beer, coloured light cream.

S - the most I can smell is a bit of the malt, mostly it is th metal from the ring around the rim of my Chimay goblet.

T - Great taste of malts, and a numb sweetness that stays with you throughout the drink. I think I detect a hint of fruity-alcoholness.

MF&D - one of the most amazing beers I've ever had the pleasure to drink. So incredibly smooth, goes down likes its nothing at all. the carbonation is noticeable but not an impediment to the drinking process, moreover, it helps one drink the brew.

12-26-2008 05:14:37 | More by erz316
Photo of timconnel
timconnel

Oklahoma

4.43/5  rDev +7%

Appearance: Poured form a 11.2oz bottle into the Chimay goblet from the gift set. Poured a cloudy brick red with a pillowy cream colored head. It didn't leave any lacing to speak of, but the head lasted most of the glass. The head was extremely fine like a nitro stout.

Smell: The smell was malty, sweet, and a little fruity, but I didn't wait long to take a gulp.

Taste: It's complex but milder than I expected. It has a malt background with an almost cashew nuttiness with some dried fruit and overripe banana. The first couple sips I could taste th4e alcohol bite but I didn't really notice after that. Great flavor overall, nothing negative to say.

Mouthfeel: It's creamy and smooth, medium body. It makes me think of cream soda.

Drinkability: If this were less expensive it might be dangerous.

12-22-2008 02:09:28 | More by timconnel
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

Poured a hazy reddish brown, almost apple cider color with a nice head and decent lacing.

Smells of malt and tart fruit. Sweet and sour notes. Very nice.

Malt background with a hint of sour cherry and some hops. Some honeyed sweetness and a kick of alcohol. Complex and delicious, finishes a bit tart and slight bitterness. Very inviting for a second sip.

Mouth coating qualities are gone when the alcohol kicks in. Actually thirst quenching.

Overall, just stellar. Cannot recommend enough.

12-20-2008 15:48:34 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

Yet another beer from the Chimay line that I have ignored for far too long. Stubby brown 11.2oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice yeilds only a dime thick worth of head and leaves only scant whisps of a whitish cap that desperatly tries to cling to the side of the glass, bringing it back with a swirl is not too much trouble though. Finally a dubbel that smells like a dubbel. Sweet, not tart, biscuity maltiness, brown sugar, butter and light cinnamon, all very understated. I like, I like, sweetness of the nose is downplayed in the actual taste, here the malt bitterness begins to shine through. Taste at first of well cooked toast, slightly herbal, mild pepper and tart cherry with a noticable alcoholic warmth that kicks the tongue and back of the throat ever so slightly. Seeing this pecan beauty in my glass and thinking of how each sip with reveal something new makes this a beer one to return to over and over, but damn if I wish it could retain some kind of head, a cap, anything...

12-20-2008 04:21:02 | More by bluemoonswoon
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,859 ratings.