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

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

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4,074 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,074
Reviews: 1,571
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 164
Gots: 386 | 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: 4,074 | Reviews: 1,571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fizzlybear
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L - It poured a misty, light brown, with a good fluffy off white head, looks very appealing.

S - Very strong smells of caramel, with spiced malt undertones. Not too complex, but that's not a bad thing!

T - Has a sweet kind of sugary malt flavour which turns into a bitter herb aftertaste. The transformation of flavours works brilliantly.

M&D - Very nice in the mouth with a crisp finish, I could drink them all night.

Overall a good solid beer, plenty of flavour. Worth every penny.

Fizzlybear, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of mwilbur
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a nice dark cloudy amber-orange with 1 inch frothy light tan head.
S: Wonderful Belgian spice and yeast. Soft malt notes.
T: Dark dried fruit, bready yeast, belgian spice.
M: Medium body. Soft and supple feel. Hint of bitter bite at the end.
D: Highly drinkable. ABV only 7% and extremely well hidden. A classic dubbel, but not the best out there.

mwilbur, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of IceTrey9785
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Decided to buy a bottle at the local Harris Teeter ($4.99 per bottle).

A: Poured a nice mahogany red, will great head retention and beautiful lacing. A bit cloudy, but still very rich in color.

S: Very aromatic -- wonderful smells of persimmons, figs, and dry fruit. Some spice in the form of white pepper, clove, and maybe some allspice (?). A faint hint of citrus really emerges as the beer warms -- overall, very appetizing.

T&M: I took a sip of this brew, and I felt that it was exploding in my mouth. A small sip goes a long way, accompanied with malty sweetness, hints of dried stone fruit, and cocoa. Not overly sweet, very well balanced, but lacking a long finish. The initial flavor is bright and intense, but quickly fades. Definitely a classic!

Overall, I really like this dubbel. I think there are probably some out there with a bit more character and intensity (and definitely a longer finish), however, this is a great introduction to the style, and will always be a classic. I'm thinking of pairing this with a nice cut of pork tenderloin, with a red wine/persimmon reduction sauce -- sounds pretty good to me...

IceTrey9785, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of berley31
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a small, off-white head, but what was there actually stayed there for most of the time while I was drinking the beer. Body is a nice, light brown, like melted milk chocolate... almost a dark ruby red. Cloudy body.

S: Very nice aroma of malty breadiness, with hints of cloves and banana as well.

T: Quite a sweet flavor to this beer, but it's not sickening or cloying... not a bit. The cloves and banana are present, but nicely in the background. A fantastic-tasting beer.

M: Medium-bodied with a creamy texture, and a quite fizzy carbonation.

D: Wow, this is an excellent Dubbel. Definitely goes down easy with hardly any trace of alcohol. Something I could sip on all night if I had the opportunity.

berley31, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of AmberMan22
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich ruby red with grapefruit colored highlights. Head is a khaki color, looks gorgeous in combination with the color. Headdisapated a little fast, but the tulip class is staying ahead of the curve.

smells like dates, a smidge of alcohol that blends nicely with sweetness. It all seems too subdued though.

The taste is wonderfully balanced between bitter spices and alcohol on one end, with the fruit-based sweetness and malty backbone on the other.

I love how this feels. Creamy, smooth, nice carbonation blend, even the aftertaste is balanced. I wish all beers felt like this.

After my first experience with a Dubbel being a disaster, I'm glad to find such a gem. I know with the name Chimay comes a lot of experience and reputation, and the Red can proudly hold its head up high.
Absolutely worth a try, even two if you don't enjoy it the first time. I can only imagine how good it would be on-tap.

AmberMan22, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of taxguyjase
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer just looked pretty as I poured it. A really nice rich brown color and nutty malt aroma. The head was exceptionally foamy, but not in a bad way. The taste was really spicy, but had a champagne like taste to it with a bitter finish. As you'd expect with champagne, this beer had a sharpness to it and the carbination was a bit bubbly. There was some sweetness too, but it was not overpowering. I'd get this beer again for a special occasion.

taxguyjase, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of donniecuffs
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice, a nice reddish-brown hue, with two fingers of off-white head that laced spottily. The smell was a mix of maltiness, caramel, raisins, dates, wet leaves, woodiness, biscuit, and yeast. The flavor was a very nice blend, starting with the dark fruit, ending with some dry woodiness, and brimming with maltiness throughout. The alcohol was well-hidden, and the aftertaste was a little spicy. The mouthfeel was very smooth, but not as carbonated as I had expected. Certainly a very good dubbel, but I wouldn't judge it best in show.

donniecuffs, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of mirish72
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Poured a burgundy/reddish brown. The head quickly dissipated but there was visible yeast throughout the beer.

Sweet aroma, fruity with traces of raisins, prunes, and plums. The beer is slighty more carbonated than I would have expected.

Tatses perfectly balanced, very drinkable, not too sweet. The alcohol is well masked. The beer has a slighty bitter finish, but it blends in perfectly.

mirish72, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of bobsy
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark bronze colour, with a very foamy off-white head, that leaves a few streaks of lace on the glass. While its a pleasant appearance I wouldn't rank it up their with the best examplaes of the style.

Gives off a rich fruity aroma, full of mulling spices, and with a background of sweet malt. Beyond that there's not too much complexity, which is surprising from such a highly regarded beer.

Likewise, the taste is very straightforward, and I can tell you right now that this is no westy 8. Sweet fruity malts dominate, with raisins at the fore, while cinamon and a lightly bready yeast try to keep up. Unfortunately the whole affair is let down by the body, which occassionally errs towards the watery and acts as a diluter in the flavour. There is a decent carbonation, but its too short-lived on the tongue to bulk things up.

I used to be really impressed with this beer, but I've come to realise that its not the star I once thought it was, and it shouldn't share company with St. Bernardus and Westvleteren as one of the better examples of the style.

bobsy, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of zoso493
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into my trusty Chimay chalice.

Appearance: A very deep, murky amber with a full, fluffy head.

Smell: What a beautiful scent. Dark fruit, molasses, caramel, sugar, bready-yeast, plum, tangerine and even a hint of banana can be detected in the nose.

Taste: The dark fruit and grain come out right away. Absolutely no bitterness in this beer. A hint of chocolate comes out at the end.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated and creamy, this leaves your palate asking for more.

Drinkability: You'd never know this was a 7% ABV beer. I could easily down a few of these.

Overall, this is a damn tasty brew with enough complexity to keep you interested for awhile. Great example of the style

zoso493, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Color was a deep amber, cloudy and murky, big 1 1/2 inch slightly off white head, stuck around for over five minutes, nice retention, some good lacing at the beginning

S-Apricot, plums, slight booze, malt, bread, lemons, tangerine, honey, faint bubble gum, caramel, sugar, spices, candy, and currants, very complex to say the least

T-Started off much breadier than I imagined, some chewiness dominated until the end, then some crazy fruit variety with a citrus sting in the finish, got a little sweeter as time went by and went from being a little dry to more crispy, would have liked to see less of the sugary accents and more of the neutral malt to take over, still very good, taste changed a lot over time, fruit gave it something extra throughout, not too sweet which I was happy about

Anthony1, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of Mavajo
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy caramel brown with a full head that fades very quickly into a thin crown, and then into nothingness shortly thereafter. My nose was rudely interrupted by my wife spraying potpourri, but I caught hints of fruit and sweetness. Taste is very enjoyable - dark fruits, sweetness and generous carbonation. No bitterness whatsoever. Mouthfeel is medium - I could do with a little less carbonation, but it doesn't really hurt the brew. Exceedingly drinkable - the alcohol is very well masked.

Mavajo, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of janubio
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 ml. bottle. Cloudy brown colour, with a head that dissipates too quickly and leaves almost no lace. Smells of dark fruits, caramel, spices. Body is a bit watery, and mouth has again cark fruits, plums, caramel and some spices. It's a bit of a deception to me when compared to Chimay Blue or White, everything is too soft. I may have to review again when I have another bottle, better the big one.

janubio, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Served into a chalice. This brew pours a burgundy brown color with a thick white head that leaves some lace.

S- Dark fruits and dark malt aroma with some toasted grain notes. Honey and sweetness with a peppery sharpness.

T- Nice spicy zing initially with coriander, clove, cinnamon, and a very signature Belgian yeast flavor. Bready malt finish with a quick alcohol bite. Flavors of plum, red grapes, apples, and pears and caramel round out the profile.

M- Medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Spritzy and flavorful.

D- Nice full flavor and easily accessible.

projectflam86, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of bmwats
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

bmwats, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of mralphabet
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
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 !!

mralphabet, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of maleman
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

maleman, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of Wisconsinality
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Wisconsinality, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of abar22
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

abar22, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.65/5  rDev +12%
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.


JordanEllwanger, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of ClevoPiwo
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

ClevoPiwo, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of ProfessorCJ
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

ProfessorCJ, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of jimiv73
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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!!!

jimiv73, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of kegger22
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

kegger22, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

AgentZero, Aug 20, 2009
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
91 out of 100 based on 4,074 ratings.