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

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

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3,996 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,996
Reviews: 1,564
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 162
Gots: 355 | 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: 3,996 | Reviews: 1,564 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CampusCrew
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: deep red amber

smell: high potency

taste: was my first real belgian ale, good, and no overpowering for how strong it was

mouthfeel: rish and taste expensive

drinkability: I was pleasantly suprisd, it's not overrated, smooth and easy for how stong the ABV is.

CampusCrew, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of bigkahunas4
3.03/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a gorgeous ruby amber, with great lacing. The nose didn't overwhelm me by any means. Taste was mainly graham cracker, and quite sour. Mouthfeel was light and very carbonated.

I was very disappointed and underwhelmed by this. Love the Chiimay quad, but this one just doesn't do it for me.

bigkahunas4, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Poured from a 12 oz short stubby bottle into a chalice. Nice apple cider like appearance with some head and yeast sediment floating.

S. Sweet fruits and noble hops.

T. Follows the nose with some tartness and some noble earthy hop. A nice malt backing the whole way through. Alcohal presence is minimal.

M. Smooth and lightly carbonated. Fairly dry finish.

D. This is a good beer. A solid trappist style dubbel that you can find just about anywhere that sells good beer. I suggest the Chimay White over this one, but obviously you could do worse.

Stinkypuss, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of Beernoisseur
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What a joy this beer was.
A - Poured the color of a 1978 penny. Giant off-white head.
S - hoppiness, and warm bready yeast up front. Citrus and other more subtle aromas on the back end
T - Delicious. It's pretty strong, slightly sweet, but there's plenty of bitterness there too. Those Monks sure know how to do it.
M - It's nice, substantial. Not super carbonated.
D - I love this beer, and although it's delicious, it's probably a little too substantial to drink a bunch all at once.

Beernoisseur, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of lhaqq
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours with a think, dense head with great retention--the color of the head reminds me of the froth of a cappuccino. The rest is a semiopaque light brown/copper.
S: Smell is initially of yeast, then turns into a deep sweetness--brown sugar and molasses, and I think dark fruits.
T: The taste wasn't as complex or pungent as I was expecting. Some maltiness and a a dulled tartness (I hope that isn't contradictory). The aftertaste is strongly of molasses.
M: Silky and round. Hides the alcohol well.
D: Haven't had a ton of dubbels, but this definitely much easier to drink than the other beers I've had from Chimay, probably because of its decreased complexity. Still a great beer.

lhaqq, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of WHROO
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beige 2 finger bready head. Plum colour, full of sediment, with average head retention. A typically chimay appearance.
S: Classic Belgian Cloves & spices, very sweet, some candy, honey & bread.
T: Sweetness straight up, some cloves - although the cloves taste not as strong as cloves aroma (good thing), also some creamy butters tasted. Sweetness fills the whole tongue, & the flavours hold well till the dusty dryness cleans up.(reminded me of an Orval but not as dry). 7%ABV hidden very nicely.
M: excellent & multi layered, medium heaviness, a little buttery & creamy.
D: Very easy, the multi layers keep the palate interested...definately have some more.

WHROO, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of larsee01
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl stubby bottle poured into Chimay goblet

A--Dark reddish brown...almost maroon like the bottle label. Cloudy with creamy head. Lots of yeast in the bottle. Did a slow pour to keep most of it there.

S--Sweet and malty as expected. Touch of ripe banana. Little bit of raisiny alcohol emitted. Mild overall with a kiss of yeast sour. Clove makes a brief, faint appearance.

T--Hearty. Not too sweet nor syrupy 1st impression. Phenols give it earthiness with a tiny bit of hop kick for bitter balance. Clove spice modest and throughout. Interesting complexity deserves a more detailed analysis than I can give. Can't identify flavor eminating from back of tounge/throat...I've described it before as plaintain or tuber-like.

M--Medium bodied. Drier than expected. Creaminess from carbonation provides smoothness without getting me overly bloated.

D--Quicker and easier going down than the more potent Chimays. Since it doesn't have the alcohol, sweetness, complexity nor price tag of Grande Reserve, I guess that's the idea.

larsee01, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of Rudgers73
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a white wine glass it is ruddy brown with amber highlights. The head is large, but settles rather quickly into a thin layer over the beer. A few yeast chunks swirl around at the bottom of the glass. The smell starts out sour and sweet with a biscuity aroma right at the end. I smells as though it is delicate and lightly hopped. Raisins, candi sugar, flowers. The taste, IMO, is a classic example of a true Belgian style abbey ale: Sweet, smooth, delicate and complex. Everything about it is subtle and balanced. The wide range of flavors go from sweet, to bitter, sour to malty, raw to toasted. You just can't beat these real Belgian in mouthfeel either. Like silk. Almost as good as Prior 8.

Rudgers73, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of theghost3
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a burgundy glass. Appearance is hazy, strong-brewed tea in color with an off-white head. Considerable lacing. Smells of bread, spices, alcohol, hint of malts. Taste is spicy--maybe nutmeg, with dried fruits that make up the sweetness, dark bread, and faint flavor of hops. Odd sort of bitter medicinal aftertaste. Mouthfeel is not what I expected. I thought it would be heavy, but it was actually somewhat watered-down, very little acidity. This beer is appropriate as an after-dinner drink, but not something I would indulge in regularly.

theghost3, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of deereless
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Some serious head on this beer, acorn brown, maintains a constant layer of foam across the surface - 4.25, S: Bready, nutty, spicy, Trappist ale unquestionably - 4.75, T: Extremely smooth yet quite flavorful, wonderful crisp and somewhat tart, tinge of bitterness from what I can only assume is the hops - 4.50, M: Medium bodied - 4.25, D: An exceptional ale, easily one that I would recommend - 4.50

deereless, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a Chimay goblet

Pours a hazy, murky amber/mahogany with a small tan head. Little to no head retention and lacing left behind.

The smell is primarily of dark malt with doughy yeast. Caramel and toffee mixed with raisins, figs, and dates. Not a whole lot of depth on this one.

Heavy malts and dark fruit. Phenolic alcohol hides the earthy malts and any discernible hop profile. There is a bit of spicy clove in the finish. Overall, not bad, but really lacking in depth to blow me away.

High carbonation, with a medium-light body. Alcoholy/spicy finish bring this score down a bit.

It's definitely not a chore to drink at 7%, but not as balanced as I would like.

ColForbinBC, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into a chalice.

A--Hazy deep wildflower honey, like maple syrup with some molasses dumped into it. Hints of ruby or garnet toward the bottom. Super active head, about two and a half fingers, with plenty of big bubbly fizz. Plenty going on here and plenty to stare at.

S--Very powerful magic here: mostly dried dark skinned fruits, notably prune and fig, with clove and some malt breadiness coming through. Nose doesn't give off so much sweet as rich deep spice.

T--Doesn't disappoint and mostly follows the nose, though with more of an earthy brown bread punch with the malt. Effervescent finish that's really nice after all the spice up front. A beer whose flavor remains much more complicated than any words can give justice to--like entering a cave of flavor: it's dark, and there's plenty of in there; you just don't exactly know what. I'd say it's mostly clove with sweet overripe purple skinned fruit that mulls into a pleasant molasses-based bread.

M&D--Much more sparkling and smooth than you would expect from the color and near syrupy viscosity. This could be like sludgy motor oil that zaps you of all energy, but turns out to be well-rounded with a sneaky warming alcohol creep. Can't help but be reminded of and summon up images of dank stone cave-like structures, as this would be a perfect fit for that environment.

TheycallmeTim, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a murky brown-ish with what I would call some hints of red. It poured a nice light brown head that was well retained. The aroma was a bit light, but it was a little bready with some hints of citrus and a touch of alcohol. The taste was very good, but could not really put my finger on the flavors, but none-the-less, it had an excelletn taste. The beer had good carbonation and I could have had a few more pints if I had had a few more bottles. Overall, I will be buying this one again, without a doubt.

PhillyStyle, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of jdg204
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Special thanks to my wife for this great Christmas Gift, after having the Red I'm excited for the White and Blue.

A: The appearance is dark with just a hint of burgundy with some cloudy residue, head is very thick holds on and has a tan appearance.

S: A bit light but the smell hinted of banana and alcohol, also syrupy sweet with hints of fresh baked bread.

T: Taste is complex and hard to explain but it started out smooth with a taste of wheat, followed by a fruity sweet explosion, and a nice smooth finish with just a small hint of bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel was full a creamy, nice and rich feel all the way through.

D: Glad to finally take a shot at a European classic, this was an excellent brew. Prob not one I'd get all the time, but a sipping brew for special occasions. Much props to the wife again for this gift!

jdg204, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of tai4ji2x
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4



reviewing this in a duvel tulip. not too much difference, actually. the main thing is that i don't perceive the mouthfeel as so astringent anymore. still a bit fizzy and on the thin side however. i also would still prefer gentler phenols.

nice, but the grande reserve (blue) wins hands down, without much surprise.

the importer label says this was born on new years day, 2007

initial review, 10/25/2007


from a carrefour in beijing, china

relatively dark reddish brown, hazy. lots of foamy head. didn't have a chalice, so in my mug, it dissipated quickly and barely left any lacing.

(*will re-review later with at least a wine glass or snifter)

malty and spicy aroma, more of a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg, rather than the clove others have described. some apple and citrus peel.

taste is spicy pears, apples and caramel, not too sweet, gentle hop bitterness which lingers along with the fruit notes.

somewhat astringent and fizzy. not bad, but nothing really impressive.

not exactly a cheap habit to have out here in china, but when rice adjunct lager just won't cut it for you, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do...

tai4ji2x, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of kshankar
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Chimay chalice. 11.2 bottle

Appearance: Brown, with a nice head. Very deep brown too, and a layer of foam stays at the top. Actually, the foam gets thicker as it approaches the middle of the drink.

Aroma: Sweetish. I can get the caramel malts, dark fruits, and other such aromas from it. Its not too strong. Dark fruits..predominantly raisins.

Taste: Malty, and fruity. The raisins come through here. There is barely any hop bitterness, or much of an "alcohol" taste.

Mouthfeel: Good overall. Smooth going down, feels a little light though. Watery somewhat, but goes down well.

Drinkability: Not really made for this. Chimay in general is meant to be sipped...like wine, maybe as a dessert drink or with dessert.

I prefer the Blue, personally.

kshankar, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of marcpal
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a generic goblet. Have tried this one a long while back and never since.

A: Cloudy orange color, darker hue. Big puffy white head that wasnt quick to fade.

S: Caramel malts and dried fruits. Standard fare for the style but gets points for hitting the key metrics. Nothing though out of the ordinary.

T: Dried fruits, raisins and dates. Spices and alcohol are present but not too much than warranted. Not the most complex of beers but again, hits all key points and is a solid concoction. Malty sweetness more connected as it warms- good trait.

M: Heat from the alcohol is there, carbonation is also present through the drink. In total, good smooth creamy mouthfeel.

D: A good solid beer, nothing that will blow you away but a good standby. The smooth nature of this one makes it very drinkable and goes really well with foods of all types and offers you the ability to have several with the abv.

marcpal, Sep 24, 2008
Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured a tea brown/cloudy with a nice creamy head. Head retention did not last very long. Lacing was okay.
Smell: Had a sweet/floral aroma. It was not overpowering.
Taste: had a sweet kind of rich taste. Had a light hint of bitterness. A bit of an after tasted which I expected.
Mouthfeel: I was surprised by the lightness. It made the sides of my tongue tingle.
Drinkability: I was very impressed with the beer. It was very easy to drink even with a bit higher alchohol content.

SmithwicksNut, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy brown-amber w/garnet hue, thick beige-copper head, and decent retention. Active tiny bead-laces of carbonation. Light tracing.
Aroma is sweet dough and spice, faint stewed apple, candy sugar, toffee.
Flavor is lightly phenolic, spicy esters upfront also carrying sweet toffee malt, which dominates midway, and leaves the finish to toffee and spice. There is a faint emergence of hops at the end that balance, but quickly fade.
The finish features warming alcohol that slightly and momentarily numbs the tongue. The carbonation is a perfect complement for the robust carbonation, and the balance is excellent.
I waited a while to try Premiere, the last of the trio I hadn't had. It is extremely drinkable, and of the type where you feel good afterward. The total drinking sensation is warming, satisfying, and enriching. Not my favorite of the three, but only because this is not my preferred style.

BoitSansSoif, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of wiseguy142
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice rich head at first dies down to a frothy film after a minute. Dark peach colors, very hazy from the yeast. Smells of dust, orange and vinegar. Very warming alcohol presence. Very subtle and sweet hops presence working with the yeast. Slight dried bananas, not banana-y like a hefeweizen but a lot less sweet. A lot of maltiness of front with the slight fruity sweetness in back. Put all these together and this is very refreshing.

wiseguy142, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of treyrab
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the stumpy 11.2 bottle into my Ommegang chalice...

A: The appearance is extremely hazy and murky. The color is a nice red/orange/light maple syrup color with a one finger off-white head that leaves a ring and laces slightly. This appears like a great Trappist dubbel or Belgian strong dark ale, very, very nice looking.

S: The smell is very interesting of dough and spices. It has an odd grassy scent too that catches me off guard for the style. Overall though, the smell is only mediocre in that sense.

T: The taste is pretty light for a Belgian dubbel. The flavors are there - toffee, caramel, dough, Trappist yeast, bananas, clove...but only for a split second. I felt as if this beer had that "watery" taste towards the finish that I was not expecting, nor can I say was fond of. Oh well...

Overall, a solid brew, not a solid Trappist brew, but a solid brew I would say. It was a little light and a tad watery on the finish for me, but overall pretty decent.

treyrab, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of JRed
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An auburn beer with big, frothy head and it looks great. Earthy with a little bit floral aroma. The taste is somewhat medicinal with noticeable alcohol that slicks the tongue. This is a sipping beer that would be great accompanying food, especially indian cuisine.

JRed, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A tea brown, hazy and full. Head is quick and rather fizzy. It doesn't have much retention, taking a few moments to all but disappear.

S: A sweetened iced tea, with a sprig of lemon. An excellent candy sugar and yeast aroma

T + M: Candied dark fruits, soft and mellow. A malty backbone offering a roasted, somewhat smoky touch. Smooth, silky mouthfeel, as a good Belgian will provide.

D: A nice sipper with cheeses - smooth and easy going. Easy drinking, and stands up well on an evening overlooking the beach!

Proteus93, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of scottyshades
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall a VERY solid Belgian
A: Pours a medium brown color with golden highlights...the head is fluffy and slightly off-white...The lacing is decent and the retention is good

S: An interesting combo of fruit and spice; clove and cinnamon. A malty brew that produces a warming feeling which is aided by a sweet profile

T: Very similar to the nose...Spices and maltiness really show themselves as the temperature warms

MF: Medium in body, very silky and smooth

D: High despite its ABV

scottyshades, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of changeup45
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark brown color with an amber tint to it. It is topped with a fizzy moderate sized head. Head tapers off a bit but a bunch of frothy lacing remains. There is a spicy fruitiness to the aroma but it's faint. The flavor is malty with a sugary dark fruit flavor. Some spice mixed in. Pretty well balanced and smooth. I'd rank this third among Chimay beers behind the White and Blue but this is excellent.

changeup45, Aug 26, 2008
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,996 ratings.