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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.

4,292 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,292
Reviews: 1,600
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 197
Gots: 528 | 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: 4,292 | Reviews: 1,600 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml stubby bottle. The middle bro in this particular Trappist family.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium bronzed amber hue, with a multitude of effervescent, climbing, loosely foamy off-white head, which settles at an even pace, leaving a bit of pocked storm cloud lace in its wake.

It smells of semi-sweet bready caramel malt, candi sugar, fleshy black fruit (plum and prune, mostly), a bit of yeast, some mild indistinct spice, and faint earthy hops. The taste is more bready, lightly toasted caramel and toffee malts, sugary dark fruit, ethereally spicy yeast, and some light leafy, almost weedy hops. No real sign of the elevated ABV.

The carbonation is moderate, if a bit fizzy at first, the body a decent medium weight, with a certain fruity pithiness, and generally quite smooth. It finishes slightly off-dry, still tempered in its maltiness, and fairly clean.

A nicely balanced, tasty sipper, not too heavy - a good thing I forced myself to slow down and appreciate it, when the urge to pound it back after another hectic prep day was strong.

Photo of BeerSingh
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm having this beer after I have had the Blue, which was superb. I have huge expectations from this one. I'm having this one from the stubby bottle poured into a tulip.

The head pours fluffy and creamy. There is a gush of bubbles towards the head, but within a short span of time it recedes into a thin ring of contrast. The beer is a ruby to garnet colour, and when held against the light shows off some sediments but continues to be opaque in the centre.

The aroma outrightly reminds you of hot spices like clove and allspice. As the beer warms up, the aroma intensifies and becomes sweeter. You can also smell faint traces of alcohol and earth notes.

The taste is a well rounded medley. One aspect that stands out is that it is not as sweet as it smells. Raisins and candied fruit with a hop essence continue to wade through your palate with a dominant peppery aftertaste. The finish is surprisingly blunt, astringent maybe - comparable to a dry red wine. The carbonation is above average, somewhat interfering with an otherwise smooth blend of flavours.

This may be my least favorite of the Chimays, but overall it is a highly recommended beer.

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

A - Nice deep brown with copper highlights, about one and a half finger worth creamy cappuccino head that drops down to a persistent 5mm or so

S - Sweet malts, hint of clove maybe just a bit of banana

T/M - Wow...full bodied, smooth and creamy, rich complex malts, a little spicy, very little hop bitterness, medium carbonation

Very nice...wishing that I had sprung for the big bottle

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

Poured 33 cl bottle into Chimay goblet.

A: Poured a dark copper with 1 finger of off-white head, which dissipated quickly. Slightly hazy when held up to the light.

S: Yeasty, with some malts. Can't pick up much else...

T: Rich caramel taste with a tiny malty aftertaste. Almost no bitterness to speak of.

M: Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Slightly syrupy.

D: Pretty tasty stuff. A 750 ml bottle would have hit the spot.

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet. The head forms quickly and is foamy with great retention. Color is a hazy, murky brown color with a bit of red when held to the light.

The aroma is fruity, spicy, and completley yeast dominated. Bannanas and pears come through from the fruity yeast. There is also a touch of hops, with some wet leaves. None of the dark malts come through in the nose.

Flavors follow the nose, with a touch of bananna in the front, along with burnt sugar, figs, and a minerally, dirt like flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, with the creamy cap of foam included in every sip. The body feels very light for a relatively big beer, with not much of an impact on the finish except for a yeasty coating. After a short time, the beer seems to get a little flat, probably thanks to the trappist logo etched on the bottom of the glass.

Photo of Brabander
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the first Chimay i am drinking after many years of only Westmalle. Drank the beer in the Westvleteren chalice. It pours a nice very lightbrown head. Pretty carbonation in the glass. After a few minutes the head dissapears and a small ring stays in the glass.

The beer has a very good smell and dito taste. A nice beer to drink.
The coming days i will try some more of the Chimay brand.

Photo of GRPunk
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A- It poured with a 1-1/2 finger tan head that eventually dropped to about 1/4 finger leaving good sticky spots on the glass. The body was a murky, red-brown with medium carbonation. There was a touch of sediment atop the head and clouding the body.

S- There was an initially sweet aroma. It smelled of dark fruits and a pleasant, Begian mustiness. Later on, there were some grainy characteristics in the background. It was very rich, yet not quite as abundant as expected. With warmth, came a more pronounced aroma.

T- Much as the aroma would suggest. There was a good combination of rich, dark fruits and spice (black pepper perhaps). It had a tart/dry finish (something of a green apple or grape-like quality).

M- It had a slightly grainy feel with moderate to strong carbonation and a clean, dry finish.

D- Wonderful. It was a good, full-flavored sipper. The alcohol was well hidden, but keeps you in check as you finish the glass. It's definitely a dubbel I'd drink again.

Photo of crnipeter
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml into Chimay chalice. BBE says 2013.
The pouring results in long-lived light tan head atop of hazy coppery fluid with reddish depth. Head slowly dies out until a thin soapy film is all what is left. Malty (not sweet!) aroma, unburnt toast, raisins, hint of plum and perfumy almost rose-like alcohol.The flavor profile is malty although far less sweet than expected - more alike of bitter caramel, with raisins, toasty bread crust bitterness and soft alcohol leading into dry finish. As with Chimay White the individual characteristics are somehow indecisive and I can't easily pinpoint at any although they are clearly delimited. However, the beer is very well balanced and refined with individual flavors/aromas in tune with each other. Medium bodied, medium carbonated. This dubbel is not nearly as fruity as that of Achel or Westmalle but it was the red friar that once introduced me into Trappist ale world and ignited my curiosity about other monastic brews, so Chimay Red , I owe you so much.

Photo of colefsuwr
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There is a reason this is an expensive beer. It is that good. I have yet to find a dubbel that I enjoy going back to time and time again except this one. Excelent mouthfeel as it coats and warms your tounge. Great aroma. An unfiltered beer at its finest.

Photo of joshk
3.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm new to belgian ales, dubbels/trippels and what not, so take this review for what it's worth. Certain things about certain belgian ales and their smells remind me of some 'interesting' times I spent up in Montréal before I was supposed to start school, so I'm biased, haha.

A: Pretty damn good looking beer, poured into a chalice like glass. Pretty big head that went down quick but apparently beers with relatively high abv's don't have good head retention. Nice thick reddish brown color. You can see yeast and other debris floating around in the bottle.

S: Smelled kinda like Unibroue La Fin Du monde (a beer of which I'm not too particularly fond, hence my bias). I'm not quite sure what you call it, "phenolic" maybe? (If you've ever had choloroseptic throat spray, it's got phenol in it)... Sure, I'll go with that. Phenolic and fruity.

T: Cherry like bitterness, a little yeasty, mild alcohol taste. Has a wine like evanescence, but I prefer beer to wine so... Has a Weissbier like aftertaste, reminded me a little of Hoegaarden, or Leffe Blonde. The taste is quite different from the Chimay Grande Réserve.

M: smooth, but it's a sipper.

D: pretty good for a beer with 7.0 ABV. Dogfish Head "Indian Brown Ale" tastes more like alcohol than this beer.

Give it a try, especially if you like belgian beers, or Hoegaarden. I think this beer is a bit complex for me, but what do I know? =]

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby little bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Cloudy, iced tea color with a light tan head that faded quickly, leaving some decent lacing behind.

S: Malt, tea leaves, light cocoa, almonds, raisins and notes of vanilla extract.

T: Stinging carbonation on the front warns you this is not a beer for the average idiot. Big time scotch, malt and spice with an overall floral character.

D: Exceptional.

Value: I wish I could afford these all the time. Chimay Red is an awesome brew but definitely too expensive.

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

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a brand-new Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a hazy light brown color. Has a thick foamy, white head that dissipates slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: Has a very strong caramel smell to it backed by your typical Belgian yeasty smell. You can detect a slight alcohol aroma as well.

Taste: Starts off with a sweet, almost wine-like flavor and ends with a bit of caramel sweetness. All of this is backed by that famous Belgian yeast flavor.

Mouthfeel: About as perfect as you could ask for. Medium-bodied with a nice carbonation feel to it.

Drinkability: A great beer. I can't wait to try the others in the Chimay line-up. This will definitely become on of my favorites.

Photo of cudmud
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark ruby color with two fingers of head and good lacing.

Smell: There ar complex fruit aromas escaping from this beer. I detect raisons and currents. Backing the fruit aromas are wonderful malt aromas. This beer had cookie-like aromas. Plus, there is a floral componet from the hops.

Taste: Sweet and fruit-like on the front of the tongue. There is also a yeast element in the flavor. Lastly, the hops finish the flavors and tone the sweetness. Overall, all the elements work well together.

Mouthfeel: Slik and velvet-like

Drinkability: Give me more.

Photo of jdense
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

small bottle from gift pack (thanks, Honey) poured into Chimay chalice 1/8/10.

Reddish light amber, appears cloudy, could be a bit of chill haze, minimal white head, quick dissipation, a bit of lacing but not much. Fruity esters dominate the nose, pears, mangos, peaches. The taste is also quite fruity, with golden raisin and sweet and bready malts in addition to the flavors isolated in the nose. Despite careful handling, I had quite a bit of suspended yeast, which may have thrown the taste off a bit. Decent carbonation in mouthfeel, the finish is quite interesting, I picked up a good amount of leather and tobacco. Pretty drinkable, the ABV is quite well hidden. To be honest, my least favorite of the Chimay line, though it had an interesting and memorable finish.

Photo of martyyy1
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was my first experience with a beer of this "quality"
The appearance was good- caramel color with a fair bit of mid sized bubbles going on and a moderate head.

The taste was technically excellent- rich caramelly malts with just a hint of bitterness and dark fruits. Spices seemed to come in more toward the end and the aftertaste is probably this beer's best characteristic. Although very good I thought the taste was a bit lacking in personality.

Smell was a bit boring but possibly because I poured it a bit too cold. One thing this beer does have going for it is the complete absence of alcohol taste or smell. (7.0 APV)

Drinkability is where this beer shines. The lack of alcohol taste for such a potent brew is amazing. This is a beer I could drink on any occasion and regularly although at $13 for a 25.4 oz bomber I don't think my checkbook would appreciate it.

Photo of ludachris
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one courtesy of TheHammer, taken from his Belgian giftpack. Thanks pal.

Bottle to Chimay chalice.

Pours a deep burnt caramel with reddish highlights and 2 fingers of creamy beige head. Great retention and minimal lacing.

The nose is excellent with sweet notes of caramel, brown sugar, fresh dark fruits, phenols, and light spice.

Sweetness of the caramel malts become a bit subdued in the taste in comparison to the nose with the phenols and spice becoming more pronounced. A pleasant dose of plum and raison still persists, and all of it coming to an end with a dry, faint pepper finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp, clean, and smooth. Combined with the fact that the %7 ABV goes completely hidden in both the nose and taste, this one's dangerously easy to put down.

Overall, an excellent dubbel and also my favourite out of the three Chimay's I've had. This beer completely out-shined the Maredsous 8 I had a few days ago and really made me appreciate the style.

Photo of Richter35
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Leffe branded chalice. Medium brown in colour with a thick head that settled quickly.

The smell is understated. Sweet, bitter with some burnt sugary goodness. It asks you to taste it... so I did!

The taste is well balanced with pronounced malt and yeast flavours. More of that deep, almost burnt taste that is also a big part of the aroma. No alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel has some carbonation and is medium-bodied. This beer is very smooth for it's strength and earns itself extremely high marks for drinkability.

Chimay red pairs well with pretty much any cheese or food and is one of the most impressive beers I have ever tasted. It's understated, yet unique character allows you to really enjoy it anytime...anywhere!

Photo of Hanger
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

A - dark amber/red body with 25-30 mm of creamy head the dropped very slowly to a thin film

S - some dark fruits, yeast is noticeable caramel malts dominate

T - quite sweet and malty, rich falvours and dark fruits/ yeast noticeable

M - medium bodied and crwamy, slighty bitter and carbonated

D - very good, quite an enjoyable beer but not as complex as others such as Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue), altough this is due to style

Photo of jbowers56
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red brown colour. Fizzy white head fades pretty quick, but i did forget to rinse my glass...

caramel toffee sweetnes. a little fruit. tinniest bit of spice.

Pretty yummy. Not a suprising taste though. Lives up to the nose. Some sweet caramel notes with a little dried fruits. Something in the taste reminds me a little of a witbier. Odd. Pretty cool though.

Nice belgian fizzy mouthfeel and drinkability is very high for the style.

Photo of thecarster1
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- 11.2oz bottle poured into my dfh signature, almost two finger head fades to a thin layer of lacing, hazy deep burgandy coloring.

s- a plethora of caramel malt notes, some dryness, belgian yeast, a bit flowery. interesting smelling but nice.

t- very clean, lots of caramel malts, belgian yeast, dark fruits, slight pepper, not real substantial bitterness, slightly dry, no hints of alcohol. very tasty - i can't believe it's taken me this long to have a chimay red!

m- medium with a rich, smooth body.

d- chimay premiere is very popular for a reason, it's a very tasty dubbel that i'll be indulging in again for sure, i've got a 25.4oz-er spending some time in the cellar. now onto blue and white..

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

Chimay Red pours an attractive rust color. It's moderately hazy. Light gives it distinct scarlet highlights. It's capped with a vanilla colored head that stands about a finger and a half tall. It's a little slow to recede and leaves a few strands of lace in its wake.

It smells good, but isn't quite a standout. Yeast is somewhat prominent from the first whiff. It's certainly Belgian in character and smells delicious. Light dark fruit scents are present. Smells mostly like fig. Spices follow. Clove, pepper, and light cinnamon are noted. It smells malty and slightly sweet throughout. There is some evidence of hops. It's mostly an earthy scent, but it adds a nice element. Alcohol is blended well and isn't noticeable.

The flavor is very good. No doubt about that. It has a nice malty, sweet base as a centerpiece. It's not overly sweet by any means. Spices aren't quite as pronounced as I expected. They're light and secondary. Nonetheless, light cinnamon and pepper are noted. Yeast emerges and is prominent. It has that authentic Belgian flavor to it that really drives the flavor. There are some light dark fruit notes. Fig and raisin are somewhat subtle, but they add quality depth. As the nose suggested, hops are in the mix. They add a slight bitter kick and a nice earthy flavor to the overall mix. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Surprise, surprise. It finishes slightly bitter and spicy.

In classic Belgian fashion, it has a medium-full body that's incredibly lush and smooth. Carbonation is light and restrained, though it looks very active. Drinkability is very high. The flavor, while not one of the world's best Dubbels, is very good. The abv isn't too intimidating, and it goes down like a dreams. These 11.2 ounces will disappear far too quickly.

Chimay Red is not quite on par with Chimay Blue, but it is unquestionably a classic beer. It just doesn't have the pizzazz or complexity of say...a Westvleteren 8. The nose isn't quite as strong and the flavor doesn't stand out as much. But, it is damn good and is certainly a beer that every BA should have the opportunity to review. It's a classic in that sense. If you haven't tried it by now, you should.

Photo of animalchin
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is the second of the Chimay beers I have tried; the first being the Grande Reserve.

Pours a dark straw color that quickly turns into an opaque burgundy with the unfiltered yeast being present. Smells of modest spices with a hint of orange. The taste is almost nothing like the smell - much more nuttier with plenty of malt to go along with it. Certainly an ample amount of carbonation that complements a creamy feel. Without a doubt another crowning achievement by the Trappist monks of the Chimay Brewery.

Photo of bob3701
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a gift pack poured into Chimay chalice that was provided. Rich hazy amber color with reddish highlights. Thick bubbly head that quickly disapates into a film with no real lacing. Rich aroma of fruit and spice plus alcohol. Taste not as intense as the blue, very enjoyable still rich in dark fruit and spices and alcohol can still be tasted. Another beer to be sipped.

Photo of MrDanno96
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark ruby brown. Started off with a fluffy 2 finger, off-white head, but dissipated fairly quickly to less than a finger. Lots of foamy lacing.

S: A nice floral aroma meets the nose mixed in with feint scents of dark fruit, pears, and Belgian yeast.

T: Lots of grainy malts up front with touches of caramel and dark fruit in the finish. No hop bittering to speak of.

M: Nice medium body with a nice bite from the carbonation. Finishes just a little dry.

D: A nice smooth and rather drinkable Dubbel. I like Chimay Red a little more than Ommegang Abbey Ale, which I guess makes it one of the best Dubbel's I've had. Dubbel isn't my favorite style, but this is a great brew worthy of the Chimay name nonetheless.

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

Beer poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Beer is brown and hazy. Forms a thin white head of tiny bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Smells slightly hoppy. Good nice wet aroma, with a lot of malt character.

Wow, totally not what I remembered. This beer is great, a little yeasty with great spice character and nice full body. Beer's drinkability is high and mouthfeel is great. There is a specific sweetness to this that I really appreciate. Second taste, seriously this is a great Belgian ale. The bitterness is not as obvious as I once thought but now there is a great flavor of bready yeast that adds to the total profile of the beer. A truly wonderful beer experience.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,292 ratings.