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

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

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3,864 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,864
Reviews: 1,558
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 156
Gots: 310 | 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: 3,864 | Reviews: 1,558 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBelcher


4/5  rDev -3.4%

IMO, the best of the three Chimays (Red, White, Blue). This beer has a lot of different characteristics to like: it's lightly fruity, there's a bit of roastiness, and it is also a bit spicey (clove or coriander or both). Easily the most complex of the three, and to me, the most likable.

Appearance is a nice red-brown, which is not quite opaque. Head formation is decent, whitish, of uniformly sized bubbles, and sticks around an average amount of time. Aroma is of dried fruit, and a bit of spice. Flavor is more of the same, but adds a layer of light roastiness. The fruitiness exists in a dried fruit sense, but also exerts itself as lightly sour (like sour cherries). Mouthfeel was a bit astringent and drying, which you'd expect from a beer with roasty and sour characteristics. I really liked this beer.

I've had this in restaurants before (all the Chimays seem like they're popping in fine-dining places everywhere), and it is usually served much too cold. This beer really seems to shine at about 50-55 degrees.

Definitely recommended.

11-03-2007 16:58:49 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of bunnyhustle


3.68/5  rDev -11.1%

First of my Chimay tasting and not a terriffic start. Poured from bottle into Chimay chalice. Pours a deep dark orange in color with off-white head. Good 2 finger head but quickly dissolves leaving a thin layer behind for the remainder of the beer, no lace. Smell is of some fruit, alcohol, and a touch of grain. Taste is pretty good, better than the look or smell. Has a slightly bitter yet malty taste with some fruit notes (though I cannot distinguish) and some alcohol. Very crisp and light mouthfeel but the carbonation is too high for me, I find it distracting fromt the true taste. Overall not a bad beer, I think I just expected more. "White" is up next...

11-02-2007 21:09:41 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of cswhitehorse


3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

The Red pours a a light off red color with a nice foam head with very little lacing. The smell is malty with an aroma of roasted caramel. The taste is strongly malty with a spicy finish. It is a little bit chewy in the mouth. A very good beer but probably not my favorite of the three from the Abbaye.

10-28-2007 04:47:02 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of Bugsey

District of Columbia

2.35/5  rDev -43.2%

Tasted this out of brown paper bag during a taste test. What a disappointment. I thought is was some sort of beer/cider mix. Carbonization was prominant, complexity was low, and the malt taste was orange to apple. Drinkability was low.

I love malty begian beers, and I'm sure I would have had a biased review if I saw the label before drinking it. I'm glad I tried this one honestly, with the brown paper on it. Now I know I won't try it again.

10-22-2007 14:47:30 | More by Bugsey
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr


3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

It's been a while since I've had any of the Chimays, but with the gift set out, and me being such a whore for glassware, I figured, what the hell, and picked it up. So starting with the original recipie in the Chimay Chalice... GO ILLINI!

A - Good head, perfect size and retention, but no lacing. Opague orange body.

A - Well, depending on your outlook, this is either simple and underwhelming or suttle and pleasing. I noted an pleasent maltyness with notes of orange peel and salt.

T - This is much more expressive than the aroma. Malt and orange are most present, with sweet cream and lots of spice too. Dryer finish than I expected. The beer is light even for a session style beer.

M - Kinda silky, but also seemed week.

D - Hey, it goes down fine, but it lacks much complexity...

10-21-2007 00:50:00 | More by SammyDavisJrJrJr
Photo of dankman38


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%

Nice brownish red color with a moderately sized head, tasty beer but not nearly as good as the blue cap. To be honest this seems to be a watered down "Blue Cap", not an insult (it's good, Ilike it) but I'd rather enjoy the real thing. Rock on Tribe in the ALCS, put Boston away.

10-19-2007 03:05:15 | More by dankman38
Photo of elmore


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Gave it a brisk pour which created a beautiful thick creamy head which left thick sticky lace on the glass. Smells of baked bread - very yeasty - can actually see yeast sediment suspended within the beer when held up to the light. Taste is a very good example of the Belgium ale style - crisp and fruit with a light mouthfeel and nice tight carbonation and very drinkable. An excellent beer - what you would expect from an iconic brew like Chimay.

10-15-2007 12:50:36 | More by elmore
Photo of TheTrevor

New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

I've been wanting to try this for a while, so I finally picked up a little 11.2 ounce bottle at my local beerporium.

Interestingly enough the beer started foaming as soon as a popped the top and as a result it poured with a huge three finger head that slowly dissipated. The beer was an opaque brown with light brown highlights.
The smell is very rich with a strong maltiness and a slight trace of yeast that made it smell very much like fresh-baked bread to me. The taste was very earthy with a finish that reminded me very much of the smell outside after a rain during the fall. I know these are very esoteric descriptions, but this is the first beer I've had that was like this so I have very few benchmarks to go by. I could imagine enjoying a whole bottle or two with a good meal, so I would consider it to be fairly drinkable. Overall I enjoyed it immensely and I think it may have become my new beer for special occasions, and I'm looking forward to trying the other two types of Chimay.

10-14-2007 19:59:45 | More by TheTrevor
Photo of vondew45


4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

11.2 oz bottle poured into my Chimay chalice.

Pours a deep reddish brown. Very little head retention, no lacing at all.
Smells sweet, yeasty, fruity.
Taste is mild fruits, sweetens toward the end, a touch of alcohol as well.
Mouthfeel is great. Crisp, refreshing, carbonation on the tongue.
Drinkabilty - Very, very smooth. Probably not a session, but I will probably have this one again!

Not at all what I expected! Left me pleasantly surprised with my first Belgian brew!

10-09-2007 06:58:32 | More by vondew45
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

750ml bottle, served in a Chimay Chalice glass (that I got for 50 cents at a garage sale last weekend).

A - deep cherrywood color with a fluffy light tan head that settled to a layer, leaving minimal lacing.

S - malt, date/fig, and slight yeast aromas.

T - sweet malt flavor, date/fig fruity notes and a little hop bitterness on the back end.

M - medium bodied with crisp carbonation.

D - not a beer to 'pound down' all night, but very enjoyable if savoured slowly for an evening.

10-07-2007 18:58:21 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of ghostmech007


4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

A 750ml magnum bottle with cork. Poured into a chalice of 14oz proportions. Nice to have friends around that are willing to try new things.

Deep brown color right out of the bottle. The head was a light off-white nearly beige color, also was fluffy. A nice layer stays and never leaves a trace.

Smells fruity with a hint of spice. Not much else but very fragrant.

Tastes like heaven. Malts and spices are balanced perfectly with the hops but they seem to be subdued as the brew warms. Finishes sweet with a nice malt note. Nice medium body with a good carbonation.

A good brew but something I might pass on later.

10-04-2007 18:24:15 | More by ghostmech007
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

4/5  rDev -3.4%

I know I said in an earlier review I was saving my bottle for years to come, well I still am.

This review is of a bottle bought in September 2007 and best before 2011, it is being drunk on my 'Night of the Chimay' as I have all three beers and some cheese from the Abbey all purchased in Middelkerke on the Belgian coast during a resent visit.

Was it the cheese? Or was it the other Chimay beers lined up next to it, this beer was a lot better than the first review in all aspects.

It seemed richer and fuller, it looked happier too. Its aroma was wholesum and more fruity, the flavours stood out more and the overall enjoyment was a whole lot greater.

I am now really looking forward to trying the beer i have set aside for later (2010).

10-02-2007 21:52:27 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of Brianmerrilyn

New York

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured 750ml into Stella glass.

A: Dark tea brown with light head that remained paperclip thin.

S: Not as strong as i would have expected, candy sugar and some of the darker fruits.

T: The dark fruit, dates i believe, was the most prominent and touches of caramel. Touch of grassy hops toward midway>end.

M: Gets better as it goes down, the carbontion recedes.

D: Excellent smooth red dubbel.

10-02-2007 20:41:24 | More by Brianmerrilyn
Photo of evolbob


4.47/5  rDev +8%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. The color is of strongly brewed tea, reddish brown, with bubbles constantly climbing the sides of the chalice. The beer looks like it has some substance to it, not thin at all. Decent, but not great head retention, with initial head slightly foamy. The beer may still be too cold, took out of fridge about 10 minutes ago, which may explain the lack of retention. The smell is sweet and biscuity with some alcohol. The taste has some sweetness and bitterness that mix very well, with the alcohol very present but not over-powering. The mouth feel is surprisingly light with perfect carbonation. This is my first Chimay Red but definitely won't be my last. I like it!!!

09-27-2007 01:12:05 | More by evolbob
Photo of tweeder263


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours out a brown hazy beer with a nice one finger head.Smells of sweet malt and esters. Very subtle smell. Taste is extremely smooth.Mostly a dry beer very little in the way of hops,,it seems the yeast makes most of this flavor,,and being 7% you'd never know.Mouthfeel is nice,,tiny bit creamy. A really enjoyable beer.

09-24-2007 23:55:41 | More by tweeder263
Photo of UFGUY2122


4.47/5  rDev +8%

I had this the other night at a bar and loved it. I wanted to try it again so I picked up a bottle tonight.

It pours a nice brown with a moderate foamy white head. Better than average head retention. The aroma of this is what draws me in, it's a slightly fruity smell. Taste is great as well and is very smooth. Drinkability is high. I could easily have a couple more after this one.

09-22-2007 01:08:56 | More by UFGUY2122
Photo of basica


4.55/5  rDev +9.9%

This is my second Chimay Red, a long time since my first which was about 4-5 months ago? I wanted to revisit this one after gaining so much more knowledge about beers and maturing my taste buds more. The Chimay Red pours out a dark red brown with a good large head like all Chimays with medium retention. It smells of fruits like berries or cherries and some plums and a little floral aromas were detected as well. The taste first hits me with light plums and lot's of sweetness and I could
also taste berries and cherries. The maple sweetness does well backing the taste throughout to the finish which was very slightly bitter to my surprise but that did no harm to the rating I am giving. This taste seems like a lighter version of the Chimay blue and with the fruits and sweetness more obvious and in a light, refreshing twist. The after taste was a lingering plums, raisins and grapes with good fruity, floral aromas on the nose too. The mouthfeel was tweaked to give the Chimay red a refreshing and light touch; it's body is between thin and medium though
probably more towards thin but it was never watery and it has a refreshing and smooth touch to it; goes down real easy. Generally I prefer such beers thicker and richer with sweet malts to balance the fruits. This was light on malts and high on sweetness but I agree that it is aimed at delivering a different punch altogether. Still a good to great beer; way to go Chimay!

09-20-2007 17:31:01 | More by basica
Photo of domtronzero


4.43/5  rDev +7%

Pours a clear brownish copper with a tightly packed tannish white head. Lacing left all over and lasts through the finish. Looks very inviting and appealing. Aroma is of mainly of toasted malts, some caramel and a pleasant fruitiness as it gets warmer. Taste is excellent. Very Belgian-like, with hints of banana and clove, but not too overpowering. Some fruity/cirusy hop flavors start coming through with warming. Very good on the palate. Oily but rather thin on the tongue. Perhaps due to a modest amount of carbonation. Goes down very smoothly. Overall this is an excellent example of a superior Belgian beer. True to style and highly recmmended.

09-17-2007 03:39:00 | More by domtronzero
Photo of Matty1918


4.53/5  rDev +9.4%

I've only been able to find the Chimay Blue and Red. The Red is my favorite. I'll try to drink one of these at least once a month. This is also a favorite of my wife who isn't big on beer. You have to drink this in a Trappist chalice to enjoy the great aroma and creamy head.This is a great beer to enjoy while sitting in front of a fire and letting your mind wonder. A truly great beer in my opinion.

09-15-2007 18:35:21 | More by Matty1918
Photo of joeskirkie

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%

A rich chestnut/mahogany body topped with a pretty nice loosely beaded head.

It has that spicy, yeasty, slight cherry lozenge scent that suggests Belgian to me. Some bready sweetness too.

That spicyness comes through and dominates when tasting. Theres a nice caramel sweetness if you let it aerate a little, definately not as sweet as I would have tought it to be though.

It has expressive carbonation. It's a good medium body. It's not what I was expecting flavorwise, but It's still a treat.

09-13-2007 01:42:13 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of LittleCreature


4/5  rDev -3.4%

Appearance - 4.0
Poured a foamy two and a half fingers of cream coloured to beige head, which had good retention. The body is a dark reddish brown, and quite clear.

Smell - 4.5
Smells considerably more alcoholic than it actually is, with a malt whisky-like aroma dominating straight after pouring. There is also a musky, fruity sweetness there along with the dominating malt. Some fruity hops can be smelled as the beer warms.

Taste - 4.0
Again, the alcohol is very apparent, perhaps a little moreso than it should be for an ABV of 7%. This improved as the beer warms, leaving one to enjoy the toasted grain flavours and malty sweetness. The finish is slightly bitter and retains much of the upfront flavour.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Quite smooth at first, then the carbonation becomes quite lively, sometimes a little more than I would like it to be. Crisp and improves with warming.

Drinkability - 3.5
The alcoholic personality of this beer detracts from its drinkability. It is much less drinkable than other dubbels, like Leffe Brune. Still, I could see myself going a second without complaint.

OVERALL - 4.05
Not since drinking Rochefort 10, has a few degrees of temperature so greatly affected my enjoyment of a beer. Once it had warmed a little after its 30 minutes in the fridge, this became quite delicious. Like most Belgians, it is expensive, and there are beers that are nearly as good available for much less. Definitely worth trying though.

09-12-2007 10:47:04 | More by LittleCreature
Photo of ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -19.6%

This was an LCBO purchase with an expiry date 2011. In a Chimay goblet, poured a very dark colour, prunes; held against a sunlit background, I can still see through only the bottom of the brew and the restis dark rusty orange or reddish brown colour. A generous brown-tan head settled over the surface and fine bubbles oozed up through the centre of the glass primarily but also in a half dozen or more spaces in spoke-like distribution.

Smells of raisins, all-spice, yeast. An alcohol taste is front and centre with bitterness, especially in the finish. The mouthfeel is somewhat better with a smooth, full bodied texture and lively carbonation continuing. Hoping the taste would improve with air and warming, the aftertaste became even more overpowering. I wondered just how much fermentation was still going on with this one! The big alcohol and overly bitter astringency took away from the drinkability factor in my experience. Maybe this should have been cellared a bit longer, I'll have to try that and see.

09-10-2007 03:26:47 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured into my Chimay chalice...

A- Appeared a brown/maroon color with hints of orange and amber. Thin head, quickly dissipates.

S- Smell was of cherries and spices.

T- Taste was wondeful. Chocolate cherries- brown malt- some hops- roasted nuts.

M- Mouthfeel was impecibly smooth- carbonation (but not overwhelming), tingly on the tongue, no burning on the throat.

D- An amazingly smooth beer, almost perfectly done. Enjoyed this after my dinner as a treat.

09-09-2007 21:47:51 | More by DavidSeanNJ
Photo of ralree


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

A: Hazy caramel brown (I poured out the sediment). VERY carbonated. Lots of head, laces after a few minutes.

S: Smells sweet, a bit hoppy and malty. A good smell overall.

T: Sweet, medium-bodied, and has a nice alcohol kick. Tastes like caramel malt and flowering hops. Has a bit of alkaline aftertaste, but not enough to worry about. Really good.

M: Very good and full - leaves the mouth feeling clean. Carbonation is enough to sting the tongue a bit.

D: Very drinkable - this is a very smooth beer. I can see why the big bottles are popular.

09-08-2007 19:00:09 | More by ralree
Photo of Maracuja


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

This is my first time drinking this out of the 11.2 oz bottle instead of the large bottle. Dark red color with a slight haze unless you pour out the sediment-- then it gets quite hazy obviously. Great head that retains well. Mild phenolic aroma with a hint of clove followed by caramel malt notes. Smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel with a medium body. Very low hop bitterness. Sweetness dominates at first and is then followed by a tad of caramel malt and complex, peppery Belgian yeasty flavors. This is much better in the 11.2 oz bottle. This is easily the most balanced Belgian trappist ale I've had. Lots of flavors, but it won't kick your ass like the other two Chimays. I could go for a couple more of these.

09-05-2007 01:14:32 | More by Maracuja
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,864 ratings.