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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

3,963 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,963
Reviews: 1,562
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 160
Gots: 343 | 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
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Ratings: 3,963 | Reviews: 1,562 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a replacement review from when I first tried, and didn't appreciate Chimay. I am happy to say that I've enjoyed learning and developing a taste for Belgian beers since writing the now, erased original review.

Poured a bout ½ the bottle into my snifter glass. Quite a bit of sediment and I tried to leave as much in the bottle as possible. A thin light tan head formed that was mostly fizzy, then it faded rather quickly. The beer itself is a ruby color with a slight haze. No real lacing at all.

Aroma is fruity, of yeast and slight spice.

Flavor is nice, dark fruits.. dates and raisins with other light fruit notes. The yeast plays a large role in the flavor. A touch of band aid plastic and also a hint of spice.

The carbonation is very effervescent and the body is really light vs. the flavor.

Quite drinkable. I enjoy Tripels and Quads more, but this is still a very nice beer.

I can assure you the grading here is quite different vs. my original review. I apologize to the people at Chimay for my ignorance. At least to myself, I've made up for it.

Reagan1984, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

75 cl bottle cork-dated 2007 poured into a Chimay chalice yields a hazy golden orange-brown amber body alive with active carbonation, capped with a luscious finger of off-white foam that neither retains nor laces.

Smells fruity with sharp notes of tangy citrus and spicy ginger ale, plus soft whispers of fresh bread with prickly evergreen and creamy yogurt.

The drink is tingly with fruity flavors of ripe plums, Golden Delicious apples and apricots. Looking deeper, an earthy mineral note emerges to compliment the prominent tangy yeast that makes itself known throughout the drink. There is a solid bitterness at the finish and a slightly astringent quality.

A medium, crisp body with lively carbonation keeps the beer very light and refreshing, contributing to the outstanding, almost soda-pop-style drinkability of another fine Trappist concoction. A clean finish with a lingering whiff of yeasty goodness marks the passing of one truly fine drink.

cvstrickland, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of julian
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at QFC in North Bend, WA - 9.4 FL. OZ. bottle

A: pours a nice a dark, cloudy brown with amber tones. Similar to the "Blue" but cloudier. Head is almost non-existent, although I poured slowly. no real noticeable lacing.

S: highly aromatic with deep flavorful fruit on the nose - banana, blueberry, plum, raisins accompanied by a light spicing (clove, nutmeg maybe?) and deep sugary malting. very complex!

T: mid to high carbonation. very fruity, taste of cloves. very crisp! 7% and somewhat noticeable, although very cleverly masked.

M: pretty bubbly, feels like any other Dubbel.

D: Like every other Chimay I've tried this is very tasty, but if you're not a fan of sweet, malty (dubbels) then you may find this has a limited drinkability.

julian, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of danielcc
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been wanting to give this one a go for a while, and I was fortunate that my cousin-in-law was kind enough to share. Poured into a goblet-style glass.

Appearance: Not as dark as I expected; a much lighter brown than many of the other Belgians I've tried. Not as much head as I expected on this one (especially on a Belgian), but having a few Rocheforts may have spoiled me. Good lacing, though.

Smell: Wow. If they could just bottle this and sell it, I'd buy; it's heavenly. Floral notes, bit of licorice, maybe some kind of...rum-soaked bread would be a perfect descriptor. The smell of this stuff is just amazing. It's like what my Dad says about brandy: you can have a really great experience just sniffing it.

Taste: I was actually expecting a better taste given the smell, and it was good (albeit a bit disappointing after sniffing). I read other reviews and am always amazed by some of the flavors people find; this one was a bit spicy, and it tasted almost bready. Good stuff!

Mouthfeel: this was not really that carbonated, and it wasn't too heavy. I really liked the way it felt when I sipped it, and I almost didn't want to swallow.

Drinkability: the alcohol spice and steep price make this a difficult beer to drink much of at one time. If I had more than one or two at a time, I'd be feeling great and happy, but my wallet would definitely be a good bit lighter! If you take the money-is-no-object view, then this is a very drinkable beer, but the alcohol *will* catch up to you.

danielcc, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, light-penetrable but not translucent, and quite hazy. Lightly tanned head, soft and frothy, with great retention and capping. Not much lace.

Clovey phenolics and other earthy, herbal aromatics dominate the nose. Dark fruits as well, including some fig but also hinting toward the sweetness of the date. Maybe some cinnamon as well.

Pleasantly carbonated, the dark fruit flavors dominate overall but are whisked away before getting cloying by the high level of carbonation. Slightly astringent in the finish, probably from the herbal character I noted earlier, and the preponderance of ester alcohol fumes.

Finish is a little dry, with sugary and herbal flavors lasting. Impressive and careful brewing done here. Not my favorite combination of characteristics, but certainly to be admired.

BretSikkink, May 25, 2008
Photo of cdkrenz
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I received this as a gift from a friend whom goes by the name of Chachi. Thanks Chach!

A - A beautiful blend of deep brown and amber make up the body. His head is a very pale tan and standing at a half inch is still going strong after a few minutes.

S - It has a faint soapy-malt aroma.

T - The flavor starts out malty and ends the same. Throughout each sample the taste of alcohol is evident. There is a hint of apricot and black licorice.

M - The feel is as smooth as I've ever had. This is the texture by which all dubbels should be measured. Unbelievably impressive!

~ This is a good beer. I must say I am impressed with the look and the feel. The scent and the flavor are average bordering on above but really nothing too spectacular. The feel of this beer is really what sets it apart from every other dubbel I've ever sampled.

cdkrenz, May 21, 2008
Photo of vickersspitfire
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet, it was very hazy with a dark brown center; I got a thick tan head that quickly thinned out into a thin ring with no lacing; there is a lot of carbonation. It has a pleasant aroma that's sweet with roasted malts and there's a mild alcohol aroma as well; there are hints of raisins and plums. It's smooth and crisp and is medium bodied and is a bit bitter when it first hits the back of your tongue, its got a sweet taste throughout, it does have a dry aftertaste with a slight alcohol touch.

vickersspitfire, May 20, 2008
Photo of SpecialK088
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into the chimay Glass

A-Very clody golden color with a nice 2 finger head and good lacing throughout the beer.
S-Rosted malt, with hints of sweet fruits (bannanas etc) also a bit spicy and carmel scents.
T-Very close to the smell has a nice sweet first taste that fades to a good mixture of hops and carmel and finishes very well.
M-Extremly smooth goes down very easy and it near perfectly carbonated.
D-Goes great with sushi which is what i had it with, not sure its one i would reach for on a regular basis but it is an extremly drinkable brew.

SpecialK088, May 18, 2008
Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown foam on a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles pretty quickly and leaves relatively little lace.

S - Malty aroma of caramel, mild raisins, and spicy, fruity alcohol.

T - Carmel and raisins up front, followed quickly by dark roast flavors and a bit of hop flavor. Dark caramel flavors really come out in the middle, along with yeasty fruit, and interact nicely with the raisins before melding into roast flavor that combines malt and hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium-thick body with high carbonation and a very dry, almost chalky finish.

D - Quite drinkable and complex, it is surprisingly dark and roasty without as much fruity caramel character as one might expect.

nickfl, May 17, 2008
Photo of cyrenaica
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle
7.0% ABV

I tried this beer on February 21st after purchasing from my local LCBO outlet. The beer poured a reddish brown colour with a large, long lasting, rocky head. The aroma was malty and yeasty with some hints of dark fruit. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with mild carbonation. The flavour was sweet malt, with some yeast, and a small amount of bitterness. A great beer.

cyrenaica, May 12, 2008
Photo of Offa
2.7/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

To me, this is a rather disappointing dubbel and I don't think it comes close to Westmalle.

This is dark reddish brown, somewhat fizzy and a little murky. It has a big light tan head that steadily dissipates to a thin ring, leaving weak lace.

The aroma is yeasty with a lot of orange peel, hints of clove and banana.

The taste is dry at first but then becomes quite sweet. It's noticeably alcoholic the whole way through, with a vague, light taste like German dark hefeweizen. Struggling to detect elements, I can find only faint hints of whole wheat and prunes in a character that is otherwise mostly 7-up and alcohol. The finish is mostly prunes and alcohol with a soft hint of whole wheat bread. In the end, this seems boring and bland, particularly for the clear alcoholic qualities.

Offa, May 08, 2008
Photo of dhd1491
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not as complex or drinkable as the Grande Reserve (Blue). Cloudy golden brown pour with creamy white head that lies down quickly. Highly carbonated. Some bite to initial mouthfeel. Taste is yeasty, sweet and spiced with some butteriness lingering on the palate. A very good beer with no off tastes, but still somewhat disappointing next to their killer Blue.

dhd1491, May 06, 2008
Photo of jayrod20
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful auburn color..awesome when the sun hits it. Good foamy head of about two inches that reduced quickly. Taste a bit on the citrus side, which isn't my favorite flavor. But compared to other beers like this one, I think this one is pretty soft on the taste buds. Mouthfeel was smooth, but a little on the light side. Decent drinkability,

jayrod20, May 06, 2008
Photo of daliandragon
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a completely opaque medium brown. Very little head to speak of, which is a bit disappointing. No lace either. Nose is basic dark malt, nothing really stands out.

A quaff indicates some extant yeast and a smooth, creamy finish but nothing too out of the ordinary. Maybe my expectations were too high but this really isn't doing much for me. The malt is tasty; chocolate, dark fruit, maybe a little oily, but not really anything special.

This is a good beer, but nothing earth shattering. certainly worth trying, I just wasn't feeling it, I don't know, maybe it's me because everyone else loves this stuff...

daliandragon, May 04, 2008
Photo of botham
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a goblet. pours a rich chocolate brown with a single finger of off-white head that remains for a minute. light lacings.

aroma is of caramel malts and dark fruit, including notes of apple, raisen, and a bit of brown sugar. overall, rather light in aroma.

taste is malty, with a fruity base and a supurb finish. malt notes include caramel, while fruit notes include apple, raisen, grape and a hint of citrus. finishes with a very refined and smooth character of mild fruit.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a smooth and silky character and a very smooth, semi-dry finish. very soft and pleasant on the palate.

drinkability is excellent. this is a world class dubbel. the flavors, concentration, proportioning, and overall character are all wonderful. the only criticism is that the aroma does not match the taste in richness (the latter having a much more rich character). cheers!

botham, May 04, 2008
Photo of meatmallet
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown with a thick off white head that disappeared after a long stand off. A nice ammount of sediment in the bottom of my glass. Lightly spiced and floral aroma is fairly faint. Clove spice and a nice fruity sweetness at the end. Very smooth and carbonated.

meatmallet, May 03, 2008
Photo of Ecliptica
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

You know a beer is good when even when it's in its worst state, it still tastes pretty decent.

Unfortunately, the beer I got was either damaged or from a bad batch because I got a horrible, horrible metallic taste and I haven't seen anyone else complain about it. It may be the distributor - I also got a Delirium Nocturnum that was entirely too metallic from the same distributor and normally that's one of my favorite brews. Maybe it was something from Belgium that ruined these batches.

Either way, I'll give this a go despite the fact that the rating probably won't be as high as it should be.

Poured the 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass and it poured a beautiful burgundy hue with a white head that maintained moderate lacing.

The smell itself was citrus-y and spicy, which almost gave it a sweet smell - much more so than the Westmalle that I think so highly of.

Unfortunately, with the first sip I got that horrible metal taste. The bottle had to be damaged, because I know there's no way the beer could've possibly tasted like it did. Despite that, it was STILL good - good enough for me to finish the whole thing at least - and I think, even with the metal, it was an above average brew. That should really say something about the quality of the beer - and is the main reason why I'm posting this review rather than holding out until the next time I drink this.

Mouthfeel I can't objectively rate because I couldn't hold it on my palate long enough due to the metallic taste. It did seem a bit smoother than other Trappists I've tried recently (Orval/Westmalle) and the carbonation was moderate.

Drinkability has to be high, for I drank it despite the metallic flavor. I can only imagine how good this beer tastes not damaged. This review is merely a placeholder until I get another, undamaged bottle.

Ecliptica, May 02, 2008
Photo of BDIMike
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brown, burgundy color with a great white head and little carbonation bubbles.
Smells very sweet to start. There is a bit of spiciness to it and a great floral/citrus combo at the end.
Great taste. Very complex tastes start with a good taste of plums and a slight citrus. Malty flavors of chocolate and sweet malts at the end. Great balance.
Mouthfeel is slightly thin for the style. It has a nice, smooth carbonation though.
Great drinkability. Really high ABV, but the taste is so complex and smooth I could drink it all day. In fact, I tried and failed miserably.

BDIMike, May 01, 2008
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one was a deep cherry red with a nebulous, massive head that retained throughout the entire beer and left some nice, thick lacing on the glass. The beer was cloudy because of the yeast and sediments included during the bottle's fermentation.

S: Sweet spices--clove, cinnamon, ginger--dominate the aromatic profile of this beer. Dark fruit notes add some additional sweetness to the nose, yet there is some faint tart smell that balances the sweetness, too.

T&M: The flavor is rich, fruity, and spicy. There are some light nutty characteristics as well that blend really nicely with the spices. As with the nose, a faint dark fruit flavor ties in the spicy flavors and balances things out well. This is an incredibly complex beer. It's got a moderately dry, yet spicy (not hot, but herbal spice) finish. It's got a medium body with a lot of carbonation that fuels the perpetually-lasting head and causes the flavors to explode on the tongue. A really interesting mouthfeel--this is a very engaging beer that requires your full attention.

D: I haven't had a ton of Belgians yet, but this one was fairly drinkable. I couldn't drink another 750ml bottle, but this one went down fairly easily. Definitely would recommend it for a beer experience that makes the most of all your senses.

BamaBeerBuff, May 01, 2008
Photo of trackstar1043
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper brown, with a bit of sediment at the bottom. Huge 2 inch tan head with great retention but little lacing.

S - Smell of warm toasty malts, a mix of spicies, a semi sweet carmel tones.

T - Rich and complex, has a mildly toasty flavor that seems to warm you us as it goes down. The spices come in next followed by a slight bitter-sweet hops finish.

M - Med to full bodied, has a smooth texture but not crisp, the aftertaste linger for a bit also. Strangely, no matter how cold the beer was it somehow seemed warm as it went down.

D - Very nice to drink and a great example of a Dubbel.

trackstar1043, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of dnichols
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed a 33 ml stubby bottle while celebrating the first burn of a buddies fire pit.

A: It had a light brown body with a robust two finger off white head. The head showed decent retention and there was dense layered lacing.

S: It hit me with the smell of toasted malts and sharp white spices (e.g., cloves and white pepper). I expected a bit deeper and more complex aromas so I was somewhat disappointed.

T: It began with the sweet roasted malts with hints of dark bready yeast. Mid swig my tongue was overcome with the tang of spices and bite of hops. It finished warm and clean.

M: It had moderate carbonation and a medium body. It finished clean with no noticeable aftertaste.

D: It was a very solid dubble but with other much better ones on the market it would be a rare day when this brew was the first string in my cooler. However, it makes a decent session beer and I would gladly swig quite a few if they were offered.

dnichols, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of Portertime
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chimay is a great Abbey beer and it just flies off the shelf at my store. Pours a dark chocolate covered cherry brown with some haziness. Smells of nice figs and raisons and a touch of yeast. Tastes well balanced with some red raison and other fruity malt notes. Cheers!

Portertime, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of rkinsella
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark ice tea color, slightly red tone. Clear with some sediment left in the bottom of the bottle. Head was excellent with a fair amount of lacing down the glass.

Smell - Grape, wine, fig, slight whiff of the alcohol. Pretty much all fruit smell, little malt or hops.

Taste - Tart wine, sweet raisin, with a very mellow touch of a bitter finish. A slight medicinal character overall. Some sour notes on the aftertaste. (that's not a bad thing)

Mouthfeel - Thick and wonderful, sparkles on your tongue.

Drinkability - For me it was like having a glass of a sweet wine. At the higher ABV level, I wouldn't consider another. A satisfying beer to say the least.

Great intro to Trappist Ales.

rkinsella, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of wedge
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

We have a gusher. Pours an understandably clouded dark reddened brown. Soft, creamy looking head that lasts as a wispy top and collar. Nice malt oriented aroma - doughy yeast, cherries, sweet bread, and a touch of chocolate. Thinnish flavor of fruity esters and phenolics with underlying chocolate and bread. A dusty yeatiness wraps up the flavor - dry and no real bitterness or lasting aftertaste. Medium body at the most, very smooth with low carbonation. Not very exciting, but not bad.

wedge, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of hyland24
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A- The beer poured a cloudy amber red with a 1/2 inch off white head that dissipated after a minute or so. There was little to no lacing.

S- The smell was much milder than the Tripple. Mild fruity raisin and fig with hints of malt.

T- Started out slightly sweet and hoppy with hints of raisin and grape. Finished with a more malty taste than the Triiple. Not nearly as strong as I expected with the 7% abv.

MF&D- Light to medium bodied with a heavy carb presence. Very drinkable for this abv. Great taste and body. I highly recommend this as well as the other Chimays to anyone interested in these styles.

hyland24, Apr 14, 2008
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,963 ratings.