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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.

3,756 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,756
Reviews: 1,551
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 146
Gots: 262 | FT: 2
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)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,756 | Reviews: 1,551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Estarrio


4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cloudy, dark copper with a large white head. The silky, fine lacings retained throughout the session.

Sweet malt, dark fruit, phenols and spicy clove compose a pleasing aroma.

Sweet malt, sugar syrup and doughy yeast are balanced by fruity esters and spicy phenols. A bit of clove and pepper are notable in the finish.

Medium bodied and well carbonated, this is drinkable, widely available and enjoyable dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 05:51:45 | More by Estarrio
Photo of JustinBathurst

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First off, this was cellared for a year and a half (large corked bottle). Poured a dark ruby red. The head was the dark side of tan, going to lace after first showing up substantially for a minute or two.

Smells quite floral, sweet and fruity. I have to make the comparison to Hoegaarden... it's similar in aroma. As it warms, the alcoholic notes waft up a bit more.

Nicely carbonated. Mouthfeel is good and average. Nothing amiss.

Tastes a bit woodsy with definite high alcohol notes. Tart initially, then bitter towards the finish. The aftertaste is a pleasant sour. As it warms, you get a bit of vanilla.

I quite like this. A nice one to bring out on special occasions.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 22:57:52 | More by JustinBathurst
Photo of veech


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second of the brews that I have tried from this impressive trappist brewery. 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Kapittel goblet.
A: Just an immaculate head with freakish retention. dark cupperic, golden color
S: Yeasty malted sweetness with mutiple floral and fruity undertones.
T: Up front, a touch of citrusy tang, with some candylike sweetness (is candy sugar used in the recipe?) accompanying the malts and contrasting low levels of hopped bitterness and a hint of an alcohol presence. The flavors all round out very nicely and the smoothness is unparalleled. Man have the Trappists got this beer brewing thing down or what.
M: Yeasty with a minimal graininess as velvety smoothness is the prevailing texture. Enough body to coat the palate and provide flavor, but light to medium bodied
D: Due to the medium bodied feel and alcohol content a session of this is tempting, but would likely prove painful on the wallet and the liver. I still found this to be supremely drinkable.
I become more intriqued and impressed with Belgian styles with each example I try.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 23:52:15 | More by veech
Photo of shamus

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one came corked and that cork flew out like a bullet. I think all the gas got out in that explosion as the head which was initially quite thick dissipated very quickly. This has a really nice spicy smell perfect for the holidays and cold winter nights. (I live in Ottawa the coldest capital next to Moscow normally. It's December and you can go out without a hat or gloves. It's balmy even!)
I'm really enjoying this beer and would gladly purchase it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 23:26:38 | More by shamus
Photo of Vancer


3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fresh sample, wow, and easy pour still produced a massive head of dense ivory. Sheet laced my ol’ plastic soda glass the entire time.

I was just a bit bummed by the aroma and taste. Both weaker than I expected. Just some sweet malts in the aroma, and the quaff was malty with subtle notes of the infamous Belgium yeast, sugar cane, and spicy fruits.

A highly charged and carbonated brew, the 7% is not noticeable. Very sippable beer and enjoyable – but kinda pricey with the import charges.

A freebie for me, thanks to my great son, “studying” overseas in Amsterdam - I was sent this for the unique chance to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 14:32:50 | More by Vancer
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, aged this bottle nearly a year and the results were killer, a yeasty dark reddish brown with a frothy thick head results. Smell is of yeast, multiple fruits, hoppyness, and an alcohol pungency. Taste is thick, dark, flavorful, smacks of fruit surround the toungue and stay afterwards, superb for sipping after a long day, a kicker of a beer and a great dubbel, even greater when aged. Dang.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 21:25:50 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of bigdeuce


4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brownish/red color with a nice thick creamy head. Light body, full of flavor, bursting with chocolate, plummy cherries. Smell is somewhat metallic. Beer is smooth and easy to drink. Really one of the best dubbels out there. I like it better than Westmalle or any of the other authentic "trappists". A good beer if you can afford it, price is very steep.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2006 01:49:37 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of alysmith4

District of Columbia

3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this beer on tap at a local pizza joint. Poured a nice golden color with a decent 1 1/2 inch head. Smell was very yeasty, not all that pleasant. Taste was much better.. slightly sweet, yet a tad sour, with a peppery finish. A hit of clove and other herbal notes came through as well. Medium to low carbonation. Easy to drink, but not more than one or two. Pair with a nice red meat or a mild, soft cheese.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2006 04:48:18 | More by alysmith4
Photo of gus


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark, rusty orange/amber in color. Smells consists of slight yeast with some apparent spices. Carbonation is above average, head is an off whit/tan in color, and lasts until the beer is gone. Lacing is moderate. A very smooth mouthfeel to it and goes down quite well with a slight aftertaste to it. Overall a very enjoyable beer. I have been waiting to try the Chimays and after sampleing the Red I will try the other styles. I will be going back to this and have some availbale for just sitting back and enjoying a really good beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2006 02:26:27 | More by gus
Photo of nlmartin


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A special thank you to grub he sent this as part of BC-2. The bottle is a 750ml bottle. The beer was served in my handy Leffe goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy red/ brown coloration. The head is a reddish brown coloration that quickly resolves into a ring of foam. Threads of lacing remain behind on my glass.

Smell: The beer smells like a very spicy sweet cola. There is a pleasant caramel covered dark fruityness to the beer (raisins, figs, and plums.). The alcohol comes forth in a spicy complement to the beer.

Taste: The beer comes forth as a sweet malty caramel. The beer is somewhat nutty and chocolatey. Cloves, cinamon and alcohol spice the beer provide a break from the sweetness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is well carbonated and helps to break up the sweetness. The beer has a medium body. This is one of the beers I crossed over into good beer with. It seems strange that I waited until about my 250 beer review to review this one. A dam fine beer that I will have again.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2006 18:12:37 | More by nlmartin
Photo of brdc


4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My review of Cimay Premiere should be taken with a grain of salt. I am very partial with this beer, after all, a sip of it a long time ago turned me into "real" beer.
Having said that, this time I honestly tried to put away my prior impressions and taste it slowly, really and carefully thinking about it - which is probably the only reason why I did not simply put a bunch of 5's there.
Anyway, here it is:

Appearance: Beautiful, hazy dark red with a very light tan head that dissipates quickly, with minor lacing.
Smell: Complex, sweet, estery, peppery. Very pleasant.
Taste/mouthfeel: Full bodied, sweet yet not overpowering sweetness likely due to the crisp carbonation and minimal hoppiness. Malty, with tastes of cloves, sugar and herbs. It is also fruity, mostly plums. The taste keeps improving as the beer warms up in my hands (I go very slowly with this one), and chocolate and caramel hints surface.
Drinkability: For such a complex and tasty beer, is remarkably easy to drink.
A masterpiece!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2006 03:07:23 | More by brdc
Photo of techdiver


4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown color with modest head that dissipates quickly. Has a great spicy sweet aroma. Taste is magnificent, this is so much better than their Tripel. I could drink these for hours, something I wouldn't try with the Grand Reserve. Well carbonated and very well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2006 20:47:57 | More by techdiver
Photo of ultralarry2006


3.2/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves less than a one finger tan head that recedes to long lasting surface skim, with a little bit of lacing. Body is a hazy apple cider brown.

Smell - sour horse blanket, sour apples, plums.

Taste - like the smell. Horse blanket, plums, sour apples.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - this is decent, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2006 14:25:21 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of drotski


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy, dark amber color. Thick, foamy head. After a couple minutes it settled to a thin foamy head that stayed throughout. Nice lacing.

The smell was very fruity, and you could also smell yeast, malt, and spice.

Tasted sweet right off, but a slight sourness from the yeast balanced it out nicely. You can taste the alcohol on the finish. Lots of interesting flavors can be pulled from this. Lots of spices and fruits.

Good mouthfeel, great drinking beer. Definitely a nice belgian beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2006 02:31:32 | More by drotski
Photo of DaveFL1976


4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to get the Chimay gift pack (an 11.2oz bottle of red, white & blue plus a goblet for $12). Quite the deal, I thought, and it gets me one step closer to having a glass from wach Trappist brewery.
The brew pours a moderately-deep brown with a fluffy tan head that settles down to a skim and doesn't leave too much lacing. The body is opaque from the yeast sediment.
Smell is on the mild side, but super yummy. Sweet but fruity smells waft up, and the subtle smell of dark candi sugar is evident.
The taste is super smooth and well balanced. It's not the sort of beer that will kick you in the face -- it's on the milder side, but wow is it ever tasty. And drinkable! Smooth mouthfeel with those super-tiny bubbles that you occasionally find in a Belgian. This is a darn fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2006 00:38:28 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of beeroclock

United Arab Emirates

3.28/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I purchased this beer at a liquor store, it came in 2 sizes, the larger bottle and a small, regular bottle. I got the large one and decided to split it w/ a friend. The bottle states to use a wide mouthed glass and serve slightly chilled. It was warm when purchased so we placed it in the freezer for about 10 minutes, which it came out about as perfectly chilled as we could have hoped for. We poured into a wide mouthed set of glasses.

A = Wow, talk about a foamy head, you can't even control the head on this one, it is inevitable. Once the head subsides, it laces throughout the entire glass. Auburn/brown w/ a tan head. S = I smelled some Scotch like hints and floral tones. Some sweet scent as well. T = Malty w/ a slightly bitter aftertaste, there is some sweet taste in there as well. All in all, this is an ok, slightly above average beer. It's not my 'cup of tea' but it's still pretty decent and I would drink it again. Of course, i'm more of the porter type of drinker, but this is still good..

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2006 20:12:02 | More by beeroclock
Photo of soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy auburn body with an ivory-beige head, on the small side but with fair retention.

Smell: Butterscotch, candi sugar, spicy yeast, a touch of brandy, floral hops, honey, red grape, ripe banana, and berry-like fruity notes. Delicate yet densely layered and very sumptuous.

Taste: Sweet and malty but nicely balanced by hot alcohol and tangy yeast. Fruity, spicy, and light yet robust. A great fall beer, with clove-like notes from the yeast. Finish is tangy, dry, and slightly boozy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and chewable, with soft, rolling carbonation. Maybe a bit over-carbonated, but the airy texture helps keep the sweet malts from getting too thick and heavy.

Drinkability: An excellent beer, almost saison-like in its delicate complexity and profound drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2006 00:22:20 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of jdoherty

New York

4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is as spectacular as advertised. Got my hands on this little bottle at a bodega in the Bronx (of all places).

A: A golden amber hue that gets darker on the way to the top. You can visibly see the sediment in a clear glass.

S: Chocalate nodes with a perfectly equal hops and malt smell. The two can not be mixed more perfectly. In my opinion this is the ultimate beer aroma.

T: A bitter caramel smell that leaves a sweet taste upon going down. There is a chocalate aftertaste which makes you want a few more sips

M: Heavenly, the carbonation tickles your tongue and the flavor fully coats your mouth

D: To be sipped and enjoyed, it almost forces you to savor every drop.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2006 08:57:36 | More by jdoherty
Photo of adammills


4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is another wonderful beer from Chimay. A nice righ amber with a solid head that lasts. Big caramel flavors, very smooth, with a hoppy biscuity end. Not the alcohol bit that the Blue has, which I think is the ingredient that places the blue above the red. Incredibly drinkable. A tremendous beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 15:31:55 | More by adammills
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small brown bottle. Dark brown body with fairly thick, slowly dissipating tan head. Smells malty and slightly sweet. Tasty, but not as overwealming as some Dubbels. Fairly well-balanced. Definitely can taste the hops and fruit influences. Fairly heavy-bodied. Very tasty A decent beer, definitely can see me drinking this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 00:19:06 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice clear medium amber with a tannish quickly retreating head which did little to lace at the glass.

The aroma was spicy with a Saaz hop characteristic when first poured. As the beer warmed and the head left the building the aroma became more earthy with a light peppery spice. Some malt was present with some light presence of dark fruits.

The flavor was spicy with an earthy hop presence. The malts in the flavor also contained dark fruits, mostly raisins, but not at an overwhelmingly strong level. The spices were a smide of cinnamon, a bit of clove, but mostly contained a peppery character. As the beer warmed more caramel became notable.

The finish was dry with a lasting fruity and spicy flavor into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a very high level of carbonation, the beer bubbled on the tongue and palate even after many minutes of sitting dormant on the desk. The beer had a light warming that occurred after consumption. An ok beer, nothing too exciting, but what is exciting is I can get this at my local grocery store.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2006 23:11:27 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of DieselSnorter


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a friend of mine has been telling me about this beer for quite some time. I finally got around to trying some and I must say that in my brief foray into quality beers, this is probably one of the better ones I've tried. I admit, I'm still early into my beer advocacy, and tend to like pretty much everything, but i really can't find anything I dislike about this.
poured into my snifter it came out a nice ruby color with a small head that didn't stay long. lacing was minimal.
the smell was intoxicating. I detected hints of fruitiness and alcohol with some cedar.
Taste held a spiciness with a hint of fruit, and something slightly medicinal.
Lots of small bubbles, in the mouth over a nice smooth, almost creamy texture. Very enjoyable.
I could see myself drinking this one a lot. It would complement a meal well, but I don't see it as being a session beer.

I very much enjoyed my first Trappist beer, and look forward to try all of the rest.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2006 01:55:09 | More by DieselSnorter
Photo of vanrassel

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying this beer a few years ago was one of the first tentative steps down the path of beer advocacy, and I still have a good deal of affection for it.

A great pour into my Chimay goblet was a nice reminder why I started seeking out beer like this: a towering beige head over a ruby body. The head had great staying power and left rings of lace down the sides.

Slightly medicinal alcohol, spice and yeast make up a nice balance in the aroma. Alcohol warmth, dried fruit taste (figs? prunes? both?) and a mild clove spiciness play their part in the flavour. The carbonation is lively, but not abrasive.

Although the many amazing beers I've sampled since joining BA have cut into the "holy shit!" factor of this beer, it remains a nice choice and I'm happy to return to it from time to time.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2006 12:17:44 | More by vanrassel
Photo of timtheenchanta

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown liquid that almost looks like dirty pond water. Thick slighty off-white head that laces well with sticky strands down the glass.

Nose smells of dried raisins, apples, alcohol, and slightly earty tones.

Huge fruity flavor that's almost a little watered down. There's some earthiness to it and a slight spicy bite to it.

Not bad but not the best dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2006 01:27:54 | More by timtheenchanta
Photo of kmo1030


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazed coppery brown with a tan head.
yeasty aroma, that combines bread and dark fruits like fig, plum, and raisin. some soft spicyness as well.
sweet caramel coated fruits (see aroma) make up most of the flavor with an undercurrent of yeast and spice. a soft spicy tang balances the sweetness, with an mild herbal bitterness drying things out a bit at the end.
medium bodied with active, but not sharp carbonation.
Good drinkability, for me this is an excellent textbook representation of the style, with nothing thats going to bowl you over, but with certainly nothing wrong either.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2006 21:04:03 | More by kmo1030
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,756 ratings.