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

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

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4,318 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,318
Reviews: 1,604
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 202
Gots: 563 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,318 | Reviews: 1,604
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.

Photo of ccrida
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A presumably older 33cl bottle poured into a Chimay goblet (at a decent Irish pub in Dothan, AL), Chimay Première is a murky, ruddy light brown with a white head that leaves light lace.

Smell is big fruity esters, oranges, sweeter, nice.

Taste is pretty good, a bit thin on malt side, which emphasizes the yeasty bite. Could use more fruity esters or something, good but my least favorite of the 3.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with a medium light body.

Drinkability is pretty good, particularly with food. Have the white as an appretif, and then the blue for desert.

Photo of WWWade
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this in my new Chimay glass. It reminds me of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale.
Good invenstment.

L - deep brown with a small off white head

S - not overpowering, light carmel

T - pleasantly carmelized and nutty

M - mildly carbonated and soft

D - easy to spend a lot of money enjoying this beer. I could drink more than neither my liver nor my wallet should allow

Photo of deapokid
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in my Chimay goblet:

Rich, ruby red coloration with a thin, white head and a touch more carbonation than its brother beers (blue & white). No other red brew looks this majestic, while still being mysterious and imposing.

Scent is surprisingly subdued. I'm catching caramel, a hint of barnyard muskiness, red wine and ripe cherries. I feel like this is usually stronger in aroma and I'm not sure why today's bottle is so hard for my nose to sniff out.

Taste has a deep cherry sweetness, accompanied by a hint of musk and caramel undertones. After further investigation, I noticed some roasted coffee notes, a smoky woodiness and a bubbly tingle that push it into brilliance.

Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, while still managing to be forthright and pronounced. This dubbel never strikes a false note and it might just be the most drinkable of the Chimay brand.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chimay- Red

A- Nice golden amber copper with a thick chunky head.
S- Tart sugary ripe fruits. Light touch of spice; pepper and clove perhaps.
T- Sweet bready, light caramel malt with an overpowering sugary dark ripe fruitiness. Cherries, plums, grape, and apple really come out.
M- Very sweet with a light puckering sourness. Finishes off with a tart malty touch.

Overall- Not as sweet or tart as I was expecting.

Photo of whtguitarguy
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a deep red color with a thick head that laces well. There is a sweet aroma and first scent was of apples and cherries and of course yeast. There is a deep flavor of apples and maybe a dark fruit or two. It almost has a really hard apple cider kind of characteristic, without being a hard cider. Also deep in the background there is a slight coffee like flavor.

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

The larger bottle, poured into a Chimay-branded chalice.

A nice light ruby hue, a half-inch of head that dissolves into a ring. A bit of lacing, but not much.

Nose of cherry, pear, bubble gum, a bit of spice, yeast.

Taste is excellent - sweet and fruity up front, bitter and peppery to the finish. A slight taste of alcohol at the end, but not enough to be jarring. Same tasting notes as in the nose. Delicious!

Mouthfeel is medium thickness, well-carbonated.

Always one of my favorites. Almost every time I walk into the LCBO I'm tempted to pick up a bottle. One of the best dubbels out there.

First rate!

Photo of tjd112
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation - Poured into Chimay glass at Bar on A in East Village

Appearance - Dark brown reddish colour with well retained but thin head, but little lacing

Smell - Very malty with a hint of clove

Taste - Bananas and dry fruit (ie: raisins) as well as aforementioned cloves

Mouthfeel - A very smooth, medium bodied beer with a somewhat dry finish

Drinkability - Less of a sipper than most Belgians

Overall - One of my faves

Photo of SkunkWorks
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

Poured into a wine glass.

Slightly cloudy reddish, brown with a thin, off white head that retains fairly well but leaves no lacing. As for the smell, its mostly malty with a hint of alcohol. The taste is giving me some spices and fruit up front along with some sweetness with a slight alcohol taste in the finish. It is very smooth, medium bodied and there's a little bitterness in the finish but not too much. The drinkability is high, especially for a Belgian (I typically find Belgian beers to not be very easy to drink). It's complex enough to where its enjoyable but not so much as to be a bad session beer.

EDIT: Updating my review. I had this again and I'm better at drinking now.

11.5 oz bottle poured into a Chimay glass.

Look: murky colored, looks brownish red. The head is off white, kind of reddish brown as well. The head pours two fingers and then settles down into a thin layer at the top of the beer. Oddly, looking at this beer in the Chimay goblet, I can't help but thinking "Of course this is a beer that some monks would be brewing."

Smell: first it smells quite musty, as though I'm smelling an attic. There's some caramel malt, dark fruit like raisin, plum and fig, bread, and spiciness along with the yeast. I can't smell the alcohol.

Taste: follows the nose well with fruity, spicy flavors. I can't taste much in the way of hops. The malt is clear and there's some bread flavor in the finish. The alcohol lurks in the background.

Feel: smooth but fairly thin. Not much bitterness. Not much warmth from the alcohol either.

Overall, a good beer and I'm glad I gave it a second go around since I could appreciate it more this time. Definitely give this one a try!

Photo of pittpenguin
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with some reddish hues. Big opening head which dimishes to a quarter inch with some lacing.

S: Bready with some spice. Dried fruits like raisen and plum.

T: bready with cloves and cinnamon, Again dried fruits plus fig. Medium finish.

MF: Medium density with live carbonation.

D: Warming but not too big. I enjoyed it.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a thin, bubbly, off white head that retains for a little and doesn't leave a lacing on the glass

S-clove and yeast hit the nose first, sweet fruits to follow, cherries, pear and dark plum

T-the sweet cherry and pear come in first fading into a dark plum flavor, the clove and belgian yeast come in towards the finish with a hit of citrus

M-very smooth and a full medium body, lots of carbonation and a slight presense of the alcohol

D-very tasty and a decent mouthfeel make it relatively easy drinking, not a huge amount of alcohol so i could have several and still be good to go!

Photo of devilben02
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque burgundy-brown, with a thin but dense creamy tan head. The aroma has a dry, fruity malt sweetness and a somewhat earthy character. The flavor has notes of sweet raisins, chocolate, earthy yeastiness, and there's a bit of a spicy finish. Very effervescent, but still quite drinkable.

Photo of ryanonline
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy reddish brown with a thick foamy brown/tan head and good lacing.

the smell is exquisite, candied fruits, sweet malts, maybe a little brown sugar. a slight bit of skunk but not in a bad way.

taste is much more reserved in the sweetness department, and a lot more funky up front. the malt character definitely shines through, also tasting a little grapefruit hoppiness.

this beer is creamy and bubbly on my tongue and medium bodied. slight bitter finish.

smooth going down, not too heavy. good stuff.

with Chimay i am never disappointed.

Photo of Long813
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Chimay Goblet

A: Murky amber body with two fingers of dirty white head. The head dissipates into a thin skin rather quickly, but leaves good lacing.

S: Strong belgian yeast, mixture of dark and citrus fruits and some caramel making a sweet malty aroma.

T: Initial taste of caramel malts and some dark fruits. Following is some spiciness I cannot pick out and then some breadiness and a hint of citrus fruit.

M: Medium body and high carbonation. Makes a frothy feel in the mouth then a bite from the carbonation. Leaves a sticky malty finish in the mouth with hints of alcohol burning the throat.

D: Carbonation seems a bit high, but it's good none the less. Very tasteful and would drink again at some point.

Photo of fastsrt
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one lives up to the hype, it is such a Balanced beer there are no flavors that are over bering, sometimes i find that the Belgian yeasts over power the other flavors in the beer not here. it starts off smooth and finishes smooth, this was a enjoyable brew.

Photo of cavedave
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a beautiful brown/red/dark amber, cloudy, thick. Atop it is a two finger head of lasting light beige foam.

The smell is a medium aroma of sweet yeast, light grain, plum, pear, with lightest hints of citrus, floral, and herbal rounding the bouquet into a delectable perfume.

The taste is a well blended combination of yeast with a slight sour to it, light fruits, even lighter hints of spice. It finishes juicy, full of herb, light caramel and alcohol, and lightest touch of mild bitter. Very delicious, not heavy at all, the flavors blend so well.

Mouthfeel is just right. Despite the big and lasting head it was tastefully medium carb. Very creamy and light in the mouth, it promotes a nice, if short, finish, and clears very well.

Drinkability is stupendously (and dangerously) good. I could drink this non stop until the moon escapes earth orbit.

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

Smooth, dark golden-brown, great lace, med-short head dissipating quickly. Sediment is abound. Taste is supurb sweetness dark fruit, zero bitterness, toasted grains and resin, faint chocolate plum honey. This beer has a bit less satisfying taste than the blue.

Photo of katan
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz into a pint

A - Pours a dark deep brown color. Very hazy, lots of floaties and yeast. Head formation is strong but not well retained. Appears very effervescent.

S - A muted nose - only the light amount of yeast bread notes come through. If I dig, I can almost get some alcohol notes.

T - Starts off with a sweet malty note of 2 row and some caramel/raisin notes. Mid-stream gets more bitter, but it appears to be more from a yeasty backbone. Hopping is not present. Finishes with a sugary sweet and phenolic zing.

M - Thick, creamy, full bodied. A bit of carbonation sting. Leaves behind a light sugary cling on the palette.

D - ABV is a bit potent for a session, as is its persistent sweetness. A bit filling due to its carbonation profile.

A Belgian beer staple.

Photo of TommyW
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark amber/brown with a white head.

S- Faint malty and semi sweet aroma.

T- Very malty with a nice blend of caramel malts mixed with some rock sugars.

M- Thick malty feel with an aggressive but pleasant carbonation.

D- Another great beer from this brewery; very enjoyable.

Photo of jbonapar
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally got around to trying the Chimay's. I have the blue in the fridge for tomorrow :)

Pours a wonderfull dark redish golden brown. Lacing and a nice head that just fill the glass and stay there as you drink it.

Spice Spice Spice. Wonderfull, almost like an Indian Spiced Tea Smell with a slight alcoholic warmth.

Taste: Wonferully crisp. Strong cloves and western Asian spice. The spice just lingers, even a few minutes after the last sip. The spice is balanced by a Middle Eastern dried fruits. Some a wonderfully complex, but easy drinking beer. I noted to my friend, I could actually buy 4 or 5 of these, watch some Hockey and really enjoy it. I wish all beer that tastes this good could be so easy drinking.

I highly recommending giving this beer a chance if your not a Trappist beer expert, if you are, then you already know this is a nice brew...

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

Pours a nice burnished copper color with some very nice foamy head; no lacing at all. Great scent, very sweet and funky with nice malt tones and a hint of cherries. Sweet and sour taste; great maltiness with a slight fruit and esteryness to it; lasting tart flavor on the tongue. Smooth with a slightly funky finish. Great Trappist ale!

Photo of NightINgale
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottle poured into a branded Chimay glass.

A - Cloudy reddish amber body with some light bubbles and a off-white frothy head. Head retention is decent at most.

S - Quite a complex fruity yeastiness and a nice amount of caramel and brown sugar maltiness. Notes of cherry and plum.

T - Starts out with some moderate sweetness, followed by some bitterness and spices (cinnamon, clove). Notes of brown sugar, cherry and apple are quite apparent. The finish is just a bit bitter and bready with some lingering caramel notes.

M - Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and some slight pepper-like burning sensation. Quite smooth too.

D - Pretty good drinkability for a Belgian dubbel. Chimay beers are great all in all, that's exactly why they are so popular amongst beer lovers and connoisseurs.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I bought this in a 3 pack with a chimay glass. Poured it into a chalice and pours a very hazy amber color with red highlight's. Heading stays round with a nce heading throughout. Lacing does stick around too.

Smell is of ripenend fruit with an extreme sweet caramel aroma. Slight warming alcohol which taken over by a peppery-clove aroma.

Taste also similar to the nose. Darker fruits of plum maybe raisin. The warm alcohol invades the mouth which is then turned into a candy sugar taste that sticks throughout. Slight hoppiness just for good measure.

Mouth is very rich and alive on the palate alot going on in the mouth. Full bodied I'd say and very fizzy. I believe you can put this into a paint shaker,pour it,swirl it and still get great carbonation in this.

Drinkis great a little of the hot alcohol is apparent so probably not a great session beer but a definite must taste.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nearly the same color as the label. Its a deep and muddy shade of red. Totally hazed over. 1/2 finger head rises up and stays around for a little while but it faded while I was letting my glass warm slightly.

S- Im getting a really weak aroma. Its either my chalice or just the way the beer is. Ive let it warm slightly. I think Im picking out some dark fruits and notes of caramel... Either way its sweet and rich.

T- Figs and prunes are the fruit that comes to mind here. Its really spicy and peppery on the finish. There is a flash of bitterness along with some citrus from hops right before I swallow. It really balances this beer well.

M- Sharp and prickly bubbles galore. Not cloyingly sweet.

D- The alcohol levels are nearly undetectable. It finishes clean, is not cloying and is very well balanced. Good drinkability here.

Photo of GeezLynn
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, almost cider-like with a frothy off-white head that continues to ooze. Smell of dried dark fruits and tart apple, along with breadiness and yeast.
Flavors are similar to smell with figs and raisins, and some hops there keeping things balanced. The finish is so abrupt, dry and clean, that it makes it difficult to really mull over the individual flavors.
Mouthfeel leaves much to be desired. Froths as soon as it hits the mouth like no other beer I've had before (improves slightly over the course of the drink). This somewhat obscured my ability to taste the beer.

Tough to knock a standard like this, but should say that I enjoyed the Ommegang and Corsendonk versions of this style much more. Good, but nothing to get excited about.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,318 ratings.