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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.

3,770 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,770
Reviews: 1,552
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 148
Gots: 269 | 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: 3,770 | Reviews: 1,552 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rarevos

New York

4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 33cL bottle into Chimay goblet.

A: Deep, opaque, dark brown with amber/ruby highlights. Two fingers of fluffy tan head that stuck around a good long while. Sticky trails, and a solid layer of foam on the surface once the head subsided.

S: A malty sweetness combined with a sour port quality. Robust earthiness and spiciness as well.

T/M: Caramel/toffee up front with some bright, lively spices (black pepper, clove) moving toward the middle. Finish is nicely dry, mildly bitter, and has a long, spicy tail with notes of dried banana, plums and mango. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and lightly chewy.

D: Oh, man. This is just terrific stuff. The malt is balanced with a bunch of other flavors, and the finish is just dry and bitter enough where you get some beer-like qualities so you know you aren't drinking a sweet-malt soda. This is a wonderful beer, not too malty, not too fruity. Very warming and comforting beer. A personal favorite.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2006 20:00:17 | More by rarevos
Photo of TechMyst


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

Container Volume: 330ml

Container type: bottle (conditioned)

Fresh: of course

Purchased @: cardinal (harvard)

Cost: 3.50

Head: VERY snap crackle pop, then dissapating

Lace: excellent

Reflected- red
Transmitted- ruby red

Aroma: strong sweet sour apples

Mouthfeel: med-heavy

Palate: adjusts

Finish- bitter apple

Comments: Bottle Conditioned, which makes it a "Real Ale."

Mowing/Working on car- NO
With Friends- y
Sipping- y
Get my buzz on- y

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2006 15:22:30 | More by TechMyst
Photo of dblinkhorn


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

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into my Chimay chalice.

Appearance - This beer pours with a very active eggshell head that is very silky on top, and slightly soapy underneath the surface. It dissipates slowly and holds at a thin cap of head on top of the brew. There is moderate carbonation activity inside the ruby/brown beer. It is almost perfectly clear and probably would be if I hadn't poured just a bit of the yeast sediment into the glass.

Smell - Slightly floral and bitter (soft character) hops with a raw and grainy smelling malt presence. Ripe fruits are present, but are not near the level as in the Chimay Grande Reserve. Only a touch of spice is noticeable on the nose. This aroma from this brew reminds me mostly of a typical west coast micro ale. It actually smells very close to Anchor Steam. I really can't notice any alcohol at all in the aroma of this brew.

Taste - Well the alcohol is definitely more noticeable here, but overall it's not that powerful. It is mainly detectable as you exhale after a sip. The flavors are well balanced. There is a nice (again American Micro-brew style) crisp and bitter hop character that has some notable floral accents (although few). The spice stands out a lot more here than in the smell, with obvious clove and pepper. The malt character is soft but hearty. It has a bready/doughy flavor and is overall pretty subdued and mellow.

Mouthfeel - A bit too much on the carbonation for my liking, with a moderate bite to the tongue and mouth right off the bat (and this lingers all the way into the aftertaste). The brew itself is fairly light-bodied and smooth yet has little substance to it. This definitely feels like a "Light" version of the Grande Reserve.

Drinkability - The carbonation is a bit harsh, but nothing unsettling. The alcohol burn is slight and this stuff is generally very easy to drink. It is has much less potency than the Grande Reserve in all categories, even though they share many similarities.

Overall, the quality aspect of this brew is its balance. I am also especially fond of tasting a little bit of what I am used to--that being the crisp and bitter hop character I have come to love in American microbrews. It is true to its Belgian style, though, with definite notes of spice and some floral and fruity notes throughout. This is actually probably going to become one of my main session beers because it would be very easy to drink three or four of these and not feel like you ate a Thanksgiving dinner or be dead drunk. Recommended for certain.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2006 04:50:33 | More by dblinkhorn
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

corked and caged 750ml bottle. big "pop" as i pulled out the cork.

pours a deep reddish amber colour with a big fluffy off-white head. only takes a minute for the head to drop and it leaves very little lace behind.

aroma is nice. spicy with just a hint of funk.

taste is good. nice malty backbone. a bit of spice here too. i can pick out a bit of clove and maybe some corriander. pepper too.

mouthfeel is nice. dry and highly carbonated, typical of the style.

drinkability is good. it hides the alcohol really well and is quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2006 00:14:58 | More by grub
Photo of pweis909


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

11.2oz stubby brown bottle
Appearance-Light brown, translucent, hazy, with a thin, persistent, creamy foam.

Smell-Dominated by yeast, reminiscent of bread

Taste - yeasty and bready, to be sure, but slightly roasty with subtle hints of malt that become less hidden as the beverage warms in the glass. Also, a bit of phenolic character -- leathery? Dry finish.

Mouthfeel -- Crisp and dry

Drinkabilty --Would drink it again, but it doesn't have the most compelling complexity.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2006 10:14:17 | More by pweis909
Photo of bjohnson


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

A: Pours a dark copper almost plum color with a frothy one finger caramel colored head. Nice retention on this guy.
S: Aromas of phenols mostly wtih a slightly sweet dark fruit background. Yeastyness is noticeable.
T/M: Nice phenol burst at the front that falls off into a creamy sweetness. Carbonation unleashes the flavors on the tongue. Subtle dark fruit notes. Smooth through the mouth with a slickness that ends dry.
D: Drinkable but I was expecting to be blown away by this Chimay. Not a bad dubbel though, probably one of the better ones out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2006 00:40:52 | More by bjohnson
Photo of jasonjlewis


4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Nice brown color and nice head retention.

Smell: SOOOO appealing. Caramel malts come through on the nose and it's heavenly.

Taste: A lot of brown brews are too malty and thick of malts. It can be too much. But this is so smooth and even. It has a faint hop profile, but it's soo balanced that it's incredible.

Mouthfeel+drinkability: This has an incredbile crispness on the palate. It's a nice beer to drink while it's raining outside. I wish I was richer so I could drink this all the time.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2006 00:45:05 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

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

The Belgian Dubbel has got to be in my top three favourite styles. That said, I believe that this and Westy 8 are my two favourite Dubbels. I have had this in the past, and as much as I enjoy it, I cannot believe that I never got around to reviewing it.
Poured from a 750mL bottle glistening with condensation as I had left it sit out and come up from 7C up to about 13C. It poured a wonderful hazy, cloudy burnt orange colour with lots of yeasty debris floating about in this particular bottle. Lots of sweet malts and yeast present in the nose. There is also a bit of a dank basement sourness that is very, very faintly present that reminds me of a Saison. It's very deeply buried, but there nevertheless. The taste is mildly bitter with very, very faint hops. Sweet roasted malt dominates, with some yeast making a bready appearance very quickly. Mouthfeel is smooth and wonderful with its pleasant level of carbonation. Indeed, one of my all time favourite.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2006 01:31:04 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of wolffman17


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chimay Red pours a murky reddish brown with a big tan head. I expected the head to be nice and creamy, but it was more fizzy than anything. Nevertheless, this is an attractive beer.
The aroma is outstanding. It's smells of sweet candy, apricot, and dark fruits. It's a bit phenolic, but not enough to distract.
The dark fruits are more evident in the taste than the aroma indicated. It's not as sweet as the aroma indicates either, and the yeast esters hit in full force...lots of spice and clove.
The high carbonation seems to be one of the few noticably negative traits of this beer. The alchohol isn't diguised that great either.
I think the drinkability is hurt somewhat due to the feel. Still, an overall impressive beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2006 01:22:03 | More by wolffman17
Photo of kosmoraios


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the reasons that Chimay is such an excellent ale is that it's so widely available.

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy golden color into my tulip glass, with a 2-finger head that lasts for about 120 seconds before dissipating into lacing on the glass. Retains a few millimetres on the top of the ale.

Aroma is of bready Belgian yeast, toffee-like malts, banana, and perhaps a bit of coriander or some other spice.

Taste is bready, malty-sweet with some floral/fruity notes. Banana is evident, as well as some nuttyness - cashews, I think. This ale becomes more complex as it warms, and some more spicyness begins to come out.

Mouthfeel is carbonated, spicy, and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. A very drinkable dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2006 19:57:39 | More by kosmoraios
Photo of doubleipa


3.15/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The cork said 01/05, so I assume that this one is a year and a hlf old - I've had it in the basemenet for 8 months. About a half inch, light-brown head that mostly diminished. Color was a nice brown.
Aroma was light malt, bread, yeast and a little roasted. Taste was thin and there really wasn't much to it. Not much matliness that I would've expected. Carbonation was still lively, but it had a bit of a metallic taste. I think I need to find a freash one of these and compare.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2006 15:19:10 | More by doubleipa
Photo of Cresant


4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this 11.2 oz. into a Duvel glass. Received three fingers of head which faded rather quickly. Body was a unique prune/leather/rust color and semi-opaque.

Smell was of spicy plums and sweet grains. Rich and interesting.

Taste was everchanging and complex. Sweet, yeasty, cloves, and raisin bread. Non-cloying sweetness balanced with a mild tartness. Alcohol was well hidden.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and pleasantly tingling with carbonation. Not a "challenge" to drink; complex yet approachable.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2006 13:54:22 | More by Cresant
Photo of expatsteve


3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Murky brown, with red and orange hues. Big 3/4 inch head leaves no lacing. Low viscosity.

Aroma: Lots of bready notes, with a little sourdough present. Some golden raisins, caramels, and a hint of orange peel.

Taste: bread, with a little fennel, some espresso and citrus sours. Some raisins and honey developments. The front palate malts and yeast are a little too much, leaves the other flavors a little muted.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, with only a mild malt aftertaste. Low creamy carbonation.

Drinkability: Good, but light for the style. A good beer to stick with for a night, though there are better options within the style and for the price.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2006 18:54:44 | More by expatsteve
Photo of Iguana


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

Just picked up the Chimay gift pack today for my first Chimay experience.

Appearence - Poured a beautiful medium hazy brown with a lovely 3/4 inch head, that doesnt seem to want to go down, into the Chimay goblet that came with the gift box.

Smell - Wow, getting cinnamon, vanilla, gingerbread cookie, little bit of yeasty spicyness. Some ripened fruit. Smell is amazing.

Taste - Spicy, malty start which leads to a hint of banana followed by a nice clean dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Starts out a bit tingly on the tongue and leads into a dry finish that leaves the palette wanting another sip.

Drinkability - Well, I dunno as I would have more than 1 in a night, but I will definitly have this again, a good representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2006 09:01:27 | More by Iguana
Photo of Golden2wenty1


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

The 9th and final round of the 9-Round Trappapooza/Trappaganza '06 with expatsteve.

Pour: murky strawberry/mahogany under an uninspiring finger of khaki bubbles that fizzle to a skim.

Nose: light citrus, yeasty wit spice, hot apple cider tart/spice/sweetness going on in the finish.

Taste: bready, spicy yeast, raisin bran malt, caramel cream and light citrus booze in the finish.

Feel: thin, watery, a bit lifeless with fine carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: nearly as drinkable as the Blue and White, but nowhere near as much character, complexity or development. The most boring of the 9, but a nice low-key, non-intensive way to finish another epic Madison Style Session.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2006 20:27:21 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of headlessparrot

Ontario (Canada)

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

I have never tried a Dubbel before, but I was compelled to try Chimay Premiere upon simply taking in the glorious shape and size of the bottle. This, no doubt, will be an enlightening experiment.

Poured from a 750mL brown, corked bottle into my goblet a sort of chestnut, dark brown, with perhaps a tea sort of shade to it. Tooped by an impressive two fingers of faintly-off white foamy head that has some impressive staying power and leaves quite a bit of lacing. This looks delicious.

Smell is perhaps more subdued than I would have thought going in. Molasses, plums, raisins, caramel. Very subtle at first. Molasses. Obvious Belgian yeast. Faintly spicy, sweet malt, a touch of nutmeg and cloves. Faint alcohol warmth. Banana. A touch metallic and a faint leathery sort of character. Bitter chocolate as it warms.

Taste is also fairly subtle, though I've served this too chilled and am going to have to let it warm. Quite delicious, however. Metallic character comes through (which seems to be a prevailing feature of Belgian ales), but is offset by the remarkable world of taste accompanying it. Fairly sweet at first, presenting dark fruits (raisins, plums), with a touch of caramel and molasses and some gentle spices - perhaps nutmeg and cloves? A touch of citrus. Finishes dry and slightly bitter, when the slight hoppiness finally asserts itself. Fairly creamy. Banana. Yeasty. A woody character. Tastes become more pronounced as the brew warms. A peppery touch in the finish. Candied sugar. Just a faint sourness. Fairly long, almost chewy finish. This one leaves an impression.

Mouthfeel is a bit of a mixed bag. Though I'm not particularly well-versed in the style, the beer is a touch too carbonated, though the body is remarkably rich and full. Drinkability is fairly high - in contrast to Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde (my nearest comparison), I don't feel ill after half of a bottle (which is a good thing, since there is still another serving left in this 750mL bottle!). Not for everyday consumption, but a delicious treat nonetheless.

This is definitely a beer that's worth a try; if you haven't been able to get your hands on it, you may be missing out. Chimay Premiere is simply a treat.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2006 19:01:50 | More by headlessparrot
Photo of MusicmanSD


4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simply put one of the best damn beers I've ever had. The original Chimay. The way it looks, ohhhh how I wish there was a 10 option! Fantastic off-white head, with the cloudy orange-red sunset looking body. Head recedes quickly, however, never does become a ring! The smell is awesome with raisins, sugar, molasses, caramel, and lots of other aroma's I'd never even dreamed of smelling in beer. The taste is the aforementioned last sentence except the yeast kinda makes it metallic tasting in a way. Alcohol is well hidden, although sort of prevalent at times. Kind of like a smooth, more refined, Arrogant Bastard. The mouthfeel isn't 5.0, but it's damn smooth. A running trait of this beer. The drinkability is awesome. You'll probably be toasted after one bomber bottle (in my case, 3 goblets full), but damn is it good. Wish it lasted longer and I had a tap of this in my house! Smooth and sweet. Perfect! Or in another case...Brilliant! Can't wait to try the blue label. Dubbel might be my new favorite style of beer!

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2006 04:16:40 | More by MusicmanSD
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at cellar temperature in the Chimay chalice.

Appearance- Pours a deep chestnut/garnet, with a finger of bone white head. Good cling... a thin mat and foamy center island remain standing.

Smell- Spices and dark fruit, plums, figs, a mild aroma of shoe leather. No real alcohol nose going on here... more notes of briefcase and bowling ball bag. Flan.

Taste- Extremely weak for a dubbel... not much character at all. Very diluted tastes of dark fruit and malts, with a light hop bite in the very finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Quite thin but nicely carbonated... a very easy drinking dubbel. For the style, it doesn't interest me nearly as much as St. Bernardus or Westmalle, but it certainly isn't bad.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2006 21:29:19 | More by yelterdow
Photo of Beerzebub


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

Gentle pour in a goblet. Thick beige head, with mounds like snow. Head goes down slowly, a decent layer remains for a long time. Dark red. Oily transluscence, not cloudiness ( I was careful to leave the yeast compacted on the bottom of the 750 ml bottle). Smells of spice, cakes and cookies, yeasty dark fruit, hint of refreshing minty herbs. Banana bread? Smell is not very strong, but deep and enticing.

Malt, fruit, pleasing warm spice. Hint of alcohol. Very mild sweetness, slight nutty bitterness. Really tasty, but the finish is not very long. Decadently creamy mouthfeel, the bubbles are really tiny.

This is a classic. Not a sipping beer, a mouthfull gives the best taste and mouthfeel. Best served not very cold.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2006 08:04:04 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of peabody


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Whoa, my first Chimay. Dang, those tops sure do pop loud. Better not open around a sleeping baby!
The bottle was the pint 9.4 oz. It poured out with a large two finger creamy head that took a while to dissapate. Slight lacing .
The smell was very subtle but I could detect a caramel and spicy fruity aroma.
The first drink gives you a light warm fruity spicey watery flavor turning into a slight hop , caramel and alcohol aftertaste.
Very clean in the mouth but the flavor goes away very quickly.
All in all, you want to drink lots of this Trappist concoction.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2006 22:25:40 | More by peabody
Photo of hunteraw


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

Appearance: Dark brown with garnet highlights. Big two finger head with good retention. Nothing in the way of lacing.

Smell: Aroma is surprisingly spicy, with some malt and belgian yeast underneath.

Taste: This is a beer to let warm up. The warmer it got, the more flavorful it became. Spicy, then bready yeast and malts. Bitterness seems well-balanced. Finishes dry, which I like.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, improves as the carbonation fades

Drinkability: Could use a little bit more in the flavor department, but drinkability is good.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2006 23:14:33 | More by hunteraw
Photo of TheLiterati


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

Beautiful, cloudy, tea-colored ale, with a thick and sturdy tan head. Aroma is deceptively underwhelming at first – maple undertones with fruit (think plums and raisins), molasses – it’s all in there, but it doesn’t overpower. Instead, it bouquets over time as you sip.

Full-bodied Belgian ale without being heavy, Chimay caresses your palate as you drink with a mild carbonation and a semi-dry finish.

I’ve no idea why I put off enjoying this beer for “special occasions.” After all, any occasion involving a great beer is special!

Absolutely drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 06:08:19 | More by TheLiterati
Photo of Avagadro

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the local grocery store. After 53 hours of work this week, I deserved a trappist =D. I got the corked bottle and poured it into my tulip glass. A nice frothy head, typical of most belgians, formed upon the pour. I was suprised to see the head fall almost immediately. This is very possibly due to the fact that I havent used this glass in awhile and my mom was the last to wash it. Color is reddish copper and alittle hazy, very sexy. Aroma is strong and has the honey-fruit aroma that is present in many trappist ales. Taste is initiated with a blast of honey-fruitiness, I want to say plum, but I don't really eat them so I'm not sure. The flavor leaves with a sweet bitterness that leaves you wanting more. The mouthfeel is light bodies with a nice carbonation. You can feel the bubbles forming on your tongue with every sip. Drinkability is good for a Trappist ale. If I had the money this would be a good sessions beer. All in all I think this is a very fine brew. Great for a special occasion when you can't spring for Rochefort. This is alot better than Ommegang, and a tad bit better than Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde, which I feel tastes alot like this.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2006 01:43:42 | More by Avagadro
Photo of thebarracuda


3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

another corked beer (vintage jan 2006) pours a medium brown with a thick head that settles quickly, leaving some lace around the rim. Its got a very light carbonation, with creamy undertones, very clear and light, almost a thinned out version of Grand Reserve. With its darker color and fair amount of sediment, and as mellow and smooth as this beer is, you'd never guess its a 7%

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 06:45:50 | More by thebarracuda
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful beer. A medium brown color with a thick white head and nice lacing. It has a sweet, molasses-like aroma, as well as some fruit. It tasted sweet, not too sweet, dark fruit, and maybe a little chocolate. Nicely carbonated. I could sit and drink this beer for hours.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2006 11:42:53 | More by lordofthewiens
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,770 ratings.