1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,232 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,232
Reviews: 1,588
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 189
Gots: 490 | 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.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,232 | Reviews: 1,588 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sonicdescent
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The last Chimay for me to try is also my favorite of the three styles ..yes yes I know a Quad is technically a bigger Dubbel, bear with me.

Pour is a very murky brown with some floaties and a nice eggshell white head that gets pretty big bud also disappointingly dies down rather quickly.

Smell is great, bread and some light spice and malty goodness, no sign of hops.

Taste is surprisngly bold, mimicking the characteristics of nose with a bit more prominent spice. This is going to rank in front of the White but behind the Blue as far as my taste is concerned.

As with most Belgians, the mouth is refined to a point where you almost take it for granted. Relatively thin and bubbly, where it needs to be.

A fairly easy drinker for a relatively big beer, and definitely a good and slightly cheaper alternative to it's bigger brother, but for me anyway it doesn't hang with some of the better dubbels around such as St. Bernardus's 8 and of course the King, Westy 8.

Photo of GordonQuid
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750Ml bottle to a sifter glass.

Deep amber w/ a 1 inch white head. Ample lacing present.

Smells of fresh dates, raisins, ripened pair fruit and dark cherry candy laced w/ chocolate.

Taste is full bodied fruit-cake w/ a delightful yeasty bite that lingers.

Good full mouthfeel but very drinkable.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahh, Belgium.

Cloudy, dark amber color with a large white head. Rivers of tiny bubbles that fizz and pop like Snap, Crackle, & Pop.

Fall fruit, cider spice, yeast, molasses, licorice, plum...I could spend hours with my nose in the glass.

Tastes like it smells: divine. Candy sugar, plum, cider spice, orange peel, ad infinitum.

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

Picked this up as part of the Chimay 3 pack with the Chimay chalice. Being the lesser of the three beers (in terms of ABV) I decided to start with this one. Poured from the bottle into the Chimay chalice, beer is a very hazy, copper/light brown color with a standing, active head. There are small chunks of particulate that have settled to the bottom of the chalice. The biggest thing that hits my nose right away is the spicy phenols which reminds me of cloves. There is also a light fruitiness about it as well as very subtle hints of darker, roasted malts. The flavor also has the spicy phenols, but also a light fruity sweetness that reminds me of pears, apricots and white grapes. There is just a touch of bitterness to balance and a slightly solventy warming alcohol effect. A very complex beer. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, velvety with a slightly aggressive carbonation, formed by the bottle fermentation no doubt. Overall a drinkable beer but definitely one you want to sip and enjoy.

Photo of kinghotpants
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Red is dark red, like the label implies. It's a cloudy beer, with visible yeast particulate in suspension which makes it look thicker than it really is.

The smell is sweet spices and fruit, but it's not an especially strong nose. Yes, I sat there with my nose in the glass for a few minutes before I blamed the beer.

The taste is spicy, with caramel flavors. The beer has a dry, alcoholic finish. Right at the end, the alcohol gets into your nose. The dry finish makes it go very well with food, where it serves as a palate-cleanser. I'm enjoying it with some pasta and it's better than I remember.

The carbonation makes it effervescent. The dry finish makes it feel like it disappears at the end, but it's not watery.

Overall? Not bad. If you can find it for a reasonable price, keep on drinking it.

Photo of Grunewald
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours a cloudy dark umber with a thick beige head.

S - malty with fruit and flower highlights

T - sweet malt flavor with some chocolate and dried fruit details

M - crisp carbonation with a nice dry finish

D - well balanced and highly recommended

Photo of jwhawkins81
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Spice and a earthy funk. More spice that I usually like. some dark fruits as well.

Appearance - Tons of light tan head with a clear amber color to the beer.

Taste - Not as spicy as I expected but still spicy but decently balanced. Sweet as well but again balanced. A heck of a beer really.

Notes - I got through the 750 ml bottle pretty well so I have to say this beer is drinkable.

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

Presentation 330ml stubbie into chimay chalice.

Pours with a smaller head which dissipates into a creamy lacing however not very thick. Wispy and sparsely broken with bubbles. However this does give it a beautiful swirl when agitated Dark opaque brownish orange in color.

Smell: Dark malt smell evoking aromas of chocolate, caramel, pitted fruit and vanilla. Not strikingly strong of a aroma from this beer.

Taste: dark malt: caramel and grapes. Very wine-like. Alcoholic tasting (especially when it warms up) which is surprising for a lower ABV.

Mouthfeel: moderately carbonated with a heavy body. Surprisingly dry and bitter towards the end.

Drinkability: This is my least favorite of the chimays but still a really proper beer. The only thing off putting about it is the heavy body and slight bitterness. I actually prefer Ommegangs dubbel which is a faux Belgian over this. This is a sipping beer for sure.

Photo of wnh
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

Pours a cloudy, opaque reddish-brown with a decidedly orange tint, especially around the edges. Sustaining creamy ecru-colored head.

Nose is largely brown sugar with dark fruit (fig?). Dark fruit and apple juice flavors dominate, with a slight dose of earthiness to balance. Molasses-like richness throughout.

Medium bodied with small bubbly carbonation to keep it quaffably light.

Photo of Kromes
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brownish color with an off-white head that lasts the whole beer. Smells of clove, alcohol, belgian yeast, ripe dark fruits, and raisins. Incredibly smooth flavor....the clove and spice hits right up front followed by the bready yeast and raisin/fig and fruity flavors. The alcohol is barely noticable with a slight appearance. Again, finishes very, very smooth in the aftertaste. A nice spicy, full-bodied mouthfeel from the high carbonation. Leaves the mouth tingling long after the beer is gone which I think contributes to the lasting aftertaste. Extemely drinkable beer. One of the best I've had the pleasure of drinking...so far.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is part one of three this evening. I'm going to try all three Chimays tonight.

A: It pours brown with just a hint of red. The beige head is kind of a bit smaller than I expected - but it looks good anyway. The beer is cloudy with some residual lacing.

S: Well, it's a very sweet malty smell that first hits the nose. But there is also a rich roasted fruit smell to this complex beer. I can taste the caramell-malt.

T: Very complex - there are so many different flavours that hits my mouth I don't know where to begin: Sweet, sweet caramel-malt, but also a bit of dryness to it. Fruity (dark and dried fruit), and of course hops. The aftertaste is fruity, sweet and more bitter the longer you wait. It's a really long aftertaste.

M: Powerful and creamy, a bit dry.

D: The monks at the Trappist-monasteries sure know what it's all about. This is a fantastic beer - if you can get your hands on it - BUY it!!!

Photo of julian1117
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Visual Appeal: gorgeous cloudy bark-colored hue, smaller head than other dubbels I've tried

Smell: smell of yeast and malt, not as pronounced as a tripel

Flavour: delicious yeastiness, slight taste of charcoal toastiness, tart aftertaste

Mouthfeel: enough carbonation to be pleasant, but not nearly as much as Duvel

Drinkability: the flavour is milder than a tripel which aids this category, but the alcohol is very present so it's lower

I chose the smaller 11.20 fluid ounce bottle so as not to go into permanent debt. I poured it into a Belgian tulip glass.

Photo of trpng0bily
3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled sometime in 2007 (L07-221), tasted mid-2009.

a: Burnt orange to mahogany in color, notable for its lightness and clarity, with a chunky light-beige head upon a straight-down-the-middle pour.

s: Dried sweet fruit, cloves, cinnamon, and caramel.

t: Predominantly nutty, some warming cinnamon and such secondarily, slight bitterness coming on the back end.

m: Sharp carbonation takes away from the taste on the initial attack, but other than that smooth and somewhat creamy.

d: A bit hot for its 7%, and the sweet nuttiness can be a bit cloying if drunk at too quick a pace.

Photo of BluesDaddy
3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

It has been a long time since I had a Chimay brew so I picked up a 33cl bottle of the Red and Blue for what I thought was a fairly decent price (turns out they were about $.70 more per bottle at the register than marked in the cooler, but that's another story). Since I really like Belgians, I was looking forward a great deal to drinking them. I poured the Premiere in a smallish wine glass and immediately liked the appearance. Reddish brown with a haze and had a nice aroma of bread and malt - a good sign to me. Then I tasted it - what a disappointment. First of all, it had a very thin mouthfeel to it, nothing at all like other Dubbel's I've recently had. Maybe that was a result of the carbonation, which seemed a bit over done. The actual taste? Well, there just wasn't much to it. At first I thought it was simply too cold, so I let it sit a bit with my had cupped around the bowl and periodically tasted it. It just never seemed to really change. The 33cl bottle filled my small glass about 1 and 3/4 times, so by the end of the second (partial) glass it could no longer be said to be "cold" - really just right for a Belgian Dubbel, IMO - but still not much in the way of flavor. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, or simply too old. With all the rave reviews of this beer, I was expecting much more. I am hoping the Blue will be better.

Photo of OldYoda
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark brown with a huge head and lots of residual lacing. A very nice looking beer.

Smell is nutty and fruity with sweet malt. There is an alcohol presence but not overwhelming. Not much hops but still inviting.

Taste is wonderfully balanced. Just as full and complex as you would expect from the Chimay reputation. Raisons and dark fruit and sweet malt - all very lovely.

Mouthfeel is as smooth as glass - just wonderful.

Drinkability is great, I could sit and sip this all night. A great beer - nothing else to say.

Photo of Buggies
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with some hints of dark orange. Big head that fades to nearly nothing.

S: Smells sweet. Has a nice fruity aroma to it.

T: Taste is a little fruity with sweet malt. There is also a little spiciness there. Maybe clove? It makes for an interesting taste. Also has a warming affect as if there was big abv, but there isn't.

A very easy drinker that you can sip on during the evening hours to relax.

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was really good. I got the gift pack with the red, blue and whit and the goblet.

Appearance- dark red, translucent

Smell- winy, dark fruit

Taste- dark fruit

Mouthfeel- light to medium body

Drinkability- pretty drinkable, I would drink more, very nice

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After trying over 700 beers, I can't believe I have never tried a Chimay. So, I bought the Chimay box set, which comes with the three beers and the Chimay goblet. I plan on doing a Chimay-a-day and compare the three. Here is my review of the Red:

A: Pours a real murky brown color. Very cloudy. Head is a light tan color that sticks around nicely. Lacing is present as well.

S: Smells very malty. Pretty earthy and musty smell. A little sweet with maybe caramel or toffee.

T: Taste is very unique. Lots of malt in the flavor. There is a lot of toffee, caramel, maybe a touch of brown sugar. I also get quite a bit of earthy undertones in the flavor. I don't get much dark fruit. More malt centered and a little on the sweeter side. I am surprised the Belgian yeast flavor doesn't come though much in the flavor, which for me is a bonus.

M: Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Somewhat creamy. Good overall.

D: This is pretty smooth and goes down easy. The beer is pretty balanced and nothing overpowers the palate. For me, personally, one is enough. But pretty easy drinking overall.

I am not the biggest Belgian ale fan. But this one is pretty solid overall. Flavor is unique and malt centered with a nice, creamy body. Carbonation is not over the top like some Belgians I have had. I would drink it again. If you haven't had it yet, it is worth a look.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet from a 33cl (11.2oz) bottle.

A - Pours a dark dark amber with a haze and a one finger head that is very active but recedes quickly.

S - Sweet malts and some raisins in the nose. Cloves are present as well.

T - Malts are initially present and a bit bready then cloves come in and some phenols. Some fruit is present as well. I keep tasting prunes or raisins. Surprisingly refreshing and crisp. Well balanced with some bitterness and dryness at the back end. As it warms I also get some spicy hints.

M - Crisp and refreshing. Well carbonated.

D - Drinkable and enjoyable but Dubbel's aren't my favorite Belgium beers. Still a good choice.

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

Pours a clouded brown with an orange tint. Thin creme head. Nose is male and sugar. Flavor is the same. Earthy overall tone. Very slight fig and fruit thing going on as well. Feel has a bit of a nipping carbonation. Liquid is thick enough. Slightly complex on this one. Certainly not boring. And definitely a reliable beer.

Photo of jwinship83
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml corked and caged bottle with a born on date of 02/08 on the cork poured into my duvel tulip.

A- a very murky golden brown colored body with a large light beige colored head. the head lasts a long time and leaves solid walls of lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- this one smells strongly of belgian yeast. after that comes a plethora of dark fruits. cherries, plums, figs, dates, pears and raisins/tobacco. this one has it all.

T- the taste follows the nose closely. lots of fruits. pears, apples, cherries, plums, figs, dates and raisins/tobacco. bready malts and yeast as well. very complex with layers of flavors.

M- light and thin with a high level of carbonation. right on cue for the style.

D- easy to finish and almost low enough ABV to session. very nice. ill check this one out again. easily the benchmark for the style.

Photo of bwhite105
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep amber. Typical Belgian dubbel fizzy carbonation which dissipates quickly

Smell: Light floral and honey aroma with undertones of alcohol

Taste: Balance. Sweet, fruity, nutty on the front of the tongue, crisp bitter finish on the back. Rather bitter after taste dominated by alcohol.

Good beer but overrated. Probably the weakest variety of the Chimay brews, and Chimay is, in my opinion, the weakest of any of the Belgian/Dutch Trappist brews.

Photo of fullsweep
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

.33 L bottle poured into a pint glass.

Slow pouring yields a massive head that dissipates with moderate speed. The beer underneath is a brownish red and there's plenty of sediment.

Smells like a Belgian, but everything about this is just a cut above the rest.

Taste is both rich and sweet, but the sweetness is not artificial nor overpowering in any negative way. Only a mild bitterness that remains on the pallette.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and rich.

Great beer!

Photo of KarlHungus
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy dark amber color. The head is a firm one inch in height, and recedes very slowly into thorough lacing. The aroma is of dates, figs, hints of plums, faint star anise, and a soft malt undercurrent. It isn't the most robust aroma I've encountered in a Dubbel, but it is quite complex. The taste is more forthcoming than the aroma. There is a lot more anise, more malt, and ample fruit. The mouthfeel is on the a little fuller than medium bodied, with a lot of carbonation. Overall, this is a wonderful Dubbel that I will surely drink again.

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

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark red-orange color with a nice amount of head that doesn't stay too long and has fair amount of lacing. Upon smelling, the Premiére gives off a nice maltiness and dark fruitiness, hinting of figs. Great aroma especially upon warming up.

The first taste is great with a sort of spiciness and tang and then following up with a fruity and yeasty smooth feeling. The taste is very delicious and delighting. The mouthfeel of the brew has a light to medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Very drinkable and suitable for a nightly session. Another excellent product from Chimay.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,232 ratings.