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

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

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3,751 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,751
Reviews: 1,551
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 146
Gots: 260 | 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: 3,751 | Reviews: 1,551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scoobybrew


4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into a Chimay chalis. The color is cloudy amber. It has a nice thick head with good retention. The aroma is excellent, dominated by fruity yeast with malty accents. The taste is lively with fruity yeast and complex, rich malt. It's balanced very nicely as it's not very sweet, typical of a dubbel; the hops are barely noticeable, mostly on the finish. There is some peppery accents due to the yeast used for bottle conditioning. It has a medium body with high carbonation and goes great with the taste of the beer.

Overall, this is Chimay's best offering in my opinion, or at least the one they really shine best on. However, with the alcoholic content you can't really drink too much of this. Otherwise you'll be taking a pleasant nap.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 11:24:25 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of gnoff


2.88/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Swedish "Systembolaget".

Brown color, brown head.
Belgian beer scent.
Very metallic taste.

A bit unpleasant, and it's not just this one bottle, I've felt it when I've tried it (the red) before as well.

I love the Blue Chimay, but the red one is just not glass of beer at all.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2006 20:13:20 | More by gnoff
Photo of weeare138


4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a murky brown with a small, 1 finger off-white head that stays around forever. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of mild cocoa, candy sugar, gentle caramel, vanilla, along with yeasty dough.
Taste is of the same aromas in the classic Chimay style.
Mouthfeel is smooth, caramely, sugary, with creamy vanilla sliding along the tongue. Very clean with sugary vanilla esters and light caramel standing up to the challenge.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2006 16:52:21 | More by weeare138
Photo of kpw1000


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

My first introduction to this style was via Corsendonk. I am biased toward the IPAs (I love the Stone IPA), stouts (Mackeson Triple Stout, a favorite), brown ales (like Samuel Smith, Dogfish Head's Indian Brown is a delight).

It took a few bottles of Corsendonk before I began to appreciate this style more. I think I was initially put off by the spiciness of the style.

Naturally, once I thought that I had some appreciation for the style, I felt I had to try the vaunted Chimay.

I had my first Chimay in a bar a few weeks back and really liked it. This time round, I was savoring the Chimay at home in a sour glass (a smallish, open glass intended for---it follows from the name---sours). The glass allowed for some dissipation of the head, but it held in there anyway, a full inch, for quite a while. The color was a nice dark orange brown. At the time of uncapping, the bottle was probably somewhere around 40-50 degrees F.

I'll bypass smell, because truthfully, my smell is not that keen. Never was a cigarette smoker, but still not that keen.

As for taste, I enjoyed this a lot. The dubbels are definitely growing on me. The Chimay is on the spicy side, appropriate for the style, as I understand it. Truthfully, much as enjoyed this, I should admit my bias and acknowledge its still not my preferred style.

The mouthfeel is perfect, not as heavy as the Corsendonk (but I confess it's been weeks since I had one). I felt that all aspects of my palate were stimulated by this brew.

This is an excellent beer. Those with more exposure to dubbels might have more sophisticated comments to make. For those like me, I think you should go for it. This is a very refined experience. You'll enjoy it immensely.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 23:58:17 | More by kpw1000
Photo of asabreed

New York

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

33 cl. shorty bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: I didn't give it as vigorous a pour as I wanted, so it didn't quite come over the top of the glass. The head and lacing isn't as sustaining as I wanted it to be either. The head stays at about 1/2" while the lacing for some reason isn't there too much at all. The color is a dark hazy copper amber color, darker than I thought it would be.

Smell: Heavy on the appleskin oils, dark berries, yeast, slight hops, lemongrass and citrus, banana, candi sugar, and slight phenols. Extremely balanced and pleasant.

Taste: Appleskin and yeast at the forefront, some banana, lemon, heavy yeast and mild hops close to the finish, and by the end there's a lingering presence of citrus and slightly bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Full without beyind cloying or too sweet. Enough carbonation to not make it syrupy or anything, but not spritzy or too much by any means.

Drinkability: Not my favorite example of the style, but certainly one I'll keep drinking again if the opportunity presents itself.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2006 19:18:42 | More by asabreed
Photo of IntriqKen


1.93/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured a light amber with incredibly large white head that melted rather quickly to fine lacing.
Aroma was musty yeast and too sweet malt with a touch of dried fruits.
Taste was overshadowed initially by the extremely high carbonation level of tiny bubbles...almost like the beer couldn't make it to my tongue but got blocked off by CO2 first.
Primarily sweet malt and raisin-dried fruit tastes...too sweet in my mind.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin after the carbonation disappears, for a beer this sweet and fruity tasting. Unpleasant aftertaste of stale yeast.

I will have to try this one again just to compare notes, but I didn't enjoy this Chimay nearly as much as the hype. In fact, I didn't enjoy it at all.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2006 17:18:21 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of arguemaniac


4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown with a frothy white head that never really goes away. The sweet aroma features notes of dark fruit and alcohol. The fairly complex palate includes an almost sugary malt sweetness, a touch of clovey spice, both light and dark fruit flavors, a nice caramel/toffee note and some warming but well-hidden alcohol. The finish is fruity and sweet with some toffee and grain. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light and the carbonation provides a brief tang.

One of the better Belgian beers on the market, it’s also easy to find, which is certainly a plus. My only complaint is that it’s a bit pricey, like the other Chimays. The price isn’t outrageous, but there are equally good if not better beers of this style that aren’t as expensive. Otherwise it’s drinkable, complex and very tasty. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2006 03:13:40 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of danielharper


3.38/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased from Frugal MacDougal, Nashville, TN.

A: Orange-brown body, opaque even in good light, with a very thick slightly off-white head.

S: Nice aroma, inviting. Citrus aroma, some maltiness. No hops present, no hints of yeast.

T: Slightly sweet malt flavor, hints of yeast. Aftertaste astringent and slightly salty, which makes the whole experience vaguely unpleasant for me.

M: Thick, luxurious, enjoyable. Foams nicely.

D: It's decent. I'll drink it again eventually, I'm sure, but overall this is the least of the Chimays.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2006 19:23:13 | More by danielharper
Photo of jamie2dope


4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Chimay Red...here we go. Poured a lovely dark orange, close to amber color with a large head that quickly faded to a perfect lacing that lasted right up until the end of the glass. In the nose, I smelled strong alcohol, candy sugar, a bit of fruit here and there. I suspect that more smells would surface if the beer warmed up a little bit. Taste was excellent with figs, syrupy sweetness, juicy fruit, also a slight medicinal taste to it as well. Im usually not crazy about the medicinal sides of many beers but this one wasn't overpowering at all in the end made it a better beer in my humble opinion. Mouthfeel was the highlight for me, the beer was just perfectly balanced and a real thrist quencher. I love the prickly feeling you get when tasting this one. It was also a very drinkable beer....I think even wine lovers would have appreciation for the vast complexities within this beer. Its funny, I always used to see Chimay sitting on the shelf at the Atlas liquors back home all the time and never even considered getting it. Guess I still have alot to learn about good beer. Cheers

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2006 06:10:39 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of clickpush


3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 750ml bottle to wide mouth wine glass. Comes up w/ a half inch, off-white head that dissipates quickly. Beer color is one shade lighter than the bottle it came in and has no visible carbonation.

Nose: had a slight pine sap scent

Mouth: This beer had excellent whole mouth stimulation and a warming alcoholic exhale after the swallow. Tasted of sweet, fresh raw bread dough and had the perfect amount of carbonation. An excellently balanced bitter/sweet after taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2006 20:18:37 | More by clickpush
Photo of russpowell


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

Dubbel is probably my favorite beligian beer style & I've always enjoyed this one, except when too young (seemed to be a problem in some the drink markets I found France (Cora) & somewhat on base at the class 6 stores in Germany, not the case with this sample!

Poured murky red (settled out nicely) with a 2 fingers+ whipped tan head with superior lacing and head retention

Smell: Iron and fruitiness

Taste: Iron up front, breadiness/fruitiness & the a slighltly yeasty dry finish

MF: Rich, moreish, effervescent

Very quffable & a good starting point for those who've never tried doubles, not the best, but pretty close IMHO

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2006 03:20:41 | More by russpowell
Photo of jettjon


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Balanced taste
Lows: Value

Pours a dark tea color with a one-finger dark tan head that fades to heavy lace that lingers. Nose is of bitter hops and a tea-like aroma. Taste is again bitter and hopsy, with a hint of alcohol. No tea here, however… odd. Mouthfeel is wet and bubbly; not bad. Finish is light bitter, not much on it. Drinkability is pretty good—it’s a mellow, unassuming ale. However, the premium price will probably keep you from drinking more than one.

Overall: I like this ale, it’s well balanced and lacks the metallic notes I’ve seen in many others. Given its price, however, I’d keep looking. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2006 00:09:02 | More by jettjon
Photo of Freshie


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

Pours a nice tanic color, with great frothy head retention.

Smells of breads, and rye with a hint sweetness and fruit.

The taste is very crisp with rich sweet malts balanced out by dry earthy hops. I detect clove, and some fuitness. Smooth after-taste, except for some mild alcohol burn.

Not a fan of the more present phenol characteristics, though that is the style. Still a superbly well-crafted ale.


Serving type: bottle

04-21-2006 00:51:50 | More by Freshie
Photo of UnionMade


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

Finally trying this classic beer. Stubby 33cl bottle. Drunk from a Chimay chalice.
Hazy, woody brown, topped with a broken, creamy head. Good retention. Lots of yeasty sediment, as I've come to expect from this brewery. The yeast is not fond of staying in place. Sweet, candyish aroma. Caramel and soft chocolate, sugary sweet, with plenty of fruitiness and clovey, plastic-like phenols. That belgian signature. Somewhat simplistic compared to the best of the style, although the chocolatey profile is quite nice, distinguished. Woody, doughy yeast. The flavor start out sweet, as is expected, caramel, with an underlying milky chocolate flavor. Tingly carbonation supports a medium body. Plum and apple fruitiness, easing into some plastic and clove phenols. Modest yeasty spiciness in the finish, a lick of woody/floral hops, without a trace of alcohol. Malty finish, a touch sticky. Kinda earthy, leaving off with doughy sweetness.
I think this one's my favorite of the regular three Chimay offerings, at least in terms of drinkability. i could easily polish off a 750 ml of this. Not terribly complex, even a bit simplistic in comparison to the acclaimed examples of the style, but it's good and easy drinking. I like it.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2006 05:13:10 | More by UnionMade
Photo of fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

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

Copper in colour with sweet fruit and yeasty aromas coupled with faint notes of darker toasted malts. Flavor wise, it begins quite sweet, but dries quickly and becomes bitter with some earthy/oaky qualities. The alcohol is also very upfront, which was a bit of a drag. Still a reasonably good product, but I think I still prefer the Chimay bleu... it's a bit more complex.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2006 01:54:28 | More by fisherman34
Photo of Crosling


2.33/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sampled at a shared tasting in Venice, Italy. Light Ruby. Unpleasantly aromatic with notes of bread, medicines, seawater, salt, green plants and dark fruits. Dark fruits reside but the entire front and mid-palate is completely non-existant. The finish however is lovely, lingering and full of a malty sweetness. Once again though, my main problem, as with all the Chimay beers is the total lack of body. Gentle overall, and the complete lack of character from the front to the mid is what disappoints most. It's just one dimensional, especially in the aroma.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2006 01:04:45 | More by Crosling
Photo of BlueHammer


4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Banana! This beer poured light brown with reddish tones.... (banana!) There was some decent head retention and a light, crisp, sweet smell. (banana!) It was slightly carbonated with a little bite on the end of the sip. (banana!)

I was overwhelmed by the smell and taste of bananas in this beer! I truly enjoyed the feel of it it my mouth - smooth and sweet and enjoyable and easy to drink. The taste improved as the beer sat in the glass.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2006 20:05:05 | More by BlueHammer
Photo of Tawnos


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

Poured into a standard glass.

The chimay red label pours a golden brown with a cloudy center. The substantial head leaves little lacing as it diminishes.

The smell is subdued. Subtle notes of toffee and a hint of chocolate intermingle with the spice smells.

The taste is good, like a brown ale/red ale crossover. Neither overly sweet nor bitter, the malt and alcohol both play a role in warming the palatte. The feeling of alcohol diminishes quickly and is replaced by caramelly malts and very subtle hoppiness. The aftertaste is a bit dirty, it makes me want to drink more to refresh the good flavors.

I could drink this the whole night, but would prefer to mix it up. For an extra dollar, the blue label chimay makes a much better deal in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2006 04:45:51 | More by Tawnos
Photo of VoodooBrew

South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished orange-brown body with a generous tan head. The nose shows herbal -- almost Indian -- spices, dried fruit, and malt. For some odd reason, the flavor reminds me of hot dogs. Yeah, hot dogs. There's malt mid-palate with a mild bitterness in there too. This one drinks soft and easy. It's perfectly drinkable but I'm not sure that it offers too much.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2006 01:19:05 | More by VoodooBrew
Photo of Byeast


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a murky , dark reddish-brown , with a creamy, tan , well sustained head of a quarter inch. Smell is a musty mix of maltiness , yeast , bread , cheese maybe?, and some slightly fruity aromas. Mouthfeel is ultra smooth and creamy carbonation. Some slight ginger , medium malt profile , bit of medicinal flavor , tinge of coriander , slight spice , and a yeasty, dry finish that seems to coat the back of the throat and roof of the mouth with a powdery feel for a moment. A very creamy and well balanced dubbel. I do favor the other chimay brews a little more.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2006 05:01:42 | More by Byeast
Photo of mynie


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

Small bottle aged over a year.

Very pretty shade of burgundy. It's not often I'm struck by the color of a beer; there are really only so many varieties. But this is really something, a deep, womb red like the walls in _Cries and Whispers_ (and like the color of the label, actually).

Smells like very burny bright fruit, alcoholic Skittles. Gigantic yeast and a hint of American-smelling hops.

Tastes a bit more smooth than it smells. Sweet, smooth fruit, crisp yeast, and a dry rush of alcohol to finish it off.

Solid Belgian. Don't know if it's quite worth what it costs, but it's still pretty darn good.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 18:32:04 | More by mynie
Photo of RedHaze


3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with a creamy off-white, two finger head that fades slowly to a thick cap and leaves a thick sheeting of lacing.

Smell; a little bit of some dark fruits, and a touch of chocolate. It's hard to really pick many aromas out, as the smell much more subdued than I would have expected.

Taste; as with the smell, the flavors are not very assertive. There's a little bit of raisins and some chocolate. There's aso a bit of apples as well as a slightly woody quality.The mouthfeel is a bit watery and thin, and rather boring for a dubble.

This is a good beer, but for the price, there are many others that I would rather spend the money on.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2006 01:20:39 | More by RedHaze
Photo of rodrot

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay Premiere poured a dark red color with a frothy head that left a nice layer of lace on the glass. There wasn't much of an aroma from this one, just a light malty smell. Taste was more impressive however with a rich, malty, chocolatey flavor. This beer was medium bodied and had a port-like character to it. Very drinkable, sort of the little brother to the Chimay Grande Reserve. There are better dubbels out there, but this one is worth the $5.99 I spent on it.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2006 19:52:05 | More by rodrot
Photo of sevineyes


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

Poured from a brown bottle with a red label.

A: poured with a great slight tan dense head with good lacing. Deep brown amber in color.

S: Sweet rasins. Pecan shells. The longer it goes the more nuttiness I pick up. Still there's a huge dark fruit presence. Some saltieness. Very refined smell.

T: Begins with wet melon. Wood? Rasin, cherry. Finishes sweeter than it starts. Ends dry and alcoholic. Aftertaste is almost buttery.

M: Smooth and silky. Rich.

Overall: Very rich and complex. Much more so than I'm able to comment on. Extremely enjoyable and begs inquiry. The depth and refinement of this beer is certainly there. Some American attempts at dubbels fall far short in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2006 04:21:39 | More by sevineyes
Photo of DaggerEyes

New York

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

Had a bottle at Blue Ribbon in Brooklyn
Served in a Chimay Goblet
this was a beautiful deep hue of red and when served was topped with a nice creamy head that stuck around for a while

The smell was remarkable subtle yet very pleasant to say the least. Yeast, honey and sugary fruit scents are present on the nose, intermingled with the occasional spicy accent.

Medium bodied to start and very active in the mouth this beer froths up then settles into a lighter bodied drink on the finish. Sweet with tastes of candied sugars, with spicey and slightly earthy notes.

An absolute pleasure to drink all by it self... I actually wish I wasn't having this with a meal because I would have like to enjoy the varied nuances of it alone. Well sometime in the near future I'm sure I will

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2006 20:50:14 | More by DaggerEyes
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,751 ratings.