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

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

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3,762 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,762
Reviews: 1,551
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 147
Gots: 264 | 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: 3,762 | Reviews: 1,551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of audiojon


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

An all around very good dubbel. This is a perfect example, not too out there in any one quality, very balanced. The ruby color, scent of candi sugar and yeast, and slightly earthy but somewhat understated flavor all scream dubbel. In my tasting experience, a good dubbel is very hard to find. Most American breweries tend to fail miserably, and even many Belgians have a hard time getting it right. That said, this is one that is very right, and a must try. Chimay is one of the most widely available Belgians; do yourself a favor and pick one up.

BTW drinkability is off the charts, especially at 7%. Enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 05:20:05 | More by audiojon
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear ruby. Haven't poured the lees in yet. Head is big and fizzy, quickly settling into a thin sheet. Turns to an opaque brown after adding the lees.

S - A little musty, Notes of alcohol and light toastedness. Some metallic and medicinal aromas as well. Yeast notes appear after the lees go in. Fruity, candy-like sweetness as well. Think I caught a whiff of citrus as well.

T - Thick malty taste. Sweetness coats the tongue quickly. Some red wine flavour as well.With the lees comes some extra bitterness in the aftertaste, and some tartness up front.

M - Smooth, a bit creamy. Definitely a heavier beer.

D - I do like this. As mentioned before, it's a heavier beer so too much wouldn't work for me. Very tasty though. I have no complaints.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 00:20:14 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of skillerified


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

The Chimay Red is actually red in color. I don't know why I was surprised by this, but I was. It was a pleasant surprise though. The color is rich and deep, although not particularly dark. Good two or two and half finger head that faded fairly quickly.

Smell favors the malt side, but there are nice floral and fruit notes. Maybe a little orange in particular, but without the citrus bite.

Taste also favors the malt. Mostly sweet and almost candy-like. Quite tasty.

The mouthfeel is excellent. There's a bit more of a carbonation bite than I've come to expect from a darker beer like this one, but it compliments the flavor quite well. The beer is extremely well balanced too. Not too much or too little of anything.

Overall a very tasty beer, one I wouldn't hesitate to have another of. But I do tend to prefer slightly less sweet beers and the alcohol content, although not ridiculiously high at 7%, did sort of sneak up on me. I think two of the 11.3 oz. bottles would be enough for me most nights.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2006 20:31:08 | More by skillerified
Photo of AaronHomoya


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

750 mL corked bottle. Date on cork shows 11/04 (?) so this beer is 1.5 years old.

Appearance is nice, with a deep red and slightly brown color. Slightly cloudy due to the yeast. Nice head that fades quickly to a small layer that stuck around the rest of the way.

Aroma is very fruity, sweet, dried figs, and maybe a touch of cloves. Flavor is similarly fruity and sweet with a bit of a sour tang and cloves.

Mouthfeel is nice and medium-bodied with rather little carbonation. Drinkability is good, tasty with a reasonable ABV.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2006 13:00:48 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of guitarmage


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

Appearance: The color of prune juice with a bubbly head that reduced into a nice lacing, not especially sticky. It looks sweet though, like a wine.

Smell: Sweet malt, rich fruity notes, but not especially aromatic.

Taste: Smooth and sweet, fruity but not citrus, alcohol presence is moderate, hops are herbal and light. Notes of sweet apple, prunes, maybe the sweet side of a cranberry, banana.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, a light soda-like carbonation. Smooth and good.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, this would be great with a meal. It's so smooth and sweet, just overall surprisingly drinkable for being somewhat complex and flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2006 06:17:49 | More by guitarmage
Photo of CortexBomb


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely gourgeous pour into my goblet...perfect caramel brown with haze and a 1 inch slightly off-white head on top. Beyond appealing. Smell is very malty with dark fruit and yeast edges on it...a lot of dates being predominant.

Taste kicks off with a slight estery / yeasty shot with the dark fruit presence noted. It then segues off into beautiful, sweet malts with an alcohol backbone to lend it some weight. My only real complaint is that the malt flavour is somewhat subdued, but this is still good stuff, easily.

Mouth, has hoppy bitters for the top of the mouth, but feels a tad thin. Still above average on the whole though. Drinkability is rock solid.

The bottom line is that this is a fine example of a traditional Belgian Dubbel. Easy drinking, flavourful, with malts dominant and spice characteristics there to keep you interested.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2006 23:49:17 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of dutchboognish


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

Beautiful creamy white head on top of a redish brown body.

Smells very sweet with little or no hops present.

Tastes fantastic. Tons of malt sweetness. Very easy to drink and with 7% you can drink it for a while without feeling too much effect.

Loved this beer and will certainly have it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2006 20:34:53 | More by dutchboognish
Photo of HoustonTX


4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay Goblet.

A - Dark, with a red hue.

S - Sweet, and subtle. Slight cherries.

T - At first a sweet delicate creaminess - cloves/spicy fruit tones, then slight citrus, which is closely followed by hop bitterness.

M - Creamy and delicious.

D - Good. Could always have another.

Overall, an excellent Dubbel. Give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2006 23:12:17 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

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

Pours a coppery golden-brown, with a light bubbly head that retained well. Good bit of bubbles, and most excellent lace left during the drinking of both glasses. (Served in a Chimay glass at Natty Greene's brewpub in Greensboro, NC)

A subdued but still wonderful aroma: yeastiness allures, with a sweet malt backbone and herbal/flowery melange pervading over all.

Flavors were a hybrid of exotic spices, good ol' pepper, obvious but non-cloying alcohol, raisins, wild yeast subtleties and a solid malt/herbal presence that indicated a top-notch grain bill. Super enjoyable, just about a quintessential Belgian ale, much better from the tap than any bottle I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2006 19:44:19 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of jwc215


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

Poured into a Chimay glass - It had a cloudy orangish-brown color with a thick foamy head that was well-retained.
The smell was floral and tangy with a bready background.
The taste was of a floral fruitiness - esp. apple - balanced between sour and bitter. Yeast and alcohol were noticeable, but in the background.
The mouthfeel was smooth, but a dry bitterness remained.
It is a delicious beer, though I prefer the "white" Chimay a bit more, and the "blue" Chimay much more.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 19:17:17 | More by jwc215
Photo of Absumaster


3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a brown color with a nice lasting head that is very fine.
Smell is herbal and yeasty, some herbal, peppery notes.
Taste is mainly caramellic, with a bit of cork. Mouthfeel is dry and not bitter. I feel this lacks body, maybe one of the monks added twice the sugar or wheat flower.
I can't seem to find a lot maltbitterness or chocolaty flavor. In general this is a bit disappointing, I drank this beer before and then I was very happy with it. Not that it is bad now, but for sure less interesting.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 15:37:31 | More by Absumaster
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
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,762 ratings.