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

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

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3,858 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,858
Reviews: 1,557
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 156
Gots: 309 | FT: 3
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,858 | Reviews: 1,557 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brucepepper

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

750 ml bottle (2006) poured into an oversized wine glass.

A - Beautiful auburn colour. Resembled cider with a reddish tone. Lots of head that fades quickly but a thin head film remained on top. No lacing.

S - Light fruity aroma and I picked up a hint of bubble gum.(I always do from this type of beer.)

M - Plenty of soft carbonation. Full and chewy but not thick or dense.

T - Surprisingly not too strong. Light fruity flavour and by the end of the big bottle I detected a hint of cloves.

D - Very easy to drink. It's hard to believe that it has even 7% abv.

I was thinking that it was a bit pricey at $6.50, but for 750ml it's actually quite reasonable. Not my favourite style but definately an enjoyable treat. My wife liked it too so hopefully I'll be able to stock the fridge with it more often.

03-03-2007 02:42:39 | More by brucepepper
Photo of theopholis


3.2/5  rDev -22.7%

Appearance- Pours a copper/amber color with a decent, tan head. The head has almost no staying power, and leaves no lace. The body does stay effervescent for quite a while.

Aroma- Light aroma of malt sweetness with a hint of cinnamin and bananas. Some other spices in there to, but I can't identify them. Damn spice ignorance!!! Maybe a just hint of plum or raisen.

Taste- Very little malt sweetness left. It's all been fermented out. Some hints of apple. As a lot of pepper at the end. Can't say I care for it, but I ain't into Belgian ales either.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Maybe just a tad light for the style. The carbonation is to much. Very pronounced CO2 burn on the toungue. It's so pronounced, it's hard to really taste a lot of the more subtle flavors.

Drinkability- It's not bad. Not great.

03-02-2007 06:05:19 | More by theopholis
Photo of rallison


3.8/5  rDev -8.2%

Served from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay goblet at cellar temp.

A: Muddy reddish brown color with a 2 finger off-white head that never dies (ever!).

S: Some sweet bready malts - I don't get too much else.

T: Some nice Belgian candi sugar with brown sugar, dark fruits and some spices - maybe some orange too.

M: I always have found Chimay to be overly carbonated. The mouthfeel gets to be good only if it sits for a good 20-30 minutes. Otherwise, it's too tingly and makes the rest of the beer seem too light. The taste is very good, but the carbonation seriously hurts my enjoyment of the beer.

D: Despite the carbonation, this is still a very drinkable dubbel.

Overall, still recommended. I just don't like the carbonation levels.

02-28-2007 04:09:51 | More by rallison
Photo of jmbranum


4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

I'm tasting a small sized (I think 11.2 ounce bottle) bought as part of a Chimay sampler set (with the nice chalice glass).

Beautiful in the glass. A hazy dark wheat bread colored brew, somewhat hazy. Giant head. Looks a lot like Aventinus surprisingly enough, except the head is different.

The aroma is inviting but subdued, then the flavor! BAM! This is something else. Rich malty perfectly balanced slightly sweet but not cloying. I can taste just hints of caramel, fruityness, and some yeasty tang.

I've drank this before, either before or after Chimay Blue and thought it wasn't that special, but drank by itself Chimay Red is first class, and frankly is such a perfect creation of balance and of knowing what elements of the beer (in this case the malty sweetness) should be highlighted and when to stop with the highlighting.

I highly recommend this beer.

02-27-2007 03:34:53 | More by jmbranum
Photo of IceAce


3.2/5  rDev -22.7%

Pours a maroon body with a mountainous foam collar. Nose is fruity, sweet, and slightly oxidized.

Entry is quiet and followed by a midtaste featuring a cookie dough malt presence with alcohol soaked raisens and dates. The finish is Belgian yeast with a bit of mustiness...almost corky in taste.

I'm a big fan of Trappist beers...dubbels included. This bottle just seems to leave a lot on the table.

02-26-2007 08:05:40 | More by IceAce
Photo of guinnessfan


3.73/5  rDev -9.9%

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Deep, cloudy brown, with yeasties floating. One finger head quickly recedes and leaves little lacing.

S: Very mild, dark fruit and virtually no spice. Slightly sweet.

T: Very mild, again. Similar to smell. Slight yeast. Mild alcohol taste.

M: Very carbonated. Slight prickley sensation. Medium body.

D: Very sessionable taste, mild, but slightly strong in ABV.

02-26-2007 03:54:49 | More by guinnessfan
Photo of zuggy9


4.28/5  rDev +3.4%

This pours an deep dark with a good solid off white head that retained exceptionally well. It has some nice and spicy fruit aromas and is quite pleasant, raisins are very prominent. Very fruity flavor but not too sweet. Raisins are there along with a bit of banana. Strong alcohol too. A nice silky mouthfeel and very drinkable.

02-20-2007 21:05:55 | More by zuggy9
Photo of Kulrak


4.1/5  rDev -1%

Pours a deep ruby brown color with some big bubbled head that fades away pretty quickly, leaving a thin layer that laces the glass. Smells spicy and fruity. Sort of orange & raisin. Tastes sweet and malty with that strange yeast flavor you get from belgian ales. Some nice hoppy bitterness to balance it out. Finishes clean. Mouthfeel is very fizzy, scrapes the tongue. Not too bad though. Overall, it's a very drinkable beer. I like it a lot, but I haven't tried too many belgian ales that I didn't like.

02-17-2007 10:11:00 | More by Kulrak
Photo of Gmann

New York

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

Pours a murky brown color with a decent off-white head that left some spot lacing. The smell is of dark raspberries, plums, juicy. The taste kind of goes in the other direction; the initial taste is of roasted malts, carob. The ale is full bodied and well carbonated, it takes away from the taste a bit. A very good example of the style, quite drinkable if ye wallet allows.

02-17-2007 04:51:30 | More by Gmann
Photo of Stephen63

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.1/5  rDev -1%

A - Excellent dark body and impressive head that stayed to the end of the glass.

S - I served this after only 2 hours in the fridge and it really brought out the flavours. Certainly the least pungent of the Chimay range, however subtle fruit and spices just about coming through.

T - Mostly the fruity flavours dominate rather than the candy. Picked up some banana and raisin. Again subdued compared to the other Chimays but really nice nonetheless. Alcohol very much in the background.

M - Silky feeling in mouth, could swirl this around for a while.

D - The lesser alcohol means this can think of may stretching to another one or two. Really feel that another would go down just fine.

A super beer and good example of a dubbel. Although I generally favour tripels this will make think next time I am perusing the shelves. Recommended.

02-16-2007 23:00:52 | More by Stephen63
Photo of ttfreek


3.88/5  rDev -6.3%

Large head that dissappeared rather quickly. Fruit, caramel and malts comrpomise most of the taste and smell sense with this beer. Filling, with medium carbonation, it goes down smooth but leaves a sticky aftertaste. It feels thick in the back of the throat, although it does not look it at all.

A hearty beer, which tastes lighter than expected. However, for the price, i am not sure its something one would get on a regular basis.

02-12-2007 23:04:14 | More by ttfreek
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from an 11.2oz. bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a light color with a large foamy off-white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast and dark fruit, with subtle notes of caramel and spice, but overall the smell isn’t very strong.

T: Flavors of the same things that you get in the smell, yeast, spice, caramel & dark fruit all compliment each other well. I noticed a little bit of a metallic flavor that faded completely as the beer warmed slightly. The after-taste is sweet and a little bready.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, it has a good kick but not too strong that it catches up to you too quickly. I only had a small bottle, but I could have polished off a large bottle with ease.

02-01-2007 06:14:25 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -1%

It pours a vibrant golden orange, with darker, reddish notes in the center, and it's vigorously carbonated. A finger-plus of bubbly white head grows and lingers a bit. Flicks of lacing curl along the inside of the glass.

The aroma is the veritable star, with roasted malt toting toffee and caramel sweetness. Also in place are various but general spices, and the ubiquitous apples, succulent, savory, and crisp.
Alcohol is apparent but understated.

Upon tasting, the malt plays through initially with caramel, cocoa, and a fruity tang of raisins. And is that perhaps apricots, or dates? The yeast grants a more distinct clove note, and again delivers apples, but here more tart and less warm. The alcohol is also more clearly delivered to the palate, and slaps the tongue a little. The finish is rather crisp, and it dries any remnants of grain. It's straightforward, tasty, and cries history.

Medium bodied, the dry lingering feel is peppered by the poppy carbonation.

Well, it's not the first Chimay option I'll likely avail myself of, but I'd never complain if this is in my glass. And I think if you looked up "dubbel" in the dictionary, you'd see the red label for the definition. It's a warm quaff, with the ABV far from extreme, but it has its way with the senses if left unchecked. And it's nicely drinkable and enjoyable. It's been around so long, and certainly longer than most Belgians, that it's easy to look past, but this is one more good reason to get back to the heritage from time to time.

01-31-2007 17:57:01 | More by Foxman
Photo of jmz62565


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

Pours a clear burnt orange with a medium head that leaves almost no lacing. The smell is pretty strong with bread yeast, cinnamon,roasted malt, and alcohol. The taste is like the smell, full of roasted malt, "bisquity" flavor, and some winter spices. The m/f is light and well balanced making this a good beer that should be tried,but really isn't all that exciting.

01-31-2007 06:30:49 | More by jmz62565
Photo of GbVDave


3.65/5  rDev -11.8%

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Pours a translucent rusty reddish-brown color. 1/4 finger head with a tiny amount of lace.

S: Aromatic yeast, chocolate, and roasted malt in the nose.

T: Take everything from just above and add in raisins, lightly bitter hops, bready malt, and a soft metallic taste.

M: Warmer temps are the key. When served cold it's very bright and harsh, but as it warms it softens out and thickens up.

D: Quite drinkable due to its' low abv and inoffensive aromas and flavors. Unfortunately those traits help the Drinkability score, but hurt the Smell and Taste scores. I was hoping for more adventurous qualities to this Dubbel, but I was taken aback by how average and pedestrian it was. Don't get me wrong, this is a very good beer from a legendary brewery. I just hope that someday Chimay decides to tinker with the formula to fully elevate this one to legendary status-to match the reputation of excellence that Chimay posesses.

01-29-2007 23:25:45 | More by GbVDave
Photo of rec


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

While I wouldn't say it's the best Chimay brew, I'd be temted to say it's my favourite - if you've read any of my other reviews you'd recognise my soft spot for malt-heavy dubbels. Although it really is hard to pick a favourite in this range, as each brew from Chimay becomes your favourite again while you're drinking it.

It pours well, and the head is just as perfect as the Grande Reserve, although the colour isn't quite as rich in brown. Due to the similarity in head, the mouthfeel is almost as brilliant because of it, however it does lack the weight that Bleue boasts.

I've heard people say this before, and it wasn't suprising because I thought the same thing; Chimay Premiere smells like cooked apples - right out of an oven baked pie. A truly delicious aroma.

The taste is spectacular, strong malts and dominated by lighter fruits (apples, for example) as opposed to darker fruits such as raisin and fig which are usually present in this style of brew. There's a mild spice, but the aftertaste is a sweet one.

I dare say I ejoyed this almost as much as one of my favourites; Leffe Brune. There's just a persistant class and quality that come with Chimay beers, and this is definately no different.

01-29-2007 07:43:40 | More by rec
Photo of acrawf6


4.28/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours out a clear reddish brown amber with a light and bubbly tan head.

Smell. Cooked apples and spices. A touch of a burnt aroma that compliments it well.

Taste. Has a nice light and lively fruity flavor, apples and mild apricots. It's a bit more refreshing than i remember, and is a bit different from other dubbels. There is a good amount of pepper with the alcohol that is numbing my tongue. Aftertaste is light sweet and fruity.

Mouthfeel. again, gives a numbing sensation to my tongue. body is a touch lighter than most, with a very lively carbonation.

Overall, this is one of my favorite dubbels, but i am not too big on this style. It really is a whole lot more refreshing than i remember. The bottle doesnt have an exact date, just 2006, but it does seem to taste young. I need to get this more than i do.

01-28-2007 04:38:08 | More by acrawf6
Photo of malcontent


4.28/5  rDev +3.4%

Deep mahogany color with ruby edges. Solid, foamy head being fed by a reserve of bubbles clinging to the bottom of the goblet. A proud-looking beer.

Dry apples, dark fruit and some toasted notes in the nose.

Much drier than I’d anticipated; dark roasted grains, some pleasant lingering sweetness on the finish accented by a surprising hint of hazelnut.

Totally luxurious in its mouthfeel. Creamy but carbonated and then disappears off the tongue; extraordinary in this area. Still, it’s not something I would have more than one (bomber, that is) of given that it is sitting much heavier than I would like. Nevertheless, a beautiful beer.

01-17-2007 16:32:20 | More by malcontent
Photo of RevDru

New Mexico

4.43/5  rDev +7%

A - pours a deep hazelnut brown with a nice, thick, half-inch of foam.

S - Sweet, bready, with heavy toasted malt and undertones of honey and vanilla.

T - Strong roasted grain flavors, with background notes of cinnamon and coriander. Just a slight tannic bite, almost raisin-y.

M - Rich and creamy, fairly smooth, with a slight carbonation kick.

D - I could drink this all day and not get tired. Well-balanced. Would go with most meat dishes; probably a nice pairing with my stew this evening.

01-14-2007 21:11:26 | More by RevDru
Photo of pvsob


3.55/5  rDev -14.3%

A - Pours hazy amber with a one inch head (off white) that fades very quickly and leaves some lacing.

S - Sweet malt, fruitiness, spicy, and some alcohol as it becomes warm.

T - Starts off with a slight sweetness and hints of yeast, but is quickly followed with a sour/bitterness that finishes the taste off.

M - Medium to medium full, with abundant carbonation.

O/D - A nice dubbel that I will probably try a few more times just to make sure I've caught everything that this beer has to offer. Personally, I wasn't really impressed with this beer, but that's just me. By all means if you haven't already, give it a try. Cheers.

01-05-2007 02:29:23 | More by pvsob
Photo of mithrascruor


4.83/5  rDev +16.7%

750 ml. bottle poured into an oversize wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber-brown color with noticable carbonation. The thick fluffy tan head dissipates relatively fast into a thin film.

Smell: Has an aroma of malts and sweet breads. Some spices and fruits, such as pears and figs, are noticable as well.

Taste: Flavor is very much in line with the taste, with the addition of a slight alcohol flavor combined with the spices.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, medium-bodied feel with light carbonation.

Drinkability: An extremely drinkable beer -- alcohol content is just perfect and it goes down great.

Quite a tasty dubbel -- and one of the easiest to drink too. Very enjoyable and it works great on it's own or with a variety of foods.

01-03-2007 05:49:18 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of dgfair

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -22.7%

11.2 oz bottle served in my St. Bernardus goblet

A - Brownish amber color with a pillowy, pearl colored head that dissipates quickly leaving a a thin, cratery layer on top of the liquid.

S - Sweet yeast with undertones of vanilla and very faint wood smell. A little bit of maltiness that reminds me of the smell of a Harp...weird. Overall, not much here.

T - Sweet, nutty flavor up front followed by a nice balance of yeast and malt. A little bitter in the aftertaste and not in a good, hoppy bitter sort of way. Overall, not very complex and not all that tasty.

M - A little thin and pretty heavily carbonated....kind of foams up in your mouth, but not in an entirely undesirable way.

D - Fairly easy to drink, but not really wanting more. I think there are much better dubbels out there for your buck. Of the three Chimays I've had, this is clearly my least favorite. Probably won't be revisiting this one soon.

01-03-2007 04:55:08 | More by dgfair
Photo of Schwarzbart


4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

Appearance: A thick reddish brown look to it. Little carbonated bubbles float to the top quickly maintaining a little froth that covers about 3/4 of the top. Also, some powdery looking sediment that quickly falls to the bottom.

Smell: Light and fruity on the nose of the likes of grape and apple.

Taste: Bready at first with a quick kick of alcohol. Some yeast lingers on the tongue, but a nice sweetness of apples and grapes mostly.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body and bubbly.

Drinkability: Always a pleasure to drink.

01-02-2007 03:11:45 | More by Schwarzbart
Photo of mpyle


3.68/5  rDev -11.1%

Dark amber color, somewhat cloudy. Big slightly off-white head that was creamy and long lasting.

Fairly little aroma - a little vanilla sweetness and a little peppery spiciness.

Complex malty sweetness with a hint of bubble gum or cotton candy. Finishes with the lingering candy sweetness, but sweetness never becomes completely overpowering. Very slight oxidation character as warms. Less sweet and more spicy in a 2011 retasting.

Medium body with medium/high carbonation. Very creamy mid-tongue, and minimal alcohol warming.

A reasonably nice beer. Drinkable, but with time the candy sweetness became all that I was tasting. This one-dimensionality would get tiresome.

01-02-2007 02:38:46 | More by mpyle
Photo of EmilNoldSinclair


4.43/5  rDev +7%

Brownish red color, nearly opaque. It looks like I have treasure inside my glass. Large large head, decent head retention - a thin layer remains. No lacing on the glass. The scent is nutty and spicy, with the malts coming through as well. Nice balance between the hops and barley. Slight smell of ethanol. The taste is where is this beer starts to really shine: Initially the barley comes w/ a slight hop bitterness. Very fruity (can't quite put my finger on it...apples and raisins?) with a slight trace of ethanol. The alcohol hides behind the hops. The aftertaste is dominated by the hops (but not too strong!), also with a potassium like taste (the kind of feel you get from tasting bananas and dates). This one has just the right level of carbonation and is thick bodied...what a treat going down! I swear I could drink these all day...

12-30-2006 21:39:02 | More by EmilNoldSinclair
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,858 ratings.