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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

4,236 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,236
Reviews: 1,588
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 189
Gots: 491 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

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: 4,236 | Reviews: 1,588 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of MisterClean
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 from total wine

A - Poured a light mahogany, with a 3 fingered head, that dissipated moderately fast. Left little lacing.

S/T - Figs, prunes, and toffee. Where are the saaz hops in this one?

M - Malt dominated and slightly thin.

D - Not bad. I would really like to feel some hop backbone and a richer quaff.

Photo of TubaManJack
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I recently have tried to get into Belgians after my initial failed efforts early on, wow my tastes have changed

330ml bottle into my wishful righteous chalice. Two years of aging on this bottle and it was half off. There is something to be said for being lost in a dark corner of a grocery store.

Appearance- A moderate chilled bottle produced a cascade of cloudy deep amber liquid. The yeast is fully mixed in and a nice small head with full lacing. The carbonation is limited to a few bright streams of bubbles.
Smell- A slight yeast aroma with deep malty body with dates. Almost like a fresh baked scone. A slight sweetness to the aroma.
Taste- A great mix of grainy body and slight sweetness tang. The deep dark fruit does come through as well.
Mouthfeel- A full body slickness, with slight lightening from the carbonation.The slight dryness to each sip.
Drinkability- Its normally found in a 750ml bottle for a reason to share with friends. I am sad it took me this long to find it. I already thinking of excuses to pair it with food.

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

Poured into a Chimay chalice.

Pours a rich brown color with a small tan head that settles to a thin cap. A little lacing is left on the glass. Has a sweet and slightly spicy aroma. Apples, plums, figs, cloves, phenols, and a little alcohol all add to a complex aroma. The flavor is a combination of sweet (fruits) and spice (cloves). Some phenols are detected in the finish. Alcohol is not detected. The body is surprisingly light and effervescent. I would say too much carbonation. Drinks easy for a complex beer. I would dare to say it is mildly refreshing.

Photo of hardy008
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle

Appearance - Pours a cloudy amber brown color with a small tan foamy head.

Smell - Fruit, malt, and spice.

Taste - Malt, fruit, spice and maybe honey?

Mouthfeel - Smooth, light to medium bodied. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability - Highly drinkable as are all Chimay beers I have had.

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

P: Presented in an 11.20 oz. brown bottle with raised lettering on the neck: Abbaye de Scourmont, and a red label with gold Chimay shield.

A: Pours a hazed brownish-orange color with a massive, three-finger, extra creamy head. Exquisite lacing.

S: Banana bread and fresh yeast.

T: Opens big with sweet fruit and grainy malt -- the taste of freshly baked banana bread comes to mind -- before the dryness of Belgian yeast takes over. Moves into spicy territory before suggestions of buttered popcorn come into play. Finishes bone dry with a sudden shudder of alcohol.

M: Smooth and crisp mouthfeel with lots of active carbonation.

D: Interesting. Complex. Tasty. Cheers to my first Belgian Tripel!

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

I have had this lots of times and this one was in my cellar for about 2 years so I was happy to find the beer had matured gracefully and the carbonation levels that sometimes hampered the fresh exaples was gone and the dark fruit notes were now mixed down in the midbody. This is a great dubbel that often is lacking in complexity that its "blue"cousin has in spades. Nice to see that cellaring improves this beer

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 05.20.09 from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: First pour was a huge 3 finger head that faded to nothing, and no lacing on the glass whatsoever. Yeasty sediment floats throughout the beer. Medium to dark hazy garnet hue with slightly red tone to the appearance.

S: 1st cold pour had very little smell - some dark fruits come through. As it warms - bread pudding. Phenols start to show, but still well under what one would expect for the ABV.

T: Very well balanced. Not too bitter, not too sweet, and the alcohol is pretty hidden. Good rolling carbs. Solid malt.

M: The good carb level makes this a pleasure to roll around the tongue.

D: Quite drinkable, but at $11 (at least here) - the drinkability goes down a notch. But, in theory, its "drinkability" is high.

Photo of SleepyMonk
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 33cl bottle poured into a Chimay chalice glass

Pours with a thick head initially that shrinks down to a thin surface covering. Body has a very thick and opaque coffee color.

Nose is very mild fruit and phenol notes when chilled however the odors open up more as the beer begins to warm towards room temp

Taste has a very strong malt profile with various dark fruit flavors mixed with slight medicinal/schnapps notes.

Mouthfeel is an almost perfect combination of medium body and crisp carbonation with a mild alcohol finish.

I have tried this same beer on tap and the difference is almost enough to consider them two different beers. The bottle version is a lot more "active" than its on-tap cousin

Photo of seand
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large red wine glass.

A: Pours a light cloudy reddish brown, with 2 fingers or so of off white head. The head doesn't stay too long, but leaves a bit on the top and a ring around the edge of the glass, which sticks around until the beer is gone. Mediocre lacing.

S: Sweet with some fruitiness.

T: The sweetness carries through from the nose, with the addition of some tartness, and a little bitterness which lingers on the aftertaste.

M: Quite carbonated, medium bodied. A touch of astringency.

D: Certainly not hard to drink, but the high carbonation and the bit of astringency hurt it here.

Overall it was good, but not really my favorite belgian style beer.

Photo of Beejay
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Medium Brown, like a stained wood, slightly hazy, and a thick rich tan head.. Looks great.

S: Ripe fruit, slightly tart. Bananas, cherries, strawberries. And a good bit of yeast.

T: Sharp, and tart. A nice fruit flavor, and a bit yeasty. Definetely a solid belgian! Good all around.

M: Lots of carbonation, but clean and crisp.

D: A very nice brew.. Unfortunately sometimes a pricey one depends on the store... Still worth the 4-6 bucks if you ask me!

Photo of IBUnit63
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let this one (750) warm while trying something else. Corked & caged with a fairly hefty pop of the cork. Into an Ommegang chalice it goes.

Pours what can be described as a murky bourbon color. With a little less red it would resemble a dunkel. Almost a full-finger of bleached ginger-colored head, but it goes quickly, leaving slight yeasty wisps in its wake. Sparse, moderate-speed carbonation.

A slight Belgian sourness is in the forefront at first, but peelin' the onion back, but there's plenty of dried and ripe dark fruits backing this deal up. The usual suspects...dates, plums...even a few prunes in there. A little cinnamon and clove with even a touch of praline sweetness behind it all and some dark muscat notes. This is what a Dubbel should be. Still, light-bodied enough not to scare anyone away.

Grain profile is rather hearty, but the taste and body are a little lean...at first. Sure, everything's in there from the nose but it's more aromatic and may not deliver the impact as it rolls down the gullet. Grains and light stewy roast (is there Special B in here? New to the whole brewing deal but it seems like that's the ticket) are full-bodied as mentioned but overall weight class may be a bit lean. Good, but lean. The carbonation drives the spice home nicely with only a slight saltiness. Mental note: Let this one warm quite a bit. Would like just a little more sweetness - it actually seems a bit peppery...but it's still quite good. Yeast electricity still shines.

This one plays lighter than expected - we have the carbonation to thank for that. Deep dark stewiness is countered by spritely carbonation and pepperiness and other spice along with yeast electricity to dance on the palate and enjoy the ride down. Finish is clean for a normally hefty style.

I have been meaning to review this for a few days but have had to go back to get more at the store. Y'know why? 'Cause I enjoy drinking it immensely and writing about it gets in the way of its enjoyment. Whaddya think about that? It's damn good.

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

750 corked and caged bottle uncorks with a loud resounding pop and pours into my chimay chalice a clear luminous brassy orange red shade with a head which disappears so quickly I fail to note the color.

Scent is sweet fruits - apple, pear. Tannic and vinous notes and some spice.

Taste is nicely balanced between sweet and dry champagne like flavors. Spice notes (cloves, white pepper), slight alcohol esters. A tea like bitterness in the finish. Herbal and medicinal hop notes. Something a bit sour.

Mouth is nicely astringent with fairly active carbonation which tickles the palate.

Drink is good.

Nicely balanced with a decent amount of complexity and an astringency and carbonation that reminded me of champagne. Not a beer I'd have frequently, nor are dubbels my favorite style, but certainly a well crafted exameple of the styele.

Photo of OzarkElmo
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle on 05/11/09

Pours a dark amber with moderate creamy head. Fruity, spicey aroma. Wonderful taste and a very smooth beer that is excellent with dinner. Slight bitter finish and a great beer to enjoy a few of in an evening. First class in its category in my opinion - Cheers!

Photo of Stavage
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice (Leffe branded not Chimay!) it has a gorgeous deep dark red colour, holding up to the light it's a pleasure to see the translucent ruby red at the top of the glass descend into an abyss of deep red darkness. The head was fluffy and white though this degraded fairly quickly. Some sticky lacing was left.

The smell is deep and rich. A strong sweet malt aroma, a deep fruit smell (maybe plums ?) mingling with honey and spice.

I'm a little underwhelmed by the taste, only because the smell made me expect something more intense. A definite malty sweetness hits the mouth but its smooth and ends in a faintly sour dry note. Aside from the medium sweet honey-malt taste there is a slight fruity aftertaste. Tiny bit yeasty. All in all very mild tastes. Hits all the right spots on my tongue just wish it hit them a touch harder.

Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy and medium bodied. Nice carbonation, very natural feeling. Enough to excite the tongue without dulling it (and what I've come to expect from these Belgian styles).

Definitely drinkable. It's a sipping beer but its so smooth and mild you can imagine sipping a never ending glass of it all night. The alcohol was so well hidden I've only thought to mention it now at the end of the review.

Going to be a tough one to score, for some reason it seems more pleasant in hindsight than when I was drinking it 10 minutes ago, I think basically because I was expecting something different. Will be coming back to this one (I drank one of the smaller bottles, maybe I should try the 750ml corked bottle as I've heard flavours develop more in bottle with a larger volume).

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

A: Pours a dark and deep red with a fluffy white head that fades relatively quickly, there was some lacing left on the glass

S: Huge aromas of banana, clove, and bubblegum. great yeast character

T: the taste follows right along with the scent. It has several layers of fruity flavors and esters. very complex, very good belgian

M: medium body, this part was good, but nothing amazing

D: Great Belgian, not the best, but a real complex beer with great fruity flavors

Photo of glid02
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up from Tower on Piedmont in Atlanta.

Pours a cloudy dark copper color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving a bit less lacing than I'd like.

Smells of sweet malts with hints of clove and pears. As it warms hints of darker fruits waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors backed by Belgian candi sugar up front are joined by good amounts of spices - cloves mostly with brown sugar - midway through the sip. Fruit flavors become more predominant as the beer warms. The ending is on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the bottle and could have a few more.

Overall this is a solid dubbel with a bit more spiciness than others. Worth a shot.

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

Very good dubbel and I am now excited to try the other two (blue and white). Appearance is very good nice color with a good amount of head and lacing. Smell is of dark fruit raisins, figs, and plums, with just a hint of alcohol and no real hops. Taste is more of the same, but a very mild hop bitterness comes through. Mouthfeel and Drinkability are on par.

Photo of SpencerSauce
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

chimay is an awesome beer, its so tasty i could drink a couple bottles.

A- orange reddish color

S- yeasty smell, maybe some fruits.

T- lots of nice yeast. nice malt taste. sort of a wine-like taste.

M- crisp, and slightly wine-y

D- very easy. I would suggest this beer.

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

The foam on this sample is rather thin, gone fast. Very nice brown colour.
The smell is delightfully fresh hops and malts, sourness with cherries and berries, spicy with cloves and some flowery notes....
The taste full and pleasant with bread, some fruits (banana as well), not too hoppy.
A very down-to-Earth holy beer, surely great at diners or suppers, extremely refreshing and easy going, for evenings, to quench your thirst.

Photo of goblet
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pouerd it out into my trusty goblet glass ,this is chimay i`ve had this before many times now and i still get excited about this brew.

Appearence:intially it give me a huge fluffy white head that faded to a thin coating.the color is an amber reddish brown with a good amount of yeast floating around its not clear by any means ,no carbonation that i can see.

Smell:the aroma is very subtle ,hints of cinnamon malt and grains perhaps spice and cloves a tad bit of alcohol is also detectible ,this brew doesn`t need a strong smell it`s great the way it is.

Taste:the flavor is were its at with this fine beer again it`s subtle,mild spicy yeast ,and cinnamon smooth fruits (apples,pears) with toasted bread crust on top of that the alcohol sits in the back of the class .

Mouthfeel:meduim body,creamy on the palate a tinge of sweetness you can feel the yeast and malt just covering your taste buds and sticks around, not a dry after taste here.

Drinkability:as is the case with all chimays this is a great beer it never dissapoints you. in my opinion ,this beer goes good with desserts like apple pie and ice cream is one of my favorites. cheers.

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

Chimay ale...Red label. 7% alcohol.
Let me start off with the fact that i had high expectations for this beer because i had tried the blue label first....and this beer is excellent!

A- Medium brown with all kinds of floating haze and a very active bubbly head that falls to a circle around the rim. Little to no lacing.

S- Smell is very interesting has a slight woody scent with hints of fruity musk. Also would like to note the smell is quite a pleasure to the nose.

T- Here is where the beer gets it edge... a mild complex of flavors that make this the choice Belgian beer for me! Has a light but present flavor of roasted raisins and barley with a touch of plums. Also i sence a small hint of hops and alcohol as well. Very tasty.

M-D- This is one of the easiest beers i had ever had to drink and one that packs more than enough flavor to keep me coming back. Very dry on the mouth and so drinkable i could easily have six. Great brew!

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,236 ratings.