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

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Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

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4,181 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,181
Reviews: 1,580
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 177
Gots: 437 | FT: 4
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)
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Ratings: 4,181 | Reviews: 1,580 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrIncognito
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle

A - Very hazy reddish-brown body beneath a dark tan head that is nice and pillowy. Sticky head leaves sticky lace is it settles to a nice film on top of the beer.

S - Not as fragrant as I expected. Small of sweet dark malts and some yeastiness. Perhaps some toasted bread and hints of dried black cherries.

T&M - Nice and dry with champaign-like bubbles. The yeasty taste adds to the dryness. Quite malty up front, definite dark malts, and then followed by a lightly sweet cherry flavor. Cherry is more apparent as it warms. A little thin in flavor, not as complex and full-flavored as expected.

D - easy to drink and a nice beer. I would like to see more depth to this. I just wanted a more robust flavor that wasn't quite there. Very nice beer though.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown in color with only a slight head. Smell is somewhat laced with spices. Maybe some clove and a real faint cinnamon. Taste is highly carbonated and bubbly. There is some spice as well as some dark fruit in the taste. Perhaps just a bit too much carbonation. Not bad, an easy drinker.

Photo of joshuadlight
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. Light tannish brown with white head that goes away quickly but the chalice maintains a small film of foam on the top.
S - Dark and light fruits, I got plums all the way to raspberries. Not a deep strong aroma however.
T - Sweet malts, but you can pick up the hop bitterness somewhat along with the alcohol burn. Very complex, alot going on once again with many different flavors coming through.
M - I wouldn't call it a smooth beer, the alcohol and carbonation keep it from being too smooth. But it there is nothing offensive about it. Not flat or too fizzy.
D - Sip this one. Anything more than a bomber and you will feel it for sure. But, for what it is, of course it is drinkable.

I probably don't need to tell anyone this, but this is one of those beers that everyone should be able to get their hands on and well they should.

Photo of unclejimbay
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chimay Première (Red)
Bières de Chimay (Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont)
Style: Dubbel
ABV: 7.00 %

Reviewed @ home 1/11/09, bottle>chalice,
A 3.0? - no lacing? Deep amber color, good 2 finger head, very short head retention
S 4.5 - intense complex aromas. Plum and dark fruit notes, almost like a rich fruitcake, brandy and licorice notes
T 4.0 - very complex, palate gets all the notes as they smell. Deep fruit notes are more dominant than malt base.
MF 3.0 - low on carbonation, medium+ on body
D 3.5 - very rich complex beer. It's a sipper for sure. I personally would prefer more malt tastes and carbonation, but it seems very appropriate for a Dubbel. After all I think Chimay beers are a benchmark for any style! This one is my least favorite out of the 3 Chimays though.

Photo of jmw141
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first of my Authentic Trappist beers. I'm pretty pumped about this one.

Serving: 11.2 oz bottle poured into my Chimay glass. 08-314 stamped on label.

A: Pours a dark brown/copper. Very cloudy and hard to see through. Fine beige head. Floaties big and small but not numerous. Definite lace work.

S: Malty sweet aroma. Reminds me of cheap whiskey aroma. Toasty. Complex. There is a aroma I can't put my nose on. Slight hops too, but not too noticeable. Spice, clove.

T: Fruity and sweet with a touch of hops. There is that whiskey malt again. Earth and wood, maybe a tad whiff of smoke too. A slight alcoholic bite, but not bad at all. Very flavorful.

M: The carbonation is nipping at my tongue. A longish finish makes me want to take another drink right away to replenish what I'm tasting. Just a tad dry and bitter.

D: Very drinkable for 7% ABV. Its not overly expensive for being a beer from one of the six Trappist breweries.

Overall, I am very pleased with my first true Trappist brew. I have read that Red is not the best from Chimay, but that ok because I bought the gift set with all three plus my awesome goblet. So, I only have two more to look forward to!

Photo of captenaj
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this at the Total Wine shop in Ft Myers, Florida.

Appearance: Rich reddish-brown color with a thick, one-fingered head.

Smell: Malt, cherry, yeast.

Taste: Delicious. Very slight hops but the malt was more prominent. Although there was a slight cherry aroma, very minimal fruitiness was present in the taste. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with a very smooth finish.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth without a hint of the 7% ABV.

Photo of Riccymon
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the bottle a hazy purply-ruby color with some sediment. A small quarter inch of head quickly fades as bubbles issue from the etching at the bottom of the Chimay goblet. Smell is at once pleasantly of tart cherries and some sweet honey.

I taste plenty of fruit--the cherry from the nose along with grape and honey. I also get clove in a dry, herbal spiciness. The beer is tart and medium-bodied, leaving my mouth dry and tingling just a bit at the finish. On the whole, the flavor and mouthfeel are a little more subtle than other dubbels I've had, such as Ommegang's Abbey, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it really boosts the drinkability.

Photo of dukedevil0
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single 11.2oz from a gift set with Chimay goblet.

A: pours a reddish brown with little white head

S: smells like dark fruits, raisins, caramel malts

T: similar to smells

M: high carbonation and full bodied

D: pretty high, not much alcohol in the taste

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

33cL bottle poured into a Chimay chalice (or goblet). The yeast was also poured into the beer.

A - cloudy apple cider color, dark brown-like with a 1cm sand color head made up of really, really, really tiny bubbles.

S - yeast, bread, spices, grass, earth, caramel, apples

T - caramel, vanilla, spices, apples with grass and earth coming through on the pretty dry finish. this beer reminds me a lot of St. Bernardus 8.

M - great. the beer was slight overcarbonated which created an interesting tingling feeling in the mouth.

D - it's a pretty good beer, but I think there's a few other Belgian Dubbels I'd pick up before I pick up this one.

Photo of matty
3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is faint dark fruit.Taste is honey,dark fruit and sugar cane.I was disappointed in this beer not because it's bad but because I was expecting more.Overall decent,it's worth a try but as for me I am OK just drinking this once!!

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber or ruby red with a big white head. Retension and lacing is perfect.

Aroma is of figs, raisins, dark bread, honey, cloves, wheat, and more.

Flavor has notes of caramel and what's described in the nose.

Very good dubbel and easy to find too.

Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blushing garnet red with a strong thirst for luminance when held up to the light. Its complexion is clear but a tad too dark to allow for a completely unspoiled transparency; from the other side my finger appears shaded and distorted. A luscious patch of rosy stained head simmers from the steady undercurrent of carbonation that continuously whisks its center.

A rather prolific yeast has bread an abundance of fruity esters and a sprinkling of perfumy, spice-like phenols. The stress seems to have been put on a withering cast of well over-ripened and already starting to spoil stone fruits. Plums in particular but also apple and pear. The yeast itself may remind one of baking bread and the spice character could come from anywhere on the kitchen rack, my guess would be peppercorns and sage.

The flavour is very much the same with no real dissension what so ever. It closely mimics the bready yeast character, the light perfumy spice, and definitely the decaying fruits. Apart from enjoying drinking Chimay Red, I've also had great success in cooking with it. It will compliment traditional Belgian dishes like Flemish Stew and whether in the sauce or on the side, can also flatter virtually any red meat dish - including even a smokey rack of pork ribs!

Thanks to the nature of the styles, bottle-conditioning and the ability to stand up to aging, most of Belgium's greatest beers can still be enjoyed in all their glory outside of Belgium; exported beer will maintained its quality. Likewise, most of Belgium's artisinal brewers have maintained their integrity and resisted the dilution of their product by giant conglomerates - Belgians have not lost their heritage. I find this distinct of the country and its beers.

Even with the example of Chimay - the largest of the Trappist breweries - there is a sense of tradition that, although sometimes exploited, is never compromised. Chimay Red is found on literally all corners of the globe - from Toronto to Sydney and Helsinki to Santiago - but it hasn't compromised the quality of the beer, the operations of the monastery, nor the lifestyle of those who live within it. To me, that's the true meaning of success.

Photo of david131
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A deep red with just a bit of orange coming through around the edges. The carbonation keeps a white head alive with decent retention. The head is also very creamy looking. The label does a good job of setting up the appearance of the liquid inside.

S- Some maple syrup, brown sugar, fruitiness, honey, sweet bread, vanilla, caramel... This is wonderful.

T- The same flavors that are noticed in the aroma. This is like candy. Absolutely delicious and complex. Very smooth with a nice aftertaste.

M- Very creamy and smooth. There is a bit of a numbing aspect to this, but I doubt the alcohol has a lot to do with it considering the 7% ABV.

D- A very interesting and enjoyable beer. This beer has become the gold standard for a dubbel in my book. This beer is how it is done, it is easy to drink and it screams quality.

Photo of lionking
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a short Chimay bottle into a Chimay goblet. Poured about a one and a half finger head. Dark red ale color.

Sweet malty nose along withe some sort of spice.

My first impresssion is that it taste kind of like a lot of beers. It taste like beer. Sweet taste along with some spices but its definitely a beer.

Mouthfeel is warm and smoothe. This definitely has a kick to it.

Drinkability is solid. This is more of a one or two shot to be sipped.

Overall, I was expecting a lot and this beer kind of came up average on the craft brew scale.

Photo of douggoodavage
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: A 750ml bottle at 49 degrees F poured hard into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice very cloudy rich amber color with a touch of mahogany tint. Chunks of dark yeast settle slowly on the bottom of the glass.
A thick foamy head starts at three fingers and quickly reduces to 3/8". Thick lacing sticks to glass but does not last.

Smell: Honey, hops ,cloves, yeast, oak, apricots, & alcohol. Very complex and satisfying.

Taste: A nice balance of malt & hops. Tangy and sweet. Crisp citrus, spice and carbonation hits your tongue first, then honey, bread & cloves. The experiance then finishes with a mild hoppy lemon peel flavor that last long after you finish drinking it. World class brew very well done.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, foams up nicely on your tongue.

Drinkability: This smooth and complex brew made by Monks is an awesome experiance. I could drink only this beer for months at a time and be totaly satisfied. The cost may make this difficult but remember that a major part of their sales proceeds goes to support the great charitable works of the monastery. What a great deal: drink world class beer, get a nice beer buzz and help the poor!

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

Enjoyed at The Pizza Joint in Evans, GA. Thanks to the weekly "Beer-Me Tuesday" special and my favorite waitress for scoring this for a mere $2.00.

Poured from an 11.2 oz. stubby bottle into a goblet.

The first impression comes from the slow volcanic eruption of foam from the uncapped bottle, a nice result of a good bottle-conditioned beer. Pours a deep burgundy-brown with a full, thick, light tan head that recedes ever-so-slowly and leaves thick traces of its past on the walls of the vessel.

A malty, butterscotch-and-clove-spice aroma is the calling card to the nose of what lies in wait for the tongue.

The medium-full body is built by a moderate level of carbonation with caramel maltiness toying with a bold clove character that is not overpowering but rather well-balanced; mixing things up a bit are some nice herbal, faintly bitter hop notes. All of this finishes with a rather dry yeast spiciness.

Bold-yet-balanced Belgian goodness. A tasty, drinkable classic whose strength is formidable yet far from overwhelming, with a complexity that is to be expected from a Trappist brewery. Despite its status and size, Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont has not lost its touch in crafting wonderful brews.

Photo of phantomwyse
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish almond body with a typical Belgian rocky two finger head of a dark khaki color. Active carbonation.

S: Sugary dark fruits, plum, date, fig, toffee, caramel, light medicinal alcohol aroma at the very end.

T: Caramel apple, dates, figs, raisins, beets, toffee, saccharine sweetness, slight vanilla character and just a trace of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied, tingly carbonation, a little creaminess.

D: As far as dubbels go, this is one of the elite. Sip, savor, enjoy.

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

11.2 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: 2 inch head of foam, threatening to get messy if I am not careful with it. Deep brown and reddish hues color the beer.

Aroma: Dried fruit, yeasty, very nice.

Taste: Dried apricots, malt, a sweet finish. Bitterness in the middle. This is delicious! Smooth malt, some tartness from the yeast. Hops shine through towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, well carbonated. Can't complain about anything here.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable. I could easily have a lot more of this and enjoy it. 7% alcohol you say? I couldn't tell!

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

Served in an Ommegang 14 oz. beer goblet, poured from a 750 ml bottle.

A - An almost opaque orange amber color, light but full colored. Gives me confidence in the quality of the beer.

S - A nice upfront malty aroma, an almost cereal-esque backing. A little sugary fruit on the nose too.

T - Slightly hoppy, but with a nice counteracting sweetness. It's got a very balanced taste, with floral and spicy notes adding onto the enjoyment. It's almost like what I think of when I first think 'beer.'

M - Just slightly thick in the mouth and smooth going down, but the carbonation's kind of excitable; it foams up in my mouth a lot every time I sip.

D - Very smooth with no offensive aftertaste. The only thing keeping this from perfect is the 7% ABV. Best to share this one with a friend.

Overall, a very enjoyable dubbel. Quite refreshing and drinkable despite its ABV, and definitely one I will purchase again in the future.

Photo of MerkinMan
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Red / Brown ~ not entirely dark. Head fizzles more quickly than I thought it would.

S: Some raisin / plum esters with a small bit of alcohol scent. Berry scents too.

T: Malty with a dry finish with not as many fruity flavors as other dubbles. Raisin / berry note increases as beer warms a little. A little less complex and / or sessionable than many. As beer warms further, the esters take on a cherry note. Mildly phenolic.

MF: Light bodied, but not as effervescent as other Belgian offerings

D: Very drinkable dubbel. Though it lacks some of the expected complexity, it is terribly drinkable. I would not turn this one down, but would pass over it for the blue.

Photo of ecoastman
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinkability - a great beer (one of my favourites to-date) that I prefer much more over the Chimay White. I will be having another for sure to finish off the 750 mL bottle. However, the acidity might be giving me mild heartburn... but that's probably just me drinking on a light stomach. You've got to give them credit for a great natural product based on age-old recipes. I'd age the other bottle but it won't last long. Freshness date is 2012.

Appearance - murky red-brown with a great head to start that quickly recedes to a thin patch as is typical of this style. No lacing in my rinsed chalice.

Smell - I was standing and walking to my chair while smelling the beer from my glass. I guess I was a little too close since the beer went up my nose as it rocked back and forth in the chalice. While the nuances are much easier to detect using this method, I can't recommend it for inexperienced novists.

Very mild and pleasant. Sweet candy and malty bread with caramel. Mild fruitiness and phenolics. I think I'm getting a faint smokiness in the start.

Taste - similar to what you smell. Faint strawberry fruit in the finish. What can I say? This beer is one of the standards for this style - built well, balanced between the ingredients, fits the style. Love it - especially after it warms up a bit. My only critisism is that the flavour is a bit mild and the acidity might be giving me mild heartburn... However, when I finished the 750 mL bottle I let the yeast go into the glass which I think brought out the complexity a little better.

Mouthfeel - medium body that is slightly course from the fine carbonation to start but finishes creamy smooth. The beer holds the carbonation exceptionally well as the beer looks flat until it hits your mouth.

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

Pours a hazy rusty reddish brown. A thin white head goes away pretty quickly to form a ring around the glass.

The smell is very sugary and heavy on malt. Dried dark fruits come to mind, prunes, raisins, there is some apple juice and grape juice. Lots of yeast and almost no alcohol smell.

Initially this beer is pretty sugary and sweet with a faint sourness on the sides of the mouth. The hops are spicey and add to the bitterness. The finish is sweet and spicey with a lot of fruityness.

Medium bodied with a crisp carbonation. Good drinkability.

Photo of hopdog
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This rating is from tap.

Poured a reddish brown color. Fruity, floral tastes and smells with berry hints (was that raspberries I smell). Lightly yeasty as well. Very smooth to drink with a dry finish. Very easy and enjoayable to drink.

Notes from: 7/12/04

Photo of cratez
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle from the LCBO, poured into a Chimay glass.

Appearance: cinnamon brown body with nearly an inch of head that subsides very quickly. No lacing, which tells me I may have poured the beer wrong (the chalice isn't dirty). Lots of yeast and sediment in the body - you can see it swirling at the bottom of the glass while drinking.

Smell: yeast, alcohol, and extremely fresh fruit, including pears, apricots, and a strong grape aroma. Lovely.

Taste: juicy malts, caramel, tart/bittersweet hops, and a warming alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: tangy and crisp upfront with a smooth body and wet finish. A diverse and complete mouthfeel.

Overall: Chimay Red is a fruity, aromatic, and warming abbey dubbel with some nice complexities. On previous tastes I didn't use the proper glassware and I forgot to let the yeast settle. This time I corrected both those errors and gained a new appreciation for the incredibly fresh smell of this beer. The flavour doesn't possess the metallic notes it had when, on a prior taste, I drank it almost immediately after pouring. It's a solid beer, though I prefer Westmalle Dubbel and St. Bernardus Prior 8 to this offering.

Photo of ricke
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2008. Serving date: 2009-01-21. Served in snifter.

Presentation: 330 ml bottle with freshness date (Best before end of 2012) and recommended serving temperature, glassware and cellaring procedure on the label.

Appearance: Dark copper color with a 2,5 cm brown-shaded and sparkly head that dissipates rather fast and leaves some small lacings.

Smell: A general sweet and fruity smell (kind of like ripe apricots), soft chocolate nougat and notes or grass sits firmly on a backbone of yeast and spices.

Taste: First, sweet malts, fruits and bread hits the taste buds. Then, a mild yeast note and a distinct spicy flavor - primarily cloves - takes over for a while before the finish. It's just slightly vinous. The finish is characterized by a gentle bitterness, even more gentle tartness and spices. Towards the end, it develops a nice caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice and lively carbonation. Very nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very well-composed beer with interesting, pleasant and sometimes subtle notes to be discovered. Highly recommended.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,181 ratings.