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

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Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,317 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,317
Reviews: 1,604
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 202
Gots: 560 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,317 | Reviews: 1,604
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl into Chimay Goblet.

A- A hazy, chestnut brown with a decent head that settles quickly but sticks around for the whole bottle. A little white life raft floating in the center.

S- Strong, deep plums and figs. Very nice.

T Follows the nose, dark, caramelized fruits. Raisins, apple skin, very fruity. A bit of a peppery bite on the back end. Extremely tasty. A bit of orange zest and mint??? hmm... pretty deep flavor profile here. A joy to drink.

M- Well-carbonated, flavorful, but not overbearing, and an ABV that is nowhere to be found. Sublime.

D- High. I drank this one slow, but that's due to the robust and full flavors that demand to be enjoyed, savored, and explored. A very good beer.

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

From a .33L bottle into a goblet.

Pours a nice dark orange color with an inch of off-white head. Dense foam, nice lacing. Some dissipation, but a layer of foam survives for the entire consumption of the beer.

Nice sweet nose, but not too much. Nice yeasty smell balanced against malts. Also, a fair bit of citrus is present - orange and lemon rinds, coriander and tarragon, with a touch of black pepper.

Rich taste, but isn't overwhelming. Tart, bitter orange and yeasts carry the bulk of the flavor weight, some spice present, but light (again, tarragon and coriander). A bit of sweetness is tied into the yeasty flavors to get that characteristic Belgian ale flavor. Very tasty.

Not a very heavy bodied beer; fresh and carbonated, but not over done. Alcohol isn't terrible present, but adds a touch of warmth.

Great Belgian style - worth the try if you're interested in the genre.

Photo of office888
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml corked bottle, dated 11/07 on the cork.

Unfortunately, I lacked a chalice or goblet, so I had to use a red wine glass. Less than perfect, but better than a solo cup.

A: Pours a deep burgundy color, with slight bubbles coming to the surface. A heavy, thick head instantly develops, but dissipates fairly quickly into a light lace.

S: Sweet, smells of fresh fruit, like a wine almost with a spice on the end.

T: Soft mouthfeel with a crisp carbonation. Very smooth. Almost immediately, fruit flavors appear. I catch maybe the tart of a green apple, coupled with pear. A flowery hops note appears towards the end. Finish tapers off slowly with no harsh aftertaste. Just a clean, clear, smooth finish

It is official. This is one of the greatest beers I've ever tasted. There's no harsh characteristics about it. It's purely art in a bottle, that an artist has blended into a masterpiece.

Photo of wordemupg
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into Unibroue chalice nov23 2009

A brownish copper with some sediment and a thumbs worth of head that fell fast and left no lace

S some tropical fruit with some yeast and brown sugar

T all I smell but with some booze and molasses and something I can't put my finger on quite complex indeed

M lots of carbonation makes for a fairly light feel

D easy too drink, while trying too place the flavors I drank the beer before I knew it

I liked this beer with out doubt and will drink it again in the future. Great taste really helps its cause and I can't wait for a refresher course in Chimay 101. I remember liking the blue Chimay the best but that was a while ago so I can't wait too see if my taste has changed

Photo of jazztoloc
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a 330 ml bottle, poured into a Chimay goblet.
As soon as I opened the bottle, I started to smell the magnificent beer I was about to try.
Dark brown and redish in color, nice big head, and very good retention.

I loved the well balanced smell of malt and fruits, the goblet serves it's purpose very well and enhances the experience.

Tastes like fruit, very malty, and sweet. You can feel the alcohol very nice blended with all the flavors.

This is a very nice beer, It might not be the best belguian beer I've ever tried, but it sure is a pleassure to drink. It coul be a very good choice to start with belguian beer.


Photo of bonsreeb85
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours out a murky dark tawny/garnett color with a large tan head with really good retention.

It smells like honeycomb, medicinal spice and fruits including peaches, raisins and plums to name a few.

The flavor profile is a bit more subdued than I had hoped for. Very malt driven and balanced with medicinal clove, banana, and the mentioned fruits taking the wheel. Spices and hops play the backround but are a nice counter point to the sweetness of the malt and yeast.

The feel is that of a medium bodied beer that has been very highly carbonated. Spritzer like one might say.

This one was pretty easy to drink, nothing to extreme or over-the-top. Just a well made dubbel that IMHO isn't exactly worthy of it's hype, although not a bad beer in the end.

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

This will be my first Trappist ale, and I purchased a Chimay three pack with a goblet, so hopefully it lives up to the hype. Uh oh...popped the top open and the carbonation overflowed, don't think that's normal. Well it doesn't smell bad, so here goes.

Appearance: Even after the incident opening the bottle, the beer still produced a solid finger of creamy head that sustained like mad, but barely laced. The body is a cloudy
auburn, with small bits of yeast settling at the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Fruity yeast dominates the nose that produce scents of peaches, plums, grapes and apples. An undertone of sweet caramel malt can also be found in the background. Good, yes great, I wouldn't quite say so.

Taste: The whole experience is rooted in the fruity yeast, at more similar to drinking wine then beer. Starts with a pronounced soft fruit and berry taste, that gracefully turns to a more malty taste and ends with a light dusting of balanced floral and citrus hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth carbonation certainly makes a light presence known throughout the beer. The aftertaste doesn't linger but is fairly nice a fruity. Transitions very nicely as well
though. However it does get a little bit cloying at the back of the tongue.

Drinkability: Certainly a sipping beer designed to be savored, and it does go down very smoothly and is quite refreshing. However, the carbonation is incredibly high so it does cause some gas issues.

Final Thoughts: Certainly a "champagne" beer that is only to be brought out for special occasions. All in all, a good experience but it strikes me as a bit of a high class drinker. Certainly worth a try, and I would never turn it down. This could go very well with an expensive dinner.

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

.33L bottle poured into a goblet.
Appearance: Copper/brown color with nice head (not too much), with lacing.
Smell: Rich malt and a bit of caramel aroma.
Taste: Slightly spicy, bitterness of roasted malt and fruit flavors, well combined.
Mouthfeel/Drink: Very drinkable, hop bitterness and sweetness are well balanced.

Photo of chickenm
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330mL bottle poured into a Chimay goblet. Cloudy copper color with not much head. There is a nice sweet smell of raisins, molasses, and yeast. Medium mouthfeel and flavor is of fruits, malt, and yeast. There is a bit of bitterness to balance it out. This is quite drinkable at 7% abv. Overall a great dubbel.

Photo of tang3nt
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably one of the easiest to find out of the Belgian Trasppist Ales. The pour is a cloudy amber color with a fairly large head light colored . Slightly spicy and malty nose. Dark fruity flavors with a deep roasted malt. Fairly complex and well balanced.

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

Pours reddish brown into a Chimay glass. Smells of yeast and dried fruit. Taste is much the same. Silky smooth mouthfeel that ends with a carbonated bite. Drinkability is high at 7% ABV. A tropical storm has caused it to rain all day. Just found a lizard running around the house. But all is good after a few of these.

Photo of gatornation
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 750 ml bottle to a goblet the color was amber/brown with nice head the smell was fruity and spicy with yeast and malt...the taste was fruit with clove and cinnamon with a yeast taste some currant fruits this is a easy dubbel to drink and its tasty a good one to bring to a dinner party

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.09/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a sort of raisiny chestnut color, with a rather unspectacular head that dies down and in the end it looked flat.

The aroma is fruit and sweet malt. A lot of yeasty funk. And...um...um....this is a Chimay and I feel like I should be picking up a lot and saying things like "notes of this" and "nuances of that" but really, brought up to temperature and right until the end where it was practically room temperature, the aroma just seemed muted.

The most notable thing about the taste is it's a bit astringent with a slightly metallic like quality to it. Sweet sugary malt and raisins are rounded out with a bit of spice and Belgian yeast. Finished quick. Estery and medicinal. Dry but almost a tinge of sugar sticks around. The alcohol hits the back of my throat in not a good way.

Medium body. Good carbonation. Probably the best part of this beer.

This wasn't at all the wow beer I was expecting.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a KoeningsHoven Goblet.

A: Pours a very coarse 1 finger white head that fades quickly and leaves a light film on top. Brew itself is semi-clear brownish amber. Lacing is non-existent.

S: Yeast, sweet dark fruit (figs, grapes, or plum maybe?), pineapple, and cane sugar.

T: Starts of warming with a hint of overripe strawberry, cloves, plum, deep brown sugar, malty backbone. Finish is quick with a bit of bitterness towards the end that fades almost instantly.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth and chewy and quite bready, lending to a robust mouthfeel, spicy on the finish which is dry and incredibly clean.

D: Very drinkable and very enjoyable. Flavors here are so complex it challenges you to figure them all out.

Photo of brystmar
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from 33cl bottle into the Chimay wide-mouth glass that came in the gift set. Lots of carbonation, a fair amount of head; beautiful copper look.

S: mmmm, cinnamon! Lots of spice overtones too. But the smell of cinnamon lingers in my glass even after the beer's gone. Delicious.

T/M: hello carbonation! The spice and sweetness hit you first, but not too sharply in either direction. A smooth finish and mild aftertaste leave you wanting more. Well balanced.

D: certainly smooth enough to session, but watch that ABV. Drinkability isn't a concern of mine when I sit down with this beer, and fortunately Chimay Red doesn't present any challenges in this regard. Cheers!

Photo of microbrew52
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great trappist for first timers. Not bottled conditioned like the others so the flavor is more tame. This beer still has a nice molasses flavor. You can taste a little fruitiness which is picked up on the nose. Lots of malt. Great ale that has more drinkability than most of the same genre.

Photo of Fizzlybear
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L - It poured a misty, light brown, with a good fluffy off white head, looks very appealing.

S - Very strong smells of caramel, with spiced malt undertones. Not too complex, but that's not a bad thing!

T - Has a sweet kind of sugary malt flavour which turns into a bitter herb aftertaste. The transformation of flavours works brilliantly.

M&D - Very nice in the mouth with a crisp finish, I could drink them all night.

Overall a good solid beer, plenty of flavour. Worth every penny.

Photo of mwilbur
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a nice dark cloudy amber-orange with 1 inch frothy light tan head.
S: Wonderful Belgian spice and yeast. Soft malt notes.
T: Dark dried fruit, bready yeast, belgian spice.
M: Medium body. Soft and supple feel. Hint of bitter bite at the end.
D: Highly drinkable. ABV only 7% and extremely well hidden. A classic dubbel, but not the best out there.

Photo of IceTrey9785
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Decided to buy a bottle at the local Harris Teeter ($4.99 per bottle).

A: Poured a nice mahogany red, will great head retention and beautiful lacing. A bit cloudy, but still very rich in color.

S: Very aromatic -- wonderful smells of persimmons, figs, and dry fruit. Some spice in the form of white pepper, clove, and maybe some allspice (?). A faint hint of citrus really emerges as the beer warms -- overall, very appetizing.

T&M: I took a sip of this brew, and I felt that it was exploding in my mouth. A small sip goes a long way, accompanied with malty sweetness, hints of dried stone fruit, and cocoa. Not overly sweet, very well balanced, but lacking a long finish. The initial flavor is bright and intense, but quickly fades. Definitely a classic!

Overall, I really like this dubbel. I think there are probably some out there with a bit more character and intensity (and definitely a longer finish), however, this is a great introduction to the style, and will always be a classic. I'm thinking of pairing this with a nice cut of pork tenderloin, with a red wine/persimmon reduction sauce -- sounds pretty good to me...

Photo of berley31
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a small, off-white head, but what was there actually stayed there for most of the time while I was drinking the beer. Body is a nice, light brown, like melted milk chocolate... almost a dark ruby red. Cloudy body.

S: Very nice aroma of malty breadiness, with hints of cloves and banana as well.

T: Quite a sweet flavor to this beer, but it's not sickening or cloying... not a bit. The cloves and banana are present, but nicely in the background. A fantastic-tasting beer.

M: Medium-bodied with a creamy texture, and a quite fizzy carbonation.

D: Wow, this is an excellent Dubbel. Definitely goes down easy with hardly any trace of alcohol. Something I could sip on all night if I had the opportunity.

Photo of AmberMan22
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich ruby red with grapefruit colored highlights. Head is a khaki color, looks gorgeous in combination with the color. Headdisapated a little fast, but the tulip class is staying ahead of the curve.

smells like dates, a smidge of alcohol that blends nicely with sweetness. It all seems too subdued though.

The taste is wonderfully balanced between bitter spices and alcohol on one end, with the fruit-based sweetness and malty backbone on the other.

I love how this feels. Creamy, smooth, nice carbonation blend, even the aftertaste is balanced. I wish all beers felt like this.

After my first experience with a Dubbel being a disaster, I'm glad to find such a gem. I know with the name Chimay comes a lot of experience and reputation, and the Red can proudly hold its head up high.
Absolutely worth a try, even two if you don't enjoy it the first time. I can only imagine how good it would be on-tap.

Photo of taxguyjase
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer just looked pretty as I poured it. A really nice rich brown color and nutty malt aroma. The head was exceptionally foamy, but not in a bad way. The taste was really spicy, but had a champagne like taste to it with a bitter finish. As you'd expect with champagne, this beer had a sharpness to it and the carbination was a bit bubbly. There was some sweetness too, but it was not overpowering. I'd get this beer again for a special occasion.

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

Poured into a chalice, a nice reddish-brown hue, with two fingers of off-white head that laced spottily. The smell was a mix of maltiness, caramel, raisins, dates, wet leaves, woodiness, biscuit, and yeast. The flavor was a very nice blend, starting with the dark fruit, ending with some dry woodiness, and brimming with maltiness throughout. The alcohol was well-hidden, and the aftertaste was a little spicy. The mouthfeel was very smooth, but not as carbonated as I had expected. Certainly a very good dubbel, but I wouldn't judge it best in show.

Photo of mirish72
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Poured a burgundy/reddish brown. The head quickly dissipated but there was visible yeast throughout the beer.

Sweet aroma, fruity with traces of raisins, prunes, and plums. The beer is slighty more carbonated than I would have expected.

Tatses perfectly balanced, very drinkable, not too sweet. The alcohol is well masked. The beer has a slighty bitter finish, but it blends in perfectly.

Photo of bobsy
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark bronze colour, with a very foamy off-white head, that leaves a few streaks of lace on the glass. While its a pleasant appearance I wouldn't rank it up their with the best examplaes of the style.

Gives off a rich fruity aroma, full of mulling spices, and with a background of sweet malt. Beyond that there's not too much complexity, which is surprising from such a highly regarded beer.

Likewise, the taste is very straightforward, and I can tell you right now that this is no westy 8. Sweet fruity malts dominate, with raisins at the fore, while cinamon and a lightly bready yeast try to keep up. Unfortunately the whole affair is let down by the body, which occassionally errs towards the watery and acts as a diluter in the flavour. There is a decent carbonation, but its too short-lived on the tongue to bulk things up.

I used to be really impressed with this beer, but I've come to realise that its not the star I once thought it was, and it shouldn't share company with St. Bernardus and Westvleteren as one of the better examples of the style.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,317 ratings.