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

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

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4,130 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,130
Reviews: 1,574
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 172
Gots: 409 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,130 | Reviews: 1,574 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tr4nc3d
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a 750ml bottle

Pours a light caramel color with an off white two finger head that leaves little lacing.

Smells musty, like dried fruits, especially pears, a little floral notes to it with a hint of sourness

Not much to the taste like it was to the smell, a little bitter, rust should I say, kinda medecinal flavor to it, yeasty, didn't stand up to what I was hoping.

Dried fruit taste with not so good aftertaste.

I had good expecatations from this after I tried the Blue, I wasn't satisfied with this one, blue was a lot better.

tr4nc3d, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of rtepiak
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

amber chestnut with medium head lighter off white of beer. light beligan candy spotty lace. citrus sweet smell, grape like. taste has many subtle aspects. light pilsner hop. light banana, plum, cotton candy, light Gorgonzola finish. good feeling. very well balanced. quite drinkable although quite complex.

rtepiak, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of walshclimb
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy red body with thin head and not much lace. Head dissipated pretty quickly to barely a film. I poured into a red wine glass. Maybe that was the problem. I was a little disappointed with the appearance compared to some other reviews. Interesting sour malt with spice aroma. Complex warm malt initial flavor that is earthy and sour. Pleasant sour and bitter balance in the aftertaste that is long-lived and slowly evolving. Medium bodied with a sparkling champagne-like carbonation. Feels maybe a little thin on the finish. This is a tasty ale with interestingly complex aroma and flavor.

walshclimb, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of argock
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.9oz brown bottle into a clear glass goblet.

A: Distinctly golden-red in color with ample foamy but very sticky off-white head with intricate lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Bready and yeasty with spicy medicinal notes

T: Apple, pear, and plum with clovy medicinal flavors up front with brown sugar and crystal malt sweet breadiness giving way finally to drying yeast character

M: Despite all of the different flavors, there is nothing cloying and this leaves an astringent dry feel with a lightly fruity, sugary aftertaste

D: Highly drinkable Belgian ale that is appealing in its appearance and bountiful flavors

argock, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 10/9/2005 (750mL bottle):

Pours a dark brown/reddish colored body. WIth a complex flavor, very spicy, and somewhat fizzy. No bitterness. Not much in the way of aroma. Medium body mouthfeel. Wow, I really like this beer. My favorite Chimay beer out of the red/blue/white.

jujubeast6000, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of coldmeat23
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Chimay Goblet (Woohoo!)
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Very deep, rich, dark amber color. Smallish creamy white foamy head. Decent, but minimal, retention. Almost no lacing.

Big caramel notes on the forefront. Deep, dark fruits that are just a day away from being overripe. Nice, rich malt profile. Nice yeasty quality.

Taste is pretty light, compared to the nose. Nice malty presence, though really not very sweet. Quite earthy and yeasty, actually. Possibly over-carbonated, IMO.

Mouthfeel is creamy enough, but nothing to right home about. The overdone carbonation really hurts it, I think.

I would think of this as a good 'starter' dubbel.
My least fave from Chimay.

coldmeat23, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of adamparker05
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very rich, hazy nut brown color. Head quickly dissipates.

Aroma is delicious: toffee/caramel, sweet malts, fresh pumpernikle bread.

Taste is equally delicious, and more of the same: Caramel, malty sweetness, yeast, figs, with a nice earthy finish.

Mouthfeel is robust with crisp carbonation.

Couldn't drink a whole lot of this rich Belgian beer, but what I can take I will savor.

adamparker05, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of generallee
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a stubby brown 11.2oz bottle into a signature Chimay chalice that came with the gift set.

Appearance: It has a deep burgundy color with reddish amber highlights. The body has a light haze with a few small bits of yeast suspended in the liquid just above the bottom of the chalice. Its head builds up tall and thick with a creamy off white colored head. The head slowly recedes to a thin wispy covering that hangs on tell the finish and even leaves behind a small amount of lace.

Smell: The aroma has a pleasing dark sweet malt character with lots of good fruity esters and earthy Belgian yeast. There is a slight phenolic presence as well.

Taste/Mouth feel: There is a good sweet malty body that is full of fruity notes like apricot, dates and plums that mixes with some earthy yeast. In the middle there is a very slight astringency. It also has some light herbal hops spice and a pleasant alcohol that adds depth and warmth. In the finish the sweetness fades off giving way to dry earthy yeast. The texture is smooth with a slid medium to full body and well balanced carbonation.

Notes: This is a very solid Trappist Dubbel and an absolute joy to drink.

generallee, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of kevinglin
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle (dated 2012) into a wide-mouthed goblet-style glass. Beautiful reddish-amber, nearly clear with a stream of bubbles percolating up from the bottom; off-white head of two to three fingers settled down into the glass after a few minutes.

Aroma has some fruity esters (banana) and malty sweetness. No detectable hops for me. Flavor of malt with a bit of graininess and hints of fruit. I also get a bit of a medicinal flavor in the aftertaste and a slight alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is light on the tongue, body is medium.

Overall, I'm a bit underwhelmed by this beer - perhaps my expectations too high based on how much I've heard people talk about Chimay for so many years - but I wouldn't turn it down if given the chance. It's a good example of the style and I'd have it again, especially now that I know what to expect.

kevinglin, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of Kraken
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, had this one a while ago.

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into an oversized wine glass. Cork was really stuck in the bottle, but eventually removed with a resounding pop. Moderate pour yielded 2 fingers of head off white in color. Diminished quickly to one solid finger. Nice staying power, no real lace. Color was a very dark brown.

Nose- Smells rich, lite alcohol notes, figs, dark fruits, raisins, dates and mild prune. Bready notes.

Palate- Creamy, rich, loads of caramel notes. Fair amount of sweetness, alcohol. Well carbonated, very fine bubbles contribute to a cleansing effect on the palate. Slight dates, figs, and dark fruits. Nuttiness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel- Slightly dry, very active carbonation.

Drinkability- Very good, not as heavy as it appears.

Although not my favorite Belgian, you have to respect the craftsmanship. Well done!

Kraken, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Chimay goblet.

A reddish brown body with a healthy sized off-white head. Great retention, some lacing left behind.

Sugary sweetness in the smell, some note of honey and fruits.

Lots of earthy hop flavor here, with a touch of candied sugar. Some light fruit notes.

Very thin bodied, extremely drinkable, something you could down a few of or just sip all night.

Hojaminbag, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of CampusCrew
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: deep red amber

smell: high potency

taste: was my first real belgian ale, good, and no overpowering for how strong it was

mouthfeel: rish and taste expensive

drinkability: I was pleasantly suprisd, it's not overrated, smooth and easy for how stong the ABV is.

CampusCrew, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of bigkahunas4
3.03/5  rDev -27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a gorgeous ruby amber, with great lacing. The nose didn't overwhelm me by any means. Taste was mainly graham cracker, and quite sour. Mouthfeel was light and very carbonated.

I was very disappointed and underwhelmed by this. Love the Chiimay quad, but this one just doesn't do it for me.

bigkahunas4, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Poured from a 12 oz short stubby bottle into a chalice. Nice apple cider like appearance with some head and yeast sediment floating.

S. Sweet fruits and noble hops.

T. Follows the nose with some tartness and some noble earthy hop. A nice malt backing the whole way through. Alcohal presence is minimal.

M. Smooth and lightly carbonated. Fairly dry finish.

D. This is a good beer. A solid trappist style dubbel that you can find just about anywhere that sells good beer. I suggest the Chimay White over this one, but obviously you could do worse.

Stinkypuss, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of Beernoisseur
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What a joy this beer was.
A - Poured the color of a 1978 penny. Giant off-white head.
S - hoppiness, and warm bready yeast up front. Citrus and other more subtle aromas on the back end
T - Delicious. It's pretty strong, slightly sweet, but there's plenty of bitterness there too. Those Monks sure know how to do it.
M - It's nice, substantial. Not super carbonated.
D - I love this beer, and although it's delicious, it's probably a little too substantial to drink a bunch all at once.

Beernoisseur, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of lhaqq
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours with a think, dense head with great retention--the color of the head reminds me of the froth of a cappuccino. The rest is a semiopaque light brown/copper.
S: Smell is initially of yeast, then turns into a deep sweetness--brown sugar and molasses, and I think dark fruits.
T: The taste wasn't as complex or pungent as I was expecting. Some maltiness and a a dulled tartness (I hope that isn't contradictory). The aftertaste is strongly of molasses.
M: Silky and round. Hides the alcohol well.
D: Haven't had a ton of dubbels, but this definitely much easier to drink than the other beers I've had from Chimay, probably because of its decreased complexity. Still a great beer.

lhaqq, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of WHROO
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beige 2 finger bready head. Plum colour, full of sediment, with average head retention. A typically chimay appearance.
S: Classic Belgian Cloves & spices, very sweet, some candy, honey & bread.
T: Sweetness straight up, some cloves - although the cloves taste not as strong as cloves aroma (good thing), also some creamy butters tasted. Sweetness fills the whole tongue, & the flavours hold well till the dusty dryness cleans up.(reminded me of an Orval but not as dry). 7%ABV hidden very nicely.
M: excellent & multi layered, medium heaviness, a little buttery & creamy.
D: Very easy, the multi layers keep the palate interested...definately have some more.

WHROO, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of larsee01
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl stubby bottle poured into Chimay goblet

A--Dark reddish brown...almost maroon like the bottle label. Cloudy with creamy head. Lots of yeast in the bottle. Did a slow pour to keep most of it there.

S--Sweet and malty as expected. Touch of ripe banana. Little bit of raisiny alcohol emitted. Mild overall with a kiss of yeast sour. Clove makes a brief, faint appearance.

T--Hearty. Not too sweet nor syrupy 1st impression. Phenols give it earthiness with a tiny bit of hop kick for bitter balance. Clove spice modest and throughout. Interesting complexity deserves a more detailed analysis than I can give. Can't identify flavor eminating from back of tounge/throat...I've described it before as plaintain or tuber-like.

M--Medium bodied. Drier than expected. Creaminess from carbonation provides smoothness without getting me overly bloated.

D--Quicker and easier going down than the more potent Chimays. Since it doesn't have the alcohol, sweetness, complexity nor price tag of Grande Reserve, I guess that's the idea.

larsee01, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of Rudgers73
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a white wine glass it is ruddy brown with amber highlights. The head is large, but settles rather quickly into a thin layer over the beer. A few yeast chunks swirl around at the bottom of the glass. The smell starts out sour and sweet with a biscuity aroma right at the end. I smells as though it is delicate and lightly hopped. Raisins, candi sugar, flowers. The taste, IMO, is a classic example of a true Belgian style abbey ale: Sweet, smooth, delicate and complex. Everything about it is subtle and balanced. The wide range of flavors go from sweet, to bitter, sour to malty, raw to toasted. You just can't beat these real Belgian in mouthfeel either. Like silk. Almost as good as Prior 8.

Rudgers73, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of theghost3
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a burgundy glass. Appearance is hazy, strong-brewed tea in color with an off-white head. Considerable lacing. Smells of bread, spices, alcohol, hint of malts. Taste is spicy--maybe nutmeg, with dried fruits that make up the sweetness, dark bread, and faint flavor of hops. Odd sort of bitter medicinal aftertaste. Mouthfeel is not what I expected. I thought it would be heavy, but it was actually somewhat watered-down, very little acidity. This beer is appropriate as an after-dinner drink, but not something I would indulge in regularly.

theghost3, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of deereless
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Some serious head on this beer, acorn brown, maintains a constant layer of foam across the surface - 4.25, S: Bready, nutty, spicy, Trappist ale unquestionably - 4.75, T: Extremely smooth yet quite flavorful, wonderful crisp and somewhat tart, tinge of bitterness from what I can only assume is the hops - 4.50, M: Medium bodied - 4.25, D: An exceptional ale, easily one that I would recommend - 4.50

deereless, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a Chimay goblet

Pours a hazy, murky amber/mahogany with a small tan head. Little to no head retention and lacing left behind.

The smell is primarily of dark malt with doughy yeast. Caramel and toffee mixed with raisins, figs, and dates. Not a whole lot of depth on this one.

Heavy malts and dark fruit. Phenolic alcohol hides the earthy malts and any discernible hop profile. There is a bit of spicy clove in the finish. Overall, not bad, but really lacking in depth to blow me away.

High carbonation, with a medium-light body. Alcoholy/spicy finish bring this score down a bit.

It's definitely not a chore to drink at 7%, but not as balanced as I would like.

ColForbinBC, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into a chalice.

A--Hazy deep wildflower honey, like maple syrup with some molasses dumped into it. Hints of ruby or garnet toward the bottom. Super active head, about two and a half fingers, with plenty of big bubbly fizz. Plenty going on here and plenty to stare at.

S--Very powerful magic here: mostly dried dark skinned fruits, notably prune and fig, with clove and some malt breadiness coming through. Nose doesn't give off so much sweet as rich deep spice.

T--Doesn't disappoint and mostly follows the nose, though with more of an earthy brown bread punch with the malt. Effervescent finish that's really nice after all the spice up front. A beer whose flavor remains much more complicated than any words can give justice to--like entering a cave of flavor: it's dark, and there's plenty of in there; you just don't exactly know what. I'd say it's mostly clove with sweet overripe purple skinned fruit that mulls into a pleasant molasses-based bread.

M&D--Much more sparkling and smooth than you would expect from the color and near syrupy viscosity. This could be like sludgy motor oil that zaps you of all energy, but turns out to be well-rounded with a sneaky warming alcohol creep. Can't help but be reminded of and summon up images of dank stone cave-like structures, as this would be a perfect fit for that environment.

TheycallmeTim, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a murky brown-ish with what I would call some hints of red. It poured a nice light brown head that was well retained. The aroma was a bit light, but it was a little bready with some hints of citrus and a touch of alcohol. The taste was very good, but could not really put my finger on the flavors, but none-the-less, it had an excelletn taste. The beer had good carbonation and I could have had a few more pints if I had had a few more bottles. Overall, I will be buying this one again, without a doubt.

PhillyStyle, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of jdg204
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Special thanks to my wife for this great Christmas Gift, after having the Red I'm excited for the White and Blue.

A: The appearance is dark with just a hint of burgundy with some cloudy residue, head is very thick holds on and has a tan appearance.

S: A bit light but the smell hinted of banana and alcohol, also syrupy sweet with hints of fresh baked bread.

T: Taste is complex and hard to explain but it started out smooth with a taste of wheat, followed by a fruity sweet explosion, and a nice smooth finish with just a small hint of bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel was full a creamy, nice and rich feel all the way through.

D: Glad to finally take a shot at a European classic, this was an excellent brew. Prob not one I'd get all the time, but a sipping brew for special occasions. Much props to the wife again for this gift!

jdg204, Sep 28, 2008
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,130 ratings.