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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,299 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,299
Reviews: 1,600
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 198
Gots: 533 | 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.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,299 | Reviews: 1,600 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CheckMate
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle caged and corked. obtained at Shaw's Supermarket Windham, NH. Poured in to a Konings Hoeven goblet and shared with BA member MrHurmateeowish. pours a deep red color with an inch of off white head that slowly dissipates. scents of chocolate fills the nose, malts, fruity. tastes of chocolate, sweet, a little bit of hops. light carbonation. kind of a sipper. very well made beer.


Photo of CarlP2
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottle into my Chimay chalice. Gotta start the new chalice off with the appropriate beer.

A- Cloudy copper color. Starts off with lots of fluffy off-white head that recedes to leave a nice layer on top of the beer. There is also some lacing left as the beer goes down. I've seen tiny little reddish black sediment in this beer before. There is none from this bottle though.

S- Strong smell of malts with some hints of spiciness. There is a sweet sugary smell as I agitate the glass a little.

T- Malts and dark fruits. It finishes with a bit of the spicy/tangy taste that I smelled. No aftertaste at all, which seems strange to me. I'm used to complex beers finishing with some sort of aftertaste to enjoy and think about. It leaves me wanting another sip as soon as I put the glass down. No hints of alcohol at all. The flavors wake up just a little more as the glass warms. The flavors are all very well balanced, there isn't one that overpowers any of the others.

M- Medium body with a lot of carbonation. Goes down very smoothly. I wouldn't mind a little less carbonation, but it is common for the style.

D- Very tasty and easy to drink. 7% abv isn't a killer, but it's not something to drink all night. A 750ml is a nice way to accompany and finish a nice meal.

I tried this beer several times when I first got into craft brews, and it wowed me with its complexity of flavors and smells. Since then, I've tried several other Belgian styles, DIPA's, and imperial stouts. It doesn't wow me anymore after trying many other strong styles of beer. I will still drink it from time to time though, as it is still a very good beer. And I've still got the white and the blue to review from the pack.

Photo of DerBayer
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can I say other than that I was slightly disappointed with tatse and smell after its inviting sexy looks in the Chimay glass. It s got a chestnutty tinge to it and perfect head.
Smell is a bit of alc with caramel and malt and some faint cherry notes
Taste is much the same but the dark fruit comes through more
Body is medium and carbonation is decent.

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

Number two in my sojourn into Chimay.

Pours a copperish amber color. Thin head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing to speak of. Smells a bit grassy, with some sort of spice that i cant quite place. Taste is of oranges and again, a spice a cant place. I touch woody, even. Its light to medium bodied, almost a bit watery.

Easily drinkable, and a truly enjoyable brew. Another score for chimay.

Photo of jdubjacket
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at my local store. Sampled all Westvleterens and am re-visiting my Belgian roots.

Pours a copper, amber color with a moderate amount of sediment.

Smell is slightly subdued. Belgian yeast is definitely the most prominent scent. Some light fruit scents, but like I said, it's subdued.

Taste is Belgian yeast at its best. A little bit of toffee, and a hint of oranges.

Slightly watery mouthfeel but balanced well with the carbonation.

Dangerously drinkable. Overall, a good beer. I think there are better dubbels out there though.

Photo of flagmantho
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a wine goblet.

Appearance: dark apple cider in color; opaque with a thin head.

Smell: very, very subtle; I get little wisps of apple and pear. What I smell is good, I am just not getting very much aroma at all.

Taste: taste is relatively mild and difficult for me, as a novice Belgian drinker, to define. Is it just so well balanced that I can't pick out individual characteristics? In any case, it's good. As the man (sort of) said, I may not know Belgians, but I know what I like -- and I like this.

Mouthfeel: superb. Medium-thick body with a very nice carbonation that leads to a very creamy, pleasant experience.

Drinkability: even at 7 percent, this stuff goes down smooth like butter. I know I had Chimay red once a long time ago, but after this reintroduction I am going to have to be getting it a lot more often.

Photo of pmccallum86
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry gold color with many visible floating sediments. Nice sized bubbling head with dried fruit aromas. The taste is of primarily dried fruit, almost tastes like a hoppy raisin. Good mouthfeel, very full bodied and smooth texture. This is a delicious beer and is very drinkable, I could have several in one sitting easily. As usual Chimay makes a great beer.

Photo of Tone
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, tan/brown color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of yeast, citrus, tart malt, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of a Dubbel. Mouth feel is sharp and slightly crisp. High carbonation level and slight dryness along with high level of tart. Tastes of tart malt, citrus (banana), yeast, very slight hop, and slight sweet malt. Overall, not too tart, complex, easy drinkability, and good body.

Photo of jera1350
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into a Chimay chalice a murky beef gravy brown with slowly moving bits. Nice susdsy head that reduces after a minute to a tan ring.

Effervescent like smell that tingles the nostrils. Lemon zest, yeasty, hops, bready and roasted malt. Picking up some sweet lilac as well.

Malty, some toasted biscuity flavors. Deep, deep roasted malt, almost burnt. Hop bitterness, but not as pleasant as the nose. Hint of chocolate and coffee bean.

Really active carbonation. Pretty harsh and rough on the tongue. About medium bodied.

My least favorite Chimay by far. Not as complex, flavorful or easy drinking.

Photo of WCBCFrank
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay pours a decadently deep reddish brown topped off in a goblet with a beautiful cloud of off-white foam. Good lacing throughout. Balance with the taste of ripe plums and dark fruit; the slightly twinge of caramel and sugar; good carbonation and yeast flavor throughout. Balanced, highly enjoyable!

For the novice: A must, period.

Personally: Back when I was a young man (ok, ten years ago) I had my first bottle at the Ten Spot in Olde City and I was hooked. It opened the door to world of flavor and complexity that is Belgian beers. It is one of my desert island beers.

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

A: Pours a rich reddish brown color with creamy off-white that dissipates quickly. A considerable amount of sediment floating in the glass.

S: Fruity aroma, ripe plums and fresh apples. Sweet malt and carmel. Spices notes with hints of clove and cracked pepper.

T: Sweet up front, carmel malt and molasses. Plums and dark fruit, some apple. Finishes spicy and a bit medicinal.

M: Rich and creamy with ample carbonation. This beer coats your mouth as you drink it.

D: A classic beer and a great example of the style. Full of flavor and great texture. I could drink these all day.

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

Appearance - A hazy honey color. I tried it first being careful to decant without yeast, and then after sipping that way stuck a straw into the bottle to rouse the yeasties. That made it look properly enchanting, a darker apricotish color positively filled with floating crap. I like floating crap. Makes the beer look nice and hazy and seems to thicken mouthfeel.

Smell - Fruits. I'm not getting that clove thing that people talk about a lot. I'm getting a huge basket full of fruits. Not dark plum-like as would be in a RIS or tropical like can result from some hops. Call it semi-dark fruit.

Taste - Was expecting the fruitiness to seperate into some identifiable flavors more than it did. This stuff is absolutely delicious though. We're talking apricots and figs and dates and things, and honey. It is sweet, yes, but I dislike cloying sweetness, and this is far short of that. Rather like the natural sweetness of the fructose in a fruit. There's a bitter note in the finish, and an earthiness from the yeast perhaps, but all considered this is a remarkably well-melded beer. Each flavor bleeding into the next, blended rather than distinct.

Mouthfeel - I do not like excessive carbonation, but it slows in a minute or two and the ample yeasties thickened it up a good bit. Rich but not viscous, and not sticky. Good stuff here.

Drinkability - A bit higher in alcohol than my usual stuff, but just took longer to drink it and to let it warm in my hand and release those rich flavors.

My first Belgian. Thinking there'll be a much higher percentage of Belgianness in my future eh? Yes I think so. Want the blue Chimay first, more fruit there I hear.

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

Pours a clear Reddish Brown, with super creamy, light tan head that fades fast. Very tiny carbonation bubbles. Smell is a hint of juicy malt. Taste is malty up front; caramel and oak wood and a hint of pepperyness. The middle is drying, and the finish is slightly bitter. Finishes very clean and dry as well. Mouthfeel is super rich and creamy, High, but smooth carbonation from the bottle conditioning. Drinkability is very good, an excellent example of a Dubbel, one of the first 'craft' beers I had long ago that brought me here. Expensive, but worth it every once in awhile.

Photo of Evocatus
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Has a appearance of a mix of a dark cider and caramel. The head dies quickly to about 2-3 mm and then lingers on to the end. Smells like a mix of spices and apples. The taste pretty much resembles the smell; a sense of spice mixed with a fruity and slightly sweet flavor. The flavors stand out more after sitting, so don't drink this right out of the fridge. It has just the right thickness and carbonation, not feeling too thin, and the bubbles tingle when you first drink it. No lingering bitterness to it either. Overall, one of my favorites.

Photo of porterwoobie
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 750ml bottle into a tulip shaped glass.

A: light brown with a reddish tint. slim head that clings to the sides of the glass. cloudy.

S: aroma is pretty complex. fruity, perfume-like, slightly spicy. sweet smelling, like ripe apples.

T: mimics the aroma. complex mix of clove spiciness, malty, and fruity. like a mix of dates, apples, and raisons balanced with cloves and malt sweetness.

MF: medium body and moderately high carbonation.

Drinkability: very complex aroma's and flavors. grand daddy of the belgian dubbels.

Photo of birchstick
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark copper, pretty much brown in appearance with a ½ finger head that dissipates quickly

S - dark fruits, figs, grapes, and sweet malt

T - Taste follows the nose, except the taste isn't as bold as I thought it would be. There is some dark fruits that are balanced with a touch of sticky toffee and sweet malt on the finish. This is pretty decent.

M - Really well-carbonated. Has a very soft mouthfeel to it from what I would assume to be from the well that is described on the back of the bottle. It sort of feels like my throat is getting gently scrubbed down.

D - This is a pretty good dubbel. I don't know if I would necessarily revisit this due to its price, but it was fun to try. Pretty drinkable at7% taboot.

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

Poured into a chalice.The foam holds well onto the glass.Not too many bubbles.
Smells very good: black tea, peach, fruity without being really sweet.
Good taste. Not like a usual dubbel.Less sweet than a normal dubbel.It starts off with a little sweetness,but not much,then a slight sourness and a hoppy finish. It has that typical Chimay flavour that you also find in the white and blue versions.(Perhaps the yeast?). I enjoyed this one, but I prefer the blue and white Chimay.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The last Chimay for me to try is also my favorite of the three styles ..yes yes I know a Quad is technically a bigger Dubbel, bear with me.

Pour is a very murky brown with some floaties and a nice eggshell white head that gets pretty big bud also disappointingly dies down rather quickly.

Smell is great, bread and some light spice and malty goodness, no sign of hops.

Taste is surprisngly bold, mimicking the characteristics of nose with a bit more prominent spice. This is going to rank in front of the White but behind the Blue as far as my taste is concerned.

As with most Belgians, the mouth is refined to a point where you almost take it for granted. Relatively thin and bubbly, where it needs to be.

A fairly easy drinker for a relatively big beer, and definitely a good and slightly cheaper alternative to it's bigger brother, but for me anyway it doesn't hang with some of the better dubbels around such as St. Bernardus's 8 and of course the King, Westy 8.

Photo of GordonQuid
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750Ml bottle to a sifter glass.

Deep amber w/ a 1 inch white head. Ample lacing present.

Smells of fresh dates, raisins, ripened pair fruit and dark cherry candy laced w/ chocolate.

Taste is full bodied fruit-cake w/ a delightful yeasty bite that lingers.

Good full mouthfeel but very drinkable.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahh, Belgium.

Cloudy, dark amber color with a large white head. Rivers of tiny bubbles that fizz and pop like Snap, Crackle, & Pop.

Fall fruit, cider spice, yeast, molasses, licorice, plum...I could spend hours with my nose in the glass.

Tastes like it smells: divine. Candy sugar, plum, cider spice, orange peel, ad infinitum.

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

Picked this up as part of the Chimay 3 pack with the Chimay chalice. Being the lesser of the three beers (in terms of ABV) I decided to start with this one. Poured from the bottle into the Chimay chalice, beer is a very hazy, copper/light brown color with a standing, active head. There are small chunks of particulate that have settled to the bottom of the chalice. The biggest thing that hits my nose right away is the spicy phenols which reminds me of cloves. There is also a light fruitiness about it as well as very subtle hints of darker, roasted malts. The flavor also has the spicy phenols, but also a light fruity sweetness that reminds me of pears, apricots and white grapes. There is just a touch of bitterness to balance and a slightly solventy warming alcohol effect. A very complex beer. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, velvety with a slightly aggressive carbonation, formed by the bottle fermentation no doubt. Overall a drinkable beer but definitely one you want to sip and enjoy.

Photo of kinghotpants
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Red is dark red, like the label implies. It's a cloudy beer, with visible yeast particulate in suspension which makes it look thicker than it really is.

The smell is sweet spices and fruit, but it's not an especially strong nose. Yes, I sat there with my nose in the glass for a few minutes before I blamed the beer.

The taste is spicy, with caramel flavors. The beer has a dry, alcoholic finish. Right at the end, the alcohol gets into your nose. The dry finish makes it go very well with food, where it serves as a palate-cleanser. I'm enjoying it with some pasta and it's better than I remember.

The carbonation makes it effervescent. The dry finish makes it feel like it disappears at the end, but it's not watery.

Overall? Not bad. If you can find it for a reasonable price, keep on drinking it.

Photo of Grunewald
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours a cloudy dark umber with a thick beige head.

S - malty with fruit and flower highlights

T - sweet malt flavor with some chocolate and dried fruit details

M - crisp carbonation with a nice dry finish

D - well balanced and highly recommended

Photo of jwhawkins81
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Spice and a earthy funk. More spice that I usually like. some dark fruits as well.

Appearance - Tons of light tan head with a clear amber color to the beer.

Taste - Not as spicy as I expected but still spicy but decently balanced. Sweet as well but again balanced. A heck of a beer really.

Notes - I got through the 750 ml bottle pretty well so I have to say this beer is drinkable.

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

Presentation 330ml stubbie into chimay chalice.

Pours with a smaller head which dissipates into a creamy lacing however not very thick. Wispy and sparsely broken with bubbles. However this does give it a beautiful swirl when agitated Dark opaque brownish orange in color.

Smell: Dark malt smell evoking aromas of chocolate, caramel, pitted fruit and vanilla. Not strikingly strong of a aroma from this beer.

Taste: dark malt: caramel and grapes. Very wine-like. Alcoholic tasting (especially when it warms up) which is surprising for a lower ABV.

Mouthfeel: moderately carbonated with a heavy body. Surprisingly dry and bitter towards the end.

Drinkability: This is my least favorite of the chimays but still a really proper beer. The only thing off putting about it is the heavy body and slight bitterness. I actually prefer Ommegangs dubbel which is a faux Belgian over this. This is a sipping beer for sure.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,299 ratings.