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

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

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3,768 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,768
Reviews: 1,551
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 148
Gots: 269 | FT: 2
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,768 | Reviews: 1,551 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jamie2dope


4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Chimay Red...here we go. Poured a lovely dark orange, close to amber color with a large head that quickly faded to a perfect lacing that lasted right up until the end of the glass. In the nose, I smelled strong alcohol, candy sugar, a bit of fruit here and there. I suspect that more smells would surface if the beer warmed up a little bit. Taste was excellent with figs, syrupy sweetness, juicy fruit, also a slight medicinal taste to it as well. Im usually not crazy about the medicinal sides of many beers but this one wasn't overpowering at all in the end made it a better beer in my humble opinion. Mouthfeel was the highlight for me, the beer was just perfectly balanced and a real thrist quencher. I love the prickly feeling you get when tasting this one. It was also a very drinkable beer....I think even wine lovers would have appreciation for the vast complexities within this beer. Its funny, I always used to see Chimay sitting on the shelf at the Atlas liquors back home all the time and never even considered getting it. Guess I still have alot to learn about good beer. Cheers

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2006 06:10:39 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of clickpush


3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 750ml bottle to wide mouth wine glass. Comes up w/ a half inch, off-white head that dissipates quickly. Beer color is one shade lighter than the bottle it came in and has no visible carbonation.

Nose: had a slight pine sap scent

Mouth: This beer had excellent whole mouth stimulation and a warming alcoholic exhale after the swallow. Tasted of sweet, fresh raw bread dough and had the perfect amount of carbonation. An excellently balanced bitter/sweet after taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2006 20:18:37 | More by clickpush
Photo of russpowell


4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dubbel is probably my favorite beligian beer style & I've always enjoyed this one, except when too young (seemed to be a problem in some the drink markets I found France (Cora) & somewhat on base at the class 6 stores in Germany, not the case with this sample!

Poured murky red (settled out nicely) with a 2 fingers+ whipped tan head with superior lacing and head retention

Smell: Iron and fruitiness

Taste: Iron up front, breadiness/fruitiness & the a slighltly yeasty dry finish

MF: Rich, moreish, effervescent

Very quffable & a good starting point for those who've never tried doubles, not the best, but pretty close IMHO

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2006 03:20:41 | More by russpowell
Photo of jettjon


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Balanced taste
Lows: Value

Pours a dark tea color with a one-finger dark tan head that fades to heavy lace that lingers. Nose is of bitter hops and a tea-like aroma. Taste is again bitter and hopsy, with a hint of alcohol. No tea here, however… odd. Mouthfeel is wet and bubbly; not bad. Finish is light bitter, not much on it. Drinkability is pretty good—it’s a mellow, unassuming ale. However, the premium price will probably keep you from drinking more than one.

Overall: I like this ale, it’s well balanced and lacks the metallic notes I’ve seen in many others. Given its price, however, I’d keep looking. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2006 00:09:02 | More by jettjon
Photo of Freshie


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice tanic color, with great frothy head retention.

Smells of breads, and rye with a hint sweetness and fruit.

The taste is very crisp with rich sweet malts balanced out by dry earthy hops. I detect clove, and some fuitness. Smooth after-taste, except for some mild alcohol burn.

Not a fan of the more present phenol characteristics, though that is the style. Still a superbly well-crafted ale.


Serving type: bottle

04-21-2006 00:51:50 | More by Freshie
Photo of UnionMade


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally trying this classic beer. Stubby 33cl bottle. Drunk from a Chimay chalice.
Hazy, woody brown, topped with a broken, creamy head. Good retention. Lots of yeasty sediment, as I've come to expect from this brewery. The yeast is not fond of staying in place. Sweet, candyish aroma. Caramel and soft chocolate, sugary sweet, with plenty of fruitiness and clovey, plastic-like phenols. That belgian signature. Somewhat simplistic compared to the best of the style, although the chocolatey profile is quite nice, distinguished. Woody, doughy yeast. The flavor start out sweet, as is expected, caramel, with an underlying milky chocolate flavor. Tingly carbonation supports a medium body. Plum and apple fruitiness, easing into some plastic and clove phenols. Modest yeasty spiciness in the finish, a lick of woody/floral hops, without a trace of alcohol. Malty finish, a touch sticky. Kinda earthy, leaving off with doughy sweetness.
I think this one's my favorite of the regular three Chimay offerings, at least in terms of drinkability. i could easily polish off a 750 ml of this. Not terribly complex, even a bit simplistic in comparison to the acclaimed examples of the style, but it's good and easy drinking. I like it.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2006 05:13:10 | More by UnionMade
Photo of fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper in colour with sweet fruit and yeasty aromas coupled with faint notes of darker toasted malts. Flavor wise, it begins quite sweet, but dries quickly and becomes bitter with some earthy/oaky qualities. The alcohol is also very upfront, which was a bit of a drag. Still a reasonably good product, but I think I still prefer the Chimay bleu... it's a bit more complex.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2006 01:54:28 | More by fisherman34
Photo of Crosling


2.33/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sampled at a shared tasting in Venice, Italy. Light Ruby. Unpleasantly aromatic with notes of bread, medicines, seawater, salt, green plants and dark fruits. Dark fruits reside but the entire front and mid-palate is completely non-existant. The finish however is lovely, lingering and full of a malty sweetness. Once again though, my main problem, as with all the Chimay beers is the total lack of body. Gentle overall, and the complete lack of character from the front to the mid is what disappoints most. It's just one dimensional, especially in the aroma.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2006 01:04:45 | More by Crosling
Photo of BlueHammer


4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Banana! This beer poured light brown with reddish tones.... (banana!) There was some decent head retention and a light, crisp, sweet smell. (banana!) It was slightly carbonated with a little bite on the end of the sip. (banana!)

I was overwhelmed by the smell and taste of bananas in this beer! I truly enjoyed the feel of it it my mouth - smooth and sweet and enjoyable and easy to drink. The taste improved as the beer sat in the glass.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2006 20:05:05 | More by BlueHammer
Photo of Tawnos


3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard glass.

The chimay red label pours a golden brown with a cloudy center. The substantial head leaves little lacing as it diminishes.

The smell is subdued. Subtle notes of toffee and a hint of chocolate intermingle with the spice smells.

The taste is good, like a brown ale/red ale crossover. Neither overly sweet nor bitter, the malt and alcohol both play a role in warming the palatte. The feeling of alcohol diminishes quickly and is replaced by caramelly malts and very subtle hoppiness. The aftertaste is a bit dirty, it makes me want to drink more to refresh the good flavors.

I could drink this the whole night, but would prefer to mix it up. For an extra dollar, the blue label chimay makes a much better deal in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2006 04:45:51 | More by Tawnos
Photo of VoodooBrew

South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished orange-brown body with a generous tan head. The nose shows herbal -- almost Indian -- spices, dried fruit, and malt. For some odd reason, the flavor reminds me of hot dogs. Yeah, hot dogs. There's malt mid-palate with a mild bitterness in there too. This one drinks soft and easy. It's perfectly drinkable but I'm not sure that it offers too much.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2006 01:19:05 | More by VoodooBrew
Photo of Byeast


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a murky , dark reddish-brown , with a creamy, tan , well sustained head of a quarter inch. Smell is a musty mix of maltiness , yeast , bread , cheese maybe?, and some slightly fruity aromas. Mouthfeel is ultra smooth and creamy carbonation. Some slight ginger , medium malt profile , bit of medicinal flavor , tinge of coriander , slight spice , and a yeasty, dry finish that seems to coat the back of the throat and roof of the mouth with a powdery feel for a moment. A very creamy and well balanced dubbel. I do favor the other chimay brews a little more.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2006 05:01:42 | More by Byeast
Photo of mynie


4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small bottle aged over a year.

Very pretty shade of burgundy. It's not often I'm struck by the color of a beer; there are really only so many varieties. But this is really something, a deep, womb red like the walls in _Cries and Whispers_ (and like the color of the label, actually).

Smells like very burny bright fruit, alcoholic Skittles. Gigantic yeast and a hint of American-smelling hops.

Tastes a bit more smooth than it smells. Sweet, smooth fruit, crisp yeast, and a dry rush of alcohol to finish it off.

Solid Belgian. Don't know if it's quite worth what it costs, but it's still pretty darn good.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 18:32:04 | More by mynie
Photo of RedHaze


3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with a creamy off-white, two finger head that fades slowly to a thick cap and leaves a thick sheeting of lacing.

Smell; a little bit of some dark fruits, and a touch of chocolate. It's hard to really pick many aromas out, as the smell much more subdued than I would have expected.

Taste; as with the smell, the flavors are not very assertive. There's a little bit of raisins and some chocolate. There's aso a bit of apples as well as a slightly woody quality.The mouthfeel is a bit watery and thin, and rather boring for a dubble.

This is a good beer, but for the price, there are many others that I would rather spend the money on.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2006 01:20:39 | More by RedHaze
Photo of rodrot

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay Premiere poured a dark red color with a frothy head that left a nice layer of lace on the glass. There wasn't much of an aroma from this one, just a light malty smell. Taste was more impressive however with a rich, malty, chocolatey flavor. This beer was medium bodied and had a port-like character to it. Very drinkable, sort of the little brother to the Chimay Grande Reserve. There are better dubbels out there, but this one is worth the $5.99 I spent on it.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2006 19:52:05 | More by rodrot
Photo of sevineyes


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with a red label.

A: poured with a great slight tan dense head with good lacing. Deep brown amber in color.

S: Sweet rasins. Pecan shells. The longer it goes the more nuttiness I pick up. Still there's a huge dark fruit presence. Some saltieness. Very refined smell.

T: Begins with wet melon. Wood? Rasin, cherry. Finishes sweeter than it starts. Ends dry and alcoholic. Aftertaste is almost buttery.

M: Smooth and silky. Rich.

Overall: Very rich and complex. Much more so than I'm able to comment on. Extremely enjoyable and begs inquiry. The depth and refinement of this beer is certainly there. Some American attempts at dubbels fall far short in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2006 04:21:39 | More by sevineyes
Photo of DaggerEyes

New York

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle at Blue Ribbon in Brooklyn
Served in a Chimay Goblet
this was a beautiful deep hue of red and when served was topped with a nice creamy head that stuck around for a while

The smell was remarkable subtle yet very pleasant to say the least. Yeast, honey and sugary fruit scents are present on the nose, intermingled with the occasional spicy accent.

Medium bodied to start and very active in the mouth this beer froths up then settles into a lighter bodied drink on the finish. Sweet with tastes of candied sugars, with spicey and slightly earthy notes.

An absolute pleasure to drink all by it self... I actually wish I wasn't having this with a meal because I would have like to enjoy the varied nuances of it alone. Well sometime in the near future I'm sure I will

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2006 20:50:14 | More by DaggerEyes
Photo of phisig137


3.55/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my Samichlaus tulip a hazy murky brown, with red highlights. Head appears and disappears quite quickly. Very little lacing.

Smell is oddly subdued. You can sense the belgian yeasts,both fruity and spicy, and a bit of malt, but little else.

Flavor is much better. Slightly sweet, with hints of dates, figs, green apples, and even a tiny bit of wintergreen mint. Ever so slight bitter hop finish. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, but one sip does not beg for another. Drinkability is good, but the alcohol does make itself present after a glass.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2006 03:11:52 | More by phisig137
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep garnett color. Carbonation bubbles and particals of yeast can be seen. The head is not as sticky as I would like. But, the retention is awsome. The aroma is slighty fruity and bread like. Some alcohol sweetness can be detected in the backgrown. Has a fruity and yeasty taste up front. Balanced out nicely with a roasted malt. The aftertaste is slighty sour and fades away slowly. Once again a great ale from Chimay.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2006 06:12:08 | More by Luigi
Photo of benmiliron


3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Paid 2.07 euro for a bottle. Looks OK. Murky dark brown with touch of red. Good head that dissipates. Smell is ok, healthy malt and spice, but lacking greatness. Taste is again strong malt, some burnt, some candied sugar, a bit of fruit. Tough to get past the carbonation. Very fizzy, nearly overwhelming and definitely interferes with the enjoyment of this otherwise ok beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2006 18:46:47 | More by benmiliron
Photo of Graham21


3.15/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- descent head that dissipated to almost nothing. orangish amber in color.
nose is flowery, slightly sour, alcoholic, fruity, sweet, malty and citrusy.
tastes of malt, wood, sour, *slightly bitter. god carbonation
taste is nothing exceptional...

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2006 06:09:06 | More by Graham21
Photo of SethB2


4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into a Chimay Chalice.

Looks fantastic. Medium, non trasparent brown color with a hint of read. Lot of particles floating around in there, which I love to see in a brew. Smells good too. Sweet fruits and melons. The taste is very nice as well. Actually, despite the reviews, I think I like this beer better than the Chimay Blue. Sweet malts are followed by a subtle hop profile and the finish is a little smoky (to me). Good stuff. Mouthfeel is nice too. Medium body and very smooth. Drinkability is near-perfect. I really enjoyed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2006 00:28:24 | More by SethB2
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

3.1/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in the Chimay gift set. Being as I'm a huge fan of Chimay's Tripel, I had high hopes for this one...

At first glance the beer doesn't disappoint. It's an unfiltered light brick red, with a fat head and many yeasty floaties in the center of the glass -- looks tasty enough.

Smells like malts, mixed fruit (cranberries?), yeast and hops.

Hmm... the taste isn't really what I was expecting. A bitterness hits me first, followed by a vague fruit flavor that I can't identify and an oakish, woody taste. The bitterness is eventually cut by the fruitiness. It's rather watery and, dare I say it, unmemorable. The whole bottle tasted mild and diluted to me.

Mouthfeel is thin and dry, with some mild sweetness breaking through the initial bitterness. Lots of little bubbles that lend it a nice fizziness.

This isn't an awful beer, but I was very disappointed as I know Chimay can make some great brews. This one really needs to lose the watery blandness. I will try this again, perhaps the second bottle will fare better.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2006 18:39:57 | More by kkipple
Photo of beermanbrian


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice russet color with a big head that perfectly fills the chimay glass. Head slowly settles to a thick film that is sustained by the continuous stream of carbonation bubbles up the center of the glass. Truely a nice looking beer.

Smell is a malty delight. I pick up some faint dark fruits but it is mostly malt. Taste follows suit, by giving a burst of malty chewyness. Some spiceyness comes though in the end.

The mouthfeel is a real treat. The beer has a huge level of carbonation and if you hold it in your mouth it feals like it is foaming up. Smooth finish.

A very enjoyable beer. Just solid in every aspect. Nothing that blows you away but enough there to give you an appreciation for this fine brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2006 02:36:29 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of JudgeRoughneck


3.33/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Upon removing the cork cage on this bottle of vintage ' 04, the cork jumps out toally unprevoked. Wear your eye protection when opening this one. The Premiere is the darkest of Chimay's offerings, only a few shades darker than Grand Reserve. It has a big creamy classic Belgian head that ain't going anywhere. I have a weak sense of smell granted, but you'd think with all those gasses building up I'd have something to sniff. Alas, the nose is almost undetectable.

This is a very sugary beer that starts with a unique metallic quality like you would taste is some shrimp or other shellfish, and I don't mean that in a bad way. It is very mellow, and rounds out the sweetness and dark fruitiness that is this beer's main quality. It, almost has that same lifting carbonation as the Cinq Cents but its not quite there somehow.

This must have been my introduction to Chimay, because I remember tasting it for the first time and saying "whats the big deal?". While this is a good beer, I still feel that way. If you're springing beer this fancy, you can do better my friend.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2006 19:27:08 | More by JudgeRoughneck
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,768 ratings.