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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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4,189 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,189
Reviews: 1,583
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 177
Gots: 444 | 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)
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,189 | Reviews: 1,583 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of farrago
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brownish colored head that swiftly recedes to a thin layer of constantly renewing micro-bubbles. Super-cloudy red-brown in color, like mud or plumbing backup, can't get any more opaque without being black. The nose unfolds in a slow, if not sneaky, manner, surprising spine and hoppiness to frame the dark chocolate, caramel, coriander, ginger spice and candied plum and cherry fruit scents, banana bread, chooses balance over nostril penetration. Medium-bodied, the flesh is sculpted and hard, no jiggle. A good deal of the sense of momentum comes from the ever-present carbonation. The ginger and clove spice almost turns to cumin, pairs up with grass and grain notes. Without excess sweetness, there's raisin, fig, date notes and fresher cherry fruit. Bready like fruit-bread or cake not a loaf of bread, leesy as well. Even with nothing out of place, does sort of spin off at the end. Good drinkability.

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

A: Poured a hazy cranberry-orange with a billowy beige head that cratered in the middle leaving a clean lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: The nose was yeasty with some candi-sugar and ripe fruit.

T: The initial flavor was sweet caramel, rum raisin, candi-sugar, bananas and cloves. Theres a nice dry booziness with some ripe prunes, cherries, and a touch of dry peppery spicing. The german noble hops provide a nice gently flowery bitterness against the clean pilsner malting.

M: a bright, crisp carbonation which was lively with spicy caramel, and a boozy alcohol warming. The body was medium full.

D: Drinkability was amazing and not much else to say.

Photo of steeler
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Well i finally got around to trying this, and I'm sure glad I did! Pours out a hazy dark copper red, with a VERY bubbly thin head, that recedes to nothing. Looked very inviting, looked very good! Smell was great, no off smells what so ever, the hops came through, and you could smell some of the sweetness, I cant put my finger on it exactly, but it defiantly smelt great! Hands down, this was one tasty beer! It goes down real smooth, finishes with mild hop bitterness, and then you feel a warming sensation from the alcohol. Very interesting and very well done. I enjoyed this one immensely! The only downfall i saw with this beer was, the mouthfeel. It felt very thin, and tad over carbonated, with the same sensation as pop would leave in your mouth. Not too bad, but at the same time i was very disappointed. I could honestly drink more than a few bombers of this beer, it is of high quality, and well balanced, it went down easy, and the higher ABV was a nice added bonus. Overall this was worth the money I spent, I have to defiantly try the other Chimay variants. Overall this is a very interesting beer, and I HIGHLY enjoyed this! World Class.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in Dec. 2007 and aged at room temperature in a closet (I don't have a cellar).

Poured chilled into a glass (not goblet).

A: Dark mahogany with orange highlights. Generous head that recedes slowly into a ring that leaves glass lacing.

S: Dark fruits, bready malts, apricot, banana, caramel.

T: Figs, raisins, apricots. Hints of nuts and a very strong taste of chocolate that wasn't present in the young flavor. Finish is of cloves and slight bitterness.

M: Very chewy, full-bodied, but not particularly sticky.

D: I was not very impressed with the aging experiment. Either I did not do it right, or the beer should have been had much younger than this. I will buy a bottle and try it sooner to confirm. Regardless, their blue and white labels are much better.

Photo of theboozecruise
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Caramel color with some red tinges to it... small creamy head. The smell was what I've come to expect from good Belgian ales... spicy, sweet, very well balanced. Delicious taste to this one as well. Malt with the spices picked up in the aroma all coming through.

This might be my favorite Dubbel to date.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caramel with reddish tint. Great head,bubbly and hold well.
The aroma of malts,spice and fruits. Some yeast residue.

The taste of sweet malts,fruits and some hops.This is done just right with enough complexity to enhance the balance and character.
The feel was medium body perfectly carbonated and some yeast.
A very smooth, easy to drink beer. This is what it's all about.

Notes: Fire in the belly,but not overdone. A top notch beer that must be had more frequently than not.

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

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours the color of rum with a big white head. The head settles to leave a wispy covering over the brew and bits of lace are left on the sides of the glass. Phenolic notes are prevalent on the nose along with figs and raisins. The flavor is of dried fruits and is slightly sweet. The finish has a light alcohol feel to it, I do not taste any hoppy bitterness. The beer is medium bodied with adequete carbonation. The brew is fairly quaffable for a dubbel. A good beer but others provide a better value for the style.

Photo of Vengeance526
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange color that produces a lively white head which soon dies down to a light ring but leaves plenty of lacing along the glass.

Rich aroma of dark fruit and some slight smokiness.

Tastes of figs and raisin, bread with a slight nutty character and a lingering sweetness in the background. Also some cloves are evident.

An exceptionally smooth beer that comes off fairly medium bodied. Would have expected it to be more full bodied but overall was a great brew that I will be sure to enjoy again.

Photo of bonk420247
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served by bottle, pored into glass...Chimay Glass. Good feel and better taste, easy drinkability. I had hard time with cost associated though. There where some slight fruity tones, associated with the head, bitter at the end though. I highly recommend for the starter Dubbel Style brew.

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

pours a dark brown with an orange tint when held up to the light, large tan head, very good lacing.

smell is of toffee, grass, fruit, some cocoa, few spices, some malt, and a touch of brown sugar.

taste is light, slightly sweet, a little bitter, some caramel, dark pitted fruit, some spice, touch of cocoa, ends dry and slightly bitter.

Photo of racer2k
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage poured from 33cl bottle into a goblet glass

A: Deep golden mahogany hue which pours a very nice thick two finger head which dissipates slowly. Head is off white and leaves a nice consistent lacing after each tasty sip.

S: Yeast, fresh bread, banana, and fruits are in the nose

T: Malty nutty taste with a hint of spice. You can tell that the yeast strain is time tested and extremely complex. The malt is present up front but smooths out to a fruity and lightly hopped finish.

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium body that is extremely smooth on the finish.

D: Excellent beer that is complex but very drinkable. Even the 2006 vintage was an excellent beer. The 7% abv is definitely there but this beer is so complex that the alcohol is not front and center.

Overall - Chimay is a fine beer as always!

Photo of yemenmocha
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours off-brown with slight haze, thin white head laces down as the glass is consumed, but not overly heady.

Nose reminds me of fresh baked brown breads, cave mustyness, and perhaps some flint & other rocks (maybe slate).

On the palate is a soft bready malt sweetness, light brown sugar, toast, and more of that cave flavor.

Medium bodied. Easy drinking. Much better near room temperature.

Photo of pseudo
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: Pours a copper brownish color with a slightly tan head into my snifter. Medium head dies to small cap with nice lacing. Looks excellent.

s: very complex. Some fruity notes are lightly noticeable (figs/plums), malts/breadiness, some sweetness, some alcohol.

t: great. not sweet. Kind of bitter, very bready and yeasty. No hops to be found. Somewhat fruity with a distinct malt character with breadiness. Alcohol appears highly by the end of the glass (as carbonation dies). It is masked well in the beginning however. Excellent.

m: Medium bodied. Carbonation is medium, dying (at least for me) in my snifter by the end. good feel overall.

d: medium drinkability. Could probably drink the whole 750ml (i shared it with my friend on new years however) but there seemed to be quite the alcohol presence at the end of the glass which annoys somewhat (it could just be my glass... not sure).

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

A very cloudy pour with a nice layer of foam that covers the entire mouth of the Chimay snifter. The aroma has hints of apple and pineapple. A spicy finish compliments each sip. Very nice beer and I will definitely purchase and drink this tasty brew again in the future.

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

A-Hazy ruddy copper tinged brown with a medium light tan head that reduces down to a thin cap and leaves beautiful lace.

S-Mild fruit notes of plum, figs and cherry. Sweetness rises about the drier spicy oak notes.

T-Fairlt rich but fleeting. Flavour comes on strong but then leaves just as quickly leaving me somewhat disappointed. Dark fruits, as in the nose, with sweet biscuit and a nice aok/clove spiciness. Finsihes with a nice kick of cherry sweetness.

M-Medium-light bodied and a bit lacking. This does not have the big broad beefy shoulders that some other Belgian dubbel have. Nice creamy smoothness does help make up for the lack of body. Finishes fairly dry.

D-Certainly tasty and lovely to look at but the fleeting flavour profile and lack of body beefiness does not help this one hold up to other highly regarded dubbels. Regardless of this fact Chimay Red retains enough flavour and character to be a highly drinkable and enjoyable brew. Will always retain a near and dear place in my beer heart as this was my original gateway craft beer!

Photo of PirateUlf73
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured out of an 11.2 oz bottle into (what else?) my Chimay chalice. Got this in a gift pack along with the White and Blue varieties, but those are for another day.

A: Cloudy and brown with a touch of orange. Head was slightly off-white, and it had decent retention and nice lacing.

S: Sweet with notes of dark, overripe fruits. Slightly bready as well with a hint of yeast, but the fruits (plums!) are the star of this olfactory show.

T: Very good. Not as sweet as the nose suggested, which was fine by me! Dark, fruity flavors and some interesting malt notes make this a very complex brew. Sweet malty aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with some tingly carbonation. Smooth and finished relatively clean.

D: Smooth and well carbonated. Silky malt feel and interesting flavors. All this means that one little bottle was certainly not enough!

Very impressive indeed. Interestingly enough a lot of this beer's characteristics bore (to me anyway) a striking resemblance to a beer I reviewed not too long ago, Caracole Ambrée. The Chimay runs circles around it, mainly due to its superior construction and deeper complexity. I'll be looking for a bigger bottle next time!

Photo of cvfish
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a cloudy reddish brown color that produced a fluffy tan head that retained well and left a nice lace around the glass

S - The aroma was dominated by a huge bready yeast, with some malts and earthy notes

T - The taste was again dominated by a bready yeasty flavor, had some grainy malts, along with some fruity background, with a little alcohol on the back

M - This was a big, creamy, smooth beer with a medium to heavy body, grainy with sediment, moderate carbonation

D - This was a very good, hearty and thick (especially since they brew it to survive during fasting), a very good Dubbel

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,189 ratings.