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

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

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4,121 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,121
Reviews: 1,573
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 172
Gots: 405 | 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: 4,121 | Reviews: 1,573 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of charlzm
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 06/23/08.

Poured into a La Trappe goblet, the beer is an orange/amber with lots of suspended particulates and plenty of carbonation bubbles. The head was a fine white layer that is now just a few suds around the edges of the glass.

Aroma is subtle; I'm picking up a little orange peel and some vague roasted maltiness, but that's about it.

The beer is thick and almost velvety as it slides across the tongue to its final destination.
Carbonation keeps it alive across the palate, though the finish is a little dry, leading to a pleasing cleanness.

Flavor is mostly aftertaste, oddly. Some ginger notes and a little spicy, honey-mead style heat. Cloves. Rmeinds me of bread pudding. A very subtle bitterness on the tongue after the swallow.

I really like this beer, but don't drink it often. It's a treat.

charlzm, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of jordoo
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large corked and caged bottle poored into a Russain River Beautification snifter glass. (thanks for the glass ricand)

Hazy dark ruby brown, with a large foamy big bubbled head that receids to a nice 1/4 inch froth and remains. There is also tons of carbination the cork hit the wall and the ceiling and still came down with force on the floor. OMG wow what an eye opening smell.I smell fruity esters all over the place, plumbs and over ripe peaches as well as alcohol warmth and malted goodness. But also plenty of sents that I cannot even describe and havn't experianced before. Tastes of Alcohol and plumbs up front with a malty dry earthyness throughout and some sort of maby root after taste that s wonderfull and addicting. I can pick out some hop bitterness inbetween multiple other flavors that I really will have to check out the vocab section to better describe in the future. Feels very nice in the mouth and althouh its a sipper I got the entire bottle down and wished there ws more. This really has me understanding why people are so high on good Belgian beer, and I may never look at beer the same again.

jordoo, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of naterock
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a chimay goblet.
A: pours a cloudy reddish brown, I even detect a slight yellow hue, might just be the goblet though.
S: smells of esters, sweet bread, fig, wine fruits, smells a little boozy, but you'll never hear me complain about that.
T: smoothness of bread flavors of figs, with an acidity comparable to oranges.
M: heavily carbonated and sparkly but appropriate to release the boutique.
D: definitely a legend in itself, never fails to impress

naterock, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of Floydster
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased from Trader Joe's in Manhattan Beach for $6.99, also split with my dad on Father's day, appropriately poured into its own Chimay goblet

A-Color was a deep amber, cloudy and murky, big 1 1/2 inch slightly off white head, stuck around for over five minutes, nice retention, some good lacing at the beginning

S-Apricot, plums, slight booze, malt, bread, lemons, tangerine, honey, faint bubble gum, caramel, sugar, spices, candy, and currants, very complex to say the least

T-Started off much breadier than I imagined, some chewiness dominated until the end, then some crazy fruit variety with a citrus sting in the finish, got a little sweeter as time went by and went from being a little dry to more crispy, would have liked to see less of the sugary accents and more of the neutral malt to take over, still very good, taste changed a lot over time, fruit gave it something extra throughout, not too sweet which I was happy about

M-Chewy, slightly sweet, and crisp mouthfeel, medium bodied, little too carbonated in my opinion but that could very by bottle because I had seen it before and it was way more mellow, taste did not linger much, subtle but flavorful at the same time

D-Could drink this bottle by myself with no problem and I cannot say that about many dubbels, light on the stomach and not overly sweet, well hidden booze and ABV is low for its style, went down and easy and smoothness was surprising

This would be a great beer to start with when it comes to Belgians and I wish I would have, it is kind of ridiculous to think I jumped right into a Westy 8 and 12 without trying this or many other Trappist brews first, it is flat out good, it will allow you to point out specific characteristics when drinking other trappist brews because it is not as complex as some others but it seems like almost the standard, there is a reason why this beer is so popular and has practically become commercialized, will definitely drink again even though it is a little expensive, recommended and the earlier the better probably, which I totally disregarded when getting into craft beer

Floydster, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75 cl (3/06) bottle in to a goblet.

Pours amber with an off white head.

Smell is malty with spice and currant undertone.

The taste starts with light raisin/ fruit and ends very dry and crisp.

The carbonation and crispness leave your mouth begging for more.

Easy to drink and nice balance.

aubuc1, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of dreadnatty08
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color with a (gushing provided) dense off-white head. Picture perfect dubbel. Aromas really aren't intensely fruity, just a lot of dark candi sugar, a little bit of citrus, even less of clove, and a touch of band-aid. A medium bodied brew with very high carbonation delivers flavors of more candy, caramel, toasted bread, and a moderate amount of esters. Finish is quite dry and no noticeable hop flavor. Overall, it's a solid example of the style, no doubt. Not one of my favorite drinkers, as I really like something a bit more complex and pronounced in flavor and aroma, and perhaps not so dry.

dreadnatty08, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of TheSarge
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the crack of the bottle, this beer was screaming with freshness. The light tan foam just started rising out of the bottle, which there are of course ample amounts, when poured into my supplied Chimay chalice. The body is murky and brown.

Aromas are light, with a caramel and herbal medicine like fragrance.

The taste is sweet with honey and an herbal bite.

This feels lightly syrupy with a noticeable alcoholic kick.

Rolling in at a little less ABV than its sister brews, this is probably the best one for a moderate session of drinking. I feel this beer may be a little hyped up, but is altogether very respectable.

TheSarge, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of tdt560
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first trappist and belgian beer and what more can I say except that I am hooked! Poured nicely from the bottle into a chalice. This beer was a wonderful experience for the taste buds and nasal passages, unbelievable smoothness. I would highly recommend this and it will purchased again many times to remain in my private stash.

tdt560, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of PhxHorn
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish red with a moderate amount of foam that disappears rapidly. Smells of malt and sugary spices, and tastes mildly of honey, sweet spice, and malt. The flavor is good, but the trouble is there's just not much of it. Overall, it had a diluted mouthfeel. Pleasant, but just not that big of a deal.

PhxHorn, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of batty
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought and drank in Spain, June 2008

pours cloudy deep red-brown with ample head that looks lovely. drops to thin lace relatively quickly, which sticks around, but not much stickage on the glass

smell is of honey, brown malts and a touch of alcohol,

taste is nice, the carbonation suits it well, and the sweet fruit is perfectly balanced with the malt and bitter. getting quite a bit of spice as well.

mouthfeel is medium thick, I would like a slightly heavier mouthfeel, but that's just me, drinkability is high, hides the 7% perfectly and great balance along with nice carbonation goes down wonderfully.

batty, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a replacement review from when I first tried, and didn't appreciate Chimay. I am happy to say that I've enjoyed learning and developing a taste for Belgian beers since writing the now, erased original review.

Poured a bout ½ the bottle into my snifter glass. Quite a bit of sediment and I tried to leave as much in the bottle as possible. A thin light tan head formed that was mostly fizzy, then it faded rather quickly. The beer itself is a ruby color with a slight haze. No real lacing at all.

Aroma is fruity, of yeast and slight spice.

Flavor is nice, dark fruits.. dates and raisins with other light fruit notes. The yeast plays a large role in the flavor. A touch of band aid plastic and also a hint of spice.

The carbonation is very effervescent and the body is really light vs. the flavor.

Quite drinkable. I enjoy Tripels and Quads more, but this is still a very nice beer.

I can assure you the grading here is quite different vs. my original review. I apologize to the people at Chimay for my ignorance. At least to myself, I've made up for it.

Reagan1984, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

75 cl bottle cork-dated 2007 poured into a Chimay chalice yields a hazy golden orange-brown amber body alive with active carbonation, capped with a luscious finger of off-white foam that neither retains nor laces.

Smells fruity with sharp notes of tangy citrus and spicy ginger ale, plus soft whispers of fresh bread with prickly evergreen and creamy yogurt.

The drink is tingly with fruity flavors of ripe plums, Golden Delicious apples and apricots. Looking deeper, an earthy mineral note emerges to compliment the prominent tangy yeast that makes itself known throughout the drink. There is a solid bitterness at the finish and a slightly astringent quality.

A medium, crisp body with lively carbonation keeps the beer very light and refreshing, contributing to the outstanding, almost soda-pop-style drinkability of another fine Trappist concoction. A clean finish with a lingering whiff of yeasty goodness marks the passing of one truly fine drink.

cvstrickland, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of julian
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at QFC in North Bend, WA - 9.4 FL. OZ. bottle

A: pours a nice a dark, cloudy brown with amber tones. Similar to the "Blue" but cloudier. Head is almost non-existent, although I poured slowly. no real noticeable lacing.

S: highly aromatic with deep flavorful fruit on the nose - banana, blueberry, plum, raisins accompanied by a light spicing (clove, nutmeg maybe?) and deep sugary malting. very complex!

T: mid to high carbonation. very fruity, taste of cloves. very crisp! 7% and somewhat noticeable, although very cleverly masked.

M: pretty bubbly, feels like any other Dubbel.

D: Like every other Chimay I've tried this is very tasty, but if you're not a fan of sweet, malty (dubbels) then you may find this has a limited drinkability.

julian, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of danielcc
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been wanting to give this one a go for a while, and I was fortunate that my cousin-in-law was kind enough to share. Poured into a goblet-style glass.

Appearance: Not as dark as I expected; a much lighter brown than many of the other Belgians I've tried. Not as much head as I expected on this one (especially on a Belgian), but having a few Rocheforts may have spoiled me. Good lacing, though.

Smell: Wow. If they could just bottle this and sell it, I'd buy; it's heavenly. Floral notes, bit of licorice, maybe some kind of...rum-soaked bread would be a perfect descriptor. The smell of this stuff is just amazing. It's like what my Dad says about brandy: you can have a really great experience just sniffing it.

Taste: I was actually expecting a better taste given the smell, and it was good (albeit a bit disappointing after sniffing). I read other reviews and am always amazed by some of the flavors people find; this one was a bit spicy, and it tasted almost bready. Good stuff!

Mouthfeel: this was not really that carbonated, and it wasn't too heavy. I really liked the way it felt when I sipped it, and I almost didn't want to swallow.

Drinkability: the alcohol spice and steep price make this a difficult beer to drink much of at one time. If I had more than one or two at a time, I'd be feeling great and happy, but my wallet would definitely be a good bit lighter! If you take the money-is-no-object view, then this is a very drinkable beer, but the alcohol *will* catch up to you.

danielcc, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, light-penetrable but not translucent, and quite hazy. Lightly tanned head, soft and frothy, with great retention and capping. Not much lace.

Clovey phenolics and other earthy, herbal aromatics dominate the nose. Dark fruits as well, including some fig but also hinting toward the sweetness of the date. Maybe some cinnamon as well.

Pleasantly carbonated, the dark fruit flavors dominate overall but are whisked away before getting cloying by the high level of carbonation. Slightly astringent in the finish, probably from the herbal character I noted earlier, and the preponderance of ester alcohol fumes.

Finish is a little dry, with sugary and herbal flavors lasting. Impressive and careful brewing done here. Not my favorite combination of characteristics, but certainly to be admired.

BretSikkink, May 25, 2008
Photo of cdkrenz
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I received this as a gift from a friend whom goes by the name of Chachi. Thanks Chach!

A - A beautiful blend of deep brown and amber make up the body. His head is a very pale tan and standing at a half inch is still going strong after a few minutes.

S - It has a faint soapy-malt aroma.

T - The flavor starts out malty and ends the same. Throughout each sample the taste of alcohol is evident. There is a hint of apricot and black licorice.

M - The feel is as smooth as I've ever had. This is the texture by which all dubbels should be measured. Unbelievably impressive!

~ This is a good beer. I must say I am impressed with the look and the feel. The scent and the flavor are average bordering on above but really nothing too spectacular. The feel of this beer is really what sets it apart from every other dubbel I've ever sampled.

cdkrenz, May 21, 2008
Photo of vickersspitfire
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet, it was very hazy with a dark brown center; I got a thick tan head that quickly thinned out into a thin ring with no lacing; there is a lot of carbonation. It has a pleasant aroma that's sweet with roasted malts and there's a mild alcohol aroma as well; there are hints of raisins and plums. It's smooth and crisp and is medium bodied and is a bit bitter when it first hits the back of your tongue, its got a sweet taste throughout, it does have a dry aftertaste with a slight alcohol touch.

vickersspitfire, May 20, 2008
Photo of SpecialK088
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into the chimay Glass

A-Very clody golden color with a nice 2 finger head and good lacing throughout the beer.
S-Rosted malt, with hints of sweet fruits (bannanas etc) also a bit spicy and carmel scents.
T-Very close to the smell has a nice sweet first taste that fades to a good mixture of hops and carmel and finishes very well.
M-Extremly smooth goes down very easy and it near perfectly carbonated.
D-Goes great with sushi which is what i had it with, not sure its one i would reach for on a regular basis but it is an extremly drinkable brew.

SpecialK088, May 18, 2008
Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown foam on a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles pretty quickly and leaves relatively little lace.

S - Malty aroma of caramel, mild raisins, and spicy, fruity alcohol.

T - Carmel and raisins up front, followed quickly by dark roast flavors and a bit of hop flavor. Dark caramel flavors really come out in the middle, along with yeasty fruit, and interact nicely with the raisins before melding into roast flavor that combines malt and hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium-thick body with high carbonation and a very dry, almost chalky finish.

D - Quite drinkable and complex, it is surprisingly dark and roasty without as much fruity caramel character as one might expect.

nickfl, May 17, 2008
Photo of cyrenaica
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle
7.0% ABV

I tried this beer on February 21st after purchasing from my local LCBO outlet. The beer poured a reddish brown colour with a large, long lasting, rocky head. The aroma was malty and yeasty with some hints of dark fruit. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with mild carbonation. The flavour was sweet malt, with some yeast, and a small amount of bitterness. A great beer.

cyrenaica, May 12, 2008
Photo of Offa
2.7/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

To me, this is a rather disappointing dubbel and I don't think it comes close to Westmalle.

This is dark reddish brown, somewhat fizzy and a little murky. It has a big light tan head that steadily dissipates to a thin ring, leaving weak lace.

The aroma is yeasty with a lot of orange peel, hints of clove and banana.

The taste is dry at first but then becomes quite sweet. It's noticeably alcoholic the whole way through, with a vague, light taste like German dark hefeweizen. Struggling to detect elements, I can find only faint hints of whole wheat and prunes in a character that is otherwise mostly 7-up and alcohol. The finish is mostly prunes and alcohol with a soft hint of whole wheat bread. In the end, this seems boring and bland, particularly for the clear alcoholic qualities.

Offa, May 08, 2008
Photo of dhd1491
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not as complex or drinkable as the Grande Reserve (Blue). Cloudy golden brown pour with creamy white head that lies down quickly. Highly carbonated. Some bite to initial mouthfeel. Taste is yeasty, sweet and spiced with some butteriness lingering on the palate. A very good beer with no off tastes, but still somewhat disappointing next to their killer Blue.

dhd1491, May 06, 2008
Photo of jayrod20
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful auburn color..awesome when the sun hits it. Good foamy head of about two inches that reduced quickly. Taste a bit on the citrus side, which isn't my favorite flavor. But compared to other beers like this one, I think this one is pretty soft on the taste buds. Mouthfeel was smooth, but a little on the light side. Decent drinkability,

jayrod20, May 06, 2008
Photo of daliandragon
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a completely opaque medium brown. Very little head to speak of, which is a bit disappointing. No lace either. Nose is basic dark malt, nothing really stands out.

A quaff indicates some extant yeast and a smooth, creamy finish but nothing too out of the ordinary. Maybe my expectations were too high but this really isn't doing much for me. The malt is tasty; chocolate, dark fruit, maybe a little oily, but not really anything special.

This is a good beer, but nothing earth shattering. certainly worth trying, I just wasn't feeling it, I don't know, maybe it's me because everyone else loves this stuff...

daliandragon, May 04, 2008
Photo of botham
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a goblet. pours a rich chocolate brown with a single finger of off-white head that remains for a minute. light lacings.

aroma is of caramel malts and dark fruit, including notes of apple, raisen, and a bit of brown sugar. overall, rather light in aroma.

taste is malty, with a fruity base and a supurb finish. malt notes include caramel, while fruit notes include apple, raisen, grape and a hint of citrus. finishes with a very refined and smooth character of mild fruit.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a smooth and silky character and a very smooth, semi-dry finish. very soft and pleasant on the palate.

drinkability is excellent. this is a world class dubbel. the flavors, concentration, proportioning, and overall character are all wonderful. the only criticism is that the aroma does not match the taste in richness (the latter having a much more rich character). cheers!

botham, May 04, 2008
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,121 ratings.