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

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

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4,074 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,074
Reviews: 1,571
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 164
Gots: 385 | FT: 3
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: 4,074 | Reviews: 1,571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of giblet
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

excellent. poured beautifully with about one inch of head and a lot of carbonation. light reddish amber color. wonderful fruity aroma.

the taste and drinkability were outstanding. i have had trappist beers before and this one is as good as any. not likely to have many since they are eight dollars a bottle, seven percent abv, and the bottles are big. but an excellent brew.

suckem up and movem out.


giblet, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of champ103
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark redish/brown color. A large white head forms and leaves a little lace.
S: Malty and sweet. Not as complex as I thought it would be, but a very pleasent smelling beer.
T: Plenty of sweet caramel malt. Some bread and biscuit flavors as well. Again, not very complex but very tastey.
M/D: Rich, creamy , and well carbonated. There is a bit more alcohol burn than I would have thought. Other than that a very easy to drink and smooth beer.

A good dubble, but not my favorite. I prefer Chimay's special reserve to this, but it is still a beer that I would recommend.

champ103, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of FleeVT
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 11.2 oz bottle in to a Chimay goblet.

A: Amber brown/burgundy with a hearty off-white head that remains on the glass well after the beer is gone. A decent, light lacing.

S: Yeasty, malty goodness. A mild hazelnut sweetness mixes with a floral perfume and a hint vanilla for balance on the nose.

T: Malt and yeast are first on the palate with a sweetness that taste more like caramel than anything on the nose. I also pick up some clove. Alcohol comes through stronger than I would have expected, but pleasant. No real hops to speak of;.

M: A creamy carbonated ale. I don't think I've used those two words together before, but the carbonation hits first, then it settles down into a medium bodied creamy Dubbel.

D: Another great Ale from Chimay. They're always a treat, in moderation; savor it.

FleeVT, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of Patrick999
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a small bottle into a chalice. Dark purplish-brown, OK head, but to be fair I didn't really give it a good pour, I was too methodical.

Aroma is very nice, delicate and lightly spiced with an array of integrated fruits, the quintessential Trappist aroma.

Taste is of fruit & spice bread, yeasty and phenolic. Clove-y. A little alcohol burns the nose on occasion on the way down. Complex and excellent, exactly what you'd expect.

Feel really shines, the way it sits on the palate in such a light, positive manner. This could be said about all the Trappists I've tried, but this really has it down.

A pleasure to drink, you can keep going with this until your wallet begs for mercy or the 7% alcohol gets you, whichever comes first. The benchmark Dubbel, as far as I'm concerned.

Patrick999, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into mug.

A - Dark coppery red color. Strong 2 finger head that quickly reduced into a nice layering on top. Little lacing in the mug.

S - Very mild sweet smell with a hint of spice.

T - Wow. I had a feeling this beer was going to be overhyped, but it was not at all. Nice taste of cloves with some fruity sweetness later on. Nice undertones of alcohol thoughout as well.

M - Smooth as could be. Good carbonation.

D - The taste is incredible and it is so smooth that you could drink this one for a long time.

ckeegan04, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Compared to other Belgian beers, this one was a bit more mild than I expected.

Poured a dark reddish brown with a big white head. Sounds a lot like a zit, I know, but it looked good.

Smell was mild, with fruits and spicy cloves.

Taste started with mainly cloves, but smoothed off into fruity flavors like apples and bananas. Finish was smooth and sweet.

Felt great, and was easy to drink. But I couldn't help but feel like they held back on this one. Still a solid beer.

ElGrecoVerde, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one at Brewhaus after work with some friends.

A - Dark red, bordering on brown with a massive tan head that shows really nice retention and lace.

S - Dark fruit, cinnamon, figs, and clove.

T - Raisins, figs, and spices. This is lighter in flavor than I thought it would be, but those flavors are still "dark" and alluring.

M - Medium bodied with a some fine silky carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

D - This has damn near perfect drinkability!

pmcadamis, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of pwoods
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz stubby bottle, purchased at Dilly Deli, poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Pours a hazy cedar with no visibility. 1 1/2 fingers of white head forms and dies within a minute to a frothy 1/4 inch and holds nicely. Some decent lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malts and some sugary, slightly boozy dark fruits. Raisins and dates with a trail mix sugar quality. A soft alcohol present surrounds everything.

T/M: Not quite as rich as I was hoping. More from the nose; sweet caramel, dark fruits, a touch of alcohol sweetness and warmth. Some fruity yeast makes a solid appearance for a second or two then dies to a drying finish. Body is just under medium and carbonation stays lively.

D: Tasty but I was hoping for something more. Maybe a touch more depth between the caramel and alcohol. A bit stronger body would have helped, too. Good nonetheless.

pwoods, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of tobyandgina
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Upon pour, very large, off-white head. Not much lacing. Color of light orange. Body was hazy and lightly cloudy.

Pretty nice aroma. Some spruce, heavy yeast, and a hint of what appears to be coriander.

A light body with a slick texture to it. Average carbonation with a nice finish. Although, the flavor was short lasting and was moderately acidic.

I really enjoyed it even though it's on of the most expensive beers you can get on tap.

tobyandgina, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of deanhead
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep Amber Color, Aroma slighlty sweet, with hints of barnyard, horseblanket, and hay. slight grassy smell.

Very clean taste, crsip, and sweet with malty flavor. Again some slight grassy notes

Medium mouthful, that fisnishes very dry. Nothing reallly lingers with this beer

Very drinkable beer, This is a class ic example of the style, and one of the better dubbels out there.

deanhead, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of Homerbag
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark cherry red body with thick pillow of head that is the definition of Belgian lace. There are very few beers that visually make you do the "Homer Drool". This is one.

Smells of Belgian yeasts, dark ripe fruit, clove, sweet malt aromas all in a really good balance, no clashing of aroma. Tastes of ripe dark fruit, lush spices, malty in some spots, alcohol is pleasant. Feel is where it should be, higher carbonation, warmth from the alcohol.

This is a sipping beer. If you are into reading, read a book and enjoy this. This one is a great compliment to whatever relaxes you. Goes great with food or by itself. This is one you need to try just so you know what a good beer should be like.

Homerbag, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of Tolann
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally I got the gift set of the 3 bottles of Chimay and the goblet. This is not a style I often drink, but would like to explore more of. I've had this one before and had a small review of it.

A - Mostly red and carbonation cascade to the top meeting a white head that is rather regular and settles in good time to continue pouring. Lots of small, tight bubbles. I expected a more hazy appearance, but it is quite crisp looking.

S - The smell hits you as soon as you open the bottle. Sweetness balanced with malty bready goodness. Some spice and caramel. The fruity smell is not citrusy like in a hop bomb but more smooth. Maybe more of a raisin, apple, and cherry. It smells juicy.

T - sweet and carmelly balanced well with maltyness. Not too sweet. Caramel and fruit. I wanted to bite into it and let the juice run down my chin.

M - Lighter than I anticipated. No alcohol bite to it or lingering afterwards. Not too much carbonation, but enough to lift it some so it doesn't weigh on you pallet.

D - Its an all nite sipper. It is meant to be savored, not sessioned. I'd buy it again definately. Doesn't weigh heavy in your stomach. Its a very sophisticated drink that doesn't deservered to be guzzled.

Tolann, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of supe11
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a open-mouthed glass.

Reddish and hazy. A little less brown and a little more amber than it's blue brother. About a two finger head.

The smell is a fruity with a sweeter malty side.

It is sweet and fruity with just a little bit of spice. It is almost too carbonated. Medium bodied and very tasty.

supe11, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of Graham5161986
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a hazy, dark, redish brown with a 2 finger off-white head that sticks around decently before reducing to a frothy film and leaves a slight, patchy lace.

S: nice yeastiness, floral hops, caramel, ripe fruit and a touch of spice.

T: light fruitiness, floral, yeast, and a silky, sweet caramel finish with a touch of alcohol and a nice spiciness on the lingering finish.

M: medium bodied and smooth, well carbonated and a refreshingly crisp, dry finish.

D: another nice Trappist from Chimay - good flavour, nice body and very drinkable - I could see myself having a couple of these without getting too rowdy. Not the finest, but a great entry-level Trappist for those looking to dive into the wonderful world of Belgian monk-brewed beers!

Graham5161986, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of Gehrig
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had the small bottle of Red, and it was excellent. Two fingers of off-white froth top a reddish-brown body. Lots of fruit assail the nose, along with some spice and caramel. The taste is heavily fruited, with lots of berry, grape, and orange, with a bit of clove and pepper, topped off with some grassy hops--great taste. Like so many Trappistes, this is ideally carbonated, full of vigor and eminently drinkable.

Very delicious, I'm slightly more partial to Westmalle Dubbel, which I find smoother and a bit bolder in flavor. Yet this is really terrific, ranking high on my list of Trappistes and Belgians and confirming my fondness for Trappist-style beer.

Gehrig, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of BucBasil
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from the corked and caged 750mL bottle into a Chimay goblet. The beer is a cloudy reddish orange with plenty of carbonation. Head was one and a half fingers thick and didn't stay around for long. Minimal lacing evident.

Smell: Clean aroma consisting of apple, raisin, and a subtle malt character. Simple, but nice.

Taste: Introduction features suble light fruits, especially apricot with a hint of apple. Smooth bready malts balance the sweetness. Finish is big and yeasty with more crisp fruit characteristics.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Crisp carbonation quickly fades into an easygoing smoothness that is very satisfying. Nice and easy to drink.

BucBasil, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of thirtysixbelow
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - hazy light brown with a 1 finger head that disappears very quickly.

s - kind of sour/citrus, yeast

t - more citrus and yeast flavors in the taste. Some dark flavors, maybe raisin, and a slight spiciness. The fruit flavors linger. Alcohol well hidden.

m - good carbonation which is surprising for how lacking the head is in this beer.

d - i'm not sure exactly what is bringing out the slight sour flavor in this beer. It might be a combination of yeast and citrus which is what my nose is telling me. I like a little more dark fruit presence and spice in my dubbel :)

thirtysixbelow, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of objectivemonkey
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full 750, date on cork read 03/07.

Into a Duvel glass, pours a dull mahogany, with brilliant rubies coming out when held to a light, with bubbles from the bottom in steady supply. A solid bone-white head of an inch holds its own for some time before settling to a thick film, some nice lacing in bubbles and spiderwebs.

The aroma gives some nice spices, woody notes, some dark fruits, a bit of leather and earthy hops. Leaves some to be desired. The taste becomes more spicy with a fair bit of clove, a healthy malt sweetness and sugars, as stated before a nice earthy hopping, and the fruits come out here too.

The mouth has good body, but the carbonation suffers from too much carbonation. This level of fizz distracts from what would likely be a more enjoyable experience, and only when it warmed and sat around for some time did the carbonation subside a bit.

Overall, as often stated, though the more 'popular' Trappist brand, it certainly isn't the best. And while not quite worth shelling out $8 too often, still a good beer.

Note: after done with the review, I enjoyed the rest with some Chimay cheese and pretzels. Quite the tasty trio.

objectivemonkey, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of Durge
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy golden amber with big white fuzzy head and plenty of lace. Peppery lemon cheese aroma. Grape malt wheat taste. Relatively mild. Lively carbonation, tiny bubbles, very nice full body but light on the tongue. Reasonably drinkable. I am still gaining an appreciation for these Belgians, this was pretty good stuff, as advertised.

Durge, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of coalcracker
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours dark brown into my Chimay glass. Effervescent carbonation/head that dissipates rather quickly.

Smell: Malty with a small alcohol presence.

Taste: Carbonated bite at first. Mild malty character. Hints of light raisin, cherry present. The alcohol is actually well-hidden here.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the light side. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable. Tasty but not overwhelming in strong taste nor alcohol.

Overall: A good Abbey Dubbel. Well-balanced.

coalcracker, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of Kendo
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: From a small (33 cl) bottle into the Chimay goblet, poured gently. . . . Body is brown with orangey hues when backlit; full of particles. A small, whitish head settles over the top throughout, as bubbles continue to rise. No lace whatsoever. A light swirl halfway down refortifies the head in an active, fizzy kind of way (you can hear the actual fizzing after the swirling).

S: Not terribly strong in the nose at first blush. Mainly it's fruity, but also with a hint of spice. Fruit was more evident as it warmed.

T: First impression is fruit & spice. Reminds me of apple concentrate or mulled apple cider -- I also get cinnamon to go along with the clove. As it warms I taste berries or cherries as well. Finishes with a lingering woodsy taste along with the sweetness of the fruit and sugar.

M: Good fizzy carbonation cleans the palate fairly well, leaving a semi-dry aftertaste with just a bit of lingering sweetness and woody bitterness. A little too light, IMO, heft-wise and a tad bit thin.

D: Very good. ABV (7%) is never tasted, but is eventually felt in the belly.

Notes: I actually liked this a bit better as it warmed. It just seemed like more flavors came out, and the nose got a little stronger. Went pretty well with some chunks of gorgonzola.

Kendo, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of lpayette
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

For some reason I never really made it a point to try chimay. I think maybe just because it is so readily available in most decent beer stores. Anyway, I'm finally reviewing the red, so here we go-

The appearance is one to be expected fom a dubbel; reddish brown in color with a head that's made up of small bubbles and maintains a thin blanket throughout. The smell immediately reveals belgian candy sugar- it's a trait that is easily carried over into the taste. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy, well-rounded, and ends in a slightly bittering and dry manner.

Overall this is a good beer, worthy of it's reputation. I'm usually not into dubbels that much, though I do like them- perhaps I would have been more impressed if I waited for a time when I was craving a dubbel to drink this. It'd be interesting to see how this ages.

lpayette, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of BMan1113VR
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasant looking and smelling ale (aroma is of sweet fruits). Both attributes of appearance and smell are similar to the Grand Reserve (Blue), but the Red has a slightly better price and the lower alcohol effect of a Dubbel (vs. the Blue's status as a baby Quad).

BMan1113VR, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Rusty in color with a tan head that leaves excellent Belgian lacing. Aroma is mainly dark esters, with some spiciness. Flavor consists of fig and raisin, with a candied malty undercurrent. Some yeast and phenolic flavors emerge with time. Medium bodied, good carbonation, minimal booziness.

illidurit, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of wheelinshirt
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz stubby custom style bottle, from their christmas gift pack that my GF bought me this year. Poured into a chimay goblet.

Slightly hazy garnet/brown color with a modest light tan head that recedes to a collar and some sparse covering. No lacing. Perhaps i didn't wash the glass well enough?

Smell is not nearly as sweet as i was expecting, which is a good thing. It is a bit fruity with a nice booze kick to it. Taste is even better, though. Subdued fruit character with some malt sweetness and something that i just can't quite describe--this is a good tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is fairly light and thin (the active carbonation plays a role here), it is actually refreshing as opposed to other dubbels which tend to get overly sweet and syrupy. Very drinkable, especially in a style that tends to disagree with me. Very good. If you haven't tried it, you should get a bottle of all three of their US offerings immediately.

wheelinshirt, Feb 06, 2008
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
91 out of 100 based on 4,074 ratings.