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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,056 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,056
Reviews: 1,570
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 164
Gots: 379 | 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: 4,056 | Reviews: 1,570 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of JDV
3/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, dark reddish brown color with an off white, dingy yellowish quickly diminishing head, and floating yeasty sediment. Has a fruity, sweet, and sour nose similar to a flemish sour ale. Initial taste strikes me as fairly dry and bland and then opens up into a spiced fruitiness, with a clove-like coriander flavor with an almost dull numbing effect. This could also be the intense over carbonation that almost strips and dries the tongue. Overall, quite drinkable for a fairly high alcohol beer, but I'm not a big fan of the clove spiced flavors in this and in hefeweizens.

JDV, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of Vvall
3.1/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this in a three pack gift set,one Red,one White,and one Blue,along with a chalice.I was not impressed,but then I prefer Stouts,so this was not my cup of tea so to speak.I may give it another chance if it is bought for me,but I do not see myself buying it again.

Vvall, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. red bottle, poured into a Chimay chalice, of course,

A: Pours a dark red with a full off-white head with great retention and mild lacing.

S: Light, but with some interesting mustiness, malt and dark fruit per the style.

T: Dark fruit is the main flavour here, prune mostly, some fig/raisin darker flavours as well, molasses, with a firm, sharp hop bitterness and a hint of sourness as well.

M: Light on the tongue/palate for a 7% beer, surprisingly easy to drink, but does not have the full body I'm used to in this style of beer.

D: Definitely the weaker of the 3 Chimay brews, but still pretty good, one of the most drinkable dubbels out there for sure.

Halcyondays, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of KodyBrannon
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a chimay chalice. It poured a brown color with a white head. The smell is of malts with a touch of alcohol in the scent. The taste is of malt and dates. The mouthfeel is very light and clean. Overall this is a very drinkable beer. I could enjoy this beer agian and agian.

KodyBrannon, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of Jbino34
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice pour - crystal clear, thick head... impressive.

Smell is fruity with all the essence of a pure Belgian.

Taste is extremely complex... not exactly ready to describe at this point. This beer is sweet and malty with a mild bitter finish.

This stuff really coats your mouth. It is something I have been looking for in the past few beers that I have reviewed.

Very drinkable - although more than a 750... not sure if it is one of those. I recommend sipping and enjoying slowly.

Jbino34, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my Chimay chalice (of course). Poured a murky brown similar to the shade of real apple cider. Entire 11.2oz bottle filled the glass with a luscious white head (not a drop spilled). Two inch head dissipated into a thin consistent layer of foam; generous and consistent lacing present during the tasting. Subtle scents of belgian yeast, dark fruit (plum, raisin, fig) and perhaps a hint of citrus. Taste similar to nose with the addition of a slightly bready/biscuity flavor. Lively mouthfeel attributable to the ample carbonation, ending in a slightly tart finish. Not much more to say that hasn't already been said. Chimay Red defines the dubbel style.

Jwale73, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of Daredevil
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Chimay Red" is not just the "small brother" of Chimay Blue but has qualities of it's own ... it is a tick lighter, frutier (whereas Blue is rather nutty) and doesn't need long storage to get it's smoothness ... the color too is lighter (a muddy brown) ... nevertheless, don't be fooled, this is a full bodied brew and a good pairing for stews and soft cheese ....
a truly great beer, worth the Chimay name ... (Chimay Grand Resérve being a legend)

Daredevil, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of avalon07
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the Chimay Red from a bottle to a goblet. It had a brownish-orange color to it, along with a murky consistency. Didn't give much of head at all.

The smell was very sharp and a little on the pungent side. The Belgian yeast came through without question.

You could really taste the fruit and yeast mingling together. A little apple, cranberry and possibly some other fruits. A very complex taste.

Had a high carbonation common to most Trappist beers, giving it the requisite bite.

Overall, Chimay Red is a drinkable beer. If you enjoy dubbels, then this would be a good place to start.

avalon07, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of Biscuit033
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 C&C

A: Dark burnt-orange with a thin head that disappates to a ring atop the beer.

S: Strong prune, sweet malts, a bit of dark candi sugars, as well as some yeasty and spicy hints.

T: Prune, dried cranberry, yeasty, spicy, and some malty sweetness.

M: Very good carbination, dry and clean, qand almost no hints of alcohol.

D: This is a good drinker in the world of Trappists beer b/c it is lower in ABV than most. It is something you could have all night long as you would an APA or lager.

Biscuit033, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of Mudpuppet
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. Pours a cherry red with lots of bubbles and a 1/8" head.

S- You get the same Chimay yeasty aroma as from the white. I also get a smokey aroma.

T- Much fruiter than the white. My notes get a little short at this point but I remember enjoying this.

M- Higher carbonation which cuts through the malts well.

D- Good Belgian brew. Somewhat strong but very good overall.

Mudpuppet, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of czfreeman
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a goblet. Very foamy head that settles quickly, beer appears to have quite high levels of carbonation just from the appearance. Tea-like color with ruby tones. smells of mild alcohol phenols, raisin,plum,fig. Very good flavor, the fruits are apparent,ginger ale,clove. The mouthfeel is very clean because of the carbonation, it cleanses the palate without being too heavy yet has a long lingering sweet aftertaste. Wonderful brew!

czfreeman, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of joepais
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The 750 ml bottle poured in a Chimay chalice hazy amber brown with a small of white head that turns quickly to lace. Yeasty and apricot aromas are present in the glass along with sweet malt as well. Nice carbonation on the tongue with medium body. Flavors are really complex blend of malt, yeast, caramel, dried fruits (dates, raisins), citrus (orange, lemon), some spiciness, and a hint of hops in the finish .To me this is a good Dubbel and a great accompaniment to my meal of American Chop Suey if I don’t say so myself

joepais, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of Deadstar
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: I poured some out for my parents to try; my mom didn't really care for it (she's a wine person) but my dad liked it quite a bit. Anyways, after emptying some out into some small glasses for them I put most of the rest into a brandy snifter. (This was out of one of the small bottles)

Appearance: I think I stirred up a bit of the yeast that was left in the bottom when I poured a bit for my parents so I did end up getting some particles in my glass. The color of the drink is a nutty brown, little head which (for me) went away quickly.

Smell: Not too strong in this department -- read some of the other reviews for a better idea. My nose is still in training. (It is opening up more as it warms a bit sitting on my desk, some frutiness perhaps)

Taste: I liked this one a lot! Smooth too, very enjoyable to drink.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated, the bubbles dance about in my mouth.

Drinkability: I could sip another bottle of this slowly. I feel that it would be easier to put down more of this than of the Chimay Triple.

Overall, a very enjoyable beverage. Cheers!

Deadstar, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of armock
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a hazy amber color with a thin off white head

S - Is of malt with fruit and spice

T - IS much like it smells malt with fruits and spices

M - Theres a lot of carbonation in this brew

D - This is one of those beers thats good for sipping and relaxing with

armock, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of bigeyedfish
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into the Chimay chalice. No freshness date on bottle.

A medium, hazy brown is framed up by a finger and a half to two fingers of sticky, really off-white head. The head leaves some lacing, and doesn't really recede evenly; the center is more gone than the outer edges of the beer. A pretty thick, solid (both around the glass and from top to bottom) ring of lacing is the only remnant of the once-massive head.

Some candied fruit on the nose initially, as well as some dark fruit, specifically plums and figs. The aroma is disappointingly under-whelming; I'm taken aback and offended by this. There have been a lot of less-pedigreed dubbel's that came through a lot bigger and robust on the nose. Hopefully it's just me.

...Ok, maybe it's just me. The taste is what I had expected and for a second was afraid I was not going to get. There's only the better of the two aroma's; there's some figs and some dates, with none of the fake, candied fruit. There's some caramel laced throughout There's some barley and some hops on the mid-palate, before the uneventful beginning goes to a finish of all the previously mentioned flavors. The finish is nice, but not something that inspires greatness. It's an amazingly subtle taste.

There's some serious mouthfeel in this beer, however. Just a huge grip, throughout the palate. Really attacks the roof and sides of your mouth. There is some carbonation on the mid palate, along with the injection of hop bitterness, but other than that it's just a really smooth drinking beer that gets to the outreaches of the palate. About as unsubtle as the flavors are subtle.

Is this beer drinkable? Yes. I can raise a glass to my lips, tilt the glass at enough of an angle so that liquid in said glass slides from the glass, through my lips, into my mouth and with some effort and practice (if you're a new-born baby) swallow the liquid, beginning the process of sending it to my stomach. Technically, it is drinkable. Unlike, for example, a live cow.

Now, is it drinkable in the sense of, 'could i drink this beer all night?' Again the answer is technically yes, however with the substantial, but not earth-shattering alcohol, sessioning this beer will produce some less-than-pleasant-next-mornings. But the real question with this beer is do you spend an entire night with a beer that is undeniably well made and awesome, but is at the same time, very subtle, refined, classic; in short, the kind of beer that inspired and forced brewers to take liberties with and re-define the style: why try and brew something like this beer when you won't be able to make a better example of the style. It's a beer you can enjoy, but only if you are committed to enjoying the beer; it's a beer that's on par with the master works of literature; it's not an everyday beer, and when you do drink it, you need to drink it with it a mind focused on the beer. With all that said, it's quite possible I completely dropped the ball on this one; the glass I drank it out of (a chimay chalice) has been sitting around for a week or so; it's clean, I just haven't used it in awhile. I had music on at a level where I noticed I had music on, and there was more light than normal. So yeah, maybe the elements had some factor. Still, elements and outside variables be damned, you won't find a better example of what it means to be a beer, despite what my low score on this beer suggests.

bigeyedfish, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bready, fruity, intense flavor… prunish brown head frothy head carbonation… rich flavor, banans, fruit, cream, … clean finish, no bitterness… toffee-like..caramel sweetness, full-bodied flavor… sweet finish, sweet lingering aftertaste… goes down smooth… excellent drinkable… full of flavor… bready aroma and taste… caramel/toffee taste… crisp, clear… malty, honey flavors… burgundy hue… 11.2 oz short, fat, bottle, copped in a gift set from gary’s in Madison included chimay glass… strong 7% alcohol percentage not noticeable behind fig-fruit, sweet finish.. recommended…

dsa7783, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of Brad007
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Still haven't tried this beer up until now. Pours a medium brown color with a fluffy off-white head. Aroma is strong and malty upfront with a hint of raisin and even some breadiness. Taste is malty and somewhat too smooth at first. Goes down well but doesn't leave much on the tongue. Raisin/breadiness in the aftertaste. A second sip confirms some chewiness and the malt is somewhat stronger. No dryness to be detected. Just really smooth.

In my opinion, the taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma. It's smooth, it's drinkable and that's about it to me. I'd still recommend you try this for yourself.

Brad007, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Standard Chimay little bottle from the Coop for about $4.. poured into my Kasteel tulip.

Popped the top and it was a "fizzer".... not a "gusher", but after letting it sit down for 5-10 minutes I could pour.

Shortlasting but creamy lite tan head.. above a very hazy Amber/red brew.... For as much carbonation as there is, there is nearly no head and no lacing... but you can "hear" the bubbles ... Psss

Aroma speaks of toasted raisin bread with a brown sugar crust.. yeasty esters are present but restrained.. I swear I am getting some sweet cinnamon aromas.

Huge prickly carbonation (completely unexpected) ... lite/medium body ... caramel and figs.. toasted malts and low Belgian spiciness... interesting but not engaging at all... uninspired.

I overlook this brew because I take for granted it will always be available.. I will buy again, but only when I want to compare a round of dubbels.

Edit: I've gone thorough the notes, and have never put the Red on the same par as other Dubbels... just too much carbonation.

JohnGalt1, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of Lukie
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It has been a while since I have partaken in a Chimay Brune.
Poured out with a soft head that didn't grow to any great lengths and quickly disappeared with a slight lingering on the top of the dark brown liquid. Hints of ruby were caught on the light, but the lack of a lively head detracted from the appearance.

The aroma is quite fruity with only subtle hints of spice. Alcohol is pretty much non-existent; Raspberry and strawberry seem to be the key aromas, with raspberry the standout. Some slight sweet cherry is finished off with some bready yeast.

Slight Raspberry and cherry flavours seem to give the fruitiness of the palate, while very mild alcohol and bread flavours finish it off. There is very little spice character in the taste, but it still manages to finish nice and dry.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and mild. Very smooth and easy to drink.
Very easy to drink, and for the price, is something I may have to start drinking more of as a night time after work sessioner.

Lukie, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A good example of a belgian dubbel for those just getting into belgian brewing. although for an experienced drinker it may be found to be a little watery. very smooth though and not overcarbonated. great taste with little nuttiness but good dark fruits and bread dough flavors. a good belgian if you are looking to drink it all night. great with cheese or cheesecake and cookies. I am fond of it, but get tired of it quickly. It is my choice at most college bars ( mostly cause its the only belgian they have besides grande reserve, and it takes immature college kids hours to get wasted on budmilloors, so the lower abv helps me stay interested and competitive on the pool tables.

AKBelgianBeast, Dec 15, 2007
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,056 ratings.