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

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

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3,969 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,969
Reviews: 1,562
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 161
Gots: 347 | 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: 3,969 | Reviews: 1,562 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goochpunch
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful dark amber with lots of crimson. Head leaves something to be desired. No lacing to speak of. Kind of weak in the nose. Some toasty malts, some dates, some booze. Nothing bad about it, just lackluster. Flavor is a big improvement over the smell. Starts off with toasted and roasted malt, which leads into a fruit and brown sugar middle with just a whisper of yeasty phenolics. Finish comes back with some more of the higher kilned malts and a kiss of the hops. The weight of the beer in the mouth is about moderate, but the carbonation is harsh. Decent drinker, but, really, the weakest of the 3 Chimays.

goochpunch, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- maybe a shade lighter than other Dubbels. Creamy head.
S- muted Belgian yeast and malt
T- Belgian earthy yeast that doesn't stand out too much, subtle malty flavors with a hint of spiciness as well.
M- Smooth, medium bodied
D- Ok Dubbel, a little less exciting than I thought.

MiScusi, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of irishkyle21
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to buy a case (12) of the 75ml corked bottles. Probably the first Trappist that I ever had ( about 3 years ago). Pours a nice dark ruby red. Has a nice off white head but it does not last that long. Some nice lacing though. Hints of fruit in the nose. The taste is well rounded, fruity, malty and the hops are just noticeable. I really enjoy this one although the Blue is my favorite.

irishkyle21, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of Infamous7100
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the large bottle into aa snifter.
A: Poured a light brown/apricot color. Somewhat cloudy, very little head on this pour. Average lacing.
S: Right way, I could smell apple and pear overtones. Along with the alcohol and yeast, which was masked well, one could pick up a hint of citurs.
T: Pears and apples. The alcohol was more prevalent in the taste than it was in the smell, but it wasn't overpowering by any means. There was some hang upon completion of a sip, but nothing to keep you from having another. The taste was than of a beer that let you know you were drinking something uncommon and uncommonly good.
M: Finished smooth and a average hang, as I stated before. On the pallet, it was quite pleasing as you could feel the fruits biting at your tastebuds.
D: This is a beer you break out to break away from the norm. I would not reccomend drinking a lot at one time, if only so you can savor it when you do have a bottle. The bottle goes quick and you will feel it a little, but you'll feel better knowing you had a classic brew.

Infamous7100, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of jar2574
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a large bottle. Soft, earthy brown color. Cream colored head. Average carbonation, perfect lacing all the way to the last drop.

Spicy, boozy scent with a touch of banana. There's a perfect amount of alcohol here, just enough for you to know it's packing a punch but not enough to be overpowering. I prefer this Chimay to their Reserve, blue bottle.

It's an earthy beer. Malts, yeast, spices, banana, a touch off sweetness, and loads of complexity. Excellent, I could drink it all day.

jar2574, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of styxnpicks
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pourd an opaque murky brown with a hint of copper, head is a creammy soapy tan lasts halfway through the beer. aromas, if that of fruit and lovely yeast more like wine than beer. Flavor is INCREDABLE with balanced hop bitterness and a perfect sweetnes, all balanced in a mastered blend of unfiltered bliss, heavy body, great mouth feel, and perfect with my steak, the ceamy finish lasts and paired well with the rich fatty steak, I thought I had died and gone to heaven for a minute. A tru winner if you appreciate REAL beer

styxnpicks, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of Beerbuddha
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a deep brown, reddish in color

Smell- Nuttiness, a little orange and lemon, sweet smelling, some caramel,

Taste- Coriander, sweet and nice balance of hops and barley

Mouthfeel - medium-bodied with good amount of carbonation

Drinkability - Very drinkable I recommend this beer to everyone

This beer is by far one of my favorites!!

Beerbuddha, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of dstc
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown with red hues. Full tan head that falls kind of quick leaving little or no lace behind.

Smells sweet, malty and a bit spicy.

Tastes wonderful. Sweet and fruity with nice malt flavors. The beer seems to get even better as it slowly warms in the glass, it enhances the flavors.

Smooth, rich and full in the mouth. Small warm alcohol feel and moderate amount of carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer as all Chimay products seem to be. My recommendation is to let it warm up a bit. It's fantastic.

dstc, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of Tyrawlings
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml. Bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A: Deep brown in color with ruby hues. Huge, fluffy off white head pours three fingers thick. Excellent retention. Sheets of lacing cascade down the sides of the glass.

S: Rich malts. Ripe fruit. White pepper. Clove. Asprin. Warming alcohol.

T: Sweet bready malts with caramel undertones are followed by flavors of ripe dark fruit and a hint of citrus juice. Medicinal hops chime in and are drowned out by cloves and a white pepper spiciness on the tongue. Mutted flavors of raw earth and moist tree bark are followed by a warming alcohol presence.

M: Smooth and crisp. Medium carbonation. Warming and dry.

D: Dangerously easy to drink. A complex beer with good balance and body. I am beginning to appreciate the Belgian Ales for what they are...True brewing art. Recommened.

Tyrawlings, Jun 12, 2007
Photo of WeisGuy
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and cages 750ml.

a - pours a deep brown with reddish hues, one-finger white head with little retention and lacing

s - big spicy, malty aroma, some coriander and some citrus in there, a little orange and lemon, very sweet smelling, some caramel, slight alcohol

t - sweet maltiness up front, yeasty and caramelly, lots of spice in the body, coriander sticks out, a little lemony and orangey citrus in the body, finish is sweet with not much alcohol evident

m - medium-bodied, good amount of carbonation, sweet finish

d - fairly drinkable, alcohol not very noticeable and the taste doesn't wear out the palate

Very good Belgian ale overall. I will definitely revisit this one in the future.

WeisGuy, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of crwills
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thought I'd add some additional comments here, and wanted to upgrade the numbers from my previous review.

I had a small bottle of this a few months after the original bomber and liked it a lot more. Both the aroma and flavour were more complex than I recalled, with a lot more dark fruits (prunes, plums), a little bit of molasses. Not sure where I got the "light" or "unripe" notes in my original review, as there was none of that in this bottle, and it wasn't grainy at all. Really enjoyed it, having not had a trappist beer in a while, and will grab some more if it's available at the LCBO again.

crwills, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of meadhead
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

as per the 3 Chimay ales
mild subdued and refined
not at all over the top
with a bready yeast bottom line

hints of tart fruit and fig
subtle spice and mild sweet
a little phenol in close
well balanced indeed

taste is subtle and

mouthfeel well carbonated

very easy and not complicated

meadhead, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of sewald
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite Chimay. A well-rounded trappist ale, with great malty and yeasty aromas. Looks nice in a chalice, with a small but creamy head, leaving a small lace. Tastes of bread, malt, mild bitterness in the end. Alcohol and mild carbonation make for an interesting taste. For the style, the drinkability is awesome, great for those winter days when all you want is to get warm and drink something heavy.

sewald, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of DESTRO
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a classic. pours out a cloudy amber with a 1/2 inch head that dies to a small ring. brown sugar and fruitiness everywhere. sweet with a champagne like carbonation. light in the mouth. yeasty with a dark fruit/banana nose. alcohol is well hidden. a favorite dubbel of mine. it looks as good as it tastes.

DESTRO, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of soupyman10
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice looking medium-dark brown color with some amber red hints as well. Alright head that goes away and leaves a little circle of foam on top. Just a touch of lacing. Nose is good, although fairly mild. Sweetness, a little ripe fruit, malty goodness. Taste is good, although again pretty mild. Raisins, chocolaty malt, some spices too. Feel is good and pretty thick, full body, but not cough medicine syrupy. Overall, this is a good one. The bartender told me it was far superior to the White. I have to say I totally disagree with her; however, this one is definitely a good and tasty buy.

soupyman10, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into the appropriate Chimay chalice. Cork is marked with a 05/06 bottle date.

A: Brown with ruby red undertones. A nice thick light tan head on top, decent lacing.

S: Slightly sweet dark malts as well as some dark ripe fruits.

T: It is hardly sweet at all, surprising since I picked up a lot of sweet aromas in the smell. Dark malts, some dark fruits as well. A little bit of pepper and herbal notes. There is a metallic aftertaste that is not at all pleasant. Not a lot of depth and complexity to this beer.

M: Medium mouthfeel, decent level of carbonation that comes as across as crisp.

D: Very drinkable due to the smooth and not complex flavors and low level of alcohol at 7%. My least favorite of the 3 Chimay's.

willjschmidt, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of PhiloPsych
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color was orangish brown as it poured from the bottle and a very attractive reddish orangey brown in the bottle; not completely clear--somewhat hazy. The head was off-white, very thick, bubbly, and foamy on the top. The smell was subtle/weak, but pleasantly sweet and malty. There were some nice malt flavors and a pleasant earthy aftertaste. The flavor is good, but pretty understated, I think--I'd even call it a bit weak up front. I expected it to be stronger than the Chimay white, so I had the white first today; but if anything I think the white was stronger and richer in flavor than the red. The mouthfeel was clean and I found it to be a pretty drinkable beer.

PhiloPsych, May 28, 2007
Photo of ndekke39
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this from the 11.2 fluid oz. bottle, with no discernible bottling date on it. Poured this into a tulip glass. It's a very cloudy, reddish-brown color. A little sediment in the glass. A couple fingers of head at first, although it settled down into a thin, off-white layer. Very nice retention. Smells first of bread and yeast. Hints of fruit: apples, bananas, and something tangier, like cherries. Rich floral fragrance. Flavors are a little darker than I expected. Opens up nicely in middle with dark toasted bread and apples. Ends on a flat, slightly metallic note. But it picks up with a good aftertaste like the skin of a red apple. Mouthfeel is very light. Tiny bubbles that fizz on the tongue like a cola. Overall, a nice example of a Belgian Dubbel. Not the best I've ever had, but there's still a good complexity of flavors, aromas, and textures. I look forward to exploring it again.

ndekke39, May 26, 2007
Photo of NCSUdo
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle. Cork dated as 2006.

A: Great color. Clear ruby/brownish, crimson-like color. Second glass was more hazy probably due to yeast, but that was my fault. 1 inch head that died down and left little lace. Great color but the head left something to be desired.

S: At first, seemed a little lacking. However, it did eventually reveal itself. Sweet up front, with some bananas, pears and apples. Definite spiciness, cloves. Good smell overall.

T: Sweet up front, banana fruitiness dominates. Some raisins also. Little to no alcohol, same goes with hops. Ultimately semi-dry finish. Overall a great taste.

M/D: Heavy body, but not too heavy, with a fair amount of carbonation. Great drinkability. A sipper but not something I would have to limit myself to 1 bottle at a time. Drinks much lighter then expected, extremely smooth, if I could give it a 6 I would.

Overall a great beer. This one is going to go into the books as my snobby beer. The one I brag about and always have on hand. Incredible taste and drinkability, coupled with a damn good appearence.

NCSUdo, May 26, 2007
Photo of gunnerman
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter pours a rustic brown in color with a fluffy head that recedes quickly and does leave a bit of lace not much though. Smell is of fruit and honey also a bit of orange peel. Taste is pretty impressive each sip brings a bit of a different flavor to me, the sip has a bit of a sweet fruit with a bit of bready yeast aftertaste, next sip has a bit of alcohol plum taste, this is a pretty impressive tasting brew. I enjoy drinking this thinking of how its made impresses me I do enjoy drinking trappists beer and reading the history of their fine products.

gunnerman, May 20, 2007
Photo of zymurgy4all
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I purchased this a few months ago, and it probably aged some on the shelf. I didn't get much of a lasting head, and it was a little overcarbonated for my taste, and I believe it is because it might have slightly overaged. The carbonation reminded me of some of my homebrews I forgot about and discovered well after it should have been consumed. The aroma was nice with a malty smell and slight alcohol. It is dark reddish brown, and lots of floating yeast from the bottle carbonation. The flavor is a wonderful malty flavor that leaves a lingering aftertaste that is like fresh yeasty bread. A slight bitterness is lingering also, which is pleasant. Great beer!

zymurgy4all, May 14, 2007
Photo of BrewSomerville
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is very yeasty, spicy, and a bit malty.

The colour is brown. Fast rising head. Ok head retention. leaves good amount of lace.

Tastes spicy, and malty sweet. Flavours of cloves, brown sugar, and raisins.

Mouthfeel is ok. On the heavier side of medium bodied. It starts smooth and ends sharp.

Overall I love it. You must try it if you haven't already.

BrewSomerville, May 07, 2007
Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Preface to the normal evaluation--I served this bottle with minimal chilling time so it was served fairly warm. This was the first time I've had Chimay red since I began grading beer. I was absolutely blown away by the malty paradise of this beer, which seems to get better every time I drink it. I normally see the good German Oktoberfests and dopplebocks as the standard for malty goodness. not anymore.

A: pours reddish-brown, hazy, but a substantial head that settles slowly and leaves a model Belgian lace in its wake.

S: caramel and spice, combined with an alcohol note.

T: what I've long awaited. Starts with an amazing maltiness, caramel and fresh-baked bread. a slight amount of estery fruit and spice, before a very light bitter finish that is barely there unless you attempt to notice it.

M: A very light beer that packs a lot of flavor. Good carbonation.

D: The Chimay beers set the standard for drinkability. If surrounded by an unlimited supply, I could drink myself into oblivion. If I am dying, please surround me with a substantial supply of Chimay Red and Blue. I would not regret anything. Long live the very able monks who continue this tradition.

joeysmokedporter, May 01, 2007
Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this at a small-chain bar/pub called the fox and hound, ordered it without knowing they no longer served it in chimay glasses...wtf? still got a goblet-style glass but it just wasn't the same. needless to say it was the best beer they had available there...they carry a lot of shit, pretty much every macro and macro import you can think of, but sadly very few good beers. anyways, this poured a deep, beautiful, dense ruby brown but still had some clarity. very nice, thick, off-white head. aroma is dominated by dark stone fruit and floral aromas. also some caramel and toffee notes underneath. has some red wine characteristics in the nose. exceedingly complex, i could smell this all day just trying to figure it out. taste starts out with some dark malt sweetness and is as complex as it smells. hops are underneath there somewhere providing balance. ample carbonation also serves this medium/thick bodied beer well. finishes sour, again reminiscent of wine. drinkability suffers because this seems so much like a very complex wine, something you want to sip only small amounts of and enjoy the long finish. i happen not to particulary enjoy sour or winey characteristics in a beer and that is why the taste and drinkability suffers a bit in my scoring. also the relatively high abv prevents you from having too much of this one. definitely something everyone should try at least once, but hopefully in a more relaxed environment to really appreciate this one.

MrMcGibblets, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of cichief
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A- Pours a deep amber, almost brown, with a thick, light-brown head.

S- Yeasty, smells of ripe fruit and raisins.

T- Very yeasty and malty, but finishes dry.

M- Medium body, with nice fine bubbles. Dry finish.

D- A good example of the style, a nice dessert beer.

cichief, Apr 27, 2007
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,969 ratings.