1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

3,886 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,886
Reviews: 1,558
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 158
Gots: 317 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,886 | Reviews: 1,558 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doubleipa
doubleipa

Georgia

3.15/5  rDev -23.9%

The cork said 01/05, so I assume that this one is a year and a hlf old - I've had it in the basemenet for 8 months. About a half inch, light-brown head that mostly diminished. Color was a nice brown.
Aroma was light malt, bread, yeast and a little roasted. Taste was thin and there really wasn't much to it. Not much matliness that I would've expected. Carbonation was still lively, but it had a bit of a metallic taste. I think I need to find a freash one of these and compare.

08-17-2006 15:19:10 | More by doubleipa
Photo of Cresant
Cresant

Kentucky

4.85/5  rDev +17.1%

Poured this 11.2 oz. into a Duvel glass. Received three fingers of head which faded rather quickly. Body was a unique prune/leather/rust color and semi-opaque.

Smell was of spicy plums and sweet grains. Rich and interesting.

Taste was everchanging and complex. Sweet, yeasty, cloves, and raisin bread. Non-cloying sweetness balanced with a mild tartness. Alcohol was well hidden.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and pleasantly tingling with carbonation. Not a "challenge" to drink; complex yet approachable.

08-15-2006 13:54:22 | More by Cresant
Photo of expatsteve
expatsteve

Wisconsin

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%

Appearance: Murky brown, with red and orange hues. Big 3/4 inch head leaves no lacing. Low viscosity.

Aroma: Lots of bready notes, with a little sourdough present. Some golden raisins, caramels, and a hint of orange peel.

Taste: bread, with a little fennel, some espresso and citrus sours. Some raisins and honey developments. The front palate malts and yeast are a little too much, leaves the other flavors a little muted.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, with only a mild malt aftertaste. Low creamy carbonation.

Drinkability: Good, but light for the style. A good beer to stick with for a night, though there are better options within the style and for the price.

08-14-2006 18:54:44 | More by expatsteve
Photo of Iguana
Iguana

Oregon

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

Just picked up the Chimay gift pack today for my first Chimay experience.

Appearence - Poured a beautiful medium hazy brown with a lovely 3/4 inch head, that doesnt seem to want to go down, into the Chimay goblet that came with the gift box.

Smell - Wow, getting cinnamon, vanilla, gingerbread cookie, little bit of yeasty spicyness. Some ripened fruit. Smell is amazing.

Taste - Spicy, malty start which leads to a hint of banana followed by a nice clean dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Starts out a bit tingly on the tongue and leads into a dry finish that leaves the palette wanting another sip.

Drinkability - Well, I dunno as I would have more than 1 in a night, but I will definitly have this again, a good representation of the style.

08-11-2006 09:01:27 | More by Iguana
Photo of Golden2wenty1
Golden2wenty1

Wisconsin

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

The 9th and final round of the 9-Round Trappapooza/Trappaganza '06 with expatsteve.

Pour: murky strawberry/mahogany under an uninspiring finger of khaki bubbles that fizzle to a skim.

Nose: light citrus, yeasty wit spice, hot apple cider tart/spice/sweetness going on in the finish.

Taste: bready, spicy yeast, raisin bran malt, caramel cream and light citrus booze in the finish.

Feel: thin, watery, a bit lifeless with fine carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: nearly as drinkable as the Blue and White, but nowhere near as much character, complexity or development. The most boring of the 9, but a nice low-key, non-intensive way to finish another epic Madison Style Session.

08-10-2006 20:27:21 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of headlessparrot
headlessparrot

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

I have never tried a Dubbel before, but I was compelled to try Chimay Premiere upon simply taking in the glorious shape and size of the bottle. This, no doubt, will be an enlightening experiment.

Poured from a 750mL brown, corked bottle into my goblet a sort of chestnut, dark brown, with perhaps a tea sort of shade to it. Tooped by an impressive two fingers of faintly-off white foamy head that has some impressive staying power and leaves quite a bit of lacing. This looks delicious.

Smell is perhaps more subdued than I would have thought going in. Molasses, plums, raisins, caramel. Very subtle at first. Molasses. Obvious Belgian yeast. Faintly spicy, sweet malt, a touch of nutmeg and cloves. Faint alcohol warmth. Banana. A touch metallic and a faint leathery sort of character. Bitter chocolate as it warms.

Taste is also fairly subtle, though I've served this too chilled and am going to have to let it warm. Quite delicious, however. Metallic character comes through (which seems to be a prevailing feature of Belgian ales), but is offset by the remarkable world of taste accompanying it. Fairly sweet at first, presenting dark fruits (raisins, plums), with a touch of caramel and molasses and some gentle spices - perhaps nutmeg and cloves? A touch of citrus. Finishes dry and slightly bitter, when the slight hoppiness finally asserts itself. Fairly creamy. Banana. Yeasty. A woody character. Tastes become more pronounced as the brew warms. A peppery touch in the finish. Candied sugar. Just a faint sourness. Fairly long, almost chewy finish. This one leaves an impression.

Mouthfeel is a bit of a mixed bag. Though I'm not particularly well-versed in the style, the beer is a touch too carbonated, though the body is remarkably rich and full. Drinkability is fairly high - in contrast to Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde (my nearest comparison), I don't feel ill after half of a bottle (which is a good thing, since there is still another serving left in this 750mL bottle!). Not for everyday consumption, but a delicious treat nonetheless.

This is definitely a beer that's worth a try; if you haven't been able to get your hands on it, you may be missing out. Chimay Premiere is simply a treat.

08-10-2006 19:01:50 | More by headlessparrot
Photo of MusicmanSD
MusicmanSD

California

4.7/5  rDev +13.5%

Simply put one of the best damn beers I've ever had. The original Chimay. The way it looks, ohhhh how I wish there was a 10 option! Fantastic off-white head, with the cloudy orange-red sunset looking body. Head recedes quickly, however, never does become a ring! The smell is awesome with raisins, sugar, molasses, caramel, and lots of other aroma's I'd never even dreamed of smelling in beer. The taste is the aforementioned last sentence except the yeast kinda makes it metallic tasting in a way. Alcohol is well hidden, although sort of prevalent at times. Kind of like a smooth, more refined, Arrogant Bastard. The mouthfeel isn't 5.0, but it's damn smooth. A running trait of this beer. The drinkability is awesome. You'll probably be toasted after one bomber bottle (in my case, 3 goblets full), but damn is it good. Wish it lasted longer and I had a tap of this in my house! Smooth and sweet. Perfect! Or in another case...Brilliant! Can't wait to try the blue label. Dubbel might be my new favorite style of beer!

08-10-2006 04:16:40 | More by MusicmanSD
Photo of yelterdow
yelterdow

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -26.8%

Served at cellar temperature in the Chimay chalice.

Appearance- Pours a deep chestnut/garnet, with a finger of bone white head. Good cling... a thin mat and foamy center island remain standing.

Smell- Spices and dark fruit, plums, figs, a mild aroma of shoe leather. No real alcohol nose going on here... more notes of briefcase and bowling ball bag. Flan.

Taste- Extremely weak for a dubbel... not much character at all. Very diluted tastes of dark fruit and malts, with a light hop bite in the very finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Quite thin but nicely carbonated... a very easy drinking dubbel. For the style, it doesn't interest me nearly as much as St. Bernardus or Westmalle, but it certainly isn't bad.

08-08-2006 21:29:19 | More by yelterdow
Photo of Beerzebub
Beerzebub

California

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Gentle pour in a goblet. Thick beige head, with mounds like snow. Head goes down slowly, a decent layer remains for a long time. Dark red. Oily transluscence, not cloudiness ( I was careful to leave the yeast compacted on the bottom of the 750 ml bottle). Smells of spice, cakes and cookies, yeasty dark fruit, hint of refreshing minty herbs. Banana bread? Smell is not very strong, but deep and enticing.

Malt, fruit, pleasing warm spice. Hint of alcohol. Very mild sweetness, slight nutty bitterness. Really tasty, but the finish is not very long. Decadently creamy mouthfeel, the bubbles are really tiny.

This is a classic. Not a sipping beer, a mouthfull gives the best taste and mouthfeel. Best served not very cold.

08-08-2006 08:04:04 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Whoa, my first Chimay. Dang, those tops sure do pop loud. Better not open around a sleeping baby!
The bottle was the pint 9.4 oz. It poured out with a large two finger creamy head that took a while to dissapate. Slight lacing .
The smell was very subtle but I could detect a caramel and spicy fruity aroma.
The first drink gives you a light warm fruity spicey watery flavor turning into a slight hop , caramel and alcohol aftertaste.
Very clean in the mouth but the flavor goes away very quickly.
All in all, you want to drink lots of this Trappist concoction.

08-04-2006 22:25:40 | More by peabody
Photo of hunteraw
hunteraw

China

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

Appearance: Dark brown with garnet highlights. Big two finger head with good retention. Nothing in the way of lacing.

Smell: Aroma is surprisingly spicy, with some malt and belgian yeast underneath.

Taste: This is a beer to let warm up. The warmer it got, the more flavorful it became. Spicy, then bready yeast and malts. Bitterness seems well-balanced. Finishes dry, which I like.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, improves as the carbonation fades

Drinkability: Could use a little bit more in the flavor department, but drinkability is good.

08-03-2006 23:14:33 | More by hunteraw
Photo of TheLiterati
TheLiterati

California

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Beautiful, cloudy, tea-colored ale, with a thick and sturdy tan head. Aroma is deceptively underwhelming at first – maple undertones with fruit (think plums and raisins), molasses – it’s all in there, but it doesn’t overpower. Instead, it bouquets over time as you sip.

Full-bodied Belgian ale without being heavy, Chimay caresses your palate as you drink with a mild carbonation and a semi-dry finish.

I’ve no idea why I put off enjoying this beer for “special occasions.” After all, any occasion involving a great beer is special!

Absolutely drinkable!

08-02-2006 06:08:19 | More by TheLiterati
Photo of Avagadro
Avagadro

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +11.1%

Picked this up at the local grocery store. After 53 hours of work this week, I deserved a trappist =D. I got the corked bottle and poured it into my tulip glass. A nice frothy head, typical of most belgians, formed upon the pour. I was suprised to see the head fall almost immediately. This is very possibly due to the fact that I havent used this glass in awhile and my mom was the last to wash it. Color is reddish copper and alittle hazy, very sexy. Aroma is strong and has the honey-fruit aroma that is present in many trappist ales. Taste is initiated with a blast of honey-fruitiness, I want to say plum, but I don't really eat them so I'm not sure. The flavor leaves with a sweet bitterness that leaves you wanting more. The mouthfeel is light bodies with a nice carbonation. You can feel the bubbles forming on your tongue with every sip. Drinkability is good for a Trappist ale. If I had the money this would be a good sessions beer. All in all I think this is a very fine brew. Great for a special occasion when you can't spring for Rochefort. This is alot better than Ommegang, and a tad bit better than Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde, which I feel tastes alot like this.

07-30-2006 01:43:42 | More by Avagadro
Photo of thebarracuda
thebarracuda

California

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%

another corked beer (vintage jan 2006) pours a medium brown with a thick head that settles quickly, leaving some lace around the rim. Its got a very light carbonation, with creamy undertones, very clear and light, almost a thinned out version of Grand Reserve. With its darker color and fair amount of sediment, and as mellow and smooth as this beer is, you'd never guess its a 7%

07-29-2006 06:45:50 | More by thebarracuda
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.43/5  rDev +7%

This is a wonderful beer. A medium brown color with a thick white head and nice lacing. It has a sweet, molasses-like aroma, as well as some fruit. It tasted sweet, not too sweet, dark fruit, and maybe a little chocolate. Nicely carbonated. I could sit and drink this beer for hours.

07-25-2006 11:42:53 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Gregorious
Gregorious

California

3.88/5  rDev -6.3%

750cl bottle poured into clean chalice...yum

A - Amber mixed with auburn color...like fall leaves. Little fizzing head.

S - Mild...but smelled red-fruits, honey and oats.

T - The alcohol is prominent but not unplesant. The taste of the Chimay changed drastically from one flavor to another from lips to gullet. Almonds, bitter honey, citrus, cinnamon, cloves, oak, maple. Where did this taste come from? I sure didnt smell it

M - clean and a bit heavy on the tongue..carbonation danced on my tongue.

D - Overall...its good beer. Definately drinkable alone or with food.

On a personal note, I have been finding that Dubbels are not my favorite type of beer, though I still enjoyed this one quite a bit....might wanna keep that in mind.

07-05-2006 00:00:31 | More by Gregorious
Photo of deuschbag
deuschbag

California

4.55/5  rDev +9.9%

750 ml corked bottle. pores a lovely leathery red with a nice light tan head. lots of yeast sediment floating around.

smell is very fruity and spicey. lightly yeasty and bubblegummy.

surprsingly mellow tasting. very malty and spicey. hints of bitter hops and candy sugar.

medium to thick mouthfeel.

i was a little surprised at how easy this is to consume. very laid back and mellow. alcohol is there but not in your face at all. great beer by chimay.

07-01-2006 23:27:13 | More by deuschbag
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

Shared a big bottle with a fellow beer lover. Pours out a dark amber or even brown-ish color. Good size head, 3 fingers, at least. It smelled of yeast, fruit and you could detect the alcohol, as well. It had a much more malty flavor and it had a spicy kick, also. It had a crisp mouthfeel. The only complaint is that it is a little heavy. Overall, Chimay proves they know beer.

06-20-2006 19:25:45 | More by zeff80
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

This pours as a cloudy brown with some nice raspberry color. The head starts off beautifully, it disipates quickly. There is no lace left on the glass.

The aroma is candy sugar with a slight amount of hop. Intiguing.

The flavor is quite mild up front--lots of sweet caramelized malt. A nice, but muted, hop shows up to provide excellent balance. I detect citrus, banana and alcohol warmth. There is some cream-like sourness. This is full bodied and highly carbonated.

As one of the six Trappest Ales; this marks a great start to our flight of Chimay Ales. Next up: Cinq Cents.

06-18-2006 17:36:47 | More by smcolw
Photo of Backer2004
Backer2004

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

My first Chimay (white) was special because it was the first big beer I purchased in NC after they popped the cap. My second one (Blue) hit the spot because I brought it to share on a cruise at my brother's bachelor party (plus it tasted reallll good). I picked this one (Red) because it was $3.50 and the place had Cimay glasses to drink them out of. The coolest part of this was all the bubbles that floated only to the middle of the glass. Taste was nothing special, notes of fruit and caramel but served way too cold.

06-13-2006 02:04:44 | More by Backer2004
Photo of Phocion
Phocion

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

Poured into my Chimay chalice with a deep, dark mahogany color, and a creamy contrasting head which quickly fades into a lasting, thin layer on the top of the beer.

Spicy malt scents with light citrusy undertones balancing it out. Smells just as delicious as I remember.

Spicy, mostly. Very malty, earthy taste, and a little sour, but not in a bad way. The alcohol is definitely there, but not overpowering. A little bit of fruity sweetness coming through as well. Nicely balanced, fairly complex.

Medium-heavy bodied, very creamy and filling.

This is a wonderful-tasting beer, but it's a little too heavy to get a higher mark as far as drinkability. Aside from that, it's very solid and one of my favorites. I'll usually pick up either this or the blue when I can't decide what else I want to get..

06-12-2006 01:59:57 | More by Phocion
Photo of ski271
ski271

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%

Slightly hazy, dark, copperish-red with a medium-sized, off-white, frothy, slowly diminishing head. Hardly a speck of lacing. Smell is of some yeast, some light grain, and lots of woodsy spice. Clove, banana, vanilla, grape, alcohol and cassis. The taste is all about the clove, from the second it hits your lips until after almost all other flavors have dissipated on the medium-in-duration finish. This looked and smelled like a world-class beer, but the taste didn’t wow me and the mouthfeel I thought was a little thin and too carbonated. But still definitely very good and very drinkable.

06-10-2006 20:13:04 | More by ski271
Photo of Poppypitbull
Poppypitbull

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +14%

Chimay Rouge (Red), 7% ABV dubbel. In the 75 cl bottle, it is known as Première. I found this tonight in a bar in the Ironbound section of Newark NJ for a big Portugal Festival. I asked the bartender for an Ale and she rattled off a bunch of things and some dude at the bar said "try the chimay."
It smells fantastic, goes down smooth, a little head from the bottle going into the glass and it settled perfect! Just an all around great tasting beer. I passed it to several friends who aren't big beer people and they all raved about it and couldn't believe it was 7%.

06-10-2006 05:12:24 | More by Poppypitbull
Photo of audiojon
audiojon

California

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

An all around very good dubbel. This is a perfect example, not too out there in any one quality, very balanced. The ruby color, scent of candi sugar and yeast, and slightly earthy but somewhat understated flavor all scream dubbel. In my tasting experience, a good dubbel is very hard to find. Most American breweries tend to fail miserably, and even many Belgians have a hard time getting it right. That said, this is one that is very right, and a must try. Chimay is one of the most widely available Belgians; do yourself a favor and pick one up.

BTW drinkability is off the charts, especially at 7%. Enjoy!

06-06-2006 05:20:05 | More by audiojon
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

A - Clear ruby. Haven't poured the lees in yet. Head is big and fizzy, quickly settling into a thin sheet. Turns to an opaque brown after adding the lees.

S - A little musty, Notes of alcohol and light toastedness. Some metallic and medicinal aromas as well. Yeast notes appear after the lees go in. Fruity, candy-like sweetness as well. Think I caught a whiff of citrus as well.

T - Thick malty taste. Sweetness coats the tongue quickly. Some red wine flavour as well.With the lees comes some extra bitterness in the aftertaste, and some tartness up front.

M - Smooth, a bit creamy. Definitely a heavier beer.

D - I do like this. As mentioned before, it's a heavier beer so too much wouldn't work for me. Very tasty though. I have no complaints.

06-04-2006 00:20:14 | More by allergictomacros
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,886 ratings.