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

3,945 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,945
Reviews: 1,561
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 158
Gots: 336 | 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: 3,945 | Reviews: 1,561 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GbVDave
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Pours a translucent rusty reddish-brown color. 1/4 finger head with a tiny amount of lace.

S: Aromatic yeast, chocolate, and roasted malt in the nose.

T: Take everything from just above and add in raisins, lightly bitter hops, bready malt, and a soft metallic taste.

M: Warmer temps are the key. When served cold it's very bright and harsh, but as it warms it softens out and thickens up.

D: Quite drinkable due to its' low abv and inoffensive aromas and flavors. Unfortunately those traits help the Drinkability score, but hurt the Smell and Taste scores. I was hoping for more adventurous qualities to this Dubbel, but I was taken aback by how average and pedestrian it was. Don't get me wrong, this is a very good beer from a legendary brewery. I just hope that someday Chimay decides to tinker with the formula to fully elevate this one to legendary status-to match the reputation of excellence that Chimay posesses.

GbVDave, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of rec
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

While I wouldn't say it's the best Chimay brew, I'd be temted to say it's my favourite - if you've read any of my other reviews you'd recognise my soft spot for malt-heavy dubbels. Although it really is hard to pick a favourite in this range, as each brew from Chimay becomes your favourite again while you're drinking it.

It pours well, and the head is just as perfect as the Grande Reserve, although the colour isn't quite as rich in brown. Due to the similarity in head, the mouthfeel is almost as brilliant because of it, however it does lack the weight that Bleue boasts.

I've heard people say this before, and it wasn't suprising because I thought the same thing; Chimay Premiere smells like cooked apples - right out of an oven baked pie. A truly delicious aroma.

The taste is spectacular, strong malts and dominated by lighter fruits (apples, for example) as opposed to darker fruits such as raisin and fig which are usually present in this style of brew. There's a mild spice, but the aftertaste is a sweet one.

I dare say I ejoyed this almost as much as one of my favourites; Leffe Brune. There's just a persistant class and quality that come with Chimay beers, and this is definately no different.

rec, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of acrawf6
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours out a clear reddish brown amber with a light and bubbly tan head.

Smell. Cooked apples and spices. A touch of a burnt aroma that compliments it well.

Taste. Has a nice light and lively fruity flavor, apples and mild apricots. It's a bit more refreshing than i remember, and is a bit different from other dubbels. There is a good amount of pepper with the alcohol that is numbing my tongue. Aftertaste is light sweet and fruity.

Mouthfeel. again, gives a numbing sensation to my tongue. body is a touch lighter than most, with a very lively carbonation.

Overall, this is one of my favorite dubbels, but i am not too big on this style. It really is a whole lot more refreshing than i remember. The bottle doesnt have an exact date, just 2006, but it does seem to taste young. I need to get this more than i do.

acrawf6, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of malcontent
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%

Deep mahogany color with ruby edges. Solid, foamy head being fed by a reserve of bubbles clinging to the bottom of the goblet. A proud-looking beer.

Dry apples, dark fruit and some toasted notes in the nose.

Much drier than I’d anticipated; dark roasted grains, some pleasant lingering sweetness on the finish accented by a surprising hint of hazelnut.

Totally luxurious in its mouthfeel. Creamy but carbonated and then disappears off the tongue; extraordinary in this area. Still, it’s not something I would have more than one (bomber, that is) of given that it is sitting much heavier than I would like. Nevertheless, a beautiful beer.

malcontent, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of RevDru
4.43/5  rDev +7%

A - pours a deep hazelnut brown with a nice, thick, half-inch of foam.

S - Sweet, bready, with heavy toasted malt and undertones of honey and vanilla.

T - Strong roasted grain flavors, with background notes of cinnamon and coriander. Just a slight tannic bite, almost raisin-y.

M - Rich and creamy, fairly smooth, with a slight carbonation kick.

D - I could drink this all day and not get tired. Well-balanced. Would go with most meat dishes; probably a nice pairing with my stew this evening.

RevDru, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of pvsob
3.55/5  rDev -14.3%

A - Pours hazy amber with a one inch head (off white) that fades very quickly and leaves some lacing.

S - Sweet malt, fruitiness, spicy, and some alcohol as it becomes warm.

T - Starts off with a slight sweetness and hints of yeast, but is quickly followed with a sour/bitterness that finishes the taste off.

M - Medium to medium full, with abundant carbonation.

O/D - A nice dubbel that I will probably try a few more times just to make sure I've caught everything that this beer has to offer. Personally, I wasn't really impressed with this beer, but that's just me. By all means if you haven't already, give it a try. Cheers.

pvsob, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of mithrascruor
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%

750 ml. bottle poured into an oversize wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber-brown color with noticable carbonation. The thick fluffy tan head dissipates relatively fast into a thin film.

Smell: Has an aroma of malts and sweet breads. Some spices and fruits, such as pears and figs, are noticable as well.

Taste: Flavor is very much in line with the taste, with the addition of a slight alcohol flavor combined with the spices.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, medium-bodied feel with light carbonation.

Drinkability: An extremely drinkable beer -- alcohol content is just perfect and it goes down great.

Quite a tasty dubbel -- and one of the easiest to drink too. Very enjoyable and it works great on it's own or with a variety of foods.

mithrascruor, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of dgfair
3.2/5  rDev -22.7%

11.2 oz bottle served in my St. Bernardus goblet

A - Brownish amber color with a pillowy, pearl colored head that dissipates quickly leaving a a thin, cratery layer on top of the liquid.

S - Sweet yeast with undertones of vanilla and very faint wood smell. A little bit of maltiness that reminds me of the smell of a Harp...weird. Overall, not much here.

T - Sweet, nutty flavor up front followed by a nice balance of yeast and malt. A little bitter in the aftertaste and not in a good, hoppy bitter sort of way. Overall, not very complex and not all that tasty.

M - A little thin and pretty heavily carbonated....kind of foams up in your mouth, but not in an entirely undesirable way.

D - Fairly easy to drink, but not really wanting more. I think there are much better dubbels out there for your buck. Of the three Chimays I've had, this is clearly my least favorite. Probably won't be revisiting this one soon.

dgfair, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of Schwarzbart
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

Appearance: A thick reddish brown look to it. Little carbonated bubbles float to the top quickly maintaining a little froth that covers about 3/4 of the top. Also, some powdery looking sediment that quickly falls to the bottom.

Smell: Light and fruity on the nose of the likes of grape and apple.

Taste: Bready at first with a quick kick of alcohol. Some yeast lingers on the tongue, but a nice sweetness of apples and grapes mostly.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body and bubbly.

Drinkability: Always a pleasure to drink.

Schwarzbart, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of mpyle
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%

Dark amber color, somewhat cloudy. Big slightly off-white head that was creamy and long lasting.

Fairly little aroma - a little vanilla sweetness and a little peppery spiciness.

Complex malty sweetness with a hint of bubble gum or cotton candy. Finishes with the lingering candy sweetness, but sweetness never becomes completely overpowering. Very slight oxidation character as warms. Less sweet and more spicy in a 2011 retasting.

Medium body with medium/high carbonation. Very creamy mid-tongue, and minimal alcohol warming.

A reasonably nice beer. Drinkable, but with time the candy sweetness became all that I was tasting. This one-dimensionality would get tiresome.

mpyle, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of EmilNoldSinclair
4.43/5  rDev +7%

Brownish red color, nearly opaque. It looks like I have treasure inside my glass. Large large head, decent head retention - a thin layer remains. No lacing on the glass. The scent is nutty and spicy, with the malts coming through as well. Nice balance between the hops and barley. Slight smell of ethanol. The taste is where is this beer starts to really shine: Initially the barley comes w/ a slight hop bitterness. Very fruity (can't quite put my finger on it...apples and raisins?) with a slight trace of ethanol. The alcohol hides behind the hops. The aftertaste is dominated by the hops (but not too strong!), also with a potassium like taste (the kind of feel you get from tasting bananas and dates). This one has just the right level of carbonation and is thick bodied...what a treat going down! I swear I could drink these all day...

EmilNoldSinclair, Dec 30, 2006
Photo of Onibubba
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%

A lively pop from the cork. Got about 2 and a half good pours into my Duvel tulip. A dark brown color with a very nice creamy head that gives way to a decent lacing. Smell was sweet, but not obnoxious, taste was more of the same. A very mild sweetness with some hints of brown sugar and spices, but only hints. Very sturdy beer. I had this chilled, and intially, the carbonation struck me as too high, and the mouthfeel was off. As the beer warms, the carbonation goes down, the sweetness intensifies and the drinkablity increases. Alcohol is not appearant. A damn good all round beer, and one that is much easier for me to get my hands on than the beloved St Bernardus.

Onibubba, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of Estarrio
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

Poured cloudy, dark copper with a large white head. The silky, fine lacings retained throughout the session.

Sweet malt, dark fruit, phenols and spicy clove compose a pleasing aroma.

Sweet malt, sugar syrup and doughy yeast are balanced by fruity esters and spicy phenols. A bit of clove and pepper are notable in the finish.

Medium bodied and well carbonated, this is drinkable, widely available and enjoyable dubbel.

Estarrio, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of JustinBathurst
4.1/5  rDev -1%

First off, this was cellared for a year and a half (large corked bottle). Poured a dark ruby red. The head was the dark side of tan, going to lace after first showing up substantially for a minute or two.

Smells quite floral, sweet and fruity. I have to make the comparison to Hoegaarden... it's similar in aroma. As it warms, the alcoholic notes waft up a bit more.

Nicely carbonated. Mouthfeel is good and average. Nothing amiss.

Tastes a bit woodsy with definite high alcohol notes. Tart initially, then bitter towards the finish. The aftertaste is a pleasant sour. As it warms, you get a bit of vanilla.

I quite like this. A nice one to bring out on special occasions.

JustinBathurst, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of veech
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Second of the brews that I have tried from this impressive trappist brewery. 11.2 oz bottle poured into a Kapittel goblet.
A: Just an immaculate head with freakish retention. dark cupperic, golden color
S: Yeasty malted sweetness with mutiple floral and fruity undertones.
T: Up front, a touch of citrusy tang, with some candylike sweetness (is candy sugar used in the recipe?) accompanying the malts and contrasting low levels of hopped bitterness and a hint of an alcohol presence. The flavors all round out very nicely and the smoothness is unparalleled. Man have the Trappists got this beer brewing thing down or what.
M: Yeasty with a minimal graininess as velvety smoothness is the prevailing texture. Enough body to coat the palate and provide flavor, but light to medium bodied
D: Due to the medium bodied feel and alcohol content a session of this is tempting, but would likely prove painful on the wallet and the liver. I still found this to be supremely drinkable.
I become more intriqued and impressed with Belgian styles with each example I try.

veech, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of shamus
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

This one came corked and that cork flew out like a bullet. I think all the gas got out in that explosion as the head which was initially quite thick dissipated very quickly. This has a really nice spicy smell perfect for the holidays and cold winter nights. (I live in Ottawa the coldest capital next to Moscow normally. It's December and you can go out without a hat or gloves. It's balmy even!)
I'm really enjoying this beer and would gladly purchase it again.

shamus, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of Vancer
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%

A fresh sample, wow, and easy pour still produced a massive head of dense ivory. Sheet laced my ol’ plastic soda glass the entire time.

I was just a bit bummed by the aroma and taste. Both weaker than I expected. Just some sweet malts in the aroma, and the quaff was malty with subtle notes of the infamous Belgium yeast, sugar cane, and spicy fruits.

A highly charged and carbonated brew, the 7% is not noticeable. Very sippable beer and enjoyable – but kinda pricey with the import charges.

A freebie for me, thanks to my great son, “studying” overseas in Amsterdam - I was sent this for the unique chance to enjoy.

Vancer, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of TheDeuce
4.9/5  rDev +18.4%

Wow, aged this bottle nearly a year and the results were killer, a yeasty dark reddish brown with a frothy thick head results. Smell is of yeast, multiple fruits, hoppyness, and an alcohol pungency. Taste is thick, dark, flavorful, smacks of fruit surround the toungue and stay afterwards, superb for sipping after a long day, a kicker of a beer and a great dubbel, even greater when aged. Dang.

TheDeuce, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%

Pours a nice brownish/red color with a nice thick creamy head. Light body, full of flavor, bursting with chocolate, plummy cherries. Smell is somewhat metallic. Beer is smooth and easy to drink. Really one of the best dubbels out there. I like it better than Westmalle or any of the other authentic "trappists". A good beer if you can afford it, price is very steep.

bigdeuce, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of alysmith4
3.45/5  rDev -16.7%

Found this beer on tap at a local pizza joint. Poured a nice golden color with a decent 1 1/2 inch head. Smell was very yeasty, not all that pleasant. Taste was much better.. slightly sweet, yet a tad sour, with a peppery finish. A hit of clove and other herbal notes came through as well. Medium to low carbonation. Easy to drink, but not more than one or two. Pair with a nice red meat or a mild, soft cheese.

alysmith4, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of gus
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

Appearance is a dark, rusty orange/amber in color. Smells consists of slight yeast with some apparent spices. Carbonation is above average, head is an off whit/tan in color, and lasts until the beer is gone. Lacing is moderate. A very smooth mouthfeel to it and goes down quite well with a slight aftertaste to it. Overall a very enjoyable beer. I have been waiting to try the Chimays and after sampleing the Red I will try the other styles. I will be going back to this and have some availbale for just sitting back and enjoying a really good beer.

gus, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

A special thank you to grub he sent this as part of BC-2. The bottle is a 750ml bottle. The beer was served in my handy Leffe goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy red/ brown coloration. The head is a reddish brown coloration that quickly resolves into a ring of foam. Threads of lacing remain behind on my glass.

Smell: The beer smells like a very spicy sweet cola. There is a pleasant caramel covered dark fruityness to the beer (raisins, figs, and plums.). The alcohol comes forth in a spicy complement to the beer.

Taste: The beer comes forth as a sweet malty caramel. The beer is somewhat nutty and chocolatey. Cloves, cinamon and alcohol spice the beer provide a break from the sweetness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is well carbonated and helps to break up the sweetness. The beer has a medium body. This is one of the beers I crossed over into good beer with. It seems strange that I waited until about my 250 beer review to review this one. A dam fine beer that I will have again.

nlmartin, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of brdc
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%

My review of Cimay Premiere should be taken with a grain of salt. I am very partial with this beer, after all, a sip of it a long time ago turned me into "real" beer.
Having said that, this time I honestly tried to put away my prior impressions and taste it slowly, really and carefully thinking about it - which is probably the only reason why I did not simply put a bunch of 5's there.
Anyway, here it is:

Appearance: Beautiful, hazy dark red with a very light tan head that dissipates quickly, with minor lacing.
Smell: Complex, sweet, estery, peppery. Very pleasant.
Taste/mouthfeel: Full bodied, sweet yet not overpowering sweetness likely due to the crisp carbonation and minimal hoppiness. Malty, with tastes of cloves, sugar and herbs. It is also fruity, mostly plums. The taste keeps improving as the beer warms up in my hands (I go very slowly with this one), and chocolate and caramel hints surface.
Drinkability: For such a complex and tasty beer, is remarkably easy to drink.
A masterpiece!

brdc, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of techdiver
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours a cloudy brown color with modest head that dissipates quickly. Has a great spicy sweet aroma. Taste is magnificent, this is so much better than their Tripel. I could drink these for hours, something I wouldn't try with the Grand Reserve. Well carbonated and very well balanced.

techdiver, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.2/5  rDev -22.7%

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves less than a one finger tan head that recedes to long lasting surface skim, with a little bit of lacing. Body is a hazy apple cider brown.

Smell - sour horse blanket, sour apples, plums.

Taste - like the smell. Horse blanket, plums, sour apples.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - this is decent, but not great.

ultralarry2006, Nov 13, 2006
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,945 ratings.