1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

4,241 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,241
Reviews: 1,590
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 191
Gots: 494 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,241 | Reviews: 1,590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Homerbag
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of Tolann
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of supe11
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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!

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.

Photo of BucBasil
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of thirtysixbelow
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
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 :)

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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.

Photo of coalcracker
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of Kendo
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of lpayette
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of BMan1113VR
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
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).

Photo of illidurit
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of wheelinshirt
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of JDV
2.98/5  rDev -28.2%
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.

Photo of Vvall
3.12/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.29/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

Photo of KodyBrannon
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of Jbino34
3.86/5  rDev -7%
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.

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.

Photo of Daredevil
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
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)

Photo of avalon07
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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.

Photo of Mudpuppet
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,241 ratings.