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

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

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3,953 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,953
Reviews: 1,561
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 159
Gots: 339 | 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: 3,953 | Reviews: 1,561 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.95/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky reddish brown Clorox and has a very lively carbonation. It's head is off white and leaves a lot of lace in my glass. It has a very spicy aroma and I swear I smelled tobacco in there and a Hefe like clove. The flavor is just as nice with a terrific blend of spice and nuttiness and again a Hefe like clove that stands out from the sweetness. It's only flaw in my opinion is that the body is a bit thin, but overall this is a really good beer that is too good for it's alcohol content. I could drink these all night.

RushLimbmalt, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of BDTyre
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Above average trappist ale. I've been trying a lot of trappist beers lately, and while Chimay red doesn't wow me, I find it quite tasty and drinkable.

Nice reddy brown hue coupled by a sweet, malty smell. The taste is not quite as sweet or syrupy as other trappists I've had. Well balanced malts and the sugar does not overpower. Hops add a decent bitterness to it. I'd love to try blue and white next.

BDTyre, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of Calico
2.88/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured lovely clear amber with slight lacy head. Gorgeous color.

The aroma was of slight fruity esters with a little sweet malty note.

Interestingly, the first thing I noticed upon drinking it was the alcohol warmth. Then that subsided and I really couldn't taste much of anything. A rather watery beer. I think I'm comparing it with the Blue, with which I am more familiar (been drinking that stuff on occasion for over 17 years). I was expecting the thick sweetness of the Blue and it just wasn't there. Not an utter disappointment; I would drink it again, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Calico, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz short bottle into a Chimay chalice. A beautiful, thin head of about one and one half inches is formed on top, forming a nice backing for the gold rim of my glass. Under the surface, one single column of carbonation, resembling smoke from a chimney or hot air from an underwater fissure deep beneath the surface of the earth, rises to the top to form a mushroom cloud which disperses around the top of the glass as if the glass contained an atomic bomb which has been detonated. Beautiful, unique, interesting, wonderful. Color is a beautiful, deep ruby color.

Yeasty, fruity aroma wafts from the glass. Schoolboy bubble gum flavors. Perfectly balanced. Candy sweetness.

Definite yeast tastes in the forefront. Sweet tasting but not overly so. Very soft. Creamy. Alcohol is present as well which brings a great "feeling" to the beer. Slightly warming. Peppery.

Carbonation cuts the medium to full bodied beer and makes the mouthfeel very pleasant. Looking at my glass, the beer is almost gone already. Great drinkability.

SaCkErZ9, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of descartes
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: Dark ruby brown with lots of sediment, with thin head.
Smell: Malty, chocolate and nut smell, very earthy.
Taste: Very carbinated front with a weird nut carmel mix in the middle. Very murky taste.
Mouthfeel: Over carbination, almost feels like champagne. Which for me is not a good thing.

Overall: A dssapointment, not really a clear taste with too much carbination.

descartes, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of Naes
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale is dark ruby colored with orange highlights, almost brown. It has a wonderfully tall off white head which leaves behind decent lacing.
The aroma is surprisingly mellow; malty sweet with the yeast present as well.
The flavor is malty sweet with yeast and dark fruit tones. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and the alcohol becomes slightly noticeable. The carbonation levels are high and it finishes quite dry.
Light to medium in body and quite drinkable.

Naes, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruddy auburn with a murky swirl of yeast in the center of the glass. Carbonation bubbles vigorously maintaining a one finger beige head.

S - Sweet smelling, cherries, bananas, some cloves.

T - A nice sweet malt character and bitter from hops. Cherries make a slight presence. The bitterness overpowers the other aspects of the flavor.

M - Very refreshing, frothy at first, but it became much more flat in a bit. It was a little thinner than I hoped.

D - Wonderful, I could drink this Belgian ale all day. It isn't too strong and would make a decent session beer. It would go well with a lot of foods.

mrasskicktastic, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of sabrills70
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy orange brown with a white 1 finger head, good longevity and very good lace. Smells malty and yeasty. Some spicyness and brown sugar notes. Yeasty, malty and sugar tastes with some lingering bitterness. Slightly fruity. Dry and highly carbonated. I know thats is the way its supposed to be, but I think it makes it harder to drink as it makes me feel more full. A good brew but not outstanding.

sabrills70, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of Mandrake
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange-brown and forms a large, thick head that is slow to dissipate. Smells a little alcoholic, with grains and earthiness as well. Tastes a little subdued, bready and sweet, with some orange and cherry fruits as well. Feels creamy, but a little thin, and not quite as warming as I might like. Drinkability is very good, I could certainly have gone for another after I finished this one.

Mandrake, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of funkengruven
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork popped off this wonderful brew like a bottle of fine champagne. Poured to a dark amber with a puffy foamy head that formed very quickly, likely due to the secondary fermentation in the bottle. Smell is earthy and clean. The taste is phenomenal, delicate earthy flavors accompanied by a nice light earthy aroma carried by the carbonation ever so delicately throughout the palate. Carbonation is sufficient, and this goes down very very smooth. Very drinkable indeed. This is an amazing beer, I have two more bottles of this I think I will be saving them for a special occasion.

funkengruven, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of shererjt
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy brown with moderate carbonation. Head was tan, creamy, and long-lasting. Rich, yeasty aroma with raisins, malt, spice, phenolics, and brown sugar. Lots of character. Body was medium. Rich flavor--raisins and malt early with a lingering bitterness late. Taste had much less complexity than the aroma. Also a bit of sourness. Creamy mouthfeel, but a little lighter in body than expected and desired. Still, rather tasty and the drinkablity is quite good for a beer this potent.

Overall, a quality beer. I've had it many times before and recall it being better than this "vintage", which is dated 09/05. A pretty decent introduction to Belgians for those who are ready to take the plunge!

shererjt, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of packetknife
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dense rusty red color, cloudy throughout. Medium density frothy THICK head, a tab off-white, that faded to a few mm but laced the rest of the way. A bready-malty scent to it with a slightly sour tone, nothing overwhelming and pleasantly inviting on a freezing winter night. Malty and toasty on the tongue with something that approaches spicy but not quite. Somewhat dry on the finish and crisp throughout. Very drinkable for the style and ABV.

packetknife, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of jaluria
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was the first Belgian-style ales I ever tried and I'm glad I did, it got me to try many other styles from a variety of breweries.

Anyway, this poured a dark, crimson color with a fair amount of foam that dissipated slowly. I smelt all sorts of fruits like dark berries, grains, yeast, and alcohol; very appealing. The taste was just a great blend of flavors with the presence of various fruits mixing nicely with hop bitterness that was present but so subtle. The flavors changed as the beer warmed with sweet sugar flavors starting to dominate. The beer seemed to coat my tongue and keep my wanting more, but the high ABV and the richness of the beer prevented me from indulging. Still, a great beer with great flavors. There are better Dubbels out there with but this will always be remembered by me for introducing me to tastes I had never known existed in beer.

jaluria, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of pmatz2
3.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass from a 750 ml bottle

Poured a reddish brown with a very thick white head even while trying to pour very gently.

Aroma was all spice, I wasn't able to distinguish other aromas

Flavor was not as spicy, there was no bitterness to this beer

Mouth feel was full, carbonation was high

I was expecting more but it did match up great with my meal. I will have to try the other Chimay beers

pmatz2, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of Mitchster
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of a gift pack...3 beers and a chimay glass.

Pours out to a cloudy sediment rich dark amber, forming a soapy beige head with excellent retention and lacing. Carbonation is brisk. The aroma is as I would expect for a dubbel....spicy, phenolic, a clean ferment akin to Unibroue with a touch of almonds in the nose. Some faint higher alcohols are appreciable. The mouthfeel is spritzy with a faintly dry finish and medium-light body. The taste is spicy as well with strong phenols and pepper up front. There is a moderate grassiness (for the style) in the middle with some saccharin wood, leather and metals in the finish.

This is a bit too much for me. It's spicy up front but quickly recedes and has a thin body for the style. It doesn't keep me interested, but is a decent example of the style, nonetheless. Wouldn't ever become a regular in my fridge. Get some Unibroue/Allagash/New Belgium/St.Bernardus instead.

Mitchster, Dec 03, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a Chimay chalice)

A- This beer pours a mahogany brown body that is very dense letting no light through. The head is a smooth creamy off-white that clings to the glass with lace on each sip.

S- A nice malt aroma with a hint of yeast and a hint of caramel malt. The note of prunes is very faint in the background.

T- The taste of toasted malt with a hint of crystal malt and some hint or raisins is not as strong as the smell. The finish is dry and the fizz really takes over. When chilled a bit more the fizz subsides and the prune hints come through in the finish, as does more of the yeasty characteristics.

M- The mouthfeel is medium-full and the fizz really tingles with each sip.

D- This is a very nice beer with good complexity but perhaps it should be served colder than cellar temps to cut down some of the fizz. The fizz tends to wash out some of the flavors especially in the finish.

rhoadsrage, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of davidchollar
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I drank the white and blue first, just now having the red for the first time. i gotta say it's better than i thought it would be. i might like it better than the white, hard to say, and it definitely holds its own against the other dubbels i've had.

pours out the same color as the label. a lovely and mouth-watering maroon with an awesome tan head that won't leave. smells like toast! rye bread to be specific, hard to pinpoint more scents after considering toast, but probably some dark fruitiness, like prunes and a hint of spiciness.

this is tasty, smooth and soft, wonderful but quite understated, at a lower abv than the blue i consider this more drinkable and give it a high score. however, if you ask my wallet, the drinkability is quite low. awesome. the kind of beer that makes me wonder why the hell i would ever resort to drinking anything less

davidchollar, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of DrZarkov
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty well on track with many of the other Belgians I have had. Nothing astounding about the smell or mouthfeel.
As far as taste there is a nice crispness to it. Obviously its carefully produced with natural ingredients from the taste and it looks great. Also a great bonus is that it is produced and sold to help fund a monestary....nice to know the some of the money is going to a good cause.

DrZarkov, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Pours a nice deep amber color, not much carbonation, huge creamy head. tons of lacing afterwards. Scents of grapes, raisins, plums, kinda sweet. Very nice taste sweet, but with a nice tangy feeling as well. Medium body. Very drinkable, another goody from Chimay, Highly recommended.

Wasatch, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of EStreet20
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce brown bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A - A nice dark brown with some golden hue where the light hits it. A decent sized off whire head that reduces to a nice capper. Decent amounts of lacing.

S - A yeasty aroma. Reminds me of bread baking. Not much at all hopwise but a good clean aroma.

T - A nice smooth taste. Not overly sweet or bitter. Just a nice balanced flavor.

M - Feels nice and smooth on the tongue.

D - Not bad but nothing extremely great. Definitely a high quality beer but it doesn't leave you craving another sip. Still a drinkable beer.

Notes: Not bad at all but not all but not Chimay's best offering. I recieved their three pack as a gift (So now I have two Chimay chalices. Sweet!!!) but when I'm headed out for beer and I want Chimay I find it worth it to cough up an extra buck for the Grande Reserve.

EStreet20, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of jamesdergen
2.78/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an amber-tinted iced tea with a small off-white head.

Smell: Some spice and grassy notes, but not much in the way of any perceptible aroma here.

Taste: Very dry and relatively bitter. Some dark, dried fruits, grassy notes and the alcohol at the end.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but light. A bit too carbonated which really detracts from the flavors in this beer.

Drinkability: I suppose the taste and high carbonation are the main things detracting from the drinkability factor here. I will finish this 33cl bottle, but wouldn't hit another one even if I had it.

Disappointing. The blue and white Chimays are far superior in my opinion. I suppose it's worth trying to compare to the other two, but it's not a beer I would recommend to my friends.

jamesdergen, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of becktone
3.13/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I’ve had this beer sitting around just waiting to be reviewed for a few weeks, just sitting mind you. When I opened this beer it seemed as if someone had shaken it up. The bottle overflowed with foam. It pours to be a Carmel color. In fact, the color of it reminds me of wassail. To begin with it formed a nice huge healthy head, however that quickly dissipated into the vague film that barley exists in my glass now. The head is thickest, at present, to where it clings to the sides of the glass. The body of the beer is also quite interesting. I have never drank a beer where I could actually see sediment suspended in the brew.

The aroma of this beer is very potent. When I first cracked the cap on this bottle I was surprised to already be able to smell the aroma of the beer. I can’t quite put a finger on the main smell of the beer, I know that it is something very familiar though. Overall the smell is not hoppy, rather it has more of a malt character to it. I believe that I also detected a faint medicinal smell in the aroma of this beer. Now that I think of it I can kind of smell a little bit of apple cider in this although, it has been altered in some way, but that’s the closest thing I can relate to this beer.

This beer tastes the same way as it smells, I can’t quite put a finger on it. I don’t detect much of any hoppy or bitter character in this beer. I guess the malt character is dominant over the hop character here making them quite the minority when it comes to flavor in this beer. When the beer first hits the lips the first impression of flavor I get is a sweet flavor followed by a weak bitter flavor on the back of the tongue. When swallowed the beer leaves a sweet taste in the entire mouth. The lingering after reminds me of apples and caramel.

This beer has a medium body in my opinion. It doesn’t take to much effort to drink one of these, basically it goes down easily. I’m not sure if I’ll buy this beer again. I mean Chimay Blue is one of my favorite beers but their I was hoping for more from the Red. When it comes to Dubbels I think I prefer Grimbergen Dubbel over this one.

becktone, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into my new Chimay glass; I'd been putting off trying these until I found the gift pack.

Pours out a deep ruddy, murky brown with orange highlights, barely translucent. A fairly thin white head of creamy small bubbles that left a decent lace, but I was a bit disappointed at the size of the head and the lacing. I know the glass was clean, too. Odd.

Smell is interesting: extremely phenolic, and with some alcohol sneaking through, but also a tad doughy and with a little bit of spiciness. The most obvious fruit I pick out is plum, but maybe also some prunes.

Flavor is surprisingly light, I think, it's got the fruitiness about it, and there's a little maltiness, but it's not a hugely complex onslaught. The spices pepper the tongue a little bit, particularly what might be a tiny bit like nutmeg, and the alcohol pulls through just barely in the finish.

The mouthfeel is quite carbonated, but it's a pleasant little spritziness on the tongue.

Overall: I think I may have had overly-high expectations for this one. It's not bad, but for the price, it's nowhere near being worth it. St. Bernardus Prior 8 wipes the pavement with this one, I think, at a similar price in most places. Good enough, but not one I'll ever buy again.

whartontallboy, Oct 26, 2005
Photo of cardwel1
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It looks nice, has a nice head, but it's a little bit murky in a strange way.

A little too much carbonation for my taste. A bit more than in the Chimay grand premiere (blue label) or a Duvel, and it sort of takes away from everything else.

All that makes it above average, but for the kind of money you're spending, there are better options.

cardwel1, Sep 26, 2005
Photo of Higravity
3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer looked ever bit the part nice redish color with a heavy present head of white fluff that gave good lacing in its chalice. However, the smell was weak I really had to get close and draw at it. There was some caramel maltyness, and a belgiany yeast phenol smell, but just weak. The taste was bland and uninspiring. I could easily mistake this for an American attempt of a brew-pub. Middle of the road one-dimensional flavor that offer the same taste sip after sip, consistant but not interesting, zero depth. It had a decent mouthfeel and it is drinkable. Shrug no need to waste your money here, go on to better beer.

Higravity, Sep 26, 2005
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,953 ratings.