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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,297 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,297
Reviews: 1,600
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 198
Gots: 533 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website

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
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Ratings: 4,297 | Reviews: 1,600 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ecliptica
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

You know a beer is good when even when it's in its worst state, it still tastes pretty decent.

Unfortunately, the beer I got was either damaged or from a bad batch because I got a horrible, horrible metallic taste and I haven't seen anyone else complain about it. It may be the distributor - I also got a Delirium Nocturnum that was entirely too metallic from the same distributor and normally that's one of my favorite brews. Maybe it was something from Belgium that ruined these batches.

Either way, I'll give this a go despite the fact that the rating probably won't be as high as it should be.

Poured the 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass and it poured a beautiful burgundy hue with a white head that maintained moderate lacing.

The smell itself was citrus-y and spicy, which almost gave it a sweet smell - much more so than the Westmalle that I think so highly of.

Unfortunately, with the first sip I got that horrible metal taste. The bottle had to be damaged, because I know there's no way the beer could've possibly tasted like it did. Despite that, it was STILL good - good enough for me to finish the whole thing at least - and I think, even with the metal, it was an above average brew. That should really say something about the quality of the beer - and is the main reason why I'm posting this review rather than holding out until the next time I drink this.

Mouthfeel I can't objectively rate because I couldn't hold it on my palate long enough due to the metallic taste. It did seem a bit smoother than other Trappists I've tried recently (Orval/Westmalle) and the carbonation was moderate.

Drinkability has to be high, for I drank it despite the metallic flavor. I can only imagine how good this beer tastes not damaged. This review is merely a placeholder until I get another, undamaged bottle.

Photo of BDIMike
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brown, burgundy color with a great white head and little carbonation bubbles.
Smells very sweet to start. There is a bit of spiciness to it and a great floral/citrus combo at the end.
Great taste. Very complex tastes start with a good taste of plums and a slight citrus. Malty flavors of chocolate and sweet malts at the end. Great balance.
Mouthfeel is slightly thin for the style. It has a nice, smooth carbonation though.
Great drinkability. Really high ABV, but the taste is so complex and smooth I could drink it all day. In fact, I tried and failed miserably.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one was a deep cherry red with a nebulous, massive head that retained throughout the entire beer and left some nice, thick lacing on the glass. The beer was cloudy because of the yeast and sediments included during the bottle's fermentation.

S: Sweet spices--clove, cinnamon, ginger--dominate the aromatic profile of this beer. Dark fruit notes add some additional sweetness to the nose, yet there is some faint tart smell that balances the sweetness, too.

T&M: The flavor is rich, fruity, and spicy. There are some light nutty characteristics as well that blend really nicely with the spices. As with the nose, a faint dark fruit flavor ties in the spicy flavors and balances things out well. This is an incredibly complex beer. It's got a moderately dry, yet spicy (not hot, but herbal spice) finish. It's got a medium body with a lot of carbonation that fuels the perpetually-lasting head and causes the flavors to explode on the tongue. A really interesting mouthfeel--this is a very engaging beer that requires your full attention.

D: I haven't had a ton of Belgians yet, but this one was fairly drinkable. I couldn't drink another 750ml bottle, but this one went down fairly easily. Definitely would recommend it for a beer experience that makes the most of all your senses.

Photo of trackstar1043
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper brown, with a bit of sediment at the bottom. Huge 2 inch tan head with great retention but little lacing.

S - Smell of warm toasty malts, a mix of spicies, a semi sweet carmel tones.

T - Rich and complex, has a mildly toasty flavor that seems to warm you us as it goes down. The spices come in next followed by a slight bitter-sweet hops finish.

M - Med to full bodied, has a smooth texture but not crisp, the aftertaste linger for a bit also. Strangely, no matter how cold the beer was it somehow seemed warm as it went down.

D - Very nice to drink and a great example of a Dubbel.

Photo of dnichols
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed a 33 ml stubby bottle while celebrating the first burn of a buddies fire pit.

A: It had a light brown body with a robust two finger off white head. The head showed decent retention and there was dense layered lacing.

S: It hit me with the smell of toasted malts and sharp white spices (e.g., cloves and white pepper). I expected a bit deeper and more complex aromas so I was somewhat disappointed.

T: It began with the sweet roasted malts with hints of dark bready yeast. Mid swig my tongue was overcome with the tang of spices and bite of hops. It finished warm and clean.

M: It had moderate carbonation and a medium body. It finished clean with no noticeable aftertaste.

D: It was a very solid dubble but with other much better ones on the market it would be a rare day when this brew was the first string in my cooler. However, it makes a decent session beer and I would gladly swig quite a few if they were offered.

Photo of Portertime
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chimay is a great Abbey beer and it just flies off the shelf at my store. Pours a dark chocolate covered cherry brown with some haziness. Smells of nice figs and raisons and a touch of yeast. Tastes well balanced with some red raison and other fruity malt notes. Cheers!

Photo of rkinsella
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark ice tea color, slightly red tone. Clear with some sediment left in the bottom of the bottle. Head was excellent with a fair amount of lacing down the glass.

Smell - Grape, wine, fig, slight whiff of the alcohol. Pretty much all fruit smell, little malt or hops.

Taste - Tart wine, sweet raisin, with a very mellow touch of a bitter finish. A slight medicinal character overall. Some sour notes on the aftertaste. (that's not a bad thing)

Mouthfeel - Thick and wonderful, sparkles on your tongue.

Drinkability - For me it was like having a glass of a sweet wine. At the higher ABV level, I wouldn't consider another. A satisfying beer to say the least.

Great intro to Trappist Ales.

Photo of wedge
3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

We have a gusher. Pours an understandably clouded dark reddened brown. Soft, creamy looking head that lasts as a wispy top and collar. Nice malt oriented aroma - doughy yeast, cherries, sweet bread, and a touch of chocolate. Thinnish flavor of fruity esters and phenolics with underlying chocolate and bread. A dusty yeatiness wraps up the flavor - dry and no real bitterness or lasting aftertaste. Medium body at the most, very smooth with low carbonation. Not very exciting, but not bad.

Photo of hyland24
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A- The beer poured a cloudy amber red with a 1/2 inch off white head that dissipated after a minute or so. There was little to no lacing.

S- The smell was much milder than the Tripple. Mild fruity raisin and fig with hints of malt.

T- Started out slightly sweet and hoppy with hints of raisin and grape. Finished with a more malty taste than the Triiple. Not nearly as strong as I expected with the 7% abv.

MF&D- Light to medium bodied with a heavy carb presence. Very drinkable for this abv. Great taste and body. I highly recommend this as well as the other Chimays to anyone interested in these styles.

Photo of Buebie
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark red hazy caramel brownish copper. Thick head formed at the top. Zero, to little laceing.

Smell: Deliciously strong malt scents, come out with a pear and a hint of prunes. Consistant with other Belgian ales in scent, but this one has a dry champagne aroma, which is very pleasing

Taste: Fruity tart raisin flavors slight alcohol, Huge delightful malty aromas. Some walnut nutty flaver. It goes down easy, not at all picking up the 7% abv, no sharp alcahol notes, just a hint of dryness, but overall more sweet then dry. There is a sudden rush of spice and herb over the tounge after the swallow. Very nice touch, was not expecting it.

Mouthfeel: Thick carbonation, not overdone but more then I bargained for, very fluffy bubbles.

Drinkability: This is a delicious well crafted beer. I will buy this again. The spice notes really took me off guard, I enjoyed this beer.

Photo of Injemanze
3.54/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a .33 liter bottle purchased at a Carrefour in Hangzhou, China.

Appearance = Dark caramel/coppery bronze in color. Head fizzles quickly leaving a thin lacing. Looks very nice in the glass.

Smell = I can smell its alcoholic and malt characteristics along with something else I cannot place, perhaps apple related. Subdued but not unpleasant.

Taste = Tart, alcohol, malt. It is pleasant tasting though I am not quite sure I like the aftertaste it leaves at the back of my tongue (however I did have a spicy potato dish not too long ago which might be affecting the taste).

Mouthfeel = Heavily carbonated, fairly smooth though perhaps slightly oily.

Drinkability = It is a nice beer though substantial and complex enough to discourage large intakes. I think the .33 liter bottle is about right and makes a nice aperitif or sipping beer for a good conversation

Photo of Rootdog316
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay (red) pours a copper/brown color with a frothy off-white head. The head dissipates slowly, and doesn't leave much lacing. The aroma is lightly fruity and hoppy, with the taste of smoke, caramel, light hops, and a dark fruit of some sort. It is initially somewhat lightly sweet and bitter, and a bit acidic. Not a bad beer at all.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Welcome to the Chimay invitational! In this meet, Chimay's three renowed beers go up against each other in this match over which beer is the best of the "Trappists Fathers" of Chimay, Belgium. We're going to go from lowest strength to highest strength over these next few days, and one fun fact of that order is the color of the label will go from red, to white, and then blue. Chimay Première gets the first shot here, so here we go:

Into a chalice it goes, the beer settles in dark red. Good foamy head on top with great retention. The aroma is pleasant and not ovrpowering, sweet. The taste is one-dimensional, but it is one nice and mellow flavor. Chocolate malt and caramel apples are tasted, and it dries up pleasantly to keep you drinking more and more.

The summary is a little boring, but this is one good dubbel. I shall note it went well with my pork tenderloin. It's a good score, but in this battle of Trappist ales, it will need the other two of its family to flop. Chimay Tripel (white label) comes up tomorrow.

Photo of ClashmoreMike
4.79/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of an 11.20 ounce bottle into a pint glass (sorry, that's all I have for now).

Appearance = Very cloudy, dark caramel color, like the color of a very dark apple cider. One finger's worth of off-white head (I did pour this gently), that dissipates down to a thin lacing that hangs in there throughout.

Smell = Love the smell. Very nice smell of apples and figs with a bit of alcohol and malt in the background. Some clove in there, but not as assertive as in hefeweiss beers.

Taste = Just like the smell (see above) with the malt more pronounced. Nice, light bitterness balances out the fruity sweetness. Some more fruitiness (sort of like apricot or a fruit sweeter than apples and figs) as it warms.

Mouthfeel = Nice amount of carbonation. More than I expected. Not overwhelming, but definitely there. Smooth, medium body.

Drinkability = Very delicious. It's just a very nicely balanced, well put together, substantial beer. Don't know if I'd be downing a lot of these in one sitting (it is a substantial beer), but I'll definitely be buying more of these. They're a treat. These monks sure know what they're doing.

Photo of Popkorn615
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served chilled, poured from bottle into a chalice-shaped glass.

A - Pours a dark amber with a one-fingered head that completely dissipates after a few minutes. Moderate carbonation - bubbles can still be seen floating through the body even after 10 minutes.

S - Fruity, a little nutty, and a touch liquory (thanks to its higher than normal proof - 7%), and a little malty. Tons of beautiful aromas filled my nasal passages. I couldn't pinpoint which fruit could be smelt/tasted, but after reading the mini-manual, the indication of apricot confirmed that fruit was the culprit.

T - Fruity, and subtle nutty, flavors are present. The increased alcohol content (as opposed to other beers) is more apparent. Sweet with a hint of honey-flavor.

M - Probably the silkiest feeling beer I have ever tasted. Tingly while in the mouth, and flows down the throat like a smooth river. Gives off a slight warmth as it goes down.

D - A beautiful-tasting beer, and moderately filling. I could definitely have a couple of chalices worth, but because of its filling-ness and elegance, I don't think I could drink a ton of it.

Photo of Pencible
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first Trappist ale I've tried, this poured a hazy reddish brown with fluffy light tan head. It smelled like honeysuckle, rose, and hops, with a bit of malt. It tasted sweet with light malt flavors and a mix of some honey and bitterness. It had a smooth and moderate aftertaste. There was almost no carbonation and had a nice body to it, being slightly syrupy. Overall this was a very tasty beer, flavorful but still easy to drink. I had no real complaints, but it wasn't anything spectacular either, so it didn't quite live up to the Trappist hype.

Photo of Goliath
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a large off-white head. Aroma has a nice fruitiness, apples and plums. A slight alcohol tinge. Taste is wonderful. Fruity notes of apples and plums, sweet maltiness, and some tangy spice with only a slight hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and appropriately carbonated. Drinkability is moderately high.

Photo of jeonseh
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the little stubby bottle of Chimay poured into my Chimay Goblet.

A - this was one heck of a nice looking beer. As soon as I opened the bottle I knew it was going to have a lot of carbonation as I could hear this one hiss. When I poured it, it is a dark oaken color with hints of gold and red that comes through it as well. A cloudy beer as no light goes through it. It had a nice big white, creamy head that just sat on top and stuck around with a lot of lacing. nice looking!

S - smell is rather fruity as I get hints of tart green apple and also a dark wine flavor as well. There is also a strong hint of clove that wafts up as well as I bit of caramel malt as well. The nose was pretty big on this one but thought the main smell was really the tart green that contrasted with a port like grape smell that came forth.

T - Get a bit of tart apple at first and have to say was rather surprised that this one came across as kinda dry especially on the aftertaste and the last kick. Also get some caramel sweetness in there that is mixed in and a bit of candied dates that gives a nice sweet, dark fruit flavor. On the sweet side, there was a nice honey taste that also gives a hint of sweetness to this. Also a light hop bitterness that comes in as well and seems to give this beer a bit more complexity that it needs.

MF - the body on this one was average. Have to say I thought this one had a bit too much carbonation for the style and this maybe part of the reason that I think that this one tasted so tart. The carbonation just seems to really attack the tongue and possibly hides some of the complexities going on and in this one.

D - Overall this is a good dubbel but I don't know how often I would go with this one. It doesn't really seem to stand out on its own but almost seems to me to be a Quad or Strong Dark Ale that just doesn't want to go all the way. Plus there was nothing really great about this one that made it stand out to me. A good but nothing special beer.

Photo of MmmIPA
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorta fresh from last years christmas three pack.

This beer is belgians best.Ive had this beer before but never reviewed it.Chimay goblet.

Very nice chestnut body with a small white creamy head that just sits there.Beer just doesnt look any better.Some carbonation bubbles streaming to the top.

Nutty smells and yeast.

Nutty,with some yeastiness tastes.Cant taste any hops.The malt isnt overly sweet.

Mouthful is a bit over carbonated but still nice.

Nice beer,I have a older bottle in my cellar waiting to be opened.Life dont get any better then this.

Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as a gift in part of the 3 pack with Chimay glass.

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle with a deep amber hue with hazy sediment floating throughout. Effervescent carbonation is present, as well as a creamy white finger thick head that dissipates quickly.

Smell is faint sweet fruitiness with yeasty, spicy undertones.

Taste is a sweet and spicy fruitiness with mild malt and yeast undertones.

Mouthfeel is of light carbonation with a nice spicy tingle on the back of the tongue.

A very tasty, drinkable brew.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle (part of a chimay 3pack sampler).

Silty brown with a rocky head in my Chimay goblet. Had in fridge for an hour, getting it right at 50 degrees or so.

Mild aroma with a spicy fruit. Honey and cinnamon spice.

Strong carbonation breaks up the body, fizzy. Fruity and spicy. Plums, peach, rasins.

Mouthfeel is powder/chalky and smooth. Again, carbonation is a major factor on this one, really interesting.

My second pour included the sediment, which made the mouthfeel a bit smoother and added some yeasty bread flavors that sat ontop of the alcohol and bitterness. I liked it better, more complex, with the sediment suspended in.

A really good belgian, and of the half the trapists that i;ve had, this is one of the nest that i've had. It's excellent with a lot of compex flavors and a great mouthfeel and drinkability.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in craft beers, or someone just getting into Belgians.

Photo of giblet
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

excellent. poured beautifully with about one inch of head and a lot of carbonation. light reddish amber color. wonderful fruity aroma.

the taste and drinkability were outstanding. i have had trappist beers before and this one is as good as any. not likely to have many since they are eight dollars a bottle, seven percent abv, and the bottles are big. but an excellent brew.

suckem up and movem out.


Photo of champ103
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark redish/brown color. A large white head forms and leaves a little lace.
S: Malty and sweet. Not as complex as I thought it would be, but a very pleasent smelling beer.
T: Plenty of sweet caramel malt. Some bread and biscuit flavors as well. Again, not very complex but very tastey.
M/D: Rich, creamy , and well carbonated. There is a bit more alcohol burn than I would have thought. Other than that a very easy to drink and smooth beer.

A good dubble, but not my favorite. I prefer Chimay's special reserve to this, but it is still a beer that I would recommend.

Photo of FleeVT
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 11.2 oz bottle in to a Chimay goblet.

A: Amber brown/burgundy with a hearty off-white head that remains on the glass well after the beer is gone. A decent, light lacing.

S: Yeasty, malty goodness. A mild hazelnut sweetness mixes with a floral perfume and a hint vanilla for balance on the nose.

T: Malt and yeast are first on the palate with a sweetness that taste more like caramel than anything on the nose. I also pick up some clove. Alcohol comes through stronger than I would have expected, but pleasant. No real hops to speak of;.

M: A creamy carbonated ale. I don't think I've used those two words together before, but the carbonation hits first, then it settles down into a medium bodied creamy Dubbel.

D: Another great Ale from Chimay. They're always a treat, in moderation; savor it.

Photo of Patrick999
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a small bottle into a chalice. Dark purplish-brown, OK head, but to be fair I didn't really give it a good pour, I was too methodical.

Aroma is very nice, delicate and lightly spiced with an array of integrated fruits, the quintessential Trappist aroma.

Taste is of fruit & spice bread, yeasty and phenolic. Clove-y. A little alcohol burns the nose on occasion on the way down. Complex and excellent, exactly what you'd expect.

Feel really shines, the way it sits on the palate in such a light, positive manner. This could be said about all the Trappists I've tried, but this really has it down.

A pleasure to drink, you can keep going with this until your wallet begs for mercy or the 7% alcohol gets you, whichever comes first. The benchmark Dubbel, as far as I'm concerned.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,297 ratings.