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

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

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4,231 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,231
Reviews: 1,588
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 189
Gots: 488 | 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: 4,231 | Reviews: 1,588 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of headlessparrot
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of MusicmanSD
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of yelterdow
3.03/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

Photo of peabody
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

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

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.

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

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!

Photo of Avagadro
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of thebarracuda
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Gregorious
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of zeff80
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of Backer2004
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Phocion
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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..

Photo of ski271
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Poppypitbull
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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%.

Photo of audiojon
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of allergictomacros
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

The Chimay Red is actually red in color. I don't know why I was surprised by this, but I was. It was a pleasant surprise though. The color is rich and deep, although not particularly dark. Good two or two and half finger head that faded fairly quickly.

Smell favors the malt side, but there are nice floral and fruit notes. Maybe a little orange in particular, but without the citrus bite.

Taste also favors the malt. Mostly sweet and almost candy-like. Quite tasty.

The mouthfeel is excellent. There's a bit more of a carbonation bite than I've come to expect from a darker beer like this one, but it compliments the flavor quite well. The beer is extremely well balanced too. Not too much or too little of anything.

Overall a very tasty beer, one I wouldn't hesitate to have another of. But I do tend to prefer slightly less sweet beers and the alcohol content, although not ridiculiously high at 7%, did sort of sneak up on me. I think two of the 11.3 oz. bottles would be enough for me most nights.

Photo of AaronHomoya
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked bottle. Date on cork shows 11/04 (?) so this beer is 1.5 years old.

Appearance is nice, with a deep red and slightly brown color. Slightly cloudy due to the yeast. Nice head that fades quickly to a small layer that stuck around the rest of the way.

Aroma is very fruity, sweet, dried figs, and maybe a touch of cloves. Flavor is similarly fruity and sweet with a bit of a sour tang and cloves.

Mouthfeel is nice and medium-bodied with rather little carbonation. Drinkability is good, tasty with a reasonable ABV.

Photo of guitarmage
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The color of prune juice with a bubbly head that reduced into a nice lacing, not especially sticky. It looks sweet though, like a wine.

Smell: Sweet malt, rich fruity notes, but not especially aromatic.

Taste: Smooth and sweet, fruity but not citrus, alcohol presence is moderate, hops are herbal and light. Notes of sweet apple, prunes, maybe the sweet side of a cranberry, banana.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, a light soda-like carbonation. Smooth and good.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, this would be great with a meal. It's so smooth and sweet, just overall surprisingly drinkable for being somewhat complex and flavorful.

Photo of CortexBomb
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely gourgeous pour into my goblet...perfect caramel brown with haze and a 1 inch slightly off-white head on top. Beyond appealing. Smell is very malty with dark fruit and yeast edges on it...a lot of dates being predominant.

Taste kicks off with a slight estery / yeasty shot with the dark fruit presence noted. It then segues off into beautiful, sweet malts with an alcohol backbone to lend it some weight. My only real complaint is that the malt flavour is somewhat subdued, but this is still good stuff, easily.

Mouth, has hoppy bitters for the top of the mouth, but feels a tad thin. Still above average on the whole though. Drinkability is rock solid.

The bottom line is that this is a fine example of a traditional Belgian Dubbel. Easy drinking, flavourful, with malts dominant and spice characteristics there to keep you interested.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,231 ratings.