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

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

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4,185 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,185
Reviews: 1,583
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 177
Gots: 440 | FT: 4
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)
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,185 | Reviews: 1,583 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BlueHammer
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Banana! This beer poured light brown with reddish tones.... (banana!) There was some decent head retention and a light, crisp, sweet smell. (banana!) It was slightly carbonated with a little bite on the end of the sip. (banana!)

I was overwhelmed by the smell and taste of bananas in this beer! I truly enjoyed the feel of it it my mouth - smooth and sweet and enjoyable and easy to drink. The taste improved as the beer sat in the glass.

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

Poured into a standard glass.

The chimay red label pours a golden brown with a cloudy center. The substantial head leaves little lacing as it diminishes.

The smell is subdued. Subtle notes of toffee and a hint of chocolate intermingle with the spice smells.

The taste is good, like a brown ale/red ale crossover. Neither overly sweet nor bitter, the malt and alcohol both play a role in warming the palatte. The feeling of alcohol diminishes quickly and is replaced by caramelly malts and very subtle hoppiness. The aftertaste is a bit dirty, it makes me want to drink more to refresh the good flavors.

I could drink this the whole night, but would prefer to mix it up. For an extra dollar, the blue label chimay makes a much better deal in my opinion.

Photo of VoodooBrew
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished orange-brown body with a generous tan head. The nose shows herbal -- almost Indian -- spices, dried fruit, and malt. For some odd reason, the flavor reminds me of hot dogs. Yeah, hot dogs. There's malt mid-palate with a mild bitterness in there too. This one drinks soft and easy. It's perfectly drinkable but I'm not sure that it offers too much.

Photo of Byeast
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a murky , dark reddish-brown , with a creamy, tan , well sustained head of a quarter inch. Smell is a musty mix of maltiness , yeast , bread , cheese maybe?, and some slightly fruity aromas. Mouthfeel is ultra smooth and creamy carbonation. Some slight ginger , medium malt profile , bit of medicinal flavor , tinge of coriander , slight spice , and a yeasty, dry finish that seems to coat the back of the throat and roof of the mouth with a powdery feel for a moment. A very creamy and well balanced dubbel. I do favor the other chimay brews a little more.

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

Small bottle aged over a year.

Very pretty shade of burgundy. It's not often I'm struck by the color of a beer; there are really only so many varieties. But this is really something, a deep, womb red like the walls in _Cries and Whispers_ (and like the color of the label, actually).

Smells like very burny bright fruit, alcoholic Skittles. Gigantic yeast and a hint of American-smelling hops.

Tastes a bit more smooth than it smells. Sweet, smooth fruit, crisp yeast, and a dry rush of alcohol to finish it off.

Solid Belgian. Don't know if it's quite worth what it costs, but it's still pretty darn good.

Photo of RedHaze
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with a creamy off-white, two finger head that fades slowly to a thick cap and leaves a thick sheeting of lacing.

Smell; a little bit of some dark fruits, and a touch of chocolate. It's hard to really pick many aromas out, as the smell much more subdued than I would have expected.

Taste; as with the smell, the flavors are not very assertive. There's a little bit of raisins and some chocolate. There's aso a bit of apples as well as a slightly woody quality.The mouthfeel is a bit watery and thin, and rather boring for a dubble.

This is a good beer, but for the price, there are many others that I would rather spend the money on.

Photo of rodrot
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay Premiere poured a dark red color with a frothy head that left a nice layer of lace on the glass. There wasn't much of an aroma from this one, just a light malty smell. Taste was more impressive however with a rich, malty, chocolatey flavor. This beer was medium bodied and had a port-like character to it. Very drinkable, sort of the little brother to the Chimay Grande Reserve. There are better dubbels out there, but this one is worth the $5.99 I spent on it.

Photo of sevineyes
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with a red label.

A: poured with a great slight tan dense head with good lacing. Deep brown amber in color.

S: Sweet rasins. Pecan shells. The longer it goes the more nuttiness I pick up. Still there's a huge dark fruit presence. Some saltieness. Very refined smell.

T: Begins with wet melon. Wood? Rasin, cherry. Finishes sweeter than it starts. Ends dry and alcoholic. Aftertaste is almost buttery.

M: Smooth and silky. Rich.

Overall: Very rich and complex. Much more so than I'm able to comment on. Extremely enjoyable and begs inquiry. The depth and refinement of this beer is certainly there. Some American attempts at dubbels fall far short in my opinion.

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

Had a bottle at Blue Ribbon in Brooklyn
Served in a Chimay Goblet
this was a beautiful deep hue of red and when served was topped with a nice creamy head that stuck around for a while

The smell was remarkable subtle yet very pleasant to say the least. Yeast, honey and sugary fruit scents are present on the nose, intermingled with the occasional spicy accent.

Medium bodied to start and very active in the mouth this beer froths up then settles into a lighter bodied drink on the finish. Sweet with tastes of candied sugars, with spicey and slightly earthy notes.

An absolute pleasure to drink all by it self... I actually wish I wasn't having this with a meal because I would have like to enjoy the varied nuances of it alone. Well sometime in the near future I'm sure I will

Photo of phisig137
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my Samichlaus tulip a hazy murky brown, with red highlights. Head appears and disappears quite quickly. Very little lacing.

Smell is oddly subdued. You can sense the belgian yeasts,both fruity and spicy, and a bit of malt, but little else.

Flavor is much better. Slightly sweet, with hints of dates, figs, green apples, and even a tiny bit of wintergreen mint. Ever so slight bitter hop finish. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, but one sip does not beg for another. Drinkability is good, but the alcohol does make itself present after a glass.

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

Deep garnett color. Carbonation bubbles and particals of yeast can be seen. The head is not as sticky as I would like. But, the retention is awsome. The aroma is slighty fruity and bread like. Some alcohol sweetness can be detected in the backgrown. Has a fruity and yeasty taste up front. Balanced out nicely with a roasted malt. The aftertaste is slighty sour and fades away slowly. Once again a great ale from Chimay.

Photo of benmiliron
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Paid 2.07 euro for a bottle. Looks OK. Murky dark brown with touch of red. Good head that dissipates. Smell is ok, healthy malt and spice, but lacking greatness. Taste is again strong malt, some burnt, some candied sugar, a bit of fruit. Tough to get past the carbonation. Very fizzy, nearly overwhelming and definitely interferes with the enjoyment of this otherwise ok beer.

Photo of Graham21
3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- descent head that dissipated to almost nothing. orangish amber in color.
nose is flowery, slightly sour, alcoholic, fruity, sweet, malty and citrusy.
tastes of malt, wood, sour, *slightly bitter. god carbonation
taste is nothing exceptional...

Photo of SethB2
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into a Chimay Chalice.

Looks fantastic. Medium, non trasparent brown color with a hint of read. Lot of particles floating around in there, which I love to see in a brew. Smells good too. Sweet fruits and melons. The taste is very nice as well. Actually, despite the reviews, I think I like this beer better than the Chimay Blue. Sweet malts are followed by a subtle hop profile and the finish is a little smoky (to me). Good stuff. Mouthfeel is nice too. Medium body and very smooth. Drinkability is near-perfect. I really enjoyed this beer.

Photo of kkipple
3.1/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in the Chimay gift set. Being as I'm a huge fan of Chimay's Tripel, I had high hopes for this one...

At first glance the beer doesn't disappoint. It's an unfiltered light brick red, with a fat head and many yeasty floaties in the center of the glass -- looks tasty enough.

Smells like malts, mixed fruit (cranberries?), yeast and hops.

Hmm... the taste isn't really what I was expecting. A bitterness hits me first, followed by a vague fruit flavor that I can't identify and an oakish, woody taste. The bitterness is eventually cut by the fruitiness. It's rather watery and, dare I say it, unmemorable. The whole bottle tasted mild and diluted to me.

Mouthfeel is thin and dry, with some mild sweetness breaking through the initial bitterness. Lots of little bubbles that lend it a nice fizziness.

This isn't an awful beer, but I was very disappointed as I know Chimay can make some great brews. This one really needs to lose the watery blandness. I will try this again, perhaps the second bottle will fare better.

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

Nice russet color with a big head that perfectly fills the chimay glass. Head slowly settles to a thick film that is sustained by the continuous stream of carbonation bubbles up the center of the glass. Truely a nice looking beer.

Smell is a malty delight. I pick up some faint dark fruits but it is mostly malt. Taste follows suit, by giving a burst of malty chewyness. Some spiceyness comes though in the end.

The mouthfeel is a real treat. The beer has a huge level of carbonation and if you hold it in your mouth it feals like it is foaming up. Smooth finish.

A very enjoyable beer. Just solid in every aspect. Nothing that blows you away but enough there to give you an appreciation for this fine brew.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Upon removing the cork cage on this bottle of vintage ' 04, the cork jumps out toally unprevoked. Wear your eye protection when opening this one. The Premiere is the darkest of Chimay's offerings, only a few shades darker than Grand Reserve. It has a big creamy classic Belgian head that ain't going anywhere. I have a weak sense of smell granted, but you'd think with all those gasses building up I'd have something to sniff. Alas, the nose is almost undetectable.

This is a very sugary beer that starts with a unique metallic quality like you would taste is some shrimp or other shellfish, and I don't mean that in a bad way. It is very mellow, and rounds out the sweetness and dark fruitiness that is this beer's main quality. It, almost has that same lifting carbonation as the Cinq Cents but its not quite there somehow.

This must have been my introduction to Chimay, because I remember tasting it for the first time and saying "whats the big deal?". While this is a good beer, I still feel that way. If you're springing beer this fancy, you can do better my friend.

Photo of jabocu
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass.

Color was a deep orange and amber with hues of rose. A little hazy. Even the cap was off white with orange hue. Cap started off nice and big but dissipated quickly to a quarter inch and just sat there waiting. Aroma is grainy, yeasty, and citrus. Can smell a hint of alcohol and green apples. Smell was very strong at first, but got faint by the time I was ready to take a drink. My taste buds filled with sweet fruitiness yet still light and refreshing. Vinous quality that blends well into the slight bitterness of the floral hops. Light-medium body with a medium amount of carbonation. Finished slightly dry and very refreshing. Wonderful beer and will definitely have again!

Photo of sockeye101
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn near shot my eye out when the cork just wouldn't budge...then blammo...anyhow, appearance is a very dark murky orange color with a thick tan head that stuck nicely and left a nice lace. Aromas are sweet and floral but not real intense, more subtle than I was expecting. Very nice taste in this one, sweet yes, as others have noted, but I like it, it has a nice fruity, malty and floral taste that leaves your mouth a bit sticky feeling. Overall a great beer...I think I'll have another.

Photo of JohnW
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured, or rather - similar to others comments in here - exploded out of the 33cl bottle having removed the cap, even though the bottle had been sat for some hours untouched. Head dissipated in time, medium dark brown colour. Smell sweet, fruity and malty, though not over strong. Taste reflects the expectation, sweet and fruity, hint of bite at the back, not overly sweet, very pleasant. Some carbonation in the texture. No vices, though no great depth of character or after taste. I enjoyed this, though could understand some thinking it a bit too sweet.

John W
B'ham UK Feb 2006

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

Brown and cloudy with a huge tan foamy head..very lively. Laces and settles to 1/2 in., and remains.
Smell is subtle malt, clove like spices ...not strong at all.
Tastes of malt ...pretty heavy, with light spices...just a hint of bread dough and fruit. Not bitter at all. Semi sweet..alcohol well hidden.
Mouthfeel is barely medium, lively carbonation.
Very drinkable...could have easily had more; if it wasn't so expensive to order at a ski resort !....a very nice way to reward yourself for whatever.

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

Explosive – the cork literally flew out of the top of this bottle as soon as I loosened the wire. Pours a dark brownish-red color with a slight haze. It’s a very murky, rustic appearance, with an ever-present, beautiful white head. Nice looking beer, there’s no doubt about it. The aroma is a little muted, but there’s some notable esters and phenols. Clove and raisins. There’s a little malt and caramel in the smell, both of which show up in the taste. No hop presence at all in the smell, and just a little hop bitterness in the finish. Yeasty. I expected to sense a little alcohol, but it’s very well hidden. Despite high carbonation, this one is extremely smooth, almost creamy. Excellent!

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottle cellared 2 years. Pours dark chestnut; very cloudy with the yeast pour. The head is off-white and soapy, and fills the glass quickly with a hard and audible fizz. The retention is lacking, and only scarce dots of lacing are left behind. Caramel or belgian candi sugar in the nose, some mild fusels, and a belgian phenolic aroma similiar to flintstones vitamins. The taste is rich with malt and well-attentuated. Toasted crystal malt and/or candi sugar, raisins and dates, and organic honey. The aftertaste holds a spicy alcoholic kick; coupled with very mild hop bitterness and a belgian tart, and slight dryness that cleanses the residual sugars. This creates a wonderfully balanced flavor, while preventing any lingering sweetness in the finish, and thus a high drinkability. The alcohol and yeast notes are detectable, but more of a pleasent farewell than solvent or puckering. The carbonation and body are at a medium level, leaving the mouthfeel both textured and crisp. The hansome smoothness, complex flavor, and delicate balance of flavors make this a real treat worth waiting for.

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

Simply put, Chimay is classy. Even non craft beer Savants will appreciate a Chimay whether it is the Red White or Blue. Personally, I prefer the Blue and I would not call this beer (the Red) one of my favorites, there are so many other classy beers for celebratory occasions; but this one does have its time and place.

Appearance: Served in my goblet the appearance is party translucent (but not transparent) amber / brown, with a decent head and nice lacing.

Smell: The smell is sweet & malty with suggestions of caramel and plums. It also has some fruity characteristics and hints of yeast.

Taste & Mouthfeel: This beer is very carbonated. It is sweet and bubbly in the mouth. The taste seems a bit straightforward and simple for a Dubbel. It is pleasant but not extremely exciting. Sweet malts and flavors of dark fruits and caramel sugars dominate the mouth. The hop notes are very subtle but present. It is very crisp. Maybe the high carbonation is partly responsible for the thinness in the taste. As it sits and warms the over carbonation fades and its best aspect seems to be the sweet aftertaste that lingers in your mouth for a very long time. Nice.

Drinkability: For a simple bubbly beer this is a great choice for graduation parties and anniversaries with a wide variety of drinkers. It is simple enough on the palate that few people will find it objectionable. It will successfully accompany a wide variety of food selections and it goes down very easily. So, like I said before, Chimay Première (Red) does have its time and place.

Hope this is helpful.

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

This beer poured a clear amber with a thick head. it smelled nicely hoppy. Its flavor was of subtle hops and spices, and very smooth, though almost watery. I felt that it had great flavor, but it was too faint to be properly enjoyed which hurts its overall rating, I wish to try this one again to give it a second chance in case the first was in some way defective.

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,185 ratings.