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

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

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4,319 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,319
Reviews: 1,604
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 202
Gots: 563 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,319 | Reviews: 1,604
Photo of cichief
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A- Pours a deep amber, almost brown, with a thick, light-brown head.

S- Yeasty, smells of ripe fruit and raisins.

T- Very yeasty and malty, but finishes dry.

M- Medium body, with nice fine bubbles. Dry finish.

D- A good example of the style, a nice dessert beer.

Photo of SaltyLime
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Nice dark amber in color, a little cloudy. Good head, lasted well.

Smell - Mild yeast aromas.

Taste - Slight bitterness at first that went away quickly to a smooth flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel - A little tingly at first, light bodies, smooth.

Drinkability - Excellent paired with barbecued ribs.

Would try again.

Photo of
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25oz. bottle.

Poured a clear, medium brown/dark orange color with a large, light brown head.

Aroma included candi sugar, spices and barnyard with a deep inhalation. Overall, scent seemed restrained.

Taste opened up quite a bit compared to aroma. Clove and other spices. Bitter more than sweet, but well balanced. Alcohol and phenol notes, fairly mild. Little bit of caramel and some candi sugar. Grassy at finish and in aftertaste. Very complex.

Medium body, seems just a bit coating. Medium + carbonation. Dry. Alcohol warming comes on fairly quickly.

Nice and complex. Taste profile didn't wow me, but I would happily have again.

Photo of BWH3
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay Premiere at 45-50 F from a Goblet

Appearance: Orange/amber-brown with fair beige head. Head could last a bit longer, but does come out with aggressive pour. Very effervescent.

Smell: Raisins, malt, and a sour note. some fruity esters but not too much.

Taste: similar but too light in my mind. Prefer a fuller maltier dubbel. Taste is more sour than malt and very bubbly on the palate. Finishes nice and dry. Very little bittering from hops or malt.

Mouthfeel: Excellent body. Quite a bit bigger than the taste. Holds well on the tongue.

Drinkability: Very good beer. Not the best belgian dubbel, but it is a nice drink to share amoung friends.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet a dark hazy orange-brown color with a thick off-white head. Light lacing to the end.

The sweetness of dark fruits was dominant with just a slight hint of spiciness.

The taste was sweet, slightly and slightly spicy. As it warmed I noticed a bit of banana to it.

A medium mouthfeel with heavy carbonation to it.

This is a very good Belgian ale. Elegance to the last sip.

Photo of chrhowe
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The second from a "sampler", poured into a chimay goblet. This brew pours muddy and merky with a slightly tan head. The head is nice and thick that laces nicely.
Smells of dark fruit, malts with a bit of spice. The taste remains loyal to the smell, maybe with touch more spice than what it's aroma gives. The mouthfeel is so "silky-smooth"! Wow!
As far as drinkability- bring it! A great quality beer!

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

I poured this beer into my Chimay goblet. It was somewhat cloudy with a big, persistent head and very nice lacing. The smell was sour. The taste was sour and malty – there were some cereal notes. The mouthfeel was full boied. This is a nice beer that I’d consider pretty drinkable. It is a good standby if you simply want a Belgian beer.

Photo of uconnalum2
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving size: 11.2 oz. bottle
Pours a cloudy orange-brown with a one-finger head. Vigorous jets of carbonation at first but then settles down. Smell is fruity and a little spicy. The taste is malty and slightly spicy. There is some sweetness but its not too much. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and rather fizzy. Drinkability is decent but I'd probably stop at two of these. Overall a good beer to have once in a while but not my favorite Belgian.

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

Tap pour. Big head, white and foaming. Some chunks develop. body is dark orange/rust color, hazy.
Spice, yeast and soft fruit dominate the aroma, some phenolic hints.
Taste is very smooth mix of rich spicey yeast, some herbs and a bit of citrus zest. Seems to dough up, but the hops keep it from becoming sticky. Good feel to it, makes the drinking much easier.
I had this before an American stout. this one really wakes up the taste buds, followed a bit of cold water. nice.

Photo of schusterbauer
4.97/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

deep brown, red, orange...depends on how the light hits the glass. gentle white head laces the glass and coats the top of the beer indefinitely. aromas of french toast, maple syrup, clove, caramel, malts, dusty book pages, fresh fruit. how can all of those things smell good together? this is how. the flavors are all of the above with the addition of exotic spices and sweet liqueur. so many flavors, and yet the beer is so smooth and refined, and unassuming in the palate. tastes of a recipe that was long ago perfected, and is no longer being experimented with, because the efforts would be in vain.

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

Chimay Premiere
750 ML brown bottle with a caged cork
08/06 & 90/80 listed on the cork
Served in a Chimay goblet

Pours a rustic amber brown with a fluffy off-white head on top. Attractive patterns of sticky lacings cling to the sides of the goblet.

Whiffs of dark fruits, pepper, Belgian yeast & hops.

Prune and raisin flavors lay the foundation with a caramel syrup smoothness. This beer is actually really smooth and quite drinkable at a 7.0% ABV. Just a touch of fruity flavors with a peppery bite and hoppy finish. A hint of cloves and spices round the sip out and provide some complexity.


Photo of ericj551
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chimey pours a cloudy deep red with a fizzy head. Aroma is rich dark ripe fruit with a slight yeast aroma. Taste is a caramelized maltiness with a nice yeasty flavor, tart and slightly chalky. The beer is a little hoppier than I expected, but I really like it. It's dryer than I expected, but still rich and creamy with just the slightest hint of alcohol. I'll definitely have to pick this one up again.

Photo of brucepepper
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle (2006) poured into an oversized wine glass.

A - Beautiful auburn colour. Resembled cider with a reddish tone. Lots of head that fades quickly but a thin head film remained on top. No lacing.

S - Light fruity aroma and I picked up a hint of bubble gum.(I always do from this type of beer.)

M - Plenty of soft carbonation. Full and chewy but not thick or dense.

T - Surprisingly not too strong. Light fruity flavour and by the end of the big bottle I detected a hint of cloves.

D - Very easy to drink. It's hard to believe that it has even 7% abv.

I was thinking that it was a bit pricey at $6.50, but for 750ml it's actually quite reasonable. Not my favourite style but definately an enjoyable treat. My wife liked it too so hopefully I'll be able to stock the fridge with it more often.

Photo of theopholis
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a copper/amber color with a decent, tan head. The head has almost no staying power, and leaves no lace. The body does stay effervescent for quite a while.

Aroma- Light aroma of malt sweetness with a hint of cinnamin and bananas. Some other spices in there to, but I can't identify them. Damn spice ignorance!!! Maybe a just hint of plum or raisen.

Taste- Very little malt sweetness left. It's all been fermented out. Some hints of apple. As a lot of pepper at the end. Can't say I care for it, but I ain't into Belgian ales either.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Maybe just a tad light for the style. The carbonation is to much. Very pronounced CO2 burn on the toungue. It's so pronounced, it's hard to really taste a lot of the more subtle flavors.

Drinkability- It's not bad. Not great.

Photo of rallison
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay goblet at cellar temp.

A: Muddy reddish brown color with a 2 finger off-white head that never dies (ever!).

S: Some sweet bready malts - I don't get too much else.

T: Some nice Belgian candi sugar with brown sugar, dark fruits and some spices - maybe some orange too.

M: I always have found Chimay to be overly carbonated. The mouthfeel gets to be good only if it sits for a good 20-30 minutes. Otherwise, it's too tingly and makes the rest of the beer seem too light. The taste is very good, but the carbonation seriously hurts my enjoyment of the beer.

D: Despite the carbonation, this is still a very drinkable dubbel.

Overall, still recommended. I just don't like the carbonation levels.

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

I'm tasting a small sized (I think 11.2 ounce bottle) bought as part of a Chimay sampler set (with the nice chalice glass).

Beautiful in the glass. A hazy dark wheat bread colored brew, somewhat hazy. Giant head. Looks a lot like Aventinus surprisingly enough, except the head is different.

The aroma is inviting but subdued, then the flavor! BAM! This is something else. Rich malty perfectly balanced slightly sweet but not cloying. I can taste just hints of caramel, fruityness, and some yeasty tang.

I've drank this before, either before or after Chimay Blue and thought it wasn't that special, but drank by itself Chimay Red is first class, and frankly is such a perfect creation of balance and of knowing what elements of the beer (in this case the malty sweetness) should be highlighted and when to stop with the highlighting.

I highly recommend this beer.

Photo of IceAce
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a maroon body with a mountainous foam collar. Nose is fruity, sweet, and slightly oxidized.

Entry is quiet and followed by a midtaste featuring a cookie dough malt presence with alcohol soaked raisens and dates. The finish is Belgian yeast with a bit of mustiness...almost corky in taste.

I'm a big fan of Trappist beers...dubbels included. This bottle just seems to leave a lot on the table.

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

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Deep, cloudy brown, with yeasties floating. One finger head quickly recedes and leaves little lacing.

S: Very mild, dark fruit and virtually no spice. Slightly sweet.

T: Very mild, again. Similar to smell. Slight yeast. Mild alcohol taste.

M: Very carbonated. Slight prickley sensation. Medium body.

D: Very sessionable taste, mild, but slightly strong in ABV.

Photo of zuggy9
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours an deep dark with a good solid off white head that retained exceptionally well. It has some nice and spicy fruit aromas and is quite pleasant, raisins are very prominent. Very fruity flavor but not too sweet. Raisins are there along with a bit of banana. Strong alcohol too. A nice silky mouthfeel and very drinkable.

Photo of Kulrak
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby brown color with some big bubbled head that fades away pretty quickly, leaving a thin layer that laces the glass. Smells spicy and fruity. Sort of orange & raisin. Tastes sweet and malty with that strange yeast flavor you get from belgian ales. Some nice hoppy bitterness to balance it out. Finishes clean. Mouthfeel is very fizzy, scrapes the tongue. Not too bad though. Overall, it's a very drinkable beer. I like it a lot, but I haven't tried too many belgian ales that I didn't like.

Photo of Gmann
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown color with a decent off-white head that left some spot lacing. The smell is of dark raspberries, plums, juicy. The taste kind of goes in the other direction; the initial taste is of roasted malts, carob. The ale is full bodied and well carbonated, it takes away from the taste a bit. A very good example of the style, quite drinkable if ye wallet allows.

Photo of Stephen63
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Excellent dark body and impressive head that stayed to the end of the glass.

S - I served this after only 2 hours in the fridge and it really brought out the flavours. Certainly the least pungent of the Chimay range, however subtle fruit and spices just about coming through.

T - Mostly the fruity flavours dominate rather than the candy. Picked up some banana and raisin. Again subdued compared to the other Chimays but really nice nonetheless. Alcohol very much in the background.

M - Silky feeling in mouth, could swirl this around for a while.

D - The lesser alcohol means this can think of may stretching to another one or two. Really feel that another would go down just fine.

A super beer and good example of a dubbel. Although I generally favour tripels this will make think next time I am perusing the shelves. Recommended.

Photo of ttfreek
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large head that dissappeared rather quickly. Fruit, caramel and malts comrpomise most of the taste and smell sense with this beer. Filling, with medium carbonation, it goes down smooth but leaves a sticky aftertaste. It feels thick in the back of the throat, although it does not look it at all.

A hearty beer, which tastes lighter than expected. However, for the price, i am not sure its something one would get on a regular basis.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz. bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a light color with a large foamy off-white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast and dark fruit, with subtle notes of caramel and spice, but overall the smell isn’t very strong.

T: Flavors of the same things that you get in the smell, yeast, spice, caramel & dark fruit all compliment each other well. I noticed a little bit of a metallic flavor that faded completely as the beer warmed slightly. The after-taste is sweet and a little bready.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, it has a good kick but not too strong that it catches up to you too quickly. I only had a small bottle, but I could have polished off a large bottle with ease.

Photo of Foxman
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a vibrant golden orange, with darker, reddish notes in the center, and it's vigorously carbonated. A finger-plus of bubbly white head grows and lingers a bit. Flicks of lacing curl along the inside of the glass.

The aroma is the veritable star, with roasted malt toting toffee and caramel sweetness. Also in place are various but general spices, and the ubiquitous apples, succulent, savory, and crisp.
Alcohol is apparent but understated.

Upon tasting, the malt plays through initially with caramel, cocoa, and a fruity tang of raisins. And is that perhaps apricots, or dates? The yeast grants a more distinct clove note, and again delivers apples, but here more tart and less warm. The alcohol is also more clearly delivered to the palate, and slaps the tongue a little. The finish is rather crisp, and it dries any remnants of grain. It's straightforward, tasty, and cries history.

Medium bodied, the dry lingering feel is peppered by the poppy carbonation.

Well, it's not the first Chimay option I'll likely avail myself of, but I'd never complain if this is in my glass. And I think if you looked up "dubbel" in the dictionary, you'd see the red label for the definition. It's a warm quaff, with the ABV far from extreme, but it has its way with the senses if left unchecked. And it's nicely drinkable and enjoyable. It's been around so long, and certainly longer than most Belgians, that it's easy to look past, but this is one more good reason to get back to the heritage from time to time.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
93 out of 100 based on 4,319 ratings.