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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 GeoffRizzo
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A beauty of a deep ruby red in color, medium sized soapy head, decent retention, tiny strings of carbonation noted. Faint aroma of fruit, apples, some sugary notes also. Slightly chewy and some candied flavors noted off the top. The body is of light apple peel, sugary, some light Belgian peppery spices, although tough to detect. Finishes a bit dry. Has subdued characteristics of a Dubbel, just lacks the massive flavors, still highly drinkable for the style.

GeoffRizzo, Jul 02, 2003
Photo of HardTarget
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Large 1 pt. 9.4 FL oz. Bottle with cork. Also suggested glassware on the side.
Aroma: Combination of yeast and some spice. My wife describes the smell as “rotten fruit” but it’s quite inviting to me.
Appearance: Darker copper red with strong carbonation. A whirlpool of bubbles formed from the center of my Chimay goblet. Formed a creamy tan head of very small bubbles that laced the side.
Flavor: Same spice taste that the aroma forecast. Some apricot flavor comes through, but it’s subtle. A clean tasting beer, no off flavors at all. The beer is extremely well balanced. It starts with a sweetish, but nowhere near cloy start, mid-taste is all about body (see Mouthfeel), and it finishes with a slight bittering, almost cleansing experience, with a prickle of carbonation and alcohol, but the alcohol taste is next to invisible.
Mouthfeel: This is where Chimay shines. It’s liquid silk; it’s almost slick. It has body, somewhere in the middle ground, but it seems to coat the mouth and slide down the throat. I don’t normally give this area of a review much weight, but the simple touch of this beer to your mouth lets you know these monks mean business. The beer makes your lips a bit sticky as well.
Overall Impression: It’s worth investing in some glassware for this. I own a Chimay goblet (called a Gourmet) that I use for heavier beers with the gold leaf rim. It’s about $5 but if you are serious about beer, pony up the dough. This is an outstanding beer. Drinkability? The one hefty sized bottle has me feeling quite friendly, but I’d gladly tackle another if it were offered. This is an abbey beer folks, a little slice of history carefully put in a bottle just for you. As Ben Franklin said, beer is proof there is a God and he wants us to be happy. I think the monks agree.

HardTarget, Jun 14, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Red brown opaque body with rapidly disappearing head. Berry aroma. Very little hops flavor and very easy to drink. medium/light body and amazing easy to drink. Where the other Chimay beers are shooting for finess over intensity, I believe this one achieves it.

Naerhu, Jun 14, 2003
Photo of BierReise
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looking at this beer in my glass reminds me of the Charles River in Boston. From the swampy color to the tan foamy head. Aroma is complex, fruity, malty with a slight floral presence. Crisp and effercescent, yet smooth and medium to full bodied with an ever so slight metallic finish. Very drinkable especially at 55+ degrees. Good sample of a good Belgian Abbaye.

BierReise, Jun 09, 2003
Photo of taez555
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer out of the 330ml bottle into my snifter. It poured a light brown almost yellow body straight out of the bottle but once in the glass was a full brown. The head was a beige/white with very fine bubbles.

This beer had a beautiful nose. A very german yeasty weis smell. Some apples, malt and very soft hint of raisons.

The taste of this beer was very nice. Full rounded bitterness. A firm currant flavor. Some soft raison and apple tartness. A very slight bitter roasted malt also. It finishes with a warming alchohol touch enhanced by the soft bitterness that lingers for a short while.

What is really nice about this beer is how well balanced it is. It's never overpowering or overwhelming, but each flavors has it's own spot and compliments the other flavors. A very nice beer.

taez555, Jun 08, 2003
Photo of IronDjinn
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml brown bottle, best before date on the back (LOTS of time allotted to consume). Poured it out into a chalice, a very murky deep coppery red, moving well into the brown range, very thick off-white creamy head. This subsides a bit, but sticks around most of the way down the glass, and also leaves a decent lacing. Nose possesses apples, cloves, banana. Taste is spicy, especially cloves, and traces of apple. Mouthfeel is rich, but it goes down a bit acidic. I would imagine this would compliment grilled red meat very nicely (especially game meat), I'm looking forward to trying it out.

IronDjinn, Jun 01, 2003
Photo of clvand0
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy brown with hints of red around the edges. It has a minimal head and minimal lacing - a very attractive looking beer. The aroma is filled with fruits and malts. The flavor is very enjoyable. It has a lot of fruity flavors and it is fairly sweet and full bodied. The alcohol is vaguely apparent, but just to the point that it adds character to the flavor. I would highly recommend this beer as well as the other Chimay products.

clvand0, May 31, 2003
Photo of goz
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown in color, with a thick, creamy off-white head that lingers, leaving sheets of lacing. Aroma is malty, slightly yeasty, fruity (banana and apple). Malty sweet start, middle is fruity with banana and some apple, and an acidic finish. Body is on the fuller side of medium.

goz, May 15, 2003
Photo of Redrover
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large 750ml champaign style bottle. The classic Chimay look.

The beer pours a muted brownish red. Incredible head that lingers throughout the beer. Some of the nicest lacing I've seen.

Beer smells great. I first pick-up malt & spice. Fruit flavors also waft up from the glass. Yeasty/bread aroma as well.

Taste is just as good as I remember. Malt supported by hops. Complex web of fruit and spice. Spot on carbonation. Beer changes slightly as it warms and malt becomes more dominate. As I was further into the bottle, I began to wonder if the beer has become slightly "lighter" in look/taste over the years.

Incredible smoothness makes this one easy to drink. A first class beer from start to finish.

Redrover, May 10, 2003
Photo of Winter
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Available in bottles at a German bar, Von Trier, in Milwaukee and served in the proper Chimay chalice. Hazy brownish-maroon in color with a creamy, off-white head. Aroma consists of a combination of malt, cloves, dark fruit and a touch of yeast. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied. Initial medicinal taste startled me a bit, but I soon adjusted. Flavors aren't overly complex, but the taste is extremely enjoyable. Malt, hints of feint chocolate, yeast and a touch of sweetness. The alcohol is masked very well. Impressive.

Winter, May 06, 2003
Photo of GreenCard
3.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle purchased from a Basha's Supermarket...

Appearance: thick spongey tannish head, ruddy copper color w/ slight haze, temporary lacing, looks good in my Chimay glass, head dies down to a spotty cap

Aroma: some continental hop spiking through the malty background, a warming all-spice scent on the edges, some alcohol wisps

Flavor: cork-taint is rather prominent in this sample; aside from that... a semi-sweet malt backbone with a smooth hop flavor that gives way to a slightly metallic finish, hop bitterness is balanced in the semi-dry finish, some raisiny notes and a bit of all-spice warmth, alcohol is noticeable but not piercing

Mouthfeel: thinner than I remember it (haven't had a Chimay since about a year ago), seemingly light-medium body, crisp carbonation and a mellow alcohol warmth, slight astringency felt on teeth

Drinkability: a good stand-by to savor every once in a while (Tim Webb's controversial opinion aside). Chimay is a good Belgian beer, but there are many others that are far better.

GreenCard, Apr 29, 2003
Photo of AudioGilz
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a light amber color with a huge head of white frothiness. I had a very stuffy nose during this review (damn spring allergies!), so all I got out of the aroma was some yeast and sweetness. The flavors were easy to pick up though....dark fruits start and finish with some yeast character in between.....very enjoyable. I had to pay $8 for a 750mL bottle....pretty steep to me, I'd rather get the Chimay Blue for that matter....it's much more complex and rewarding. But this is a great beer if you're looking for a little less acohol and complexity.

AudioGilz, Apr 24, 2003
Photo of TAMU99
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another good beer from Chimay.
Dark and cloudy with a thick light brown head that hung around forever.
Strong malt and wheat taste with a prominent hops flavor. The bitter hops are stronger in this one than the Blue/Grand Reserve, but they certainly do not overpower the malt.
Enjoyable mouthfeel that is neither too thin or too heavy.

Drinkable certainly, but like the other Chimays a bit pricey for everyday consumption.

TAMU99, Apr 13, 2003
Photo of BeerAngel
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed raison color with a nice fluffy white head. There is just a hint of sweetness at first but then you notice the fruit and spices as well in the aromas. This smells great! At first taste you sense the hops sliding into the fruit (maybe raison-like) with light spicing and a hint of yeast. This well blended beer is medium to light bodied and finishes with a dry spice finish. It is a very nice beer that would pair well with certain meals. Op uw gezonheid!

BeerAngel, Apr 11, 2003
Photo of Riggo
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous reddish brown/copper color; relatively opaque, with a light tan head that falls to a very thin collar and remains for the duration. No lacing to speak of on my glass. The nose is potent and wine-like, with musty yeast and nutty malt but mostly fruity--apples, apricots, raisins, plums. As it warms, caramel/burnt sugar notes come forth. On palate, crisp and tart with fruity apple notes but well-balanced with oakey malt sweetness. Higher abv is evident but ultimately a very balanced ale, complex yet subtle. Finish is earthy with a mild hop bitterness and relatively short. Mouthfeel is nice--silky, syrupy, but with cleanness of carbonation. A well-balanced ale and a mild hop crispness deliver a relatively drinkable brew, even with the complexity and higher abv.

Riggo, Apr 07, 2003
Photo of BittRnessabounds
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Emobeerguy generously shared this fine brew with Marty and myself. We'd been saving this for a special occasion, last night the occasion was "not doing our senior theses."

This beer gave me high hopes from the first pour and it did not let down. The color is a deep and hazy red with just a touch of brown with a nice fluffy white head that slowly dissipated to a wonderful lace that remained throughout. The smell was very spicy with a fruit (dominantly apple) background. The spices and malt character blended together with just a touch of yeast and hop flavors to make a wonderfully smooth and tasty beer. I greatly enjoyed this beer and look forward to having it again.

BittRnessabounds, Apr 04, 2003
Photo of Marty
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apples! That was the first thing that came to mind when I smelled this beer. It tasted fruity and a little tart, which may be why I initially thought "apple" instead of any other fruit. Very smooth and easy to drink, given its alcohol content. Medium-sized head that settled rather quickly. Deep red hue. Great beer.

Marty, Apr 04, 2003
Photo of EmoBeerGuy
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as a Xmas present and shared it last night with some friends and fellow BAers.

This one pours to a garnet hue and has a nice thick frothy head. Better head retention than the Chimay White label that I had recently. The smell is exceptional as it highlights the spiciness of the brew. The apple notes are also readily apparent from the nose.

Taste-wise, this is an exceptionallly smooth brew, with a good deal of complexity. Flavor is dominated by citrus, spice, and a strong apple flavor. Would be a very good beer to pair with some read meat, spicy food, or by itself after dinner with some strong cheese.

I enjoyed this one very much, though at 9$ a bottle on my college budget it will have to be for special occasions only.

EmoBeerGuy, Apr 04, 2003
Photo of BigHead
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pretty beer when poured in a glass, and the aroma of fruits was a pleasure. The thick head was probably more due to my error in pouring, but still lovely nonetheless. The first sip was fruity and slightly hopped, but very smooth. I was happy the entire glass, except when it was empty. The overall flavor did subside some with each sip as my tongue got desensitized to the bouquet of flavors. I am still working on my ability to properly describe what I am tasting in beer lingo, but this might work too....yummy.

BigHead, Mar 31, 2003
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had red in quite awhile, and I was suprised as to how mellow this beer is compared to the many stronger styles i've had since. This tastes almost like an English ale (Fuller's?) or a doppelbock(Salvator?) as much it does a Belgian dubble. Nice, winey-like malt smoothness and creaminess, some spice, but not too much. Possibly the least sweet Belgian trappist or abbey I've had. Head disappeared quickly, one of the least impressive appearances i've seen in a Belgian or Belgian-styled beer. Almost no lacing. On the other hand, considering the still-potent ABV, this is a very easy-drinking ale. Nice taste, nothing to put you off. High quality, but real subtle for a trappist.

JohnnyDuvel, Mar 26, 2003
Photo of Myk
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a hazy brown colored beer, slight amber in when backlit. small tan head that depleted fast. the aroma was figgy, fruity, and spicy yeast. the taste was much better than the aroma and appearance. it was spicy and hoppy with a soothing malt character. fig or grape fruity taste. it was very light body with a light and very drinkable mouthfeel.

Myk, Mar 22, 2003
Photo of Reidrover
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this as part of a Gift pack( Red, White and Blue 330ml bottles witha Chimay Chalice ) a very good deal.

This beer pours very well into the beautiful chalice leaving a wonderful murky brown beer..with ruby accents and a fantastic huge light tan head which has staying poweer.
It has a strong aroma, but at the same time it is not overwhelming.I smell tons of different fruity aromas, tart fruits mostly, black cherries, rasberries even gooseberries..and a faint alcohol scent too..with some malt in the back.
The tase, given the strong aroma, is surprisingly "light".Theres some malt sweetness followed by a good hop after tatse.I also get a nice warming alcohoil effect as the beer goes down my throat..this has a good clean taste.
It feels very smooth on the tongue, not a lot of carbonation, this taste lingers.
A fairly drinkable brew, very easy to down a few I am sure

Reidrover, Mar 21, 2003
Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Sunset Cantina in a heavy goblet.

The lacing was great, just as I expected and it left some dazzling rings in the glass. Sweet raw honey-like malt aroma and flavour, some herbal medicinal flavour clash with a fresh tasting juicy hops. Ripe tropical fruit is vague but present. A hell of a lot sweet than what I am used in the bottle, I actually prefer the bottle but would certainly order this again.

Jason, Mar 20, 2003
Photo of garymuchow
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma had an original quick shot of raisin like fruitiness, then moved to a strong phenol and cloves nose. Big and full head with a cloudy orange amber color with obvious sediment. Minimal lacing. Ale smoothness, alcohol taste notable. Cloves and phenol again with fruity background. Great long lasting finish of both flavor and dryness. Lower carbonation, which helps the smoothness. Mostly an enjoyable adventure of flavors, but a bit limited. Others have described it well and better than I. My bottle may have been a little old, because it lacked the complexity as I would have liked. Enjoyable nonetheless.

garymuchow, Mar 20, 2003
Photo of Scooter77
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is quite a wonderful brew. Pours a cloudy orange/brown color. Has a rich, creamy head, which leaves a lace that clings to the glass for the entire duration. Wonderful malt aromas emerged with a spicy hint of cloves and sweet citrus. The carbonation seemed to dance on my tongue, like that of fine champagne. This brew has an exceptionally well-balanced taste of plums, raisins, and touch of pepper-like spiciness. This is a wonderfully complex, yet balanced beer. It’s by far my favorite of the three Chimay’s.

Scooter77, Mar 17, 2003
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,953 ratings.