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

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

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1,607 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,607
Hads: 4,488
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 231
Gots: 678 | 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 (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,607 | Hads: 4,488
Photo of infinitebruner
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

October 12, 2014

11.2 oz bottle; snifter

A – Beautiful dark brown with a reddish glow. An inch of light tan, thick and bubbly foam that barely fades at all. Still sitting on the top of the beer ten minutes after the pour, very high retention.

S – Black cherries and sugary, malty sweetness. Some spicy yeast, and the faintest hint of alcohol. Fruity character is quite prominent.

T – Juicy, dark fruit juice, cherries and plums. A mild hint of cocoa, light molasses. Residual sweetness, with a touch of bitter honey.

M – Medium-high carbonation, very thick and foamy, coating the tongue. Sweetness from residual sugars follows through, then just a subtle bite, all washed away again by the bubbles.

O – A wonderful, solid beer, and even though it seems a bit obvious, a great example of the dubbel style. It isn’t flashy, isn’t overwhelming; just very, very good, and worth coming back to over and over. (931 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Got the Chimay gift box with the special goblet and one of each of their world renowned offerings.

A - Nice ruby/brown color. Medium white head with fine bubbles. Slightly cloudy from the yeast still in suspension.

S - Lots of the typical Belgian yeast spice character (phenolic) predominant. Just underneath that are the strong malt and caramel tones with some fruit character like dark cherry. No hops but this beer isn't made for it.

T - Very similar to the smell the Belgian character holds true but isn't the only player with lots of malty goodness sitting on a bed of the caramelized sugars. It's a complex beer that gets even more complex the more your tongue gets used to the Belgian flavors and it warms pulling you more in to the dubbel.

M - Full mouth-feel that isn't too cloying. Has some light bitterness and finishes complex with an aftertaste that isn't exactly the same as the flavor but doesn't stick to your entire mouth. Light carbonation making the flavors sit longer on the tongue letting you take in all of the complexity.

Overall, a very interesting beer. Definitely not a beer that I could drink more than 2 of but it is the pinnacle of the style. There is plenty to discover in this bottle and I would get this again. Give this beer a try and I'm sure that you will taste an adventure that you won't easily forget.

Glass- Chimay branded Goblet (1,374 characters)

Photo of TimZebGir
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%

A: Clear toffee color, very highly carbonated with thin bubbly head(3/3)
S: Raisin, fruity banana and sweet malty character with light alcohol(9/12)
T: Refreshing malt character finishes with raisin and banana (16/20)
M: Very bubbly up front and dry finish (4/5)
O: Very drinkable and approachable to contrast with the grande reserve--not as much boozeyness and a lighter body. Would definitely drink again. Shame it’s not on “the list” anymore, because I think it gives the blue a run for its money. (7/10)
39/50 (522 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%

Bottle purchased at Apogee in Rochester, NY.

Pours out a striking dark amber red color, with a huge 4 inch head.

Smells like Belgian yeast, caramel, prunes, and raisins.

This one tastes pretty good, but falls a little bit flat near the end. Big tastes of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, honey, and toasted bread. Slightly thinly flavored, though.

This one has a fairly thin body, with a small amount of carbonation, and a fairly creamy mouthfeel.

Tasty, but not one of the best Trappist beers. (496 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into glass. 7% abv

Appearance- Pours a hazy, deep caramel brown color. Massive fluffy head that has a slight but noticeable brown tint.

Smell- Herbal and spicy with aromas of freshly baked bread.

Taste- Sweet flavors up front not unlike that of sugary candy. Fruit-like as well, with notes of plum. Has that belgian phenolic taste from yeast qualities. Roasted malts fade into the back end of the profile with a clean finish that has minimal to no bitterness. Alcohol also in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Heavy in body. The taste from the malt lingers for awile.

Overall- A true Belgian. It is of good quality and is pretty complex. Not outstanding but still smooth. (679 characters)

Photo of MayonakaStout
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper with a beautiful loose,thick beige head that dissipates to a film on the top after a couple of minutes. Apricots, slight clove and bready yeast ride the forefront of the bouquet with a hint of booziness in there somewhere. A long sip led to a smooth, unctuous mouthfeel filled with sweet dried fruit, great unfiltered yeast and a sweetness I can't put my finger on, non bitter chocolate? With an abv. of 7% there is an aftertaste of alcohol but not over powering by any means. A great beer. (510 characters)

Photo of burntoutphilosopher
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chimay Ale Premiere

A: Cloudy, Amber. A lot of yeast suspended. I poured the Lees in, so it has a LOT of particles.
S : citrus. Yeasty like tangerine.
T: very little bitterness, until the very end. It’s softly flavored, not strong like most trippels etc.
M: thick, washes away nicely though.
O: an incredible amount of sediment. The bubbles are very small.
This beer is fresh and soft. There is no sweetness. It is completely fermented… it’s has a fruity feeling like a South African dry Riesling, I’m not sure if this is the autolyzed yeast for a spice in the ingredients. It has a great dry wine taste at the end. Nothing like the American cascade hops… the bitterness I would interpret as dryness, it has a very wine feeling that would seem more than only the 7% that it is. (791 characters)

Photo of bwood06
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Deep reddish amber in color with a nice thick head. somewhat cloudy with suspended particles.

S - Fruity with a bit of pepper. No real malt or hop aroma.

T - Taste directly follows the smell. Fruity with a bit of pepper. Somewhat sweet. Very little bitterness. A bit yeasty.

M - Fairly thick and chewy.

O - Great beer. Best to appreciate on its own without food. (373 characters)

Photo of Eric_Standard
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: A nice deep ruddy brown with a tightly bubbled creamy white head.

Smell: A bit fruity and spicy, sweetness with an underlying peppery aroma.

Taste: Right up front we get some spices like black pepper and cloves, as well as a bit of that fruitiness from the aroma, largely overripe stone fruit. The sweetness in the nose is less present on the pallet, but there is definitely a pleasant malty sweetness throughout the beer. Some nice herbal undercurrents as well. Quite complex and layered.

Feel: Smooth, crisp, peppy and easy-drinking.

Overall: A really wonderful beer. Delicious. Everything I've had from this brewery is really pretty exceptional. I prefer the Première over the Chimay Tripel, but I still like the Grande Réserve the best. Now I just need to hop on over to Belgium to try the Dorée. (813 characters)

Photo of BrunoPettipas
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle, poured in a nice big snifter. One of the only good thing to come out of Breughel brewery (the glass). Thick beige head that stays well after 5 minutes. It's got a really nice dark orange color when held up to a light. Cloudy. Smell is spicy with maybe a faint prune touch.

Taste spicy and sirupy, dark fruits but not too sweet. I'm not a big fan of really sweet malty belgium beers. Once every few sips, you get a sharp spice note. I'm getting a slight metallic/mineral taste and smell from this beer. Not so much that it's unpleasent but still there... The alcool is quite present but not in a bad way. You can really feel the warth going down. Leaves a bitter orange after-taste which I really enjoy. Well balanced to me.

I drank it while vaping some good old Bobbas Bounty which I found while going through a drawer. Brings out a taste of oatmeal and raisin cookies from the BB which was really nice.

Really enjoyed it. Nice late night beer. (961 characters)

Photo of JLSIV
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Medium to deep copper red color with creamy head that dissipated fast, (this was purchased on tap in a growler, I personally think Chimay's products are better from the bottle) some lacing

aroma is very subtle compared to other Belgiums, I prefer the balance of the Chimay Red to some of the more pronounced hopper styles.

Taste-some caramel and nuttiness, with a sharpness from alcohol, very pleasant. Very drinkable

Mouthfeel-smooth with a little heat in the back at the finish…can stand alone.

Overall-my favorite of the Chimay brand. I would definitely opt for the bottle next time, as it stores well. I think this has to be very fresh off tap to really develop the aromas and subtle tastes.

Update: 7/17/14, Forgot I had half a growler(alcohol abuse!!), cracked it open, still had carbonation, head obviously not as pronounced, but still one finger….It still tasted great. Something to be said for the craft beer, bottle conditioned Belgian stuff!!! (965 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Light brown orange color with a two finger beige head with very short retention.
Nice aroma of prunes, honey, apricot, caramelized banana with cinnamon and grape juice.
Fruity and vinous flavor with notes of honey, plums, nutty and caramel malt, orange peel citrusy, peaches, Muscat grapes, bananas, distant tartness, cinnamon and other mild spices. Dry aftertaste with a mild bitterness.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation with tiny bubbles. Alcohol of 7% abv is well hidden.
Tasty, refreshing, easy to drink and very well balanced Dubbel. Not tiresome complex, actually quite versatile, you can drink this cold or warm, lay back or sensory hunting. The big bottle for this one is not to be shared. (705 characters)

Photo of JWU
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, PA

A: a deep cloudy burgundy with a lovely off white head

S: deep dark fruit notes with plenty of Belgian esters

T: so deep and complex. Dark fruits, Belgian yeast, dark breast notes. A slight sweetness

M: heavy side of medium, lightly syrupy, active carbonation

O: the benchmark dubbel (334 characters)

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a two-finger foamy off-white head. The head dissapates quickly leaving light sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is weak. Light dark fruits and Belgian yeast.

T - The taste starts with sweet bready malts. There is a nice amount of red grapes and plums mid-palate. Finish has a nice mild tartness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very creamy smooth mouthfeel.

O - Very tasty and very drinkable. Overall a solid Dubbel. (458 characters)

Photo of djura
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found it in Greece.
A- Beautiful reddish brown color. Excellent white to brown foam. Lasting with one finger head till the end.
S- Smell like some red wine. Lots of red berry fruits.Warm from alcohol.
T/M- Taste would be better if there was not so many warm alcohol. Malt and dark fruits. A bit higher carbonation.

O- Best strong beer, but, not the top trappistes beer. (370 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I was a bit disappointed in this brew. There is pretty much nothing wrong (maybe appearance with lack oh sustaining head), but nothing that made me think highly of it either.

The beer is a nice clear amber, but has no sustaining head. I also don't get much from the nose. Maybe a light plum, but anything is weak. The taste is nicely balanced with a little body. It's mildly sweet with some hints of plum, but pretty much is straightforward.

I hope maybe I just got a bad or old bottle, because otherwise I can't see the rating being so high for this one. (557 characters)

Photo of ThomasMetal75
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark ruby red with a huge, thick, foamy head. It did end up dying down from 4 to about 2 fingers. Beer is very merky looking. It looks like dirty water, but in a suprisingly pleasant way. Carbonation is present. Very inviting.

S- Nose is not big on this one. You get the Belgian funky yeast strain. You get some kind of woody note. There is a sweet, slight alcohol note. Also, there are red grapes/some kind of dark fruit. Slightly bready. Smells Belgian for sure.

T- OH MY! It is like red wine in some aspects. It's got a sweet, bready, malty thing gong on. The swetness it not cloying at all. It actually plays with the maltiness just perfectly. Dark fruits/ red grapes. Tart from the yeast strain. Minimal sour. No heavy boozy flavor, but you can feel it after 15-20 minutes. Not too boozy in flavor at all. Just fantastic!

M- Crisp, and yes, refreshing. It is medium in feel. Unbelievably smooth! It is so damn easy to drink. Finish is sweet and of dark fruits before it dries. It's not overly drying though. It's a fantastic feeling beer.

Overall I'd say DAMN! SO FREAKING GOOD! It's good cold and as it warms up. Can't wait to drink more Belgian beers in the future! A+! (1,185 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This brew pours a dark copper color with a big head that did not last long but some of the head remained on the surface until the end. No lacing but good carbonation.

The smell was strong with sweet malts, rich and dank. A little fruity and earthy with a little caramel.

The taste followed the nose with very sweet malts followed by a thick roasted earthy malt and caramel taste. There is also a fruit taste but I could not determine which fruit might be present. The alcohol is well masked.

The mouthfeel is thick, bready and chewy. It feels like fresh backed bread.

Overall, I am not really into Dubbels but if I had to drink one this would be it. It is certainly a sweeter beer than I normally drink and is almost liquid candy. I can see why many call this the gold standard of Dubbels. (794 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured bottle into Chimay glass

A-Pours a copper brown color, typical dubbel but slightly less darker, with average, quite creamy head. Great lacing.

S-Very strong and pungent aroma that is malty, sweet, nutty and spicy smell.

T-Taste is actually much more delicate with malts, nuts, cake, caramel and a touch of alcohol.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced, with perfect sweetnes and that small hint of hops; nice medium/low carbonation!

O-Overall it's the standard that has been set for dubbel. (496 characters)

Photo of AmishLightning
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A strong head appears on this one even after a gentle pour. However, it dissipates sooner than I would have guessed. The color was a dark caramel copper hue that really gave the beer a majestic royalist look.

Smell: Sweet toffee notes blended well with caramel give a rich scent. A bit of alcohol is present on the nose which surprised me a bit because these styles usually hide the alcohol quite well.

Taste: Mmmm, great sweetness gives the full body flavor from the Belgian sugar candies mixed with dashes of figs and crystal malts. No bitterness is around. The only downside is that I didn't get the intensity of flavors that I have from other beers of this style.

Mouthfeel: There was a bit of alcohol warming that I noticed. The light carbonation and thicker body make it a heavy drinker for sure, but it was still awfully enjoyable.

Overall: I think I would have had different experience witha different bottle. I noticed that it was bottled in May 2012, and while I have heard that you are supposed to age these beers you can overage them. I think a fresher bottle would have given me better results. Maybe next time I can get a different feel on this brew. (1,180 characters)

Photo of witster18
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours rust water with a highly fizzy, quickly disappating head. Nose is strawberry/cherry .

Taste is superb. Strong cherry notes with a rich rum-like heat. Not over-powering though. Tastes better at about 55degrees. Pairs excellent with a fresh mozzarella cheese or spinach dip/light fare. The yeast imparts a unique sourness, but its evenly keeled throughout.

There's citrus n here too.. A touch of apricot notes and the heat from the alcohol.

Lovely beer. A bit overpriced, but lovely nonetheless.

Just enough bitterness late to even all the sweet fruit. Alcohol doesn't hurt in that regard either. Much preferred over the blue IMHO. (640 characters)

Photo of Murphious
3.54/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I was slightly disappointed in this.
The head poured nicely, but not much in the way of "complexity" in aroma; slightly fruity aroma with some hoppiness pepper in the nose.
Bubbly and fizzy on the tongue, but taste was somewhat average with malty, caramel and some clove-like spice mixed in, but very faint. I was expecting to be "wowed" with it's almost legendary quality, but it's just "very good". I drove 22 miles to find it, but I won't go to that trouble again. (471 characters)

Photo of cottonkoozie
4.74/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours a rich brown caramel color, with golden and amber hues around the edge of the glass. Slightly cloudy. Poured a thick, off white, 3 finger head that dissipated and settled at about 1 finger. Very little lacing.

S - Sweet and malty. Some caramel malts hit me first, and a sweet smell. Alcohol smell is detectable but not over powering. Lots of fruit smells, mostly dark fruit raisin like scents, but also some banana. Also some bread smells. A lot of malts coming through here, not too much on the hops, but they do lend a little bit of a grassy smell that is underlying.

T - Lots of fruit flavors, almost taste like a juice. Mostly dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs) again like the smell, also a little bit of a banana flavor to me. This is sweet, but yet not overpowering. Alcohol flavor is noticeable, but not as prevalent as some sweeter beers at this abv. Hops are very light and lend just a balancing bitterness at the end.

M - Very full and bubbly. Finishes dry.

O - Not my normal style of beer but this is excellent. Very drinkable, and very tasty. I have been meaning to try this one for a long time, and just never ended up picking it up. Not something I would buy on a regular basis, but I will probably buy again. Very good beer. (1,254 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle into a chalice
Vintage: 10/12

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark amber brown with 2 fingers width of light tan head, head has good retention, but leaves almost zero lacing.

S: Dark fruits, lots of plum and fig, candied sugar, toffee, brown sugar. There is a bit of spice and yeasty aromas as well, but the sweet components are definitely the most prominent.

T: A bit spicier than the nose. Not as sweet as the aroma, but there are definitely still sweet notes; a bit of semi-sweet bakers chocolate and dark fruits mostly. Doughy yeast, subtle bitterness and a touch of booze even though the ABV is fairly low.

M/D: Full bodied but not thick, carbonation on the heavier side but appropriate, drinkability is average, very filling though.

O: One of the standards of the style. Not nearly as good as Westy 8, nor is it as good as Chimay Grand Reserve, but very well done nonetheless. A must try for any craft beer aficinado. (938 characters)

Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This finely, abbey produced Belgian Dubbel will puts some hair on your chest, that is for sure. It pours dark brown, with a large dark tan head that slowly dissipates (slower than usual). It has a strong aroma of caramel and fruit, which goes along with the similar taste. it leaves a sweet after taste, has an edge because of the ingredients alcohol content, and is very filling.

Widely available in the United States... (422 characters)

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
91 out of 100 based on 1,607 ratings.