Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,608 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,608
Hads: 4,489
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 231
Gots: 678 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Première (Red) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,608 | Hads: 4,489
Photo of MiScusi
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- maybe a shade lighter than other Dubbels. Creamy head.
S- muted Belgian yeast and malt
T- Belgian earthy yeast that doesn't stand out too much, subtle malty flavors with a hint of spiciness as well.
M- Smooth, medium bodied
D- Ok Dubbel, a little less exciting than I thought. (283 characters)

Photo of philipquarles
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the proper glassware, it has a nice thick head, though it disappears quickly, leaving a light film. Body is a nice dark, hazy amber. Smells of fruits and spices, along with the classic Chimay breadiness. Tastes of esters up front, followed by the bread again. Ends on a spicy, yeasty note. Somewhat medicinal. Medium bodied. A bit too phenolic to be terribly drinkable. (381 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasting notes from 10/30/10
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Very dark amber colour with one finger of bubbly off-white head.

S - Dark fruit - some raisins and figs. Some sweet brown sugar and spices.

T - Some dark fruit (raisins, figs) and a nice sweet brown sugar taste. Some cloves and spiced notes round out the flavour profile.

M - Light to medium body, nice chew. Lightly carbonated. (391 characters)

Photo of geetlord
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
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. (365 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark redish/brown color. A large white head forms and leaves a little lace.
S: Malty and sweet. Not as complex as I thought it would be, but a very pleasent smelling beer.
T: Plenty of sweet caramel malt. Some bread and biscuit flavors as well. Again, not very complex but very tastey.
M/D: Rich, creamy , and well carbonated. There is a bit more alcohol burn than I would have thought. Other than that a very easy to drink and smooth beer.

A good dubble, but not my favorite. I prefer Chimay's special reserve to this, but it is still a beer that I would recommend. (579 characters)

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle into a Chimay goblet

A: Loosely formed 1 finger head. Deeply cloudy reddish brown in color.

S: Not a lot of aroma going on here. Sweet malt, some honey/molasses and dark fruit.

T: Bready. Soft pretzel-like flavors. A light metallic taste masks a lot of other flavors. Small clove/spicey yeast. A little fig.

M: Highly carbonated.

D: I have had Red before and thought it better then. Changing tastes or bad bottle, I don't know but I call it how I see it. (471 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in Dec. 2007 and aged at room temperature in a closet (I don't have a cellar).

Poured chilled into a glass (not goblet).

A: Dark mahogany with orange highlights. Generous head that recedes slowly into a ring that leaves glass lacing.

S: Dark fruits, bready malts, apricot, banana, caramel.

T: Figs, raisins, apricots. Hints of nuts and a very strong taste of chocolate that wasn't present in the young flavor. Finish is of cloves and slight bitterness.

M: Very chewy, full-bodied, but not particularly sticky.

D: I was not very impressed with the aging experiment. Either I did not do it right, or the beer should have been had much younger than this. I will buy a bottle and try it sooner to confirm. Regardless, their blue and white labels are much better. (780 characters)

Photo of rowingbrewer
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light brown with a decent off white head. the smell is pleasant, a little fig/raisin. the flavor is pretty close but a little bit muted in comparison to other dubbels. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ok carbonations. overall just not worth the money you pay. would rather drink ommegang/allagash/unibroue. (327 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a lighter rusty copper color. Moderate head, creamy consistency. Light lacing. Body seems to be a bit hazed.

S-Sweet toasted caramel and dried dark raisins. Clove and light peppery notes. Deep yeastiness. Doughy dark bread.

T-Akin to the nose. Heaps of caramel. Figs and raisins. Yeast is found at the core of the flavor profile. Spiciness is a nice complement to the other flavors. A lightly off-putting coppery metallic flavor on the back end.

M-Fuzzy mouthfeel. Medium body with a touch of stickiness. Carbonation is mellow. Creamy.

O/D-Have enjoyed this before quite a while ago. A pleasant Dubbel. One of the classics. I don't find it to be amazing, but its good. (681 characters)

Photo of HochFliegen
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Chimay poured a deep red with a good head that lasted till the last sip. The lacing was moderate. The smell was of a very spicy and fruity nature. The taste was inline with the smell. A slight spice to it with a fruity almost pear like taste. A malt flavor was also present but much less than the other flavors. The mouthfeel was moderate and very nice. (358 characters)

Photo of Lothore
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a dark reddish brown with a massive doughy head.

S- Smell is sweet, of dark fruits and berries. Hints of raisin bread peek through.

T- Taste is sweet hints of apricots, assorted fruit and alcohol come to the forefront of the flavor. Starts off strong and backs away fairly quickly leaving a syrupy lining that tastes a little like robutussin in my mouth.

M- The mouthfeel is slightly thin, highly carbonated.

D- This beer seems to suffer a bit when it comes to drinkability. I'm just not digging the sickening sweet aftertaste that coats your mouth. (570 characters)

Photo of kevinglin
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle (dated 2012) into a wide-mouthed goblet-style glass. Beautiful reddish-amber, nearly clear with a stream of bubbles percolating up from the bottom; off-white head of two to three fingers settled down into the glass after a few minutes.

Aroma has some fruity esters (banana) and malty sweetness. No detectable hops for me. Flavor of malt with a bit of graininess and hints of fruit. I also get a bit of a medicinal flavor in the aftertaste and a slight alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is light on the tongue, body is medium.

Overall, I'm a bit underwhelmed by this beer - perhaps my expectations too high based on how much I've heard people talk about Chimay for so many years - but I wouldn't turn it down if given the chance. It's a good example of the style and I'd have it again, especially now that I know what to expect. (848 characters)

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle, goblet,

This storied beer poured a dirty straw, iced tea brown. Two inches of fizzy large bubbled off-white head formed and then receded quicker than I expected to a solid but thin layer. Pouring some of the yeast was almost unavoidable and the beer has moderate sized chunks throughout as well as streaming carbonation.

Faint steely caramel, sherry soaked fruit, plum, raisin, tea, spicy yeast.

Slight sweet metallic caramel, diluted lemon, tea, and a grainy straw flavor are immediately apparent. Tea and lemon pith bitterness. Yeast is present, but I do not have enough experience with Belgian beers to describe the character past the word spicy. Alcohol never seems to be present.

On the palate the beer seems as if it would be full-bodied if it weren't for the lively carbonation. Good balance between the two. Despite the level of carbonation, a lingering matte bitterness remains on the finish. (922 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 8-7-10

Pours an extremely cloudy amber/brown color, with a fizzy tan head that lasts for a long time. Bubbly, foamy lacing slides quickly down the sides.

Smell is lighter and fruitier than I expected, with the malt adding a nice sourness in the very back. Notes of clove and banana are complex but also delicate, and very enjoyable.

Taste is sweet malt, flavors of caramel and a little alcohol, but otherwise a bready sourness dominates. The finish is decently bitter, with the sourness coming through again in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is way too thin, and the fizzy carbonation doesn't help at all. It really detracts from the flavors, and is the low point of this beer.

Drinkability isn't bad, but the mouthfeel makes things difficult.

Overall, I've had better dubbels, but I might give this one another shot. (829 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy dark copper, almost brick red. Some orange peaks out on the edges when held to direct light. Head is tight and bubbly, starts of massive, and drops to a couple cm cap that continues to fizz away. Little lacing.

Smell: Deep sweet caramel notes. Belgian yeast pulls some nice clove and ripe, very ripe, banana. Some dark fruits pull through as well with hints of raisins. Slightly spicy. Malts run a touch bready with some deeper toffee notes pulling through. Sweet and chewy. Honey and fresh caramel.

Taste: Belgian yeast is powdery and loaded with sweet fruit flavors. Raisins, grapes on their way to overripe, and even something like a plum or date. Sweetness is up there and contributes to the overall fruity thing. Touches of honey. Powdery and light. Some caramel sweetness. Some bread dough. Clove is persistent, but not dominant.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light with a stronger than expected carbonation. A touch thin overall with a lingering, but not overly so, dryness.

Overall: It's a solid dubbel, but it's not the top of the line. Definitely a solid intro to the style, but pulls up a little too sweet and lacks some necessary body. Worth checking out. (1,183 characters)

Photo of maddogruss
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pretty solid brew.

A: Poured a dark brown-red color with a thick, off-white head that held for a little bit. Slowed to a nice lacing that held until the finish.

S: I did not really smell too much. There was a slightly sweet, fruity smell.

T: A slight, fruity taste. Nothing specific really jumping out at me. Some of my friends said it tasted "like pennies," but I did not get that at all.

M: A solid, full-bodied and very smooth mouthfeel that was silky going down.

D: This is a pretty drinkable beer. The sweet taste covers up the higher alcohol content making it very easy to drink. I would definitely recommend it! (644 characters)

Photo of chaz410
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle at the flying saucer.
Pours cloudy dark amber brown body with thick off white that lingers.
Smells of heavy belgian malt, caramel malt, and roasty backbone. Slightly belgian funk in the smell with some bubble gum like notes and sweet apple notes.
Taste toasty and roasted. Nice thick belgian malt and caramel layers. Funky plum and sticky apple toward the end. A slight hop dry finish (403 characters)

Photo of ElGuapo
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty hazy deep amber brown colored brew topped in a massive off-white head that dies very slowly and basically stays there until you are finished with an empty glass covered in lace. The aroma has some sweet fruits and citrus as well as some yeasty bread smells.

The flavor starts out with a sweet malty flavor with a touch of fruits. Soon after, I pick up a nice citrus bite followed by some spices. There is a lot more to this than the white. Deep malt flavors provide a solid backround for the finish which gives way to a nice spicy aftertaste. Delicious fruity burps really add a nice touch. I picked up on some metallic flavors about half way through, but it was only for a sip or two, wierd. This is a pretty good drinking belgian. I think the blue reserve is by far the best from these guys, but you should give this one a whirl. (845 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Bar tender poured this into a chalice with the perfect two finger head on it. Definately red, looks like some stuff floating in the bottom. Nice looking beer.

S - Sweet malts, some fruit, something that I can almost describe as prunes, but not quite. Intriguing.

T - Sweet, malty, fruity. Hides the alcohol pretty well. A little citris as well.

M - Medium bodied, a little slicker than I would have liked, nice carbonation.

D - A little bit heavy for me for a double, but an enjoyable drink. Could not do a whole lot of these. (534 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big frothy head which quickly died out so much that the beer looked flat. Smells like a Belgian should, which isnt all that pleasant, but it tastes very good. My personal favorite of the Chimays. (195 characters)

Photo of bosox941827
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small, stubby 330mL bottle into an imperial pint glass
A - Rough pour yields a foamy rocky head that dissipates to a thin cap. Pours a cloudy brown/amber.
S - Molasses, toffee, a bit of malt.
T - Pretty much as the smell, with molasses-like maltiness being predominant. The prototypical banana-like Belgian-yeast flavor is there, but is not prominent, which is fine with me. Get a bit of alcohol as it warms up, but really no hops to speak of.
M - Very smooth and almost creamy, as you might expect this being bottle-conditioned.
This is definitely NOT my style, but if I had to drink a Dubbel, it would probably be this one. Not a ringing endorsement, I know, but this is a pretty good beer. (694 characters)

Photo of pvsob
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours hazy amber with a one inch head (off white) that fades very quickly and leaves some lacing.

S - Sweet malt, fruitiness, spicy, and some alcohol as it becomes warm.

T - Starts off with a slight sweetness and hints of yeast, but is quickly followed with a sour/bitterness that finishes the taste off.

M - Medium to medium full, with abundant carbonation.

O/D - A nice dubbel that I will probably try a few more times just to make sure I've caught everything that this beer has to offer. Personally, I wasn't really impressed with this beer, but that's just me. By all means if you haven't already, give it a try. Cheers. (640 characters)

Photo of BarryNL
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A good head - fades to a thin white layer which lasts well. The beer itself is a muddy reddish brown, filled with yeasty particulate despite careful pouring.

S: Yeasty, carbonic, some strange cereal hints - for some reason I'm thinking Weetabix.

T: Malty, yeasty, with a bit of a carbon dioxide bite - almost a fizzy soft drink sensation.

M: One of the better aspects of this beer - there's a full bodied sensation. Nothing watery about this one.

D: Yeah, it's nice - I could drink a few, but not if there's Westmalle to be had instead. (544 characters)

Photo of bobsy
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark bronze colour, with a very foamy off-white head, that leaves a few streaks of lace on the glass. While its a pleasant appearance I wouldn't rank it up their with the best examplaes of the style.

Gives off a rich fruity aroma, full of mulling spices, and with a background of sweet malt. Beyond that there's not too much complexity, which is surprising from such a highly regarded beer.

Likewise, the taste is very straightforward, and I can tell you right now that this is no westy 8. Sweet fruity malts dominate, with raisins at the fore, while cinamon and a lightly bready yeast try to keep up. Unfortunately the whole affair is let down by the body, which occassionally errs towards the watery and acts as a diluter in the flavour. There is a decent carbonation, but its too short-lived on the tongue to bulk things up.

I used to be really impressed with this beer, but I've come to realise that its not the star I once thought it was, and it shouldn't share company with St. Bernardus and Westvleteren as one of the better examples of the style. (1,066 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.54/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Served in a Chimay chalice. Pours a dark reddish brown color with a huge light tan head with excellent lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is dark fruits, spices and a lot of yeast.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet malt, a little bit of tartness and a dry yeasty finish. There is taste is also a bit chalky almost.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Chimay Red is a solid beer that is worth a try. (471 characters)

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
91 out of 100 based on 1,608 ratings.