Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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

1,606 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,606
Hads: 4,479
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 227
Gots: 675 | 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: 1,606 | Hads: 4,479
Photo of kevinlater
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle into goblet

a: an opaque caramel or brown raisin colour topped with a finger and a half of foamy ivory head

s: a great balance of bread, caramel, raisin, overripe banana, cooked apple, and cinnamon. slight alcohol presence

t: noticeably malty sweet at first (caramel, bread), but mellows out into banana, cooked apple, plum, and spicy yeast. a soft-to-medium bitterness comes through towards the end, but a lot of the flavours still linger. i think there are some chocolatey notes in here too

m: medium-bodied. lively carbonation at first, but settles as the beer warms. sticky finish

o: spicy, fruity, and delicious (656 characters)

Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

X-mas eve
pours a murky brown color body, with a thin creamy head.
aroma has banana and yeast notes.
Taste has dark fruit notes and a little boozy
mouthfeel is great and overall one of the best beers I had. (206 characters)

Photo of interzen
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

330ml bottle poured into a Vedett flute

Look: Slightly murky coppery red with an insane amount of head.

Smell: To be fair, I had some difficulty discerning much in the smell at first blush. Once the beer had warmed up a bit there were hints of apricot, banana and yeast in there. Not much in the way of hop character.

Taste: Definitely an alcoholic vibe to it, but nicely balanced by dark fruits (think prune/raising kind of thing) with a slightly yeasty, bready hint to it. ABV notwithstanding it's not insanely bitter - the hops are barely noticeable and at the same time it's not exactly malt-forward either.

Feel: No doubt about it, there's body there - quite a yeasty feel to it, but that's the sort of thing I go for so no complaints. It's a dubbel, so you're hardly going to be throwing this down your neck with wild abandon.

Overall: I like Belgian beers and the Chimay variants are right up there amongst my favourites. If you're looking for super-complex flavour profiles then you're probably in the wrong place but if you're looking to dip your toes into the complex waters of Belgian Trappist beers there are far worse places to start. (1,153 characters)

Photo of Extrajoker00
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 12/18/14

Première (Red) - Bières de Chimay S.A.
poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into my Chimay tulip

Packaging- classic and simple Red Chimay 3.75

Apperance- unfiltered murky gold 3.75

Smell- dark fruit, yeast, faint banana 3.75

Taste- hint of warming alcohol, fruitcake, yeasty and bread like but still very very well balanced 4

Mouth-feel- clean and smooth great mouth-feel 4

Drinkability- excellent well balanced both light and satisfying at the same time 4

Overall- definitely a winner. A very good example of the style 4


A style I sometimes run hot and cold with but Trappist Monks in Belgum are hard to argue with. ---- J (648 characters)

Photo of titvs
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 18B). Bottle 33 cl - Batch L13-651. AROMA: complex aroma with malty caramely background and fruity aromas reminiscent of pinneaple and apricot. hop aromas absent. APPEARANCE: semi-dark copper with material in suspension. medium ivoey head with average retention. TASTE: flavour less rich than the aroma with mild sweet caramel notes. low apricot notes. low bitterness with a medium-dry finish. PALATE: medium body with medium carbonation. OVERALL: a dubbel with very nice aromas but, alas, not so complex flavours. (561 characters)

Photo of SmashPants
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Format: a stumpy little 330mL dark brown bottle with a standard macro-style label.

Appearance: poured into my St Feuillien trappist glass. A nice dark brown cloudy colour, with dull ruby when held up to the light. A great thick head with nice retention. Good lacing down the sides.

Aroma: quite a soft aroma. There are however definite heavy fruits - plums, cherries and raisins - with some caramels and spice.

Taste: more of the caramels and ripe fruits, quite full in flavour which is nice. It still doesn't feel as special as I thought it would have - pretty standard Dubbel.

Aftertaste: there is a slight spiciness and biterness on the finish. A somewhat sweet backing.

Mouth feel: moderate to full in body with a creamy feel. A moderate carbonation also.

Overall: quite a nice Dubbel, but certainly not the best I have had. I'd rather prefer a Grimbergen or a St Feuillien, the latter of which is also AU$100 a case compared to Chimay's $150. Easy choice. (966 characters)

Photo of BeerDocT
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a chilled Piraat tulip.

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a reddish-golden color. Decent head (1/2") and Ok lacing.

Smell 4.25: Very nice -if somewhat subdued-- bouquet. Light hints of malt and a very pleasant floral hop. Also lots of Abbey notes: musty, yeasty, thoroughly Belgian and very appealing.

Taste 4.0: Front is slightly sweet. Middle is dry and well-balanced with a hint of spicy Belgian yeast. Finish is where the Belgian yeast and the light hops combine to form a sublime taste experience. Aftertaste is long and tastes of raisins and dates.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Too conditioned for my tastes. Too many bubbles tend to hide some tasting notes and that is what happened with this beer.

Overall 4.0: Excellent beer overall, but I feel that there are better Dubbels on the market. Don't get me wrong, I would not turn this beer down, I just do not feel that a bomber of it is worth over $10 US, which is what it is going for in some places. (963 characters)

Photo of avwrite
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%

Great presentation. Comes out a bit darker than expected, a little hazy, but looks solid. Taste is a little sweet with some bitterness. Goes down smooth but stays with you in the end. Reminds me of a nice caramel flavor along with hints of fruitiness. (255 characters)

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Amber red with thick two finger dirty cream head of tight foam with amazing retention. This beer looks awesome and inviting as it drinks there is little lace as the foam is so heavy it falls again to the surface.

Smell - Sweet toffee and caramel malt with pretty decent sweet fruit; dates, plum and raisin with red grape. There is also some mild and I do stress mild herb aroma. The aroma profile is well balanced and pleasing but not as deep and complex as some Dubbles.

Taste - Sweet caramel and toffee with a smokey biscuit element like cookies baked in a wood fired oven. Plum and raisin with some solvent that off sets the rest of the flavour profile masks the herb and runs down its over all marks in this area. This is a shame as the beer was doing so well up til now.

Mouthfeel - Pretty full and creamy. This beer has an amount of solvent that makes the mouthfeel very close to poor watered down whiskey. Again the beer loses marks in this section and is not as good as others I have had in this style.

Overall - This beer looks and smells better than it tastes and feels.. It is not bad but for the style it is not the best you will ever come across and for my money I feel Westmalle do it better by a clear country mile. (1,247 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

An 11.2 ounce shorty poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - A murky reddish brown. Fine, tan head. Minimal stickage.

Smell - Sweet. Belgian sour. A faint whiff of herbs.

Taste - Prune juice. Slightly herbal. Mild toast flavor. A moderate Belgian sour hit that comes on early. Minor hop finish.

Mouth - Fine carbonation. A little on the thin side.

Overall - Obviously, this is an iconic ale. I was little surprised at how subtle this beer is. Very delicious. (473 characters)

Photo of gbarbee
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Appearance: Amber/Brown
Smell: Malts and fruit.
Taste: Malt, yeast, and fruit.
Mouthfeel: Full
Drinkability: A great beer and the makes me think of the classic Belgian Style. My second favorite out of the three Chimays.

Serving type: bottle (243 characters)

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. bottle.

I've had this brew before, just didnt take the time to describe the experience. Thats what I call it when I drink a brew, ok! Enough of this chitchat, lets get down to business. You know, beer is serious business. While I popped its cap smoke came flowing out like a just fired pistol. Nice. While pouring this brew it, I became conscious. This brew is pouring the color of what I find to be called "real beer". This poured like a fantastic cup of tea. Dark murky brown body with ruby hues holding the dark body together. The off-white head that seems to not want to leave is still keeping a cloud upon this brew. Yeah, this brew is damn near perfect in appearance.

The old snifter has had a workout today folks. Hang in there nose, tell me whats inside this brew? The brew welcomes my nostrils with honey and banana fruitiness. Oats sit to the side with some spice and toasted nuts. This smells like breakfast time in my kitchen. On the backend caramel plays a role leaving a sweetness that works with the oats and honey notes perfectly. I almost just want to smell this beer forever.

The flavor is no different. Its balanced to the point of perfection. First hits the palate with that banana fruitiness then smooth oats come to make this brew caress the tastebuds. Spices of cinnamon and clove warm in mid palate while toasted malt complexity fills the back part of the tongue, namely toasted nuts. This brew finishes lightly and dry with a lingering banana and toasted nuts in the aftertaste. This brew feels great on the palate. Medium-light bodied with cola like carbonation. This brew wants your tongue to have fun. Its energetic and alive.

Overall: This brew gave me goosebumps when I popped its top. This brew is sweet yet refined so its not cloying sweet. The nuttiness adds a level to the brew making it more hearty that works well with the fruitiness and the oats. The dryness also makes the brew easy to drink, aching you for another gulp. There's nothing negative I can really say about this brew. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself. This brew is Recommended. (2,109 characters)

Photo of PaulyB83
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Muted reddish brown like the color of fall leaves. Slight khaki head. Medium level of haze.

S- Dates, apples, raisins, spices, yeast.

T- Similar to aroma. Getting a lot of dried fruits, apple, and spice. Really melds together as it warms.

M- Medium, soft carbonation.

O- A great example of the style and easy to find. I prefer Chimay Blue to the Red but this hits the spot for a great Belgian dubbel. (461 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown/copper like color with a hint of red. Appears clearer when held up to the light. Massive foam head. Disapates into a thin lace, which, however, disappears towards the end.
Complex aroma is my favorite attribute. Sweet and sugary on the nose. Then I get a slightly floral and perfume like aroma. Later still, I detect a buttery, malty and biscuit or cracker like aroma. Finally, as the drink warms, I get a large scent of dark fruit soaked in perfume that is truly intoxicating. There is really a lot there.
Malt forward taste, dark bread; but really a lot more than this as it is that complex. Phenolic, yeasty, alcohol and dark fruits. The herbal and spicy clove like tastes are felt in the back of the tongue as well as hops. The finish is dry and somewhat bitter.
Big full bodied beer. Big carbonation that really tingles and prices the tongue. This one is a sipper. It gets even better as the drink warms. It is best to let it sit a little for best results.
Thus is truly amongst one of the all time greatests. (1,035 characters)

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)

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
91 out of 100 based on 1,606 ratings.