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

Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,495 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3495
Reviews: 1538
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%

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)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,495 | Reviews: 1,538 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Oakenator


4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy dark brown with a generous head. Head retention is nice - still remaining well after pour. Some spotted lacing sporadically on the glass.

S: Malty and sweetness.

T: Super quality malts - nice and smooth yet multiple layers. Middle to end is a nice candi sugar flavor with a pop of hops somewhere in between.

M: Fun drinking beer - really nice body - not too heavy and not too light.

O: Great brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 23:36:28 | More by Oakenator
Photo of utopiajane

New York

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel brown with a quickly disappearing head to a nice cap. Little yeast floating on top. Light fruit and spice on the nose with a lot of bready malt up front. Good lacing, medium carbonation. The body of the beer is a little heavy. The toffee malt and fruit esters combine for a pronounced sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 12:02:02 | More by utopiajane
Photo of soju6


4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a good head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma is quite complex with dark fruit, spices and a bit boozy.

T: Taste of dark fruit, spices, caramel and a subtle sweetness. Very mild bitterness and a clean finish with just a bit of lingering sweetness.

F: Medium body, smooth with a velvety texture. The character changes as it warms.

O: Great beer, complex with a lot going on from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2013 00:12:44 | More by soju6
Photo of emd


4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Simple yet elegant bottle with not particular art. Corked.

Pour & Appearance:
Tons of head that sticks around for a while and leaves lacing. Dark brown with a bit of golden to it.

Very complex scent with notes of nuts, dark and rich spices and more things that I can't even pinpoint.

Quick to foam, Chimay Red MUST be sipped or taken in small amounts. Extremely filling due to the carbonation level but incredibly rewarding at the same time. While I have downed an entire bottle of this way too quickly before, it is certainly a treat that should be savored or split with a friend.

Chimay Red presents a complex and detailed taste that evolves from start to finish with each tasting. Hints of apricot, nuts, and spices come out at various points during the tasting. Brilliantly complex and never disappointing.

When I'm in the mood for a complex beer, Chimay Red is one of my favorites. If you want something to pound down with some buddies, this isn't for you. If you want to relax with a friend or by yourself and pay attention to the subtleties and nuances of a beer, this is a must taste.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 23:34:42 | More by emd
Photo of Roguer


4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Huge, 3+ finger off-white (almost yellowish) head. When I popped the cork, it was accompanied by quite a sound. Head maintains quite well for a while, and leaves nice lines of lacing. The beer itself is a dark nut brown, with no trace of haziness or carbonation; that's how dark it is. A hint of coppery-yellow glow when held up to the light.

S - Instantly, a strong note of banana, wafting from the bottle itself. Closer inspection reveals nuts (walnut?), dark malt, still some banana, and maybe clove. One of the best initial smells I've ever had from a beer. Fades to an easy nuttiness as the beer warms.

T - Dark and nutty, with a smooth, rich sweetness following. A slight alcohol warmth in the third finishes it off. Not particularly spicy for a dubbel; very smooth. As it warms, the strong nuttiness fades a little, leaving an easy flavor (hard to define other than Belgian yeast, or "dubbel"-like), and allowing a bit of candi sugar/banana flavor to come through.

M - A little spicy and carbonated (expected after popping the top), not as smooth as I'd like, but since this is definitely a sipping (vice gulping) beer, it's not a problem. Slightly oily, allowing the flavors to wash over the tongue; the carbonation stimulates the taste buds just slightly, allowing each flavor to stand out in order. Mouthfeel improves as it warms, and coats the back of the throat wonderfully.

O - It's not too often that a beer is exactly what I expected, but this is exactly the case here. I can only compare it to the Westmalle dubbel, but there are differences enough that it is a separate beer, no doubt. I don't get those who call Chimay overrated; this is an excellent dubbel. Very drinkable, very tasty, and exactly what a traditional dubbel should taste like.

Bottled October 2011 (so just over 1.5 years), poured into a Duvel tulip.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 20:30:24 | More by Roguer
Photo of Blindpigbiz


3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Style/abv: dubbel/7%

Smell: dark plums and tannins withe sweet vinegar subtleties

Taste: a dark fruit bouquet with semi-spiced peppers and red grapes with hints of bitter chocolate (maltiness)

Mouthfeel: slightly effervescent

This is an awesome beer to pair with filet crostini and caramelized onions as well as any cheese that has a sour taste, like a blue or a goat cheese

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 22:42:45 | More by Blindpigbiz
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a chalice, the beer is a dark, hazed, almost opaque amber coloring with a frothy, light, yellowish head that settles in around a quarter of an inch. Steady flow of carbonation throughout. Aromas of bready backbone with a rich date and fig sweetness, tart apple highlights, and some spicy notes. Very balanced aromas. Flavors are smooth and roasty, with an apple and date sweet backbone, some cinnamon and all spice, and a slight warmth from the ABV. Extremely well balanced. The aftertaste has more of a fruit bread character to it, with sweetness and richness balanced together. Robust, full body kept light by the carbonation. Smooth, slightly warming finish that beckons you back again and again. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 01:12:26 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of RaphaelSC


4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my La Trappe goblet

A: Pours a Dark brown caramel body, with a thin head that dissipate almost instantly.

S: A softly dry fruit smell, finishes dry woody, some alcohol can be detected too.

T: Bitter hops with a dry woody taste, good carbonatation that give equilibrium to the bitterness, the alcohol despite its 7% its not present at all. When the beer warms a little a smooth fruit flavor begins to appear.

M:Bitter hops aftertaste, with softly fruit notes.

O: It is pretty bitter, but also refreshing, another great beer but not so complex as other trappists, anyway its worth the try!

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 02:40:27 | More by RaphaelSC
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown with dark oranges/golds around the edges of the beer. There is about one and a half fingers of light beige head that takes a while to settles. Good lacing on the glass as it drinks.

S: The nose is malt, spice, bread, and just a touch of yeast. It smells inviting and what I would expect for the style.

T: This beer starts off with a burst of malty sweetness, but the spices in the beer begin to take shape as it covers the palate. The finish is a mix of malt and spice with a touch of that bready yeast character.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's sweet to start but the carbonation makes is a bit prickly. Nothing lingers on the palate for an extended period of time.

O: This is a good beer, but it's not really my favorite style. I like it for what it is, but I don't see myself purchasing it on the regular.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 16:02:44 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of MichaelNickerson


4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - strong chocolate brown with a light tan/brown head

Smell - sweet and sour. Very unique qualities that I haven't smelt before in a beer. Several different qualities in which I can't even begin to think what they are.

Taste - extremely smooth chocolate flavors, which then get overridden by some fruity notes, followed by spices - peppery

Mouthfeel - leaves the palate clean and would be classified as a very drinkable beer

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 15:35:24 | More by MichaelNickerson
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Top Hops recently, having never had this before. I loved the Chimay Blue when I had it and hoped that this would just as complex and wonderful. As much as it pains me to say this, this was just a bit underwhelming and even though this was solid in its subtlety and craftiness, I expected this to be more bold and complex given the hue, alcoholic content, and reputation that I heard about this.

I loved the pour to this, as it had a solid plum hue, expansive head, as well as a few solid rings left on my pint glass after the beginning sips. Not as much of an aroma as I anticipated but there were hints of booze and plum to be felt. Once the sediment from the bottom of the 11.2 oz. bottle was poured out, I could smell some more dark fruits and crystalline sugar. That was reinforced by a pretty medicinal mouthfeel and just a hint of cinnamon and peppery spice. This certainly wasn't a Christmas Ale but it reminded me of the Corsendonk Christmas Ale because of the blood-orange consistency of it and the hints of allspice underneath everything.

While this wasn't as strong, I could feel the booze in it by the time I finished off the bottle. I can't imagine that anyone would be disappointed by this but at the same time, there's not a whole lot in here to love. this is a solid beer that's one of the best of its kind, given what we are able to access here in North America. This is possibly one of the most accessible beers of its category, given the mild carbonation, clean finish, and lack of sourness from start to finish, though the alcohol in here was the strongest aspect of this from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2013 08:16:50 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of IdeaSpeeder

Ontario (Canada)

4.79/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type - 750ml bottle, poured into a snifter (due to lack of a chalice)

Appearance - Pours an amber color. Dark red-ish brown. A white head sticks around for a while but dissipates quicker than I'd like. Still quite the eye-candy while it lasts.

Smell - Overwhelming. So many things going on here. The most prominent is...'spice'? Pepper maybe. After that some fruit-like smells. It smells...sweet. Over my head I think.

Taste - Spice is coming through here as well. What exactly that spice is beats me. But it tastes damn good. Fruit flavours are coming through here as well. Some grape-esque flavours perhaps. Complement the spice flavour very nicely.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation, falls of the back of the tongue like rainbows. Dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 05:50:55 | More by IdeaSpeeder
Photo of TwelveOunces


4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.2 Oz bottle poured into a Chimay Goblet

A- Pours a hazy copper color with a huge and long lasting off white head. A nice looking brew.

S- Big clove, banana, Pepper, Some dark fruit, A lot of wheat and lemongrass. A very nice smelling brew.

T- A light flavor at first. A bit of a caramel sweetness. A slight dark fruit in the beer. A bit nice breaddyness to this beer in terms of flavor and it really helps add a silky smooth feel. A slight clove and a cinnamon, peppery spiciness. A lightly flavored beer but very pleasant and very well rounded.

M- A smooth beer and velvety on the tongue. Very lively with high carbonation.

O- This is a very nice beer. Well done and very delicious. The flavors could be bolder but not bad for 7%abv.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 23:19:36 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of Rope


4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nothing appealing about the brown murk color, but a good head.

Citrus caramel, the caramel eats the total smell.

Starts of with an orange juice flavor, ending with Belgian spice.

Great carbonation to swipe away the rest of the drink.

A classic, to judge others by.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 04:09:26 | More by Rope
Photo of apasternak


5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed by Belgium monks, this is one of the finest beers in the world. Expensive but definitely worth it, this beer has an incredibly complex flavor. This beer, also known as the most expensive beer on the Bernie's passport ($10), is very fancy, very delicious and very out of my normal price range

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 17:34:38 | More by apasternak
Photo of Mavigo


4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

It's been a long day and I've anticipating this beer for quite some time. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy copper-amber color with a 3/4 inch beige head with a pink tinge to it, which dissipates in about a minute to a ring around the edges of the glass. Has particles floating about inside, remnants of ingredients, maybe yeast too though I poured carefully and did not invert the 750ml bottle further than being parallel to my arm.

S: Has the signature dubbel aroma to it, refreshing and enticing. Smells of yeast, wheat, sugars, fruits, particularly grapes, plums, spices.

T: Extremely delicious but at the same time very tame. Nothing is overbearing, flavors are well complimented and balanced, giving a neutral feel to beer. A great complexity of flavors here, wheat, plums, grapes, has a slight champagne feel to it, yeast is prominent, barley, wheat, spices, cinnamon,

M: Incredible balance of body and the richness and boldness of the flavors. Perfectly complimentary. Very easy to drink yet has much character to it, medium-full bodied with moderate but slightly lower levels of carbonation, but nicely balanced. Works well.

O: Overall, this is the highlight of my day. Of course I had high expectations and they were met. It's expensive but for a good reason, I was drinking this quicker than I do most beers, It's just so smooth and fulfilling, I couldn't help myself, finished the whole 750ml. Defiantly recommended to everyone.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 21:32:07 | More by Mavigo
Photo of 57md


4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-copper with more than a finger of fluffy head that lingers for some time and leaves behind some nice lacing. The nose is reminiscent of a wheat field. The flavor profile is mild, but malty. The finish is a complex combination of fruity and dry flavors. This is a very good beer and a great example of the dubbel style.

I rarely include the issue of price in my reviews, but I think that I must mention it here. While this offering is very good, it is definitely short of exceptional and unique. The price point, however, would indicate that it is the later. I am just not feeling the love for Chimay Red that much when there are many other exceptional beers that are significantly cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 22:39:39 | More by 57md
Photo of Roman5150


4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another great trappist brew... This is my first Chimay, I have a Grand Reserve cellaring (more like waiting for the right time to drink it actually) that i'm excited to try as welll.

Appearance: Very dark, one finger off white head with hardly much lacing.

Aroma: wow, dark fruits, raisins, plums, figs, everything tupical you would except from a trappist dubbel, but with subtle addition of citrus.

Taste: Had somewhat lower standards as I've heard from almost everybody that Blue (grand reserve) is better, and that Red was better in the 80's. Well, this is a damn tasty beer. Very sweet, which I guess Chimay is known for. Really taste nots of raisin and dark fruits, VERY Drinkable. Could be dangerous, as you don't taste hardly any alcohol (it's 7% abv). Like most trappist brews, I try to sip on them more than "gulp", but the sweetness in this is very refreshing and compared to a quadrupel, you could drink these very fast.

Mouthfeel: Slightly carbonated, not too tingly, goes down very well. The sweetness contributes to this.

Overall: My first Chimay, very drinkable and sweet. Will be buying more for sure. I like it a little more than the Westmalle and Trappiste dubbels, will def be buying again. Can't wait to try yellow and blue. If you're new to trappist beer, this would probably be the best starting point. Monks know how to brew great beer, and while I would still prefer a Rochefort 10, this is more sessionable and can easily hold it's own in the complexity and flavor department. Any avid beer drinker should give this a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 01:40:11 | More by Roman5150
Photo of SteveMi

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured gently from the bottle into a chalice.

A - Dark brown with reds that come through the light. It kept a one and a half finger off white fluffy head. Carbonation was consistant and refused to let the head fall too early. Beautiful!

S - Sweet caramel and spice. Hints of raisins with a slight bready addition.

T - Raisiny, sweet bread and spices. Not terribly complex but satisfying nonetheless.

M - Medium body. High carbonation but not enough to hamper enjoyment.

O - Quite a treat! I'm embarrassed I had not given this oen a chance earlier while scouting for belgian beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2013 02:32:40 | More by SteveMi
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: in a chalice, hazy ruby brown with hints of orange - slim tan crown lasted all the way down

S: dark fruit and malt, some floral and sweet aromas

T: the dubbel always makes me think of winter holidays - this beer has the hints of holiday spice, like clove, nutmeg, and coriander; a malty musty dark fruit sweetness, and drying and brightening yeasts

M: soft, smooth, carbonated fuzziness, slightly coating

O: much better than I expected. A very refreshing and easy drinking dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 21:18:58 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of makerocketgo


3.26/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

light and pleasant. not a lot of strong flavors but pleasant w subtlety. it's like a watered-down version of the tripel (that sounds more negative than it's meant). the bottle ref a lil bitterness, but i dont taste it. didnt think id enjoy it because the tripel is so hard to beat, but it was nice. i would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 22:40:32 | More by makerocketgo
Photo of Chrysostom


4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 fl oz/330mL bottle, of a unique form factor, crown capped, not corked and caged like most Chimay (I have a 750mL of Chimay Red in the fridge). This beer was served a little cold (barely above fridge temperature, probably 35ºF), so I let it warm for a few minutes, and it continues to warm as I write my review,

As always, I am writing my review live, puzzling out the drink as it is being drunk, not from notes.

As always, I attempt to review "to style" (ala BJCP), with some admixture of personal taste (contra BJCP), not solely to personal taste. However, when it comes to most Trappists, reviewing "to style" and "to taste" are identical for me, as Trappist (Dubbels, Tripels, and Quads, especially Dubbels and Quads) tends to be my favourite style.

Chimay has different flavours in 330s, 750s, and 1500s (magnums), so, here goes, with that being said: without further ado, a review.

A: Cloudy, mostly opaque dark brown (lots of sediment still in bottle) with reddish highlights at the bottom when poured in to a Chimay chalice/goblet and held to the light. Sometimes I manage to pour Chimay crystal-clear, but not often, and not today. No head on delicate pour, one to one-and-one-half-finger head on moderately vigorous pour, quickly receding in to a "cap and ring" on the face and edges of the beer.

S: Massive malts, some dark fruit, and some quasi-citrusy-like flavours, such as tangerine and apricot, as undercurrents to the malt and dark fruit (not nearly as much tangerine, as, say, an English IPA... maybe 20% as much, if that). No alcohol in the nose. Some bread, lots of malts, a bit of spice, and very, very, extremely mild Belgian funk. There

T: Malt, dark fruits (as is typical for the style), mild spiciness, and the typical "Belgian Trappist character" which is impossible to describe, or, to put it more eloquently, ineluctable and ineffable (whoever is reading this should hire me since I was able to use those two words correctly). Very little alcohol. The bread character from the fallen (poured into glass) yeast is noticeable, but pleasant - it addeth to the character, it doth not take away. There is some spice, but the spice is lesser than St Bernardus, and not even one-twentieth as much as some Devilish concoction like Rochefort 8. Finish is dry to bitter.

M: Moderately high carbonation for the style, pretty full and a bit astringent. Not stingy in any way, nor thin. This is a full-bodied beer.

D: Very high, although not as compulsively high as the higher-ABV Chimay Blue (Quadrupel/Belgian Strong Dark Ale).

O: Excellent beer, one of the best representatives of the Dubbel style, second only to Westmalle.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 12:44:32 | More by Chrysostom
Photo of ssmack

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml corked bottle that opened with a big pop.

A warm cloudy reddish brown. Half an inch of frothy, active head with fine streams of bubbles. Some bubbly lacing. Lots of sentiment in bottom of the bottle.

A wonderful spicy, toffee aroma.

The taste runs right along with the aroma. Sugar candy with biscuit malts. There is a tartness of chrysanthemum. The hop bitterness is mild around the edges.

A medium feel with sparkles and slight tartness.

A lovely, sophisticated, restrained brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 00:50:19 | More by ssmack
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A benchmark example of the style.

Bottle pours a hazy, dull amber and has a reasonable off-white head with impressive retention. Classic and rich aroma of Belgian yeast, with roasted malt undertones. The yeast is present in all elements of the flavour, which ranges from an initial sweetness including roasted nut and tannin complexity to a more simple bitterness in the finish.

Well balanced and robust, this beer is a pleasure to drink - even for someone who wouldn't always choose this particular style.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 00:42:25 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of dar482

New York

4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours in a dark copper color. The aroma has some sweet breadiness and some sugary caramel notes as well. Very inviting.

The carbonation is one of the most defining characteristics to me. It’s almost like a malty champagne. There isn’t a big front, but then the middle of the tongue has a wonderful smooth texture. The flavor has dark fruits and breadiness. It’s extremely drinkable.

One of the better dubbels I have had. I had this along with Delirium Trememns, which aren’t exactly the same style, but at least there was some context. It emphasized the carbonation, the lack of a front, but the warm creamy middle malty body that this rocks.

Lovely beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 03:57:57 | More by dar482
Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 3,495 ratings.