Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,661 Reviews
Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay
Belgium | website

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This copper-colored ale boasts flavors of apricots, brown sugar and nutmeg. Brewed since 1982, Chimay Première is the first beer ever produced by the Trappist monks of Notre-Dame de Scourmont Abbey in Belgium.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,661 | Ratings: 4,756
Photo of Amish_Ambush
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quick review here.

Taste: Light fig, light hops, light molasses.

Ap: Cloudy nut brown. Solid head

Smell: Fig, slight astringent smell but nothing too bad.

Notes: A solid enjoyable beer.

Last Reviewed: 08-30-2006 03:36:42


 251 characters

Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice hazy brown color with a quick disappearing head.. halfway through it looked like I was drinking tea because the head had completely disappeared. Smells of faint citrus and yeast. Taste a little on the sweet side with a hint of clove and raisins.. also a fair amount of carbonation in this beer... it was tolerable... it's just something I don't really like in a beer. This one was decent, I'm now looking forward to trying the other Chimay's.

 456 characters

Photo of shoop12
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark molasses color with nice aroma of dark fruits and wheat. However when you taste, the dark fruits really struggle to come through and make their way to your taste buds. Therefore you are left with more of a spicy flavor of cloves and ginger. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and finishes with a crisp earthy finish. After recently having the Rochefort 8, I find this Chimay to be a little bit of a let down but still a solid Dubbel.

 440 characters

Photo of JWFokker
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay's Premiere is a pleasant beer, if somewhat unfulfilling. It looks great, pouring a nice reddish orange with a huge head. Very appetizing in appearance. The nose is a stunner. It's a great mix of spice, malt and fruit, with a touch of bread. The flavor isn't quite as good as the look and smell would have you beleive. It's got everything you can get from the nose in the flavor, but sweeter and somewhat thin. It goes down very easily, but it's more like drinking a soft drink than a beer.

 496 characters

Photo of Outchillen
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers, and probably my favorite belgian
A: Nice reddish amber, nicely carbonated, head fades quickly
S: Nice and lightly malty, sweet and floral
T: Sweet and smooth, nice malty and great yeast flavor
M/D: nice and light, very good example of a dubbel, I could drink this all day

 307 characters

Photo of RevDru
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a deep hazelnut brown with a nice, thick, half-inch of foam.

S - Sweet, bready, with heavy toasted malt and undertones of honey and vanilla.

T - Strong roasted grain flavors, with background notes of cinnamon and coriander. Just a slight tannic bite, almost raisin-y.

M - Rich and creamy, fairly smooth, with a slight carbonation kick.

D - I could drink this all day and not get tired. Well-balanced. Would go with most meat dishes; probably a nice pairing with my stew this evening.

 505 characters

Photo of IceTrey9785
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Decided to buy a bottle at the local Harris Teeter ($4.99 per bottle).

A: Poured a nice mahogany red, will great head retention and beautiful lacing. A bit cloudy, but still very rich in color.

S: Very aromatic -- wonderful smells of persimmons, figs, and dry fruit. Some spice in the form of white pepper, clove, and maybe some allspice (?). A faint hint of citrus really emerges as the beer warms -- overall, very appetizing.

T&M: I took a sip of this brew, and I felt that it was exploding in my mouth. A small sip goes a long way, accompanied with malty sweetness, hints of dried stone fruit, and cocoa. Not overly sweet, very well balanced, but lacking a long finish. The initial flavor is bright and intense, but quickly fades. Definitely a classic!

Overall, I really like this dubbel. I think there are probably some out there with a bit more character and intensity (and definitely a longer finish), however, this is a great introduction to the style, and will always be a classic. I'm thinking of pairing this with a nice cut of pork tenderloin, with a red wine/persimmon reduction sauce -- sounds pretty good to me...

 1,131 characters

Photo of ablackard
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy red and copper hue, but up to a bright light, the more shallow you get in your glass, the more bright yellow it appears...great sunset appearance. Not much head but nice legs.
S: A very nice sweet caramel and perhaps dates
T: Very nice blends with a perfect amount of carbonation to mask the higher alcohol, but not a real big mouthfeel which makes this a perfect beer in my opinion for almost any occasion. A little toasty without any hop flavor.
Overall: A little pricey, but I feel it is well worth it. I will definitely have this again.

 550 characters

Photo of gbarbee
5/5  rDev +22%

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 sbw138
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my favorite goblet.

A: Deep garnet. Has nice clarity for being bottle conditioned. A dense cream cap slowly settles to a 1/8" pillow of foam that sticks the whole way down the glass. The only weakness is the lack of lace.

S: Spicy, fruity and vinous. Dark fruits and peppery spice interplay nicely. Yeast adds a slight mustiness.

T: All the flavors hit at once in this beer. Raisins, currants and black cherries intermingle in perfect balance with pepper and coriander. Finishes very vinous, with a light warmth.

M: The body is appropriately light. The vigorous carbonation is very soft on the mouth. Feels dry in the finish.

D: There's a reason Dubbel is my favorite beer style. Something about the beer meets red wine thing really appeals to me. Chimay Red is a perfect example of this style. Very refined and well thought out in execution. A classic beer I'm glad I finally revisited.

Serving type: bottle

 940 characters

Photo of BacklitAvenger
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A hazy honey color. I tried it first being careful to decant without yeast, and then after sipping that way stuck a straw into the bottle to rouse the yeasties. That made it look properly enchanting, a darker apricotish color positively filled with floating crap. I like floating crap. Makes the beer look nice and hazy and seems to thicken mouthfeel.

Smell - Fruits. I'm not getting that clove thing that people talk about a lot. I'm getting a huge basket full of fruits. Not dark plum-like as would be in a RIS or tropical like can result from some hops. Call it semi-dark fruit.

Taste - Was expecting the fruitiness to seperate into some identifiable flavors more than it did. This stuff is absolutely delicious though. We're talking apricots and figs and dates and things, and honey. It is sweet, yes, but I dislike cloying sweetness, and this is far short of that. Rather like the natural sweetness of the fructose in a fruit. There's a bitter note in the finish, and an earthiness from the yeast perhaps, but all considered this is a remarkably well-melded beer. Each flavor bleeding into the next, blended rather than distinct.

Mouthfeel - I do not like excessive carbonation, but it slows in a minute or two and the ample yeasties thickened it up a good bit. Rich but not viscous, and not sticky. Good stuff here.

Drinkability - A bit higher in alcohol than my usual stuff, but just took longer to drink it and to let it warm in my hand and release those rich flavors.

My first Belgian. Thinking there'll be a much higher percentage of Belgianness in my future eh? Yes I think so. Want the blue Chimay first, more fruit there I hear.

 1,662 characters

Photo of Jef59
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - thick Chestnut color with plenty of sediment. The head is an inch of dense off-white foam.

S - freshly baked bread, apricots, and Carmel with a zing of pepper and clove.

T - tastes of sweet fruit drizzled in honey with rich bread. It finishes with with an apple like flavor accompanied with clove and a little pepper

M - one of the richest feeling beers ever! Chewy and a little syrupy, but also creamy. Similar to the consistency of a root beer float.

D - a little heavy on the stomach, but surprisingly quaffable.

Notes: one of my favorite beers of all time! Completely changed the way I looked at beer the first time I had it.

 638 characters

Photo of Vader444
2.26/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle pour into tulip.

Not at all sure about this one. Pours a nice orange/brown. Mouthfeel is pleasant enough but, truth be told, all I can smell and taste is yeast. Like drinking raw fizzy pizza dough.

If that floats your boat then great but this did nothing for me. Sorry.

 278 characters

Photo of uconnalum2
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving size: 11.2 oz. bottle
Pours a cloudy orange-brown with a one-finger head. Vigorous jets of carbonation at first but then settles down. Smell is fruity and a little spicy. The taste is malty and slightly spicy. There is some sweetness but its not too much. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and rather fizzy. Drinkability is decent but I'd probably stop at two of these. Overall a good beer to have once in a while but not my favorite Belgian.

 448 characters

Photo of SudNut
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was a little disappointed with this beer after having a Belgian lambic earlier in the week with dinner I was hyped to try more Belgian beer. I was expecting something closer to a Hefeweizen.

This beer pours to an amber red orange with a nice head enough to get my mouth watering. The scent was good but nothing extraordinary. The taste was where this beer lost me. It had a bit of a sour or tart taste. I prefer something a bit smother. Mouth feel was good very similar to a hefe. Overall to me this seemed like an average beer.

 533 characters

Photo of Schwarzwald
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is very impressive in its bottle. Popped the top and poured it into a large pils glass, only thing I had at the time. I like the Chimay beers pretty cool. This particular species has a lot of rich fruit flavor and is very drinkable even though it has a higher ABV. I think that the overall richness of the beer must be enjoyed with some desert or something sharp like a hard cheese. Definitely try this awesome Trappist!

 430 characters

Photo of ProfessorCJ
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 33 cl bottle into a chalice.

A-Brown/red with some turpidity. Several fingers of light tan foam that slowly dissolves into lacing with a nice ring. Too dark to see much carbonation.

S-Not an overwhelming nose. Hops with a malty undercurrent.

T-Wow, the taste is really balanced between the hops and the malt. Hint of sweet and spices in the after taste. I don't taste the alcohol. Worth every penny.

M-Has a little chew to it. I can still taste it even though the sip was several minutes ago. A little carbonation left.

D-Definately drinkable. The balance makes this an ale could drink daily, summer or winter.

I Can't wait to try the Reserve.

 662 characters

Photo of A380
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark red with a rocky beige head that lasts quite some time, good lacing, smell.. not so crazy impressed.. but it is okay, smells better than the average beer.. smells kinda sweet thats about all i can pick out. Carbonation very strong! Tastes slightly sweet with a nice spice to it and some alcohol ester taste. overall i would say this is pretty ok. not exactly what i thought it would be because of its high rating but i dont really have much to complain about either so i say give it a shot.

 508 characters

Photo of kevd193213
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Cloudy brown pour with great thick lacing and thin tan head. Aroma of caramel malt. Taste of malt with molasses, caramel and yeast. Great finish, one of the best widely available Belgians indeed. I feel like this gets knocked because it is so accessible, but I always will grab one when available.

 305 characters

Photo of dolzan
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown colour and a large, very thick head.

Smell is perhaps reminiscent of dried fruits The taste is sweet, but nicely balanced with some bitterness, but just enough that the hops don't overcome all other flavours. I could drink this all day long. Really one of the top, top beers.

 288 characters

Photo of drotski
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy, dark amber color. Thick, foamy head. After a couple minutes it settled to a thin foamy head that stayed throughout. Nice lacing.

The smell was very fruity, and you could also smell yeast, malt, and spice.

Tasted sweet right off, but a slight sourness from the yeast balanced it out nicely. You can taste the alcohol on the finish. Lots of interesting flavors can be pulled from this. Lots of spices and fruits.

Good mouthfeel, great drinking beer. Definitely a nice belgian beer.

 514 characters

Photo of Clubchat
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

au Trèfle Irlandais de Trois-Rivières

A: Dark red color. Nice fair head

S: Yeast, malty, somewhat fruity plum and cherry, little alcohol

T: Great tasty with a long finish. The sweet fresh fruits overpowered the hints of good malt

M: Medium body & carbonation, Excellent

D: Easy to drink, Nice brew, Worth the try !

 322 characters

Photo of Ardon
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a nice fluffy head and rich brown/cherry colour. Smell is intensely fruity with cherry, plum, and mild banana. Taste is strong malt, cherries and plum again but without the banana. A touch of caramel as well. Mouthfeel fizzy and sharp. Not as smooth as the rest of the Chimay family. An excellent brew and strong thirst quencher but definantly the worst of the three. Almost like a toned down weizenbock.

 415 characters

Photo of SpencerSauce
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

chimay is an awesome beer, its so tasty i could drink a couple bottles.

A- orange reddish color

S- yeasty smell, maybe some fruits.

T- lots of nice yeast. nice malt taste. sort of a wine-like taste.

M- crisp, and slightly wine-y

D- very easy. I would suggest this beer.

 274 characters

Photo of Cannoneer
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the color of rye bread; not much of a surprise in aroma, just expected bread notes along with dried prunes and raisins. Pleasant to drink, but doesn't overwhelm with flavor or excite with interesting combination of tastes.
It is not as lively and food-friendly as Belgian IPA, tripel or golden ales, and is not as rich and creamy as darker ales to be drunk on its own, so I am a bit at a loss to justify picking up another bottle. It is a nice dubbel, but a bit characterless and boring.

 494 characters

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,756 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!