Review of Chimay Premiere

30 Jun
Hello everyone.  Thanks for checking back in on another craft beer review.  For today’s drinking pleasure I’m going to be reviewing the Chimay Premiere (Red) produced by Bieres de Chimay S.A. located in Baileux, Belgium.

It’s been quite some time since I last had this brew, so I’m really looking forward to trying it again.

From the website,, we find this bit of info regarding the beer. 

The Chimay Red Cap, or “Première”, in 750 ml bottles, is the oldest of the Chimays. This Trappist beer possesses a beautiful coppery colour that makes it particularly attractive. Topped with a creamy head, it gives off a slight fruity apricot smell from the fermentation. The aroma felt in the mouth is a balance confirming the fruit nuances revealed to the sense of smell. This traditional Belgian beer is best savoured at cellar temperature (10 – 12°C).

Let’s drink.

This brew comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 7.0%.

It poured a hazy, burgundy/ruby/brown mixture of color.  The crown was eggshell colored and very nicely sized.  The texture was kind of soapy and fizzy with some small compact bubbles.  The retention time was adequate and it left a thin skim of lacing on the sides of the chalice.

The nose was not very strong or robust, although it was balanced pretty well.  Hints of spicy clove and coriander along with some touches of caramel malt.  It presented a very yeasty, baked bread tone with just a light hint of fig.  Mostly straight forward I thought.  Not that that’s a bad thing however.

The taste burst through with a spicy clove at the beginning.  That was followed by some ever present Belgian yeast, lightly toasted breads and delicate caramel sugars.  Some dark fruits of fig and date seemed to be more pronounced in the taste than they were in the aroma.  I never really found any inkling of apricot though.  Oh well, a nice bitter bite finished things off.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  It was somewhat sharp on the initial intake with a lively carbonation that stung the front of the tongue for several sips.  Overall, it was very crisp, but not as dry as I remember it being in the past.  It did leave a decent amount of flavor behind on the palate despite the fact.

The Chimay Premiere is still a solid all around beer.  One that I’m sure I will continue to pick up from time to time in the future.  It’s very enjoyable, highly drinkable, represents the style very well and is so easily obtainable that I sometimes overlook the fact that it is such a well made beer.  I don’t necessarily think it’s the best “Belgian” styled beer on the market, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly either.  It could be enjoyed at any point during the year by just about any level of craft beer drinker.  So, if you haven’t had the Chimay Premiere (Red) in a long time, pick up a bottle next time you see it and revisit a classic.  I think you may find a new appreciation for the brewery.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.85 out of 5
Grade:  B+    

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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in Chimay, Country: Belgium


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