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

1,652 Reviews
For Trade:
Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A.
Belgium | website

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

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Reviews: 1,652 | Ratings: 4,699
Photo of Viaduck
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure I got the right beer, my label is different from that pictured. "Contents under pressure. Use extreme caution ...when opening". Yes they are. A very loud pop followed by a very lovely aroma of barley & hops. Hazy Reddish brown & topped with an impressive off white head. Tastes great, a bit salty, big grain flavor with a kick from the alcohol & carbonation, no bitterness. A great beer.

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Photo of MACrist
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: A hazy rust in the snifter with a good finger+ of khaki, creamy head that settles down after a few minutes to a nice thick layer. Hard to say about the carbonation. Hold a flash light up to the glass and I see a few small bubbles rising, here and there. Spotty lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Very floral, bready like fruitcake. Dark dried fruit, molasses. No detectable alcohol.
TASTE: Very bready, lots of dark dried fruit, raisin, figs. A nice bit of sweetness but not overwhelming. Brown sugar or molasses. No detectable alcohol in the taste, either.
FEEL: Medium body with plenty of carbonation, but not overkill. Quite dry all the way through the sip. The body seems a little thin right at first and then a second later, seems almost a little chewy.
OVERALL: Lots of nice dark dried fruit, bready, and molasses notes but there is enough on the opposite end to keep it balanced and not cloying at all. Nice high level of carbonation helps with this too, I'm sure. Very nice brew. Blue caps little brother.

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Photo of EMH73
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I know that I am in the minority, but I feel that this is the best beer from Chimay. To me it is a little more complex and flavorful than the Grand Reserve.

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Photo of crisis1290
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Chimay Première (Red)- No need to repeat what has been said a 1000 plus times about this amazing world class gift from Belgium. This is one of those "must try" beers. Once it is tried once, you will revisit ! This is a smooth medium-bodied Dubbel. You might be paying more for this gem, but you wont regret it !

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L- Dull hazy brown body with noticeable carbonation going up. Bubbly ivory head with low retention.
S- Brown sugar, dried fruits, raisins, some cinnamon.
T- Dried fruits, sugar, bread, belgian yeast.
F- Smooth, slightly fizzy.
O- Nice beer, ABV was hardly noticeable. Not very fond of this style but this was fairly good.

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Photo of Dr-Baltar
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - Murky bronze / brown. Cloudy yeast clarity after a gentle pour.

Smell - Raisin, dark fruits, baked sweetness

Taste - Caramel, toffee, medium alcohol taste, slight dark fruit notes but not as much as on the nose.

Feel - A little under conditioned than I would expect from a Belgian, but still nice.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From teh 330 ml bottle purchased in France, it pours a dark amber with a moderate off-white head, replenished by a constant stream of bubbles from the bottom. Nose detects fruit and malt, mouth is equally pleased with malt and caramel tickling the tongue. Enjoyable! Wow!

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - A murky/muddy reddish brown type color
Smell - Dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, spice
Taste - Prunes, raisins, plums, toffee sweetness, spice

Overall - Another great trappist ale. The Blue crushes this though.

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

I got this 75 cl bottle together with a huge order from Beergium. The cork says it’s bottled in 2015. Best before December 2019.

The beer pours hazy, red-brown with a huge, fluffy yellow head. About two finger high in my new Trappist-glass.

Nose: Caramel malt, fudge, dried fruit, plum, floral and herbal spices. Taste: Sweet chocolate, nuts, caramel, coriander, molasses, oak and plum.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, silky and smooth. Light carbonation. Complex texture. A nice smooth bitterness at the end.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay glass.

A: The body is opaque brown with a 2-finger thick beige head. No lacing but lots of retention here. Got through the whole drinking experience.
S: The aroma felt like a regular dubbel, being constructed mostly by "belgian hops" (not sure if they're actually from Belgium, but it's the ones who are used regularly) and the typical strong yeast.
T: The strong yeast is what is tastable here - this beer has some hints of toffee but in its whole is very yeasty, which is good, but could be better.
M: WOW. This beer is very well conditioned, the mouthfeel is great due to its carbonation. The head had a tremendous retention, which could only be made a superior level of carbonation. This is awesome. No bitterness, more turned to sweetness actually.
O: For the first time, I had a Chimay that I want to revisit. Bold and solid.

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Photo of _Froggy_
2.8/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2015 date on cork. 1/18/2016 I sampled this beer from the 75cl or (750ml) bottle
why do i feel this tastes close to a stout???? more than an ale??? it's not bad but I wouldn't recommend it to friends ...
bottle/cork/hood finish is super nice ~ everything about this beer was super promising
I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought it was basically a let down.

it basically comes down to tasting like an expensive red/amber Guinness...not that it is a bad thing but it's definatly not for everyone ~ cheers

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into pint glass in January 2016. I did not see a date on the bottle but I drank this less than 1 month after purchasing it.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown with dark tan head. Beer is clear. Head is thin, and leaves a thin film/lacing on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with mix of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and some hops. A little hint of pepper. Nice variety and balance.

Taste: There is a nice mix of sweetness from the malt and bite from the hops. There is a little roasted coffee flavor, and I get a nice soft caramel flavors, balanced with a bit of hops. There is a little alcohol bite as well. This was done in a nice combination with the other flavors. There is a nice variety of flavors in the aftertaste too.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium alcohol level, which confirms the 7.00% on the bottle.

This is a smooth medium-bodied Dubbel, and one of the best Dubbels I have tasted. It is an interesting combination of flavors.

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Photo of Ant777uk
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Colour...reddish black...perfect.

Aroma is very spicy and complex...loving. No fruit, just serious manly beer aromas...

Flavour is well balanced, with great bubbly aftertaste that comes through after. Though it simply does not compare with Bleu. So why buy when you can buy Bleu..?

Overall, having already been drinking lots of Bleu during 4 months, it seems a let down. Though compared with other beers, it's still tops.

This is kind of a sunlight version of Bleu...drink in the hot weather

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Photo of stlfatguy
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with an almost burgundy hue. Lots of particulate in the pour. Smell was nice, strong fruits. Taste was initially very mild, almost neutral, but soon came to life and awoke with a punch of a port wine flavor. Interesting. Very warming aftertaste. Heavy alcohol heat.

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy light brown color; a pile of fluffy white head that looks like you could ski on; lacing to spare. Light nose that doesn't give much away -- a little malt and hints of Belgium yeast; some florals come alive as beer warms. Need to let this one run around your tongue for a bit -- gulp too quickly and you risk losing some of the more subtle pleasantries -- earthy bitterness, subtle spices. Medium body, plenty of carbonation. Overall, an outstanding drinking experience.

Just beginning to study the Belgians more carefully than I had in the past. Pretty sure I will want to circle back to this one after I have a little more dubbel seasoning.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought from Tamuras 11.oz bottle. Cloudy brown color, high carbonation, heavy mouthfeel, strong malty taste, tastes of caramel, overall a great beer to be sipped like wine to enjoy the complexity of it.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep cloudy brown color with an amber hue, and a powerful amount of activity. Slightly creamy and frothy beige 3 finger head, lasting around 15 minutes, making a good amount of legs. Flavors of ester fruits like pears and apples, dark fruits like plums, yeasty, coriander, clove, molassy, caramel, floral and herbal spices. Smooth slick medium body with champagne like carbonation. Strong and long finish, ending with a faint smoky molassy feel, thick fruity and bitter yeasty tongue coat, with lingering oaky barrel aged and grassy feel. Overall this is a very good craft with tasty flavors and a quality finish that I find better and more complex than the other Chimays. Good freshness and a well balanced rich sugary taste, yet quite dry and bitter with a strong boozy vinous feel.

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Photo of enrique_m
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

i really enjoyed this brew... poured this into a chimay glass and had it with chicken pesto pizza from whole foods. as soon as i popped it open all the fizz started pouring out on the table (alcohol abuse.) the beer is unfiltered and you cannot see through the amber colored brew. it has a caramel and apples smell and the taste is delicious. it has a smooth malty taste with a tannic aftertaste. overall it is an enjoyable beer that makes for a good christmas present.

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Photo of jamesroses
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

33cl Bottle

Appearance: cloudy brown with orange hues, 2 finger head and very good small bubbles carbonation.

Smell: caramel, chocolate, tobacco and sweet roasted malts. Nice odor.

Taste: it started sweet and chocolate creamy, nutty and smokey, and finished dry with a cocoa and nuts aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: creamy, smooth, really enjoyable, dry in the end. The carbonation is there and you feel it, but its not agressive at all. The same happened with the alcohol feel...almost didn't noticed it.

Overall: very good beer. I had read and seen video reviews and maybe was expecting a little bit more. I didn't smell nor taste any fruits, and there was something in the beer that made it similar to a stout, as someone said in another review. With this I mean to me it's not in the same world class status of a Westmalle Tripel or Trappistes Rochefort 10 for example. But it's a very nice beer, I can see myself having 3 or 4 of this accompaying a sharp cheese. I tried this in a showdown against La Trappe Dubbel with my family, and Chimay Red was the clear winner.

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Photo of Alexc11
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lovely deep, dark reddish orange color that forms strong cream once poured. Just the right amount of bitterness (balanced with fruity overtones) on first sip allowing for nice finish as you swallow. Enjoyable strong ale.

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Dark brown cola hued body with a half finger tan head.

S: Full of dark fruity esters such as tart black cherry, raspberries, spiced raisin cake, and spices like vanilla, allspice, and cinnamon. Sweet toasted malts are present as well.

T: Same as the smell, but more mellow with a slight alcoholic bite at the end.

F:Smooth and medium bodied.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the corked magnum bottle into a schooner glass. The cork has a 2014 date (opened in Nov. 2015). A moderate pour produces only about a half inch head, but this is very sticky with a creamy texture and color. The beer is a pale amber color, but quite hazy with suspended sediment. The carbonation is very active and fills nearly the whole glass.

The aroma is just slightly funky with some very mild earthiness and spice, and trailing some suggestions of tartness. The flavor is rich, malty and complex, with notes of dark fruit, dried fruit, overripe berries, a touch of molasses, maybe a little chocolate as it warms. Underneath is a lightly sweet mineral or tea-like quality. The mouthfeel is creamy but not otherwise too heavy, which invites repeated sips. Overall, simply a deliciously smooth and complex treat very deserving of its world class reputation.

I had not tried this lovely beer in quite awhile. When it was first available in my area I bought an entire case of Chimay and other Belgian magnum bottles for Christmas consumption- a magical time in my beer experience (and quite a splurge, for me at least- but it came with a 10 percent discount at Worden's Market in Missoula). I purchased this particular bottle for a little over 11 bucks at the Front Street Market in Butte, Montana.

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Photo of OlaB
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: copper color with tick foam
S: smell of fruits,caramel and spices
T: Dark fruits ,malt, very little bitternes in this brew , very drinkable ,taste stays there for a good while
F:medium bodied ,medium carbonation, mouthfull feels very fresh,the high alcohol content not very noticable
O: I was looking foward to try this one, and it sure lived up to its expectations, a great beer that i would give a high rating, and also a reason i love belgian beers

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Photo of PainterChi
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: ruby brown, perfect creamy ivory colored head, slightly hazy, bubbly high carbonation 4.75/5
S: caramel, toffee, apricot, fruit cake, brandy 4/5
T: brown sugar, buttersotch, date palm, persimmon, slightly bitter, rum 4/5
M: medium bodied, pleasant tingling from carbonation, creamy 4.5/5
O: great beer, fairly complex, but for a trappist beer it is slightly dull 4.25/5

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle labeled L13-744 (cork stamped 2013) at 42 degrees into Duvel snifter, allowed to warm to 52 degrees
Purchased at Wegman’s, Millcreek, PA, price unknown
Aroma – malty, perhaps some dates as well – definitely attracts fruit flies; lasts but does get fainter
Head average (three cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy/fizzy, rapidly diminishing to irregular two to four mm ring and partial frothy layer
Lacing - none
Body more on the red side of dark amber, hazy, effervescent
Flavor distinctly malty with some figgishness coming through; sweet, but not sticky sweet; ends slightly dry; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, fizzy

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 3.75, Overall 3.75

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
92 out of 100 based on 1,652 ratings.