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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: 4,701
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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Guppy314
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really wanted to taste something special because this wasn't cheap, but no not really, just simply good. Reddish brown with an unusually frothy head. There is a malty or toffee sweetness with some plum-like fruitiness and clove flavors.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 !

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Chimay makes seem so effortless, what an exceptionally example of fine ingredients combined in perfect proportions. The end result is a fine brew, suitable for any occasion. Pleasant caramels married to those uniquely fine Belgian malts. Beautiful well defined head, pours lightly and lingers as the enjoyment of beer well done makes each sip more pleasurable than the last. It's not cheap, and you'd expect great and your wishes will not unmet, enjoy a real winner.

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Photo of Guzzler78
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz Bottle
Pours a somewhat cloudy medium brown, light tan head that doesn't sit around long. Leaves some soapy white lacing.
Smells of caramel malt, some spice in there-light clove. Sweet citrus notes.
Tastes of dried fruits, spicy, strong maltiness very faint hops. A nice long, sustained finish.
Medium body and mouthfeel, leaves some creamy coating.
A good drinking beer. A great Belgian Ale.Try it!

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Photo of ivanwatling
2.35/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Frothy head, that started to spew out of the bottle when I took the cap off.

Smell: Nothing special, typical of a trappist ale

Taste: A huge disappointment. It was simply unpleasant. Sure, it had characteristics typical of a trappist ale but something was not right. I tried several sups before pouring the rest away

Mouthfeel: Too lively

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

Poured into a standard glass.

The chimay red label pours a golden brown with a cloudy center. The substantial head leaves little lacing as it diminishes.

The smell is subdued. Subtle notes of toffee and a hint of chocolate intermingle with the spice smells.

The taste is good, like a brown ale/red ale crossover. Neither overly sweet nor bitter, the malt and alcohol both play a role in warming the palatte. The feeling of alcohol diminishes quickly and is replaced by caramelly malts and very subtle hoppiness. The aftertaste is a bit dirty, it makes me want to drink more to refresh the good flavors.

I could drink this the whole night, but would prefer to mix it up. For an extra dollar, the blue label chimay makes a much better deal in my opinion.

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Photo of Popkorn615
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served chilled, poured from bottle into a chalice-shaped glass.

A - Pours a dark amber with a one-fingered head that completely dissipates after a few minutes. Moderate carbonation - bubbles can still be seen floating through the body even after 10 minutes.

S - Fruity, a little nutty, and a touch liquory (thanks to its higher than normal proof - 7%), and a little malty. Tons of beautiful aromas filled my nasal passages. I couldn't pinpoint which fruit could be smelt/tasted, but after reading the mini-manual, the indication of apricot confirmed that fruit was the culprit.

T - Fruity, and subtle nutty, flavors are present. The increased alcohol content (as opposed to other beers) is more apparent. Sweet with a hint of honey-flavor.

M - Probably the silkiest feeling beer I have ever tasted. Tingly while in the mouth, and flows down the throat like a smooth river. Gives off a slight warmth as it goes down.

D - A beautiful-tasting beer, and moderately filling. I could definitely have a couple of chalices worth, but because of its filling-ness and elegance, I don't think I could drink a ton of it.

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Photo of TheGarvenator
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark, murky amber color with an extreme foamy response that dissipates slowly.

S - caramel and fruit with hops

T - caramel malt is my immediate taste...then raisin and more dark fruit taste...

M - very well balanced...not too bitter/tart

O - very enjoyable...great taste and smell which compliment each other perfectly and the balance of ingredients makes it that much better. There isnt anything I can point out as a flaw with this beer...I now understand why it is so highly praised; its well deserved...Cheers!

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Photo of dsprainman
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle.
This beer pours a nice amber. Thick beige head. Sufficient lacing.
Smells of malt and plums. Rather bland to be honest.
Taste again brings memories of dark fruits and a sort of caramel/ brown sugar in the background. Not that outgoing.
Mouth-feel is somewhat lively. Not overly heavy.
All in all, This is alright but not really feeling it given the other two Chimay offerings and the many other dubels out there. Don't get me wrong, Its a stellar brew, just fell a little short of expectations.

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Photo of jrsqc7
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bright sunshine beginning of summer William DeVaughn's "Be Thankful For What You Got" playing kids at the neighborhood playground screaming about chocolate bars. Frothy malt lingers introduces spices warmth. Fantastic.

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Photo of Myk
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a hazy brown colored beer, slight amber in when backlit. small tan head that depleted fast. the aroma was figgy, fruity, and spicy yeast. the taste was much better than the aroma and appearance. it was spicy and hoppy with a soothing malt character. fig or grape fruity taste. it was very light body with a light and very drinkable mouthfeel.

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Photo of RDAdams
2.4/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: A deep reddish brown beer with a very nice head.

Smell: Having already had Grande Réserve and Cinq Cents, I was disappointed with the aroma of Première. It was spicy, but the spices were overcome with the odors of yeast and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: was about average for an average beer, but not what one would expect from a $10/liter beer.

Taste: I was also average, except for the harshness of the first swallow.

Drinkability: Well I didn’t care for it. In fairness, I will try it again. There are others who rate it very high so it must have appeal I have not found.

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Photo of captenaj
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this at the Total Wine shop in Ft Myers, Florida.

Appearance: Rich reddish-brown color with a thick, one-fingered head.

Smell: Malt, cherry, yeast.

Taste: Delicious. Very slight hops but the malt was more prominent. Although there was a slight cherry aroma, very minimal fruitiness was present in the taste. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with a very smooth finish.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth without a hint of the 7% ABV.

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