Première (Red)
Bières de Chimay

Première (Red)Première (Red)
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Ranked #5
Ranked #2,039
4.17 | pDev: 10.79%
Bières de Chimay
Première (Red)Première (Red)
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 1,773 | Ratings: 5,120 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of monkist
monkist from Hungary

4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I started out not liking Begian beer, for being too foul and yeasty, and for some reason I was convinced that every beer from tjem is like that. I don’t even recall what made me feel like that. Was it a wit? No idea.
At one point a friend of mine gave me a Westmalle and it was surprisingly good. It gave me back faith in Belgian beer - and since I started trying out a few ones recently, I must admit that all of them have been excellent, just like this Chimay. This one smelled a bit sweet with a kind of fizz, I was expecting some Brett in there but I guess there wasn’t? Although I wouldn’t be surprised if there was because the beer was quite intensely carbonated, very finely carbonated just like a Brett and had a slightly champagne-esque character, although it wasn’t dry. On the contrary, it had a very decent malt presence that made the beer a bit sweet with caramel overtones? Still, overall the beer wasn’t just like a sweet brown ale, it is much more interesting than that. The booze? Maybe. The yeast? Must be. The hops? Well, it must have been an interplay between all of these. It is a very well made beer. Let’s see what the other colors (white and blue) have to offer next time!

Jul 11, 2020
Photo of Audiobrains84

2.07/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into Belgian glass, an attractive burgundy with deep plum color. Very thin head that dissipated quickly. Smelled heavily of tobacco, vinegar and leather with a fig and date undertone, slight spice. Tasted like I was drinking tobacco leaf juice...not very sweet or tart and not what I expected from my favorite style of beer. Judging by other reviews my beer may have been bad. Nothing like the reviews Ive read. Glad I tried it though.

May 19, 2020
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Pmicdee from Canada

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a figgy brown colour. The smell is the classic Belgian aroma. The taste combines the aforementioned Belgian spicyness with dried fruit (figs, raisins, dates) Less bitter than other Belgian wannabes. Overall one of the best Belgian beers I’ve tried.
May 11 2020

May 12, 2020
Photo of TooManyGlasses
TooManyGlasses from Canada

4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with Easter dinner.
Pours a dark caramel amber with finger + of khaki head.
Aroma of toffee, caramel malt, bready, Belgian yeast, and some fruity esters - dark fruit, hint of cherry. As warmed more complex spicy note.
Taste is up front sweet caramel malt, bready, gingerbread, slightly nutty, with again notes of fruity esters and a touch of bitterness at the back end.
Medium full mouthfeel with average carbonation - slightly tart but sweet caramel and fruitiness coating palate. Very good.

Apr 11, 2020
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OK_Denise from Oklahoma

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very nice Dubbel and one that I enjoy a lot. It is an "easier" drink that the White and Blue Chimay's though not as full-bodied or as good a taste.

Apr 10, 2020
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InspectorHound from Canada

4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Copper red with 1 1/2 fingers of white head which gives way after a few minutes, leaving a small light head across the top.
Smell: Apricots, malts, earthy and a hard to describe soapy sourness.
Taste: Cinnamon and pears. Spice and yeasty with a hint of pumpernickel bread.
Feel: Very interesting, starts out a little watery and subtle at the start. After a few seconds in the mouth the beer really opens up with a spicy and creamy expression. Fills the whole mouth with something going on all over the tongue and palate.
Overall this beer earns a solid A.

Mar 23, 2020
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woosterbill from Kentucky

4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle into a tulip.

L: Clear, brilliant deep chestnut body under an inch of dense, creamy white foam. Solid retention and lacing. Quite attractive, if not quite as voluminous in the head department as many Belgians can be.

S: Vibrant, complex aroma with elements of bread crust, dried fruit, and spice all playing significant roles. A bit of banana and cinnamon interplay as well. Really nice.

T: Malty, nutty, and moderately sweet up front, with some spice (more clove than cinnamon) arriving just before the dry, mildly bitter finish. Balanced and enjoyable, but not as layered as the aroma.

F: On the light side of medium-bodied, with ample fine effervescence.

O: Excellent beer, up there with my favorite Dubbels. Maybe the best Chimay offering relative to its style.

Beers of Fame tick 193/250. Cheers!

Feb 14, 2020
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cardfan212 from Minnesota

4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 mL bottle into a goblet.

Look - Opaque mahogany head with explosive and very active poofy eggshell colored head that lingers for almost forever and leaves behind some mighty impressive lacing.

Smell - An immediate impression of roasted carrots, but that soon gets out of the way for brown sugar, caramel, and molasses. Some rye bread and spicy citrus on the backend.

Taste - Caramel brownies, gingerbread cookies, and maple syrup. Very sweet with no distinguishable bitter character, yet somehow not at all unbalanced.

Feel - Thick, creamy, and velvety smooth with a gentle fizzy finish.

Overall - Powerful yet reserved. Like a liquid dessert. Full-bodied and rich, and quite delicious.

Jan 01, 2020
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mactrail from Washington

4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with lots of fine-grained foam in the Ommegant chalice. Yeasty, fruity aroma. Flavors of pear and malted milk. Nice sloshy mouthfeel with a pleasant prickle of carbonation. The classic Belgian yeasty and spicy taste. Hints of dates. Modest bitter aftertaste and the dry finish. From the 330 ml stubby bottle. Just a dab of yeast in the bottom.

Dec 31, 2019
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KooVee from Finland

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle, bb in 3 2/3 years, so quite fresh.

Somewhat darker than standard copper, very clear. Light beige foam with persistent lace.

Aroma of figs, dates and prune. And some cellar and brown sugar.

Taste adds nutmeg and cinnamon, with additional musty but pleasant notes riding on top of a very supple body. I remember the mouthfeel to have been thicker in the past, but this is very drinkable on the other hand. Slightly bitter and spicy aftertaste which I guess is often called 'yeasty', although this is altogether too smooth for the taste of a random yeast (residue).

Still well worth seeking out, even if not quite as assertive as this once was. Hope they would let the yeast shine more with additional emphasis on the malt flavours. Hard to believe this could improve for almost four years.

Dec 23, 2019
Photo of CalebSipeMN

4.84/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours as a bubbly penny-copper with a decently foamy head that is a pale tan.

The aroma contains notes of candied fruit, figs, plums, and chocolate.

The flavor reminds me of a good fruitcake, without the brandy. It has a very slight sourness to it, but it also has a mild sweetness akin to brown sugar.

This beer goes down pretty good!

Dec 10, 2019
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From notes 11/13/12: Pours a murky dark amber producing 1 finger of frothy, variously bubbled, somewhat lasting, off-white head that leaves a wash of pasty lace. Aroma is caramel, dark fruits, Belgian yeast and a hint of chocolate covered cherries. Taste is pumpernickel, caramel, brown sugar, figs, prunes, raisins, dark cherries, Belgian yeast and a hint of warming alcohol. Overall very well balanced and incredibly drinkable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation.

Nov 10, 2019
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ramseye4 from Virginia

4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- simply beautiful. Pours a dark toffee color with caramel undertones. Beautiful two fingers of foamy lace.
S-Candied fruit, plum, fig. Wonderful.
T-Candied fruit hits up front, giving way to a mellow fig, plum, and raw cherry undertone.
M- Not as stellar as the rest, though still good, a bit watery initially.
O- you can taste the love in this one. Simply wonderful

Sep 27, 2019
Photo of Lanas
Lanas from Greece

3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was little nervous before try this beer.. I was pretty sure for has it taste but the result was different in month in the end.. I expecting this beer to be little similar with "Westmall dubbel" and "La Trappe Dubbel" but it dosen't.. The taste is completely different from any other "dubbel" i have taste.
This beer is little in the middle in all.. Is slightly light, Slightly bitter, Slightly sweet, Slightly fruity ect.. Hasen't some strong material inside to make the difference.. I guess that is good and make this beer balance but i prefer something more heavier "dubbel" with less water inside like "Westmalle" as example..
Overall is a great beer to drink no doubt about that but is little more bitter and lighter for my taste..

Sep 14, 2019
Photo of octortus
octortus from Canada

4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 mL Bottle. ABV 7%
Appearance: Reddish brown, Above moderate carbonation, Visible sediment, Just over one finger of beige head, Absolutely phenomenal retention, Very respectable cap remains.
Aroma: Woody, Prune, Raisin, Pear, Apple, Caramel, Toasted malts, Spice, Slight roast, Brown sugar, Complex.
Mouthfeel: Above medium body, Smooth/Somewhat creamy, Crisp, Light-Medium carbonation, Slight alcohol warmth.
Flavour: Raisin, Plum, Bready malts, Brown sugar, Slight caramel, Prune, Spice, Slightly nutty.
Overall: Wow. This is a fantastic beer. A very impressive Dubbel and definitely one I would drink again. That retention is unreal.

Review: 62

Sep 10, 2019
Photo of jjamadorphd
jjamadorphd from Florida

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tried this on the word of mouth from someone whose taste in beer I trust...and he did not fail me here at all...

Right from the get-go, the dark caramel coloration captivated my eye, the thick foamy, rich head also held me in it's clutches, and then the lacing brought it all together in near perfection. The scent was also tantalizing as at just 7% ABV it was boozy to the nose as it was to the tongue - but balanced well, not overpowering. Mouthfeel starts carbonated but tamps down very well as it warms, all of this making for something definitely more than outstanding and solidifying my source's trustworthiness as a beer connoisseur...

Sep 06, 2019
Photo of PhilCarta
PhilCarta from Florida

4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Liked the finger-and-a-half head although it reduced quite quickly. None of the sweet tastes often found in American Belgian styles, but rather more English or Irish in character but with a Continental touch.

Jul 20, 2019
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GratefulFC from Arizona

4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque brown. Smell is caramel, nuts, and vanilla. Taste is caramel and malt up front. Vanilla and earthy tones in behind. has a slight nutmeg pepperiness.

Jun 25, 2019
Photo of sjdevel
sjdevel from Colorado

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look - Dark copper and brown that is quite hazy - very frothy head with very large bubbles - light tan head color - remains active and retention is great

Smell - Spices, Star Anise, prunes, dates, dark brown sugar, yeast

Taste - First a bite of burnt dark brown sugar and heavy spices (star anise, coriander, black pepper) - rich caramel and syrup - starts to dry out and then you get some more black licorice and toffee - slight charred oak flavor as well that trails off

Feel - This is a bit thicker than I expected - I was thinking medium bodied but it is dancing on the line of being a full bodied brew - the carbonation is really active and bubbly on the tongue - seems to expand every time you take a sip

Overall - This is a really great Dubbel (even though the beer is not designated as a Dubbel) - very complex and I was impressed - I haven't had many Dubbels but this is really enjoyable and rich - everyone must try this icon of a beer at least once - highly recommend

Jun 22, 2019
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
Thomas_Wikman from Texas

3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It is the first time I am having this Chimay. Not my favorite Chimay but pretty good.

Look: cloudy brown-red with a two inch thick off-white head

Aroma: sourdough, raisins, maybe banana

Taste: Bready, yeasty, raisins, maybe banana, it is quite good.

Body/Overall: medium body

Jun 21, 2019
Photo of MNAle
MNAle from Minnesota

4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Cork and cage 25 oz bomber allowed to sit out of the 45° F beer refrigerator for about 10 minutes before opening. A substantial "pop" upon twisting the cork out after removing the cage. Poured about half the bottle (a little less) into a 16 oz goblet.

Aroma of dark bread, caramel, and spice. A bit of sweetness in the aroma, along with dark fruits, raisins. The aroma is complex and inviting.

Dark brown color on first look, with an amber-red with a back light, with abundant carbonation. Tall, thick, creamy, off-white head from a somewhat gentle pour. Thick lacing if you tip the glass that slips down just a bit toward the head once you put the glass back upright. As the head recedes, there will be some lacing lingering just above the thick cap on the side of the glass. As you drink, the opposite side of the glass has thick lacing reminding you of what you've just enjoyed.

Sweet bready taste, dominated by caramel, raisins/dates. The mix of caramel, bread, raisins, and spiciness is thoroughly delightful. The taste lingers nicely on the tongue, with just a slight touch of bitterness in the finish. By the finish, the sweetness has given way to a dry ending.

Feel is moderate, with substantial carbonation noted as well.

Aftertaste has the fruit, caramel, and spices lingering; very pleasant, indeed.

Jun 17, 2019
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Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, dark amber coloration with a huge, fluffy, lasting head. Smells of bready, caramel malt, dark/red fruits and estery spice notes, with just a hint of a certain earthiness. Taste is great balance of slightly toasted, bready, caramel malt, very light earthy/herbal hops and estery spice, with notes of dark/red fruit: fig, raisin, redcurrant, clove, black pepper and hints of leather and tobacco. Finishes semi-dry, with a light bitterness and some bready/caramel malt and earthy/spicy notes lingering in the aftertaste. Full mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

This is a very close contender to Westmalle, with a good balance and complexity, never turning to sweet, but perhaps still being a tad more sweet and fruity, while somewhat more earthy and leathery at the same time.

Jun 15, 2019
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NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- The beer pours dark caramel brown. The head is towering 4 inches of mousse like tan foam. The head recedes so slowly that I have to pour in stages and eventually I drink a few sips from the bottle while I wait. Lacing is patchy but covers the entire glass.
S- On the nose there is mustiness from the yeast up front. Behind this lingers some caramel and candi sugar sweetness.
T-Taste is much less sweet than the nose. It comes off as more dark bread through the middle mixed with a bit of yeastiness. At the end of the sip there is just a touch of caramel sweetness which lingers long after the swallow. There is no hint of alcohol other than a slight warming of the belly.
F-Mouthfeel overall is on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is robust as noted in the look. The carbonation plays a fair part in the lighter feel. However the high carbonation can become a bit of a chore in it's own right.
O- I can see why this one is a standard bearer for the dubbel style. It checks all the boxes for me personally. I'd purchase it more regularly if it wasn't running me 20 bucks for a 4pk of 11oz bottles. Still I suspect I'll indulge myself during the winter months at least once. Highly recommended.

Jun 15, 2019
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jkblr from Indiana

4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle marked L18-427 (bottled roughly a year ago) poured into a Chimay chalice at fridge temp 7% ABV. The beer pours bright dark amber to light brown in color with red highlights and light khaki head. The head builds quickly on a gentle pour, then recedes to a thin cap. Minimal lacing. The aroma is sweet resembling candi sugar and dark dried fruits with a bready element as well. The taste is semisweet caramel bread with a light fruitiness transitioning to a mildly bitter, drying finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average carbonation to the point of being barely prickly. Overall, very good. A timeless and delicious beer.

Jun 15, 2019
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Reef from South Carolina

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle dumped into a New Belgium snifter

So much tan head, dark brown, walls of lacing
Cherry, apricot, fig, hay scents. I get a kind of cheesy aroma from all Chimay beers.
Colanut, nutmeg, coriander, cherry, ginger, coffee flavors
Slick mouthfeel, slight bitterness, dry finish, no alcohol heat.

$6 for 11 oz., like other Belgians keeps me from buying this more often, but I never regret it.

Jun 08, 2019
Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 5120 ratings