Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

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Première (Red)Première (Red)
Première (Red)Première (Red)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay

Style: Belgian 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.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,755 | Ratings: 5,063
Photo of GratefulFC
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.

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Photo of sjdevel
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

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
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

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Photo of MNAle
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.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
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.

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
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.

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Photo of jkblr
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.

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Photo of Reef
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.

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Photo of Gadzook
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

L: Deep copper/amber, ever so faintly hazy. Beautiful off-white head, about 2 inches with gorgeous lacing and retention.

S: Malt, plum, yeast, some spice (clove, ginger?), golden raisin, and date.

T: Malt comes through first. Bready. I don't pick up as much spice as I do on the nose, but there's a bit of the phenol in there for just a moment right before the finish. Date and golden raisin again, not strong or anywhere near being overly sweet. It's so well balanced. Finish is similar to the reserve but not as boozy and a less pronounced hay/grain flavor. Also, there's a yeasty through-line that really adds a really nice richness to it that I'm all about.

F: Medium/light. Somewhere in between. More carbonation than I typically go for in a beer, but it works really well to draw out the flavors and give a great dry finish that I enjoy.

O: This is a great dubbel, man. Don't know what else to say about it. It's solid, well-balanced, pretty, and represents the style well.

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Photo of Joelherg1111
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great example of a Trappist beer that one can easily purchase in the U.S. Although better ales can be purchased locally in Europe and specialized stores in the U.S., this is a great ale for people looking to try Belgian beer. As with most Belgian beer, C02 in the bottle is high and a velvety head is produced. A fruity apricot ester is a strong character for this beer, while the mouthfeel is balanced.

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Photo of Tony210
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear copper color, nice fluffy head. Aroma is quite yeasty, but there is some nice raisin and toffee mixed in there as well. Flavor is fairly yeasty, Belgian candi, raisin, brown sugar, toffee. Ample carbonation. Overall an ok Belgian, a bit too yeasty for me.

12 oz bottle
3.76 rating

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Photo of Samlover55
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle into Chalice
L15-406 date code?
Pours an opaque auburn with thin off-white head
Aromas of plum brandy, golden raisin, pudding, bready yeast as well
The taste is more malt focused with some dark fruit as well
The feel is light bodied, with slight alcohol burn
Overall this a solid beer with a great aroma, a quintessential dubbel

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Photo of Buck89
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a chalice. A fairly hazy dark brown color. The head was beautiful - creamy, light tan, and persistent. This is my standard for Dubbels. Raisins, plum, toffee, light caramel, and that hard to describe Belgian water profile. Slight clove and not much banana. Medium bodied with bright carbonation. Just outstanding.

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

Well, sweet hell, BA’s... I’ve never had myself a Belgian Dubbel before, so ima kinda jumping into this one a buck naked virgin.

Now, scurred of this bad beauty Raul is not. And Raul ain’t gonna call this one basic, but it kind of is. We got caramel like it was sponsored by a Snicker; we got fig and raisin and plum like it endorsed by your grand papa favorite laxative company; and then all that mellows out all kinds of supple and smooth. It ain’t wild, it ain’t crazy, but you know what? It just good. Peace!

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Photo of Jacob_Hargis
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured 1 pint bomber into a tulip glass. Dark reddish amber color with a nice creamy light khaki head. Aromas of dried fruit, hazelnut, brown sugar, fig, and cherries. The yeast character is so unique and distinct with Chimay. More notes of dried fruit, dark candi sugar, pear, cherries, molasses, hay (barley) and a bit of honey. Hops lend a bitterness, followed by a slight boozy finish. Medium, slightly carbonated mouthfeel. Overall, a distinct and unique beers that has been brewed to perfection since 1862. This yeast strain is unlike many other beers out there. They just don't really compare, and that's why I highly recommend folks to try more Belgian beer. One of my favorites.

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Photo of puck1225
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cannot believe I haven’t reviewed this before.

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Beautiful reddish amber color with a creamy, thick head and excellent curtain lacing. Smell of apple and strawberry. Taste of apples, pears, sweet berries and some cinnamon. One of those beers that suggests that more Belgian beers deserve to be consumed!

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy, translucent dark amber/brown in appearance, with a pillowy off white head. Great retention and lacing.
Smells of dried cherry, prune, and fig; brown sugar, molasses, toast, and hay.
Tastes of dried cherry, prune, fig, sweet red apple, brown sugar, molasses, honey, toast, toffee, and hay.
Pillowy and effervescent carbonation, medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
3.41/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer has a thick white foamy head and is a caramel color. Aroma is a mix of bananas, cloves and other spices, and apple juice. The beer tastes a lot like apple juice. It begins sweet and ends with a very minor bitterness. The beer is crisp and has good carbonation.

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Photo of Drak-Nib
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Expensive at about $15, but outstanding performance. Less bitter, more happy. It may have been the extra endorphins running through me at the time, however. I'll have to retest later when I'm feeling neutral. Or just drink it whenever I'm feeling naturally good. circa 2009

At some point I'm going to have to sort out the other Chimay beers that I've had, because my first memory, from 2006 or 2007, was of a fantastic product. It may have been another from their line. More to look forward to! 2019/02/03

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Photo of cambabeer
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: One finger or off-white cream colored head which hangs around for days. Brown, with a hint of reddish hues. Almost opaque, just able to make out my finger on the other side of the glass. Pouring in the yeasty bottom of the beer now makes it completely opaque.

Smell: Soggy malts. Apple juice and some spices. A touch of toffee. Some alcohol in the nose, not over powering.

Taste: The fruity character, apples, raisin, clove are at the front of this beer. A cleaner finish than I would have expected, with lingering hop taste and some yeastiness. A floral bitterness which is very balanced.

Feel: Nice carbonation throughout. Medium bodied overall, smooth. Just enough oiliness at the end to make me reach for another sip.

Overall: Really good. I keep meaning to get back to drinking Belgian styles more often, and times like this are the reason why. It feels complex without trying to be. Both light, almost refreshing, yet rich and semi-filling at the same time.

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

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a Tree House snifter glass; coded L17 - 715, produced in 2017.
A: Poured a dark copper to brown color with definite brown highlights, producing a two to three finger, foamy, very light tan color with strong retention and solid lacing.
S: Aromas of brown sugar, caramel, with banana, apple, and cloves notes.
T: Semisweet and slightly tart. Flavor pallet also consists of caramel, brown sugar, apple, and toast. Light bitterness is just appreciable. Remarkably crisp and clean finish.
M: Light to medium bodied with strong, persistent carbonation. Gentle, tingling sensation during consumption. Drinks very smooth and cleanly.
O: Just delicious. In my experience, sets the mark for this style.

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Photo of nasty15108
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 1pt 9.4oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

L - Brownish red in color with a thick head of tan foam.

S - Malty with hint of ripe fruit.

T - More ripe fruit and a slight malty biscuit sweetness. Finishes with a slight dry hop bitterness.

F - Thin to medium body with good carbonation and a pleasant mouthfeel.

An absolute classic. One of my all time favorites and it never disappoints.

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Photo of Helluvaz
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Red, dark chestnut/maroon color with creamy, foamy head.
N: Roasted barley malt scent. Slightly smells like whiskey wort with the right amount of hoppiness.
Very rich body mixed with sweet wheaty scent. Smells a little bit like baked bread with some spice (cinammon and clove).
T: Rich, rich, balanced taste with a slightly toasty taste. Certainly can feel different layers of hop. Very pleasant and tasty. Extremely smooth and tasty finish.
F: Easy to drink. Honestly, a little hard to stop drinking.
Overall: this beer is so good. A great standard for Trappist bier. Would buy again.

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Photo of elnachooo
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cerveza con gran cabeza blanca que se disipa a los pocos segundos. Su aroma tiene afrutado con notas de frutos secos. En boca es una cerveza dulce, afrutado y con un toque de café. Cerveza equilibrada con alta carbonatación.

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Photo of Maestro0708
4.56/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a goblet.

L- Pours deep, dark amber with an off-white head that is as resilient as they come.

S- Smells of apricots, dark fruits, plum, some banana, spice and sweet malt.

T- Taste follows the aroma with big fruit and malt flavor: dark fruit, apricot, banana, spice, and an impression of malty sweetness but with a dry finish that doesnt linger.

F- Body is medium-light. Finish is somewhat dry but this beer is not thin. Highish carbonation.

O- A favorite, something to be savored!

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Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 5,063 ratings