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: 5,064
Photo of Impetuous
5/5  rDev +19.9%
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 Amburner
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chimay is legendary. Forget the esoteric BS about lacing, how many fingers of head and so on. I presume you might come here to learn something about a beer you've never tried. The entire Chimay range should be high on your list.

My best Chimay Premiere tip: Pair it with dark chocolate covered sour cherries. Superb! Here is Australia, Cherry Ripe is a pretty good substitute that's easy to find. If you're lucky, you can get Chimay cheeses to have with the beer. These are not so widely exported as the beer, possibly due to some countries rules against importing unpasteurised products. If you can't get them in your area, you might enjoy getting all three Chimay beers and three or four cheeses together with a few friends for a tasting party.

For me, Chimay Premiere is the pinnacle of beer. I would say its contribution extends to having influenced the style for many generations and helped spawn the amazing variety of exceptional quality beers we see today. Standing on the shoulders of the Chimay giant!

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Photo of jcarper
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my all-time favorite Belgian beer! Smooth yet spicy taste, very drinkable, even quaffable. A heavy color and feel, and a great finish; and it's becoming available now almost everywhere because of its popularity. I prefer the corked-type poured in a Chimay glass.

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Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll admit the reputation of this beer influenced how I approached it. Solemnly. No radio was playing. The time was 5 after a day of tweeking the house, now waiting for the spouse to arrive. The beer came in a 33cl square, rocket-shaped bottle. Condensation formed liberally on the brown glass. Setting sunlight played off of the raised glass text: "Abbaye de Scourmont."
Nowhere does the package read "Premiere." It DOES read "Imported by Paterno Imports" though. This is a firm I know from the wine trade. An old colleague and hero of mine works for this outfit, selling mostly wine I presume. Their prices have a reputation for being "optimistic," at least in our jurisdiction. I notice no monkey-business when it comes to the price of this beer though. Circa $3.50 is what I expected to pay (before my discount.)
I pour a glass. It's too cold.
As I allow it to warm up I observe an opening of sweet strawberry fruit and nutmeg. Rare Solera Brandy rises up to support and give power to the flavors...shaded with Indian Ocean spices...Madagascar pepper...Indonesian nutmeg. This is subtle though. This graceful spinning wheel of flavor discreetly allows a deeper, more neutral flavor to reign. It might best be described as the taste of various fresh cream preparations. It is almost more of a texture than a flavor, like whipped cream melting cleanly away.
Ripe black cherry flavors feature prominently as it gets warmer. Now, nearly 70 deg. F, and cherry wood-aged Calvados churns beneath a delicious little peppery bite of yeast. Remarkably complex, smooth and drinkable beer. My last sip was at nearly 80 deg. F. Amazing! Creamy, Baileys Ir ish Cream with exotic, expensive spices. What great yeast!

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Photo of RBorsato
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Solid brown color with amber hues, a full pillowy beige head, awesome carbonation, and sheets of lace. Strong clove spice aroma with apple-ish fruit aromas underneath and a nice yeasty note. Nice spicy clove flavor with figs and raisins to balance it out. Medium-full bodied and warming with a strong finish.

PURE DELIGHT ! One of the best Belgian breweries in the world... hands down.

Per Label: "Authentic Trappist Product"

Note: #11 in Stuart Kallen's "The 50 Greatest Beers in the World"

Cork Date: 10/03
Tasted: 05/20/04

($7.49 / 25.4 oz Brown champagne style bottle corked and caged)

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Photo of gbarbee
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Appearance: Amber/Brown
Smell: Malts and fruit.
Taste: Malt, yeast, and fruit.
Mouthfeel: Full
Drinkability: A great beer and the makes me think of the classic Belgian Style. My second favorite out of the three Chimays.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of JoshatTownHall
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Hellhunt Pub in Tallin, Estonia. Paid €3.50. What a deal. I can see why people spend over $13 in the U.S. for it. Exceptional beer that exemplifies the style. I will gladly pay the price back in the U.S. for this brew. Again to reiterate, if you can afford the airfare Estonia is probably the place to go in Northern Europe for awesome beer at Bud Lt. price!

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Photo of spencz11
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Definitely one of the best beers in the world. Has an extremely well balanced taste. This Belgian beer is the one I introduce to my wine friends due to its complexity and wide range of flavors. I love the Chimay line and I'm able to get bottles of the red for around $9 which makes this extremely hard to beat.

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Photo of drowland
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my all-time favorites. I love abbey dubbels, and this has got to be the best one I've ever tried. Simply delicious and something every beer drinker should try! Full of ripe esters and wonderful complex malt and yeast characteristics. Pours with a luxurious head.

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Photo of jazztoloc
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a 330 ml bottle, poured into a Chimay goblet.
As soon as I opened the bottle, I started to smell the magnificent beer I was about to try.
Dark brown and redish in color, nice big head, and very good retention.

I loved the well balanced smell of malt and fruits, the goblet serves it's purpose very well and enhances the experience.

Tastes like fruit, very malty, and sweet. You can feel the alcohol very nice blended with all the flavors.

This is a very nice beer, It might not be the best belguian beer I've ever tried, but it sure is a pleassure to drink. It coul be a very good choice to start with belguian beer.


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Photo of 1fastz28
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

somehow i missed another great belgian, and this one is probably the best belgian i've ever had, and i've had westvlerten. it has a beauitful cloudy amber color with a alot of carbonation, smell is awesome, has a wonderful yeast body to it, along with sweet malt, just a great overall aroma. the taste is so good it could legally make this beer considered a controlled subject and be subject to various ATF laws, its that good, its a perfect balance of yeast, malt and hops. this beer has no flaws, its what every other beer has dreams of being.

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Photo of apasternak
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed by Belgium monks, this is one of the finest beers in the world. Expensive but definitely worth it, this beer has an incredibly complex flavor. This beer, also known as the most expensive beer on the Bernie's passport ($10), is very fancy, very delicious and very out of my normal price range

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Photo of
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Glowing burgundy in the glass with small white head and fine carbonation that leaves perfect Brussels lace all the way down. Aromas of honey and malt sweetness, earthy and spicy noble hops, and, buried somewhere back there, a hint of sour apple cider. Silky and dry mouthfeel with a malt sweetness that is strong, but not at all overpowering as it is matched perfectly by herbal hops and a rich ripe fruitiness similar to really good dark chocolate. Has a curious finish that is dry and sweet simultaneously and leaves you wanting another sip as soon as you swallow the first. Ridiculously drinkable for such a strong, complex beer. This is quite possibly the perfect beer.

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Photo of esprit
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Are you guys kidding?.....some of the reserved reviews of this beer make my blood boil...this is, without question, one of the world's top 10 beers and everything one would expect from a Trappist...big intense aromas, gorgeous head, deep and rich satisfying flavours....if you don't like this one then you should stick to you Coor's Light!

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Photo of Beermanic
4.98/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A:Brownish copper, with deep red hues. Semi tan creamy head, lots of little bubble close together.

S: Rich malty sweetness, some fruity phenolic esters. Toffee, plum, ripe cherry, biscuit, classic Belgian character.

T: A lot like smell, Rich malt body, make that a great body what I wish most beers had...body! Nice Belgian candy sweetness, complex fruity flavors. Balance is toward malt not toward the bitterness. Very little bitterness perceived. After taste has that great roasty toffee flavor, almost like burnt candy.

M: Full bodied Medium high carbonation

Overall: Fantastic Dubbel, probably why its been around so long. Personaly this is what a dubbel should taste like while most others fall short. If you really want a treat by a case and age one year, then have one a month, it will blow your mind. It become more sweet caramel flavored. Perfect commercial example, nothing negative.

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Photo of BeerMarshall
4.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: dark ruby, Excellent head retention.

S: Pleasant aroma of dark, earthy fruits, plum, fig.

T: Similar to aroma. Not overly sweet, but hints of plumb, fig.

M: Not overly heavy, definitely drinkable, but makes its presence known. good carbonation complements and carries the flavors.

O: One of my favorite beers. Well attenuated, drinkable, not as "in your face" as many dubbel imitators. Excellent head retention, probably due to the wheat proteins (chimay claims to use flour in their grist).

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Photo of schusterbauer
4.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

deep brown, red, orange...depends on how the light hits the glass. gentle white head laces the glass and coats the top of the beer indefinitely. aromas of french toast, maple syrup, clove, caramel, malts, dusty book pages, fresh fruit. how can all of those things smell good together? this is how. the flavors are all of the above with the addition of exotic spices and sweet liqueur. so many flavors, and yet the beer is so smooth and refined, and unassuming in the palate. tastes of a recipe that was long ago perfected, and is no longer being experimented with, because the efforts would be in vain.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.95/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky reddish brown Clorox and has a very lively carbonation. It's head is off white and leaves a lot of lace in my glass. It has a very spicy aroma and I swear I smelled tobacco in there and a Hefe like clove. The flavor is just as nice with a terrific blend of spice and nuttiness and again a Hefe like clove that stands out from the sweetness. It's only flaw in my opinion is that the body is a bit thin, but overall this is a really good beer that is too good for it's alcohol content. I could drink these all night.

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Photo of akdo
4.94/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured it from a 750 ml bottle. The beer was mostly brown with a few shades of red and a nice white head.

Although some would recommend you to shun watery beers, the Chimay Premiere is made from an outstanding water that comes from a well. Once you drink the beer, you will be surprised. The beer is soft. Despite being bitter like any beer, the Chimay Premiere has a few hint of sweetness. It almost tastes like a fruit. Moreover, it is so complex it will have you guessing.

All in all, it is one of the best beers I have tasted. It can be enjoyed alone or with a cheese.

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Photo of Ferb
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

There is something special to me about Trappist beers, much probably is emotional. Monks being actively involved, using the labor as a means to a spiritual end, surplus wealth going to charity and of course, centuries of history in a land far away.
What I like most is the taste. This Chimay is all malt, bread and yeast tempered with dark fruits like fig, prunes and some pineapple with just a.whisper of clove. Aroma is easy echoed in
The tasting

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Photo of korguy123
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can remember a short while ago that anything Belgian I would avoid. When I would get something traditional I would find myself grimmacing with each sip. I've slowly realized that my tastebuds are ever changing and I'm starting to get into a groove. I'm realizing that dubbels and quads are my thing and tripels are not my fancy.

I walk through the LCBO weekly and always pass Chimay and have never felt the urge to try this; Until now.

750ml into DFH signature glass served cool not chilled.

A- Hazy red/brown pour. Two finger off white head that just won't go away. Lacing is fantastic and carbonation is stellar.

S- Yeast right off the bat, subtle corriander, figs, prunes and what I perceive as strawberries. brown sugar and vanilla give this a nice sweetness that makes me antsy for the first sip.

T- Figs and prunes, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. not as sweet as the nose would make you think. Fairly dry aftertaste. Getting a little metallic taste that seems to disappear as this warms a little further.

M- medium to full bodied, sticky sweet on the lips.

D- This was a very pleasant experience and it's amazing how fast i enjoyed this whole bottle. Very affordable and worthwhile.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Apperas to be a rusty brown color with a large white head, and lots of visible carbonation. Smells nice and earthy, slight banana and buutter scents, kind of musty. Taste is very sweet and changes flavors several times. The butter and bananas persist, as well as the funkiness. Very well carbonated, goes down silky smooth, just begging you to take another sip. Excellent.

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Photo of TheDeuce
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, aged this bottle nearly a year and the results were killer, a yeasty dark reddish brown with a frothy thick head results. Smell is of yeast, multiple fruits, hoppyness, and an alcohol pungency. Taste is thick, dark, flavorful, smacks of fruit surround the toungue and stay afterwards, superb for sipping after a long day, a kicker of a beer and a great dubbel, even greater when aged. Dang.

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Photo of drmeto
4.89/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

-plums,caramel,toffee,strawberry,white bread,banannas,spices
-Follows the nose plus chocolate cake and a substantial hoppy note
-high carbonation
My fave Dubbel

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Photo of likethetaste
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All three beers from Chimay are top notch. Some of the best beer I have every had. Chimay Reserve (blue label) is my favorite of the three and all three are up there with my all time favorites.

Am I the only one but in the Red in all the complexity of flavor I do taste hints of cranberry but I see no one else notices this. Anyway this is a must try beer and brewery for anyone serious about great beers.

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Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 5,064 ratings