Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

1,681 Reviews
Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay

Style: 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

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Reviews: 1,681 | Ratings: 4,827
Photo of 1fastz28
5/5  rDev +22%
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 Amburner
5/5  rDev +22%
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
5/5  rDev +22%
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 Beermanic
4.98/5  rDev +21.5%
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 schusterbauer
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
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 BeerMarshall
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
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 RushLimbmalt
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
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 +20.5%
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 TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +20%
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 korguy123
4.92/5  rDev +20%
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 Ferb
4.92/5  rDev +20%
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 TheDeuce
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
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 +19.3%
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 scottbrew4u
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours into Chimay chalice an amber to light brown color with some haze. Fluffy tan head rises and slowly settles. Head stays all the way down to the bottom of the glass.

S: Honey, ripe berries, currants, toasted malt and fresh bread, coriander and clove spice from yeast. Hops are floral and herbal.

T: Toffee, plums, currants, and toasted malt. Flavors keep unfolding, vanilla, candi sugar, and other fruity esters. Some spice of coriander and clove stand up through the malt complexity. Hops are floral and spicy.

M: Medium to full body with small, crisp carbonation. Some alcohol warmth comes through.

D: IMO one of the best beers in the world! So well balanced and amazingly complex. Very drinkable at 7% ABV!

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Photo of likethetaste
4.88/5  rDev +19%
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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Photo of office888
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml corked bottle, dated 11/07 on the cork.

Unfortunately, I lacked a chalice or goblet, so I had to use a red wine glass. Less than perfect, but better than a solo cup.

A: Pours a deep burgundy color, with slight bubbles coming to the surface. A heavy, thick head instantly develops, but dissipates fairly quickly into a light lace.

S: Sweet, smells of fresh fruit, like a wine almost with a spice on the end.

T: Soft mouthfeel with a crisp carbonation. Very smooth. Almost immediately, fruit flavors appear. I catch maybe the tart of a green apple, coupled with pear. A flowery hops note appears towards the end. Finish tapers off slowly with no harsh aftertaste. Just a clean, clear, smooth finish

It is official. This is one of the greatest beers I've ever tasted. There's no harsh characteristics about it. It's purely art in a bottle, that an artist has blended into a masterpiece.

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Photo of iamntbatman
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nut brown in color with a big, thick head. The beer is definitely cloudy, even with a fairly gentle pour. The lacing is the only thing that takes away from the appearance of the beer, as it could have been even stickier.

Smell: The smell here is all about the unique yeastiness. The malt and especially hops here take a back seat to that yeasty goodness. Fruity esters from the yeast abound.

Taste: Quite mild, with a sweet nutty flavor. The yeast is the big player in the flavor, as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and syrupy with no alcohol burn to speak of. Nice tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: I could drink this all day! Although at double the ABV of my typical session (some sort of English Dark Mild or Bitter is usually the order of the day) it would probably be a big mistake.

I gotta say, I put off drinking a Chimay for far too long. For some reason, the beer is extremely readily available in my area but the high price kept me from ever giving it a shot until I read a little more into it. Well done, Trappist monks!

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Photo of tjd112
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation - Poured into Chimay glass at Bar on A in East Village

Appearance - Dark brown reddish colour with well retained but thin head, but little lacing

Smell - Very malty with a hint of clove

Taste - Bananas and dry fruit (ie: raisins) as well as aforementioned cloves

Mouthfeel - A very smooth, medium bodied beer with a somewhat dry finish

Drinkability - Less of a sipper than most Belgians

Overall - One of my faves

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Photo of dutchboognish
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful creamy white head on top of a redish brown body.

Smells very sweet with little or no hops present.

Tastes fantastic. Tons of malt sweetness. Very easy to drink and with 7% you can drink it for a while without feeling too much effect.

Loved this beer and will certainly have it again.

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Photo of JohnMeinhardt
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So, I've never reviewed a beer for this site. I came here to get advice about wading through the world of beer. I planned to just read what others like and experiment for myself, but I have been compelled to speak my mind. This beer is heaven in a glass!!! I tend to like dark and funky beers, usually German, but this is so crisp and strong with an amazing balance of flavors. I just had to pick up the laptop and spread the good cheer. YAY BEER!!!

I drank it from a red wine glass because I don't have one of those half-globe Chimay glasses. I really like how the alcohol and carbonation in the beer give it a sharp strength which is still easily drinkable. As it warmed up, it sweetened a little and delivered even more ineteresting flavors. Since I am still a novice beer-geek I don't have much more than that to add, but what I can say is that this beer is absolutely stupendous.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! Another winner for Chimay! Poured a hazy golden brown with a medium off white foamy head. The smell of fruits and spices were outstanding. The taste of fruit and spices was well balanced and pleasant all around. The sweetness was perfect to set of this near perfect beer. Again, WOW!

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Photo of davewrona
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has a light hint of carmel flavor and is just delicious. Rather expensive, but worth the money! You will love drining this beer for its taste and nouthfeel. You will appreciate even more if you a have a couple domestics lights before sampling this one!

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Photo of Cresant
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this 11.2 oz. into a Duvel glass. Received three fingers of head which faded rather quickly. Body was a unique prune/leather/rust color and semi-opaque.

Smell was of spicy plums and sweet grains. Rich and interesting.

Taste was everchanging and complex. Sweet, yeasty, cloves, and raisin bread. Non-cloying sweetness balanced with a mild tartness. Alcohol was well hidden.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and pleasantly tingling with carbonation. Not a "challenge" to drink; complex yet approachable.

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Photo of BubbaNJ
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is hands down my favorite Belgian Ale . First time I had this it was in my cooler for a year . Had not had a Belgian yet , was afraid of the dark I guess . Poured a beautiful dark cloudy amber color that looked amazing . Smelled of dark dried fruits and a bit bready . Tastes like heaven in a goblet to me , have not yet had it's equal . Just a slight bitterness which I like , not to hoppy at all . When I get near the bottom of the bottle I swirl it to loosen the yeasty sediment and pour it into my glass . I just love the cloudy look in my beer glass and the taste in my mouth . This is what I've been told a Belgian Dubbel is supposed to be . Definitely prefer this to the other 2 Chimay brews . I currently have a full case cellaring in my basement and may soon have another if I can keep from drinking it .

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

when i walked into the beer cooler at giant eagle (something i haven't done for a long time) i pissed in my pants a little when i saw red white and blue chimay bottles on the top shelves. if the bros love it, i gotta try it. i really...REALLY had no idea what i was in for.

A- poured from a crowned and corked 75 centiliter brown bomber into my pint glass, this ale was hazy with an opaque column of burgundy (like the label) going down the center with a translucent amber orange toward the sides of the glass. as soon as i popped the cork i anticipated champagne like carbonation and though i consider myself to have the master pour, foam filled nearly the entire glass. bubbles popped everywhere making lots of noise and when it settled, i filled the other half creating 2in of loose soapy beige head similar to cola that settles fast to 1/8 in leaving sporadic lace behind.

S- fruity esters like raisin and prune with CO2 that tickles the nose. white wine barrel came next with a more pronounced dried fruit, aromatic bark like cedar or sandalwood, oak, granola, and alcohol.

T- very unexpected. mildly fruity, an perfectly balanced. its so fuckin neutral that i have to think hard to realize what i'm tasting. i don't even wanna taste, i just wanna drink this whole bottle then go buy another one. watermelon, well water (like the label says!) peppermint, raisin bran, earth, stone, concrete, clay, ohio night air, lightly roasted barley, that "exceptional" yeast from my new best friend father theodore, and a very slight unoffensive white grape-peach aftertaste.

MF- medium bodied yet thin crisp and refreshing. the seemingly heavy carbonation hits your tongue right away then fades almost immediately pushing the beer into my belly urging me to drink more.

D- if this wasn't $8 a bottle i'd drink it all the time and with every type of food and i'd drink it first thing in the morning instead of water or gatorade.
it's only 7% abv but i'm pretty sure the first sip had my head spinning. thank you trappist monks!

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,827 ratings.
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