Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

4,857 Ratings
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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Ratings: 4,857 |  Reviews: 1,689
Photo of puboflyons
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the corked bottle no. L10-506. Sampled on March 19, 2011. It pours a cloudy amber-brown with a burst of beige head with what looks like sediment floating about. Aromas of light toasted malts, plums and yeast. The body is smooth and creamy. The flavor boasts a little caramel sweetness with a noted yeast backdrop. The short descripton was that it was mellow and warmed the innards.

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

The bottle tasted had a best before date of 2015, so that would make it roughly about a year old. 30cl bottle into a Orval glass.

Pours a slighty reddish brown, quite clear. The head disappears quite fast and leaves a small layer of foam.

Smell is quite light. Yeasty, green fruits, some spices and then a feint smell of smoke or burnt bread.

Taste is a bit sweeter than the smell suggests. Quite fresh, some fruits and a very light hint of cocoa and some spice. There's a more pronounced taste of roasted malt/bread with honey, then a nice bitterness. After the beer has warmed up a bit there's a slight sourness, like the green fruits (apples) in the smell. Everything works well together.

Mouthfeel is slighty thin, with a lot more carbonation than what's going on in the glass. Quite good.

Overall this is a really enjoyable beer, very balanced. Not a taste-bomb but more subtle and complex. Very good for the style.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P- Market Cross Pub in carlisle.

A- pours a thick and foamy mountainous head. A nice crispy white lacing is left behind all the way up my glass. lots of bits floating in the glass. i dont know if that is yeast or the hopsor grains. color is thick opaque dark brown.with amber tints.

S- i get maltand dark candied fruits that pemeate the nose. very sweet and sugary.

T- a sour yet sweet bready doughy taste. the sweetness resonates on my tongue and hangs there for a bit. packs a nice lil punch. A nice lil peppercorn spice is at the tail end.

M- creamy and smooth. Carbonated sits on the tongue. Very nice feeling.

D- this seems easy toput down at only 7% but dont let it fool you it can come back around to get you. Very smooth and crisp on the alcohol.

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

Poured a hazy brown-amber w/garnet hue, thick beige-copper head, and decent retention. Active tiny bead-laces of carbonation. Light tracing.
Aroma is sweet dough and spice, faint stewed apple, candy sugar, toffee.
Flavor is lightly phenolic, spicy esters upfront also carrying sweet toffee malt, which dominates midway, and leaves the finish to toffee and spice. There is a faint emergence of hops at the end that balance, but quickly fade.
The finish features warming alcohol that slightly and momentarily numbs the tongue. The carbonation is a perfect complement for the robust carbonation, and the balance is excellent.
I waited a while to try Premiere, the last of the trio I hadn't had. It is extremely drinkable, and of the type where you feel good afterward. The total drinking sensation is warming, satisfying, and enriching. Not my favorite of the three, but only because this is not my preferred style.

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

I served this from a proper Chimay chalice. It pours reddish amber. The nose consists of fruit and biscuits.

Strong sweet fruit and grain flavor up front, with a bit of honey maltiness lurking in the background which becomes more prominent as the beer crosses your palate. The high level of carbonation goes extremely well with the flavor and complements the finish very nicely.

Not for everyday consumption, but a nice way to treat yourself once in a while.

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Photo of FieldingWater
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to get the Chimay gift pack (an 11.2oz bottle of red, white & blue plus a goblet for $12). Quite the deal, I thought, and it gets me one step closer to having a glass from wach Trappist brewery.
The brew pours a moderately-deep brown with a fluffy tan head that settles down to a skim and doesn't leave too much lacing. The body is opaque from the yeast sediment.
Smell is on the mild side, but super yummy. Sweet but fruity smells waft up, and the subtle smell of dark candi sugar is evident.
The taste is super smooth and well balanced. It's not the sort of beer that will kick you in the face -- it's on the milder side, but wow is it ever tasty. And drinkable! Smooth mouthfeel with those super-tiny bubbles that you occasionally find in a Belgian. This is a darn fine beer.

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Photo of bob3701
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a gift pack poured into Chimay chalice that was provided. Rich hazy amber color with reddish highlights. Thick bubbly head that quickly disapates into a film with no real lacing. Rich aroma of fruit and spice plus alcohol. Taste not as intense as the blue, very enjoyable still rich in dark fruit and spices and alcohol can still be tasted. Another beer to be sipped.

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

Poured into an oversize wine glass.

A. An average pour got a finger and a half of foamy yet somehow thin head. Cloudy dark amber body with hints of orange, light comes through the sides when held up. A little bit of sediment is noticed.

S. Malt then hops. Spices, a hint of alcohol, dark fruits and just a whisper of sweet caramel.

T. Malt and dark fruit up front, it transitions to a mild hoppiness with a bit of caramel stuck in between. The spicy finish is just what the doctor ordered. De-licious.

M. Medium bodied, but the high carbonation washes it right down, almost too fast, as this is a beer to savor. The spicy finish is a bit dry, but it still has it good in all the right places.

O. Phenomenal beer. This was the first Trappist beer I ever tried, and I've been loving them since. I had to come back around to this one and review it.

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

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

A - A swampy orange/brown colour with suspended yeast chunks. The head faded quickly into a thin lace of bubbles.

S - Very malty and heavy on the plum/dark fruits with a subtle mix of spice and alcohol.

T - Doesn't taste as malty as the smell suggests; it is more medicinal and clovey, finishing dry and sour. A good balance of the sweet and sour.

M - The carbonation is vigorous, smooth and cleans the tongue nicely. A very crisp beer.

D - While I'm usually not too fond of Dubbels this one is magnificent and surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of avalon07
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the Chimay Red from a bottle to a goblet. It had a brownish-orange color to it, along with a murky consistency. Didn't give much of head at all.

The smell was very sharp and a little on the pungent side. The Belgian yeast came through without question.

You could really taste the fruit and yeast mingling together. A little apple, cranberry and possibly some other fruits. A very complex taste.

Had a high carbonation common to most Trappist beers, giving it the requisite bite.

Overall, Chimay Red is a drinkable beer. If you enjoy dubbels, then this would be a good place to start.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Dark orange color with a three finger creamy head. The head dies back to maybe 1/4" gradually but that seems to persist. Not sure what could be done to make it more attractive so that's full marks.

The aroma is all yeast and fruits with some additional sweetness thrown in. May just be the aroma that I judge all beers against in the future.

Sadly the flavor doesn't hold up its end. A little thin and lacking in some of the complexity that was present in the aroma. A little bitter but not annoyingly so. Some almost citrusy bite with a little (too little) sweetness but I'm missing the yeast character that I was expecting given the aroma.

Good carbonation but just a little thin in the mouthfeel.

I'll have to try this again sometime but for the moment I'm a little disappointed in the lack of yeast character in the flavor. The aroma, though, is amazing!

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

Fancy big 75 cl bottle with the cage top. Happy birthday to my son: $8.49 at Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, CO.

Unpasteurized, unfiltered, bottle-conditioned, with that "secret" yeast discovered by Father Theodore.

Huge head that mostly faded, but kept a lasting ring, with very little lacing. Smell is mostly of malts and complex phenols, some sugar, a little chocolate and figs/prunes. The aroma changes with the taste as it warms up and "breathes."

Taste is a bit wine-like, kind of a "dark" champagne. Some notes of o clove and grass -- in some strange ways reminds me of a good Hefe-weizen: grass, hay and citrus, but sharper and deeper. Lots of tiny bubbles. Gets more complex as it warms up. Don't rush this: even better at the last than at the first. It's way "too" drinkable for 7% -- it's so smooth and easy.

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

Appearance: Dark red hazy caramel brownish copper. Thick head formed at the top. Zero, to little laceing.

Smell: Deliciously strong malt scents, come out with a pear and a hint of prunes. Consistant with other Belgian ales in scent, but this one has a dry champagne aroma, which is very pleasing

Taste: Fruity tart raisin flavors slight alcohol, Huge delightful malty aromas. Some walnut nutty flaver. It goes down easy, not at all picking up the 7% abv, no sharp alcahol notes, just a hint of dryness, but overall more sweet then dry. There is a sudden rush of spice and herb over the tounge after the swallow. Very nice touch, was not expecting it.

Mouthfeel: Thick carbonation, not overdone but more then I bargained for, very fluffy bubbles.

Drinkability: This is a delicious well crafted beer. I will buy this again. The spice notes really took me off guard, I enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of jonb5
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle from 2004. Poured into a palm glass. Dark ruby colour. 2 finger tanned head. Strong fruity aroma. Tasted strong hints of cherry, chocolate and mousse au chocolat. The beer had a great feel to it, it had aged well, so easy to drink but it was a sipper rather than one to drink fast.

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

Pours and opaque brown with golden reddish highlights. A medium fluffy light tan head form and hangs around until the finish.

Smell is of malty spiced bread. Not quite big and bold.

Taste is also mellow. Malts in the form of caramel and molasses, with a hint of fruitiness.

Texture is bubbly, not too much though. Seems to fit. This makes for a light and creamy feeling that is good to drink.

Spot on for it's category and a great beer, 'nuff said.


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Photo of jayhawk73
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium copper color with a two finger caramel head. Very difficult to see through this beer, very cloudy. Head sticks around for a while, and leaves decent lacing. March 2010 vintage, so this one's a little over a year old. Served in my Chimay chalice.

S- The smell is really nice. Lots of spice- cinnamon, clove, along with yeast, malt and other light spices, maybe some honey. This beer has a really easy smell to recognize. Of course, I've had this one quite a bit as well.... Very pleasant, not too heavy or harsh. Very balanced.

T- Very good taste as well. It's got an earthy taste to it, w/ the spices making their appearance. Very balanced as well, nothing really is out of whack on this one. There's also a sweet malty flavor that tries to overwhelm everything, but disappears on the aftertaste. Aftertaste is nice and malty, and last a while.

M- Mouthfeel is really nice- very creamy and malty w/ a slight sweetness. Really great- It's not too heavy, and not too light- just perfect for this type of beer. Very complex as well. The warmer it gets, the more the flavors and complexity come out.

O- This is a great Belgian dubbel, and an easy one to drink. I tend to like the blue label a bit better, but for the style - this is a staple that I really enjoy. Easily available and worth the pick up if you enjoy great beer.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ghostmech007
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml magnum bottle with cork. Poured into a chalice of 14oz proportions. Nice to have friends around that are willing to try new things.

Deep brown color right out of the bottle. The head was a light off-white nearly beige color, also was fluffy. A nice layer stays and never leaves a trace.

Smells fruity with a hint of spice. Not much else but very fragrant.

Tastes like heaven. Malts and spices are balanced perfectly with the hops but they seem to be subdued as the brew warms. Finishes sweet with a nice malt note. Nice medium body with a good carbonation.

A good brew but something I might pass on later.

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

750 ml bottle, date on cork 01/02.

Hazy brown with a reddish hue. Thick creamy fluffy white head. Sweet and spicy aroma. Spicy and sweet flavor of clove, dark ripe fruits such as raisins and figs. Sweet and fruity with lots of yeast, but lacking in the malt department. Smooth, light to medium body with plenty of carbonation.

Very enjoyable and satisfying to the last drop.

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Photo of kendall83
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of uiucpilot
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

I've had Chimay Red many times, but, since I just decided to write a review of it, last night was the first time I scrutinized it. Realizing that the smell and taste were so floral and fruity surprised me. Red does not have the cloying taste of many beers with a strong taste of fruit. The fruit tastes are very well balanced with the malts and hops, so they only serve to enhance the taste. Overall, it's a very unique beer, but also one that is easy and pleasant to drink--it's not a novelty beer by any stretch. The carbonation and hops are slightly sharp, which is especially noticeable in the aftertaste.

The aftertaste is also a little sour, but otherwise, this is a great beer.

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

From a bottle. Pours with average body. Probably too cold but I did not get a great deal of head on this one. Very little lace and residual foam. Red color, darkened amber, slight haze though that can be attributed to bottle trub. Bubbly.

S malt, low, earthy hop aroma. Smells Belgian.

T - a touch of alcohol on the tongue that rounds out into the Belgic tartness and sl. sourness. Very full mouthfeel, bubbly on the palate and low hop flavor. Aftertaste that leaves one wanting to savor this one rather than drink it quick. Very balanced beer.

I would have this again and it makes me desire to try all the Abbey beers.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,857 ratings.
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