Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

1,682 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: 1,682 | Ratings: 4,836
Photo of HipCzech
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 11.2 fl oz bottle poured into a Spiegelau beer tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy copper brown with a billowing head of off white, multi-size bubbles. Foam dissipates but leave a nice patchwork of lace.

Smell: Yeasty brown bread, warm and peppery spice and dates.

Taste: Gently roasted grain, dark caramel, apricots, honey and warm spices (cinnamon, clove). Finishes earthy, herbal and drier, with just some residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, silky smooth with fine carbonation, though almost too effervescent.

Overall: Sweet, spicy and delicious while surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of teromous
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The back label says "L16-130"

Appearance: It has a murky brown tea appearance. There is a nice golden brown hue around the corners of the glass. The head is thick and fluffy with some tight bubbles. The head is an eggshell white color. It doesn't leave any lacing but it has very good head retention.

Aroma: There is a nice spicy herbal aroma that smells like bay leaves and it has this dusty smell. There is this coriander aroma as well. I don't know if the beer is made with coriander but it has a similar aroma.

Taste: It starts out with a burst of this wonderful rich burnt caramel mixed with a thick crusty bread flavor. It comes right out of the gate with this big flavor that hits the palate. It maintains a bready flavor while drinking the beer. It isn't a doughy flavor but more of a toasted bread crust flavor. There is just a bit of a date flavor but not fruity; more of that earthy character you can get in some dates where it is a tad sweet but a bit bitter and woody. There is also a coriander flavor in the finish of the beer. Again I don't know whether it is made with coriander but I am getting a taste of it.

Mouthfeel: Very light and airy. It has a effervescent presence on the palate. There is just a touch of bitterness to cut back on the very light sweetness of the beer giving it amazing balance.

Overall: It is a wonderful beer to drink. I certainly did not get bored with drinking it and I enjoyed every minute of it. It is the kind of beer that you will sip and sip trying to pin down exactly what you are tasting. By the time you start to pinpoint what you are tasting the beer is nearly gone. I think this is a wonderful Dubbel and I would recommend it. I would drink it again.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep reddish-brown/mahogany color with 2+ fingers of head that slowly fades down to a decent cap that leaves spotty lacing

S: Malt and spices up front, a bit of a candied sweetness, and dark fruits make up most of the nose. Hints of caramel and brown bread in there as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a wave of malt, spices, and dark fruit. Moderate sweetness and spiciness give way to the caramel and brown bread. Some raisin notes linger. Finishes with the complex maltiness and spices

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A classic dubbel that is great year-round, fresh or aged. Definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of Belgians, dubbels, or great beers in general

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Photo of ckornmannn
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a tulip glass. No bottling date, cork says 2014. Wonderful brown/orange/amber color. Initially a dense lacey head of foam but it dissipates quickly. A good amount of carbonation persists though. Excellent aroma of brown sugar, plum; herbal. Taste follows: dark fruit, a slight herbal astringency. All of this fades in a lingering aftertaste. Amazing beer! I think I prefer the Rochefort 6 for the style but it is close.

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Photo of OldSwampy
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I begin by saying that there was no "best by" date on this beer and there's a decent chance that it was not as fresh as it should have been. I've had Chimay before and this one did not seem as full-bodied as I remember. That said, this was an attractive beer, with hazy chestnut color and a light khaki head. The head left essentially no lacing on the tulip glass I used. The smell was great - woodsy, reminding me of dark hardwood and leaves. Some yeasty notes emerged as well. The taste was similar, with nutty and sweet flavors combining nicely. The balance was excellent, and the flavor became rounder as it got a little warmer. But the end of the flavor profile seemed thinner than I would expect for an abbey ale. Mouthfeel was sudsy and rich. Good, but by the standards of the true Trappist ales, not the greatest.

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Photo of FBarber
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy brown with lots of yeast sediment in it - yumm! Frothy light tan head slowly dissipates down to a thin foam covering the whole beer. Gorgeous head and excellent head retention. as the head stays until the last drop.

Smell has aromas of brown sugar, dark fruits, dried prunes and raisins, with undertones of alcohol and a nice yeasty presence.

Taste has flavors of dark fruits, dried raisins, prunes, and dates. Some mild brown sugar sweetness coats the tongue nicely initially before giving way to a very robust yeast flavor that provides a peppery and ginger finish on the tongue. Lots of classic "belgian" character to this beer and its wonderful. As the beer warms some herbal flavors are noted as they become more pronounced.

Feel had medium carbonation providing a tingle on the tongue initially. Nice smooth feel on this. Slight sweetness provides some coating on the tongue and the peppery yeast provides a drying finish.

Overall a very fine dubbel - not the best Trappist dubbel, but certainly in the upper echelon.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy brown with thick medium head that lasts and eventually leaves a film and ring with spotty lacing. Nose is a mix of yeast, dark fruits, and syrup, but also dusty. Flavor is slightly bitter raisin, like the stem portion, with a little sweet malt. High carbonation. Overall, a good beer, but not really one of my favorites in the style.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: 330 mL Bottle

A- Pours a Hazy Brown-Copper with a fizzy slightly off-white cap. Head disappears fairly quickly. No lacing. The remains of the head form a fizzy ring around the glass.

S- Sweet notes of caramel and dark fruit (prunes, dates), as well as a classic Belgian yeasty banana aroma

T- Big hit of sugared Dates upfront followed by the clove/banana note present in the aroma. Tapers off with a bit of caramel sweetness.

M- Moderate Body and moderate-high carbonation. Not overly aggressive carbonation, just gives the brew a liveliness. Very fine bubbles.

O- Classic Trappist beer. Offers a great range of Belgian Ale flavours without being overly pressing like some Tripels and Quads can be. Must try for fans of Trappist beers or otherwise.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly murky and dull red brown with a two finger head of plump off-white reddish brown foam.

Caramel, toffee, plum, dates, banana, and spicy yeasts.

Yeasty, banana, clove, toffee, figs and dates, and slight caramel sweetness.

Medium-bodied, high carbonation, soft, creamy.

Overall, another top of the line Belgian. Can't go wrong with a Chimay.

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Photo of vladdswrath
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Mud brown, like apple cider with a big foamy head. Aroma is all malty sweetness, with banana notes, dates and figs. Taste is amazing and just as sweet as it smells, but not overbearing. Lots of yeast and bread. There is also a delicious creaminess to the brew that makes it go down quite smoothly. Mouthfeel is as I said smooth and creamy, but with a ton of carbonation that creates an interesting contrast to the creaminess.

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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 rex_4539
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Murky brown with some golden tint. 3-4 finger off-white head. High carbonation.

S: Nice, sweet, malty.

T: Great taste. Leaves malty aftertaste.

F: Fantastic feel on the palate due to high carbonation.

O: Outstanding beer. Better tasting than the blue Chimay.

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Photo of Guppy314
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really wanted to taste something special because this wasn't cheap, but no not really, just simply good. Reddish brown with an unusually frothy head. There is a malty or toffee sweetness with some plum-like fruitiness and clove flavors.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler into pint glass. Pours a beautiful reddish-honey color with a modest off-white head. Initial impression is smooth, malty sweetness - maybe I'm prejudiced by the honey color, but it has a distinct honey flavor with (in decreas brown sugar or molasses, dark friut, and a very slightly bitter finish. Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation. Very drinkable. Nice.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a shining ruby brown with a very large head. The aroma offers up banana, brown sugar, and fig. The flavor follows the same course, tasting of rich fig and brown sugar, with notes of molasses and ginger also apparent. The mouthfeel is full and fluffy. Overall this a a sensationally tasty beer. Wonderfully fruity and complex, this may be my favorite Chimay.

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Photo of jrsqc7
5/5  rDev +22%
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 Beginner2
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed in "Michael Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium", this awaits my review with another tasting.
Reviewed also in Roger Protz' " 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous brew, deep hazy dark copper pour with ultimate off-white pillow of tiny bubbles. This is how I envision beer. Aroma is malty with some biscuit and caramel. Just a touch of candi sugar sweetness. Flavor is about the same. Probably I'm late in the game, but this is not as impressive as I'd hoped. Still looking for the best dubbel, but starting to believe this may not be my style as much as I love quads and some (completely different) trips.

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Photo of adodds
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L - Pours a hazy, dark brown with a massive ivory head.
S - Smooth, with some malty flavors.
T - Delicious cream and toasty malts! This is a great dubbel, no extra shenanigans going on here. When I close my eyes and sip, I get a very smooth "creamy-tan" color in my mind. I love how the ivory vanilla note balances with the dark-tan nut flavors.
F - Smooth, light body. Lets the flavors do the talking.
O - This was a great surprise! I have heard repeatedly that blue Chimay is the best, but I think that the red is a much easier everyday sipper. Sublime

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Photo of Viaduck
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure I got the right beer, my label is different from that pictured. "Contents under pressure. Use extreme caution ...when opening". Yes they are. A very loud pop followed by a very lovely aroma of barley & hops. Hazy Reddish brown & topped with an impressive off white head. Tastes great, a bit salty, big grain flavor with a kick from the alcohol & carbonation, no bitterness. A great beer.

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Photo of matcris
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: A hazy rust in the snifter with a good finger+ of khaki, creamy head that settles down after a few minutes to a nice thick layer. Hard to say about the carbonation. Hold a flash light up to the glass and I see a few small bubbles rising, here and there. Spotty lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Very floral, bready like fruitcake. Dark dried fruit, molasses. No detectable alcohol.
TASTE: Very bready, lots of dark dried fruit, raisin, figs. A nice bit of sweetness but not overwhelming. Brown sugar or molasses. No detectable alcohol in the taste, either.
FEEL: Medium body with plenty of carbonation, but not overkill. Quite dry all the way through the sip. The body seems a little thin right at first and then a second later, seems almost a little chewy.
OVERALL: Lots of nice dark dried fruit, bready, and molasses notes but there is enough on the opposite end to keep it balanced and not cloying at all. Nice high level of carbonation helps with this too, I'm sure. Very nice brew. Blue caps little brother.

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Photo of EMH73
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I know that I am in the minority, but I feel that this is the best beer from Chimay. To me it is a little more complex and flavorful than the Grand Reserve.

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Photo of crisis1290
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Chimay Première (Red)- No need to repeat what has been said a 1000 plus times about this amazing world class gift from Belgium. This is one of those "must try" beers. Once it is tried once, you will revisit ! This is a smooth medium-bodied Dubbel. You might be paying more for this gem, but you wont regret it !

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L- Dull hazy brown body with noticeable carbonation going up. Bubbly ivory head with low retention.
S- Brown sugar, dried fruits, raisins, some cinnamon.
T- Dried fruits, sugar, bread, belgian yeast.
F- Smooth, slightly fizzy.
O- Nice beer, ABV was hardly noticeable. Not very fond of this style but this was fairly good.

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Photo of Dr-Baltar
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - Murky bronze / brown. Cloudy yeast clarity after a gentle pour.

Smell - Raisin, dark fruits, baked sweetness

Taste - Caramel, toffee, medium alcohol taste, slight dark fruit notes but not as much as on the nose.

Feel - A little under conditioned than I would expect from a Belgian, but still nice.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,836 ratings.
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