Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

1,683 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: 1,683 | Ratings: 4,837
Photo of likestoswallow
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle from Vons. Pours a dark brown,cloudy unfiltered, with a tan head that dissipated quickly. The aroma was rich with caramel and dried plums and a hint of spice. Taste was complex with chocolate in the forefront, other flavors--oak, pine, caramel, and walnuts rounded out the sides. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with an elegant fizz. The finish was long and smooth with a caramel aftertaste. Overall: this is a good beer suitable for all occasions. Recommended.

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

Just bought a gift set which includes a bottle of the Premier, Grand Reserve and the Tripel. Plus the awesome Chimay glass which I have wanted for a long time now.

A: Pours a cloudy copper with a medium light tan head. Nice lacing and fairly big carbonation.

S: This needs to set a bit and warm before the aromas come out. Fermented fruits (bananna), corriander, spices & rich malts.

T: Flavor is tartish malts, fruits, and light spices.

M: Pretty tart and sharp with a richness that balances everything out.

D: This is a style that I would not drink everyday. IMO it is meant to be savored and should be a treat every now and then.

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Photo of robhunta
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a phenomenal head, three finger and fluffy, pours over the Chimay chalice I'm drinking out of, but held its form and didn't overflow. The head was a thing of beauty. Has a red-ish brown color with a bit f a haze.

S - not overly aromatic. I smell the belgian yeast and nice malt character. Overall sweet and malty.

T - Low but nice and flavorful hop character. Good malt flavors and yeast flavors much like the aroma.

M - Medium dryness, smooth, finishes with hops bitterness.

D - very drinkable, deceptively so.

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Photo of frognot
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper body with a thick foamy light tan head

Smell: Very ripe banana and dark fruit scent

Taste: Like a concentrated Hefeweizen. No discernable hops.

Mouthfeel: Chewy with a strong aftertaste

Drinkability: Not very drinkable.

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Photo of phideltashaggy
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A-Hazy red-brown color with a tan head.

S-Somewhat sweet, maybe fruity, with a faint alcohol smell.

T-This is nice. A little sweet and tart (apple? pear?) with a tocuh of alcohol at the end. Hops is very minute, but a nice touch.

MF- The head is somewhat dense, making the brew just barely creamy. The beer itself is kinda thin, but it works with the head.

D-I could easily see me drinking a few in a row, but not in a sessoin kind of way. More of a sitting around with friends.

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Photo of aeolianshredhead
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep, murky, dark amber colour with an initial 2 finger head which dissipates WAY too quickly. I like the look of this, but sadly, I'm not as impressed as I thought I'd be.

S- A nice, complex nose of plum/raisin, caramel and light hops. The malt dominates the nose. Smelling this lovely array of scents, I am inexorably drawn to the first sip.

T- Excellent. There is that caramel maltiness present all the way through with, surprisingly, a reasonable level of hops. The raisin flavour is there but not quite a profound force here. There is a slight lingering sweetness on the tongue but nothing sickly or offputting. The alcohol in this is masterfully hidden. Overall, I would say the taste is bold, in that it clearly favours sweetness over balance, but very pleasant.

M- The body is a nice and velvety. Not too thin but easily manageable. The carbonation level is utterly perfect. Very impressive.

O- This is an excellent beer. It may not be the ultimate session brew but I had no expectation of that. Although, the alcohol is barely noticeable on the palate at 7%. This tastes great and feels great. What more could I say?

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Photo of descartes
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: Dark ruby brown with lots of sediment, with thin head.
Smell: Malty, chocolate and nut smell, very earthy.
Taste: Very carbinated front with a weird nut carmel mix in the middle. Very murky taste.
Mouthfeel: Over carbination, almost feels like champagne. Which for me is not a good thing.

Overall: A dssapointment, not really a clear taste with too much carbination.

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Photo of Bugsey
2.4/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Tasted this out of brown paper bag during a taste test. What a disappointment. I thought is was some sort of beer/cider mix. Carbonization was prominant, complexity was low, and the malt taste was orange to apple. Drinkability was low.

I love malty begian beers, and I'm sure I would have had a biased review if I saw the label before drinking it. I'm glad I tried this one honestly, with the brown paper on it. Now I know I won't try it again.

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Photo of arturorg
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served into a Westmalle chalice

A: Brown reddish with a beige frothy head, some visible carbonation, small beige lace.

S: Ripe fruits, raisins, brown sugar, spices, creamy smell (can't actually explain it), hops.

T: First time I had it tasted like thanksgiving to me I guess it was the spices, sweet at first then giving way for the delicious bitterness, the alcohol it very well masked, kind of light fell , the carbonation its very present.

Overall it's a very delicious beer in my book. Been going back to this one a couple of times, it's widely available here in Barcelona so it's no problem to have it anytime.

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Photo of milkbaby9
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle into Chimay chalice, both from the gift pack, woohoo! 1cm off-white to pale straw head with reduces down to nothing. Hazy brown red color, I think I got a little of the sediment in the chalice. Also, maybe hazier than expected due to the width of the chalice which darkens the color since light has to pass through more beer...

Raisin citrus aroma with the lightest hint of malt. Tastes a huge yeasty malt pretzel, then a fruity hop bitterness and slight black peppery spice.

Sparkly carbonation makes for a very crisp start and just the slightest astringency. It lightens up the medium body and is a bit drying on the finish.

Finish is a great balance between malt and hoppy bitterness with slight warming feel from the alcohol, though the alcohol is not otherwise tasted/smelled.

Fairly drinkable though the snappyness of the carbonation starts to wear on me after a bit.

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Photo of Graham21
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- descent head that dissipated to almost nothing. orangish amber in color.
nose is flowery, slightly sour, alcoholic, fruity, sweet, malty and citrusy.
tastes of malt, wood, sour, *slightly bitter. god carbonation
taste is nothing exceptional...

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Photo of Ochsenblut
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Dubbel has a ruby hued mahogany body with a cm off-white head that sticks around for quite a while.

It smells of fresh pastry and rum raisin, whilst fuming alcohol slightly.

Very creamy mouthfeel with well attenuated hay like malts punctuated subtly by drying hops that move into medicinal and barnyard notes. It leaves a slightly tannic bite that fades to mustiness and subtle metallic aftertaste.

It's slick on the mouth despite the dense bite of the suspended carbonation.

This brew is mellow, and less sweet than most Dubbels I've had. It's high carbonation distracts me a bit, but is pleasing nonetheless.

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Photo of nickshep7
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (7/20 date on the cork) poured into Chimay Chalice. 3 fingers of gorgeous creamy of white head. Excellent retention w/ a little less lacing down the glass. Smell was caramel and Belgian yeast (mmm). Taste was similar to nose, but had a little bit of a lingering metallic taste/feel. I've had this with 18 months of age on it in the past and remember it being much, much better (A+ quality). Overall, I like this brew a lot. I think I may pick up a few to cellar for football season -- seems like a great fall sipper.

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Photo of BamaViper1
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.5 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet.

The Chimay dubbel pours opaque brown with an off-white head. The head dissipates leaving tiny, and few, whisps of lacing.

The beer smells of roasted caramel malt.

This beer immediately has a a caramally malt center that mellows into more of a burned caramel/sugar taste. The finish is long but a little sour. There are hints of that sour/tartness in the overall taste of the beer when inhaling though the beer.

The mouthfeel of the beer is a litle lighter than I was expecting. Especially in the finish. But the body has good carbonation.

Honestly I could probably drink a lot more of this beer; however, I feel like there are better dubbels out there. The slight sourness of the beer doesn't compliment the malt as much as I had hoped. Good work from Chimay, but honestly speaking, the Blue Grand Reserve is the Chimay for me.

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Photo of WildTurkey
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A: Reddish, light brown color. Hazy and cloudy. Looks a little like dark apple cider. Thick wispy head. Creamy looking.

S: Very pronounced bread and yeast smell. A little bit of spice and some fruit.

T: Some sweet Malty flavors. Bready and grains. Some spice and some black pepper. Also some light fruit flavors like pear and dates. Overall, fairly sweet with a little sourness. Not much hop bitterness.

M: Light to medium body. Some suddsy carbonation in the mouth. Not very dry in my opinion. Very smooth.

D: Very nice. Terrific bready, malt flavor. You can slug this one back without too much effort.

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Photo of tang3nt
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably one of the easiest to find out of the Belgian Trasppist Ales. The pour is a cloudy amber color with a fairly large head light colored . Slightly spicy and malty nose. Dark fruity flavors with a deep roasted malt. Fairly complex and well balanced.

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Photo of JMforman
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

To be honest, I was kind of disappointed. I've heard a lot about this beer, but I wasn't real thrilled. Not bad though.

A- Deep amber, good head, good retention

S- Cherries, must, alcohol

T- Malt, dark fruit, cherry, black pepper

M- Thinner than I was expecting. Medium to light. It was a bit over carbonated, but it could've just been this bottle.

D- Not bad

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Photo of MikeGill
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

75cl bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a cloudy reddish caramel with plenty of sediment and wonderful sticky lacing. Lemon Iced tea and toffee on the nose along with some spice.

Medium bodied with bready malt and well balanced brown sugar sweetness. Was very effervescent at first but the Co2 quickly mellowed to the level of just slightly refreshing. Takes on a French toast character towards the end. The finish is where the alcohol warmth comes in, along with a distinct dried orange peel flavor.

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Photo of alexanderplatz
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Chimay Red is definitely a great beer. Unlike some other Belgian ale styles, however, it does not in my opinion have very strong flavors of Belgian yeast or the overall complex spice flavors present in some of the other Belgian styles. This may be a characteristic of a "Dubbel," I don't know.

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Photo of deuschbag
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml corked bottle. pores a lovely leathery red with a nice light tan head. lots of yeast sediment floating around.

smell is very fruity and spicey. lightly yeasty and bubblegummy.

surprsingly mellow tasting. very malty and spicey. hints of bitter hops and candy sugar.

medium to thick mouthfeel.

i was a little surprised at how easy this is to consume. very laid back and mellow. alcohol is there but not in your face at all. great beer by chimay.

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Photo of tophers
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown color and slightly transparent. Head is moderate and light brown.

Picking up quite a bit of melanodins with toasty and caramel background. Smells delicious and can't wait to taste it.

No appreciable hop bitterness. A little bit of hop spiceness. Toasty and bready malt tastes. A noticeable alcohol note to it.

Quite light in the mouth with a good amount of carbonation. I was expecting a heavy beer being that it is 7%

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Photo of Amish_Ambush
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quick review here.

Taste: Light fig, light hops, light molasses.

Ap: Cloudy nut brown. Solid head

Smell: Fig, slight astringent smell but nothing too bad.

Notes: A solid enjoyable beer.

Last Reviewed: 08-30-2006 03:36:42


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Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice hazy brown color with a quick disappearing head.. halfway through it looked like I was drinking tea because the head had completely disappeared. Smells of faint citrus and yeast. Taste a little on the sweet side with a hint of clove and raisins.. also a fair amount of carbonation in this beer... it was tolerable... it's just something I don't really like in a beer. This one was decent, I'm now looking forward to trying the other Chimay's.

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Photo of shoop12
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark molasses color with nice aroma of dark fruits and wheat. However when you taste, the dark fruits really struggle to come through and make their way to your taste buds. Therefore you are left with more of a spicy flavor of cloves and ginger. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and finishes with a crisp earthy finish. After recently having the Rochefort 8, I find this Chimay to be a little bit of a let down but still a solid Dubbel.

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Photo of JWFokker
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay's Premiere is a pleasant beer, if somewhat unfulfilling. It looks great, pouring a nice reddish orange with a huge head. Very appetizing in appearance. The nose is a stunner. It's a great mix of spice, malt and fruit, with a touch of bread. The flavor isn't quite as good as the look and smell would have you beleive. It's got everything you can get from the nose in the flavor, but sweeter and somewhat thin. It goes down very easily, but it's more like drinking a soft drink than a beer.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,837 ratings.
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