Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)
Liked This Beer
4.15 w/ 4,896 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: 4,896 |  Reviews: 1,706
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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of elNopalero
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is bottled from 3/12 (according to cap).

It pours a ruddy caramel-raisin color with tight foam. The aroma has some cherries and raisin hints. There’s a noticeable sharpness on the flavor, with a hop bitterness I had not expected, yet it finishes smoothly. I get dark stone-fruits and a bit of the candied raisins and plums emerge. A desert beer that warms well.

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4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a cloudy burtn orange with an off-white, 3 finger head. Average retention, resulting in a thin but consistent lace.

Smell - Aromas are bready with supporting notes of caramel and a touch of banana.

Taste - Subtle flavor, but multi-layered. Hints of caramel, butter toffee, bread, banana and raisin. Finishes with a touch more caramel, but also with a bit heat as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full-bodied; not nearly as thick and malty as other dubbels. Fair amount of carbonation and decent smoothness.

Overall - Good Belgian Dubbel, but like the Chimay Blue, probably not worth the high asking price.

 623 characters

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4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Maakun
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
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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3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

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3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of doktorhops
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally we come to Chimay Rouge! After trying the mighty Chimay Bleu for review #100 it has taken another 54 reviews to come full circle (well as full circle as it is going to get with Chimay; their remaining few brews I haven't tried being total rarities) . It has been a long ride and I've been purposely spacing out the Trappist brews as they are truly an absolute delight and quite frankly I don't ever want to run out of Trappist beers to review, but there will no doubt be a day where I've spent thousands on a case of Westvleteren 12 and there is nothing left to taste... let's not think of that day yet.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a St Feuillien chalice.

A: Presents with a murky sepia body and cappuccino foam white head that hangs at 0.5cm. Not bad looking, if you like sepia of course.

S: Aroma is upfront dark fruits, hint of clove, ethyl acetate and bread yeast. The ethyl acetate is quite accentuated considering the alcohol content (at 7% ABV). Here's hoping it doesn't carry through too much in the flavour.

T: The dark fruit flavours are strong with this one (almost a Star Wars reference, I know). Dark fruits upfront (raisin, fig, and prune), with an accompanied hit of sugar, followed by a headstrong yeast and finishing with straight ethanol and light hop bitterness. The ethanol is the only thing that is clunky with this otherwise flawless brew (see: I told you that ethyl acetate would rear it's nail-polish-remover-smelling head).

M: Fairly tight and creamy body with a light but dense carbonation.

D: One can easily appreciate what Chimay is doing with their beers - they present three personifications of beer: gregarious (Blanc), contemplative (Bleu), and sanguine (Rouge). With such a variety it is hard not to like where Chimay is going, and has been, with the red only affirming my opinion of this brewery (and Trappists in general). It's a tough decision between this and the blue actually, and my final score has reflected this fact.

Food match: Easy to savour with a hearty game stew, or a rare Scotch eye fillet of beef with a side of celeriac mash, roast asparagus, wilted kale and Chimay Rouge jus. Could even work desserts as well, this is indeed a great between courses brew, such as sticky toffee pudding, or clafoutis with liquor cream.

 2,289 characters

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3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, leather shade of tan, highly opaque with tiny, tiny sediments that can be seen floating around when held to the light. Gray colored head stays thin and sits atop the beer. Aroma is packed with caramel malts, licorice, dates, figs, and warming alcohol. Taste isn't far behind, also full of toasted malts and dark fruits, with some burnt sugar that hits heavy on the tongue. Grape flavors start to come out in a medicinal, but not off-putting kind of way. Some peppercorns faintly in the background along with a spice that is hard to put my finger on, could possibly be clove. The aftertaste on my tongue is wonderful - deep, bitter chocolate, along with bread, biscuits, oats, and campfire charcoal. Medium body with a large amount of carbonation.

Another solid product out of Belgium, here. May not be the best, but it's certainly worth a try, and something I wouldn't pass up if offered. Highly complex, but right on the money.

 944 characters

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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 89.1% out of 100 with 4,896 ratings
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