Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

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Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)
4,945 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: 4,945 |  Reviews: 1,718
Photo of mcallister
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Resembles rusty water really. Cork was luckily caged as it popped with tremendous force and large white head rises quickly and is loose bodied and fades just as quick. No real signs of carbonation in the liquid however.

Nose is fantastic, dark bready malts, raisin bread, mollasses, plum and prune, spicey belgian yeast, earthy and effervescent. Caramel, and burnt toffee with hints of brown sugar.

Fantasticly crafter beer. Layered, fluffy, light and delicious wth a long drying finish. Sweet raisin and plum in the middle, light oxidation qualities leaves a sherry like taste, caramel, belgan spice, earthy and rotund. Full bodied at the finsh. The sweet figgy, plummy middle is rounded out by a bitter hop that keeps things from cloying. Liquid raisin bread, deep dark bready malty goodness.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: stream from bottle to glass was light brown, in the glass it is brown mostly clear with a hint of red hue. The head was only a finger thick settling to a thin layer. The layer lasts partially to the chimay glass etching.

S: dark dried fruits, a good amount of malt sweetness along with yeast spice and general yeastiness.
T: sweetened dark fruit, a very light yeast clove and banana. Yeast also lends some peppery notes.
M: just a touch on the thin side but not bad, carbonation seem a bit fizzy and soda like.
O: I would put this the the category of a starter Trappist, for someone new to the style. Nothing to weird or overpowering.

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've tried the Chimay Première on multiple occasions, but have thus far neglected to provide a review. Here goes:

This brew pours into a Chimay chalice a browned orange color with a mysterious murkiness. There is a two-finger head of off-white foam that forms, but lasts for only a minute or so.

The smells that I detect from this brew can be best described as fruity. Notes of fig preserves, apricot jam, thick maple syrup, and candies come to mind. There is an earthy background of yeastiness, as well.

There is a hit of spices at the forefront of the initial sip, followed by a malty sharpness. The fruity notes from the nose are relatively subdued. The yeast, however, makes up the background in the taste, as well.

The overall texture of this brew is grainy, with a medium body. Drinkability is good.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into oversized wine galss from 750ml.

Pours a dark-red, with a one-inch head, subsides leaving good lacing. Plenty of floaty bits.

Aromas of raisins, malts, nd Belgian yeast. A bit funky.

Smooth malt taste, a real taste of Belgium.

One of my favourite beers..

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Photo of psuKinger
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into my Chimay Chalice.

A: Pours a hazy murky reddish-brown with a decent white head that probably could have benefitted from a bit more vigorous pour. To-date I'm inexperienced with pouring into a chalice.

S: The nose has raisins and other "dark fruits" mixed in with a touch of "yeastiness".

T: Spicier than the nose would indicate, this beer has a touch of "tang" to go with flavors of raisins and dates, and a good biscuity/bready yeastiness underneath. My guess is that the spiciness can be attributed to the yeast as well.

M: This beer is a bit on the 'high side' with regard to carbonation... lively and bubbly, light in the mouth, and leaves a light-but-pleasing sugary tongue coating on the finish.

D/O: A good quality brew with a fun spice, this is reasonably drinkable and a good overall experience.

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Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a clear dark amber color with a 2" head that slowly breaks apart.

Smell: caramel, ripe fruits, and some earthy qualities come through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, red apples, plums, and a bit of pepper are up front. Some softer earthy tones, spicy yeast, and a decent bitterness arrive late.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is long lasting as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Overall: this beer is very easy to quaff, and a bomber bottle is enough for a session. Great flavors and well balanced, this beer is just plain old enjoyable.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a chimay goblet.

Appears a very dark brown/red colour, verging on completely black. The head explodes, but settles down to a layer of a few mms of bubbly foam.

Smells like dessert, dark fruit and also like a fruit pie...

Tastes back up the smell, more dark fruit mixing with caramel esque malts and an alcohol provided warmth.

Overall a great beer. Not quite my favourite dubbel but excellent in quality nonetheless.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from the local grocery shop.
Look: pours a dark-brown reddish color with a thick white head.
Smell: Spicy Belgium yeast up front, followed by sweet malts, candy sugar, clove and some dark fruits.
Taste: Malts, sweet dark fruits, honey, spicy clove and pepper.. Herbal medium dry finish
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation with a medium body
Overall: Nice dubbel, one of the better ones out there.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
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 claspada
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay Red pours a really nice amber color, with a light hint of caramel around the edges, and a big head comes up and over the top and settles down gently into a firm and long lasting pillow with loads of side glass lacing.
The aromas begin with lots of caramel and malts right up front here, more than I remember from the first time I has this beer; quite sweet to be honest. There is also a light hint of herbal notes presumably from the hops, but not terribly strong. As it warms you get more of a yeast note that is quite interesting and adds a fruity, spicy and doughy characteristics, but overall quite sweet.
The tastes begin with rich notes of caramel and candied/brown sugar sweetness. Light touches of hops play on the tongue now as well, very interesting. The yeast flavors, mainly spice, come into play as it warms to room temperature. This beer has a nice bready maltiness and also becomes more apparent as it warms as well.
The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I remember, but at 7%ABV this is probably appropriate. Finish is nice and dry but much less than I remember as well.
Overall this is a great, readily available Belgian Dubbel. I was down the shore and I was pleased to find this in the little po-dunk liquor store to save me from having to drink the other available "choices" at my grandparents house. Not as delicious as I remember when I first sampled it, but that it was one of my first craft beers so my palate was quite impressed by anything at that time. Quite nicely done; it goes down like candy and really just a smooth and really nice (almost dangerously so) drinkable Belgian beer.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy orange amber body. Unfiltered with a large off-white head, looking like rising bread. Rounded in the middle from the subsiding carbonation on the glass rim.

S - Spiced hop aromas and fruit syrup. Slight bitter alcohol fumes with some acidic fruit skin notes.

T - Caramel, bread, yeast. Some sweet fruit notes in the background as well as some dry and spicy hops and alcohol. A malty undertone through the sip and a little alcohol warmth in the finish.

M - Smooth bodied with expanding carbonation in the mouth. Warming up front and through the middle, with a semi dry finish. Clean carbonation.

O - A solid Belgian brew with a big reputation, always a good pick.

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Photo of engagechad
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as a gift set from costco with the blue and the white as well as a chalice - poured into chimay chalice

Pours a tobacco brown with orange edges, great head decent lacing. Smells mildly of spice and earth, mossy almost. Taste is very mile in my opinion but very easy to drink with a slight boozy finish. Feels good, smooth brew.

Overall it's pretty good. Wouldn't go out of my way for it though.

Still trying to develop my palate for belgians.

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Photo of gfreed
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

High-grade beer in a weapons-grade bottle. Not the most powerful dubble you'll ever have, but that's the beauty of Belgian beer, and especially the attraction of Chimay: subtle, round, flavorful and aromatic, period. Seek your clubs-and-whips abuse elsewhere.

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Photo of Rschis16
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks and smells like carbonated apple cider with a healthy and bold cream-colored head. It's an opaque flat brown color with some sediment floating around. Definitely cloudy. Apple cider is the first thing that comes to mind for the smell. That is mingled with a slight alcohol aroma and the sweetness of sparkling cider.

Full-bodied and hearty with a nice hoppy front side and a somewhat apple-like ending. A nice healthy twinge of booze hits the palate with a nice ring as well, letting you know that it's there, but backing off enough to not get in the way. The hops are understated, but present in a nice way. The malts are sweet and apple-like, not quite the apple cider that I smelled, but definitely fruity and sweet. This beer is beautifully balanced in all aspects. The beer smells so sweet and pleasant, but tastes so hearty, yet light and refreshing. The finish is dry and somewhat clean, with a nice reminder of the alcohol presence in zest form.

The time and effort put into this beer are noticeable in so many ways, but no way better than that balance. I'm so glad I picked this up, and I can't wait to try its' brothers, yellow and blue. I highly recommend.

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Photo of Bmuncy
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A cloudy brown with an orange hue. A slightly off-white head remains constant throughout the beer. Lacing is not very prominent on this one. Overall, however, a very good representation of the style.

Smell: A pretty complex smell on this one. Malts are very up front on it. A fruity aroma emanates from the glass, though, not specifically limited to just dark fruits. Spice and hops round out the smell.

Taste: Like the nose, very malty. Fruity, yet somewhat dry. You get the spice and hops on the palate as well. It's not the most complex brew I've had, but certainly is tasty.

Mouthfeel: I think this is probably where the beer excels most. Chimay red is creamy and smooth. It has a medium-light body that goes down with exceptional ease.

Overall: Probably the "worst" of the three prominent Chimay ales, though still not bad by any means. It's very drinkable and just tasty enough not to diminish the Chimay name.

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Photo of peensteen
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown, big fluffy white head, good intricate lace left on the glass. Smell is of brown sugar, dark fruit, yeast, raisin and plum soaked in alcohol. Taste is of dark fruit, alcohol, brown sugar, raisin, plum complex while working with the yeast also nice over ripe cherry. Good feel, medium weight, lightish carbonation, creamy at points. Really good stuff, I enjoy this one quite a bit so it will stay in my regular rotation.

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Photo of diamondc
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml found on sale for $5. Probably a year old.

A: Clear, brown. Huge head, but dissipates quickly. Steady ring of head. Minimal lacing. Lots of small bubbles.

S: Dark fruits, brown sugar, plums, figs, raisins.

T: More of the dark fruits, plum especially. Grape bubblegum. Slight toastiness and caramel in the background. Minimal hop action.

M/O: Bubbly yet not fizzy. Drinks superbly. Not the best dubbel, but worth buying a couple times a year.

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Photo of Francepants06
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This chimay definitely stood out the most to me, but it was the best chimay. It poured a big head but quickly dissipated, I smelled a hint of Maple (not sure if it's maple wood or just plain ole maple). It looked pretty nice with a medium yellow to red brownish body. The taste was a good hint of red cherries but had a very short finish. Its too bad for the short finish because I didn't want to have to drink a second one lol.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 2" cream colored head dense like memory mattress foam but somehow completely dissipated to a trace in only a few minutes. Hazy ruddish brown color sort of like a cider. Cold it smelled barely of caramel. Slightly warmed I also got some alcohol whiff and a bit of the dried fruit. Taste has dried fruits and caramel and a slight bitterness in the finish. There's a slight acidity contributing to a medium finish. Hey, it's a quality beer, and I respect its history and where it's from, I'm just not sure it's top of its game.

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Photo of robbrandes
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle, served in a duvel tulip.

pours a deep brownish color, almost purple; extremely fine white head, the slightest swirling deploys another explosion of bubbles.

smell is a pleasing blend of plum/fig fruitiness, alcohol, and a strong blend of sugar/sweetness.

nice, full flavor profile. 7.0% ABV is nothing to sneeze at, but this tastes like a much bigger beer than it is. big punch of malt, fruit and enough hop bite to keep the finish clean and dry. only slight issue is the carbonation being a bit abrasive to my tastes.

very strong representative of the style. certain to be enjoyed again.

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Photo of DCon
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a bottle of this @ Dierberg's in Ellisville, MO for $10.49. Poured from this bomber into a Pint Glass and has a L10-448 code on the side. Not sure what this means.

Appearance- Pours a nice light amber color with a whopping 8 finger of bubbly head! Wow! Leaves thick lace on the glass and the retention was fairly long.

Smell- The aroma is a very yeasty smell but bland. Nothing comes over this as a Dubbel and didn't enjoy giving it any other tries on the nose.

Taste- Starts off with a yeast taste, very light and bready. There are tons of malts used and this is well-balanced. Spice and caramel are included but has a metallic flavor? This was a major turn off.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Smooth, Crisp, but didn't leave much on the palate.

Overall- I was looking for much more in this Dubbel but I guess Chimay can't have ALL fantastic beers. I really enjoy their other two brews though. This one was too light, the drinkability was fanastic but shouldn't this beer be more bodied and fill you up more? Sucks too, because I paid $10.49 for this and I could've grab one of the others instead.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark amber red. The head is incredible vigorous and rocky. Also, lots of yummy yeast in teh brew!

Smell: A slight hint of pepper and dark fruits. Specifically, some plum and maybe fig or dark grapes. I get a little bit of hops but very little.

Taste: A slight plum and grape taste with hints of pepper and other spices. I think I detect a slight bit of citrusy hops that mixes well with the pepper. The pepper disappears as it get warmer and the fruits take a more prominent role. Personally, I think this is a wonderful mix of flavors that work well together.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with medium carbonation. Smooth and slightly watery but helps the beer rather than detract from it.

Overall: A superb beer overall. The flavors are extremely present and taste good. The only two downsides to this beer is if you drink it too cold and get nothing but pepper and the price. Don't get me wrong, the beer is worth the price but more as an indulgence rather a than a place in the rotation.

Aged several months

Taste: I aged my last red to get a good idea of the what the malts tasted like. Lightly toasted malt flavor.

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Photo of BeerMarshall
4.97/5  rDev +19.8%
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 gregalobeer
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: stunning mahogany, cherry wood color, head is very airy but retention is immaculate

S: lots of yeast, warm bread, slight citrus (lemon), caramel, clove

T: impeccably smooth and balanced, little evidence of hops but not sweet, carbonation adds a slight crispness, vanilla, lavender

M: the bubbles are actually a complement to the beer, which is rare, otherwise very smooth, little crispness

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
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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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 4,945 ratings