Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

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Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)
4,967 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: 4,967 |  Reviews: 1,722
Photo of korguy123
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can remember a short while ago that anything Belgian I would avoid. When I would get something traditional I would find myself grimmacing with each sip. I've slowly realized that my tastebuds are ever changing and I'm starting to get into a groove. I'm realizing that dubbels and quads are my thing and tripels are not my fancy.

I walk through the LCBO weekly and always pass Chimay and have never felt the urge to try this; Until now.

750ml into DFH signature glass served cool not chilled.

A- Hazy red/brown pour. Two finger off white head that just won't go away. Lacing is fantastic and carbonation is stellar.

S- Yeast right off the bat, subtle corriander, figs, prunes and what I perceive as strawberries. brown sugar and vanilla give this a nice sweetness that makes me antsy for the first sip.

T- Figs and prunes, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. not as sweet as the nose would make you think. Fairly dry aftertaste. Getting a little metallic taste that seems to disappear as this warms a little further.

M- medium to full bodied, sticky sweet on the lips.

D- This was a very pleasant experience and it's amazing how fast i enjoyed this whole bottle. Very affordable and worthwhile.

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Photo of Swedes21
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml poured in a chilled pint glass...

Appearance - I love the sound of a cork when you open the beer. The beer pours with a LOT of head, i would say my glass is 3/4 full of head. The head is a nice light brown and comes through looking good. U can see a lot of carbonation in the head, however, hard to see when in the beer. Colour is a solid random auburn, looks delicious.

Smell - I can smell a bit of the hops as well a sweet background. For the first time, i can almost smell a hint of caramel.

Taste - This is a smooth beer, there is no aftertaste and goes down so clean. I can taste the sweetness in the beer and enjoy its overall composure. I can honestly say there is no hint of the 7% alcohol.

Mouthfeel - The beer comes to life a little more with the mouthfeel. The carbonation level increase the flavour of the beer. The beer is light but has a creamy hint to it.

Drinkability - Please continue to produce this beer. I have 2 Chimay so far on my beer trail and i think they are both amazing beers. I am so impressed with this beer and will stock it in my fridge, i can hand this out to anyone.

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Photo of jhtipton
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a .33 liter bottle into a chalice. It provided about two inches of fluffy sea foam type head that eventually went down to about 1/2 finger of head. Some mild lacing occurred. A nice red tint. Smells like a loaf of warm bread, some mild spiciness and some fruit characteristics. Nice complex flavor. Can taste the yeasts, some roasted malts, and mild hops with fruit overtones. Can't put my finger on the exact fruit but goes nocely with the bread. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not syrupy like some dubbel, and not overly alcohol feeling. Drinkability is fine and dandy, could enjoy a few at a sitting, and since they are readily available at a fairly decent price, don't mind if I do.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Opened with a pop and a trail of smoke climbed from the rim of the bottle...always love that. Poured into Chimay chalie. Nice deep dark purple with creamy head with nice lacing. Classic for the style.

S - Grapejuice, alcohol spicy crispness. Smells pretty sweet.

T - Spicey alchohol with the dark fruits more in the background. Enjoyable and good flavor, but all in all not too exciting.

M - Creamy and soft with a bitter tangy afterbite that transitions to a super cooling feel.

D - Not bad and easy to enjoy, but for me, there are many better dubbels that are more to my tastes.

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Photo of billab914
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice. It poured a caramel brown color with a very frothy and creamy head to it. It had some very nice head retention to it as I drank it.

The aroma has a fruity, spiciness to it with some notes of apple, pear and clove coming through. It also has some bready, caramel and malt flavors to it as well.

The taste has that classic Belgian yeast spiciness to it throughout the flavor. More of the bready and caramel flavors come through towards the finish. The flavors all really come together nicely and end up being pretty balanced.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is good, it's a very good beer with some great flavors. Everything came together nicely and it's a very good example of the style.

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Photo of taigor
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into chimay glass.

A - Poured brown, mahogany color with huge white head that slowly dissipated leaving significant lacing around the glass.

S - Bready yeast, malts, caramel and spices.

T - Sweet fruits upfront with bready aftertaste and hints of honey and nuts.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - I would definitely would love to have more in the future but it is a bit overwhelming.

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

750ml poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance: brown amber with excellent creamy white head and smooth lacing.

Aroma: caramel, malty, honey and cloves.

Taste: bread malts, Belgain yeasts and slight fruit notes.

Mouthfeel: smooth medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall impression: not an everyday beer due to the price, but very delicious. traditional silky smooth dubbel.

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Photo of RickS95
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Remove the cork and you get a champagne-like pop. It pours a dark red/brown/copper/orange mix of goodness with a mountain of a head. The head is creamy, mixed with big and little bubbles with amazing retention. You can't see thru the beer, but it appears to be very hazy with some particulates suspended in the liquid.

Initially there is a burst of smell that resembles a port wine rather than a beer. As the head eventually dissipates, the port smell turns to an apricot soapy smell.

It's got a spice Oktoberfesty taste to it, only with some fruity sweetness in the background. I'm not sure of the fruit involved, but I'm guessing some plum and/or prunes, with something else providing the gentle sweetness.

Early on, there is a clear bitterness but that sense is replaced by the fruits. It goes from slightly bitter, just to let you know it's a beer, to a mild sweetness that makes it go down easy. There is also a hint of carbonation that helps keep the tongue clean.

Really a quality beer. Nice taste that goes down easy and despite a nice chunk of alcohol, there is no burn in the throat and you wouldn't know the ABV is so high because there is no indication. Just a great beer.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl, Netherlands

Gusher! Cloudy chestnut with a nice two-finger head. Okay lacing, retention.

Nose of light diacetyl, toast and herbal spice.

Flavor is malty, but well-attenuated and not overly sweet. Nice caramel character along with some toasted bread and browned, nutty butter. Dry for a dubbel, with a touch of earthy, herbal hoppiness, especially in the finish. Slightly medicinal, though. The mouthfeel was excellent: fluffy, velvety carbonation supported a smooth, medium body.

This is a good, dry Dubbel. It is a reassuring beer in a world where Chimay's grasp of quality seems to be loosening-- my recent experience with the White was sub-par, to say the most. The Red, however, is a good beer.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: This is a beauty. Deep reddish-brown with a little haze. Big creamy head that dissipates.
smell: Malty with some spice. Somewhat of a let down after lusting over the look.
taste: hmm....starts good but unimpressive, then a nice sudden finish of what....caramel?
mouthfeel: Medium body with lots of carbonation.
drinkability: Nice brew, not one I'll keep stocked.

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Photo of BBP
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- A dark cherry brown with slight head, which receeds fairly quickly. Very thick in my glass, and light struggles quite a bit to get through. Would almost resemble wine if it was a bit lighter and more red.

S- Breaking down the smell of this was a bit tricky. I noticed that the sweet fruit and the caramel hit you at first, but the spices certainly made recognizing this tricky. It gives a very rich aroma, and it sets a very high bar for flavor, that is met quite well.

T- Starts with an almost bubble gum taste. Fruit notes jump out from it and leave you with a mix of slight notes of apple, pear, and almost a hint of raisin. Yeasty taste pokes it's head in every now and then. The slightest hints of caramel underline the experience, and it leaves you with an incredible sweet aftertaste. Spices play their part in this one, but in a far more subtle way than I'd expect from a Belgian beer. Many seem to use the spices as the main course, while this brew uses them a fair amount, but only to compliment all the other flavors.

M- Full body. Rich, creamy, and smooth. Feels just about perfect. If it had a bit more body it would have got a 5. The carbonation seems to be just right, as it hits you right when you should finish taking it in, and let it linger to enjoy the aftertaste.

D- Very drinkable, at any temperature really. Was impressive how the flavor of it just pounced on top of the flavor of the food I just had. The ABV seems to be almost completely undetectable.

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Photo of heebes
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark, think amber. Bubbly, produced a think head however not much retention. Looks cloudy and very inviting.

First noticed a sharp, resiny aroma. Slightly perfumey or perhaps flowery.

Overall taste yields some pine flavours. Subsequent sips reveal a solid, well built balance of flavour.

Smooth and light mouthfeel. Leaves a slight but pleasurable aftertaste.

First review pour didn't go far, by which i mean was consumed rather qucikly. Easy to drink, hidden alcohol taste. Certainly met my expectations. Being a 750 ml bottle, I wouldn't have another in the same session but will definately watch out for another purchase.
Interesting bottle and attractive uniform labeling.

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Photo of KonigObHops
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this Chimay Trapist on several occassions. I had this one out of a bottle.

The beer pours a deep amber color with a frothy beige head. The color of this beer is amazing.

The aroma is sweet like candy with a hint of apple and a touch of cloves and some other spice.

The initial taste is much like the aroma; a very nice sweetness is balanced with a taste of spice and a hint of cloves.

In the middle, the sweet taste is balanced by carmel. There is a hint of alcohol that is well balanced by the rest of the flavors.

The finish of the beer is a welcomed touch of bitterness. However, the candy-like sweetness is there until the... bitter end (I couldn't resist).

Overall, this is one of my go to Belgian beers. It is not my favorite beer, but it is one of the greats.

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Photo of arturorg
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
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 larstheberserk
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid Trappist brew, though not the best Chimay in my opinion. I'm definitely a bigger fan of the blue label. Anyways the appearance of this beer is top notch... a deep hazy brown along with a good amount of head. The smell is a delightful combo of sweet and spicy. Taste-wise it has a bit of an initial bite to it followed by a mild blend of sweet/fruity/spicy. Normally I like a bit more maltiness in a Belgian, though this is only 7% ABV, a bit lower than my average Belgian. Mouthfeel is good... a bit watery at first but ends nicely. It is quite easy to drink, though a bit more maltiness would make it a little smoother. All in all this is a great beer, but like I said above, when presented with a Chimay lineup, this isn't my favorite.

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Photo of Shadman
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bleu Chimay was very nice so big things are expected.

Very hazy brown with orage/red highlites. Large tan head, fairly fizzy and receeded down to a tan cap that stuck around.

Spicy clove, sweet caramel apple malt, hint of allspice.

Slight carbonation bite and a brief weak watery period. Then It gets very nice. Not overy complex, just a nice balance between spicy clove and apple pie. And who doesn't like apple pie. Alcohol only apparent @ the initiall swig Finishes slightly spicy with a definite clove character.

Medium feel, maybe a touch watery, but goes down very nice once carbonation settles a bit,

Very drinkable Dubbel and a fabulous gateway Belgian. The $5.45/per price keeps the drinkability score down .5 pts though.

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Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The appearance is very nice. Pours with a lot of carbonation and fizzing, quite a bit of head forms and dissipates into a nice cream-coloured layer that covers the surface well. The beer has a very deep and dark reddish brown appearance that is very appealing. Quite translucent, only a little light comes through when you hold this up to a light, a nice reddish glow. Very appealing.

S - The first thing that you are greeted with when the cork pops out is a lovely sweet smell coming from the bottle. The smell is quite strong and very defined, but hard to put your finger on all of them. I smell a nice amount of caramel and grains that are quite a sharp scent. Other spicy notes stand out as well.

T - Fantastic. It's a hard flavour to characterize because it blends so nicely. It is a sweet beer but by no means overpowering. Notes of caramel and a slight bit of toffee are balanced by spices. The malt is certainly predominate. At no time do you really taste any hops, warm or cold. Yet this beer pulls it off extremely nicely. The flavours jump out a lot more in the aftertaste, where they each get come out much more prominently than while drinking it. Again, the aftertaste is a nice sweet taste but not too sweet. Makes you not want to brush your teeth afterward.

M - Mouthfeel is going to score a little lower than the others. It is by no means bad, but the carbonation takes away from the mouthfeel a bit. it is still very enjoyable to drink, but I think that the flavour rests more in the aftertaste. I would say the duration between drinking this beer is the best part.

D - Very easy to drink. The 7% isn't that potent and is masked entirely by the taste of the drink so it's enjoyable for the entire duration of the 750mL bottle. Best of all, as this beer warms up the flavours simply get more and more unique and pronounced and the aftertaste gets better and better. This is a fantastic beer that makes you want to kick back and slowly enjoy it for a long time.

Superb, I hope I can get my hands on the other Chimay types.

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Photo of Jef59
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - thick Chestnut color with plenty of sediment. The head is an inch of dense off-white foam.

S - freshly baked bread, apricots, and Carmel with a zing of pepper and clove.

T - tastes of sweet fruit drizzled in honey with rich bread. It finishes with with an apple like flavor accompanied with clove and a little pepper

M - one of the richest feeling beers ever! Chewy and a little syrupy, but also creamy. Similar to the consistency of a root beer float.

D - a little heavy on the stomach, but surprisingly quaffable.

Notes: one of my favorite beers of all time! Completely changed the way I looked at beer the first time I had it.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic and reliable Trappist offering.

Presentation: 0,33 l brown capped bottle. Perfunctory and iconic design pivoting around the Chimay name and branding over a red background with touches of dark gold. Back label highlights Trappist certification, main characteristics, and ingredients. Includes serving, and cellaring notes, best before date (2014), and Alc. by Vol. (7%) Served in a tulip glass.

A - Murky amber/brown pour, with a rich and generous head, medium to low retention, poor surface memory and minimal lacing.

S - Plenty of caramel over a light yeasty sense. Sugar woven with a hint of fruit.

T - The palate is not half as sweet as the nose would suggest with a richer malty sense, and sure enough a touch of caramel, plums and figs.

M - Medium body with a fading medium to low carbonation and a smooth finish.

D - Flows rather well, nothing too memorable but it is quality and recommendable.

Notes: Quite the reliable classic. Maybe nothing that I feel too eager to drink but it is tremendously solid, and even if a bit too recurrent as a Trappist icon it was a key brew to introduce me to quality brews way back when... And deservedly so.

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Photo of lespaulrocker
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer, oddly enough, at a movie theater in Memphis.

A: Cloudy amber with a decent white head. Medium amount of lacing.

S: Subtle fruity smells, a bit of caramel, maybe just a tiny bit of pepper.

T: Intriguing to say the least. I'd never had a dubbel, or any Trappist beer, so this was a new experience for me. Grapes, malt, a hint of caramel, maybe a hint of brown sugar with an iron/sweet finish. Complex and delicious.

M: Crisp, smooth. A lot of carbonation here, but in a good way.

D: Sippable, not one you'd want to down.

I really enjoyed this beer, even if it was one of the more expensive bottles I've had (8 bucks for a bottle). But I enjoyed sipping it while watching Inception.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly hazy brown color with a white head. The aroma is dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel malt. The flavor is grapes, dark fruit, caramel malt, alcohol, yeast and brown sugar. Very complex and very nice. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A world classic that didn't disappoint. 4

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to translucent for sharing this dubbel as we brew a dubbel.

Pours a light layer of white head. Color is a burnt rust with a ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Rich and malty. Caramel and toffee flavors with some candy sugar. Some dark fruit flavors.

Taste: Very sweet, rich, and malty. Lots of toffee and caramel. Raisins, cloves, spice, cinnamon. Some nut flavors. Candy sugar. Some dried fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, smooth, and fizzy. Medium bodied with a medium to a bit higher amount of carbonation. Ends with a lot sweetness in the aftertaste.

Overall, a decent dubbel with a ton of flavors that go pretty well together. A slow sipper, as some alcohol does show a bit.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer has a cloudy, amber colour. The head was about 1 cm high and lasted about a minute, however it never quite went away due to the persistent carbonation. It has a lovely sweet, hoppy smell with a hint of yeast. The flavour is like lightly roasted malt with a slightly bitter, almost citrussy aftertaste.
This beer feels great in the mouth. It is reasonably thick and foamy, due to the carbonation.

Great flavour and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a small bottle into chimay Trappist glass.

Pours a strangely light reddish brown color with carbonation streaming everywhere. Very tan red head recedes quickly. Really much lighter than what I am used for for this style. Aroma is bready spicy malts with biscuity undertones. The flavor is light yet complex. Now I see why this is the model the other brewers try to copy. The spicy, bready and complexities finish to the backnpalate. Mouthfeel is very carbonated and full in the finish. Nice food beer. Drinkability is perfect. Great and a nice cold temp and gets more complex as it warms.

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

I drank this after a walk with the dog, but had the Chimay blue before the walk. An excellent beer, but just a few steps behind the blue.

Pouring out of the bottle I thought it would be lighter in color, but had a nice amber color once in the Chimay glass. A little light in the malts compared to the blue, but still quite tasty.

The lower ABV makes it possible to have more volume in a sitting, which certainly isn't a bad thing. Good color, nice head, very good taste.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 4,967 ratings