Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

4,864 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: 4,864 |  Reviews: 1,693
Photo of Kelp
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown color to the beer, with a beautiful white head. Very little lacing.

A nice sweetness from the malts and some hints of fruit on the nose. Also some yeast and spices.

Nice and sweet up front with some fruits. The spices follow into the after taste and some breadiness at the end.

Loads of carbonation in this brew. A bit watery but still good.

This is good but not my favorite type. I would definitely have more of this beer, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chimay red 33cl into chalice

Pours a clouded blood orange red with tangerine highlights. The head
is billowy and two fingers in height which drops down to a lasring
pancake topping. Leaves somw clingy lacing.

Lots of fruity aromas present, a mixed basket of light and dried dark
with a soft yeasty quality. An earthy quality and a subtle black

The body is malty sweet, belgian candi, some earth and pepper.

Mouthfeel is soft and well carbonated, well suited to the style.

This, my second favorite Chimay, is super approachable and easy to drink

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A few persistent foam and a slightly fruity nose (fig and red fruit) and sweet, especially candy. The palate is quite soft and silky but even if the palace reminds the roasted malt, we found a body with a little light level flavors. The finish follows this approach, it offers little bitter and very few flavors that, in addition, do not stay long in the mouth. Note, however, a little more acidity in 75cl or nitro-bottles. A beer that serves as an initiator in the way of Chimay beers.

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Photo of kirkpjr
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Had to open this one real slowly. It would have overflowed if I didn't.

A: Pours a full finger of head. Dark caramel color with plenty of floaters thanks to they yeast sediment I dumped in. Can't see through the caramel.

S: Sweet candied malts and Belgian yeast. A little vinegary almost. Apple and some other fruits come through.

T: Really wish this tasted more like it smelled. It starts with a sweet taste that is quickly kicked by a sharp bitterness. Only a faint fruit sweetness comes through.

M: Very high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing feel. The bitterness lingers.

D: Good to try but don't know how many of these I could drink in a sitting. A little too dry and bitter.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A nice rich brown that's a bit hazy with medium beige head that recedes fast. This looks nice and creamy.

S - Malt, lots of malt. Dark fruit. Caramel. Yeast. Some spice.

T - All the nose and more. One of the most complex tastes I've encountered. There are so many things working and interacting here that it's incredible. Plum,chocolate, black cherry, raisins, a little citrus lemon, caramel, thyme, and some yeast. Despite all the flavors, the taste is not overpowering and by no means is this beer "fruity." Very interesting.

M - Perfect. Could not be better crafted. Carbonation is there but not overimposing and it is consistent through each sip.

D - Surprisingly drinkable and thank god for that. The abv is completely hidden and it's middling in the first place. I could drink 3 or 4 of these. Expensive though.

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Photo of adam42381
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel brown with hints of golden amber. Has a 1-2 finger off-white foamy head which dissipates fairly quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Nice malty sweetness with hints of spices and dried fruits.

Taste: Caramel up front with a small metallic bite. Toasted malt with a light hint spices throughout. Very subdued bittersweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation up front. Fairly dry finish.

Drinkability: Pretty high drinkability. Would be higher if not for the high amount of carbonation.

Overall: This is one of those beers that every beer lover should try. It isn't my favorite ale, but it is a good representation of the Dubbel style.

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Photo of biglite351
2.38/5  rDev -42%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A - Orange-gold and not very see through. Foam looked like soda and vanished quickly.

S - a little now bitter than a typical pager.

T - full sweet and fruity. Not bitter and no bad after taste. Not too strong, but nice.

M - mild. Not real feel. Comparable to a mild ice tea.

D - due to its mildness and lack of bitterness or after taste, I bet you could drink a lot of these without realizing it. I would just rather have something a little not noticeable.

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Photo of mmva321
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice.

My first experience with a Trappist brewery, and I was not disappointed.

The body pours a very dense reddish-brown. Almost the color of rust. As you drink, there is a yeast deposit that forms near the bottom. The head is a very thick and creamy two fingers of off-white goodness. There is also some carbonation, which makes the beer seem to glisten in the light.

A very subtle smell. Some bitter hops mix well with smooth malts. There is a little bit of funk to the auroma which really makes the smell pop and some bready yeast that smooths it all out. I also love the fruitiness (maybe prunes) which come off as more spicey than sweet.

Tastes how it smells. Same great balance and refinement. Once again, the fruits in the beer have more of a spicey tone than sweetness, a nice and unique characterisitc of this beer.

Perhaps my one complaint is with the feel. The beer to me is slightly too watery. When the beer hits the sides of my tongue, I usually mark it down if the beer seems too thin. The beer is of a good consistency, but perhaps something could have given it a little more substance.

One of the more well-refined beers I've ever had and an absolute pleasure to drink. You can't drink it that fast, but you're not supposed to. Sit back and enjoy.

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Photo of kwjd
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Pours an almost reddish, almost brown colour with a thin head that doesn't go away. Lacing down the glass. Smells of the yeast and a sweet caramel with some fruit. The taste is of prune and some sweet caramel malt. It is very smooth. While this is still a great beer, I think I used to like this a lot more. I'm not sure if it is because I've had several other dubbels since having this last, or if my tastes have just changed. The taste is just a little bit thinner than I remember.

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

Pours a rich, creamy head that lasts the entire drink. Body is dark amber/brown. Head is an off white colour. Aromas of spices, plums, some rum, and fruit. Taste is fruit, floral, rum, prunes. FInishes with spices in the aftertaste, smooth and full bodied. This is my second re-rate of this beer. FOr some reason as of late, it seems to be almost watery. Still really good, but not as good as I had first thought

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Photo of Iloverasputin
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a chimay glass. Pours a murky dark brown with a nice full head that dissipates to a thin layer. Held up to the light you can see the yeast sediment. The smell is of light clove, prunes, and yeasty fresh baked bread. The taste is of raisins, prunes, a light spice in the background (maybe like black pepper). The aftertaste is of yeasty bread. The mouthfeel is medium at first, but finishes a little thin. Lots of carbonation, but that's a biproduct of the refermentation. After having one, I definitely wouldn't mind another. This a unique beer experience.

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Photo of confer
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a .75 liter bottle. The color is caramel brown and cola like in the initial carbonation.
The smell is fantastic, plums, prunes sweet dark fruit. They should make an air freshen er of this smell.
The taste is again dark fruits. The finish is missing something it is dry and a bit watery.
The light finish is a little disappointing.
I like this beer a lot and will pick some up occasionally. I prefer it to the Blue.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from an 11oz bottle into a Chimay glass.

The beer pours medium tea colored brown with lots of carbonation. The very light tan head rises about 4 fingers then falls relativerly quickly. A soapy full head stays for a while. The retention is ok.

The aroma is pretty strong with lots of balance. There is dark fruit, light alcohol, caramel and lots of yeast.

The taste is a little boring and light. It starts off with some caramel then gets very yeasy.

The feel is really light.

This is one of the worse trappist beers and a terrible dubbel. Westmalle, westy and achel destroy this.

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Photo of jsh420
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cork says 2007

pours dark ruby brown with a 1 finger head that had great retention

smells of dark fruit a little spice and must

taste sweet dark fruit figs raisins also some banana and bready malt - the aging has taken away all the heat that a fresh bottle has

mouthfeel is good - the aging however has taken the zip/the life/the carbonation that it once had

drinkability is great - there are downsides/upsides from the aging but overall fresh/aged this beer is world class

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – Beautiful red-mahogany hue, with a small head that quickly vanishes.

S – Nicely malty-sweet with hints of band-aid, cherry and papaya; for Chimay it is underwhelming, for most others it would be quite good.

T – It tastes good, but a bit on the unspectacular side for a Trappist brew; there are mostly pleasant malty and fruity impressions, but it tends towards mediocrity and there is a slight perfume quality that is disconcerting. The perfume character is more pronounced on the finish. It also tastes better well aired-out, as a nutty quality develops that supplants the perfume-y flavor.

M – Nicely balanced between richness, dryness, and effervescence.

D – It is spectacular for pairing with food, especially spicy food.

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A small half finger of very light tan head formed and it dissipated slowly. The beer is a hazy dark brown.

Smell: The aroma is rather funky, with a lot of earthyness. There is a bit of dark fruit, like raisins or prunes. A little musty, and a tiny bit spicy.

Taste: This beer has some complexity to it. There is a bit of earthy flavor and some spice in the background. Also, a great deal of the raisin from the nose, mixed with a dark cherry flavor. A well balanced hop bitterness comes in after the initial burst of flavor. The finish is clean and crisp, which is helped by the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with the carbonation adding a bit of a prickly sensation.

Drinkability: While not being too strong, this beer has some really nice complexity, and truly brings something new to the table. The beer didn't have a strong aroma. There was a lot I really liked in this beer, and I think my score is a little lower than I actually feel it should be, due to the weight of the categories.

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Photo of chaz410
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle at the flying saucer.
Pours cloudy dark amber brown body with thick off white that lingers.
Smells of heavy belgian malt, caramel malt, and roasty backbone. Slightly belgian funk in the smell with some bubble gum like notes and sweet apple notes.
Taste toasty and roasted. Nice thick belgian malt and caramel layers. Funky plum and sticky apple toward the end. A slight hop dry finish

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Photo of sbw138
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my favorite goblet.

A: Deep garnet. Has nice clarity for being bottle conditioned. A dense cream cap slowly settles to a 1/8" pillow of foam that sticks the whole way down the glass. The only weakness is the lack of lace.

S: Spicy, fruity and vinous. Dark fruits and peppery spice interplay nicely. Yeast adds a slight mustiness.

T: All the flavors hit at once in this beer. Raisins, currants and black cherries intermingle in perfect balance with pepper and coriander. Finishes very vinous, with a light warmth.

M: The body is appropriately light. The vigorous carbonation is very soft on the mouth. Feels dry in the finish.

D: There's a reason Dubbel is my favorite beer style. Something about the beer meets red wine thing really appeals to me. Chimay Red is a perfect example of this style. Very refined and well thought out in execution. A classic beer I'm glad I finally revisited.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle into a Chimay chalice. Wow this bottle foamed up fast and hard. As much foam as was running out of the bottle I thought a pour would yield all head. On the contrary I got a nice foamy two-finger head and was able to pour the entire bottle in one motion. Head leaves a solid "lacing" on the glass as it fades. The beer itself is a hazy brownish amber color with many bubbles.

A great bready malt aroma, some mild hop spice. The taste is a great blend of biscuity malt, dark, alcohol soaked fruit, and spice. The alcohol is noticeable but only in a complimentary way.

Medium bodied with a great velvety-smooth feel. Carbonation is mild despite the heavy foam and violent bubbles at the onset.

I've had this beer before but not in this light. Just an excellent Trappist ale.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle, goblet,

This storied beer poured a dirty straw, iced tea brown. Two inches of fizzy large bubbled off-white head formed and then receded quicker than I expected to a solid but thin layer. Pouring some of the yeast was almost unavoidable and the beer has moderate sized chunks throughout as well as streaming carbonation.

Faint steely caramel, sherry soaked fruit, plum, raisin, tea, spicy yeast.

Slight sweet metallic caramel, diluted lemon, tea, and a grainy straw flavor are immediately apparent. Tea and lemon pith bitterness. Yeast is present, but I do not have enough experience with Belgian beers to describe the character past the word spicy. Alcohol never seems to be present.

On the palate the beer seems as if it would be full-bodied if it weren't for the lively carbonation. Good balance between the two. Despite the level of carbonation, a lingering matte bitterness remains on the finish.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay glass, has a nice cloudy amber color and a great lasting head.
Smells of something akin to bananas mixed with blueberries.
Tastes like a lot of blueberries to me, but in a good way of course. When I first tried this beer I thought it tasted like metal, this was of course right after I evolved from drinking keystone and natural light, the beginning of my drinking escapade.

I think this is a great beer, probably my favorite of the Chimay's. Way to go monks!

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Photo of obywan59
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From a 12 oz. bottle.

Poured into an oversized wine glass gave a one finger head plus. The head receded rather quickly leaving no lacing. Quite attractive winey brown color. Cloudy.

Smells sweet and fruity with a bit of spice. Some tartness as well. Reminds me of a lambic.

First swallow gives a big taste of grape wine. The trailing bitterness shows up a swallow or two later convincing me that this really is a beer after all.

Moderately thin with wonderful carbonation tingling the tongue. Warming alcohol in the throat.

I could almost guzzle this. The carbonation slows you down only a bit. The biggest slowdown was having to stop and type this review.

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Photo of horshack7
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a Chimay goblet is a slightly hazy but dark garnet with a crown of two fingers worth of frothy head.

Aroma: Strong alcohol notes with figs a sweetness from the malts. The hops let out some esters. Plum, rasins among other sweet fruits are present.

Taste: A smooth buttery mouthfeel. Figs, esters sweetness from the malts round it out. Plums and rasins with a brown bread flavor.

Notes: This is a nice balanced dubbel. Cheers.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 o. bottle in my Chimay chalice.

Very nice tan two finger head after a balanced pour. But for this Dubbel, there is only a small puddle of foam for retention. The bers colir maes me think of rust and Wonderbread crust. Pretty good coloring despite my comparison to others of its style. The arom has heavy toasted to medium roasted malts along with some toasted, Carribean plantane and brown sugar concoction aroma. But pretty initing and enticing. The tast is super balanced and well carbonated. Toasted and lighlt roasted malts add lots of flavor characters to tghe OHHH SOOO Belgan beer. Medium tastes of soft cherries and very mild tobacco. Great carbonation even though you can't see it. Its no wonder this beer and brewery keep getting such high ratings.

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Photo of Jesstyr
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at Gingerman in South Norwalk in a Chimay chalice and paired with mussels. Chimay was the ultimate beginners dubbel, but I wonder if I have now outgrown it a bit. It lacked the distinction of the other trappists and big time belgians. To be fair, I've had better Chimay's than tonight, but not taking notes - I'll have to re-review.

Pours a maroon with little light head and decent lacing. Quite indicative of the variety of dubbel, and a very attractive brew. Smell struck me initially of cherry, which was quite interesting, and also had heavy malt and caramel. Taste led off as a dry malt, with slight hints of chocolate and cherry, but nothing excessively robust, which is disappointing. Mouthfeel is dry, but not overly so, and doesn't affect the drinkability. Alcohol level is not particularly high, but it almost feels higher than other dubbels - an oddity. It goes down very easy, and particularly smooth.

Altogether this is an enjoyable brew, but there are better ones out there...

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,864 ratings.
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