Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

1,687 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: 1,687 | Ratings: 4,847
Photo of Uniobrew31
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks awesome when poured into a wide mouth chlace. great thick head and amber color.
smells sweet with fruity esters
tastes as Perfectly balanced as any beer I have ever had. not overly boozy as some doubles can be.
overall I would drink this beer every day and for every occcasion if it was more affordable. A good treat once in a while though.

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Photo of crisis1290
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Chimay Première (Red)- No need to repeat what has been said a 1000 plus times about this amazing world class gift from Belgium. This is one of those "must try" beers. Once it is tried once, you will revisit ! This is a smooth medium-bodied Dubbel. You might be paying more for this gem, but you wont regret it !

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Photo of enrique_m
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

i really enjoyed this brew... poured this into a chimay glass and had it with chicken pesto pizza from whole foods. as soon as i popped it open all the fizz started pouring out on the table (alcohol abuse.) the beer is unfiltered and you cannot see through the amber colored brew. it has a caramel and apples smell and the taste is delicious. it has a smooth malty taste with a tannic aftertaste. overall it is an enjoyable beer that makes for a good christmas present.

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Photo of mschind
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a wide mouth chalice. Hazy mahogany with a persisitent creamy cap that sticks to the glass all the way down.

S- malt and fruity Belgian yeast, no hops other than a slight grassy note.

T- starts raw and malty, like a whiff from a bucket of fresh milled grain. Then some mild phenols, a bit of booze in the back and malt at the finish.

M- smooth and rich, medium body with well blended carbonation.

O- this is an elegant, subtle and wonderful brew. A pleasure to sip and savor.

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Photo of cottonkoozie
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours a rich brown caramel color, with golden and amber hues around the edge of the glass. Slightly cloudy. Poured a thick, off white, 3 finger head that dissipated and settled at about 1 finger. Very little lacing.

S - Sweet and malty. Some caramel malts hit me first, and a sweet smell. Alcohol smell is detectable but not over powering. Lots of fruit smells, mostly dark fruit raisin like scents, but also some banana. Also some bread smells. A lot of malts coming through here, not too much on the hops, but they do lend a little bit of a grassy smell that is underlying.

T - Lots of fruit flavors, almost taste like a juice. Mostly dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs) again like the smell, also a little bit of a banana flavor to me. This is sweet, but yet not overpowering. Alcohol flavor is noticeable, but not as prevalent as some sweeter beers at this abv. Hops are very light and lend just a balancing bitterness at the end.

M - Very full and bubbly. Finishes dry.

O - Not my normal style of beer but this is excellent. Very drinkable, and very tasty. I have been meaning to try this one for a long time, and just never ended up picking it up. Not something I would buy on a regular basis, but I will probably buy again. Very good beer.

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Photo of Poppypitbull
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chimay Rouge (Red), 7% ABV dubbel. In the 75 cl bottle, it is known as Première. I found this tonight in a bar in the Ironbound section of Newark NJ for a big Portugal Festival. I asked the bartender for an Ale and she rattled off a bunch of things and some dude at the bar said "try the chimay."
It smells fantastic, goes down smooth, a little head from the bottle going into the glass and it settled perfect! Just an all around great tasting beer. I passed it to several friends who aren't big beer people and they all raved about it and couldn't believe it was 7%.

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Photo of styxnpicks
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pourd an opaque murky brown with a hint of copper, head is a creammy soapy tan lasts halfway through the beer. aromas, if that of fruit and lovely yeast more like wine than beer. Flavor is INCREDABLE with balanced hop bitterness and a perfect sweetnes, all balanced in a mastered blend of unfiltered bliss, heavy body, great mouth feel, and perfect with my steak, the ceamy finish lasts and paired well with the rich fatty steak, I thought I had died and gone to heaven for a minute. A tru winner if you appreciate REAL beer

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent beer, aroma and flavour is great and complex. Fruity and lightly acid. Pours deep brown with red highlights. Smell is complex and rich, malts, spices, fruity esters, some yeast. Taste is great, very good example of the style.

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Photo of generallee
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a stubby brown 11.2oz bottle into a signature Chimay chalice that came with the gift set.

Appearance: It has a deep burgundy color with reddish amber highlights. The body has a light haze with a few small bits of yeast suspended in the liquid just above the bottom of the chalice. Its head builds up tall and thick with a creamy off white colored head. The head slowly recedes to a thin wispy covering that hangs on tell the finish and even leaves behind a small amount of lace.

Smell: The aroma has a pleasing dark sweet malt character with lots of good fruity esters and earthy Belgian yeast. There is a slight phenolic presence as well.

Taste/Mouth feel: There is a good sweet malty body that is full of fruity notes like apricot, dates and plums that mixes with some earthy yeast. In the middle there is a very slight astringency. It also has some light herbal hops spice and a pleasant alcohol that adds depth and warmth. In the finish the sweetness fades off giving way to dry earthy yeast. The texture is smooth with a slid medium to full body and well balanced carbonation.

Notes: This is a very solid Trappist Dubbel and an absolute joy to drink.

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Photo of antonlauter
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Personally i an not a huge ale fan, i am not big on bitter tasting beers, but this beer had a perfect balance for my pallet. I got more of the carmel aspect of the beer and it was totally new for me. i have read reviews on beer that i tasted before saying"the carmel flavor really stood out in this beer" but chimay delivered it in a way that helped me understand what people were referring to without the bitter. very smooth very enjoyable. excellent

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Photo of GRPunk
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A- It poured with a 1-1/2 finger tan head that eventually dropped to about 1/4 finger leaving good sticky spots on the glass. The body was a murky, red-brown with medium carbonation. There was a touch of sediment atop the head and clouding the body.

S- There was an initially sweet aroma. It smelled of dark fruits and a pleasant, Begian mustiness. Later on, there were some grainy characteristics in the background. It was very rich, yet not quite as abundant as expected. With warmth, came a more pronounced aroma.

T- Much as the aroma would suggest. There was a good combination of rich, dark fruits and spice (black pepper perhaps). It had a tart/dry finish (something of a green apple or grape-like quality).

M- It had a slightly grainy feel with moderate to strong carbonation and a clean, dry finish.

D- Wonderful. It was a good, full-flavored sipper. The alcohol was well hidden, but keeps you in check as you finish the glass. It's definitely a dubbel I'd drink again.

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big yeasty aroma, liquid bread, although an overused phrase, is appropriate. Also fermentation aromas of dark pit fruit. Also a very nice malt component of darker crystal and maybe some munich. A little spicyness of clove and pepper.

Deep reddish orange and clear with a great thick off white head that lasts and leaves great lacing.

Great malt character, deep brown sugar sweetness and a small dose of roast malt. Fermentation is very fruity, I get apricots and plums and sweet orange peel. Honey notes and a little bit of spice are in there too. Hop bitterness is apparent but very much in the background.

Full bodied with a fairly high carbonation level which makes it seem very lively.

It's a great example of a dubbel. It is hefty enough to be a winter warmer but subtle enough to drink anytime. Also a great food beer that will work with spicy, grilled or chocolate.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.71/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown/copper like color with a hint of red. Appears clearer when held up to the light. Massive foam head. Disapates into a thin lace, which, however, disappears towards the end.
Complex aroma is my favorite attribute. Sweet and sugary on the nose. Then I get a slightly floral and perfume like aroma. Later still, I detect a buttery, malty and biscuit or cracker like aroma. Finally, as the drink warms, I get a large scent of dark fruit soaked in perfume that is truly intoxicating. There is really a lot there.
Malt forward taste, dark bread; but really a lot more than this as it is that complex. Phenolic, yeasty, alcohol and dark fruits. The herbal and spicy clove like tastes are felt in the back of the tongue as well as hops. The finish is dry and somewhat bitter.
Big full bodied beer. Big carbonation that really tingles and prices the tongue. This one is a sipper. It gets even better as the drink warms. It is best to let it sit a little for best results.
Thus is truly amongst one of the all time greatests.

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Photo of BrewMakeMeFeel
4.71/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a rich caramel color with a thick, beige head.

Smell: Mild, unique yeast aroma

Taste: Complex flavor profile centered around distinct yeast flavors, finishing with just a hint of bitterness.

Feel: Smooth texture with a pleasant bite of carbonation.

Overall: A classic abbey ale, with a yeast blend you won't find anywhere else. Smell slightly underwhelming, and doesn't quite measure up to the Grande Reserve but a fantastic ale and a great introduction to Belgian beer.

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Photo of Eric_Standard
4.71/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: A nice deep ruddy brown with a tightly bubbled creamy white head.

Smell: A bit fruity and spicy, sweetness with an underlying peppery aroma.

Taste: Right up front we get some spices like black pepper and cloves, as well as a bit of that fruitiness from the aroma, largely overripe stone fruit. The sweetness in the nose is less present on the pallet, but there is definitely a pleasant malty sweetness throughout the beer. Some nice herbal undercurrents as well. Quite complex and layered.

Feel: Smooth, crisp, peppy and easy-drinking.

Overall: A really wonderful beer. Delicious. Everything I've had from this brewery is really pretty exceptional. I prefer the Première over the Chimay Tripel, but I still like the Grande Réserve the best. Now I just need to hop on over to Belgium to try the Dorée.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 ml custom brown magnum, corked and crowned (old style label). Cork is imprinted with a March 2000 bottle date. Poured in an authentic Chimay glasses given to us by Manneken-Brussel Imports, Inc.

Appearance: Brown with a burgandy red hue with an infinite creamy white head from a tight tiny bubbled carbonation.

Smell: Raw sweetness, peppery spiciness and light phenols.

Taste: Soft powdery mouth feel with a crisp carbonation and medium body. Smooth. Very evident clove flavour up front and stays around throughout the beer. Hints of birch and ginger beer-like flavours, peppery medcinal phenols and light herbal tea hop flavour. Quite malty but it stays in the back. Fruitiness is likened to a delicate date sweetness and ripe plum. As the beer warms, there's also a suggestion of chocolate/carob. Finish dries a little though still a bit of residual sweetness leftover, herbal flavours also.

Notes: We can die now. It's okay. Drinking this beer has made the cylce of life complete.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy light brown color with a pillowy head that hangs around for a bit. The flavor features big, full malt, a hint of hops to cut through the sweetness, and some apricot in the finish. Starts creamy and ends dry. Very interesting sensation. As it warms, I'm getting butterscotch and some pepper.

Overall, a sensational beer. Big flavors, great texture, complex, and balanced.

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Photo of rdrummer
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's easy to forget how good a beer is when you haven't had one for a while. The Chimay Red pours a brown to ruby red with a clean white head and some lasting lacing. It has a crisp aroma with hints of the malt and clove as well as some alcohol accent. The taste is simply great. This in my opinion is one of the best beers made. It has a multiplicity of taste that is hard to find in other beers although it is a classic Abbey beer. The strongest taste is of malt, a little smoky but not like a porter or stout. There is a hint of clove and carob, but just a hint. There is a fruitiness that reminds me of grapes and that back of the mouth bitterness of hops. This feels great in the nose, in the mouth, and going down. This may be addicting.

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Photo of Rudgers73
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a white wine glass it is ruddy brown with amber highlights. The head is large, but settles rather quickly into a thin layer over the beer. A few yeast chunks swirl around at the bottom of the glass. The smell starts out sour and sweet with a biscuity aroma right at the end. I smells as though it is delicate and lightly hopped. Raisins, candi sugar, flowers. The taste, IMO, is a classic example of a true Belgian style abbey ale: Sweet, smooth, delicate and complex. Everything about it is subtle and balanced. The wide range of flavors go from sweet, to bitter, sour to malty, raw to toasted. You just can't beat these real Belgian in mouthfeel either. Like silk. Almost as good as Prior 8.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A deep red with just a bit of orange coming through around the edges. The carbonation keeps a white head alive with decent retention. The head is also very creamy looking. The label does a good job of setting up the appearance of the liquid inside.

S- Some maple syrup, brown sugar, fruitiness, honey, sweet bread, vanilla, caramel... This is wonderful.

T- The same flavors that are noticed in the aroma. This is like candy. Absolutely delicious and complex. Very smooth with a nice aftertaste.

M- Very creamy and smooth. There is a bit of a numbing aspect to this, but I doubt the alcohol has a lot to do with it considering the 7% ABV.

D- A very interesting and enjoyable beer. This beer has become the gold standard for a dubbel in my book. This beer is how it is done, it is easy to drink and it screams quality.

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Photo of MusicmanSD
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simply put one of the best damn beers I've ever had. The original Chimay. The way it looks, ohhhh how I wish there was a 10 option! Fantastic off-white head, with the cloudy orange-red sunset looking body. Head recedes quickly, however, never does become a ring! The smell is awesome with raisins, sugar, molasses, caramel, and lots of other aroma's I'd never even dreamed of smelling in beer. The taste is the aforementioned last sentence except the yeast kinda makes it metallic tasting in a way. Alcohol is well hidden, although sort of prevalent at times. Kind of like a smooth, more refined, Arrogant Bastard. The mouthfeel isn't 5.0, but it's damn smooth. A running trait of this beer. The drinkability is awesome. You'll probably be toasted after one bomber bottle (in my case, 3 goblets full), but damn is it good. Wish it lasted longer and I had a tap of this in my house! Smooth and sweet. Perfect! Or in another case...Brilliant! Can't wait to try the blue label. Dubbel might be my new favorite style of beer!

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Photo of proc
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional. Chimay Red was the first Chimay I ever tried. It is my favorite of the line. Beautfiul, reddish-copper color, great lacing and a wonderful taste. This beer gets better as it warms in the glass.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite the little Belgian Dubble here. This may replace the Bleu as my favorite Chimay bier! This bier pours out a nice dark red ruby colour with a monumental head lofting above the tiny bubbles. This beer omits some wonderful aromas of malts, spices, and candy sugar. This tests just like a belgian dubble should, one of the definitive examples of this style IMO. This has a very creamy and full bodied mouthfeel to it as well and a devlishly high drinkability. One of the best.
An absolute classic.
well, it is a trappist, what do you expect!!!

1992 version, 75cl bottle, served in nice little Chimay goblets at the Kulminator in Antwerp. This stuff just rocked my world....please if any of you guys get the chance to drink pre 94 Chimay in so!

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Photo of arghbowl
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay goblet

A - Poured a very dark amber to copper with a nice fluffy 1/4" or so head.

S - Raisin and caramel up front, with a slightly spiced scent lingering in the nose.

T - Looks are deceiving. This tastes nothing like it looks, as it tastes like a very welcoming, but looks like it could be rather harsh. Again, rasins, and caramel dominate, but there's also a nice spiced finish. Very pleasant, and certainly invites another sip. Great aftertaste that isn't unpleasant at all. Sweet and savory at the same time.

M - Pleasant but somewhat syrupy. Nice level of carbonation - not too much or too little.

D - Almost too drinkable. Taste will leave you wanting more, and a large bottle would most likely be the perfect amount. Not a beer you can drink too many of, but with a beer this good you shouldn't want to.

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Photo of Hunter
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Admittedly, I'm coming into this one biased. Chimay produces my favorite beers, hands down. But hardly anyone will read this review anyway, so I don't care! I'll be honest in my assessment though, promise.

I loved the presentation of the large, cork-stoppered bottles when I first discovered these beers. Something's lacking in the small capped bottles; buy them only as a last resort.

OK, I'm unwinding the wire cage and popping the cork. Ah! Nice satisfying "pop".

The aroma immediately suggests earthy spices, like clove. I poured into a Gourmet (For connoisseurs, this is a must. Avoid the pint glass, and NEVER drink from the bottle). The head pours thick and creamy, but despite the cacade of bubbles it fades fast. The beer is a dark ruby color and slightly opaque, likely from the sediment at the bottom of the bottle. It's clearer with a careful pour, but that's only for the aesthetically minded.

Aroma is complex as a good wine. Luxuriant waves of clove, butter, and dark berries. As the beer warms, the aroma takes on a complexity that my vocabulary fails to do justice. Just pour it and stick your nose in it.

Light, light hops and alcohol come through on the tongue first, replaced quickly by a medley of candied raisin, fruit, allspice, and buttered bread. Sadly, this doesn't linger but vanishes quickly after the swallow. Hops make a return in the aftertaste, combined with a slightly sharper astringency. Everything blends so well it's hard to discriminate between flavors, but the sum total is wonderful. High alcohol content warms you to your toes like a good snifter of brandy. The heavy carbonation adds a coarseness to the satiny mouthfeel, but it's a minor grievance.

Overall, this is one of the best I've tasted. Meant to be savored like a fine dessert wine. Those monks know what they're doing!

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,847 ratings.
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