Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

1,683 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: 1,683 | Ratings: 4,837
Photo of Czequershuus
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a shining ruby brown with a very large head. The aroma offers up banana, brown sugar, and fig. The flavor follows the same course, tasting of rich fig and brown sugar, with notes of molasses and ginger also apparent. The mouthfeel is full and fluffy. Overall this a a sensationally tasty beer. Wonderfully fruity and complex, this may be my favorite Chimay.

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Photo of jrsqc7
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bright sunshine beginning of summer William DeVaughn's "Be Thankful For What You Got" playing kids at the neighborhood playground screaming about chocolate bars. Frothy malt lingers introduces spices warmth. Fantastic.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed in "Michael Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium", this awaits my review with another tasting.
Reviewed also in Roger Protz' " 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous brew, deep hazy dark copper pour with ultimate off-white pillow of tiny bubbles. This is how I envision beer. Aroma is malty with some biscuit and caramel. Just a touch of candi sugar sweetness. Flavor is about the same. Probably I'm late in the game, but this is not as impressive as I'd hoped. Still looking for the best dubbel, but starting to believe this may not be my style as much as I love quads and some (completely different) trips.

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Photo of adodds
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L - Pours a hazy, dark brown with a massive ivory head.
S - Smooth, with some malty flavors.
T - Delicious cream and toasty malts! This is a great dubbel, no extra shenanigans going on here. When I close my eyes and sip, I get a very smooth "creamy-tan" color in my mind. I love how the ivory vanilla note balances with the dark-tan nut flavors.
F - Smooth, light body. Lets the flavors do the talking.
O - This was a great surprise! I have heard repeatedly that blue Chimay is the best, but I think that the red is a much easier everyday sipper. Sublime

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Photo of Viaduck
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure I got the right beer, my label is different from that pictured. "Contents under pressure. Use extreme caution ...when opening". Yes they are. A very loud pop followed by a very lovely aroma of barley & hops. Hazy Reddish brown & topped with an impressive off white head. Tastes great, a bit salty, big grain flavor with a kick from the alcohol & carbonation, no bitterness. A great beer.

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Photo of matcris
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: A hazy rust in the snifter with a good finger+ of khaki, creamy head that settles down after a few minutes to a nice thick layer. Hard to say about the carbonation. Hold a flash light up to the glass and I see a few small bubbles rising, here and there. Spotty lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Very floral, bready like fruitcake. Dark dried fruit, molasses. No detectable alcohol.
TASTE: Very bready, lots of dark dried fruit, raisin, figs. A nice bit of sweetness but not overwhelming. Brown sugar or molasses. No detectable alcohol in the taste, either.
FEEL: Medium body with plenty of carbonation, but not overkill. Quite dry all the way through the sip. The body seems a little thin right at first and then a second later, seems almost a little chewy.
OVERALL: Lots of nice dark dried fruit, bready, and molasses notes but there is enough on the opposite end to keep it balanced and not cloying at all. Nice high level of carbonation helps with this too, I'm sure. Very nice brew. Blue caps little brother.

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Photo of EMH73
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I know that I am in the minority, but I feel that this is the best beer from Chimay. To me it is a little more complex and flavorful than the Grand Reserve.

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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 LennyOvies
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L- Dull hazy brown body with noticeable carbonation going up. Bubbly ivory head with low retention.
S- Brown sugar, dried fruits, raisins, some cinnamon.
T- Dried fruits, sugar, bread, belgian yeast.
F- Smooth, slightly fizzy.
O- Nice beer, ABV was hardly noticeable. Not very fond of this style but this was fairly good.

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Photo of Dr-Baltar
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - Murky bronze / brown. Cloudy yeast clarity after a gentle pour.

Smell - Raisin, dark fruits, baked sweetness

Taste - Caramel, toffee, medium alcohol taste, slight dark fruit notes but not as much as on the nose.

Feel - A little under conditioned than I would expect from a Belgian, but still nice.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From teh 330 ml bottle purchased in France, it pours a dark amber with a moderate off-white head, replenished by a constant stream of bubbles from the bottom. Nose detects fruit and malt, mouth is equally pleased with malt and caramel tickling the tongue. Enjoyable! Wow!

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - A murky/muddy reddish brown type color
Smell - Dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, spice
Taste - Prunes, raisins, plums, toffee sweetness, spice

Overall - Another great trappist ale. The Blue crushes this though.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this 75 cl bottle together with a huge order from Beergium. The cork says it’s bottled in 2015. Best before December 2019.

The beer pours hazy, red-brown with a huge, fluffy yellow head. About two finger high in my new Trappist-glass.

Nose: Caramel malt, fudge, dried fruit, plum, floral and herbal spices. Taste: Sweet chocolate, nuts, caramel, coriander, molasses, oak and plum.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, silky and smooth. Light carbonation. Complex texture. A nice smooth bitterness at the end.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay glass.

A: The body is opaque brown with a 2-finger thick beige head. No lacing but lots of retention here. Got through the whole drinking experience.
S: The aroma felt like a regular dubbel, being constructed mostly by "belgian hops" (not sure if they're actually from Belgium, but it's the ones who are used regularly) and the typical strong yeast.
T: The strong yeast is what is tastable here - this beer has some hints of toffee but in its whole is very yeasty, which is good, but could be better.
M: WOW. This beer is very well conditioned, the mouthfeel is great due to its carbonation. The head had a tremendous retention, which could only be made a superior level of carbonation. This is awesome. No bitterness, more turned to sweetness actually.
O: For the first time, I had a Chimay that I want to revisit. Bold and solid.

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Photo of _Froggy_
2.8/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2015 date on cork. 1/18/2016 I sampled this beer from the 75cl or (750ml) bottle
why do i feel this tastes close to a stout???? more than an ale??? it's not bad but I wouldn't recommend it to friends ...
bottle/cork/hood finish is super nice ~ everything about this beer was super promising
I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought it was basically a let down.

it basically comes down to tasting like an expensive red/amber Guinness...not that it is a bad thing but it's definatly not for everyone ~ cheers

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into pint glass in January 2016. I did not see a date on the bottle but I drank this less than 1 month after purchasing it.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown with dark tan head. Beer is clear. Head is thin, and leaves a thin film/lacing on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with mix of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and some hops. A little hint of pepper. Nice variety and balance.

Taste: There is a nice mix of sweetness from the malt and bite from the hops. There is a little roasted coffee flavor, and I get a nice soft caramel flavors, balanced with a bit of hops. There is a little alcohol bite as well. This was done in a nice combination with the other flavors. There is a nice variety of flavors in the aftertaste too.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium alcohol level, which confirms the 7.00% on the bottle.

This is a smooth medium-bodied Dubbel, and one of the best Dubbels I have tasted. It is an interesting combination of flavors.

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Photo of Ant777uk
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Colour...reddish black...perfect.

Aroma is very spicy and complex...loving. No fruit, just serious manly beer aromas...

Flavour is well balanced, with great bubbly aftertaste that comes through after. The dubbel flavor with more spice and citrus than others, that sets this apart and is probably my favorite dubbel out there...

This is kind of a sunlight version of Bleu...drink in the hot weather

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

Dark brown with an almost burgundy hue. Lots of particulate in the pour. Smell was nice, strong fruits. Taste was initially very mild, almost neutral, but soon came to life and awoke with a punch of a port wine flavor. Interesting. Very warming aftertaste. Heavy alcohol heat.

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy light brown color; a pile of fluffy white head that looks like you could ski on; lacing to spare. Light nose that doesn't give much away -- a little malt and hints of Belgium yeast; some florals come alive as beer warms. Need to let this one run around your tongue for a bit -- gulp too quickly and you risk losing some of the more subtle pleasantries -- earthy bitterness, subtle spices. Medium body, plenty of carbonation. Overall, an outstanding drinking experience.

Just beginning to study the Belgians more carefully than I had in the past. Pretty sure I will want to circle back to this one after I have a little more dubbel seasoning.

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

Bought from Tamuras 11.oz bottle. Cloudy brown color, high carbonation, heavy mouthfeel, strong malty taste, tastes of caramel, overall a great beer to be sipped like wine to enjoy the complexity of it.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep cloudy brown color with an amber hue, and a powerful amount of activity. Slightly creamy and frothy beige 3 finger head, lasting around 15 minutes, making a good amount of legs. Flavors of ester fruits like pears and apples, dark fruits like plums, yeasty, coriander, clove, molassy, caramel, floral and herbal spices. Smooth slick medium body with champagne like carbonation. Strong and long finish, ending with a faint smoky molassy feel, thick fruity and bitter yeasty tongue coat, with lingering oaky barrel aged and grassy feel. Overall this is a very good craft with tasty flavors and a quality finish that I find better and more complex than the other Chimays. Good freshness and a well balanced rich sugary taste, yet quite dry and bitter with a strong boozy vinous feel.

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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 jamesroses
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

33cl Bottle

Appearance: brown with orange hues, 2 finger head and really nice small bubbles carbonation.

Smell: caramel, chocolate, tobacco and sweet roasted malts.

Taste: it started sweet and chocolate creamy, nutty and smokey, and finished dry with a cocoa and nuts aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: creamy, smooth, really enjoyable, dry in the end. The carbonation is there and you feel it, but its not agressive at all. The same happened with the alcohol feel...almost didn't noticed it.

Overall: very good beer. I had read and seen video reviews and maybe was expecting a little bit more. I didn't smell nor taste any fruits, and there was something in the beer that made it similar to a stout, as someone said in another review. I tried this in a showdown against La Trappe Dubbel with my family, and Chimay Red was the clear winner.

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Photo of Alexc11
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lovely deep, dark reddish orange color that forms strong cream once poured. Just the right amount of bitterness (balanced with fruity overtones) on first sip allowing for nice finish as you swallow. Enjoyable strong ale.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,837 ratings.
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