Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

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1,664 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: 1,664 | Ratings: 4,763
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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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Dark brown cola hued body with a half finger tan head.

S: Full of dark fruity esters such as tart black cherry, raspberries, spiced raisin cake, and spices like vanilla, allspice, and cinnamon. Sweet toasted malts are present as well.

T: Same as the smell, but more mellow with a slight alcoholic bite at the end.

F:Smooth and medium bodied.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the corked magnum bottle into a schooner glass. The cork has a 2014 date (opened in Nov. 2015). A moderate pour produces only about a half inch head, but this is very sticky with a creamy texture and color. The beer is a pale amber color, but quite hazy with suspended sediment. The carbonation is very active and fills nearly the whole glass.

The aroma is just slightly funky with some very mild earthiness and spice, and trailing some suggestions of tartness. The flavor is rich, malty and complex, with notes of dark fruit, dried fruit, overripe berries, a touch of molasses, maybe a little chocolate as it warms. Underneath is a lightly sweet mineral or tea-like quality. The mouthfeel is creamy but not otherwise too heavy, which invites repeated sips. Overall, simply a deliciously smooth and complex treat very deserving of its world class reputation.

I had not tried this lovely beer in quite awhile. When it was first available in my area I bought an entire case of Chimay and other Belgian magnum bottles for Christmas consumption- a magical time in my beer experience (and quite a splurge, for me at least- but it came with a 10 percent discount at Worden's Market in Missoula). I purchased this particular bottle for a little over 11 bucks at the Front Street Market in Butte, Montana.

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Photo of OlaB
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: copper color with tick foam
S: smell of fruits,caramel and spices
T: Dark fruits ,malt, very little bitternes in this brew , very drinkable ,taste stays there for a good while
F:medium bodied ,medium carbonation, mouthfull feels very fresh,the high alcohol content not very noticable
O: I was looking foward to try this one, and it sure lived up to its expectations, a great beer that i would give a high rating, and also a reason i love belgian beers

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Photo of PainterChi
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: ruby brown, perfect creamy ivory colored head, slightly hazy, bubbly high carbonation 4.75/5
S: caramel, toffee, apricot, fruit cake, brandy 4/5
T: brown sugar, buttersotch, date palm, persimmon, slightly bitter, rum 4/5
M: medium bodied, pleasant tingling from carbonation, creamy 4.5/5
O: great beer, fairly complex, but for a trappist beer it is slightly dull 4.25/5

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle labeled L13-744 (cork stamped 2013) at 42 degrees into Duvel snifter, allowed to warm to 52 degrees
Purchased at Wegman’s, Millcreek, PA, price unknown
Aroma – malty, perhaps some dates as well – definitely attracts fruit flies; lasts but does get fainter
Head average (three cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy/fizzy, rapidly diminishing to irregular two to four mm ring and partial frothy layer
Lacing - none
Body more on the red side of dark amber, hazy, effervescent
Flavor distinctly malty with some figgishness coming through; sweet, but not sticky sweet; ends slightly dry; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, fizzy

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 3.75, Overall 3.75

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Photo of Lilbeck23
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Looks like red juice. Fruity aroma, an array of different fruit blends. Tastes like a juice; very much full of fruit flavor. The flavor diminishes with a slight carbonic feel/finish! Overall a sweet and steady delight!

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Photo of zonker17
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brown, red with 1/2 inch head on draft pour. Lingers on the edge of the glass. Light candy nose with hint of tobacco and Belgian yeast. Drier than expected with bitter finish. Less mouthfeel than expected.

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Photo of GuitarIPA
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - gorgeous, thick foamy head, lacing and foam cling throughout, plum red color
A - dark fruits - plum and dates, light root beer, sweetness
T - plum, date, a little malt, and some root or birch beer flavor
F - light to medium body, nice carbonation, lingering sweetness

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Photo of MAFC_Trainer
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - pours dark brown with a half finger caramel head
Aroma - chocolate, nutty
Taste - fruity, nutty. As it worms there is a stronger cocoa after taste
Feel - lightly corbinated, coats mouth, really smooth
Overall - really good nutty chocolate Belgium ale. I put their blue slightly ahead of this one, but this is really good

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Photo of Arthuros
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Your typical dark Belgian ale. A little extra sweetness to round the edges, which takes away some of the assertiveness so typical of that kind of beer, meaning that when cold it just slides down the throat very enjoyably.

Purely eprsonal opinio, but I rate it a notch higher than the likes of Maredsous and other dark Belgians.

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Photo of CHickman
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A very well aged bottle, which sat at least 2 years, it pours blood red/dark brown color with a ton of sediment floating around in it and a very fizzy and foamy 2 finger tan head that faded on the quick side, making a lot of hissing noise as it dissipated. It left a foamy floating island on top that moves due to the active carbonation. Minimal spotty lacing, but there is so much activity in the glass it’s very cool to look at in the Chimay chalice.

Smells of caramel, toffee, toasted grains, brown sugar, candy like Gummy Bears, light yeast funk and a whole bunch of dark fruit mixed together. Overall it’s malty and sweet smelling with cherry soda, toffee and fruity candy coming out as the strongest notes. Very nice to inhale with just a hint of herbs or dry hops for balance.

Flavor is very similar to the nose but there are more pronounced fruit and grainy aspects with some dry cracker, chalky yeast, toasted wheat bread crust, syrup and berries like raspberry and strawberry mixed in with the brown sugar, caramel, toffee, barnyard funk, toasted grains, candy like Gummy Bears, yeast and dark fruit (cherry, plum and rotting pear come to mind). Tea leaf or dry floral hops show up towards the finish which is on the dry side, feeling clean and well balanced. This brew hides the ABV quite well and is much easier to drink than expected, and in fact very tasty.

Mouthfeel is slick and on the thin side with very mild carbonation, a medium body and a slight tartness before it fades off dry and close to clean. I thought it would be thicker seeing all the yeast particles floating around, but it was smooth and very easy to drink. Been a while since I had this and I will get this back into the regular rotation since it was excellent.

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Photo of El-blanco
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

This is a difficult beer to score because I usually rank them by how often I would want to drink it. Despite the high alcohol content this beer is incredibly smooth and flavourful. I typically prefer lighter tasting beers that aren't as complex, which is why I only drink this once in a while. I don't see how people can drink this on a regular basis and that's where it loses points. That being said, the buzz on this is incredible and quite unique. Reminds me of the buzz you would get from scotch.

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Photo of MikeCooke
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Chimay Premiere.... This pours an alluring burnt red color with a beautiful fluffy two finger white head. Although the beer doesn't have much lacing it does bring an aroma of nuts,figs,cinnamon and some kind of berries I can't put my finger on. The taste follows the smell as to be excepted. There's a tinge of bitterness towards the end. It has a highly carbonated yet drinkable feel. My overall feelings on this beer are its a good one but I don't feel the need to rush out and get more.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This beauty pours a reddish/copper color that is muddied throughout. The head is very interesting with a start point that is about 1.5 fingers thick but it settles rather quickly into a superb looking caramel colored film over the beer itself. The lacing is marginal but I'll let this go, as this is such a highly regarded brew....and proceeds go to charity for the large part according to the label, so marks for that!

S- Wow! This is a complex and deep smelling beer! Dark fruits such honeyed dates, figs, plums and figs. Muted cinnamon spice and an overtone of candied meat/leather keeps hitting my nostrils....awesome! Toffee/molasses/caramel malt sweetness is noted and there is also some aromatic maple in this as well....again....WOW!

T- Holy Moly!.......these flavors not only follow the aromas well, but kick up a notch! Rum & Butter/Butterscotch/Maple Syrup flavors that lean towards the astringent side for sure....not too sweet but the pure essence is there. Berries such as Raspberry and Blackberry are present and provides a muted tartness. Burnt brown sugar, toffee, blackstrap molasses and caramel notes there's a note of sweet aged dark rum! Finish is pure gold that lingers on the palate.....

M/O- Medium/full bodied brew and plenty of creamy, mellow carbonation simply enhances the overall flavors and character that this beer embodies! Highly drinkable and the alcohol is well hidden for this warms, the overall roundness of everything intensifies and even becomes more enjoyable! These monks know what they are doing and would make Frier Tuck proud! Cheers!

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Photo of Beermanic
4.98/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A:Brownish copper, with deep red hues. Semi tan creamy head, lots of little bubble close together.

S: Rich malty sweetness, some fruity phenolic esters. Toffee, plum, ripe cherry, biscuit, classic Belgian character.

T: A lot like smell, Rich malt body, make that a great body what I wish most beers had...body! Nice Belgian candy sweetness, complex fruity flavors. Balance is toward malt not toward the bitterness. Very little bitterness perceived. After taste has that great roasty toffee flavor, almost like burnt candy.

M: Full bodied Medium high carbonation

Overall: Fantastic Dubbel, probably why its been around so long. Personaly this is what a dubbel should taste like while most others fall short. If you really want a treat by a case and age one year, then have one a month, it will blow your mind. It become more sweet caramel flavored. Perfect commercial example, nothing negative.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
3.69/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've seen this one in every beer section of every grocery store here, so I decided to try it.
Meh. Nothing outstanding about it, and there are too many to try for a do-over anytime soon.

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Photo of alexanderplatz
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Chimay Red is definitely a great beer. Unlike some other Belgian ale styles, however, it does not in my opinion have very strong flavors of Belgian yeast or the overall complex spice flavors present in some of the other Belgian styles. This may be a characteristic of a "Dubbel," I don't know.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Chimay chalice fills with a murky brown copper beer (SRM 20). A half-inch, creamy beige head lingers all the while leaving fine lace.

The aroma is dominated by fruity spice. Fruits include plums, while floral notes a woven with light cherry, apple, and raspberry. Warmth brings out musty oak and new leather.

The flavor opens with oak, followed by rye bread with a balanced, but slightly bitter profile. Honey and vanilla linger in the background. The finish is mild in duration and flavor.

Explosive, fine carbonation dominates the palate before the medium-bodied, slightly oily texture takes over. Alcohol is as expected with some astringency accompanying warmth.

Chimay Red has earned its reputation and is good for relaxing with a creamy brie, but is less contemplative than I had expected.

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Photo of EricVonStein
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

pours to a thick creamy coloured head. Colour of aged honey. Brownish with amber hues. Very opaque.

Nose is sweet with a little baking spices in the distance. burnt sugar and caramel. maple syrup hint. I get a bit of malt yeast too. Not a strong aroma.

roasted grains and smooth sweetness of dried fruit stone fruit (i.e. prune, date?). dark whole grain rye bread. bit of molasses and christmas baking spices (very subdued). Super full bodied and long lasting finish to slightly bitter. tastes keep on going in your mouth long after the beer is gone. some alcohol is noticeable but not distasteful.

Mouthfeel is awesome. super creamy almost buttery! smooth and even with nice carbonation.

Overall, great rich heady beer with super smoothness. Like a fire stone oven baked rye bread with molasses. Definitely will drink this one when i get the chance again!

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,763 ratings.
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