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: 4,848
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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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 prost2hefeweizen
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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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
4.1 out of 5 based on 4,848 ratings.
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