Chimay Première (Red) | Bières de Chimay

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,660 Reviews
Chimay Première (Red)Chimay Première (Red)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay
Belgium | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,660
Ratings:
4,747
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
10.98%
 
 
Wants:
276
Gots:
923
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 1,660 | Ratings: 4,747
Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature chalice, bottled on 8/31/2013. Cork popped itself off when I uncaged it. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light chocolate, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light nuttiness, light chocolate, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Moderate amount of yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light chocolate/nuttiness, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming lingering after the finish. Overall this is an incredible dubbel style! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,611 characters

Photo of GOBLIN
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't had a lot of Belgian Dubbels but I can see why people are so high on the Belgian stuff. At this point in my beer journeys I think it's the yeast that is used I really have come to enjoy from Belgians. Good stuff and when I get the chance I'll pick up the yellow and blue bottles.

 287 characters

Photo of Bunman3
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. This is a very complex beer. I sampled it on tap at the Craft Beer Market in Calgary. It has a nice yeasty nose, caramel malt, and a fair amount of sweetness. This was my dessert beer and it suited the purpose nicely.

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Photo of Tilly
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a clear a dark brown with a small amount of white lacy froth.
Aromas of malts fresh baked bread and spicy nuts.
Flavors of sweetness, some fruit and cake.
Mouth feel is very nice. Small amount of bitterness. Very refreshing.
A great Belgium beer.

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Photo of canton330
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy, red brown. Nice, thick cream colored head. Dissipated rather quickly, to a thin ring. Moderate lacing.
Mineral and earth on the nose immediately. Yeast is upfront, not shy.
Deep richness, with a prominate yeast. Spiced dark fruit in the middle. Mineral, musty earthiness on the end.
Can definitely taste the water used in this one.

 350 characters

Photo of Theheroguy
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smell is light and of the classic “Belgian Yeast” variety
A nice clean moderate hoppiness and bitterness permeate the beer
It taste slightly spicy and slightly sweet
A mild and enjoyable Belgian. Well executed but nothing amazing.
I don't think the flavors of this beer work together particularly well. When the flavors are subtle such as they are in this one I think a certain synergy is required to elevate the beer.

 422 characters

Photo of Windexman
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark Caramel, thick foamy off-white, almost tan, head that lasts.
Smell: Lots coming from the yeast. Small amounts of dark fruits. Malty. Light earthyness, but not really a hop-like aroma.
Taste: Malty up front, fruits in the middle like plum and date. Slight bitterness in the finish, with a little but of mineral/metallic aftertaste.
Feel: Medium to heavy body. Lots of carbonation tickles the tongue.
Overall: A really balanced beer. The heavier body hides the alcohol, it could be dangerous. My only knock is the metallic taste I got. It tasted like iron/blood. It wasn't always present, but even I got some it was not very appetizing.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A classic in the Belgian world. This fine dubbel pours a solid hazy brown with a solid white head of tight beaded bubbles that dies down to a thick white ring and moderate lacing. Nose of Belgian yeast and candy sugars, fresh bread, and light traditional dubbel spice. Flavors are excellent and smooth with sweet candy malts up front and to the sides with a fresh sweet bread and Belgian yeast phenol flavor coming in on the back and middle. Smooth creamy mouth feel has a light ripe fruit flavor or plums and dates mingling with sweet malts finishes and high carbonation. Let it breathe and warm for the richest flavors to come through.

Excellent----a legend!

Cheers!

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: cloudy; amber in color; 1 finger khaki head that receded slowly to a thin cap; OK lacing;

S: restrained; plum and cherry;

T: restrained up front; fruitiness comes out mid-palate; light bitterness at the finish that lasts awhile; ABV well hidden;

M: medium bodied; highly carbonated;

O: nice, but a little bit of a let down - expected more;

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

Poured into the chimay goblet.

A: Medium carbonation with off-white head.

S: Figgy with a medium bready note. Light spices and christmasy.

T: dark fruit with figs and raisin. Light bready note.

M: medium body. Creamy. Velvety smooth.

O: very nice dubble. Hits many positive notes.

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Photo of DarthVorador
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

My first authentic Trappist beer! Here goes...
A: rich amber with a huge thick frothy head that lingers long & covers the glass in lacing.
S: strong sweet & fruity, notes of dark fruit are especially prominent.
T: sweet, malty with alcohol noticeable. Tart almost wine like finish.
M: carbonation so thick it coats the mouth.
O: not bad, but not worth the price IMO. Several American attempts at the style are far better.

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Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chimay Red has a nice dark brown color and smells yeasty overall. I didn't get much fruitiness in the taste. The alcohol is present on the back end, and I like the carbonation on the tongue. It has a nice medium body, but the aftertaste is a bit much for me. I wouldn't want to drink this over and over, but once in a while, it's fine. I prefer the Blue.

 359 characters

Photo of kevinlater
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle into goblet

a: an opaque caramel or brown raisin colour topped with a finger and a half of foamy ivory head

s: a great balance of bread, caramel, raisin, overripe banana, cooked apple, and cinnamon. slight alcohol presence

t: noticeably malty sweet at first (caramel, bread), but mellows out into banana, cooked apple, plum, and spicy yeast. a soft-to-medium bitterness comes through towards the end, but a lot of the flavours still linger. i think there are some chocolatey notes in here too

m: medium-bodied. lively carbonation at first, but settles as the beer warms. sticky finish

o: spicy, fruity, and delicious

 656 characters

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

X-mas eve
pours a murky brown color body, with a thin creamy head.
aroma has banana and yeast notes.
Taste has dark fruit notes and a little boozy
mouthfeel is great and overall one of the best beers I had.

 206 characters

Photo of interzen
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

330ml bottle poured into a Vedett flute

Look: Slightly murky coppery red with an insane amount of head.

Smell: To be fair, I had some difficulty discerning much in the smell at first blush. Once the beer had warmed up a bit there were hints of apricot, banana and yeast in there. Not much in the way of hop character.

Taste: Definitely an alcoholic vibe to it, but nicely balanced by dark fruits (think prune/raising kind of thing) with a slightly yeasty, bready hint to it. ABV notwithstanding it's not insanely bitter - the hops are barely noticeable and at the same time it's not exactly malt-forward either.

Feel: No doubt about it, there's body there - quite a yeasty feel to it, but that's the sort of thing I go for so no complaints. It's a dubbel, so you're hardly going to be throwing this down your neck with wild abandon.

Overall: I like Belgian beers and the Chimay variants are right up there amongst my favourites. If you're looking for super-complex flavour profiles then you're probably in the wrong place but if you're looking to dip your toes into the complex waters of Belgian Trappist beers there are far worse places to start.

 1,153 characters

Photo of Extrajoker00
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 12/18/14

Première (Red) - Bières de Chimay S.A.
poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into my Chimay tulip

Packaging- classic and simple Red Chimay 3.75

Apperance- unfiltered murky gold 3.75

Smell- dark fruit, yeast, faint banana 3.75

Taste- hint of warming alcohol, fruitcake, yeasty and bread like but still very very well balanced 4

Mouth-feel- clean and smooth great mouth-feel 4

Drinkability- excellent well balanced both light and satisfying at the same time 4

Overall- definitely a winner. A very good example of the style 4


A style I sometimes run hot and cold with but Trappist Monks in Belgum are hard to argue with. ---- J

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Photo of RickyS
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark copper liquid, cloudy and with a beige head which is persistent but not abundant. The aroma is pretty mild but what I smell is very good. Malts, figs, marzipan, spices and a bit of alcohol. The taste follows on the same lines. Mouthfeel is creamy with prickling carbonation. All in all I like this beer but it feel kind of a shadow of a much better product.

 362 characters

Photo of titvs
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 18B). Bottle 33 cl - Batch L13-651. AROMA: complex aroma with malty caramely background and fruity aromas reminiscent of pinneaple and apricot. hop aromas absent. APPEARANCE: semi-dark copper with material in suspension. medium ivoey head with average retention. TASTE: flavour less rich than the aroma with mild sweet caramel notes. low apricot notes. low bitterness with a medium-dry finish. PALATE: medium body with medium carbonation. OVERALL: a dubbel with very nice aromas but, alas, not so complex flavours.

 561 characters

Photo of SmashPants
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Format: a stumpy little 330mL dark brown bottle with a standard macro-style label.

Appearance: poured into my St Feuillien trappist glass. A nice dark brown cloudy colour, with dull ruby when held up to the light. A great thick head with nice retention. Good lacing down the sides.

Aroma: quite a soft aroma. There are however definite heavy fruits - plums, cherries and raisins - with some caramels and spice.

Taste: more of the caramels and ripe fruits, quite full in flavour which is nice. It still doesn't feel as special as I thought it would have - pretty standard Dubbel.

Aftertaste: there is a slight spiciness and biterness on the finish. A somewhat sweet backing.

Mouth feel: moderate to full in body with a creamy feel. A moderate carbonation also.

Overall: quite a nice Dubbel, but certainly not the best I have had. I'd rather prefer a Grimbergen or a St Feuillien, the latter of which is also AU$100 a case compared to Chimay's $150. Easy choice.

 966 characters

Photo of BeerDocT
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a chilled Piraat tulip.

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a reddish-golden color. Decent head (1/2") and Ok lacing.

Smell 4.25: Very nice -if somewhat subdued-- bouquet. Light hints of malt and a very pleasant floral hop. Also lots of Abbey notes: musty, yeasty, thoroughly Belgian and very appealing.

Taste 4.0: Front is slightly sweet. Middle is dry and well-balanced with a hint of spicy Belgian yeast. Finish is where the Belgian yeast and the light hops combine to form a sublime taste experience. Aftertaste is long and tastes of raisins and dates.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Too conditioned for my tastes. Too many bubbles tend to hide some tasting notes and that is what happened with this beer.

Overall 4.0: Excellent beer overall, but I feel that there are better Dubbels on the market. Don't get me wrong, I would not turn this beer down, I just do not feel that a bomber of it is worth over $10 US, which is what it is going for in some places.

 963 characters

Photo of avwrite
4.1/5  rDev 0%

Great presentation. Comes out a bit darker than expected, a little hazy, but looks solid. Taste is a little sweet with some bitterness. Goes down smooth but stays with you in the end. Reminds me of a nice caramel flavor along with hints of fruitiness.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Amber red with thick two finger dirty cream head of tight foam with amazing retention. This beer looks awesome and inviting as it drinks there is little lace as the foam is so heavy it falls again to the surface.

Smell - Sweet toffee and caramel malt with pretty decent sweet fruit; dates, plum and raisin with red grape. There is also some mild and I do stress mild herb aroma. The aroma profile is well balanced and pleasing but not as deep and complex as some Dubbles.

Taste - Sweet caramel and toffee with a smokey biscuit element like cookies baked in a wood fired oven. Plum and raisin with some solvent that off sets the rest of the flavour profile masks the herb and runs down its over all marks in this area. This is a shame as the beer was doing so well up til now.

Mouthfeel - Pretty full and creamy. This beer has an amount of solvent that makes the mouthfeel very close to poor watered down whiskey. Again the beer loses marks in this section and is not as good as others I have had in this style.

Overall - This beer looks and smells better than it tastes and feels.. It is not bad but for the style it is not the best you will ever come across and for my money I feel Westmalle do it better by a clear country mile.

 1,247 characters

Photo of T100Mark
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%

An 11.2 ounce shorty poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - A murky reddish brown. Fine, tan head. Minimal stickage.

Smell - Sweet. Belgian sour. A faint whiff of herbs.

Taste - Prune juice. Slightly herbal. Mild toast flavor. A moderate Belgian sour hit that comes on early. Minor hop finish.

Mouth - Fine carbonation. A little on the thin side.

Overall - Obviously, this is an iconic ale. I was little surprised at how subtle this beer is. Very delicious.

 473 characters

Photo of gbarbee
5/5  rDev +22%

Appearance: Amber/Brown
Smell: Malts and fruit.
Taste: Malt, yeast, and fruit.
Mouthfeel: Full
Drinkability: A great beer and the makes me think of the classic Belgian Style. My second favorite out of the three Chimays.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. bottle.

I've had this brew before, just didnt take the time to describe the experience. Thats what I call it when I drink a brew, ok! Enough of this chitchat, lets get down to business. You know, beer is serious business. While I popped its cap smoke came flowing out like a just fired pistol. Nice. While pouring this brew it, I became conscious. This brew is pouring the color of what I find to be called "real beer". This poured like a fantastic cup of tea. Dark murky brown body with ruby hues holding the dark body together. The off-white head that seems to not want to leave is still keeping a cloud upon this brew. Yeah, this brew is damn near perfect in appearance.

The old snifter has had a workout today folks. Hang in there nose, tell me whats inside this brew? The brew welcomes my nostrils with honey and banana fruitiness. Oats sit to the side with some spice and toasted nuts. This smells like breakfast time in my kitchen. On the backend caramel plays a role leaving a sweetness that works with the oats and honey notes perfectly. I almost just want to smell this beer forever.

The flavor is no different. Its balanced to the point of perfection. First hits the palate with that banana fruitiness then smooth oats come to make this brew caress the tastebuds. Spices of cinnamon and clove warm in mid palate while toasted malt complexity fills the back part of the tongue, namely toasted nuts. This brew finishes lightly and dry with a lingering banana and toasted nuts in the aftertaste. This brew feels great on the palate. Medium-light bodied with cola like carbonation. This brew wants your tongue to have fun. Its energetic and alive.

Overall: This brew gave me goosebumps when I popped its top. This brew is sweet yet refined so its not cloying sweet. The nuttiness adds a level to the brew making it more hearty that works well with the fruitiness and the oats. The dryness also makes the brew easy to drink, aching you for another gulp. There's nothing negative I can really say about this brew. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself. This brew is Recommended.

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Chimay Première (Red) from Bières de Chimay
92 out of 100 based on 1,660 ratings.
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