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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior - Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

Not Rated.
Abbaye De Floreffe Prima MeliorAbbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior

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111 Reviews
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Reviews: 111
Hads: 181
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 18.01%
Wants: 11
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: LarryKemp on 02-05-2003

A Special Reserve Ale exclusively for the use of the Abbot and his guests. A rich brown beer seasoned with Anise & Coriander, secondary fermentation in the bottle, based on the brewing tradition of Floreffe Abbey, founded in 1121.

Ale brewed with spices (star anise, orange peel).
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Reviews: 111 | Hads: 181
Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle, Beergium - Pours dark brown with a large tan foamy head. Nice small lacing. Medium carbonation. Smell - Yeasty, dark fruits. Taste - Sweet, plummy, light malty finish. Enjoyable strong ale

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.71/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours deep brown, almost black with a very wide capuccino color foam head. Smell is sweet of malts, lots of anise and citric. Taste is not sweet at all, extremely well atenuated, strong and complex. Chocolate, citrics, anise, very nice beer overall.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle - the last of the '1/2 Meter of Beer' mix-pack from this brewery, and now finally something of the darker and heavier Belgian persuasion.

This beer pours a mostly clear, very dark cherry cola tinted brown colour, with a teeming tower (aaaah, refermentation in the bottle) of puffy, thinly frothy, and fairly fizzy beige head, which leaves some decent sudsy limestone arch lace around the glass as it quickly subsides.

It smells of semi-sweet black fruit - raisins, dates, prunes, and dried cherries - somewhat sugary bready caramel malt, black licorice, muddled savoury spice (maybe it's coriander, maybe it's not), and a bit of earthy, musty yeast. The taste is grainy, kind of doughy caramel malt, tight, but not quite tart dark fruit (generally the same cats from the nose), a stronger sweet and tangy anise character, more hard to delineate earthy spice - ok, I'll just say coriander, and leave it at that - and a dry earthiness that is more hoppy than yeasty in provenance.

The carbonation is still quite frizzante all over my numerous palates after that initial outburst, the body medium-light in weight, especially for the style, and more or less smooth, neither yeast or alcohol caring to interfere here. It finishes just a tad off-dry, the caramel malt and candy-like licorice carrying the day against the countermeasures of the ethereal yeast and stealthy, encroaching booze.

Not a bad BSDA by any stretch of the imagination, but by the same token, a bit of a boy among men, when comparing it to the better-known abbey and laic versions readily available, like yer Gouden Carolus and even various Unibroue offerings. Nice to try, and duly warming after a spell, but I'm afraid my memory banks just don't have room for this one.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: an incredibly solid tall brown 750mL bottle. A standard Belgian old-school label.

Appearance: pours a dark brown with highlights, limited visible carbonation. A tan head drops from two fingers to one fairly quickly, and settles to a rocky cream. Very little lacing.

Aroma: some sweet malts with spice, a touch of heavy fruits. Really not much to it though, which is a bit disappointing for a Belgian ale.

Taste: heavy fruits and spices with some caramel malts. Not the most brilliant Belgian Strong I have had to date, but still quite drinkable.

Aftertaste: the fruits are joined by a touch of star anise. Still lacks some complexity.

Mouth feel: a light- to-moderate body with mild carbonation. A bit lacking.

Overall: not the most impressive Belgian Strong Dark Ale I have had to date. Some heavy fruits and spice with caramels, but really nothing too impressive. Still fairly drinkable, but you can get something better for an equivalent price.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.4/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a beautiful deep black color, covered with generous dark tanned head with solid retention.
There are some sweet fruits in the aroma, together with some interesting spices.
The taste is surprisingly weak and watery. Some spices along some roasty feel, no realy bitterness.
Too bad, promises much more than delivered.

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Photo of Tinfang
2.83/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Purchased through Beerboxx. Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet. A careful pour along the side of the glass resulted in an enormous fluffy head - ended up looking like a hot fudge sundae. Pale tan head settled slowly with nice lacing. Beer was murky dark brown.

Smells of caramel, yeast and alcohol faintly.

I was surprized when reading other reviews. This bottle tasted like Trappist Rochefort without any candy sugar - I tasted no coriander or orange. I wonder if this was a defective batch since my overall impression was of a beer with an obvious gap in the flavor profile.

Overall it's pleasant but I would only buy it again for verification purposes if I found it locally.

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Photo of BeerEngineer
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

General: Received this with the rare beer of the month club. It's a wine bottle size with a cork and basket seal. The carbonation upon opening the bottle was good, a nice hiss when I opened it. I'm enjoying this beer out of my New Belgium tulip style glass.

Appearance: very dark brown, nearly black with some ruby hues to it. The head is an off white that dissipates fairly quickly but does leave some decent lacing.

Aroma: A nice maltiness with some hints of orange and the star anise. Not a big fan of the aromas of this but it's a unique beer that's for sure.

Mouthfeel: medium body with high carbonation. There is a nice drying effect with this.

Taste: There's a lot of flavors going on with this beer. Star anise and orange peel are the forefront of this but there is a good back up on this. Not a huge fan of this beer, it's just not my style.

Overall: As far as the style is concerned its very different than some of the other strong ales that i've had. It's a combination between a strong ale and a spiced ale. Just not my thing. I think that the rare beer of the month club needs to drop this one from it's rotation.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.14/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A deep brown pour with 2 fingers if head which quickly dissipated, smells if licorice/anise, coriander, definitely getting an orange peel scent, along with the sugary malty profile of a quad.
The taste is a bit odd. Citrusy from the irange peel, a weird medicinal flavor from the star anise, with a bit of a sweet yet dry candy flavor
Medium in body with high carbonation.
Not really enjoying this. It's my first beer from the rare beer club, and I'm honestly not impressed at all.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mahogany body, surmounted by a large, dense tan head, which retains well. Superb, fine unbroken lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Brown sugar, dark fruit, anise, orange rind, and sweet vinous alcohol comprise the complex and beguiling aroma.

Taste: Opens with very bread-like dark malt, similar to a European dark bread. Later in the taste, dark fruits (figs, plums), and some lightly charred malts appear. Coriander and anise soon appear, but in restrained quantities. From the inception of the taste to its close, there is a sweet undercurrent of vinous alcohol. Late in the taste, there is a quite restrained flourish of herbal hops.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A solid, drinkable example, while not extraordinary, s in a little more over-the-top, its not bad at all. Would prove itself elegant at a holiday dinner.

Presentation: Packaged in a One pint, 9.4 fluid ounce Belgian-style brown glass bomber with a cork and cage, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown color with a little hint of mahogany, decent light tan head and good lacing

S-dark fruit, brown sugar, dark malt, spices

T-dark malt, spices, toffee, raisins

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-pretty standard dark ale, nothing too compelling

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Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 330 ml bottle

A: Very dark in appearance. Ruby red highlights are visible in the light. The beer is topped with a large bubbled two fingers of beige head. Delicious looking.

S: Brown sugar, dried dark fruits. Alcohol is a tad too noticeable for the style.

T: The dominant flavor is really brown sugar most likely because of the addition of dark belgian candi sugar. Dried dark fruits like in the smell are also present. Figs, plums, prunes, and dates come to mind. Perhaps a bit of apricot as well. The alcohol once again is to prevalent and is displeasing to an otherwise well done beer. A bit metallicy at times as well.

M: Fairly dry and a touch to thin for me. Crispness is good however.

O: A fairly decent beer with the main problem being noticeable alcohol. Wouldn't recommend it or buy it again but it was a good experience.

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Photo of PolarBear3
2.01/5  rDev -46%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Pours a dark brown colour with large frothy off white head that dissipates very quickly.

S - Dark cherry or sherry like aromas with some dark chocolate malt

T - Very sweet malts with some burnt cherries and aniseed,, leaving a awful slightly bitter finish

M - Over carbonated with medium bodied

O - Very ordinary, will not be able to finish the bottle. That says it all.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle served at Het Waterhuis in Ghent and served in its branded goblet. On to the beer:

Who likes a fluffy head which retains well? I do. I also like the dark brown color with reddish hues of this beer. The nose of toasted malt, kiss of chocolate, and a dose of cherry make a pleasant aroma. A good flavor continues the momentum, which starts with dark chocolate and toast. A kiss of tartness adds a little something different. Brown sugar notes too. Its aftertaste withers into a semi-sweet flavor. Regarding its feel, the beer is medium full with pleasing carbonation and somewhat acidic sensation.

Agreeable strong dark ale, and one that doesn't weigh you down too much.

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Photo of mactrail
3.09/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Huge foam-up that dissipates to some streamers of froth.

Distinctive flavor of nuts, spice, pumpkin pie, licorice-- the whole candy store. Besides "canesugar" the label lists spices, so maybe the wise ones will know if this is spiced up like Anchor Christmas ale, which is exactly what this tastes like-- only sweeter. Clean flavors, no hint of oxidation or other odd flavors, but it's just very plain, just lots of cinnamon, allspice and such.

For the ridiculous foam and the excess of additives, and the lack of Belgian flavors, I don't rate this very high. However, I suppose you could call this a Winter Warmer and enjoy it with a slice of fruitcake. From the 33 cl botle bought at Beer And Gin House in Gent.

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Photo of Everydayoff
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a Leffe chalice by freshness date.

Blackish opaque brown with massive rocky frothy head that retains very well then leaves several lacing patches stick to a glass once dissipated.

Dark and roasted malt, dark fruits reminiscence of raisins and some sweet portion of sugarcane, a little bit spice from alcohol.

Quite complex, it comprises by 3 tiers. I – Barley malt and roasted malt kick off after sip. This portion also lends some bready and astringent traits. II – Following by dark fruit esters generate by yeast. III – Sugarcanes bring sweetness until the finish with slight bitterness from hop hiding in. Alcohol fusel can be detectable along mid-way to the finish. The body is medium with right amount of carbonation.

Another good Strong Dark Ale, definitely worthy.

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Photo of jjkatter
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into a Trappistes Fochefort goblet…

A- Dark, porter like color with a caramel, pillowy head. Lots of carbonation present.

S- fruity, flowery aroma with a hint of yeast.

T- Overwhelmingly sweet. This beer could do with some taming of the sugar. Very yeasty
MF- so sweet, it’s difficult to find it a pleasant experience.

O- Thank God I’m not diabetic. Maybe it would do better aged for some time, but I am having trouble finishing this bottle. The beer had good intentions, but did not deliver. Hell, it looked and smelt great... I would not buy this beer again.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger tan head over dark brown body. Head dies quickly.

Into Xmas pud territory straight away on the nose, with some sherry and brandy hints as well. Also raisins.

Taste is as smell, with no hop presence noted at all.

Mouthfeel quite light for the ABV.

Not an outstanding example of style, but not the worst either.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Revisiting this guy, complete with review, after remembering enjoying it about a year ago. I let it warm up a bit from the fridge (just FYI). It pours a dark-ish ruby-brown topped by a finger of slightly-off cream foam. The nose comprises rye bread, Belgian yeast, nutmeg, figs, brown sugar-cinnamon, pecans, and oak. The taste brings in all of these for a reunion, along with some red apple skin, black grapes, black pepper, and a touch of cocoa and vanilla. The body is a medium that yearns to lean to the lighter side, with a very light moderate carbonation and a lightly grainy feel. Overall, a very nice BSDA, one that affirmed my memory (always a plus) and seemed to please the lady (always a plus). Good times here all around.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice clear dark Mahogany colour with an off White head that retains real well.

S - A burnt caramel aroma and quite sweet.

T - A little chocolate up front and some sweet malts. HAs a slight oak flavour in the middle with the sugars always present but not spoiling the beer. The alcohol is well disguised.

M - Light to medium body with a medium to full carbonation.

O - This one really suprised me in a nice way. The sweetnes threatens to take over but never does.I recommend it.

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Photo of mandolinhomebrew
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black, or extremely dark brown given right angle and lighting, nice fat caramel looking head, and fair amount of carbonation - doesn't explode though. Head dissipated fairly quick.

S: Sweet, roasty chocolaty & a bit of caramel. Not strong in terms of alcohol. There's some sort of freshness to it, but I hesitate to say it's the hops.

T: Chocolate & roasted malts. It's not bitter at all really but the sweetness is still under control, maybe due to the roasted malts. The sweetness definitely comes through at the finish. There is a slight woodiness to it, and some caramel comes out in aftertaste. I'm getting some yeast, some biscuity-ness, and even hints of raisins or plums. The 8% is masked fairly well, but when I take a bigger sip I definitely know it's a strong ale.

M: Light to medium body. Carbonation is pretty generous, and the bubbles are small/fine, which adds some smoothness.

D: Pretty drinkable for an 8% dark Belgian.

O: Most of my favorite Belgian beers tend to mask the stronger alcohol content so you can focus on everything else that's going on. This is a dark strong Belgian ale that does this fairly well. It really showcases the malts without being too sweet or overly roasty. It's definitely on the sweet side, but I've had plenty of dark strong Belgians that were much sweeter. It's definitely a nice sipping beer to sit and think about.

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Photo of danieelol
2.72/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

A: Well carbed initially, blackish brown. More carbonation than a typical BSDA imo. 3.5

S: Nose opens up after a while. Can only barely pick up sweet stewed fruit (pear) and yeast. Bubblegum. And some alcohol leaving it port-like notes. Not unpleasant though. 4

T: Bit of pear flavour, some relatively nice spices like cloves. Way too sweet though. Makes me not want to drink it. 2.5

M: Quite fine for the style, but it's hard to ignore the sweetness when reviewing the mouthfeel. 3.5

D: I couldn't finish the bottle. I probably drank about half of it, and it took me ages. Has to be a 1.

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Photo of Brabander
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer in a trade with my buddy Apophis666, thanks Sietse.

As always poured in my Struise glass. Nice and pretty darkbrown fluid and a light brown firm head with big bubbles. Nice carbonation.

Sweet and roasted malt smell, brown sugar?

Nice taste and not too sweet. I am enjoying this beer, no doubt about that!

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Photo of spinrsx
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy brown colour with a massive size frothy and fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't tell how much carbonation there is because of the murkiness of the beer and there is some very nice lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, raisins, pears, cask wood, cloves

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a slightly below average amount of carbonation and it has a full bodied taste. There are lots of malts mixed with dark fruits (raisins?) and a touch of pear sweetness. There are also notes of cloves and cask wood and the beer also has a slightly metallic taste. It finishes with a malty dark fruit aftertaste.

Drink - The alcohol was well hidden and it had a pretty decent taste. It didn't blow my mind but I still enjoyed it. There are other beers in this style that are better options though.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown, opaque with a slight red tint at the edges. Finger width of light brown head without much retention and very little lacing.

S: The smell is a little strange, mostly because I can't pick up much beyond the sweetness. It smells deep and rich, like candied fruits and not much else. It's not a bad smell, just too sweet for my taste.

T: Deeply malty flavor with slight hints of citrus with lots of spice. I get a lot of stone fruit, a nice complex, rich flavor. The alcohol comes through, but very little. Doesn't taste much like it smells, much spicier and better.

M: Surprisingly medium bodied with high carbonation. Does not feel heavy at all.

D: A dangerously drinkable beer. The relatively light body and well hidden alcohol make it go down fast and easy.

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Photo of philphilphil
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance is dark clearish brown with small head which receded from an inch or so.
Smell is below par, kinda offputting but not representative of the whole drink.
Taste is far better than smell, is fruit with malt and a touch of alcohol.
Mouthfeel is corrct, maybe a tad more carbonation would be good?
Drinkability is pretty good, cheap for a belgian, gets you smashed quickly. Not bad stuff, still theres better, and ill probs go for that better stuff next time.

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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
84 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.