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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior - Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

158 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.14%
Wants: 9
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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).

(Beer added by: rastaman on 09-09-2003)
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Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Cwrw:
Photo of Cwrw
Cwrw

Alberta (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought Prima Melior back from Belgium in 2004. This corked 750ml bottle has been aged upright in my cellar for 1 year and 9 months. Not sure if I should have aged it for that long...but let's taste and see.

The Floreffe beers are genuine Belgian Abbey Beers brewed FOR the monks at Floreffe Abbey BY Brewery Lefebvre. The website had this to say about the Prima Melior: "Prima Melior was the Special Reserve Ale exclusively for the use of the Abbot and his guests." Cool.

The labelling is a rich dark blue showing a picture of the Abbey. Neck label shows the same. Served at cellar temperature in a chalice. The beer is a lovely deep chestnut hue, opaque and very full. Hints of ruby red and even dark orange around the edges at times. The head is thin and light brown, with excellent small bublles and good consistency despite being cellared for nearly two years. Solid lacing too. A great looking Belgian brown. The aroma is big on the yeast and spices, but the malting is there too and it really shows off big notes of flax seed, mulitgrain bread and dusty barley. The anise and coriander add a medicinal aroma that smells like a herbalists shop, or even some cough medicine, but it's never off-putting. I think the yeastiness may be a little over-pronounced from my aging the beer though. The aroma is actually quite the fickle fish though--this is a really unique smelling brew, for as it warms the medicinal herbaceous characteristics increase and mix with the alcohol to create a wonderfully complex set of aromas: I get quite pronounced hits of wild mint at times, horehound, peppermint, tree sap, light black licorice, fresh cut green grass, all sorts of indescribable flowery notes, and brown sugar. Plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg to be had too. The hops are undetectable but the malting is grainy and vinous. Wonderfully complex, the aroma kept me coming back for more. The first tastes are very yeasty, and dusty. The alcohol is there, almost sparkling wine-like. Grainy malts dominate, and the taste is sweet, with very little bitterness. Not quite as complex as the aroma. The spices are also in the mouth, mainly at the front. Black licorice, brown sugar, and woody tastes. Crisp carbonation and a medium-full body. This goes down extremely easy, as the alcohol is extremely well hidden. I paired this with single cream Canadian brie, havarti, and blue cheese. The brie was good but was overpowered, the havarti too, but the salty tang of the blue cheese was complemented exceptionally by the beer's sweet taste. Try it. A lovely quirky brown Belgian. I cannot say if the aging helped or hindered, because I only had one bottle and didn't try the beer un-aged. Still, it aged exceptionally quality-wise. I would definitely recommend this. Glad I carted it back from Brussels.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 11:04:52 | More by Cwrw
More User Reviews:
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KAF

Iowa

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

07-17-2014 01:46:45 | More by KAF
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leitmotif

Romania

4/5  rDev +7.2%

07-08-2014 20:52:25 | More by leitmotif
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biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
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 hop than yeast 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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2014 02:54:19 | More by biboergosum
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stealth

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

06-14-2014 03:54:46 | More by stealth
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Wessel

Netherlands

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

06-06-2014 08:13:05 | More by Wessel
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Socialiste

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

05-30-2014 19:06:03 | More by Socialiste
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tbone1384

Wyoming

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

05-27-2014 03:40:33 | More by tbone1384
Photo of SmashPants
SmashPants

Australia

3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 12:26:01 | More by SmashPants
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wellsnb

Ohio

4/5  rDev +7.2%

04-16-2014 23:43:14 | More by wellsnb
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MarkoNm

Slovenia

2.35/5  rDev -37%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 11:55:54 | More by MarkoNm
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psuscott1

Virginia

3/5  rDev -19.6%

03-29-2014 02:03:29 | More by psuscott1
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tegelaar

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +7.2%

03-13-2014 03:50:21 | More by tegelaar
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Tinfang

California

2.79/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 21:23:35 | More by Tinfang
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BeerEngineer

California

3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 03:13:09 | More by BeerEngineer
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gwydno

Spain

3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

02-07-2014 22:58:05 | More by gwydno
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facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 04:07:14 | More by facundoCNB
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Saind

Netherlands

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

01-29-2014 19:35:55 | More by Saind
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DustinSWB

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

01-29-2014 18:46:19 | More by DustinSWB
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kscaldef

Oregon

3/5  rDev -19.6%

01-22-2014 20:15:38 | More by kscaldef
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GFish

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

01-20-2014 15:03:04 | More by GFish
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muzzy

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

01-05-2014 18:57:07 | More by muzzy
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tommyguz

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

01-03-2014 04:54:41 | More by tommyguz
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Porter

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

01-03-2014 01:13:17 | More by Porter
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guytyping

Illinois

4/5  rDev +7.2%

12-24-2013 00:20:42 | More by guytyping
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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
84 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.