1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

162 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 10
Gots: 10 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by carloskleber:
Photo of carloskleber
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

carloskleber, Jun 02, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%

A dark brown pour with a very lively, medium head. The nose was subtle but was highlighted by bubblegum and dark raisin. The taste was also subtle in that the sweetness was not overpowering but more toned down and pleasant. Bubblegum sweetness and a light raisin/grape quality. The finish was semi-dry but only lingered a short while. The mouthfeel was very lively and and full....but not heavy. Plenty of active carbonation. A decent winter warmer.

Popsinc, Jan 17, 2004
Photo of hopsleeroy
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured dark brown from a 11.2 oz bottle. Big fluffy dirty white head on top-2 inches high. Looks pretty nice. Smell is some sweet fruit, some spice and maybe a little alcohol but overall pretty light in aroma(maybe a little cold at first). Good malty taste of toffee/vanilla mixed with a little tart fruit that had a citrus heel to it. There is a little spiciness on this beer but it's very subdued. Foaming fizziness on the first half of the bottle which downgraded the mouthfeel, but it smoothed out some. I could put away a couple of these as the alcohol didn't seem too powerful. Enjoyable brew.

hopsleeroy, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of imperialstout27
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured into tulip.

A: Pours a very dark brown with reddish tinges. Voluminous beige head.

S: Sweet malts, distinctly Belgian yeast, raisins, hints of red fruits, light candi sugar, slightly vinous. Hints of alcohol with out being overt. Slightly phenolic.

T: The nose carries through on the palate. Malt sweetness hits with a very distinct dark raisin and prune flavor. Notes of brown sugar, as well as some red fruit hints. The bitterness is mild to moderate and comes to fore on the finish. Phenols on the midpalate add a light medicinal quality. A note of liquorice becomes a full song as the beer warms. Finishes lightly bitter.

M: Medium body with a medium to high, and very fine, carbonation. Nice.

D: It's decently drinkable although for my palate it's a little sweet to drink a large quantity of.

Overall, a really nice brew, but it didn't blow my hair back. The raisin flavor, and later the liquorice, are the most prominent features of this beer, and I enjoyed it. I'd pick one up again if I could find it for the right price.

imperialstout27, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Large bottle, caged and corked, with best before dating on the rear label. Pours very dark brown, minimal light shining thru, even on the edges. This one, just like the triple, lifts a huge long lasting frothy head, here its dark tan and leaves classic looking Belgian lace. Fine bubbles continue to rise. On the nose, notes of raisins and sugary spice come forth. Allowed to warm, a picture of a big, flavorful BSDA emerges. Notes of plenty of raisins, cocoa, rum, dark grains and Belgian goodness. Alcohol and candi sugar notes are quite moderate and well inserted into the mix. Impressive creation, in the same league as the heavy hitters of the style. This is a lesser know brewery that is turning out some fine creations. Well worth a try IMHO...go get some...and enjoy.

Billolick, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of bluelynbrewing
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

bluelynbrewing, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of rastaman
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%

750ml bottle, use by date September 2001, so its an old bottle, the girl at Bottles in London gave it too me for £2, down from the normal £5, because it was past its use by date. Beautifull dark brown, slightly hazy appearance, with a beautiful white head, with fantastic lace. The aroma is of chocolate, vanilla, some roastiness, herbs, raisins and port wine.
Wonderfully smooth, mouth covering stuff, lots of choc and vanilla, and that roasty and herbal notes i picked up in the aroma, are there to finish off, very long finish, with some lovely port wine qualities, nice aged character.

rastaman, Sep 09, 2003
Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

biboergosum, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%

750 ML cage w/ cork > mini snifter

This one is a deep, dark brown with purple highlights and ruby hues. Very vibrant look and an amazing soft, creamy head, wicked sticky lacing, superb retention.

The aroma is an abundance of dark-sweet fruits and herbs, sweet raisin, prunes and spice underneath.

Wow, this one is verging on *gulp* red wine. But with even more charecter! Very jammy, grape jam, blackberry, very dank fruity flavors and white pepper. The hop gives a nice balance of earthy, bitter hop. A slight black licorice current from the star anise. Tangy and sour yeast with a dry, light but smooth feel. Very complex.

Sip this puppy S L O W.

GratefulBeerGuy, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of GilGarp
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%

Picked this 750ml bottle up on sale for $4.99. Seemed like a deal and I love this style so what the hell.

Pops with authority (just how I like it) and pours into my globe glass with a perfect inch of head. The color is a nice deep dark brown with red highlights. Pretty good clarity from what I can tell.

Aroma is nice and malty with some sweet cherry-like characteristics. Nice Belgian yeast on the nose as well.

This beer is full of flavor but nice and subtle at the same time. Not overpowering like some of this style, it has the softer taste of a dubbel. Very impressive fruit flavors of cherry, plum, and raisin. Nice subtle spiciness and the Belgian yeast is great.

Mouthfeel is typical for the style with full body and a little extra carbonation.

Drinkability is very good for the style given that it's not too strong in flavor or alcohol.

Overall, a surprising find and one that I may want to pick a few more up of given the price.

GilGarp, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of mattfancett
1.7/5  rDev -54.4%

mattfancett, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%

Bottle from Papsoe. Alcohol in nose along with spice, a bit of yeast. Dark brown with white head that dissipitates. Spicey taste with aggressive carbonation, despite expirey in February 2007. Chocolate in finish, overall medium plus mouthfeel. Satisfying, another good one from this brewery,

Sammy, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Ciocanelu, May 15, 2013
Photo of BeerZack
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%

This review is for the 11.2oz capped bottle, not the cork-finished 750ml.

Really dark brown, almost black with lots of foam on top.

Sugar, dark fruit and alcohol on the nose.

A good dry bite of dark chocolate balanced by raisiny sweetness. Somewhat of a roasted flavor lingering.

Really aggressive carbonation thats not too pleasant.

Good flavor but not great and feels too fizzy in the mouth, but its definately okay.

BeerZack, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of psuscott1
3/5  rDev -19.6%

psuscott1, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of doktordebris
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%

This was a 11.2 from the Foodery(?) in Northern Liberties, Philly. It was the next drink I had after a glass of the great Geants' Goliath an hour earlier at The Belgian Cafe, where it was so loud that I kind of damaged my throat just trying to converse with my friends. So, I know you're not supposed to review a beer with handicaps like this, but the Prima Melior still treated me with a more than substantial, even inspiring after-dinner drinking experience.

A: Poured into some funky shaped goblet/cocktail glass thingy(closest to a proper glass my friend had available). Foamed up pretty nicely, left the lees for later. A thick beige head topped a dark warm brown, leaving just a bit of lacing.

S: No hoppy smell, just rich dark malt, with a deep sweetness that made me think of fruitcake. Followed by some citrusy highlighting.

T: Ahh.. Perfect for the holidays. Big and chocolatey rich, yet graceful down the hatch, warming at the finish. The most surprising element I noticed was the orangepeel, good to see it used in something other than a Wit for once. Poured in the leftover lees, which put an exclamation point on the citrus, with a little breadiness to compliment. The combination reminds me of how I've always enjoyed chocolate and oranges together, and this time especially following the Goliath and mussels I had for dinner earlier.

Mf: Carbonation was perfect for a belgian. Thick, but more accessible for those usually scared off by belgian darks.

D: I thought this was very drinkable, didn't get too sweet as time went on. Not too over the top, even with it's concentration on maltiness, yet plenty complex for any beersnob.

doktordebris, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of BeerTaster
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%

Dark brown almost black in color tan head dissapeared a little quick for my taste. Smell dark fruit sweet. Taste same as the smell but mabye a hint of cola? sounds crazy I know must be the spices they use I am also getting hints of rum. Mouthfeel heavy body high carbonation. Drinkability not bad I won't seek it out but I won't pass it up either.

BeerTaster, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of Bisho
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Unibroue tulip glass

Real gusher this one. A lot like pouring a glass of champagne. Deep brown stout like colour with a big tan head. Takes a while to settle but when it does, leaves almost no lacing at all.

Smell is good. Lots of dates in this one with hints of chocolate.

Lots of spice and dates yet again in the taste but from here the beer goes all pear shaped. Don't get me wrong, the flavour is good but the sickly sweet prune tartness on the back of the palate is actually quite off-putting. To make things worse, this taste actually lingers for quite some time.

Feels quite carbonated in the mouth and the alcohol is noticable but not overbearing. Unfortunately the sweetness kills it yet again.

I will probably never buy this again. I even tried to get my wife to have a glass just so I didn't waste it. She gave me a ghastly look upon tasting which was enough to confirm that I was not wrong.

A good Belgian Strong Dark Ale this is not. Dark yes, but very very sweet.

Bisho, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of brewbucker
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%

Thanks to Shigadeyo for trading this to me.

This pours a very deep murky brown with a medium head. The fade fades some but leaves a thin pillowy layer. The aroma is fantastic. Rich fermented fruits, candied malts, spices and touches of booziness (is that even a word)? Flavor is sweet and candied. Lots of rich boozy fruits, spice and malts. There is also a slight tartness that is quite nice. This one turned out to be a nice surprise. I thought it would be good but it turned out to be great.

brewbucker, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of wellsnb
4/5  rDev +7.2%

wellsnb, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of GFish
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

GFish, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

JamLand, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of basica
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%

A - Pours a dark amber brown color with a pretty well retaining thick, rocky, foamy head. (4)

S - Light nose of Dark fruits and perhaps some malts. (3.5)

T - Strong upfront sweetness and floral tastes fill the palate together with an attack of dark fruity goodness which gradually fades into a mild bitterness in the finish. The after taste was slightly raisiny but not too pronounced. Deliciously crafted. (4.5)

M - Medium-bodied mouth-feel with just the right amount of carbonation tinge and a nice foamy smoothness and mild dryness; well-balanced. (4.5)

D - Very drinkable due to the well-crafted taste package and the presence of a "correct" mouthfeel, by my definition, for this style. very sessionable though probably just a tad sweet. (4.5)

I have to admit that the Floreffe Prima Melior has exceeded my expectations.

basica, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of Dster
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Appearance- Dark Brown with a tint of ruby. Head light tan/ white with small bubbles. Head and carbonation champagne like.

Smell- Great. Hint of Alcohol. Citrus. Can't pull spice smells apart. just makes it smell a bit exotic.

Taste- A bit of brown ale feel... lighter carbonation, with orange peel, all spice.

Mouthfeel- Creamy. Heavy feel.

Drinkability- Good. can't really taste high level of alcohol, but unique taste would be off putting with a lot of food...at least food I like to eat. Would be great with cheese.

Dster, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
3.73/5  rDev 0%

A: Poured a dark, ruby color with a rocky tan head that was moderately lasting leaving a thin streaky lacing.

S: raisins, coffee, roasted malt and chocolate.

T: The initial flavor was creamy chocolate, dark roasted malt, cocoa and coffee. There was a nice breadiness with ripe fruit (raisins) and a good maltiness with some spicy black licorice notes. There was some sweet, toffee and caramel with a good yeasty character that plays through well. Finishes dry with some raisins, plums and coffee.

M: light, dry with moderate carbonation.

D: Overall was fairly average and one of the few things that hindered this beer. A good drink overall and moderately satisfying.

beerthulhu, Dec 18, 2008
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
84 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.