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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.

157 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 9
Gots: 8 | 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:
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: 157 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Yetiman420


4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed at Au Trappiste in Paris. 33 CL bottle and presented in Floreffe glass.

Dark brown with 1/2 finger foamy tan head. Fig, prune, and raisin in aroma. Man, this smells good after mostly wine the past week.

Dark brown - flavor reflects aroma. Too cold at first and drinks better as it warms. Creamy head stickes around.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 01:46:16 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nicely brewed Belgian dark ale. Malty and sweet balance with a compact feel. (Question mark on these notes since bottle showed off-freshness date.)

Presentation: 750 ml corked bottle. Old fashion cartoonist design with a drawing of the abbey. Succinct description on the front with longer paragraph on the back noting craft and history behind the brew. Notes freshness as "Best Before" (L20090403 so it might be a bit off). Displays Alc. by Vol. (8%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Very dark brown with ruby touches around the edges. Extraordinary foamy head, which holds fantastically and leaves heavy touches of lacing and a lumpy surface as it goes down.

S - Sweet malty scent with few apparent complexities and a very distant anise.

T - Caramel malt, a bit of chocolate, and a second row of fruity sweetness.

M - Smooth and somewhat light body, deceptively light. Gentle carbonation that takes enough to carry the brew but sits back too.

D -A nice brew to drink, and share in these large bottles. Feels a bit filling towards the second take but carries one there.

Notes: It is a good and reliable brew for the style. Not outstanding but with the price-quality ratio that I´m seeing around DC with this import it´s an attractive offering if it were not that they it seems to be past their preferred date of consumption... But it seems to have taking the longer date in a decent manner. Will revisit with a fresh bottle when I have a chance in the future.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 13:44:58 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of Vancer


3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let's start the 2009 football season on the right foot:

Ol' 750 cork and caged bottled pours a cola brown liquid gold brew into the Corsendonk tulip, tan head pops up and dies quickly. A firmer pour generates better head and lacing.

Malty sweet aroma with root beer and a pop of orange. Spicy taste of the malt with a sturdy dose of Belgian yeast for a tangy finish. Sharp cutting cut of the star anise closely reminds me of the black licorice feel of a RIS.

Fairly tasty brew, the alcohol (8%) is in the background, but is warming the cheeks this cool late summer day.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 01:01:15 | More by Vancer
Photo of Jeffo


3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger medium-thin off-white / tan head. Color is a deep seal brown with some carbonation decorating the top. Head quickly fades to a thin film and leaves some immediate lacing. Thin film stays and leaves some lacing. Color is quite nice.

SMELL: Caramel malt and dark fruits, prunes and raisins. Some spicy qualities as well, coriander and cloves, and some spicy Belgian yeast. A cool fruity and spiciness to this one, like a pumped up dubbel. Decent strength on this one.

TASTE: Lots of caramel malt and dark fruits, mostly prunes and raisins like the nose. Yeasty spices, coriander and cloves again, with some kind of salty black licorice touch too. A good dose of bitterness at the finish. A mild aftertaste is spicy and bitter-sweet, with a touch of alcohol at the end.

PALATE: Lighter body and higher end carbonation. A little airy on the palate, goes down fine but give you the burps, unfortunately. Finishes with a bit of stickiness. Too light and airy.

OVERALL: A good effort by Lefebvre. Not a big fan of the Floreffe line, but the Prima Melior is probably the best of the line and is worth a shot in its own right. One I'd have again.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 16:17:14 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmm. anise and orange peel. Thinking it might pour a bit light and...whoa! Nope, this sucker is dark. Black or a very deep rich ruby color. Nice head, would give it a 4.5 if it laced up better.
Caramel and dark prune aroma. Slight anise, but only if you think about it. Rich. Some whaffs of unripe orange.
Taste is caramel and light chocolate. Raisin and slght anise. Orange makes more of an appearance toward the end. Like an orange chocolate piece. Alcohol is nice. Drinks easily.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 20:42:23 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of clayrock81


3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darkish brown, almost black, body with one-finger head that died quickly. Spices are evident in smell along wwith a sharp, sour citric smell and some orange peel. The beer is good but a tad off as it seems there are heavy fruit flavors like orange and hark fruit fruits like black cherries and some malt presence (chocolate, roasted, vanilla). Finishes a little dry thanks to roasted malts and sour hop bitterness. Typical Belgian yeastiness and slight stickiness there as well. A good Belgian but not the best; still didn't mind sipping on this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 15:58:00 | More by clayrock81
Photo of brendanos


3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with deep mahogony hues, hazy, with a short lived tan head. Aromas of candy sugars, sweet sherry, ripe berries, ocean breeze, raisins, and port wine. Smooth, full mouthfeel with moderate sweetness and flavours of preserved stonefruit, raisins, and floral candy. Quite sweet, but very smooth and drinkable. Would probably be much nicer in a better condition (suspected slightly heat affected).

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 10:37:40 | More by brendanos
Photo of mobyfann


3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $4.99 for a 4-pack at Jungle Jim's...

This ale pours a dark brown colored base with a large white head, excellent head retention and some lacing on the glass. The aroma is deep in malts, a little sweet like oranges with no sign of alcohol.

The taste resembles a hybrid of the proclaimed style (Belgian Strong Dark Ale) and the German Doppelbock. Flavorful in malt, creamy smooth, moderate bodied, sweet/caramel aftertaste. Fairly smooth in the mouth when it settles and at 8.0% abv, it's a good all-around session beer for its style.

Final Thought: A very good buy if/when on special, but if it costs more than the Ommegang brews, it's a pass.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 03:38:06 | More by mobyfann
Photo of david131


3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A very deep ruby red. If I didn't hold this to a light, I would have thought it was black. A very creamy off white head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- Anise, caramel, some spiciness. Smells somewhat medicinal, but it isn't too bad overall.

T- Same as the aroma, but very solid. Still slightly medicinal with some noticeable alcohol, but it is still pretty nice. It hits in the right places.

M- A nice carbonation level. Very creamy. I dig it.

D- The 8% ABV is hidden pretty well, but this is still kind of a sipper. Doesn't taste as heavy as the appearance would lead you to believe. A pretty solid strong dark ale. I enjoyed it, but this didn't blow me away.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 03:13:11 | More by david131
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark walnut with orange highlights, that becomes dark russet when afternoon sunshine is allowed entry. The cork colored cap was four fingers to start and is both pillowy and rocky. Unfortunately, it isn't very sticky. What lace appears is sudsy and transient. Subsequent pours do a better job of adding more and stickier residue.

The aroma is classic for the style, although it lacks sufficient oomph and smells a little metallic. Given the added ingredients, I expected something a little out of the ordinary. There aren't too many Belgian dark ales that use star anise, orange peel and coriander. Only the first of those is appreciated.

Floreffe Ale (Prima Melior) does just enough to be considered good. It helps that BSDA is one of my favorite Belgian styles. The beer couldn't help but be somewhat complex given the ingredients listed above; not to mention what is probably a fairly estery yeast strain. Another positive is that alcohol is virtually absent on the palate.

Dark fruit is the star of the show. In no particular order, the flavor profile consists of dark caramel, dark chocolate, ripe figs, dates, coriander and a wee bit of anise. Orange peel is still a no-show. Interestingly, the front of the label lists star anise and orange peel, while only anise and coriander are listed on the back. Warming changes... nothing.

The mouthfeel lacks a little oomph as well. It's a bit light, but doesn't wander away too quickly on the finish. The bubbles could stand to work a little harder when it comes to volumization.

Floreffe Prima Melior is better beer than the final score would indicate. Even though it can't hold a candle to the best BSDAs, and I probably won't lay out the cash for another bottle, I'm enjoying each and every mouthful. In the end, that's all that really matters.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 23:01:35 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of thekanna


3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Brasserie Beck in Washington, D.C.

A: Poured into a Floreffe goblet. Black like pitch with 1 finger of cappuccino head.

S: I don't know how else to describe it other than pickled dates. It had the characteristic date sweetness, but also a sourness that was reminiscent of pickle juice.

T: Somewhat watery, chocolate-y malt gives way to a sharp spike of alcohol heavily glazed with cinnamon and cloves. Ends on a dark chocolate note reminiscent of Mayan hot chocolate with chilies. Repeated sipping of this almost belies a soy sauce-like quality.

M: Effervescent inception gives way to slick, smooth brew.

D: Definitely a sipper. But makes you want to sip more to discover its deep, underlying complexities. Just as long as you don't smell it for too long.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 04:21:44 | More by thekanna
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 22:37:43 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 00:28:19 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of brewbucker


4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 00:30:25 | More by brewbucker
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a deep dark brown with red highlights. Poured into a tulip glass there was a decent amount of head, but it faded quickly. Similar in look and smell to Trios Pistoles so far. The smell is quite potent with a rich, biscuity malt base and tart fruits. Apple, black cherry, anise, and cloves. The taste is really heavy in the malt department. The maltyness quickly dissolves into a sour/tart fruit undertone. I taste banana bread, raisins, and spicy/bitter light hops at the end. Earthy and slightly acidic. The flavor profile doesn't really flow as nicely as I would have liked. There are several interesting flavors, but they don't transition in a smooth way. The mouthfeel is relatively thin considering its thick flavor. It also leaves a residual sweetness in the mouth as the drink progresses. Overall it was a decent ale. A lot like a belgian christmas ale IMO with the anise, spices, and deep rich flavor. Much like a blend between Corsendonk X-mas and Trios Pistoles, just not as well done as either.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2008 23:58:21 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of dalion037


2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip goblet. The head was tall, thick, and lacy. It took a while for the head to relax. The beer was almost as dark as a stout. The taste was overpowered by the toated malt flavors but the complexities did masked the alcohol. Although there was a lot of head pouring out of the bottle it still tasted a bit flat. Not topping any list of mine.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 04:25:11 | More by dalion037
Photo of GilGarp


4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 00:15:25 | More by GilGarp
Photo of shroompod


4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle. Best before 10:06. $4.99 a 4 pack.

Pours with a rocky head , lacing throughout.

Getting hints of the star anise and orange peel in aroma.

Dark sugar notes on tasting. Molasses and caramel malts are tempered with whats left of the spices.

Mouthfeel is medium , carbonation is good.

Overall a pretty good beer, found on sale , and pre-aged.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 23:20:42 | More by shroompod
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle

Pours a dark brown color with a thick tan marshmallow head, lots of sticking throughout the glass. Soft Belgian yeast qualities in the nose, floral/earthy esters as well, licorice, molasses, cinnamon spice, creamy chocolatey malt and wonderful ripe fruit notes. Coating in the mouth and quaff-able. Medium bodied, good amount of carbonation, high drinkability, i really enjoyed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 20:35:42 | More by ATPete
Photo of BradLikesBrew


4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Fluffy cocoa head with a muddy brown body.

s: Root beer, raisins, plumbs and spice.

t: A light sweetness comes first, then flavors of cola, with light notes of orange peel and anise in the finish.

m: Light with high carbonation.

d: Drinkability is high. Not a rich or heavy BSDA, more on the light and easy drinking side. A good brew, won't change your life, but it is good.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 18:44:54 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of tpd975


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks SeaBass

A: Pours a nice dark brown hue with a solid two or three finger head. Great retention and some lace noted.

S: Aroma of caramel malt, brown sugar, toffee, dark fruits, and mixed berries.

T: The taste is very much dark fruit up front with notes of blackberries, raisins, and brown sugar. It is rounded out with caramel malt, toffee, spices, and some funky yeasty notes as it warms.

M: Light to medium bodied with soft carbonation. Slightly sweet initially, dry finish

D: Good and pretty darn drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2008 19:09:19 | More by tpd975
Photo of pinotboy007


3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep mahogany -- almost black -- ale with a decent cap and no lacing.

S - Molasses, citrus, malt, leather. Impressive!

T - The jury is still out. As this ale warms it becomes more complex with hints of burnt sugar, a light sour edge with malt, leather, and a touch of spice that I can't put my finger on. (Clove?)

M - Nice creaminess with deft carbonation.

D - I don't know. This is something I would not seek out so its drinkability in my opinion suffers. Might be OK with BBQ, but then again maybe not.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2008 01:12:32 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of albern


3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This isn't my favorite Belgian dark ale by a stretch. It is a fine looking beer that pours a very dark impenetrable inky blackness that has a nice foamy slightly effervescent head. Some decent retention and lacing.

The aroma is very Belgian-esque. You'll get the sweet malts, the candied sugars, the yeastiness, but add to it some berry aromas, some rind, and some exotic spices, and that's what's in the nose of this beer. I'm also getting a whiff of some ABV and some heavy fruits, such as raisin or prune.

The taste is a tad disappointing. I thought this would be better. It isn't a bad beer, but it isn't all that distinctive either. It is quite light on the tongue, medium bodied, with sufficient efforvescence. There are some complex flavors in the background of this beer, but nothing really distinguishes itself. There are some roasted caramel malts, there are some coriander like spices, there are toffee hints, some undefined sweet malts, some tea like hop bitterness in the finish, and some Belgian yeasty effervescence. But nothing is really making a statement. The sum is just not greater than its parts. The mouthfeel is mild, there is some ABV noticeable in the aftertaste, but no throaty burn. This is a decent Belgian dark, but that's about all I can recommend.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2008 17:00:42 | More by albern
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting and hoping for an Oude Brune sour brown ale when I ordered this from the very long bottle list at the Palm Tavern in Milwaukee. While this beer wasn't the sourness I was really hoping for, I still can't really fault it - it was pleasantly malty and fruity in almost a quad type of flavor profile. I thought it to be pretty good.

It poured a brilliant brown color, which was not quite transparent. Aroma was raisins, some cherriness, and some citrus. Flavor wasn't sour, but offered lots of dried fruit, some citrus, and a lot of evidence of darker roasted malts. Mouthfeel was dry and crisp. This wasn't what I was expecting, but it was good enough to make me try some other Lefebvre beers.

I would recommend this beer.

I had this from a bottle at the Palm Tavern in Bayview, WI.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 19:50:40 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of LarryV


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a finely textured fluffy tan head about an inch in height. Aroma of dark fruit, malt. Rich and full bodied with subtle flavors from the spices. The spices don't overpower this beer but add subtle nuances instead. Slight citric bitterness and date like flavor. Nicely balanced and the sweetness is kept nicely in check avoiding the cloying taste that a lot of Belgians seem to have. Quite a good brew and one that I would purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2008 10:12:08 | More by LarryV
Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
84 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.