Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

Abbaye De Floreffe Prima MeliorAbbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior
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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #282
ABV:
8%
Score:
86
Ranked #26,414
Avg:
3.8 | pDev: 13.68%
Reviews:
119
Ratings:
199
From:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  12
Gots
  23
SCORE
86
Very Good
Abbaye De Floreffe Prima MeliorAbbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior
Notes: 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).
View: Beers
Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 199 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Almost black to the eye, thought held up next to a halogen it's a super-dark chestnut ruby. Slight haze. Pours with 2Cm pillowy med/dark tan head.
S- A slightly piquant and liquor-ish smell.
T- 1st sip -> It's pretty malty, then into a deep toasty grains/malts, and it keeps building until about 5 seconds later the intensity rises again on the tongue/palate in a third wave (with a brushing of ABV% zing) into something quite pungent. These waves keeps repeating on each further sip... now on about my 5th sip. Unusual/really nice!
F- Notably deep, quite pungently toasty with richness and hops all in equilibrium.
O- Well I never, this has turned out to me quite a star. It's super-easy to drink as a slow-sippin' beer. Great for coller months. I'd very happily drink this one again. Shame I couldn't register the spicing/Smell much here but I get bad Springtime congestion and that's what happens. I hope others get to enjoy the spicy facets more!
What a lovely beer. One of those ones you hope to be good, that turns out to be something special. The way the Taste reatedly grew+ebbed - I've had such before, but usually only 2 maybe 3 cycles until the palate adjusts and you no longer notice it; here is just went on and on.
Bought from BelgiumInABox at Antwerp/BE for home delivery to me in London/UK.
330ml caged/ceramic stoppered bottle. BB: 07/12/2020.
Note: the bottle spout has no lip (unusual) so if pouring slowly due to it being bottle-cond be aware the trickle/flow repeatedly tries to move up the bottle spout towards your pouring hand.
Lable is now updated and much simplified vs that in the Description^. Blue+pale cream, with a simple image of a monastry.

Apr 28, 2020
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67 from New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Pours brown with tall, long-lasting, foamy off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of plums, cherries, caramel, spices and brown sugar. Body is full and smooth. Spicy yeast, caramel malt, toffee, plums, raisins, brown sugar and herbal hops fill the mouth. Finish is long and spicy. Very nice brew.

Jul 22, 2019
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OlaB from Norway

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark-brown color with a medium top of beige head that dissolves slowly and leave some lacings. Nice aroma of dark malts, caramel, chocolate,tofee,licorice, burned sugar,raisins,prunes, dates,plums and herbs.
The flavour is sweet and malty with notes of dark and dried fruits,caramel, licorice and chocolate at the start. The finish has a good tone of bitterness that mixes well with the malty and sweet flavour. Good lenght on the aftertaste with a soft and creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation is quite high with a medium body.
A really good and enjoyable dark ale, kind of a underdog.

Nov 30, 2018
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rex_4539 from Greece

4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark amber color, two finger beige head, excellent lacing, good carbonation.

S: Belgian yeast, oak, raisins.

T: Classic Belgian taste.

F: Full bodied, creamy, dense, overly carbonated.

O: Very good beer. Really enjoyed it.

Oct 24, 2017
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

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

From Alcampo. In Teku glass. Watching The Sopranos 1x02. Some licorice. There is something adictive in this beer that have made me enjoy it more the more I drank it in both nose and mouth

Aug 01, 2016
Photo of TheBierdimpfe
TheBierdimpfe from Canada

4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Almost opaque dark brown color, with a copper hue, and storming activity. Slightly creamy light brown 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with a bit of lacing. Flavors of dark berries, cherries, oak, nuts, molasses, citrus, herbal spices. Thick fruity sweetness with sour earthy spices. Slick oily medium body with crispy carbonation. Strong finish, a little dry and sour like wine, lingering dark fruits, orange and clove, with a sour candy like feel of plums. Deliciously flavored, and a complex palate. Feels like Port and would serve this as an appetizer from all that sugar, thus not very fresh, yet warming. Overall excellent quality craft.

Jun 04, 2016
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Dzu from Russian Federation

4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark brown wit a massive foam head.
S: Smells dark fruit, sweety.
T: Bittersweet,tart and dry.
F: Alcohol not well hidden but smooth.
O: Like it at all.

Apr 08, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Chimay chalice. Creamy head covers black beer (brown really, but you can’t see through it). Smell of coffee and chocolate. Taste: licorice/anise, chocolate, burnt toast. Has a bite to it...sweet and then mildly tart/sour.

Mar 16, 2016
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DJ-Hophead from England

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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

Sep 25, 2015
Photo of Mike_Aguirre
Mike_Aguirre from Mexico

4.71/5  rDev +23.9%
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.

Sep 09, 2015
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biboergosum from Canada

3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Jun 20, 2014
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SmashPants from Australia

3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

Apr 17, 2014
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MarkoNm from Slovenia

2.4/5  rDev -36.8%
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.

Apr 12, 2014
Photo of TinFang
TinFang from California

2.83/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

Mar 09, 2014
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BeerEngineer from California

3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Feb 25, 2014
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facundoCNB from New Jersey

3.14/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Feb 02, 2014
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus from Texas

3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Sep 01, 2013
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MDDMD from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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

Jul 11, 2013
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Haydn-Juby from Vermont

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

May 21, 2013
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PolarBear3 from Australia

2.01/5  rDev -47.1%
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.

May 19, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ from Wisconsin

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.

May 18, 2013
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mactrail from Washington

3.09/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

Oct 05, 2012
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Everydayoff from Thailand

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

T+M:
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.

O:
Another good Strong Dark Ale, definitely worthy.

Jan 13, 2012
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jjkatter from Australia

3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Jan 06, 2012
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heygeebee from Australia

3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Jan 02, 2012
Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 199 ratings