Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior | Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima MeliorAbbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior

Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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).

Added by LarryKemp on 02-05-2003

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Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 188
Photo of PolarBear3
2.01/5  rDev -46.1%
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.

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Photo of TLove
2.07/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

750 ml bottle to glass tumbler.

Got this one cheap for a 750 ml bottle ($3.99 at Rodman's in DC) at 8% ABV. But honestly, it was not very good at all to my taste. Color, creamy off-tan head and mild to moderate retention. Overwhelmingly sour and unabashedly fruity (strong cherry, slight smokey taste). Little to no yeast structure, thin hop structure, and limited application to its proclaimed category. Very dry. Not well-balanced and the finish was muddled and sought after a complexity it had the ability to achieve, but dropped the ball by spilling a half ton of cherry juice into an otherwise soft and subtle brew.

Probably good with fruit crepes on a cool morning in Quebec City, but doesn't suit the Belgian Strong Dark Ale category well. Perhaps should be coupled with Rodenbach's Grand Cru as the undercarbonated version of its overly sour Flemish disaster of an unbalanced beer.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.4/5  rDev -35.7%
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 danieelol
2.72/5  rDev -27.1%
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 LarryKemp
2.77/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was very dark and had a creamy head that lasted a long time.

Even though it was in a snifter, I got very little aroma. This beer was served way too cold so that might have impacted both the smell and the taste. I was expecting a complex beer and was sorely disappointed. The aroma was subpar. I got very little malt and none of the rich fruitiness I expected. The taste likewise was very average. It was very slightly sweet and had no complexity.

The mouthfeel was light and I could not get any warming from the alcohol.

This was the first beer of the evening and I was surprised that it did not show its stuff. Again maybe the beer was served real cold and it killed its personalilty, but I am not inclined to give it a second chance.

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Photo of Tinfang
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
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 juju7
2.93/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A big fat meh for this beer. Even the Belgians are fallible it would seem. A dark brown body with ample head but no real lacing to speak of. Kind of like a caricature of a Belgian strong ale. There are some of those expected traits of plums, yeasty dough and biscuity malt. A stand out is the chocolate character that does it's best to hold up some grace. Unfortunately it lacks real cohesiveness and feels straight up bland. A slight sour note on the back palate tends to distract from what could have been fairly acceptable. Feels like a Belgian ale from anywhere but Belgium.

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Photo of dalion037
3/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

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Photo of dgilks
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Interesting aroma with some alcohol, good sweetness and lots of esters. I get a combinations of dark fruit, grapes and even a touch of tropical fruit. A bare hint of anise like spice is good. I like this slightly different twist on aroma.

Brown with red tinges. The head is creamy, tan and lacks length. A bit hazy.

The flavours here just aren't right. I get a combination of liquorice, alcohol, liquorice, liquorice and liquorice. A hint of spice is present too but this isn't what I expect (nor does the BJCP) in a BSDA or Quad. I also get a hint of out of place roast in the forepalate. On the whole, drinkable but way off base for the style.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. The mouthfeel isn't as smooth and creamy as it should be.

While I don't mind the flavour the 'in your face' liquorice flavour makes drinking the whole 750ml bottle difficult.

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Photo of SleepyMonk
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Moderately chilled 75cl bottle poured into a standard tulip glass.

Pours with a thick, tightly compressed and well carbonated tan colored head. The body of the beer is a dark coffee and when held to the light there is reddish cola like hues.

The nose carries roasted dark fruits and fresh cherry with some sweet malts. These aromas are put a little off-balance by a slight medicinal kick which leans more towards being a negative feature.

The aromas carefully predict the taste palate. Caramelized malt makes for a dense, chewy taste and spicy bitterness provides nice balance. Once again the medicinal features are ever present and this is a little off putting to those who do not favor such tastes.

In the mouth this is smooth with medium bodied density and soft carbonation with a dry finish.

The taste and structure of this ale improved after being allowed to reach room temperature.

Not the best but drinkable none the less. Somewhat similar to Gulden Draak but the medicinal notes and rich cherry flavors cause it to deviate from that comparison.

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Photo of Bisho
3.07/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.09/5  rDev -17.2%
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 facundoCNB
3.14/5  rDev -15.8%
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 mulder1010
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ML corked and caged poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a deep dark brown, settled to almost black with touches of red. Big dark brown head that settled to just over one finger in height. Good head retention with this. Medium carbonation by visual.

S-- Dark fruits, rum or cognac soaked raisins. As it warms up licorice and chocolate start appearing. Very sweet smelling beer.

T-- Very sweet first tastes. Lots of prunes, plumbs, raisins and quite sweet tasting. As warms up a lot of licorice and the fruits are eaten up by the licorice and chocolate taste.

M-- Changes to licorice and chocolate. Interesting. Medium body and a tad bit over medium in carbonation. Reminds me a lot of licorice bullets sold in Australia (chocolate covered licorice). ABV becomes more obvious as it warms up more.

D-- To me a touch bit over carbonated and a bit too sweet. Halfway though a 750 and sweetness is very obvious in this. Liked it more as dark fruits and raisins more than the licorice bomb it finishes off as. The chocolate though is a good touch. ABV is OK at 8% but notice that pretty early on in this and as it gets sweeter the ABV just screams at you. Good on occasions but not as an every day drinker.

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Photo of brendanos
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
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).

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Photo of EPICAC
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with ruby tints. A thin brown head fades quickly leaving no lace.

Smell: Sweet raisins and little else.

Taste: Sugary raisins upfront and through to the finish. The finish has light pepper and a bit of roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, medium-bodied and lightly dry.

Drinkability: The dry finish bumped this up a notch.

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Photo of BeerZack
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

All right, random Belgian Strong Dark, let's see whatcha got. Popped cork, poured into Westmalle glass. Pretty dark for the style. Head retention good, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Pretty standard dark Belgian aroma of raisin sweetbread and rum, cinnamon rolls.

Taste is not that outlandish either, but there are some nuances here that deviate the beer from the standard BSDA. The finish/aftertaste has the molded plastic character I sometimes pull off Belgian pales. At mid-palate, some cinnamon, possibly a little nutmeg. And of course, dried plum, raisin and a little alcohol nip, which is not out of character at all for this style. This skews to the sweeter side of the style, but it's not sweet enough to make me dislike it....there's enough hop and/or yeasty spiciness to balance so that it doesn't become an ordeal.

Feel is OK. Not pillow-soft like the masters of this style. Almost reminds me a bit of an American stab at the style.

It's OK. I don't know that I feel like a whole 750ml bottle of it, though. Admittedly, this would work much better as a food beer than one to kick back with.

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Photo of stcules
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The colour is a full black, with abeautiful stout-like foam.
Smell of anise, plum, cane sugar. Maybe a little too alcoholic. Some velvet sweetness in the background, like vanilla or creme-caramel, but also some burned-toasted hints.
At the taste is malt, toffe, and toasted. And then again anise, plum, and black grape.
Medium body.
In the aftertaste, dark malt, plum and grape. At the end, it is cleraly perceptible the alcoholic again.

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Photo of SmashPants
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.

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3.39/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a nice Burgundy glass it was hard to contain the head. Thick and pale colored foam with a body of dark brown with ruby-rose highlights stood strong in the glass. Just spotted small chunks of yeast still floating around in there as well.

The smell was soft and airy ... much different from the appearance. Floral notes, malt, wet pollen, blueberry, and a sweet yeast smell carried throughout.

Thick but light mouthfeel. Liquid titanium?? Doesn't flow through your mouth and down the throat very well. It gets caught up on the tongue. Really carbonated which results in a foaming sensation.

Strong, up front, style. All the flavors are up front and forward with little flow or flex. Sweet (almost like an asian sauce), spices, small bitterness, and a roasty-ness from somewhere make it a good sipper with an alcohol bite. Bottle says 8% ABV and you know it's in there.

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Photo of jjkatter
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
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 drpimento
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Kind of an interesting brew. Had it at about 60 - 65 degrees F. Poured with a medium fine foamy light tan head and good lace. Color is a dark hazy brown. Aroma is malty, yeasty, a little funk, and licorice. Flavor is at first quite sweet, then a little tartness then back and forth to fade. Good body and carbonation. Finish is like flavor but more sweet. Not bad, not that great.

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Photo of Radome
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer of the Month selection from the Rare Beer Club. Served from 750 ml bottle into Duvel glass.

A - Dark but very clear with ruby highlights, not as dark and opaque as some examples. Head is off-white and persistent, but not as thick and moussy as some.

S - Malt, grain and spices. No hops evident, which is OK for style. Some alcohol esters. Malt seems muted, leaving an unfamiliar spice in the lead role, more like a Saison than a dark strong.

T - Again, the unfamiliar spice note leads off. Some hops bitterness and alcohol burn, but to my taste it is lacking in enough malt and grain to anchor it. Some plum and candi sugar flavors that remind me this is a dark strong; otherwise, if I closed my eyes I might think this was a saison.

M - Nice carbonation level for the style, but a little thin on body, even though it finishes a little sweet.

D - Overall interesting but a little strange. Thin body and lots of spice without the expected malt and yeast notes to round things out.

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Photo of ShareANevada
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Scored this 11.2 at Beers of the World, Rochester.

Ale brewed with spices(star anise and orange peel)

Huge pop, lovely thick head and lacing, chunky creamy thickness hangs out several minutes.

Pours pretty dark, kind of surprised me. Slight ruby when held up to the light.

Pleasant, easy going aroma. Mild and balanced, bready, blackberries, yeast, citrus.

Smooth mouthfeel with just a hint of prickliness. Surprising for the pop this one made.

Mild, balanced, yeasty flavor.

Seems to be a well put together beer, however nothing striking about this one.

Would not be inclined to cellar this. Certainly smooth young, but I think any striking flavor would be reduced to nil over time. Glad this stuck out to me on a snowy night before holding any longer.

Good to try, probably will not seek out again.

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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
3.73 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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