Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior | Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

BA SCORE
84
good
188 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Abbaye De Floreffe Prima MeliorAbbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
Belgium
brasserielefebvre.be

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
188
Reviews:
115
Avg:
3.73
pDev:
14.21%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
23
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 115
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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,

 291 characters

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of metter98
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber in color and poured with a finger high beige head. A thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There are aromas of candi sugar and dark fruits in the nose along with some hints of spices.
T: The beer has a slight amount of sweetness and some flavors of dark fruits but this is contrasted by lots of flavors of spices in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is definitely one that needs to be sipped given all of the spices in the taste.

 582 characters

Photo of biboergosum
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 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.

 1,754 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a super huge off-white foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of sweet malt with some light spices (which may include some pepper and some anis). Taste is quite sweet probably from the candi sugar with some spices. Hops are clearly quite subtle and even the yeast is subdued (I would have preferred if it could have brought more character to this beer. Body is above average but could be a bit more full. Alcohol is well hidden. Overall, a very good Belgian ale and probably one of the finest product from this brewer.

 566 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
2/5  rDev -46.4%

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.

 716 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 1,801 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Revisiting this guy, complete with review, after remembering enjoying it about a year ago. I let it warm up a bit from the fridge (just FYI). It pours a dark-ish ruby-brown topped by a finger of slightly-off cream foam. The nose comprises rye bread, Belgian yeast, nutmeg, figs, brown sugar-cinnamon, pecans, and oak. The taste brings in all of these for a reunion, along with some red apple skin, black grapes, black pepper, and a touch of cocoa and vanilla. The body is a medium that yearns to lean to the lighter side, with a very light moderate carbonation and a lightly grainy feel. Overall, a very nice BSDA, one that affirmed my memory (always a plus) and seemed to please the lady (always a plus). Good times here all around.

 765 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 775 characters

Photo of beernads
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of stevoj
3.47/5  rDev -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.

 235 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 485 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a towering offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light malty scent that boasts of crystal malts and star anise. It has a nice fruity yeast aroma. The taste is decent as well. It has a fruity yeast flavor with a hint of orange peel and anise in the finish. It goes down easy and finishes earthy with a bit of warmth. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average brew, but nothing to get excited about.

 541 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 685 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.58/5  rDev -4%
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.

 558 characters

Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of spinrsx
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy brown colour with a massive size frothy and fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't tell how much carbonation there is because of the murkiness of the beer and there is some very nice lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, raisins, pears, cask wood, cloves

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a slightly below average amount of carbonation and it has a full bodied taste. There are lots of malts mixed with dark fruits (raisins?) and a touch of pear sweetness. There are also notes of cloves and cask wood and the beer also has a slightly metallic taste. It finishes with a malty dark fruit aftertaste.

Drink - The alcohol was well hidden and it had a pretty decent taste. It didn't blow my mind but I still enjoyed it. There are other beers in this style that are better options though.

 882 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of beerthulhu
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 674 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +7.2%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
3.73 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.