Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior | Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

Abbaye De Floreffe Prima MeliorAbbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior
190 Ratings
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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Ratings: 190 |  Reviews: 115
Photo of Brabander
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer in a trade with my buddy Apophis666, thanks Sietse.

As always poured in my Struise glass. Nice and pretty darkbrown fluid and a light brown firm head with big bubbles. Nice carbonation.

Sweet and roasted malt smell, brown sugar?

Nice taste and not too sweet. I am enjoying this beer, no doubt about that!

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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.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown, opaque with a slight red tint at the edges. Finger width of light brown head without much retention and very little lacing.

S: The smell is a little strange, mostly because I can't pick up much beyond the sweetness. It smells deep and rich, like candied fruits and not much else. It's not a bad smell, just too sweet for my taste.

T: Deeply malty flavor with slight hints of citrus with lots of spice. I get a lot of stone fruit, a nice complex, rich flavor. The alcohol comes through, but very little. Doesn't taste much like it smells, much spicier and better.

M: Surprisingly medium bodied with high carbonation. Does not feel heavy at all.

D: A dangerously drinkable beer. The relatively light body and well hidden alcohol make it go down fast and easy.

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

appearance is dark clearish brown with small head which receded from an inch or so.
Smell is below par, kinda offputting but not representative of the whole drink.
Taste is far better than smell, is fruit with malt and a touch of alcohol.
Mouthfeel is corrct, maybe a tad more carbonation would be good?
Drinkability is pretty good, cheap for a belgian, gets you smashed quickly. Not bad stuff, still theres better, and ill probs go for that better stuff next time.

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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.

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Photo of cooch69
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours from its 750 ml. bottle a deep chestnut brown with a one and a half finger head with good clinging potential.
This beer smells of bitter roasted malts, alcohol, caramel biscuits, and dark fruit(raisins).
The first wave consists of dark fruits and an upfront roasted maltiness. The oranges in this beer seem to appear as a dancing partner with the alcohol. The two don't seperate, they are blended together almost like a tangerine infused vodka. The second wave shows a light roast of black coffee and a bit of a hoppiness in the form of a bittering agent.
The beer is medium-full bodied with a nice carbonation that is not overly agressive. It is definetly a sipper, but it is not overly complex or strong.

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Photo of basica
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of madvoice
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark chocolate colour with a thick foamy head that takes its time to disappear and leaves minimal lacing on the glass.

S - Smells very much of aniseed and chocolate

T - Very sweet taste similar to that of sarspirilla but with a chocolatey aftertaste.

M - Is actually quite light on the palate. Not heavy on the fizz and goes down quite smoothly though there is a little bit of a kick at the end.

D - Not something I could drink a lot of. Something to be kept for an occasion rather than a regular drinking beer.

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Photo of omnigrits
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ppoured into a tulip glass from a cork-and-cage bottle gives a very dark beer with a pale tan head that just doesn't want to go away and leaves good lace. The beer shows plenty of active carbonation.

Masses of figs and other dark fruits in the nose. Belgian yeast is muted but noticeable. More of the same in the taste with a slight bitterness and a pleasantly dry finish. Very well balanced, not at all sweet, leastways, no more than it should be.

Medium-bodied with a lively mouthfeel from the carbonation. Really quite crisp for a BDSA.

This is a very interesting beer and one that I'll be buying again. Not your average dark Belgian ale.

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

Thrown in as an extra by Jwiss22 - What a great guy!

Appearance -- Pours a deep, dark brown with two fingers of creamy beige head.

Smell -- Rum-soaked raisin, dark fruit, orange peel, spice, faint chocolate.

Taste -- Raisin, unripe plum and plum skin, currant, cocoa powder, strong presence of orange peel and anise (shocking!). Finish is spicy, with grape skin, cocoa powder, and a faint metallic taste. Lingering taste is of grape skin and orange peel.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied, ample carbonation; prickly up front, creamy in the finish.

Drinkability -- This beer really kept me engaged. It goes from dark and mellow to bright and sharp. While I am really glad this beer was brought to my attention I don't know if I would be tempted to revisit.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Bruery tulip.

Pours deep, deep brown, not quite black but it's in the ballpark.Two-finger khaki head, creamy, settling into a dense one-finger cap. Excellent retention, very nice lacing. Oddly, lots of effervescence showing up around the edge of the glass leads to the creamy head on top showing as much bigger-bubbled and cola-like on the bottom.

Nose is intense, fairly sharp; big dose of spices lend an almost metallic edge to an underlying chocolate presence. Dark fruits take on a bit of tartness - currants, under-ripe pit fruits. Surprisingly it warms, red grapes come through more clearly. Unexpected, but certainly not unpleasant.

Taste is interesting. Follows the nose in its bright character - loads of unripe pit fruits up front, lightly tart, currants and berries, lingonberries come to mind, with just a bit of lemony brightness on top. Light cocoa and brown sugar come through also, with notes of clove and big time spicy phenols from the yeast. Finishes sweeter than expected, fruity, with a light richness complemented by a light bitterness from the spices. It's almost like someone took a spiced BSDA, spiked it with a tart cassis-based beer, and then fermented the whole thing with a very phenolic Belgian yeast, or even a hefe yeast. Very interesting beer. Not as deeply satisfying as, say, a masterfully done straight-up quad, but certainly more intriguing.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected, medium-light bodied, with a zingy carbonation that turns fluffy at points almost magically. Body feels cut by the light acidity. Drinkability is fairly high, all things considered. It sort of evolves in your mouth, unexpectedly, so you don't want to stop drinking it. Very interesting beer.

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Photo of gatornation
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a thick deep dark brown with a big tan head that recedes quickly with some good sticky lacing..the smell is of dark fruits,currant fruits like plum and fig..i smell chocolate and caramel..the taste is a musty fruit flavor of plum/raisins that at the same time has a sweetness of caramel and malt with hints of spice and herbs like fennel..the mouth feel is sweet with a somewhat bitter finish..this was easy to drink the 11.2 bottle but i would not want more than 1 its more sweet then spice..this BSDA was a fruity.sweeter darker malt one than others i have tried..i recommend trying this

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Photo of crossovert
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle "best before" 2009 04 04.

Pours like motor oil and when it is in the tulip it is a dark brown/ pretty much black with a thick large tan head that rises to the top of the glass, leaving some lacing as it recedes slowly.

The scent is pleasant and rich but not overly rich. There is definitely a lot of orange in the scent along with some anise, no coincidence. There's not much else going on besides the yeasty dark fruit scents that are usually found in this style.

The first thing I notice is the smooth, rich, not hugely carbonated mouthfeel. It works perfectly with the flavors of this beer. There is some residual orange form the smell that transfers to the taste but there isn't a huge anise kick in the flavor, it is more vanilla and coriander with a hint of cocoa. It has that spice tinged flair but it is very fruity. It is super complex.

Overall this one surprised me big time. It is one of the smoother, not as sweet BSDAs out there.

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Photo of altheimera
4.26/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich dark chocolaty taste. Spicy. Sweet caramel finish. Very dark appearance. Very drinkable.

very strong odor was noticeable immediately upon opening the bottle , though it dissipated quickly.

I enjoyed this beer, would definitely drink it again, though it was hard to finish the whole bottle (bit too sweet by the end)

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Photo of richmof
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown with veluous qualities and an off-coloured head.

On the nose the character already comes through with anis sweetness and yeast.

The palate is unique. Of course dark fruits (date) and molasses but the anis is almost overpowering. It is like drinking liquid liquorice, with some alcohol coming through on the end.

Definitely worth drinking for its uniqueness but I had trouble finishing one 33cl bottle.

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Photo of imperialstout27
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of slammgrass
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Floreffe Prima Melior was poured from the bottle into a tulip chalice and quaffed at the Cambrinus Café in Brugge in late January. This is a strong ale with aromas of anise, rose, and sour cherry. It has a dark ruby-brown body almost like coca-cola, and is wet and spicy on the finish. After tastes of fennel and anise seeds.

The Cambrinus Cafe has hundreds of lovely Belgian beers on the menu, great food, and a lovely atmosphere. Their beer menu is literally about an inch thick.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark black-brown, just flashing lighter at the edges, with a huge and frothy head of mild beige foam. Very rocky, and the boisterous foaminess of the head collapses after a while leaving a few globs of sticky lacing. Looks nice.

Big oaky characters on the nose, almost overpowering, with great medicinal phenols of rosewater and hot rain. A little roasted darkness flittering around the back as well, but the oak is the dominant force here. Quite intense and insane. Big. I like that.

Taste is also good, but very different from the nose. Slight roasted characters, and big, almost wheaty sweetness to it, with esters of banana and vanilla. Very smooth and very sweet, even though it feels a bit thin in the mouth, and there's just the hint of something slightly unpleasant - a bread yeast twang - on the very back.

It's a drinkable beer, no doubt, and very smooth. It confused me a bit with the disjunction between nose and mouth, but it's a tasty brew, and very smooth for its 8%.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dense ruddy brown (minimal light comes through with backlighting) with a nice 1-2 inch light tan head. Good retention and lacing. Looks like cola when being poured from the bottle.
S: A balanced mix of spice, caramel malt, phenols, and funky yeast. Chocolate and earthy hops reside in the background. Very nice.
T: Under ripe dark fruit--plums, dates--and black licorice. Spice, caramel malt, phenols, and musty yeast. Hint of wood and mint in the aftertaste.
M: Medium body. Slight effervesence at first which gives way to a phenolic bite. Soft and slightly astringent. Lingers decently on the palate.
D: A very pleasant and well balanced brew. Good complexity and easy drinking (ABV extremely well hidden). A pleasant surprise.

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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 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 kegger22
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior poured a dark brown with a giant tan head that showed respectable retention. The aroma reminded me of sherry, a lot of dark fruits. The taste was malt sweet and dark fruits with a hint of chocolate. The mouth feel was medium bodied, oily and well carbonated. Drinkability was good.

Everything combined to make Prima Melior a good beer, but not a great beer. It started out similar to Gulden Draak, one of my favorite BSDA's, but the taste couldn't hold up it's end.

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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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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 190 ratings
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