Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior | Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima MeliorAbbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior
193 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: 193 |  Reviews: 117
Photo of Rudgers73
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of dalion037
3/5  rDev -19.8%
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 GilGarp
4.3/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of Raymond69
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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Photo of ATPete
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.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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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.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of albern
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of garcia2a
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Floris in Brussels. They would only serve it in an earthen mug, so I had to use a triple karmeliet glass for the color and clarity.

These beer poured a deep mahogany, nice and cloudy with a fair amount of carbonation. I estimate about a 1 inch head.

The bouquet has light and airy malt tendencies, some yeast and a hint of caramel and cocoa on the backend. This gives little indication of the pending gustatory experiences to come.

The taste is big, bold and heavy on the malt. Finished with a pleasing caramel flavor. The body was big and although the beer started off with decent mouthfeel, as the cloying began the taste became a bit tart. Overall the beer has roasty and warmong tendency that can only be rivaled by sweaty eddie himself!

This is a nice beer overall, a good session beer or just a "sippin' in the Poconos" tasty.

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

Found as a 750mL bottle with cork, cage, and an expiry date in April of '09, presumably indicating a very recent bottling. Poured with great bursts of head thanks to a fairly warm serving temperature that were fairly controllable. Body is dark, dark brown and ruby red when held to the light. Expected something a bit lighter for something with the spice profile of a wit, but hey, surprises are good! Head is loose, long-lasting, and the colour of a nice, strong cafe latte. Body looks crystal-clear, as best as can be told thru the dark hue.

Smell is lightly sweet and of that odd combination of old-world belgian yeast combined with darker malts that is only describable as bubble gum. Fruit from the orange is obvious forward, though it actually presents as something more like strawberry than citrus. Hopping is like soggy pine, not very citric. Musky.

Taste is much sweeter and a bit more spiced. Yeast is like that of a light dubbel, but malts are all caramel and brown sugar. Spiced much like a chai with hints of vanilla. Nothing all that distinguished, but a nice reminder of what Belgian ales are all about.

Feels light on the tongue, even quite warm. Finish is a tiny bit dry-tacky, but only just. Carbonation is endless and is well balanced with the profile. No booze to be found.

This was a great surprise. This brew manages the wildness of a dark quad like the golden dragon, but without as much booze and a lots less bitters. Not the most sophisticated beer, but with heaps of flavour. Highly recommended for the belgian ale fan who remembers back when all strong ales came therefrom.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown from a 11.2 oz bottle. Big fluffy dirty white head on top-2 inches high. Looks pretty nice. Smell is some sweet fruit, some spice and maybe a little alcohol but overall pretty light in aroma(maybe a little cold at first). Good malty taste of toffee/vanilla mixed with a little tart fruit that had a citrus heel to it. There is a little spiciness on this beer but it's very subdued. Foaming fizziness on the first half of the bottle which downgraded the mouthfeel, but it smoothed out some. I could put away a couple of these as the alcohol didn't seem too powerful. Enjoyable brew.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A huge sea foam head fills the Floreffe Snifter glass, and hangs around like out of town family on the deck, finally leaving lace all over the glass. Here is an example of proper glassware making a difference. The head was so massive; the remaining 2 oz went into on a pint, which produced no head to mention. The DARK brown, almost black color is impressive.

Cloves and dried orange zest fill out a fruity bouquet, but less strong than anticipated.

A sharply acidic and earth character dances across the tongue and dramatically changes to hops in the finish.

This one has a strong alcohol, without a punch in the face, as scrubbing bubbles linger all the way down the throat.

Prima Melior is an interesting drink, worth of a second try, but probably best with a good food pairing.

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Photo of ShareANevada
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
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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Photo of BeerTaster
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown almost black in color tan head dissapeared a little quick for my taste. Smell dark fruit sweet. Taste same as the smell but mabye a hint of cola? sounds crazy I know must be the spices they use I am also getting hints of rum. Mouthfeel heavy body high carbonation. Drinkability not bad I won't seek it out but I won't pass it up either.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle, corked and caged, purchased from Abe's in Bethlehem, poured into two tulips and shared with a friend.

Looks very dark, almost black in the glass, somewhat largish tan head that recedes pretty quickly and doesn't really leave much lacing.

Smell is some sugar, fruit from the yeast and a little something else. I think it was the star anise, my friend described it as 'kind of oaky' but i didn't really get that.

Taste was similar to the smell, but i wasn't really that impressed with it. It had the requisite yeast fruitiness and some sweetness, a little bit of extra character from the spices but nothing to out there or exciting. Mouthfeel was somewhat thinner than i expected, drinkability is okay I would just not be drawn to buy another. I am begining to think that dark belgians just aren't for me. I love the pales and triples, but the dubbels and BSDA just don't seem to do much for me. Oh well. A good beer for a good price, but I would pass and get something else next time.

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Photo of AlexF
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Petite bouteille de 33 cl.

La Prima Melior est d'une couleur brune foncée et opaque. Une mousse foncée, abondante et persistante décore le verre. De belles bulles s'échappent du fond du verre. La grande classe.

Au nez, la Prima Melior offre des touches de raisins madérisés, de chocolat et une touche metallique. Les arômes sont très agréables et laissent présager un goût exceptionnel.

En bouche, le côté ferreux metallique est très présent, conjointement à un gout de pain d'épices, de brownies.

Bien qu'excellente, la Prima Melior, en tenant compte de son style, n'offre selon moi pas une texture assez moelleuse. Cet aspect est toutefois mineur. L'alcool est très bien caché.

Haut de gamme !

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

A - Several fingers of head that died down into a nice lacey film in short order. Reddish, brown color.

S - Malty, fruity with a hint of licorice

T - Strong maltiness with alcohol warmth peeking through and the bitterness of orange peel swiftly sweeping in to offset the sweetness.

M - Some carbonation...but the sugars import a slight syrupiness.

D - I liked this one a lot. I could have had more, though it was very filling.

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Photo of doktordebris
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a 11.2 from the Foodery(?) in Northern Liberties, Philly. It was the next drink I had after a glass of the great Geants' Goliath an hour earlier at The Belgian Cafe, where it was so loud that I kind of damaged my throat just trying to converse with my friends. So, I know you're not supposed to review a beer with handicaps like this, but the Prima Melior still treated me with a more than substantial, even inspiring after-dinner drinking experience.

A: Poured into some funky shaped goblet/cocktail glass thingy(closest to a proper glass my friend had available). Foamed up pretty nicely, left the lees for later. A thick beige head topped a dark warm brown, leaving just a bit of lacing.

S: No hoppy smell, just rich dark malt, with a deep sweetness that made me think of fruitcake. Followed by some citrusy highlighting.

T: Ahh.. Perfect for the holidays. Big and chocolatey rich, yet graceful down the hatch, warming at the finish. The most surprising element I noticed was the orangepeel, good to see it used in something other than a Wit for once. Poured in the leftover lees, which put an exclamation point on the citrus, with a little breadiness to compliment. The combination reminds me of how I've always enjoyed chocolate and oranges together, and this time especially following the Goliath and mussels I had for dinner earlier.

Mf: Carbonation was perfect for a belgian. Thick, but more accessible for those usually scared off by belgian darks.

D: I thought this was very drinkable, didn't get too sweet as time went on. Not too over the top, even with it's concentration on maltiness, yet plenty complex for any beersnob.

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Photo of supercolter
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beers started out with a massive creamy colored head, I had to stop pouring it into my 28 oz. glass and let it settle for a while. Very nice looking beer, decent lacing.
Smell and taste are pretty good, the roasted malt really steps forward followed by alcohol, and a slight touch of candy.
Mouthfeel is well above average, kind of floats on the palate.
Drinkability is only inhibited by the slightly disparate taste of alcohol.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle 33cl, tasted in 2000.

Appearance : Mahogany dark, clear, well saturated. Foam creamy beige fairly stable.
Smell : spicy liqueur aroma, rich and deep, spicy and sweet.
Taste and mouthfeel : picy, smooth covering acridity, mouth and structured very aromatic. Post-bitter taste and rear full. Heady.
Drinkability : The floreffe "meilleure" is a good beer in the style of massive ale

Reviewed 11-10-2007, translated in english 1-5-2008.

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

A 750ml bottle, with a best before date of 12/18/2008, it's a youngin'. The front label says brewed with spices (star anise, orange peel), while the back cites anise and corriader, so maybe all three? We'll see...

Poured into my old Abbaye d'Aulne goblet, Prima Melior is a dark, hazy garnet with a thin but long lasting bone colored heard that leaves moderate foamy lace.

The smell is nice and rich malt, more on the cured side of the dark fruits, with some definite citrus, which I find unusual for a BSDA, but works well here, especially with the anise, which is fainter.

The taste is semi-sweet, a nice citrus tartness behind the aforementioned cured fruits, a la raisin and fig, with a hint of anise. Very smooth and balanced, with quite a lot of depth. A touch roasty, but no astringency to speak of, and a slight flash of booze on the finish.

The mouthfeel is very carbonated, as this is a pretty young brew, with a medium body.

A very enjoyable BSDA that went down way to easily. It's interesting, that I bought both this and the Abbaye De Floreffe Triple at a tasting, where I definitely preferred the triple. But now that I've have a bottle of each, it's clearly the other way around. And while this surely cellars well, it's remarkably smooth at this young age.

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Photo of WesWes
3.48/5  rDev -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.

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Abbaye De Floreffe Prima Melior from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 193 ratings