St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,146 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,146
Reviews: 1,008
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.65%
Wants: 125
Gots: 246 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 09-27-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,146 | Reviews: 1,008
Reviews by yeaprolly:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Premo88
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bomber poured into Orval goblet

L: classic dubbel brown with a mix of clarity in parts and plenty of debris/murk/cloudiness mixed in ... looks just a bit thin; shows good carbonation but doesn't push up much of a head, maybe 1/4-inch at most, foam is tan; keeps a small, tight collar

S: grapes, wine ... so sweet and fruity, plums and figs ... *maybe* dates but it keeps the dubbel lighter fruitiness, doesn't approach raisins/licorice; closest it gets is maybe fruitcake/raisin bread

T: fruity fruit and fruit ... grapes, plums, figs and very sweet; in fact, the sweetness might be overdone, for it lacks that yeast pop some dubbels have -- that yeasty pop usually competes with the sweet but it doesn't here; at times, a bit of alcohol taste creeps in in the form of wine -- and almost a bit of a red wine mixed into the sweeter desert white wine, perhaps like a sangria

F: light ... watery for an abbey ale, but it's still good and full from the carbonation; dangerously drinkable

O: fantastic brew all-around even if it lacks a few things -- mainly that yeasty pop that I'd compare to almost a pizza crust that some dubbels have. this one doesn't, so it's very sweet and would definitely be an easy brew for the abbey ale novice to get behind (unless they hate sugar); hard not to like and WAY too easy to drink; I could chug this brew, it's so light and drinkable

Photo of TheHammer
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: It poured with a half finger of head that quickly disappeared into a single island on the beer. The island retained exceptionally well, but that doesn't say much. The body itself is a cloudy brown with touches of red that has a healthy amount of carbonation.

Smell: Warming helps this beer's aromatics come out, but even then it's not overly complex. It has the scene of white wine with a caramel malt background that kinda wonders why it's here. I mean nothing bad to speak of here, but nothing amazing. That said, this mild flavour certainly conceals what you are in store for.

Taste: Oh dear me that is good, rich toffee malt with hints of strawberries starts off our journey as the beer calmly turns to rich figs, plums, grapes and mild butterscotch notes come in building to a crescendo with mild bitter citrus, toasted malt and a touch of apple. I know Trappist style beer and Belgian yeast is renowned for it's fruity flavour, but this one takes the cake. I'm really surprised that I didn't notice any of this stuff in the nose, but even at the end of the beer, that nose remains that same white wine and malt scent.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is exceptionally well done but points get deducted for the lack of head. The transitioning is simply euphoric and the aftertaste is a mild caramel malt, apple blend. It does cling a little bit on the back of the tounge, but thankfully it doesn't continue to build upon itself as you drink it.

Drinkability: This stuff is dangerously easy to drink, but is a bit heavier then expected as it leaves me feeling like I ate a quick lunch. A lunch that got me wrecked mind you as it conceals it's ABV dangerously well. Completely skews any kind of dry sensations I sometimes encounter with the style which is also a bonus. Only thing keeping it from perfect is how heavy it seems to sit in my stomach.

Final Thoughts: Well after a lacklustre start, this beer pulled itself together and produced a genuinely great experience, scoring in my eyes where it counts. This is without a doubt the best St. Bernardus beer I've had thus far. It's a little heavy, but this is a beer you save for a special occasion. Two thumbs up.

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep murky brown with a awesome big fluffy head that settles into a nice creamy top leaving sheets of lace behind,brown sugar and orange marmalade dominate the aromas with some underlying sweet biscuit dough.The taste is much drier than expected,some clovey spicinessis very prevelant along with some unsweetened chocolate along with some toffee finishing pretty rather dry and abrupt.A very nice dubbel complex and not overly sweet a very good beer one to savor.

Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The body came out solid dark with a nice, tan head.

Smell – The roasted malt aroma mixed well with the dark brown, raw, and cane sugars. There’s also some dark, ripe fruitiness to this one, predominantly apricots and bananas.

Taste – The sugars really come out at the tongue. They are evenly balanced though by the strong, dark malt flavor that resembles chocolate bread and the noticeable alcohol notes.

Mouthfeel – Very creamy and carbonated. This AT is medium-bodied (on the heavy side) and chewy.

Drinkability – This was a wonderful ale that went down nicely and was a joy to consume.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The bottle let off a wonderful whoosh of carbonation upon opening. This was a good start. The prior 8 poured a cloudy, true brown. The lacing is perfect and lasts the entire life of the beer. Very aggressive carbonation makes this beer a real pleasure to drink.

Smell: Creamy scents of butter, bread, chicory, and hardwoods. Not particularly astonishing but decent enough.

Taste: Rich twangs of grains and dark malts pound the tounge. Somewhat nutty, light on the hops but decent enough.

Mouthfeel: As I mentioned earlier, the carbonation is just wonderful and perfectly balanced in this beer. The beer is quite sweet but the alcohol adds a necessary tang at the end followed by plenty of warming in the belly.

Drinkability: Very easy on the mind, lips, and belly. I could happily polish off a couple more little bottles like this one but will probably stick to the Strong Darks, which I prefer more then Dubbels in general.

Notes: This beer perfectly compliments a nice cheese and fruit spread.

Photo of tectactoe
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky, leather-looking brown color; almost fully opaque with some really tiny bits of off-colored sediment hanging in suspension and revealing the unfiltered nature of the brew. A foamy, dingy, off-white head tops the beer off and lasts for what seems like days as it leaves some gorgeous legging down the sides of the glass.

The initial aroma is sharp, pronounced, and very carbonated; grapes, apple skins, pears, ripe plums, slight earthiness, dirt, faint caramel, brown sugar. Very sweet and lively on the nose. Upon warming, light banana and spices come out. The Belgian yeast certainly doesn't go unnoticed here. Very complex aroma all around.

The taste begins with a nice dose of heavy, sweet grapes and juicy plums. Candied dates, sugar-coated raisins, spices, clove, cinnamon, apple skins, sweet caramel, toffee, light cocoa powder... Do you see all those things I just listed? How the fuck did I identify all of that stuff? I don't know. But it's all there. This beer is seriously complex and really quite amazing.

Phenols are present as they are in many Belgian ales, but they are pretty mild and unobtrusive here. The sweetness from the fruit and malt flavors couple perfectly with the brown and burnt sugar flavors, both of which are kept in check by the Belgian yeast and spices. Hops are far from the forefront, but still can be detected, though remain muddled, musty, and somewhat quiet. But in all honesty, they aren't missed all that much here.

This beer is an unabashed, sweet malty bomb, and an incredibly complex one at that. Some light fruitiness, toffee, and sweet sugar in the aftertaste. Even as this beer warms, it gets sweeter and sweeter without ever becoming cloying. Highly carbonated with a medium body, almost creamy, and slightly frothy. The mouth feel alone could tell you that this is a well-crafted Belgian ale.

Damn, I was definitely impressed with this one. After having the Pater 6, my hopes weren't THAT high for this one (I mean, it's just a stronger version, right?) Wrong. This beer is great, and in my opinion, severely underrated. A super-complex compound of fruit, malt, sugar, musk, hops, spices, and yeast. This is a must have for lovers of the style, and even a good choice to convert people who are hesitant.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken on 4-23-11.

Prior 8 appears a deep, mahogany-brown color with a pillowy, puffy, three-finger head when poured into a large snifter. The bottle was an immediate gusher. The color of the head is khaki-cream, and the scale of the lacing it leaves behind is huge- gobby, sticky, and phat.

The smell is straight sweet, bready goodness. I smell lots of candied fruit aromas- apple, raisin, plum, date, and dried cherry. The fruitiness melds with brown sugar and a light caramel influence. Some clove and pepper scents lend a spicy element, and doughy, sweet, almost cinnamon roll aromas also arise from the beer. The spicier smells really come through when the beer is agitated.

This is a very good, balanced flavor. The brown sugar taste blends seamlessly with the dark, sweet fruits and the spicy notes. There is an ever-so-slight phenolic flavor which adds an interesting twang to the overall taste. The finish is spicy, earthy, and decently drying.

Prior 8 has a solid, medium-full mouthfeel with a good creamy body in the middle of each quaff. I get a tangy feel on the tip of my tongue at the beginning and end of each sip, with a nice dryness on the sides of my tongue at the end of the sip.

This is a very good Dubbel. If anything, it might be a tad sweet and tangy, but overall I found it very tasty and satisfying.

Photo of kaimcm
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 bottle poured into a St. Berny goblet

A: deep, deep brown body, creamy clean white head with lots of lacing. agitation brings back the froth with little to no effort. a grand site in a grand St. Berny goblet.

S: fresh and baked green fruit, apples, malt, sugar, dark candied fruit and sugar, rum, on and on, a hint of alcohol.

T: first wave is velvety malt, a splash of sugar, then the dark fruits pull through, raisons, dates, followed by the green nose, apples, some nuts, maybe licorice. molasses and some dark sugars reminiscent of rum. finish just lingers and lingers, drying quite a bit while cold but as the beer warms finishes a touch sweeter. coats the whole mouth and keeps evolving.

M: Luscious, creamy, velvety, with a nice prick of the tongue and just enough chew. If it were a hint better it would be a 5.

Just awesome, a complex and delicious brew. Right on for this nectar.

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light head after pour. Foamed up nicely, but came down quickly. Amber/reddish color a little like cream soda. Initial smell is sweet fruit and a touch of alcohol

Taste is malty with a bit of bread on it. Some citrus on the back end and a little bit of hops. Well balanced with alcohol content. The beer is fairly fizzy like a warm soda-it foams just a little bit in the mouth. Not as smooth as it could be because of carbonation. I let it warm just a little bit and the carbonation dies down and a smoother flavor develops with a little sour apple with the alcohol on the finish.

Overall very enjoyable beer but I don't see myself drinking more than 2 in one evening.

Photo of skybluewater
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a goblet a nice cherry color, with quite a nice head. Smells very malty, with a hint of cherry. Taste is quite the same, highly malty, with dark fruits and cherry coming through. This actually tastes a bit like cough syrup (I mean that in a good way!), including the mouthfeel.

Contrary to others, I happen to like this one more than Pater 6. Very tasty stuff here.

Photo of blitz134
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light brown when poured from the bottled, but quite dark when in the glass. Nice red hues when held to the light. Voluptuous light tan head that settled down to a quarter inch and eventually a thin while leaving nice lacing behind.

Nice dark fruit flavors, some cherry, but I get a bit more raisin and fig characters. Slight phenols and alcohol notes play well with the fruity esters, a touch of leather notes too.

Flavor is again dark fruits, raisiny with a finish leaning towards a touch of prunes. Also a light roasted character at the end. Alcohol is noticable but smooth. Yeast phenolics throughout. "Brew Like a Monk" states that St. B water is high in salt, and I think that it definately has a brine edge to it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slighty sweet in the finish but dries up towards the end. A bit of prickly carbonation on the tongue.

Overally a very nice beer, as was expected from St. B. Pretty easy to drink, fairly complex, everything a Belgian should be really.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25oz bottle into a wine glass.

Lovely head filled with bubbles. Frothy and off-white. Reddish-brown body.

Spicy, lively nose. Belgian yeasts and malts abound.

A very malty, nutty taste. The alcohol is pretty noticeable, but not in an offensive, or off-putting way. It just makes its presence known, and then clears the way for you to savor the bouquet of flavors abundant in this beer. Hearty and almost chewy. A very filling and satisfying beer. The mouthfeel leaves you smacking your lips and wanting more.

I'd love to have more! Supposedly a local store will be stocking St. Bernardus soon.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderful beer. Served in a goblet, it was a dark brown with a thick, sticky head. It had a caramel, dark fruit, and roasted grain aroma. It tasted as it smelled, nice caramel flavor, a little fruity, some hops. Smooth, good mouthfeel. 8% ABV means I could drink more than one at a time.

Photo of warnerry
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 28 October 2015

A - Pours a semi-murky dark brown with hints of prange. One finger of light tan head has excellent retention and leaves some decent lacing.

S - Lots of fruit up front, with a strong white grape aroma. Also some brown bread and a light spiciness.

T - Spice presence is more pronounced in the taste, which also has a strong fruit presence. earthy brown bread comes in midway and last through the finish. Flavors are good throughout, if a bit on the light side.

M - Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium. Slight earthy bitterness. Finished semi-dry.

O - Definitely a high quality dubbel, but didn't blow me away. I would have it again though.

Photo of sponberg
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy brown with a thin beige head. A malty, vanilla-y aroma - smells like a decoction brew.

Taste follows through on the nose - chocolatey, nutty, maltinmess with a definite decoctionlike flavor, hints of banana and vanilla in the background. Very round mouthfeel, with a slight but notable warming surge o' alcohol in the finish. Very nice, very drinkable, but somehow not a "gottahavanotha" brew.

Photo of Beaver13
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, best before 3/2/10. Pours a reddish brown with a large fizzy head that quickly goes to a thin film.

The aroma is sweet woody malts, some dough, some cream, and a little pepper.

The flavor is sweet bready malts, dark fruits, and yeast with a slight bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium-full and a little harsh on the carbonation.

Overall, it is rather similar to the Pater 6. I liked that one better though.

Photo of generallee
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 11.2oz bottle into a chalice. The bottle has a best before date of 28 06 12 and it was consumed on 6-23-09.

Appearance: The body has a dark burgundy color with lighter reddish high lights. On top the head was about one finger thick and hangs on well but slowly fades to a ring of foam around the edge of the glass. It is light tan in color and makes some spotty and slippery lacing.

Smell: Dark fruity and estery notes mix with a mild sweet alcohol presence.

Taste/Mouth: Its flavor has a pleasant sweet and malty complexity. There are hints of dates and figs sweetened by Belgian sugar, warmed by a mellow brandy like alcohol presence and tempered by some mild bitterness of hops. The palate has a smooth but lively texture with active carbonation.

Notes: This beer is another solid brew from St. Bernardus.

Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl brown bottle with a “drink before end of 2004” on the side of the label. Sediment is a bit restless so with ¼ of the bottle left I stopped pouring.

Appearance: Good foaming action from a very active carbonation at the start. The lace stays as long as the beer is there with some clinging activity.

Smell: Creamy aroma of a cream soda, very faint buttery diacetyl, solvent alcohol and some dark fruit to mix things up.

Taste: Big and flexing malt presence, a real mellow twang and bready grain ride upfront. Carob and chicory come from the dark malts, residual dextrin trickle down the taste buds with a nutty almond like flavour. Light on the hops but a rounded phenolic flavour helps to balance. Slightly sweet finish with a growth of alcohol warmth in the end.

Mouthfeel: Plush smoothness rolls around in the mouth and the perfect level of carbonation rushes through.

Drinkability & Notes: A tasty little brown brew that has more punch than it shows. Well worth the try and if you like sweet dark brews this is a must.

Thanks to D & V International for the sample.

Photo of tjthresh
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pured with a frothy off white head. Brown, but has some ruby and purpleish hues when held to light. I get very little from the aroma. Maybe some chocolate, raisin, mostly malt.Fairly heavy on the palate. Light carbanation. No real sign of the 8% alcohol until you swallow, and the just a hint. I’d say I’d go buy another couple of bottles and put the in the cellar, but I don’t think that is what this beer needed. Actually, this beer is probably exactly as intended, just not wowing me

Photo of merlin48
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle served at cellar temp. into a St Bernardus goblet. Pours a somewhat murky dark chestnut brown, with a light cocoa head that has excellent retention. Sheet lacing all over the goblet is impressive to behold. Aroma is of a classic Belgian of this style. Earthiness, spices such as cloves and coriander, a whiff of alcohol, and the tug of war between the dark fruits and the pineapple/mango/banana. Moderate carbonation tingles the mouth, before seeming to melt like a marshmallow. Taste is not nearly as complex as the nose, or as other St Bernardus offerings I've sampled, but is very well balanced with a hop presence to counter the sweet malt backbone. Finish is clean and a bit dry. Nothing to complain about here, and this one is another St Bernardus that made me glad I bought the 4 bottle sampler pack that included the nice goblet. Wish I had bought the other 3 sampler packs that were left on the shelf.

Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, caged and corked. Best before dating found here on the top of the cage. Pours cloudy, warm honey brown.Lots of yeast in the final pour. Head is huge, tan, very long standing , world class lace production. Nose is an interesting mix of soap/ginger/spice/sugar and perfume. Lucious brew. Heady. Complex. A ton of warming fruit flavors. Spicy. Herbal. Sweet. Flows smoothly of the tongue, warms the throat and stimulates the senses. Fine, fine brew.

Photo of fdrich29
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 FL. OZ. bottle. The label explains when you should drink this beer by in four different languages, none of which are English. Going on my 10th grade Spanish and some common sense it appears to say drink before the end of 2004.

Pours a deep caramel with a lovely, considerable head. Smells distinctly Belgian (duh). Sweet bready smell, alcohol, some fruit, citrus on the nose. Nice malt flavor, bread, sweetness, some citrus. I was hooked at the first sip, great tasting brew. Satin smooth in the mouth and easily drinkable. I will be looking for this again the next time I make a Belgian brew trek to Marty's in Newton, Mass.

Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, clear, dark brown in color, some sediment

Smell: dark fruit and malt

Taste: dark sweet fruit, cidery apple, plum, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: smooth, semi-sweet, medium light bodied, high carbonation

Drinkability: I did not enjoy this as much as the 6, but liked the dark fruit. That being said I will search for this again and would not pass it by.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is medium brown colored with a tannish head. The beer is hazy and you cannot see through it. The aroma is caramel and toffee with some molasses mixed in. I also get a little bit of dark fruit. The flavor is full of caramel, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and a little bit of grape/other dark fruit. The alcohol is barely noticeable and the beer is very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Byeast
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky , dark , reddish-brown , with a large foamy head that never left. Lots of carbonation rising. Left a creamy lacing. Nose is very sweet-creamy , with fruit and some alcohol. Taste is also fairly sweet,rich, and malty. As it warmed , more fruity flavors(pear etc.) arose. Also a bit of a medicinal taste and spice in the finish with just a slight bit of hops. Full and nicely carbonated mouthfeel. This is indeed a very tasty and rich Dubbel and i enjoyed it.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,146 ratings.