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St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,016 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,016
Hads: 2,225
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 135
Gots: 287 | FT: 4
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,016 | Hads: 2,225
Photo of Frozensoul327
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My God in heaven, my luck with beer over the last two days has been amazing. This brew poured out to a dark brown color with a great 1/2 inch head of tan foam. Medium high level of carbonation. Aromas of yeast, cashews, bread, plumbs and mature malt fills the nose. Flavors of roasted nuts, heavy and full malts, a marked brown sugar element and yeasty bread notes keep the palate occupied and happy. Mouthfeel is smooth and almost creamy, with a tamed level of carbonation keeping the flavors vibrant. Great drinkability. This is another amazing, world class beer. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Outstanding looking brew! Poured into my St. B goblet...cinnamon/muddy brown with a frothy top.

The aroma is very yeasty and well spiced. malt sweetness, candied sugar, banana, raisins and prunes. throw in some earthy and musty hops to round out this phenominal smelling beer.

The flavor is equal parts sweet and spice with a splash of tart. overrippened fruits with clove and pepper mostly. dry finish.

The feel is a medium full bodied brew with ample and lively carbonation. spot on for style.

The drinkabilty doesn't get much better: great flavor and well hidden ABV plus a wonderful mouthfeel all add up to another winner from St. B

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Photo of bohemiandonut
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a beaut!

Pours a lustrous mahogany red, with a luxurious head that settles thin but paints the glass in wide, generous strokes. Vibrant as the sun on closed eyes.

Smell is strong of darkest sugary ethanol. Cherry, rum, cream. An inviting aroma to say the least. 8.00% is clearly meant in Belgian terms.

Mouthfeel: The heart of a successful bräu. Carbonation verging on assault, softened to a cloud by the complexity of its

...Taste... Ah. So good it verges on the masochistic. A long pull of the fruitiest, woodiest fermented sweet. Inseparable from its complementary perfected texture.

Such a mistake in only buying one. Not to be missed!

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Photo of Persdawg
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Popped in to give 5s across the board for this as it was the beer that put me over the craft edge years ago. Can't find it anymore in the DFW area.
This beer is hearty and delicious. Very Belgianesque. Alcohol well hidden.
The "Bros" severely underrated this as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.98/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark mahogany color, with three fingers of white-colored head that slowly dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with notes of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked sourdough bread, subtle aromas of candied sugar, toffee, some subtle aromas of dried stone fruit, such as raisins and prunes. There is also quite a bit of Belgian yeast, which imparts aromas of saddle leather, and spices of clove.

Taste: Very nice and very subtle. There are some very nice flavors of bready toasted malt, up front, followed by candied sugar and toffee-like sweetness, and the aforementioned dried stone fruit, such as raisins and prunes. Finally, there is the funky, spicy Belgian yeast, imparting spices of clove, ginger and all-spice, as well as a slight sourness at the finish. What is interesting is that these flavors are softer and more subtle than the flavors of Belgian dubbles that I’ve had. It’s quite unique and original.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy and nicely effervescent as there is quite a lot of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 8%, there is just a slight kiss of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is the third beer that I’ve had from St. Bernardus, and so far, the brewery is three, for three! This is an excellent, delicious beer!

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Photo of putnam
4.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Primal forces of nature were disturbed when I uncapped my 33cl bottle. Impatient, sluggish masses of foam ooze out of the bottle. It's darker brown than the pater 6.
Brown sugar and spice are accompanied by zesty, winey fruits of boysenberry, plum and melon on the nose. Also present are notes of anise, vanilla, nutmeg and broth.
On the palate it's dry, with brown, braised nuts folding into vanilla bean into date into pepper. Slatey, intense mineral dryness cleanses the long finish.

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Photo of ZAP
4.89/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a muddy brown color...whisp of a head....nice sweet dark fruit nose....I'm thinking rum soaked black cherries and sugar glazed plums...also a poppyseed muffin aroma...the carbonation is punched up quite a bit and that provides a zesty mouthfeel...medium bodied...richly sweet but the carbonation cuts into it some.taste is big on the dark fruits...almost a hint of doppelbock like sweetness...

This might be a little too sweet for some but I love it....dubbels are one of my least favorite belgian styles but this might be the best I've had...I'd gladly drink these all winter long...

My scores 5.0 scores all teeter between 5.o and 4.5....being this is one of the best dubbels I've had I rounded up...

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Photo of ordybill
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 330ML bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a nice fruit and malt aroma.
Appearance- Pours a reddish brown with a lot of floating sediment. Has a tan head.
Taste- Has a very balanced flavor with a great pairing of malt and fruit.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate to high carbonation
Oveall- Another excellent brew from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of Wilshade
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dubbel Ale
ABV: 8%
Glassware: Chalice

Appearance: Beautiful ruby brown body with a thin, lustrous and creamy tan head.

Smell: Malty and fruity with a hint of coconut.

Taste: Nicely balanced between bitter and sweet. Malt and fruit notes well blended.

Mouth feel: Smooth, but lively on the tongue.

Overall: Very nice abbey. The 8% ABV is well hidden, but it kicks in fairly quickly. This one goes into my personal rotation.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark amber with ruby tones on the edges. Nice healthy head of light tan that leaves heavy lacing as it falls.

Smells of yeast, bread made with nuts, bannanas and cloves. There's a certain hoppiness to the nose as well.

Tastes much like it smells with the hops and yeast noticable throughout. Excellent mouthfeel on this one.

Very drinkable. This is the third beer I have sampled from this brewery and each one has been stellar. Can't wait to try some of the other offering from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of anexetastos
4.87/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

what can i say? i have a weakness for belgian beers made properly. and this one is made very much properly.

the colot is a deep, rich amber without the yeast poured in, but an more cloudy opaque amber with the yeast swirled and poured in. as expected, the beer with the yeast has a nuttier flavor profile. without the yeast, which on this one i prefer, it is pure heavenly. i am surprised that they bill this as a dubbel, because it is quite heavy in the mouthfeel for a double, but the flavor and nose are absolutely perfect. i have now consumed over the last week four of these tasty brews, and there is no variability between them. each is just as right as the one before. i am thoroughly impressed.


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Photo of frank4sail
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew blew me away.. Brown/ruby color in the goblet. Huge beige head. Nutty (hazelnut) orange peel smell. Persistant 1 inch head. Smooth clove, nutty , cinnamon, chocolate taste. Very smooth fuller mouth. This is the beer to drink while sitting by the fire on a cool night with your dog by your side. Soo rich, smooth, and comforting. What a Dubbel should be... excellent!

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

delaney's new haven, 4/17/05

appearance: brown and dark with red highlights, patchy belgian head with wisps and beautiful marbled lacing in a red wine glass.

aroma: sweet candi sugar and malts. perfect belgian aroma, excluding the somewhat metallic and off-type scents a bottle can breed. wonderful and subtle scent.

taste: intense bitter malt with a sweet finish. lots going on here. fruits, of the darker raisiny variety, are well-obscured in the background. trappist perfection. room temp and a lack of substantial carbonation are soothing and add the slickest, pristine character to this fine brew. one that should be sampled on tap above the 12.

might i also add that i had this recently at eli's and it wasn't quite as good. as the bartender at delaney's observed, clean lines can make a dark belgian...

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Photo of yelterdow
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fabulous find. Purchased in March, 2006... the bottle reads (in Spanish, French, and Flemish) "best before end 2004"! This baby's got at least two years of age behind it, and I can't wait to see what has happened in the bottle.

Served at between cellar and fridge temperature in a Chimay chalice for maximum action.

Appearance- Pours a solid, heavy caramel brown with a terrific bone white, soapy head. The body here is extremely weighty... it looks serious. The two-finger crown mellows out to a soapy mat and leaves behind good sheets of lacing. Towards the end, I elect to swirl in all sediment... the result is a gorgeous, *gluggy* looking beer that speaks volumes in maturity and character.

Smell- Wow... here are some kicked up, sugary dark fruits (fig, date, some banana), molasses, and a little alcohol. Huge, fat malty notes doused in brown sugar are exploding in the nose. A carnival of aromas, all blended nicely together.

Taste- Smooth, rich, and totally malt-driven display of candied fig, date, and toffee flavors... with a beautiful finish that leaves a subtle "grittiness" that makes this feel all the more like dessert, not a beer. Outstanding length, it seems like hours from the sip right on through the swallow. After swirling in the sediment near the end, I bump this taste up a half-point to a perfect "5"... it's that good. The alcohol (8%) is nowhere to be found in the taste, but its warmth shows up calmly halfway through the review.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Delightfully full and rich, the carbonation is as sublime as anything I have ever experienced... I'm talking smooth, slick, seafoamy perfect, like nothing else. This is actually the finest mouthfeel to date of any beer of any style I've tried. If you see this beer aged two years, buy it... then drink it.

It's hard to put into words the overall beauty of something so phenomenal, but I guess the numbers will have to speak for themselves for now. Excellent, excellent beer, I can't recommend this one highly enough aged as this one was.

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The aroma of the ABT 8 is incredibly complex. Lots of chocolate malt combined with fruity fermentation esters (think raisins and dates) give it a candy bar type feel. Underneath the specialty malts and yeast effect is a ton of malty Belgian Pils malt aroma. Sweet.but not sugary. There's a bit of sherry that might be a little oxidation but I think it adds to the complexity.

Deep brown color, clear with a nice head that lingers as a 1/4 inch layer of tan foam that leaves pretty amazing lacing in the glass.

Taste is more of the same in complexity. Starts off malty sweet with a good dose of what tastes like crystal malt. Then the chocolate flavor kicks in with the amazing yeast profile. The yeast character gives it a ton of fruit, plums and apricots and peaches, while also giving it a bready or earthy character. There's a little pepper spice on the back end and a lingering anise flavor in the aftertaste. Bittering hops are just enough to be perceptable but oveall a malty-sweet beer.

Medium bodied and incredibly creamy. Carbonation level is a little light.

Drinkability is very nice. it's a strong beer, but not a knockout. The flavors blend really well together. I'm thinking of a ton of food pairings that would work, from sweet deserts to spicey chilis and I think all would work well. But it's also got enough heft to be a sipper by itself. This is the star of the St. Bernardus line i.m.o.

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Photo of weeare138
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An '06 11.2 oz bottle...
Appears a hazy deep burgendy toned mahogany with a 2 finger head of tan fluff. Retention is nice as is slowly fades into a pillowy cap. Scattered chunks of hearty lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of liquid raisin bread with notes of caramel, figs, plums, and brown sugar. Heaven in a glass.
Taste is of doughy yeast with smooth caramel, light spice, and raisin bread flavors that make this an addictive beer. I need to buy a case of this asap.
Mouthfeel is silky smooth, mildly warming, chewy with doughy, raisiny flavors lingering.
This small bottle version is much, much better than the 25 ouncer, IMO.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As always, this is an excellent brew from St. Bernadus. These monks have managed to bottle the heavenly nectar in a variety of different flavors. The beer pours to a dark nutty brown color with a thick off-white head. The opacity and carbonation of this brew give the appearance of a coca-cola, but the smell and the taste beg to differ. The smell is beatifully floral and fruity as one would expect from an abbey ale. The taste is very similar to the ABT12, but perhaps a little lighter, and definately lighter on the alcohol. It is very well balanced, though the delicious caramel malt obviously shines through along with other sweet candy flavors. I recommend this or any other St. Bernadus product to anybody.

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Photo of diablo14
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow! what a beer. i cant remember being so moved by a beer since the first time i had gouden carolus. a total gem.

poured with one of the most intriuging colors ive ever seen. almost a puce like color, it resembled fresh dark grape juice. if anyones been to a grape stomping festival youll know what i mean. marvellous head also. beige color that was speckled with brown and remained huge throughout. magnificent nose, a real sensory awakening. huge malt factor, chocolatey, dried fruits present, wonderful sweet candy sugar and yeast aromas. flavors resemble the same, with cloves, and also had the taste of new red grapes as well as dried, with citrus zest also. some toffee like tinges coming thru too. has a medicinal character with a great hop balance that wasnt bitter, but had a lovely dryness. totally perfect. rich and incredibly clean all at once. reminded me a little of norfolk punch. not to mention the multitude of jets that were shooting up the side of my duvel glass for the whole perimeter. spectacular.

one of the truly great belgian beers and one ill be giving further inspection for the rest of my beer drinking life. fair dinkum, beer drinking doesnt get much better than this. a bona fide classic.

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Photo of aaronh
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Walnut colored body topped by a great, clinging tan head. Aroma is sweet, with nice fruity scents, a touch of oaken vanilla, and caramelized sugars. Flavor is complex, with cherry fruit, vanilla, caramel, a touch of dark chocolate, and figs. A slight bitterness shows through, then more sweet malt and fruit flavors come through. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with pretty much perfect carbonation. Drinkability is superb. This is definitely a great experience. The Pater is good, but this is twice as nice.

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice mahogany colour, with orange hints when held to the light... Off-white, healthy head holds nicely.

The smell carries a dark maltiness laced with spice, and some hops near the end. There are hints of orange and papaya here.

On first taste, you're hit by a subtle spiciness that builds in the back of the mouth, and moves forward in a wave that releases a dark maltiness along with a bit of brown sugar, orange, and just hint of cherry. It's also a bit yeasty. And maybe I'm imagining it, but there seems to be an ever so subtle cinnamon tone in it.

On the mouth, there's a tight fizziness up front that gives way to a pleasant slightly thick consistency, and just a touch of sliminess on the front of the tongue, that is not unpleasant.

I find this rather drinkable, but at 8%, it better not be an extended session. Very nice. This will NOT be my last encounter with Prior 8.

Be well

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky light shoe brown color, massive soapy tan head; incredible patchy lacing. Fruity aroma, plums and dark grapes, yeast and bubble gum detected as the head settles down. Creamy and pasty; the palate is rich and full, sugar, cotton candy, raisins and rum soaked nuts, should there be such a thing. An on-going and rotating offering of more flavorings, plums, cloves, and even some citrus. Belly warming affect, but not overpowering; flavorful and palate-pleasing, this is a winner. Drinkability is off the charts, dare I venture into ‘sessionable-Dubbel?’ A perfect offering for those just getting started on the Belgium side of the beer arena and a tasty treat for seasoned BA’s.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Light beige head, good retention on a hazy, amber body. Soapy, suddsy, sticky lacing. Aroma is vanilla, raisin, biscotti, fig, feint chocolate. Taste closely follows the aromas. Alcohol is very well hidden, this beer is extremely easy to drink for 8%. Delicious in every way, shape and form.

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Photo of garbercury
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this in Brooklyn for a very reasonable price. The beer store was phenomenal and had all the biggies (out of Rochefort 10) It was being a kid at Xmas at that place. Drinking this in my Corsendonk glass and...

App--slightly lighter than the Abt 12, but still a beautiful brown color that a fantastic dubbel owns. Nice three finger head which only adds to the look.

S--so complex. tones of fruit make for a wonderful admixture

Taste--Oh St. Bernardus, here you go again. wonderful taste that makes your mouth happy. so much going on, flavor galore.

Mouthfeel--Silk, just great

Drinkability--Not quite the abt 12, but just on the heels and good enough to still score a 5. This is one of the best beers in the world and one I would gladly drink everyday of my life. Nice heady beer that is must drink, especially if you love the best...Belgian beer.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: deep mahogany, and slightly hazy, Prior 8 (P8) displays a beautiful head that is as light as a cloud and the color of the froth on a cappacino. The head retention is incredible.

S: bouquet is well presented, with a heavy dose of clove and just a touch of banana. There are also several minor players in thus elegant bouquet that I'm not able to name.

T: P8 delivers a level of complexity that is only surpassed by the Trappist offerings, and even then only just barely. Clove, unidentified spice, a touch of banana, prunes, apricots; it's all in there. The flavors are there, but no single flavor dominates another. The yeast profile is also not cloying, but subtle.

M: creamy, but not to the extent of the Abt12 or the other trappist dubbels. Nonetheless, the mouthfeel of P8 is one of its most admirable attributes.

D: it is hard to shell out $4 for a breweries middle beer, when the top shelf bottle can be had for $5. Despite this, I strongly recommend that you try this brew. It is among the most well crafted from one of the best breweries in the world.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 750mL bottle poured into a goblet... a little over $8 at Oliver's in Albany.
For my money this is better than Rochefort 8.
My palate seems to agree with my wallet.
Maybe the best dubbel I've encountered so far.
Every aspect of this brew kept me wanting more.
I kept wanting to smell and taste this... there was something in the flavor that I couldn't quite pin down but I know I like it.
Has a lovely mild spicyness that pulses throughout the experience... a light to medium body in the mouthfeel that made this a pleasure to come back to sip after sip.
Its got soul.
And it's supah-bad.
Which is good.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,016 ratings.