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St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,898 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,898
Reviews: 971
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 103
Gots: 148 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 09-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,898 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hopswagger
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

P: A murky dirty dark pond water body with a creamy froth of khaki head with excellent retention.

S: Salty caramel apples, roasted cinnamon and sugar coated pecans, sweet molasses, dark candy sugar, prunes, subtle herbal gum and a syrupy sweetness.

T/M: Roasted caramel and dark sugar malt with a spicy phenolic fruit profile. Smoldered grain, boozy prunes, old school gum, sugary pecan pound cake, green and red apples and roasted ground spices. Prickly carbonation in a medium body. Finish has a burnt barley flavor and lightly smoked wood.

O: Good stuff but I think I like Pator 6 better. Good balance of flavors and a huge dose of spice.

Hopswagger, Jun 19, 2013
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.

tigg924, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of jmz62565
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown mahogony with a giamy foamy head. Carbonation is crazy in this beer. The smell has alcohol, roasted malt,nuts, and dark fruit. The taste,like the smell, has nuts,roasted malt, and dark fruit. A good flavor,but I was a little disapointed that this is nothing really special. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing well ,except that the aftertaste is abit watery. Not a bad beer and you can't really taste the alcohol,but I was a little disapointed because I expected more from this brewery.

jmz62565, Sep 23, 2006
Photo of Realale
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep rich slightly opaque mahogany. Lots of chunks, but these settle quickly. Extremely fine beige 2" head settles slowly to a solid 1/4" leaving huge amounts of lace.

Nose is very rich and complex. Sugary caramel over sweet bready malt. Touch of rum and raisin. Bit of citrus zest as well, adding lift. Classic.

On the heavy side in the mouth. Quite sweet, which overpowers the underlying malt at this time. No hop apparent, and only a bit of acidity and the carbonation to try to balance the sweetness. Rummy notes come out, but no palate impression from the alcohol Needs time in the cellar to resolve. Finish is long, and sweet.

Mouthfeel is very good. Fine, soft bottle-conditioned goodness. Gives what balance there is to the palate and nice length to the finish. Too sweet at this stage to rate highly on the drinkability scale. Nice with a slice of fruitcake or on its own as dessert at this stage in its development.

330 ml bottle. Best before date of end of 2004.

Realale, Nov 09, 2003
Photo of mralphabet
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into St. Bernardus Goblet.

A: Brownish Orange in color, little murky. Nice 1 fingers worth of head that settles to a nice layer. Pretty good lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Pretty strong aroma of dark fruits... Cherries & raisins are pretty strong. I'm also getting a touch of sweetness, kind of a sweet mix of caramel and molasses... then there is a little alcohol floating around.

T: All the smells are here.... First thing I'm getting is the sweetness, followed quickly by some tart fruit notes and finishing with a warming alcohol feel... the warm sensation lingers around for awhile.

M: Medium bodied, carbonates is sharp and crisp at first, but gets a little more creamy as it warms.

D: Pretty strong beer here, sit back and enjoy this one... One was enough for me. Pretty tasty, strong flavors and pretty well balanced.

My First St. Bernadus... very good, cannot wait for the next one.

mralphabet, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of artoolemomo
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Close to a gusher (foam was peaking out of the bottle after I opened it) which pours up a good amount of head with big bubbles but good retention. The body is an off white with hints of beige while the body is a maroon softened by purple hues. It shows dark amber at the base when held up to the light. Considerable lacing is left behind. As I drink more, sheeting is shown.

Nose- Quite nice- I really have to become acquainted with more dubbels. Raisins, raisins, and more raisins. This is the dominant aspect both from the bottle and the glass. The bottle is sweeter and shows some cherry, almost fruitcake notes. The glass shows a bit of creaminess with notes of brown bread and caramel. Some brown sugar and molasses from the bottle. Swirling shows almost nothing but raisin. Faint hint of bubblegum as well.

Taste- Reflective of the nose but seemingly more complex. Raisins start the flavor profile but stronger notes (at least stronger than the aroma) of brown bread, brown sugar, and molasses begin to appear. This beer has a very vinous quality to it. Echoes red grapes. Ends with a little spice from the yeast (notes of banana and coriander) which seems to indicate (very light) roasted malts, a hint of smoke (maybe even tobacco), and sherry. Some wood. Very complex but still quite subtle. Nothing really hits you in the face. Not that it lacks presence; it simply has incredible integration. In a way, it seems like the poor man's quadrupel. A tad bit of bubblegum but it isn't too distracting. Some figs. Pretty good beer and a damn solid one at that.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with a good amount of syrup. There's a good amount of carbonation but it doesn't really distract at all.

Drinkability- A couple flavor notes that are slightly objectionable but the overall beer is so well integrated that this doesn't seem to matter. 4 bucks for a 330 mL is pretty standard for Belgians.

Overall- Solid. Very good beer. I think, at the moment, Westmalle Dubbel gets the win over this beer but it's close. Definitely worth a try. Not cheap, but no Belgians are.

artoolemomo, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of jaluria
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown color with loads of foam that just sits there and leaves intricate lacing behind in my goblet. Aromas of plums, raisins, alcohol, and dark berries seem to come out. The taste closely resembles the aromas with the addition of an astringent flavor in the finish that draws out the fruity sweetness and imparts a rough and rather powerful aftertaste. The texture in my mouth starts off rich, but turns into a slightly bready and stickly texture. The drinkability takes a hit because of the texture and the finish, but otherwise an enjoyable beer.

jaluria, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of DUBinMIA
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a chalice from growler. hazy mud brown color with 1 in. head that is almond color and diminishes to about a 1/4 in covering.

smell is of malt and some floral hop notes... not as aromatic as i was expecting for this beer.

taste is rich in malt flavor that starts smooth and finishes crisp with an alcoholic tang at the very end.

very full bodied an filling beer. lower carbonation than i expected but doesn't effect the mouth feel that much

overall this is a good beer. probably my 2nd favorite from Waton topped only by ABT 12... A MUST TRY!!!

DUBinMIA, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of AMo
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

St. Bernardus Prior 8 pours a reddish brown with a short cream colored head. It gives off a mild smell that is a bit yeasty. The taste is mellow, with hints of fruit and a slight yeast aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, but also highly carbonated. This is definitely a good beer to drink, but the high carbonation and yeasty aftertaste hinders this brews drinkability a bit for me.

AMo, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of jrallen34
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 11oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer is dark brown with a light tan head. The head rises about 3 fingers, falling quickly to leave a soapy head. As it falls it leaves a trail of lacing down the side of the glass.

The aroma is medium in strength with lots of malts, bready, biscuity, yeasty/clovey. There is also a little alcohol and at the end some sweetness. Lots going on, very complex.

The taste is pretty sweet, but not a ton of flavor, unlike the aroma. Its pretty bready.

The feel is a little to watery for me, but good drinkability.

Overall, this is ok, not a great dubbel, subpar St. Bernardus beer.

jrallen34, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of BillyBoysPie
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a pilsener style glass at Aufsturtz, Berlin, Germany. Apparently they were out of other glassware...

Dark brown with golden notes. Pale tan head, eighth-inch, lacing.

Smells of cinnamon and dried apples with a touch of chocolate, alcohol, and other indistinguishable spices.

Very, very sweet. A bit too sweet for me, almost slaps my mouth shut and leaves a syrupy feel behind. Brown sugar and dried apples dominate with a heavy alcohol feel. It's not bad at all - it's good - but it could be much better.

More carbonation would help this beer, but it's fine the way it is. Very heavy in the mouth. The flavor causes more problems than the mouthfeel.

It's a good beer, but there are better examples of this style. No reason not to drink this though.

BillyBoysPie, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of bditty187
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Murky dark brown, tan highlights… thick beige head, over a finger’s worth. Excellent retention; rings lace. Lovely Dubbel nose… sweet alcohol, malty and organic, spicy with fruity hints. Inviting. Pleasantly spicy palate with strong undercurrents of malty alcohol. A licorice note is unleashed midway through with a nice organic finish. The alcohol might be a tad blunt. The “dark” fruitiness mingles well... there are plenty of subtle nuances. The carbonation is heavy and it adds harshness to the palate. Medium-full body. Overall this is a decent and agreeable beer, it does lack a little but for the cost, it is worth a try.

bditty187, Jun 08, 2003
Photo of charlesw
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown yet clear (not so much so that you can see through it). Medium height, light-brown head that is very dense.
Can't really smell much going on in there. Maybe just a teeny tiny hint of a caramel malt.
Ah. But it has a great big mouth of caramel. Thick and chewy and rich and sweet. No off flavors. A hint of caramel in the aftertaste.
Thick enough in the body and plenty enjoyable.

charlesw, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of Eisen
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a goblet: Cloudy brown with medium foamy white head that faded quickly into nothing but a spacey cafe layer. Smells of chocolate and burnt espresso, and dates and plums. Tastes slightly of ginger, nutmeg, banana, date, plum, oak. Mouthfeel slightly watery mixed with booze. There are better doubles, probably. However, a very good beverage that one should enjoy at least once.

Eisen, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of kkipple
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This came to me out of the St. Bernardus 4 bottle gift pack. Poured into the nifty St. Bernie goblet that came with said pack.

Beer is a deep amber-brown, with *lots* of yeast bits floating in the liquid. There's plenty of foam atop the brew, and some fantastic lacing going on. Retention is flawless.

Initially smells of a sharp, tannic wine. As the beer warms, more scents emerge. Yeast, white wine, alcohol, fruit, and brown sugar. Smell remains strong till the end.

Taste reminds me of very tart figs, and a fruity wine. Tannic flavor in the smell is in full force here, but gives way to more of a sour/sweetness as the beer sits at room temperature. It's tart and warming, but balances the fruit with the malts quite well. The finish is moist and slightly warm.

This is a fine Dubbel, and what Chimay Red should aspire to. Looks great, smells great, goes down smooth. I have to admit that Dubbels aren't my favorite style by a long shot, but I enjoyed the Prior 8.

kkipple, May 30, 2006
Photo of dedrinker
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh pastry dough with a dash of yeast. Faint currant flavor with hints of glazed donut.This is like a glass of your favorite local donut shop at three in the morning when they are cranking out the next day's pastries. I recommend that you drink it at three in the morning, or at least before bedtime. I can really get into these flavors, and I'm generally over dark strong bottled conditioned Belgian beers. Good job. Solid.

dedrinker, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of Rumrunner
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle.

A very well made ale but it is too sweet for me.

It pours a deep brown. A large off white head. Head dissipates but lacing stays and sticks to the glass nicely. The scents are sweet and brown sugar is very present. Carbonation tickles the nose while the floral hops peek out around caramel and sweet malts.

The flavors are very sweet. Brown sugar, carob and caramel are very present. This is a ver malty brew. Hops are floral and provide a balance to the ale. The hops flavor is minimal. This ale is really about the malts. After the hops sneak hot for a hello there is a toasted breadiness and a big buttery finish. A very well put together ale, but it is just too sweet for me.

If feels like watery syrup. Medium bodied. Carbonation fills the mouth. It is not an ale I would personally drink more than one in a row. This is definately a dessert ale for my tastes.

Rumrunner, Nov 11, 2003
Photo of WesM63
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz sampler poured into a St. Bernaruds Chalice

A: Pours a deep reddish brown with a rocky 2finger light brown-white head. Minimal lacing.

S: Smells of malty bread and dark fruits.

T: Well balanced, malty with a hint of fig, some sweetness and a tad bit of booze on the tail end.

M: Medium body, heavy carbonation.

O: Decent Dubbel. It's been a while since I've had a dubbel but a good representation of the style. It's well balanced and dangerously drinkable, as well as easily obtainable. Worth trying if you haven't.

WesM63, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of instrumentality
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle...an opaque amber with 2 fingers of foamy, champagne-like head that settled about 75% and left a lace around the inside of the glass.

Odor was malty with a sort of cherry tartness and a noticeable scent of alcohol.

The taste, like the St. Bernardus 12, was very smooth, but unlike the 12, it wasn't all that impressive: Mostly malty with a bit of cherry and a hint of lemon-lime flavor.

Mouthfeel: the alcohol's a bit less disguised here than in the 12, but it's not too intense, and I could barely feel the carbonation. Almost no aftertaste.

I might have to give this another try, but based on this introductory bottle, this beer is easily consumed but doesn't taste all that special. I had higher hopes considering how fantastic the 12 is. Still looking forward to the Trippel.

instrumentality, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of Bashao
3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours dark brown from the bottle. Nice foam head with average retention.

Smell: Very malty smell, almost no hops aroma.

Taste: Very strong caramel malt taste, a bit stinging on the tongue because of high carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Full body beer, a bit of acidic taste because of the high carbonation.

Overall: Nice beer, probably would sell this beer in my pub.

Bashao, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of tatterdash
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany, with a big foamy tan head that laces, but not too much. Smell was a like weak, but was a pleasant fruity raisin. Taste was a very good caramelly dark fruit, which malts making an appearance and a bit of tartness in the finish. Creamy and smooth, this was a good Dubbel, but not a great Dubbel, still a good start to a night.

tatterdash, Feb 01, 2005
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle. Tulip glass. Brown color, hazzy appearance. Tan head, fairly good retention. Caramel malt, toffee aromas, hints of molasses & dark fruit. Flavors as expected from the aroma profile. Medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Belgian yeast notes & subtle warming alcohol. Dark fruit on the aftertaste. Nice drinkability.

GONZALOYANNA, Sep 23, 2013
Photo of dborginis
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Oakmont pub, poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. Millimeter or so of head, black but purple-ish color (bar was dark). Smell is of wine and raisins. The taste is of raisin as spices as well as alcohol. Very thick beer. Definitely a sipper. Not what I would have thought as a dubbel.

dborginis, May 04, 2009
Photo of DrDogbeer
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ebenezer's. Poured into a goblet. Pours a dirty brown with a light tan head. Tons of carbonation.
Nice aromas of dark fruits and spices.
Taste is pretty complex. Very rich and warming. Flavors of ripened fruits, sweet spices- some cinamon and nutmeg and alcohol.
Nicely put together. I really like dubbels in the winter for they seem to warm me up as this one did. Could not resist trying it on tap, though. Fairly drinkable, but one is enough.

DrDogbeer, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Duffman069 for sharing, ooh yeah!

A - Pours dark copper with 2 fingers of orangish-white head. Dissipates moderately slow leaves very nice lacing.

S - Notes of acetylaldehyde strike me first wth nectar and brown sugar. The green apple smell is most likely from the WLP 500 yeast sitting still for too long. Not a flaw, but there ya go, we all learn something.

T - Brown sugar, breadiness, belgian candi sugar, and some spicy hops. The hops come out as minty.

M - Moderate-Full-bodied, malt dominated, & spicy from hops.

D - Good overall, but thought the spicy-minty hops were a bit much.

M -

MisterClean, Feb 12, 2010
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,898 ratings.