1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,668 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1668
Reviews: 958
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%

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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,668 | Reviews: 958 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked and caged 750 mL bottle into my Ommegang chalice. The first thing I notice is the awesome head. Very light and fluffy, sticking to the sides, it doesn't erupt over the sides of the glass but it doesn't settle quickly either. Perfect. The color is a little lighter than I had expected, most other dubbels I've had were very dark brown. You can actually see the carbonation in this stuff. The aroma is VERY bready, I'm a little worried the taste will be the same. Nope, the taste is awesome. Very sweet like brown sugar with a perfect balance of bitterness. Slight alcohol taste that is smooth and rich. Very silky mouthfeel. This is better than I had expected. Minus the bready smell this is one of the best dubbels I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 01:09:46 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky red brown. Nose is like an over ripe peach that if you waited to eat it until tomorrow, it would be rotten. Hint of molasses. Flavor is perfectly balanced. A touch of cherry on the tongue. Slight alcohol presence noticeable. Strong sweetness like a brown sugar. Feel is very bubbly and very smooth. Excellent drinkability. So perfectly balanced.

This was the middle beer on a night of tasting that started with Damnation by RR and ended with the St. Bernardus Abt 12. This beer was my favorite, and the person I drank with felt the same way.

I wish I could buy this in New Mexico. If I could, it’d probably be a regular.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 11:56:20 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of SurlyDuff


4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

How often have I seen this on the shelf and passed it up? Too many times!

750ml caged and corked. Popped it and let this one warm up a bit. I normally enjoy my dubbel around 50-55 degrees.

First glass is clear, brown, with orange highlights coming through when I hold it up to the light. For the last glass I poured, I sloshed up the sediment and made sure to get a bunch of it. I usually enjoy the sediment/yeast at the bottom, and I like to try it both with and without if possible.

Fairly pillowy head, dense.

Buttered bread, raisins, dates, fig, dried fruits. Slightest alcohol bite there too, but since I had let it warm a bit, i think it's at the maximum.

Earthy cocoa and warm alcohol feeling at first. A malt presence is there too, making it very smooth and downright delicious.

Drinkability is superb, but i need to watch myself. It goes down like a session beer, but beware!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2008 02:13:46 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of Darkale


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My new favorite Belgian beer.

Light brown and turbulent body, light tan head, fabulous lacing that glistens all over the glass. Very yeasty aroma, spicy and slightly sour, like rye. Rich and foamy in the mouth, chewy, with a deep caramel taste -- almost glossy candy taste with burning hops throughout.

Incredible mix of raspy and gritty hops and a million-dollar-violin deep shiny sweetness. Stupendous.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2004 15:59:15 | More by Darkale
Photo of GeoffRizzo


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2005 02:09:47 | More by GeoffRizzo
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is off the charts. Consumed during an evening of highbrow beers, this one stood above the rest. Earthy smell, with a root beer like head, nice fizz that tickles the nose. Tremendous balanced in the taste department. Only slight hoppy with a cinnamon, cherry body.

This beer came caged and corked in a wonderfully decorated bottle. I know this beer is made for sipping...it wasn't sipped!

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2006 16:22:23 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of slitherySOB

Ontario (Canada)

4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was simply amazing. I had high expectations for it, and it surpassed them. Pours a deep, acorn colour with a nice, slightly brown head that reminded me of cinnamon baked goods. Plenty of chunky yeasts. I did not decant. I like the yeast. The scent was beautiful. Plenty of baked bread, yeast, malts, vanilla, grapes, apples, pears... It was like a nice farmer's market on a Sunday. Oh God, the taste. Exquisite. Not overly complex, but a blend of different flavours, all getting an equal share. Plenty of fruits, caramel, bit of honey, breads... Even a bit of a flavour I can't quite put my finger on. A woody flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and a bit carbonated. Drinkable? Yes. I could sip a glass all day and not tire of it.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 01:10:33 | More by slitherySOB
Photo of noclue


4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 11.2 ounce bottle. Served in chalice.

Appearance: Reddish brown color. Very active carbonation. Tall rocky tan head with brilliant full lacing. Excellent head retention. Beautiful!

Smell: Bread, fruity, solvent. I can't wait for what's in store!

Taste: Sweet, fruity. Plums, spicy. Molasses. Dark malts, light on the hops. Superbly balanced!

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation. Medium bodied. Smooth finish.

Drinkability/Overall: I could drink this exceptional brew all day without a complaint. I think i'm in love!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2004 03:00:29 | More by noclue
Photo of CharlesRiver


4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another great bottle design. It looks like the monk is saying, "Don't drink too many!" I feel honored to have the St. B glass for this beer. Pours out a dark brown color with a small head that doesn't seem to really last. I expected a much bigger head than this. The smell is mostly sweet but hints of something sour come through as well. Caramel and chocolate are present.

I am thinking this is a fresh bottle as I see a 2004 date on the label. Well, if I was at all "disappointed" with the appearance the taste makes up for it. Sweet caramel mix with the perfect amount of bitterness. Complex and smooth, just perfect. One of the best dubbels that I have ever had.

I would love to try this beer along side the real trappists to see which I like better.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 23:01:57 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted after its little brother, pater 6.

Here's my review of the pater 6:

Classic dubbel pour with a huge creamy head sat atop an oaken body with ruby highlights, retention and lacing are great. Strong yeasty nose, with very prominent spicing, dark fruit and over-ripe bananas. Decadent and lush, this carries through to the taste, where the prominent flavours are supplied by the dark fruit (raisins and prunes), but with a large supporting cast, and an excellent second fiddle in spicy yeast. Sweetness throughout, but not annoyingly so. Exquisite and balanced... just short of perfection. Medium body, with a strong, but pillowy, carbonation.

So here's where the prior 8 differed:

More lacing was laid down and there was a touch of alcohol in the nose, which also seemed a bit thicker. All of the flavours were amped up (which is a good thing), and joined by a warming finish. The body was thicker, but the carbonation kept it from being cloying. Even better than the 6!

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 15:43:29 | More by bobsy
Photo of impending


4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


La Trappe. Looked like most every other dubbel, dark and inviting.

Smelled like most every other dubbel, superb.

Tasted finer than most every other dubbel, delightful. If you like this style you will love this.

For me, this is the dubbel against which all others are measured. The good folks of St Bernardus are in command of their art.
this & the Rochefort 6 are magnitudes beyond all other dubbels
massively !

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2010 01:21:51 | More by impending
Photo of pkalix


4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a lighter shade of deep murky brown with a small amount of froth swimming on top. lots of small carbonation.
smells like a burgundy with a light side of fruit; more of an ale aroma than some of the other, fruitier, belgians.
taste has some cherry up front and a deep satisfying malty quench. some fig and a smoothness of the balance. very nice.
mouthfeel is heavier and full. very satisfying.
the entire experience is pleasurable. not too fruity, not too sweet (the belgians were beginning to wear on me with their richness). just the right amount of quaffness and quenching in this. i definitely need to get back to the belgian pub and have a few of these on tap again.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 23:59:10 | More by pkalix
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A beautiful beer when poured, just like the other St. Bernardus brews. Dark brown and nearly opaque, sporting a good sized off-white head that stays exceptionally well with no help whatsoever. Leaves a nice Belgian lace too. Rather yeasty pour though, watch out if you don't want it in there. The aroma is big, caramel malt and spicy yeast jump out at you with a little candi sugar showing itself here and there. As it hits the palate, spiciness is most noticeable, partially due to the great hopping and partially due to the yeast strain used in brewing this. The big helping of sweetness that balances this out perfectly isn't far behind however. Caramel and candi sugar with a bit of grain. Lots of dark fruits, plum and raisin. Very creamy mouthfeel. The finish has a good amount of sweetness, but the aftertaste is a bit dry and hoppy. A very enjoyable beer, kind of like a toned-down Abt 12. Extremely drinkable. I wish I had one of the 750 ml bottles I saw today instead of this little 330 ml one.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2003 02:41:28 | More by hyuga
Photo of ichigodisaster

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, slightly murky, mahogany pour with a massive soapy off white head that sticks around and leaves a sticky lacing on the glass. She's very easy on the eyes. Har har.

Big cherry aroma, followed by something warm akin to banana nut bread with a hint of spice and even licorice.

Taste is fabulous, mildly spicy all the way through, with brown sugar, vanilla, dried plums and dates, a bit of a wine character that I like surprisingly and a slightly dry tartness that coats the tongue begging you to have more. There's an alcohol presence that is warm and soothing. It makes me want to eat the glass.

Velvety and full in the mouth, a pleasure to let it roll around. Perfect to savor with every sip. Oh dear, I'm tempted to drink all four.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2005 23:35:58 | More by ichigodisaster
Photo of akorsak


4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 330 mL bottle served in a Troegenator seidel. The ale is cold but warming.

A: The ale is a deep dark brown color, hazy with a full head and lace.

S: Smell is full of strong alefruits and strong heady yeast. Very deep and complex.

T: The beer is deep and full of flavors. Some chocolate notes highlight the beer, along with sweet applebutter, dates and figs.

M: The ale is of the knock-your-socks-off variety. The flavors are so powerful in the mouth that you'd easily confuse this for some of the more well-known Trappist varieties.

D: 8% is tough, but the beer is top notch.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2006 12:55:52 | More by akorsak
Photo of ohitsbrad


4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

29 March 2007, Best before Jan 2010

Dark brown with a thick dense head. Aroma of sweet malt and dark candi sugar. Delicious sweet chocolate and treacle flavours with berry fruitiness. Full bodied. An outstanding, complex, sweet, dark ale. As good as the 12.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2007 14:09:47 | More by ohitsbrad
Photo of 51mmz0rz

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: nice head, very good lacing. Body is a cloudy dark brown.

S: Good dark fruit smell, some alcohol and spice; its pretty amazing.

T: Crazy flavor, really great complex yeasty fruitiness.

M: Carbonation is a little coarse, but otherwise the mouthfeel is silky smooth and delicious.

D: I would love to drink this all night, but the abv is a bit high.

Overall this is a great dubbel, and deserves the praise.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2008 03:28:27 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of kevd193213

Rhode Island

4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle. Caramel pour with slightly red tinge and a bit cloudy. Nice lacing and a medium tan head that tasted almost as good as the beer itself. Aroma of Belgian yeast. Taste of caramel, yeast and faint orange and nectarine with sugar and spice. Very complex. Smooth yet full finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 13:53:41 | More by kevd193213
Photo of konadrinker


4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Rich red brown pour with a 2 finger pillowy tan head that reduces slowly and leaves nice lacing.

S - Complex nose on this one - figs, bread, spice.

T - Bread, figs, spice, caramel and dark sugars. Complex and wonderful.

M - Alcohol present, smooth and slightly thick.

D - Smooth and very sippable. Sweetness would keep me from having a second in the same sitting. A wonderfully complex and tasty offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 02:25:24 | More by konadrinker
Photo of Hex92


4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh man....I LOVE this beer. I am a big fan of dubbels in general, but this beer was amazing. It was all I could do to keep myself from gulping it down it was so incredibly smooth. I wish I had bogth another bottle. The Prior is much smoother than the Abt - not that I don't like the Abt. Sorry I can't give a better description of the taste - I don't do the 'hints of coriander and spice' descriptions. I will just say if you like Dubbels, pick up a couple bottles of this beer.
Forgot that I had drank this beer before I just tried it again and didn't think of it quite as highly. I marked it down 0.5 to 1 point in every category.

Bought the St Bernardus gift pack for myself this year. So I will get the chance to rate all 4 of their beers. I have been a big fan of the abt 12 since I first tried it maybe 12 years ago, but I dont think I have tried any of their other flavors.

Poured it into their nice chalice/goblet. Nice head and color to the beer. Looks great in the glass.

The smell is Ok, but not amazing. kinda run of the mill for the style.
taste is more of the same. good, but not great. i saw that someone else said that it had a slightly metallic taste. I was thinking the exact same thing when I read their review.

M- too bubbly for me.and doesn't coat the mouth as well as I would like.

O- this is a good beer....but nothing compares to the abt 12. If I was going to spend the cash I would prefer the Ommegang Abbey Ale if going for the same style. Or the Abt 12 if I wanted to get the best beer they make (still to be confirmed since I have the tripel and pater to drink still)

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2004 03:22:13 | More by Hex92
Photo of kmpitz2


4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a murkey brown color wtiha nice 2 finger head that falls to thickly coat the beer. The nose is sweet raisiney fruity. Very mellow and pretty much what I was hoping to smell. There is some alcohol in there as well, but just as an afterthought. The flavor is very nice. A smooth raisiney character is put alongside a slightly roasted character, not quite chocolatey, but just a hint of roasted. What a nice nice beer. The feel is right at moderate thickess, but as smooth as a beer has ever been. This could make a run at the 12 for my favorite beer from these people. I do recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2005 23:11:55 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on January 25, 2013.

The pour is a gorgeous looking deep amber-brown with a long lasting, silky beige head and a slight haze. Some decent yeast sediment floating about which is something I really like to see.

The aroma opens up my senses in wonderment trying to define what is there. I get dark malts, dark fruit, yeast, grape, molasses, and Belgian candied sugars. It invites me to drink and enjoy.

The body is full and bold with modest astringency.

The taste is fabulous with an upfront dark malt sweetness, molasses, and a mild pepper note taking up the rear with a smooth, dryish finish.

One of the most gorgeous, aromatic, and tasty beers that I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 23:51:09 | More by puboflyons
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stuff poured alot darker than I thought it would have. A dark copper, caramel like colour. Monster sandy off-white head with real sticky lacing. The smell is very sweet and spicy as is expected from this style. A little raisin like. The taste was really impressive. I thought so, anyway. A lot of candied fruit, brown sugar, cloves and other spice. Very tasty. It did, however, have a little bit more carbonation to it than I expected. This doesn't ruin it for me, but it does prevent me from giving mouth feel a 4.5. Overall, I was quite impressed with this one, and I feel they do a nice job of concealing the 8.0%abv. This stuff doesn't even have the warming sensation many others have. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 05:32:37 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of cerevisiaephilus


4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Definately a nice looking brew. Bright mahogony red color with energetic carbonation and a decent medium sized bubbles head. Leaves an ample lacing.

Very nice nose. I get mostly sweet breadyness (not brains!). Maybe a touch of floral something or other and some mellow esters, but mainly sweet breadyness.

Very nice flavor!! very excited about this one. About as smooth as you can get!! Nice caramel flavors and the breadyness that was so dominant in the nose. Finishes with just a hint of hop bitterness and alcohol warming. Wow! What a beer. I also get some mellow tea flavors, but nothing stands out, no harshness whatsoever! Really tasty.

Exceptional mouthfeel. Really right on. Not too thin, not too thick, just right.

Pretty drinkable, but honestly a little cloying. Kind of gumming up my mouth actually. But I would still do a couple in a sitting if I had them.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2004 05:48:46 | More by cerevisiaephilus
Photo of Toddv29424

District of Columbia

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A different bottle that looks like all the others with an orange background. Pours a dark, dark brown with a small head. Smell is very pleasant like a red wine with a pinch of alcohol. Candied fruits are also apparent and a hint of apricot. The taste is wonderful. Starts with the fruits and sweet malts, then finishes with what seems to be just a deluge of natural sugar. Really delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 14:55:12 | More by Toddv29424
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,668 ratings.