St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,156 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,156
Reviews: 1,009
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.65%
Wants: 125
Gots: 246 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

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: 2,156 | Reviews: 1,009
Photo of diablo14
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Photo of aaronh
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Photo of UncleFlip
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
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
-UF

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of garbercury
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of Avagadro
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
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!

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Photo of slitherySOB
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Photo of Rudgers73
4.76/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
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!

Photo of Darkale
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of hyuga
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of coder
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Fairly nutty taste. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Photo of bobsy
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
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!

Photo of noclue
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
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!

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.

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of ohitsbrad
4.7/5  rDev +13%
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.

Photo of Z2thet
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favs. As close to perfect as a beer can be. Flavors flavors flavors!

Photo of ichigodisaster
4.7/5  rDev +13%
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.

Photo of konadrinker
4.7/5  rDev +13%
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.

Photo of pkalix
4.7/5  rDev +13%
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.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,156 ratings.