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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.

1,011 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,011
Hads: 2,208
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 135
Gots: 264 | 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
Reviews: 1,011 | Hads: 2,208
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
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!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of slitherySOB
4.77/5  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.

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Photo of Rudgers73
4.76/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
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!

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Photo of Darkale
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of hyuga
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of bobsy
4.73/5  rDev +14%
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!

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Photo of noclue
4.73/5  rDev +14%
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!

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Photo of akorsak
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Photo of ohitsbrad
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of ichigodisaster
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of konadrinker
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of pkalix
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

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Photo of MrDell
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

St. Bernardus Prior 8 – bottling date unknown - Best Before 01.09.2018

Appearance: One finger off white foamy head when poured, dropping to just cover beer fairly quickly. Beer is black to very dark brown in glass and dark brown into yellow when held up to light. 20 minutes after opening the head has given way in places to reveal a beautiful deep red brew underneath it.

Aroma: Steaming toffee, fruit- apples, peaches, sherry, caramel.

Taste: Last time I tasted this I remember not being really impressed- must have been ill because the first taste has just blown me away. Creamy mouth feel, tastes are toast, burnt caramel, fading out to a lovely subtle bitter finish courtesy of the hops. Surprisingly dry for a dubbel...That's the taste I've been trying to put my finger on TOASTED TEA CAKES! Like its big brother the Abt. 12 this one is fantastic left out of fridge for 2 hours before opening, so it's not too cold. Thermometer check showing 20 deg. Would say this is the optimal temperature for this beer.

Mouth feel: Oily in a good way, leaves mouth feeling surprisingly fresh afterwards unlike many dark beers.

Overall: Last time I tasted this I tried the Pater 6 around the same time and thought that was a better beer, now I'm finding that difficult to believe and will revisit Pater 6 soon. This is an amazing brew, a solid 9.5/10.

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Photo of kevd193213
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

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Photo of graywalker
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely chestnut brown with a creamy, dense, off white head. The aroma is sublime, with dark fruits, roasted malts, yeast, and a hint of the alcohol. Taste is much like the aroma, with notes of chocolate, raisins, and spices. The mouthfeel is perfect, with well balanced carbonation. This is the best dubbel I have had, from what may be my favorite brewery. This was part of a Saint Bernardus variety case which was pricey, but worth it. Treat yourself!

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Photo of Hex92
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
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)

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours off brown, slight tinge of dark red, with tan head.

Nose is among the best. Belgian yeast is working its magic and casting off a spiced breadiness that is intoxicating. Also present is cinnamon, ginger, and yummy musty cheeses, perhaps with old musty cave aromas. I love it.

Palate is beautifully creamy bodied - the bubbles are smaller, so it seems. Baked brown bread, soft holiday spices, and a finish that is semi-sweet and oh so appetizing for the next sip.

Amazing beer. One of the best.

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Photo of turnstile
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle, served at the suggested temperature.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany brown with a huge foamy tan head. The yeast is kicked up in the pour and nicely clouds the brew.

Smell: The aroma is of a strong malt character with ripe plum and grape notes. The second time around cinnamon and brown sugar/brown bread aromas appear to be present owing largely to the yeast.

Taste: Sweet. Upfront is brown sugar and toasted malt, following is a sweet/sour hint of red grapes, and finishing is a hint of alcohol. A sticky/sweet note of honey hangs around afterward.

Mouthfeel: A dense, sticky body with light-medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a serious brew. With a decent ABV and a thick body, it makes a nice dessert beer or something with which to end the evening. Anyone can approach this dubbel; it's only mildly bitter (if at all) and has plenty of familiar aromas..

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,011 ratings.