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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,891 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,891
Reviews: 971
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 103
Gots: 145 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,891 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of anexetastos
4.88/5  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.

cheers.
kelly

anexetastos, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of yelterdow
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

yelterdow, May 18, 2006
Photo of czechsaaz
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

czechsaaz, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of aaronh
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

aaronh, Mar 07, 2007
Photo of Sheldog
4.84/5  rDev +16.3%

Sheldog, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of UncleFlip
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
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

UncleFlip, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

KickbacksSteve, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of weeare138
4.83/5  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.

weeare138, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of neonbrown82
4.83/5  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.

neonbrown82, Jan 10, 2005
Photo of garbercury
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

garbercury, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of Avagadro
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Avagadro, May 16, 2010
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

ommegangpbr, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of diablo14
4.83/5  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.

diablo14, Nov 19, 2003
Photo of Rudgers73
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.

Rudgers73, Feb 14, 2007
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!

SurlyDuff, Feb 23, 2008
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.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
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.

GeoffRizzo, Mar 27, 2005
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!

FLAbeergutinMASS, Jan 07, 2006
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.

Darkale, Apr 06, 2004
Photo of slitherySOB
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.

slitherySOB, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of dieBlume
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

dieBlume, Sep 11, 2013
Photo of djl9701
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

djl9701, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of wilfonzo
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

wilfonzo, Apr 04, 2012
Photo of dvanhandel
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

dvanhandel, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of MooseBoose
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

MooseBoose, Feb 08, 2013
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,891 ratings.