Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,016 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,016
Hads: 2,225
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 137
Gots: 288 | 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: 1,016 | Hads: 2,225
Photo of cbros
3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving type- Bottle with best on date printed on back of bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark purple with a white lace throughout. No activity present in the beer.

S- Smells strong of concord grapes mixed with alcohol.

T- Tastes of grapes and other fruit mixed with alcohol that is prevalent at the end.

I picked this up after trying other Belgium styles and have not been impressed. To me this really tastes like a grape soda that has been infused with alcohol. It was too sweet for me but I can see this beer appealing to those who don't have alot of experience with many Belgium styles.

 607 characters

Photo of rastaman
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vanillan, caramelly sort of aroma, also some dark fruits. Quite rich and smooth, on the sweeter side of the scale, with caramel maltiness, suggestions of spice, quite yeasty aswell, OK, but not a masterpiece.

 208 characters

Photo of Arno
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Chestnut brown, hazy. Huge creme foam top that fades quickly. Lovely lacing.

smell: Has a medicinal smell to it combined with caramel, dark fruits and licorice.

taste: A little odd. It has some contradicting flavors somehow. I get caramel, brown sugar with a spicy smokey licorice finish. It's interesting but it doesn't really seem to click somehow. After some lingering i get fig as an after taste. I get a lot of medicinal phenol flavors together with alcohol in the nose, which adds to the slightly weird flavor combo.

mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Quite creamy with a nice carbonation kick breaking through.

overall: It's an interesting beer. I'm not sure if i like it or not. It's not bad and i do enjoy it, but it's just not a "Wow!" moment i had with their Triple. So it's def. not their best.

 835 characters

Photo of Swim424
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from bottle into stella chalice

A-dark burnt orange, very cloudy. nice fluffy white head.

S-definitely belgium yeast. a bit of burnt/roasted malt. maybe some alcohol.

T-some toasted malt, yeast, and a hint of alcohol.

Mf-medium bodied. some carbonation.

O-pretty good. not the best of the style. above average but nothing special.

 346 characters

Photo of Tupperwolf
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On St. Paddy's day, I poured myself a big wineglass full of this and myself and a girlfriend passed it back and forth between us for about a half an hour, debating back and forth over what it smelled like. We barely even drank any, we wer trying so hard to come up with names for the scents. Of course, we were somewhat drunk at the time, so perhaps a more sober try will give me better results.

Pours a nice dark reddish brown with a thin, spotty yellow-white head; It's hazy with gentle particles of yeast, despite a careful decanting, and no rising carbonation is visible.

Alcohol and apple skin, both green and red, are dominant, though the alcohol isn't unpleasant, merely part of the scent; The yeast is distinct, tart fruit and wet dog.

Alcohol is very present in the mouth as well - its heat precludes the dark, spicy flavors. The taste is hard to describe, dry and very peppery.

Very dry mouthfeel - light carbonation, and then everything goes dry. That's the only way I can put it!

I noticed recently that my ratings on Belgians have gone steadily downward in the past couple of months - Some have been amazing, others have been a little disappointing. This one's unique in the way it presents itself to the senses.

 1,240 characters

Photo of kgwine
3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The dark amber/brown color was appealing, but the bubbles were big and a bit clunky. I do love champagne, and I like tiny compact froathy bubbles. This is a "naturally carbonated" brew, but I've experienced better.

There is a definite malty toasty nose. Caramel and toffee - but subtle.

Rather quick on the 'ol taste buds. There is a spicy almost cinnamon note when left on the palate for a few seconds. With a few sausages in the frying pan sizzling at the time of this writing, I have a feeling that a food pairing will increase my perceptions of this beer.

Overall, a nice brown ale. I generally prefer a bit more bitter flavors, but with food, I think this one 'll do!

 676 characters

Photo of JoshJ
3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Maybe I am missing something as I usually love this style and type, but something was missing from this beer. Maybe it was bad stock?

It poured really nice, although it lacked any warmth in its colour, it seemed like a murky muddy gray colour with a lot of sediment. The smell was apealing, I was looking forward to drinking it. There was a nice fluffy head on it which disappeared within a couple of minutes leaving a nice ring.

Then I sipped. I could taste the alcohol from the first second, very strong, not smooth, but the base flavour seemed quite solid. There was just this overpowering alcohol ringing in my mouth. Id imagine that it could be appealing to others, however it just wasn't on the money for me.

Overall, I suspect it may not of been up to it's standard based off some of the reports here, but I bought it from what would be classed the best fine beer stockist's in Brisbane, so I dont know. I'd imagine this on tap could be a different drink altogether.

 976 characters

Photo of cokes
3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky and opaque brown with orange trimming. Huge tan foam sits atop.
Musty, sweaty, papery, plasticine, chemical-laden aroma. Not pleasant in the least. A real Achilles' Heel here.
Taste atones for the nose's shortcomings, at least partially. Begins with an over-ripe fig and black liquorice coupling. Fades to a subtler (and more standard) raisin and plum. Cocoa and vanilla beans appear later on. Progresses toward butter-toffee with increasing diacetyl as it approaches room temp. A bit of rummy alcohol sweetness late, nearing fusel levels. Hops are mostly hidden, though slightly herbal in nature.
Medium bodied with little carbonation. Lacking *something* even though it is neither lifeless nor cloying.
A decent but underwhelmingly average Dub.
Maybe I expected more.

 781 characters

Photo of MJR
3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an opaque mahogany with some orange around the edges. A light tan head starts out absolutely huge, filling two-thirds of the glass. It slowly shrinks down to a thick and steady cap and leaves lots of lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is...interesting. All of the usual smells are here: dark fruits, a peppery spiciness, breadiness, a bit of diacetyl, and alcohol. But there's an awkward scent in there that comes off as fake and plastic. It's a bit musty too. Weird...

Taste: The flavor is barely better than the smell. There's a solid foundation of spicy fruits and breadiness, but the diacetyl gets stronger as the beer warms. Hints of chocolate and nut struggle to be noticed . The diacetyl combines with a medicinal phenolic flavor and a splash of alcohol to form a strange aftertaste. A bit of a fake sweetness on the tail end too.

Mouthfeel: Rich and chewy with a full mouthfeel. Medium in body, with a finish that has a touch of alcohol.

Drinkability: Decent... This is a bit disappointing considering how good their tripel and wit are.

 1,075 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark copper hue, medium off-white head consisting of big bubbles, mostly diminishing. Big yeasty (dough, light must) and vinous aroma with several fruity hints (banana, plums, grapes) matching a generous toffee and alcohol presence. RIchly malty. Sweet on the tongue, with scotch ale characteristics, but a very yeasty one. Mild acidic profile. More alcohol than most in the finish. Not so balanced imo, leaves an oily coat around the mouth. Slight yeasty and leafy bitterness. Medium body is extremely bubbly, a bit too much for its own good.

 543 characters

Photo of iSip
3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

St. Bernardus Prior 8, 22 oz. bomber: A good Belgian dubbel is an amazing experience. The Prior 8 has a dark caramel color and the big head as is common with the St. Bernardus products. The aroma is good, but could be bigger and have more of the Belgian yeast that I expect out of a Belgian beer. Good flavor, but overpowering in a raisin flavor note. Lacking the big rock candy flavor that ruins some dubbels (in my opinion), but too much of the raisin flavor and not enough complexity. Not enough Belgian yeast coming through (but I did not swirl the yeast in, so that may be my fault). So the rating is good, but I was expecting more.

 637 characters

Photo of Padron4KM
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33cl bottle best before 2010.

Hazy amber with a lasting two finger tan head and thick lacing.

raisin, figs and a little bubble gum on the nose.

Flavor is raisin, plum , brown sugar and yeast.

Creamy mouthfeel, but it becomes a little sticky towards the end of the glass.

 282 characters

Photo of theopholis
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Deep, darkamber body with a strong ruby glow. The head is 1-finger high, tan and fades quickly.

Smell - Fairly complex melange of dark fruits (prunes, over-ripe cherries), maybe some currant.

Taste - Again, lots of dark fruits with lots of yeastiness. Quite nixe.

Mouthfeel - Coats the mouth with its full goodness, leaving a nice, lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not great, but worth a whirl.

 415 characters

Photo of Patrick999
3.37/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is my 200th review!

A - Poured a roasty-looking brown into a Duvel tulip. Head was not all that active, though it appeared well-carbonated.

S - Smelled tasty. Chocolate and raisins, some vinous port aromas.

T - Complicated. At times sweet, at times drying. Alcohol is pretty assertive at times, contributing a spiciness. More notes of chocolate and raisin. I also pick up on an odd note of diacetyl I wasn't really expecting, and wasn't too fond of. I've had the Abt 12 several times, and never noted this.

F - Full-bodied, it's nice and creamy.

D - I don't find this the most drinkable Dubbel in the world. That I found it somewhat buttery like an English Brown didn't help. I find Chimay Red a much drier, more elegant example.

 742 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, best before 3/2/10. Pours a reddish brown with a large fizzy head that quickly goes to a thin film.

The aroma is sweet woody malts, some dough, some cream, and a little pepper.

The flavor is sweet bready malts, dark fruits, and yeast with a slight bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium-full and a little harsh on the carbonation.

Overall, it is rather similar to the Pater 6. I liked that one better though.

 433 characters

Photo of Underrower
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle out of the mixed pack. Served in goblet.

Brown good bit of foam and it lingers for a Belgian. Opened and foam slowly lifted itself above rim of bottle.

Smells like raisens.

Great double taste and then bubble gum and after it goes into a dustly slightly sour like funk that lingers for quite a while and thenn there is a strong drying effect . The after taste reminds me a little of one of the flavors in the Watou tripel. Strange aftertaste; so different than the great up front taste. Makes the beer taste really old and usually I like that but this one has it in spades and it comes on ver strong.

Mouthfeel is really nice. Good carbonation that is not too strong.

Overall a little sour at the end and I prefer sweet big and boozy. Nice old feel to the taste but just a little stong with that combined with the slightly sour taste robs this of a great rating.

 879 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

St. Bernardus Prior 8

Appearance- dark maple brown with a thin sticky head.
Smell- woodsy hops with slight hints of spice.
Taste- cinnimon and vanilla mixed with dry leaves and cherries.
Mouthfeel- quite smooth with a nice bite. No acidity or bitterness.

Overall- another solid beer from St. Bernardus.

 311 characters

Photo of tempest
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

In a word: underwhelming. Although a good beer, I found nothing to brag about. It looks like a nice monk brew, brown with generous head. Smell didn't do much for me. Some fruit and caramel, but it was faint. Similarly with tastes, there were some nice subtle complexities, but nothing grand and tasty. It was a mix of tart, sour berries, with bitter candy. I had a hard time tasting much because the beer was over carbonated. Really took a while for that to settle down. Still a very smooth drink, but not one I'd drop good money on any time soon. I'll stick to the Abt 12.

 573 characters

Photo of DCon
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 33cl bottle from the International Tap House in Soulard (St. Louis), MO for $6. Poured from the orange labeled bottle & St. Bernardus Monk on the front into a 16oz iTap Pint Glass. Has a best before date of 06 01 16 on the back of the glass.

Aroma- Tons of honey and a bit of spice in his one. Has a strong noble hop aroma also but not quite the normal Dubbel aroma...

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that has an average retention time. Has a dark copper body that has good depth. Leaves small sudsy lacing but sticks well.

Flavor- Very strong maltiness at the beginning and then very sweet with only a touch of honey. Very light hops and the bitterness level is as low as it can go, 1/10. More complexity could be better in this one.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and then just sweetness and palate lingering after the drink.

Overall Impression- I'm a huge fan of all other St. Bernardus brews, but this one falls short for me. Should have more body, carbonation, complexity, richness, and many more attributes. Nonetheless, enjoyed but would push you to get an Abt 12 or Pater 6 before this one.

 1,142 characters

Photo of Derek
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good, but not nearly as good as their 6 or 12.

I wonder if they use the second runnings from the 12, like they use to when they contract-brewed the Westvleteren.

I feel that I have been spoiled by their other dark beers.

A: Dark ruby-brown, with a little off-white head. Some retention & lacing.

S: Not as much aroma as their other brews. Sweet caramel, figs and brown sugar.

T: Only slightly on the sweet side. Caramelized sugar, raisins, slightly spicy. As it warms up, the alcohol taste becomes quite assertive. I think it's more well-rounded when it's chilled.

M: Moderate body is a little syrupy, plenty of carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

 666 characters

Photo of ChuckR343
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden to dark brown, with tan head.

S- Smells of dried fruit and yeast.

T- Strong malty front with great hoppy finish. I don't really taste any of the fruit, but it is a little sweet.

M- Highly carbonated. I do not notice the alcohol.

D- I couldn't drink more than 1 or 2 due to the carbonation, but definitely not a boring beer.

 337 characters

Photo of msnow34
3.44/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahagony with a decent head, into a chimay chalice. Initial smell and taste sour, and cidery. Thinking i'm going to drain pour after i finish the chalice, but I give it a chance and allow it to warm, maybe served a little too cold. Smell, plums and raisins(disclaimer i have a bad sense of smell) Tastes very sweet, perfect level of carbonation. mouthfeel light and smooth, head retention is minimal. Overall not a bad beer, but most likely wouldn't try this one again, if I did i would allow it to warm to correct temperature first.

 539 characters

Photo of DaveBar
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of a mixed 6pk. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a high head that is gone pretty fast.

S- A bit sour.

A- Not so good. Rather tart. This is like a blend that as spun off another blend. Not very good though.

M- Dry but still not great

O- Not so good. It's a beer that was created to have another offering or something.

Food Pairing

This OK beer went ok with..... Monte Cristo sandwiches


 438 characters

Photo of champ103
3.46/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber red with a two finger beige head that forms. The head recedes pretty fast with light lace.
S: A dry burnt wood aroma. Malty with some brown sugar. Not much here.
T: Malty of course. Lots of raisins and brown sugar. A large burnt wood flavor that follows the nose.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and rich. The alcohol show a bit, but an easy and smooth beer to sip on for the most part.

Not a bad Dubbel, but I have had much better. Not very complex. Though a pleasant enough example of the style. I always like to support Abbey and Trappist Ales as well.

 580 characters

Photo of ruckus232
3.46/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce brown bottle poured into a goblet

Appearance: Brown cloudy color with some sediment and a decent tan head

Smell: Not a very strong smell but it is malty sweet with a slight toasted scent

Taste: The taste is more pronounce in the malted sweetness but there is also a slight bitterness which is more alcohol then anything

 333 characters

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,016 ratings.