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St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

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2,039 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,039
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 113
Gots: 199 | FT: 2
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,039 | Reviews: 987 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nuke77
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy cloudy light brown with a tan head. The scent is of dark fruits and spice and makes up for the less than beautiful appearance. The taste is much fuller than I expected and follows the scent. This brew was nicely carbonated and quite viscious at the same time. I would not hestitate to buy this one again. Tasty!

Photo of cpetrone84
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-thin bubbly light tan head. fizzles away not too quickly and leaves no lace.

S-toasted malt up front. belgium yeast comes in next with hints of cloviness. notes of sour apple with dark fruits accompanying, dark cherries and plum finish.

T/M-smooth and creamy, highly carbonated. very crisp finish. some yeast and clove up front with a nice dark fruit backing and toasted malt base. sweet cherries and plum like the nose.

D-very sweet and easy drinking. a hint of alcohol burn in the finish but the sweet dark fruits and high carbonation hide it well.

Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pouring of this beer produces an off-white head about one finger thick. This head goes down to form a nice layer of foam on top of the opaque garnet beer. Smell is a mixture of cranberry nut bread with strong hints of chocolate. The taste followed the same with a light cherry and cocoa palate. Mouthfeel is dry. I felt there was a bit much carbonation. A good beer and one I'd drink again.

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the great dubbels, maybe only behind Westy 8. Being that I can't get Westy these days, St. Bernardus and Westmalle are my best options. 750ml; deep amber color, large foamy head with good retention. Paired with beef, great match. Not as sweet as many other dubbels tend to be. Terrific balance, top notch all the way!

Photo of kbnooshay
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dubbel. Not one of my favorite styles(unless its an Ommegang Abbey!). They tend to be one dimension but the complex ones thrill me. Just gimme a quad.

This poured a dark amber/chestnut color with a creamy off white head. This smells like mincemeat pie and fig newtons. In terms of flavor this is one of the most raisiny sweet belgians i have ever had. REALLY raisiny. I love the slightest hint of cherries! Sweet maltiness and brown sugar all ova da place. Moderate creamy mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation prickle. I am halfway and getting lots warmth from this one.

Of course its good. Its St. Bernadus!!!!

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Drank from an 11.2 oz bottle, poured into Watou brewery chalice. Bottle has a drawing of a balding monk with a very good beer in his hand.

Appearance: A dark orange color with reddish brown hues. The head is thick and lasting, and clings to the bottle (I hear this is a good thing).

Smell: Smells like freshly baked bread, very malty. Probably the yeast is responsible for the majority of the aroma. Very very good yeast.

Taste: This is the stuff. The beer feels perfect as you drink it (thick, coats the tongue, and flavors are lasting) I can taste fruits such as plums and grapes, along with "bready" malt flavor. Tastes best (in my opinion) when it's just below room temp.

Notes: When I first tried this beer 6 months ago, I felt it was the best beer ever. I've since tried many bottles of Prior 8, and found them to be kind of inconsistent. I brought it to a poker game in a 750 ml bottle, and was disappointed (I tell my friends it was a bad bottle, but...). I still rank this as one of my favorites, but somewhere south of the Abt 12 from the same brewery. I hear the recipe is identical to Westvleteren Extra 8. I will try this someday, it is my quest.

Photo of olmatty
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a fluufy off white head with low retention and moderate lacing, a dark brown beer that is nearly opaque

Smell- Malty brown bread, yeasty and a hint of winey alcohol

Taste- Slightly sweet maltiness, hint of old time honey candy, low hop character and good presence of yeast, alcohol presence builds to a somewhat dry finish

Mouthfeel- Nearly sizzles on the tongue, light bodied for a dark brew with alot of alcohol

Drinkability- High (8%) ABV is well masked by full flavor.

Complexity enhanced by tasty yeast prominence.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, dark auburn with a dense frothy tan head. Lots of fine lace. Smells spicy, like spiced apples. Sweet rich malt.

Taste is fruity and yeasty. Spicy. the spiced apple flavor is there again. Winey tasting (vinuous, I guess?). Let's break the fruitiness down: apples, cherries, plum and sour berry. A light alcohol burn and a lightly metallic finish. Full-bodied but velvet smooth. Exceptionally easy to drink for the style. A really excellent beer and I am not a big fan of dubbels. Bravo!

Photo of dgilks
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Peaches and stone fruit dominate with a robust figgy malt backbone standing in the background. Really good.

Moderately-murky medium brown colour with a moderate, short-lasting light tan head. Decent.

Interesting. The Prior 8 has a slightly punchier malt profile than the Pater 6 with rounded dark fruit flavours. The big difference though is a rich, spicy alcohol hit which accentuates some fruit flavours and cuts the richness of the malt. Just as good but quite different.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Creamy and refreshing with just a tickle on the tongue.

An eminently drinkable brew with a nice malt richness and good interplay with the alcohol.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A ruddy chestnut color with a creamy looking caramel colored head featuring swirls of lighter colored creamy head. Retention and lacing aren't as impressive, however.

S: Wonderful. Indulgently rich with notes of sweet candied nuts, dark fruit, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and other spice are all present in a supremely cohesive and robust way. I've not smelled a better dubbel yet.

T&M: Flavor is lovely, as well. A smooth fig flavor replete with brown sugar, spice, orange zest, and vanilla. A light earthy hop presence balances out the sweetness wonderfully, as well. It's bursting with flavor, but remains highly drinkable. Body is medium/full with a creamy feel and wonderfully effervescent carbonation.

D: Excellent dubbel. Very drinkable for the ABV. Another great beer by St. Bernardus.

Photo of loving44
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from 11.2 Fl Oz bottle into St. Bernardus glass. Pours deep red brown with a foamy white head that fades to about half it's thickness. Lots of sediment suspended throughout the beer which settles slowly to the bottom of the glass. Looks delicious en every way.

Smell: Slightly doughy aroma followed by biscuit-like malt, raison, fig, chocolate, awesome!!!! Just smelling this brew is a treat!

Taste: Starts off very sweet with ripe plum. prune, and raisin flavor dominating and then fades into a rich malty flavor. Finishes with dry alcohol and a slight twinge of citrus.

Mouthfeel is light and airy with fine carbonation, very drinkable!

Photo of jessealmlie
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Trentonator
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge head which sticks around and will not be denied. Sipping the beer with a moustache will leave some foam on the 'ole "flavor saver" for later. Particles of brownish specks in the head, rather unusual. Delicate and sticky lacing, the color of the beer is a dark red, almost mahogany. Smell is surprisingly light with no real "waves" of florals or fruits like other Belgians I have tried. What it lacks in smell it more than makes up for in taste. This beer is world class in the taste department. Fig, maybe some light butterscotch, I also get some otherworldy flavors I am not sure I can even describe with words. Truly amazing.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a chalice, pours just a lovely shade of crimson to mahogany, fairly clear though dark, a half inch head of foamy off-white head, settles to no less than a thick mat fluff, amoebas of lacing reaching around the glass. The aroma is yeasty, spicy, sweet and lightly fruity, raisins, dart fruits, its very complex, hard to wrap your hands around, but quite lovely.

The taste, once warmed, is exactly what makes this style one of my favorites, in that it can be a terribly rich and full, so as to stop yourself from trying to name the flavors, the hints and just love it (but, I'll do it anyway). In its vague but defined complexity, it gives off sweetness, yeasty spices, fruity and nutty, a warm alcohol presence, a smooth, justly carbonated, fully articulated, warming and swarming mouth feel.

In summation, yes. Yes, this is a fantastic beer within a fantastic style, and I couldn't be more vague and specific in its spectacularity than that.

Photo of jed
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Brown, 33 cl bottle with an orange label featuring the St. Bernadus smiling monk. 1, 3, 5, and 6 notched on the numbers at the bottom of the label. "Best consumed before the end of 2005" written in French and German. Poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a fairly uniform dark brown color. One finger head is light tan with good retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind a very thick trail of lace that clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Much less pronounced fruit aromas compared to the Abt. 12. Still some dark fruit — figs, raisins, and currants — along with a caramel sweetness. Some kind of buttery alcohol aroma which is hard to place.

Taste: Nose is malt and sweet, buttery cocoa flavor balanced with a little bit of dark fruit. Very slight clove notes, but not the same spicy, peppery flavor I associate with the style. Nose fades to a bready, grainy flavor, although there's still almost no hop presence. The finish is warm, thanks to the alcohol, with a very sweet aftertaste of prunes, raisins, and more cocoa/carob. As the beer warms, malt flavors are much more pronounced in the aftertaste … almost a smoked taste, very interesting.

Mouthfeel: A slight step down from the other St. Bernadus beers I've tried; but still excellent. Creamy and smooth with carbonation that's evident without becoming overpowering.

Drinkability: Perfect! The alcohol is present but masked and the taste is amazing … I could drink these until I was happier than the monk.

While the Abt. 12 has a more complex flavor, I think the Prior 8 wins of drinkability. A supremely drinkable, tasty Trappist Ale, and proof that St. Bernadus can do no wrong.

Photo of majorlance
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jera1350
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brown bodied with an absolute mass of tan foam that is so dense and has amazing retention. Plenty of lacing to boot.

Amazingly complex nose with loads of different malt and fruit scents intertwined. Lively, lovely and mouthwatering.

Complex is the only way to describe the overall flavor. Bubblegum, sweet malts, toffee, caramel, fruity, yeasty, earth hops, hint of cola and alcohol. The finish is ever so clean too. Terrific.

Tons of carbonation, medium-full body, extremely dry and clean finish.

Has to be one of the pinnacles for the style. Dangerously drinkable also, but just so well rounded and complex that this is one that does not disappoint.

Photo of hero27
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle.
04 08 10

Chaotic muddy mahogany. Plenty of sediment and a rock solid head of dense tan foam.
Aroma of brown sugar and pleasant roasted malts, with some chocolate in the background. Rich, complex flavors blended perfectly. Licorice, raisin, brown sugar, molasses, hot cocoa, plums, cinnamon sticks, etc, etc.. Absolutely delicious and stunningly easy to drink considering the array of flavors (and alcohol) involved.

A highly enjoyable brew and certainly ranks right up with the best Dubbel's I've had.

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My beer guru invited me over to split a few beers and rolled out this one. Wow, great looking and smelling beer with an even better taste. hard to be critical but maybe a little thin. Very smooth and easy to drink, overall an excellent beer and one I hope to revisit.

Photo of brureview
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chalice. The beer appears to have a cola color with
a one finger head. There is carbonation from the bottom of the glass going upwards towards the head.

The smell from the head is complex: some fruit presence. The smell lasts throughout the tasting.

The mouth feel is too overpowering- very tingly, but it mellows with warming.

The finish is also highly complex. At first, there is a strong molasses finish, and later I discover hints of caramel which become more accentuated with warming. I also tasted apple in the finish with even more warming, as the taste mellows.

Warming brings out wonderful qualities of this beer: it's a sipper, that needs to be savored slowly. The mouth feel mellows with warmth and the Dubbel becomes very balanced. There is a strong alcoholic aftertaste which remains throughout- it's not overpowering and fits well into the general drinking of the beer.

Overall, a great beer at the right temp. Warmth brings out the finish and mellows the mouth feel. Will drink again.

Photo of beerhunter13
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of kaimcm
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 bottle poured into a St. Berny goblet

A: deep, deep brown body, creamy clean white head with lots of lacing. agitation brings back the froth with little to no effort. a grand site in a grand St. Berny goblet.

S: fresh and baked green fruit, apples, malt, sugar, dark candied fruit and sugar, rum, on and on, a hint of alcohol.

T: first wave is velvety malt, a splash of sugar, then the dark fruits pull through, raisons, dates, followed by the green nose, apples, some nuts, maybe licorice. molasses and some dark sugars reminiscent of rum. finish just lingers and lingers, drying quite a bit while cold but as the beer warms finishes a touch sweeter. coats the whole mouth and keeps evolving.

M: Luscious, creamy, velvety, with a nice prick of the tongue and just enough chew. If it were a hint better it would be a 5.

Just awesome, a complex and delicious brew. Right on for this nectar.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25oz bottle into a wine glass.

Lovely head filled with bubbles. Frothy and off-white. Reddish-brown body.

Spicy, lively nose. Belgian yeasts and malts abound.

A very malty, nutty taste. The alcohol is pretty noticeable, but not in an offensive, or off-putting way. It just makes its presence known, and then clears the way for you to savor the bouquet of flavors abundant in this beer. Hearty and almost chewy. A very filling and satisfying beer. The mouthfeel leaves you smacking your lips and wanting more.

I'd love to have more! Supposedly a local store will be stocking St. Bernardus soon.

Photo of TimoP
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,039 ratings.