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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

1,892 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,892
Reviews: 971
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 103
Gots: 146 | 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: 1,892 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Joaco
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Joaco, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of madvermin
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown with hints of maroon and a slight tinge of purple. Head is two fingers, creamy white, and leaves a distinct ring of lace on top, then not much afterward.

Nose is of ripe banana, figs and berries. Coriander and clove are evident, and the smell is overall more sweet than spicy (not hot, but spice spicy). Some dark malts and booze lingers in the background.

First taste is of intensely spiced sweet fruit. The belgian yeast spiciness is almost overpowering at first. After a couple more sips it gets toned down a little bit, but combined with the bitterness that follows, the start is bordering on unpleasant. Fruits in the taste are pretty much all dark, fleshy fruits like plums and figs, with banana and berries taking a backseat. Booze is strong in the back and provides plenty of warmth. I like it, but I'd prefer it a bit weaker here. Warmth is good, but not to the point where the booze is yucky tasting.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full, with some chalkiness at times and a finish that is awkwardly watery, chalky and slightly bitter at the same time. Drinkability is shoddier than expected, as the yeast is just way too strong at the start and the finish, as just mentioned, is weird. Abv is not utilized in the best way possible (this doesn't mean it has to be hidden, it just means the strength is too much for this beer). After having Abt 12 and Tripel from these guys I expected a lot more, but I guess everything is not going to be to my taste.

madvermin, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of CBFanWish
3.03/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a caramel colour with a super huge frothy head. Way too much carbonation. Yeasties floating around. Just hanging out. Drinking this particular beer is a lot like biting into a chunk of bread. There isn't much else to say about it. It's just not my thing. That's okay, though. I'm aging one. we'll see how it does with 10 years on it.

CBFanWish, Aug 28, 2004
Photo of bobhits
3.09/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.75

Much like the 12 this one pours a murky brown color, nearly turning black. I think the st. Bernardus glass does a good job making this appear darker than perhaps it would be given a less bulbous vessel. This one still ours a nice 2 inch head filling the glass, though it doesn't last long and the lacing could be better.

Slight candy sugars, brown sugar, clove, some mild fruit esters, but nothing jumps out.

Dark fruits (no rot or fermenting going on here) with a lot of sugary sweetness mixed with perhaps a bit of cinnamon. I am really at a loss to explain this. The sugars are subdued by the spices and they really come off a bit off. There's still a good bit of hop flavor here and unlike the 12 hops do NOT work with this so some age would be nice.

The carbonation on this beer is over the top. It makes drinking it almost unpleasant. Each sip is followed by exploding bubbles that fill my mouth. The finish isn't clean like the 12, instead the sugary hoppy finish lingers on way too long.

I really was hoping to like this beer given how good the 12 was, but instead I am beyond unimpressed. This being only 4 months old could be a factor in my score, perhaps at 6-12 months this might work out the kinks and become a good bit better. Sadly, a review is just a snap shot in time for the bottle being opened. I won't go as far as to say avoid this beer as this isn't a style I seek out normally, but I wouldn't go in with high expectations.

bobhits, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
3.1/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a bar in Ghent, Belgium, into a St. Bernardus goblet. Reviewed from notes.

A: 2.5 fingers of excellent cream, tan head, and lovely thickness. Black colour.

Sm: Caramelized malt. Hops. Moderate strength.

T: Hoppily (can we adverb this?) built body, caramel, and subtle nut notes. Quite nice. Complex. Fairly well balanced.

Mf: Nicely smooth and wet, but far from perfect. Doesn't quite complement the flavours of the body.

Dr: Hides its high ABV quite well, but is nothing special, especially by Belgian standards. Wonderful but average - if that makes sense. Very well priced in Belgium.

kojevergas, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of cbros
3.13/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

cbros, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of rastaman
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

rastaman, Sep 27, 2002
Photo of Swim424
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Swim424, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Tupperwolf, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of Arno
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Arno, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of cujim
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

cujim, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

TheFightfan1, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of Thedrizzle
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Thedrizzle, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of ErwinGS
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

ErwinGS, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of Sirre
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Sirre, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of Dirty25
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Dirty25, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of kmk1503
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

kmk1503, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Alex5
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Alex5, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of JoshJ
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

JoshJ, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of iSip
3.3/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

iSip, May 07, 2012
Photo of Rastacouere
3.33/5  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.

Rastacouere, Sep 20, 2004
Photo of kgwine
3.33/5  rDev -20%
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!

kgwine, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of Patrick999
3.33/5  rDev -20%
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.

Patrick999, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of cokes
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

cokes, May 31, 2003
Photo of Padron4KM
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

Padron4KM, Oct 10, 2006
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,892 ratings.