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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

1,894 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,894
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
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Ratings: 1,894 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the initial skunky whiff of fish out of the bottle, I was somewhat disapointed. I appreciate the sample from Malto on my wish list. Complex carbonated taste includes orange and other fruit and yeastiness. Dark reddish colour.

Another bottle 2.5 years later and spicy herbalness at room temperature, no fishy smell.

5 years later, and licorice and molasses.

Sammy, Jun 27, 2004
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

t0rin0, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque super dark brown color with a 1 inch tan head that fades to a small cap. Very spotting lacing on the glass. Floating particles are present in the beer as well. Smell is of dark ripe fruits, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel malt. Tastes like it smells with sweet caramel malt, brown sugar sweetness, ripe dark fruits like raisins or plums. Somewhat of a high level of carbonation. Good drinkability but I was expecting more from this beer.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.8%

djrn2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.8%

zestar, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -3.8%

spycow, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with some chestnut coloring and a nice tan head with some good legs as it goes down my tulip. Smell is dark fruits with a good amount of caramel and some dark candied sugars. Taste is not quite as refined, with yeast character really beginning to dominate. Mouthfeel is nice and rich without too much heat. Quite creamy. Drinkability is quite good. Did this as part of the entire St. Bernardus lineup, and this was one of my favorites; though, to be fair, I suppose all of them were quite good.

Thorpe429, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -3.8%

nmann08, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color and poured with a thin off white head that eventually completely faded away, leaving only a thin ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are sweet aromas of candi sugars in the nose along with some hints of dark fruits.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is sweet (but not cloying) and has flavors of candi sugars and hints of fruit.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink, especially as it warms up, because no traces of alcohol are detectable. This is a very good representation of the style.

metter98, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Texasfan549, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by 05 10 09

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a thick beige head that sticks a bunch of lace on the sides of the chalice

Smell: Dark fruit (figs and dates), nuts, currants, brown sugar and anise notes

Taste: Sweet bread dough, with rum-soaked dates and anise developing by mid-palate, along with bitter almond skin notes; after the swallow, the brandy aspect builds considerably, a touch phenolic with an underlying raisin, brown sugar and vanilla sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with sprightly carbonation; warmth on the finish

Drinkability: The dark fruits aren't as complex as with other dubbels; still, a quality brew

brentk56, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky caramel brown with infusions of apricot orange and carmine red. A large amount of yeast and abundant carbonation can be seen when the beer is backlit with sunshine. The golden beige colored crown is soft and airy. It's also less than sticky and leaves a modest amount of sudsy lace on the sides of the glass. Second and third pours look even better and contribute tons of tacky residue.

The nose is everything that I'd hoped it would be. It's redolent of medium-dark fruit and has more yeasty spiciness than most versions of the style. Boldness is almost always a positive when it comes to big beer.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 is delicious and drinkable, as I was pretty sure it would be. If anyone out there wants to know what a quintessential Belgian dubbel tastes like, this would be as a good a place to start as any. It isn't as mindblowing as Westvleteren 8 (which I think is better than 12), but then that's one of the best beers on planet Earth.

Two words keep coming to mind as the ounces flow by: 'complex' and 'refined'. There are simply no chinks in the armor where flavor is concerned. Specifics include toasted brown bread with a thin layer of fig jam, a hint of cocoa, earthy tobacco leaves and generous dashes of clove and cinnamon. Talk about a world-class yeast strain.

Warming makes every one of the flavors deeper, richer and more well-defined. Bitter and spicy are slightly more prominent than sweet... which is slightly more prominent than tart. The ultimate drinkability score is a serious consideration because this stuff is disappearing in a major hurry. $8.49 for 750 ml is a steal!

When foam started oozing up the bottle neck immediately following cork extraction, I was afraid that excessive carbonation would be an issue. It isn't. The bubbles add exactly the right amount of lift and a perfect amount of energy. This isn't viscous beer, but then the best Belgian ales never are.

Not that I think about it much, but Brouwerij St. Bernardus is one of my favorite Belgian breweries. Top-5 at least and maybe even top-3. Prior 8 is the second best dubbel to have ever entered my glass and is an easy recommendation to... pretty much everyone. This is outstanding ale from top to bottom and from side to side.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A uniquely flavored Belgian beer, brewed the St. Bernardus way. From the bottle, aromas of Belgian candy sugars and spices jump out. Rich, well aged malts blend into the sweetness for genuine complexity even to the nose. Alcohols swirl into the aroma and flavor. Looks rich and sweet. Clings to the glass to promise richness. Dehydrated fruits are distinguished and flavored with mild spiciness. Alcohols edge into a fusal flavor that dominated the flavor midway through. Sweet and full on the palate, leaving a dry and alcoholic sweetness. A goood dubbel, but the alcohols dominate too much.

BEERchitect, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

kjkinsey, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a quite opaque brown beer with a great head with good retention. Aroma is bit weaker then expected with some roasted malts and some light plums. Taste is also a mix between roasted malts, a bit of candi sugar and some light plums. Overall, this is a good beer lacking a bit of complexity and overshadowed by better products from this brewery.

Phyl21ca, Jun 30, 2004
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -3.8%

GRG1313, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice dark amber brown with, Huge lively carbonation and streams of bubbles ripped through the glass, this looks like it has teeth!

The smell was very spicey at first, tingled the nose. Hints of dark fruit, pears, apples, cinnamon, figs, I could go on. A kind of candy sweetness almost to it as well. Spices and fruits are all over the spectrum and I don't even know where to begin. Pears, figs, cinnamon again are all over this. Cherry maybe, definatly apple.

awesome beer, truly a hallmark of the style, simply impeccable.

mikesgroove, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -3.8%

jaydoc, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a creamy off-white head.

S: The nose is quite fruity and sweet. Some plums, blueberries, cherries, and figs. Sweet caramel, brown sugar, and bread provide the maltiness.

T: Quite heavy on the maltiness, much more so than the nose. Bready and quite sweet and lacking a little bit in terms of the fruitiness that was so prominent in the aroma.

M: The body is medium to full with a very pleasant, creamy carbonation and mouthfeel.

D: Another good beer from St. Bernardus. The alcohol warmth does come through a bit as the beers warms up a little bit, but it doesn't detract from my enjoyment at all.

womencantsail, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -3.8%

kylehay2004, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Popped the cap on this brew and the bubbles started coming right up the neck of the bottle and magically stopped right at the top of the bottle. Poured this one slowly into a wine glass, it came out as a muddy brown color with a light tan colored head on top. The lacing was pretty good down the glass and sticks around for a while. The smell of the beer is soft, earthy and had a light spice note in there too. The taste of the beer was smooth with some subtle dark fruit flavors and brown sugar. The other flavors of some yeast come through also. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a light carbonation to it and was very easy to drink. Overall it's a brew that everyone should try.

Knapp85, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best Before: 28 06 12.

Appearance: Pours a clear, chestnut brown body with a frothy, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet, malty nose smelling of dark candi sugar, cocoa-caramel, ripe plums, and a glass of meritage wine.

Taste: Dark maltiness tasting of dark caramel and cocoa powder with a full, resounding sweetness. Plum fruitiness followed by a sip of fruity, yet robust red wine with some warming alcohol qualities to it. Light trace of roastiness throughout, even a bit of nuttiness. Hint of caraway seed-packed rye bread. Malty, sweet, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Well carbonated, which keeps the maltiness from ever becoming heavy, instead keeping things light and airy.

Drinkability: Paired very well with some Pinback mp3's. A delightful dubbel, to be sure, I'll see how it compares to the Abt 12 which is up next.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep murky brown with a awesome big fluffy head that settles into a nice creamy top leaving sheets of lace behind,brown sugar and orange marmalade dominate the aromas with some underlying sweet biscuit dough.The taste is much drier than expected,some clovey spicinessis very prevelant along with some unsweetened chocolate along with some toffee finishing pretty rather dry and abrupt.A very nice dubbel complex and not overly sweet a very good beer one to savor.

oberon, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -3.8%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,894 ratings.