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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

1,854 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,854
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 100
Gots: 137 | FT: 4
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: 1,854 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -3.8%

jaydoc, Nov 28, 2013
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 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 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 TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a St. Bernardus chalice.

This guy pours a deep brown with ruby highlights subjugated in the crowd. The head is bright and strong, beneath which float disparate flakes of yeast (or such is my assumption). The aroma is sweet, with hints of molasses and fruits. The taste is rather sweet up front, with something akin to banana coming up behind. There are also hints of a wheaty quality, possibly from the yeast flakes, but tasty regardless. The body is medium at best, and sits nicely on the tongue with only an iota of carbonation. Very nice and effective dubbel.

TMoney2591, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a foamy, tan, three-finger head. It left huge rings of lace on the snifter.

S - It smelled of malt and spices. Also, a dried fruit aroma, maybe, apple and pear.

T - It tasted very spicy and had a strong caramel maltiness. A little bittersweet hop kick.

m -It was crisp, sharp and warm with alcohol. A medium to heavy bodied beer.

D - St. Bernardus knows good beer. Nuff said.

zeff80, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, 1/6th of the St. Bernardus 'all in one' pack available in Alberta.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, over-powdered medium amber iced tea colour, with three thick fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy ecru head, which leaves a few swaths of splotchy lace around the glass in its long, drawn-out wake.

It smells of slightly sweet, biscuity pale and caramel malt, orchard stone fruit, spicy yeast, rum-infused dark chocolate, gritty Pop Rocks, and tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is much more sweet bready caramel malt, somewhat tart orchard fruit (plum and overripe apples and apricots, maybe?), a subtle clove and black pepper spiciness, lesser nutty chocolate notes, and a subtle drying, earthy, and floral hoppiness, one well perfumed from the lurking alcohol.

The carbonation is quite prevalent, but in a softly rendered, frizzante sort of way, the body a sturdy medium weight, and adequately smooth, a minor airy creaminess building as things warm. It finishes with an agreeable off-dry stab from the soused bready maltiness, the fruity and spicy yeastiness playing quietly in the background.

Most definitely a classic dubbel, in that it is less about the sweetness, and more about the balancing yeast, fruit, spice, and alcohol, all of which do their personal best to keep from becoming overbearing. Monks, they be monks, whatever their particular unimportant denomination, and they brew some pretty damned (sorry, pater!) good stuff, as evidenced here.

biboergosum, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -3.8%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carefully decanted from a long-standing bottle, the prior delivers a crystal-clear chestnut body with a reddish cast and amber and copper highlights. Its huge, pillowy off-white head holds incredibly well and leaves solid sheets of thin, creamy lace about the glass. And there's an added attraction in that you can see the thin rings left from each sip within the solid wall. Candy sugar sweetness, sweet wine, caramel, almond, and vanilla reside in the nose; and appear again in the flavor, balanced by some dark fruitiness (black cherry, plum, fig), alcoholic spice, and leafy hops. It's bitterness is restrained against it's sugary malt, but slowly fights its way through to dominate in the finish (although some splashes of sticky malt do linger). This is a rich, sweet, satisfying, and complex ale that never becomes cloying despite its breadth; and has a great drinkability despite its strength. Impressive!

NeroFiddled, Feb 03, 2005
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl brown bottle with a “drink before end of 2004” on the side of the label. Sediment is a bit restless so with ¼ of the bottle left I stopped pouring.

Appearance: Good foaming action from a very active carbonation at the start. The lace stays as long as the beer is there with some clinging activity.

Smell: Creamy aroma of a cream soda, very faint buttery diacetyl, solvent alcohol and some dark fruit to mix things up.

Taste: Big and flexing malt presence, a real mellow twang and bready grain ride upfront. Carob and chicory come from the dark malts, residual dextrin trickle down the taste buds with a nutty almond like flavour. Light on the hops but a rounded phenolic flavour helps to balance. Slightly sweet finish with a growth of alcohol warmth in the end.

Mouthfeel: Plush smoothness rolls around in the mouth and the perfect level of carbonation rushes through.

Drinkability & Notes: A tasty little brown brew that has more punch than it shows. Well worth the try and if you like sweet dark brews this is a must.

Thanks to D & V International for the sample. http://www.specialtybeer.com

Jason, Jan 21, 2003
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass. The bottle reads “can be aged for up to 10 years”. I know this bottle has at least a year on it, possibly two, but nowehere close to 10.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a very large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, apples, spices, brown sugar and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar, apples and some spice. Then a strong breadiness comes in from a Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a solid Belgian-style beer worth drinking for a while but it’s not quite as outstanding as some other beers from St. Bernardus.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 10, 2011
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 nickfl
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A slow gush of foam begins as the cap pops off. The beer pours with big, three finger head of light brown foam that rests on top of a dark brown body with just a hint of amber showing through. The foam settles pretty quickly, but leaves thick lace behind.

S - A thick aroma of dark fruit and burnt sugars. Notes of plum, raisin, caramel, and brown sugar. Some clove and allspice notes as well.

T - Fruity caramel up front with some phenolic clove character. Darker malt notes appear in the middle, lots of brown sugar, molasses, and a hint of chocolate. Finishes with complex fruit notes of plum and raisin complimented by dark caramel, spicy clove, and warming alcohol. Lingering flavors of plum and dark chocolate coat the palate in the aftertaste with rummy molasses and alcohol.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a reasonably dry, boozy finish.

D - This is a very dark, yeasty dubbel that borders on becoming a quadruple. There is a chocolatey, roasted grain note that weaves through the flavor and influences the other flavors significantly without quite being strong enough to push the beer out of style. It becomes most prevalent in the finish, where it combines with the yeast notes of clove and allspice as well as the caramel malts to produce a complex, almost woody, rum character that lingers on the palate. A very nice beer that is well worth seeking out.

nickfl, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky brown with a soft bubbly tan head leaves behind very nicely patterned lacing. Aroma: Raisins and green apple fruit esters fill my senses with toasted malts adding a bit of sweetness to the mix with an herbal air about it not bad. Taste: Not an overly sweet dubbel a bit dry in the finish but the underlying fruit tones are more than satisfactory, with rich complex layers of bready yeast, chocolate, apples and raisins. This is an awesome dubbel, mouthfeel well carbonated medium bodied belgian ale. Drinkabiliy: A very complex sorta hard to seek out brew that should be enjoyed in small quantities for the pure quality of this product.

WVbeergeek, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Kegatron, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of russpowell
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent ruby red/brown with 2+ fingers of tan head. Very good lacing & super head retention

S: Fruittyness (cherry, raspberry, appleskins, figs & plums)& vanilla once warm.

T: Fruittyness (plum & cherry), chocolate, oaky dryness up front. Vanilla, a bit of earthy & leafy hops, chocolate, raisins, & jammy fruits, plus some boozey warmth as this warms. Finishes with figs, dryness & a bit of raspberry & cherry. Almost gave this a 5 for taste, that close!

MF: A little watery with a bit too much carbonation up front. Dryness & malt assert themselves once pretty warm with just a bit of booze warmth at the end

Drinks too easy, I'd guess this at a bout 6.5 abv if I didn't know. Easily one of my favorite dubbels, now that I've tasted it!

russpowell, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, which uncorked with great enthusiasm on untwisting the wire cage, with utterly no assistance, spilling ale everywhere..
.
Dark mahogany brown color, full, fervent foam, a bit beigey in color, slowly simmering down.

Aroma, spice, nuts, fruit, faint cocoa, more spice, cinnamon, clove, very carbonated, very enticing, uplifting, arousing, even...a lovely snootful, me likey.

Very lively, zesty taste, the mouth swims with this pruney, raisiny, vibrant flavor...I'm liking it more as it nestles in the crevices of my tastebuds.
Bursts afresh on the tongue again and again. Full-bodied, long, warm, lovely finish.

Goodness aplenty in this bottle. A keeper if ever there was.

feloniousmonk, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

prior 8 is a real delight. i dont know how so much time in beer has gone by without me trying this ever, but it must have somehow slipped through the cracks. shame on me, because this is a real beauty. a classic dubbel in style, maybe the classic version. not quite as legendary as their quad i dont reckon, but its there in quality. dark muddy amber colored brew, hazy with yeast sediment and a speckled off white head, thick and full of tiny bubbles that keep on holding up. notes of dried fruit dominate here, raisins and plums both come to mind, even figs and molasses, the additional sugar here is super raw, and not all the way fermented out by the dusty spicy belgian strain. not a ton of lingering sweetness, appropriate levels for the style, but there is a real richness created in the texture of this beer. a long experience, yeast and grain driven equally, but showing a higher level of refinement than even the offerings from other belgian monastic types. lighter in body than the quad, but still big, maybe a bit more drinkable. the fruit tones are awesome and permanent, this is a memorable brew, drinking well easier than 8% abv. worth double what they ask for it in my opinion.

StonedTrippin, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is served in a St. B goblet. Beer is brown and hazy. Forms a thin brown head of small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is estery and bready. Nice, mildly sweet. Overall nice.

Beer has a creamy body, fine bubbles round out the sweetness and the minor ester character. Beer is slightly bready and nice. Medium overall, high drinkability, a great obtainable dubbel.

drabmuh, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at the Farmhouse, Emmaus, PA

I don't think I can count how many times I've seen this beer around, but I never got around to trying it, always opting for it's bigger brother 12, if I'm in the mood for a St. Bernardus. Clear, chestnut brown color with a frothy off-white head that retained and laced well. Aroma of sweet malts and sugars, with notes of dried fruits. Taste was pretty much what I'd expect from a dubbel: candi sugar and caramel, lightly toasted bread, tones of dried plums and raisins, and a touch of vanilla. A bit of noticeable booze. Medium mouthfeel, and pleasantly drinkable.

Rifugium, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet rich malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a fruity Belgian yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth and creamy flavor that boasts of roasted and Belgian crystal malts. It goes down easy and finishes dry and fruity with a warming aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an excellent Abbey ale. It has great flavor and aroma; a fine sessions beer.

WesWes, Feb 07, 2005
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

mendvicdog, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is medium brown colored with a tannish head. The beer is hazy and you cannot see through it. The aroma is caramel and toffee with some molasses mixed in. I also get a little bit of dark fruit. The flavor is full of caramel, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and a little bit of grape/other dark fruit. The alcohol is barely noticeable and the beer is very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a goblet.

a - Pours a mahogany, nut brown color with a little over one finger of white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of bready malts, yeast, and maybe some raisins and plums, or other darker fruits.

t - Tastes of bready malts, yeast, some spice.

m - Medium body and hight carbonation.

d - A pretty solid dubbel. I thought it smelled a little better than it tasted, but good and worth a try none the less. Not as good as Abt 12, but something I would try again.

mdfb79, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of jwc215
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light brown with a thin lasting head. Minimal lacing slides down the glass.

The smell is of brown candy sugar with medium-to-dark-malt fruit. Spicy - coriander - bready undertones. Nice!

The taste follows through nicely - Robust candy sweetness balanced by coriander/cinnamon/pepper with grassy undertones. Alcohol well-covered. Finishes with a sweet spiciness.

Smooth in a medium body.

This is nice! Complex and well-balanced. Let this warm up for characteristics to shine through! A true Belgian dubbel.

Thanks to my neighbor across the way for sharing this Belgian delight!

jwc215, Aug 29, 2007
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,854 ratings.