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St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,012 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,012
Hads: 2,210
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 135
Gots: 265 | 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: 1,012 | Hads: 2,210
Photo of InspectorBob
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my St. Bernardus goblet. dark brown in color with small yeast particles, two fingers of off white head, not much lacing at all.

The aroma is on the sweet side. The taste of this beer is complex, maybe cherry,plum, dark fruits

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some carbonation.

Very smooth drinking for 8% ABV...

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge head that recedes in a rocky fashion. Decent lace on the glass. The color is light brown without much haze even though there is some yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

When compared to '6', this is a milder smell--not nearly as sweet. No strong yeast smell as typical with most Belgians.

Sweet and thick with a definite level of alcohol warmth. Decent body, but not as thick as some Belgians. Nice light hop in the swallow. Very smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature chalice, no bottle dating. Pours cloudy dark reddish brown color with a fairly dense 2 finger off white head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some slight spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big apple, grape, raisin, prune, dark candi sugar, molasses, pepper, toasted biscuit, and yeast spices. Fantastic and standard dubbel aromas with great complexity and strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, caramel, molasses, biscuit, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, light chocolate, roasted nut, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of dark fruit, molasses, apple, candi sugar, clove, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance and complexity; with no cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fantastic fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink but is still a sipper. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely mind blowing Dubbel. Fantastic flavor complexity, balance, and super smooth drinking. Hands down the best Dubbel I have ever had.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Atlanta Yard House.
A: clear dark amber with a good beige head.

Aroma: loads of dark fruit aromas including dates and raisins. Slight boozy with some nice spicy and bready aspects to the lingering aftertaste.

Flavor: Sweet up front turning bitter-sweet by the finish. Very fruity as is the aroma.

Feel: medium body; proper carbonation.

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Photo of jwc215
4.29/5  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!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 29-03-16

A: Pours a hazy mahogany brown in color with a finger tall light beige head. The head on this beer reduces to merely a very thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass in a very short amount of time. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Definitely some dark fruit - I think I detect plum, fig, and black cherry. I also get hints of chocolate and some dark malts, almost like a pumpernickel or brown bread.

T: A very well balanced flavor to this beer, marrying the flavors of the dark fruit (plum, fig, and black cherry) with the rich dark malts, the noble hops, and the Belgian yeast. There is some sweetness from the candi sugar. The alcohol in this beer is very well masked.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very creamy.

O: Very nice beer, well balanced and with good amounts of complexity. I shouldn't be surprised as I have been impressed with every beer I have had from St. Bernardus. This is a beer that I would get many times and each time I think I appreciate it a little more.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle

A: Pours deep mahogany/brown color with an impressive foamy head on top, about 1.5 fingers in height, just off-white in color. Really nice retention, this thing is not going anywhere. Nice lacing all around the glass.

S: Some fig and raisin as well as a bit of bready malt. The yeast shines through a little, but overall rather simple.

T: Nice flavor, full of dark fruits, mostly raisins, plum, and a little bit of fig. Some candied sugar and a little bit of bready malt.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks very smooth.

O: A really good beer, easy drinking and smooth. Solid flavor profile, spot on.

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Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a matching St. Bernardus goblet. The brew appears a clear mahogany with an orange to copper look about it when held to the light. Despite a careful pour, some big flakes of yeast make their way into the glass keeping this from otherwise being a perfectly polished looking brew. A tan cap sits atop and fades to a thin lace supported by constantly rising bubbles of carbonation. As the cap fades, it leaves some stringy webs of lace sticking to the glass.

The nose on this is very similar to the 6, but stepped up with a bit more focus on belgian candy sugar. A hint of citrus and dark fruit blend in with the candy aspect along with toffee and molasses. There is a touch of earthen inclusion to the backend of the nose that brings out a mild focus on yeast.

The taste is herbal and earthy with a bit of a medicinal feel to it. Residual sweetness of toffee and molasses give way to a bit of prune or raisins. There is a mild touch of something along the lines of oxidation present that flirts with having an almost cardboard or wet paper flavor but the herbal and fruity aspects really drown that out.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty solid dubbel with an interesting mix of flavors. In comparison to the other St. Bernardus products, I give the nose on this one a slight edge over the 6 but the flavor of the 6 is a little better than this one. Still worth a try if you get the chance.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a St. Bernardus goblet.

The beer is chestnut brown with a half inch of tan head that leaves ample lacing in its wake. The aroma brings brown bread, yeast, brown sugar (though the aroma is not sweet, per se), light spice. The flavor is light and easy. Minimal alcohol presence. Bread, yeast, malt, light spice. A stellar example of a dubbel.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish amber with 1/2" of dense, bubbly head that has good retention. The nose has notes of caramel, yeast, spices and fruit. The taste is caramel, faint spice, apple, faint grapes, phenols, and yeast. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated.

If you pay attention there are a lot of subtle flavors that come together in this one. It's well balanced and very drinkable.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08/15/05- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a notched dating at the bottom of the label. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Nice brown pour. At first a lightly creamy looking 1/2 inch head, but quickly disappears leaving just a slight rim of head. Average t lighter lace.

Smell- Dark malts and dark fruits. Not much else.

Taste- The dark fruits come out, but they are fairly mellow and muted. Definite raisins and figs. Not as much sweetness as I expected, but enough to keep your attention. Maybe a pinch of brown sugar as well.

Mouthfeel- Super smooth and a bit creamy, nice carbonation level for a dubbel.

Drinkability- For a dubbel this is a damn good one. A tad more sweetness would have put this one over the top. St. B never lets you down though.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into an official Bernadus chalice, at Mannequin Pis in Olney MD.

An absolutely gorgeous deep blood red and ruby garnet body color, with mahogany brown in the center. Minimal carbonation, and a thin bubbled light tan head. Manages to always keep a puck while drinking an minimal lacing.

Classic Belgian dark ale notes on the nose, but lighter. Some slight clove and fig, minimal wine like heat. Considerably lighter than I was expecting. Some small touches of cinnamon.

Much of the taste is no surprise from the bouquet. Light bodied and moderately carbonated, and some degree of brown sugar sticky coating in the palate. Light bodied fig and raisin, with some matching clove as well. Some very dry finish and almost mineral perrier tasting.

Overall not too bad, but it's hard for me to get excited about this style. Pretty much textbook, but missing lots of wow factor.

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Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy brown color with a thin off white head that looks like a smooth layer of icing on a cake. Lacing developed through the drink. The aroma was of malt and yeast. The flavors was of malt, yeast, spice,caramel, and raisins. Not overly complex, but a nice variety of flavors that are well balanced.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a crisp finish. Medium bodied. The malt lingers on the tongue after swallowing. Extremely drinkable as this is so flavorful as a dubbel and the alcohol is barely noticeable.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice garnet color when held up to the light, otherwise this is an amber beer topped by a tan head. A spicy musty aroma wafts from my goblet. There are undertones of fruit in the aroma as well. Definitely spicy tasting as well, finishes a bit hot. This beer definitely features what Belgian yeast can do. Lots of yeast character here. There is a subtle malty sweetness that helps to carry the complex yeast flavors and aromas. The spice notes from the yeast that I can differentiate are; ginger, pepper, bergamot, and cardamom. This beer is medium bodied, though, as many Belgian beers are, it is quite light for its alcohol content. This beer is very similar to the 6, just a little bit richer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, caged and corked. Best before dating found here on the top of the cage. Pours cloudy, warm honey brown.Lots of yeast in the final pour. Head is huge, tan, very long standing , world class lace production. Nose is an interesting mix of soap/ginger/spice/sugar and perfume. Lucious brew. Heady. Complex. A ton of warming fruit flavors. Spicy. Herbal. Sweet. Flows smoothly of the tongue, warms the throat and stimulates the senses. Fine, fine brew.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split with oglmcdgl with some killer breakfast.

Prior 8 comes out like a true dubbel with a wet wood shaded brown and some shades of red in spots. A nice half inch of semi tan foam up top good retention, no lace though.

Smell is nuts, bready Belgian yeast/pumpernickle, spice. Taste is kinda muted, yeast up front with some big time nuts and a caramel backing, not cloying or overly sweet though.

Feel is medium, smooth and easy like most trappists beers, alcohol is not noted, carb is light, not refreshing but satisfying. I can drank a bunh more of this, why not...

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bought this in the gift pack, put that glass to good use.

Nice color. Ruby hazel nut body, shiny. Not 100% white head, foamy across the top. Good lacing.

Aroma is a bit subdued. It's a dubbel for sure, though. Sweet apple and faint nutmeg. Cinnamon perhaps. Sweet caramel, sweet bread.

I would call this a semi-sweet flavor. Orchard apples, sweet caramel, sweet bread, nuts, and hints of orange peel. Westy 8 is a bit sweeter and a touch more complex, but this is darn good. Easy drinking.
The feel is just about perfect; I'm not sure what else it could do.

Great beer

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle poured into a chalice, on to the beer:

Pours caramel/orange. this beer is ruby brown when sitting in my chalice, the head soapy yet holding up. Lots of sediment floating in the body. Big notes of green apple/cider, some plum, bit of grain, and dark fruits. This beer is medium bodied with a pinch of alcohol. Chalky tasting at first, out comes a bit of unsweetened cocoa. Dried dates and squaw bread round off the taste.

The flavors are too mild and powdery compared to other Belgian dubbels in the land. Worth a taste.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle, best before 4/24/2013, into a snifter,

A: Pours a murky brown with a light tan head that gushes a bit, the carbonation was foaming at the top of the bottle before I even had a chance to pour it, good head retention, the head is quite fizzy.

S: Distinct smell of prunes, dried dark fruit and black currants.

T: Taste is good, the flavours are not overpowering, they manage to be subtle and complex at the same time. Dark pumpkernickel bread with notes of rye are intertwined with dark fruit character - raisins for sure and prune. Hit of molasses at the end as well as a hint of winter spice. Sweet notes of cake batter in the aftertaste. All around good flavour, it is imperative to drink this at at least 50-55F.

M: Carbonation is very high, though it didn't explode in my mouth like other relatively young bottle conditioned beers can do. Give it a few good swirls before tasting, as you pick up some more notes from the nose, the mouthfeel will be much more drinkable. The overall lightness on the tongue completely hides the 8%.

D: This is a good abbey beer. It's not the most striking Dubbel in flavour I've ever had, but it is distinctly Belgian and it would make a great starting point for those just beginning to get into Belgium's wonderful and diverse brews. It's got something in there for everyone I think. One of the most drinkable high gravity brews I've ever had. Recommended.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,012 ratings.