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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.

1,011 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,011
Hads: 2,208
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 135
Gots: 264 | 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: 1,011 | Hads: 2,208
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The second beer in my St Bernardus evening, a brown 330ml bottle best before 5th Apr 2012, drank on 1st March 2008.

Poured into my Westmalle bowl glass it looks a lovely ruby red, deep and clean appearance. The beige head stayed for the whole experience, which I always like to see.

Plum pudding and christmas cake mix come to mind in the aroma, but it isn't strong and takes some finding. Burnt malts also in there somewhere.

The taste knocks spots off the 6.7% Pater 6 which is what I had prior to this (see how I did that?). This beer tastes like its aroma, plums, dried fruits (like found in a Christmas cake), malty, toasty and roasted.

Feels good, nicely balanced beer, the flavours stay and the beer is obviously well crafted.

As I stated earlier, I like a beer who's head stays throughout the drink, this beer has that trait. It is also a dam good tasting beer.

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Photo of tempest
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

In a word: underwhelming. Although a good beer, I found nothing to brag about. It looks like a nice monk brew, brown with generous head. Smell didn't do much for me. Some fruit and caramel, but it was faint. Similarly with tastes, there were some nice subtle complexities, but nothing grand and tasty. It was a mix of tart, sour berries, with bitter candy. I had a hard time tasting much because the beer was over carbonated. Really took a while for that to settle down. Still a very smooth drink, but not one I'd drop good money on any time soon. I'll stick to the Abt 12.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Decanted carefully into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass from a bomber.

Appears golden brown with a huge light khaki head and some lace. Excellent retention.

Taste starts out with some unripe black cherries with a decent level of acidity on the forefront, backed by a bready sweet robust malt body. Very slight roasted grain effect. Levels of apple sweetness, lush vegetal fruits. Liquid bread.

Mouthfeel is bubbly and smooth, well carbonated.

Drinkability moderate. Strong and a sipper for sure.

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

Pours a dark nut brown with very little head and little lacing. The smell could be a little more robust, but it has a nice winey aroma with a lot of rounded malt. The taste is classic Belgian. Dark and spicy with that tang od Belgian yeast and the sweetness and thickness coming from the malt. Bananas and cloves, and brown bread with some hops throughout. Very nice. Mouthfeel is very balanced - not too thick, not overcarbonated, just a nice medium body with some spritz and flavors to go around. Quite drinkable- no real sign of the 8% abv, and very refreshing with some interest in the flavors.

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Photo of liamt07
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Sammy, 330ml into a tulip. Best before April 27, 2010. Is this a seven year old bottle?

Dark brown in the pour, some ruby around the edges. Fairly thick tan head, with some dense lacing and somewhat thin retention, but it's persistent. Nose is chockful of rich dark fruit notes, loads of plums and the like. Caramelized and candied with notes of brown sugar and gentle vanilla. Some grapeiness that sits well in the background. Caramel, toffee and more sweet dark fruits. Vanilla is right there again, and dominates the profile for the better part. Finishes sweet and somewhat sticky. Mouthfeel is creamy as can be and the alcohol is invisible, super smooth and as close as can be to perfect for the style. Overall, a fantastic surprise (didn't see the dating when I got this) - one of the best dubbel's I've had in a while, doesn't stand far at all from a Westy 8.

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Photo of corby112
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown color with a huge frothy beige head. Aroma of dark fruit, alcohol and chocolate. Very tasty beer with lots of malty chocolate, raisin, prune, plum, spice and alcohol. Nice soft carbonation up front with a sweet malty center and nice dry, spicy finish.

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

Pours a clear reddish brown brew with a pillowy tan head.

Smell is banana bread, pears, melon, and cucumber? A bit of tart tang. There is a little spice in this but it is rather subdued in scent.

Taste is semi dry and the first thing that hits you is banana, not strongly this is a milder Dubbel than most. Very mild mannered the flavor of cake is all ways present. Mild flavors of brown sugar and melon are present but this isn't a strongly flavored beer.

Mouthfeel is good and thick.

Drinkability is excellent. I expected more in the flavor department but this is a mild mannered easy drinker.

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Photo of weeare138
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An '06 11.2 oz bottle...
Appears a hazy deep burgendy toned mahogany with a 2 finger head of tan fluff. Retention is nice as is slowly fades into a pillowy cap. Scattered chunks of hearty lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of liquid raisin bread with notes of caramel, figs, plums, and brown sugar. Heaven in a glass.
Taste is of doughy yeast with smooth caramel, light spice, and raisin bread flavors that make this an addictive beer. I need to buy a case of this asap.
Mouthfeel is silky smooth, mildly warming, chewy with doughy, raisiny flavors lingering.
This small bottle version is much, much better than the 25 ouncer, IMO.

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Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although it bears an almost identical resemblance to the dark, shriveling skin of a dried Medjool date fruit, holding it into the light will reveal a more scarlet red toned beer. Little specs of yeast do sully complexion but don't hinder the beer's radiance. A smooth surfaced icing of off-white is laid out evenly over top and leaves quirky stamps of lace as it sinks.

The smell also bears resemblance to dried and over-ripened fruits - notably plums, nectarines, and again, dates. It smells of a sugary prune juice with yeasty bread cast over it. Both the fruitiness and bready features are savory and extremely mellowed. There's some indication of alcohol but it fits well within the ripened fruit and garlicky spice of the bouquet.

The malts contain the grainy taste of rye bread as well a light toasted quality. They are sweet but even more drying. A spread of currants, plums and raisins has been smeared all over these slices and furthers the ripened, dried fruit character. The phenols have quieted quite a bit although you might taste a bit of ginger or cinnamon and I continue to remark a clove-like, almost garlicky, character in the finish.

I'm finding the beer drying and not overly refreshing. That said, I imagine this could pair wonderfully along side a long list of dishes; the thought of having this at the table for fall-time harvest meals is mouth-watering. The alcohol isn't nearly as warming as I anticipated but then again everything about this beer seems to be refined and very mellowed.

Apparently St. Bernardus 8 doesn't crack the list of my favourite dubbels. Nevertheless, it's a beer I greatly enjoy. In an ideal world, this would be present at more dinner tables and in more cold cellars than is currently the case. This abbey may not have the legal rights to bear the Trappist logo, but their beers have every bit the same quality and historical significance.

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Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this over at Max's the other day.

The beer pours a dark brown color with very good head retention and excellent lacing. The beer smells sweet and malty, but with some underlying Belgium spice. The nose is not super complex, but it does smell quite appealing. On the palate this beer is just delicious. There is milk chocolate and cherry, but also with a touch of licorise in the finish. The beer is just decadently rich and would be the ideal dessert beer after some mussels and frites. There is just a touch of bitterness as well, which helps keep it from coming across as tiring or cloying. The beer is medium bodied and is not the least bit heavy.

This beer is completely different from the St. B. 12, and I don't know if I don't like it better. Today I like it very much. Quite impressive.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW! Poured a cloudy dark brown with a huge tannish head, plenty of carbonation on this brew. Nose is sugar, candied fruits, caramel, dried dark fruits, roastiness and all of this is in the taste too. This was an exceptional Dubbel. Very smooth and rich, easy drinking and probably one of the best Dubbels I have had, ever.

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

11.2 oz. Bottle
Best By Date 03 02 10 ?

Poured into a tulip a nice slightly cloudy dark mahongy color, nice carbonation, nice two finger foamy off-white head, one big island and some smaller ones are left behind. The nose is of malts, yeast, grapes, figs, raisins, dates, and slight caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious, nice malty/yeasty/grapey flavor. Slightly dry finish. Medium body, a very complex brew. Very drinkable, a true to style brew, highly recommended.

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Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BB 24/04/13, served lightly-chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: pours a lightly murky, dark russet brown hue, coming with a well-lasting thin layer of dark beige frothy head and pretty moderate carbonation as far as my eyes could manage to detect.
S: lovely mildly-aromatic with a metallic twist, backed by plentiful dark malts with dark chocolatey and toasted nutty hints; the estery aroma reveals itself in a rather smooth manner, giving notes of Chinese red-bean paste (but only just), sweet licorice and black sugar, while alc. is certainly very settled and well-hidden. Not demanding or very complex for an 8%abv. Dark Ale, but the integrity is easily detected on the nose.
T: a sweet tinge of black herbal syrup and sour-sweet dark fruity malts come with a soothing texture of salty-sweet estery Chinese red-bean paste - pretty aromatic and soft on the palate... the weight of the dark malts is such that the hop bitterness and mildly floral estery flavour are literally "delayed" to develop at the back of the palate, where a light herbal undertone of licorice+aniseed+sunflower-seed, black-sugar-flavoured toffee, and a sour-sweet edge of caramelised prunes manage to linger. Slightly chewy and dry-ish bitter in the very end.
M&D: rather refreshing with a decent, moderate body and light fizziness, this big brother of "Pater 6" shows a deeper profile of dark malts yet overall lacks a level of complexity that is supposed to be built upon the junior one's virtuosity. That said, I find this an utterly drinkable sample of Dubbel, for its elegant integrity on the flavour and a total absence of alc. feel.

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

Pours a two finger, thick cream head that barely fades leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Cherry nose. Starts sweet, raisiny, sweet bready finish, not cloying. $9.60 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)
A-deep brown body that is pretty opaque. Smooth thick head that is tan, no carbonation visible in the glass.

S- light caramel, bread aroma with just a hint of perfume.

T- a little deeper roast that caramel maybe like a toffee with a bit of clove-like spiciness and some nice smooth alcohol warmth. Pretty dry finish with a nice hint of hops coming through at the end.

M- creamy medium body with a good carbonation on the tongue. The alcohol warmth doesn't last in the throat.

D- This is a very pleasant dubble that has good maltyness but not a complex as other dubbles I've had. It appears very simple but very elegant.

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Photo of akorsak
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 330 mL bottle served in a Troegenator seidel. The ale is cold but warming.

A: The ale is a deep dark brown color, hazy with a full head and lace.

S: Smell is full of strong alefruits and strong heady yeast. Very deep and complex.

T: The beer is deep and full of flavors. Some chocolate notes highlight the beer, along with sweet applebutter, dates and figs.

M: The ale is of the knock-your-socks-off variety. The flavors are so powerful in the mouth that you'd easily confuse this for some of the more well-known Trappist varieties.

D: 8% is tough, but the beer is top notch.

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

Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet. Pours a murky dark red amber with a nice off-white head and lacing. Subdued light malt, dark and light fruit aroma. Light fruit, malt and Belgian spicing. Somewhat light flavor. Finishes nicely with sweet malt and light fruit. Mouth feel and carbonation are very nice. A great dubble, although the flavors are not as assertive as I'd expect. I'd still be happy to drink this any time.

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

A - Dark brown cloudy body with a standard dubbel head. Beige and foamy, hanging around.

S - Sweet alcohol and some acidic fruit notes. Green apple and some grain.

T - Caremel and faint cocoa powder. A little alcohol warmth floating by. Some nice apple flavors and after taste.

M - Foaming mouthfeel. Medium body with some dryness and a tickling carbonation.

O - A nice choice but maybe lacking some bigger flavors. Nice and smooth but a milder dubbel.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle purchased somewhere local, most likely. Best by 7/12/06, as noted on bottle.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" beige head over the translucent, effervescent burgundy brew. Dense, frothy head ain't going nowhere, and lacing is chunky and prevalent. Aroma is sweet yet spicy, and makes me anticipate the taste, and what more can we really ask for? Taste is sweet at the start, with spices tingling the tastebuds here and there, and this flavor combination fades slowly upon swallowing. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very nice, going down smooth and creamy, and leaving you anticipating the next mouthful. Very nice offering here.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a wine goblet.

Appearance: deep, opaque brown with a relatively thin, light head. Attractive lacing.

Smell: slightly yeasty, quite biscuity, with a very subtle apple/pear aroma.

Taste: nutty, slightly fruity, quite sweet. It is very slightly bitter and there is a bit of a tart/bitter/astringent quality that hits the palate right at the end.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy body; quite carbonated.

Drinkability: despite its sweetness and relatively high alcohol, I could probably quaff this stuff all night long.

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

A: Poured a dark cranberry tea color with a huge, billowy, dirty beige head that was almost fully lasting. Visible carbonation was very soft, almost non-detect.

S: On the nose was a sweet cola aroma, toasted caramel, brown sugar and ripe fruit.

T: The initial flavor was malty and sweet with caramelized brown sugar, ripe fruit (plums). A noticeable spicy rum raisin alcohol presence along with a toasted nuttiness, and sweet caramelized maldiness defined this beer. On the finish was some spicy prunes, bread, and a warming alcohol fade.

M: light-medium, with a light creaminess while leaving a dry caramel lacing on the tongue after the swallow.

D: An incredibly sweet and smooth beer per style full of rich caramel, bread, ripe fruit that was superbly brewed to produce a great drinking beer.

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Photo of Derek
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good, but not nearly as good as their 6 or 12.

I wonder if they use the second runnings from the 12, like they use to when they contract-brewed the Westvleteren.

I feel that I have been spoiled by their other dark beers.

A: Dark ruby-brown, with a little off-white head. Some retention & lacing.

S: Not as much aroma as their other brews. Sweet caramel, figs and brown sugar.

T: Only slightly on the sweet side. Caramelized sugar, raisins, slightly spicy. As it warms up, the alcohol taste becomes quite assertive. I think it's more well-rounded when it's chilled.

M: Moderate body is a little syrupy, plenty of carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

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

Muddy reddish brown colour with a tan head. There was generous foam off the pour that receded to a thin, but solid, layer of small bubbles sitting on top of the beer. A thick layer of very fine foam also remained behind on the sides of the glass. Bready and yeasty, like the others in the St. Bernardus line, and that's a good thing. There's also a bit of spice and a vinous fruit character. Mild flavour with a bit of alcohol warmth in the throat. Spicy with a rich doughy, bready malt character. Chocolatey finish as it warms. Slightly slick. Ripe fruit is balanced in there as well as a bit of raisin. Alcohol becomes a little more forward as it warms, becoming a bit of a distraction. Carbonation really contributed to the texture, providing some meat to the lightish body. Another great beer from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best before 01 06 11.

11.2fl oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. The aroma is perfect! Sweet bready malt, yeast and dark fruit make up the rather enticing nose. The taste explodes with sweet malt, dough, dark fruits and a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Overall, this is a superb representation of the dubbel style that is highly recommended.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on January 25, 2013.

The pour is a gorgeous looking deep amber-brown with a long lasting, silky beige head and a slight haze. Some decent yeast sediment floating about which is something I really like to see.

The aroma opens up my senses in wonderment trying to define what is there. I get dark malts, dark fruit, yeast, grape, molasses, and Belgian candied sugars. It invites me to drink and enjoy.

The body is full and bold with modest astringency.

The taste is fabulous with an upfront dark malt sweetness, molasses, and a mild pepper note taking up the rear with a smooth, dryish finish.

One of the most gorgeous, aromatic, and tasty beers that I have ever had.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,011 ratings.