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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

1,984 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,984
Reviews: 976
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 108
Gots: 172 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,984 | Reviews: 976 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

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.

Photo of InspectorBob
3.98/5  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...

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of Gavage
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of stakem
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of weeare138
4.83/5  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.

Photo of superspak
4.53/5  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.

Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
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...

Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,984 ratings.