St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

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999 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 999
Hads: 2,177
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 127
Gots: 250 | FT: 5
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
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Reviews: 999 | Hads: 2,177
Photo of bobhits
3.07/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.75

Much like the 12 this one pours a murky brown color, nearly turning black. I think the st. Bernardus glass does a good job making this appear darker than perhaps it would be given a less bulbous vessel. This one still ours a nice 2 inch head filling the glass, though it doesn't last long and the lacing could be better.

Slight candy sugars, brown sugar, clove, some mild fruit esters, but nothing jumps out.

Dark fruits (no rot or fermenting going on here) with a lot of sugary sweetness mixed with perhaps a bit of cinnamon. I am really at a loss to explain this. The sugars are subdued by the spices and they really come off a bit off. There's still a good bit of hop flavor here and unlike the 12 hops do NOT work with this so some age would be nice.

The carbonation on this beer is over the top. It makes drinking it almost unpleasant. Each sip is followed by exploding bubbles that fill my mouth. The finish isn't clean like the 12, instead the sugary hoppy finish lingers on way too long.

I really was hoping to like this beer given how good the 12 was, but instead I am beyond unimpressed. This being only 4 months old could be a factor in my score, perhaps at 6-12 months this might work out the kinks and become a good bit better. Sadly, a review is just a snap shot in time for the bottle being opened. I won't go as far as to say avoid this beer as this isn't a style I seek out normally, but I wouldn't go in with high expectations. (1,452 characters)

Photo of Quackershnoc
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: a nice dark ruby color; thick off-white head that lingers for a pretty good while
Aroma: malt; caramel; fruit-fig, raisin, plum, apple, pear, cherry; yeast and bread; hint of tartness in it
Taste: sweet and smooth throughout; starts with a little apple tartness, with pear and cherry; moves into some nice caramel, malt, yeast flavors-big time sweetness here, and lots of flavor; ends on some very nice dark fruit notes from the nose and nice spiciness; aftertaste of fruit, spice and a little caramel and is just excellent
Mouthfeel: this is fairly robust; kind of on the chewy side (if that makes any sense); some bright carbonation
Overall Impression: this is a very nice beer; it’s packed with flavors that meld together very nicely; it’s sweet and smooth and the aftertaste is absolutely delightful; I really think I could drink this all night; I love me some St. Bernardus! (899 characters)

Photo of mooseo
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into goblet.

A - Muddy amber-brown with a creamy light tan head.

S - Sweet dark fruit, molasses, brown sugar, bread, and Belgian yeast.

T - A delicious blend of plum, raisin, molasses, and toasted bready malts. Belgian yeast is present throughout and adds a nice spicy character to the beer. The finish brings in some earthy hops and light fruit (apple & pear).

M - Medium body. Insanely smooth and creamy. Crisp carbonation with a dry finish.

O - Wow this is an awesome dubbel. Complex, flavorful, and very drinkable all at the same time. (557 characters)

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy deep copper brown topped with a finger of foamy tan head, this beer looks warm in the glass, like a winter ale packed full of spices.

S: The first notable smell is a smooth vanilla, with toffee and brown sugar. The smooth sweet flavours are followed by dark fruits of raisins and plums. Notably the smell is smooth, sweet and fruity.

T: Sweet dark fruits with honey up front followed by darker and richer flavours, hints of dark roast coffee and coco. At the end alcohol esters are present with just a slight heat.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth creamy overall feel. Prickles of carbonation are present and lend to the creamy feel, offering a slight foaminess on the palette.

O: This is a sure hit, sweet and deeply toasted malts in both the scent and flavour with plenty of creaminess with a solid foundation of deep dark copper in the glass. Get some and enjoy. (881 characters)

Photo of DelMontiac
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle dated best before 20 07 12 poured into a Chimay chalice.

Nice cloudy bronze color exhibits ruby highlights. Two fingers of crackling khaki bubbles very in size and leave behind a 3D rocky web of lace. Very sticky.

Fills the nose with apple, pear, and cherry fruits backed by biscuit and vanilla. Slightly sour to the nose as well.

Flavors of grape, apple, cherry, and pear fruit are abound. Fairly dry with slight alcohol esters and doughy vanilla aftertaste. Nothing overpowers.

Feel is pretty prickly due the large amount of carbonation. Medium/full body and sticky on the lips and tongue.

Very solid brew overall. Maybe not as impressive as St. Bernardus's higher gravity brews, but still a great beer. Will visit this again. (748 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet glass. Best by date of 24-08-17.

Appearance: Pours a deep and dark brownish amber with a little bit of floating sediment. Moderate amount of bubbles and a solid three fingers of off white head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of clingy lacing on the glass.

Smell: A deep juicy aroma with a nice amount of spicing. Funky Belgian yeast along with some clove, pepper and a little cinnamon spice. Candied Belgian sugars. Some esters of banana, pear, and apple. Toasted malts with hints of bready biscuit, caramel, toffee, and nuts. Big scents of dark fruits that include dark grape juice, raisins, prune, fig, dark cherry, plum, and dates. Light hints of grassy and herbal hops linger in the background. Very solid aroma.

Taste: Like the smell indicates, a good mix of spice, funk. and fruity flavors. Belgian yeast with a good dose of funk and spices including cloves, pepper, and a tad of cinnamon. Burnt Belgian candied sugars. Fruity esters of banana, pear, and apple. Sweet bready toasted malts with notes of baked biscuit, caramel, toffee, and some nuts. Big juicy notes of dark fruits including dark grapes, raisin, fig, prune, plum, dark cherries, and dates. A kind of earthy taste with some subtle grassy hops. A very good and balanced Dubbel taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, and fairly spicy and prickly. Alcohol heat is there but masked pretty well.

Overall: A really great Belgian Dubbel. One of the best in the style. Great mix of yeast, spices, and complex fruit esters. (1,627 characters)

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

A. This has a deep brown color to the point that it's almost black. Opaque. It has a huge foamy slightly-tan head and some lacing.

S. It has a nutty malt scent.

T. Similar to the scent, it has a nice smooth malt taste that has a nutty undertone. There's a slight bitter hoppy taste. A hint of metallic flavor and lemon.

M. It's a think, carbonated brew.

O. Call me crazy, but this has a very similar taste to the Abt 12. (424 characters)

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

Served in a chalice.

A - Beautiful deep brown with a nice finger of fluffy ivory head. Petite bubbles throughout. Retention was average with little lacing.

S -Dark fruits and Belgian yeasts. Nice subtle warmth from the booze.

T - Lots of yummy fruits to mention here (in no particular order): cherry, pear, apple, and figs. The warmth near the end reminds me of a red wine. Malty sweetness is present throughout, giving the other flavors a canvas to leap from.

M - Creamy medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

O - Highly drinkable and packs a lot of diverse flavor without losing balance. I would recommend this one to most anyone. (648 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a tulip.

A: pours a dark brown, even after a gentle pour there is a rather obnoxious three finger slightly browned head that takes a good while to dissapte, and also despite the gentle pour and leaving a bit in the bottom of the bottle there is still a good deal of sediment to be seen floating about in the glass.... Excellent lacing.

S: bready yeast with a him if nuttyness. Also a bit perfumy with some darkfruit sweetness.

T: sweet dark fruit notes balanced with a bready yeastyness, again a bit of floral/herby as well. Brown sugar, raisin. Grainy nuttyness.

M: creamy heavy medium mouthfeel with medium lightly crisp creamy carbonation.

O: a decent beer, but honestly I am a bit underwhelmed here, deffiantly would take a rochefort 8 over this one. (794 characters)

Photo of BeerDocT
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chilled St. Bernardus glass.

Appearance 4.0: Interesting color: a deep, golden brown and translucent. Nice 1/4" head that stuck around for a bit before dissolving into deep swirls on top.

-Smell 4.0: Nice bouquet. Deep, rasiny scents and dark brown sugars. So pleasant.

-Taste 4.5: Very light and mid-level sweetness in the front. Middle is slightly malty, but dry. Finish is almost umami-like in its taste, with light notes of dried fruits and dark caramel. Aftertaste is long, malty and almost I almost think I taste the telltale hint of adjuncts in it. Nonetheless, the brew is balanced and delicious.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Mouthfeel is full of front-of-the-mouth bubbles, which make this beer very refreshing and delightful.

-Overall 4.0: Very good to excellent beer. This is an easy-drinking dubble (double) and would be fantastic as a "heavy session" beer for those nights when you do not have to work the next day. Not the best dubble in the world, but definitely not one to refuse. (1,003 characters)

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. (1,461 characters)

Photo of DylanK
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cL bottle poured in a chalice.

Appearance: This dubbel is an exceedingly dark brown with a decent white head, though perhaps not as much as some other reviewers experienced. Perhaps I just lent a bit too gentle of a pour.

Smell: Not particulary pungeant, hops are apparent but not pervasive.

Taste: Crisp, moderate hops. The alcohol taste isn't overpowering and has a nice finish. The flavor is enjoyable though not particularly complex.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. I would have liked a bit more carbonation, but perhaps I just got an flatter bottle.

Overall, I enjoyed this brew. It came in a four-pack sampler from St. Bernardus and we'll see how it compares to its abbey brethren. (683 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a lighter shade of deep murky brown with a small amount of froth swimming on top. lots of small carbonation.
smells like a burgundy with a light side of fruit; more of an ale aroma than some of the other, fruitier, belgians.
taste has some cherry up front and a deep satisfying malty quench. some fig and a smoothness of the balance. very nice.
mouthfeel is heavier and full. very satisfying.
the entire experience is pleasurable. not too fruity, not too sweet (the belgians were beginning to wear on me with their richness). just the right amount of quaffness and quenching in this. i definitely need to get back to the belgian pub and have a few of these on tap again. (678 characters)

Photo of SometimesIfart
2.88/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very dark murky brown with a massive off white bubbly head.

S - Hay, odd malt.

T - Chocolate malt, alcohol, slightly fruity. Honestly prefer the 6.

M - Medium bodies with medium carbonation.

O - Overall, definitely not as good as what I was hoping. (256 characters)

Photo of bnes09
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep caramel color, thick and murky looking. Lots of bubbles. Big head on the pour with lots of lacing.

Brilliant aroma of hot caramel, brown sugar, figs and dates. Mild ginger herb. Overall sweet, dark, luscious and inviting.

Dark fruit flavors are prominent complimenting the aroma. Lots of brown sugar sweetness. Hops add a subtle spice. Black pepper and spinach leaves. Hint of Belgian yeast rounds out the flavors in a satisfying finish.

Medium bodied with plenty of malt and yeast textures. Just the right amount of carbonation to bring the complexities to my palate.

Overall a superb example of a dubbel. Highly complex and very well rounded. (653 characters)

Photo of scottyb88
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a cloudy, dark brown with light tan head

S-brown sugar, pecan, raisins, very light citrus

T-very similar flavors with a sweet, yet dry finish

M-very smooth feel with dry finish; almost creamy, velvety feel; mild carbonation

O-a really solid offering from St. Bernardus, as expected, but doesn't have the flavor as the 12. I know it shouldn't compare, but its simply a lesser version of the 12 (404 characters)

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

To me, the appearance of this brew is the greatest among many good things about this beer.... As I pour an 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass, a thick 2-inch head appears atop a unique hazy brew.... A brew with a copper/brown skirting that fades into a deep, dark, and almost opaque center.... The head vanishes quickly, but has good retention, and leaves decent lacing.

I take a whiff and get sweet Belgian yeast with dark fruit like that of raisin or grape.... There's also some caramel malt with breadiness and spice.

The taste mostly consists of dark fruit like pruny plum and grape.... There's also some apple and pear with a bit of spicy Belgian yeast and bread.

This is a medium-bodied brew that is well carbonated.... It has a crisp feel that leaves a bit of an alcohol aftertaste.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this brew.... A complex, but well balanced brew with a delicious taste and aroma.... Though not amongst my favorite Belgians, it's an easy-drinking Belgian.... Unique, indeed.... I love you, Belgium. (1,016 characters)

Photo of JamesMN
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown and opaque. Two finger foamy off-white head that is retaining well.

Aroma: Bready malt and a hint of yeast. A bit of sweetness on the back end like pear/apple juice.

Taste: An interesting mix of some bready malt flavor with a bit of dark malt. Flavors of plum, fig, pear, and some light spice notes dominate the overall taste. Some nice creaminess from the head with each sip that helps balance out the effervescent punch to the palate. Don't taste any of the 8% ABV. A bit of a spicy finish with lingering clove.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated as expected and medium in body. Average drinkability. The cloves get a tad cloying.

Final Thoughts: This is a Dubbel done right. Those who enjoy the style should really appreciate this one. Would I drink it again? It's probably my favorite of the style I've tried. (834 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Light beige head, good retention on a hazy, amber body. Soapy, suddsy, sticky lacing. Aroma is vanilla, raisin, biscotti, fig, feint chocolate. Taste closely follows the aromas. Alcohol is very well hidden, this beer is extremely easy to drink for 8%. Delicious in every way, shape and form. (342 characters)

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. (352 characters)

Photo of Maakun
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before date 4,5 years in the future, so I guess it's half a year old.

Color is brown with some red, slightly cloudy but I poured a bit of yeast in the glass. Lots of bubbles, but the head disappears quickly and leaves some small islands of remarkably large bubbles. This looks really nice.

Smell is quite sweet, some caramel, chocolate milk and raisins. There's not that much there, but it might also be my Orval glass.

Taste is quite light at first. Some dried fruits, coffee, brown sugar. Then some bitterness and a light acidity, fresh apples. Later on the (yeasty) bitterness comes though more. Aftertase is again slightly acidic, I wish there was more sweetness here to balance it more.

Mouth is medium thick , creamy and a lof of carbonation that overpowers the taste a bit. But it also feels fresh somehow.

Overall this is a beer I quite like, though I expected a bit more of the taste and it could be a bit more balanced, especially in the aftertaste and the mouthfeel. (992 characters)

Photo of Maltmaiden
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copper brown. Noticeable carbonation. One finger head. A bit of lacing and film that stays till the end, but nothing spectacular.

I smell coca cola/red wine, but it works for me. Nutmeg. Caramel malts. Prune?

Sweet caramel malts upfront. Still that coca cola/wine taste. Little bit of bitter (citrus?) hops in the back. And some yeast,but not as much as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is medium and moderately carbonated. Goes down easy. A little effervescent b/c of the alcohol. No bad after taste.

Delicious! I can't wait to have this again and to try their other brews. (578 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 month old bottle review.

Now, this one I actually prefer fresher rather than aged. Which is a subjective thing, but this 2 month bottle I have had recently has best catered to my own personal tastes. As always, YMMV.

Pours out rich brown with a nice frothy two finger head that lasts for several minutes but doesn't have much lacing left behind on the glass. Medium light carbonation and body.

Smells and tastes of raisin bread and waffles with a touch of molasses sweetness and a smear of figgy jam on top of fresh baked muffins... I'm thinking that it is probably the blend of medium yeastiness and medium-light sweetness with just a little whisper of pseudo-cinnamon / allspice blend in the background that gives me such a nostalgic sensory rush of hearty breakfasts full of baked goods, and I really enjoy it a lot. (824 characters)

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

Bottle. Pours a dark brown with a light brown head, good lacing. The aroma moderate to heavy malty, brown sugar, raisin, plum and hoppy. Flavor moderate/heavy sweet and bitter, in good balance. Medium/full body, syrupy, soft carbonated. Moderate in alcohol. (257 characters)

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

Best by 28 October 2015

A - Pours a semi-murky dark brown with hints of prange. One finger of light tan head has excellent retention and leaves some decent lacing.

S - Lots of fruit up front, with a strong white grape aroma. Also some brown bread and a light spiciness.

T - Spice presence is more pronounced in the taste, which also has a strong fruit presence. earthy brown bread comes in midway and last through the finish. Flavors are good throughout, if a bit on the light side.

M - Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium. Slight earthy bitterness. Finished semi-dry.

O - Definitely a high quality dubbel, but didn't blow me away. I would have it again though. (673 characters)

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 999 ratings.