1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,826 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,826
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 99
Gots: 130 | FT: 5
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: 1,826 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lifeboyq
lifeboyq

Washington

4.6/5  rDev +10.6%

Poured into tonight's tulip from a 25 oz. corked bomber a creamy off white head with moderate retention and lacing (not up to par with the abt 12 here).

I love the peculiar bready malty fruity sugary smell only found in the St Bernardus 6 8 and 12. It's a beautiful thing. This is a really intriguing warming beer on the nose which presents similarly in the nose and in taste. It lingers on the back of the tongue as well as any beer on the planet. The only flaw to this beer and the other St. Bernardus beers is sometimes you get a slightly oxidized metallic taste. This is from too much oxygen touching the beer post fermentation.

This beer is highly carbonated which is standard for the style which gives it a tingle on the tongue that lingers behind the mouthfeel of a thick liquid just balanced enough to not be cloying but bold enough to stand up to any beer in the world.

This is the best mass produced widely available dubbel in the world and still underrated as the complexities in this beer rival its big brother, the Abt 12 which is THE most underrated beer in the world. The only thing that can compete for the best dubbel in the world is the Westy and this really has more complexities than half of the beers in the top 50.

If you want something that has many levels of complexity, this is a must have but I dont visit it often given it's big brother is my favorite. I had the peche mortel earlier which is a beautiful beer, but even it doesnt touch this beer in complexity. For this reason, Belgian quads are the most interesting beers in the world. The Abt 12's little brother wont let you down though

03-27-2010 05:37:29 | More by lifeboyq
Photo of jmalex
jmalex

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

A holdover from my Christmas gift pack. This should still be plenty good, particularly on a miserable rainy day like this.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Westvleteren chalice ruddy brown in color with a very large cream-colored head. The foam is loose-bubbled but it settles out as a tight, full cap.

SMELL: Deep and complex with fruity aromas of raisin, cherry, and currant standing out the most. Fresh bread and a light chocolatiness form the base with a hint of alcohol rounding it out.

TASTE: Sweet malt and Belgian esters hit at first before being blasted by a rich chocolate flavor. It mellows out on the finish and really starts to introduce a mild fruitiness, though much less so than the aroma.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium light bodied and maybe even drier. The carbonation is higher than average which is right where I like it. This is how a Belgian beer should be.

DRINKABILITY: Very nice, and wow, it's 8%. I didn't even realize. Well it's certainly dangerous, especially since I could probably drink a few of these.

Damn, I knew this would be good, but I didn't anticipate just how good. A fridge staple for sure, you could do much worse than stocking up on these.

03-15-2010 22:17:58 | More by jmalex
Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
WhatsNewinBooze

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

This beer pours a cloudy medium brown with a tan foamy head. Aromas of banana, nuts and orange zest leave you wanting more. The palate was medium bodied, malty but not over the top with notes of orange, toffee, and nuts lead into a malty sweet finish that really likes to linger.

03-15-2010 14:33:20 | More by WhatsNewinBooze
Photo of ryanonline
ryanonline

Florida

4/5  rDev -3.8%

deep dark brown with a big tan head, and good lacing.

smell is sort of candy with a malty backbone of brown sugar or even raisin.

taste is pretty much all malt, raisin and bran type flavor. light floral hops.

mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a light body, even finish though a little strong.

moderate drinkability its a little foamy and heavy on the stomach.

good beer, i have had some dubbel that were a little bit to bitey, this is a nice even medium.

03-13-2010 04:07:23 | More by ryanonline
Photo of Jesstyr
Jesstyr

Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Purchased at Publick House Provisions and served in a La Trappe Chalice. Paired with gorgonzola and grilled lamb.

Poured a beautiful hazy brown, with significant sediment flying through the glass. Finger of big bubbly head, that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving excellent lacing on the glass. Smell has mild candiness to it, but with nice brown sugar and a little bit of a soda (cream?) to it. Definitively malty from the nose, but well balanced.

This doesn't have the most robust flavor I've ever gotten from a dubbel, but it is well balanced and has a nice, dark, maltiness to it. Subtle notes of brown sugar, light fruitiness, and a little bit of caramel. Creamy medium body that is excellent, with noticeable light fizzy carbonation. Soothing going down, smooth and just the right amount of carbonation. All this makes for a incredibly drinkable dubbel, which is maybe just a step or so away from perfection - or at least the best dubbel I've had.

03-08-2010 00:38:22 | More by Jesstyr
Photo of Longhorn22
Longhorn22

Texas

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

A - it has a medium sized soft white head, that is nice and frothy. The color is a dark brown, and it is a bit cloudy. The head dissipates after a few minutes and leaves an above average amount of lacing

S - You get a bit of bite from the alcohol, but it has some sweet aromas as well.

T - There is lots of flavor going on with this one. Sugar, and raisins are the dominant flavors. There is a bi of bitter hop flavor, but the sweet flavors are nice and subtle. I wouldn't want it to be any sweeter than it is.

M/D - This is the greatest part of this beer. This beer feels nice and smooth in your mouth. It is extremely easy to drink, especially considering how much alcohol is in it. Great Drinkability.

Bottom Line: Very easy to drink beer, with some nice flavors, and a great overall beer experience. I drank a whole 750 mL of this stuff, and it left me wanting more. St. Bernardus beers are great, and this one is no exception. Only drawback, it is a bit pricey.

~Cheers

03-08-2010 00:26:32 | More by Longhorn22
Photo of whoneeds8
whoneeds8

Texas

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

.33L - FL 11 08 14

Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice brown with a one finger white head that disappated to a small little island of foam. Smells of carmelized sugar and belgian yeast. The taste is rather light and smooth. The belgian yeast really brings the front and back of the palette together with a sweet malt flavor in the middle. The mouthfeel is high in carbonation, which is really tricking my tounge into not really knowing what the initial flavor is. The alcohol isn't noticable.

03-06-2010 03:07:53 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of stevefinny
stevefinny

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Opened .33l brown bottle and DAMN its a gusher.
FL 27/02/12

Appearance: Well when i poured it into my chalice it was still gushing. Beautiful, creamy, tan head. About an 1in of head.

Smell: Candy Sugar, raisins, brown sugar, tart apples, vanilla, and dates.

Tastes: Wow, upfront i get this tart fruit, than toasted dark malt,and coffee, and finishes with a sweet bready yeast with the slights alcohol to warm you up.

Mouthfeel: Thick smoothness, nice amount of carbonation. Well considering it was a gusher when i opened it.

Drinkability: I cant believe its 8%abv. This is just an excellent beer, very easy to drink.

03-02-2010 02:17:23 | More by stevefinny
Photo of dubinsky
dubinsky

California

4/5  rDev -3.8%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a 21st Amendment tulip glass. Best before end 10 12 13.

A - Bleh, nothing really to look at. It pours a syrupy, cloudy, sedimenty brown color. Nice one finger head that dissipated rather quickly. Lacing isn't really sticking either.

S - According to my wife, and i agree, it smells more than it tastes. Slight alcohol comes off the bat with hints of baked apples, prunes, dark fruits that lend to a toasted malty aroma.

T - Toasted malts give this beer robust dark fruit flavors that come out along with sugar and raw honey.

M - Its as carbonated as a champagne. Possibly over-carbonated for this type of beer. It takes away from what would otherwise be smooth and well rounded.

D - Overall a good dubble that's nice to sip rather than gulp. The alcohol is buried well making it a silent killer.

02-27-2010 03:53:58 | More by dubinsky
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

11.2oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: 1 inch pillowy, just off-white head that leaves no lace. Hazy, dark red orange. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Grassy, almost like greens in a vegetable market. Spicy, with sugary fig, cherry, and plum. Some Belgian yeastiness. Very intriguing.

Taste: Lots of dark fruit and sugary flavors. Spicy and yeasty. Full-flavored, but not as interesting as the nose. The smallest leathery hint of funk, barely perceptible. Even if it doesn't live up to the promise of the smell, it's still one of the better dubbels I've had.

Mouthfeel: Pretty carbonated and medium bodied. Sugary, bordering on creamy.

Drinkability: Good. Wouldn't want more than one, and generally would prefer the Abt 12 or the tripel from Saint Bernardus, but I could happily drink this often.

Definitely a good dubbel, even a great dubbel. It's a shame it smells so much better than it tastes, though the nose does enhance the experience of course.

02-21-2010 05:27:27 | More by Pahn
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours a slighlty hazy dark ruby color with a one-finger light tan cap. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of sugar-coated figs and overripe plums with hints of bready malt. Also present are very mild amounts of cocoa powder.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Fruit flavors are front and center - sweet plums and figs with hints of dry raisins - and are augmented by hints of brown sugar and clove. Pulling everything together are bready malt flavors that carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy and soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is a very good dubbel without any real flaws. I prefer a (perhaps Americanized) version with more malt influence but regardless, this is definitely worth a shot.

02-17-2010 02:04:42 | More by glid02
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.58/5  rDev +10.1%

Best by: 11.08.14

G – St. Bernardus goblet

A – Chestnut brown, not quite translucent, not much head, a bit of lacing.

S – Cherries and currants and pumpernickel bread (without caraway) with a bit of pleasantly musty alcohol. Quite pungent and nice.

T – Fig and date and assorted dried dark fruit, then alcohol, then back to the fruit again, this time more like apple, cherry and currant. All flavors are very understated and are accompanied by a Champagne-like dryness, making this beer among the most sophisticated, refined (in palate) and delicious of the Dubbel style.

M – Great sparkling crispness totally enhances the flavor palate.

D – As good as the Abt 12? It is so close…

02-14-2010 04:43:03 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of MisterClean
MisterClean

California

3.8/5  rDev -8.7%

Thanks to Duffman069 for sharing, ooh yeah!

A - Pours dark copper with 2 fingers of orangish-white head. Dissipates moderately slow leaves very nice lacing.

S - Notes of acetylaldehyde strike me first wth nectar and brown sugar. The green apple smell is most likely from the WLP 500 yeast sitting still for too long. Not a flaw, but there ya go, we all learn something.

T - Brown sugar, breadiness, belgian candi sugar, and some spicy hops. The hops come out as minty.

M - Moderate-Full-bodied, malt dominated, & spicy from hops.

D - Good overall, but thought the spicy-minty hops were a bit much.

M -

02-12-2010 18:58:23 | More by MisterClean
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

11.2 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep, dark brown color with amber highlights. head formation is strong, 1/4" and dark mocha. Lots of bubbling, indicating strong carbonation. Very hazy from suspended yeast.

S - A strong bready, yeasty nose. Comes across a bit spicy at times, but certainly a yeast base. A light caramel sweetness is present in the background.

M - Starts off with a light sweetness. Bits of caramel. Mid-stream gets very dry. Finishes with a strong phenolic bite and a sweet raisin note. Aftertaste is a bit yeasty.

D - Strong carbonation bite, very edgy. Biting to the tongue. Finishes dry with a bit of a clinging sugar note.

T - Deceivingly drinkable. Flavors come across as moderate. ABV will poke you. Can be a bit filling.

02-12-2010 04:23:13 | More by katan
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +7.5%

A-thin bubbly light tan head. fizzles away not too quickly and leaves no lace.

S-toasted malt up front. belgium yeast comes in next with hints of cloviness. notes of sour apple with dark fruits accompanying, dark cherries and plum finish.

T/M-smooth and creamy, highly carbonated. very crisp finish. some yeast and clove up front with a nice dark fruit backing and toasted malt base. sweet cherries and plum like the nose.

D-very sweet and easy drinking. a hint of alcohol burn in the finish but the sweet dark fruits and high carbonation hide it well.

02-12-2010 03:28:09 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of Gehrig
Gehrig

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Enjoyed on tap at the excellent Crane Alley in Urbana. Rich ruby body with a finger of slightly tan froth topping it; ample lacing and quality duration exemplify a terrific appearance. Beefy malty aromas--caramel, berry, and maraschino cherry--greet the nose.

The taste is sweet with the aforementioned aromas, but also with a tinge of milk chocolate and hazelnut; just delicious. Ideal mouthfeel--smooth, easy texture, very effervescent--nailed the texture. This is just what Dubbel should be--sweet, smooth, and complex. An outstanding beer.

It had been too long before I tried Prior 8. It won't take this long again; tremendous.

02-09-2010 02:22:01 | More by Gehrig
Photo of fropones
fropones

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.8%

A - Some gushing led to a lot of sediment ending up in the glass. A dark brown color with about a finger of khaki head.

S - Phenolic, notes of alcohol and dark fruit.

T - A somewhat coppery metallic flavor up front which disappears over time. Some spiced dark rum, bready malt, and dark fruits.

M - Nice carbonation, creaminess, medium bodied.

D - Drinks well enough for a glass full of sediment. May have to reexamine this one and try for a better pour/let it sit for a bit after grabbing it.

02-07-2010 04:28:24 | More by fropones
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

02-06-2010 05:40:29 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Stimack
Stimack

New York

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

This brew poured to a nice mahogany color that has ruby highlights, has a thick light tan head that has incredible retention and has left a ton of lacing. On top of the cake of bubbles are some brown specks, could that be yeast? Also suspended in the beer are some floaties that I would also imagine is yeast from the secondary fermentation. The aroma here is of a roasted, bready and a biscuit malt profile that has a nice fruit scent, candy caramel is there as well. The flavors of the malts are nice, my palette is telling me the same as my nose was - roasted and bready malts, dark candy, fruit, along with a nice yeast presence. Has a nice warming feel, but in no way has and alcohol flavor, well hidden and as I finish this really sneaks up on you. This brew goes down very smoothly and all I can say is I am so happy I was able to finally track this down, not sure why I had such a hard time in this area finding it. Now I know that this is a different brew than the quad but I do feel that this brew is a clear step down from that one.

02-05-2010 14:32:13 | More by Stimack
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

I drank this from a 11oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer is dark brown with a light tan head. The head rises about 3 fingers, falling quickly to leave a soapy head. As it falls it leaves a trail of lacing down the side of the glass.

The aroma is medium in strength with lots of malts, bready, biscuity, yeasty/clovey. There is also a little alcohol and at the end some sweetness. Lots going on, very complex.

The taste is pretty sweet, but not a ton of flavor, unlike the aroma. Its pretty bready.

The feel is a little to watery for me, but good drinkability.

Overall, this is ok, not a great dubbel, subpar St. Bernardus beer.

01-31-2010 01:24:25 | More by jrallen34
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a nice, slightly hazy, mahogany color with a 2" thick light tan creamy, billowy head that recedes very slowly leaving sheets of foam clinging to the glass. Mid-way through the head has receded to a thin layer of patch foam with a thick ring that leaves scattered patchy lacing that mostly slides back into the liquid.

Smell: The aroma is light but definite. It has a spicy and musty yeast character to it that rides over the top of the aroma of some ripe dark fruit. As the beer warms more the aromas open up and reveal the presence of some traces of cocoa and vanilla.

Taste: The nose anticipates many of the flavors but the balance is different. There is some dark caramel and cocoa here that is accompanied by a light sweetness with tart dark fruit and cocoa undertones. Also hiding in here is something that reminds me of tobacco leaves curing on a warm summer's day or the flavor that remains in your mouth after standing a while in a humidor room full of cigars. The alcohol is well concealed here and is only revealed in its effects.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to full-bodied but soft and creamy with the fine persistent prickly carbonation. The finish is medium to long and begins with a nice fuity sweetness that tapers off to a dry slightly astringent feeling that invites another sip.

Drinkability: This beer bears a family resemblance to the 6, but with a noticeable increase in richness and complexity of the flavors. But it retains some of the light, tart character of the 6 and is also quite refreshing to sip. A complex, subtle, and well-balanced beer that I'll be happy to have again.

01-29-2010 01:42:27 | More by drtth
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, clear, dark brown in color, some sediment

Smell: dark fruit and malt

Taste: dark sweet fruit, cidery apple, plum, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: smooth, semi-sweet, medium light bodied, high carbonation

Drinkability: I did not enjoy this as much as the 6, but liked the dark fruit. That being said I will search for this again and would not pass it by.

01-26-2010 15:57:45 | More by tigg924
Photo of Bisho
Bisho

Australia

4.53/5  rDev +8.9%

Wow!
Tried this one after only being slightly impressed by the Abt 12. I am glad I did as it is far superior in every way.

Taste and mouthfeel is where this beer is at, inviting another sip almost immediately. The balance is impeccable (if only the 12 was more like this) and the alcohol is well hidden in the mix!

Fantastic Dubbel that I will be going back to again. Like the Westmalle Double, it beats its big brother in every way!

01-25-2010 06:39:24 | More by Bisho
Photo of turnstile
turnstile

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +11.8%

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle, served at the suggested temperature.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany brown with a huge foamy tan head. The yeast is kicked up in the pour and nicely clouds the brew.

Smell: The aroma is of a strong malt character with ripe plum and grape notes. The second time around cinnamon and brown sugar/brown bread aromas appear to be present owing largely to the yeast.

Taste: Sweet. Upfront is brown sugar and toasted malt, following is a sweet/sour hint of red grapes, and finishing is a hint of alcohol. A sticky/sweet note of honey hangs around afterward.

Mouthfeel: A dense, sticky body with light-medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a serious brew. With a decent ABV and a thick body, it makes a nice dessert beer or something with which to end the evening. Anyone can approach this dubbel; it's only mildly bitter (if at all) and has plenty of familiar aromas..

01-25-2010 04:43:13 | More by turnstile
Photo of Maltoftheearth
Maltoftheearth

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +9.4%

A: Almost reminds you of a dark chocolate milk. Good thick head.

S: Fantastic. Tons of sweet smells roll off. Nice nutty malts. Like being in a bakery.

T: Very sweet but balanced overall. Sweet at first but then there is a range of malt / yeast flavors that come into play. You will get fruit notes but the Belgian yeast as prominent as it should be. Nice alcohol at the end. Smooth finish.

F/D: This is a mouthful, but savor it! Love this beer and quickly becoming a huge fan of St. Bernardus. This is the closest think I've found to what I drank a lot of in Italy a couple years ago. They were big on this style in the pubs... Not Perroni.

01-25-2010 01:20:08 | More by Maltoftheearth
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,826 ratings.