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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

1,898 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,898
Reviews: 971
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 103
Gots: 148 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,898 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mulder1010
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ML poured into a Tulip glass

A-- Big puff of white cloud upon uncorking this. Poured a very hazy cherry brown color. Some sediment in the pour. One finger off white brown head that dissipated pretty quickly but on swirling the head retention was very good. No lacing but very visible alcohol legs and small beads of carbonation.

S-- Really reminds me of a spiced cake. Something like that. Bready yeast, plumbs, cherry's, raisin's, Cinnamon, and some lemon and orange.

T-- A lot of plumb, raisin, lemon and orange. A little bit of alcohol mixed in on this.

M-- More it sat in my mouth the more the lemon came out and the raisins and plumbs felt to be soaked in rum. Has a citrus like feel to the carbonation and a little more than medium body and carbonation to this.

D-- I really like Dubbel's but this is one I am not real found of. Prefer Chimay over this and the La Trappe as well. A little too carbonated for me and left me bloated. Lemon taste was a hindrance in this for me. I will stick to their Triple and ABT 12.

mulder1010, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of bogus564
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Another thing I've learned in the drinking and reviewing process is to properly space out your tasting of different beers. You might be burping up your previous beer, and confusing some of the tastes.

The color is pretty much like the Pater 6 by St. Bernardus, dark brown with a wheat colored head. This head dissolved a bit more quickly, and left a faint bit of lace.

The smell offered me lemon, grass, some raisins. I had to look for the earthiness, but I found it.

The raisins were dominant in the first sip, as well as a caramel sweetness. After that, you noticed the grassy, lemony and earthy notes. Not bad.

The mouthfeel was okay - light in body, not a whole lot of carbonation and a sweet aftertaste.

Drinkability was okay - you'll definitely be crab-walking after three or four of these.

bogus564, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Snamnoum
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dubbels aren't really known for their beautiful appearance but this one is pretty good looking. Murky brown with lots of sediment. Pour produced a prodigious head of bubbly tan froth which died rather quickly. Fairly good lacing but not great.

Smell - tons of bready yeast and malt. Alcohol is very present, some light phenols and maybe the slightest whiff of some buttery diacetyl.

Taste/mouthfeel - this is where this beer truly shines. It is without a doubt my favorite dubbel. Rich and malty with some notes of dried fruit, mostly raisins. Very sweet from the dark malt. Back end is very warming with a brandy like alcohol finish. Taste pairs perfectly with some rather high carbonation. Overall feel is rather bready of that makes any sense. A little chewy, like you're just bitten off a piece of dark rye bread. Rather creamy head.

Drinkability - This is a rather heavy beer but one could probably have three in a night although you would be quite full as a result. As I said before this is my favorite dubbel, very well balanced not overly malty or punishingly alcoholic. With out a doubt worth trying and enjoying.

Snamnoum, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

drabmuh, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of cosmicevan
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 4.5

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into Chimay chalice.

A - Poured brown with a tint of red. Had a nice yeasty head with a frothy head and sticky lacing.

S - Sweet plums and grapes. Very similar to the 12, but a touch sweeter.

T - Nice mix of grapes, figs, and other darker fruits. The alcohol is blended nicely, but there. Very candy like sweetness.

M - Smooth with a subtle alcohol bite. Leaves my mouth feeling cool and tingly.

D - Super drinkable and deliscious.

cosmicevan, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of jmhart
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served a bottle at Cambrinus Pub in Bruges.

A- Pours a deep dark brown with the slightest bit of red when held up to the light. Appears a bit hazy, but hard to tell since it's so dark...I'm sure it's quite hazy. Big airy head with really impressive retention.

S- Spicy on the nose, either from alcohol or some tobacco in the flavor. Toasty malts, sweet, but solid.

T- Stewed tobacco definitely provides the spice, along with some excellent prunes as well as nuts and a nice oaky flavor. It's a little more bitter than expected, but in a really terrific way.

M- Medium to full bodied, with a creamy chewiness, and a nice dry finish.

D- A really tasty and unique dubbel and a definite go-to for the style.

jmhart, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by 8/11/2014.

Pours a dark amber color with a thin head, fades fast and fizzy, leaves a little cap on it.

Smell is a mix between the Belgian candied sugar and the malt, the banana isn't as strong as the previous St. Bernardus'.

The candied sugar has quite the presence in the taste and really shows how it can be used in a beer, the strength is a little more noticeable but it might be that it's a fresher bottle, once again the carbonation is quite assertive and cola like but works for the style, aftertaste is semi-sweet but not sticky or cloying.

deltatauhobbit, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2oz bottle, best by 11/8/14, into a pint glass.

A: Hazy, deep orange-brown body with a perfect 2-finger head of creamy tan foam that shows traces of brown yeast. Awesome retention, but only light lacing. Quite nice.

S: Extremely well-interpreted showcase of classic Belgian aromas: rich malt, dark fruits (especially raisins), candi sugar, and huge spice on the tail end (both clove and cinnamon). Excellent.

T: Follows the nose, with great balance of fruit and spice. Moderate booze on the finish. Delicious, but not quite as intense and deep as I expected.

M: Lightly sticky body that explodes with soft smooth carbonation. A little thin, but still feels great.

D: I could chug this. I never would, of course, but it's nice to know I could.

Notes: Yet another great offering from what's now firmly my favorite non-Trappist abbey brewery - and quite possibly my favorite Belgian brewery of all those not named Cantillon. Everything I've had from St. Bernardus has been top notch, and this Dubbel is no exception.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of racer2k
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 33cL bottle into a St. Bernadus goblet glass

A - Pours a dark mahogany color which is a bit hazy. The beer leaves a thick but tight one finger light brownish head that is maintained throughout the consumption of this beer.

S - There is a lot going on with this beer in terms of aroma. Sweet malt, spices, cloves and even some banana over tones. Complex but subtle in the flavor profile.

T - Mild sweet malt and seemingly light fruity flavors of banana, apricots, pears and prunes. The yeast profile is hidden very well and there is no single element of this beer that overwhelms the others. Very balanced complex flavor profile.

M - Moderate carbonation and body with an almost creamy feel to this beer. Very pleasant.

D - This is a very drinkable beer that is a fine example of Dubbel. Well done St. Bernardus!

racer2k, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz. bottled dated 11 08 14 into a Koeningshoeven chalice.

A: Gentle pour yields a 2 finger coarse and grainy light tan head with good retention. Beer is a muddy brownish-purple. Lacing is patchy and spotty with great stick.

S: Sweet purple grapes, Belgian yeast, with a subtle background of booze. Nose is very clean and appetizing with a sugary aroma.

T: Grape and plum sweetness with just a touch of tart yeastiness towards the middle. Clove and other spices sprinkle the experience. Ends sweet with a bit of an awkward tea leaf bitterness, leaving a dry, subtly grainy finish. No aftertaste.

M: Light to medium bodied, highly carbonated, and lively and refreshing in the mouth. Goes down real easy with near no alcohol heat. Finish is slightly dry with no aftertaste.

D: For a dubbel, the taste here is slightly one-dimensional. However, still very solidly executed and incredibly drinkable. Good mouthfeel makes it go down easy and low IBUs and big fruitiness mean that my palate is unlikely to be saturated by this one. Widely available and worth a shot.

SpeedwayJim, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rusty dark brown body with a huge, creamy, off-white head.

Aromas of rum soaked plums and yeasty spice.

Nutty malt turns to caramel, then toffee, then chocolate. Some dark fruit, lets call it...fig. Spicy clove, tobacco, oak. As it warms, notes of cherry cola begin to appear. Plenty of flavors to investigate here, but it is not an abundantly rich beer, just expertly crafted.

The body smooth with medium carbonation and a sweet, malty finish.

This has to be on the short list of style defining Dubbels. The word quintessential comes to mind. Further proof of the brewing excellence that is St. Bernardus.

BradLikesBrew, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of Cylinsier
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle.

Pours an ever so slightly cloudy dark brown with an off-white head. Good retention.

Smells of dark sugar malts.

Tastes of dark fruit and molasses.

Feel is moderate to full with slight carbonation throughout.

Pretty good, kind of a unique fruit sweetness in the taste. I've had better dubbels though, but it's definitely worth a try.

Cylinsier, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a creamy off-white head.

S: The nose is quite fruity and sweet. Some plums, blueberries, cherries, and figs. Sweet caramel, brown sugar, and bread provide the maltiness.

T: Quite heavy on the maltiness, much more so than the nose. Bready and quite sweet and lacking a little bit in terms of the fruitiness that was so prominent in the aroma.

M: The body is medium to full with a very pleasant, creamy carbonation and mouthfeel.

D: Another good beer from St. Bernardus. The alcohol warmth does come through a bit as the beers warms up a little bit, but it doesn't detract from my enjoyment at all.

womencantsail, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of nicetry
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a goblet.

Murky brown color with a beautiful amber hue when held up to light. Tan, relatively thin .5 inch head that quickly slides into a top foam. Lovely delicate lacing hinting at the carbonation to come.

Smell is very nice; subdued or dark fruit esters and stings of spice - a high pitch nose of nectarines and anise with low notes of cherry and fig. As it warms it gets more complex, adding in a toasty fermentation smell that, and this may be strange, makes me think of certain jenevers.

Taste surprises: a bouquet of ester-y carbonation forms around the edges of the low notes hinted in the nose; a chalky, malty spine hangs around to yield alcohol and a bitter finish. Decent and different.

Mouthfeel is delicate and unique for a dubbel, and while the finish is interesting, it doesn't convert into the malty saccharin finish characteristic of it's type. Unique and very good for a single bottle.

nicetry, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of Chizoad
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first sampling of one of St. Bernardus' other offerings. Up to now it's been the Abt 12. To sum up the review before it starts, I'll stick with the Abt 12 given the paltry price difference between it and the Prior 8.

Very pretty pour with a fat creamy head with some odd flecks and sediment sticking to the top. Lacy as it settled to a 1/2 finger head. Opaque reddish-brown liquid with floating yeast that would make someone other than me suspicious.

Nose suggested some raisins and a little alcohol, but not hugely impressive.

Taste was initially pretty good, but not complex, maybe even a little less so than the smell. The alcohol in it burns off quickly, and is followed up by a pleasing bitterness that is not typical. Doesn't hang around too long either.

Highly effervescent on the tongue, and sorta sparkles on there. One of the highlights of the ale. Perhaps due to this, it's not too heavy.

Still, I don't find it attractive enough to want to down another one. In fact I probably won't get it again, although I'm glad I tried it on a whim.

Chizoad, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Dark, dark brown but ruby when held up to light. Creamy head with decent retention. Looks good.

S: Dark fruit, spicy notes, vague alcohol. Something a little more complex is going on too, like a red wine? Delicious.

T: It's good. A little more carbonation than anticipated. Fruits aren't as present as the sharp spiciness. This fades into a bitterness which mixes with the sweetness from the smell. The middletaste is balanced, even if the initial flavour is not. Aftertaste is pleasant and mostly sweet with a few balancing notes kicking in there.

M: Very nice. Carbonation and spice make for a forceful first feel, but the fruit flavours moderate this well. Most enjoyable.

D: Not my favourite St. Bernardus mayhap, but very good. Despite the smell, it didn't taste very alcoholic, nor did I realize how quickly the beer was flowing from my goblet until it was gone. I would have one again, but probably would choose the Abt 12 over the Prior 8.

AgentMunky, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of meatmallet
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown color with a thin light tan head. Very murky with some sediment floating around in it.

Smell: Dark fruit flavors and some malt and alcohol. Not overly powerful. Just right.

Taste: Taste is about how it smells. Also a little bit of cherry and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: High in carbonation with a medium body. Not bad overall but not my favorite of the style.

meatmallet, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of EkimGram
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taken from my beer journal dated 1/2/10

A: Very dark hazelnut colour. Poured from large bottle into oversized wine glass. Lots of head upon pouring, dwindles down to about a 1 inch head.

S: Strong aroma of dark fruits. There is a touch of sweetness in it. Very pleasing, not too strong on the alcohol.

T: The taste of the alcohol strengthens on the tongue. The instant after the swallow there is a strong warming sensation, it lingers.

M: Medium bodied, carbonated, creamy.

D: A nice strong beer that doesn't have too much of a kick. Very tasty.

EkimGram, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of dgilks
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Peaches and stone fruit dominate with a robust figgy malt backbone standing in the background. Really good.

Moderately-murky medium brown colour with a moderate, short-lasting light tan head. Decent.

Interesting. The Prior 8 has a slightly punchier malt profile than the Pater 6 with rounded dark fruit flavours. The big difference though is a rich, spicy alcohol hit which accentuates some fruit flavours and cuts the richness of the malt. Just as good but quite different.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Creamy and refreshing with just a tickle on the tongue.

An eminently drinkable brew with a nice malt richness and good interplay with the alcohol.

dgilks, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of keithmurray
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 750ml bottle into a chalice

appearance - beer pours a murky chestnut brown, tan head that didnt stick around long

smell - brown sugar, caramel, red wine, raisins, plums

taste - similar to the nose, raisins more prominent, red wine, malts, molasses

mouthfeel - plentifully carbonated, slight bitterness in the aftertaste, medium to heavy bodied beverage

drinkability - this is a heavy hitter, so not sure about polishing off the whole 750ML in one sitting

overall a solid representation of the style

keithmurray, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of appenzeller
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red amber. This one poured a massive head that retained well, biggest head I've ever seen. Not quite sure why since that's not consistent with the other comments here.

Smell was malty and alcoholic, in a decent way. Smells like a lighter version of a good bottle of scotch.

Taste, quite interesting. Up front flavors of cherry (my favorite!) but that's soon overtaken by deeper malts and then hops. The defining characteristic, for me, of this beer is that it has a lovely "sweet" taste (the cherry) but it's ultimately a very balanced beer. First time I've tried this and I'm in love.

appenzeller, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Chimay goblet. Poured a nice dark brown with minimal off-white head. Lacing was minimal througout. The aroma was comprised of sweet and fruit notes. The flavor was full of fruit, slight spice, and minimal alcohol. It was medium on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very nice brew that was quite drinkable and enjoyable. I was glad I finally got to try it. It is definite worth a try for any Belgian fan out there who has not tried it.

thagr81us, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of boss302
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

St Bernardus, Prior 8, 750ml bottle, served at 55F into a goblet glass (as recommended on the bottle)

This is the brewery that used to brew for St Sixtus (aka Westvleteren) until 1992. It is thought that they still use the same strain of yeast from their duties 18 years ago.

A: There is a big thick head with course bubbles to start, then it settles down to fine bubbles that stick to the beer for the duration of the glass. It appears as a brown beer when light hits it from the front, but shows a ruby red with lit from the rear. It is a hazy beer, not crystal clear, and there can be floaties if not poured properly. I don't mind the floaties and poured mine to fill a small glass and a large glass in a single pour.

S: First impressions: Alcohol, winey, green apples, Sauvignon Blanc. Smells like it should have an acidic taste, but this is not so. A faint anise seed aroma, but not as strong. A cross between nutmeg and bay leaves, maybe this is earthy, but I'm not sure I would describe it that way.

T: Wow, nice clean flavor, a little CO2 bite, nice balance, and finishes very clean. Hard to pick out individual flavors. A faint anise seed flavor, a little sweetness on the front of the tongue, but fades almost immediately, a slight burnt sugar taste. It is very complex, a really good Belgian Brown. Toward the end as you consume the floaties, there is a definite roasted malt flavor.

M: Big thick, full bodied. I know the alcohol is there, but you can't really tell until after you swallow, and then it takes a while to feel the warmth. A nearly perfect balance of malt, hops and candi sugar to achieve a high alcohol beer without being particularly noticeable: Wonderfully deceiving.

O: This may be my new favorite Belgian. I'll be purchasing more of this. I believe it tastes better than the SB Abt 12. This is a definite recommend.

boss302, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of RuudJH
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Long time since I drank something from this brewery.

Very dark brown, with a very pale creamwhite head. Nice contrast. The head is very thin, but the lacing is ok.

Smell malty, with dark fruits, a little bit of roasted grains, nuts and coffee.
Taste is very bittersweet.

Mouthfeel is creamy.

This beer is ok drinkable.
It's not much above average dubbel beer though, I'm disappointed to say.

RuudJH, May 31, 2010
Photo of eric5bellies
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drankd from my Duvel Tulip.

A - Pours a dark red mahoghany colour with a large tanned head that reduces slowly but does lace.

S - Heavy cherry aroma from the bottle, a few more malty aromas once poured, but still prdominatly cherry.

T - Pleanty of spice, dark fruits, figs, bread and you guessed it... cherries.

M - Nice medium body and balanced carbonation.

D - The fisrt time I darnk this beer I didn't rate it. I muct have had a bad one becasue this is the best Dubbel that I have had. It's richness and fuller body sets it apart.

eric5bellies, May 28, 2010
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,898 ratings.