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St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

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2,033 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,033
Reviews: 986
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 113
Gots: 199 | FT: 2
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,033 | Reviews: 986 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rvdoorn
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: the beer pours a dark amber brown color with a nice head.
Smell: toasted malts, yeast, caramel, dark fruits and spices (clove?).
Taste: Malts, grains, sweet dark fruits, clove and hops. In aftertaste is a bit bitter, spicy and alcoholic.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation and medium mouthfeel.
Overall: nice dubbel, but can not compete with westvleteren, achel and rochefort

Photo of angrybabboon
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 2/5/11

Appearance: Dark ruby/amber brown, with a thick, foamy head, great lacing

Smell: Sweet malts, candi sugar, dark fruits, Belgian yeast - some interesting spices, too - smells like a dubbel should

Taste: Sweet bread, dark fruits such as figs, some toasted malts, some spices - some nice Belgian yeast - slightly tart - a great example of the style, but not as exciting as some other dubbels

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, bubbly carbonation - kind of dry despite the sweetness, which is interesting

Overall: A borderline excellent dubbel

When I first had this beer, I thought it was truly excellent. Upon a re-review, I found it to be less than perfect. It's less complex than some others. Tasty, nonetheless.

Photo of kgwine
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The dark amber/brown color was appealing, but the bubbles were big and a bit clunky. I do love champagne, and I like tiny compact froathy bubbles. This is a "naturally carbonated" brew, but I've experienced better.

There is a definite malty toasty nose. Caramel and toffee - but subtle.

Rather quick on the 'ol taste buds. There is a spicy almost cinnamon note when left on the palate for a few seconds. With a few sausages in the frying pan sizzling at the time of this writing, I have a feeling that a food pairing will increase my perceptions of this beer.

Overall, a nice brown ale. I generally prefer a bit more bitter flavors, but with food, I think this one 'll do!

Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a chimay goblet.

A: Dark, a rich black colour with a head that fades slowly to a small layer of foam.

S: A very fresh smell, reminding me of summer, but with the addition of rich dark fruits.

T: I get malts first that quickly start to compete with a hoppy taste which adds some bitterness and the whole thing mellows out as you swallow. A salty cheese and onion flavour emerges and puzzles me before I realise I have dropped a crisp into the glass...

Overall a very good brew, mellow yet complex and a pleasure to drink. Addition of cheese and onion crisp not recommended.

Photo of meatyard
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, hazy, cola color with a 1-finger, short lived head that retreats to a small cap in the middle without lacing.

The smell is caramel malt driven with candy sugar.

The taste is, at first, a bit of alcohol, then a noticeable spicy flavor (especially cloves) & caramelized malt. There are some fruit flavors in here as well, particularly figs.

Mouthfeel is full leaning, slightly yo medium with spare carbonation.

Overall: I expected a bit more though it's still a very good beer, The clove taste is more evident than I would like. This and the Pater 6, while very different beers, don't compare with the quality of the Abt 12. Look for the 12.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass. The bottle reads “can be aged for up to 10 years”. I know this bottle has at least a year on it, possibly two, but nowehere close to 10.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a very large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, apples, spices, brown sugar and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar, apples and some spice. Then a strong breadiness comes in from a Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a solid Belgian-style beer worth drinking for a while but it’s not quite as outstanding as some other beers from St. Bernardus.

Photo of AdamBear
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-murky chestnut with a thin cream colored head

S-smells like bread and molasses. very grainy smelling. medium strength

T-comes in strong with a flavor of bread and holiday spices. its a good and complex flavor. the after-taste is very similar with more focus n the spice. i really like this. every sip seems to unfold a new flavor.

M-medium carbonation with a crisp finish

O-this is a wonderful beer. its quite different than the other dubbels i've had, not as sweet, this seems to have a different flavor profile to me. this seems to be more complex and sophisticated to me than the others. every time i go to take a sip, i get excited. i definitely won't mind getting this again. its quite tasty and goes down very easily.

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 msnow34
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahagony with a decent head, into a chimay chalice. Initial smell and taste sour, and cidery. Thinking i'm going to drain pour after i finish the chalice, but I give it a chance and allow it to warm, maybe served a little too cold. Smell, plums and raisins(disclaimer i have a bad sense of smell) Tastes very sweet, perfect level of carbonation. mouthfeel light and smooth, head retention is minimal. Overall not a bad beer, but most likely wouldn't try this one again, if I did i would allow it to warm to correct temperature first.

Photo of nickthetick
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a lot like the 6; mahogany with ruby tints into a St. Bernardus ballooned goblet with a finger of khaki head that leaves nice lacing.

S: caramel and toffee, figs, dates, spices and cloves. Bananas and apples add a decent fruity-ness.

T: deep roasted malt, caramel and dark belgium brewing sugar. Spicy and apple pie-esque with other fruity notes like bananas and plums. There is some warm alcohol notes.

MF: a tad heavy but not too filling. Warm and spicy/sweet.

O: great beer but I wish the alcohol wasn't so noticeable. I'd grab the 6 first.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is medium brown colored with a tannish head. The beer is hazy and you cannot see through it. The aroma is caramel and toffee with some molasses mixed in. I also get a little bit of dark fruit. The flavor is full of caramel, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and a little bit of grape/other dark fruit. The alcohol is barely noticeable and the beer is very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of crnipeter
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Re-rated 09-19-2012.

Pours murky brown with reddish depth and thick, creamy light-tan head that sets to a stable collar.

Inviting sweet malt aroma with caramel qualities that embraces esters of raisins, banana and apple as well as clove-like, peppery and perfumy aromatics is reminiscent of mulled wine.

Flavor is malty sweet with dried fruits: rum-raisins in particular, clove and spicy phenols, and touch of bitterness before the medium-dry finish.

Medium full body with creamy texture and moderate carbonation, and some alcohol warmth. One of the finest Dubbels out there (330 ml, BB 08-18-2016, into tulip).

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice dark amber brown with, Huge lively carbonation and streams of bubbles ripped through the glass, this looks like it has teeth!

The smell was very spicey at first, tingled the nose. Hints of dark fruit, pears, apples, cinnamon, figs, I could go on. A kind of candy sweetness almost to it as well. Spices and fruits are all over the spectrum and I don't even know where to begin. Pears, figs, cinnamon again are all over this. Cherry maybe, definatly apple.

awesome beer, truly a hallmark of the style, simply impeccable.

Photo of shand
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a chalice.

Since I just so happened to come upon a bottle of Westy 12, I think it's time for me to start seriously venturing through Belgium. This one pours a muddy brown color with a big head that quickly settles down. The aroma is filled with fruits, most of them being dark fruits like figs and plums, but I get an apple character from here as well. This one is surely loaded with the dark fruits, nudged along by some zesty yeast, sugar, and bready malts. The apple sweetness comes through a bit on the finish. Aftertaste really doesn't linger too much.

The mouthfeel is a bit on the lighter side of medium bodied and incredibly briskly carbonated. The drinkability is quite good, especially for the ABV. Could all the Trappist and Trappist-style beers be this good? Have I been writing off Belgian beers entirely due to American breweries poor heavy-handed use of Belgian yeast in styles where it doesn't belong? It's too early to call that for sure, but this is a great beer. Suddenly I'm looking forward to my tour of Belgian beers.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl oz. bottle, best by 07 09 15, poured into a Chimay chalice. Deep, murky brown body with a big, fluffy, two-finger tan head. The head settles into a nice creamy cap and leaves some nice lacing along the glass.

The aroma is surprisingly understated, even as it warms. Just a bit of dark fruit and some bready malt notes.

Thankfully, the flavor steps it up a notch. Tasty blend of dark fruit, sweet malt, spicy yeast notes, plum, apricot, and just a hint of walnut. Complex and tasty.

Medium and smooth in the mouthfeel. High level of carbonation that works well. Excellent brew.

Photo of Mosley1212
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from my notes. Poured from the bottle into my DFH Signature glass.

A—Ruby red with a touch of brown. Fluffy white head that dissipated quickly. Reminds me of the color of raisins.

S—Raisins, plums, dates, other dark fruits. Quite a bit of alcoholic burn in the nose also.

T—Warm raisin bread. Plums, dates, yeast, has a bit of a stinging alcohol taste.

M—Light bodied, heavy carbonation. Tastes fizzy like an Alka-Seltzer.

O—This is a solid brew from St. Bernardus, but I’m not overly impressed with this one.

Photo of Satchboogie
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice. (Best by 10/7/15)

A: Pours dark brown with nearly two fingers of light-brown head, lots of foamy action.

S: Tart apples, rich sweet bread, lots of musty yeast, alcohol

T: Packs a bit of a punch on the front ends, lots of must, tart dark fruits, tons of yeast esters. The intensity settles to a fairly long middle with a nice brown bread base with a solid layer of candy sugar and delicate dark fruits (plums and figs mainly). Finishes with a little sweetness and a slight resurgence of the dark fruit intensity. Finish is vinous, with qualities of both a red wine and brandy. I get just a little alcohol in the beginning and none on the finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, extremely smooth and creamy. Silky smooth, goes down very easily, very pleasant finish with virtually no aftertaste.

O: A great Belgian dark ale. The complexity and nuance is there, huge toasted malts, great yeast esters.

Photo of jpro
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle from a St. Bernardus mixed 4-pack. Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice...

A: Pours a rich, toffee amber with a dense, 3-finger, light khaki head that dies down to about a half-finger of creamy retention; looks great.

S: Figgy caramel malt sweetness; very bready; light notes of Belgian yeast spice / clove; a nice, rich aroma.

T: Molasses malt with some light notes of sugary glaze; dark fruit syrup and dark breads; some alcohol on the finish; bitterness on the finish provides some balance.

M: Full-bodied and creamy; moderate carbonation.

O: A great dubbel... rich and very enjoyable; something to take your time with and enjoy.

Photo of rapidsequence
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle, the date says 070915.

Appearance: Looks brownish as it sits, but held to the light is a nearly clear (and clearing more as it warms) ruby color. The head is of course about as good as it gets-- tightly bubbled and neverending. Leaves sticky lacing.

Smell: Thank you to the St. B yeast which as always leaves a fantastic yeasty bready aroma beind as well as a little spicy clove. Raisins and cherries. Rich, complex, and malty sweet.

Taste: Lots of nice spice and some clove up front with the sweet maltiness. Again, dried dark fruits and huge bready yeast flavor. There's a slight tartness in the middle which is nice. Long finish.

Mouthfeel: This is a big feeling dubbel. Soft and slightly sticky. Love the ample carbonation-- gives a slight foaminess.

Drinkability: Its a great dubbel. One of the best.

Photo of brouwer
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been a while since I had a new Belgian. This was from St Bernardus so I was hopeful when I bought it and it was not their best but it did not disappoint. Prior 8 is somewhat darker than ABT 12 but has the same outstanding characteristics of the top tier Belgians. The appearance was dark with a good head. Smell was underwhelming but fruity. Mouthfeel was pleasant with the right amount of carbonation. Taste with sweet overtones and not overwhelming yeast and some mild bitter.

Photo of ummswimmin
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a celebration bottle of the birth of my first child. I hope that I don't over-valuate the beer out of happiness.

Bernardus is a very good example of a Belgian Dubbel.

I love the smell of the Belgian yeast coming off the pour. On opening the beer, I get a lot of head. The glass shows a lot head for half a minuted and it disappears quickly.

The flavors of this classic belgian are good. The taste is classic with very little surprises.

The mouthfeel is smooth, and there is very little aftertaste. I enjoy the feeling of the residual beer in my mouth after the pour.

I like this beer, and recommend it as a good example of a Belgian from a hard working group of friars.

And here's to my daughter: Michelle Rachel. May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

Photo of hardy008
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy medium brown color with a 2 + finger light tan head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma is very nice, and has apples, dark fruit, candy sugar, spices, and caramel.

The taste is just like the aroma. Sweet and phenolic with dark fruit, apples, candy sugar, spices and caramel. There is a slight peppery taste which helps balance out the sweetness.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. No real taste of alcohol. Finishes a little dry. I could drink this again easily.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lively bubbles of carbonation dance from the bottom of the walnut brown body to join the generous tan head that hangs around for the duration of the beer and coats the sides of the glass with a sticky lacing residue.

The aroma consists of dark fruit such as plums, yeast, sweet malts, and hints of peppery spices.

The flavor is highlighted by malty sweetness and yeast followed by the same dark fruits and peppery spices offered in the aroma.

The mouthfeel offers a medium body with moderate carbonation and a pleasant warming feeling at the finish.

Another great beer from St. Bernardus with plenty of authentic character for the senses.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of theboozecruise
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice.

It's a dark brown color with a bubbly white head. Great looking beer.

It smells of plums and raisins and a little chocolate too.

The taste is very similar to the aroma. I like the chocolate flavor on the aftertaste.

Very drinkable, super smooth and delicious.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,033 ratings.