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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

1,854 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,854
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 100
Gots: 137 | FT: 4
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: 1,854 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bisho
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Bisho, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of turnstile
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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..

turnstile, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of Maltoftheearth
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Maltoftheearth, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of irishking1977
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque brown with a decent head that doesn't linger around too long, and leaves mild lacing.

S: Caramel notes along with candy sugar and some malt in the background.

T: Rich sweetness, including caramel and candy sugar, some chocolate and a hint of malt. Virtually no bitterness whatsoever, but a mild bite in the finish due to the ABV. Other than that, the alcohol is virtually hidden behind the complex taste.

M: Smooth and somewhat creamy with mild carbonation. For newer beer drinkers, or those with an aversion to bitter and hoppy brews, this could be a good introduction to something different with the knowledge that it won't be bitter. The only problem is that this one is a bit on the pricey side. But worth it.

D: An excellent dubbel, I have found that the dubbel style seems to be based on the brewers interpretation of it; there are some that are sweet with little malt, such as this one; there are some where the malt dominates with little sweetness. Neither interpretation is bad per say, it's simply interesting that there is such a contrast in the same style. I don't think this is noticed in styles such as IPAs, Belgian Witbers, or Hefeweizens, for example. Overall, this one is quite an excellent beer, regardless of style. A sipper to be enjoyed and not simply quaffed.

irishking1977, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of Brabander
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my second Bernardus i am drinking in a week. This is a good one. Drank in my Westvleteren chalice. Pours a nice very lightbrown head which dissapears after a minute, i think because of the low carbonation. The beer has a very pleasant smell and a soft taste. Not as strong as the 12.

I had this one sven months later again and now the smell and taste of orange came up. A well balanced beer.

Brabander, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. 8% ABV, 50-54 F, Best before end 08 07 13.

A - The dormant beer still pours sediment-heavy with lots of cloudiness giving the brown color a dirty pond water appearance. The height of the pour gives it a dense one-finger head that's fairly effervescent. Good clumpy lace clung to the edges after the descent.

S - Light alcohol comes out in the nose slightly but gives way to a bold toasted malt aroma. Somewhat on the funky side, its deep and mellow. Dark fruits; raisins, plum, can be smelled along with a hint of candi sugar sweetness.

T - Lots of toasted malts give this beer a robust malt flavor full of intricacies. Again, dark fruits come out along with candi sugar and raw honey. A kiss of alcohol on the finish subtly lets you know what it's loaded with.

M - Like the Pater 6 before it, this beer seems too overcarbonated but not as heavily as it's younger brother. Still a bit fizzy in the mouth, I think it removes a bit too much from flavor and what a smooth, round dubble should be. Crisp to the finish with a lingering sweetness.

D - A good dubble that's nice all around and nicely drinkabile as a deep sipper. The alcohol is buried well making it a silent killer too.

BeerFMAndy, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured in a Chimay chalice.

A: Pours a dark amber to chestnut cloudy color. Forms a medium, fluffy and beige head. Medium retention and only few lacings left

S: Sweet caramel. Strong on Belgium yeasts and grains. Bit of vanilla. Dark fruits (mainly raisins). Alcohol

T: Sweet upfront. Strong on candy sugar. Caramel malts, dark fruits (plums and raisins), brown bread, roasted malts. Metallic. The classic Belgium yeasts. Bitter-sweet belgian style. Mild earthy bitter end

M: Light to medium body. Medium carbonation. Bit molasses. Alcohol. Sweet in the beginning and a little bit bitter in the end

O: Good drinkability. Great Beer. St. Bernardus quality

eduardolinhalis, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of jwinship83
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle drank out of my st bernardus goblet. best by date of july 8, 2013 on the back label.

A- this one started out as a slow gusher. after it calms down im left with a murky brown colored body and a tall cream colored head. the head quickly fades and leaves almost a complete wall of lacing behind.

S- sweet bready malts are the first thing i notice. theres also a strong belgian yeast element followed by ripe dark fruits. dates, figs, and raisins.

T- the taste is heavily spiced. lots of clove. lots of sweet bready malts. lots of ripe dark fruits like grapes, figs, and raisins. a moderate alcohol presence.

M- light to medium bodied with a very high level of carbonation.

D- a slow sipper here thats pretty enjoyable. ill probably get a couple more of these and check them out in about a year.

jwinship83, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of bonsreeb85
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Outstanding looking brew! Poured into my St. B goblet...cinnamon/muddy brown with a frothy top.

The aroma is very yeasty and well spiced. malt sweetness, candied sugar, banana, raisins and prunes. throw in some earthy and musty hops to round out this phenominal smelling beer.

The flavor is equal parts sweet and spice with a splash of tart. overrippened fruits with clove and pepper mostly. dry finish.

The feel is a medium full bodied brew with ample and lively carbonation. spot on for style.

The drinkabilty doesn't get much better: great flavor and well hidden ABV plus a wonderful mouthfeel all add up to another winner from St. B

bonsreeb85, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of ruckus232
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce brown bottle poured into a goblet

Appearance: Brown cloudy color with some sediment and a decent tan head

Smell: Not a very strong smell but it is malty sweet with a slight toasted scent

Taste: The taste is more pronounce in the malted sweetness but there is also a slight bitterness which is more alcohol then anything

ruckus232, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served in a St. Bernardus + Watou, Chalice.

Murky dark brown with a creamy beige head that stayed as a layer fueled by carbonation bubbles, lacing was in bits and pieces all around the glass.
Aroma is belgian yeast and dark fruits, it smells real good.
Taste is very good, dark fruit flavors with some earthy flavors.
Medium bodied, smooth and creamy feel.
Good drinkability.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of wknight167
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours a cloudy mohagany with a dense 2 finger off white to tan head that has great staying power and leaves strong lacing.

Nose- Yeasty spiciness, banana, caramel, citrus bread, dark fruit and a hint at the alcohol comes through. A lot going on.

Palate- Sweet banana with caramel, clove and dark fruits. Very malt driven. Very warming, but not hot.

Mouthfeel- Slightly thinner than expected, high carbonation levels.

wknight167, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Received this bottle as part of the St. Bernardus gift set along with a St. Bernardus glass. Very nice!

A: whoa-- we have a gusher. This one spent at least 24 hours in the fridge and it seems to be quite active. Once everything settled down, the appearance is a very dark red with hints of purple and a thin white head. Heavy lacing.

S: An overwhelming aroma of fresh ripe grapes and candi sugar. The smell reminds me a little bit of a grape jolly rancher. Very interesting, seems to lean towards the sweet side of things.

T: The grapey nose comes through on the palate quite nicely but before the sweetness makes its appearance, there is some Belgian yeasty funk and alcohol presence. The finish is quite smooth with the sweet flavors, the sweetness is a little tamer than I expected from the nose. Very nicely balanced.

MF: Pretty sharp and effervescent, somewhat thin

D: This beer manages to pull off the Belgian candi characteristics with great balance. It is nice that there is no stickiness left on the palate following each swallow. The abv is well hidden. A very nice Belgian ale!

homebrew311, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of WanderingFool
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Prior 8 pours a hazy mahogany color with a frothy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly down to a thick sheet on the beer leaving behind a fair amount of netted lace on the glass.

The aroma is spicy with dark fruit notes blended in. Clove and pepper with some apple and bready yeast notes are all present.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is soft on the palate, creamy, with a mild fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is sweet with notes of apple and caramel malt. In the middle appears some pepper and clove. It finishes dry with a slightly tart cherry finish and some alcohol mixed in. Once gone the fruity notes and clove lingers on the palate.

This is a tasty beer with a well balanced flavor. None of the spices or fruity notes are over powering. It's a bit sweeter than I thought it would be, but overall very delicious.

WanderingFool, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of Casey10
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a awesome must have.

A - Light brown with a thick bubly 1 finger off white head.

S - Belgian sugars, spice, lots of great aroma.

T - More of thes same sugars with lots of nice flavors that get better as it warms.

M - Good as it leaves a smooth feel and a bit of tingleing after having one.

D - Wow I will have another. I liked this and should be one that others should seek out.

Casey10, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of elgiacomo
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Pours brown with a nice off-white head that reduces to a cap along with some pretty good lacing.

Aroma is sweet fruits, malty, candi sugar, some bread/yeast.

Flavor is very malty, caramel, dark fruits, yeast/bread, a little spice, very nice.

Mouthfeel is full and lively with relatively high carbonation.

Excellent, and I expect nothing less from St. Bernardus.

elgiacomo, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, murky chestnut brown with a thick, creamy beige head that shows exceptional retention and thick lacing.

The aroma is full of candi sugar and dark fruits, with a thick malty sweetness in the nose. There is also some spiciness in the nose, that almost tingles, from the Belgian yeast.

The taste is even better with a big sweet fruit and lightly toasted bready malt backbone with lots of fruity esters lending a slight banana flavor to things. The finish is where the spices start to come out, cinnamon especially.

The mouthfeel is very lively with lots of carbonation which leads the mouthfeel to feel lighter than it actually is.

This a great beer - very complex but insanely drinkable for the style. Very sweet but with the right amount of toasted character and spices. Excellent.

gford217, Dec 19, 2009
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Chimay goblet.

A - Pours a nice light brown color with some red hues up to the light. It has nice and very active off-white head that recedes quickly and leaves a nice mat with some lacing.

S - Sweet malt grainy smell. Almost banan-nut bread like. Mild alcoholic esters are detected as well. Very attractive

T & M - Bready grains at the front followed by a nice spicy and sweetness with hints of clove and some cinnamon. Very attractive, complex and creamy mouthfeel. There is a real nice spiciness that I cant really point out but is very delicious. Creamy and pretty carbonated. Smooth.

D - Not too high. Very complex full bodied beer with a higher ABV.

JoEBoBpr, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of Mavajo
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a St. Bernardus glass - yeast and all.

Reveals a rich, heavy-looking brown with a fluffy white head. Retains reasonably well and leaves moderate lacing behind. Nose is yeasty with sweet notes of sugar, apple and dark fruits. Taste is very mild and smooth with a great deal of depth. Yeasty notes with some brown sugar, apple, dark fruits - sweet. No bitterness at all. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. Carbonation is perfect. Tasty brew with excellent drinkability. The alcohol is very well concealed.

I was thoroughly impressed with this beer. It's up there as one of the best I've had and rivals its big brother, Abt 12.

Mavajo, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of crossovert
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ahhh... St. Bernardus Abby Ale, this will be a treat.

Pours into my Duvel glass with a wild foamy off white head and deep brown body with hints of red. Lacing is spotted.

Strong banana bread scent, along with some citrus. Theres also dark fruits, sugar, alcohol, and some spice. Beautiful complex scent.

Body is smooth, the carbonation and alcohol slightly pinch the tongue adding depth to the mouthfeel, though it is a bit too prickly. There are some very nice dark fruits, great muffinlike malt, good sweetness, but not cloying, some good spice. The yeast and malt are stars here, exquisite.

Overall an excellent beer, it seems slightly better along side some food.

crossovert, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of Fnord
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Very dark brown with some floaties suspended. Dense, lasting head.

Smell - Chocolate, licorice, yeast, and alcohol. Perhaps a bit of hazlenut?

Taste - As above, plus vanilla and raisin, with a pleasant oaky aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Thick with medium carbonation.

Drinkability - This isn't made to be drinkable, it's meant to be savored slowly.

Notes - An outstanding dubbel, one of the best. I can't believe I waited this long to try it.

Fnord, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of GPHarris
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into a snifter that left a thin ring of lace throughout. the body was dark brown with purple tones.
s - dark fruits and spice, mainly plum.
t - spicey with hints of dark fruits.
m - medium and bubbly. a near perfect level of carbonation.
d - terrific beer and another stellar St. B.

GPHarris, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of BillyBoysPie
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a pilsener style glass at Aufsturtz, Berlin, Germany. Apparently they were out of other glassware...

Dark brown with golden notes. Pale tan head, eighth-inch, lacing.

Smells of cinnamon and dried apples with a touch of chocolate, alcohol, and other indistinguishable spices.

Very, very sweet. A bit too sweet for me, almost slaps my mouth shut and leaves a syrupy feel behind. Brown sugar and dried apples dominate with a heavy alcohol feel. It's not bad at all - it's good - but it could be much better.

More carbonation would help this beer, but it's fine the way it is. Very heavy in the mouth. The flavor causes more problems than the mouthfeel.

It's a good beer, but there are better examples of this style. No reason not to drink this though.

BillyBoysPie, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of kingcrowing
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked & caged bottler poured into a snifter.

Pours a really dark very pretty color it's awesome looking. Has a thin nice deep brown head, nost is light and malty very appealing.

Taste is nice and creamy, malty and smooth. An awesome amount of carbonation for the style. I'm really surprised by this beer, it's really good!

kingcrowing, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Attractive painted 750ml brown bottle, corked and caged. Clearly marked best-by date on the bottom. This is actually pretty fresh; the date is 2014.

Appearance: Slightly hazy garnet/mahogany brew with a big fluffy dark ivory cap which soon fades to a thick sticky film.

Smell: Nice, incredibly fresh, slightly-sour yeastiness. Quite bready; this is reminiscent of the Amish Friendship Bread starter that we were working with earlier. Slightly sweet crusty wheat bread and tons of sweet, sugary caramel form the backdrop. Quite pleasant, but would like just a touch more depth.

Taste: Mild earthy mushroom, hints of green apple and a ghost of sweet raisin, caramel, and just a touch of warming alcohol in the finish. Overall, tasty and dead on for the style. Ends with a slightly sharp burnt caramel bitterness, which combines with just enough hop bitterness to keep this from ending too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and soft

Drinkability: Pretty high

Conclusion: Good Dubbel; it's not mind-blowing, but it is rock-solid. Very traditional and tasty; though at $10-11 bucks I think I'd pick Ommegang's Abbey (at $7-8) over this 8 times out of 10.

BedetheVenerable, Nov 14, 2009
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,854 ratings.