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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

1,984 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,984
Reviews: 976
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 108
Gots: 172 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,984 | Reviews: 976 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into 330mL St. Bernardus goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very, very dark reddish-brown color (almost black) that is opaque. Has a medium-sized tan-ish head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind thin lace.

Smell: Heavy on dark fruits and phenol, with a red wine hint and some yeast notes.

Taste: Begins with a red wine flavor and some apple and plum notes, finishing with some fuity, bittersweet alcohol and bready yeast.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body with natural carbonation and a warming finish that dries out some.

Drinkability: A solid all-round Belgian brew, though not the best. Still, a beer I would love to have again and something I would recommend.

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/brown, amber. Nice 1 inch creamy white head. Very thick and cloudy

Smell - Floral yeast. Sugars, Malts, bananas, barley, spices. Some hops.

Taste - Much more of a bite then pater 6. More spices, hops, alcohol etc. The carmael really comes out with the yeast. Nice banana flavor also with all the floral overtones

Mouthfeel - Tickles the tounge and sweetens the palette. Strong enough that you would need food ot water to rinse mouth out before next beer.

Drinkabilty - It Has enough alcohol that you cant slam them , but its sweet and spicy, very tasty, and very plesurable to drink. One of the best dubbels out there.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Props to BA andrenaline for offering this for trade
A - cloudy deep brown amber, tall off white head retreated slowly, not much lacing
S - bananas, cloves, ripe pear, sweet molasses, slightly medicinal scent
T - a strong malt backbone of sweet molasses and bready grains, the pear and clove comes through with sweet plumb, some phenolic on the finish along with alcohol
M - creamy full mouth smooth with a nice little carbonation kicker, coats the mouth and tongue in velvet through the finish
D - very sweet in flavour, melt in your mouth smooth, alcohol is there but not too intrusive, an enjoyable treat

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

A - Rich brown hue with off-white fluffy, lacing head.

S - Cola, pepper, bread and toast, much spicier than Pater 6.

T - Marshmallow, raisin, roasted grains, dark fruit, very dessert like sweetness with a dry finish.

M - Smooth and definitely warmer than Pater 6, but very similar as well.

D - Very drinkable for an 8% ABV.

Photo of jlandis
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a murky auburn with thin tan head. The nose is full of red grapes, apples, raisins and dates. A well crafted dubbel like this often reminds me of a nice red wine. The flavor is a little unexpected but fantastic. I picked up green apples, dark fruits (grapes, more apples, dates). Those green apples provide a nice tart kick. There is also a great sweet malt flavor. The flavor is dry on the tongue with solid carbonation.

This is a fantastic dubble! I love all of the flavors that mingle so perfectly together, and that dry finish is fantastic.

Photo of basica
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark amber brown color into my Watou St Bernardus chalice topped with a thick creamy, milky head which reduces to a finger's thickness. Some sediments were evident. (4.5)

S - Strong nose of dark fruits with suggestions of dates, prunes and raisins with notes of caramel and perhaps milk (4.5)

T - The entry was an attack of dark fruits on the palates, predominantly rasins and maybe dates with clear caramel, lactic tastes. Brown sugar sweetness was definitely evident but could've probably been a tad stronger. Finally, a big raisiny finish finds its way into the lasting after taste. (4.5)

M - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and definitely creamy smoothness and a light warming as it goes down. (4.5)

D - As with most premium Belgian brew the alcohol is well-disguised and the flavor is amazing with a very notable smoothness. Definitely an impressive Dubbel that I could never have enough of. (5)

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

Bottle served at Zeno's cafe and poured into proper glassware. Hopefully this brew is able to provide me some warmth from the bitter cold of Beaver Staidum and ease my pain from the bitter loss that took place in it against MSU.

A: Bottle was served while I still had about 3-4 ounces left of my Troegs Cask-pint. As I finished my pint, the opened bottle foamed up out of the top of the bottle and formed a thick foamy "bottle-head" about a half inch high above the neck. Never seen that happen before. Makes me wonder if this guy is over-carbed...

Once I got around to it, poured a deep murky brown with a lot of head.

S: Lots of dark fruits (dates and raisins, maybe some figs and prunes). This guy smells like a delightfully rich dark belgian should.

T: Follows the smell with Candied Sugars, dates, and raisins in particular, with some *spices* that I am struggling to distinguish and adequately describe. Plenty of carbonation that, as it accompanies the spices, tingles my mouth.

M: This bottle was heavily carbonated (as I saw while finishing my prior pint). It puts off a strong spicy bubbly feel initially, and finishes with a nice thick sugary coating in the throat on the finish.

D: This is a good beer with a nice flavor profile, but I find the carbonation level (at least of this particular bottle) interesting initially but tiresome as I work through the bottle and therefore a bit detracting. That said, I would gladly have another if weren't going to cost me another $7.50. At that price? I'm glad I tried it, and I did enjoy it, but I will venture on to something else next. I do expect to return to this beer again at some point, just not today.

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

Poured into my St. Bernardus Watou goblet.

A- Beer pours an apricot color, with brown and ruby highlights. Frothy, cream colored head, but dissapates quickly.

S- Fruity. Raisins, plums, berries, caramel malts. Aroma's become stronger as the beer warms.

T- Cocoa, caramel, cherries. The malt is also evident. Interestingly I note in this dubbel the distinct taste of Mary Jane candy. Noticed this in the Maredsous dubbel also.

M- Medium bodied dubbel. Tickling in the mouth, a sign of good carbonation, not too much, just about right.

D- As with all quality beers, St. Bernardus is right up there with the best of them at masking abv. In none of their beers I've tried can you taste the alcohol. It is slightly warming, but no taste of it whatsoever. A good dubbel.

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

330ml bottle, 1/6th of the St. Bernardus 'all in one' pack available in Alberta.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, over-powdered medium amber iced tea colour, with three thick fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy ecru head, which leaves a few swaths of splotchy lace around the glass in its long, drawn-out wake.

It smells of slightly sweet, biscuity pale and caramel malt, orchard stone fruit, spicy yeast, rum-infused dark chocolate, gritty Pop Rocks, and tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is much more sweet bready caramel malt, somewhat tart orchard fruit (plum and overripe apples and apricots, maybe?), a subtle clove and black pepper spiciness, lesser nutty chocolate notes, and a subtle drying, earthy, and floral hoppiness, one well perfumed from the lurking alcohol.

The carbonation is quite prevalent, but in a softly rendered, frizzante sort of way, the body a sturdy medium weight, and adequately smooth, a minor airy creaminess building as things warm. It finishes with an agreeable off-dry stab from the soused bready maltiness, the fruity and spicy yeastiness playing quietly in the background.

Most definitely a classic dubbel, in that it is less about the sweetness, and more about the balancing yeast, fruit, spice, and alcohol, all of which do their personal best to keep from becoming overbearing. Monks, they be monks, whatever their particular unimportant denomination, and they brew some pretty damned (sorry, pater!) good stuff, as evidenced here.

Photo of radioscooter
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, as always - better men than me have already reviewed this beer - yadda yadda. I made a pilgrimage to Vintage Estates this week in high hopes of scoring some Abt 12. They were out. This is the third uber beer place that's been "out" of the 12 ever since I started my quad quest.

So that in mind, I bought an 8, with little hope of it being any good.

My bad.

Poured from a cold bottle into my Chimay goblet.

Excellent, foamy 1" head. Darker caramel color than a dubbel might suggest. Looks pretty much exactly like the illustration on the label. And let me assure you - I am at least as giddy as the good Saint looks from the taste of this beer.

I expected a little stronger version of a Chimay red or maybe even more bitter like Duvel and was pleasantly surprised with an amazingly balanced yet complex assembly of flavors here.

Very "Belgian" base, but then I start tasting some more fruit, maybe apricot, but not too sweet or cloying.

I'm afraid I could drink this all night, and gladly would.

I've had discussions about quads and when I've suggested that St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a great contender to Westy 12 (based solely on what I've read) people have scoffed at that notion. I'll say here that if their Quad is as good as their Dubbel - that scoffing may be completely erroneous.

Just a delightful, tasty as-all-get-out beer. Carbonation and 'flow' are all just right. I'm wishing I'd bought more than one, because we don't have this here.

Sigh.

Live and subsequently learn.

Photo of generalnotsew
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour yields foamy 1 finger tan head and very very sticky lacing. Dark Coca-Cola coloring. Not quite black but close. Smell is sticky sweet candied plum and burnt cane sugar. Taste is brown sugar coated fig. Has a touch of plum and raisin and a taint of hoppiness. And perhaps a bit of tobacco. Carbonation is toned down as it should be with a beer like this. Only complaint is that it is a bit hot on the throat. Otherwise a stellar Belgian.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat thin brown color (still pretty solid) with a patchy and off-white/tan filmy head.

Smell: Slightly bready malty aroma with hints of dark fruit, fennel, and caramel.

Taste: Very much like the smell; there's figs, caramel, and fennel. The caramel stays into the aftertaste and finish, with some bitterness coming through too.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and quite smooth. Light carbonation, but a bit more than I expected.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable; there's no taste of alcohol, and the flavor is solid.

As a dubbel, this is good, but I actually prefer the Pater 6. This is perhaps closer to a Belgian strong dark ale/Quad in the taste, but not quite as good as the Abt. 12.

Photo of dtivp
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy rusty brown with a small beige head which dissipated very quickly, some loose lacing on the glass.

Aroma was sweet with caramel malt and some sweet fruit.

Taste followed the nose with sweet caramel, burnt sugar, hint of banana and some alcohol.

Mouthfeel was medium body with moderate carbonation, very creamy and smooth with a slight warming from the alcohol.

This is a nice dubbel, the sweetness could be toned down alittle.

Photo of wordemupg
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip nov18 2010

A murky deep amber/light brown with just enough clarity to see heaps of bubbles feeding a large beige head that has good retention slowly falling to a 1/4in film that just sits there until the bottom of the glass leaving plenty of lace

S spicy yeast with some brown sugar and just a little bruised banana and fig

T still a fair bit going on with everything I smell except bruised banana and now I get a hint of licorice I didn't smell and it has even more spice in the mouth. I get just a hint of booze but for 8% it's pretty well concealed

M medium to full bodied with less carbonation then I expected but that still leaves plenty of bubbles to make it feel fairly creamy and the flavors linger for quite a while

D this beers just so well rounded and near perfect in so many areas it's only fair to drop a 5 here. I found myself going for another sip before my glass even hit the table from the one before it.

this is one mellow brew, very complex and one to ponder. I wasn't sure what to expect but this is just another world class beer from a world class brewery

Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance; very dark amber, almost a purple-brown color. Thick carbonation streams up from the bottom center of the goblet. Creamy and sticky beige head. Leaves pretty nice yet spotty lacing.

smell; mostly alcohol and some hops with a hint of burnt sugar.

taste; nearly perfect, caramelized sugar and plum up front. Finishes with a bitter hop bite that is quickly extinguished by some cherry-like sweetness. Alcohol hangs around in the aftertaste but is otherwise well hidden. Some raw barley flavors as well in the aftertaste.

mouthfeel; very rich with a thick and creamy full body. Carbonation and alcohol coat all surfaces in the mouth and massage them. Finishes very smooth and crisp.

drinkability; a little rich and strong for a session beer, sit back and enjoy, while it still last. Very easy to drink in spite of the alcohol.

Photo of InspectorBob
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my St. Bernardus goblet. dark brown in color with small yeast particles, two fingers of off white head, not much lacing at all.

The aroma is on the sweet side. The taste of this beer is complex, maybe cherry,plum, dark fruits

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some carbonation.

Very smooth drinking for 8% ABV...

Photo of elricorico
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Root beer brown with a foamy two fingers of beige head. Rushing carbonation tosses around a healthy dose of sediment that made it into the glass. Head seems very stable, not going anywhere fast.

Sweet dried fruits are big in the aroma. Somewhat vinuous grapes, candy sugar and faintly peppery spice.

Sweet dark cherry is first up on the tongue. Candied orange follows within a fruity/malty mix. Finishes with a touch of hebral flavour and some spice.

Mouthfeel has a slight cola lean, with a bit of stickiness and slightly sharp carbonation. Could be fuller and smoother,

Overall this is an awesome beer, but that is expected from this line. I could sip on these for an entire evening without a hint of boredom.

Photo of dirkchivers
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz typical small belgian bottle. I always think of this brewer as having cute bottles; them and Pretty Things

A - Opaque mahogany, pretty! A glassware issue has killed head, in addition to foaming when the bottle was opened.
S - Pleasant esters, clove, and that rich caramel malt note.
T - Some kind of fruit hidden in there, not sure. Caramel maltiness, a bit of burnt sugar with that. After taste of maltiness/wortiness is not unpleasant, but suggests that some food should accompany the beer.
M - High carbonation, lingering sweetness in the mouth
D - If i could purchase it for less i would drink it all the time. I think this would do well with cheese in particular the palate just needs to be given something other than the high carbonation. Right now the carbonation is making it difficult to detect even the flavors i wrote a moment ago as my tongue is suffering.

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very similar to the Pater 6. Seems to have a whiter head, but still as voluminous. Faded a bit faster, but just as frothy and rich as the 6's head. The beer is more towards a brown color, not as much red going on here.

S: Much maltier and sweeter than the 6. It seems that there is less alcohol on the nose here as well. Dark cherries and plums. Some raisin. Noticing that this is also much less bitter with the hops than the 6.

T: Definitely more of a malt bomb. Belgian yeast is lovely here, sweet fruits and banana come forward. Very little going on with hops here, a slight citrus but nothing aggressive. No sign of alcohol on the palate either, simply a fantastic dubbel.

M: Thick and a bit chewy, but has a high carbonation bite towards the end that brings it all together. Well balanced beer.

D: Loving this St. Bernardus mixed 4 pack! Definitely calling it quits after the 6 and the 8 and saving the Tripel and 12 for another night. Fantastic beers for a great price, plus an awesome chalice.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle, New Belgium glass, and what looks like a best by 10/09/13 date.

The central body is opaque, while the beer nearer the edges glows a gem-like garnet when held to the light. The head is very persistent and almost looks like frothed milk on a cappuccino sprinkled with cinnamon, as I poured the yeast.

Sharp lemon and alcohol aromas penetrate a slightly toasted malt and a smell of perfume. The lemon takes the form of lemon rind in Earl Grey. The alcohol only becomes more solvent-like as it warms.

While the malt is strong, it is not sweet. There is toasty biscuit and candy sugar. On the fruitier side there is scotch soaked raisin, that is to say, a blunted and almost woody or smoked red fruit flavor similar to the raisins I recently soaked in scotch. Fleeting clove and noticeable bitter, vodka-like alcohol.

One to roll around on the tongue. Lustrous. A little matte in texture from restrained hop bitterness and candy sugar.

I've only had one Dubbel previously, Chimay Red, and this is impressing me more. Less solvent-like alcohol would make this a great beer, and maybe more age would solve that (haha).

Photo of r0nyn
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Chimay goblet.

Pours a cloudy caramel colored brown with a three quarters inch tall head that quickly dissipates, leaving some loose lacing. There's a ton of tiny yeast particles suspended in the mixture. Typical Belgian ale, but still looks great. Smell is very sweet and malty, with tons of dried fruits. Tiny bit of yeasty breadiness at the end. Very nice!

Sweet maltiness and yeast breadiness right from the get go. Not quite as substantial as in the nose, which is a bit unfortunate, given the great smell of this brew. As it is, the taste is still quite sweet, with quite a bit of dried fruit nuance at the end, including some faint banana and clove. Bitterness and hops are non-existent. Finishes with some mild caramel and just a hint of alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is pretty crisp, with some substantial carbonation, which is surprising for a Belgian brew, but is by no means a drawback.

Drinkability is great. The delicious smell draws you in and the taste delivers, though not as well as it could have. The alcohol that shows up towards the end doesn't really impair the drinking experience, though sipping is recommended to fully enjoy the flavor experience of this quality Belgian brew.

Photo of bump8628
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL with best before year of 2015. This one should be in great condition.

Pours a clear ruby with a thick 3 fingers of bone-colored mousse.

Dark caramelized sugar, raisins, a hard to pinpoint herbal quality, and expressive minerally, fruity Belgian yeast are the main components of the flavor profile. Yeast gives off some rose water, slight banana, and acetone. Malt and sugar is brown and caramelly, but the super-dry finish ensures that it doesn't seem overly sweet. Hops are minimal, but the herbal note does seem hop-like.

For a dollar more for a 750 I'll go for the Abt 12 any day. But I'm not dissapointed in the $9.99 I spent on this bottle. The 6 and 12 are better of representations of their respective styles.

Photo of scott451
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A two finger light tan head on a slightly cloudy dark amber brown. A nice lace.

Sweet malts with some floral notes. Sweet dull fruits in the taste. A bit of a metallic taste in the middle. Noticable alcohol with a dry finish.

Medium body. Creamy. Notable carbonation at first but it soon calms down. An alcoholic finish. Very drinkable. Smooth. Not as sweet as some. Two thumbs up.

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmmm, expected a little more from this one. Pours a slightly murky mahogony color with a half inch head that fades to a few islands of foam. No much lacing at all. Kind of bland aroma, but there is some spice, dried fruit, leather, prunes. A few things going on in the flavor but nothing melds all too well. Complex malt profile, spicy fruity yeast esters, and a combo of some hoppyness and hotness on the back end. Not too sweat. Full mouthfeel and a little slick. Again a little hot on the backend. I like the beer, not sure I would seek it out again real soon though.

Photo of auro0006
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer with in order of the other St. Bernardus line. Even after having a glass of three St. Bernardus beers beforehand, I still remember the flavor profile of the Prior.
The color is a copper-brown color with a little cloudiness. The head is frothy and creamy and leaves nice lace.
Aromas are dominantly sweet. Great amount of dark, dried fruits; raisins, prunes, plums. Carmel notes are present, but not too defined.
The body is full, rich, and creamy. I loved the flavor profile of this beer. Bready, cookie joined in with the great malty characteristics that mimicked the nose. A spicy, alcohol flavor appeared in the finish.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,984 ratings.