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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

1,894 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,894
Reviews: 971
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 103
Gots: 146 | 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: 1,894 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pants678
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a wide mouth goblet. Very deep brown almost leaning toward amber, but it's almost opaque so it's hard to tell. Head is beige and maintains very well, can even hold to single finger for sometime.

Has a sharp aroma that is definitely fruity. Hard to say what exactly, maybe peach. There's a lot of malt to it.

Taste is smooth because of tight carbonation. Again, fruity, maybe apples laced with cinnamon. Perhaps some toffee in it. It's complex, bready. There's not much on the back end, in fact the after taste is almost non existent. There's a stain on the top of the mouth, but it may well just be alcohol. The alcohol can be piercing, divisive.

Carbonation helps mix flavors, doesn't stand out, which is nice. Goes down well, but perhaps too quickly.

pants678, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of StarlightSeraph
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my St. Bernardus goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark, bloudy mahogany, with some hints of red. A finger and a half of white head that subsided reasonably quickly to a thin layer. Not much lacing.

Smell: Bananas, apples, and clove, but backed by a nice bready scent. A slight tang in there as well. Reminds me a lot of gingerbread. Very nice.

Taste: A nice tangy fruit taste right away, which fades into bready malt that lingers for a long time in the aftertaste. Some chocolatey notes in there as well. The best way I can think to describe it is a Belgian-bock. Enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, and very highly carbonated.

Drinkability: A sipper, but a very enjoyable one. The way the flavors blend together remind me of Christmas - the gingerbread, and the fruits. I liked this a lot. This would be great to enjoy by a fire on a cold winter day (too bad I'm drinking it in July...).

StarlightSeraph, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of LittleCreature
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.0
It's a gusher! After a quick run to the sink (managed to miss the keyboard, huzzah!) the beer poured a finger of moussy beige head over a very dark brown body. Head quickly reduced to a thin layer and left a little lace.

Smell - 4.0
Sweet chocolate syrup aroma from the dark candy sugar, glace cherry, caramel and light spice.

Taste - 4.5
Complex, malty and fruity. Flavours of carob, toffee, mixed spice, christmas pie filling and just a little warmth from the alcohol. Yummy, although bordering on over-sweetness.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
Flatter than most St Bernadus beers, which for me is an improvement. Carbonation is quite fine, the beer is full bodied and actually quite crisp.

Drinkability - 4.5
Boozier than most Dubbels, but the balance and flavour would make it easy to drink two in a sitting.

OVERALL - 4.3
The last two St Bernardus beer I've had have been over carbonated and gassy, so I think that the Prior 8 may actually have been improved by gushing. Much better than the Pater 6, almost as good as the 12 in my opinion. A great beer.

LittleCreature, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the Pater 6 just recently and found it very enjoyable. This one is a bit higher in alcohol. Here is my review:

A: Pours a murky brown with a nice tan head. It leaves nice lacing on the glass. There is also a lot of sediment floating around in the beer.

S: Lots of spice and fruit on the nose. Maybe some cinnamon apple. Malt isn't as prominent as the Pater 6. Smells pretty good.

T: Lots more spice and fruit than the Pater 6. Less on the toffee and caramel notes. I get grape, plum and apple notes. Then the heavy spice character takes over in the finish. Malt comes through, but feel it could have had a stronger presence. I think I liked Pater 6 better.

M: Medium bodied and creamy. Somewhat fizzy. Good overall.

D: This one drinks pretty easily. Good flavor and mouthfeel, but I would take their White Beer or Pater 6 over this one.

So far, I would say that I am pretty impressed with the St. Bernardus beers. I still need to try their Tripel and Quad, but this one is probably my least favorite of the ones I have had. Pretty enjoyable brew for someone who doesn't like Belgian ales all that much. Recommended.

OldSchoolGamer, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Looks like a dubbel. Big off-white head that leaves decent lacing. Fades quicker than most Belgians. Dark opaque brown with milk-chocolate highlights. Some sediment chunks too.

S- Cloves, Belgian spices. Some apple (acetaldehyde?). Not getting too much else here.

T- I like this. Good balance of sweetness and spiciness in a dubbel. Some dark fruit lingers in the background--plums, raisins. Slight molasses. Definitely pleasant, the lack of complexity/robustness kind of holds it back for me relative to other dubbels. Some alcohol is apparent, but it adds to the flavor for me.

M- Nicely carbonated, not over carbonated. Dry finish. Almost feels more like a tripel.

D- Goes down smooth, definitely very tasty.

Worth seeking out, but not the best I've had from St. Bernardus. Go big and get the 12.

LordAdmNelson, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Garnet pour with large off-white head. Fair amount of yeast chucks floating around.
Aroma is full of dark caramel malts, candi sugar and hints of spices. Rather sweet. As it warms up cloves and chocolate note become apparent.
Flavours are mostly dark malts (sweet, toasty), sweet candi sugar and a hint of noble hops. Sharp alcohol presence is quite strong.
Slick mouthfeel, good high carbonation but it does feel slightly watery.

CrazyDavros, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle

A: Pours a hazy brown with restless sediment and very active carbonation. A 3-finger creamy white head held firmly then a 2 to a 1/8" remaining throughout.

S: Alcohol sweetness and malt are up front on the nose.

T: Predominant roasted caramel malt. Little to no bitterness from the hops apparent, but wouldn't expect much from an abbey. Nice alcohol warmth on breath without appearing in the flavor.

M: Thick and smooth with lots of carbonation. The finish for a big beer as this I thought was very smooth.

D: If you're sitting in for the long haul then yes this one is very drinkable. Smooth and malty with little astringent character from the alcohol.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The lovely malt character may not be for some that prefer a little more hop character but for me it was great. Wish I had grabbed a few more!

BehindtheFinBrew, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of theghost3
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown that's cloudy from sediment. The head is beige & 3-fingers thick. Medium lacing.

The smell is strong of cloves & bread with some dark fruits. The taste is rather bitter, medicinal. The alcohol is very prevalent, so that explains the dryness. There's a spicy quality & it's nutty towards the end. The mouthfeel is carbonated & thick.

This is a fairly drinkable Dubbel. It has a nice appearance and smell but a little dryer & bitter than I like.

theghost3, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of eweneek83
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into the appropriate St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a burgundy brown body that is quite hazy/cloudy; body shows ruby streaks when held up to light, but body stays mostly opaque and cloudy throughout. Pour produces a creamy but thin, off-white colored head.

S: Dark fruits - prune juice, raisins soaked in rum. There are also stale bready notes that peak through the fruity sweetness. A mildly solvent alcohol appears later in the nose.

T: Mild fruity sweetness at the start. Again, dark fruits with prunes the most obvious candidate. The alcohol peaks after the initial wave of sweetness with a warming, peppery spike that is moderated by the arrival of the malt profile which produces a nice, wheaty twang. Finish is drying, similar to a dry wine. Aftertaste is distinctly malty - raw grains, stale biscuit and a buttery, slightly nutty note.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; a nice crispness that is balanced with a slightly powdery/fluffy mouthfeel.

D: 8% ABV is fairly prominent - in the aroma, the taste and the warming sensation in the pit of my stomach. One more 11.2oz bottle and I would be good to go.

eweneek83, May 27, 2009
Photo of Buschyfor3
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into the appropriate St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a burgundy brown body that is quite hazy/cloudy; body shows ruby streaks when held up to light, but body stays mostly opaque and cloudy throughout. Pour produces a creamy but thin, off-white colored head.

S: Dark fruits - prune juice, raisins soaked in rum. There are also stale bready notes that peak through the fruity sweetness. A mildly solvent alcohol appears later in the nose.

T: Mild fruity sweetness at the start. Again, dark fruits with prunes the most obvious candidate. The alcohol peaks after the initial wave of sweetness with a warming, peppery spike that is moderated by the arrival of the the malts which produces a nice, wheaty twang. Finish is drying, similar to a dry wine. Aftertaste is distinctly malty - raw grains, stale biscuit and a buttery, slightly nutty note.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; a nice crispness that is balanced with a slightly powdery/fluffy mouthfeel.

D: 8% ABV is more prevalent than in the 6 - in the aroma, the taste and the warming sensation in the pit of my stomach. One more 11.2oz bottle and I would be good to go.

A very pleasant Belgian dubbel. Hard to say which I prefer - the Prior 8 or the Pater 6? It's a tough call and my ratings go to show just how close these two beers are. What I can tell you for sure is that both are fantastic dubbels in their own respects and both showcase the quality beers brewed by the monks at St. Bernardus.

Buschyfor3, May 27, 2009
Photo of Rayek
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my St Bernardus chalice.

A: The deep copper color has a bit of a haze. The active carbonation I've come to expect from Belgian beers is alive and well. The cream tinged cap is swirling and firm. A mild amount of lace is left in the beer's wake.

S: The nose on this beer sets up the joy that is to come nicely. Spices and dark fruits intermingle as the beer teases the nostrils.

T: As much as I hate acronyms, I had OMG written into my notes twice. Complex is an understatement when it comes to describing the flavor of this beer. Where to begin? Well, every dark fruit I can think of is hiding out here. Plums, currants, black grapes and maybe even a touch of raspberry are at work. They're offset brilliantly by a spicy mix of cinnamon, clove, coriander and a touch of anise. An alcohol warmth mixes with the dark fruits to create a vinous quality throughout the experience. Finishes warm, with lingering spice and dark fruit flavors.

M: The medium body belies the beer's strength. It's somewhat slick and has just the right level of carbonation.

D: I must have been in a really good mood last night. To me, this beer was simply amazing. Rich and complex, I found myself thoroughly enjoying every sip. Abt 12 is up next as the last stop on my St Bernardus beer tour. Prior 8 has set the bar pretty high. Here's hoping 12 can match it.

Rayek, May 20, 2009
Photo of FleeVT
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml brown bottle with best before date into a Bernardus goblet.

A: Beautiful rich mahogany with a touch of crimson on the edges. Tight cream head that fades quickly to a thin top.

S: Nose is dominated by sweet malts, caramel and cola leading the pack. A very light floral aroma and a hint alcohol. Extremely inviting.

T/M: Lots of malts and fruity goodness. Raisin and plum with a heavy dose of carbonation. A mild medicinal taste in the back from the alcohol.

FleeVT, May 18, 2009
Photo of ToasterChef
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in my Uprising Chalice. Appears very dark with a head full of tiny bubbles. The bubbles leave a fine lace all around the glass while I'm drinking. The taste is malty at first with hints toffee at the end. There is a hint of alcohol to the flavor, but not nearly as strong as you would think an 8% ABV beer would taste. There is a bit of noticeable carbonation in the mouthfeel, but it isn't distracting in the least. Overall, a very fine beer. I enjoy a darker Belgian style to a lighter, so I think I actually prefer thins to the St. Bernie 12. As long as I'm not driving, I could have a number of these.

ToasterChef, May 16, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW! Poured a cloudy dark brown with a huge tannish head, plenty of carbonation on this brew. Nose is sugar, candied fruits, caramel, dried dark fruits, roastiness and all of this is in the taste too. This was an exceptional Dubbel. Very smooth and rich, easy drinking and probably one of the best Dubbels I have had, ever.

barleywinefiend, May 16, 2009
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

3.5 A: Murky dark brown color. Two fingers of frothy off-white head with below average lacing and modest lacing. Some yeast clumps at the bottom.

4.0 S: Earthy and yeasty. Some dark fruits including plum and raisin. Good overall, just wish it was more intense.

4.0 T: It's good, but run-of-the-mill in its flavor and depth. Lots of raisin and plum flavor and a touch of tobacco. Caramel malts and brown sugar. Touch of yeastiness to boot.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good bubbly carbonation. Creamy.

4.0 D: Pretty good, not spectacular.

DavoleBomb, May 14, 2009
Photo of drcarver
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A muddy brown color and clarity with an off white head. The head is small and slightly lacy

S - The malt aromas are strong with some nut and fruit

T - Very malt and sweet. A strong alcohol flavor. There is hints of nuts (almond?) and fruit with a bit of sweat.

M - Thick and dry

D - It's a sipper.

drcarver, May 10, 2009
Photo of dborginis
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Oakmont pub, poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. Millimeter or so of head, black but purple-ish color (bar was dark). Smell is of wine and raisins. The taste is of raisin as spices as well as alcohol. Very thick beer. Definitely a sipper. Not what I would have thought as a dubbel.

dborginis, May 04, 2009
Photo of theopholis
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Deep, darkamber body with a strong ruby glow. The head is 1-finger high, tan and fades quickly.

Smell - Fairly complex melange of dark fruits (prunes, over-ripe cherries), maybe some currant.

Taste - Again, lots of dark fruits with lots of yeastiness. Quite nixe.

Mouthfeel - Coats the mouth with its full goodness, leaving a nice, lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not great, but worth a whirl.

theopholis, May 01, 2009
Photo of ofosho
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter after a long, hard day of... sitting. For an art class. Paired with a dash of Robert Jones blues.

A - Deep, dark cherry body with a ruby glow and edged with orange highlights. Pinkie-width tan head fades quickly.

S - Sour cherries, prunes, coffee (imagine drinking strong coffee, then breathing up into your own nose - that's the smell. Weird, I know, but it's not a direct coffee smell, it's more of a tangy coffee), and a touch of sweet caramel greet the nose in a soft but pleasant blend of aromas.

T - Scrumptious, juicy hit of dried, dark fruits and whole wheat bread with a definite sweetness hit the palate with a bang. Then comes a wave of lighter, more delicate sweet notes of caramel, cedar shavings, and tangy, almost citrusy yeast.

M, D - Coats the mouth with its full goodness, but clears out well and leaves the palate with a brightness that invites the next sip.

ofosho, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of tedpeer
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a chalice.

A - Pours brown, with reddish hints. Huge light tan head that quickly subsided to a ring around. Some lacing.

S - Fruity, spice and malts.

T - Fruity and slightly sweet. Slight warmth from alcohol in finish.

M - Highly carbonated. Creamy. Smooth.

D - Very drinkable.

tedpeer, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of dogfishandi
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 11.2oz bottle into oversized wine glass at cellar temp. pours a deep dark brown color, almost appear black. lots of floater. delicious looking off white almost tan head with some brown in the middle from the last couple drops. huge head with amazing retention and lots of sticky lacing. looks very good.

the smell is that of sweet malts, spice, clove , belgian yeast, grapes, plums, raisons, solvent like alcohol. lovely.

sweet malts, sweet fruits, grapes, plums, dark fruits cover your whole mouth. clove, phenolic, belgian yeast. finishs with a grape like sweet/sourness with some warmth from the alcohol. hugely complex beer.

amazing heavy mouthfeel that really takes over your palate. very fine carbonation.

would not want to drink more than one in a night, but will definately enjoy again. one of my favorite dubbels. best served at cellar temp, and take your time and allow it to open up and let all sorts of new flavors come out.

dogfishandi, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A--Very dark brown with a huge 3 finger head that receded lightning quick and left no lacing

S--Banana, dark fruit, flowers, caramel

T--Muted banana/clove taste, sweet fruits, figs, rye bread

M--Too carbonated for my liking, but that is the style so I can't knock it too much

D--Except for the carbonation sting, this is a very easy drinking beer. I will definitely go back to this one in the future with a more thorough review

alcstradamus, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark brown body w/ two-finger head. A husky, thick bitter malt smell with a mix of grainy roasted/toasted malts with coffee and some sweet malts like caramel. A sweet, creamy, sugary malt taste as I pick up caramel, nuts, oat as well as some chocolate. There are some dark fruit/fig tastes for balance and it finishes slightly dry thanks to some roasted malts, but overall this a medium to heavy bodied beer that is sweet. I must add that I noticed some fruit notes on the backend with the dry malt feeling - could be some hop bitterness, although it had a slight grape tinge. This is a great dubbel from St. Bernardus.

clayrock81, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of Foxtrot
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice dark brown, cloudy body with a nice ivory foam cap. The head retention on this beer is absolutely amazing, it just keeps going and going and going and going!

Wonderful aromas of Belgian yeast, light plum with hints of spices and touches of cinnamon and sweetness.

Smelling this beer was delightful, but tasting it was a treat! Love the complexity. Moves with a nice fresh and vibrant tone, balanced with some assorted dark fruits, and a nice crisp clean finish. I enjoyed how this beer was sweet, but without being too sweet. The sweet sugary notes are very controlled and don't overpower the other flavors.

Mouthfeel was a nice full medium body.

Drinkability was superb, at no point did I not find myself not enjoying this beer. It was really hard to put my glass down between the tasting and smelling. Brilliant!

Foxtrot, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a thick, walnut brown color that is impossible to see through. I observed small sentiment floating around the edges before disappearing into the brown abyss, with some residue from the last drops resting on top of the lace hat looks like cinnamon. The head foams up nicely to about 4 cm. Eventually it fades, but some head and loose lacing remain around the beer for the duration of the glass.

Smell: A developed but nuanced smell, the major players are a strong Belgian yeasty malt and some fall spices. Cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are all noticeable. Dates and raisins round out the aroma.

Taste: Nothing too surprising here, although the dark fruit takes more of the lead. A strong, pleasant, yeasty malt dominates up front. Only a hint of the spices I smelled find their way into the taste. A light, somewhat tart hop flavor comes in at the end of the sip, but it's not quite citrusy. I think it is a light starfruit taste.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied, smooth feel. A nice level of carbonation, and there is a level of sediment that is nice.

Drinkability: A little different from the norms of the style, and this is a very drinkable beer. The strong, dark flavor and high alcohol content make it a nice sipper.

KickInTheChalice, Apr 15, 2009
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,894 ratings.