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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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2,068 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,068
Reviews: 989
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 117
Gots: 210 | FT: 4
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.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,068 | Reviews: 989 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elricorico
4.37/5  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%
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
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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 -4.1%
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
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
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
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
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
4.19/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 330 ml brown bottle, best before date listed as 08 12 14. Pours out a deep cloudy brown, tight spongy off-white head that eventually dissipates.

Sweet and nutty malt on the nose, some caramelized notes and prunes, vinuous background.

Flavour contains some toffee malt, some nut, dark dried fruit, green apple and pear, with a sherry-like dryness on the finish, vinuous character lingers in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, somewhat sticky texture, with a fairly assertive carbonation for the style.

This Dubbel delivers, offering enough complexity to keep you coming back, and enough juxtaposition to keep you guessing. Enjoyable, yet I managed to lose interest near the end.

Photo of NODAK
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is a very rich one...lots of dark fruits and molasses come through. A thick aroma.

Pours a dark brown in the glass...a fair sized head that disappated fairly rapidly.

Taste is much like what the aroma was, except it's a bit more restrained. There's the dark fruit and brown sugar present, but not in an extremely concentrated way. The restraining of these flavors assists drinkability, I believe. There's a bit of Belgian yeast on the finish along with a slight bitterness on the back of the tongue. A little alcohol as it warms. Finishes fairly dry.

All in all, a winner of a beer. It's drinkable, smooth and is a good beer for this style. Just watch out for the ABV.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with some chestnut coloring and a nice tan head with some good legs as it goes down my tulip. Smell is dark fruits with a good amount of caramel and some dark candied sugars. Taste is not quite as refined, with yeast character really beginning to dominate. Mouthfeel is nice and rich without too much heat. Quite creamy. Drinkability is quite good. Did this as part of the entire St. Bernardus lineup, and this was one of my favorites; though, to be fair, I suppose all of them were quite good.

Photo of steve8robin
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another whim beer...

A: iced tea brown with a thick off white head that quickly fades. Good.

S: very faint hints of sweet bready malts. Not much else. Ok.

T: piney oak with a kind of metallic bitter backend. Kind of reminds me of autumn. Bready apples with some alcohol taste. Decent.

M: medium body with a great carbonation. Very good.

D: goes down very easy once you get past the metallic taste. Good.

All in all, this was an ok brew. Kind of overrated IMO. Good to try if u like belgians. I have not gotten in to them myself.

Photo of mralphabet
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into St. Bernardus Goblet.

A: Brownish Orange in color, little murky. Nice 1 fingers worth of head that settles to a nice layer. Pretty good lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Pretty strong aroma of dark fruits... Cherries & raisins are pretty strong. I'm also getting a touch of sweetness, kind of a sweet mix of caramel and molasses... then there is a little alcohol floating around.

T: All the smells are here.... First thing I'm getting is the sweetness, followed quickly by some tart fruit notes and finishing with a warming alcohol feel... the warm sensation lingers around for awhile.

M: Medium bodied, carbonates is sharp and crisp at first, but gets a little more creamy as it warms.

D: Pretty strong beer here, sit back and enjoy this one... One was enough for me. Pretty tasty, strong flavors and pretty well balanced.

My First St. Bernadus... very good, cannot wait for the next one.

Photo of Bonis
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A very cloudy dark pour, brownish in color with a purple tint. Huge bubbling head dissipates quickly to a thin layer of bubbles. Nice floaties.

S - Sweet like candy, with dark fruits: figs, raisins, dates. A nice but not overbearing presence of alcohol. That wonderful belgian yeast smell is there, almost a little funky to my nose.

T - Starts of with a burst of sweet light fruits with a nice subtle tartness, possibly cherries. Alcohol bites back to end, and then the mouth is left with the taste of those wonderful dark fruits (grapes coming out in the taste) and that is what you are left with until the next drink.

M - Definitely full bodied and pretty high carbonation out of this bottle. Borderline champagne-like bubbling in the mouth, however, smooth overall.

D - Pretty good and easy drink. This is something you treat yourself to, so definitely not multiple in one night.

Photo of impending
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


La Trappe. Looked like most every other dubbel, dark and inviting.

Smelled like most every other dubbel, superb.

Tasted finer than most every other dubbel, delightful. If you like this style you will love this.

For me, this is the dubbel against which all others are measured. The good folks of St Bernardus are in command of their art.
this & the Rochefort 6 are magnitudes beyond all other dubbels
massively !

Photo of BeerCon5
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark in color with a thin amount of off-white head.

The scent was of faint dark fruits and roasty malts.

The taste was of dark fruits, roasted malts, strong alcohol presence, spiciness toward the end.

Full bodied, smooth and very creamy, low carbonation.

This was unusually very easy to drink since it was very rich in flavor and had a strong alcohol presence.

Photo of Jwale73
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle served in my ST tulip. Best before end 11 08 14 indicated on the back label. Opened this bottle to let it warm and breathe before pouring - unbeknownst to me, it was slowly foaming out of the bottle, leaving a puddle in it's wake (luckily it didn't hit the carpet). Pours a deep, reddish-brown with a foamy two inch, cream-colored head. Clarity is a bit murky and there are tiny yeast particles evident in solution. Nose is earthy and vinous with dark fruits (prunes/figs/raisins) rounding out the middle and the back. There's also a dull spicy/herbal/minty quality in the mix, but it is difficult to nail down the precise character. Taste follows nose - pretty much the same character, with the residual earthy/herbal/yeasty quality lingering between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with an even and pleasant background carbonation and a semi-dry feel. A very solid dubbel with very good complexity, but not something I would drink a lot of in one sitting or with any frequency.

Photo of caddybuyer
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass

A-Hazy raisin brown with some ruddy copper showing through when held to light. Thick light tan head

S-Yeasty and spicy with dark sweet malts and candied dark fruits present.

T-Rum soaked raisins hit the palate first as the sweet malts carry across the tongue. Vanilla and some almond present as well. Spicy peppery finish. This seemed very boozy for its ABV on the initial sip, but it levels off to a nice warming note.

M-Slighly creamy with a somewhat heavier than medium body. Overcarbonated.

D-Very drinkable and enjoyable brew. Will look for again.

Photo of juju7
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A true dubbel. Textbook stuff here. The familiar sights and smells are all here. Clumpy head with good lacing a top a rusty brown body. Some dried fruits, plums, raisins, bit of phenolic action and brown sugar. The sweet yeast aftertaste sits nicely alongside the alcohol warmth. Great balance, going down a treat this cold windy evening.

Photo of mulder1010
3.47/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of bogus564
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of Snamnoum
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,068 ratings.