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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.

1,898 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,898
Reviews: 971
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 103
Gots: 148 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

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: 1,898 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cjgator3
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best before 01 06 11.

11.2fl oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. The aroma is perfect! Sweet bready malt, yeast and dark fruit make up the rather enticing nose. The taste explodes with sweet malt, dough, dark fruits and a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Overall, this is a superb representation of the dubbel style that is highly recommended.

cjgator3, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of albern
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an outstanding example of a Belgian Dubbel if there ever was one. The beer poured a dark brown, slightly cloudy, with some yeasty bits floating on the bottom. Nice head, great lacing, the head is an off white. This beer has a wonderful fruity, sweet, somewhat malty aroma, and the taste won't disappoint. The taste is sweet malt, a little yeasty, wonderful fruits popping through, not too much hop flavor except maybe on the end. It is your typical Belgian in that there are plenty of candied sugars used in the fermentation and that is what makes this beer what it is. The after taste is smooth, there is some alcohol notes coming through too, but mostly on the end, but not really that much for a beer with 8 ABV. It actually hides its rather highish alcohol content very well. This is just a wonderful beer. L'Chaim.

albern, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of arizcards
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 11.2 oz bottle in late October from AJ's for $3.99. Best before 04 08 10.

Beer decanted perfectly into my Duvel glass. It poured a ruby brown color, with yeast sediment visible, with a perfect long lasting off white head. Nose is splendid, of bananas, sweet malts, and dark fruits. Taste is pretty much the same as the nose with a drying hop finish. The alcohol is ever so slightly warming. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, fairly full, and very smooth. Drinkability is near perfect. This is a pretty darn good representation of the Dubbel style!

arizcards, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of BWH3
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

St. Bernardus Prior 8 at 45 F from a Goblet

Appearance: Deep brown with hint of red. Tan thick head that withstands the carbonation and takes a nice while to lace out.

Smell: Good phenolic character enhances the scent of the malts. Earthy quality to the dark fruit aromas.

Taste: Rich plum/sherry like taste that transitions to a burnt caramel or toffee with a creaminess to it. Ends sweetly with little bitterness but not a lingering aftertaste either. Pleasant alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel: Good but not perfect. The carbonation doesn't come through as much as you would expect in a dubbel. The body is rather thick. Honestly, if I were quaffing this beer I would overlook this tiny flaw quite easily.

Drinkability: Exceptionally easy to drink despite the big ABV.

BWH3, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of techdiver
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights and a creamy two finger head that dissipates slowly.

Nose is of malt, plum, and hops.

Taste is of sweet malt, mild hops, and plum and well balanced. Some degree of complexity, can't quite put my finger on some of this.

Good carbonation, a pleasant dubbel.

Drinkability is good, nothing wrong with putting a few of these away.

techdiver, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of brewcrew76
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled dated 05 10 09

A - Murky deep brown with a thin tan head that leaves a little skim floating on top.

S - Dark fruits, figs, pears, prunes with a leathery, toffee, toasted bread aroma.

T - Sweet candy sugar up front followed by earthy, dark fruits (prunes, figs & raisins) along with a toasted bread, malt backbone.

M - Medium body that starts off crisp and becomes creamy smooth as it warms.

D - Very tasty and easy to drink for 8% ABV.

brewcrew76, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of bjoyce12
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quick review: It's very much like a Bernardus 12, just without as much alcohol.

Purchased a 4-pack at Marty's in Newton, MA. They also have the Bernardus trippel and the 12(of course). Pricey at $18 for a 4 pack, but quality costs.

This is an excellent option when you don't want the 10.5% ABV of the 12. Tastes nearly as good, not as heavy, and while 8% ABV is still up there, it's not the knockout of the 12.

Rather than go through each attibute, I'll assume you've tried the 12. If you take the 12, reduce the alcohol, lighten up the taste but keep the same undercurrents of chocolate, cashew, caramel, molasses, and currant, just not as pronounced or prevalent, lighten up the mouthfeel, and take away some of the body but give it more drinkability, you'll end up with the 8.

A superb choice in a Belgian. The 12 is still superior overall, but this is a worthy alternative.

bjoyce12, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of adowney523
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice from a 33 cl brown bottle. Very dark brown with an amber/orange hue when held up to the light. Off-white head with great lacing.

Smells of molasses sweetness with some medicinal and solvent-like qualities.

Malt backbone is bready. There is ample candy-sweetness along with hints of raisins, brown sugar, and molasses. Pleasant hop bitterness in the finish along with an alcohol and ethyl acetate-like burn.

The carbonation plays exceptionally well with the tongue. Drinkability is above average- I love it but it doesn't go down all that fast.

A very nice beer, I like this brewery.

adowney523, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of rayjay
2.15/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

04 08 10. Poured into a chalice, with a multi-colored head that's stained several shades of Kool-Aid; interestingly, this beer was much much darker in the glass that it was in the bottle. A simple review of the nose and flavor profile would consist of two words: "beer pez." Sickeningly saccharine sweet, with noticable candi sugar priming. This beer has many similar elements evident in the quadruppel, but somehow they come across as flaws here. Carmel malt pez candy is the obvious one. Sugar in the Raw. Mouthfeel is too chalky for the body, another "flaw" I don't mind with the 12. Lots of tiny bubbles. Too much flavor, and not enough of the right flavors. Not for me.

rayjay, Mar 07, 2007
Photo of aaronh
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Walnut colored body topped by a great, clinging tan head. Aroma is sweet, with nice fruity scents, a touch of oaken vanilla, and caramelized sugars. Flavor is complex, with cherry fruit, vanilla, caramel, a touch of dark chocolate, and figs. A slight bitterness shows through, then more sweet malt and fruit flavors come through. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with pretty much perfect carbonation. Drinkability is superb. This is definitely a great experience. The Pater is good, but this is twice as nice.

aaronh, Mar 07, 2007
Photo of Contra
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My local beer distributor, Half-Time, had a 25% off sale on a St. Bernardus gift pack (comes with free goblet). Always wanted to try these beers, but now, it's a lot more justifiable.

The beer pours into a deep amber color with little head. The aroma is fairly inviting, with many of the charactoristics you'd expect from a Belgium beer. Taste is rather strong, and initially disappointing. Given a few sips, I warmed up to it. Still, the alcohol is not well hidden, which takes away from the mouthfeel a bit.

I'll certainly have to try it again, and as good as it was, it was not quite as good as I was expecting.

Contra, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet from an 11.2 oz. bottle. A nice deep brown with hints of ruby showing thou the edges. I got a two finger light tan head that was thick and creamy looking, lasted a long time and clung nicely to the glass as it waned. Viscosity is quite evident as I swirl the glass gently.

Aroma is sweet and bready. Hints of dark fruit and spicy hops later in the nose. Taste is of plum and spice, with a short lived dry alcohol finish. Each sip leaves you warmer than you were before and longing for another.

This dubbel is thick and syrupy, lingering on the tongue for a bit. The best by date on the bottle is 040810. If only I had the patience to wait that long before trying the next one.

ZimZamZoom, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of macster
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle. Pours a slightly hazy ruddy orange-brown color. Produces a beautiful huge, fluffy and rocky tan head which maintains a 1/4" thickness throughout the glass. Quite intense and pleasant aromas of fresh baked wheat rolls, yeast, ripe pears/apples, caramel candies, toffee along with faint hints of buckwheat honey, spices, charred oak and alcohol. Palate is full and round combining a nice spritzy carbonation with an enjoyable chewy texture. Flavor profile seems a bit more reserved compared to the aroma, but still quite good. Notes of sweet Belgian crystal malts, light brown sugar, caramel, toffee, spices, fresh dark wheat bread and ripe light fruits are savored. Finish shows just a quick hit of hops and alcohol, but unfortunately tends to fade out fast leaning toward some thiness in the end. All in all a well done Belgain Dubble and would certainly visit this again.

macster, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of riversider76
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown with an orange hue in the light. Churning carbionation,frothy head,with excellent retention and lacing. Smell is sweet and bready. Dark sweet fruit, and nut are also there. Body is on the thick side,and carbionated. Taste is of brown sugar,and fruit. With a nice slightly bitter finish. A lot going on with this excellent beer!

riversider76, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of Jwaks
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving 750ml bottle

A large churning column of course carbonation rises up through a translucent ruddy brown body towards a finger thick cap of beige froth. Perhaps the head is sticking around for the beer party but this ever persistent dense, frothy head just won't quit, it's damn impressive even for a dubbel.

Are there chocolate tootsie rolls and carob flavored sugar drop cookies in this beer? Molasses chews, brown sugars, crystalline sugars, dates, solvents, yeast, spicy honey bread and bitter hop aromas slowly diffuse from the glass.

This beer slinks onto the palate presenting flavors of sweet carob, molasses, solvents and a bit of spicy brown bread meld into brown sugary bready malts, some solvents and chocolate sugar drop cookies flavors on a bittersweet, chewy mid palate. Dates, creamy chocolate and molasses chews make a welcome addition to a restrained dry and bitter finish lending to a moderately long aftertaste of caramel, hops and bitter carob. Damn, this is one sweet dubbel.

Flavors could be a bit more concentrated with less dryness on the finish which would push mouthflavor toward the exceptional rage. Bitters are a bit much on the finish and aftertaste to keep me drinking more than one bottle and afterawhile the flavors begin to meld into one rather than a group of complex and well delineated flavors.

Overall, this is one sweet and tasty dubbel. This proves a belgian beer doesn't need the trappist logo on the label to be an exceptional belgian beer.


Jwaks, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of Rudgers73
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked and caged 750 mL bottle into my Ommegang chalice. The first thing I notice is the awesome head. Very light and fluffy, sticking to the sides, it doesn't erupt over the sides of the glass but it doesn't settle quickly either. Perfect. The color is a little lighter than I had expected, most other dubbels I've had were very dark brown. You can actually see the carbonation in this stuff. The aroma is VERY bready, I'm a little worried the taste will be the same. Nope, the taste is awesome. Very sweet like brown sugar with a perfect balance of bitterness. Slight alcohol taste that is smooth and rich. Very silky mouthfeel. This is better than I had expected. Minus the bready smell this is one of the best dubbels I've ever had.

Rudgers73, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of dedrinker
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh pastry dough with a dash of yeast. Faint currant flavor with hints of glazed donut.This is like a glass of your favorite local donut shop at three in the morning when they are cranking out the next day's pastries. I recommend that you drink it at three in the morning, or at least before bedtime. I can really get into these flavors, and I'm generally over dark strong bottled conditioned Belgian beers. Good job. Solid.

dedrinker, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at Liquor Max in Loveland, CO. Stored at 36 degrees, set out until about 50 degrees before pouring. I went ahead and poured the sediment -- I love that stuff anyway.

Pour is a cloudy cloudy mahogany under a HUGE frothy tan head that fades to a solid lid. Plenty of lacing.

Smell is strong -- like, across the room strong -- and lovely: candied walnuts, caramel malt, toffee, figs, prunes, dark chocolate, and biscuit, all covering a hint of bittering hops. Lots going on here. Wow. What a great smelling beer!!

Taste follows the aroma to a "T," though it is not quite as intense. Indeed, it's a bit of a let-down after inhaling this great aroma for several minutes. Still, it tastes good: just not as good as it smells. Just a hint of boozy warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel is rich and thick, warming and full. Much rounder than I anticipated from a Dubbel. Mmmmm.

The alcohol, while mostly masked in the taste, is evident in the mouthfeel. Still, a very drinkable beer.

My first of this beer, and I must admit I'm impressed. Much smoother and warmly maltier than I was anticipating. A great beer.

ColoradoBobs, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of bonbright7
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this at Shoreline while looking at the vast selection and knowing how much I'd like a dubbel style ale on a cold wintry day. I spied the Westmalle Dubbel and passed on it with great hesitation as it is one of my favorite examples of its kind.

The poured brownish ale with dark red edges looked good as it foamed lightly to the top of my 50cl glass. The first taste was as good as the last with the immediate champagne and malty flavors up front. I savored the creamy ending as I watched the lacing slowly make its way to the bottom.

I thought the hearty ale would be perfect to be snowed in with, but I would need a case to keep me happy as this was very easy to drink (with a refined taste). As I always speculate upon finding a great beer or ale, I will want to find this on tap sometime soon.

bonbright7, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$4 tap at Maduro last night with a bunch of BA's

appearance: served in the typical awesome St Bernardus glassware, dark plum-garnet body, light beige head with moderate lacing...nice pour from our friends at Maduro

smell: nicely spiced, clove, raisin-fig, dark sweet malts, light yeast

taste: Maybe my belgian standards are a little off but I found this to be good, but not great. I have made a mental note to try it from the bottle at some point. sweet caramel-malt, light boozy yeast presence, spiced caramel malts, clove spicyness. Enjoyable

mouthfeel: smooth and rich

drinkability: high

dirtylou, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of ElGordo
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 330ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Body is an orange/brown hue with deep golden highlights, topped by a small, creamy tan head that doesn't last very long. Nice, sweet aroma that's spot on for a Dubbel - sweet malt, caramel, and some tangy Belgian yeast. Palate is superb as well, with a good balance between the sweet, bready malt flavors and the mellow, fruity hops. Just a touch of astringency is detectable on the finish. Body is creamy but overly foamy. On the whole, though, a very enjoyable offering from one of the greatest breweries in the world.

ElGordo, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of dstc
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark cloudy brown/purple color with a full two finger pale tan head that disappears after a few minutes leaving little trail of lace and small head.

Smells a bit weaker than it looks and maybe a bit metallically yet somewhat sweet.

Tastes a bit like heaven. Nice full flavor, a little sweet and a little sour. Fruity and malty.

Feels full and creamy with that nice tingle on the tongue.

I very much enjoyed this beer and can't wait to try some more.

dstc, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of AudioGilz
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky/muddy water appearance, not really a chunky yeast kind of murk but more of just a general dark floating haze within. A long-lasting head is a bit thin, but laces all the way down.

Clovey and spicy aromas combine with a general sweet maltiness, almost molasses in character.

Along with other St. Bernardus offerings, this brew does not disappoint in the least! Ripe plums and other similar fruits, herbal clove, yeasty twang mid-quafe, especially on the side of the tongue, and also quite a warming alcohol presence, even moreso than their Tripel.

High carbonation levels somehow leave space for a slightly creamy mouthfeel; it's simply as close to perfection as my personal opinion of belgian beer mouthfeel can be.

Drinkability easily reaches 5.0, as this is a true pleaser.

AudioGilz, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of ericj551
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prior 8 pours a deep ruby red with a thick and tall off white head that lingers for quite a while. Smell is herbal and sweet, with a slight sour tang. Taste is rich and slightly fruity. Sweet malts upfront, with a dry chalky yeast flavor towards the end. There is a slight raisiny aftertaste, with a lingering sweetness. The alcohol is completely masked. Although between the two I like the 12 better, this is a delicious beer, well worth the $8 a 750.

ericj551, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of Enola
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Continuing with my effort to develope a taste for Belgian brews brings me to this beer. Much more than I was expecting.

The color is a nice deep mahogany and there is a good sized head. The smell contains raisens, and could almost be mistaken for a wine. The abv is not too evident in the taste. A nice dull bitterness in the taste and there are lots of fruit tastes as well. The mouthfeel is smooth. Not overly carbonated. A nice sipper. After a couple of less than stellar Belgians, it is nice to run across one that is very good. This beer gives me hope in getting accustomed to these Belgian brews.

Enola, Feb 03, 2007
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,898 ratings.