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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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2,086 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 2,086
Reviews: 992
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 122
Gots: 218 | FT: 5
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: 2,086 | Reviews: 992
Photo of KraegerB
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz. Brown bottle with cork.

A - Cloudy red-ish brown with a tan head which lingers and leaves some nice lacing.

S - Earthy aromas mainly smelling of dried fruits.

T - Complex flavor, tastes of caramel, apricots, faint bitterness of hops, faint coffee flavor. nice.

M - Wonderfully smooth. Full body, just the right amount of carbonation.

D - I really enjoyed this beer. I would definitely have it again. Seems to portray the Dubbel style nicely.

Photo of Oatsoda
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark chocolate colored with a light head of foam.

It has aromas of banana and raisin, unusually sweet.

It starts off full-flavored with a bitter, coffee-like aftertaste.

A medium bodied beer with smooth carbonation.

Very enjoyable dark beer. Another great one from St. Bernardus.

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Go St. Bernardus! Another great beer. Pours deep mahogany in color with some sediment, big creamy head. Great retention and lacing. Smell is of sweet dark fruit, pear, and white grape. Overall very sweet. Taste is very similar. Some sweet bicuit malt with apple, pear, and other sweet fruit. Some earthiness and grass. Mouthfeel is very light. Almost champagne like on the first sip due to the higher carbonation. Dry, sweet aftertaste. Overall a great beer and easy drinker. The ABV is well hidden and this is a great slow sipper at warmer temps.

Photo of BeefTongue
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy one finger head on the pour that left heavy lace upon swirling. The beer appeared a dark red-amber when held to light and was a bit clouded due to the yeast sediment remaining from the bottle conditioning process. The aroma was lightly fruity and sweet- the distinct tart odor of the Belgian yeast came through and offered a complex and appealing twist to the blend of scents present. The carbonation is high, but feels good to the inside of the mouth, tingling all over, and the overall mouthfeel is smooth and substantial, but not so thick as to linger long on the tongue after swallowing. The flavor is nice, true to the name of a dubbel; very good and well balanced. The finish is there but dissipates quickly, although the remaining flavors of clove and malt are very pleasant while they last. Would definitely drink again, but not every day.

Photo of cdizinno
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle, to traditional Belgian beer chalice with best by date stamped on back 26-12-12(maybe I've popped it open too soon?)

A: Cloudy & very dard brown. Tan head that lingers and leaves heavy lacy.

S: mild chocolate, slightly sweet aroma and ... alcohol.

T&M: Great flavor for this medium bodied tangy ale. Dark malty flavor with light hops. Slightly sweet finish.

Very good ale!

Photo of bskrtz
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle, to traditional Belgian beer chalice

A: Cloudy & murky brown liquid with suspended yeast. light tan head disipates quickly leaving a lacy lingering head

S: Sweet ginger bread with earthy tones. Root beer, nutmeg, chocolate...

T: Delicious, a great example of Belgian dubbel ale. Smooth and well balanced.

M: Carbonation is suspended in this thick as stout, unfiltered ale, that tingles on the way down and lasts until your beer is finished.

This is yet another excellent ale from St. Bernardus. A real treat when and if you can find one.

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

Although it bears an almost identical resemblance to the dark, shriveling skin of a dried Medjool date fruit, holding it into the light will reveal a more scarlet red toned beer. Little specs of yeast do sully complexion but don't hinder the beer's radiance. A smooth surfaced icing of off-white is laid out evenly over top and leaves quirky stamps of lace as it sinks.

The smell also bears resemblance to dried and over-ripened fruits - notably plums, nectarines, and again, dates. It smells of a sugary prune juice with yeasty bread cast over it. Both the fruitiness and bready features are savory and extremely mellowed. There's some indication of alcohol but it fits well within the ripened fruit and garlicky spice of the bouquet.

The malts contain the grainy taste of rye bread as well a light toasted quality. They are sweet but even more drying. A spread of currants, plums and raisins has been smeared all over these slices and furthers the ripened, dried fruit character. The phenols have quieted quite a bit although you might taste a bit of ginger or cinnamon and I continue to remark a clove-like, almost garlicky, character in the finish.

I'm finding the beer drying and not overly refreshing. That said, I imagine this could pair wonderfully along side a long list of dishes; the thought of having this at the table for fall-time harvest meals is mouth-watering. The alcohol isn't nearly as warming as I anticipated but then again everything about this beer seems to be refined and very mellowed.

Apparently St. Bernardus 8 doesn't crack the list of my favourite dubbels. Nevertheless, it's a beer I greatly enjoy. In an ideal world, this would be present at more dinner tables and in more cold cellars than is currently the case. This abbey may not have the legal rights to bear the Trappist logo, but their beers have every bit the same quality and historical significance.

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was aged about four years in biegaman's cellar, thanks for sharing! Murky brown in my Chimay goblet, lots of yeast particles. Tan head a healthy two plus fingers to begin with and settled to evenly coat the surface of the glass, low carbonation, a few large bubbles at centre glass, good lacing.

There was a big fig aroma, unmistakeable. With air, an aroma of walnuts, but more than that ... pumpernickel loaf. Taste is figs, dates, sweet dried prune. The mouthfeel struck me as superb, nicely balanced, bitterness is muted but in the mix with the malt and yeast. Slight hints of dark fruit start to emanate with more tilting of the glass, green or dark cherry from a brandy fruit cake but with sugars well in the background so the sweetness never takes on a life of its own or becomes cloying. Overall, a real treat for north american tastebuds, beers like this distinguish the true beer lovers from the party animals and the uninitiated. I could use a few more of these to remind me every so often of just how rich the beer experience can be.

Photo of surfer4life
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet from a 11.2oz bottle

A - Dark and Cloudy, much sediment. Thick creamy head that recedes to a thin layer. Much lacing.

S - Caramel malt sweetness, figs, apricot and some citrus. Quite a pungent one.

T - Chocolate, very bready, 8% alcohol but I can't taste the esthers in it at all. dates and the caramel malt are the biggest taste, slight hop bitterness towards the finish, but the very end is chocolate sweetness.

M - Carbonation is high, but as it should be with this style. Crisp and clean.

D - Very drinkable.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz brown bottle served into a goblet.
Cloudy deep amber/copper color with a dense creamy bone white head with good retention leaving sheets of lace down the glass.
Mild dark fruity aroma with slight metallic carmellness just a hint of booze. Clean and pleasing.
Light and creamy with a malty backbone,strong carmell with a good sharp metallic edge. Dark fruitiness lightly blended through the mix with a earthy feel ,well balanced with a nice tart woody bitterness.The alcohol is pretty well hidden kicking the drinkabilty up a notch. A very nice Belgian,one that worths keeping on hand.

Photo of corey0212
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky reddish/iced-tea color, beautiful soft foamy sand-colored head isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and various-sized floaties hanging around. Smell is doughy, yeasty, fresh baked bread, some dark fruit. Flavors follow right along, with more raisin and fig throwing down, and a slight hit of flavor from the alcohol. Very fine carbonation, but creamy as well. This is just delicious, and very drinkable.

Photo of br3wmeister
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- The beer is a dark amber red color that looks great with a light held up to it. Two inch Silky off with head, that has great retention, it holds to the last sip. Great lacing all the way down the glass.

S- Dark malty aromas, roasted nuts and molasses. Slight yeastiness with a hint of floral hops and cherries.

T- Lots of sweet malty character, caramel and dark fruits; plum and raisin. Big bready flavors that make me feel like I am eating some kind of fruit bread. Some yeast is present and some alcohol warmth. As it warms up I also get subtle hints of roasted almonds, Cherries, and vanilla.

M- Medium to medium full bodied beer that feels silky smith in your mouth, with some nice alcohol presence.

Overall- This may be my favorite beer by St. Bernardus. It is super complex and very drinkable, this beer is great!

Photo of bowersdm
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle poured into a St. Bernardus goblet. I did not note the best before date but it was from a christmas mix pack released at the end of last year.

A - dark brown, ruby when held to the light. It looks like chunky apple cider. there was a 1cm head, but it dissipated quickly into a thin film.

S - yeast, fruit, spices, lemon, grass, or lemongrass, hay, bread, earth.

T - grass, lemon, apples, yeast, bread, sweet malty flavor, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, slight earthy hop bitterness and a dry finish, but not as dry as pater 6.

M - a little too carbonated.

D - very tasty beer. I prefer this one to the pater 6 because its finish isn't quite as dry.

Photo of ChuckR343
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden to dark brown, with tan head.

S- Smells of dried fruit and yeast.

T- Strong malty front with great hoppy finish. I don't really taste any of the fruit, but it is a little sweet.

M- Highly carbonated. I do not notice the alcohol.

D- I couldn't drink more than 1 or 2 due to the carbonation, but definitely not a boring beer.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a murky brown with a light tan head. Aroma of delicious dark and light fruits (apple, pear, fig, sweet molasses). Flavor is quite similar with lots of sweet fruits, sweet malt, and yeast. Not quite as luscious a mouthfeel as Abt 12, but pretty close actually. Nice BSA.
7/4/8/4/15 (3.8/5)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Decanted carefully into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass from a bomber.

Appears golden brown with a huge light khaki head and some lace. Excellent retention.

Taste starts out with some unripe black cherries with a decent level of acidity on the forefront, backed by a bready sweet robust malt body. Very slight roasted grain effect. Levels of apple sweetness, lush vegetal fruits. Liquid bread.

Mouthfeel is bubbly and smooth, well carbonated.

Drinkability moderate. Strong and a sipper for sure.

Photo of bovinecrusader
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into St. Bernardus chalice. [Thanks to Robyn at Daily Pint!]

Poured a brassy, dark maple, with hints of ruby edges. Two finger off-white head dissipating to a thin viscous head with great lacing. Nose was quite vinous, revealing bing cherry and fig. LONG silky mouthfeel and finish. Brown sugar, mild esters, dates, boysenberry syrup, and chewing tobacco on the palate, leaving a sticky, slightly dry/tannic finish.

Gorgeous beer. Can't go wrong with this one.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: deep reddish brown

smell: high potency, good hoppyness

taste: good, and no overpowering for how strong it was

mouthfeel: rich and thin

drinkability: This was almost as good as chimay red. Very similar but if I remeber corretly I emjoyed the shimay better, but not by much, Very solid Dubbel

Photo of sonicdescent
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown with white head turning into a crown. Carbonation is very active and adds to the visual allure of this drink.

Smells fruity and sweet. Grapes compliment a smell that is something like the bastard son of wine and champagne.

Taste is great. This isn't quite a Westy 8 but good in it's own right with some grapes, fig, rasins, and bread out front.

Mouth is thin and highly carbonated. Very good for this style as any thicker or flatter would greatly reduce the drinkability.

This is a worthy and more widely available (though still pricey) substitute for Westvleteren 8.

Photo of KeefD
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber, bordering on brown with a smallish off-white head and very little lacing. Aroma off the bat is yeast, light chocolate and raisins, earthy, with a bit of banana and a touch of herbal grassy hops in the background. Flavors of grapes, raisins, light chocolate, bruised apple, minerals and earthiness. There seems to be this grape lollipop flavor on the front end that's odd. Agressive carbonation, medium bodied. This is a very complex yet tasty beer. Definitely the Pater 6's big bro.

Photo of velkyal
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In many ways this beer was pretty much as I expected, being a Belgian Abbey Ale and having an "8" in the title, immediately made me think of the Rochefort 8, and indeed it pours a similar cloudy brown although with a more frothy head, tinged with beige. The nose was malty, with touches of cocoa. The maltiness of the nose came through again in the sweetness of the beer, although the body was on the thinner side of the Rochefort, which while not reaching the heights of those august ales is no bad thing.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown with a nice foamy head. Lacing only where the beer immediately was, and then it is gone. Head stayed for a long time in some form.

Smells of sweet malt, some alcohol, dried tart stone fruit (plums or maybe booze-soaked cherries -- some light kirsch notes.

Sweet fermented stone fruit, creamy malt, and some alcohol punch. Some chewy bready notes (raisin bread, sweet brown breadcrust) in there too. Alcohol is noticable, but not over the top.

Some fizz to this helps keep this dancing on your tongue, and keeps it drinkable. Great balance in flavors and texture. Not something you could drink all night, but you could do two. If you like Belgians, try this.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, best by 10th April 2012 decanted into my St. B chalice.

A: Clear crimson with brilliant clarity. There's a thin tan head with the usual insane St. B retention, unfortunately, it's a little thin

S: The nose permeates the room with it's intense yeasty and phenolic character. Bringing the glass to my nose, there's a ton of dark fruit character - dates, plums and raisins, along with a bready aroma. Complex and intoxicating with a hint of cinnamon sugar, all of which reminds me of fresh baked cinnamon raisin bread. Pretty awesome.

T: Opens up spicy and phenolic with a strong fruitiness, intensely raisiny. The breadiness is muted by the incredibly dry finish that's mildly fruity. Initially, there's a mild metallic flavor that disappears over the course of 30 minutes. There's a good bit of yeasty flavor.

M: Light in body with plenty of carbonation and a drying finish that enhances the drinkability

Photo of kmeves
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear cream soda brown with a small tan head. Aroma is sweet dates and cherries as well as caramel. Flavor is sweet and malty initially then more fruity. Finish is more of the same smooth malt notes and a start of a winous feel. Otherwise extremely well hidden alcohol. Nice but not fantastic. Light to medium body.

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

Part one of my St. Bernardus holiday pack and I'm very excited to crack it open.

Pours a deep toffee color in to my new St. Bernardus goblet. the head is substantial although not very dense. I expect that it will dissolve away shortly. All and all a very good looking beer.

Smells of sweet malts and fruits. Figs, dates and raisins come to mind immediately.

The taste is what expected from the excellent nose. Sweet fruits abound but are kept in check by the bitterness of the Belgian yeast. The alcohol is well masked by the complexity of the beer. It is quite drinkable despite being an 8% ABV brew.

The mouth feel echoes the airy head. Carbonation tickles the tongue in a very pleasant way.
I am enjoying this beer with a BBQ pork loin. It is an excellent combination. The fruits of the beer accentuate the BBQ flavors.
I believe that I still like the ABT 12 more than this beer, but so far this brewery has not let me down in the slightest.
Highly recommended.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,086 ratings.