1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

1,909 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,909
Reviews: 971
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 104
Gots: 151 | 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: 1,909 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy burgundy that, interestingly enough, displays ruby hues toward the bottom of the goblet, but near impenetrable to light closer to the top. About a finger and a half of semi-dense head that dissipates to about half a finger, decent retention.

S: A fruity scent, almost like cherries, with a sweet Belgian and yeasty smell. Bready and delicious.

T: Strong roasted malt presence, almost like a stout, which I think blends well with the darker fruit tones. Kind of a caramel-like flavor is present, and this is followed with an alcoholic and ultra-dry but satisfying finish.

M: Well carbonated with a thick, yet smooth and creamy mouthfeel. This stands out as a flavorful and well-bodied Dubbel.

D: Since it tastes well-rounded and has a great mouthfeel, I'd say this is one drinkable beer. Another great Belgian from St. Bernardus.

CharlieMopps, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dan, my puppy really digs this beer. Poured a thimbles worth in a glass and she attacked the glass with a vengeance. She then went after the bottle trying to lick inside the neck. Took some pics and I may change my profile pic to one of the photos.

Poured a dark, dark brown that seemed to have a purple tinger to it. Poured into my delerioum tremens glass and had to space out the pour because a big, frothy head that was stained a slight khaki. Nose was aromatically malty and sweet.

Flavor was a superb dubel. Lots of rich malts. Belgian sugars provided a nice solid base to this beer. Dark fruits such as prunes and dark cherries. Bits of dark grabes and dried raisins too. Could not pick out any heat from the alcohol at all but it sure hit m pretty good. Vinuous and heavy mouthfel that did a great job just coating the cheeks.

MuddyFeet, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of beermanbrian
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opens with a satifying burst of carb. Pours dark mahogony brown with some burgandy tints. Nice tan head that falls a little quicker than i would have expected. I nice cap is sustained by the constant stream of bubbles. The trails of lacing stream down the glass slowly but leave no residue behind. Smell is malty with some dark fruit overtones. Raisins are also noticable. Taste follows suit. Creamy mild finish that is inhanced by the supper active carbonation on the tongue. A high quality beer as expected.

beermanbrian, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of JayQue
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle. This beer has a clear, opaque brown color with reddish highlights. The white head is bubbly, big and hangs in there for a while. Good lacing. The aromas is present as soon as you pop the cork. Astringent, dark fruits and candy.

Taste is very smooth. Astringent, dark fruits and candy sugar, blended very nicely and not overpowering. This is a beer to be sipped over time. The alcohol taste is very subdued, not at all overpowering. Mouthfeel is rich and luxurious.

Drinkability is good, considering the high abv. The taste is strong enough to take notice but not overpowering or so sweet that it becomes annoying after a while. Not an everyday beer but very enjoyable.

JayQue, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of atsprings
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked magnum into a brandy snifter. The beer pours a not quite opaque dark brown with a great head that lasted and left spotty lacing. The aroma was of dried fruits, malts and some candi sugar. The taste was dominated by dried fruits with some molasses and dark malts. The beer was rather heavy and the alcohol was present. This one took me a while, but I did enjoy it.

atsprings, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of ohitsbrad
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

29 March 2007, Best before Jan 2010

Dark brown with a thick dense head. Aroma of sweet malt and dark candi sugar. Delicious sweet chocolate and treacle flavours with berry fruitiness. Full bodied. An outstanding, complex, sweet, dark ale. As good as the 12.

ohitsbrad, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of brendan13
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany colour with a 2cm thick head that falls away to a thin whisp on top quite quickly.
The smell is all dark fruits at first followed up by some rich, sweet maltiness & a hint of spice.
The taste is pretty much along the same lines as the smell. The alcohol is there but not too dominant.
A nice smooth, full mouthfeel. Light carbonation.
A tasty beer to savour. Wouldn't drink lots of these but every once in a while it'd be pretty good.

brendan13, May 27, 2007
Photo of ski271
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Zeno’s in State College. A- Medium-dark, murky, brown with a very small, foamy, off-white head that quickly diminishes to a film S- Floral and fruity hops balanced by sweet malts. Herbs, honey, brown sugar. T- More sweet malts and those Belgian yeast flavors I’ve grown to love. Good bit of clove. M- Medium-full body, dry texture, moderate-low carbonation. D- This one just has a good overall feel and flavor. I enjoyed it.

ski271, May 20, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- About a 1/2-1" thick airy tan head on a murky brown body.
S- Alcohol, fruits, earthy rich malts, dark fruits, raisins come out more than rest, and toffee.
T- Follows the aroma quite closely, even to how the raisins come out quite a bit more than rest of fruits. Really earthy tones come into this one then fade to toffee and blended dark fruits and then to a warming from the alcohol. Very tasty.
M- Almost like a champagne carbonation to it (which is a flaw in my book) and a medium body.
D- I really like it just wish it had a bit more fruits and less malts and also didn't have the champagne carbonation feel to it. Other than those 2 things it is very nice. I do think I prefer their triple though (even though I usually prefer dubbels).

BlindPig, May 07, 2007
Photo of supercolter
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow this is a dubbel... I had to check twice. I thought Tripel for sure. Appearance is quite good, but the enormous head dissapated more quickly than expected. Smell is good, very malty with some sweet dark fruit Taste is very similar to the smell.
Mouthfeel is exceptional, is medium to heavy in body.
Drinkability is good given the abv.

supercolter, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of illidurit
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. The glass gives this beer's exemplary and ample head plenty of room to stretch out to an impressive three fluffy fingers. The fine carbonation leaves lacing that cakes the glass as the head rescinds itself. The beer is an opaque dark brown that could be used to paint a UPS van.

The smell erupts with sweet doughy malts and dark fruits, classic dubbel aroma, very enticing.

Breadiness juxtaposed with fig, raisin, and plum esters caresses the tongue. A hint of spiciness, caramel, and candi sugar make this a sweet beer while a pinch of hop flavor and alcohol warmth fight for balance.

The mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and medium-bodied, and the carbonation is perfect. Excellent drinkability.

illidurit, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of cjgator3
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
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 +8.4%
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 +9.2%
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 +6.7%
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 +6%
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 +5.5%
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 +5.5%
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 -6.5%
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 -48.2%
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 +16.9%
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 -4.1%
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 +3.6%
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 -8.4%
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 +2.4%
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
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,909 ratings.