1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,836 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,836
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 99
Gots: 134 | FT: 5
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: 1,836 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -7.9%

This came to me out of the St. Bernardus 4 bottle gift pack. Poured into the nifty St. Bernie goblet that came with said pack.

Beer is a deep amber-brown, with *lots* of yeast bits floating in the liquid. There's plenty of foam atop the brew, and some fantastic lacing going on. Retention is flawless.

Initially smells of a sharp, tannic wine. As the beer warms, more scents emerge. Yeast, white wine, alcohol, fruit, and brown sugar. Smell remains strong till the end.

Taste reminds me of very tart figs, and a fruity wine. Tannic flavor in the smell is in full force here, but gives way to more of a sour/sweetness as the beer sits at room temperature. It's tart and warming, but balances the fruit with the malts quite well. The finish is moist and slightly warm.

This is a fine Dubbel, and what Chimay Red should aspire to. Looks great, smells great, goes down smooth. I have to admit that Dubbels aren't my favorite style by a long shot, but I enjoyed the Prior 8.

05-30-2006 20:19:03 | More by kkipple
Photo of Matthew
Matthew

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours out of the bottle a ruby brown with a huge frothy white head that peaks out of the goblet with rolling waves. Looks good enough to take a picture of. The lacing covers the entire glass as it is drank.
Aroma is of creamy maltiness with only small hints of fruity esters and sugary sweetness.
Bready yeasty malt with faint spiciness in the background. There is some typical abbey ale ester there as well but is overwhelmed by the malt character. Very creamy and smooth with very little alcohol percievability.
Mouthfeel is more full than expected with mild carbonation.
This beer is very drinkable at 8%abv, alcohol is in great balance with the beers flavors.

05-25-2006 03:34:11 | More by Matthew
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.4/5  rDev -18.3%

11.2 oz bottle, best before 3/2/10. Pours a reddish brown with a large fizzy head that quickly goes to a thin film.

The aroma is sweet woody malts, some dough, some cream, and a little pepper.

The flavor is sweet bready malts, dark fruits, and yeast with a slight bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium-full and a little harsh on the carbonation.

Overall, it is rather similar to the Pater 6. I liked that one better though.

05-24-2006 05:33:18 | More by Beaver13
Photo of IceAce
IceAce

California

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

11.2 Ounce bottle with a "Best Before End" of 05 10 09

Pours a hazy chestnut brown with an active tan finger of foam in my St. Bernardus chalice. Nose is acidic, rum soaked plums, and slightly alcoholic (in a good way).

Zippy entry with bountiful CO² scrubbing the sides of the tongue. Midtaste is alcohol soaked raisens, chestnuts, and roasted malts. The finish shows a flash of subdued hop before settling in to a nice malty / dark fruit fade with more predominant alcohol warming evident as this brew warms to the 50° mark.

Although dubbels are hardly one of my 'go-to' styles, quality beer such as this shows just who the others are chasing. Excellent!

05-21-2006 08:39:31 | More by IceAce
Photo of yelterdow
yelterdow

New Jersey

4.88/5  rDev +17.3%

Fabulous find. Purchased in March, 2006... the bottle reads (in Spanish, French, and Flemish) "best before end 2004"! This baby's got at least two years of age behind it, and I can't wait to see what has happened in the bottle.

Served at between cellar and fridge temperature in a Chimay chalice for maximum action.

Appearance- Pours a solid, heavy caramel brown with a terrific bone white, soapy head. The body here is extremely weighty... it looks serious. The two-finger crown mellows out to a soapy mat and leaves behind good sheets of lacing. Towards the end, I elect to swirl in all sediment... the result is a gorgeous, *gluggy* looking beer that speaks volumes in maturity and character.

Smell- Wow... here are some kicked up, sugary dark fruits (fig, date, some banana), molasses, and a little alcohol. Huge, fat malty notes doused in brown sugar are exploding in the nose. A carnival of aromas, all blended nicely together.

Taste- Smooth, rich, and totally malt-driven display of candied fig, date, and toffee flavors... with a beautiful finish that leaves a subtle "grittiness" that makes this feel all the more like dessert, not a beer. Outstanding length, it seems like hours from the sip right on through the swallow. After swirling in the sediment near the end, I bump this taste up a half-point to a perfect "5"... it's that good. The alcohol (8%) is nowhere to be found in the taste, but its warmth shows up calmly halfway through the review.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Delightfully full and rich, the carbonation is as sublime as anything I have ever experienced... I'm talking smooth, slick, seafoamy perfect, like nothing else. This is actually the finest mouthfeel to date of any beer of any style I've tried. If you see this beer aged two years, buy it... then drink it.

It's hard to put into words the overall beauty of something so phenomenal, but I guess the numbers will have to speak for themselves for now. Excellent, excellent beer, I can't recommend this one highly enough aged as this one was.

05-18-2006 02:31:20 | More by yelterdow
Photo of bigdeuce
bigdeuce

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

This is an interesting brew. Very malty, slight lacing, nice fruity smell. Lots of apricots and plums. Again, extremely interesting. A little overpriced. Almost more of a belgian strong dark ale than a dubbel. For me a little too strong for a dubbel, but still, a tremendous brew. Nice pillowy head, little carbonation, and the head dissapates quickly. Hey if you cam find a single, go for it!

05-18-2006 00:52:43 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of haz77
haz77

Australia

3.93/5  rDev -5.5%

A - Pours dark brown with a red hue. Creamy light tan head diminishes leaving some lacing and retains well. Low carbonation.

S - Creamy, some dark fruit, sherry.

T - Ultra creamy and big malts upfront. Slightly spicy. Restained sweetness in the finish and alcohol warmth comes through in the aftertaste.

M - Smooth and creamy. Crisp carbonation.

D - Tasty and drinkable enough. Just feel that there is something missing when comparing it to others in the style.

05-16-2006 12:21:23 | More by haz77
Photo of k75
k75

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +11.3%

Prior 8 pours dee dark brown witha hint of amber, nice consistent small bead head and hits the nose with big malt.

dark over ripe plum and raisin notes - port wine as well

medium to full mouthfeel and body, fresh and lively carbonation.

far too easy to drink, strenghth kicks in without taking over.

just what I look for in a dubbel, hard to beat.

05-12-2006 07:12:12 | More by k75
Photo of crwills
crwills

Ontario (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +12.5%

Poured into a large red wine glass. Pours a deep, opaque chocolate brown, with a bubbly off-white head that's a bit hard to control. Looks rather carbonated. On the dark end of the dubbel spectrum (from my experience at least).

Aroma is bread and wildflowers, clover maybe. Not spring flowers, but dry, summery ones. Some spritzy, lemony notes in there as well as some toasted marshmallow.

Thick, coating mouthfeel, great body. Flavour is very pleasant. Upfront, the bready, doughy flavours common to the style. Lemony notes are not really there in the flavour, or are overwhelmed by darker flavours -- ripe, bittersweet melon, juicy raisins. Moderate carbonation, and a pleasantly pepper-crackery aftertaste.

Probably my favourite of the St. Bernardus beers I've tried (including the Abt 12).

05-04-2006 18:40:57 | More by crwills
Photo of DESTRO
DESTRO

Nevada

4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

pours out a cloudy deep amber with a fatto bo batty head. leaves some nice lacing. smells sweet with some doses of alcohol hovering right about the rim. taste wise? niiice. malty, oh so malt. doughy/bread like malt, dark fruits and some brown sugar. crisp, lovely carbonation, champagne like. deadly in its drinkability, this stuff is the real deal.

04-29-2006 02:03:22 | More by DESTRO
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours a two finger, thick cream head that barely fades leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Cherry nose. Starts sweet, raisiny, sweet bready finish, not cloying. $9.60 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

04-22-2006 22:32:24 | More by jdhilt
Photo of quasimoto
quasimoto

Ohio

3/5  rDev -27.9%

A - Pours a deep cloudy brown with an off white root beer style head.

S - Strong spices and sweet malts dominate this nose.

T - It almost has a brown sugar taste, but it is dominated by a maple malt flavor that is very sweet

M - Sharp and bitter on the palete. there is a lot of carbination.

D - this is a very good dubbel. With some warmth it could be better.

04-16-2006 18:02:42 | More by quasimoto
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

St. Bernardus Prior 8
11.2 oz brown bottle
Served in a Delirium Tremens tulip glass

Pours a dark chestnut brown. Fluffy, massive off-white colored head. Trails of thick lacings.

Pleasant nose with whiffs of prunes and malts. Slight Belgian yeast funk.

Sweet caramel flavors with a major malt profile. Brown sugar sweetness. Very good mouthfeel. Extremely creamy and soft with pressured carbonation.

This is a great dubbel and very enjoyable.

04-15-2006 23:59:17 | More by Hibernator
Photo of SethB2
SethB2

California

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured out of a bottle into a Chimay Chalice.

Looks great deep, non-transparent brown with a nice head with even better retension. Smell is OK, but I smell too much alcohol. There is some ripe fruit in there as well. Taste is great. Sweet malty goodness and an amazing fruit character that reminds me of Abt 12. It's a little over carbonated for me, but it is still nice on the mouth.

Overall, this is a great beer. As good or better than the Trappists.

04-08-2006 03:27:18 | More by SethB2
Photo of Onceeven
Onceeven

New York

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Guess I've been gone for a while... first new spring review, and hopefully a few more this season... on to the brew.

This only my third foray into Dubbel territory, with the first two not being especially memorable... on to the brew...

St. Bernardus pours cola brown into an Orval goblet. Foam starts to ride the walls of the glass up to the surface, reminding of me an ocean wave coming into shore. In the end we form a billowy, creamy head. Quite frankly a thing of beauty.
The first scent brings a hint of alcohol reminiscent of a dopplebock, but this isn't quite as sweet, and bringsgints of chocolate and dried fruit. Pleasing, but nothing over the top.
Mouthfeels feels a bit thinner than I expected, but it's still nice and creamy. Y'know, it's probably ideal for this brew. I take that last comment back.
This is a surprisingly pleasant brew, given that the others werent so hot. Initial flavor is a slight bitterness, like unsweetened chocolate, quite nice in it's own right. Moderate alcohol flavor comes through as expected, finishing with a woody, smokey flavor. Very nice. Finishes a little on the thin side though. Minor grievance.
Very balanced and drinkable. St. Bernardus wins again!

04-07-2006 00:30:41 | More by Onceeven
Photo of petemorris
petemorris

California

3.93/5  rDev -5.5%

Begins with a very strong and pleasant aroma, sweet and alcoholic with raisin notes dominating and, upon further reflection, a hint of lemon (?) tartness. While appropriately dark for a dubbel, I'm just not that into the coca-cola brown yielded by dark candi sugar--as opposed to the roasted malts of a porter or stout. Moreover, unlike the thick contrasting color that can make a dark pint of Guiness so attractive, the head was very thin, although persistent.

The strong aroma and dark color leads one to expect a full-bodied, malty sweet meal in a glass. But this beer is instead very dry and subdued on the palate--too subdued for my taste. Still, a very clean and balanced beer that, in true Belgian style, is extremely drinkable despite its powerful punch.

04-06-2006 05:03:06 | More by petemorris
Photo of BigDaddyWil
BigDaddyWil

Michigan

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Pater Lieven goblet.
Cage corked bottle, with 2009 on the cork. Assume best before date.
Cheesy looking monk on the bottle.
About a half inch of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Awesome looking brew. Medium brown color, with copper and amber highlights. Sweet looking cream colored head, about two fingers deep on the intial pour. Very clumpy. About one finger on refil pours. Fantastic head retention, that leaves some brilliant, very delicate looking lacing. Not as aromatic, as I expected. Mostly a bready, yeasty, with hints of fruits and alcohol. Fruity tastes up front, maybe green apples, malts, and spices. More flavors show themselves as the beer warms. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. I mean very smooth, leaves you wanting more. Even with a 8% abv, this is so easy too drink and an absolute pleasure. My second offering from St. Bernadus and a definite winner!!!

04-01-2006 02:00:33 | More by BigDaddyWil
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours dark, reddish. thick head. fruity odors, almost like strawberries. whoo! very strong. lots of fruity, peaty flavor. alcohol is very evident, which makes me think we should have held onto the bottle a bit longer (i had this problem with the Abt 12 too). A bit too harsh for me in its current state. nice full mouthfeel. good, but too much would knock me flat.

03-28-2006 15:35:15 | More by aforbes10
Photo of hanco005
hanco005

Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

The last in my St. Bernardus sampler pack, 11.2 oz bottle dated 27 05 09, poured into the glass that came with the pack

A—pours brownish, orange that is much lighter at the top than the bottom, the head looked promising at first, but fizzled down to a thin sheet in a matter of minutes, big chunks of sediment, probably the biggest I’ve ever seen, rushed out of the bottle and are now content on the bottom of the glass, web like lacing is produced as I drink

S—ripe fruit and alcohol is dominate, mixed in with plum, raison, sweet candy aroma,

T—as with the smell, ripe fruit and alcohol is dominate at first, then a hint of espresso and wood, grainy, spicy and peppery…there are a lot of flavors in this one…and they tend to jump out separately.

M—medium bodied with better than average carbonation, a little gritty, but still feels very good in the mouth

D---as with the other St. Bernardus offerings, this one is a sipper, an excellent nightcap, which is how I am enjoying this one. It really warms the body as I sip it. One is plenty, but the one is very drinkable.

03-28-2006 02:29:13 | More by hanco005
Photo of ghostwalker
ghostwalker

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

11.2 fl. oz. bottle with a date code stamped on the back, FL 030210.

Dark brown body with reddish highlights, thick frothy off-white head.

Sweet nose with a large malt component.

Flavor is even richer and sweeter than the Pater 6 I previously reviewed. Sugary and spicy all at once, with a solid caramelly malt backbone. It's really a greatly complex brew. Spice cake comes to mind, it had that kind of cinnamony/gingery zip to it. Really, really good.

Mouthfeel is medium with a real spicy zip to the palate.

Drinkability is damn good, I can't stop sipping it!

03-24-2006 23:08:30 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of gmcfarre
gmcfarre

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev +1.4%

Bottled imprinted on back as "27 05 09"
Poured into St. Bernardus Chalice.

A- Dark woody chocolate color with sand colored, satisfying head that leaves dense but not long-lasting lacing. A few yeasties at the end of the pour.

S- Mooo-lasses with a touch of malty vibes. Yeast is somewhat prevalent as well. No scent of my friend alcohol.

T- Carmalized sugar, dark roasted malt and a bit fruity (dark of course). Taste hits a more sour note than smell (not a bad thing, a great thing actually). A very sweet dark brew. Alcohol well hidden.

M- Well carbonated, solid mouthfeel. Hints at that oily feeling but its not as dense as you might think.

D- mmm tasty. Alcohol is present, but not in killer quantities.

Another winner from St. Bernardus! Can't wait to hit up that "6" in the fridge.

03-24-2006 04:29:01 | More by gmcfarre
Photo of Tupperwolf
Tupperwolf

Washington

3.18/5  rDev -23.6%

On St. Paddy's day, I poured myself a big wineglass full of this and myself and a girlfriend passed it back and forth between us for about a half an hour, debating back and forth over what it smelled like. We barely even drank any, we wer trying so hard to come up with names for the scents. Of course, we were somewhat drunk at the time, so perhaps a more sober try will give me better results.

Pours a nice dark reddish brown with a thin, spotty yellow-white head; It's hazy with gentle particles of yeast, despite a careful decanting, and no rising carbonation is visible.

Alcohol and apple skin, both green and red, are dominant, though the alcohol isn't unpleasant, merely part of the scent; The yeast is distinct, tart fruit and wet dog.

Alcohol is very present in the mouth as well - its heat precludes the dark, spicy flavors. The taste is hard to describe, dry and very peppery.

Very dry mouthfeel - light carbonation, and then everything goes dry. That's the only way I can put it!

I noticed recently that my ratings on Belgians have gone steadily downward in the past couple of months - Some have been amazing, others have been a little disappointing. This one's unique in the way it presents itself to the senses.

03-22-2006 04:34:42 | More by Tupperwolf
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

pours a dark ruby red, perfect clarity, Huge loose head that laces repeatadly. Lots of yeast chunks linger.

Much darker and deep than the 6 version. this has a metallic twinge that is annoying but overall the dark fruity brew comes across sweet and tasty. I loved this offering but I just couldn't score it outstanding, considering the sweet , syrupy finish, it just ended up a bit short of perfection...thats not a bad thing at all.

03-20-2006 01:18:29 | More by DogFood11
Photo of Erdinger2003
Erdinger2003

Iowa

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

11.2 oz bottle
Label is orange with a monk holding a beer goblet that says Prior 8

I poured this slow and harsh. I have found out that the more gases released in the pour the more flavors are released.

Pours a nice head that falls into a thin bubbly head with a very strong lacing.

Smell is strong of flowery hops and sweet aromas

Taste is not strong, but light and aromatic. Strong pepper taste are very apparent

Mouthfeel is ok, nothing great.

I am glad to have this, but will wait for a great conditioned one next time

03-15-2006 12:36:45 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of soulgrowl
soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

3.78/5  rDev -9.1%

Appearance: Wow, this is possibly the best head on a beer I've ever seen. It's big, beige in color with the texture of meringue, and it lasts FOREVER! Seriously, I'm about halfway down the chalice at this point and the head is almost as big as it was when I poured, about a half an inch. The body is a rich chocolate brown, nearly opaque, with orange along the edges. Great lacing, too.

Smell: Yeast is the dominant odor, somewhere between bananas, caramalized peaches, and bread dough. Sweet malts. Arboreal hops.

Taste: Earthy, well-balanced, a tad spicy. Woody hops, sour yeast, chocolate and caramel malts, and, as in most stronger Belgian ales, there's something I can't quite put my finger on, something kind of like grape juice. Finish has a piquant pucker that mellows into a sublte cocoa powder flavor.

Mouthfeel: Not bad, but not great either. Fairly sticky.

Drinkability: The high ABV and sticky texture make this less than exceptionally drinkable, but it certainly holds my interest!

03-15-2006 03:49:17 | More by soulgrowl
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,836 ratings.