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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.

1,853 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,853
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 99
Gots: 135 | FT: 4
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: 1,853 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dblinkhorn
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a glass tulip goblet.

Appearance - Dark murky brown with a slight reddish hue. The head slightly tan/gray and very thick. It has excellent lace and stickiness as it goes down.

Smell - Very fruity and slightly sweet. I smell ripe dark fruits, some medium-crisp/lemony hops in the far-off background. Slight alcohol aroma at the end of the smell.

Taste - What is with St. Bernardus and making superbly flavored beer? This is excellent. Slightly sweet/fruity flavor right when it enters your mouth. The middle allows some of the alcohol to come through, along with some more crisp/lemony hops way in the back. It finishes with a slight flavor of coffee/caramel malt and the alcohol comes out nicely at this part of the taste. Superb flavor! Perfect!

Mouthfeel - Perfect carbonation, medium-body, velvety. It's not too dry...excellent.

Drinkability - This stuff goes down so easy, tastes so good, and smells like a bit of heaven.

Overall: You must have this beer!

dblinkhorn, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of BretSikkink
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Lively sediment asked me to stop pouring 3/4ths of the way through the 11.2 oz. bottle. Added a delightfully brown froth on top of the already 1-finger head. As long as the beer is there, the head stays. It quickly follows, however, leaving little to no lacing topping the deep brown brew.

Plenty of dark fruity aroma, nothing commonplace or easy to identify. Chocolate? A little buttery?

Taste is solid and easy to drink, heavy on the malts and grains. Minimal hop presence. Alcohol catches up toward the end, some raisin/phenolic taste as it leaves the mouth.

Mouthfeel is enhanced by a slight twang as the beer goes down, one of the few indicators of the 8% abv.

Extremely drinkable, extremely tasty. An excellent Watou ale in the shade of its older brother, the abbot.

BretSikkink, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of gotbeer
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

It pours a deep, rich mahogany color with a decent head that doesn't leave much lacing on the oversized snifter I poured it into.

The smell has some vinous notes and a little alcohol is evident. Overly ripe fruit and dark chocolate.

The taste is incredibly complex and more than expected. There is chocolate, sherry, and fruits such as plums, cherries, and pears. It gets better as it warms up a little, too. There are also notes of wood in the finish.

Mouthfeel is satisfying and the drinkability is far above average.

This is another winner from Watou. Highly reccomended.

gotbeer, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of czechsaaz
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%

The aroma of the ABT 8 is incredibly complex. Lots of chocolate malt combined with fruity fermentation esters (think raisins and dates) give it a candy bar type feel. Underneath the specialty malts and yeast effect is a ton of malty Belgian Pils malt aroma. Sweet.but not sugary. There's a bit of sherry that might be a little oxidation but I think it adds to the complexity.

Deep brown color, clear with a nice head that lingers as a 1/4 inch layer of tan foam that leaves pretty amazing lacing in the glass.

Taste is more of the same in complexity. Starts off malty sweet with a good dose of what tastes like crystal malt. Then the chocolate flavor kicks in with the amazing yeast profile. The yeast character gives it a ton of fruit, plums and apricots and peaches, while also giving it a bready or earthy character. There's a little pepper spice on the back end and a lingering anise flavor in the aftertaste. Bittering hops are just enough to be perceptable but oveall a malty-sweet beer.

Medium bodied and incredibly creamy. Carbonation level is a little light.

Drinkability is very nice. it's a strong beer, but not a knockout. The flavors blend really well together. I'm thinking of a ton of food pairings that would work, from sweet deserts to spicey chilis and I think all would work well. But it's also got enough heft to be a sipper by itself. This is the star of the St. Bernardus line i.m.o.

czechsaaz, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of Mitchster
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%

$3.99 for a 11.2oz bottle in 2006. 28-04-09 on the back of the bottle. Re-reviewed 11-27-10, I paid $25.99 for a mixed 6 pack of the breweries beers. 8.0% ABV.

Pours to a cloudy mahogany with ruby accents, forming a very creamy soft light yellow head. Abundant yeast in the bottle. In the middle of the head is a small plume as a result of the steady carbonation of the beer, it's excellent head retention and the shape of the Chimay glass I'm drinking it out of. Brussels lace is fine and solid. The aroma is just OK...green apples and bananas, distant malt vinegar, and mild grassy hops. No real Belgian funk character. Wooden cask character is appreciated as it warms and is swirled. Alcohol is imperceptable in nose. The mouthfeel is lively, moderately tart, with a mild ruddiness and alcoholic astringency to the finish. Medium-light body, actually, lighter than expected. The taste starts out with green apples, lemon, and green bananas, and is followed by subtle figs and a mild bitterness. The finish is dry, woody and earthy. Alcohol presence is unassuming. This beer definitely improves as it gets warm, but it's still not really a winner.

"Dubbel Light" is the best description of this beer. It doesn't do much for me. It looks and smells nice but has a very one dimensional taste. Too dry and it has minimal residual sugars, like Shiraz that is steeped in tobacco. I'm not inclined to buy it again.

Mitchster, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of nickss
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured into a chalice. Coloration is a nice ruddy brown with a healthy 1" khaki head which is simply beautiful in appearance. Huge and uneven and thick.

Extremely wine-esque in the nose... big vinous fruits and berries fill the nostrils, along with a moderate dose of alcohol. Delicious, but a bit one dimensional. However, as the brew warms, some of the caramel tones bring themselves to the front. Quite nice.

Yum! Nuts, fig, and caramel roll over the tongue. Little of the fruitiness that was so prominent in the aroma is present in the taste. The flavour is much more deep, earthy and seductive... elegant and powerful at the same time.

Mouthfeel is gloriously thick and chewy, but is somewhat ruined (as is the flavour) by the strong levels of carbonation. I'd be interested to see how 2 or 3 years of age would treat this one.

Quite drinkable for an 8% brew, although its thickness and carbonation hold it back somewhat. Still for pure drinking pleasure, this one is fantastic.... much closer to the Abt 12 calibre than the Pater 6.

nickss, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of ggaughan
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

Sampled with the Witbier while watching the MLB All Star game tonight. I poured this beer into my Duvel tulip glass. The beer poured a deep brown color, medium tan head and strong lacing. The nose has some fine tones of brown sugar and raisins, maybe plums. The taste starts off with a toasted malty kick and a bit bready. There is no real notice of the abv while tasting which is nice but it eventually shows up. Medium body and very drinkable.

ggaughan, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a muddy brownish purple with a large frothy head that recedes slowly. Pleasant, sweet cherry cola like aroma with a dusting of plums and raisins. Dark fruits and doughy funnel cake, or whatever greasy fried confection you prefer (sans the powdered sugar) embody the flavor; the dark fruits provide a subtle tartness, balanced by bittersweet toffee/dark chocolate. Alcohol is not noticeable in the flavor, though my head has found it. Carbonation nips the tip of the tongue but is in no way overdone or what I would consider overly or highly carbonated; rather, it's quite smooth. Another stellar brew from this master Belgian brewer.

IrishRedRock, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured a warm tone of amber. Head was smallish with furious carbonation. I smelled the nose even before I finished pouring. The dominant tone was almonds and raisins. I also get sweet brown sugar. The smell is so damned rich I don't know what to compare it to other than a freshly baked home made pie. The taste is the same as the nose plus an added pleasant tartness. This is somewhat highly carbonated, making for a dry finish. This is a great beer, one that would certainly please me when I thirst for a dubbel.

TheBungyo, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of expatsteve
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%

Appearance: Mahogany brown, with low visibility. Big 1 1/2 inch head that lingers quite a while, with sticky thick lacing. Medium viscosity.

Aroma: Coppery, lemongrass finish to a raisin malt nose. Green apples and toffee present. Rich, with no hint of booze.

Taste: Wonderfully bready malt finish, with raisins, apricots, and apple skins. Slight coppery bite, but with a sweet and refreshing finish. Alcohol is perectly balanced, and doesn't distract from the taste at all. Bready malt undertones make for perfectly balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and surprisingly light (still slightly heavy) body makes for a really drinkable beer. Totally smooth finish.

Drinkability: ridiculously drinkable, despite the alcohol and the coppery/metallic finish to the malts. Balanced and smooth, this beer would be a great session beer or one to sit on for a while.

expatsteve, Jul 03, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Bottled stamped 030210. I'm guessing this means best by March 2nd 2010. Poured into an oversized wine glass.
Pours a dark hazy brown. Have to hold it up to the light to see through it. Nice 1/2" head that retains the duration of the session. Heavy, thick lacing covers the sides of the glass with each sip. I personally really like this.
I smell whole grain raisin muffins. Ever so slight whiff of alcohol at the end.
Taste starts off with a quick whole wheat bread taste, but soon transitions to dark fruits. Plum, raisins, and maybe cherries. I even get some bananna. Has a very dry grainy finish. I'm not really all that into Belgium style beers...but this is good!
The carbonation detracts from the mouthfeel some, but it's still not bad
Like I said previously I don't have a lot of experience with Belgium style beers, but this is one of the best I've had and the most drinkable.
Highly recommend.

wcudwight, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle...an opaque amber with 2 fingers of foamy, champagne-like head that settled about 75% and left a lace around the inside of the glass.

Odor was malty with a sort of cherry tartness and a noticeable scent of alcohol.

The taste, like the St. Bernardus 12, was very smooth, but unlike the 12, it wasn't all that impressive: Mostly malty with a bit of cherry and a hint of lemon-lime flavor.

Mouthfeel: the alcohol's a bit less disguised here than in the 12, but it's not too intense, and I could barely feel the carbonation. Almost no aftertaste.

I might have to give this another try, but based on this introductory bottle, this beer is easily consumed but doesn't taste all that special. I had higher hopes considering how fantastic the 12 is. Still looking forward to the Trippel.

instrumentality, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of hero27
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

11.2 oz bottle.
04 08 10

Chaotic muddy mahogany. Plenty of sediment and a rock solid head of dense tan foam.
Aroma of brown sugar and pleasant roasted malts, with some chocolate in the background. Rich, complex flavors blended perfectly. Licorice, raisin, brown sugar, molasses, hot cocoa, plums, cinnamon sticks, etc, etc.. Absolutely delicious and stunningly easy to drink considering the array of flavors (and alcohol) involved.

A highly enjoyable brew and certainly ranks right up with the best Dubbel's I've had.

hero27, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of JBStith
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%

My first experience with this style and particualr beer was very good. Aroma was nutty, yet clean. Taste was of walnuts and slightly buttery. Very drinkable for a 8% beer. I can normally taste the alcolhol of any beer over 6%, but Prior 8 was different. Great head and head retention. Great lace on the glass. Overall, very enjoyable and I will definitely have more in the future.

JBStith, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of GreenWBush
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%

Phenomenal presentation; takes up temporary refuge in a chalice a buckeye-colored brew with concentric foam ripples around a nippled and incessant head.

Nose is pungent yet not all that appealing: predominantly yeasty in nature...dried fruits, rum, raisins.

Was this beer stored upside down? I remember splitting a 750 of this with a friend a few years ago and it tasted phenomenal. This...is not. Incredibly beercap-like flavors taint the nose, but underneath is a tea-like fallen leaf profile. Mulled cider impressions, leathery esters, and finally, a brown-sugar and rum afterglow. Minerally. A dry bitterness lingers across the tongue, leading the desire for another sip in hopes of redemption.

Mouthfeel is quite pleasurable, especially with the soft and foamy intro and the somewhat addictive overall droughtiness on the tongue. Aforementioned metallic twinges destrac, however.

Well, compared to the 'drink 'til you are dead' nectar that is the Abt 12, this is utterly forgettable. Next time i'll be sure to purchase this in the 750mL package to see if this was just a case of poor-handling or excessive age.

GreenWBush, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a deep brownish tea color with tons of carbonation...nice single finger head that melts to thick, sticky lacy which lasts the entire drink.
Aroma is predominately alcohol,but rich dried fruits (prunes, raisens) and a toasted malt sweetness makes itself known as well as begium yeast.
The taste is a full assault of the dried fruits and bready yeast with toasted malts adding a slight bitter chocolate to the mouth. Mostly it's all about the sweet dark fruits being followed by the alcohol taste and burn.
The mouthfeel is rich and creamy due to the tremendous amount of tiny carbonation. Definate lingering sweetness in the mouth and alcohol warmth speading thoughout your body after you swallow.
A major improvement over it's little brother, Pater 6

IntriqKen, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%

This beer pours a murky brown beer with a very stable frothy head with some big bubbles. A nice sight when this beer is in it's chalice.
The smell was really nice and complex, ripe apples with cinnamon and caramel. Almost like a christmas pudding and apple pie. Also some other ripe fruits which I cannot determine.

Taste was slightly acidic with caramel, sizzling of the carbonation, which is a little on the high side for me. A nice malty backbone with some doughy and candy sugar notes. Little to no alcohol can be tasted. Full-bodied but not 'heavy'. A very drinkable beer.

This beer has a good reputation and really lives up to it!

Absumaster, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of kkipple
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.

kkipple, May 30, 2006
Photo of Matthew
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.

Matthew, May 25, 2006
Photo of Beaver13
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.

Beaver13, May 24, 2006
Photo of IceAce
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!

IceAce, May 21, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
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.

yelterdow, May 18, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
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!

bigdeuce, May 18, 2006
Photo of haz77
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.

haz77, May 16, 2006
Photo of k75
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.

k75, May 12, 2006
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,853 ratings.