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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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2,085 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,085
Reviews: 992
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 121
Gots: 216 | 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: 2,085 | Reviews: 992
Photo of danielharper
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown body that edges into black. Completely opaque, no light shines through. Has a very thick foamy head that leaves significant lacing. Head is foamy with heterogenously-sized bubbles. Excellent.

Smell: Tart alcohol up front, with dark roasty nuttiness underneath. Sweet, hints of nutmeg. Inviting, very much to-style for a dubbel. Slightly astringent.

Taste: As per-style, a strongly alcohol-tinged nuttiness is primary. There's a hint of Belgian funk, with a sweet and yeasty aftertaste. The alcohol is a touch overdone and overall the beer lacks complexity, but it's good and I'll definitely finish the bottle.

Mouthfeel: Thick, somewhat chewy.

Drinkability: Not quite as good as this brewery's other offerings, but a nice dubbel. I have friends who would probably like this a lot better than I do.

Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge head that recedes in a rocky fashion. Decent lace on the glass. The color is light brown without much haze even though there is some yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

When compared to '6', this is a milder smell--not nearly as sweet. No strong yeast smell as typical with most Belgians.

Sweet and thick with a definite level of alcohol warmth. Decent body, but not as thick as some Belgians. Nice light hop in the swallow. Very smooth and easy to drink.

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

Pours a hazy ruby color with a huge off-white head that was lasting with good lacing. Heavy complex yeasty aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Good complex sweet flavor with an balanced finish of moderate duration.

Very good brew.

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

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a goblet. Had to pour this one cold as every other St. Bernardus beer has foamed like mad upon opening at cellar temp. Still at fridge temp it started to foam after opening but it was slow so I had time to pour for once.

Appears a slightly hazy reddish brown with a bit of yeast sediment in it even though I didn't pour the last ounce in. Half inch off-white head to start that sinks to a modest skim that holds up very well. Still, not much lacing is left behind.

Aroma is somewhat subdued but I can detect some dark fruit notes of raisin and plum, brown sugary sweetness, and a bit of yeasty spice.

The taste is sweet and sugary up front and the dark fruit quickly joins in, raisin and plum still dominant with a bit of cherry added in now. Spicy phenols join the mix towards the finish and leave a crisp but not harsh tingle on the tongue. The linger has a bit of alcohol warmth with fruity flavors persisting.

Mouthfeel is meidum-light bodied with a wonderful creaminess that just feels great on the palate. Very soft.

This is one of the better examples from the Dubbel style that I've tried. Enjoyed it much more than the Pater 6. Very nice one and worth a shot.

Photo of nasty15108
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A - Poured a Cloudy/Murky reddish/brown color. Lots of carbonation produced a thick head of tan foam.

S - Yeasty with with hints of green apple.

T - Yeasty with hints hints of sugar and apples/pears. Finsihes slightly dry with some bitterness.

MF&D - Highly carbonated but went down pretty good for 8% ABV.

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a goblet. Pours dark garnet with a foamy, medium ecru head.

S - Brown sugar, dark fruits clashing with some mild roasted malt.

T - Candied fruit, roasted malt, raisins, a bit of yeast. I think I taste a tiny bit of dark chocolate mixed in with the alcohol finish.

M - Creamy with a bit of carbonation bite on the edge of the tongue. Pleasant.

Notes - I know why the monk on the bottle is so happy, he gets to bottle this nectar of the Gods for a living.

Photo of jjanega08
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my St. B goblet
A= a very dark brown color that almost comes to black. The two finger heafd lifts up and leaves a head that covers the top nicely leaving behind decent lacing
S= tart grannysmith apples and a yeasty odor comes out.
T= the apples taste more red now like a sweeter tart apple. The yeast is still there. There's a small amount of hop bitterness.
M= high carb but very crisp and refreshing. Totally not expected from the color
D= pretty average. Not my style but very tasty

Photo of rye726
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very fine dubbel from St. Bernardus, but I expect nothing less from these merry monks. Pours a rich murky brown with a silky dark tan head. The nose has sweet bready malts, peppery yeasts, chocolate, ripe pitted fruits and subtle hops. The flavor is equally complex, yet perfectly balanced. Rich, full body suits style well. I could enjoy one of these anytime.

Photo of spointon
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from an 11.2oz skinny brown bottle into my St. Bernardus chalice glass.

A= Much like the St. Bernardus 6 I consumed prior to opening this bottle, this ale poured a murky light to medium brown color with quite a lot of yeast sediment. The light tan head poured around 1" (at fridge temp) and slowly dropped to zero. No lace to speak of.

S= After warming to proper temp, this beer produced aromas of sweet syrupy malts, candi sugar, phenols, and funky yeastiness. A decent amount of "hot" alcohol in this one.

T= Brief malt sweetness up front which quickly morphed into dark candi sugar, figs, treacle, and a very spicy character. The yeast character was large and well defined. Dry finish with a mild tartness and a lot of alcohol.

MF= Medium body with a sharp crispness on the tongue. Not quite as sharp as the St. B 6.

D= This beer is simply a slightly "larger" version of the "6". That might seem like a silly thing to say but not all Belgian breweries make a weaker and a stronger version of the same dubbel. Very drinkable despite the ABV.

Photo of AlcahueteJ
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark amber color with a thick white head that leaves a thin lace. So far so good.

S - Smells of fruit and bread, no hops.

M - Mouthfeel is creamy but still a bit thin, tons of carbonation in this brew.

T - Dark fruit, raisins, very sweet and malty. Alcohol is noticeable in this one as opposed to the 6. Paired with some dark chocolate that only brought the sweetness out more.

D - At 8 percent and being this malty not sure if I could have more than two of these. I had the 6 prior to this which I thought was more drinkable, but the 8 is much more complex. Not as drinkable or candy-sweet as the Westy 8, but still a very good beer in its own right.

Photo of argock
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11oz brown bottle into a clear oversized wine glass.

A: Chestnut brown with thick 1-2 finger light tan head with good retention and spittles of lace occasionally on the glass.

S: Raisins, vanilla, brown sugar, and phenols with a dash of herbal hops deliver a aromatic treat.

T: Dark fruits dominate this satisfying dubbel with many other flavor notes including brown and candy sugar, vanilla, and nutty, woody notes with a lightly drying earthy hops finish. This is my favorite St. Bernardus offering.

M: Full-bodied and with even carbonation to leave a lush mouthfeel. Aftertaste is of brown sugar and herbal hops.

D: An exceptional dubbel with classic earthiness and a perfect mouthfeel that makes it hard to beat.

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

11.2oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice

Pours a deep russet infused cranberry with a creamy, khaki cap that fits perfectly in the chalice. Light strings of lace find there way around the glass.

Sweet malt, brown sugar, raisins, dark cherries, plums, white grapes and toasted bread. Very broad.

Sweet malt hits you off the bat. Followed by fresh plums and cherries, raisins and a toasted, grainy flavor. There is a nice little spice that lends its way to a slight warming in the finish.

Soft and supple, yet big and bold at the same time. Medium bodied, nearly perfect carbonation.

A sweet beer overall with a decent abv. Easy to savor and enjoy.

Photo of magictrokini
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy mahogany with a small off-white head. Malt, dark fruits, vanilla, and musty spice in the aroma. Heavy malt backbone with spun sugar, corriander, raisins, and a sherry-like alcohol flavor. Dense, sticky mouthfeel. A little too thick and sweet for me.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 2/11/2006 (750mL bottle):

Pours a very dark brown colored body, with a very slightly off-white head, big and lasting, smooth. Has an aroma of citrus, lavender, and spices. A slightly bitter, slightly sweet taste. Some molasses, warming, with a good mouthfeel, somewhat alcoholy.

Photo of MerkinMan
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice color. A bit cloudy with a resilient head.

S: This one is yeasty and sweet smelling. I pick up alcohol notes as well as some cinnamon and leathery scents.

T: Sweet and nutty. As it warms, fruity esters appear, which for me is the draw to all St. B's offerings. Sherry flavors also appear as the beer continues to warm.

MF: While the mouthfeel is nice and velvety, it is a bit thinner than I expected it would be.

D: Not my favorite of the St.B's beers so far. Pater 6 and ABT 12 come with much higher recommendations.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours off brown, slight tinge of dark red, with tan head.

Nose is among the best. Belgian yeast is working its magic and casting off a spiced breadiness that is intoxicating. Also present is cinnamon, ginger, and yummy musty cheeses, perhaps with old musty cave aromas. I love it.

Palate is beautifully creamy bodied - the bubbles are smaller, so it seems. Baked brown bread, soft holiday spices, and a finish that is semi-sweet and oh so appetizing for the next sip.

Amazing beer. One of the best.

Photo of kevd193213
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle. Caramel pour with slightly red tinge and a bit cloudy. Nice lacing and a medium tan head that tasted almost as good as the beer itself. Aroma of Belgian yeast. Taste of caramel, yeast and faint orange and nectarine with sugar and spice. Very complex. Smooth yet full finish.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark cranberry tea color with a huge, billowy, dirty beige head that was almost fully lasting. Visible carbonation was very soft, almost non-detect.

S: On the nose was a sweet cola aroma, toasted caramel, brown sugar and ripe fruit.

T: The initial flavor was malty and sweet with caramelized brown sugar, ripe fruit (plums). A noticeable spicy rum raisin alcohol presence along with a toasted nuttiness, and sweet caramelized maldiness defined this beer. On the finish was some spicy prunes, bread, and a warming alcohol fade.

M: light-medium, with a light creaminess while leaving a dry caramel lacing on the tongue after the swallow.

D: An incredibly sweet and smooth beer per style full of rich caramel, bread, ripe fruit that was superbly brewed to produce a great drinking beer.

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

11.2 oz. bottle, poured in a big wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.

Deep amber color, thick lumpy beige head, thick fine lace.

Smells like fresh plum, white grape, toasty grain/bread, caramelized sugar, roast nuts, and warm spice. Slightly exotic. Quite pleasant.

Tastes like fruit, spice, bread, nuts, and black tea. Some mild tealike astringency. Medium sweet, quite well balanced. Lingering dark fruit and tea. Cohesive and very tasty.

Soft supple texture due to fine carbonation, with a touch of oiliness. Refreshing light astringency contributes to high drinkability.

Great characterful beer.

Photo of corby112
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown color with a huge frothy beige head. Aroma of dark fruit, alcohol and chocolate. Very tasty beer with lots of malty chocolate, raisin, prune, plum, spice and alcohol. Nice soft carbonation up front with a sweet malty center and nice dry, spicy finish.

Photo of Zraly
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chestnut brown with off-white head. Tight, small bubbles and smells of sugar, spice, and phenols.

Very tasty, smooth medium bodied ale with rich flavors of brown sugar, bread dough, rum, and fruit. Carbonation is ample, which allows the mouthfeel to not be overbearing with strong flavors. Creamy, but dry, in the finish. A red wine lover should easily convert to beer via this style of beer.

This is a must-try if you like sweet, dark Belgian-style ales. Would be a great accompaniment to jerk chicken.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown color with 2 fingers of light tan head.

Scent of sugars, raisins, and some roasted malts. Pretty good scent, but nothing really stands out but the malts, it falls a little short.

Taste of candi sugar and malts, with some fruit coming in as it warms. Not overbearing, but still falling a bit flat.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but slightly watery.

Photo of Micahman
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750 ml cage-top bomber; served in a wide-mouth short glass as I couldnt find my chalice.

A- Hazy chestnut brown with a huge foamy off-white head. May have been the glass but the head was excessive, even with a slow-tilt pour.

S- A hint of cream soda and vanila, but overall not much happening here.

T- Big malt right away, grains, and some brown sugar undertones. Hint of maple. Reminds me of a darker "Blanch de Chambly". Lots of carbonation with a slow warming.

M- Smooth, creamy, with a fizzy finish.

D- Very drinkable. I would session this beer.

Not a stunning dubbel, but a solid representative. A good starter for those not familiar with the style.

Photo of champ103
3.46/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber red with a two finger beige head that forms. The head recedes pretty fast with light lace.
S: A dry burnt wood aroma. Malty with some brown sugar. Not much here.
T: Malty of course. Lots of raisins and brown sugar. A large burnt wood flavor that follows the nose.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and rich. The alcohol show a bit, but an easy and smooth beer to sip on for the most part.

Not a bad Dubbel, but I have had much better. Not very complex. Though a pleasant enough example of the style. I always like to support Abbey and Trappist Ales as well.

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by 05 10 09

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a thick beige head that sticks a bunch of lace on the sides of the chalice

Smell: Dark fruit (figs and dates), nuts, currants, brown sugar and anise notes

Taste: Sweet bread dough, with rum-soaked dates and anise developing by mid-palate, along with bitter almond skin notes; after the swallow, the brandy aspect builds considerably, a touch phenolic with an underlying raisin, brown sugar and vanilla sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with sprightly carbonation; warmth on the finish

Drinkability: The dark fruits aren't as complex as with other dubbels; still, a quality brew

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,085 ratings.