1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8

Educational use only; do not reuse.

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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,085 | Reviews: 992
Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle, best before 4/24/2013, into a snifter,

A: Pours a murky brown with a light tan head that gushes a bit, the carbonation was foaming at the top of the bottle before I even had a chance to pour it, good head retention, the head is quite fizzy.

S: Distinct smell of prunes, dried dark fruit and black currants.

T: Taste is good, the flavours are not overpowering, they manage to be subtle and complex at the same time. Dark pumpkernickel bread with notes of rye are intertwined with dark fruit character - raisins for sure and prune. Hit of molasses at the end as well as a hint of winter spice. Sweet notes of cake batter in the aftertaste. All around good flavour, it is imperative to drink this at at least 50-55F.

M: Carbonation is very high, though it didn't explode in my mouth like other relatively young bottle conditioned beers can do. Give it a few good swirls before tasting, as you pick up some more notes from the nose, the mouthfeel will be much more drinkable. The overall lightness on the tongue completely hides the 8%.

D: This is a good abbey beer. It's not the most striking Dubbel in flavour I've ever had, but it is distinctly Belgian and it would make a great starting point for those just beginning to get into Belgium's wonderful and diverse brews. It's got something in there for everyone I think. One of the most drinkable high gravity brews I've ever had. Recommended.

Photo of craytonic
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep, chestnut red-brown that is near opaque. Nice head that subsides at just the right speed, good lacing.

Smell: Prunes, dates, plumbs, brandy-soaked oranges, caramel. Very rich and inviting smell. Perhaps a hint of nuttiness and a touch of peppery spice & cloves/cinnamon. Some ginger as well.

Taste: Similar to the smell - prunes, dates, plumbs, caramel, malts, and brandy-soaked oranges. There is a candy sugar-sweetness with a hint of molasses and brown sugar which makes it perfect - balancing the hops very well. Reminds me of bread pudding with raisins with a rich rum/brandy topping.

Mouthfeel: Wow. Body is weightless and perfect. You feel it more than you taste it, although it could be .0001 heavier.

Drinkability: Yes indeed, excellent without being heavy.

Excellent Beer!

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

small bottle, found in the back of the fridge.

Pours a cloudy medium brown with a nice off white head, belgian lace and tons of retention.

Nice yeasty, estery aroma, not overpowering.

Flavor starts with medium malt upfront, and a little bit of estery character, fairly sweet finish with a slight carbonic bite, There is also a light toffey note throughout the flavor.

Overall a great dubbel, finishing slightly sweeter than others adds to its drinkability.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 11.2 into St. Bernie chalice - both from gift set...

Deep iced coffee/chestnut brown body topped by rye head that's quite chewy and leaves a nicely-laced sheet. A few floates in there...

Not sure of surrounding aromatics from the kitchen but this is hearty yet mild...malt-forward with electric yeast strains and a fair amount of mellow gingerbread and stewy malt. Good ester presence with a touch of clove.

At first a little salty with slight metal aftertaste but these move on quickly and are replaced by a calming bittersweeet chocolate feel and light clove spice. Extra-hearty briased malt and slight carbonation and hop pine pop. Warmth helps this a great deal - very smooth.

More of a bite on the palate than its little brother Pater 6 - mildly roasted coffee beans mix with grass/pine hop presence for well-balanced complexity. More profound than its taste profile indicates.

As with a fair amount of Dubbel offerings the whole is greater than the sum of this one's parts. Quite drinkable with well-hidden alchohol. Part of one of the better gift sets I've seen in a while.

Photo of 100floods
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a caracole tulip glass. Pours a dark, murky amber with a cream white head with some decent lacing afterwords. Heavy carbonation. Pours with a sound like a bubbly soda. There are subtle sweet, prune/light fruitty aromas hiding in there, but not much on the surface. The aromas are nice and clean.

I am having trouble gathering my taste buds around this one. There's a nice heavy body, which helps even out the carbonation but there's also this kinda sweet, sugar feel to it as well. I am also experiencing a creaming aspect as well. I'm thinking root beer or cream soda (maybe even a dull vanilla?), but very mild in comparison. Everything seems hidden in there.

I have had this beer before and i don't remember it tasting like this. This is not to say I am disappointed, just I remember this beer differently. I wonder what aging would do to this one. Good beer, just not what I remembered.

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

This poured an opaque brown with light tan head. It smelled like creamy sweet yeast and caramel malt and grassy hops. It tasted like rich malty caramel and creamy yeast, with orange and lime hops. The yeast became more pronounced as it warmed. It was watery with some carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had very nice flavor that was fairly simple but very clean and enjoyable. Texture was good too, and alcohol was well hidden, making this easy to rink. Very nice dubbel.

Photo of GilGarp
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by date 28 06 12.

Pours from a 330ml bottle into a globe glass. It appears to have a dark brown color but, when held up to the light, it actually displayed a beautiful red hue. There's a huge mountain of head on it and it sticks around quite well. Small yeast floaties nothing to fear.

Aroma is spectacular in its rich complexity. Spicy, fruity, and that distinct Belgian yeast. I must have smelled it half a dozen times before my first sip.

Flavor is equally great with lots of fruit (oranges and bananas), vegetables? (pumpkin and squash), and spices (corriander, cardamom, clove). There's even some bread-like characteristics either from the malt or the yeast, or both. Complex and delicious as only the Belgians have perfected.

Mouthfeel is higher in carbonation than I prefer but common in abbey ales. Medium body with a slight alcohol burn.

Drinkability is good but it's special enough to just savor the one small serving for an entire evening.

Photo of Goliath
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, fairly opaque, with amber hued edges. A one inch light brown head forms on the pour and doesn't linger long. Relatively poor retention and no lacing.

The aroma is decent. Very grainy, cereal like. It kind of reminds me more of German Doppelbock than a Dubbel. I'm not sure what else to say, grain, cereal, bread, and hay.

The taste is decent. Certainly a grainy malt profile dominates. Notes of cereal and bread as well as hay. Behind the malting is a touch of fruit and a slight yeast spice. It's really interesting, and I think I'll really dig it as it warms a bit more.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of fine bubbled lively carbonation.

Drinkability is relatively high. It's a nice tasting beer, and a nice experience. I prefer the 12 and tripel, but would certainly buy this one again.

Photo of claytri
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a cloudy brown with a light tan head. The aroma is a spicy crystal malt. The taste is sweet malt, an almost peppery set of spices, and a wonderful alcohol burn. The feel is heavy and wet. I liked this one, just a nice smooth spicy beer with a good bit of alcohol in the beer and apparent in the taste. Definately one I'll need to sample again in the future.

Photo of aubuc1
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle dated 17/4/13 poured in to a goblet.

Pours dark brown with a thin offwhite head.

Smell is bready and sweet with some fruit creeping out.

Taste is still bready malty with some yeast. The surprise was a faint smell of hops (I think).

Nice full feel and an easy drinking beer that sends some warmth to the head after a few sips. Not my favorite dubbel.

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

Pours a murky caramel brown color with wonderful looking thock off white 2 finger deep head. This head doesn't go anywhere. Lots of sticky lacing on glass. Pretty nice looking beer here.

Sugary sweet, caramel, nutty, yeasty, some fruitiness, plum, fig. Great.

Malty, sweet fruit, raisin, bready, spicy, clove, some bitterness near the end. Tastes great.

Rich, smooth, zesty, tangy, medium bodied & medium carbonation.

Drinkability is great. The 8% is not dominate.

This is a winner for me. Very tasty & satisfying. Recommended Belgian Dubbel.

Photo of jeffmonarch
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle in a goblet.

A - Dark brown with an orange tint. Thick off white head that stays for a long time.

S - Sweet malty ale smell. Very simple but good.

T - Bold and crisp. It has a slight tartness mixed in with the bitterness. I think there is a little fig flavor.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good beer but for the price there are a lot of better beers.

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

I tasted this bottle on 19.09.2008 (BB 21 09 12). I used a Chimay goblet. It poured a darkish brown liquid with a light tan-coloured head. Light lacing. A dark brown yeast deposit poured leaving it to resemble a capaccino with brown chocolate powder sprinkled on the top.

An immediate rich malty aroma wafted from it.
The taste was not overly complex, but a nice balanced combination of malt and hops. The mouthfeel was super smooth giving the beer a great finish.

Photo of IgotsHops
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice deep copper red with a nice light tan head. Plenty of lacing in the snifter during drinking.
Smelled of some yeast, some fig and dark fruit, and brown sugar.
Taste was similar to the smell, a little more fig and cinnamon and nutmeg in the flavor. Some good phenols and warming alcohol.
Mouthfeel was smooth but refreshing and left great alcohol flavors and esters on the palate.
Overall a very drinkable dubbel, but I prefer some others I have tried.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle poured into a chalice, on to the beer:

Pours caramel/orange. this beer is ruby brown when sitting in my chalice, the head soapy yet holding up. Lots of sediment floating in the body. Big notes of green apple/cider, some plum, bit of grain, and dark fruits. This beer is medium bodied with a pinch of alcohol. Chalky tasting at first, out comes a bit of unsweetened cocoa. Dried dates and squaw bread round off the taste.

The flavors are too mild and powdery compared to other Belgian dubbels in the land. Worth a taste.

Photo of Patrick999
3.37/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is my 200th review!

A - Poured a roasty-looking brown into a Duvel tulip. Head was not all that active, though it appeared well-carbonated.

S - Smelled tasty. Chocolate and raisins, some vinous port aromas.

T - Complicated. At times sweet, at times drying. Alcohol is pretty assertive at times, contributing a spiciness. More notes of chocolate and raisin. I also pick up on an odd note of diacetyl I wasn't really expecting, and wasn't too fond of. I've had the Abt 12 several times, and never noted this.

F - Full-bodied, it's nice and creamy.

D - I don't find this the most drinkable Dubbel in the world. That I found it somewhat buttery like an English Brown didn't help. I find Chimay Red a much drier, more elegant example.

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

pours up a nice dark brown color with maroon edges when held to the light. fantastic frothy off-white head with great retentive lacing. the nose has wonderful spices, candy sugar (my girl suggests candy red apple), slight alcohol scent, subtle caramel, dark fruits for sure, strawberries, slight dry vanilla as it warms up, smells like a very festive beer! The taste is subtle cocoa, darker malts, subtle sweet malts, darker fruits, plums, very carbonated, dry finish, medium to full bodied, syrupy taste left behind in my mouth. Nice complex brew....thats why I love St. Bernardus..I wonder if its the same beer as St. Sixtus?

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beware explosive head. (Almost) made a fool of myself with a fairly quick pour, but was able to prevent spillage by sucking down the mushroom-clouding foam. Moving on: bubbly head dissipates pretty fast leaving no lacing that I can see. Color is murky auburn with loads of sediment suspended throughout.

Smell: Figs, banana, raisins, alcohol, and chunky malt. Slightly sour - me likey.

Taste: Figs, molasses, chocolate and banana with a big malt base. Alcohol comes through in the aftertaste but is not unpleasant (<- is that a double-negative?). Not overly complex, but definitely tasty.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and chunky. My mouth feels warm and tingly. Yummy.

Drinkability: What's the ABV on this puppy? ...eight percent. Flavor is pretty strong and body is heavy. Lump that together with a fairly big ABV and what do you get? Lower drinkability. Good beer, but I'm fine with just one.

Photo of changeup45
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another selection from a St. Bernardus mixed 6 pack I recently purchased. This one pours a hazy dark brown color (similar to the last one the Pater 6). Nice foamy head that does taper off a bit. Aroma is slightly malty and grainy but it's faint, there's just not much there. There is however quite a bit of flavor. It seems relatively full-bodied too. The taste is malty, quite sweet, brown sugar, with some fruit and caramel. It all blends in nicely, but it's not the type of beer I would drink several of at one seating. Good thing too as it's not cheap.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best Before: 28 06 12.

Appearance: Pours a clear, chestnut brown body with a frothy, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet, malty nose smelling of dark candi sugar, cocoa-caramel, ripe plums, and a glass of meritage wine.

Taste: Dark maltiness tasting of dark caramel and cocoa powder with a full, resounding sweetness. Plum fruitiness followed by a sip of fruity, yet robust red wine with some warming alcohol qualities to it. Light trace of roastiness throughout, even a bit of nuttiness. Hint of caraway seed-packed rye bread. Malty, sweet, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Well carbonated, which keeps the maltiness from ever becoming heavy, instead keeping things light and airy.

Drinkability: Paired very well with some Pinback mp3's. A delightful dubbel, to be sure, I'll see how it compares to the Abt 12 which is up next.

Photo of Zadok
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle.

Appearance was a deep apple cinnamon cider brown with the small (very small) floaters to boot. Had a 2 finger head of the rocky/frothy type with average lacing.

Smells of yeast and banana with light coriander. Maybe a some malts with light toffee.

Great balance of a real mild malt and coffee bean and has a slight light fruit sense with a tinge of an alcoholic presence.

Medium body with mild carbonation.

Once again an excellent brew from St. Bernardus. Would serve this up any day of the week but be careful cause the moderate ABV can jump up and grab ya.

Photo of slitherySOB
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was simply amazing. I had high expectations for it, and it surpassed them. Pours a deep, acorn colour with a nice, slightly brown head that reminded me of cinnamon baked goods. Plenty of chunky yeasts. I did not decant. I like the yeast. The scent was beautiful. Plenty of baked bread, yeast, malts, vanilla, grapes, apples, pears... It was like a nice farmer's market on a Sunday. Oh God, the taste. Exquisite. Not overly complex, but a blend of different flavours, all getting an equal share. Plenty of fruits, caramel, bit of honey, breads... Even a bit of a flavour I can't quite put my finger on. A woody flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and a bit carbonated. Drinkable? Yes. I could sip a glass all day and not tire of it.

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

11.2-ounce bottle poured into a chalice yields a clear chestnut body with a fair amount of sediment in suspension, capped with a finger of ecru foam that quickly recedes to a creamy sheet that leaves random swatches of lacing on the glass.

The aroma of the drink is fruity with plums, red apple peels, prunes, and dark raisins. A tangy zing of yeast and spice makes my mouth water.

The flavor of the drink is mildly sweet and malty up front with toasty caramel laced with plums. A soft feel of banana manifests itself as a flavor as the drink warms a bit, and there is a whiff of oaky woodiness and plenty of peppery spice in a long, dry finish. Alcohol produces a tingle on the tip of the tongue, and a mineral note grows to prominence late in the drink.

Prior 8 is super-smooth and fullish in body with vivid carbonation that aids this drink into unmitigated quaffability.

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

A: Deep chestnut with some suspended sediments. Ample light chestnut colored head that held to half an inch when settled. Generous lacing all the way down. I like the way this beer looked a lot if not for the suspended solids.

S: Dark fruits, bread and yeast. Very complex,; lots of flavors and variations of fruit and malt.

T: Dark fruits, spices and molasses mellow to brown sugar and dark malts. Warming and pleasing.

M: Medium body. Carbonation brings into nice balance. Finishes smooth.

D: Very drinkable for a doppel. Great taste really enjoyable. Gonnan try the Pater and Abbot for sure.

Photo of Nowhereman529
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a very appealing dark amber color with a good fluffy two finger head. A very nice looking pour

Smell is pretty decent, a good bit of malt with fruit overtones, perhaps apples, and a little clove.

Taste was a little underwhelming though still pretty good. Some good maltiness with raisin, apples, clove and a nice hint of hoppy bitterness at the end.

I think this was perhaps a little too carbonated for dubbel. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but could be improved upon

It's a quality beer, perhaps a little overhyped. Definitely worth a try, maybe two or three.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,085 ratings.