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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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1,856 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,856
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 99
Gots: 137 | FT: 3
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: 1,856 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigdeuce
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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).

crwills, May 04, 2006
Photo of DESTRO
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

DESTRO, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

jdhilt, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of quasimoto
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

quasimoto, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of Hibernator
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Hibernator, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of SethB2
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

SethB2, Apr 08, 2006
Photo of Onceeven
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Onceeven, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of petemorris
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

petemorris, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!!!

BigDaddyWil, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of aforbes10
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

aforbes10, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of hanco005
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

hanco005, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

ghostwalker, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of gmcfarre
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

gmcfarre, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Tupperwolf, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

DogFood11, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Erdinger2003, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of soulgrowl
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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!

soulgrowl, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of doubleipa
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderately sweet, yeasty, bread aroma. SOme fruit, as well. Appearance was perfect. Poured a nice, creamy head with excellent lacing. No yeast particles. Initial and finish flavor were moderately sweet. It has a decent wheat flovor component. Overall, another great beer from St Bernardus.

doubleipa, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Cicero's in the Loop in St. Louis ... my favorite St. louis beer stop. Presented as a murky brown color with lively tan head and serious lacing. Nose is of sweet malt, yeast, and over-ripe fruit. Slightly spicy as well. Taste is very malty upfront, with yeast and spices following closely. Medium to full bodied, and not heavily carbonated. This is a good dubbel from St. Bernardus, makers of one of my very favorite ales in the world, Abt 12. Easily drinkable and good, solid flavor. Give it a try ...

beerphilosopher, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the great dubbels, maybe only behind Westy 8. Being that I can't get Westy these days, St. Bernardus and Westmalle are my best options. 750ml; deep amber color, large foamy head with good retention. Paired with beef, great match. Not as sweet as many other dubbels tend to be. Terrific balance, top notch all the way!

JohnnyDuvel, Mar 04, 2006
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 2" pillowy cloud of foam. Bright, clear light brown in color. Good visible carbonation. Great head retention and nice lace.

S - More hops here than I have smelled in a dubbel. Yeast. Ton of sweet fruit (pear, grape?)

T - Toffee. Spice. Banana. Brown sugar. Lots of fruit.

M - Thin to medium bodied. High carbonation. Crisp.

D - Very enjoyable and easy to drink. Not as spicy as some dubbels that I have had.

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

Poured a murky , dark , reddish-brown , with a large foamy head that never left. Lots of carbonation rising. Left a creamy lacing. Nose is very sweet-creamy , with fruit and some alcohol. Taste is also fairly sweet,rich, and malty. As it warmed , more fruity flavors(pear etc.) arose. Also a bit of a medicinal taste and spice in the finish with just a slight bit of hops. Full and nicely carbonated mouthfeel. This is indeed a very tasty and rich Dubbel and i enjoyed it.

Byeast, Feb 21, 2006
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,856 ratings.