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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.

1,984 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,984
Reviews: 976
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 108
Gots: 172 | FT: 2
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,984 | Reviews: 976 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jwaks
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving 750ml bottle

A large churning column of course carbonation rises up through a translucent ruddy brown body towards a finger thick cap of beige froth. Perhaps the head is sticking around for the beer party but this ever persistent dense, frothy head just won't quit, it's damn impressive even for a dubbel.

Are there chocolate tootsie rolls and carob flavored sugar drop cookies in this beer? Molasses chews, brown sugars, crystalline sugars, dates, solvents, yeast, spicy honey bread and bitter hop aromas slowly diffuse from the glass.

This beer slinks onto the palate presenting flavors of sweet carob, molasses, solvents and a bit of spicy brown bread meld into brown sugary bready malts, some solvents and chocolate sugar drop cookies flavors on a bittersweet, chewy mid palate. Dates, creamy chocolate and molasses chews make a welcome addition to a restrained dry and bitter finish lending to a moderately long aftertaste of caramel, hops and bitter carob. Damn, this is one sweet dubbel.

Flavors could be a bit more concentrated with less dryness on the finish which would push mouthflavor toward the exceptional rage. Bitters are a bit much on the finish and aftertaste to keep me drinking more than one bottle and afterawhile the flavors begin to meld into one rather than a group of complex and well delineated flavors.

Overall, this is one sweet and tasty dubbel. This proves a belgian beer doesn't need the trappist logo on the label to be an exceptional belgian beer.


Photo of Rudgers73
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked and caged 750 mL bottle into my Ommegang chalice. The first thing I notice is the awesome head. Very light and fluffy, sticking to the sides, it doesn't erupt over the sides of the glass but it doesn't settle quickly either. Perfect. The color is a little lighter than I had expected, most other dubbels I've had were very dark brown. You can actually see the carbonation in this stuff. The aroma is VERY bready, I'm a little worried the taste will be the same. Nope, the taste is awesome. Very sweet like brown sugar with a perfect balance of bitterness. Slight alcohol taste that is smooth and rich. Very silky mouthfeel. This is better than I had expected. Minus the bready smell this is one of the best dubbels I've ever had.

Photo of dedrinker
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh pastry dough with a dash of yeast. Faint currant flavor with hints of glazed donut.This is like a glass of your favorite local donut shop at three in the morning when they are cranking out the next day's pastries. I recommend that you drink it at three in the morning, or at least before bedtime. I can really get into these flavors, and I'm generally over dark strong bottled conditioned Belgian beers. Good job. Solid.

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

Picked this one up at Liquor Max in Loveland, CO. Stored at 36 degrees, set out until about 50 degrees before pouring. I went ahead and poured the sediment -- I love that stuff anyway.

Pour is a cloudy cloudy mahogany under a HUGE frothy tan head that fades to a solid lid. Plenty of lacing.

Smell is strong -- like, across the room strong -- and lovely: candied walnuts, caramel malt, toffee, figs, prunes, dark chocolate, and biscuit, all covering a hint of bittering hops. Lots going on here. Wow. What a great smelling beer!!

Taste follows the aroma to a "T," though it is not quite as intense. Indeed, it's a bit of a let-down after inhaling this great aroma for several minutes. Still, it tastes good: just not as good as it smells. Just a hint of boozy warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel is rich and thick, warming and full. Much rounder than I anticipated from a Dubbel. Mmmmm.

The alcohol, while mostly masked in the taste, is evident in the mouthfeel. Still, a very drinkable beer.

My first of this beer, and I must admit I'm impressed. Much smoother and warmly maltier than I was anticipating. A great beer.

Photo of bonbright7
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this at Shoreline while looking at the vast selection and knowing how much I'd like a dubbel style ale on a cold wintry day. I spied the Westmalle Dubbel and passed on it with great hesitation as it is one of my favorite examples of its kind.

The poured brownish ale with dark red edges looked good as it foamed lightly to the top of my 50cl glass. The first taste was as good as the last with the immediate champagne and malty flavors up front. I savored the creamy ending as I watched the lacing slowly make its way to the bottom.

I thought the hearty ale would be perfect to be snowed in with, but I would need a case to keep me happy as this was very easy to drink (with a refined taste). As I always speculate upon finding a great beer or ale, I will want to find this on tap sometime soon.

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

$4 tap at Maduro last night with a bunch of BA's

appearance: served in the typical awesome St Bernardus glassware, dark plum-garnet body, light beige head with moderate lacing...nice pour from our friends at Maduro

smell: nicely spiced, clove, raisin-fig, dark sweet malts, light yeast

taste: Maybe my belgian standards are a little off but I found this to be good, but not great. I have made a mental note to try it from the bottle at some point. sweet caramel-malt, light boozy yeast presence, spiced caramel malts, clove spicyness. Enjoyable

mouthfeel: smooth and rich

drinkability: high

Photo of ElGordo
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 330ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Body is an orange/brown hue with deep golden highlights, topped by a small, creamy tan head that doesn't last very long. Nice, sweet aroma that's spot on for a Dubbel - sweet malt, caramel, and some tangy Belgian yeast. Palate is superb as well, with a good balance between the sweet, bready malt flavors and the mellow, fruity hops. Just a touch of astringency is detectable on the finish. Body is creamy but overly foamy. On the whole, though, a very enjoyable offering from one of the greatest breweries in the world.

Photo of dstc
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark cloudy brown/purple color with a full two finger pale tan head that disappears after a few minutes leaving little trail of lace and small head.

Smells a bit weaker than it looks and maybe a bit metallically yet somewhat sweet.

Tastes a bit like heaven. Nice full flavor, a little sweet and a little sour. Fruity and malty.

Feels full and creamy with that nice tingle on the tongue.

I very much enjoyed this beer and can't wait to try some more.

Photo of AudioGilz
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky/muddy water appearance, not really a chunky yeast kind of murk but more of just a general dark floating haze within. A long-lasting head is a bit thin, but laces all the way down.

Clovey and spicy aromas combine with a general sweet maltiness, almost molasses in character.

Along with other St. Bernardus offerings, this brew does not disappoint in the least! Ripe plums and other similar fruits, herbal clove, yeasty twang mid-quafe, especially on the side of the tongue, and also quite a warming alcohol presence, even moreso than their Tripel.

High carbonation levels somehow leave space for a slightly creamy mouthfeel; it's simply as close to perfection as my personal opinion of belgian beer mouthfeel can be.

Drinkability easily reaches 5.0, as this is a true pleaser.

Photo of ericj551
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prior 8 pours a deep ruby red with a thick and tall off white head that lingers for quite a while. Smell is herbal and sweet, with a slight sour tang. Taste is rich and slightly fruity. Sweet malts upfront, with a dry chalky yeast flavor towards the end. There is a slight raisiny aftertaste, with a lingering sweetness. The alcohol is completely masked. Although between the two I like the 12 better, this is a delicious beer, well worth the $8 a 750.

Photo of Enola
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Continuing with my effort to develope a taste for Belgian brews brings me to this beer. Much more than I was expecting.

The color is a nice deep mahogany and there is a good sized head. The smell contains raisens, and could almost be mistaken for a wine. The abv is not too evident in the taste. A nice dull bitterness in the taste and there are lots of fruit tastes as well. The mouthfeel is smooth. Not overly carbonated. A nice sipper. After a couple of less than stellar Belgians, it is nice to run across one that is very good. This beer gives me hope in getting accustomed to these Belgian brews.

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. Bottle
Best By Date 03 02 10 ?

Poured into a tulip a nice slightly cloudy dark mahongy color, nice carbonation, nice two finger foamy off-white head, one big island and some smaller ones are left behind. The nose is of malts, yeast, grapes, figs, raisins, dates, and slight caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious, nice malty/yeasty/grapey flavor. Slightly dry finish. Medium body, a very complex brew. Very drinkable, a true to style brew, highly recommended.

Photo of rec
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour presents deep opaque brown with a foamy off-cream coloured head which laces well and has great retention. A gorgeous looking beer indeed!

The smell is fantastic, dominated by malt and dark fruits. It'll make your mouth water before taking your first sip.

The taste is also rich in dark fruits, plum and raisin, and is balanced well with strong malt and a hint of citrus.

It's very drinkable, although despite all the brilliant traits of this fine brew, it does feel a little over-carbonated for my liking.

Photo of Drew966
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

St. Bernardus Prior 8 pours a dark brown color with an off white head from a brown 11.2 ounce bottle. The aroma is dark fruit all the way and it's very appealing. The flavor starts with dark fruit, but there is some hop bitterness toward the end. A very tasty beer. Highly recommended.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy reddish brown brew with a small head that lingers for a long time. Decent ring of lacing forms as well.

S - Mostly a slighty estery malt with some grassy hops.

T - Some slightly sweet malt with a touch of faint fruity notes, cherries, prunes and dried currants with some hops as well. Lemon pith and grassy hops form to make a nice bitterness over a much fainter a bit of light malt and candied sugars. The yeast makes a bit of an appearance as an earthy flavor.

M - Medium body, froths in the mouth quite a bit, a little drying actually.

D - Drinkable and pleasant. This is the first St Bernardus I can recall actually enjoying. It isn't fantastic, but it is good. If I am ever to repeat a St Bernardus, it will most certainly be the 8.

Photo of joe1510
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz Bottle

Poured the Prior 8 into it's very own St. Bernardus goblet. Poured a murky deep dark brown/garnet with yeast sediment even after a careful pour. A one finger head off white head sat on top that faded to a thin cap rather quickly. The body is loaded with small sediment. It does look inviting though like there is going to be all kinds of flavors coming through.

The smell has a lot of fruitiness to it. Figs and prunes come to mind first. An earthy mustiness comes through barely noticeable along with an old and slightly leathery quality. The backbone of this beer is a lightly toasted bread aroma. All this goes very nicely together.

The flavor is where it's at. There is a very noticeable sweetness but it's layer upon layer of flavors that casue this sweetness. The dark fruits come through first. Prune and fig just like in the nose sprinkled with some brown sugar. The earthiness comes next with must and a dark old leathery taste. All going very nicely together I must add. As I type this I notice it's the exact same as the aroma but without the toasted bread. It's more along the lines of dough. I even get hints of chocolate as I sip. Finishes with a candy sweetness. Really nicely made.

Mouthfeel is key on this beer as well. It's very creamy and as it slides along my mouth, right before the swallow, it turns almost to froth. Fits very well with all the other aspects. The body is coating.

Drinkability is good. It's an easy one to put away. I can't drink too much of any Belgian but this is an easy one to do so.

Another wonderfully made beer from St. Bernardus. An easy drinker for sure and one I will enjoy over and over.


Photo of loving44
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from 11.2 Fl Oz bottle into St. Bernardus glass. Pours deep red brown with a foamy white head that fades to about half it's thickness. Lots of sediment suspended throughout the beer which settles slowly to the bottom of the glass. Looks delicious en every way.

Smell: Slightly doughy aroma followed by biscuit-like malt, raison, fig, chocolate, awesome!!!! Just smelling this brew is a treat!

Taste: Starts off very sweet with ripe plum. prune, and raisin flavor dominating and then fades into a rich malty flavor. Finishes with dry alcohol and a slight twinge of citrus.

Mouthfeel is light and airy with fine carbonation, very drinkable!

Photo of bluejacket74
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a St. Bernardus chalice, the beer pours a dark amber/brown color, with a small off-white head. It smells like dark fruit and molasses. It tastes very sweet, just like it smells but with some warming alcohol in there. Mouthfeel is medium/full, a bit slick with a lot of carbonation, but not too much. Drinkability is very good, it's smooth and crisp. Overall I think this is a pretty good beer, I'd definitely drink it again.

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

Pours a dark nut brown with very little head and little lacing. The smell could be a little more robust, but it has a nice winey aroma with a lot of rounded malt. The taste is classic Belgian. Dark and spicy with that tang od Belgian yeast and the sweetness and thickness coming from the malt. Bananas and cloves, and brown bread with some hops throughout. Very nice. Mouthfeel is very balanced - not too thick, not overcarbonated, just a nice medium body with some spritz and flavors to go around. Quite drinkable- no real sign of the 8% abv, and very refreshing with some interest in the flavors.

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

33cL bottle from A-1 To-Go in Gardiner. Dark brown body with less than a quarter inch of off-white head and feint ruby-red highlights. Smells peaty and kind of nutty. Aroma is not that prominent. Roasty chocolate and date notes dominate the flavor with hints of nut. On the upper side of medium bodied with a fair bit of carbonation. Very drinkable despite the thickness of it. Fantastic. Better than all I've tried from them except Abt.

Photo of BadBadger
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beverage is a rather fine Dubbel. It pours from the bottle a nice dark color, with a minimal head, which sadly does not last. The smell is of sweet malts contained within. The taste is sweet, as was the smell. The mouthfeel is smooth. A tasty treat worty of searching out. Enjoy!

Photo of wagenvolks
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a rich mahogany, brown color in the goblet. Golden, rosy red when held up to the light with a minimal amount of cream head (light lacing). The aroma is robust, to say the least. Cranberries and apple notes here, with a slight waft of alcohol which compliments the aroma.

Taste is of vanilla, nuts, malt, with a slight hoppiness to it. The fruit is not as noticable as the smell would suggest, yet citrus and apricot pull through as it warms. Very little aftertaste to an exceedingly smooth brew with a slight hint of carbonation (just right!). Very enjoyable at the end of a long day, good drinkability.

Photo of mmcave
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled a little under room and poured into Watou goblet. Nice musty red brown color with highlights and warm tones, almost opeques. Centimeter thick white head with alright retention and lacing.
Smells is subtle, theres some candied fruit, Belgian yeast, caramel, hints of bread, slightly nutty character especially as it warms and a tinge of spice toward the end.
The taste is slightly soured fruit, meaning a bit of acidity, coming up against subtle hop balance. It is sort of crisp, similar to the 6, but with a higher f.g., theres smoothness to it and at bit of spice on the finish, gets your mouth watering.
The carbonation on this even though not immediately apparent comes out in the flavor making for a slightly more crisp beer. The acidity is really nice I can totally imagine eating cheese and crackers with this. I think it would be a great way to start a dinner with. I will definitely buy this again especially for my next dinner party. Again this is not an over the top beer I appreciate it for what it is, not a punch in the face, but a subtle beer you can eat and hang with not that I don't love their tripel and quad, but those should be used for very different reasons. I love you saint bernardus.

Photo of hunteraw
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Kind of leathery brown in color, fair head with some good lacing. Clear.

Smell: Nutty, dark fruit, some Belgian yeast and caramel. Not as strong an aroma as I'd hoped, but might improve as it warms.

Taste: Slightly acidic, hint of bubblegum on the hint of the tongue at first but that fades quickly to other flavors. Nice and crisp. Some spice and dark fruit as well. Tasty.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp. Carbonation on the high side.

Drinkability: Good, but not exceptional.

Photo of tempest
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

In a word: underwhelming. Although a good beer, I found nothing to brag about. It looks like a nice monk brew, brown with generous head. Smell didn't do much for me. Some fruit and caramel, but it was faint. Similarly with tastes, there were some nice subtle complexities, but nothing grand and tasty. It was a mix of tart, sour berries, with bitter candy. I had a hard time tasting much because the beer was over carbonated. Really took a while for that to settle down. Still a very smooth drink, but not one I'd drop good money on any time soon. I'll stick to the Abt 12.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,984 ratings.