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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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2,061 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,061
Reviews: 988
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 116
Gots: 208 | FT: 4
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: 2,061 | Reviews: 988 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nipitato
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Julio’s in Westborough, MA.

A: Weak head for a dubbel. Dark, nearly brown amber color. Opaque.

S: Perfumy rose like phenol aroma adds to an overall complex character. Brown sugar malt provides base. Dark fruit esters that smell like booze soaked cherries is also noticeable.

T: Malt sweet brown sugar flavored malt. Perfumy rose phenols found in nose disappear in taste. Ester flavors are raisin and dark fruits – sweet. Alcohol flavor is obvious. Just a touch of bitterness.

MF: Finished dry and clean. Medium body with low carbonation.

D: I am not a particular fan of dubbels but this one is very good. Drinkable and complex. Not overly sweet.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky red brown. Nose is like an over ripe peach that if you waited to eat it until tomorrow, it would be rotten. Hint of molasses. Flavor is perfectly balanced. A touch of cherry on the tongue. Slight alcohol presence noticeable. Strong sweetness like a brown sugar. Feel is very bubbly and very smooth. Excellent drinkability. So perfectly balanced.

This was the middle beer on a night of tasting that started with Damnation by RR and ended with the St. Bernardus Abt 12. This beer was my favorite, and the person I drank with felt the same way.

I wish I could buy this in New Mexico. If I could, it’d probably be a regular.

Photo of BucBasil
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from the smaller bottle into the St. Bernardus goblet. The brew is a completely opaque brown color from which no light escapes. Head is two fingers thick, offwhite to light tan in color and creamy. The head literally did not dissipate until I started drinking it, which was several minutes after pouring it, and even then it seemed to stick around until the end.

Smell: Aroma was surprisingly light and faint and consisted mostly of sweet malts such as caramel and light chocolate, a hint of earth, and some dark fruit. Alcohol was covered very well - barely on the radar for a beer of this strength.

Taste: Luscious and complex taste that just spreads across the tongue. This is the kind of taste I have come to expect from St. Bernardus. Starts with a nice malty character - toasted as well as caramel. Then comes a spiced fruity note that I likened to cinnamon and plum. Finishes smooth with a light sweetness. Exceptional taste for a dubbel, and a new favorite of the style.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours with a one finger off-white brownish head. Lacing is full and frothy. Body is a deep shade of brown with red and amber highlights. This is an "ancient" looking brew if I've ever seen one, the color of boot leather and with a head that reminds one of old wood-decked European dives.

Smell: Belgian yeast on the front end with a variety of dark fruits lying under the surface. Plum, fig, grape, baked apples. Really one of the finer showcasings of dark fruit esters I've come across. There's no banana or green apple apparent in this one.

Taste: It really opens up in the mouth. Dark cherries, vinousity, some dark grape, plum, a slight bit of something like kumquat. Really deep, rich dark fruits overall, but tempered a bit. A slight alcohol can be found upon some searching, but it's noticeably subtle, and is a very balanced ale.

Mouthfeel: Fairly astringent, but bubbly and lively. Not very thick, but not too thin. Pretty much just right.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Masks its alcohol superbly.

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

Pours chestnut brown with a thick creamy head. Decent lacing.

Aroma is very dry and yeasty. Caramel malt and only a hint of alcohol.

Taste is candy-like sweetness. Caramel malt, and a strong fruit character (apple, plum and pear). Finish contains mellow spices. Finish has lingering yeasty spices and a pleasant warming alcohol sensation.

Mouthfeel is full, smooth, and quite creamy.

This is a decent brew. Very drinkable, high ABV is almost unnoticeable. Flavor is balanced and smooth.

Photo of bashiba
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a creamy brown with a light fluffy tan head, good lacing.

The nose is very mild with a lightly sweet bready odor.

Flavor has a nice sweet malt backbone with some mild yeast flavors and a touch of brown sugar. Some decent woody hops even it out nicely. With just a touch of mint in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with some nice abv tongue tingling.

Easy to drink and good, will be drinking this again.

Photo of Gouldsby
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured out of a .33L bottle into a dogfish head snifter at room temperature.

A: dark leather maple syrup brown with light sand (color of the inside of an almond) two finger head that leaves strong lace high on the glass. held to the light a bit of ruby glows in the edge.

S: the aroma is forceful - sweet butter nougat, hazelnut and almond liquor, amaretto, fig, sweet nuts, dark cherry, vanilla...almost an amaretto stench.

T: tangy up front, highly carbonic, muted sweetness much as in the nose, delicate but rich nuts, light molasses, vanilla, all warm soft and lightly sweet, nuanced, dynamic, but flavor light. finishes with slight herbal bitterness and subtle spice fading to bread and disappearing with warmth.

M: immediately struck by high carbonation, medium-light density which ends dry.

D: i feel like the prior 8 is all nose, little bite (besides carbonic). a delicious dubbel, but with such rich aromatics, the flavor in the mouth leaves more to be desired.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite dubbels. It pops open just like a belgian should, no weak ass apologetic pop like some. Pours dark brown and at first reminds me of chimay red. however it is a little nuttier and not as plain. bread and spice on the nose. Good dark fruit, raisin or fig on the initial taste and lighter fruits on the finish abv is well hidden, smooth and very drinkable.

Photo of saintwarrick
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a nice brown or very dark red with a big thick head and it has a big malty aroma with some chocolate and faint fruit. Taste is a tad thin, some dark fruits, black cherries, prunes and clove. Fairly sweet with only a hint of bitterness at the end. A good beer that I would never run down, but the other choices from St. Bernardus stand out a bit better for me.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a brand new Sam Adams 'Sensory' glass
A- Pours a cloudy brown hue that lightens to dirty orange near the bottom, head is off-white soapy suds that dissipates to a thin layer, clingy lacing
S- Nose is sweet malts and dark fruits, yeasts, belgian sugar, caramel and molasses,slight banana
T- Very smooth and balanced dubbel, initial taste is dark fruits and caramel sweetness, bread malts and yeast, finishes with fading banana
M- Medium-bodied, creamy texture, optimal carbonation
D- Another stellar offering from Bernardus is not surprising, well-balanced and complex with a smooth and creamy profile, flavors open upon warming and the alcohol is well-masked

Photo of MMAJYK
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- This one pours a perfect milk chocolate color with 2 fingers of super fluffy tan to off white head after a conservative pour. The beer is totally non-transparent.

S- The aromas are typical of most of the Belgians of this and similar styles. I smell Belgian candy sugar, vanilla, cherries, cotton candy and citrusy fruits.

T- The tastes are very similar to the nose: Dark fruits, caramel apples, molasses, candy sugar, and a somewhat familar taste that reminds me something of a roasted (almost burnt) marshmallow on the fire. This taste is very deep in the experience of the swallow. The alcohol is very well hidden but hits you in the chest after passing through the mouth.

M- The mouthfeel is a mid-high carbonation. Just like the other St. B's, the fluff is very soft on the lips initally, but not as soft as the Abt. 12, possibly from the conservative pour. Carb stings the middle and back of the tongue.

D- Very drinkable to me. Easy to drink in every aspect.

This one is not as good to me as the Abt. 12 but is a great representation of the style. I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened the bottle, and I am very pleased. Just another A+ from these guys.

Photo of whiplash3825
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the included St. B. chalice a beautiful chocolate brown with a tan one-finger head which quickly collapses into a lasting cap. Ample lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with a yeasty sourness. Very delicate... very sublime!

Taste is primarily toasted malt sweetness, ripe fruit with some sourness from the yeast as a balance. Alcohol is noticable but not at all overpowering.

Great mouthfeel... neither too thin or too chewy, with about a perfect level of carbonation.

This caps off a memorable evening of beerdrinking, starting with the St. B. Abt 12, then the Tripel, and now the Prior 8. I expected the first to be best and then down in scale for the others, but it's almost the reverse. These St. Bernardus brews are incredible... all of them!

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into my brand new St. Bernardus chalice, cool!

A: Pours a black (and brown near the top) with a thin and loosely bubbled sandy head

S: Very delicate and very sweet smelling with a good kick of grainy yeast and toasted cane sugar

T/MF: Goes after the sides of the tongue first and releases a very smooth and tightly bubbled sensation in the mouth. The taste like the smell is also very delicate, get bits of grassy lemon but with a much larger grainy and slightly less nutty contingent to the beer. Very active carbonation, but overall I'm not really blow away by this one like the ABT 12.

D: To be fair this is only the second dubbel Ive tried and it puts the alagash to shame, that is for sure. So quite a drinkable beer in my opinion.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is strongly malty and yeasty with hints of banana and fruity sweetness. Color is dark brown, rather chocolaty, with a fairly persistent head. Flavor is rich and malty with a hint of sweet and some fruity and smoky undertones. Finish is smooth and lively, and has a ribbon of hop bitterness. Overall a very satisfying ale.

Photo of bort11
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured into my St Bernardus chalice. Tight khaki tan head that stops right at the edge of the glass. The head never fully recedes away, a thin cap covers the surface right to the end. Color is a murky reddish brown.

Smell is malty sweet with a pleasent yeast twang. There are some fruit esters, bananas, dry cocoa powder. Taste is a malty treat with a chocolate orange combination. A bit of a coppery metalic taste is in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and slightly doughy. Very enjoyable.

Photo of clemsonbrewer
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Milk chocolate brown liquid with an egg white head that doesn't go away until you're done drinking. Hazy sediment appearance. Malty grain smell. Tastes of yeast, alcohol, bread, and fruity undertones. This beer has ample carbonation in the feel and leaves a pleasant bready malt taste on the palate. It warms the whole way down. :) A wonderful sipping beer to have with a few friends.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a dark ruby brown with a moderate mocha colored head.

Aroma of ripe fruit, bananas, bread, and bubblegum.

Tastes is ripe fruits, yeast, banana, and light malt.

Medium mouthfeel, dry, and moderate carbonation.

This is a great Dubbel but I actually prefer from the tap over the bottle. It seemed to have more depth.

Photo of weeare138
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An '06 11.2 oz bottle...
Appears a hazy deep burgendy toned mahogany with a 2 finger head of tan fluff. Retention is nice as is slowly fades into a pillowy cap. Scattered chunks of hearty lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of liquid raisin bread with notes of caramel, figs, plums, and brown sugar. Heaven in a glass.
Taste is of doughy yeast with smooth caramel, light spice, and raisin bread flavors that make this an addictive beer. I need to buy a case of this asap.
Mouthfeel is silky smooth, mildly warming, chewy with doughy, raisiny flavors lingering.
This small bottle version is much, much better than the 25 ouncer, IMO.

Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this over at Max's the other day.

The beer pours a dark brown color with very good head retention and excellent lacing. The beer smells sweet and malty, but with some underlying Belgium spice. The nose is not super complex, but it does smell quite appealing. On the palate this beer is just delicious. There is milk chocolate and cherry, but also with a touch of licorise in the finish. The beer is just decadently rich and would be the ideal dessert beer after some mussels and frites. There is just a touch of bitterness as well, which helps keep it from coming across as tiring or cloying. The beer is medium bodied and is not the least bit heavy.

This beer is completely different from the St. B. 12, and I don't know if I don't like it better. Today I like it very much. Quite impressive.

Photo of Atron67
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a cloudy/ with lots alittle particulates, looked light brown as it poured but was pretty dark as it filled the glass, a huge fluffy offwhite head head of tiny bubbles filled up another 2 inches on the glass, They head lasted a long time leaving only a little lace.

S- malty and spicy, lots of yeast flavors, very dark fruity, little raisins noted, maybe a little plum, more too it but hard to distinguish, but enjoyable

T- Dark fruity flavors hit you first, maltiness throughout, a little yeast flavor but less than expected from the smell, very smooth and delicious

M- full body, smooth medium carbonation.

D- a solid dubbel, very enjoyable,

Photo of graywalker
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely chestnut brown with a creamy, dense, off white head. The aroma is sublime, with dark fruits, roasted malts, yeast, and a hint of the alcohol. Taste is much like the aroma, with notes of chocolate, raisins, and spices. The mouthfeel is perfect, with well balanced carbonation. This is the best dubbel I have had, from what may be my favorite brewery. This was part of a Saint Bernardus variety case which was pricey, but worth it. Treat yourself!

Photo of Jmamay22
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This dubbel pours a chestnut brown with hues of ruby red. There is a significant two finger off white head that holds well. Spotty lacing left on my empty snifter.

Smells of Belgian yeast and candy sugars. Also sports a fruity bouquet of boozy vanilla cherries.

Very sweet, but missing some of the vanilla and cherries of the nose. Begins sweet with candy sugar and progresses to Belgian yeast. Finishes with a very slight hint of cherry and dry with warming alcohol.

Almost too thin of a mouthfeel, but the strong Belgian carbonation helps create an unreal smoothness. Very drinkable, but I don't think I could manage much beyond the twelve oz. I've consumed. I admit I'm rarely wowed by any dubbel, but this is a great job from an amazing brewery.

Photo of IPAcraig
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my De Garre snifter from an 11.2 bottle

Pours a unique looking greyish brown, slightly opaque, with a nice two finger eggshell head. Great lacing.

A big aroma of cream, like I dove into a bottle of half and half. This is a bit of fruit esters, but it is very light and not overdone.

The cream is back again, but it seems chocolate is the biggest flavor. As the beer warms the fruits come out a bit. It has the characteristic Belgian flavor of dark fruit and dried figs. A faint bitterness emerges near the end as well.

The carbonation is fairly high yet not prickly. The beer still seems very full bodied.

A very nice beer. It manages to be extremely full flavored yet very smooth. I will have to try Westy 8 again, but as I recall I like this beer much better.

Photo of thierrynantes
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 1999.

Appearance: dark mahogany-brown color, cloudy, little saturated, with tan foam head rather stable.
Smell : alcohol and toffee, subtly spicy.
Taste and mouthfeel : full flavor, caramel taste just peppery, good bitterness (yeast and hops).
Drinkability: another good Trappist beer (not to be confused with the St Sixtus)

Review translated from french 10-26-2008.

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light head after pour. Foamed up nicely, but came down quickly. Amber/reddish color a little like cream soda. Initial smell is sweet fruit and a touch of alcohol

Taste is malty with a bit of bread on it. Some citrus on the back end and a little bit of hops. Well balanced with alcohol content. The beer is fairly fizzy like a warm soda-it foams just a little bit in the mouth. Not as smooth as it could be because of carbonation. I let it warm just a little bit and the carbonation dies down and a smoother flavor develops with a little sour apple with the alcohol on the finish.

Overall very enjoyable beer but I don't see myself drinking more than 2 in one evening.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,061 ratings.