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St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8

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2,033 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,033
Reviews: 986
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 113
Gots: 199 | FT: 2
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,033 | Reviews: 986 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: thick brown color, tan frothy head that quickly settles to nice finger-thick layer, carbonated streams up the sides, heavy lacing
s: heavy yeast with a nice banana bread aroma
t: lots of malts coupled with sweet plum flavor, finishes with bits of warming alcohol
m: very creamy body with a carbonated punch on the back, smooth
d: enjoyed this one - no surprise given their other beers. balance was very good and was easy to drink

Photo of hellcatsjg
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks like a thick cola. Cloudy brown with a big 2+ finger head that takes it's time receding.

Smell: Good yeasty smell with hints of bananna, brown sugar, and some spicy black pepper scents.

Taste: Dark fruity flavor at first, turns to a spicy pepper taste and finishes with a bit of sweetness mixed in with the spices.

Mouthfeel: Good thickness, taste coats the mouth well. Nice head sticks around and adds some creaminess to each sip.

Drinkability: Good beer. Not spectacular, but very good. The rating here would be a bit higher if the taste was a bit more powerful. Definitely worth a try though.

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

750 mL bottle poured into my Chimay chalice.

Pours a dark ruby with a nice two finger off-white head that stays forever. Stickiness, well the head is enormous and stays that way and leaves its mark on the sides. Smell is complex: yeasty goodness, dark fruits, banana, brown sugar, molasses, and fresh honey. Very rich and full on the nose. I know I couldn't get all the smells because there are so many, but hey, I tried. Taste starts off a bit metallic which I didn't enjoy that much. Once that goes away, some sweet caramel sweetness takes over. Some nut bread flavors blend well with the fig and raisins. Good taste, but the Westy has the edge in taste in my opinion. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy carbonation. Not as pillowy as the Westy 8, but still pretty good. I'm drinking a 750 mL bottle and I don't see a probelm finishing it at all. Good Dubbel, pick it up if you see it on the shelves.

Photo of KingG
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle served at room temp and poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance is exceptional. Dirty, murky, dark brown colored brew with a massive soapy and clumpy tan head. Sticky lacing webs the inside of the glass.

Smell is very good. Heavy aromas of candied dark fruit, caramelized brown sugar, nutty Belgian yeast, banana, and pineapple. Subtle yet sneaky spices in the background along with a hint of alcohol.

Taste is very good. Very similar to the nose but with a large banana-nut bread and plum presence. Spices are there yet give way to the sweet fruity malt flavors. Nothing overly aggressive, everything working in great harmony. Crafted almost perfectly.

Mouthfeel is very good. Soft and delicate on the palate with a creamy texture. Easy, smooth finish.

Drinkability is very good. Very easy to drink; almost too easy. Finishing a few of these wouldn't be a problem.

An amazing Belgian brew from St. Bernardus who know a thing or two when it comes to making them. An absolute joy to drink. Highly recommended.

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

Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice:

Appearance- Poured a nice murky brown color with a nice huge off white head. Beautiful lacing.

Smell- Cloves, spices, figs and a nice malty breadiness as well.

Taste- Wonderful balance of hops and malts. Hints of caramel and also cloves and other spices. Yeastiness present.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall- Great beer. Not as good as the Abt 12 but still a solid brew.

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

Just started getting into belgians, and have found out that they can be quite tasty.

Appearance on this beer is a real nice dark and slightly cloudy mahogany color with nice tan head after the pour. Aromas coming from this brew were of caramel with spices also. Nice tasty brew with dark malty taste. Some spices and a hint of fruit in the backround. The carbonation was good and it was a medium/heavy mouthful. Drinkability was good, slightly filling.

I would definetely try this beer again.

Photo of soupyman10
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at a beer tasting at a friend's house. He claimed to not be a Belgian ale fan, which I don't get, but to each his own. This one was excellent: poured a cloudy amber color with a nice bit of fluffy head on top. Nose was lots of dried fruit, raisins in particular, and that cookie scent common to a lot of Belgian dark beers. Flavor is similar. Lots of cookies, a dose of chocolate, honey, butter, deliciousness. A touch of warming alcohol in there. Body was full and creamy, appropriately carbonated. I really liked this one; not quite at the level of the 12, but a very tasty dubbel.

Photo of jamie2dope
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to get a bottle of this to celebrate the arrival of the BA September magazine on my doorstep (and their profile of this style). Poured in to a large red wine glass a brownish red color, with a beautiful white head that lasts throughout. Lots of tiny air bubbles make their way towards the top of the glass. Aroma has traces of buttery sweet bread, brownies and dark fruits such as plum and date. Taste reveals tons of fruit, dates and figs being the most pronounced of the bunch. Sweet honey can be tasted in the middle, followed by the sweet bready character at the end. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium in body. Seems like an easy beer to drink but I have a feeling that the ABV might catch up to me after this glass is finished. A lovely Dubbel, and one of the best I have tried in a long time. Would pair well with any hearty meal I am sure.

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

Appearance: Mahogany color. Huge tan head. Excellent retention. Thick lacing.

Smell: Yeasty bread, caramel, toffee, cloves, spices, figs, raisins, plums and a little honey.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts with some nice sharp fruit flavors. The spices come in at the finish. Mild hop bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy body. Effervescent.

Drinkability: I can drink this all night.

Photo of david131
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A beautiful brown color with quite a few yeasties floating around in the liquid. A nice but thin off white head forms and becomes slightly sparse.

S- Some sour fruit, brown sugar, caramel, and cocoa powder. A great balance between sweet and funky.

T- Same as the aroma. The alcohol is definitely a little noticeable in this one. A tasty brew though.

M- The alcohol makes this beer slightly warm and thin and maybe a tad drying. The carbonation is good.

D- A tasty and worthwhile brew. I do prefer the Pater 6 as far as dubbels go though.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a chalice, pours just a lovely shade of crimson to mahogany, fairly clear though dark, a half inch head of foamy off-white head, settles to no less than a thick mat fluff, amoebas of lacing reaching around the glass. The aroma is yeasty, spicy, sweet and lightly fruity, raisins, dart fruits, its very complex, hard to wrap your hands around, but quite lovely.

The taste, once warmed, is exactly what makes this style one of my favorites, in that it can be a terribly rich and full, so as to stop yourself from trying to name the flavors, the hints and just love it (but, I'll do it anyway). In its vague but defined complexity, it gives off sweetness, yeasty spices, fruity and nutty, a warm alcohol presence, a smooth, justly carbonated, fully articulated, warming and swarming mouth feel.

In summation, yes. Yes, this is a fantastic beer within a fantastic style, and I couldn't be more vague and specific in its spectacularity than that.

Photo of Maracuja
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy dark crimson hue. Creamy, thick beige head. Loose lace. Soft, yeasty aroma w/ subtle notes of fig and cinnamon. Hints of chocolate and raisiny sweetness. Mellow dark caramel and banana esters as well in aroma. Bourbon laced sweetness upfront, followed by nutty malt and hints of toffee. Dark, ripe figs and prunes add a dark fruity overlay. Well calculated light bitterness leaves a pleasant residual sweetness. Moderate in body and mearly perfectly smooth in mouthfeel. Understated banana esters and clove. Finishes w/ a hint of buttery malt and fading yeast must. Prior 8 is quite a tasty brew. It's not overly complex, but rather soft and tremendously balanced. Akin to a milder version of Rochefort 8. Most worthy of a 750 ml portion-- 11.2 oz teases the palate.

Photo of jwc215
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light brown with a thin lasting head. Minimal lacing slides down the glass.

The smell is of brown candy sugar with medium-to-dark-malt fruit. Spicy - coriander - bready undertones. Nice!

The taste follows through nicely - Robust candy sweetness balanced by coriander/cinnamon/pepper with grassy undertones. Alcohol well-covered. Finishes with a sweet spiciness.

Smooth in a medium body.

This is nice! Complex and well-balanced. Let this warm up for characteristics to shine through! A true Belgian dubbel.

Thanks to my neighbor across the way for sharing this Belgian delight!

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

I served a 330 ml bottle in a chilled challis.

A: Murky dark burn copper color with a light tank head that dissipated quickly leaving a thin lacing at the juncture of the beer and the challis. Dark yeast floaters float gently in the beer giving it one more bit of visual joy.

S: A strong candy aroma is present early in the experience. It’s a complex aroma with hints of caramel malts, toffee, dark chocolate, and pumpernickel bread. I was a bit surprised by the sweetness but it was not overpowering.

T: A mellow flavor of liquid candy influenced by toasted malts makes this a joy to drink but puts it on the sweeter end of the spectrum. It may be a better desert or after dinner beer than one that would complement a hearty meal. The hops give it a bit of at tang but there is not bitter aftertaste. Yummy on the tounge.

M: The medium body and complex flavors make this a joyful experience for my entire mouth. It has just enough carbonation to keep it dancing across the tongue and the alcohol remains hidden throughout the entire draw.

D: This is a tasty beer that is an excellent after dinner treat…or just a treat for anytime one is needed. I might be able to knock off a couple of the 330s in a single setting but I doubt the sweetness would entice me to go beyond that.

Comment: I must confess that I am a fan of the magic that comes from Brouwerij St. Bernardus. I rank the Quad among the best and the tripel is close to if not the best in my estimation. However, this effort is admirable…it smells great, tasks wonderful, but its malty sweetness limits its drinkability.

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

From Notes:

This is one complex beer, and while I have had quite a few belgian(and belgian style beers) it is still a little difficult to pick out flavors.
A-Dark hazy brown, lots of bubbles, 1/3 inch off white head that never fully diminished, with random lacing around the glass.
S-Fruity(red fruits, peach, apple, and a bit of spice), with slightly sweet malts, light alcohol, and a clean balanced feel. The belgian yeasty esters are definitely present giving the fruit a slightly lingering feel.
T-Fruity full of cherry, apples, and peach....thick and slightly syrupy. and a finish that has a light hoppy dryness....I guess it could be described as off dry.
M/D-medium bodied, full flavored, very complex(put this one up with a bottle of wine), and moderately clean mouthfeel for a such big beer.

Photo of mortarit
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok I am guilty, my local store was having sale on Belgium beer at 20% off. So I stocked up on this one and glad I did.

I like dubble because their smoother than the others.

Actually I think I like the algash dubbel better. I need to get one to compare ones more.

Thick head at first but goes quickly.
Lacing not really active here.

It's worth a try.

This is my third one.

The label is different now.

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

Appearance - Brown in color with a a hazy appearance. I lively head formed upon the initial pour. The tan head resolved into a nice head that remained a good quarter-inch on top.

Smell - Rich malty aroma, with a candy presence as well. Hints of cane sugar and a bit of a phenol/alcohol body as well.

Taste - Bready twang with a big malt body. A good smooth alcohol taste with a grain finish.

Mouthfeel - Nice body, very full with a medium carbonation that doesn't overpower.

Drinkability - A nice sipping beer that is very enjoyable. There is a strong alcohol presence that can sneak up on you due to the malty sweetness. Good stuff.

Photo of Neehan
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark bodied pour with a modest head that has great retention and outstanding presence. The smell is the weakest link yet still pleasant with some noteworthy spices, lacking in complexity but still smoothly simple. The taste is remarkable with just enough of a dark bitterness and a hint of syrupy flavoring that fades quickly but would make a delicious pairing with sharp cheeses. The mouthfeel could not be more balanced if it tried with a light character and a hint of dry carbonation. Delightful and delicious.

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

P8 pours serious deep brown amber with a very chunky and generous head. Nose of moderately roasted malts, molasses, marshmallow and rum soaked raisons predominate the wonderful aromatics of this brew. Flavors of roasted chicory and malts take precedence on the tongue. Velvety smooth and slightly sweet, the malts form a delicious coating and aftertaste in the mouth making a nicely made, perhaps slightly attenuated dubbel brown ale. This brew is presented in a pure, unadulterated and authentic format.
Prior 8 is very enjoyable and surprisingly quite drinkable.

Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a foamy, tan, three-finger head. It left huge rings of lace on the snifter.

S - It smelled of malt and spices. Also, a dried fruit aroma, maybe, apple and pear.

T - It tasted very spicy and had a strong caramel maltiness. A little bittersweet hop kick.

m -It was crisp, sharp and warm with alcohol. A medium to heavy bodied beer.

D - St. Bernardus knows good beer. Nuff said.

Photo of garbercury
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this in Brooklyn for a very reasonable price. The beer store was phenomenal and had all the biggies (out of Rochefort 10) It was being a kid at Xmas at that place. Drinking this in my Corsendonk glass and...

App--slightly lighter than the Abt 12, but still a beautiful brown color that a fantastic dubbel owns. Nice three finger head which only adds to the look.

S--so complex. tones of fruit make for a wonderful admixture

Taste--Oh St. Bernardus, here you go again. wonderful taste that makes your mouth happy. so much going on, flavor galore.

Mouthfeel--Silk, just great

Drinkability--Not quite the abt 12, but just on the heels and good enough to still score a 5. This is one of the best beers in the world and one I would gladly drink everyday of my life. Nice heady beer that is must drink, especially if you love the best...Belgian beer.

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

Pours a deep amber, forming a thick 1 inch head. Medium spots of lace. The aroma is a mix of malt, dark fruit aromas, and a hint of alcohol. The taste is malts, dark fruits, and a bit of sugar sweetness. Complex and smooth. Mouthfeel is medium. Very drinkable dubbel! Overall I was impressed with this dubbel, as I have been with all the brews I have tried from St. Bernardus. Full complex flavor. Highly recommended!!!

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

Pours a dark golden color with a substantial, active head.
Smell: Hints of fruit (plum especially). Sweet but pleasant aroma.
Taste: Delicious. Full flavored, fruity taste here. Hops are present to balance this brew nicely. Very smooth. No lingering aftertaste to note. Alcohol presence is there, but hard to pin down.
Mouthfeel: Mildly carbonated bite leads to a medium-bodied mouthfeel.
Drinkability: I could have several of these based on taste alone, just watch for the 8% ABV.
Overall: A great beer, these abbey brews can't be beat.

Photo of botham
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass. lots of head on this one, at least three inches on a 3/4 pour. had to wait a bit to pour the rest. pours a very deep amber with a large light tan head and considerable sediment at the bottom of the glass. great lacings.

smells fruity and yeasty. a bready feel encompasses the overall aroma, with a note of hops. no alcohol present, which is somewhat suprizing at 8% APV.

tastes fruity, with a very yeasty character, and a slight alcoholic presence. very well balanced, and probably the best St. Barnardus brew so far.

aftertaste is yeasty and lightly bitter, with some residual alcohol present.

mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with a creamy texture, and a touch of bite on the way down from the alcohol.

drinkability is the only partial downside to this brew. at 8% APV, some drinkers will shy away from it, but the alcohol is only lightly present, and the brew overall is very well balanced.

the bottles can be somewhat pricey (mine was $3.99), but this brew is well worth it!

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

A: Pours a cloudy burgundy that, interestingly enough, displays ruby hues toward the bottom of the goblet, but near impenetrable to light closer to the top. About a finger and a half of semi-dense head that dissipates to about half a finger, decent retention.

S: A fruity scent, almost like cherries, with a sweet Belgian and yeasty smell. Bready and delicious.

T: Strong roasted malt presence, almost like a stout, which I think blends well with the darker fruit tones. Kind of a caramel-like flavor is present, and this is followed with an alcoholic and ultra-dry but satisfying finish.

M: Well carbonated with a thick, yet smooth and creamy mouthfeel. This stands out as a flavorful and well-bodied Dubbel.

D: Since it tastes well-rounded and has a great mouthfeel, I'd say this is one drinkable beer. Another great Belgian from St. Bernardus.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,033 ratings.