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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.

1,943 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,943
Reviews: 974
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 105
Gots: 160 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,943 | Reviews: 974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmz62565
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown mahogony with a giamy foamy head. Carbonation is crazy in this beer. The smell has alcohol, roasted malt,nuts, and dark fruit. The taste,like the smell, has nuts,roasted malt, and dark fruit. A good flavor,but I was a little disapointed that this is nothing really special. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing well ,except that the aftertaste is abit watery. Not a bad beer and you can't really taste the alcohol,but I was a little disapointed because I expected more from this brewery.

jmz62565, Sep 23, 2006
Photo of Damian
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Drank on-tap at Redbones, Somerville, MA

Poured a deep, ruby brown/black with a medium, pillowy, light tan head that faded to swirls of froth. Lots of beautiful, cascading lacing.

Aroma was hardly noticeable at first but became more apparent as the beer warmed. Yeasty, bready and woody with intense malts, brown sugar, ripe fruits and some alcohol.

Taste was similar yet more pronounced. Initially, sweet malts, dried fruits and a general oakiness were discernable, yet they were quickly overshadowed by the overwhelming alcohol punch. Finish was quite hoppy and dry for a dubbel.

Rich, heavy, creamy mouthfeel and perfect carbonation. The beer felt like a pillow on my tongue.

Overall, a good beer, but I wish the alcohol flavor could have been masked more effectively.

As a side note, I have tried this beer both on-tap and in a bottle and the bottled version seems to exhibit much richer and smoother flavors, as well as a reduced hop and alcohol profile.

Damian, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of arnulfooxblood
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance--Deep brown, with 2 fingers worth of thick, lacy head. How can you dislike a bottle with a monk enjoying a glass of beer on the label?

Taste/Mouthfeel--Nice full bodied beer. Rich, sweet malty flavor. Palpable, but not unpleasant alcohol after taste.

Drinkability--for a stronger beer, it goes down pretty easy.

arnulfooxblood, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of rarevos
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Chimay goblet. Served at 55 degrees.

A: Dark cola-brown with fluffy tan head.

S: Sweet malt, toffee, hint of fruit, like figs, dates, cherries.

T/M: Creamy and sweet at first, with hints of chocolate, caramel, and butterscotch. Middle is sweet and fruity (cherries, figs), and the finish is malty and long with more creamy sweetness and a very light bitterness. Nicely warming.

D: It's a bit on the strong side for a Dubbel, but it's very rich, smooth, and tasty. A nice sipping beer, currently being enjoyed during a chilly rainstorm.

rarevos, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of Suds
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a rustic, rusty-brown color with an absolutely enormous head. It’s a little hazy and murky, and produces a fantastic lace. The aroma is classic Belgian…earthy and doughy, with a lot of aromatic malt. There’s some sugar and candy-like sweet smells, along with yeast and peppery spice, dark fruit, and caramel. Yummy. The taste is slightly sweet, with a little alcohol and yeast. There’s a slight tangy-tart quality that appears in the midtaste, and the finish has a nice balancing dry bitterness. Moderate-to-full bodied. This is a fantastic brew, and a benchmark for the style.

Suds, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of jasonguit
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml Bottle into a Duvel Tulip glass.

A - Nice, rich translucent brown with a head that went from just over the D on a Duvel glass to the lip and lasted for 3 or 4 minutes. Settled to about a finger of head with excellent lacing.

S - Has that awesome malty/earthy smell so many darker Belgians have. Kind of a cross between cereal and coffee.

T - More fruity than nutty with a slightly bitter finish that fades back to the malt. Very tasty and complex. The 8% abv is well hidden on this one too.

M - Fairly carbonated, but not as much as say a Trois Pistoles.

D - Very easy. Goes down smooth with little complaint. It has basically taken me a year to learn to pace myself with these tasty big Belgians. You could easily drink one of these bottles in no time, but the alcohol would catch up shortly there after.

All in all a great ale. Probably in my top 3 or 4 for a darker Belgian and probably my favorite dubble. Easy to drink but with enough flavor that you slow down and savour it without having to tell yourself to.

jasonguit, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big bomber> Ovrsize wine goblet.

Poured a brown/mahogany with red hues in direct light. Massive 3" lively head, off-white in color which dissiapted to a thin lacy covering.

Smelled of sweet malts, yeast, wheat and flowery leafy hop. Slight red wine scent.

Taste: sweet and sour, yeasty malt. slightly bitter leafy hop with a white wine effect.

Feels very bubbly and active, seems to dance on the palate like a good Belgian dubble should. Seems to evaporate on the tongue giving it a champagne type feel.

8 % ABV is a strong brew, but the feel and taste is enough to make you forget that.

GratefulBeerGuy, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of BillyB
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance was a deep dark ruby red, almost brown.
Nice tan head.

Aromas are very pleasant plum, raisins, dried dark fruit. Nuts, bready, yeasty aromas as well.

The taste is excellent. Similar to the Westvleteren 8 but not quite as complex. Rum, candy sugar, raisins, plums, nuts, bread even toffee.

Mouthfeel is crisp and carbonic with an alcoholic warmth.

I don't know how many of these I could drink due to the richness but I'd be willing to try a few.

BillyB, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 330 mL bottle served in a Troegenator seidel. The ale is cold but warming.

A: The ale is a deep dark brown color, hazy with a full head and lace.

S: Smell is full of strong alefruits and strong heady yeast. Very deep and complex.

T: The beer is deep and full of flavors. Some chocolate notes highlight the beer, along with sweet applebutter, dates and figs.

M: The ale is of the knock-your-socks-off variety. The flavors are so powerful in the mouth that you'd easily confuse this for some of the more well-known Trappist varieties.

D: 8% is tough, but the beer is top notch.

akorsak, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - a plum/scarlet red pour, held properly to light you will see lots of sediment flaoting about. The head is off white to a pale nicotine yellow around the edge of the chalice in which it sits. Fluffs up big initially and settles down but keeps a complete, solid cover.

Aroma - malts and chocolate yeast and figs and rum. A mild spicy alcohol burn on the inhale.

Taste - roasted malts, classic Belgian sweetness, alcohol enhancing some rum and chocolate flavors. The alcohol and chocolate take over on the swallow, a nice warm feeling on the finish. Mmmm....

Mouthfeel - highly carbonated, further reminding one to sip and take their time. A little heavier than average but not by much.

Drinkability - a fine Belgian, tasty and delicious.

brewdlyhooked13, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of klewis
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle; 3/2/10 best before date

A: Pours a murky brown with light sediment and a big foamy head that settles to a nice layer of froth. Heavy lacing.

S: Bready aromas with notes of dark fruits, spice, and alcohol

T: A bit sour with fruity malt flavors. A bit of alcohol and Belgian farmhouse funk thrown into the taste for good measure.

M: Full-bodied with fine, active carbonation. Chewy and sticky, the flavor lingers for quite a long time.

D: A very good beer, but at $3.29 per 11.2, this isn't one that I'll find myself drinking regularly.

klewis, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of Regenpak
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I felt somewhat guilty to take the single bottle from my friend's fridge... This certainly is one of those gems that you come across once in awhile. Lovely dark brown color, full head slowly receding and a taste that I hadn't experienced before. Definitely one of the best dubbels I've tried!

Regenpak, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of stephendr
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

slightly murky amber color, slight spicy, with some nutmeg, crisp and clean nose, light earthy with good malty taste , with a sharp bubbly refreshing body, aftertaste bitter and sweet very nice slightly murky amber color, slight spicy, with some nutmeg, crisp and clean nose, light earthy with good malty taste , with a sharp bubbly refreshing body, aftertaste bitter and sweet very nice

stephendr, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was dark brown, with hints of orange and some suspended particles. Good thick tan head that lingered throughout, and excellent lacing. Aroma was strongly dark fruit...grapes, plums, figs, and the flavor was more of this, along with the malty sweetness early on. As beer warmed at mid-glass, alcohol became more evident in both the flavor and the aroma. THis is a very tasty beer, and pretty much what I expected. Not the best for a hot summer night (like tonite) , but there is no mistaking the good aroma flavor and overall quality of this beer.

kimcgolf, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of MiScusi
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap and served up in a nice fat tulip with a Piraat logo on it. The intial appearance was a thick dark brown with a an off-white thick creamy and rocky head that does dissipate quickly but can be regenerated into a thin cap with swirling. This beer in small quantities though is a beautiful translucent brown. The smell is earthy, with the yeast also adding some characteristics.

The taste is also earthy. The yeast adds a slight sourness that combines with the earthy base. Mouthfeel I would place on medium of the entire spectrum from light lager to stout- it falls in between.

MiScusi, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of dblinkhorn
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a glass tulip goblet.

Appearance - Dark murky brown with a slight reddish hue. The head slightly tan/gray and very thick. It has excellent lace and stickiness as it goes down.

Smell - Very fruity and slightly sweet. I smell ripe dark fruits, some medium-crisp/lemony hops in the far-off background. Slight alcohol aroma at the end of the smell.

Taste - What is with St. Bernardus and making superbly flavored beer? This is excellent. Slightly sweet/fruity flavor right when it enters your mouth. The middle allows some of the alcohol to come through, along with some more crisp/lemony hops way in the back. It finishes with a slight flavor of coffee/caramel malt and the alcohol comes out nicely at this part of the taste. Superb flavor! Perfect!

Mouthfeel - Perfect carbonation, medium-body, velvety. It's not too dry...excellent.

Drinkability - This stuff goes down so easy, tastes so good, and smells like a bit of heaven.

Overall: You must have this beer!

dblinkhorn, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of BretSikkink
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lively sediment asked me to stop pouring 3/4ths of the way through the 11.2 oz. bottle. Added a delightfully brown froth on top of the already 1-finger head. As long as the beer is there, the head stays. It quickly follows, however, leaving little to no lacing topping the deep brown brew.

Plenty of dark fruity aroma, nothing commonplace or easy to identify. Chocolate? A little buttery?

Taste is solid and easy to drink, heavy on the malts and grains. Minimal hop presence. Alcohol catches up toward the end, some raisin/phenolic taste as it leaves the mouth.

Mouthfeel is enhanced by a slight twang as the beer goes down, one of the few indicators of the 8% abv.

Extremely drinkable, extremely tasty. An excellent Watou ale in the shade of its older brother, the abbot.

BretSikkink, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of gotbeer
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a deep, rich mahogany color with a decent head that doesn't leave much lacing on the oversized snifter I poured it into.

The smell has some vinous notes and a little alcohol is evident. Overly ripe fruit and dark chocolate.

The taste is incredibly complex and more than expected. There is chocolate, sherry, and fruits such as plums, cherries, and pears. It gets better as it warms up a little, too. There are also notes of wood in the finish.

Mouthfeel is satisfying and the drinkability is far above average.

This is another winner from Watou. Highly reccomended.

gotbeer, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of czechsaaz
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The aroma of the ABT 8 is incredibly complex. Lots of chocolate malt combined with fruity fermentation esters (think raisins and dates) give it a candy bar type feel. Underneath the specialty malts and yeast effect is a ton of malty Belgian Pils malt aroma. Sweet.but not sugary. There's a bit of sherry that might be a little oxidation but I think it adds to the complexity.

Deep brown color, clear with a nice head that lingers as a 1/4 inch layer of tan foam that leaves pretty amazing lacing in the glass.

Taste is more of the same in complexity. Starts off malty sweet with a good dose of what tastes like crystal malt. Then the chocolate flavor kicks in with the amazing yeast profile. The yeast character gives it a ton of fruit, plums and apricots and peaches, while also giving it a bready or earthy character. There's a little pepper spice on the back end and a lingering anise flavor in the aftertaste. Bittering hops are just enough to be perceptable but oveall a malty-sweet beer.

Medium bodied and incredibly creamy. Carbonation level is a little light.

Drinkability is very nice. it's a strong beer, but not a knockout. The flavors blend really well together. I'm thinking of a ton of food pairings that would work, from sweet deserts to spicey chilis and I think all would work well. But it's also got enough heft to be a sipper by itself. This is the star of the St. Bernardus line i.m.o.

czechsaaz, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of Mitchster
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$3.99 for a 11.2oz bottle in 2006. 28-04-09 on the back of the bottle. Re-reviewed 11-27-10, I paid $25.99 for a mixed 6 pack of the breweries beers. 8.0% ABV.

Pours to a cloudy mahogany with ruby accents, forming a very creamy soft light yellow head. Abundant yeast in the bottle. In the middle of the head is a small plume as a result of the steady carbonation of the beer, it's excellent head retention and the shape of the Chimay glass I'm drinking it out of. Brussels lace is fine and solid. The aroma is just OK...green apples and bananas, distant malt vinegar, and mild grassy hops. No real Belgian funk character. Wooden cask character is appreciated as it warms and is swirled. Alcohol is imperceptable in nose. The mouthfeel is lively, moderately tart, with a mild ruddiness and alcoholic astringency to the finish. Medium-light body, actually, lighter than expected. The taste starts out with green apples, lemon, and green bananas, and is followed by subtle figs and a mild bitterness. The finish is dry, woody and earthy. Alcohol presence is unassuming. This beer definitely improves as it gets warm, but it's still not really a winner.

"Dubbel Light" is the best description of this beer. It doesn't do much for me. It looks and smells nice but has a very one dimensional taste. Too dry and it has minimal residual sugars, like Shiraz that is steeped in tobacco. I'm not inclined to buy it again.

Mitchster, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of nickss
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice. Coloration is a nice ruddy brown with a healthy 1" khaki head which is simply beautiful in appearance. Huge and uneven and thick.

Extremely wine-esque in the nose... big vinous fruits and berries fill the nostrils, along with a moderate dose of alcohol. Delicious, but a bit one dimensional. However, as the brew warms, some of the caramel tones bring themselves to the front. Quite nice.

Yum! Nuts, fig, and caramel roll over the tongue. Little of the fruitiness that was so prominent in the aroma is present in the taste. The flavour is much more deep, earthy and seductive... elegant and powerful at the same time.

Mouthfeel is gloriously thick and chewy, but is somewhat ruined (as is the flavour) by the strong levels of carbonation. I'd be interested to see how 2 or 3 years of age would treat this one.

Quite drinkable for an 8% brew, although its thickness and carbonation hold it back somewhat. Still for pure drinking pleasure, this one is fantastic.... much closer to the Abt 12 calibre than the Pater 6.

nickss, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of ggaughan
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled with the Witbier while watching the MLB All Star game tonight. I poured this beer into my Duvel tulip glass. The beer poured a deep brown color, medium tan head and strong lacing. The nose has some fine tones of brown sugar and raisins, maybe plums. The taste starts off with a toasted malty kick and a bit bready. There is no real notice of the abv while tasting which is nice but it eventually shows up. Medium body and very drinkable.

ggaughan, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy brownish purple with a large frothy head that recedes slowly. Pleasant, sweet cherry cola like aroma with a dusting of plums and raisins. Dark fruits and doughy funnel cake, or whatever greasy fried confection you prefer (sans the powdered sugar) embody the flavor; the dark fruits provide a subtle tartness, balanced by bittersweet toffee/dark chocolate. Alcohol is not noticeable in the flavor, though my head has found it. Carbonation nips the tip of the tongue but is in no way overdone or what I would consider overly or highly carbonated; rather, it's quite smooth. Another stellar brew from this master Belgian brewer.

IrishRedRock, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a warm tone of amber. Head was smallish with furious carbonation. I smelled the nose even before I finished pouring. The dominant tone was almonds and raisins. I also get sweet brown sugar. The smell is so damned rich I don't know what to compare it to other than a freshly baked home made pie. The taste is the same as the nose plus an added pleasant tartness. This is somewhat highly carbonated, making for a dry finish. This is a great beer, one that would certainly please me when I thirst for a dubbel.

TheBungyo, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of expatsteve
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Mahogany brown, with low visibility. Big 1 1/2 inch head that lingers quite a while, with sticky thick lacing. Medium viscosity.

Aroma: Coppery, lemongrass finish to a raisin malt nose. Green apples and toffee present. Rich, with no hint of booze.

Taste: Wonderfully bready malt finish, with raisins, apricots, and apple skins. Slight coppery bite, but with a sweet and refreshing finish. Alcohol is perectly balanced, and doesn't distract from the taste at all. Bready malt undertones make for perfectly balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and surprisingly light (still slightly heavy) body makes for a really drinkable beer. Totally smooth finish.

Drinkability: ridiculously drinkable, despite the alcohol and the coppery/metallic finish to the malts. Balanced and smooth, this beer would be a great session beer or one to sit on for a while.

expatsteve, Jul 03, 2006
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,943 ratings.