St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,149 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,149
Reviews: 1,009
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.65%
Wants: 125
Gots: 246 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

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: 2,149 | Reviews: 1,009
Photo of Scrapss
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into st. Bernardus chalice.

A: pours a fantastic deep figgy brown with an off white, leaning to tan, head. Ample lacing with nice retention and legs.

S: Leather, figs, raisins, dark cherries and clove with spicy white pepper undercurrent. Crackery hit on uptake leads to bready finishing swallow.

m: creamy, medium~full body and finish. Explosive cherry foam if agitated at finishing swallow.

O: holy shnoikies this is good. So much interesting stuff going on.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

330 mL bottle from a St. Bernardus sampler picked up at the LCBO; best before July 10 2018 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a murky, brownish-amber colour, with tinges of crimson red underneath the light. Seated atop the liquid is nearly one inch of loose, frothy, light beige-coloured head, which soon settles into a dense, creamy, one finger cap that remains in place for much of the glass. Modest amounts of lace. The aroma is heavily malty and fruity, with bready malts, caramel and molasses dominating alongside big notes of raisin and fig. Hints of banana, prune, cherry and dark chocolate are much less intense, but provide the bouquet with additional layers of depth.

Classic dubbel flavour profile; lots of bready malt sweetness, some toffee/caramel, and plenty of fruity, yeasty flavours. Ripe banana is quite noticeable, along with a range of dark fruits most strongly represented by raisin and fig - but also including minor hints of cherry, red apple and dates. Some clove and peppery spice tie things up nicely with a yeasty, malty finish that is outlived by a lingering sugary plum sweetness in the aftertaste. On the lighter side of full-bodied, with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and a very light, crisp bite provided by the restrained carbonation.

Final Grade: 4.5, a remarkable A grade. Dubbels have never been one of my favourite abbey styles, but this right here? This is a good one. St. Bernardus Prior 8 is probably the more 'traditional' of the two dubbels included in this pack, with a more malt-forward, fruity flavour that includes more residual sweetness and yeasty spice then can be found in the Pater 6. They're both outstanding beers that all Trappist beer fans should consider must-tries, and even though I consider this one to be (objectively) the better of the two, the Pater 6 is still more tailored toward my tastes, and probably my favourite.

Photo of brewskifan55
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter.

A: An opaque tawney brown. A tan one finger head that dissipates to foam. Light lacing.

S: Malts, Belgian yeast, dark fruit (raisins, dates, figs).

T: Follows nose with thick, passionate mouthfeel. Yum.

M: Medium to heavy with medium, chewy carbonation.

O: A taste between a Prior 6 and an abt 12. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Photo of mick303
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12 oz bottle, colour is a dark ruby caramel, with a really great cap of soapy head with great retention.

S- dark plummy and date aromas, peanut, caramel toffee, bready and spicy, some yeasty spice notes mixing with a nice stewed fruit character.

T - rich fruity notes predominate, dates, plums, some caramel, and butterscotch, the yeast adds some orange citrus and baking spice, a desserty stewed fruit flavour with a dry and bready finish. Satisfying and complex.

M- semisweet with a moderate body and carbonation. Has some bitterness and warmth to it to dry it out. Well balanced with a nice spice to it.

This is a nice and crafted dubbel, good spice and fruity notes, doesn't blow me away though, good incorporation of the alcohol. A good spicy dubbel that drinks well.

Photo of InkedinRi
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding beer.. It's a go to beer! Feel is nice and smooth!! Smells so nice.. Taste is great banana, candy fruits.. It's got it all!

Photo of leantom
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Well, I'm certainly trying a lot of beers on this fine Christmas. Here goes:

A: Good. Pours a large head that leaves a lot of lacing. However, the color is a rather light brown - not exactly appealing. I can tell that this is a well-made beer, but it doesn't look as appealing as I thought it would.

S: Bready Belgian yeast. Lots of clove and peppery flavors from the yeast. There also appears to be a plumy, raisiny smell, however - lots of dark fruit in this one.

T: Follows the nose. Bready Belgian yeast complemented by lots of dark fruit. However, there also appears to be a mild toffee/caramel backbone from the malt. Overall, the flavors are good; however, I should note that they're not as robust as in other dubbels; Ommegang Abbey Ale is far better. I do like the flavors, but they're not nearly as robust as I thought they were going to be.

M: Nice and bready, but the pepperiness makes the beer appear more like a tripel than a dubbel.

O: Good beer with some drawbacks. Would have if it was offered to me.

Photo of kevinlater
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into oversized wine glass. 8% abv. best before "A 10 07 18", consumed on december 24, 2014

a: i poured all the yeast in, so this thing is ultra opaque. the beer has a lovely deep caramel/toffee hue with subdued ruby tones near the edges of the glass. just over a finger of fluffy light tan head. really beautiful

s: sweet, fruity, and mildly spicy. i pick up on the overripe banana and caramel notes first. under that is a fruity vinous quality -- raisins and figs mainly. below that is a really pleasant vanilla scent, mixed with very soft clove notes

t: sweet malty sugary caramel-y fresh dark bread up front. under that are the banana, raisin, and fig tastes. there is also a somewhat prominent cooked apple presence that is absolutely delicious. not a lot of spice notes, as expected from the nose. i'm getting a shy flash of that vanilla note from the aroma, and maybe even slight chocolate. the beer closes off with a moderately bitter back-palate, with lingering notes of caramel, bread, and apple

m: medium mouthfeel, active but soft and never offensive carbonation, slightly sticky

o: a superb dubbel that is full of tasty flavours

Photo of DaveBar
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of a mixed 6pk. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a high head that is gone pretty fast.

S- A bit sour.

A- Not so good. Rather tart. This is like a blend that as spun off another blend. Not very good though.

M- Dry but still not great

O- Not so good. It's a beer that was created to have another offering or something.

Food Pairing

This OK beer went ok with..... Monte Cristo sandwiches

Enjoy!!

Photo of delta490
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep and murky brown with a thin tan head that dissipated quite quickly. The smell is mild but with some light dark fruit and some spices. The taste is a little more robust and with a nice light sweetness on the finish. There is a little bit of carbonation on the finish but the body has a nice weight and feel to it.

Photo of Mlkluther
4/5  rDev -3.8%

On tap at the Yard House in Denver. Great beer - what you expect from a Belgian but very smooth and nice to drink.

Photo of coder
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Fairly nutty taste. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Photo of Magbas
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

A solid beer from a solid producer, just considerably less interesting than the Tripel and Abt 12.

Photo of jmdrpi
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml corked and caged bottle, 2010 vintage, so 4 years old.

Medium body color, foamy off white head. Very nice aroma - complex malt, bready, nutty. Same flavors in the taste, plus some earthy herbal notes. Medium body, soft smooth carbonation. Very nice dubbel, a prime example overall.

Photo of FLima
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color with a huge thick beige head with excellent retention and eternal plate. Some floating particles.
Nice aroma with notes of sweet nuts, chocolate, mild hay and prunes.
Flavor with notes of prunes, spices, lots of cocoa chocolate, toasted malts, peppery yeast, candi sugar, figs, grapes, earthy hops and piñacolada rum. Hints of cinnamon and banana. Dry aftertaste with a mild to medium muffled bitterness.
Medium towards full creamy body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8% abv is superbly well hidden.
Excellent brew, between a Dubbel and a BDSA, with good complexity and full of flavors and spices. Well balanced and not overly sweet as several other Belgians can be. Ages well. Recommended.

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

11.2oz Bottle from Total Wine Palm Springs CA for $4

Appearance - Slightly hazy brown colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, peppery spice mix

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste dates/raisins, malts, clove, and some faint chocolate.

Overall - A great grape/fruity flavour mixed in with the belgian spice mix make this a delicious beer. Very easy to drink and almost refreshing in a way. The perfect amount of sweetness as well.

Photo of Samp01
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark cloudy brown amber with a large beige lasting head, some mild lacing. Dark dry fruit and Belgian yeast as well as some mild fruity alcohol ester fill the senses. Taste is mild toasted caramel malt followed by a mix of dark dry fruit and Belgian yeast, bread notes. Palate is a medium body, smooth mouth feel with good carbonation. Dry fruit, yeast and bread notes with mildly toasted caramel malt and alcohol on the end. A very well made and nicely balanced brew.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

prior 8 is a real delight. i dont know how so much time in beer has gone by without me trying this ever, but it must have somehow slipped through the cracks. shame on me, because this is a real beauty. a classic dubbel in style, maybe the classic version. not quite as legendary as their quad i dont reckon, but its there in quality. dark muddy amber colored brew, hazy with yeast sediment and a speckled off white head, thick and full of tiny bubbles that keep on holding up. notes of dried fruit dominate here, raisins and plums both come to mind, even figs and molasses, the additional sugar here is super raw, and not all the way fermented out by the dusty spicy belgian strain. not a ton of lingering sweetness, appropriate levels for the style, but there is a real richness created in the texture of this beer. a long experience, yeast and grain driven equally, but showing a higher level of refinement than even the offerings from other belgian monastic types. lighter in body than the quad, but still big, maybe a bit more drinkable. the fruit tones are awesome and permanent, this is a memorable brew, drinking well easier than 8% abv. worth double what they ask for it in my opinion.

Photo of BigRedDog
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Pours a deep rich brown with a bit of copper/amber at the edges. Good fluffy off-white head, Good head retention and excellent lacing.

Defintie malt smell, as well as some spice

Taste is malt forward. Slight dark fruit notes, but not as noticeable. Slight spiciness on the finish. Things like mulling spices, especially allspice.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, but light enough to be very enjoyablke.

Very good beer.

Photo of byronic
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark amber, quite clear with lots of carbonation. A nice beige head forms but turns into spotty lacing barely covering the chalice. Very fragrant with lots of fruit such as figs and raisins followed up by bready aromas. A bit lighter than expected with a touch of sweetness. Despite it's sweetness a touch of bitter is present making this a very refreshing brew. The taste follows through on the nose. There are other many other Dubbel's but this is a solid example that I would be hard pressed to pass up.

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle purchased from liquor store in Copenhagen. Served well chilled into whatever I could find unfortunately. Really need to bring some glass ware next time.

Appearance - clear honey brown color with some red hues. Small finger and a bit of white head, dissipates fairly quick. Crazy amount of visible carbonation.

Smell - cherries and chocolate dominate like a cherry cheesecake almost. Some caramel aroma blended into to smooth out the aroma even more. Delightful.

Taste - like the nose, with cherries and chocolate although the flavour doesn't truly overwhelm or coat the mouth. Slightly boozy finish in the aftertaste. Cherry and raisin come out more as it warms. A little bit nutty too.

Mouthfeel - exceptionally lively for carbonation, boozy, but not to the point of overkill and slightly dry finish.

Overall - great dubbel that didn't disappoint.

Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Atlanta Yard House.
A: clear dark amber with a good beige head.

Aroma: loads of dark fruit aromas including dates and raisins. Slight boozy with some nice spicy and bready aspects to the lingering aftertaste.

Flavor: Sweet up front turning bitter-sweet by the finish. Very fruity as is the aroma.

Feel: medium body; proper carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into an official Bernadus chalice, at Mannequin Pis in Olney MD.

An absolutely gorgeous deep blood red and ruby garnet body color, with mahogany brown in the center. Minimal carbonation, and a thin bubbled light tan head. Manages to always keep a puck while drinking an minimal lacing.

Classic Belgian dark ale notes on the nose, but lighter. Some slight clove and fig, minimal wine like heat. Considerably lighter than I was expecting. Some small touches of cinnamon.

Much of the taste is no surprise from the bouquet. Light bodied and moderately carbonated, and some degree of brown sugar sticky coating in the palate. Light bodied fig and raisin, with some matching clove as well. Some very dry finish and almost mineral perrier tasting.

Overall not too bad, but it's hard for me to get excited about this style. Pretty much textbook, but missing lots of wow factor.

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle marked 30 03 18 at 45 degrees into a goblet
Aroma of a bread bakery specializing in dark and whole-grain bread; also some fig or date aroma
Head average (3.5 cm), very light brown, creamy, diminishing to a partial ring up to 8 mm wide and a large island of foam.
Lacing poor and spotty.
Body medium to dark brown and very hazy – just looks dirty
Flavor begins slightly sweet with the taste of dates; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl. As it warms up, the flavor remains the same.
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Although not visually appealing, this dubbel is redeemed by the overall good taste and palate. It is slightly sweet, but never too sweet, as dates often are. Overall, a very pleasant brew.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of two regular dubbel offerings from St. Bernardus. Single bottle snagged from a mixed 6-pack and poured into a goblet. A murky light cola brown brew with a large beige head. Aroma is intensely spicy and fruity but with a rum and raisin meets chocolate malt undertone; smells a bit "darker" than some other dubbels but with a pleasant rock candy sweetness. This translate well to the palate and I am enjoying where this particular Belgian is going. Brown bread, clove oil, perhaps some dried apricot or papaya and a unique note that recalls chocolate macaroon. Remains only semi-sweet, however, with the chocolate coconut and cola-like brown spice flavors remaining on the dark side of the ledger as opposed to the cloyingly sweet. Rather brisk carbonation and the body is a hair heavier than other dubbels, yet the drinkability remains high like Chimay Red. Finishes on the dry side as well but with some lingering vanilla and dry chocolate wafer notes. I like this beer as a bridge between the lighter-bodied dubbels and some of the heavier Belgian dark ales. Great balance of sweet and bitter.

Photo of Furlinator
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark brown with a huge 2 inch off-white head that settles to a cap on top and leaves curtains of lace.

The smell is of musty funk, like wet dirt, figs, lemon zest and biscuit bread.

The taste is of plums, figs, citrus, black cherry, clove and cinnamon.

The texture is medium bodied with high carbonation. A steady stream of tiny bubbles rise up throughout the drink down.

An impressive dubbel. Nice aromas and flavors with a refreshing mouthfeel.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 2,149 ratings.