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St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,011 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,011
Hads: 2,208
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 135
Gots: 264 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,011 | Hads: 2,208
Photo of Wilshade
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dubbel Ale
ABV: 8%
Glassware: Chalice

Appearance: Beautiful ruby brown body with a thin, lustrous and creamy tan head.

Smell: Malty and fruity with a hint of coconut.

Taste: Nicely balanced between bitter and sweet. Malt and fruit notes well blended.

Mouth feel: Smooth, but lively on the tongue.

Overall: Very nice abbey. The 8% ABV is well hidden, but it kicks in fairly quickly. This one goes into my personal rotation.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dull dark ruby with a cream coloured head.
S: Lovely perfumed smell, as can be expected from a St Bernardus. Yeasty peppiness with pipe tobacco and a bit of liquorice.
T: Liquorice and cola. Harsh roastines. Boozy. Has that classic pipe tobacco quality which I like though. It's pretty dry. Mouthfeel is lighter than the 10 and 12. Very fizzy, albeit the bubbles are delicate and champagne-like. Burping up dried fruit and bread. Towards the bottom I get red grapes, and it's slightly phenolic.
O: Certainly one of the better dubbels I've had and while I'm not mad keen on the style I did enjoy this one.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 330 mL Bottle

A- Pours a deep brown colour topped by a huge lumpy white head. Ton of lacing on the glass.

S- Raisins, plums, and other dark fruit. Lots of Belgian yeast and a malty breadiness in the nose. Little bit of alcohol in the nose.

T- Similar to the nose with a bit of a clove-like spiciness.

M- Medium-High Carbonation with an insanely smooth body.

O- Another excellent beer from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of SebD
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice brown/amber color to it with some golden hues shinning through. It has a nice thick creamy beige head that dies down moderately slow and leaves light lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of Belgian yeast, dark fruit (raisins, plums, figs), some peppery spices, cloves, some breadiness and a light earthiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some Belgian yeast, a light breadiness, dark fruit, light spices (pepper and cloves) and a faint earthiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a med-high carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of TheHammer
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: It poured with a half finger of head that quickly disappeared into a single island on the beer. The island retained exceptionally well, but that doesn't say much. The body itself is a cloudy brown with touches of red that has a healthy amount of carbonation.

Smell: Warming helps this beer's aromatics come out, but even then it's not overly complex. It has the scene of white wine with a caramel malt background that kinda wonders why it's here. I mean nothing bad to speak of here, but nothing amazing. That said, this mild flavour certainly conceals what you are in store for.

Taste: Oh dear me that is good, rich toffee malt with hints of strawberries starts off our journey as the beer calmly turns to rich figs, plums, grapes and mild butterscotch notes come in building to a crescendo with mild bitter citrus, toasted malt and a touch of apple. I know Trappist style beer and Belgian yeast is renowned for it's fruity flavour, but this one takes the cake. I'm really surprised that I didn't notice any of this stuff in the nose, but even at the end of the beer, that nose remains that same white wine and malt scent.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is exceptionally well done but points get deducted for the lack of head. The transitioning is simply euphoric and the aftertaste is a mild caramel malt, apple blend. It does cling a little bit on the back of the tounge, but thankfully it doesn't continue to build upon itself as you drink it.

Drinkability: This stuff is dangerously easy to drink, but is a bit heavier then expected as it leaves me feeling like I ate a quick lunch. A lunch that got me wrecked mind you as it conceals it's ABV dangerously well. Completely skews any kind of dry sensations I sometimes encounter with the style which is also a bonus. Only thing keeping it from perfect is how heavy it seems to sit in my stomach.

Final Thoughts: Well after a lacklustre start, this beer pulled itself together and produced a genuinely great experience, scoring in my eyes where it counts. This is without a doubt the best St. Bernardus beer I've had thus far. It's a little heavy, but this is a beer you save for a special occasion. Two thumbs up.

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Photo of Premo88
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bomber poured into Orval goblet

L: classic dubbel brown with a mix of clarity in parts and plenty of debris/murk/cloudiness mixed in ... looks just a bit thin; shows good carbonation but doesn't push up much of a head, maybe 1/4-inch at most, foam is tan; keeps a small, tight collar

S: grapes, wine ... so sweet and fruity, plums and figs ... *maybe* dates but it keeps the dubbel lighter fruitiness, doesn't approach raisins/licorice; closest it gets is maybe fruitcake/raisin bread

T: fruity fruit and fruit ... grapes, plums, figs and very sweet; in fact, the sweetness might be overdone, for it lacks that yeast pop some dubbels have -- that yeasty pop usually competes with the sweet but it doesn't here; at times, a bit of alcohol taste creeps in in the form of wine -- and almost a bit of a red wine mixed into the sweeter desert white wine, perhaps like a sangria

F: light ... watery for an abbey ale, but it's still good and full from the carbonation; dangerously drinkable

O: fantastic brew all-around even if it lacks a few things -- mainly that yeasty pop that I'd compare to almost a pizza crust that some dubbels have. this one doesn't, so it's very sweet and would definitely be an easy brew for the abbey ale novice to get behind (unless they hate sugar); hard not to like and WAY too easy to drink; I could chug this brew, it's so light and drinkable

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Photo of Scrapss
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of mick303
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of leantom
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
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

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Photo of DaveBar
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
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


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Photo of delta490
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.4/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of FLima
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of Samp01
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

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Photo of BigRedDog
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

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.

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Photo of byronic
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.11/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,011 ratings.