1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,658 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1658
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%

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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,658 | Reviews: 956 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JamesMN


3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown and opaque. Two finger foamy off-white head that is retaining well.

Aroma: Bready malt and a hint of yeast. A bit of sweetness on the back end like pear/apple juice.

Taste: An interesting mix of some bready malt flavor with a bit of dark malt. Flavors of plum, fig, pear, and some light spice notes dominate the overall taste. Some nice creaminess from the head with each sip that helps balance out the effervescent punch to the palate. Don't taste any of the 8% ABV. A bit of a spicy finish with lingering clove.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated as expected and medium in body. Average drinkability. The cloves get a tad cloying.

Final Thoughts: This is a Dubbel done right. Those who enjoy the style should really appreciate this one. Would I drink it again? It's probably my favorite of the style I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 04:59:08 | More by JamesMN
Photo of KickbacksSteve


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

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Light beige head, good retention on a hazy, amber body. Soapy, suddsy, sticky lacing. Aroma is vanilla, raisin, biscotti, fig, feint chocolate. Taste closely follows the aromas. Alcohol is very well hidden, this beer is extremely easy to drink for 8%. Delicious in every way, shape and form.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2012 06:43:45 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

Served in a St. Bernardus goblet.

The beer is chestnut brown with a half inch of tan head that leaves ample lacing in its wake. The aroma brings brown bread, yeast, brown sugar (though the aroma is not sweet, per se), light spice. The flavor is light and easy. Minimal alcohol presence. Bread, yeast, malt, light spice. A stellar example of a dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 02:25:57 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Maakun


3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before date 4,5 years in the future, so I guess it's half a year old.

Color is brown with some red, slightly cloudy but I poured a bit of yeast in the glass. Lots of bubbles, but the head disappears quickly and leaves some small islands of remarkably large bubbles. This looks really nice.

Smell is quite sweet, some caramel, chocolate milk and raisins. There's not that much there, but it might also be my Orval glass.

Taste is quite light at first. Some dried fruits, coffee, brown sugar. Then some bitterness and a light acidity, fresh apples. Later on the (yeasty) bitterness comes though more. Aftertase is again slightly acidic, I wish there was more sweetness here to balance it more.

Mouth is medium thick , creamy and a lof of carbonation that overpowers the taste a bit. But it also feels fresh somehow.

Overall this is a beer I quite like, though I expected a bit more of the taste and it could be a bit more balanced, especially in the aftertaste and the mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 20:07:16 | More by Maakun
Photo of Maltmaiden


4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copper brown. Noticeable carbonation. One finger head. A bit of lacing and film that stays till the end, but nothing spectacular.

I smell coca cola/red wine, but it works for me. Nutmeg. Caramel malts. Prune?

Sweet caramel malts upfront. Still that coca cola/wine taste. Little bit of bitter (citrus?) hops in the back. And some yeast,but not as much as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is medium and moderately carbonated. Goes down easy. A little effervescent b/c of the alcohol. No bad after taste.

Delicious! I can't wait to have this again and to try their other brews.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 14:34:38 | More by Maltmaiden
Photo of WastingFreetime


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

2 month old bottle review.

Now, this one I actually prefer fresher rather than aged. Which is a subjective thing, but this 2 month bottle I have had recently has best catered to my own personal tastes. As always, YMMV.

Pours out rich brown with a nice frothy two finger head that lasts for several minutes but doesn't have much lacing left behind on the glass. Medium light carbonation and body.

Smells and tastes of raisin bread and waffles with a touch of molasses sweetness and a smear of figgy jam on top of fresh baked muffins... I'm thinking that it is probably the blend of medium yeastiness and medium-light sweetness with just a little whisper of pseudo-cinnamon / allspice blend in the background that gives me such a nostalgic sensory rush of hearty breakfasts full of baked goods, and I really enjoy it a lot.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 21:21:46 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of Serge

Alberta (Canada)

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

Bottle. Pours a dark brown with a light brown head, good lacing. The aroma moderate to heavy malty, brown sugar, raisin, plum and hoppy. Flavor moderate/heavy sweet and bitter, in good balance. Medium/full body, syrupy, soft carbonated. Moderate in alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 04:19:40 | More by Serge
Photo of warnerry


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

Best by 28 October 2015

A - Pours a semi-murky dark brown with hints of prange. One finger of light tan head has excellent retention and leaves some decent lacing.

S - Lots of fruit up front, with a strong white grape aroma. Also some brown bread and a light spiciness.

T - Spice presence is more pronounced in the taste, which also has a strong fruit presence. earthy brown bread comes in midway and last through the finish. Flavors are good throughout, if a bit on the light side.

M - Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium. Slight earthy bitterness. Finished semi-dry.

O - Definitely a high quality dubbel, but didn't blow me away. I would have it again though.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 19:09:14 | More by warnerry
Photo of sevenarts

New York

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

A: Dark, somewhat opaque brownish red with a good strong tan head and moderate lacing.

S: That distinctive Belgian yeast aroma complemented by fruit and a good amount of spice. Very mild and well-balanced.

T/M: Really well-balanced beer with some fruit flavors up front, but not over the top as in some Belgian beers. Instead, the fruit is balanced by a hint of bitterness, an undercurrent of yeast, and some nice spicy accents. It's all followed up by a warming sensation from the alcohol.

O: A really great Belgian that's exceptionally balanced between spiciness, alcoholic bite, sweet fruity flavor and that distinctive yeasty foundation. It's flavorful and strong without being totally overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 23:20:46 | More by sevenarts
Photo of garymuchow


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Working my way through the top dubbels to see what I can glean in my vain attempt, so far, to make a satisfactory one on my own.
750 ml bottle poured with two pourings into my SN tulip. Best By Date of 29.06.16 - so a relatively fresh bottle I presume.
Darker malt and darker fruit on the first take of aroma. A little vinous too. Yeast qualities are subdued, comparatively. Kinda' musty with soft light fruit and spice that appears a little later. Bottle note "delicate bouquet" and I would concur, yet really complex too.
Clear dark amber of reds/copper with huge full tan head.
How do you get so much richness without actually being excessively rich and not too dry either. Nice soft rich malt flavors with a shot of sweetness up front, esp. when it's cold. Also caramel and nuttiness. Very complex malt presentation. No emphasis on fruit with this one. Bitterness seems largely in the foam. Soft spicing. All well balanced flavors. Even the alcohol is flavorful and soft - just enough warm the gut and just zing to touch the flavor. Oh, there the fruit is - it makes a showing too - sorta' medium, not dark or light. A little doughiness to the malt. Just enough hops to show a flavor presence. Delicate and just enough to add to the complexity.
Moderate feel. Quite smooth. Carbonation not to excess even with the huge head.
An overall very well crafted, complex and interesting beer. I've had dubbel's with more striking flavors. This one is more about balance and drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 01:46:02 | More by garymuchow
Photo of BMMillsy


4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

What a great dubbel. Pours slightly darker than the 6 with a thicker mouthfeel, small off white head. Heavy prune notes and carbonation is just right, a little chocolate, more dark fruits and plums. Just a hint of yeast. Medium mouthfeel with still plenty of carbonation. More good stuff by St. Bernardus.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2012 18:26:24 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of TBoneJones


4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thick brown pour into the chalice. Nice head that faded to a minimal.
Herbal chocolatey smell, maybe molasses too.
Malty, nutty, dark fruit taste, and blends very well I might add.
Creamy delicious.
For some reason, as I sipped this I couldnt help but think that some aspect of it reminded me of an imperial, souped-up version of Celebrator Doppelbock. Maybe its the chocolate or candy aspects of the brew. And that's not a bad thing at all.  

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 02:38:48 | More by TBoneJones
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: minimal to no head over cloudy brown liquid.

S: Bananas, pears, figs and candy sugar.

T: Pears, bananas, figs, white grapes, candy sugar and a touch of earthy and grassy hops.

M: Medium viscosity and a high level of fine carbonation.

O: Maybe I have been spoiled by the other dubbels I have had, but this one doesn't particularly stand out.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2012 23:05:15 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of Arno

3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Chestnut brown, hazy. Huge creme foam top that fades quickly. Lovely lacing.

smell: Has a medicinal smell to it combined with caramel, dark fruits and licorice.

taste: A little odd. It has some contradicting flavors somehow. I get caramel, brown sugar with a spicy smokey licorice finish. It's interesting but it doesn't really seem to click somehow. After some lingering i get fig as an after taste. I get a lot of medicinal phenol flavors together with alcohol in the nose, which adds to the slightly weird flavor combo.

mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Quite creamy with a nice carbonation kick breaking through.

overall: It's an interesting beer. I'm not sure if i like it or not. It's not bad and i do enjoy it, but it's just not a "Wow!" moment i had with their Triple. So it's def. not their best.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2012 22:30:53 | More by Arno
Photo of Darkmagus82


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

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass
Appearance – Served a medium deep reddish-brown color with a light haze and a one finger white head. The head faded over time to give a medium level of lacing.
Smell – The aroma is heaviest of dark fruit aromas of prune, raisin, fig, and some cherry. These sweeter fruit flavors are also complimented by some aromas of a bready malt as well as some molasses. Overall the aroma is sweet and delicious.
Taste – The taste begins more on the maltier side with hints of a roasted malt and brown bread. These flavors quickly sweeten as the dark fruit flavors that were detected in the nose come to the tongue. These tastes are mixed with a caramel and molasses flavor which greatly sweeten the profile. At the end of the taste, some boozy and vanilla flavors meet the tongue and take the taste to the end.
Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the slightly higher side with some nice creaminess and has a carbonation level being just below average.
Overall – A tasty brew, but in comparison to its bigger brother 12 it is nothing to really pine for. For the dubbel style it is more towards the top of the line, but not the best out there (at least in my opinion)

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2012 01:05:45 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of chanokokoro


4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a St. Bernardus branded chalice

Pours a molasses brown with a two finger light beige head. The head remains as long as the beer, significant lacing coats the sides of the glass. The aroma of dark fruit, fig and dates, sweet cream, and a hint of alcohol rises from the chalice. Notes of sweet malt, caramel, spice, bread, and almond can be found thoughout this brew. Medium-bodied, perfect carbonation, creamy velvet on the palate. An exceptional dubbel from a fantastic brewery.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 05:34:19 | More by chanokokoro
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice brown, that is not transparent, a nice beige head at the top the goes away quickly, a little bit of lacing around the glass.

S: Dark fruit is present, especially fig and a slight hint of chocolate.

T: A greatly balanced beer, the dark fruit and chocolate and malts all come together to give a great taste, the alcohol is just a bit present.

M: Creamy, medium bodied and mid carbonation.

O: This brewery never ceases to amaze, this is a great tasting beer, very well balanced and warming.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 18:30:25 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of sommersb


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

Tasted On: 07-29-2012
Freshness: Best by 09-08-2012
Packaging: 330 ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Chalice
Purchased: Single from Frugal MacDoogal, Nashville

Pours a dark brown color, nearly opaque. The head is about a finger's worth, tan colored and creamy, with good retention and a fair amount of lacing.

Aromas are rich and malt-forward; caramel, dark fruits (such as figs), molasses, vanilla and woodiness come to mind.

The taste is similar to the smells, with sweet malty flavors of brown sugar, molasses and caramel, plus some spicy/peppery characteristics. No bitterness or hop flavors.

The mouthfeel is first about the high amount of carbonation present. Full-bodied, the finish is sweet with some alcohol warming.

Overall a powerfully rich beer -- an excellent slow sipping, nightcap treat.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 04:34:49 | More by sommersb
Photo of sureshot08


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a snifter. Pours a medium brown with a mild off-white head that quickly dissipates. Some visible sediment.

Smell: Lots of caramel, sweet, some dark fruit.

Taste: Caramel, butterscotch, raisin, prune, faint rum notes.

Mouthfeel: On the thinner side with moderately high carbonation.

Overall: I get a lot of caramel, but well in balance. Not much alcohol or hop character. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 01:47:04 | More by sureshot08
Photo of LiquidAmber


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

Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet. Pours a murky dark red amber with a nice off-white head and lacing. Subdued light malt, dark and light fruit aroma. Light fruit, malt and Belgian spicing. Somewhat light flavor. Finishes nicely with sweet malt and light fruit. Mouth feel and carbonation are very nice. A great dubble, although the flavors are not as assertive as I'd expect. I'd still be happy to drink this any time.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 23:00:54 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of BuccoFan

District of Columbia

4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour -- Into a tulip glass. Pours a thin reddish brown. Brownish white head forms at the top, thick but thin, eventually forming a nice layer of cream that stays throughout the entire tasting.

Aroma -- Nice malty smell, but not too strong. A subtle scent, not its strong point.

Mouthfeel -- carbonation is there, but low-to-medium. It's pretty smooth.

Taste -- Its absolute strongest point. I sipped on this over the course of a half hour, and savored every drop of it. I like to start these out a little colder than recommended, and let the taste gradually enhance as it goes on, and this, even cold, had a very nice flavor. I had one of these the same weekend I had a Rochefort 8, and while this is the minority opinion, I found the Prior 8 exceedingly more tasteful. I've had the St. B quad, but this was my first time with their dubbel, and this is now my favorite dubbel, hands down.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 02:37:15 | More by BuccoFan
Photo of DougT


4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a St. Bernardus glass. Unfortunately my favorite is 12 and it's very hard not to compair. As a double I should not expect the strength of a quad, but there it is. Take comments with the proper grain of salt.

A: deep, clear brown. 1+ finger medium brown head that dissipates to a light layer of foam across the whole challis that sticks slightly to the sides. very light lacing.

S: Bread yeast hit my nose hard at first. That subsided and then figs. Other dark fruits. Somewhat subtle, but very pleasant.

T: Not too sweet, smooth, very light hopps but some come out late to lend a little bitter flavor in the aftertaste, a little alcohol. Delicious.

M: Fizzy! Fairly light. Not too strong, I think I could drink this all night.

O: A very good beer. Light enough to enjoy on a warm evening. Not as powerful or as much of a sensory overload as 12. Sort of like 12 light. Not quite as much flavor and not as full bodied, but the flavor and fizzy character matches. You can tell it's St Bernardus!

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 04:23:19 | More by DougT
Photo of mechamifune

North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola brown. Slight tan head that fades out in a couple minutes. Very evident cardonation.

Smell is slightly sweet with hints of dark fruits and then a bit of apple. No real hop presence.

Taste is in line with the smell. Slightly sweet with a bit of an alcoholic aftertaste. Subtle fruit notes with toffee throughout. A wonderful, complex taste, and about as good as you can expect from this style, in my experience anyway.

Mouthfeel is full, load of carbonation but right for the style. A slow sipper for sure, but very befitting the complex and enjoyable taste profile.

Overall, this is as fine a dubbel as I've had and one worth seeking out. I probably enjoyed it more than any of the other St. Bernardus offerings, though they are all worthy.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2012 03:51:23 | More by mechamifune
Photo of brureview


4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chalice. The beer appears to have a cola color with
a one finger head. There is carbonation from the bottom of the glass going upwards towards the head.

The smell from the head is complex: some fruit presence. The smell lasts throughout the tasting.

The mouth feel is too overpowering- very tingly, but it mellows with warming.

The finish is also highly complex. At first, there is a strong molasses finish, and later I discover hints of caramel which become more accentuated with warming. I also tasted apple in the finish with even more warming, as the taste mellows.

Warming brings out wonderful qualities of this beer: it's a sipper, that needs to be savored slowly. The mouth feel mellows with warmth and the Dubbel becomes very balanced. There is a strong alcoholic aftertaste which remains throughout- it's not overpowering and fits well into the general drinking of the beer.

Overall, a great beer at the right temp. Warmth brings out the finish and mellows the mouth feel. Will drink again.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 01:24:54 | More by brureview
Photo of beergoot


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an excellent rich, copper-colored body with a great thick and sticky, bone-white head. Great lacing.

Rich, grainy aroma with dark fruits and some orange scents mixed in. Caramel, toffee, toasted bread...

Sweet caramel malt taste, buttressed with a slight phenol and alcohol taste that lasts through the finish.

Rich mouthfeel, heavy bodied, sticky yet smooth from the carbonation.

Damn tasty! Rich, complex, and quite enjoyable overall. Highly recommended...

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 19:51:10 | More by beergoot
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,658 ratings.