St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

999 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 999
Hads: 2,179
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 127
Gots: 251 | 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: 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: 999 | Hads: 2,179
Photo of Hopswagger
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

P: A murky dirty dark pond water body with a creamy froth of khaki head with excellent retention.

S: Salty caramel apples, roasted cinnamon and sugar coated pecans, sweet molasses, dark candy sugar, prunes, subtle herbal gum and a syrupy sweetness.

T/M: Roasted caramel and dark sugar malt with a spicy phenolic fruit profile. Smoldered grain, boozy prunes, old school gum, sugary pecan pound cake, green and red apples and roasted ground spices. Prickly carbonation in a medium body. Finish has a burnt barley flavor and lightly smoked wood.

O: Good stuff but I think I like Pator 6 better. Good balance of flavors and a huge dose of spice. (647 characters)

Photo of lighthabit
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

echoing the other reviews, appearance is hazy, a bit of sediment on the bottom, mine is showing virtually no lacing. smell is fabulous, fruits, love it. taste is more of the same. only issue is a distractingly prickly carbonation that i'd like to see muted a bit. waiting a bit after the pour helps here. very cheerful, will have to try more from them. (352 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep brown with a finger and a half of dense off white head that slowly fades and leaves moderate lacing
S: smells of dark fruits, spice from the yeast and a bit of candi sugar
T: tastes of spice from the yeast, dark fruits, some alcohol, and some slight sugary sweetness. swallow is a bit more alcohol, some bitterness and a bit more sweetness and dark fruit
M: medium in the mouth with adequate and slightly prickly carbonation, a bit of a dry finish
O: A pretty solid beer with good flavors and good marks for hitting the style. a bit spicier than I expected but not bad. (585 characters)

Photo of Blindpigbiz
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Style/abv: dubbel/8%

Smell: chocolate and peanut butter with slight smokiness

Taste: very clean with subtle milk chocolate notes, nuts, peanut butter, and mild effervescence; it also has a minute malty character throughout

Pairs well with dark meat sandwiches and smoked sausages--and bacon, lots of bacon (308 characters)

Photo of ChrisKayler
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glass: Bell's Belgian style snifter.

Appearance: Beautiful. Dark ruby-crown in color, hazy with lots of small sediment uniformly floating throughout. Two fingers of khaki colored head resulted from a moderate pour which stuck around long after the pour.

Smell: A bit of funkiness, some banana, wheat, dark fruits, Candi sugar. Almost smells like a dark witbier or hefeweizen, without as much banana. Mmm!

Taste: This one is much less sweet than the Rochefort 8, and I like that as far as drinkability is concerned. Initial taste is kind of funky and maybe even a bit metallic ... similar to a witbier like Allagash White. However, things quickly change from there with bananas coming through as well as a little bit of dark fruit and candi sugar. My favorite part is after the taste has worn off and you exhale. Only then, does a strong taste of vanilla come through.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation (a little too much, for me). Pretty refreshing. Dry finish, though a little sticky.

Overall: Like a dark hefeweizen with great sweet Belgian candi sugar, spices, and vanilla thrown in. A great beer that is not necessarily the easiest to drink, nor something that I would want to have all the time. However, I will definitely revisit this one in the future. (1,276 characters)

Photo of hopsputin
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into a st. bernardus chalice

a: a mixture of dark brown and ruby red. 2.5 finger white/tan head that fades pretty quick. gushed out of bottle when opened it.

s: dark fruits - cherries, plums, raisins. a nice sweet malty aroma backed by chewy dough smell. a little diacetyl

t: cherries, fig, plum, raisins, hint of alcohol. all of this is surrounded by a nice bread/dough taste followed by sweet malt and some slight spice (maybe clove/pepper). theres something almost like a cola on the backend

m: the carbonation in this beer puts the mouthfeel on the fuller side of medium and the taste sticks in your mouth for a while.

o: i prefer the Abt 12 (duh) but don't enjoy this. i would have liked the sweet dark fruit to be a little more prominent, but not a huge deal as its a dubble. also, there might be just a touch too much alcohol in the flavor for me. (866 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Just shy of two fingers worth of densely packed crisp slightly creamy and lush light khaki colored head with a bit of an audible fizziness... Excellent retention... The color is a slightly murky medium brown color with a faint cranberry hue... Some small bubbled moderate paced carbonation can be seen climbing along the sides of the glass towards the top... A bit of lacing clings to the glass... A very nice looking offering...

S - Bursting with dark fruits... Fig... Plums... Raisins... Black berries... A hint of brown sugar... A very subtle Belgian yeast component... Spot on the for the style and rather satisfying...

T - Near identical to the aroma where the dark fruit dominates, but with the addition of tobacco leaves... A slight bit of toffee as well...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Sturdy... A bit chewy... Slightly lush... Each sip goes down easily... Light yet sharp carbonation...

D - Lives up to high standards of other St. Bernardus offerings... A rock solid Dubbel... Just a notch down from my favorites in the style category... Easy drinking and highly enjoyable... I can recommend without hesitation and would gladly drink again myself in the future... (1,197 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown in color with some chestnut highlights when it catches the light, big frothy and dense tan head, swirls of lacing. Strong notes of yeast and caramel, notes of spice, dark fruit, molasses, dark bread, nuts, alcohol. Not as deep and complex as the nose, bread, caramel and sugar make up the malt profile, yeasty spice, fruit. Medium bodied. Solid all around. (367 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Deep amber/brown pour with 2 fingers of white head which dissipated slowly and gave off nice amounts of lacing. Smells of raisin, cherry, vanilla, oak, and banana. The flavor is a very fruity, strawberry banana like sweetness with bready notes. Not too sweet to the point it's un drinkable, but perfectly balanced. There is a slight peppery taste but mainly this is a very nice bready sweet beer. Medium to full in body with a modest amount of carbonation.

This is one o he most balanced and best tasting Belgian beers I've had to date. A very enjoyable bready beer. (569 characters)

Photo of rangerred
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle into a goblet.

Pours a nearly clear dark brown with a rock solid one finger light tan head that refuses to go away. Tons of carbonation maintains the head nearly throughout with huge globs of lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.

There is a huge clove and banana Belgian aroma along with some light hints of dark fruits and coriander. Really pleasant and inviting.

The flavor is a wonderful marriage of dark caramel, figs, raisins, and dried cranberries. More coriander, clove, and banana that becomes especially prominent towards the finish. Mouthfeel is pretty dry with just a slight stickyness that is on par for the style.

Overall, a wonderful Dubbel with perfectly melded but very in your face flavors. Every St. Bernardus beer I have had has blown me away and this ones proves no different. (818 characters)

Photo of sethcroisant
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- a gargantuan light tan head that's slow to reduce. astounding, pillow-like lacing is left behind.

S- alcohol, hint of grapes and dry, medicinal hops make it smell like a dry wine.

T- nutty at first with some herbal flavors from the hops and alcohol follow. the malty aspects kick in big after a brief delay. slight chocolate and vienna malt flavors make it reminiscent of a bock or marzen in the aftertaste. finishes sweet and a little dry.

O- quite a curveball, but not in a bad way. there are multiple layers to this beer, and all of them are fascinating. (564 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brown bodied with an absolute mass of tan foam that is so dense and has amazing retention. Plenty of lacing to boot.

Amazingly complex nose with loads of different malt and fruit scents intertwined. Lively, lovely and mouthwatering.

Complex is the only way to describe the overall flavor. Bubblegum, sweet malts, toffee, caramel, fruity, yeasty, earth hops, hint of cola and alcohol. The finish is ever so clean too. Terrific.

Tons of carbonation, medium-full body, extremely dry and clean finish.

Has to be one of the pinnacles for the style. Dangerously drinkable also, but just so well rounded and complex that this is one that does not disappoint. (655 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared the 11.2 oz bottle with the bartender.

Pours out muddy brown with a off white head.

Dark fruit, dark breadiness, and caramel in the taste and nose.

Lots of carbonation peppers the tongue. It goes down smooth an is medium bodied.

A nice beer to sip on a cold night. A little warming alcohol makes this very enjoyable. (329 characters)

Photo of bambam2517
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - A translucent nutty brown body with an incredible amount of meringue-like foam that lasts long and leaves a solid lace all the way down the glass. One of the prettiest beers I've ever had.

S - Upfront toasty malts, with an undercurrent of date, plum, biscuit and a faint herbal note. I feel like there's more here to identify, and I just can't pin it down. Very good.

T - Not as complex as I expected from the smell. It's actually sweet and somewhat fruity, with the malt threading in nicely throughout. This makes for a very drinkable offering, never overpowers or surprises but you know you are drinking a very high quality beer throughout.

M - Nice and warming up front, with a tangy quality mid palate and an even, clean finish. Aftertaste reminiscent of sun tea.

O - I love it! I could drink great quantities of this if I kept it on hand. If I were in Belgium, that may make for more of a quandary. As it is, it is too dear and expensive to keep around as an everyday drinker. But who knows, maybe I will enter the Brotherhood midlife and enjoy the finest ales the Abbeys have to offer on a more regular basis... (1,126 characters)

Photo of XxNitExX
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into goblet

A- Pours a murky brown (think cola) with red flashes. Think creamy head forms immediately and stays around.

S- Dark Fruits more than anything which is a surprise. Also has a sweetness in the nose with light malty flavor also.

T- Get more of the malts in the taste but still have the wonderful dark fruit taste. Not as sweet in taste as it is in smell.

M- Creamy just like the head. Goes down very smooth. Hides the alcohol well. (463 characters)

Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Delirium tulip at low altitude in NY.

A: Pours a dark, opaque reddish brown body with a thick, creamy khaki-colored head. Good retention and nice lacing.

S: Moderate strength aroma overall, with dark fruit esters (especially cherry), a solid caramel malt backbone and confectionery sweetness.

T: Dark fruit flavors up front give way to sweet caramel notes on a long finish. Plenty of sweetness here, but it's not overpowering. Slight clove notes come through more as it warms, and there's a little bit of heat on the finish.

M: Medium-bodied but relatively watery. The weakest aspect of this beer in my opinion.

O: One of the better dubbels out there, but it's hard for anything to compare after you've had Westvleteren 8, especially in terms of mouthfeel. Still definitely worth a try, though. (829 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A very dark brown color which seems to glow along the edges when held up to the light. Head was thick and creamy which had a nice presence throughout. Lacing crept down the side of the glass as I enjoyed this one. Enjoyed out of a St. Bernardus goblet glass.

Smell: A full bodied aroma of dark fruits, pears, banana, various green veggies, and a wonderfully spicy malt accents. All the aromas seem to culminate in the goblet then explode out all at once. Damn this smells good! Made me not want to drink this beer so I could keep enjoying this heavenly scent!

Taste: The powerful malt jumps out right away on the palette. Then the malt takes an exotic twist into an incredibly complex dark fruit body. The dark fruits bash around in your mouth for a very long time. The yeast undertones are very present throughout. The aftertaste is a pleasantly sweet and dry nutty feeling.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied here, the palette is very well covered but at the same time is not an over the top feeling. Really feels like a well balanced feeling.

Overall: In my opinion, this is one of the better Belgian Ale's available. I got this bottle at my local establishment by itself for $3.99 and I consider that a steal. Such an easy drinker that any Belgian fan will appreciate. (1,281 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky, leather-looking brown color; almost fully opaque with some really tiny bits of off-colored sediment hanging in suspension and revealing the unfiltered nature of the brew. A foamy, dingy, off-white head tops the beer off and lasts for what seems like days as it leaves some gorgeous legging down the sides of the glass.

The initial aroma is sharp, pronounced, and very carbonated; grapes, apple skins, pears, ripe plums, slight earthiness, dirt, faint caramel, brown sugar. Very sweet and lively on the nose. Upon warming, light banana and spices come out. The Belgian yeast certainly doesn't go unnoticed here. Very complex aroma all around.

The taste begins with a nice dose of heavy, sweet grapes and juicy plums. Candied dates, sugar-coated raisins, spices, clove, cinnamon, apple skins, sweet caramel, toffee, light cocoa powder... Do you see all those things I just listed? How the fuck did I identify all of that stuff? I don't know. But it's all there. This beer is seriously complex and really quite amazing.

Phenols are present as they are in many Belgian ales, but they are pretty mild and unobtrusive here. The sweetness from the fruit and malt flavors couple perfectly with the brown and burnt sugar flavors, both of which are kept in check by the Belgian yeast and spices. Hops are far from the forefront, but still can be detected, though remain muddled, musty, and somewhat quiet. But in all honesty, they aren't missed all that much here.

This beer is an unabashed, sweet malty bomb, and an incredibly complex one at that. Some light fruitiness, toffee, and sweet sugar in the aftertaste. Even as this beer warms, it gets sweeter and sweeter without ever becoming cloying. Highly carbonated with a medium body, almost creamy, and slightly frothy. The mouth feel alone could tell you that this is a well-crafted Belgian ale.

Damn, I was definitely impressed with this one. After having the Pater 6, my hopes weren't THAT high for this one (I mean, it's just a stronger version, right?) Wrong. This beer is great, and in my opinion, severely underrated. A super-complex compound of fruit, malt, sugar, musk, hops, spices, and yeast. This is a must have for lovers of the style, and even a good choice to convert people who are hesitant. (2,273 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Schaumburg, IL
Date: Best by 08/07/2013
Glass: St. Bernardus chalice

Pours a 2cm tall head of mostly medium-sized, but some small-sized, bubbles, off-white to beige in color. Retention is excellent, lasting more than a few minutes, and the foam leaves substantial washes of lacing as it declines down the glass, settling to a thin cap atop the beer. Body is a dark brown-amber color, with light doing little to change the color. Opaque, with carbonation just visible as it runs up the sides of the glass.

Aroma is of very rich bread, raisins, caramel, light grape ester, and hints of anise.

Front of palate finds rich bread, raisins, light grape ester, and amber Belgian candi sugar. Mid-palate is similar: Belgian candi sugar sweetness, rich brown bread, raisins, dried dates, light grape ester, and even some mild cocoa. Back of palate picks up light grape ester, amber Belgian candi sugar, raisins, dried dates, anise, and spiciness from ethanol. Aftertaste is of lingering candi sugar sweetness, dried dates, and light ethanol.

Beer is medium-heavy in body, with medium to medium-low intensity carbonation that feels slightly fizzy upon the palate. This quickly foams the beer, though, and the beer ends up softly moving across the palate. Closes rather dry, with moderate stickiness lingering across the palate. (1,335 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on January 25, 2013.

The pour is a gorgeous looking deep amber-brown with a long lasting, silky beige head and a slight haze. Some decent yeast sediment floating about which is something I really like to see.

The aroma opens up my senses in wonderment trying to define what is there. I get dark malts, dark fruit, yeast, grape, molasses, and Belgian candied sugars. It invites me to drink and enjoy.

The body is full and bold with modest astringency.

The taste is fabulous with an upfront dark malt sweetness, molasses, and a mild pepper note taking up the rear with a smooth, dryish finish.

One of the most gorgeous, aromatic, and tasty beers that I have ever had. (719 characters)

Photo of brewsclues
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

St. Bernie 8 - 750ml bottle.

Beautiful amber brown with a huge head that stayed for about 2 hours.

Nose is awesome: tons of citrus and floral hints, rounded out by soft ripe fruits. Pears, apricots, bread, and clove/cinnamon spice.

Taste: Out of control good. I love the big, bold esters, the pear/apricot hints, and the silky-smooth caramel/light molasses malt backbone. But a ton of the sour fruit feel, which balances the malts well. Actually, there is a lot more of the sour-Flemish feel to it than I was expecting. Gives it a slight, puckering bite.

Mouthfeel: a little bit lighter than I was expecting. Not thin, but a sessionable Dubbel. Quite (and unexpectedly) dry.

Overall: Ahh, St. Bernie. You done good. Real good. I'd reach for this in almost any situation, place, mood, weather, or company. (810 characters)

Photo of Bashao
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours dark brown from the bottle. Nice foam head with average retention.

Smell: Very malty smell, almost no hops aroma.

Taste: Very strong caramel malt taste, a bit stinging on the tongue because of high carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Full body beer, a bit of acidic taste because of the high carbonation.

Overall: Nice beer, probably would sell this beer in my pub. (379 characters)

Photo of spoony
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle (best before February 7, 2017) into a chalice.

A-A normal pour produces about one and one-half fingers of light tan-colored head. The foam drops to thick cap, and then hangs around while you drink. The brew is a dark, reddish-brown. Mostly opaque.

S-I smell a lot of sweetness, both caramelly, brown-sugary malts and alcohol. Also a touch of banana-scented Belgian yeast.

T-The taste is also pretty sweet with malty molasses and candy sugar flavors. There is also a component of dark fruit, like raisins and prunes on the mid-palate, and a touch of pepper on the finish.

M-The feel was nice and creamy with moderate to lower carbonation that roiled the beer around my mouth. Good balance.

O-This brew lacks the complexity of my favorite dubbels, but it is a nice representation of the old world style with big sweetness and subtle fruit characteristics. The appearance is archetypical and mouthfeel is great. This brew made for a nice sipper on a cold January evening and I will be drinking this again. (1,029 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into its own chalice. Best before 03/12/15.

Looks a dirty red-brown. Pretty much mahogany with lots of murk. A creamy off-white head formed and remained as a thick layer, even after almost ten minutes of letting this beer warm up.

Recognizable St. Bernardus yeast strain with creamy tones and fleshy nuttiness. Dark fruits pervade the scope of the aroma. Rhubarb, plum, fresh fig, raisin, and rosy alcohol. Super yeasty and super mellow, except for some alcohol.

Fruity notes of cherry, prune, fig, and raisin carry-over with pronounced yeast nuttiness. Savory brine notes with a hint of salinity that I find in each St. Bernardus beer I've tried. It's sliced in half by a feverous booze note; feverous, at least, for a dubbel. Drinks in heaping spoonfuls. Lots of complexity. Savory and sweet and salty and bitter, although hardly very bitter. Light spiciness in a strange form, reminiscent of stone-ground mustard. It just keeps getting better.

Soppy, like a dubbel should be, but with that pronounced booze note. Not that it's overwhelming, it's just a swift kick at times. Body could be thicker, but it drinks smooth. Carbonation is happily busy and right where it should be, bringing spice to the rear.

Good stuff. I forgot which one was more revered, this one or the tripel; both beers that I've never had before. Went with this one. Needless to say, I gotta go back and get that tripel. Singles are the way to go, as I don't need the gift pack because I already have the glass. (1,497 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Chestnut colored body, very little transparency, somewhat cloudy looking. Big frothy beige head that leaves a ton of lacing.

S- Lots of dark dried fruits, caramel malt, yeasty bread aromas.

T- Huge dried fruit flavors, bready malts, sweet bread, caramel. Big on flavor.

M- Medium-high carbonation, medium bodied, slight carbonation burn, coats the tougue nicely.

O- Very good beer. Much more flavor than the 6, very good example of the style. (449 characters)

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 999 ratings.